May 13, 2020 — In the Old Normal, BC (“before COVID-19”), today I would have awakened in the Hyatt House Seattle/Redmond excited for a day-long training with my amazing coaching group followed by a raucous party to celebrate our 8-month coaching cycle together. Alas, not so, but I don’t miss the rat race of traveling yet. (I’m pretty sure my husband does, though!) Instead, we, as a group, will still connect via Zoom for an awesome 3 hours thought. Better than nothing!! (and maybe we will feel better tomorrow without that “over-celebrating”…LOL)
Book recommendation alert: I am reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle right now. (The gift of quarantine: reading more!) O.M.G. it is incredible. I highly recommend. So often these blog posts are inspired by something I’ve just read because I read right before I write. Glennon eloquently drives home point after point, especially about people (especially women).
She invites people to write down their stories and mail them to her, literally, in snail mail. And she READS them. ALL OF THEM. Imagine the deep, raw insight she receives on the daily about the human experience in real time. I love what she said in her book, (I’m paraphrasing here) “People are so absolutely f*cked up and completely magical at the same time.”
I couldn’t agree more. I love those two adjectives used in tandem.
We are MAGICAL beings. We can and constantly do AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL things. But then, we stop ourselves…damn that EGO. It’s a constant vicious cycle.
I’m living that for sure, right now. It’s a bit cliched, for sure, but we constantly get in our own way. It’s not really our fault, since we have been honing that practice for years, even decades. That is some ingrained crap that takes real work to undo. We are afraid to SHOW UP as ourselves, for fear that it’s not “just right,” “good enough” or (here’s the worst one) “perfect”. Ugh, just UGH.
I took a tennis lesson with my son the other day, and I thought it was a terrific lesson in that we learned a lot about the mechanics of forehands and backhands and what slight adjustments we can make to improve. My son is a natural athlete. As he hit ball after ball, I just wanted to stop hitting and watch him move. So amazing! I marvel at his innate ability and fluidity with any sport he does. It is really something to see.
Afterwards in the car, I asked, “how did you like the lesson?” And his answer killed me.
He said, “Well, I didn’t play very well.”
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? I died.
This is a spot-on example of getting in our own way. Here was a LESSON, not a match, or even a scrimmage, where we were there to LEARN, and he focused on the feeling of “not playing well”. (and I just mentioned above how well he DID play!)
I realize there are so many factors at play here, starting with the fact that he’s a teenager, but also the inherent constant competitiveness of his every waking moment via the media and now, apparently, INSIDE HIS OWN HEAD. It probably kept him from working even harder during that lesson.
Damn. I must say it that frankly, because it BREAKS this mama’s heart.
So, I turn to myself: am I perpetuating any of this on him, too? I’m not getting into parenting today, because we will be here all day, but I don’t doubt that he gets some messages from his parents as well. Messages that are more about achieving than the process of learning. Ouch.
Today, and every day, I seek to own ME and my process and stop obsessing over the outcome or how perfect I am or how much I’m like someone online I want to emulate.
My way is my own way. And that’s how I am supposed to be. It’s way too hard to be someone else, have you noticed? Boulders.
I’m going to play with my own beach balls, and encourage my sons to do the same.
PS Thanks for reading, I really mean that. And in case you forgot to tell yourself today, I will: “You are awesome!!! Just do YOU!!”