Tag: self development

Getting to the edge

For those who have been reading this blog for my flash fiction challenge stories, I’ll have one later today. Right now, though, I’m pondering procrastination. Actually, no, wait. It’s not procrastination.

I’m not procrastinating on working on the thing I need to do. I am getting things done. But, oh, wow, it’s like watching trees breathe. Things are happening inside me. I am making micro strides toward my goal, but instead of taking the leap and starting, I am arranging everything so it is just so.

That can’t be right. Inching my way forward has never been my style. I’ve always jumped in. Always. But for this, this really important part of my life (the Earth Science education work I do with children to help them understand our planet and make informed decisions as they grow), I am hesitating.

izzyjumping
Me, mid-dive over Key West, Florida

The best way I can describe is skydiving. The one time I tried skydiving, I did it. I am not afraid of heights. I love them. I am pretty adventurous and willing to take on most challenges. But I remember being in that little rusty plane flying over Key West. As we ascended to 10,000 feet (the good jump elevation), I got increasingly nervous. What the heck was I doing? I was a nutter. But no, I persevered and didn’t tell them descend and let me out of that little bucket of bolts.

Then, the instructor gave us directions. What we would need to do and how we would need to do it. I understood and knew I would be going first. My husband would follow. As the instructor attached himself to my back for our tandem dive, everything began to move in super slo-mo. I was inching my way towards the door, but every movement became deliberate and slow. It was almost like I started testing myself to see how little I could do while still making some sort of progress towards this thing I had always wanted but had never done. Eventually, I did, and it was incredible. So freeing. But as I edged towards the open door,

Right now, I am facing the same dilemma with my Earth Lady work. I know I need to get out there and get more schools interested in the work and projects I can provide. Once they hear about it and once they work with me, they’re on board! But those initial contacts? Yikes! They scare me. I know what I need to do, but I am moving through quicksand. Every single motion slows me down. I inch forward. Yesterday, I promised myself I would identify ten schools I could call. I outdid myself and listed eleven. Small victory, though. I haven’t called a one. Today, I will. Even if I fail miserably.

The other day, my husband and I listened to Benji Bruce’s webinar on getting work. He said something that resonated: “You can make excuse or you can make money. You can’t do both at the same time.”

Yes!

If I modify it to fit my predicament, it would be, “You can make progress or you can make excuses. You can’t do both at the same time.”

And what’s more, I think that can be said for any endeavor. If we want it, we can make it happen, but it will take work – dedicated, constant work.

And, I’m off to do just that!

Am I Doing What I Want To Be Doing?

file-sep-06-11-26-52-amI have set up a new lock screen on my phone. It asks me a question every time I turn the phone on. “Are you doing what you want to be doing?” And here’s the thing. I have to answer the question.

There are of course many answers to the question. First, I could be doing something I adore (writing, reading for someone, petting a cat, putting my toes in the ocean, making music, spending time with loved ones, traveling, etc.), so of course, I am doing what I want to be doing.

Next, I could be doing something I “have” to be doing or “need” to be doing. That might also be something fabulous (like washing my hair, which I need to do every day, or else, but which also gives me great pleasure).

I could also be doing something I dislike. This morning, I wasn’t the Earth Lady. I was the Poop Lady. Between Pyro’s health issues that result in poop wherever he happens to be standing when the need overtakes him, scooping the general litter box contents, and picking up after Hatha, I spent more than I truly wanted to on poop patrol.

And then of course, comes the more serious stuff I dislike like accounting, filing, business admin stuff. That stuff challenges me like crazy. I struggle with it, and I taking steps to improve on it with software, books, articles, and other guidance.

But, I still keep coming back to, am I doing what I want to be doing? I could have asked the question differently. I could have asked, “Do you want to be doing what you are doing?” Perhaps, that might have made what I am about to write easier for me to swallow. What I am talking about here is the first part more than the second part. Because, if I don’t want to be doing what I am doing, why the heck am I doing it? Because I have to? Partly. But also because some of the stuff that I have to do is because of habit. If I take all the stuff I have to do or need to do and transform it into stuff I want to do or get to do, how does it change? How does my life change?

What I’m talking about here is a modification of my perspective. Can I switch all the need to and have to into want to and get to?

When I am scooping poop, I am taking care of my critters. I am ensuring they have their needs met and that my house doesn’t become a sty. I can also incorporate my love for them into the action? How would that change it?

When I am doing accounting or sending out contracts, I am ensuring that I get to be compensated to keep doing work I love and work I feel is important (reading for people, teaching kids how to save the Earth, or helping people be more creative, or exposing them to cool music, etc.). So, don’t I owe to myself to take care of those other parts of that business so that I can keep doing what I want and love to be doing? Doesn’t that change things? (I have done it with exercise. In my late teens, I hated it. I didn’t want any part of it. In my 20s, I did it because I had to. In my 30s, it began to transform because certain forms of exercise were necessary to manage my hypothyroidism. Nowadays, I do it because I adore it. I work on the standing bag. I do Zumba. I dance. I practice yoga or Tai Chi, and I swim. I love using my body and have a great time with it. The best part? I always always feel better afterward. Working out has become like brushing my teeth. It is part of my daily activities, and it is one I enjoy, like crazy.)

So that brings me back to the question. Am I doing what I want to be doing? Or rather, do I want to be doing what I am doing? Implied in the question is, “And if not, why not?” And more to the point, can I change my perspective? And even further, can I do it right now so that the very act of doing something I don’t want to do transforms in front of my eyes into something fabulous.

Yes! I get so scoop poops. Yes! I get to do accounting. Yes! The two are equivalent in my mind because of my resistance to doing them (no offense to the accountants and bookkeepers I know; it’s not you, it’s me).

So, I release my resistance, I start getting to live my life from a place of acceptance rather than resistance. And that is a much better locale for me.