Aubrey Harmon

Centered Heart Coaching

Month: August 2018

Dream Big and Dance

  There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”

Martha Graham, modern dancer and choreographer

One of my favorite pastimes is to browse bookstores and public libraries. I happily spend hours lost in the stacks of books, following whatever obsession has caught my mind recently. I read voraciously, drinking books like water. From literary novels to scifi to romance to chick lit to biography and essays and nonfiction on a variety of subjects, I read it all. I read for escape, and I read to learn, and I read to find my way. I look for my path in other people’s experiences. I love glimpses into other other worlds, both literally in science fiction and metaphorical, in memoir.

Sometimes, though, when I enter a bookstore instead of inspiration, I find despair. There are so very many books, and none of them tell my story. More than that, none of them are my book. The only thing I love more than reading is writing. I could happily spend every single moment of my life scribbling away in a notebook or pecking at the computer. I’ve written stories ever since I could write… but just writing for myself isn’t enough. I long to be published. To see my books on the shelves of libraries and stores. I want that broader reach, to have other women who have gone through similar experiences find some relief in knowing that they are not alone.

You might ask how many rejection letters I have amassed. The answer? None. Not because I have a huge publishing deal in the works, but because I have yet to submit anything I’ve written. Novels languish on hard drives, more personal stories on blogs and in paper diaries. I doubt and second guess myself. I hold my (unedited) manuscripts up to comparison with published books.

I was reading “This Messy, Magnificent Life” by Geneen Roth and discovered the quote above. Slowly, I am realizing that I have been blocking this unique energy that can move through me. While someone else might write a book with a similar plot, no one will write exactly what I have. 

More broadly, in all the world there is no one else like each of us. We are singular and unique. You might not have a novel in you, but instead a song, a painting, a dance, a poem, a child, a business. While someone else might create each of these things, no one will create exactly what you would. If we keep ourselves small and afraid of being seen, the world will lose out on our offerings. 

Let’s not allow this to happen. Share your creations with the world and let yourself shine.

If you’d like help as you walk this path, please reach out to me – I’d love to work with you.

Trust

  How would it feel to live with wise trust, with the sense that things will somehow work out, perhaps not in the way you think they should, but in some magnificent way?

Jack Kornfield, No Time Like the Present

I have not been a sanguine person. Family and friends who have known me longest might call this an understatement. Though I often presented a cheerful facade, I tended to a deep-seated anxiety and recurring periods of depression. I went to a psychiatrist in my twenties and began medication and this evened my moods out enough to live life without crying on the back stairs for no reason. It allowed me to do deep work in therapy and with my coach, to have two children, to survive and thrive after divorce.

Slowly, very slowly, things began to shift in my heart. I learned I could pass through experiences that had scared me the most. I learned to treat my fear not as something to be shoved away or drowned out with alcohol and food and television – because none of those things worked long-term – but as a piece of me deserving kindness. 

I began to speak gently to myself when I was afraid, as I would do for my kids. Even though I would never berate them for their fear of the dark, or fear of scary parts in movies, or any of the myriad things that I, as an adult, knew weren’t objectively frightening, I would internally criticize my own ‘irrational’ fears. Oddly enough this never fixed the fear. Once I began giving myself permission to feel my fear and to keep moving forward anyway, the fears began to fade.

In this more spacious frame of mind, I started reading Jack Kornfield’s “No Time Like the Present”. The quote above dropped into my heart like a stone into a pond, sending out ripples through me. No matter how much I might wish it were otherwise (and I wish this a lot) there is much in the world that I can’t control. Worry won’t control it. Work won’t control it. So there are two choices – either fret and rail against the way things are, or surrender to trust, and maybe even to faith. Faith that even though certain things are shitty or difficult, in the end it will work out in some magnificent way. I’ve tried the fretting and the railing. I am beginning to try trust. As I allow myself to sink into trust, I feel a stillness in my center and I want more of this. 

My kids are away visiting their grandparents on the East Coast this week. I have been taking the opportunity to sit in quiet and simply feel present. In the evening twilight I sit on my back deck and listen to the wind sighing through the trees, to the birds singing, to other kids playing in the distance. and I allow myself to trust in this still place.

Stars at night shine above a tree. "Pretend the Universe is rigged in your favor," Rumi.
Pretend the Universe is rigged in your favor. ~ Rumi

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