Let’s pretend you’re cruising along through your life and things are going swell. And then something wacky happens out of the blue. Your boiler implodes. You fall and break your ankle (or your husband does). You get a big tax bill. You get a new boss. Your car breaks down.
That’s all bad stuff, right?
I mean, yes, it would make perfect sense if you triggered when any of these things happened. But here’s the thing:
Life is happening for you, not to you. (Click to Tweet!)
If you can entertain this simple principle—even better if you can accept it, but sometimes you have to start with simply trying it on—then there is no bad luck.
Q: I have a day job as a counselor at a clinic. It’s OK as jobs go—it is a fairly steady income (although if clients don’t show, I don’t get paid) and I do get to share my specialty, which is approaching therapy from a more spiritual, holistic perspective. But I want and need to make more money. Recently, I have had two former clients contact me—out of the blue–and ask if we could work together again, even though I’ve moved a few states away and we’d have to do our sessions over the phone. I said yes because I know these people and I know they’re motivated. But I’m also nervous that if I start supporting more people on the side that I’ll get burned out. I already feel depleted after a day at the clinic. Perhaps a part-time job that I don’t care about would be better, so that I don’t take it home with me at the end of the day?
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“When you start to want to live your life fully instead of opting for death, you discover that life itself is inconvenient…you again and again encounter the inconvenience of your own uptightness, your own headaches, your own falling flat on your face. But in wholeheartedly practicing and wholeheartedly following the path, this inconvenience is not an obstacle. It’s simply a certain texture of life, a certain energy of life.
Since you are wholeheartedly committed to the warrior’s journey, [inconvenience] pricks you, it pokes you. It’s like someone laughing in your ear, challenging you to figure out what to do when you don’t know what to do. It humbles you. It opens your heart.” – Pema Chodron, in Comfortable with Uncertainty
Here are a few things that are just so gosh-darned inconvenient: Read more…
Well, technically, I started a grease fire in the oven when I was broiling steaks. I wondered why black smoke was pouring out of the vent, went to open the door of the oven and nearly singed my eyebrows on the fiery dance happening in there. Black soot was covering everything, the house filled up with smoke, the smoke alarm went off, the kids were crying.
Up until that point, I had been trying to see the humor and the good throughout the snowiest February in Rhode Island history, my husband’s surgery to repair his broken ankle, my single motherhood due to his incapacitated state. But this was the proverbial straw. I started to think maybe we needed some other grown up to move in to the house and steer the ship for a while. I felt like I couldn’t trust myself.
I’m so happy to share an update: I am now blogging for Acacia TV. And I just cashed my first check! Can I get a whoop whoop?
Acacia has a beautiful catalog that sells clothes, furnishings, jewelry, garden supplies and gifts, all with an eco-friendly bent. They also produce great fitness DVDs and stream workouts (by the likes of Shiva Rea) online at Acacia TV. I am thrilled to be working with them, because we share a dedication to helping people do the things that matter to them – get fit, get quiet, get right. And they know that true wellness goes way beyond calories in and calories out – they’ve got a whole section of their website dedicated to all things Mind-Body, and that’s where I come in. =) Read more…
When you look at your to-do list and see something that’s been on there for a long time now, how good do you feel about that?
I’m guessing not very.
There are so many ways we beat up on ourselves. One of those ways is a sense of urgency—a fear of missing our moment, losing out on opportunities or being too slow.
The key word in that last paragraph is fear. Anytime fear is in the driver’s seat, you’re headed for a cliff. And the sad part is that we head for the rails when there is no real peril.
Because here’s a truth for you: There is no such thing as “too late.” (Click to Tweet!) If you’re not acting on something, it’s because on some level it’s not in alignment with what you want.
First, my husband slipped on ice and shattered his ankle the night of a blizzard. We spent a week learning he’d need surgery, plates, screws, the whole thing, and then waiting for the swelling to go down so he could be put back together. He’ll be off his feet for weeks, not in a shoe until April. There was a lot of head-wrapping-around to do. And meals to be made, dishes to be done, wee ones to put to bed. Plus shoveling. Lots of shoveling. With a couple of snow days, with the kids home from school, thrown in for good measure.
The next week, Scott had his surgery as an outpatient and came home to recover. Those were three of the most agonizing days of my life, I swear, as either his pain level was at a 9.5 or he was so whacked out on meds that he would pass out on the floor for hours at a time in a cold sweat. Plus, we got another foot of snow. A run to the pharmacy to pick up what-would-hopefully-be a magic pill was an epic journey, as all roads were reduced to one lane and people’s patience with snowy conditions had run out. It was 15 degrees out and I was reeking from stress sweat. Did I mention the two snow days?
Except I couldn’t figure out how to work the danged thing.
The keyboard was just different enough that typing anything coherent was a challenge; I felt the way I had in the late 90s when I traveled to Europe and tried to send emails from various Internet cafes and all my letters had strange accents and umlauts over them. I tried using Siri to talk out my texts but didn’t know how to tell her to send them, so important communications didn’t arrive and people were left wondering what the heck I was thinking.
For instance, a couple weeks ago I did two things that I was supremely excited about – one was a day-long planning seminar and the other was appearing on my local morning news program, The Rhode Show.
Planning has never been one of my strengths, so it was very different for me to dedicate a full-day to mapping out the year ahead. And let me tell you, it felt good. I saw that I didn’t have to carry around all my ideas all the time, to the point that I felt like I should somehow be working on all of them all the time. Not that I ever could, mind you, but only having them in my head made them all feel urgent. I was LOVING be able to look at a 12-month calendar and see what the biggest priority for each month was, and knowing that I’d factored in important events in my and my family’s life so I wasn’t planning to attend a conference the same time that my son would be starting kindergarten and would likely be in need of some extra love and attention.