Stuck in the Middle

Typewriter, photo by Florian Klauer

It’s me again.

Maybe you can tell by my ramblings that I am trying to let go of old ideas and birth something new in me. I guess I am writing about this because I wonder if others are feeling the same too.

Brene Brown shared in one of her latest podcasts about her time working with people at Pixar. When they are designing new stories, they have to develop the story line and the characters.There are three parts to the story. First, the character is introduced and the challenge at hand is laid out. Part two is about the struggle to find a solution. Often times the character tries to find the solution outside themselves and really, the solution is found in the internal wrestling the character must undergo. Only when the character chooses to show up authentically, WITH vulnerability, is the conflict resolved in the final part of a story.

We live stories every day.  We are facing a host of challenges, not only in our personal lives and as a nation. The questions for each of us are- Where am I in the story? What external solutions am I looking for?  Are they working? And most important, am I willing to grow, to show up in my vulnerability and use my internal wisdom and strength to create change?

It is amazing how often we choose to stay in the icky middle of the story because it is what we know. (This is what I call being comfortable with being uncomfortable!) Sometimes life moves us to the place where we are uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.  This is the place where we either resist everything and move to isolate ourselves in denial, or the uncomfortableness spurs us to change how we ourselves see the world.

This week, the story of my need to be perfect has shown up too many times to count. I am in a new class, and it is so easy to slip into comparison and judgement. There are people far more confident than I and they have completed the first module of work while I am still thinking about what I want to create. (YES, hello perfectionism!) Am I waiting because I am looking for outside answers?  YES.  When I have the courage to be quiet and listen to my intuition I will have the answers I seek. And yet, my mind doesn’t stay focused.

I have new followers from my website and I don’t know why they are following. Did they join my list for the art or the inspiration, or both? I worry that if I don’t say the right things, people will unsubscribe. Oh, how painful it is to rely so much on validation from others!

So this week, I am trying to follow the lesson of the characters in Pixar movies.  I am in the icky middle, where I am uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. I have to take the yucky next step, look inside for the answers, and then be vulnerable and put my new class out into the world.  Yes, there will be people who will love the idea. There will be people who say no because it isn’t what they need.

It is my job to recognize that creating an art class is what I need.  Teaching self care to others is what I need.  It is not my job to get people to stay or go. It is only my job to show up in my courage, my vulnerability, my courage, and trust that I am enough. My job is to change my view of myself and see the value I bring to others.

So my friends, whatever your struggles are, know that I too am struggling to stop searching for answers outside of me. I too struggle to find my enough-ness, but in a time when the world is in need of our love, it is a necessary step to find self love within.

Remember to choose joy! Be Kind! Love yourself Love each other!