New Year’s Eve

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Here we are on the precipice of a New Year, ready to ring in 2023.  I enjoy New Year’s Eve just like anyone.  I love the excitement and anticipation of the new year and being with people I care about, I love the idea of one moment leading to the next and making a fresh start.  I remember feeling it as a kid and I remember the excitement and anticipation just three years ago when we were about to welcome 2020, talking about the roaring ‘20’s, how the decade was going to change things.  On that eve three years ago we had no idea what was in store for the year.  We talked openly about things changing as we always did, we talked about shifting the world and making things different, we talked about being better and welcoming a new way of being.  We all know what happened a few months later—we started talking COVID.  The point is, we all talked about changes and what we thought we wanted for us and those changes came—just not in the form we thought it would. 

The point is simply this: we approach each new year with anticipation when the reality is we have no clue what’s going to happen.  We set intentions and make plans and talk about goals and we either let them fade away as we fall back into our routines or the unexpected happens and we aren’t able to see them through.  There are a few who make the change, who dive in and do the work.  More importantly, they are able to pivot as things move along.  That’s the key.  We generalize change or we get too specific about it.  We cant throw a dart hoping something will happen and we can’t have a choke hold on the outcome because we will suffocate it. 

This year I suggest a different approach.  Flow.  Yes, we can set the course, we can choose the direction things are going in, but we need the follow through.  At the same time we can’t expect to drop the person we are in favor of some new version we haven’t tried on before.  It’s a process, an assimilation, a becoming.  Do I have goals?  Yes, I do.  But the main goal in all of that planning is to allow myself to be the person I need to be to achieve those goals.  Life is too damn short to continue on a path that doesn’t work, so I still say shoot for the stars.  I’m also saying take the time to build that rocket ship so it will make it there.  This isn’t about giving up, it’s about laying a foundation and that’s another difference.

We look at the clock expecting that a shift on the dial is going to change our lives.  I’m not saying it CAN’T happen, but we are pretty much the same person before and after midnight.  In order to become that new version, we need solid ground to walk on.  We need to act as that person would—and honestly, it’s more than behavior, we need to be that way; it’s just really hard to do that if you haven’t been that person before.  So let’s not pressure ourselves to magically transform.  Instead, let’s approach the time with optimism, gratitude, joy, and anticipation that we can shift and that we are able to handle what comes our way.  We are all still here and that is a gift.  The truth is we are meant to change the course of things, we are meant to make them better.  Sometimes that means diving into the muck and doing the work instead of hoping for a magic shift of the tide.  We can still roar and make this a pivotal decade, let’s look at the focus and pivot to what really matters. 

Fight The Noise

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Another universal coincidence.  The Rock posted the other day about fighting through the noise.  I believe in yesterday’s piece I specifically said you have to shut out the noise in order to move forward so this is a concept we need to dive into a bit more.  Our brains are meant to protect us which means they are trained to pick up the crucial details of what’s around us and determine if anything is going to hurt us.  That’s fantastic and extremely helpful for the primal part of the brain.  I mean, how often do you see people walking and texting or even driving and texting?  Their attention is so divided not only are they putting themselves in harms way, they are putting others in harms way as well. We need to know if danger is coming.  But our society is so filled with constant stimulation that our brain easily overloads with information that we struggle to distinguish what we really need to know versus the junk.

On any self-improvement journey, the important versus the junk is highly personal.  What matters to someone on a fitness journey isn’t the same as what’s important to someone trying to break into writing.  Of course there is overlap (we need to be healthy no mater what we do to perform at our best) but the priority will not be the same for everyone and the priority also shifts.  And the priority shifts again depending on the environment we are in.  That’s the other beautiful part about the brain: we can shift between tasks and prioritize differently depending on where we are and what we are doing.  So, we have this gorgeous biological machine that not only protects us, but can create and focus on different things that drive toward different goals.  The brain is awesome!  It just doesn’t know how to prioritize when it’s left to its own devices.

