I have long been a fan of Gretchen Rubin. I’ve read her first book and really enjoyed it and her second one has been in my queue for a while. Earlier this week, I saw on her blog that she was offering a few mini-courses on different topics. I decided to sign up for the Get To Know Yourself Better one. If you read here at all, it shouldn’t surprise you that this topic interests me.
The first email came yesterday and it was about writing your personal commandments. Gretchen’s are on the side of her blog and I always like seeing them. It’s easy for me to copy almost all of them but I wanted to spend some time thinking seriously about these and see what I would have come up with if I didn’t have her list to cheat from. Here are some things that have come up for me already. I plan to add/adjust as I see fit over the next few weeks.
Be You: I know this one is similar to hers. But I like Be you instead of Be Karen. I use this phrase on all my art pieces and I have grown to believe that we work best when we know who we are, we accept it and love it and don’t constantly fight it or feel bad about it. It doesn’t mean I’m perfect but if I am being me, fully owning who I am and stepping into it, things are much more peaceful.
Do It Anyway: I might be scared but I do it anyway. Be brave.
Remember What Matters Most: Never lose sight of what matters most, what I am doing it all in service of.
It Just Happened: This is a new one I’ve been chewing on. It didn’t happen to me or because of me. It just happened. Remember it’s real but not true. I will write more about this one, still thinking it all through.
So there we go, here’s my first attempt. It was interesting to see how many of them are similar to what I did for my OLW assignment. I will work on it more and flesh it out and see how I feel. What’s on your list?
This morning, as the kids ate their breakfast and brushed their teeth, I decided to squeeze in some work right before we left for school. Clearly, not a good idea, but I figured if I did it, I’d feel less guilty about going to the school meeting I wanted to attend.
I am assuming you already can tell how this goes…
In my rush, I made a simple, silly mistake that made it look like everything was broken. In my panic, I couldn’t see the mistake no matter how hard I looked. I finally asked for help from one of my teammates who told me there was something super-obvious I was missing. I kept looking but it might as well have been a blank page because no matter how much I looked, I couldn’t see it.
And then I saw it.
It was dumb. So super-dumb that it put me right into a huge shame trigger. I felt horrified that I’d bugged him over something so obviously dumb. In the middle of that, more things went wrong and I just kept panicking more and more. Yelling at my family to be quiet, still fighting to finish the task and making even dumber mistakes along the way.
I’ve written before about how when you’re in a state of reactive panic, your fight/flight kicks in and literally shuts down your prefrontal cortex where all the higher level thinking happens. And even knowing this, I just continued to live inside the panic state (and shame state) until the whole task was finished. At which point, I got dressed in under two minutes and was out the door with Jake and the kids.
The climax (or nadir) of this story is that I didn’t even end up going to the school event because I was feeling so super-crappy from the morning’s events. And then I started feeling shame around missing that and having let Jake down and having yelled at the kids. The shame from my coworker was also still live and breathing inside me.It felt like I was spiraling and every small or big event was contributing to the story I was already telling myself. It wasn’t just that I simply could not snap out of it, I kept feeding it so it grew.
This went on the whole day. I read blogs and found myself wondering how come other people could go through life achieving things they wanted and I just kept failing. Or, worse, not even trying. Wait, even worse, not even knowing what to try. I read work emails and made stories around those. On and on.
And here I am. It’s 4pm and I am still carrying the shame from 7:19am. The 2-minute issue that was resolved by 7:40 and had zero fallout. Yet I’m still holding on to it. Worse, I am still perpetuating it.
I want to stop.
I want to learn to be able to say “mea culpa, that was dumb,” and then move on. I want instances like this to not become identity-defining moments. Or even day-ruining moments. If there’s something to learn, I am happy to learn it and then move on. And yet, I am not sure how to do that. What I do know is berating myself for not knowing doesn’t help either. Telling myself to let go or being disappointed in myself don’t either.
So here’s what I am going to do: I will walk away from the computer. I will think of three things I am really grateful for right this minute. (Like my 4-year-old who is sitting next to me, giving me kisses, the perfect combination of sunshine and breeze in the backyard, and the wonderful package of art goodies I got today.) And I am going to go take a walk. Then I will come back and play with one son and help the other.
