When are the conditions ever really right?

Conditions.

We wait for them. We try to create them. We covet them. We blame them.

The timing isn't right. It's too windy. Too cold. Too hot. I'm too tired. I don't do that. It's raining. I haven't heard back yet. I need more information. It's too wet. This isn't the right group. The music is bad. My head hurts. I'm afraid. I just don't know.

Are the conditions ever really right to do anything?

There will always be something. The weather. Your state of being. Your health. Money. Someone else's conditions. What the group wants. 

Today, I had jet lag from traveling on the west coast (unusual for me.) I made a commitment to myself on this trip to improve my physical state and fitness, in a big way. The conditions for me staying in bed a little longer this morning were ideal. I couldn't get to sleep last night. We've been traveling. I have so much to catch up on today. Do I even have any clean clothes? 

There will always be conditions. Reasons. All the things your lizard brain will tell you to stay comfortable.

Growth doesn't happen when you're comfortable. Change doesn't happen when everything is just right. It happens when you make a move. Get messy. Take a stand.

It happens when you do what you say you're going to do -- without complaining -- despite the conditions.

And yeah, I got my ass out of bed and worked out.

Me - 1

Conditions/Reasons/Excuses - 0

Love and commitment,

 

 

 

 

Creating the *Perfect* Husband (or wife. or partner.)

St. Lucia - March, 2017

St. Lucia - March, 2017

Start with what you want to create.

What do you want to create in a relationship? In your relationship? What is meaningful to you?

Most people come into relationships to get something (whether they are conscious of it or not) — approval, satisfaction, pleasure, assurance, completeness…love.

You (everyone) think the other person will “complete me.” 

From this place is where trouble lands in a relationship.

In looking for someone else to be a certain way, act a certain way, behave a certain way, according to your set of personal beliefs and worldview, is actually looking very far outside of yourself for that sense of completeness. Like another person will make you happy.

And it will never work. 

Yes, never is a strong word.

The entire relationship is then based on an IDEA that you have of the other person and NOT who he really is. As a human being. With his own set of personal beliefs, history, experiences, circumstances and worldview.

This leaves you in a state of alert when the other person isn’t going to think, behave or act in accordance with the IDEA of the relationship. You get hurt. Disappointed. Angry. Sad. Flattened out. You feel all the feelings. And he really did it this time. You can’t believe he can’t see it.

There always seems to be a place to get to in the relationship and the two of you just can’t seem to find it, or if you do, it just won't last long enough. It’s the magical place of “in love” where he gets me, and knows me and we live happily ever after and ride on white horses into the sunset.

Let’s blame Disney.

Because that’s not real.

What is real?

Love IS the deepest connection you can have with another person. But it’s not because of them, 

It includes them.

All of them. All the bits and pieces of brokenness that they carry (just like you) that sometimes comes hurling out in shards. And, all the tenderness that you couldn’t have possibly imagined up in your princess tower.

The love/understanding/joy/connection you seek isn't produced by either of you as an object to be given or taken away.

It’s a place to enter

Love is a Creation. It’s a field of possibility to access. An ability. An energy that is accessed by you, within you, and can be shared completely and openly with another person.

So, back to building a perfect husband.

A good place to start is a powerful question. First, you have to get yourself out of the way of the answer to really be able to hear, from a loving place, what your partner has to say. Without judgment or defense.

The question:  What’s is like for you to be married to me? Really like.

And stop talking. Wait…

You are asking your partner this question. Be clear that he can be radically honest with you. You will listen and not go into defense mode if something upsets you. This isn’t about you. You are attempting to really BE with that human being over there. Pause if you need to. Don’t make any sudden movements.

Just listen.

How you respond is the clearest mirror in the universe. You cannot hide from yourself. You have in front of you the possibility of creating a truly deep, authentic connection with your love. This can sometimes go awry. Emotions come flying like missiles. It’s ok. Whatever happens, you can handle it.

Recently, Scott and I had a conversation that pushed me to an edge of real discomfort. Not a place I didn’t want to go. Still, very uncomfortable. I hung in there, then had a dramatic emotional reaction, closed down, and ran away. (patterns…..)

We both really looked at the situation for a couple of days. Looked at who we were being in that place. I found some things in myself that broke open and had real questions about relationships. I got clear on my responsibility to consistently come from the place of I Matter, like I matter in the the thing, and take a stand for myself. I saw who I was being.

But that’s just the beginning.