That is when the focus becomes crucial and developing focus is a practice.  Our brain, like any muscle needs to be developed.  Yes, I know the brain isn’t actually a muscle, but the tasks we assign to it need to be developed the same way a muscle would.  Give yourself the time to practice the disciplines needed to create the life you want.  Give yourself the gift of shutting out the noise and focusing your energy on your core, your purpose.  Learn what doesn’t need your attention in the moment and let it go.  On the other hand, learn what requires your time and attention and follow that.  We are all capable of great things.  We won’t all achieve great things because we don’t all have the drive to cut out what doesn’t work—that requires stepping out of our comfort zone.  Do it and do it again until that comfort zone expands.  And then do it some more.  You will know what works for you the more you practice listening to your own voice.  Block out the rest and hear your intuition.      

Discipline and Destiny

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I want to guide us to a very specific place by the end of this year:  Back to ourselves.  I want us to remember our given power to take control of our lives.  I’m not talking about controlling the details or forcing an outcome.  I am talking about getting closer to who we are and making the decisions as to whether or not that fits with who we want to be and where we want to go.  I’m talking about enforcing the means to get what we want.  I took a really gentle approach with myself for a long time as I started this journey.  I only wanted the pieces that felt good because that would be both comfortable and still make me feel like I’d moved forward.  But that wasn’t true growth. Yes, there was progress, yes I learned about different capabilities, but it wasn’t getting me closer to the big vision of what I wanted in my life. 

The universe works in amazing ways and I came across a piece discussing this work by Ryan Holiday, “Discipline is Destiny” just as I read Ashmi and heard Rob from earlier this week.  Holiday focuses on work by the stoics and this is how he broke down the focus people need to get to where they want to go. All of this lines up to one thing: we are in control of how we react and where we are intending to go.  We are responsible for knowing ourselves and our purpose and taking the action required to get there.  Yes, it’s always a choice so if you are choosing to not move toward your destiny, then you are choosing to stay where you’re at.  That’s fine as long as it’s a conscious choice.

Our society pushes so much self-improvement and high-powered, self-centered, unrealistic goals at this time of year because we think we can entirely shed the core of who we are overnight.  Like that clock strikes midnight and we shed the skin and become someone new.  That isn’t how it works.  Of course there are moments of epiphany and breakthrough that change how we think, but establishing the habits that create the mindset we need to move forward is a different story.  That isn’t flipping a switch. Again, understanding what we need to do may happen in a flash, but actually doing it is a different story.  So, if we want to elevate our mindset, we need to let ourselves shine, and that means allowing the fullest expression of who we are out at all times. Align with who you are meant to be and decide based on that person, on that purpose.  Your life has the capacity to flow in ways you never expected. 

These changes aren’t about a specific time of the year, we can do this at any time.  This is just the reminder to take in what works for you and to shut out the noise.  Ignore the pressure of resolving to do anything and do the work of becoming.  Life is propelled by focus and clarity and that means shutting out the things that don’t align with where you’re going.  I’m not saying drop every single thing that doesn’t fit in your life, but I am saying choose your actions consciously based on who you’re meant to be, your authentic self.  The first step to that is to listen to what that voice is telling you.  Hear it again.  Allow that to shine.

Fitting In

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Just a short note on our place in the world.  Right before I heard Rob speak about the levels of mindset we discussed yesterday, I read a piece by Ashmi Path.  She said, “You are not here to fit in this world.  Shine with your full strength.”  I had planned on using the quote regardless because I’ve been making a ton of personal progress I wanted to share.  When Rob’s piece came after that, I knew the two were aligned because in order to elevate the mindset, you have to appreciate and allow yourself to be fully who you are.  We are trained to fit in from the day we are born.  It makes us seem safe to others and we feel safe if we are accepted by others.  But what happens when we have a different idea, a different feeling of where we are supposed to go? 

