In a moment of relaxation, glorious sun warming, cheer of birdsong playing, and then the whrrr of the large snaking freeways pushing, pushing themselves into my productive mind. No longer able to just read and appreciate the last day of vacation, the cars keep poking at me as if to say: Where do You need to be going? What do You need to be getting done? Time to get off your lazy butt and make something happen. Replies the inner whine, But I’m on vacation! Can I not just relax?!
Relax. Relax. Can I really let myself when the list of things to accomplish is so long? Unrelentingly long. And who made this list? Me. And why? Why are all these items on my unending list? Why are they each so bloody important that they have to be obstructing my moments of peace?
Because I want to be Successful! At everything it seems. And even though I know this is not a reality, the ability to be successful at everything, my socialized brain has this annoying habit of insisting on the importance.
In my well-trained mind success equals:
1. You come to my home and think it lovely, clean, organized, inviting = I am a Good Designer, Impressive Host, someone you’re comfortable with, you trust because I keep a nice home – “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” after all. There is some actual truth to this, peace of mind related, but we’re not talking about that right now, we’re talking about how I can sometimes care too much about what you and what others think.
2. You meet my child and notice how well taken care of she is, how kind and astute, the respect and love between us witnessed in our communication style with one and other = I am a Good Mom.
3. You see my companies growing, my awesome employees, images of my creative work, marketing for new classes, graphics savvy, writings on target, quotes from clients who have learned and grown so much through our work together = I am an Empowered Business Owner.
4. You meet my partner, handsome, well-dressed, great smile, kind heart, wise disposition, you notice how openly and lovingly we relate, the way we touch each other, look at each other, the classes we teach together, and the healthy boundaries we keep = I am a Wise, Enlightened Human, to have such a partnership. Please know I really am exposing my backside, my vulnerabilities here.
5. You see me speak, powerful, eloquent, expressive, authentic, connected to you and the creative force that is leading me, presenting in stylish clothes – professional with a personal flair – just the right shoes, just the right words spoken, at the right time = I have so Got My Shit Together, am so connected to Life = Oy! How the ego can get caught and run amok, even in the most divine of territories.
And even if all of the above were true at times, and definitely not at others, my ego mind still gets hooked in search of the next tick on my measuring stick: How many followers do I have on Facebook and Twitter, on Instagram and Pinterest? How many are coming to my classes, are knocking on my door begging me to work with them? A good amount maybe… but not enough, according to the social media success-o-meter that equals whether or not a publisher will even look at my work, whether or not I am a super-magnet for more, whether I have created a viral impact stealing your attention from another focus, providing the magic potion for your own happiness and success, that you think I have the answer.
And now I feel like crying. Because, really, from this perspective, it’s all just too much. Too much pressure. Too much external placed on my happiness, my well-being. Too much façade. Not enough heart. Not… enough… heart.
How to get myself out of this place, this rat race, this mind-mess I’ve swirled myself into?
Stop moving. Slow the thinking. Pause. