The oldies station was the best way to kill time. As I sat in bumper to bumper traffic, Jefferson Starship started singing one of their biggest hits, “We Built This City.” The lyrics are “We built this city / We built this city / We built this city on rock and roll.” And then those lines continue as the chorus repeats. Over and over again.
Do you have a personal oldies station playing the same songs in your head? If you’re fixated on rules and regulations you chose 20 years ago, or living a framework someone else chose for you, you’re out of step with the May series, I’m Open to That. Being flexible and authentic means staying current.
There’s hope – we built this city, and if necessary, we can tear it down and build another one.
This is what happened to Kirisima Evans. Kirisma had a great day job. She was more than comfortable. After 12 years, you could say she was rooted.
After hours, Kirisma was a singer. She didn’t just sing in the shower. She was the real deal. She began to pursue her dream of singing gospel music, and one door after another opened. She gave an enthusiastic and authentic “Yes!” to the creative call on her life.
Singing gigs began to pour in. She even made a record. But she couldn’t quite let her job go. It wasn’t that she loved the work. Had she wasted 12 years of her life?
Just as she began to worry about having the energy to keep her juggling act going, her problem was solved. Being laid off was bittersweet. She never expected that saying, “I’m open to that” would lead to losing her job. But she took it in stride, recognizing that it was time to build a new city.
You may not be in a situation as dramatic as Kirisma Evans. Yet you might be feeling a little nudge to shake things up. Relying on old constructs simply because we’re anxious about changing isn’t authentic. We may think we’re keeping ourselves safe in an uncertain world by sticking to our habits, but that rarely works out the way we hope it will.
So, where do you start? Put your hand over your heart and come up with a few of your favorite words. It’s not a trick question – every response is the right answer.
When author Julia Cameron tried this free association technique, she was surprised to hear herself say words like “juniper” and “pinon”. Shortly thereafter, she broke up her marriage, left New York City, and moved to New Mexico, where she still resides.
Here’s the key – if a word makes you feel lifted, energized, or enthused, it’s taking you toward your future. Simultaneously, it’s time to reverse words like “lack”, “incapable” or “depressed.”
Whether you’re building a tiny house or a mighty kingdom, find the words that make you say, “Yes – I’m open to that.” And, of course, you can always build your city on rock and roll.