Taking the path alone and allowing our light to shine can be daunting because it isn’t natural for most of us.  But if we want to take the next steps and become who we are meant to be, then it takes stepping out of what we know.  Ashmi’s gentle reminder is that we innately know who we are and what we are meant to do and in order to do that, we have to fully embrace that and allow who we are to shine outside of the confines we inflict on ourselves.  Company that with Rob’s concept of levels of mindset and it makes sense.  To get to the next level, we need to break out of who we tell ourselves to be.


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For those who don’t know, Rob Dyrdek has a really enlightening podcast where he discusses business, mindset, life, success strategies, and other general tips.  I listened to him speak about mindset the other day and he covered the concept of 4 stages of mind.  In all the years I’ve studied mindset, growth, and self-development, this is the first time I’ve actually heard this broken down so simply but so accurately.  It solidified for me two things: 1. Complex issues/thoughts really can be broken down simply.  That’s often how you know you really understand something.  2. I’ve been over complicating the mindset and lifestyle I want to have—I can simply adjust the type of mindset I have.  I’ve known what I’m looking for but I’ve muddied the water with fear by getting too specific and rigid on what I want and how I want it.  I think most of us do that to a degree because we are taught in language that tries to make the person seem special, like they know more and you need them to get what you want.  Not that we don’t need mentors, just that we don’t need it as complicated as they make it. 

Let’s walk from the reactive to the magnetic.  The first level is the REACTIVE mindset.  You’re just getting by. You’re not falling behind but you’re not getting ahead.  You aren’t able to see beyond what is immediately in front of you, you’re missing deadlines because you’re too busy volleying different issues at the same time.  The second level is the AWARE mindset.  You understand what you want to do but whether or not you take action is hit or miss.  You know what you’d like to do and you see that you haven’t been making the progress you want.  The third level is the PROACTIVE mindset.  This is where you’ve moved beyond strictly reacting and you are completely aware of your role in what happens.  This is where you take that extra step to intentionally move things forward in your life.  The last step is the MAGNETIC mindset where you exist in such a state of flow that you draw the question/answer/solutions in real time are drawn to you.  The life you want opens up because you see the path and the doorway before they are visible.  It requires discipline in all aspects.

How cool is that explanation of elevating our mindset?  So simple.  No judgement.  Just an awareness of where you are on your path and a decision to elevate for a different result.  It’s so appropriate as we head into the New Year.  I’m not talking about spreading the resolution, New Year New You mindset.  I’m talking about spreading the mindset of making a decision on where you want to go and looking at the choices around you with the question, “Will this decision get me closer to where I want to be?” in mind.  That question becomes what guides you forward.  The thought of whether or not what you’re doing is actually working is your focus because you see a different goal.  And how cool is it to let go of the concept of time and be in that state of flow to the degree you just ARE what you’re trying to be?  It’s about letting the real you, out.

I plan on taking this journey this year because, while I’ve done the work for a long time and while I’ve been diving even deeper this last year, and yes I’ve even sought help for these things with my mindset, I want to maintain the awareness of where I’m going over the fear of where I’m at.  It is so important to develop that clarity and we’ve taken many journeys with the idea of clarity.  This coming year is about practice and these levels of mindset truly make it an actionable concept.  Like I said earlier, often times people overcomplicate this practice because they want to make themselves invaluable.  The real mark of the ability to elevate is to fly on your own.  I will say this does take into account the process I mentioned earlier in 2022 about identifying where you’re at, where you want to be, and how to close the gap.  I feel like this is the missing link in closing the gap.  Who’s ready to step up? 

Anger, Really

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“You won’t be able to move beyond chronic people pleasing if you aren’t willing to befriend your anger and to be seen as the villain when the situation demands it,” Xavier Dagba. This is important as we wind down this year.  Many of us are fully aware of a general melancholy, a desire calling us to do something more in line with what we want.  We are becoming closer to the inner knowing, the voice that tells us where to go, the direction that’s right for us.  I spoke of it twice this week especially as it related to my son’s safety.  I KNOW I want to be closer to him, I know I want to cut my commute out of the picture.  It’s for my own peace of mind and it serves what I’m trying to accomplish. 

