Finding my calling: Part 2 (It's not surfing)
The other "Suck at Something" moment that confirmed my calling, was more literal, an article entitled, “It’s Okay to Suck at Something.” I heard about it on the Happier in Hollywood podcast, a spin-off of Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Both make me happy.
This woman’s quest to continue surfing, even though she sucks, reminds me that I don’t need to make big, scary changes or claims to give my life significance.
It reminds me of the Artist Date, one of the tools in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. The Artist Date is the hardest tool to master because it’s the easiest to dismiss. It’s way too easy to let way more important things get in the way of the things we’d like to try, one day, when we have more time, which means: never.
It took Julia comparing Artist Dates to children of divorce to get me to give them a go. She says children of divorce don’t want to get to know their Mom/Dad's new girlfriend/boyfriend. All they want is time alone with their Mom/Dad.
Our inner spirit is like that child. How many times do we tell it no... put it aside for someone else’s wants...tell it we don’t have time to do what it wants to do? After awhile, the child gets quiet... and we wonder why it acts out or can’t articulate what’s wrong.
Our inner spirit doesn’t ask much. Acknowledgement goes a long way. Quality over quantity wins.
Which brings me back to the woman who sucks at surfing. She keeps going because something about it is soul-soothing. She really doesn’t care that she sucks. It’s the time spent with her inner-spirit that’s reaping the big benefits.
I find the idea of Artist Dates comforting, especially when I’m swirling in uncertainty, trying to figure “it” out, whatever "it" is at the time. Doing just one thing that has peaked my interest, however ridiculous it might seem, like a rainy day train ride into the city for ice cream, softens the edges of figuring "it" out. It might point us toward a calling we’ve been seeking or a craving in need of filling.
Are you willing to suck at something? I don’t think it even needs to be something visibly “out there.” Keep it simple. Take a picture a day. Send an encouraging word. Give that guitar 20 minutes of love. Park yourself in the magazine section of the library for an hour on Sunday. Only you know what your heart's got percolating.
You’ll have a chance to give Artist’s Dates a go in my online course, starting 2/5. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram @deneseb where I share a lesson a day from The Artist’s Way.