Julia Powell went on a one-year quest to master the art of French Cooking. She shared her adventures on her blog. It became a book and a movie, Julie & Julia. I was blown away to read at the end of the book that the discipline required to master something she was passionate about brought her joy.
I’ve mastered the art of surviving. Some days I thrive. But, joy? Joy’s been illusive.
After I saw the movie Julie & Julia, I found myself reflecting on the year-long quest of Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia.
What did I feel passionately about enough to spend a year on a quest to master it? I scribbled about this in my journal for a couple of weeks. I asked Kiwi Mary for advice because she’s quite successful. And, I also asked my therapist Kate for her sage wisdom.
I realized I have spent my entire life and career being the advisor to the leader. I worked behind the scenes. I didn’t want to be in the spotlight. I was an expert on leadership, but I never stepped up to the plate to be a leader. Yet, the universe has put me in a place where I will have to embrace the spotlight and become a leader. Yikes!
My career is summarized in the attitude at Disney Studios:
There are two ways of being creative.
One can sing and dance.
Or one can create an environment
in which singers and dancers flourish.
I have created many corporate environments where people flourish, but I have not flourished for a very long time. Why? Complex-PTSD.
From the comments left by my readers and the search patterns of my visitors, I know I am not alone in this struggle. I know how inordinately difficult it can be to find a competent therapist. And, I am painfully aware that many of us have Complex-PTSD because there are too many people in positions of authority who abuse the power entrusted to them.
We often do not control our own destinties because we have been conditioned to serve these brutal masters. We have been conditioned to be slaves.
What do we do with our freedom? How do we heal from the lashes that have scarred our backs and singed our souls?
Authentic power comes from seizing control of our destinies. It comes from having the faith that the universe will provide us with the resources and teachers we need. It comes from mastering something we feel passionately about.
Kiwi Mary has advised me to pick just one goal and to focus on it. My goal is to find a way to manage my PTSD so that I can once again be financially self-sufficient and healthy. It isn’t going to be easy because the research isn’t there. Lots of therapies have been tried, but few have been proven effective. Yet, I’ve taken on many impossible missions in my life and proven to myself over and over again that impossible is “I’m possible” in disguise.
I invite you, dear readers, to join me in my Journey to Joy.
Note: Henri Matisse is the artist favored by those in the empowerment and peace movements. I have several prints of his work hanging prominently in my apartment. I illustrate many of my posts with his work. I created the logo above to symbolize my quest for love, peace, and joy. You will see it frequently on my J2J (Journey to Joy) posts.