Sometimes the best path involves getting out of my head. Not trying to “figure it out” or “vent” but to reach out to others and to give and to rest and be kind to myself.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a thoughts-post. I’ve been thinking about writing them, even thinking about the content, but I just never seemed to want to make the time to sit and do it. I promised myself that September would be when I got back to doing these. So here we are. September 3. As good a day as any. To get my feet wet I decided to start with some “right now” thoughts. I figure my word for the year is present, so talking about what’s going on “right now” seems apt.
Right now, I am really enjoying fresh air. I find myself seeking it and sitting outside as much as I possibly can. I am deeply grateful to be living in California where the weather is outside-friendly for so much of the year.
Right now, I am reading voraciously. I finished three books this weekend and all I seem to want to do is read, read, read.
Right now, I am trying to settle into some kind of routine but I have two more weeks before life goes back to “normal” so I am trying to take it all in stride and let myself off the hook.
Right now, I find myself itching for something new, wanting to shake things up, but not knowing exactly how. I find myself searching.
Right now, I am still trying to get back into the groove of things. Even basic things like doing art.
Right now, I am already thinking about 2014. The year, my word, my wishes. My projects.
Right now, I am starting to get excited about my upcoming class, slightly stressed that I haven’t taught it in a while and hoping it’s still well-received.
Right now, I am reorganizing my coaching practice and figuring out what I want the future to look like.
Right now, I am missing some of my friends and their company and making plans to reach out.
Right now, I am waiting for some news in the mail that’s making me anxious pretty much constantly.
Right now, I am listening to Sara Bareilles’ Brave on repeat and thinking about what I might do if I were braver. I want to be brave. Really brave.
Right now, I am listening to Tara Brach’s wise words. There’s always something new to learn, even when I’ve listened to it again and again.
Right now, I am loving my kids and my husband so deeply and wanting so badly to be the best version of myself for them all the time. I wish for more patience and so much more kindness. I love them so much.
Right now, I am looking forward to going to get Nathaniel from school and seeing his face shine when he sees me waiting for him.
Right now, I’m excited about some happy mail that I know is on its way to me.
Right now, I am missing my mom and dad and sister and nephews.
Right now, I am thinking about how to be done with Starbucks. However I can.
Right now, I am trying to figure out how to fundamentally change the way I eat, the way I look at food, the way I want to live the rest of my life.
Right now, I am loving the way Nathaniel says human (he pronounces it hooman).
Right now, I still can’t believe David’s already in third grade. How is it that time is passing so quickly?
Right now, I am so proud of my husband for how well he’s doing at work and how brave he is.
Right now, I am tired. I always seem to be so tired.
Right now, I find myself taking pauses several times a day to say thanks for my life. My imperfect but wonderful-in-so-many-ways life.
Right now, I am thinking about all the things I’d like to learn and all the places I’d like to visit. I am thinking about making a plan to put both of these in process.
Right now, I need to clean up my desk. There are several other areas of my house that I’d like to declutter. Where I feel the clutter is contributing to my frustration and nagging me daily.
Right now, I am really inspired by Diana Nyad.
Right now, I am thinking of this large gap. And what we all lose because of it.
Right now, I am thinking about where else in my life I could be doing some clearing. What else needs attention.
Right now, I am wishing I could be kinder to myself.
Right now, I know my birthday is coming up and I will be going into the last year of my thirties. I am wondering what that means for me, if anything. What I might like to commit to, think about, shift, aim for, etc for this last year.
Right now, I am taking Ali’s Hello Story class and loving the stories she’s telling and thinking about whether I’d like to scrap more and whether I’d like to type up my journaling again. About how and where I want to tell our stories.
Right now, I am attempting to learn how to draw faces. Again. I seem to come back to this one often.
Rigth now, I am trying to smile more, breathe more, be kinder, and have faith that all is okay.
How about you, what’s on your mind right now?
ps: there’s a giveaway of my class on the my mind’s eye blog today if you’re interested. there’ll be one here in a short while too if I can get my act together
It’s now been two weeks since we’ve returned from our vacation to Turkey to see my family. I’ve been meaning to write everyday since and it’s consistently not happened. I am reminded again and again that habits are hard to form, easy to break, and even harder to get back into. Even the ones we like are hard to get back into when routines are interrupted.
I still haven’t adjusted to being back.
