Thursday, January 26, 2012

Having your a ha moment

Tree of Life by Hartwig HKD 
Oprah calls it an a-ha moment. That moment when you "get" something that makes you snap your fingers and say, oh my God, that's it! That's what I've been waiting for! I get it! I finally understand!

In his interview with Oprah for her new Next Chapter series,  George Lucas said people are always asking him "how do you know what your passion is" and he said, "if you get up to do something in the morning and have breakfast at 7 AM [then look up again only to] realize it's 7 PM then THAT's your passion."

What do I wake up thinking about every morning? In Sister Act 2, when Whoopi Goldberg's character talks to Lauryn Hill's character about singing in the choir when her mother says it's not worth her time, Sister Mary Clarence says, "if you wake up every morning thinking about singing, then you're meant to be a singer, baby!" That quote has stayed with me since I first heard it. I've always struggled with identifying my passion, though. What do I get excited about doing every day? Am I doing it? It's not just what you're good at, but what your heart's desire leads you to do without thought or persuasion. I'm passionate about my clients, their talent and successes. I wake up thinking of ways to help them sell new projects, break into new markets and expand their reach. I lie awake at night thinking about the manuscript, I had to make myself put down so I could get a few hours' sleep and the editors I want to send the work to. I'm passionate about doing a good job for my clients.

Do your dreams and what you're passionate about, include your partner's hopes and dreams? Talking with my husband, I realized we hadn't talked about our hopes and dreams in a very long time and whether what I am excited about interferes with what he is passionate about. We both looked at each other and realized... And vocalized at the same time how we didn't have a unified, defined dream for our relationship and our family. THAT was my a-ha moment. That was the moment I realized I've always chased one dream or another but never really stopped to think if my dream was at odds with my husband's. Thankfully, my aspirations never got in the way of our relationship and we have been good about keeping the lines of communication open between us. Now, I'm more mindful to share my hopes and dreams with him. To vocalize them and ask him to do the same and soon we will sit down and talk about our hopes and dreams for our relationship and our family again.

So what happens when inevitably your head and heart won't agree. Now, I'm a firm believer in having and fulfilling your "heart's desire" but it's important to remember that when you allow your heart to guide you, your head will likely be at odds with it. Our heart is the free-loving, risk-taker that makes us see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but our head is usually more conservative. Insecurities pop up, fears grow and the future starts to look grim. That's where balance comes in and for some, balance is not easy to come by on their own. If you have a partner, open up to them about your fears and your dreams. Share the good and the bad while bouncing ideas off of them to keep you off the ledge. Remember though, that no desire can become real without hard work, determination and above all, perseverance! 

As I was typing this entry, Morgan Freeman's episode on Oprah's Master Class started and his interview couldn't have come at a better time. "It's not just about having a dream," Oprah Winfrey says at the start of the show, "it's about working to make your dream come true." Here's what I walked away with from his interview about making your dreams come true:
  • Let providence be your guide - Your fate lies in that. Even in the most dire of times, providence can show you the fork in the road where you're supposed to take the off ramp. Look at every apparent stumbling block as providence guiding you to where you're supposed to be.
  • Declare who you are - don't accept what those around you call you or "title" you to be. Be who you are! Declare it! Then live by that declaration! Don't just fake it, till you make it! You can't fake what you are! You can't fake authenticity! Be your most authentic self!
  • Be irreplaceable - make sure no one can do what you do better than you. Believe that no one can do what you do better than you.
  • Listen to learn - how can you learn if you can't listen? If you're spending more time shouting at the wind than you are experiencing its melodic sound, you're not learning anything! Spend more time listening to the universe all around you and LEARN from it... then make sure to leave a lesson behind for someone else to hear.
"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking too much space!" — Morgan Freeman