Monthly Archives: October 2011

You have to play to win!

What a week this has been! A week when I had to make decisions, be present to my options, and speak up truthfully. By the end of the week, I was exhausted and yet, at peace.

This week was a big lesson, in having to play to win. In wanting what I want, but having to be in the midst of my life in order to even entertain having it. How that happened in my life this week, is that I had to make a choice, in the direction of my dreams. I had to say yes, and no, to two different career paths. It was difficult and stressful, yet if I was not interested in playing to win my dreams, I would have not been stressed. The decision, or the lack of needing to make one, would have been easy to make.

I had to decide for my dream, my dream of being a coach, which meant saying no to a job that I was ready to take, one that I knew that I would enjoy. I had to say no to that job, so that I could say YES to my beautiful dream. I realized how infrequently in my life I have spoken up and chosen, spoken up and made a firm decision. For a career, a relationship, my body, my soul!

I have not played to win in my life, for much of my life. I have been successful, and happy, and healthy and blessed. Yet, I always kept all of my options open, which meant that I couldn’t focus precisely on my dreams. I spread my resources everywhere, rather than focus like a laser beam on exactly what I wanted.

Now, I am ready, ready for the focus and the precision and the magic to happen. I am ready for my dreams to be real in my life. I am playing to win, knowing full well in my heart that I will be cared for, loved and safe as I keep saying yes to that. When I play to win, it means that I, first of all, have agreed to play. And, only when I said yes to playing, did I have a chance at winning my dreams.

This is no lottery, no game of chance. Yet, I am in the game of my life, and I am winning BIG.

The morning commute!

My commute each morning, and each afternoon, to and from my workplace, is about thirty minutes. For the last few months, that thirty minutes to the office, and then, back home, has been some of the most delightful parts of my day. That is because I decided to make my morning time commute a commitment to silence and reflection.

Now, getting good about having quiet time on purpose was not so easy in the beginning. A year ago, I wanted to start having some sort of meditation practice, so I would sit in silence for five minutes at a time, and at first, it was tortuous. I barely felt like I could stop my thoughts from running the show, I didn’t want to sit in silence, and felt lost when I would sit in my car and not have the radio on.

Then, I got better at it, day by day. I found that the quiet came easier within the silence, and that I actually looked forward to it as a way to start, or to break, in my day. I found a spiritual connection to it that grew in its power and purpose.

So, a few months ago, when I realized that I was spending less time here at home, watching television, or filling the quiet with noise, I decided that the ride to work, especially since that is morning time, would be a perfect way to intentionally be silent; to enjoy the sights, and thoughts that inspired me.

Today, it is rare that I turn on my radio in the morning, even after I have dropped my daughter at school and she has had it on for the beginning of our ride. Right after she gets out, I turn it off, and head out for my morning commitment. I see the sun coming up, the day beginning, fog lying low and the world coming alive. It truly is an inspiring, and powerfully spiritual, time for me.

Although this is now a regular practice for me, I am finding such peace and comfort in the ways of silence during many parts of my day. What used to frighten me now envelopes me with a feeling of powerful connection; that when I quiet my mouth, and my mind, my heart opens up and takes in all that the world has waiting for me.

It truly is magical.

The boy, the toy train, and letting go.

This week, the lessons that I have been encountering have everything to do with learning to let go. Even when I think I am letting go of that which is not in my own control, I am still gripping on so tightly, my hands ache. So, I had the lessons tenfold this week. Let me start with a story that a friend shared with me.

A boy was playing with his toy train, and it broke. The boy held it up in the air, asking God, “God, will you fix my train?” Nothing. The boy asked God over and over again, “God, will you fix my train?” Nothing.

The boy grew up, became a man, got married, raised a family, and grew old. One day, the man died, and went to Heaven. When he arrived there, he asked God, “God, what gives? Why didn’t you fix my train when I was boy as I asked of you?” And, God said lovingly to the man, “I would have been more than happy to have fixed your train, if you had just let go of it.”

WOW.

As I understand more deeply my unwillingness to let go, when I need to, which is often in every moment, I also understand my own reluctance and resistance to faith. In my refusal to let go, I am not letting my Higher Power guide, help, and support me. I am suffering in my own arrogance that somehow, some way, I can influence the conclusion.

My own experience with this in this past week goes something like this. I had to have a medical procedure performed, and it required that I receive anesthesia. I was scared, because I was there without a partner or family member, and because I was having a procedure that always has some level of risk. As the anesthesiologist administered a thick, white drug into my IV, and I watched it pass through the tube, I thought, “I can control this; I can control the effects of this drug and when it will hit me.” No, seriously, this is what I told myself. Talk about nonsense and arrogance! Obviously, I had no control at all over how and when it would hit; the next thing I knew, the doctor was talking to me, reassuring that all was well, and it was completed.

In that brief encounter, in that human experience of being scared and holding on tighter, and then, with this beautiful story of a boy, his train and God, I understood more deeply than ever why letting go is essential for me to live my life fully. If I continue to believe that by holding on to all that occurs in this world, that I can somehow effect the outcome, and somehow have peace, I will be sorely disappointed.

So, in this moment, I am full of intention to let go, be present, and let my Higher Power do what it is here to do; to take care of me. I am learning!

Transparency.

strong>So, here I am, 49 years old, holding the belief that I am becoming more transparent than eer before in my life. Two years ago, I thought that I was such an open book. I was so wrong.

Years ago, transparency seemed to mean that I would alleviate the pain and fear of others, and give an impression of all knowing, and having it all together, with no pain, struggle, or difficulty of my own. Why that no longer works for me, is because it was not a truthful way to be. Even though acting that way seemed to be in the other person’s best interest, it really wasn’t. It never allowed others to be able to stand on their own, and it never allowed others to know me as I truly was.

Today, I understand the importance of telling the truth, and asking for the truth, from others in my life. It is my ability to be more open and vulnerable than ever before. Transparency is the only way for me to truly know myself, and to love and portray that self in all areas of my life, and with all the persons in my life.

For most of my adult life, I wasn’t sure who I was and what was most important to me. I was a different person with different groups of people. Today, I really like who I am, I know who I am, and I am proud to show that self to others. I show that self to friends, family, coworkers and neighbors. My sense of identity feels grounded, strong and secure.

I have been blessed for much of my life, and have been surrounded with family and friends to love and support me. What a relief to finally be who I really am, with them, and more importantly, with myself.

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