Every year I grow an amaryllis flower in memory of my grandparents.
Every year I look at the bulb before I plant it and wonder at the fact that even though it looks dead and lifeless it is only dormant and there is a whole plant and bloom in there waiting to emerge.
In faith, I bury it in the soil, water it, position it in good light and wait for the growth and the glorious flowers.
Every year they appear.
I took my daughters to the cinema this afternoon to see Aquaman. A fun trip out together and a way to get a few hours head space and distraction, or so I thought. The story really spoke to me and it became a much bigger experience than I was expecting.
Arthur (Aquaman) is running away from his destiny, pretending he doesn’t care and trading on his strength to bring him popularity and acceptance.
The movie follows the classic hero storyline and so Arthur realises he’s the only guy that can save the day and he has a choice - will he step up to embrace his destiny?
Lots of challenges follow and ultimately he has to face the things he’s running from:
hurt, guilt, fear, vulnerability and inadequacy. He doesn’t think he’s up for the job but as a wise woman tells him - they don’t need another king they need a hero.
A hero who embraces his failings and his apparent lack of qualification but who still finds within himself what is needed for victory.
It left me with a couple of questions:
What are we running from and afraid to embrace about ourselves?
What is it we think disqualifies us from our destiny and yet is the very thing that might qualify us?
One of the lines from the closing song sums it up:
‘Everything you are is who you’re meant to be’
Go see the movie.
At the start of the last quarter of 2018 I was feeling pretty happy that I was on track with my goals for the year, apart from one. I’d challenged myself to hold a solo exhibition of my felt art and I was ready to bail on it. I had made all of the artwork but the thought of actually exhibiting it felt too big, too hard and was making me feel too vulnerable.
After a bit of internal wrestling I decided to see it through because I saw the incongruity of working as a coach to help other people push through the challenges and achieve their goals yet not pushing through on my own goal.
This is what I learnt in the process:
The bigger the goal, the bigger the departure from your comfort zone.
I was happy tucked away in my studio creating art for my theoretical exhibition. The thought of actually exhibiting this art was a bit terrifying. It wasn’t feeling any more comfortable the more I thought about it. The only way to achieve the goal was to leave the comfort and security of my studio and do it. I couldn’t achieve the goal and stay in my comfort zone. It was one or the other.
You never feel completely ready.
I had lots of reasons why it just wasn’t the right time and I wasn’t prepared enough. There was too much to do and too much I didn’t know (turns out there was actually a ton more stuff I didn’t know but at least I only discovered that once I’d started!) I took the first step of seeing if my dream venue was available and it was! From that first step the momentum started to build and it was a steep climb but I learnt what I needed on the way. Its the first step that takes the most courage.
Telling someone it was happening meant it had to happen!
I started talking about my goal to trusted friends and family. Once I had spoken it out I had to see it through!
Achieving a goal is a team endeavour so find the people who are cheering you on.
I couldn’t have done this on my own! My husband and daughters were total rock stars and totally got behind what I was trying to achieve and pitched in to help make it happen. They kept me going when my confidence would falter and they completely believed in me and my ability to do this thing.
It was really hard work.
I’m not going to lie, it was harder than I thought it would be! From the learning, to the prepping, to the actual exhibition, it was a marathon. I slept for 12 hours straight once it was done.
It was totally worth it.
I am so proud that we pulled it off. There were moments that I thought we’d bitten off way more than we could chew but we pushed through and that feeling of accomplishment is pretty heady stuff.
Next year’s exhibition is already booked!
We put our Christmas tree up at the weekend and it comes with a bit of a story.
My husband has a long held hope of a potted tree that lives in the garden and comes in every year to be decorated for Christmas. It will grow and mature and become a family legacy.
We started this plan a couple of years ago but we didn’t tend the tree properly throughout the year and it started to look a bit forlorn.
This year we had a choice. Keep going with our beleaguered tree because we’d made a start and pride said we had to stick with it, give up entirely or use what we’d learnt from our first attempt and begin again with a new tree, tend it well and keep the hope alive.
We went with the new tree.
So that’s the story of our Christmas tree. Perhaps it’s about something more too.
It’s okay to start again.