Looking towards 2012, what can you do to shake things up a little next year?
Can one shake things up by tightening one's focus and continuing to pursue that which they have already pursued? Can ridding one's self of extras actually cause a shake up? It sounds like an oxymoron at first. Yet if you consider that often during 2011 I was anxious about so many goals and plans and problems and thereby running around everywhere trying to put out fires all of the time (some of which were actually there), slowing things down could in fact be a ways of shaking things up. I say that because if my mind and spirit are approaching my work and life from a different perspective, things are by definition, shaken up.
I don't mean it will be a year of leisure. Far from it. I will keep time for leisure of course, but 2012 is to be, if I have my way, a year of some intense work. More work on things with which I am good, and familiar, and the hard work of tackling some new, (and necessary) things about which I know little right now. (I beg of you not to call this "stepping outside of my comfort zone", because not only am I unsure this applies, but I am just exhausted with hearing that term.)
When I moved into this spare room in Mom's house, I knew that it would be sink or swim. I have not been here long enough to be certain which it will be. I cannot predict the future. I do however know that if it is to be swim, I will have to in some ways contract my universe, so as to have more control over it, in order to subsequently expand it later. It is this overall theme of contracting in order to expand applies to many plans I have that will certainly shake things up in 2012. I will in a sense be retreating not only more into my own physical room more often, but also more into my own style, my own work and art, and even my own eccentricities at times. (Things against which I think I have too often rebelled in the interest of financial success.)
My friend Becky likened it to Dr. Who's Tardis machine, wherein the inside is somehow bigger than the outside. My life shall expand even as it appears to the outside eye to be smaller, both in terms of time spent in one room locked away working, and the metaphorical focus upon my own brand of life, more free of the judgement of others. (Please know in my life I have watched exactly one full episode of Dr. Who. I had to look up key aspects of the series to fully understand Becky's imagery. But once I did, it worked.)
I mean to delve even deeper into fewer yet more soul strengthening aspects of my existence. Not as some flight of fancy, (though no doubt the business and productivity oriented out there will call it so), but as a matter of health and sanity. It is time to embrace fully that I am Too XYZ, and nourish the things of which I am built. Story telling. Acting. Writing. Spiritual balance. Truth seeking. Greater self-acceptance through self-exploration and examination. Not mere artistic indulgence coupled with navel gazing, but a concerted effort to fully immerse myself in that for which I appear designed in this life. Even if that means I remain a pauper for a while, it will, in theory mean I am at least maintaining my sanity. Sanity brings clarity. Clarity brings options. Options bring confidence. Confidence brings both inward and outward success.
Naysayers to this approach to life abound. On websites, message boards, television, and my own family. I cannot turn them all off, but I can minimize their impact by moving as much of what I am into this spare room/office. To trade in the lack of certain bills that this crucible of comfort provides me in exchange for an intense cocooning into my creative environment. An environment which, I hope, will eventually be a place where I can better my writing, my art, and my business practices. (The latter being by far the most fearful undertaking on this list.) My own pace, in my own way, adopting the ways of others in the small increments I so require, instead of leaping headlong into the vat of Kool-Aid sold by so many gurus.
My goal is not, and indeed my hope is not that I will become a recluse, or hermit. That is no way to be a story teller that affects people's lives, let alone a man of good business. I won't be doing the business card exchanges and the other conventional networking stuff of course, because I never do. Yet I will be making connections in my own way, and making that a priority. I will be changing things in my human relationships department. The frequency, nature, and duration of my connections to people will be shaken up.
As will my concept of time. I plan to focus more on the potent omnipotence that is now, and what I can do with it, more than the unsatisfying what-ifs of the too far future times. I want to build towards a greater, more satisfying personal future with bricks made of the present. They add up, if we pay attention and lay them in their proper order and location. At least that is my theory. And that alone will be a bit of a shake up in the way I have approached such things before.
I will also, as I mentioned, be shaking things up artistically. I have some big artistic news that I will not elaborate upon here, but will announce in multiple ways once the New Year is a few days old. Stay tuned for that, but for now suffice to say that it too should shake things up for me in 2012.
It's all rather counter-intuitive. True, I've never had any problem telling that status quo to get stuffed, and if you read this blog or know me as a person, you can confirm that. Yet I usually do so in advocacy of people or ideas far greater than myself. Now that I plan to direct all of that in service to me for a while, I am not sure how it will all feel. Yet one thing is clear; it will without a doubt shake things up for me in 2012.