I would definitely consider myself a creature of habit, one who thrives on routine, and enjoys little things like choosing my coffee mug every day and counting my blessings for the roof over my head and the computer that I have to do my writing. Based on the standard, my life, even with its crazy ups and downs is seriously above average. The ups and downs I speak of are what have caused me to do a lot of seeking, contemplating, and work, to understand myself and why I am here on this earth. My whole life I have looked for patterns and meaning but now, as I get older, I want to know how it all adds to my path and what actions I can take to create my best possible life and hopefully help others along the way too.
I was visiting with Neda (check her out on IG @nedaheals), the amazing energy healer in Redondo Beach, who I did an interview with (click link here).
While I have always considered myself somewhat timid and definitely shy, she pointed out to me the other day that, as I walk this new path of single motherhood, independent life, and needing to be both nurturer and producer at the same time, my choices for how I am setting up my goals for The Optimist Journal march straight into the path that I am most afraid of. It wasn’t something that I had considered before but, as she spoke, I saw that she was right.
The path of creating a blog and website to help people tell their stories and learn from mine, and other healers that cross my path, puts me directly in front of the things I have feared most. Not only do I have a new book to promote, (as I said before, the writing is the fun part) I am stepping out of my comfort zone and announcing two speaking engagements as well. The first I will do at Brigadoon 2019 in Sundance, Utah, on Feb 26. One of the slogans for Brigadoon is “No PowerPoints, ever.” Boy is that right up my alley, no technology, just a conversation on my topic of optimism and my new book, 365 Days of Optimism…easy enough for me because it feels so organic.
The second event is in my hometown of Fresno, on March 26, where I will have an original, one on one conversation with Coach Chris P Austin, two-time NCAA Champion, about how we as humans learn from both the principles we apply to our lives and the experiences that we encounter and create along the way. Do principles or experiences serve us best? Is it a combination of both? How do experiences and our principles affect coaching and parenting kids today? How do they affect our relationships and our own heroes journey that every human has the gut instinct to seek? And those are just a few of the questions we will talk about in our conversation. I promise this conversation will be nothing short of interesting, relevant and valuable.
Back to Neda and what she noticed in me, that actually helped me see myself as braver than I believed myself to be before our talk. She showed me that in laying out my plan to create The Optimists Journal and help people heal generational pain, I dove headlong into confronting my biggest insecurities and the things that scare me most.
I am afraid of being seen. I have stood up in front of crowds and forgotten what I was supposed to say, it may have been fourth grade, but it hung with me. Then as I got older, being noticed caused me a lot of trouble in my relationship. If I did something well, there would be a moment of recognition for whatever I would accomplish and that felt good, but too quickly it would turn into defending myself for whatever attention was given, which created a pattern of shrinking back and not fulfilling my purpose. It felt like being a turtle who sticks her neck out only to have something scare her quickly to make her retract into her shell.
I am not an expert in anything. There is no Dr. before my name and my degree from Cal Poly SLO has absolutely nothing to do with this creative endeavor. The more I live though, I am convinced that as long as I am an expert learner and my mind stays open, the things I gather as a student of life give me great human credentials. No book is shut, no idea fully developed in my line of thinking. There is always room to improve, learn something new, even change an opinion or two if the right argument is presented. Raising four totally different humans beings, learning from love, loss, sports and everything else that each day of my life has brought forth is reason to celebrate, share and speak up…especially if its exactly what scares me most.
So as I was reminded tonight as I read the weekly newsletter, The Long Game,
written by Taylor Somerville, a guy I met when I took part in an XPT Life Experience in Malibu,
who is boldly carving his own path as well, I will focus on my process and my work and let the expectations, the thoughts of others, and even the results fall away. If I can achieve that in my head and heart, success is not just a potential but a guarantee.