Transition. It's supposed to be a word that is exciting, full of newness and opportunity. But more often, it's just scary.
For the past eighteen months, I've had my head down, writing Not Just Me, my new book about anxiety and depression. It's been a wonderful experience and is incredibly meaningful to me.
But the book that has been the center of my universe is pretty much done.
I feel like I just got fired.
Now that I've lifted my head from the page and I'm looking around, I'm asking myself that question that is full of possibility and uncertainty.
Of course, there will still be blog writing and yoga teaching and speaking events. There will be tea dates with friends and Friday Night Lights marathons with my husband. But The Book that has been the center of my days is no longer. I have to let it out into the world to be liked or hated or ignored. That part is none of my business. I need to let go and move on to....something else.
At a time when I find the world to be particularly chaotic and confusing, I feel even more need to be intentional with my own life. I'm coming back to the questions I asked myself when I left Los Angeles and quit being an actor. What do I want my life to be about? What do I want it all to mean? I asked those questions when I was 22 years old, and I find myself annoyed that I need to ask again at age 38. But I'm realizing that this an essential part of being awake - circling back to the essential questions. Revisiting them and being open to new answers.
My dear friend Susan sent me this poem and it soothed my soul.
(It's a longer poem, but these are the sections that got me.)
Interim Time ~ John O’Donohue,
The path you took to get here has washed out; The way forward is still concealed from you.
You cannot lay claim to anything; In this place of dusk, Your eyes are blurred; And there is no mirror.
The more faithfully you can endure here, The more refined your heart will become For your arrival in the new dawn.
So I'm doing my best to love the questions and accept the uncertainty. I'm filled with gratitude that I have options at all and I understand that having an existential crisis is a great privilege. I get it.
And I also think that getting intentional about our lives--not operating on auto-pilot--is how we act as a benefit to the world. We all want our lives to mean something, we all want to contribute in a meaningful way. That looks different for everyone and it's worth spending some time on.
If your way forward is concealed right now, you are not alone. I have faith that there is a new dawn for all of us -- and our strong, beautifully refined hearts.