This first week of December has been exciting. I have wonderful news in that a gallery has taken some of my artwork to sell. I have had new clients. I have also started writing my first book. Add to that the first snow storm of the season and it is has been a powerful week.
One of the things I've had to get used to is having good things happen. I know that sounds strange, but for myself (as well as many others) it can be odd when things start to go right for us. This is particularly so when the road has been long and full of twists and delays. It takes some adjustment to take the good in stride. Many spiritual and meditative tools are designed to help us accept setbacks and failures so it can be difficult to put the experience into context. The thing is though we must learn to accept not only things that challenge us but also those that make life fun and enjoyable.
This is in part exacerbated by the way I plan or strategize. I used to make lots of little plans almost all of which failed. For a while I made no plans and drifted, taking advantage of whatever opportunities arose. This of course was not very productive. So I took a step back and started to focus not on the immanent future but the far future. Making little choices here and there while still taking advantage of what opportunities drifted by. I did my best to make do and be happy where I was. From the outside it can look very passive and there is a sort of a relaxed approach. I mean occasionally I would pursue something quite vigorously but mostly I'd slowly move in one direction.
I call this strategy the long game. I first got a taste of it years ago when I was purging my space of accumulated papers and possessions. (I was quite the packrat of notebooks and old assignments). I came across a notebook from high school and in it I had some of my goals and wishes listed from when I was first discovering creative visualization (a good beginner's guide is by Shakti Gawain). As I read through it I realized that I had achieved almost every goal I had listed. It took years but I got there. For some people they get what they want very quickly, but back then I was operating under the belief that I couldn't get what I wanted. Discovering that I had gotten what I had requested was a big turning point. I had done it. I had achieved my dreams, my timetable just was different than other people's and my own expectations. Now I plan my goals a bit further out. I plant the seeds and slowly tend them. Occasionally I take drastic action but more often than not I just allow things to come to me in their own time. I gently apply new skills gradually. I work in my own slow rhythm and low and behold it works. The effects of my efforts are cumulative and so the more I accomplish and do the more that lays the groundwork for what is next. The long game spends a lot of time building the pathways for what you desire to come to you, but once you do, things just seem to happen (some would say as if by magic).
So why am I telling you this? Well maybe you've been too hard on yourself. Maybe you have felt like a failure, like you are getting nowhere. Look back to where you were 10 years ago. Do you remember what you wanted to accomplish? Has any of it come to pass? Are you closer to your heart's goals? What if you slowed down and played the long game? What if you did one small thing here and another down the line as you could? What if you realized that wherever you are is the perfect place for you to live your life? Maybe this is a pivot point and things will happen faster now, or maybe just some things. We can look at the world or our life and be discouraged or we can look for those small signs of change. Eventually they reach a threshold and our life seems to magically transform. Try it out for a bit, I've got another move to make in my game.
Peace and Blessings,