I succumbed to beginning the New Year under the guise of “self-care”. I say guise because I didn’t take my own advice and address my stress and ended up sick!
It started last week when I avoided digging into something I needed to do, stressed about it and let the saboteurs run amok and took myself out of the game. So now I’m walking the fine and fuzzy line between bunny slippers (kindness for myself) and fuckity fuck fuck!
Working in the arena of stress management, I have high expectations of myself to keep it all together. To model what I encourage my clients to BE and do. And (in YODA’s voice) still human I am.
And here I am…
I’m on the bus with no fucking idea who the driver is because everyone is arguing! I can feel the thought surge of “WTF we know better!” as we careen down a steep switchback, with the tail-end of the bus swinging out over the sheer drop off. Somewhere, sitting in the eye of the storm, is my inner monk: grounded, peaceful and accepting this chaos is as it’s meant to be. Meanwhile, my inner movie director can’t decide if it’s the high stakes action movie version or the cartoon version.
Stress management is self-management. Self-management involves being disciplined. I want a do-over on being disciplined! The definition of discipline I’m using is: Train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.
Just saying it makes my breathing shallow and my fight or flight response rise up. My inner child and rebel scream out a battle cry to make me stop.
The irony–I haven’t even started. I’m just in the Thinking phase. I haven’t even bridged to the planning and put it down on paper phase. Avoiding. Drama. Full on theatrics in my head. It’s like a night at the improv where the audience throws in a word or idea and it completely changes the direction of the performance. In this show, I’m changing direction so much, I have whiplash.
I can hear myself say. “Let it go and embrace your inner rebel, live in the freedom of being undisciplined.” I can hear myself starting to add in the justification for these thoughts–the evidence–I have a really good life, a deep connection in my relationship of 30+ years, amazing close friends, work I love and people and companies that ask me to do it. I make a good living. I am healthy… so why do I need more? Why am I not satisfied with things as they are? What is my need to push and strive for more?
It’s simple: I have dreams. BIG dreams. Global dreams. To make a difference dreams. To be a part of something bigger than myself dreams. To be of service dreams. An inner calling that has yet to be defined, so I am in process, in evolution. Yes, I am satisfied but I am not fulfilled. AND I know, from a place of inner alignment, being more disciplined is the right choice – the right action for me, now.
And that word right there is the story I tell myself–“more” disciplined–“more” is a lie. I’m highly organized but I’m not truly disciplined, not yet.
It excites me to imagine a stronger structure to my business and my life. I have inner peace from habits that serve me now and I want that feeling more often. I believe, through discipline, I will gain an increased sense of freedom and clarity, discover new systems to streamline efficiency and deliver even higher value service.
For me, personal and professional are one of the same. So in the words of one of my favourite monks Pema Chodron “start where we are” in embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives.
And so, I start 2018 with a commitment to explore and walk alongside of discipline. To cultivate my willingness to equate my resistance as my potential and to awaken that potential with a compassionate heart.