Notes from the Laundry Room
Updated: Jan 18, 2018
There are some things you just can’t erase. Those little nagging internal instincts that tug on your gut, that mental know-it-all that won’t leave you alone. No, not the inner critics. I’m not talking about them. I mean that knowing voice; that part of you where your gut and brain connect so much, there’s no telling where one begins and the other ends. That place. Your soul. Your intuition. That place that knows precisely what you need that no matter how much you try to ignore it or erase it from your waking consciousness, you can’t. Nor should you.
For me, at this moment, it’s a whiteboard. For the past three years, I’ve had to face (and sometimes ignore and dismiss) this little dry-erase white board stuck to my laundry room wall. I purposely put it there because I knew I’d have to pay attention to any to-do list or message it contained every day. Repeatedly. Over and over and over again. Like a self-inflicted sort of reckoning. Because my laundry room and I have an everyday relationship. More on that later. The point is; it worked sometimes. I’ve actually scrawled mini-lists on my white board over the years and managed to cross off each item with the ridiculously delicious satisfaction only we list-makers get, but there’s been one thing on that list that has lingered so long, the marker’s now permanent. Two words: Start Blog
A plain and simple goal at the top of my mini-whiteboard. Each time I came face to face with this dry erase markered command, I found myself talking back to it in my head in that teenagery, leave-me-alone-eye-rolling, slam-the-door kind of voice. That same one that hates to admit when my mother is right.
Yet, I never erased it. I knew I couldn’t erase it because it spoke to my truth, to my desire to write. I’ve written lots of things, but never a blog. I knew to do so would bring me joy and work and focus and a writing discipline I desperately needed and craved. I knew it would do all those things and yet, I chose to avoid it for these three years, because in my mind, the idea of starting this project felt too black and white. All or nothing. Overwhelming.
In addition to the mental utterings telling me this idea was too much, there of course existed the ego with its slithering whispers of self-doubt and self-sabotage. Those vampire voices who try to suck the blood out of any creative impulse.
I’ve finally tuned them out enough to take the leap. I chose to listen to the other voice. The one knowing voice that says: this will feed your soul.
So, here I am. Today. Today, after three years of being taunted by my whiteboard, I begin. And that’s really all I need to do. It’s all any of us have to do. It’s a start. A baby step. It may result in total failure. It may not live up to what I thought it would be. It may end up feeling like what life coach Martha Beck calls “shackles on” rather than “shackles off”.
But I can’t know until I try, can I?
And neither can you. I’ll bet there’s at least one item on your whiteboard, on your mind, or in your soul that’s calling you. Maybe for years. Maybe just this minute. That thing you’ve always wanted to do or try, but that you tell yourself isn’t enough of a priority. Isn’t important. Isn’t worth the time. And yet: It. Won’t. Let. You. Go.
I promise you; I am an expert on nothing except for the knowledge that if I don’t create, I feel empty. And gain lots of weight. Because I’m not feeding my soul the way my soul demands to be fed. Of course, creativity takes many forms. For me, in this endeavor, it’s writing. I want to write about writing as well as teaching, the theatre, acting, parenting, eating, and whatever moves me at any particular moment. Maybe what moves me will move you too. Maybe my words will lead you to something that fulfills you or makes you laugh, brings you joy.
Or not. We’ll just have to see.
My message for today is simply this. Begin it. Just start that thing you’ve been meaning to do, the thing that’s calling you because it speaks to and elevates your soul and will inevitably bring you satisfaction. Just start it. That’s enough. Any other thought about it might be so overwhelming that it stops you from starting. Which it did for me. So far. But not today. Today I begin my blog. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I know I’ll enjoy writing it.
Everybody has a calling.
Your real job in life is to figure out why you are here
and get about the business of doing it.---Oprah
If this post speaks to you, you might enjoy these books:
Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny by Martha Beck, PhD.
The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey
Gretchen Klinedinst Furst is a teacher, writer, actress, and mom. She’s the co-author of Made from Scratch: Tales of Women Who Take the Cake and the owner of Studio G. Allentown, LLC. Check out the website at www.studiogallentown.com , follow her on Instagram @studiogallentown, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StudioGallentown.