It’s been awhile, my lovelies. It seems that third grade is swallowing me up…yet not in a bad way. I am completely submerged in 9-year-old Land and it’s wonderful. A ton of work, but wonderful.
* * *
So, I was hit by a cosmic 2×4 yesterday on my evening run. When stress hits and I’m feeling overwhelmed (as in busy teacher with a non-driving teen scene in my house), I have a horrible habit of looking for what’s wrong/unjust/irritating/bothersome in my little world. It’s actually quite gross and I’m done with it. The 2×4 was a voice that asked me:
What if you chose joy instead?
What if you let go of all your past resentments and fears and surrendered to the potential of joy and gratitude?
What if you assumed that everyone you encountered (family/friends/strangers) had their own story to tell and you were willing to embrace them just as they are?
Would that change your day to day? I bet it would.
It was a voice so clear that I stopped running and stood there for a minute. This idea overpowered me and I felt amazingly receptive to letting go. I mean really letting go.
How does one do that?
1) Recognize that resentment is usually based on FEAR: Nothing good is based on fear. Fear blocks, sabotages, hinders growth and acceptance. Just recognizing an emotion in disguise as fear is starting to work…a little…in my quest to let go.
2) Live in the present: Replicating old dramas and trauma does not help anyone. I’m starting to be on to the little gremlins in my subconscious who look for past hurts. Mooovin’ on is hard, but worth it, I’m realizing. Time is oh-so-short.
3) A gratitude practice must become a habit: I’m finding that time in the car (alone, so I can talk to myself without backseat ridicule) is my best spot for listing the things I’m grateful for. It is a huge list! It is so hard to bitch and moan when I’ve got that list hanging in the air of my minivan.
4) Clean and organize: This is a weird one, but for me it has to do with feeling relaxed because things are in order and I know where to find what I need. I also feel amazingly grateful for my house when it’s clean and tidy…I’m less likely to complain about what’s going on inside it.
5) Observe quiet time: I didn’t realize what an introverted extrovert I was until I didn’t get alone time on a regular basis. Our family’s been taken hostage by club volleyball and there have been weekends when I am up to here with whistles/chatter/crowds/girl drama—-I feel completely rattled. Once I figured out how much of a monster this makes me (and I discovered the incredible joy of earplugs), I am diligent about carving out alone time.
6) Dwell in THIS moment: I am so good at getting the motor going on worry and annoyance about things that haven’t even happened yet. So tedious! The more I breathe and actually pay attention to the place/moment/conversation that I’m in, the more joy I allow in. It’s a pretty simple equation. Why don’t I insist on this from myself? It’s time.
* * *
The above, of course, is a massive work in progress. Sheesh…I’m such a work in progress in general..but!! Friends, I am finally seeing the awesome in being in my mid-40’s. I’ve had some moments lately where I’m so grateful for experience and perspective. You couldn’t blast me back to my naive 20’s for millions of dollars! So that’s something
Here’s hoping you are finding time to hurdle your fears and find the joyful parts. As always, I am so glad you’re here to write to. It always helps when I’m workin’ it out.