In the spring of 2005 I woke up in the wee hours of the morning in a cold sweat. Jumping out of bed and startling my little dog in the process, I went to my desk to write down what I was experiencing. It was as though all of my senses were enhanced, with colors brighter, sounds more defined, and even the feeling of my pen touching my notepad was a new and exciting experience. I wrote for over an hour and then went back to read what I’d written out loud.
I wanted a new life: That was the bottom line. After teaching in the classroom for almost twenty years I was ready for a change; something new and different; a shift in my daily activities. I was also working as a real estate broker and residential appraiser during those years, but mentally I had checked out of those areas and was only going through the motions to complete each transaction and assignment.
That day marked the first day of the rest of my life, even though I did not realize it at the time. Luckily. I had acknowledged my feelings and had written down as much as I could. This would be the outline I could use as I moved towards a more joyous and satisfying life experience.
I did not go back to bed that morning. Instead, I went about the activities I needed to complete to be ready to leave for the day. My days were long ones during those years and it wasn’t unusual for me to be gone from home for fourteen or fifteen hours on a weekday.
My schedule was strict and rigid and allowed no time for anything not related to my classroom teaching, the real estate work, and helping to care for my elderly mother. It was a life I had created out of necessity and duty and one that I was grateful for in many ways. I had a home and a late model car, enough money for my basic necessities, and enough extra to make sure my mother had everything she wanted and needed. Every other year I could take a week or ten days for a vacation.
But just two years earlier I had been injured at school in a fall and had been out on Worker’s Comp for almost six months. That was a dark period in my life where everything I held dear was in question, even my teaching job. I’d come through that time, but the physical and psychological scars would take some time to heal.
And years before that, I had been diagnosed with cancer and had to take nine months off from my job. I had survived physically, but it had brought about financial ruin like I had never known as an adult.
Now, on this day in April of 2005 I was more than ready to surrender to the future, the unknown, the hope and possibilities. I wanted nothing more than for this to be the first day of the rest of my life, even though I wouldn’t use that wording at the time.
Within days, opportunities appeared out of thin air. A friend invited me to a real estate convention in downtown Los Angeles. I was reluctant to take the time to join him on that Saturday, but deep down I wanted to go. That is where I connected with the man who would become my first mentor. Weeks later I joined him at a conference where I publicly proclaimed my intention to leave teaching and real estate behind in order to start my own business on the internet.
I could hear the words coming out of my mouth, and the excitement building up inside me, and the joy that was bubbling over to everyone in that room, but it did not feel like it was me doing the talking. I wouldn’t understand until a couple of years later that I was finally allowing my creative side to emerge. I’d never thought of myself as a leader and entrepreneur, and certainly not as a creative person, but that was about to change.
Becoming a Creative and Allowing a New and Improved Life Experience
Jim Edwards and I go back almost 15 years in our friendship and business relationship. He was one of the first people I connected with when I set about to reinvent my life as an online entrepreneur. Recently he shared his thoughts on creativity and I’m sharing them with you here, along with my two cents on the topic…
Let’s put the fun into creativity:
* Stop worrying about looking foolish and just make a decision to have fun. (I’ll add that sometimes I act foolish on purpose to loosen up and connect with whomever is in front of me at that moment.)
* Put a smile on your face and enjoy the process – act “as if” you’re having fun, and you will! (I’ve done this while waiting in line at the post office, and it helps to make the time pass more quickly and becomes fun!)
* Give yourself permission to be goofy or funny or creative like when you were 5 years old. Grownups are way too serious anyway… kids have more fun. (Draw a picture or write a short story filled with nonsensicalness – is that even a real word?)
* Expect to have a good time during the creative process and you will! (I’ll add that we almost always get what we’re expecting, so expect great things and your creativity is bound to flow.)
Give it a try!
* Believe that anyone can become a leader, as this is an intuitive skill and is a natural part of our life experience.
Will today be the first day of the rest of your life? If you’d like to be creative and write an eBook, Jim’s training is hands-down the very best there is, and the investment is incredibly fair. Take a look and get started right away.
I’m Connie Ragen Green, creative futurist helping others to understand, implement, and experience this concept around today being the first day of the rest of your life. Come along with me and let’s discover what possibilities life has in store for you.