Stretching Beyond the Land of Oz

As we count down the final days of 2018, I once again realize that my writing goal has fallen short of the expectation I created for myself 363 days ago.  Not that words don’t fill my head daily or that I don’t have countless half completed posts scattered among many electronic devises, it is that to write for me is more about the staunchness I give to the process.  An inner confidence that shuts the world out allows me to share my thoughts.

On Christmas Eve, during candle light service, Pastor Amy reflected on the world today and how we as people can continue to have hope.  One of the words she used to demonstrate her point was capacity. Capacity the maximum amount that something can contain or the ability or power to do, experience, or understand something.  The word struck a nerve.  The ability or power to experience something, is poetry to my ears.

Literally my focus at work has been all about Dorothy and her fateful journey to the Land of Oz. Complete with a trip to the mid-west and a visit to the Wizard of Oz Museum in Kansas.  One of the major differences between Baums’ writings and the MGM movie, is the Land of Oz is a real place in the books, not a dream.  Over the years (usually when I am flying) I have started numerous posts that tell the tale of the “fly over states” and how the area in between the coasts really offer a unique perspective. To a California girl, the people, the scenery, the pace of life (not to mention the price of gas) is like visiting another world. Driving through Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, encountering new people, examining the country side the new visions began to come into focus.

Exploring the adventure of Dorothy and her friends, the central themes of Home, Heart, Courage and basic Smarts, have lead me on my own journey.  Believing in good things come when we stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zones, being more courageous has been my goal.  And not in the jump out of an airplane type of way, but more in being brave in decision making.  At first this concept was aimed as a new mantra for managing people in my professional life, but I soon discovered that it spilled into every nook and cranny of my world. As I sat there on December 24, with the nagging feeling that the universal has been talking to me the past few months, and it wasn’t about being courageous, but more about my capacity for the “stretch”.

You may wonder, what exercises am I using to extend my comfort zone.  The first and by far the hardest for me, is not to take everything personal.  When your decision isn’t popular, but you know it is the right one, don’t take it personal when others disagree.  I could never be a politician.  Think about it, even if you win, there is still huge population of people that didn’t vote for you.  My ability to take things to heart has served me well, but it also has caused me to suffer for no reason at all.  A key for me has been not to feel the need to defend or get in a debate, but hold steed fast to my choice and move forward.

Living alone, after years of having people under your roof, is another new journey.  I am discovering that courage to venture out and not feel alone.  Having a meal out or going to the beach, I find taking something to read, a note pad to write, or anything to distract my attention away from the fact that I am sitting there by myself, really helps.

But I think the two biggest concepts that I have adopted (and they tend to work well together) is time and perspective. Allowing yourself time to react or to pass, while trying to seeing other’s perspectives can really ease the stress on the next step.  I am not the most patient person and expression of my thoughts is important.  I have discovered pulling out my cell phone and writing down in the note section everything I want to say at the moment, helps me through the time and takes the rashness out of the final message.  If the message ever even happens at all.

Dorothy found her way with a little help from her friends.  Making my way down my own yellow brick road, the relationships I develop along the journey have given me all the lessons that Oz can teach.  From learning new things to creating a home, experiencing love to hearing my inner self roar, I am only a flying monkey away from a complete novel.  Although life breeds the best fiction, I can’t wonder if the course of events that have transpired since the first of October were written in the stars, sent for content for my best-selling novel or me stretching my capacity to be the authentic me?  Check back next year at this time and we shall see what happens.


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