But I’ve been thinking a lot about my trip and some things that worked and some things I learned. Many of the themes I’ve seen in my life over this year were reiterated and I think this trip was definitely the epitome of being “present” for me. As much as I am capable at least. (always a work-in-progress)
Here are some things I embraced:
Focus on This One Day: As the trip approached, I found myself stressing about all that could go wrong. Flights we could miss, luggage that could get lost, people not showing up, kids having meltdowns, no food the kids liked, etc, etc. The list could easily go on for a long time. I noticed that even though we hadn’t even left yet, I was already worried about the things that might go wrong in the return trip. At some point, I realized that there was no way I could survive my own insanity. There were simply too many moving parts to this big trip and if I were to make it through, I had to focus only on what was right there in front of my nose. My mantra became “this one day.” I only let myself worry about this specific day (and sometimes even less than that, I’d say this one thing and then i’ll get to the next one.)
Even though I, intellectually, know that all we have is this moment, this day, etc. it’s quite difficult for me to really live my life like that. I am a worrier and the future is ripe for things to worry about. I am not sure what enabled me to put on a different attitude during the trip, but I know that it totally worked. I was not worried. I just did what needed to be done and I was here and in the now. Ever since I’ve been back, I’ve been trying to do the same for work, with kids, etc. Just being here and now. There’s magic in that.
Change The Way You See Yourself: I’ve written about this one before, too. This was the first time I took a trip alone with the kids. It involved a 12+ hour flight, 4-5+ hours of layovers, and then more flights and several other things I was very worried about being able to handle. During the months leading up to the trip, I felt more and more doubtful that I could do it. But then, as it got really close, I pulled myself aside and gave myself a good talking-to. Along with the this-one-day attitude, I decided that I can do hard things. And that I am fully capable of handling whatever happens. So my mantra went something like: Nothing will happen, all you need to focus on is this day, this thing. And if unexpected stuff happens, you can handle it and you will handle it and things will be okay again.
And you know what? They were. It was all ok. Stuff happened, I handled it. And things were back to okay.
I noticed that my own way of viewing myself and my capabilities has a lot of bearing on the way I show up in the world. So, no more of undermining myself. If I want to do it, I can. If I have to do it, I can. I have faith in my ability to do hard things.
Remember What Matters Most: And the most important lesson of it all. I had a lot plans around what I would do when I was home. The books I would read, the art I would do, etc. I even bought a Smash! book to do while there. And you know what? None of it got done. Nothing. I did one sketch the whole time and barely read one book. The first few days, I felt myself stressing but then I actively chose to let go. I reminded myself that this is my family whom I see once a year (if I am lucky) and I am here to be with them. Even if we’re doing nothing, it’s more important to spend this time with them than anything else on my list. They matter the most. Playing cards with my nephew, hanging laundry with my mom, staying up late with my sister. These are the reasons I went home. These are the people who matter most. These are the moments I will remember and cherish. As soon as I decided to let it all go, my todo list didn’t stress me one bit. Even the items I’d chosen to put there, the things I wanted to do, weren’t hard to let go.
This is the one feeling I’ve been trying to hang onto the most since I’ve been back. I’ve been trying not to rush into the todo list. Not rush into doing in general but focus on the being. Being present with those who matter to me. Slowing down and soaking it all in. It’s challenging at times, and I definitely get less done, but it’s also wonderful.
There were many ways in which I got in my own way during this vacation. Many things I wish I could have done differently. But these three things guided me the most and each time I was able to embrace them and lean into their presence a bit, I caught a glimpse of what peace and joy look like.
I had my last supervision call yesterday and after our discussion about the call, the supervisor asked me what my key learning was this time. I didn’t even have to think. One of the cornerstones of the style of coaching I am studying is that People are Naturally Creative, Resourceful, and Whole. And while I understand this concept logically and am totally on board with it, I haven’t always been so great at practicing it (in coaching or in life.)
When one goes into a profession like coaching, it’s all about people. To me, it’s all about serving. Being there, trying to help create something wonderful, so that each person can fully step into their life and live it with 100% fulfillment. If you imagine a world where everyone is fulfilled and really showing up in their lives, I am hoping you’d agree that it would be a wonderful world indeed. Anyhow, so I know that the reason I originally wanted to coach is to help others do this for their own life.
But here’s the thing: people *are*, in fact, naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. People who come to me for coaching are not broken, they don’t have problems that need fixing, they are not looking for advice (even if they think they are.) (There are exceptions of course, but those cases are outside the realm of coaching.) What they need is not my “solutions” to their “problems.”
What they really need is for me to bear witness, be with, listen really carefully, be very curious, and ask some great questions. If I can do those things, they always, always, always find a way to get to the heart of the matter and figure out what comes next. When I am not focused on solving the issue, I can listen better, I don’t worry about being ‘clever’ or ‘good.’ When I am not trying to solve things, it’s not about me at all, it’s fully about the client and listening to what they are saying and not making any assumptions or even thinking of what step should/will come next. It’s practicing full presence.
