About 10 days ago, I woke up thinking I should cancel this trip. I’m a creature of habit, I like my daily routine, and usually get a little anxiety about leaving my kids, especially for a whole week…and this was the second week I would be away this summer. I also recognize this anxiety when it comes and know how to notice and name it without acting on it right away…boy am I glad I didn’t cancel.
Last May I wrote about wanting to ‘be better’ and I meant it. When I looked back at that blog, I realized I had some more thoughts about what it meant to follow that path I want to create for myself.. Deep down, no matter how great our struggles become, I don’t believe there is a human being out there who doesn’t want to be better at their life. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out the road to get there, there is so much noise and distraction between the voices of what other people think, that always chirping, self protective voice in our head, and the pull of the glossy ‘A roll’ life on social media, so I started thinking about the things I do that make me get better at my life…and cancelling trips wasn’t one of them.
We belong anywhere we are willing to step forward with confidence. Whatever moment we are in, our life story has brought us to that place, believe in it. Our belief in who we are, at our core, is more important than anything else we hear from anyone else, so be prepared to back it up with the work to keep that vision true. For me, that has meant taking the passion, precision, and care I put in as a mom, and using what I’ve learned to help other people. Parenting was a natural state for me from day one. Honestly, it was my greatest connection to being good at something and one of the reasons I am grateful I was able to have children young. Rather than those nervous moments so many new moms talk about, between the gut instinct and the community of parents from our church at the time, I felt such ease being a mom. I guess that’s why one baby turned into four over the next seven years so here are some more things I want them to know.
1. Work Hard, Rest Well - I love that I have gotten to a point where I trust myself to rest and know that it is part of the process. It’s freeing in a way that calms me, helps me sleep, and gives me better intuition on when to retreat and when to test my limits. It even let me pull an all-nighter in NYC this past week going from Central Park volleyball, to urban trekking all over the city (I have the blisters to prove it), to karaoke and all the way back to Atlantic City in time to see the sun rise. Didn’t think I still had that in me, but happy to discover that I did because my face hurt from smiling. And yes, I needed to rest after that one.
2. If you battle perfectionism, place the standard on the work put in, not on the result.. What does perfect effort look like? Consistently honing our intuition and listening to it every day. We know our own standard, even if it changes over time, or day to day. Effort is something we can control, and maximizing it always feels good, especially when we learn not to get it tied up with the result.
3. Quit blaming, at some point, the cards we hold are ours and we have to decide how to play them. This mindset also makes forgiveness so much easier, then we feel lighter and can see our path clearly. If you can’t let something go, check in with a therapist or a coach, don’t avoid or self medicate.
4. What other people think of you is none of your business. Don’t let what other people think get in the way of your self worth or the vision you have for a single day or your entire life.
5. Accept Others. Don’t try to change them, just choose how they fit into your life.
6. The best example you can be is to know what you love and treat it well. That starts with our own bodies and minds and radiates from there.
7. Find calm. If you read my blog, probably enough said there. Calm is the gateway to presence and our own potential. Slow down, breathe, find it.
8. Know that balance in life is a facade, but presence will always make you feel balanced. Don’t let yourself feel pulled in a thousand directions. To seek and desire balance is the closest we ever are to having it.
I’ve figured out that all nouns were not created equal. People and places are always greater than things. In fact, it’s the people and places that make the things worthwhile. Grateful for another chance to build community and connection and that my intuition guided me to NYC and Atlantic City because this life that looks nothing like I thought it would just keeps getting better.
With love & optimism,