Personal Writing,  Uncategorized

Digging my own hole to fall down into to rise up

Working with my coach today, I had that rough realization that the more I dig, the further I have to dig.

Do you ever feel like that? Like whatever you are working on takes you down a dark rabbit hole, falling faster and faster, tumbling hither and thither, with never a bottom to hit?

I wanted to show the Tim Burton version of this scene because it’s not at all calm and gentle like the cartoon. In it, Alice is hurled through time and space, past crazy images and items, and lands with a massive thump. Alas, there’s a copyright on that one. You can watch it here, though. That’s much more how I am feeling today.

So often what we know we need to do is hard to navigate. It’s uncharted and feels bottomless. I guess if it were easy, everyone would do it, right? And maybe if it were easy it wouldn’t be worth doing anyway.

So today I am committed to falling through time and space because I have fallen down a rabbit hole of my own making. After all, nobody foisted my coach off on me: I chose her of my own volition because I knew she wouldn’t just rubber stamp what I’m already doing. I don’t need to pay someone to tell me everything I’m currently doing is great: that’s what I have Dr Marry for (along with so many, many other extraordinary qualities). I expected she’d push and set a high bar, and she has.

What I secretly want is for her to just do the work for me because this growing is hard. I’m asking my brain and my desires to stretch in ways that they don’t recognize and certainly can’t comprehend right this minute.

I want the journey to look like the arrow on the left. And instead, of course, it is actually like the one on the right. It’s messy, takes more backward turns than forward and is a seemingly endless mess of confusion.

But here’s the thing: I know that if I did the hard work of tracing that scribble labyrinth, I would actually arrive at the straight line going forward because I never lifted the pen when I was making it. That means there is some logic and connectivity to that mess, no matter how convoluted it appears from here.

And if I could unravel that, then I can unravel my work, too.

And, even if I can’t do it, one thing I know for certain: my coach definitely isn’t going to do it for me.

And I don’t really want her to.

I want to do it with her assistance because it will only mean something to me if I can see my own way out of the cacophony—if I can find the bottom of the deep hole and get some firm footing for myself.

Seems I have to dig and fall and unravel at this tedious pace and in the dark to rise up and reach my goals. And I have to do it one little shovel full, one little tumble and one little inch at a time.

How about you? What tumbling, stumbling, searching in the dark, impossible work are you pursuing right now? And if you aren’t, what’s holding you up? It’s not going to get any easier, so you may as well throw yourself down the hole and get going. After all, your dreams are waiting.

One of my favorite poems, “Digging” by Seamus Heaney

Photo caption: Question: Who in the world remembered that I have been cast as a digger of one sort or another in not one but TWO commercials over the years? Answer: Not me! And digging for Mother’s Day with my beloved boy a few years ago.

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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