Martha Note: Below is an excerpt from Live Your Big Adventure – a guide to more easily bring change into a busy life. If you want more, the guide is FREE on the pop-up bar below. Enjoy and let me know your stories.
As human beings we like to gather information. Sometimes I think it’s our purpose for being. We go through our lives constantly gathering all sorts of fun facts, gruesome stories, and inspirational moments and take delight in passing them on, knowing there are just as eager recipients.
It’s why 24-hour news, the internet and talk shows flourish and gossip can be so hard to stop. We just love gathering in some new tidbit and adding it to the pile. When we meet someone with a unique background different from our own we get more excited over the potential of a new angle of looking at something that when filtered through all of our old files might have a nice ripple effect. We think that if we only asked enough people we might find the answer to our own search for peace.
What’s it like to be born into a famous family or a rich family or into simply, your family?
However, there’s a big snag in the way of getting a good answer. We’re asking the wrong source and not trusting in the answer that is always there. But once I started listening from within, instead of surveying without, the need to question calmed down.
There I was, third week into living in New York City instead of Richmond, my old hometown for almost thirty years. Richmond is a great place to live with a surprising amount to do given its size, fairly low cost of living with beautiful parks and nice people who say ‘hi’ and wave to everyone. And yet I moved anyway, trying to cure this vague feeling of needing to be somewhere else. Turns out, I was right.
There is a good question I ask myself all the time in order to make decisions where the choice isn’t readily apparent. Which one speaks to me more? With an answer in hand I go forward, stop saying, ‘yeah, but’, and focus on the path I’ve taken. No straddling the fences.
I got off the fence with the move to New York, selling anything that would get in the way of living in a smaller, more expensive space. I believed I’d have what I need and not miss the rest. I left behind people I loved hanging around with, trusting new people would show up and I’d get to chat regularly with those I left back in Richmond. All true.
I did expect to feel differently, to feel the absence of not being fully present. But once again, experience is more profound than theory. Even though I spent a lot more time traveling from spot to spot, having to take shorter breaths at times to avoid sucking in a huge whiff of strong subway odors, had to find something with strong bristles to scrub the dirt off and at first had three regular band-aids covering blisters on my feet, I no longer thought about anywhere else while doing something in New York. I would go to a reading and listen to some authors, sit on the Hudson on someone’s sailboat, walk through Central Park watching a softball game or listen to someone play ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ on the steel drums in the subway. That was on a Sunday morning and it was amusing to watch how many people were in their little space swaying to the music. There wasn’t even a corner of longing where I wished the experience would have been a little different, or somewhere else. I wasn’t even thinking about that – best part – I wasn’t thinking at all. I was just being.
But, it’s only in looking back now that I see the full measure of my own yardstick. What is it like to fit into the space that you occupy? That’s my old question. It is to be fully present in the moment and it happened when I asked the right source and then took action. It is to stop worrying about what could have been or might be somewhere down the road. To accept that all is well and that whatever comes next, it’ll be okay in the long run. To know there is a Plan and I’m always in it.
Changing the source of all of my answers helped me to be curious again about what might happen next and to believe more fully in the possibilities.
Now, where a body belongs is very personal – out in the country, in the middle of a large, urban city, or comfortably nestled in the suburbs – but finding that niche and just going, trusting in the rest, is vital.
Instead of always looking just beyond the experience I was in, I learned to take part in all of it. And now, so can you.
The Second Step
Write down the three things your always bring up as your ‘to do’ in the space provided below. Then, underneath each of the three
goals put down the numbers 1 through 5 and write the first five steps that come to mind that you know you can take – to move you closer to that goal.
Not necessarily achieve the goal, which can seem daunting, only move closer. I wrote down: buy a pair of walking shoes as one step.
Each step is something we know we can do and the hidden bonus is: by doing them you’ll learn two lessons you used to do naturally as a kid but may have forgotten.
The first lesson is to celebrate each step instead of waiting for an end goal.
Life is a journey, not a contest or a destination, and it’s easier to stay in the moment and feel good about where we are if we can feel good about each step along the way.
The second lesson is to start from where we are rather than waiting for more optimum conditions before we’ll even set out.
It’s a common excuse, particularly if we’re busy, that becomes a bad habit. And, if you’ve told yourself you
can’t feel good about any of it until you get to your goal but you don’t see how you’re going to get there, it can be difficult to start at all.
A Moment of Meditation
Repeat the affirmation that follows in front of a mirror with as little judgment about how you feel about yourself as possible.
Look into your eyes and hold your own gaze. Don’t look away or start scanning for defects.
Take at least five minutes and repeat the phrase over and over again.
Throughout the day, whenever you catch a glimpse of your reflection, repeat the affirmation.
The goal is to replace old lessons that have had a lot of years to become ingrained with some new ideas.
Repetition is going to be key.
The Second Affirmation
I am enough just the way I am today. I celebrate who I am today. God loves me without conditions.
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