If you feel lost, try being extravagant

extravagant_tree.jpg

The word extravagant leapt out at me today from a passage in Michael Meade’s book, Fate and Destiny: The Two Agreements of the Soul.

What calls to us is greater than our little-self and is mostly at odds with the common beliefs and accepted ways of our daily lives.

The problem isn’t a lack of calling; the problem is the lack of following what beckons to us far enough to learn its true nature.

So much of life becomes arranged to obscure and distract from what called us to come to life in the first place.

People easily misplace their deepest longings and tune themselves to someone else’s idea of a life.

Most people remain unwilling to be extravagant enough to wander where their soul would lead them and simply adapt to and endless series of short-term goals.

 

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Here’s what it looks like marked up in my book. Do you mark up your books?

The true meaning of extravagant

A couple of pages later…Meade defines extravagant:

The dream of one’s life often seems the most extravagant thing one could possibly do and often a dangerous thing to attempt as well.

Extravagant means to “wander outside or beyond,” especially to wander outside the limits and beyond the rules we set for ourselves.

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Here are some writing prompts you can use to explore this more:

It would be extravagant to…

The dream of my life is asking me…

Life’s distractions include…

Some rules I set for myself include…

What if…

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extravagant tree

About this image:  

Purple tree strung with tin stars. Spotted in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Photo by Lisa Sonora Beam, 2014.

13 Responses to If you feel lost, try being extravagant

  1. Anapilar April 22, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    And the calling gets stronger. Michael Meade perfectly describes how I have been feeling for some time now and from the responses here, it seems many are relating to his words and yours, Lisa.

    I feel I have found the permission I’ve been seeking, to follow that calling, in your blog posts. My heart is racing just thinking of projects I want to produce. I realize that the struggle and worry and fear I’ve been wrapped up in is blocking my true self and it’s time to let those feelings go.

    I think the best place to start will be in a journal.

  2. suzana April 21, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    What stood out for me: “The dream of one’s life often seems the most extravagant thing one could possibly do and often a dangerous thing to attempt as well.”

    This is really resonating with me at the moment because we (my beloved & our starchild) are being very ‘extravagant’: our dream is to travel overseas, taking only what we can carry & ‘following what beckons us’…

    After living lives doing ‘what’s expected’ (and also having lots of wonderful soul adventures), we are bewildering ‘other’s ideas of life’, but we’ve found the answer to that is to simply continue on our path quietly but surely…

    Creative challenge: to allow myself this same extravagance in my creative work!

  3. kittybaroque April 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    This quote resonated:
    “People easily misplace their deepest longings and tune themselves to someone else’s idea of a life.”
    Taking the words of others over our inner guide is so common & so debilitating. It only takes a passing comment or behaviour from a parent or friend when young, the words cling to us like leaches & our minds begin to cloud over comment by comment until your vision is seen through a dense fog, & only barely. It becomes easiest to see the leaches life view& action that.

    The challenge I most face is lack of self belief & letting the critic win before I start. My Father always said, whatever Art work or school assignment I did that “it was good but not good enough” – I’ve internalized this much like the leaches above to the debilitating point of not even starting – well, why bother?!! But inside distantly & daily I hear my calling & I must find a way to reconnect & begin, the pain of not-doing is a daily reminder

  4. Bairbre Aine April 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    What ‘stood out to me’ in this post, was the beginning part of Michael Meads’s quote “What calls to us is greater than our little-self and is mostly at odds with the common beliefs and accepted ways of our daily lives.” This resonated deep inside me. The limited perspective, which becomes the block or barrier, and the burning creative desire, which often times never is fully experienced.
    For years, as a kid, I struggled with my creative self. My Mum and older sister were very talented artist. When I created things, I judged my end product against their work, and I quickly lost self confidence in myself. I trip me up, the perfectionist that lives inside me, who struggles to just break free long enough to create something, and appreciate it for ‘just being’. The vision of shifting my thinking to ‘wander outside my own restrictive self criticism’ wow, this excites me more than it scares me! I like Michael Meade’s book The Water of Life, and his writings regarding initiations. This inspires me- “The point of initiations, whether accidental or intentional, is to touch the mysterious core, pass through change, and return.” This work, coupled with your work = powerful stuff! Love it!

  5. Kel Rohlf April 16, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Lisa- I picked this post because I do feel lost…the meaning of extravagant posted here and the last phrase “beyond the rules we set for ourselves.” was an aha moment…that’s what is causing me to feel stuck creatively…I set these arbitrary rules like I can’t go to my art studio unless the dishes are done, or the email has been dealt with or until I read something inspiring…the list goes on.

    I would love a spot in Creative+Practice to explore why I set these rules for myself!

    • Lisa Sonora Beam April 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

      For all who find this resonant – I really can’t recommend the work of Michael Meade enough – his books are like concentrated, condensed, wisdom of the ages, written in pure poetry. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

  6. ~Christy April 16, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    This is glorious! “The problem isn’t a lack of calling; the problem is the lack of following what beckons to us far enough to learn its true nature.”

    We are so connected! So called, moment by moment, daily to step outside of the life we think we “should” live in order to live the life that calls us. That connects our pulse to the pulse of the universe. This is the life I’m beginning to live, more deliberately this year than any other. It is pure magic if we allow it. I’d say the problem is also not following what calls US far enough to learn OUR true nature. Extravagant is by far one of my new, most treasured words…

  7. Indigene April 15, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    I loved this so much! I want to dwell in the extravagance of creativity, because that means truly living! Thanks for your amazing posts and getting to the heart of things!

  8. Grey Gibson March 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    Great, thoughtful and inspiring post. Am trying to follow the dream of my life which for sure feels extravagant and definitely dangerous. Hard to hold one’s nerve because following a dream means facing uncertainty. Don’t know where it’s going to go, let alone how it might end…. Think I might need several pages for the distractions…. Like the idea of the rules, hmmm…

  9. Marialena March 6, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    Such a lovely thought behind the word extravagant. Maybe when we are lost, we are already wandering outside/beyond but are denying it. Much to think about here. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Clare Thomas March 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    Extravagant: what a beautiful – and extravagant! – word. I think I was very extravagant as a girl and then, somehow, I lost it. Got it back around my 50-year mark, when I learned to say “I am an artist.” To begin with it felt phoney. (An artist? Who are you kidding, etc etc.) Now I can say it and believe it. And yes, I not only mark up my books, I write notes in them, too! Thank you, Lisa.

  11. e tobin eckian March 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Thanks Lisa. Your words came at a perfect time.

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