– About Transformation, About Living “The Slow Life”
Feel out of sync with the world, or with yourself? Think that “it shouldn’t be taking this long!”, or simply don’t know what you’re doing (and don’t like that fact)? Well, this is how the last few years of my life have been, anyway – my ‘caterpillar transformation years’ – as I’ll go on to explain in this recently revised post. NOTE: nothing is wrong!
[Last updated: June, 2016 – post summary]
Caterpillar Transformations: Introducing Steve M Nash
“Stop the Hamster Wheel I want to get off!” Welcome to my mixed-metaphor metamorphosis – a post about a slow life of transformation where nothing seems to happen, and an encouragement for you too to:
- Slow down on taking life so seriously
- Slow down on wanting to control everything
- Speed up on trusting yourself more and more and more
Note: I first wrote this in July, 2013. I wrote the piece for The Change Blog. It was declined. I was devastated. I was less devastated. I thought it could work here. Here it is…
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
– Steve Jobs (Stanford commencement speech, June 2005)
Caterpillar Transformations: The Caterpillar Speaks
Hello, my name is Steve M Nash and you probably don’t know me. I’ve spent the last 13 years making my living online, from a variety of free-to-use ‘helping’ websites. (Thank you, Google Adsense.)
Before this, before what I’ll call my ‘free phase’, I was a computer analyst/programmer – 13 years a “code monkey”, and not a particularly good code monkey at that.
And before all that I went to school and college, and graduated from Loughborough University, blah blah blah-de-blah!
So I’m just another person, an ordinary guy; I like to think I’m special, sure, but I’m not.
So, then. Why is life interesting, right now?
- Well, it’s not because my online business is booming; it’s not. If my business was a barge afloat on the Huddersfield Narrow canal, then it’s letting in water fast; sinking is inevitable, just don’t know when.
- It’s not because I’ve finally found ‘the one’ in my love life; I haven’t. I’m 48 years old, never been married, with no children to my name. And my last serious relationship seems to have gone the way of oh-so-many others. (D’oh!)
- And it’s not because I’ve suddenly become enlightened, either. How handy – I wish! So I’m no Byron Katie, Eckart Tolle or Jeff Foster; I’m just Steve, Steve M Nash.
Okay, so what IS happening, right now, in my life. Well…
- I am the least busy person I know!
- I’ve recently committed $thousands to a “gentle yet rigorous training program” that completes in over 12 months time (September, 2014), where I may, repeat may, become a transformative coach.
- And, er, I am fast running out of money – but, somehow, I seem to have lost the compulsion to ‘do something’ about this.
Caterpillar Transformations: The Caterpillar Waits?…
In short, I am a man letting go of his ‘conditioning’ – a man in ‘crisis’, you might say (a man ‘waiting’?) – with a desire to share this experience, in some way. (Yeah, my midlife crisis could have been so much more colourful, I get ya: I could be driving a Porsche 911, with an excitable 28 year old lingerie model (called Isabella) laughing her head off, in the passenger seat, hand by my groin! Double d’oh!)
I’m thinking, actually, that If Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega could ever have met me he’d have said, “you’re a bum!”, or maybe he’d have called me a waster, but he certainly wouldn’t have thought that my life was interesting.
So, let’s try again here, why do I think my life is interesting, then?
Well. I just do. I’m in transition, from an old way of navigating life – must work hard, must control outcomes, must follow advice from those that are more successful than me – to a new, more natural way: must listen to my inner wisdom, whenever possible; must only do things that feel good to do; must trust that everything is okay (it is!).
I feel like a caterpillar, if you must know, temporarily stalled, temporarily reflective, but sensing something new and more wonderful as ‘nothing much’ happens inside my ‘chrysalis’. (A caterpillar transformation, if you will.)
And, for some reason, I felt like sharing this ‘nothing much-ness’ with you. Not as some kind of “this is what I do, so this is what you should do, too” advice, but more “this is what’s goin’ on for me, right now – and, it’s ‘interesting'”.
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Caterpillar Transformations: The Caterpillar Trusts?…
‘Trusting yourself’ is interesting, if truth be told – and I’d like to think that’s what I’m doing, right now – because of where trusting can take you. And it’s not something I’ve done that often, either, at least knowingly.
- I know I have quit jobs, suddenly, and trusted that ‘something better’ would come along, sooner or later. (It did.)
- I know I’ve changed directions in my career, at least twice with no solid plan of action, or any sense of ‘certainty’ that things would turn out okay. (They did.)
And I know I’m doing both these things again, as I transition so very slowly from ‘online publisher on the wane’ to transformative coach. I have no idea if I’m going to succeed or not as a coach. I just trust that whatever happens in the end I’ll be okay. (I will.)
Caterpillar Transformation Example
I am an example in progress, if you will, of what anyone can be: be themselves, fully expressed. And how do you do that, then, express yourself fully? Well…
– You stop taking life so seriously – some things go for you, some do not; accept it all.
– You stop taking your thinking so seriously; most thought is fear-based, and defensive in nature; so let go of fearful thinking.
– You start ‘showing up’ to life more – you get involved, you give your best – and you see where that takes you.
“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.”
So, then: is this really what a midlife crisis looks like?
The Caterpillar Transforms?…
…For now, all I do know though, as I look back at my life – what’s worked for me, what hasn’t; and why, for example, I’m still single after so many well-intentioned relationships ended ‘prematurely’ – is that mid-life crisis or no, the way to live your life FULLY now looks (to me) like this:
- Stop wanting to control how things turn out so much
- Start wanting to ‘play to play’; i.e. give things a go, without success or failure meaning anything in particular about you
- Accept ALL of who you are – the good bits, you’re proud of, but especially the dark bits you’re ashamed to even acknowledge to yourself.
This is what I think it means to be yourself. Not perfect, but okay about your imperfections.