Personal Writing

Just some (more) existential thoughts from this week

This week marks the passing from month two to month three of sheltering in place. I have been to a few stores during this time, but the great majority of these months have been spent at home or walking in our neighborhood. And that has been fine: I’m calmer and more at peace than I have maybe ever been.

But it’s also caused some internal upheaval, and I’m wondering if you have felt this way, too. So I’m presenting some things that struck me this week in the hopes that they might spur you to start a conversation (hard to call it that when it’s predominantly my single voice):

  • Yesterday, I was on a weekly zoom call I’ve been doing through this time, and one of the other participants asked this question, which perfectly summed up a lot of what I’ve been thinking about during these past two months: “How productive do you need to be?” That’s a very different question than how productive do you want to be? Really try to answer that for yourself: I’m still unpacking it, too.
  • On a walk with Dr Marry, I had one of those exploding lightbulb moments where I realized that my entire adult life I have self-sabotaged my own success, my next move. The roadblocks I have encountered have not been accidental: I have absolutely designed and installed them to keep me from pursuing so many things. That infuriates me to think of all I haven’t achieved because I stopped myself. I also can see that the detours led to some fabulous experiences and opportunities. Tough to reconcile those two things, though.
  • I thought I had a professional coach lined up to help me develop this work, but this week I “fired” him because, while he’s fantastic, he doesn’t have the capacity right now to give me the time and attention I need. I need someone who can make me a priority because I have many of the raw materials, but I really don’t know how to turn them into a product that can scale up. The challenge is finding the right coach at the right price to feel like the investment will pay off. I’m a little afraid to take the next leap. Or, I’m just unwilling to do it because, what if it works and I get to the next level? That goes against my previous bullet point of self sabotage. I probably should be looking for a therapist and starting there. Ugh!
  • I’m going to stop podcasting until I can do it better. It’s way too homemade now.
  • I love this challenge from my friend Lonna by way of Andrew Sumitani of TINYpulse (FYI, I have no idea what TINYpulse is). I am sure, after reading this, that one of the hangups of this side hustle is that it’s too unwieldy. I need to narrow it down and clearly articulate it so that other’s understand what it is I can provide. Dr Marry thinks it’s about helping people unpack the roadblocks they put up for themselves, since he’s convinced we all do this; I am not unique. Wait. What???
  • I listened to this interesting and useful TEDx talk from Dorie Clark, a coach I follow. “It’s hard to see the world in a new way when you’re doing things in the same old way.” Also, pay attention to the part on luck; I really loved that.

Ultimately, I have some things to figure out and some things to just let go of and watch unfold. I feel like the ferns I have been watching slowly uncurl in our garden. At first, they are so small and tightly wound up that it seems impossible that they will flourish into these lush, expansive things of beauty. And yet, that is their process, year after year. Maybe I simply need to focus on where I am in the journey of uncurling and trust that I will flourish, too, when the time is right. How about you?

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.


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