We operate in extremes—where we either totally dive in and self-deprive or we binge shows and food.  We work all the time to avoid how we feel or we emotionally collapse.  With that mindset, we often find ourselves functioning out of obligation—we don’t do things for the sake of joy, we do them because we feel we must.  That creates resentment and anger which we are told we shouldn’t feel, that nothing is done to us, it’s just how life operates.  The truth is we are still trying to operate on outdated machinery and software that no longer functions as it did.  We’ve tried to shift the purpose to the same result because we don’t know what the alternative looks like and we keep doing what we’ve always done expecting different results.  Ignoring those needs creates anger and resentment as well.

Anger isn’t a negative thing: it’s an indicator that our boundaries have been crossed in some way.  I’m not saying to fly off the handle at every little thing, but I am saying to develop a different relationship with anger.  Understand what it’s really trying to say.  The most common adage is that anger is a secondary emotion.  It’s a response to something that was done.  So, this means that if we are able to better understand the underlying issues around anger, if we are able to recognize what has been crossed, then we are more easily able to communicate and express that boundary.  If we don’t know what we want and we are so wrapped up in what other people think, we will never get beyond where we are—and we will continue to harbor and foster that anger.

For me, this was established clearly during review season, with my boss’s reaction to her review, with the threat to my son’s school, being able to leave work early and to do something in alignment with what my soul really needed in that moment.  We don’t get what we want by ignoring what we need.  Yes, we are meant to help others, yes, we are inclined to want to fit in, and, yes, we sometimes have to do things we don’t enjoy.  That doesn’t mean that needs to be our lives or the norm of how we operate.  That would mean the total destruction/elimination of who we are.  In order for this world to flourish, we each need to bring our gifts to light.  We need to love ourselves enough to be who we are.  That means following the light inside of us. 

So the next time you feel angry, don’t let yourself get carried away with it but don’t let yourself ignore it, either.  Get familiar with it.  Ask where it’s really coming from. More importantly, ask what needs to be recognized in that moment.  That curiosity will bring you closer to the truth than ignoring it or following default expected behavior.  Go with it.  There is nothing more empowering than developing a sense of recognition of self and who we are as individuals.  It allows us to develop our strengths and fulfill a purpose we may not know we have otherwise.  We aren’t bad for getting angry, we aren’t noble for denying who we are.  We are all human and it’s critical as we move forward to establish the truth of who we are.  it isn’t about making others happy or even making our own happiness.  It’s about letting the joy and happiness in through being our highest selves.  Don’t get angry, get curious.        

A Christmas Gratitude

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I am so grateful for another year with my family.  It is such a blessing to have them around, to feel the love, to share memories, to make more memories, to have fun, and to enjoy each other’s company.  The energy in my house over the last week has been through the roof.  The chaos of the final touches on the house, prepping the cookies, buying for the meal, finishing shopping, the wrapping…good Lord.  Honestly, it’s always so much work. But I haven’t regretted it once in all the years I’ve been doing it. 

See, Christmas was a magical time of year for me growing up.  Yes, of course as a child I loved the gifts, the getting, and all of the delicious overindulgence of the season.  But the year I turned 14, I really understood and developed a different love for the holiday.  I had seen how stressed my parents were about the whole thing—they were working a lot and didn’t have time to set up the house how they wanted to.  My dad always struggled to get into the spirit (the season is rough for him) but he usually comes around—but he had a hard time that Christmas.  So, that year, I did it myself.  I dragged that tree (that was half my weight at the time) up the stairs, I set up that entire thing up on my own, branch by branch, lights and all (I saved the ornaments because the whole family loved that), and I put the lights and decorations up around the house.  The relief and joy on my mom’s face in particular was what did it for me.

