I have never felt so inspired in my life. Friday night I went to Transitions Book Store, 1000 W. North Avenue Chicago, IL and had the priviledge of hearing Tama Kieves speak about her book This Time I Danced.
After graduating with honors from Harvard University in Law, and rising quickly on the fast track in a prestigious law firm, Tama took a leap of faith and gave it all up in search of finding her safe haven-her net.
As a young girl Tama loved to write. She always wanted to write but her father, in particular, told her it wasn’t practical. So instead she squashed down her feelings and made herself get through law school– until her special day arrived– the day she decided it was time to leap and trust that if she followed her heart, instead of her head, that the net she needed to save her passionate soul would appear.
Tama left her job as an attorney, as well as her status of a Harvard law degree behind her, but took her first few steps off her own cliff filled with a love for writing. Tama waited tables to pay the bills while she started her journey to lead an inspired life that she 100% loves. It took Tama 12 years to write her book– during which time Tama learned to create the inspired life she describes in her book.
Tama’s book and mine, Build a Blue Bike, are shockingly similiar. We both share our own experiences on how to reach an inspired path. But we speak from two different perspectives- mine as someone who thougt that I had “leaped” simply by going to school to become an artist– but who realized I was going to literally die from a lack of inspiration if I didn’t leap again in search of a new net before I even graduated with a performing degree from Northwestern University. While Tama, on the other hand, listened to “the voice of reason” –which meant going to law school until it almost killed all of her spirit and dreams. It was Tama’s own near death experience- her own desire to sleep her life away- that finally awoke her to leap in search of her net.
If you want to be inspired and really get what I am saying- if you want to try and have that “AH-HA” moment- go and buy her book: This Time I Dance! by Tama Kieves. You will need lots of inspirational moments so take every one you get! It took you awhile to get to where you are, and it will take awhile to shed yourself of the fear you have of leaping as well.
This day, for me personally, has been filled with an amazing current of creative electricity. I wonder if all of you have felt the same cosmic vibe? Wow. What a powerful day.
My day began with a creativity and innovation workshop that revved up my juices and ended with a young woman at the back of Transitions Book store, who shared with Tama and all of us there, that she had just quit her job to follow her heart. As of 9pm Friday night this brave soul has no idea where her heart is going to guide her life. Her exact words were” I quit because I simply couldn’t go on that way any longer.”
You see nourishing your soul is not a choice. If you don’t, your body catches up with you and destroy’s your health until you either listen or choose to follow what it needs most–your passionate heart filled to the brim. It can take quite awhile to catch up with you- decades even-
But without your passion filling every moment you live, and all you do, it is only a matter of time until your body says enough and you physically get really sick.
Yes, I understand that pursuing anything as close to you as your true identity is an undeniable risk. But what is life if not for becoming the brightest light you can be? And yes, it might even defy reason why you are following your soul, instead of your logical brain that knows how you can earn money to pay your bills and run on creative fumes. I, of all people, realize that leaping off high cliffs is not for the faint of heart. It has moments that are truly hard. Especially at first, mostly because you have little faith that a net will always appear, no matter what.
But you must try and find a way- a person- an idea- a source of inspiration and hope to begin to do this. You don’t have to go over the edge of the cliff today but you can learn to leap into the air for a few moment at a time until you get use to doing it.
The only difference between Tama and myself- is that I leaped with a plan. I did not wait to suffer in a dead end career to leap– I somehow knew to leap before then. I don’t think I am smarter because I did. I simply came from an entreprenurial family that taught me that risk is part of life as is evolution and change. It did not make it any easier for me, but it made me more easily wiling to leap and trust in the universe– and in myself–to recognize when the net appeared.
What will help you move towards a life you love instead of towards the one that owns you? How does playing small in the world– by not risking everything you presently are, for who you want to become– help you? How long do you think it will take before that life consumes you?
My book and this blog are my love, sweat and tear stained hand reaching out to you. My attempts to reach you and touch you are to passionately say to you PLEASE– I can’t stand watching any more creative people and their passions die or get buried or lost. It is too painful to watch when I can, and know how to, help you. I bear witness to too many who have allowed fear to be their God–
Put your faith in the power of your beauty. Trust in what you love enough to find a way to create a plan. Try leaping with some new ideas or new behaviours. In time, the net will appear.
As you do, you will find yourself more willing to leap and in time will trust that the nets will come.
I can assure you, that when you leap, that one of the very first people you will meet– someone that will seriously impact you– is someone who will doubt your every choice and make you feel very small. It is the law of attraction in the universe. It is almost like the cosmo’s way of testing your sincerity- a form of sick humor– to make sure you are really willing to become strong enough to stay with the force of your passions.
It is only when you pass that stumbling block– clear that hurdle– that you have a chance to heal and begin to accept that you can live life on your own terms.
Any terms you wish.
But terms that involve feelings that excite you and make you happy and satisfied in life and will pay all your bills. Maybe all those things will not happen at first but they really will appear. REALLY. I am proof. The life I lead now is far richer than any one I had planned. Where would I be now if I had following a path that no longer inspired me, when I was studying clarinet performance at Northwestern University? My passions were bigger than only the sound I make on the clarinet and thank God I allowed them to guide me.
Besides, I know you can far exceed anything I have accomplished. Why? Because anything I have done, I had to learn without books like Tama’s or mine or workshops that helped me to discover the life that was waiting for me to trust in. I went through the school of hard knocks, as did Tama, to find a life filled with nourishment for the soul.
I am in the process right now of rebuilding my creative career development course, that I taught for ten years at DePaul University, which is the basis of my book, Build a Blue Bike. I have helped a lot of students, collegues and friends create the beginnings of a passionate life in search of a net. In January of 2008, in Chicago, I am going to offer this course for free to those who demonstrate they are ready to begin this journey. ( more on that later)
With my book written, I am now ready and need to get back to doing what I love most- helping creative people live life on their own terms…
What I teach, can simply help you get there..