And when this kind of magic can happen, the sessions are gold.
After I hung up, I stumbled upon this wonderful post by Karen Maezen Miller and I realized how many parallels it had with my thoughts on coaching and clients and what makes the magic come alive. I especially read and reread this quote:
I no longer think of my daughter as something for me to do, or parenting as something to accomplish. We are ordinary people who love and need each other in ever-changing and unpredictable ways.
I love the wording here. “something for me to do, or parenting as something to accomplish” I think that’s the key for so many things in life. At least for me. As with my word, I’ve been working more and more towards presence this year and I think one of the crucial parts of being able to stay present is letting go of the need/desire to solve, accomplish, or fix.
There’s so much gold in listening with full presence and curiosity. And not just for my clients, but for myself, my family and every single person I come across every day.
So that’s my key learning for the day. As with most key learnings, it’s one I will likely have to learn and relearn.
Two weeks ago, I was sitting on the couch working when it suddenly dawned on me that I might not have any luggage. Ordinarily, this is not a big deal since I rarely take big enough trips to require more than a carry on. However, the kids and I are leaving for Turkey next week. So as soon as remembered we might not have any luggage, I panicked. I ran into the garage and my fears were proven right.
I ran right to my savior, amazon, and it took me only four minutes to start hyperventilating. I hate shopping. I mean I really hate shopping. When I was about to have David and needed to buy some baby essentials, I started weeping. My sister had to talk me through each item on the phone all the way from Turkey. Shopping is not my thing.
Anyhow, I started looking at the luggages and had no idea what the right size would be. After stressing, panicking, and even crying a bit, I picked one and bought it.
Ten days later, it came and it was way too small for three people and two weeks. So now I was a little over a week away from my trip and I still had no luggage that I could use. And I had a piece of luggage that was useless that I’d paid for. If shopping puts me into a frenzy, you should see what having to return items does to me. Instead of letting the despair consume me, I just went and bought another one that was two sizes bigger. I ordered 2-day delivery to ensure it would be here in plenty of time.
And then the obsessive clicking began.
I am not sure if I am the only crazy person who does this but when I order something I really want or need, I find myself going on amazon 20, 30, 40 times a day and checking order status. And when it finally changes to “shipped,” I then go to the ups/fedex site and continue my obsessive clicking there. I need to make sure it’s moving across America. I start thinking about the worst case scenario. UPS will lose my package. I will not get it on time and will not be able to go on the trip. It will come and be broken. Something will go wrong. The stories go on and on in my head. As if I can control the outcome with my sheer will. As if worrying will ensure nothing goes wrong.
This issue with having to control the outcome happened to me so many times this week that I decided the universe was trying to send me a message. The car needed last minute repairs and smog check for the DMV, the planned schedule at work turned topsy turvy due to a last minute issue, etc. etc. Each time I thought I had a plan for how things would go, something new (albeit small and inconsequential in the scheme of life events) came up and I found myself close to breaking down.
At some point, I just got really mad at myself. My need to control things. My desire to have it all be done “NOW” and not hang on my mind or my to-do list. The way I would let something as dumb as smog check or luggage really take over my day and weigh me down. I just kept coming back again and again to this need to control and clench tightly.
What I was reminded gently is that I do not have any control. Things happen. It’s neither my fault nor my success. All I get to do is show up and do the best I can and then I release it. The rest of it is not up to me. That’s the hardest part for me, remembering that it’s no up to me. And that I can just go on and live my life and when the next thing comes up, I will deal with it then. Life is not about constantly making backup plans. It’s ok to have one occasionally for the stuff that matters. But, even then, the excessive worrying is pointless.
So that’s my lesson for this week: release, release, release.
There’s no such thing as control. It’s all an illusion. And these small instances are perfect reminders and preparation for more substantial ones. The more I can learn to practice releasing now, the better off I will be in the long run.
Oh, and, the luggage arrived right on schedule, of course. It was a little bigger than I’d hoped but it will do perfectly for the trip. And the car is all fixed. And life continues to unfold every day so the best I can do is show up and welcome it all.
Here’s what I’m learning this week: nothing lasts.
What I’m learning is that life is all about starting, stopping, starting again, failing again, changing things up and trying again and on and on in a recurring cycle.
