This question, in many forms, seems to be at the back of my mind more and more often. "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" or "If you could have the life you want, how would it look?" or "If you didn't fear the perceived obstacles, how would you structure your career?" All of these questions branch off into subtly different directions. And yet at the core of them all, the common element is a challenge. The challenge, of course, is to push through fears to create the lives we want.
Over coffee with another freelancer with big dreams and a strong will, last week, we contemplated a version of this question. She reminded me of a powerful journaling activity: to write down a version of your ideal life as you perceive it would look once you'd achieved it. She's taken this approach on occasion in the past and only does so on the rare occasion...it's too big to take lightly, to casually attempt on a regular basis. I, too, think to write such journal pieces for myself and then the spark flutters by...I don't write these pages as often as the idea hits me. I think I know why.
The power of words, of setting a goal, of following DREAMS instead of this dream or that dream, can be enormous. Sometimes just the thought of having the lives we want can take us to scary places in our minds. Places that include obstacles we don't want to have to face.
Today I'm thinking of the enjoyment I receive from the website development work I do. Then I'm contrasting that enjoyment with the sheer JOY of designing jewelry, and even greater joy that isn't even realized when I conceive of designs that I don't yet have the skill to translate into finished pieces. Of all the paths I've followed during the last ten years: the writing, photography, web development, throwing pottery, teaching, and designing jewelry, only the jewelry designs make my heart sing for an extended period of time. Not that the others don't excite and thrill me. (And come in really handy when it comes time to market my work!) But those seem to be the supporting cast of the true desire I have to create these little works of art. If only I could show you the designs in my head that have never been turned into anything other than ideas.
Just writing this gives me a new spark. I think I'm going to have to write that private journal entry. Plugging on through the critical voices in our heads and the fears and the "but's" and the "what if's" is something many of us struggle to do, or even blatantly ignore. But I'm throwing down my own challenge today. A challenge to begin truly answering that question for myself. I've followed my own path for a while now. And I enjoy this path. Is this path perhaps branching out into a more narrow piece of the journey? Time to find out...