This is my story of managing multiple dreams and goals at once and how the bumble bees in my garden, along with some wisdom from friends, have inspired me to know that I don’t have to choose and I can pursue all that my heart desires. Have you ever struggled with keeping the balance between the everyday life stuff and the passions/desires of your heart? Do you ever feel like there isn’t enough time for it all?
As many of you may know, I’ve been doing a lot of things this year (many of which I haven’t revealed here yet!). Because one of my theme words for this year is “simple”, I have been of this mindset that I “should” only do one main thing and put everything else on hold for another year. A fellow artist friend, Sweetwater, is always telling me to allow it all and not limit myself. To basically dance with what delights me, and play, and spend a little energy on doing several of these things I want to do.
This is very similar to what one of my favorite author and mentors, SARK, teaches with her “micro-movement wheels”. She was telling us in a course I am part of this year that she has had over 20 wheels going at one time before! Each “wheel” has space to write a goal in the center and you write out baby steps you can take towards that goal on the outer parts of the wheel. It is a way to do several things at once, but have them compartmentalized so you don’t get so overwhelmed.
So anyway, Sweetwater and I were talking this morning and she was encouraging me to work on my dreams of publishing a book. I flat out said “No. This is not the year for poetry books. I have decided to put that aside. This is the year for getting home projects done and working on my other goal (which I will mention in a soon to come post) period.” And that was that.
What I am finding ironic about this, is that every time I put this book dream aside, something happens to bring me back to it. The deepest desires of our hearts have a way of pushing their way out when we try to shove them aside. Truth be told, out of all the things I do, the thought of being an actual book author and having my books out there in the world is what delights me most. Yet I put it on the back burner because of thinking that other things have more priority. Keeping house, and tending the garden and tending to a husband and pets. Then there is the income piece and my poetry book is not a way to make a stable income off the bat. So I tell myself the thing I desire most has the least priority of all the things, and that I will put it off until next year. Every year I say that though. As another good friend Maitri says, ” If not now, then when?”
Seize the Day!
After saying no to my dream again, I receive yet another email from someone wanting to use my poetry for a lesson plan. It is as if the universe is waving a colorful banner with the words “poetry book” on it my way, saying “Hey you! Over here! Pay attention to me!” This has happened a few times in the last couple months and this time it finally got my attention. That is when I remembered the bumble bees I was watching in my garden last week as I was lying in the grass under a flowering bush:
And then the light bulb of inspiration went off! I laid under these bushes for about an hour (partly because I love their fragrant perfume and partly because I am a dreamer of a girl who liked the thought of lying in a pile of flower petals!) watching the bees pollinate the flowers. There were many fuzzy fat bumble bees keeping busy. Doing their thing. “Busy as a bee”. They did not fly up to one flower and stay on that one flower for hours upon hours. No, they flitted around the garden buzzing from flower to flower, spending a little time on this one, and a little time on that one. And boy do they make a sweet honey from their endeavors. Liquid gold.
You know what? Butterflies do the same (minus the honey). They flit around the garden landing on this flower and that flower. They don’t just stick with one flower forever and ever amen. The bees and the butterflies know that there are too many sweet things to experience in the garden to tell themselves they “should” only stick to one flower. Micro-movements!
So I pictured my life as a garden full of different types of flowers that I would like to spend time with. I do want to keep it simple, but I don’t want to just hang out with a daisy the rest of the year when I can play with a daisy one day, and sniff a rose the next day and a lilac the next, etc. etc. Like the bees and the butterflies, I can flutter around the garden landing on whatever flower calls out to me on any given day. Each time I go back to any given flower for awhile to nurture it, it grows. When the time is right, each flower in my garden will be ready to pick. Some may take longer to reach maturity than others, but with a little patience I will see all of my beautiful flowers bloom.
I am blessed to have a community of creative friends online who understand ones passions and gifts and how crucial it is for something to be done about it. Like the advice I got from Lisa W. when I said there are other more important things, ” Pay attention to what brings the most joy and meaning! It’s all a balance! But keep paying attention to your dreams, as I know you will. House, garden, and husband are all part of our realities; but never lose sight of your gifts and talents.“
And then there was this garden inspired wisdom from my friend Ariane, “Dear Bekah, everything you’re doing is in such perfect timing. Unfolding in ways you couldn’t imagine, big and bold as your heart. Remember, micro movements are magical, just add water and before you know it-boom: books published, art sold, life with your family, all so good, opening like a lotus flower. Nature gives us perfect models of patience, beauty, seasons…just like our creations that need TLC and trust.”