Outside my office door, the bluebird is scratching at the window. Inside my inbox, an email is scratching at my thoughts.
The bluebird is really trying to get my attention. Not only does he perch on the door and peek into or bump the window, but he also flies to the other window and hovers outside it looking at me sitting at my computer.
The email is also really trying to get my attention; it arrived three times within a few minutes.
Both of the bluebird and the email are waiting for me to acknowledge their message, so what is it?
We have come to associate bluebirds with the quality of happiness, but there is another quality associated with bluebirds, the quality of transition. Perhaps this is what the bluebird is trying to tell me, that it is very possible to be happy in times of transition.
The kind of transition that I am thinking about is when we decide to actually do something we want to do. I don’t mean the things like, “I want to eat a pint of Haagen Dazs ice-cream all by myself,” I mean the kind of transitions where we decide to take steps towards dreams and ideas that have been scratching at our thoughts.
So often, instead of following dreams and ideas, we make up reasons why we can’t. For fun, I thought I would write down all the reasons I heard during a week’s time that people said about why they were not doing things they want to do.
I started keeping track of what I heard in regular conversations, things I heard at the gym, things I heard while coaching, and things I heard myself say to myself.
Within a few days, the list got too long and I gave up keeping track. However, I noticed one thing in common. In most cases what they were coming up with were reasons why they couldn’t do the very thing they most want to do.
There were a lot of “what ifs,” and “yes buts,” and projections of what other people would say which would result in all action taken would be in vain.
The email that is calling me is an acceptance to a four-day writing course at the Chautauqua Institute that I signed up for back in December. During this course, some famous authors come to teach and share. I signed up when the reality of the class was too far away to think anything other than, “I have wanted to do this since I was a teenager!”
It all sounded great, until I got the email, and glanced at the message. First, I noticed I got the author I wanted. That should be exciting, but in this case, it frightened me, because in that moment of following my dream, I had signed up for the author who teaches fiction. I write non-fiction. I wanted to try something new, fiction.
So getting that teacher means I am committed to this new venture. Then it told me I have to send my writing to him, which multiplied the fright. I worry, “What will I send him? What will he think? What if everyone else is really a writer and I find out that I am fooling myself?” Finally, the worse thing of all, I have to read aloud what I write in class.
I know it would seem that I shouldn’t be worried at all. After all, I have been writing this Ezine every two weeks since 1999 (add that one up), I have written eight published books, I am working on at least two more, and I speak around the country.
What in the world would I be afraid of at this time?
Just what everyone is afraid of when making a transition, or putting out an idea into the world where it will be judged; or when we start doing what we have always wanted to do.
The what ifs and yes buts, the reasons why it won’t work, kicks in for everyone – seriously, it does! So how do we override those hurtles we place in our way.
We can move in the direction of our dreams, just one tiny step at a time, putting the what if’s and yes buts of the big picture aside, and just move forward step-by-step.
We can return to why it was something we wanted to do in the first place. We can ask ourselves, “What is my why? What is my intent?”
In my case, I want to learn to write better so I can communicate more clearly. I want to reach a wider range of people with something that inspires them to live the life they are meant to live. If I remember those reasons, then worrying about what the teacher, and other participants, think of my writing becomes not about me (which is where the fear comes in) but about what I can do for others, and that makes it much easier.
How about you? What is it you most want to do? Why? Listen to the answer, and take a step in that direction. Expect that the what if outcome won’t be bad, but will be more wonderful than you can imagine; or at the very least, will move you down a road to more fulfillment in your life!
Now, it’s time for me to answer that email, and make this transition in happiness. Let’s see if that means the bluebird will return to its own life, and not my window.
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