Summer’s begun and so many of the things I was doing a few months (or a few weeks even) ago aren’t in my life anymore. I’ve stopped the no-sugar and the 5am wake-ups and the meditation and journaling (for the most part.) Between the strep throwing me off and the summer starting and our trip coming up, I feel like my footing is a bit unsteady these days.
But it’s not even the right now. When I look over the last few months, years, I realize that things are constantly shifting. Sometimes I share when I start something new, but I don’t mention when I stop it. When I fall off the path. It’s not cause I am ashamed to talk about it. It’s not a big secret or anything like that. It’s usually because the “falling off” happens so gradually or non-eventfully. It’s not like I wake up and decide to start eating sugar again. It’s one small decision here and one tiny one there. One morning I decide to sleep in because I am tired and the next thing I know I am no longer getting up at 5am. It’s subtle.
If I don’t pay attention, I might almost miss it and then wonder how I got so off-path. This is one of the reasons I like having a very structured schedule. It makes it more noticeable when I fall off course.
What I decided this morning as I was pondering all this was that I will no longer think of these as falling or quitting or failing. I am beginning to think that this is what life is. It meanders. We find some balance, stay on it for a while and then things shift and we have to find another way to balance. Always adjusting, altering, revising.
The path forward is not straight. It’s not even forward. Sometimes you have to go down and around and left and right and even backwards before you can get to the next place. And even though I live a relatively structured life, I have still learned to accept this flow.
Well accept might be too strong. I find myself resisting, judging, wanting to control, being disappointed, angry and sad. But it doesn’t matter. I know that the way out is always through and I know that there’s no such thing as perfect balance. It’s all temporary. Ephemeral. So I am learning to accept. Learning to sit without judgement.
First of all, I am sorry that I disappeared to nowhere for the last week or so. As I mentioned last weekend, I woke up with strep at the beginning of the week and it was a rough week so I decided to give myself whatever time off I needed. That meant the blog posts were going to have to wait. It also meant I am behind in everything. And it meant we started our summer with anything but a routine. Alas, this is the way life goes.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting at book club and I was voicing my opinion and thoughts on something pertaining to working. One of the women in my group said something like “But your situation is so unique Karen.”
And I immediately went to my bad place.
I could literally feel my heart beating loudly and my entire body trying to choose between shutting down or rebelling. It was not a comfortable experience. And I’d like to say I handled it with grace, but I said a few choice words first (albeit quietly) and then closed my mouth.
But I was still seething inside.
Actually, I think I still am.
I spent my whole life feeling different, not-like-the-others, weird, blah blah. It’s one of the reasons I chose to leave the country I was born in and come here to the US. I’ve always chased after this feeling of wanting to be “normal.” As I have gotten older and reflected more, I’ve realized that, for me, these continual thoughts of being different have severed my sense of belonging. Because I feel like I am so different, I feel like I don’t belong and won’t ever belong.
So when someone tells me how different I am, I immediately hear “You will never belong here.” It doesn’t even matter if they mean well. Sometimes people will say how different I am, meaning it in a positive way, like how great I am, but I don’t even like hearing that. Because it still means I don’t belong. It still means “this one is not like the others.”
It perpetuates my deepest fear of never belonging.
But I’ve been making a conscious effort to fight this lately. I have come to realize that we’re all different from each other. And we’re all the same. We each share some things in common and we are wildly different in other ways. So, now, instead of seeing all the ways in which I’m apart, I look for things we share.
And I decided I am not okay with people calling me unique, different, whatever anymore. I am rebelling against it. All I’ve ever wanted was to belong, and I don’t understand why I have to be someone I am not to feel that way. So I am stopping the feelings inside and I am not allowing any more of the conversation that triggers these thoughts in me anymore.
Maybe this is childish. Is it? Honestly, I am so deep in lack of belonging that I can’t even see if it is. I just know that it feels wrong when people say it. Regardless of their intentions. And I don’t want to undermine myself or them so that I can fit in. I just want to be me and I want to be ok with them being who they are. We’re all 100% unique. There’s no other person like me or you in the world.
So maybe we all don’t fit in.
Or maybe I’m still a bit sick from the fever and antibiotics. I’m not sure.
Years ago, I took this class. In one of the segments of the class, the teacher picked up two trashcans and put one in front of him and one behind him. The one behind him was full of papers and the other one was empty. He said something like (paraphrasing since it’s been many many years) “This full bucket is your past and this other one is your future. If you don’t make peace with your past and let it go, you are bound to take pieces of it and bring it to the future.” He picked up a paper and put it in the empty one to demonstrate it as the spoke.
