Clear Eyes. Full Heart. Can’t Lose.

This post is part of Reverb 10, a project that provides daily prompts in the month of December to help you reflect on the past year and set your intentions for the year ahead.

Today’s prompt (from Tara Sophia Mohr):

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. 

I want to earn an income from my writing (including this blog), performing, and/or yoga. No question. In other words, I want to support myself by doing the things I love most.

“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!”

Friday Night Lights, one of my favorite TV shows

I envision a spectrum. At one end: Working 40 hours a week for someone else, in an office. At the other end: Making a living by doing what I love, for myself… on my time. When I left PBS back in 2006 and started freelancing, I moved a considerable distance down the spectrum. Now that I wasn’t feeling drained from office politics and other work baggage, I had more energy for myself. I felt giddy. I could design my own schedule: blogging in my pajamas at 10am, with Cosmo by my side; yoga class mid-day, and maybe a trip to the market; a beer if I felt like it, or working from my front porch, or taking the day off when I felt shitty and, other times, working evenings and weekends when I was on a roll. I could also take on the occasional weekday improv gig.

It was wonderful. It IS wonderful. But lately, it’s not enough.

It’s time to move further down the spectrum. I can feel it in my bones, in every fiber of my being. And I’m EXCITED.

When the day comes that I am making money from something I love – something I make, that’s mine, that I care about deeply…something I’d do, even if no one paid me… I imagine this feeling of excitement growing, until I can’t contain my smile. My heart will feel so big.

10 things I can do today to experience this feeling:

1. Supported fish pose (a “heart-opening” yoga pose)

2. Deep, long savasana (a deeply relaxing yoga pose…relaxation opens my heart)

3. Walk and play with Cosmo. Notice what he notices.

4. Read poetry by Mary Oliver, Rumi – their beautiful words, images and ideas touch my heart directly.

5. Plan Thursday’s tea date with Kimberly, a friend who deeply energizes and inspires me.

6. Go to a yoga class at Tranquil Space, my original yoga home, and savor being back in such a beautiful, nourishing environment.

7. Stare at the sky – streaks of white on a vast vast blue canvas…

8. Meditate. Feel my own energy reverberating throughout my body. Feel my breath moving inside me. Feel. Be alive. Be present.

9. Savor my lunch date with Greg and Christina, two of my favorite friends. Soak in the warmth.

10. Be with Jordan – just driving downtown together, or in the moments between yoga class and lunch… all these in-between moments, when I turn to him and feel a surge of love, and such happiness and gratitude for our togetherness.

How about you? What would you like to feel like today? What are a few ways you can make that feeling materialize?

Photo above by Flickr user Rachel Titiriga.

11 thoughts on “Clear Eyes. Full Heart. Can’t Lose.

  1. Not being into yoga, I can only say that I admire those who can and do practice it.I think your notions of making a living doing what you love are quite wonderful and I have nothing but good wishes for you as you continue down this path.

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  2. I like this post a lot, Amanda! Thanks for sharing. I can relate to you so much. I loved freelancing, and did it for 10 years. I stopped a year ago last summer, and started teaching instead, looking for something that would allow me to pay the bills and write what I wanted to write. (I think some things start off being great for us, and then we change and grow and they're not the fit they once were, and that's okay…even good.) Teaching ended up not being the best option for the time it took and the money I earned. I'm still searching…open to what I can do to make money from what I love. You've taken some wonderful steps, and I love that this prompt asks us to think about how we'll feel and then to brainstorm ways to feel that today. You've got a great list! I was surprised AGAIN–doh!–to read about your Cosmo and think of my own wonderful Cosmo! 🙂 Today, I want to enjoy my husband and son, who are home on vacation, and not worry about the big picture, or where the money's going to come from to support my dream, etc. Today, I want to be present and content and realize that the dream is here, in this moment.cheers!

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  3. Second the first comment – I never had the patience for yoga, much less the discipline. As for my response, I can't wait until the new year to think about it. And maybe blog about it, if I get to it. Why not now? Because the quiet and uninterrupted minutes I'd need to even come up with something coherent will begin when school starts again. Come next week I think I'll be the loony at the bookstore coffee shop looking absurdly happy at 9:30 am while the salesperson looks at me with an "it's entirely too early!" grumble in his eye. In all seriousness – I saw the line, "I want to support myself by doing the things I love most," and thought, "May it ever be." And then that thought was immediately followed by, "I have no idea what I want to do. Again. And didn't we go through this recently? Do you not have this figured out yet?!"SMH.

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  4. i have so got to take up yoga. maybe i'll just piece together my favorite recommended poses, and i'll start with this one. i love this post. and i hope that 2011 proves a path to just what you want . . . and enough income to pay the bills and tuck some away, too.

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  5. Yes. Yes. A million times yes.I hope 2011 is the year both of us are able to sustain ourselves on our craft. Maybe the theme of '11 should be 'escalation?'"I imagine this feeling of excitement growing, until I can't contain my smile. My heart will feel so big."This reminds me of the final speech that Billy Bob Thornton says in the movie version of FNL, that I think 'Clear Eyes, Full Hearts' came from:"Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about winning. It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didnt let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasnt one more thing you could've done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman – you're perfect! "I'm going to start doing yoga next week, by the way!

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  6. Hi Amanda,Thanks for the wonderful post..it is so inspiring. You have written what have been in my thoughts as I would love to be able to get out my office job and do the thing I love most which would also pay the bills. Meanwhile, I am still getting on with life, doing things I love like yoga and blogging about it and keeping an eye for opportunities that come my way. For today, I did a self-practice which left me feeling energized and ready to face any challenge that comes my way…:) Love&light,Karin

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  7. Everyone…I have to believe we can do this. People have done it throughout history, right?! Let our commitment be unwavering. Let us believe that we can really do this. Let us continue to take steps in the direction of our dreams. SMH – I've felt that same frustration. MANY times. But I think the thing is, we change…it's part of our nature. That which fulfills us one year, may not fulfill us the next. Rather than finding "the right thing," I think the key is to learn to live "the right life" — a life where we're in tune with our truest selves, able to hear our deepest desires and able, too, to manifest these desires into actions……and this is where yoga comes in. It is the best way I know to stay in touch with myself. Paolo: I love that we have FNL in common, too! Great speech, and now I have to watch the movie… can't believe I haven't done that already. I'd like to read the book, too.

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  8. "I want you to take a moment, and I want you to look each other in the eyes. I want you to put each other in your hearts forever because forever is about to happen here in just a few minutes. I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to think about Boobie Miles, who is your brother. And he would die to be out there in that field with you tonight. And I want you to put that in your hearts. Boys my heart is full. My heart is full."My heart is full. My heart is full.The movie is pretty good! I rewatched it again recently, and I will reserve expressing my opinions of it until you watch it! Don't wanna taint it! Although, if you like Explosions in the Sky, you are in for a treat, as they scored the soundtrack.

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  9. Christa: Thank you! I'm excited to see YOUR 2011, too 🙂 Paolo, another great quote….I also just wanted to say thank you again to everyone who commented on this post for sharing your stories and perspectives. This strikes me as an important conversation that I'd like to find a way to continue here on this blog…we shall see…

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