Lately I have been fielding questions and having discussions about new starts and planning for them. Maybe the economic "tsunami" (as one of my blogging buddies put it in an email to me) is leading more and more people to thoughtfully explore that long buried Plan B. As one who at least appears to most to be on the other side of that hump, I get asked, often, how to best go about this.
Well, I think the best way to go about it is slowly. Slowly and methodically. I have noticed that people who chip away at the obstacles toward their goals often accomplish them. The ones who rush face forward often fall, get depressed, go broke, and give up. Of course this means more, a lot more, than simply having a good idea. You have to do something.
Lots of people have good ideas. They write them down on paper, they talk to friends, they convince themselves of the viability of the plan. And they stop there. They don't take it to the next step, which is to break the plan down to the smallest of parts, and start chipping away. Successful people all have one thing in common. They keeping moving. They keep doing. They still remember when they learned in 7th grade science class about inertia: a body in motion tends to stay in motion. A body at rest tends to stay at rest.
Well, a spirit in motion tends to stay in motion. A spirit at rest? Well, let's just call it spiritual inertia.
Spiritual inertia comes sneaking up shortly after you have had a grand idea. It is that voice that says "ah, someone else has done it, I don't have enough time or money to pursue this, no one will buy it, I'll never get the idea off the ground, I can't learn a foreign language...." and the list goes on and on and on.
So if you don't allow the inertia to set in and you keep plodding forward, regardless how awkwardly or how naively, you will not experience spiritual inertia. You will be a spirit in motion.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
The first one is my sister. Jeanette is a classic example for me. She and I were diametrically opposed: I left and saw the world; she settled and lived in the same house for thirty years. I had several career changes; she has been a pharmacist since the day she left pharmacy school. I did not have kids; she had two. I put my fingers in the cross position when I came near a mini-van; she drove hers to PTA meetings, drum lessons, dancing recitals - you get the picture.
Now, Jeanette is smart. And she knew she was not really happy with the status quo but did not know what to do or where to go. Mosaics and knitting and jewelry making were all fine but they were not doing it for her. She liked pharmacy fine, but something was missing.
She decided years ago (at my suggestion - I SWEAR it was at my suggestion) to start taking some yoga classes. Long story short, she kept taking them -- a lot more than I ever did -- and then decided to go for it and became a yoga instructor.
Cool huh? Well, really cool when you think where all this is going: she is a PharmaYogaMama -- meaning she will be able to help -- REALLY help, women in middle age with all things hormonal and spiritual and maternal. She did not quit pharmacy spontaneously to "go find herself". And her ideas for the next step are not yet clearly formed. But she keeps moving forward -- because she is a SPIRIT IN MOTION (can you tell how proud I am of her?)
Another example. If there are any of you not reading Middle Aged Diva on my blog roll, well, you should be. Carol was a high tech corporate exec, but one with an inner voice telling her there was more. One day she took a seminar for women -- a seminar which planted a seed which blossomed and grew until she got to the point where she was ready to step off the train platform of security and start her own company with a partner which will helps women and supports them and trains them through their own changes. She did not stop after taking that initial seminar. But she did not leave her job right away either. She kept moving forward, methodically and thoughtfully -- because she is a SPIRIT IN MOTION.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is, just take a look at your goal. Start doing something which will help you reach it -- start learning a language, take a sewing course, take a small business weekend seminar. You don't have to over reach and you don't have to overspend! Do it slowly -- but do it! Keep your spirit in....well, you know!