A good friend who I’ve known for 25 years recently said, “You are really successful these days.”
Another acquaintance who re-connected said, “You’re famous now!”
I had to laugh at both of these statements. They’re nice to hear, but not quite the truth and reminded me that what is perceived on the outside can often be so different than what’s really going on.
In many ways, I do feel successful (I prefer that term to “famous”). In 3 years, I’ve written 6 books and am about to publish my 7th. I’ve crafted a business using my intuitive gifts and have read Tarot for thousands of clients. I teach Tarot classes, created a radio show called “Tarot Talk” and collaborated on a new relaxation DVD called “An Hour of Peace” with Bill Kelley. I’ve given numerous interviews and contributed to a New York Times bestselling book. I have degrees and worked in the “real” world of publishing, teaching, etc.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Success is a funny thing, though. What does it mean? When my friend called me successful, I immediately replied, “I don’t feel successful.” And that wasn’t spoken in the guise of false modesty, nor from the dregs of low self-esteem. I’m proud of the work I’ve produced — but am more interested in what has not yet been created.
Perhaps I have a case of the hungry ghosts.
It’s like when I start a painting. There’s an initial picture of what I’d like to see on canvas, but it rarely turns out that way. It’s like the paint has a mind of its own and I have to follow. I get obsessed to see the end result, and it’s never done until I know it’s done. Once it is, I admire it for a day or two and then walk away. I have scores of paintings scattered around my house that I would gladly give someone who would enjoy looking at them, because I rarely notice. I am onto the next image, the next book, the next world.
I think the word success scares me a bit, in that I may become fat and complacent. I’m so used to living on the edge, being driven by the things I see/feel/hear that success may mean I lose that hunger.
On the other side of it, I sure love the idea of relaxation. That’s why I’ve created a schedule that allows me the richness of time. I can do my work anywhere in the world. My challenge is to merge my ideas of success (i.e., a comfortable salary that allows me to continue to create) with the freedom I build into my day.
I’m hitting my mid-40s and though I’m a big believer in the eternal flow of life after life, I can’t help but think that I’ve reached a midpoint. And that’s okay. It’s a great motivator for the approaching (potential) decades. What I can confidently say about ‘being successful” is that I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve never felt more free. Courting desire in your 40s — the joie de vivre — can be much more challenging than the great scope of the 20s. The beauty of this decade is the wisdom that arrives, the youth than remains and the ability I have to welcome it all, even in these perplexing ideas of success.