Lately I find myself thinking more and more about how much my life would improve if only I could become my alter ego for a while. You know, be bold where I’ve become timid; energetic where I’ve become sluggish; centrifugal where I’ve become centripetal (and vice versa); yea-saying where I’ve become a great regional singer of “Nae, nae, nae.”
Seriously, if I could only stop putting everything off and start accomplishing things again, my entire life would turn on its axis. For me, productivity correlates directly with sense of humor. The more lightly I take life (and myself), the more I get done, and the more creative the result. My toxic perfectionism gets pushed off to the side, as does my stultifyingly strong fear of failure. (Well, sort of…)
I haven’t failed nearly enough in life. Early on, because things were easy and I was bright and confident; more recently, because I’ve stuck with what I know, and have let my life shrink until it fits inside my fears like a banker in his bespoke shirt. This even though I know that the diameter of one’s life is in direct proportion to her fearlessness (a.k.a. the Pema Chodronean theorem??).
It’s time for me to get counterintuitive and stop trying to live a more meaningful, useful life by making everything into a matter of high seriousness, with all the guilt, unworthiness, fatigue, and fear that entails. For the most part, my instincts are good. So are my motives. I don’t need the hair shirt in order to stay on some imagined right path. There's more freedom in the fool’s motley. More chance of finding my way if I stop trying to exempt myself from the cosmic law of Laugh and Be Laughed At.
Problem is: how the heck do I do it?