Wednesday, September 14, 2011

taking action vs. waiting until the path is clear to us ...

Oprah always says when you don't know what to do ... do nothing.

This has always worked for her I guess. But, I suspect Oprah is able to get very clear, very fast and this "do nothing" period doesn't last very long for her.

(for me, I have a strong suspicion that doing nothing until I am clear on what I want to do would result in many many afternoons, weeks and maybe even years of ... well.. doing nothing)

I think it may usually be better to take some kind of action even if we need to change or reverse course later on. There aren't that many decisions that are so final, we can't redecide them to get a happier outcome.

Taking action allows us to focus. It gives our attention an intention. I usually find the best actions are those where I am less attached to the outcome and just seeking the experience - the outcome has a way of working out better for me when I haven't decided exactly what it should be.

Taking action allows us to decide. Deciding creates direction. It breaks our usual patterns of doing the things we think we should be doing or the things we have always done in the ways we have always done them.

Lingering in indecison and inaction can make us depressed - it can make things seem larger and more important than they really are - it can turn our feet into cement combat boots and our brains into mashed potatoes.

(and not the amazing kind with the white cheddar, butter and chives either)

Since 2011 is my year of deciding - I decided to do some shows this summer (mostly wholesale) that I hadn't done before. Shows that involved traveling by plane (this has always made me a little queasy, although I mostly love airports)- often alone and spending money that I would normally be uncomfortable spending since it took me so long to make and the outcome was so unclear.

Yesterday, seeing the kids waiting for the school bus and the leaves beginning to pile up in my front yard (and also noting my bank account balance) I was kind of regretting some of my choices. I feel like I missed the summer and now am headed right into my busiest retail season (I do 60% of my annual sales between Halloween and Christmas) with a head cold/sinus infection thing, exhausted and kind of pissed I never got to wear my awesome gladiator sandals and it's almost time to break out the Uggs (ugh)...

I am still glad I took action though (although my actions will be a bit different next time) and I still think deciding is better than waiting for something to happen or someone to come along and "discover" or "save" us ...

(and I think this is the same lesson for those of us who voted for Obama - and for the people who deny global warming because they are waiting for the rapture - no one is coming along to save us, it is up to us and that this is good news, great news actually ...)

We're all busy but we're not all engaged. Taking action locks us into full on engagement with ourselves. We connect. Maybe not right away when we’re just getting our feet wet - this action stuff doesn't have to be giant steps toward big, huge things. But eventually it brings us closer to ourselves - we learn what we want (or what we don't want) - it brings connection

... and autumn - which is my favorite season actually and as for my gladiator sandals I think I have decided to wear them until Christmas even if I need to wear my new wool socks with them - which I bought at an alpaca farm in Oregon last week with wool supplied by this guy - is this the most amazing face you have ever seen?! and to think I might have missed meeting him ...

* in the waiting room print by broke bot


Isabel said...

I love reading your post:O) Have an awesome day wearing your gladiator shoes:O)

Catherine Ivins said...

thanks Isabel- I am in my pjs (well what passes for pjs for me) and thinking of putting them on to water the plants wth


Periwinkle Dzyns said...

wonderful post! Doing something, taking chances, all good things - thanks for the encouragement!!!

Catherine Ivins said...

yes- taking chances- always a good thing!


DancingMooney ♥ said...

It's like the saying goes... you never know, until you try. Although I am guilty of doing 'nothing' at times too... Sometimes if something doesn't feel right, I simply don't do it... but that doesn't mean I'm not still thinking about what I want, or what I am trying to get, I just do nothing until my brain turns in a direction that makes things feel right. ♥

Glad you got to visit Oregon... ;)

Catherine Ivins said...

"until my brain turns in the direction that makes things feel right" - damn I love that!


Isette said...

I also had an expensive "get it out there" year, so I understand the bank balance moment! I'm not sure if the results have been quite what I hoped, at least we've tried!

And yes, wear those sandals proudly!

Catherine Ivins said...

yes, we tried ... lessons learned and yes, to the sandals Isette - cold feet never bothered a gladiator!