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For Sale: One Well-Used Hamster Wheel

March 24, 2013

‘Dream and the way will be clear, pray and the angels will hear, leap and the net will appear.’ -Christine Kane

I recently began following a young man’s blog (you know you’re getting old when you consider 30 to be young right?). He turned down a big publishing deal (with the big check that went with it) to follow his heart. So he began to travel, build a mini-empire that he can manage from the road and write and fund the book he was going to right, but now on his own terms. Reading his posts I am amazed and excited for him.

For those of you who know me, you know I’m no stranger to taking chances. But as I look back (a fruitless pastime), I see oftentimes I played it small, with caution and care, I colored inside the lines. True, as a single mother, I quit my fulltime job to start my own business without so much as a savings account. Also true, never having taken an art class, I began painting and after 10 years of cultivating my gift sold over 100 paintings in a two year period of time. And yes, I bought and taught myself self how to ride a Suzuki Intruder 750. And at 50, I white-water rafted down the class IV Apurimac River, then trekked four days over the Andes to Machu Picchu. All notable endeavors that make my heart sing. But in-between those bursts of courage, I was cautious and sensible. There were no ‘great-big-dreams’ in my arsenal. It was more of a methodical, nose to the grindstone kind of existence.

As I follow the posts of my newfound friend, I think ‘yeah but…’. I’m impressed by his financial background and his New York apartment. I hold myself in my place, since after all, he has a degree. You know what the difference between me and this young man is? Well, besides 30 years, an education, a specific marketable skill… he has something that every last one of us has the ability to have. It’s the one thing that is essential for making our dreams come true. Mindset. The element that stands between me and my dreams is not time, money, youth, training, education… it’s MINDSET.

My mindset was jammin’ when I decided I could start a business with n-o-t-h-i-n-g, when I thought ‘let me see what happens when I paint’, when I bought my motorcycle, when I booked the tickets to Peru. It was my mindset that said ‘sure, I can do that’. But each and every time, I’d come home and get back on the hamster wheel that was my life. Get off the motorcycle and get back on the hamster wheel. Debark the plane from Peru and get back on the hamster wheel. But I never stopped wondering, why am I given wings if not to fly?

This year I turn 60. For me that’s such a liberating feeling. There’s a delicious freedom in getting older. Less to be responsible for. Less ‘have to’. Less ‘should’. I am keenly aware of my desire to be more, to be of service, to have the faith to step off the hamster wheel and onto my authentic path. I’ve never embarked upon a quest where faith was not the prerequisite. Lots of it. But courage is like one of those old friends that even if you haven’t spoken in ten years, you’re still the oldest and dearest of friends. A constant companion just for the asking. I know that when I open my heart with hope and happiness and let go of everything, I will fly. And once you’ve taken flight, how much walking do you do? And so as Christine’s song encourages, I will ‘dream and the way will be clear, pray and the angels will hear, leap and the net will appear’. Living on purpose is not just for the young, the educated, the pretty, the strong. Living on purpose is something we’re all called to do. And leaving a legacy can be as simple as helping one person find their way.