The idea of mastery has been tugging at me lately. I’ve often thought over the years that I was a Jill of all trades and a mistress of none. For love and/or money I have been a dancer, an actress, a student, a food waitress, a cocktail waitress, a restaurant bookkeeper, a salesperson, an auto show narrator, a bartender, a Pilates instructor, a student again, a Marriage and Family Therapy intern, a Community Psychologist, a parenting coach, a friend, a wife, a mama. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. I have the letters BFA and MA after my name. I know that underneath everything I’ve done is a clear direction. I am best in and with relationships and I’m passionate about personal growth. Still I feel I have done nothing to a depth that makes me an expert. Hand in hand with these feelings are the desires to find my voice, to shine the light that is in me out into the world, and to know at the end of my days that I have left the world a kinder, more loving, more inspired place than I found it.
In yoga class yesterday the teacher spoke of having a 1000 day practice. We’ve all heard that repeating something for 21 consecutive days makes it a habit. 60 days, 90 days, 120 days – they turn habit into glue into cement. 1000 days makes you a master. I love the idea of it, of committing to doing something specific daily for 1000 days. That’s 2.74 years. When I think about what, my heart jumps to writing and meditation. Without skipping a beat, the voices start – those take so much time, you will beat yourself up if you miss a day, you can’t possibly do that, 1000 days won’t make you an expert in those two areas – people spend lifetimes on that. Ouch. I begin to think smaller – a chant, a mantra, a prayer, a haiku, a yoga series, a yoga pose, hooping, dancing for 10 minutes in my living room. All excellent ideas. Smaller, but still worthy.
I find myself paralyzed and I realize that I believe what I choose has to be tied to how I make money. Interesting. I don’t make any money now – except the occasional SAG and AFTRA residuals – so why would that be? I unravel the thought. Ah – there it is. My self-esteem is tied to earning money and being a committed mama doesn’t pay the bills. Ouch again. That puts a lot of pressure on any choice I make that it be the right choice. That I hurry up and get perfect. The problem is I’m messy – life is messy – and chasing after perfect is part of what’s kept me from mastery in the first place.
I’m going to take a little risk here. In the midst of grief and moving and having the rug pulled out from under my heart this week for reasons that shall remain unspoken (for now) I am going to stop typing, breathe deeply, ask my wise inner voice what my 1000 day practice will be and record whatever comes up here, on this page, so I can’t chicken out.
My 1000 days start tomorrow and end August 4, 2013.
Just for the record, I asked three times. The darned answer never changed.
On a side note, another thing that’s been tugging at me is seeing office space for lease. Weird.