What I further came to realize, after more work, was that the real beauty and power lay in what I want to create with my partner. Who am I being in the creation? Understanding that while I may disagree with his view/language/action, I am cause in the matter of attempting to see what he sees. Seeing from his worldview. I still don’t have to agree, but we can create from that place.

It’s not his responsibility to complete me or be perfect for me. My happiness is my damn job. 

If I come to the relationship as happy, as willing, as patient, as satisfied, as forgiving, as loving, as creative, as whole, as complete … with open eyes as to who I am married to and an open heart that knows who he is married to …

it’s easy to create the perfect husband.

I only have to see him that way.

Love,

 

The deception of perfection

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Perfect.  It’s a word I use a lot in conversation, often as an answer.

“I’ll pick you up a 7:00.”

“Perfect.”

It’s not to imply that 7:00 is the only perfect time.  7:01 would be perfect as well.  So would 7:02, or 7:10.  Actually, any time is perfect.  Because there isn’t anything other than the perfect time.  Just ask your dog, or any other living creature on earth what time it is.  They don’t know, nor do they care.  (And yes, I understand they can’t speak.)  They are only ever in the present. Time only exists in human form.  It is a human construct to put us relation to each other, and the earth, within time and space.

We have a joke in our house.  If you ask one of our kids, “What time is it?”  They will most likely answer, with a big smile, and possibly an eye-roll,  “Now.”

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Perfectionism is a formidable friend/foe I have taken blows from throughout my life. She is sneaky, persistent and really good at hiding. I constantly work to eliminate this drag from my personal set of beliefs.  One of the tools that works most often, is knowing that nothing is perfect, and everything is perfect.

It’s not that I was or am an outward perfectionist.  I never insisted on a white-glove-clean house.  Although I do like things organized.  I have, and do, certainly run to the grocery store in workout clothes and no makeup.  Hell, I’ve spent DAYS and DAYS in workout clothes and no makeup.  I don't have to make the perfect meal, or wrap the perfect gift, or have the perfect body or have a perfect relationship with my husband.

So, it was a bit of a shock when I realized how much the perfection belief was running my mind. And thoughts. And behaviors. And actions. (Or inactions.) Notice I am not saying that I AM a perfectionist...I AM not.  It is a belief, or stance...that is all.  It’s not WHO I AM.

My perfection was a made-up construct in my mind.  I’ve often said I felt like I lived with a clock over my head, or a timeline, of how my life SHOULD be running.  “This needs to happen then, then this, then that...”  Or the comparison tricks of, "She wraps a beautiful gift, better than mine." "She always looks so put together." "Her website is so amazing." So no, nothing was perfect.  Nothing ever COULD be with that sort of unrealistic expectation of life. Add in social media? Pleeeeeaaaase...

I was always chasing something. And I wasn’t fast enough.  
 

It was the quiet, subtle, voice in my head, consistently and unfailingly, holding me back. Having me stay small.  Telling me nothing was enough.  You won't do it right.  Nothing will ever be good enough.  No matter what you do.  It won’t be enough.
 

You are not enough.
 

Note:  perfectionism’s ugly step-sister side effects are depression and anxiety.  Whole different discussion.
 

On the other side, when I come from a place of everything IS perfect, at all times, I operate with much more ease in my life.  Every event, person, choice that has led me to this moment, right now as I am typing this, has been perfect...for ME.  To learn what I came to this life to learn.  And only I can figure it out, the best way I can.

So I bring into my life the people, events and circumstances that will help me learn best.  No matter what they may look like at first.  Sometimes it’s remarkably beautiful, like my children or a dear friendship.  Sometimes it’s excruciating, like a disagreement with my husband, or my mother’s suicide.  That’s when it becomes clear.

A dear friend and teacher said to me after my mom passed, “Remember, her entire life [with depression] was perfect.  Including her death.”

Wow.  Really?  Perfect?  That changed the way I thought about that word.  About everything.

When we can transform our thinking of perfection from something completely unattainable and negative, “Oh yeah, nothing is perfect.  It can't be. Everything/one has flaws,” to, “HELL YES!  Everything IS perfect!”  We can change the way we look at the world.  

We can practice non-resistance and accept WHAT IS.  We are free to have the willingness and ability to explore all of life’s possibilities. 

 

We get access to freedom. And ease.

