Archive for October, 2010

October 21, 2010

You are enough

I’ve been having a hard time getting motivated to write lately.  It’s not that I don’t have things to say.  I have nearly 2 pages written that I intended as last week’s post- about bullying and about loving & supporting teens where they are, for who they are, and making things better here and now for those who are hurting.    I haven’t finished it.  And I haven’t even sat down to allow the muse to carry me off into “Writingland”, or whatever I was trying to do when I made myself sit down to write every day. 

 I think I know why.  I was feeling inadequate.  It actually makes me want to laugh to realize this.  Here I am, wanting to encourage people to be entirely themselves because it’s the best thing they have to give to the world and the best thing to promote their own joy.  But I’m not accepting myself as enough. 

 I was getting caught up in the shoulds of writing, blogging, preparing to start a business, living healthfully- and even the shoulds of keeping clear intentions for myself and creating my life.  It’s funny how I can use anything as a weapon against myself (and I don’t think I’m alone here). Somehow, even in focusing on what I want in my life, I lost sight of those very things.  I was doing what I thought would bring me joy, would feel like freedom and result in happiness instead of doing things that are joyful, acting in ways that feel free and embracing happiness.  And being just me- whoever that is in the moment- is enough.  That *is* my path to what I want and need in my life.  It *is* my life. 

 Now, it’s not like I’m going to leave my kids hungry because I don’t feel like making dinner (see my last post…), but I can choose to leave behind the shoulds and the driven-ness, focus on the joy and move in that direction.  It feels so much better than berating myself for not following the plan that worked for me last month.  That was then, this is now. 

 My point, however, is that I didn’t lose my motivation because I’m inadequate.  I lost motivation because my true self moved beyond that particular set of externals- the particular form of daily schedule and the set of priorities that had been working for me previously.  I think this is something many of us are in the habit of doing.  When something external in our lives is no longer working, we come to the conclusion that we are the factor that is defective.  So if we can just be better, more disciplined, more driven, more focused then the problem would be solved.  Yuck.  I’m getting depressed just thinking about it. 

 What happens when we realize that we aren’t defective?  How does that idea feel?  Here is where we can find the freedom to examine our thoughts about the things we think we have to do.  If my goal is to feel joy, freedom and happiness, why do I feel compelled to do things that feel constricting?  Because they’ll bring me joy, freedom and happiness at some point in the future, even if they aren’t joyful or freeing now?  Maybe those things don’t feel constricting, and do feel joyful and free, once I realize that they fit with my deepest values and truth.  Or maybe they’re simply things that others have said are the path to joy, freedom and happiness.  Maybe they don’t apply to my life.  And then I can open up to alternatives and allow my joy and feelings of freedom to guide me to a more satisfying place. 

 The simple fact is that I far from inadequate.  I have everything I need within me to create a life of joy and embrace my happiness.  I am enough.  And I’m sharing my own path very openly to remind you as well.  Your answers are within yourself.  You are not defective or inadequate.  You are enough.

October 8, 2010

A bit about living the family life you want…

I’ve been experiencing some interesting shifts in my life over the past few weeks.  I’ve taken on a couple of new roles- my first job in 11 years (seriously) and beginning the Martha Beck Life Coach Training program.  The job is simply the result of leaving nursing school and realizing that I’m going to have to pay my student loans soon.  I work in a bookstore and it’s kind of fun and I get a good discount.  It’s a total “kid in a candy store” experience.  Coach training? I’m not sure I can entirely explain that bit of brilliant insanity.  Or at least the story is too long, but regardless of explanation, I *LOVE* it.  I can officially call myself a Martha Beck Coach in Training.  And it officially feels really funny to do that.  I will be looking for guinea pigs  clients soon and will be offering some free coaching, so keep your eyes out for an announcement.  I’ve found life coaching to be a very powerful transformative tool- transformative in the sense that one’s deepest self is honored and given voice.  Moving on…

