Who Says it Has to Be this Way?

g and flowers e

Maybe it was the poem I read last night by Mary Oliver, What I Can Do that inspired me to follow my impulse today, which then led to another impulse to write this journal post.

I’ve been working on a writing project on and off since November 2013. Making more progress with it lately which has me feeling so alive and eager to greet each day.

This morning after finishing my ritual of standing in front of my mandala, reviewing my desires for the year and conditions I wish to live by, I then picked one of my SoulCollage cards from my deck, an angel card and then an animal card. I posed my question to the cards and found answers in them that lit me up inside.

This does not always happen and I have to search deeper for the meaning, but when it feels so right on and so clear, well, that to me, is magical… and inspiring.

I did my yoga practice and as I was moving through each pose I heard my inner voice suggest that after I was done I should go right to my writing desk and work on my writing project. It felt so freeing to think this. But then the other part of me, who is so conditioned to follow “rules” of which I’ve for the most part imposed on myself, showed up.

And the loop began, “You can’t write first. You have to first get ready for the day, put your make up on, curl your hair, eat your breakfast,” and on and on the list went of what I normally do – my normal routine.

Thank goodness my free will side was stronger today and it was having nothing of what my conditioned self was trying to tell me.

I fought back. “What do you mean I have to do those things first?  Who says? I want to write first. Who cares if my hair isn’t curled or I don’t have make up on. Really, does that matter?  I want to follow this impulse and see where it goes.”

I was challenging that part of myself that has to always have things in a neat orderly fashion and it felt incredibly liberating to know I was going to follow through on what was calling me to do.

And I did it. I rolled up my yoga mat and immediately plunked my butt in my chair. My fingers flew across the keyboard, much like they are right now, eager to share my voice with the page.

There are so many “rules” and how society says we should live our lives that our inner voice gets lost in all the noise. I don’t want to live like that. I want a life that is meaningful to me. One that matters most to me.

What I can do is follow the path that is right for me. What I can do is live from the heart and center of who I am. What I can do is be an example of what it means to follow our impulses and see where it can lead us.

While there may not be fireworks going off in the sky announcing that yes, Barbara Techel, just went against the “rules,” and followed what felt right to her, I must say that there a is a welcome and warm fire burning inside of me that feels delicious.

That flow of life, that when you are in it, you never want it to leave. But I won’t worry about that now. Because what I can do is ride this wave. Enjoy it. Savor it. Recall it when I need for next time my conditioned self tries to win a battle.

What I can do is life by my own inner light of desires.

Though it is expected to be well below average in temps this week and another blast of cold air on it’s way Wednesday and Thursday, what I can do is think Spring — and so the photo of Gidget above I share from last summer after a successful day shopping at our local Farmer’s Market.

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Following Impulses Makes Me Happier.

IMG_1951 eI took this photo of Kylie a few days ago. I had just walked out of the bathroom to catch her looking at me, resting contently in the big maroon chair in our living room.

I found myself wanting to move the floral arrangement you see in the forefront. But if I took the time to do that, I’d lose the sweetness of the moment with Kylie’s eyes that were reaching out to me in her own language of love.

So I grabbed the camera, clicked on macro setting, and took the picture.  When I brought it up on my computer I loved how it turned out. It seemed, for me, to capture the moment perfectly. I was glad I followed my impulse.

Working on my new book, Joie’s Gift- Finding Purpose in the Pause I’m having many thoughts floating around in my mind before they make it onto my computer. I’m working hard to capture them in the moment. This isn’t something I’ve always done.

In the past I’d scribble a note or two to come back to it when I sat down to my scheduled time to write. Sometimes that has worked, but often times, I’d lose much of the depth around what I wanted to write—and the right words just wouldn’t come when before that they had felt so good and so right.

I’m still making notes when I think of things that I feel would be good to add to my new book. But something different I’m trying to do is capture those times when something is really speaking to me from my heart. These usually happen between 2:00 and 3:00am or just as I’m waking for the day between 6:00 and 7:00am. The thoughts are so fresh and close to the surface. I find myself repeating them over and over in my head afraid of what other thoughts are going to start invading for the day.  And we all know how many oodles of thoughts we have go through our mind in a day!

I tend to be a very routine person, so this can be a challenge for me to follow that stream of thought that is begging me to be written. But I’ve started to follow the impulse.

I do find I have to convince myself that  I don’t need to feel guilty for not doing my yoga first, taking a shower, or looking presentable. Once I give myself permission, I march myself, hair sticking up and all, sleep in my eyes, out  to my writing cottage.

The other morning when I did this, I wrote 1,000 words in less than 30-minutes. When I was done, I felt euphoric. I also wondered,  where did the time go? I was in this place of complete contentment, lost in my own little world where time does not matter. I was happy. Not only that, I felt like I had accomplished so much!

So that is my challenge to myself, to allow myself to follow these impulses and see where they take me. From what I’ve experienced so far, it is a pretty cool way to live… a simpler way to live, really…just don’t tell the part of me that wants to be all neat and routine about things.