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A pen, the back of my hand, a bookstore.. and redirecting my life.

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I hadn’t gone into the bookstore with the plan of redirecting my life.  It just happened that way. One of those series of synchronistic moments that lead you to … well, in this case… not only an ‘aha’ or twelve for me, but an awesome exercise in self discovery for everyone.

My original purpose was to see if any novels leaped out at me yelling, ‘Read me! Read me!”  That helped… I had walked in with the intention of being open to noticing.

I walked past the gardening section and thought, “Wow, I don’t ever buy gardening books anymore.”  At one time it was a passion of sorts, and I do like to play in the dirt.. but I’d probably be just fine if someone else planted the dirt.  That was curious.

I could feel the little niggling naggling thoughts that have semi-consciously nagged me each spring ( ‘why don’t you put more effort into the gardens?  You used to love the gardens!”)  simply bow out graciously.  My gardening interest was no longer worthy of a new book and that’s okay.

A smile curled onto my face as I let go the nigglenaggles, and realized I was beginning an adventure in the bookstore.

And so I asked myself,

           “What no longer captures your interest?”

           “What DOES capture your interest?”

I even asked,

What has never captured your interest?”

I wandered through the book store making a list on the back of my hand:

What books no longer capture my interest?

tournament ski boats, waterskiing,  dog training, creativity, self-development, visual art, pottery, home renovating, technology.

That’s rather curious since these things, other than the interest in dog training and home renovations, ‘define’ me.

What REALLY captures my interest and excites me?

quantum physics, science of mind, travel (as always), writing, games, hiking, camping, wilderness survival, paddleboarding, maybe kayaking,  outdoor maps, tall ships

What has never interested me?

magazines about organizing closets.  (Just in case I’ve ever felt guilty about my closets, I now know I can let it go and acknowledge it’s ‘not my thing.’)

I left the store with a new backroad hiking map book. AND a great basic guide to backpack camping. When I’m out in the woods,  which is often, I realize there’s a lot I don’t know. I was practically skipping out of the store excited about learning more.

BUT what about those things that define me?

I walked out of the store knowing, again, how important it is for me to finish my own book.. my crazy true story about creativity and life.  I don’t need to read any more books in those areas right now. I simply want to trim the current 350 pages to a more readable and concise and flowing 150.  Maybe tips from those ‘organizing closets’ magazines might be helpful. Ha!

I walked out of the store with a plan to sell my lovely and precious tournament boat.

That’s big. Trust me, this is a REALLY big decision for me. But dynamics have changed, and the bookstore adventure confirmed I’m as crazily excited about paddleboarding and other outdoor adventures as I once was as my ‘most- obsessive- and- insanely- passionate- waterskier- ever” self.

I had a bunch more discoveries.. but really, how long can a post get? The point though is that ‘what lights my fire’ is essential for me, through the ups, downs, thick and thins, crazy wonderful and crazy-making moments in life.  Sometimes we need to give ourself permission to notice that we are ever evolving and what worked in the past is allowed to shift to something new.

So.  All you need to get clear on your direction is a pen and your hand and a little visit to the bookstore.  Napkins, or even a notebook could work as well as the back of your hand.  Arrive delightfully open to discovery and armed with the three questions above.

Wishing you many aha’s as you  let go what isn’t serving you well.. and welcome what is right for you right now!  I wonder if you’ll be as surprised at the absolute clarity and as excited as I am from my discoveries!


About Janet

Artist/writer with a tall ship and mystical twist, Certified Professional Life Coach (ICA), Master Creativity Coach (KMCC), Curator/owner of Writerly Kits, workshop leader and creativity group facilitator trainer. Outdoor enthusiast and Tall Ship sailor. Been through breast cancer and found her own tools of play, lightness, creativity, nature, thinking differently and visualization assisted healing through and after treatments. Ever ever so grateful for all the wondrous people she is surrounded by.

6 responses »

  1. Seeking answers and inspiration in a bookstore is something I have often done during major transitions in life. I notice what attracts my attention and then open up to read a phrase or so! I usually leave the book there and walk away with some sychronous inspiration. Today in Costco, I saw they have the ‘new’ Camping Free in BC book Perhaps that interests you too!

  2. coreenamcburnie

    This is wonderful, Janet!! I love it, thank you. What a great way to pay attention, if only for a little while.

  3. Oh Janet ….you make everything fun! I LOVE bookstores and trully this is usually how I buy or peruse a lot of my books….. I let them speak to me. Sometimes they jump out at me and then I am off to a new perspective! At times it’s just a page that answers a pondering I had or even the title can answer a question. It’s interesting too that springs seems to urge us to to declutter what no longer serves and be open to the NEW! Wow – selling your boat sounds like a big new adventure is awaiting you. Nance C

    • Hey Nance C! Lovely to see you here – not surprised you intuitively find answers in books. I have an idea. Here’s a number: 48. If you’re so inspired turn to that page in any book you’re inspired to turn to! You and I both know something amazing will happen.
      big hugs!!


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