I can only speak from my own experience, but there are obviously many common tropes between lives. When it comes to art, and I mean to say art in the broadest sense of the term, there will be points where you depart for a while and are then faced with the decision to come back and back again.
Sometimes this leave of absence is due to other obligations; other affairs. Yet I think if we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that it essentially comes down to fear.
Acting on anything is a matter of priorities, and the truth is that you do have the time for the things that are most important. Sure, you may be scared, you may harbor resistance, but don’t act like time or resources are stopping you from dedicating some form of practice every day. That’s an excuse and a pitiful one at best.
But on a grander level, it comes back to a simple question.
What would your life look like if you went all out?
Sure, I don’t know what you want, and I don’t know what you need; I can hardly keep those things together for myself.
But in all seriousness what would your life look like if you went all out? What things would you leave behind? What people, places, and habits would you let go of?
What would you do instead? With all that reclaimed time? What would you need to practice day in and day out? What kind of people would you need to connect with? What would you need to say to the people already in your life?
In my case, I know at this point that the most important thing to me is to cultivate my relationship with myself, with nature, and generally with existence. It’s something that I can’t accurately express with words, but in any case, I know, or at least I think I have a hint as to what it requires. Solitude, nature, contemplation, writing, and meditation: these are the cornerstones of my path and my practice - they are the things that continue to ultimately fulfill and grow me in ways I have never been able to anticipate; ways I still cannot anticipate.
Does that mean I always do them and that I am always strictly on top of myself? Not at all. I get sidetracked, I get distracted, and I especially get scared. I get scared as to what this means for how I am going to support myself, how I am going to travel and do all the other things I want to do; how I will have the impact I want to have on the world.
You don’t get any more certainty that this though; if anything you get less of it. And that’s just the price; that is the price one must pay for an actual life that’s worth its burden. So acting on these subtle inclinations is a total practice in faith - one that is maniacally senseless at times, one that seemingly has no foundation under it. Yet this is a faith not in any deity, group, or thing, not in anything except yourself.
This comes down to whether you think you can handle whatever life may throw at you. That’s at the heart of every fear.
Yet the truth is that you can, and that doesn’t mean there won’t be fear, risks, troubles, problems, and bull shit, but it is possible for you to get through all that. You have already been through everything you have been through, and my guess is that you suffered tremendously at times to get here. If you haven’t yet, then it’s only a matter of time.
Seeing that is something that I think has to come with experience. It’s something that many people come to realize in their old age yet only because so many of them had been through such shit and thus saw that everything would, not necessarily be okay, but at least be. Hopefully, they got to or will get to see the arc of history turn inward only to reflect out again in a more just, compassionate way.
But aside from that what did they amount to? What did the mass of women and men throughout history fail to do and accomplish in their own, individual lives? I don’t mean any disregard to them per se; this is more about the fear that they and we hold at the core of our survival.
In some way, life is so basic, yet so elusive, and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon. And yet we still must go on, either afraid of the mundane or afraid of the mystery and the way I see it is that if fear is going to be there no matter what, it might as well be there for a decent reason.
So only you can decide what you think the world needs most. Only you can decide the trajectory of your time. Only you can ask what things would be like if you changed them; if you willingly carried the weight of responsibility.