 

We can let go of the death grip we have on the branch of life - which creates all kinds of resistance - and fall into the river.  Letting the flow of the water take us where IT wants us to go. By practicing healthy surrender, we will ultimately end up exactly where we are supposed to be.  Maybe we hit a few rocks and tumble down a waterfall or two, gathering some bumps and bruises along the way. Maybe even a scar.  

But we will have taken the journey, without a clock over our head, or a timeline, or a stopwatch.  We will explore the bottom of the deepest pools and travel through extraordinary places we didn’t know existed.

Then, with some effort, ease and grace, we will find ourselves floating on our backs, drifting quietly. Actually enjoying ourselves. With the sun shining on our glistening bodies.  Surrounded by the most spectacular beauty this earth has to offer, with others who have journeyed with us.  At peace.  Full of love.  

What a ride.

Grateful that we let go.  Dared greatly.  Had the experiences, the relationships, the love, the beauty, the joy and the pain — in our own unique expression of life.
 

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And what time shall I pick you up?

“Now.”

Perfect.

{#youmatter}

With ease and love,

 

When that thing is driving you crazy...

Stay in it.

You know that thing you're thinking about, or doing, or considering? That thing you are dreaming about? That change you want to make/business to start/project to ramp/team to lead/balance to achieve?

There could be moments of confusion. There will be frustration. Discomfort. Unease. Buts, shoulds and hows.

There will be questions.

You may doubt yourself, or the idea, or the process, or the result, or other people.

You may wonder what it's all for?

Gather information. Do your research. Ask questions. Ask for guidance. Get support. 

And ultimately, connect with and tune in to your own body (she always knows.) 

Stay in it.

You'll want to look away. You'll want to run. You'll want to be told the answers, to be told what to do to make it easier. More comfortable.

Don't turn away. Don't run away. Don't distract or numb or find reasons.

Maybe you reach the target you set, or maybe it's a dud, or you get new information and you change course.

Or maybe you create a completely different target that way surpasses the original and expands you in unimaginable ways. A target that creates brand new possibilities.

Because the clarity you seek that's just around the corner from confusion, frustration, discomfort and unease doesn't come from getting handed the answers. 

It comes from asking great questions.

Where am I in the thing? Who am I being? What do I want? What difference can I make? What is the result I/we seek?

Then making a decision based on what is authentic and in alignment for you (and your people.)

Because waiting on the other side -- 

is excitement. determination. devotion. gratitude. confidence. commitment.

and JOY.

Sit in the middle of it. Look it dead in the eye and say . . .

Bring It.

{I matter.}

 

Big life and love,

 

Sharks, Gucci and Commitment

Image by Dylan Siebal

Image by Dylan Siebal

My husband and my daughter are extraordinary examples of commitment. Once they get an idea of something they want — want to do, want to accomplish, want to learn, want to have — they grab on like a shark and will NOT let it go. For Scott, it’s one of the reasons he is so successful. Ellie is on Gucci sneakers right now. She’s 15. As persistent as she is, that one’s going to take enormous commitment.

Commitment is a word we hear often in language, in conversations. It’s something we take pride in saying, like we really mean it.

“How committed are you to ______ ?”

“Oh, I’m absolutely committed.”

Then thing _______ never happens, or someone experiences disappointment, and we beat ourselves up for not following through, again. Or not being good enough, again. Even though we thought, we knew, we wanted ______ .

Our conscious mind is telling us we’re committed. It feels committed. I really want ______ this time. 

And yet, there is a breakdown somewhere. 

Commitment is not about desire. Or wanting something. Or having the perfect plan.

Commitment is about action.

It is when you take action to follow through on _______ in spite of internal obstacles — thoughts, emotions or feelings. Or external obstacles — “My car is in the shop.” Take an Uber or get a ride. Figure it out.

And the thing about commitment…it sometimes seems to invite obstacles up to be cleared away. You have to see them for what they are, not create drama and story about the thing, and get to the business of focusing on the commitment. 

You stop using reasons as excuses and figure it out.

When you are really, actually committed to something, you will find, create and cultivate the determination to persist.

You will be relentless. Unstoppable. Unwavering. Persistent. Consistent.

Until you are 100% committed, there will be indecision, doubt and a lack of applied action. (Not the “busy” type of action that keeps you busy and not getting results.)

Commitment is a powerful tool of creation and performance.

You know what you are committed to by looking around at your life. Those are the results of your commitments.

My money is on Ellie walking out the door with Gucci sneakers, someday.

And someday, she’ll take her commitment to something much, much bigger. Just like her dad.

Because she knows it works.

Love,

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