“We give most to others when we are fully ourselves. ‘Don’t ask what the world needs,’ philosopher Howard Thurman once said, ‘Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.'”
Theo Pauline Nestor in Writing is My Drink
I spoke for over two hours on the phone yesterday with my dearest friend from Boston–Joanne Susi. I first got to know Joanne in a life coaching class I was taking several years ago. Thankfully for me, Joanne was the instructor that facilitated our learning every week. I’ve often said, watching Joanne lead our life coaching training was similar to watching Michael Jordan sink a last second shot for an NBA title, or like watching Wayne Gretzky slice through the entire opposing team to make a miraculous wrist shot through the goalie’s legs. Basically, watching Joanne use her gifts and talents gave one the feeling they were witnessing greatness. I told her all this in one of our classes and in front of all her students, the ever-so-talkative confident Italian lady was stopped dead in her tracks. She was speechless. There was an eerie silence amongst the class so I took that as my cue to continue. I asked her–no I basically begged her–to please continue to share her gifts and talents with the world because if she’s off doing some menial task then she’s not doing what she does best. This planet needs the Joanne Susi’s of the world to spread their gifts and talents as far and wide as possible. I told her if there’s a task she doesn’t particularly like to do that’s draining, pay someone else to do it for her. I also told her we needed her to do as much of what she does best as often as possible.
After a couple sniffles and a short pause, Joanne said, “Thank you, Travis” and we’ve been fast friends ever since.
Being great friends with a phenomenal life coach has many advantages. The first and most obvious advantage is the wisdom and clarity she brings to our conversations. She flawlessly switches hats from friend to coach and back to friend without ever blinking an eye. The next thing I admire about our friendship is her unwavering love and support for me. There is nothing in the world I could say to her that would cause her to love me any less. When you receive that kind of love–without any conditions or strings attached–you really feel like you can make it through anything.
Another thing I love about our friendship is we have a continual ebb and flow of helping one another. She helps me and I help her. We are both here to serve the other any way possible. For instance, Joanne had a vision of writing a book but she felt lost trying to gain any traction on it. I asked her to please send me what she wrote so far to which she agreed to do. She emailed me about eight to ten different documents that each had a good deal of writing on them. My first thought was to compile all these documents into one so we would be working on what appeared to be a whole book. I then started the process of proofreading and editing the entire book for her. There were days when I called her and told her she needed to expand on what she wrote. I pleaded with her to dig deeper and share more of who she was with the reader in certain places. She agreed and I’m happy to say her book is now on the market!
After her book–BRAINSTORM: From STROKE To My TRUSTING Place–was published, Joanne told me she was done writing. I said, “Really? I believe you have a lot of books still in you just waiting to be written.” She replied with a thank you but graciously said she had no desire to write any more. I didn’t push but I simply left the possibility open with a gentle, “Okay, we’ll see.”
I say all this about Joanne because she said something to me yesterday that is very important. We talked about my blog, about me writing a book, and about my own trusting place. She mentioned how writing truly is my trusting place where I recharge my batteries and where I have communion with God. Whenever there is anything going on in my life, I can turn to writing–my trusting place–in order to find comfort and solace. No matter what I may be facing, as long as I have my fountain pen and journal in tow, I’m certain to find relief.
Something else I have learned along the way is what happens when I neglect my trusting place for too long. If I let a week or God-forbid two weeks go by without wrestling with some idea through my pen or the keyboard, then I turn into a complete ass. I get grumpy, impatient, bitter, and fatalistic. I lose sight of who I am and why I’m here. I forget about my intention for writing in the first place. My intention (in every aspect of my writing) is to help people be more comfortable with their humanness. If I’m having a difficult day or being a touch on the insensitive side, my wife has a wonderful way of asking me if I’ve written anything lately. I then begrudgingly tell her no and then sheepishly sneak off to my trusting place the first chance I get.
I say all this because I never really understood the concept of my trusting place until Joanne and I talked about it. And there’s no doubt in the world that writing is my trusting place. Writing is where I meet with Divine. Writing is where I come face to face with life and what it means to be human. Writing is where I make sense of our existence and why we are here. Writing gives me energy, it creates a spark and changes my outlook on life in ways I can barely begin to describe.
I created MysteriousFlow.com back in 2012 as a place to share some of my trusting place with others. I only post a small percent of my writing here. If I posted all my thoughts that gets wrestled with in my journals and on the computer you might consider me a lunatic or schizoid (not that you don’t already).
I’m wondering, what or where is your trusting place? Have you considered the idea that you have a trusting place where you go to recharge and breathe new life into yourself? Where do you go to speak to Divine, to find your Muse, or to discover your Authentic Self?
My dearest friend, Joanne, had a stroke before she was able to find her trusting place. Now she lives in her trusting place every day. Her biggest desire is to help people find their trusting place without having to experience a stroke like she did.
Give it some thought and consider where or what your trusting place may be. Is it painting? Drawing? Running? Cutting wood? Riding your motorcycle or other piece of equipment? Working out? Time spent in a busy coffee shop? A long walk around the block? A sunset in a pristine location? Traveling someplace new? A night with friends and wine? A moving church service? Yoga? Mowing the lawn? Sailing? Writing? Riding a horse? Golfing? Meditation? Fishing or hunting? Music?
Your trusting place could be one or several things that rejuvenates your soul and invigorates your spirit. Even when life gets stressful and your job is taking you through the ringer, your trusting place is always right there to lift you up anytime you need it. My trusting place is a concept that has taken me years to fully grasp but now that I understand it, I hope you can see its importance as well.
Family issues, relationship drama, disrespectful teenagers, stressful jobs, or annoying bullies all melt away when you’re in your trusting place. Opposite the old slogan, “Calgon, take me away,” your trusting place is not an escape from your life, but rather a call to life. Your trusting place is where you make sense of it all and find meaning and create purpose. If you’re looking for an escape there’s always computer solitaire, television, booze, or tabloids.
So what’s your trusting place? Do you have one? If not, pay attention over the next few weeks and I’m certain it will reveal itself. Oh, and if you don’t have someone amazing like Joanne in your life, I would highly recommend that too!!
Peace my friends!