The Pink Notebook

Essays on Asking & Receiving

Are You Ready?

So, Suzanne, what are you ready for?

The woman I’d just met on Skype blinked and waited for my response. I blinked back at her, and frowned. Then I suddenly felt a wave of something…relief, or freedom…? Or…? I don’t know, but it was big. She was asking me a legitimate question, and perhaps the most critical question I could ask myself, not just at this moment, but every day.

I’ve never asked myself this question, and I am stumped as to why I haven’t. I believe we’re each on an individual path and that where we’re supposed to turn next is purposely only revealed to us at certain junctures, so as to compel us to stay in the moment, and in order that we not do too much useless and paralyzing future-tripping.

And yet, if we truly do live in the moment, we need to ask ourselves this question often. Because what I’m ready for today isn’t what I was ready for maybe even yesterday. And maybe that thing I really want to do I’m not really quite ready for today. Every version of that readiness response is viable, and I think that asking this question must help us make more sustainable decisions for ourselves.

A different measure

Imagine, instead of basing my decisions on how much money I perceive I need to make by the end of the month/year/lifetime, or some other measure, what if I ask that divine inner committee that’s always right what I’m actually ready to do at any given moment?

Call it whatever name is most comfortable and comforting–my gut, my conscience, my intuition, my guardian angel, my higher power (to me they’re all part of the same ineffable entity). Whatever emanates from somewhere invisible in the molecular core of your being, from your soul, perhaps…? Wherever and whatever that is, that’s where the truth lies for me.

But for most of my life this was the one source I actively ignored or discounted. I sought all kinds of external advice and counsel and tried to do all kinds of logical thinking. I didn’t trust my “own judgment.”  In all those years, even when it nearly screamed at me, I never put my divine essence above (or even on a par with) those other supposedly more reputable sources of knowledge. That’s because I couldn’t discern between what was my judgment, and what was divine intuition.

As a result, as I look back on them now, I made many decisions that were not in keeping with truly looking after myself. Rather, they were all based on assuaging old imprinting, old hurts, old dramas, old fears. And, sadly, those decisions didn’t address, correct, or improve any of those things. Rather, they merely perpetuated all the bad thinking, keeping me in a cycle of never being able to make. it. happen.

In the past few years, I’ve enjoyed an era of epiphany (others might just call it spiritual maturing). I’ve slowly learned that the more I listen, acknowledge and act on my intuition, the truer to me are my resulting decisions. The more honest I am with what are my current capacities, wants and needs, the more effectively I can make the next turn or choose the next fork in the road. And, I don’t have to worry about the forks after that. I concentrate on what is just in front of me.

So, what am I ready for?

Here are the responses I gave that wise woman on Skype, after listening to my intuitive response to her question.

I’m ready to work with others. Truly. Collaboratively, respectfully and engaged in activities from which we all draw deep satisfaction, and from which we are sustained financially, socially and professionally. I’m tired of working in a vacuum and trying to make everything happen from my own will.

I’m ready to make something stick. I’ve done so many things in my life – I used to brag that I was a “Renaissance girl,” that my many different jobs, careers, passions and ideas were somehow part of my nature and that, in itself, was my contribution. I can buy that for the first third or so of my life, but now, nearing my 60s, I need to clear the rocks from my path, and focus on what it is I want to leave behind.

I’m ready to let some things go. I have been described as a butterfly who has alit on many juicy flowers–journalism, public relations, advertising, authoring books, publishing, writing songs, performing and making albums, teaching/training/mentoring/coaching, crowdfunding…I want and need to simplify and clarify what it is I can do best to contribute, and to whom. I need to put my own passions first now, and let that light shine.  I can no longer say yes to everything.

I’m ready to be financially stable. Many of the ideas before my time have been developed at great cost, and as such, though I have made a great deal of money in my life, I have lost a great deal as well, making the total pretty much a zero-based sum. I want and need to ensure my efforts from here until my retirement are focused on what I can do that I love, and how I can be appropriately compensated for it. (Dare I even say, make a lot of money?!) It’s never been a goal of mine, but it is now, because I can think of things I would like to do to help others with a lot of money that I can’t do with a little, or with only enough to sustain myself.

I’m ready to give back. I love coaching my author clients because I know that what I do with them lightens their load, improves their ability to get to their goals more swiftly and with confidence. I’ve been down that road before from both the author and publisher perspective, so I really can commiserate with them. I really can say, “I wish someone had told me this before I wrote my first  book!” I love seeing them emerge as authors with beautiful, important and purposeful books that become highlights of their careers and lives. I love seeing the passion in their faces when they talk about their subject matter. I am recharged by my sessions with them.

I’m ready to succeed. The wonderful Marianne Williamson famously said “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.” It’s said that the most successful entrepreneurs have had a handful of failures behind them. They learned from each, and let it fuel them to become ready to take on greatness. I’m ready to do whatever it is that I’m, finally, meant to do.  In my heart, I believe the key lies in interviewing, coaching/mentoring, and writing. I’m ready to accept deep, true, sustainable and enriching success in my life.

I complete this list and feel exhausted, and exhilarated at the same time. I feel some clarity and using these readiness factors, I feel competent to make clear and purposeful decisions going forward. At least today.

What are you ready for today?

Ask & you shall receive,

 

1 Comment

  1. Regarding making things “stick,” there’s the spaghetti anecdote: A few years ago I was having breakfast while looking at a large pot still on the range from last night’s pasta dinner. It was clean but not yet put away. I thought about how it felt while stirring the spaghetti in boiling water and realized that it was the same as being a book editor. I’d take a noodle (edited manuscript) out of the water and throw it against the backsplash to see if it stuck and was ready. While the pasta did what it was supposed to do, the manuscripts never “stuck.” Nor did they leave residue! Feeling very frustrated, I opened my laptop to read emails. The one at the top of the list was from a great foodie newsletter: Food52. The subject line? “Celebrate National Spaghetti Day With Us!” What happened next is too long to write, but it is relevant and has “stuck” with me to this day! (This post was a WONDERFUL string of words–thank you for sharing!)

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