On Being "In It"
Holy cats! The month of June went by in a blur at our house, as though somebody hit the fast forward button twice and then just let it run. Life presented a variety of opportunities for growth in June, not just in the garden. Here are a few highlights:
Ø The milestone of our older son’s high school graduation has brought many emotions and reflections to light and given me plenty of moments to ponder the depth of the word, “transition.”
Ø Our younger son’s school year ended with a party for “a few friends” that turned into eleven fourth graders, most of whose parents were new to me as well as the kids. I reached out to seven new households and made some new connections.
Ø I took a deep breath and said “yes” and offered oracle card readings at a local Wellness Night, and now have stretched to include oracle and vision board parties in my service offerings.
Ø After three years of almost weekly online chats, I finally met a dear friend from my coaching world in person, with whom I got to spend an entire week! It felt simultaneously like inviting a rock star into our home and as though we’ve known each other forever, both of which I believe are true.
Ø I traveled to attend a Wanderlust four-day festival to provide “shotglass” thirty-minute sessions with some amazing JRNI coaches from across the country. I’ve known most of these people in some capacity through online interactions – to meet and spend time with them in person is an experience I want to remember always.
The calendar page for June has something written on every single square for every single day - we certainly made the most of the month! And yet I clearly remember saying to myself repeatedly that I did not want to succumb to endless busy-ness for busy-ness’s sake. This has been a month of learning and relearning for me at many levels. Why? Because this time around I’ve been in it.
So what does it mean to say I was “in it?” We’re all busy, we all have stuff on the calendar, time goes by for all of us. So what?
Well, here’s what: for what seems like the first time in my life, I acted (mostly) from a place of consciousness in (almost) every decision I made. I chose (almost) every time to engage with purpose and intent, whether with someone I’ve known most of my life or someone I’d met a moment ago. I leaned into uncomfortable conversations. I probed my own identity and really examined my own values and beliefs, holding them up against some of my oldest stories – the ones my ego has woven over time to keep me safe and small - to see if those stories were true (spoiler alert: my oldest stories are no more true than my newest stories).
And here’s what else: I began to recognize the difference between talking about living in the present and truly choosing to live in the present. I started acknowledging the inner responses of my body – my “gut” feelings – in a variety of situations, including excitement and trepidation. And once we identify those sensations, ignoring them becomes a disservice to ourselves and a betrayal of our own trust. When I admitted that I felt the energy of my own intuition, I understood that living in the present is what my heart and soul crave most of all.
This doesn’t mean that I turn away from reflecting on the past or avoid mapping out a path for the immediate and longer-term future. Living in the present means that I allow myself to experience all of what’s happening in the moment. It means that I savor the beauty even while I taste the bittersweet tang of impermanence, knowing that nothing will ever happen in exactly the same way twice. Living in the present means choosing to focus and refocus, with gentle compassion, on the right-now rather than the if-only or the what’s-next.
The times in which I wasn’t acting from a place of consciousness were the times I let my ego get the best of me in one form or another – I believed the stories it was telling me about comparison and lack, I listened to its judgements and criticisms of me and everyone else. Yet here’s the thing: even as this was happening, I could still hear my soul’s voice asking, is that true? Is this story really still serving you, or is this just an old habit that you’re ready to drop like third period French? And recognizing that I have the choice to listen to my ego or my intuition – dear Joy Warrior, we all have this choice - is so liberating!!
When were you last able to enjoy the present moment?
When was the last time you heard your soul’s voice?
When did you last make a conscious choice about where to put your focus?
Darling Joy Warrior, the greatest gift you can give yourself is that of choice. We all have the chance to choose every day – you get to choose how you’re going to show up in the world, who you’re going to be. You get to choose whether what you’re doing is more of the same old song, or something that will truly bring you closer to your highest self. The key, dear one, is to remember that the choice is ultimately yours, every time. What will you choose next?