 Maybe it’s the effect of reading all of Martha Beck’s coaching books in quick succession, or immersing myself in the training materials and classes, or that my life and entire extended family has been shaken soundly by the loss of a much loved family member, or that I’ve taken a job with varying hours so that I need to be more fluid with my regular schedule of activities (or, or, or…AND?)- but I’ve been experiencing the sort of soul deep tiredness I can only recall feeling during early pregnancy.  No, I’m definitely not growing a baby.  But I think I’m growing something new.  New awareness, new connectedness, new possibilities.  It is this soul deep tiredness that resulted in the lack of a post last week- and why this post is not going to be my usual planned,  thought out, and edited until I can live with it sort of thing. 

 What I want to write about in this moment is the power of simply showing up and doing what needs to be done.  Doing the things that ultimately create the life you want, even when in the moment you are feeling utter exhaustion, mild aversion, or even stark indifference, is one way to honor your self and your intentions.  Right now it’s tempting to go back to bed, even though it’s 1pm and I have to go to work in a few hours.  But it is also my strong intention to write and I haven’t done much writing in the past 2 weeks.  It is time to get back to it (says my essential self), so here I am.  Not doing it well, but I’m doing it.  I’m respecting my intention and giving myself the opportunity to be who I want to be. 

 So, how else can I apply this to my life?  And how can you apply this to your own?  And where does this fit in with living among others, and particularly living with our children?  For me this starts with my intention- who I want to be, the life I want to live, and how I want to feel.  Personally I have some strong intentions when it comes to how I live with my family.  I intend to have deep connections, to be supportive and loving, and to embrace every member of my family for exactly who they are.  The thing is, I can intend these ideals as much as I like, however if I do not follow through with the actions that embody these intentions, I’m not likely to have the experience that I intend.  The exact specific actions to live these intentions may sometimes be unclear- as five distinct individuals, each member of my family connects in a different way and feels supported and loved in different ways- but there are some general, across the boards ways of learning about one another.  The ones that are coming to mind at the moment are receptive listening, open ended questions, and simply doing things together. 

 I’ll be bluntly honest and admit that I don’t always feel up to doing things together and that when I’m tired I’m exceptionally challenged in the area of listening or even tolerating sound of any kind.  It’s a sensory issue- when I’m tired any auditory stimulation bores into my brain like a drill.  I’m breathing deeply right now as my daughter is in the next room humming loudly.  I value her free expression and I’m perfectly free to grab a pair of earplugs or shut the door.  I’m choosing to enjoy her enthusiasm.  My head is buzzing, but I feel wonderful in that I’m living my intention- I am embracing her bigness and her noisiness as she feels happy.  Wait a minute- I want to go give her a hug.  Okay, done. Are there other ways I could respect both her expression and my own limitations?  Sure there are.  But at this moment I’m choosing my intention over my momentary desire to close the door, climb in bed and put a pillow over my head.  At other times I might simply let the kids know I need a nap and take one.  But at this moment I’m also following my intention by continuing to write. 

 Earlier this week, I was feeling the same way and the kids wanted to play some games.  We played.  We talked about strategy and problem solving as these ideas came up.  We moved on to other games and watched a movie together- which got us talking about history and communication and how people interact.  I was tired, but I was also living my intention.  We connected deeply and I got to know who my children are at this point in  time.  It changes, flows and shifts so frequently.  I supported their desire to connect and do some fun activities.  Am I sorry I didn’t get more sleep?  No, not at all.  I was relaxed and fairly at rest the whole time.  It was good for me- by connecting with my children and connecting with my intention for our lives together I also connected to my own essential self. 

 I’m not going to clean this up and end it neatly, or even really edit it at all (if you hadn’t already guessed by the very unpolished title)…. I’ll just ask a couple questions.  Where are you, today, in this moment, choosing a momentary desire over a deeper intention?  And how might your life be different if you chose to live your intention instead?

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