Welcome May!

Ever find yourself really happy to have arrived at a particular time and place. I’m feeling that way about May. With my husband back in Madagascar, my sons running from sporting event to sporting event, my daughter celebrating all of the awesomeness of being two and, well there’s the whole Type I Diabetes learning curve, April’s been a month of craziness…or, if you will, blessings. We are healthy and happy and things continue apace.

But, somehow I really have felt like getting through April was this big giant challenge in front of me. And, while I didn’t want to just be focusing on arriving to May, I knew that May 1st would come and then I would be able to say, “Yay! I made it!”

I try not to do too much of this anticipatory thinking. I get excited about what lies ahead as much as anyone, but, as I was telling my husband the other day, you never know what will happen in May that will have you forever wishing to get back April. I’m knocking on wood here people….feeling a bit jinxing.

Anyway, like everyone I have my moments of pushing through to the next thing, but when I can I try to remember these simple things:

(1) When you find yourself thinking repeatedly about how much better it will be when you get to point A, stop and tell yourself, “I’m thinking a lot about point A. Point A will be awesome, but I’m not there yet.” I find this little acknowledgement is sometimes enough to bring me back to the moment.

(2) It’s also important to make mental lists of the things that are nice about the place in time where you actually are. For me in April this was two things – friends visiting from Madagascar and my kids’ sporting events…Oh, and we’re all safe and healthy.

(3) And, finally, as nice as it is to do things to put yourself back in the moment (because, like it or not, at the end of the day that’s what you have), go ahead and give yourself the time here and there to close your eyes and really envision how truly nice it is going to be to get to the other side. It’s okay to do it a little bit. And when you’re done, open up your eyes, smile and get right back to the work at hand.

So, here’s to May – just as good as, but maybe a bit more awesome than April!

Changing the Way We Change

Still.
Still.

Here’s a place we’ve all been at one time or another – confronting the feeling of, “I can’t do this anymore. Something’s gotta’ give!” Whether it’s too much work, school, parenting, partnering, loving, caring, hating or even having fun – too much (or, frankly, too little) of anything can send us reeling toward change. Reeling, flailing, careening, spinning…kicking and screaming?

I think sometimes we have the common collective knowledge that discomfort brings about change. It’s that whole idea of hitting rock bottom. You have to get to the most miserable place in order to climb your way out and regain your sense of freedom and happiness.

But I’ve been thinking lately about how we sometimes skip a very important place in the middle. When we get to the point where we know we need to make a change, that change is often born out of the spinning of our brains. In a sense, it’s like we’re drowning and looking for anything to hang on to. Maybe this is the answer! Or this! Or, I could do that!

At some point we just end up choosing something. Sometimes it’s the right thing – the world rebalances and we’re on our way. Other times we quickly find ourselves right back where we started – in the whirlpool, grasping for driftwood.

Why? The answer may be different for each of us, but in my own life this has often been that I’ve missed an important step – stillness. When change is upon us we often go into fight or flight mode. We’re in it for survival and, instinctively, that means – RUN! But, often there’s a part of us that just needs to slow down, stop, watch and wait.

When we slow down and listen we can discover that change isn’t something we control, it’s something we go along with for a time so that, upon arrival, we’re more clear-headed and openhearted about which paths most suit us next.

So next time, before flailing (or after just a little bit of it), try being still. You never know – perhaps good things really do come to those who wait.