Friday, September 28, 2012

Crazy


"You can find inspiration in everything (and if you can't look again)" -Paul Smith

I've been asking myself a lot of questions lately.  Questions like: "What type of women do I really want to coach in my coaching business?" and "Who exactly do I want to reach with my writing?"

I've also been wrestling with some recurring questions swirling about in my head (yes I hear voices - does that make me crazy?)  ones that are constantly vying for top billing in my thoughts. The winners as of late have been "Does that make me crazy?" And "Who do you think you are?"

I often find inspiration in strange places and today I found it in Southern Hip Hop Artist Cee Lo Green's hit "Crazy." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgRLrOyxUBo&feature=youtube_gdata_player.  He wrote the lyrics to "Crazy" after a conversation he had with a friend about people thinking artists are insane.

In case you're not familiar with the lyrics, they read like this:

I remember when, I remember,
I remember when I lost my mind.
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions had an echo is so much space.

And when you're out there, without care,
yeah, I was out of touch.
But it wan't because I didn't know enough.
I just knew too much...

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Possibly

And I hope that you are having the time of your life
But think twice
That's my only advice

Come on now
Who do you
Who do you
Who do you
Who do you think you are?
Ha, ha, ha!
Bless your soul!
Do you really think you're in control?

Well...
I think you're crazy!
I think you're crazy!
I think you're crazy!
Just like me!

My heroes had the heart
to lose their lives out on a limb.
And all I remember
is thinkin' I wanna be like them.

Ever since I was little,
Ever since I was little, it looked like fun
it was no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done

But maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy
Probably


Yes, I remember when I lost my mind - when I decided to follow my dreams and I remember the pleasantness of that place as I finally gave myself permission to free up the creative space to do so.

I know what it's like to be out of touch - to ignore logic and reality and to follow my dreams anyway - because I know what they are, and because to me, they are worth following.

I'm all too familiar with  the voice(s) in my head that are constantly asking me "Are you crazy?" And "Who do you think you are?" And I know all too well the constant struggle to not let those questions deter me from my path.

I realize that while following my passion in life will give me the time of my life, thinking twice about the cost to do so is so very necessary.  So I've thought about it twice (maybe three times)  and I've decided that not following my dream would invariably cost me more.

Today, the answer to the nagging question "Who do you think you are?" was finally forthcoming! "I think  I am an ordinary woman with an extraordinary dream - to inspire others to follow their dreams by following mine." 

That dream (to be a writer)  was there since I was little and as I looked at my heroes, I too can remember thinking I want to be like them.  And no, it is not a coincidence that I've come to this place - it is a decision.  A decision to follow my dreams.  A decision to do what it takes to get there.  A decision to inspire others to do the same.

 I only recently declared myself a writer along with many others followers of 
http://www.goinswriter.com and shortly thereafter writing opportunities began to open up.  I am now in the process of transitioning to a writer's life and finding inspiration in the two online classes I am presently taking at http://www.susannahconway.com and http://www.kellyraeroberts.com.

I now know the type of women I want to coach, the readers I hope to reach with my writing.

They are the "crazy" ones.  The one's that have a dream deep in their souls, a passion burning them from the inside out, a calling that won't stop calling their name.  They are the crazy ones who know  too much - they know what their dream is and won't give up its' pursuit until it's realized.  They are the crazy ones, the ones who are ignoring the medical reports and seeking to find purpose in their pain and fighting their way back to a joy-filled life in spite of the facts.  They are the crazy ones who leave the cushy life of the corporate world to open their dream business.  They are the crazy ones, the artists, the musicians, the writers,  the designers who want to speak to others through their beauty and their words.  They are the crazy ones, the ones who'll ignore logic, the ones who will push past  insurmountable obstacles, the ones who hear questions swirling around in their brains, and the ones who want to find the courage to answer those questions...... all because of a dream.  

Yes, I want to reach the "crazy" ones - the ones just like you and just like me.

"Does that make me crazy?"

Probably.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

An Unwanted Gift

I never thought I'd say this - but having a chronic illness has turned out to be a gift - an unwanted gift ( like one of those white elephant gifts a friend gives you) that you really don't like and really don't want, but have to keep stashed away somewhere in the house, readily available to be brought out and displayed prominently  for those times when your friend might drop by.

When I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome some 18 years ago, I was, as they say,  in the "prime of life" - a young mother with three children - the youngest the age of 3.
I thought I had a bad case of the flu, and that it would all be over in a week or two. and then my life would return to normal.  The "flu" got worse and worse and lasted longer and longer until I was too weak to even stand up and had to be hospitalized.  I was plagued with chronic pain, chronic insomnia and chronic fatigue - and quickly withered away to 94 lbs and dropping.  My husband took me from doctor to doctor as we both searched for not only the cause of my mysterious illness, but a cure.
Finally after many months, we found a doctor who not only diagnosed me, but over the years through her medial expertise and compassion helped me regain a semblance of my former self.
There was (and is) no cure.  Some people do spontaneously go into remission, others do not and others (like myself) seem to reach a plateau where some symptoms are better and others remain chronic.  I still suffer with fatigue (although thankfully a much reduced), chronic migraines, chronic insomnia and chronic pain.  

The white elephant gift is still with me.  I never wanted this gift, never liked it and still don't.

However, this gift has literally changed my life.  Not in a self-limiting way (although that is the nature of the beast) but in a freeing way.

It has taught me to be more compassionate.  Pain has a way of doing that, you know.  

It has taught me to be intentional about living my life.  Because of limited amounts of energy, I am forced each day to make choices - choices about what I need to do, but more importantly about what I want to do.

It has taught me to see each day as a gift and to drink in the beauty that each day holds in the moment - that moment - the moment I'm experiencing here and now.

It has taught me to develop my creative side - to realize that this illness I have cannot take away the creative gifts and talents the Good Lord has given me.  The talents are still there - but the way I use them needs to be different now.

It has taught me to be grateful - grateful for the love of family and friends and for their understanding and support.

It has taught me to live each day in the grace of God - grace that has taken me this far in my journey and grace that will carry me the rest of the way.

Yes the unwanted gift is still with me.  I hope one day to be able to finally put it to rest, but for now, I'll keep it stashed away (as much as I can), by choosing to live a creative and joyful life and on those days when it is on display in the middle of the room - I will look for something, anything beautiful in it.