#30WriteNow – October 2

My devotions time this morning was awesome again. Deciding to spend time each morning in quiet, meditation, affirmation, or whatever spiritual thing I decide to do, has yielded some great benefits. I’ve felt more balanced to start the day, happier, more able to deal with the messes and such that come my way.

I’ve also received some great insights into myself, which I’ve needed. I’ve been cruising on autopilot for a very long time, much longer than I should estimate. I’d hate to say I’ve been going along without really thinking or feeling my way through things for at least the last 15 years since I came to New Jersey. In the beginning, I didn’t pay much attention to how I was feeling, except when things would become too overwhelming.

A few years in, I became more attentive to myself, but still, the intention was more so to get myself and keep myself going well enough to get through the days. I was unemployed for a good while and had to prevent myself from falling completely into an abyss. Once I began working at my current job, the goal was to maintain my mental and emotional balance to get through the days. I’ve done that. One day a couple of weeks ago, one of my coworkers saw me becoming emotional because of changes coming in my life and she remarked that she’d never seen me off like that. My “behind the scenes” work did well.

The blinds cracked open when I was in school while working. I’ve heard many times people talking about how the experience of working and going to school being a grind, the combination of the two being a sap of energy and time, some of which could be better spent perhaps cooking or eating or reading a book or something.

My experience was far different. Probably because I was at school doing scenes from Chekhov and Lanford Wilson plays, making wacky performance art, and being as creative as I could in all of my classes. It fed me. I’m not a dancer, but doing plies and tendus and moving to Kylie Minogue and doing weird dancing routines in NYC Subway, that fed me. Going to the gym after class and work, that fed me. Acting on stage again fed me. Writing and directing my own work, that fed me.

Once that was done and I was back to just working, I was back to running on auto again. Aside from the past couple of weeks, I’ve done morning pages pretty consistently for the last 15 years. I probably wasn’t doing them right because I still didn’t get the kind of light flashed into myself that I had this morning.

I started out thinking about personal power and where I’m living that or not living that. Moreso not living that. And how I could live it more. Where I needed it more (largely everywhere). And just that little bit of chipping knocked down a huge wall that I didn’t even know was there. If I’d had the right kind of sight, I would have seen this, but I didn’t until today and that’s fine.

I’m missing passion and desire in my life.

What a lesson to get on a Sunday morning.

Passion and desire.

As we often do when confronted with a tough, terrible truth, I resisted. For a few minutes. But once I gave up and surrendered to what my mind and more importantly, my life, was showing me, everything became clear.

Take my art, for example.

I last felt passion and desire, in mostly small measure, while I was at school. When I was writing and directing and acting, I was there, in the zone. Even still, I wasn’t ever 100% in any particular moment, I can say. My mind was focused on things like whether I was doing whatever I was doing well. Whether I was developing myself enough to have “earned the right” to do the work publicly on campus or elsewhere. Whether I could make a career of it once I got out of school and escape the workaday life making the computers work.

I might have been 99% there when doing speeches or such, but never 100. I never got fully back to passion and desire, at least the way I had them and felt them when I was younger. I was too focused on what would come from what I was doing, instead of just doing them, feeling them.

And as I was taking out the trash this morning, I couldn’t escape the fact that the reason I ever started doing any of this art –writing, acting, whatever– was the passion of it. It felt wonderful and exhilarating to do. The desire of it. The wanting of more. To be better. To go deeper. To go beyond.

And forget the rest of my life. I lost much of that passion years ago, much of that desire. It’s hard to capture that feeling when you have to get focused in on some of the things I’ve had to focus in on in my daily life. When you hear about the financial issues of your job. Or when you feel like you’re not on solid footing there. If you’re not otherwise financially or otherwise free, the worry can take a toll and the toll can be that passion. It doesn’t have to be, but it can be. And it often is, for a lot of people, as I understand.

Still, I feel a call this morning. Not to preach. Not to run out in the streets and scream or create a Happening. Not even to act. Not even to write anything. At least not in the same way I’ve been doing them. It’s not even a call to go home, not in the physical sense, since I’m home in Baltimore this morning and I’ll be back in New Jersey later, which I consider to be a second home.

No, the call is to come back home, inside, to the passion and desire I’ve lost, missed over these years. It’s a call to decide on, demand on, living passionately. Living with desire. Going for more. Getting out of autopilot and away from the excuses to do so. To live on a higher flying plane, which is where I’ve decidedly not been for a long time. And to believe that whatever changes I inevitably have to make in my life (and ones that will themselves be made and resolved), that, as Gabby Bernstein says, the Universe has my back.

Quite a bit to take in before today’s Ravens game, yes.

Writer, et. al.