I had a conversation with a friend recently and I told her that in addition to my day job, I was now using my spare time for another business called The Ripenists. She looked at me with a complete lack of comprehension and said, “Why would you do that? You could learn to play the piano.”
Why indeed? Because playing the piano could never give me the ‘living on the edge’ feeling I get when I take the time to put my thoughts on paper in an order that makes sense to me and hopefully also speaks to other women’s experience. Someone else could have the same experience playing the piano – just not me.
Your ‘thing’ may not be writing or being a digital entrepreneur – it could be anything – but it is likely to be, as Emmett Fox observed:
The most secret, sacred wish that lies deep down at the bottom of your heart, the wonderful thing that you hardly dare to look at, or to think about – the thing that you would rather die than have anyone else know of, because it seems to be so far beyond anything that you are, or have at the present time, that you fear that you would be cruelly ridiculed if the mere thought of it were known.
For me, The Ripenists is a perfect vehicle for fulfilling my heart’s desire. It’s lovely to hear now that the output of my heart’s desire is of value to others – but it wasn’t always like that. When we first started talking about The Ripenists, although we felt very ‘fizzy’ we both wondered if we were just kidding ourselves and if anyone else would find anything we had to say interesting or relevant.
Starting to write brought up a whole lot of fear: What if I do this badly? What if I don’t live up to my potential? What if I don’t live up to others expectations of my potential? What if I do this so brilliantly everyone comes to me for advice and then they realise I’m just like them? Basically fear of failure, success or being average, fear of being seen or not seen… Come to think of it, fear of pretty much any outcome at all which takes me into the unknown and beyond my comfort zone.
Despite all this, I know that writing is what I am born to do, irrespective of whether I’m any good or anyone reads it or it turns out okay. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, because when I’m actually doing it, for all the angst and voices in my head, I feel most alive.
And that’s the thing about your Heart’s Desire, regardless of whether your things is writing, dancing, grand-parenting, running a marathon, crocheting up a storm … you’ll know it’s your thing because of how it makes you feel. It’s the thing you’d do regardless of whether you make money, if anyone else approves, or whether or not you can see a direct line to how it makes a contribution to the planet. It’s just that thing that brings you sheer unadulterated joy!
And, as Fox so brilliantly points out, it’s often the thing we feel most embarrassed to admit to others because it does feel too audacious, given who we feel ourselves to be at this moment in our lives.
So here’s my challenge to you, as one Ripenist to another:
Take yourself somewhere quiet and be really, really, really honest with yourself in answering this question from Fox’s observation:
What is the wonderful thing that I have hardly dared look at, that I would rather die than have anyone else know of?
And if you’re feeling really courageous tell us what it is in the comments below or on Facebook! You can guarantee no one here will laugh.