Getting through the holiday season
Parallel parking sucks.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am down right terrible at parallel parking. If I cannot pull in a spot, I don’t park in it. I’ve been known to drive all over waiting for a clear and wide open spot. My parking often looks like one part of ‘X marks the spot’. That is why this story is so spectacular!
I had been out shopping with my family in a small town. We were arriving and looking for a spot to park. I saw one and knew I would be heading int that spot. The most inviting aspect was that it was a spot on the left side which meant I was going to do the most extraordinary parking job ever! And since I don’t park well on the right side when moving into a tight spot, I had to laugh.
I pulled up close and side-by-side to the truck in front. I turned my wheels and began to back up. About half way, I turned the wheels the opposite direction and finished backing in. I straightened out my wheels and BAAM! I was in the spot. Oh my gosh! I was so incredibly excited!! Grinning ear to ear…I had to take a picture as proof that we can do this out of the ordinary.
Now……I left out the most interesting detail about this story AND the one that got me thinking -
HOW IN THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN WITH SUCH SMOOTHNESS?
The part I must confess is the tiny itty-bitty moment just as I began to back up that I observed in me.
I released the attachment to failing. I had a car filled with people that knew I was a terrible driver and that parallel parking was not my thing.
It is our attachment to an outcome that often derails the what is meant to be happening. We get stuck in our thinking, our memories, and our habits.
As if in quick sand and unable to move, we get locked in one approach being the only approach; one belief being the only belief; and one way of thinking being the only way of thinking.
Getting out of our comfort zone is so necessary if we want to grow. Living life to its fullest is all about growing, learning, and changing.
“Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be unlocked from the inside.” - Marilyn Ferguson.
Learning is growing and changing who you are to become a better you.
Carol Dweck tells us in the book, Mindset, “Becoming is better than being.” WHY? Because in becoming, we are always growing, changing and adapting to new experiences, people and life. We are willing to reach beyond the moment and go into an unknown environment. We are willing to explore what happens.
Years ago, I blew my knee out with the triple whammy – ACL, MCL and Meniscus. It was the toughest experience ever!!!! I was on crutches; I was in therapy for 8 months; I had to ask for help with driving, cooking, etc. I have vivid memories of the therapy. Learning how to bend it again and trust it again to move was so challenging for me. I fell, slipped, and got soo frustrated often!!! Moves that had been simple before were my biggest hurdle – jumping, running and stairs!! I can recall a conversation with the therapist. As tears were wildly running down my face, I whispered to him, “I’ve never had to work at anything this hard before.”
My failures and struggles were inviting opportunities because they caused me to slowly continue the momentum of progress.
Change is personal. Change is hard, troublesome, exciting, and risky. YET….if we are willing to receive…….change can be beautiful and adoring.
We have to be willing to take risks to try, put forth effort into the unknown and function in an uncomfortable zone in order to grow, change and deliver different results. We have to be willing to receive the newness that comes from growth and change. I often use the metaphor that change is like being squeezed through a tube of toothpaste. And change can be freeing.
“It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.” - RALPH ELLISON
Often… the backwards way freely allows us to receive the change and it is in the uncomfortable challenges that we are forced to receive the new. In these painful and utmost bazaar occurrences, we find the true sense of who we are and our utmost potential. Change is not something that happens to us…..it is a gift that happens for us. As with any gift, we must receive with an open heart and a glad heart. It is in the receiving that we become our very best selves.
Salome Thomas-El says, “Failure is motivating….success is paralyzing.”
Perspective is a choice.
Ask yourself, “Are you being motivated or are you being paralyzed?”
How we see an experience is dependent upon who we are and what we rely on as our own fundamental truths. How we interpret an experience or words from another (feedback) is also dependent upon who we are and how we interpret based on our truths we hold sacred. We can allow the feedback to move us forward or hold us back. Ultimately the choice is our own.
Each time you choose outside of the old habit and pattern – whether that be with new word choices, or a different way to decide, or a different way of doing something – you are creating an aversion pathway. This new pathway becomes a diversion and creates powerful energy and momentum toward updated thinking and patterns of behaving.
During the recovery from my knee accident, I had to ask for help. This was not something I was good at. I absolutely love doing for others and giving to others AND I absolutely am no good at receiving from others. It totally puts me in an uncomfortable zone , in which I shy away from immediately. So, the day I had to call a friend and ask if she could pick up my child from school activity was horrible. I was shaking as the phone came close to my ear, my voice was as crackly as a fire with wet wood, and I had tears streaming down my cheeks as I quietly explained the situation and asked for help.
Change happens when the person unlocks the door to the opportunity with a willingness to receive. All the behavior, actions, beliefs before is just a blockade to articulate, “I’m just not ready for this. I’m just too afraid. “
Receiving is just as important as giving.
Being willing to accept change is the key to unlocking the gifts within the opportunity.
We are all still learning to live life with an open heart in all situations – we are a work in progress.
“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking potential.” -WINSTON CHURCHILL
Maybe this holiday season give a little less. In this way you are creating space to receive more. It will feel awkward at first – remember that toothpaste metaphor – and if you keep initiating this pattern it will gain its own strength.