From that moment on, Christmas was my thing.  I consistently went overboard—anyone’s desire was my command from food, to cookies, to decorating, to presents.  I wanted everyone to feel the joy I did.  The magic was completely in giving.  I still do that to this day.  I go overboard for my kid, for my family. This year I have 6 trees in my house…yeah.  And honestly, if that can bring a little magic to the world for a little while, then I am happy to do it.  I want to allow that joy in my life as often as I can and I am so grateful for it. 

The truth is we never know how much time we get.  The years pass faster and faster, suddenly there are fewer people around the tree, the table, in the house.  I want to create something that makes them forget about that for a while.  I want it to be pure joy, laughter, love.  I want to give them the memory of someone who loved them and who did everything to open the way for magic to take over.  And for me, I love the feelings it brings back.  I remember going to my grandparent’s houses and being in awe over how things looked, the food, all of us together.  Maybe because that was the time all the nonsense from the year went out the window.  We all loved each other, we all had fun.   I want that to be the same for others always when they come to my home.   

We know logically that Christmas isn’t about getting, and I know first hand that all I put into the holiday, not a bit of it is for me (except the lights…all the lights make me insanely happy—Thank you to my husband for letting me go overboard!).  It is without a shred of doubt about the care of others, the love of others.  Imagine a world operating like that all the time.  That’s why it feels so special to me, not just the memories, but the hope it suggests, the hope I have felt, and the reality that feeling those things is possible.  If we can do it at one time of the year, let’s do it more.  The time we have is the most precious thing available so let’s utilize it well and shift toward the light.  Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and wishing the spirit of the holidays to all with any holiday you celebrate!

Cookie Extravaganza

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I came across this question, “What skills or lessons have you learned recently?” and I paused.  It’s been a long time in the school of life so it’s been a minute without a continuing education or something. And I realized that life teaches us plenty.  My holiday prep is pretty consistent.  I’ve learned a decent pattern over the years for how to get things done by a certain time and I threw in a bit more this year now that I could bring home baked gifts again.   I brought back the cookies!  I love baking cookies and sharing them.  I love the act of baking, the chaos, the science, the timing, the smell, the colors—all of it!  And my goodness, when a cookie turns out well—heaven!! 

So the monkey wrench this year was my work hours shifting back in September along with my husband’s job changing—so his hours changed as well.  It means I get home later, have less time with the family, and generally feel more alone because I have to go to sleep roughly 2.5 to 3 hours after I get home.  That’s a short window to spend time with the family, eat, unwind, or do whatever I need to.  Adding festivities to the mix was going to be a challenge.  So this year, I was determined to bring back the cookies not just for gifts but for the party we are hosting as well.  I planned out the cookies I wanted to bake and began the prep to bring them to life.  All the dough was made on the weekend ahead and then I could bake them bit by bit during the week, still have time to give them out as gifts, and be ready for the party on the weekend. 

Well, this is where the lesson starts.  It has been a few years since I did the cookies on that scale and I threw in two new cookies this year.  That meant that I didn’t know how they would behave in the fridge.  I’ve had to leave doughs in the fridge overnight before but not for longer than that.  With the schedule I had in place, I could only bake a few doughs a night so some would be in longer.  I had no choice but to be ok with it.  By the time I got to the last dough Wednesday night, things looked ok, but those were the new doughs.  I know common sense would have dictated that I do the new ones first, but these were the most complicated so I saved them for last because I would have more time the evening I was planning on making them.  Honestly, they started out fine…and then became a different work of art, so to speak.

Each night I worked on the cookies with my son who is old enough to help now and these are the lessons in a nutshell.  1. Time moves faster than you can imagine.  The last time I was able to do these cookies he was learning to talk.  Now he is able to help me and understands how to work the mixer.  Keep each moment close to your heart.  2.  The imperfect makes it perfect.  I love it when a cookie turns out really well—but it was so much more fun spreading the knowledge to my kid and witnessing him enjoy what I do.  Half the cookies look ridiculous but they taste amazing and there was so much fun in them.  3.  Our time is ours—use it how we see fit because it goes fast (see number 1).  Our lives are not meant to be divided between what we love and what we have to do.  Love what you do and if you don’t, go find it and put your time there.  4. You don’t need permission.  We have one life and it is meant to be glorious and bright and joyful and an experience we love.  Share it.  Share the love, the light, the laughter.  Don’t wait for things to be just right or for someone to give you the time to do what you want—we have to create that time.  5.  Do everything with love.  Allow it to be what it is and enjoy it while you have it.  6.  Sometimes what happens is better than what is planned.  The universe knows what you need so take it.  Don’t fight it.       

