Relentlessly eliminate poison from your life. “We do not have to be nice. We only strive to be kind.”
Show up – even before you’re ready.
Spend time in stillness every day.
There I am, sitting on glorious green grass facing a glorious lake, in glorious weather, on a glorious day. All in the attempt to do all of the above – to spend time in stillness on a day where I have managed to admit to my coach that I have reached an emotional breakthrough, that my career path is headed in the right, albeit unexpected, direction, and broken down in tears three times in the process.
And what was I doing?
What was I doing as my laptop sat open, ready and willing, on the crisply cut lawn, boozy breeze blowing through my ponytail, plump clouds like bright white thought bubbles waiting to be occupied? What was I so intently focused on while the universe provided me with just the right cocktail of natural ingredients for creativity?
Perusing through Facebook and email. On my MEphone. Blinded by the small screen that so frequently becomes our full view, the “big picture”, and the window facing out. Distracting me not only from the universe, the world, the neighborhood which I chose distinctly for its charm and small town beauty, but also from my thoughts, my feelings, my intuitive checking in – my exercise in stillness. The small screen distracts from the still, unnervingly LOUD volume of my quiet, of the silence which holds the important stuff, filters out the noise, and whispers the truth in the shadows, over and over again, until I decide to listen.
That deafening silence, that peace, it is a steady hand in a sea of storms.
It is the one honest friend in a world of yes-men.
It calms the fear.
It is liquid gold.
I say this not to judge, but so that we – I – pay attention. So that I am deliberate.
Obviously I am trying this myself, not as an exercise or an experiment, but with the intent of developing a habit. A habit to be Here, to be Now, to not be Trying.
To be open and listening. To be aware.
To honor my gut and give it room to relax.
Oh. My. Gosh. YOU GUYS.
I just did something AMAZING.
I SPOKE UP FOR MYSELF.
I had someone wander into my purposely chosen peaceful, quiet setting (with plenty of space to inhabit), likely enjoying the day as well, and proceed to talk on speakerphone until my purposely chosen, quiet setting, was no longer. I let it go for about ten minutes until I could no longer focus on anything but the distraction. After pondering ways to overcome this on my own – I’ve already got classical music playing so that one’s out – I finally asked her to please move out of earshot as I was trying to get some work done (in Spanish, this is a paraphrase J ). (True to form, politely, natch.) She so kindly obliged immediately and without so much as a hint of disturbance.
I am going to pat myself on the back for this one.
When you’re a people pleaser, as I have been known to be, this is the stuff right here. In a past life I would get up and move, not wanting to rock the boat. Wishing I could drown her out, regretting not bringing headphones. Instead? Instead I exercised my human right to voice my opinion, my discomfort, to defend myself in a kind and courteous manner.
Now, most people who know me would not say I am at ALL afraid or hesitant to voice my opinion, which is truer-than-true. I will shout it from the rooftops if the mood strikes me. However, ebb and flow, right? We aren’t always feeling that brave, especially while we are in a vulnerable spot in our hearts. Ok, while I am in a vulnerable spot in my heart. So I retreat, or underemphasize importance of, or use language completely not mature enough for the subject matter. This is in my own mind, perceived at some times as endearing and at others as meek, depending on the audience and frankly, on how well they know me, my communication style, and the core of who I am.
Not unheard of, asking for what you want in a polite, adult form of communication. I’m getting better at it on a more consistent basis, as you know your strengths and weaknesses, right? There has been a lot of progress made on that front within the confines of a trusting relationship, and it is spilling over into the other areas of my life.
It is about time.
I have heard countless times, today even, and have it posted at work, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” Doing it anyway moves us all in the direction of the fear. It is amazing that the very thing we are AFRAID to do, the very thing that scares us to safety, is the thing that promises us the most growth.
We build tornado shelters in case we are ever under a tornado watch, to be safer if weather gets life-threatening or risky. Along those same lines, I say we prepare in case where we ARE is exactly where we should be. We then know what the next right thing is in our current situation. In actuality, though, do we ever LIVE in the tornado shelter? And how much of our lives actually go according to plan??