The act of pursuing our dreams and being our full selves is what allows us to feel alive. Aliveness doesn’t happen in silence. Aliveness doesn’t happen in repression. Aliveness happens in action.~ Brendon Burchard, “Read to Ignite a New World of Possibilities” (O Magazine, Jan. 2016, p. 79-81).
Today I will celebrate my 11th birthday in 44 years, and with it I will kick off a yearlong writing project and journey of self-discovery via The Oprah Project. And it is my hope that as a result, I will find my “happy” again.
This recommitment to writing/blogging is way overdue and much needed as it serves as my therapy, and as my vehicle for connecting with a community of writers, fellow moms, individuals struggling with depression, those on a spiritual journey like myself, and those who just feel lost and are looking for someone else who feels the same way.
I was told recently by a friend that to find happiness again, I had to find some time to pursue my passion. I didn’t need to find time, I had plenty of that already. But honest to God at that moment I couldn’t name one thing I was passionate about. I had lost my zest for anything and everything, and I remember thinking if this was the way I had to spend the rest of my life, it was going to be a very loooooooong 40+ years.
So I began searching for my passion(s), and after several long months of tossing and turning, I found myself circling back again and again to one thing — creating. Be it creating a blog post, a new website design, a family, a photo album, our home or a simple birthday card for a friend, I am at my best and most at peace with who I am and the life I have cultivated when I create. That is what I’m passionate about!
So I have decided to spend 365 days creating, and I will document it all via this blog.
What’s Oprah got to do with it? Well, she will be my guide! Oprah Winfrey has provided all of us with a handbook for living our “best lives,” first through her award-winning talk show, and now through her O Magazine and OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network). Through these outlets Oprah has granted us access to world-renowned experts in the area of relationships, spirituality, courage, money, health — yes, even creativity — for free or perhaps the cost of a book. What a gift she has given us all, and is this year I plan to take advantage of all Oprah has offered, while having asked nothing in return. She has opened her heart to the world, and that is what I hope to do again someday.
The quote at the beginning of this post is from one of the many articles and readings that provoked this project. It was an interview Oprah conducted with the author of The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard, in the January issue of her magazine. The page before the interview, highlighted with a background of colorful fireworks, sung with vibrant yellow letters, “YOU ARE THE SPARK!”
Inside, Oprah says to Burchard, “… You say there’s an art to motivation and it begins with a decision.”
Well, here it is. My decision to create, to find myself again, to be happy. My decision to explore my passions, spirituality, and to define my “best life” and go after it. To enjoy my family again and nurture my relationships. To be brave, take chances and step out of my comfort zone. And to live fully, openly and consciously. Because I am the only one who can do that.
This blog post was written last night, which is what I have committed to do through this process. I will find time at the end of each night to blog about what that day of The Oprah Project has looked like for me. … What I have struggled with and what I have learned, what I have mastered and what I am still trying to figure out.
Sometimes you will laugh, and others, I assure you, you will to cry. I may confuse you or anger you, and I might leave you nodding your head in agreement or shutting your computer down because you think I have lost my mind. And that is yours to do.
And this writing is mine — my perspective, my opinions, my insights. All mine, and I hope those readings will see it for what it is, and hold their judgement for something else.
This year I will create. I will take responsibility for my actions and I will continually ask myself the hard questions that will most likely push me to the limits of uncomfortableness. I will fall, and probably after wallowing in self-pity for a moment or two, I will get up again.
It’s going to be an amazing, rewarding, exhilirating and terrifying experience. But as Brené Brown said on an episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, “He or she who is willing to be uncomfortable rises strong … to the fullest of who you want to be.”
I’m ready to rise!
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