Defining Life–A Threat At My Son’s School

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Trigger warning: talk of school violence.

I share this story after yesterday’s piece because I’ve really had to work to process it, and one of the key points I didn’t fully understand until after leaving work early.  The timing of events is the universe’s way of communicating about our focus and driving us toward what’s important.  When we are on the right path, often things unfold for us that show us the way. 

On Wednesday evening last week, we received a message from the superintendent of my son’s school that a threat had been made by a 22 year old local resident of our neighborhood.  While the threat was vague enough and did not call out the school specifically, it was enough to get the guy arrested and charged with disorderly conduct—and to warrant notifying the parents because of proximity to the school and what the statement suggested.  I spoke with one of the other mother’s because my initial reaction was this was like the other two incidents we had last year except those had come from kids and no one was arrested even though the police were involved.  I didn’t get uneasy until she pointed out that this was an adult and his proximity to the school was very different than the last time.  I still had to send my son to school on Thursday, and that was when the emotion hit.

I pulled up on Thursday morning slightly uneasy, a little nervous, but resolved that we were ok.  Then the cops showed up.  Now, I’m very grateful they were there (especially because the design of the school leaves safety to be desired in my mind) but that triggered me in a new way.  The cops hadn’t shown up in the prior incidents—and why were they only outside the entrance for the little ones?  Did this guy specifically call out the youngest kids?  This was right after the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings—was the guy making comments about that?  I don’t know—and I didn’t need to know because, while the caution was a good thing, it set me on edge.  My son asked about the police presence and I told him they were there to make sure things went ok today—and to listen to anything they said.  I told him to listen to anything his teacher said as well.  I know he picked up on the fear as he asked what was wrong, but I told him everything will be ok. 

That was the worst lie I have told as a parent.  While I would never tell him the specifics about what was going on, I knew then and there that there is no control I had that would make this ok, that would guarantee my son’s safety.  I fought tears driving away thinking that my son is only in kindergarten and this is the third incident at his school.  I called my husband and he shared that he was glad the cops were there.  I called my friend who was dropping her kid off as well and she let me know that she spoke with the police and, while they weren’t going to be there all day, they would be around.  A little bit later she emailed the teacher asking to keep the kids inside during recess and the teacher replied that she would never let anything happen to the kids.  That’s when I lost it.  We’ve gotten to this place where educators are normalizing these threats and have to tell the parents they would protect these kids like that.     

I immediately started spinning, not only thinking of what’s wrong with society, but about how to protect my kid, how to be closer to my kid, how to work near my kid so I can get to him faster—even if I had to homeschool him. I know it’s extreme and I know it’s not something I can do in this moment, but I couldn’t live with myself if I never saw him again.  I couldn’t stand the idea that all parents are dropping their kids off at school and they don’t know if they will see them again.  Did I hug him long enough?  Did I give him enough kisses?  Did I rush him out the door?  Does he know what to do if there really is a situation that unfolds?  I’ve been uneasy since he started school because of how far I am from him—honestly, even if he falls and bumps his head, it would take me almost an hour to get to him.  I’m not comfortable with that any longer. 

I started this piece talking about not understanding part of this event until after I got to leave work early.  Here it is: our time and our family, (chosen, birthed, or otherwise) are our most valuable assets and the universe responds quickly when we get that level of clarity.  I’ve been wanting to be home and work from home for a long time and the opportunity came on Friday—and it was glorious, further reaffirming that is the path I need to take.  The incident was horrible and terrifying, but the universe will put us directly on the path we need in order to make us aware of our values in the most concreate way.  For me, that is being more accessible for my family, being closer to my family, doing the things I love with my family.  That means doing the work I love closer to my family.  The universe knows what we vibrate at and it responds. 

