Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air

Choosing Sexy

I have shared many moments about the constant battle between my Gemini twins: React and Respond. Mostly I blog about instances when React wins and what Respond learns. But this week … the win goes to Respond! This week, I found myself being very…

Reasonable! ?!! ??!! ?!!! (one of Respond’s best traits!)

I know, I know, this doesn’t sound like something to celebrate, but really for me (and maybe for most of us?) it really is.

Let’s start this story with a summary of where I have been up till now:

It’s no news that I am not the best with new news. I am all for changes that I choose and the circumstances I create (even my bad ones because those lessons learned lead to good ones). And I am very proud of the many changes I chose in the last 5 years, and as a result, of my new (and way better than my before) circumstances. But, I (and I speak for most of us I imagine!) am not crazy about:

  • Changes (or choices for this and that matter) that are “surprises”, aka without warning (us over-thinkers – we don’t roll this way);
  • OR changes that are made for me or to me;
  • OR when someone else’s choices place me in circumstances that are crappy and or that I can’t control (aka fix; us over-thinkers tend to also be over-fixers).

Again, I am not special on any of these accounts; I envision this as a bonding moment with most everyone reading me – we have all been there!

Now, getting on to my Magic Monday (yes – did I forget to tell you that this reservoir of reason was released on a Monday?? Extra points!)

The story (most stories…) starts with shit hitting the fan. And while it was spinning everywhere, there I was, in the middle of it… standing still. Now, I am not saying I was emo(ji)tion-less; it was actually the opposite. The difference was that this time I was hyper-aware of everything I felt; I could see in slow motion that everything I said and did in those moments (and the next) would have impact. And I was determined to make sure it was the right impact.

So the words I spoke were reasonable whereas my normal would have been reactive. (This time) I responded, and I could actually feel the difference. And it felt freeing and f-king amazing. To have control over my chaos (not the chaos, just mine), was liberating. So much so that I wanted to harness this new happen for my future freedom to choose to respond over react.

This led me to examine what the difference was in this situation compared to my (so many) others. To do this, I needed to uncover the cause of my result.

So I started thinking about the actual shit that hit the fan; where it started, whose it was, and how it started to spin. And then I saw the path that helped me steer clear.

Turns out, this situation wasn’t really without warning, aka a surprise; this element was missing from this moment. Don’t get me wrong, I love the surprises that are wrapped regardless of how big the box is, but the rest (those changes in disguise)… well, you’ve got a 75/25 shot of pleasing me or pissing me off. I admit that doesn’t sound amusing (and my husband would agree that this particular part of me isn’t), but trying to be better than my day before means I know that I am sometimes not all sugar n spice or anything nice. WIP, and okay with that.  But in this case, even though it was a change I didn’t create or choose or pre-meditatively preview or plan, the shit itself that hit the fan didn’t surprise me. My subconscious must have seen it coming and preemptively set my senses to steady (aka defense mode; I can be the rock [star!] in a crisis). So since I wasn’t surprised, Reaction wasn’t released.

Another difference in this dance was that it wasn’t just about me. Sure, I was affected, but so was the person whose shit this was (and trust me, that person felt worse than anyone), and so were the others in vicinity of the fan. This is another reason why Response showed up and Reaction sat out. I showed up in my reasonable / “it’s all going to be alright” mode.

The last variation here was that I didn’t try to sweep this mess up like it was mine. Because it wasn’t. So by not taking ownership of someone else’s shit, I had boundaries that prevented this from getting to the best of me.

This is the trifecta that caused my positive result and made this different from my many previous moments.

clint 2

I really, really liked seeing Respond; it had been too long. And it turns out, being reasonable makes me feel super sexy (choose it and see for yourself!) So, if I want to choose sexy and harness this happen again, my tasks now on this path to being better than my day before are to:

  • Try (harder) to go and let God (aka let life surprise me less);
  • AND to see the whole picture (including who else is in it besides me);
  • AND to let pass what isn’t mine to possess.

If I set this structure to my next situations and stories, then Respond will show up with her reasonable more often.

And she is soooo invited.

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Think Left and Right: Are You “Youer than You”?

Last week, I themed my yoga class around Dr. Seuss’ #1 Life Lesson: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

suess 1After introducing this theme, I asked the class to think about 2 things:

  1. What is your favorite thing about you?
  2. What are you doing when you are at your strongest self?

Now – I need to come clean – asking these questions were actually not part of my plan. I was going to go the traditional route of embracing and enjoying the person that you are (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But (I am so glad that) they did come out of my mouth; some part of me must have known that someone(s) needed to think on these thoughts. No doubt – these are BIG questions – on or off of a yoga mat. And I realized (and keep realizing, hence the blog post) that these questions offered a new side to Dr. Seuss’ lesson. And I LOVE new sides. low and high

So – let’s go there:

What is your favorite thing about you?

When we identify our favorite things about ourselves (let’s call them our favorite features for fun), whether it be a quality, a skill, or a role we play, we can act on our awareness and integrate this favorite into as many of our sides and situations as possible. This makes more great for us, and it creates the opportunity to give more great to our others. Win-win! This supports my (and many’s) favorite approach to life, which is that we have our obligation to inspire each other. We do this by always trying to be and share our best selves. If we don’t share our favorite features with the world every chance we get, then we aren’t really doing our part, because your “youer you” could (should!) motivate mine. Writing (about what I do, the way I do) is one of my own favorite features. I share this for the chance to connect and inspire someone(s) to start / continue on their own path to their better than their day before. I share hoping others will take away. And my opportunity to take away comes when others share. We each choose a part to play in life’s chain reaction; freeing our favorites keeps the reactions paying forward. This is the kind of reciprocal relationship that can make our world g[r]o[w] round.

What are you doing when you feel that you are at your strongest self?

This question was inspired by the concept of being your strongest-self… I learned (and now live) this lesson from Marcus Buckingham, from his book called Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women do Differently. This book served as a catalyst in my life(style) change(s) and continues to guide me on my mission to be better than my day before. Buckingham introduced me to my “strong-moments”. These are times in our lives where we are energized by the situation we are in – think of being so in the zone that you don’t notice time passing. I know that my “strong-moments” happen when I am creating, coaching, and or am deeply connecting with someone. When my life feels off, doing any of these things snaps me back to myself, putting me back in a position of strength. And what Buckingham is saying and I am (doing!) relaying – is that we can create more of these moments if we identify when in the past we have experienced them. Setting our stages to have more of these “strong-moments” should (could…!) be our focus.

So, getting back to the questions at hand:

  1. What is your favorite thing about you?
  2. What are you doing when you are at your strongest self?

It took me time to find my answers, so if you can’t answer them now, that makes sense. But I encourage you to ponder and push and explore yourself deeper.

We own this, but we also owe this.

questions

Could you (would you?) answer these on the spot?

(And in my best Dr. Seuss: If you are aware, then you must care; so share with us your truths – do you dare?)  

 

(It was hard to stop my deep dive into Lake Buckingham; but you should (could…!) learn more here.)

REFERENCE

Buckingham, Marcus. (11.28.2009). What The Happiest And Most Successful Women Do Differently. Huffpost. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcus-buckingham/what-the-happiest-and-mos_b_301406.html on 8.4.17.

 

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