I love the fact that Sherri Cortland's newsletter is called “Windows of Opportunity,” because it seems to me that metaphorical windows exist everywhere; it is up to me whether I choose to accept their invitation. To open them up and breathe in the fresh air. At least that’s what life has felt like to me the last couple of years.
Sure, there have been times — more than I’d prefer to admit — when I’ve considered pulling down the shades and hiding under the covers. When I’d rather have locked the windows down and turned my back to them because even the sun coming through the panes of glass felt painful. When fear and dismay and grief have gotten the better of me. If you can relate to these feelings at all, I would venture to say that we might not be the only ones.
In the midst of all the craziness, though, I wrote a novel, deepened relationships with loved ones near and far, established many new incredible connections across the world, spent lots of time in contemplation and meditation, and learned how to live in physical isolation without having it crush my spirit.
I started writing The Gateway Café on the first day of the lockdown in March of 2020. My sister, who spent several months with me later that year, loves to remind me how focused I became. How, when she’d ask if I wanted to watch a movie or do a puzzle or have dinner, I’d say, “Sure…in a little while….” And how, hours and hours later, I’d still be at my desk pouring over words like they were liquid gold. I did not expect to write a novel to address all the things I address in my intuitive coaching practice; nor did I believe I was capable. Sure, I’d rewritten many, many manuscripts in my years as an editor, but me? Surely, I had no story of my own to tell.
In essence, I did not want to make a mess of it. To fail. To be seen to be less than I hoped I was. To put myself out there…and be informed I was not worthy.
And yet, as Brené Brown says, vulnerability IS courage. Which, for me, means putting up the shade, unlocking the window, letting in the fresh air, and taking the risk to step up to and through the “gateway of life.”
If the clapping of metaphorical hands I hear is any indicator, it has all been worth it.