I wrote down some long-held goals last night. Like anything, when you hear an idea verbalised or written in front of you, it gives it life. Maybe a soul even? It’s no longer this thing that just floats around in your head, you consciously drive energy towards it. I may not part seas like Moses, but I know I’m going to live the best life for me.
Oh boy, I felt an incredible shift in energy and for the first time I could see how that seed can grow. Isn’t that one of the hardest things to do, is to get started? I asked myself if I was taking steps to move towards those goals, and the answer didn’t surprise me at all...sorta. Sorta is this word that tells you that you have one foot in and the other is ready to bolt when it gets too hard. It’s that word that means you haven’t let go completely.
It’s only when I look up at the stars that I dare to dream. Up in the cosmos are a thousands dreams that were never realised because I let my ego get in the way. What if I’m not good enough? Who would want to listen to my ideas anyway? What’s so special about me that I can share these words in front of thousands? You see, I love the stage. Not for the applause, but because I feel great joy under the lights. No matter how much I try to run away away from it, something always bring sme back to the performing arts. In musical theatre, dance and now spoken word. On stage, I am home.
Stop chasing the certainty
Somewhere along this life I had convinced myself that success lived in a crowded, sweaty box full of people who worked too hard, slept too little and ate bland flavoured, steamed-everything all the time. That’s actually an exaggeration of my thoughts, the point is, I didn’t want to be a part of it because my vision of success was warped.
Up until my thirties, there was a growing burden on my shoulders. As society begins to label you as an adult in your twenties, you are supposed to magically flip a switch where you begin to map out a plan for your life. There were things I wanted to have, to do, places to see, yet I didn’t always know how they fit together in the big picture of who I was. Think of going to the supermarket without a list - you will manage to buy most of what you came for, and then later returning in a rush because you forgot something important.
There were times I felt chained to responsibilities, thinking that I didn’t have the choice to change my circumstances. I see now that I always had the choice - it was my fear of not living up to other people’s expectations of me that kept reinforcing this limiting belief.
I am not against having plans, setting goals or doing life large...certainly in hindsight I wish had learned to channel and focus my energy better in my twenties. Just remember to allow for curve balls, to wake up one day and suddenly realise that you don’t want any of what you had been working for all these years. In my experience at least, I have closed and walked through many metaphorical doors in my life, and often the other side has offered me something better, beyond what my tunnel vision could give me. Or at the very least, a profound lesson.
Do we chase certainty because it’s our comfort zone disguised as responsible and safe?
Do what brings you joy
In 2016, when my personal circumstances changed in the blink of an eye, it became a great reminder that I always had a choice. To be honest, when everything about my future felt uncertain - that was when I felt the least burdened. When you’re barely coping with the present, planning for the future isn’t high on the priority list. The emotional chaos broke down the walls of my ego, and with my guard down, it began to break down all those limiting beliefs and begin to rebuild a better me.
My love of words and human connections was always a big part of who I was - in performing, teaching dance and these days, slam poetry and writing this blog.
I asked myself - what brings me joy? I love being in the bush and black and white photography. I haven't done a lot of that lately. How can I do more of that? All without having to know how to get there. When you enjoy what you do, being in your flow, you begin to attract more of it. Pretty soon, a simple joy is amplified, and it becomes who you are, not just something you feel. You are not your feelings, and best of all, feelings are temporary. Good or bad, so now I just ride out the low days and be grateful for the better ones.
Live in the question
In my line of work, there are a long list of standard questions to ask a client before we take on their job. When a machine breaks down, we troubleshoot until we get to a point that requires a technician. On any given day, I will ask hundreds of questions to get to a satisfactory conclusion. There’s over a decade of industry experience in my brain, plus if in doubt, there’s always Google.
In life, there isn’t always Google, therefore some of the conclusions we come to are limited by previous experiences. What if the answer we are searching is beyond our own imagination?
These days, I try to live in the question. If I hit a brick wall in a situation or feel stuck, I ask the Universe for help. No it’s not cookoo...I simply acknowledge that maybe there’s something I’m not seeing AND that I need help. I also have to be open to how I receive those answers - maybe from a random conversation, an activity that triggers a thought, or even just by being still. Most of all, I learn to listen to my inner voice, what we call our gut instinct. It’s there for a reason, you just have to listen.
Living in the question opens up my mind to endless possibilities and different perspectives. What else is possible? Anything and everything.
Ronna Grace Funtelar is a thirtyish storyteller, creative, writer and slam poet currently based in New Zealand. She is a hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.
Basically, a shorty who knows her life purpose.