As I write this, my daughter’s first day of kindergarten is tomorrow. It’s a day we’ve been waiting for for a loooong time now. Over the summer, my husband and I were waiting for a date to close on the apartment in Brooklyn that we had been in contract on since April. And in my conversations with prospective clients, I’ve been hearing a lot of “I just need to wait until…” I’ve got waiting on the brain.
Something I tell my kids all the time is, “Sometimes we have to wait.” (I say it at red lights, in line at the grocery store, or when all the swings are full and my kids want to know why?? Why can’t we go where we want to go or do what we want to do right at this moment?)
There is no escaping waiting. You can be patient or impatient when it happens, but still, the waiting is there.
There are a few ways waiting can play out in your life: On one end of the spectrum you’ve got a total standstill while you wait. On the other, you go in to a frenzy of making plans just so you can feel in control of something, and all that activity that’s done as a result of trying to push away uncomfortable feelings (of needing to wait) will only need to be changed once X comes to pass.
The Virtual Chill Tour wrapped up last night with our final set of replays.
Sigh. I’ve got such a sweet love hangover from it all – the conversations I had with some of my favorite people, the flashbulbs that went off in my head as my guests shared their insights, the great feedback I’ve gotten from some of you listeners, the connections that were made.
None of it would have been possible without you. THANK YOU for showing up and for committing some of your time to the powerful idea of doing less.
If you missed any calls, you can still purchase all 8 audio files and add them to your media library for ever and ever. The cost is $27, and it includes the ebook version of my book, The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide (a $10 value).
You’re looking at pictures of my summer purse and its contents. I chose the purse three years ago because it went with everything, could easily carry snacks and water bottles for two kids, and was cheap. True story!
I hadn’t thought much about it since then. Until yesterday, that is. Yesterday, I took my Virtual Chill Tour guest Danielle Watson up on her generous offer to all Chill Tour participants to do a complementary Purse Process—her signature service where she asks you all about your purse and its contents and then reveals what your purse might be telling you about who and where you are versus who and where you want to be. (Intrigued? Email me and I’ll connect you with Danielle.)
I’ve had “host a telesummit” on my list of things to do for over a year now. A telesummit is when one person interviews a bunch of other people about a particular topic on a series of phone calls, and everyone involved promotes the event to their people. It’s a great way to build your list of subscribers and offer a lot of insight and points of view in a way that’s free and convenient to listeners. Overall, it’s a win-win for everyone involved, and I am a huge fan of win-wins!
But everytime I looked at that item on my to-do list and went to write it in on my calendar, a big part of me said “Ugh.” It just seemed like so much work. So many details to coordinate. I didn’t want to make all those little details happen. So I blew it off.
Then one day I was on the phone with a colleague. We were just chatting – sharing what we were up to, cool things we wanted to do. I was lying on the floor at the time with my legs resting on the coffee table. I was totally relaxed. So when the idea of the Virtual Chill Tour bubbled up during the course of that call, I was ready to let it happen.
This one’s for all the perfectionists out there. By which I mean those of you who futz over things until they’re “just so.” And those of you who can get paralyzed come decision time because you want to make the “right” choice. Or who notice yourself rejecting a lot of what you hear from others because in your head, the crap they’re spewing doesn’t line up with what you know to be “true”.
(Hint: It’s easy to be a perfectionist and not know it. I never identified as a perfectionist – you should see how crazy I look when I leave the house sometimes! – yet I definitely spent years feeling the need to be right.)
I want to drop something on you that I hope will blow your mind. Maybe not right away, but let it sink in and see what kinds of tendrils it sprouts:
There are no mistakes.
Nope, not even one. Not even that one thing that immediately popped in your head when you read it. Everything, everything, that happens shows up to give us the opportunity to grow into the person we’re capable of being.
I know all about it, because I lived it. My first foray in to the corporate world, at the ripe old age of 22, consisted of working two jobs – I’d work from 6-8 am in a stock broker’s office, then go to my “dream” job (an editorial assistant position that only paid $7.50/hour) from 8:30 – 5. Later, I worked 50 hours a week at an Internet start-up while getting a master’s degree in educational technology and communications in the evenings. I worked hard, yo!
There is a definite thrill to going after what you want, and doing it in a big way.
We bought our house for the yard. It’s easily 2-1/2 times the size of the footprint of the house, with an enormous rhododendron, a gorgeous magnolia tree, ridiculously productive raspberry bushes, and an old stone wall running through it. We heart this yard!
And yet, it is clogged with weeds. I have filled three trash cans with the little suckers I’ve pulled out of the ground, and I’m not even half-way through the yard. And more weeds pop up every day.
I am a huge proponent of small steps that add up to big progress over time, so the weed-eliminating project is right up my alley. I’ve always suggested weeding as a form of mind-body practice, and man, am I reaping the benefits of that advice now! Funny how we teach what we need to learn. J
Here’s how my yard is like life – if you aren’t consistently taking steps to remove stuff you don’t want, whether they are thoughts, or tchotchkes, or habits, they are gonna completely overtake the landscape.
We spent Sunday afternoon at a birthday party for one of my daughter’s very best friends. When I asked Lillian what we should buy as a gift, she replied instantly, “A headband and a magic wand.” (For anyone who needs to buy for a 5-year-old girl, now you no longer have to wonder what to give as a gift.)
Lillian talks a lot about magic. I tell her she’s magic all the time—that she can make things that didn’t exist before, whether that’s a drawing of a unicorn, a corn plant, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or that when she smiles at someone or gives hugs, she makes that person happier than they were a minute ago.
“I’m a little bit magic, mommy, but unicorns and fairies are so magic.”
I tell her something is either magic or it’s not. And just the fact that you’re alive proves you are magic. Then we usually get into a detailed discussion about unicorns. But the seed is planted.
To which I say, woo hoo! Nothing better than being sprung for a few days to do exactly as you darn well please.
Before you go, I just want to give a shout-out to freedom. My wish for each one of you is that you experience freedom in the most important place on Earth. No, not America (although I do love and honor this country of ours and give thanks to everyone who has worked to create and sustain it). I’m talking about your own mind.
This one’s for all of you out there who, when you find yourself with a spare minute, immediately think, what can I get done before I have to do that next thing? I’m talking about sneaking in a quick magazine article while on the pot, making a call while you cook dinner, sending just two more emails before you leave to meet someone (which then makes you chronically 10 minutes late).
I know it comes from an honorable place – wanting to handle everything well, to pursue lots of important things, to not let the people who depend on you down. Yet there’s a dark side to a tendency to overdo, too. Like, keeping yourself so busy that you never get to the stuff you really want to do. Or, cramming in so much that you lose the ability to think clearly. Constantly scanning for what else needs doing, so you are perpetually distracted. Meaning you forget to listen when people are talking. You may even forget to pay attention when you’re driving, and bump into a telephone pole while you’re backing up. Or maybe have a more serious accident.