The Wanting Game…
Making Your River Of Life Flow
I am baaaaack! (Said à la Jack Nicholson in the movie The Shining. And if you’ve never seen that movie grab a comforter, a cuddle person and some popcorn and remember it is scary!) To all of our subscribers, hey, hey, hey there I missed you. And welcome to all of you who I am now meeting for the first time. Welcome to the wonderful world of our S! We have spent the past ten months pulling out all the stops, re-launching our new website, creating new classes, nipping and tucking and reaching for the stars. Personally, I’ve also been reading. Every and any thing I can get my hands on that is about our people. Our people. It’s so funny…any other culture, Black, Jewish, Hispanic, the gay community can say a phrase like "our people" and one knows exactly what is meant. But when I used it here to describe our feminine culture, did you wonder for a moment, “What people?”
That's okay. That's why we're doing this. To remind ourselves that every group that has a shared history has a culture. And this is ours.
INT. HOLLYWOOD BAR - EVENING
My friend asks me what I think her life's dream is. I know her. We’ve talked for years. She’s not super ambitious. She has always just been looking for a home.
I tell her, “I think your dream is to have a baby.”
“Yep, I think that might be it," my friend says, then a long silence ensues. The two of us are drinking Guinness Black, my newfound playtime liquid of choice. (And if you’ve never tried it, oh my goodness, you should run out to your local Irish pub and order it. I promise, liquid nirvana.)
The silence is coming from our two minds collectively contemplating the waning possibility of this dream ever becoming a reality. My friend is 43.
She’s not dating. In fact, in the four years I’ve known her she has not dated anyone consistently.
The silence gets awkward.
I jump right on into the fire, “You know what you should do?”
My friend, “Sperm bank?"
“Yes! How did you know I was going to say that?”
“You said it last year. That’s just not how I imagined my life would be. I want a man. I want his baby. I want a family.”
Another silence. Conversation doors are shutting all around us. Finally my friend opens one by asking, “Why do you believe in women having children alone so much?”
That's a big fat door. I couldn’t have asked for a bigger one, in fact it’s a friggin’ sliding barn door and I want to slide it open wider and wider, but do I dare?
EXT. CENTRAL PARK – LAST SUMMER
I am sitting with two friends from my college days. Tilly is a journalist for a local newspaper. Michele is working for a rehab center in lower Manhattan. I ask them each, "What is your life's dream?"
Journalist friend Tilly says she's always wanted to open her own little clothing boutique on the Upper West Side. “Cool!” I chirp up.
She tells me that the store front she's had her eye on got rented by a Starbucks and she hasn't been able to find another one that perfect. I ask her, “When was the last time you looked?”
“A year and a half ago.” Hmmmm, I want to nudge her but I’m not sure how…
I turn my attention to my rehab center friend, Michele who says she's always wanted to write and produce her own stage play. “Coolio, what’s it about?” I ask.
“Well, I haven’t actually written anything yet.” Hmmmm… Another - What do I say? - moment. How can I help?
CUT BACK TO:
INT. HOLLYWOOD BAR - EVENING
I slide the barn door open a crack…
I tell my friend it’s not that I believe women should have babies alone, I believe women should have what they want most in their lives. I tell my friend that when a woman removes the obstacles in her way and goes after whatever it is she wants she has a higher likelihood of getting it. I tell her that the journeys I have witnessed of women who did this, are heroic Lancelot-battling-to-get-the-Grail journeys. Women need heroic journeys.
I tell my friend who wants nothing more than to have a child in her life, that my kiddios are my soulmates.
She jumps in here, seeing her opportunity to win me over, “But Sheila, they’re your soulmates because of the man you had them with, because of the love that you two have for each other.”
Here it is, that moment when I must say something BIG.
"Ah, big fat no. As a matter of fact, my love for Richard didn’t really kick in until my male child was a year old. But I made the decision to have my baby whether I was with or without him. That was the first really heroic step I’ve ever taken in my life and it’s become addictive. I found such unbelievable strength and confidence and purpose in taking those steps. Of course my hub-man is a vital part of our family but it wasn’t always that way."
