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.
Excellent idea! And so wise of you to listen to the answer and leave the feeling that “only things that make money are worth it” far far behind you.
As a temporary SAH-mom I know all about that feeling, believe me. It seems that if you managed to get a title (MA for me), all you efforts should be about making money. Honestly I don’t know if your social circle is making you think like that or if it’s only in our “mama-minds”. 1000 days of meditation, wow!
Dian Reid says
I love that you shared your process, as it unfolded before your eyes, your mind. And I love that you’re listening to you, and sifting through the fear, the mess and moving forward, anyway. Inspiring.
I’m looking forward to your journey. At one point I my ego may have been compelled to join you. Today, I simply honor you, and continue in my own path, knowing I’m doing what’s right for me. And seeing you do what’s right for you…that’s the part that’s inspiring. Thank you, my dear.
Jessica M. says
Amazing…. it takes a lot of strength to do what you are about to do and I know that you can do it. You will be better for it I am sure 🙂 Way to go Alana. Excited to follow you through these 1000 days – I hope I am here for all of them <3
In trying to understand the difference between when my heart speaks and when I listen to the whispers of mother culture, I have found that a happy Life is hard work, and a life of disappointment is very easy.
A thousand days is a manuscript for possibilities, for the next 1,ooo days I will tell 4 people I love them every day.
~this will be fun~
I wonder what I will be a master of at the end of my 1,000 days?
Lisa Mitchell says
I just happened upon this post as I was closing my laptop for the night. Instead I clicked in and just wanted to respond to say…you have ignited an inspiration in me. What it is exactly I do not quite know, but I am closing my eyes for the night and am filled with a warmth and a strength I am much in need of. Thank you Miss Alana. Om shanti…xo
Julie Daley says
Wow. As Dian said, thank you for sharing your process with us…and for sharing you, in all your beauty. 999 days to go…and I know you can do it.
love to you,
just so you know, i read this post on the day it was published and it’s been lingering, whispering to me ever since in ways we’ll talk about later. for now, i just want to say that it’s not gonna’ take 1000 days for your to make this world a more loving, inspired place. that’s something you’ve already mastered. and i thank you for that every time i am here.