We will never be able to replicate the people we have in our lives and it is our responsibility to reasonably assure their safety.  It is also our responsibility to get clear on what we can do to better align with what works for us.  Mostly it is our responsibility to take care of each other.  Reach out and check on people, reach out for help when you need it, communicate, find ways to do things you love and spend more time doing that, find ways to connect with others.  While we have no control over the state of the world, we do have control how we respond to it and how we can prioritize what’s really important to us.  Use the time we have wisely, love our people fiercely, get honest about what you need and follow that.

Freedom–Or, Leaving Work Early

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We are looking for freedom in new ways.  I’ve felt the call myself.  That it isn’t right to work for anyone else anymore.  That we want to be able to call our own shots—because that’s what we are bred to do.  We aren’t meant to heed someone’s beck and call or fulfill someone else’s dream before our own.  We created this hierarchy to establish power and dominance and we’ve accepted that it’s simply the way we do things for too long.  From corporate structure, to political structure, we follow some pattern: do what we are told to do in order to survive.  I’m not saying we don’t need some type of guidance, but we don’t need someone else to tell us what to do with our own lives.  Ok, I concede, this awfully dramatic for what comes next in this story—but it’s all true!

I got to leave work early the other day.  What’s more is that my boss came with me.  She’d had a rough day even though it just started, we were the only ones there, it was a Friday, so she said to pack up. So we did.  I went and spent time with my husband because he gets out of work early and we met at home around the same time. On the drive home, I found myself thinking, “This is exactly what I want to do.”  I want that type of freedom.  I want to go where my energy flows,  I know the saying is, “Energy flows where focus goes,” but sometimes it doesn’t work like that.  Sometimes we are in a situation where we have to put our energy toward something we may not enjoy doing.  I know that’s the case for many of us, and we accept it as normal.

Let me tell you what actually ended up happening because leaving early wasn’t just about getting out of work.  It cut nearly 15 minutes off of my commute.  I got to enjoy lunch with my husband without our son for the first time in two years.  We laughed about crap we wouldn’t normally talk about—we got to talk about things we wouldn’t normally talk about and it felt intimate again.  We were able to finish shopping for the holidays.  We were able to complete a conversation and make decisions without interruption.  I got to go and pick my kid up from school and he was thrilled.  We got to finish grocery shopping early.  All of this was because I had an extra 6.5 hours to my day.  What a gift.  Time is our most precious asset.  When they say it’s about how we spend our time, that is the truth.  But so many people leave out the exhaustion of day to day life and talk about powering through when you “really want something.”  There is a point to that mentality yes,  if you really want something you will find the time for it.  But the truth is life doesn’t always work that way.  It is exhausting and there are only so many physical hours in a day.  There comes a point where you need mental fortitude but not at the cost of physical health.

Life doesn’t work on a structure for everyone because life is chaos.  Creation and destruction all at once.  We can establish patterns and that’s when we feel the best but our patterns don’t always work for those around us.  Sometimes those patterns aren’t even what we want to be doing—it’s what we are told to do (wake up, eat, get dressed, commute, work, commute, zone out).  What happens, though, when we are able to take that time doing the things we love, creating an extra pocket to do the things we love, is we connect with ourselves and even the universe—even those around us.  That is where the real living is.  So, it wasn’t just about getting to leave early, it was about the life that was able to happen because of the focus of the time back.  We need more pockets of life and we need to listen and allow them to expand.  Our time here is finite and we don’t know when it ends—so every chance I get, I’m taking it.  I overspent on gifts but my son is only going to be this little for a while longer and there are people I want to know I’m thinking of them.  I didn’t get all the work done, but I got to make my husband feel heard again and we connected.  That is priceless.