Last night, as I was talking to a client, I remembered this little scene because we were discussing a case where the client was making a choice that wasn’t based on resonance but on what I call “not that.” (or maybe dissonance is a good word for it.)
There are so many times in our life where we experience something in a dissonant way and then choose future actions based on doing anything but that again. Imagine something your parents did that you believe is a mistake or something you didn’t like. You think When I have kids I will do “not that.” Or the way a boss treats you. Or a sibling, a friend, even a stranger. If something hurts, upsets, frustrates us or causes dissonance in some way, we react by choosing to do things that are pretty much anything but that particular act.
And while I am all for avoiding dissonance and pain, in my opinion, “not that” isn’t a good way to make choices in life. The most empowering choices come from a space of resonance. And the opposite of pain and dissonance is not always resonance. Imagine standing in the center of a circle at this moment and there are many, many paths extending from you to the edge of the circle. If we were to think of this one path you’re trying to not have and rule it out, there are still hundreds of others available to you. Picking any one of the leftovers isn’t the right strategy. While all of those would qualify as “not that” some are still dissonant in other ways and many are not resonant.
If you let go of your attachment to the past and to the idea of “not that,” you are now choosing from an empty space. A space of possibility. A space where you can honor your values, step into your life, and really exercise choice.
That’s the life I want for myself.
And now I can see why that means I have to empty my metaphorical trash of the past.
I was talking to my coach last week and sort of doing a mental dump of a collection of small, medium sized, and maybe biggish things that were frustrating me or sucking my energy in different ways. As we went around and around, I settled on something that had been bothering me for most of last week (and probably many weeks before then, too.) and just went deeper into what I was feeling. Hurt, worry, sadness, frustration, anxiety and anger. They were all there.
But what made me angrier than anything else was that when I could look at myself from a 3rd person point of view and put some distance between me and the issue, I could see how little it mattered. I knew that if it all worked out wonderfully, I’d be remotely happy (mostly relieved to be done with the issue) and if it didn’t work out, I’d be devastated.
Does something sound out of balance to you too?
Despite the fact that I could see it clearly, it still ate at me. In fact, knowing this disproportionate kind of caring only made me madder at myself. Then I sort of had a visual of a pie chart.
I thought what if my whole life was a pie chart and each slice was the things that mattered to me. And the size of each slice corresponded to how much these things mattered to me. The more important the item in my life, the bigger slice of the pie they get. Things like family and health and self-care. And then there would be other, medium sized items like service, friends, creating, reading, learning, work etc. And then a ton of small slices. Things that I am doing now, things that matter but not nearly as much as the others. And then some slivers.
The thing to remember is that I get one circle. If I made one item larger, I am taking that space away from something else. And things are proportional. How much more is family important to me than work or creating, etc.
What I love about having this circle is that it allows me to keep things in perspective. This means if I am worried about something that’s a small slice of my pie, stressing about it as if it’s a huge slice is disproportional. It might upset me a lot. If I were coloring my chart with levels of happiness for each, that one slice might be black even. But it doesn’t spill over to the other slices. If my family is a happy yellow, then the black from this small slice should not seep. It should not get to determine the color of the overall pie. It’s just a slice. And a tiny one at that.
For some reason, this visual helps me a lot.
It’s easy to say the words “keep it in perspective” but, to me, those words are rarely effective. However, once I see it with my own eyes, when I can see the space that slice occupies in the pie that is my life, it just works for me. I can step back. I can disassociate/compartmentalize more easily. I can stop it from consuming me.
All of which helps me stop the “reacting.” The anxiety, fear, anger and even sadness are all reactions. They are my way of making meaning from actions. If I can remember to keep the pieces of the pie in perspective, it allows me to respond and not react. It also allows me to remember what matters most.
And as Tara often quotes: the most important thing is to remember the most important thing.
I had some pithy (or not depending on whether you usually find my thoughts pithy) things to say tonight but alas it’s almost 6pm here and I have a bit of a last minute urgent thing at work and a client very soon. So instead of my deep thoughts, I thought I’d share a wonderful video I watched while exercising last week. There was a short version that’s animated and fun to watch. It’s taken from a graduation speech David Foster Wallace gave:
and if you really like it and want to listen to the full original speech it’s 22 minutes and you can watch it here: