I'm a typical woman. I have a million roles to play each day, a million tasks to perform, and some days I multitask like no one's business. But that precarious little game I play falls apart every time one of my kids gets sick. And for whatever reason I often find my gremlins lurking as I sit in my pajamas, cradling my kid on the couch, giggling at old Looney Toon cartoons.
Why do my gremlins show up then? Because there's so much I'd planned to do today that isn't being done. My gremlins never see what I'm actually doing... how stars are popping out of my crown as I sit on the couch. I'm happy. Even though I have a tiny bit of puke in my hair, I can't tell you when I last showered, and I'm drowning in piles of laundry... clean piles AND dirty piles.
I feel like it's times like these when I am truly going with the flow, that I'm really happy just playing one role, not multitasking, and sinking into the moment, that the doubts... the gremlins... come out. They tell me that I shouldn't have planned all those other things I had planned today in the first place.
What IS that? WHY on earth do I think I should give up all those other things that make me happy... my work... my personal time... my friends... just because a few days a month I could unexpectedly have kids home from school? Answer: I shouldn't.
I know that things I'm up to right now are stretching me. I'm meeting some of my edges. And it's good. And it's scary. So, when the gremlins had an excuse to say there was something more important out there than pushing my edges... being present for a sick kid!!!... well, they just said I was wasting my time on everything else.
In some ways, the gremlins just required a perspective shift... and luckily I knew just the friend to reach out to. In the past I would never have reached out when I was feeling crummy... I would have tried to steel myself up and power on. But this morning, when the gremlins started screaming, I sent a quick text. I chose this particular friend because she's a mom too... and a minimum of words could convey my angst.
She responded by reminding me of my wholeness. She pointed out that all of my roles contribute to the others because they are each a part of me. Her coup de grace was this:
This journey of being multi-passionate is a sacred one. It is true that the balance of living all areas of our life as fully as we can is constantly challenged. But don't let that challenge be all you can see... for you are rich and full.
So, if you felt crummy today and DIDN'T reach out to a friend, please read Julie's words again. Most women I know ARE multi-passionate. And, most women I know are pretty hard on themselves for all the things that don't get done... or making sure that things meet others' expectations. Truly, we need to remember that it is the path of balancing all of the things we have going on that makes us rich and full. And some days are there to make clear our priorities, and some days we multi-task furiously. In our own gorgeously messy way we make it through, and if we keep our eyes on what truly and deeply makes us most happy, we really can't go wrong.
Back to the couch for me! And keep your fingers crossed that I don't catch this stomach bug!
Did you know that the brain is hardwired to remember the things we fail at, that make us miserable, and to be fearful of what might happen? Rick Hanson has several books on the subject and has a training program to rewire your brain (which I actually have not done, but love the concept of).
Did you know that the Titanic had a sister ship called the Olympic that sailed successfully across the Atlantic so many times that it became known as "Old Reliable"?
Well, unless you heard the NPR story about that topic, you probably didn't know about the Olympic. That's where I first heard about it too.
But it fascinates me. That our brains are hardwired to notice the struggles. That we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to cultivating happiness. It is our fear... when we perceive that something COULD go badly... that comes up. This fear, of being wrong, unworthy, unlovable, "losing face"... drives us to grasp and cling to our image, and we forget that... most often... things go well. Historical case in point, the Vietnam War. We failed at that war, and left hanging our heads. And yet, it was followed, not by a precipitous decline in our country, but some of the most prosperous years we had known. In fact, our fear of looking bad went largely unfounded. But there were huge consequences of the fear. We stayed in a situation that wasn't working... and we paid a huge price.
I wonder if there are parallels for many of us. Of course, there will be a difference in degree of the fear, the perceived fallout, and the consequences of basing our actions on our fears. But, do you see where you have feared a nebulous outcome... and it's kept you stressed and stuck? Do you see where you talked yourself into doing something you didn't want to do because you were afraid of not doing it? Or where you did something hastily, based on fear, and suffered for it? This fear, it encourages us to find balance... to be true to ourselves... and to embrace our values.
This year, 2014, is about noticing and releasing those fears... maybe even facing a few of them to find out that the repercussions don't match the fears we had. It is time to release shame, to express our essence, to live fully as the people that we truly are. This year is an invitation to be more present with yourself, spend more time and money doing what you truly value, and knowing what those things are!
So, I am going to make an Olympic Invitation to you: today, notice three things that went well, were successful, or otherwise made you feel truly happy at your essence. Write them down. Put them somewhere that you can remember to notice and absorb into your being, the happiness that is around you. Notice that the Olympic made it... over and over again. Awareness is a fundamental piece of changing your experience into the life you want to live!
I'm an explorer of inner realms, a pattern observer, and an invitation maker. I believe that healing the world starts within.
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