My friend listens but I can tell by the set of her head and mostly by the set of her mouth in a tight, "You can talk all you want Sheila but you’re not going to convince me smile," that she is not budging. The conversation continues for several more minutes; me describing all the pros of raising kids alone and how to make it work; her describing this dream she’s always had in her life of marriage and home and children. No matter what option I offer her she has a reason why that option won't work. I walk out of the bar frustrated.
I nudged, dammit. I nudged hard, and nada. Walking to my car on Hollywood Boulevard I cannot help but wonder why some people go out and get what they want in life, and some don’t? Why is my friend still alone and childless at 43 when all her life she has dreamed of a man, a home and a child? Why is journalist friend Tilly still looking through fashion magazines fantasizing that the clothing in the photos is displayed around her in her very own little shop around the corner? Why is rehab center friend Michele still going to see plays every week wishing they were hers?
What have you wanted all of your life but have yet to obtain? And what's keeping you from getting it?
As I sit here with you, writing these words, wracking my brain for a way to help my friends, it occurs to me. When you live for an idea of a dream but don’t allow that dream to change, to evolve into a newly shaped dream, you lock your life down. You hold on so rigidly to the way you want your life to be, as opposed to the way it could be, you stop it from ever becoming. You get paralyzed in an endless cycle of wanting and waiting. Wanting and waiting to have a baby, wanting and waiting to write a stage play, wanting and waiting to open a gem of a store. Waiting to learn to fly.
Life is a glorious puzzle. The pieces of that puzzle reveal themselves along the way. It’s amazing how the newly revealed puzzle pieces fit together so perfectly one right after the other. They can create a beautiful picture when you let them. It’s when you think you know what the pieces should look like and how they are supposed to fit together that you get into trouble. Because you end up waiting until these imagined pieces appear and they never do. The man doesn’t come, the baby doesn’t come, the stage play doesn’t get written, the business doesn’t get started. Meanwhile the pieces that do reveal themselves, the actual pieces of your life, not the imagined ones are left unused and discarded. Flow stops flowing and your river of life becomes dammed up with “the way I imagined it should be’s."
Here’s the really cool thing. We have no idea what the puzzle of our life will look like when it’s done. If you had told me ten years ago that I would be the founder of a movement known the world over as S Factor and that I would be a vocal force for women in the world, I would have said, “You’re crazy! I’m an actress, maybe I’ll play that part in a movie.”
If I hadn’t said yes to a newly revealed puzzle piece, I never would have found my bliss. I never would have met any of you. And S Factor wouldn’t be. Sometimes you’ve just got to let go of what you thought it was all going to be and allow what is in front of you to become more of what it is. I know that sounds esoteric but look at it again. What was in front of me was a dance movement that I saw and didn’t discard. I let it become more of what it was. I then taught it to women and it became even more of what it was until it, the movement of S, became crystal clear, vivid and alive like the birth of a child.
Your life is a living breathing morphing thing and you cannot make it the way you think it should be. You can only move all of the negativity out of the way of opportunity. And say "yes" instead of "no."
Let’s just imagine for a second that my first friend from the Hollywood Bar scene says yes to all of those doors of possibility in our conversation. She says yes, I am going to the sperm bank tomorrow. Let's imagine it works right away and she gets pregnant next month. Yippee! Then let's imagine she looks around at the world and her finances and she decides to move to Portland where her dollar will stretch further. So she moves to Portland and she gets a small place with a room for the baby and she finds a job. And then let's just imagine, maybe she meets an interesting Portland fella that she finds kismet with and he is totally cool with her having a baby on her own. I could make a trip up to the beautiful state of Oregon in October 2010 to say hey to the little boobala when it's born! I love Libra babies.
In this dream my friend's life has moved into its next phase. She has allowed three pieces of her life puzzle to come together. Her picture is clearer and she has relaxed into the flow of her life journey. And after that my women friends, the pieces just keep flowing, easier and easier.
Now try it for yourself. Take whatever it is you’ve always wanted in your life and play the same game. Step by step in your mind's eye see the outcome of a dream happen. Draw a map of that dream coming to reality. Then muster up that good old thing we call courage and take the first step. As each new step is revealed, allow your course - a long flowing gorgeously curvy S shape of a course - to actually change course as the river of life moves you toward your goals. Can't you see them on the horizon? Fly baby, fly!
With a Big Fat Luscious Hug!