Do not say no, it’s ok when a friend asks me if she can share the latest gossip.
Do not assume hearing negative subject matter about conflict and criticism won’t bother me. It sure did.
Do not cultivate negativity. Getting involved means I feel lower emotions just in listening.
Do not offer an opinion, or advice to help, because it doesn’t involve me.
Do not place my thoughts there for long. Do something else before a funky mood settles in, which in this case, did.
Instead, next time…(and there’s sure to be more practice)…
Remember to answer yes, I’d rather not know what’s going on. Thanks for asking.
Remember that my well-being comes first.
Remember that even listening about conflict is not beneficial.
Remember to talk about anything else but news and gossip.
Remember how energy works and how it affects me (and others).
Remember that I feel lighthearted and inspired because of my awesome habits.
Remember that I always have a choice. It may seem I’m being polite and kind by listening and responding to poop. But the kindest thing is to stay true to where I usually sit now…in a lighter space, where I’m inspired and lighthearted.
It’s been easy to be attracted to bright and shiny objects as I look for more fulfillment in my life. But as I learned after living most of my lifetime, is that shiny objects offer hollow promises and a short cut to feeling temporarily better…instead of pursuing the more squirm-worthy, but valuable and braver act, of looking at myself for more long-term benefits. Workshops used to be one of my shiny objects. I absolutely love learning, and I remember practically skipping to any and all workshops about spirituality. Years ago I had two parts, the corporate girl and the extremely open minded somewhat funky girl (to me anyway). And I was a master at keeping my different interests compartmentalized. I catch myself still doing a little of this around friends and family, but that’s a subject for another blog entry. Anyway, the workshops I gravitated to back then taught meditation techniques (and I already knew how to meditate but the perfectionist in me wanted to do it really well), the uses for essential oils (I now own a gazillion bottles and hardly use them), or how to align with one’s highest self through accessing the tiny space of one’s heart while opening our merkabas. This last one was utter bunk and just as complicated as it sounded, fraught with hypocrisy, and one surprisingly negative video. There was no pony to be found in that workshop. It was at that point, that particular kind of learning started to lose it’s shine. But wait there’s more…I’d already signed up for the one where we all rolled around on the floor with our eyes closed (me peeking once in a while to make sure everyone hadn’t rolled off for lunch). I’ve long since forgotten what the purpose of that one was. Over my lifetime many shiny objects have decorated my life, from renovating my living space, advancing my career, taking vacations, to buying things. Some shiny objects are fun and gratifying and nothing wrong with that. But some are convenient distractions for me to take a longer road to where I really want to go. I’m becoming aware which is which. It’s no longer easier to stay in the mainstream. I need to do my own thing now, and there are no shiny objects attached to it to dazzle people with. It’s just as well because my experience is that when most shiny objects lose their luster, there’s just me standing there. Yikes…I’m the whoopteedoo shiny thing I was looking for. At the time, that was unbelievable for someone who felt worthless most of the time. Now that I no longer feel that way about myself, I’m creating my own definition of what really feels good to me, and it isn’t necessarily what other people will be dazzled by or understand. I’ll always be able to converse with someone about our mutual mainstream interests. There are those conversation topics I can become temporarily engaged with, but, after a point, I’m truly and utterly bored… There are so many amazing things I’m experiencing and learning about that are so much more interesting to me. I do know this…that any shiny object I pursue eventually leads me back to myself.
A couple of weeks ago I was having dinner with an acquaintance. At one point she asked me what my gifts are. Even though her question was within the context of our conversation, it still threw me off for a second. I stammered through a lame sentence or two, yammering about something I’d probably be embarrassed about, if I could still remember what I said. And then I blurted out “being me”! I mentioned that sharing my story is my gift. For most of my life, I stayed in the background so that no one would notice me because I felt I had nothing of value to offer. While I no longer feel that way about myself, in hearing that question, I froze and wanted to disappear. Where was our waiter to interrupt us? My old insecurities and doubt elbowed their way into our dinner conversation. Putting my beautiful feelings and beliefs about myself to words might possibly result in her judging me. And, given our conversation topic, I assumed she expected me to say that I could hear someone’s thoughts, or see energy, or know the future. Instead, I eventually got around to answering that my gift is just being me. I hoped she wasn’t disappointed. I finally feel I’m pretty awesome and I’d really rather not hide myself anymore. But I still want to hide sometimes. The thought of many people looking at me as I walked towards my husband at the alter, completely unhinged me. When my zumba instructor invited me up to the front of the room to dance with her groupies, I was both flattered and terrified. When I give a talk I have so many gifts to share, but it’s such an enormous challenge and stretch for me. Do I have other perceived “gifts” along the lines of our conversation? Yes. However, the bigger point is that, my gift is being me and allowing myself to share all that I’ve learned, see others…while letting them see me, figuratively and literally.
The ideas and nudges are flowing and it appears I’m unstuck. First, I decided to start another meetup group in addition to the one I already have. Just seeing what works best and learn what I’m interested in. Possibly overachieving, I started a third meetup group. One group is on healing and making conscious changes for a kick-ass life (yup I actually put that on Meetup). The other one is for inspired souls with a purpose (I have high hopes for this one). And I still have the conversations on spirituality meetup. Whoever attends is always perfect.
Meetups, in addition to bringing folks together who have common interests, are a terrific opportunity to take on a leadership role. Because I’ve been such a back-of-the-room person, my meetups stretch me to step up and be seen…even if it’s in front of only just one person, which often happens. It’s also a way to share with others while practicing non-judgment. All that is super helpful if we’re coming together to work and cooperate towards a common goal. I became more inspired later in the week when I attended a documentary at a film festival in our town. Unfortunately, we were meeting with someone in our home and our meeting ran into the movie’s start time. I really wanted to go anyway so I arrived halfway through the movie. I wondered why I was paying for a movie I’d only see half of. It became very clear when afterwards I met a film fest volunteer and we had a weirdly wonderful conversation. Clearly I was supposed to go to this movie so that I could meet her. She said something that gave me an idea for another step I can take. Plus she was just a really cool person, a seemingly very positive woman, and the kind of person I’m drawn to lately. She was intuitive and happy to share her generous information with me, specifically for me. That was my intuitive guidance working hard on my behalf. I’ve been meeting other folks leading to more very unusual conversations that remind me where my passion is. I plan to keep taking steps, follow my instincts to whatever it is I’m excited about. Where exactly I’m headed I couldn’t tell you but it’s always unfolding. It just requires me taking some sort of action. And that’s the challenge.