I am influenced by many people in my life and this can greatly affect my perspective. Other opinion can be an invitation to expand as well as an opportunity to deny my own truth. Knowing and cultivating my baseline is really important.
On March 20, 2019 I was involved in a vehicular collision. I could have reacted with:
a) This sucks, now I have to do this and this and this, grrrrrr.
b) Wow, this is real. Looks like I have been derailed from what I thought was going to happen today. New experiences abound.
On March 27, 2019 my son had a biking accident at school that busted both his thumbs.
a) Really? What an idiot. Now I have to leave work and take him to the hospital. Total inconvenience.
b) Here we go. Let's call the doctor and tell her we are coming, get Ocean so we are all together and plan on Kaiser cafeteria for lunch! Hooky is our new agenda.
In both instances, I went for plan B. And it was not my immediate response, I cultivated it. I am changing my mind in my effort to improve quality in my life. We met new people, laughed hard, and found our way together. More importantly, we integrated these events into our lives instead of keeping them separate and allowing them to grow into something more.
I think that is really easy to do. When I look over my shoulder I can see where losing my wallet one day or accidentally catching my hand in the garbage disposal or making a mistake at work could really cause drama FOR DAYS and become all encompassing. It is the same place that houses my victim and blame mode. So consciously recognizing that life goes on, that learning how to manage de-railings can be useful and that complaining GETS OLD are all steps toward better living.
A few things I learned: accidents happen (even to nice people), my son loves to be the center of attention, breaking out of routine can be an awakening of sorts, rental cars are great for Home Depot runs, Kaiser is an experience unto itself, kids love doctors, auto mechanics from Boston are a treasure.
My car is still in the shop. We have been driving a rental for three weeks. Agents from Farmer's and State Farm Insurance call me daily to check-in. Here we are, moving on and waiting all at the same time. My son's thumbs are healed, he loved not doing dishes or writing for two weeks. Luckily my daughter and I were here to take over on those fronts. (We will not forget)
How I think dictates how I feel. Pretty sure there is some science behind this. And then we can apply the Law of Attraction, what I put out will inevitably return.
I went to see a show last night called YogaPlay at the SF Playhouse on Post St. It is a theater production about marketing/branding health and wellness philosophy into big money. One of the clear messages and a line in the play: "We are not human doings, we are human beings." I have heard this before and I am most happy to hear it again. I am a doer and I need to relax into my being, often. Authenticity was another message, we can consider this a nudge toward truth in being on many levels.
My internal critic needs to go to bed. I am so tired of that incessant chatter. I am exploring meditation, resting in nature, swimming (choosing exercise that is less intense) and reading, for fun. I am also exploring breathing techniques and changing up my routine to create personal fulfillment.
Some of my friends are claiming 2019 to be "The Year of Me". Yes, we have come to discover our sincere preoccupation with doing for others as a means to satisfy their needs comes at a tremendous price. We have literally sacrificed ourselves in the process.
We are taking our power back. I am reclaiming what I have lost. I say it that way because this new path of feeling and listening to my body when making choices is challenging as it is unfamiliar. Breaking out of deep pattern can be really hard and sometimes scary. And here is the crux: by exercising discipline (however messy-the back and forth piece) as a mode of determination is an act of courage. I improve my relationship with self, I get to depend on me. This works. This feels good. And it also feels right. I am no longer the sacrificial lamb for the convenience of others. Today I choose me.
This brings me to my relationship with "Right and Wrong". In past relationships much of my reaction was due to feeling 'wronged' and making choices to prove it. I have shifted gears, my new focus is happiness. This is a personal quest. It is not a general statement, because what is right for me may not be right for you. And this leads to ownership, which is another rite of passage toward empowerment. If I choose happiness and it upsets another, that is on them. This is where it gets sticky, especially if others expect me to behave a certain way (to bend over backwards) because I have trained us for years. "Letting Go" can be a daily/hourly exercise that is important to master if your goal is contentment.
In a conversation with a friend, another 'outputter' for others, we discussed the practice of saying "NO" which allows him to feel his power, truly. We also looked at explanation, how many of us offer it up to ease the guilt we may feel when begging off the request. Personally, I like none. The starkness of "NO" is quite awesome and alone it carries tremendous weight. We left it like this, if the request is of interest and it is only the timing that is off, then we could offer a small explanation to communicate our desire to be considered in the future. There were two big instances in my life recently where my response was a simple "NO", succinct and clear. In doing so, I set a boundary.
Boundaries keep me safe. My boundaries tell others how I want to be treated. It is necessary for me to see it this way in order for me to create them. If I see them as a negative influence and get wrapped up in other opinion about them, then I lose confidence. My inner critic kicks in and I start to be concerned with how the other side feels. In that moment I lose faith and trust. "Worry is a prayer for something you do not want."
My friends have helped me shift perspective often. Sometimes we are too close and our emotions get in the way of clear thinking. My kids can be valuable resources too, tapping into their perspective can really open me up. Often I am blown away as I recognize how stuck I can get based on my own limited experience.
It is a dance of sorts. Letting go of what I think I know in my conscious
effort to learn and grow. It can be beautifully challenging, with immeasurable rewards. Go for it. Change your perspective and taste a different flavor.
Being is enough.