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Comedian George Carlin once said, "The caterpillar does all the work and the butterfly gets all the publicity."
I am a fan of caterpillars, those who are dissolving their own skins to become who they are meant to be. We who continue to grow, perpetually enter the goop of change, or butterfly soup. It's incomplete. It wouldn't look good in a photo shoot.
As you move along your path, you may feel angry, held back, sad, unseen, or empty.
It takes so much courage to be developing or undoing or daring. Yet please don't let the in-between space convince you that you lack anything.
Being in transition doesn't mean you're broken. It means you're breaking away from the old, an identity, maybe a set of assumptions or an understanding or a world that no longer fits you.
It's easy to sit on the sidelines in the lounge chair of life and be a spectator, or a critic of those who are facing their lives head-on. But I'm a sucker for those of us who are daring to make something of this time on earth.
Real life is always taking place in the middle of things, not just in the polished perfection of an illusion of the end goal.
How you live in the middle really is the quality of your life.
In the middle of change, we are consciously engaging with the biggest questions of our lifetimes.
What is this time for?
Can I create my reality, and what does that mean?
Is there a Higher Love I can count on in life?
And if I overeat while I'm anxious, do the calories count?
Many of us don't just think outside the box. We live outside the idea of boxes, in the outposts, in colorful tents, nests, or stations far beyond traditional definitions. We are trying new things. We are thinking new thoughts. We are on our way. We have no clue where it is sometimes. And sometimes we know exactly where—and we're afraid to admit it to ourselves, because it seems as though those destinations are meant for other people, not for us. Oh, the courage to believe. The courage to quest.
We are the ones who are attempting to listen to a truth inside us instead of the interpretation we hear on the evening news. You can call that unrealistic. I call it creating a new reality.
Because it's innovators, artists, messengers, mystics, thought leaders, outliers, and lovers who have always changed the face of the world. It's mavericks in every walk of life. It's always taken someone who believed in an idea more than he or she believed in the situations in which that idea did not yet exist.
We are living in a world of change. Things are moving faster. We are being asked to be more adaptable and fluid. Some will try to find solidity through grasping for an ever-elusive sense of control. I'm hoping you will discover a trust in the creative current of your life.
Sure, you may have just been trying to get through your life without awakening to a shamanic experience or wearing beads. I get it. You just want a job or a boyfriend or a cure. But here you are. This is your life.
You have the chance to side with yourself, your deep true self, or turn against yourself. Which choice will you make?
Will you choose to be realized or "realistic"? This is your moment, dear one. I encourage you to step into your true power. I encourage you to step into the middle and blaze.
Some days it's frightening, like crashing through the air on a roller coaster. It's that wild and exhilarating rush, too, when life meets you in midair for a kiss.
Do you sense another life calling you? Do you crave meaningful work, or ache to express your creativity or contribution and pay your bills? Your wildest dreams are not frivolous. You have a calling, an expression of infinite talent, stamina,...
As I grow deeper in my work, message, and personal life, like everyone who is on a path of evolution, I find myself continuing the "hero's journey," the walk into a mythical forest for the grail. Some days, it's dark and dank and I wonder what the hell I'm really following. Maybe I don't want to be a stupid hero. Maybe I just want to be rescued by some nice knight, preferably one who loves a woman who has an occasional homicidal hormonal mood swing or two. On the worst days, I've feared I'm not following anything except a delusion—and now something stinky, clawed, and real is following me.
And then there are those other days. These are the days when you walk through the darkness, resolved. You decide to bet the farm on your own life. You call yourself an inspired pilgrim instead of a fool.
You walk deeper into your life. And then, just a few steps farther from the darkest patch of forest, you come upon a clearing, a meadow, a thousand yellow buttercups, and the sun gleams in a way that paints your name, your nickname, on each petal of every flower and you know in an undeniable way that you are exactly where you are meant to be; it's a greater sense of security than any amount of money could offer you. It's hitting the mother of all jackpots, the great sweet Powerball of the Universe.
These are times of knowing that you have been loved and seen and heard. There is so much joy in having trusted yourself and realizing that you were never off-kilter or flawed. You were different.
You were compelled. You were keeping a promise to yourself.
It is the most extraordinary feeling to have maintained your faith and conviction in something and to be right, to discover the magic, an extraordinary portal that no one else knew. Only you know the secrets you hold—even when they may not yet have risen to the surface of your consciousness. Only you know the potential that beckons you. Only you feel this almost unwanted tug of glory in your bones.
This is the adventure of your lifetime. I don't want you to miss it.
Tama Kieves, an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, left her corporate law practice in order to write and help others discover their life's work. She is the best-selling author of This Time I Dance: Creating the Work You Love; Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life's Work; and A Year Without Fear: 365 Days of Magnificence.