Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Multipotentialite's Dilemma (Part One)

Hi Friends,

Thank you for the warm welcome on my return. Reading your kindness felt like a trip to the soul-spa!

As promised, this morning I intend to share a little more about multipotentiality, a concept I'm studying through a brilliant writer with multiple passions, one of which is helping people. Emilie Wapnick is the creator of puttylike : lifestyle design for multipotentialities.   I hope after reading this, you will be inspired to dive into her writing. 

Through an Etsy Success email, I encountered Wapnick's intriguing story about taking mini-risks.  From that post, I was drawn into to a liberating concept that is changing the way I feel about myself on the inside.  As you know, one of the recurring topics on Knees and Paws is my dilemma of choosing the one path that will become a career that sustains me for life.  Simply choosing and committing seemed to be the first step and a requirement for success.  Like most of us dedicated to learning and growth, I really like the idea of achieving and feeling successful. I was the kind of student with my hand raised, wanting the gold star of academic glory. 

And now, five years after graduating from college, my diploma is a piece of paper stamped with the invisible stigma of finally achieving the specialist standard and then discarding the golden ticket degree that is supposed to open a door to that professional life.

Enter Wapnick and her goal to wipe out that stigma.  I'm going to crack open the door by sharing two comments from her readers on what it means to find a community at puttylike:

     "It means to legitimize the great worth of our multipotentiality in a world that just wants us to pick something."

      "I still do not have a great understanding of how to integrate my wide and sometimes fleeting gaggle of interests into a good life."  (but that is about to change)

What do we do with all of these "fleeting gaggle of interests?"  Have you noticed how I bound from one project to the next?  The  multipotentiality concept validates  people who are project oriented.  While this is helpful for home education and not stigmatized for children, it seems impractical for an adult to sink time and resources into each new and exiting idea, especially when these projects end up unfinished by specialist standards.  For the multipotentialite, the project is a way for us to explore and get what we want out of the process.  Boredom is a signal to move on.  We are like bees, moving from one flower to the next.  And while this habit bothers the specialists in our lives, we just can't help it.  I always felt bad for Elizabeth Gilbert's first husband in Eat, Pray, Love.  While she made a successful life as a specialized, published writer of books, she didn't have respect or much understanding for her husband's ever-changing interests.  At one point in the movie, she yells in his face:  "PICK SOMETHING!"

Thank goodness my husband is compassionate and shows appreciation for my multifaceted experience.  I think he is just a little bit smitten with the fact that I can write, cook amazing Italian meals and take apart a broken toilet and put it back together from the ground up.

If right now you're having a light bulb moment, I suggest that you bookmark Wapnick's free ebook, The Undeclared for Life Manifesto.    After my first reading, I'm bursting with ideas and making exciting changes.  I plan to read it again and am putting her Renaissance Business on my list of must haves.

Four days after thinking through this kaleidescopic lens, I now have a new tagline/mission statement for my shop (as written in the header.)  My next goal is to finally change the name of Knees and Paws.  I wasn't the person who named our invention, and neither was Richard.  It's bulky to prounounce, has too many words, and is terribly generic.  I've resisted changing it because I have trouble with titles and naming, and also because it will mean starting all over again with a new licence, bank accounts, facebook page, etc.  But it is my desire to have one word or two words that captures it.

So, one of my next steps is to brainstorm every day for a few minutes...searching for words that are non- generic and words that you can see, touch and feel.  According to Wapnick, practicing brainstorming sessions will prepare the mind to receive sparks of inspiration.       And receiving sparks of inspiration is a heady part of the multipotentialist lifestyle.

I'm going to close today's post with a picture of my Knees and Paws construction space.  It's my messy corner, but it makes me intensely happy to be in the middle of it...surrounded by my children's love notes, artwork, favorite quotes and pictures.  My home is starting to have another messy corner for my latest project.  Having those two spaces, plus my writing desk means that I am gradually allowing myself the permission to relax and accept my life as a creative.  In future posts, I plan to write more about creative spaces and the multipotentialite lifestyle.   If you are bored already, don't worry! I'm like the weather in Michigan...wait five minutes and experience the change!

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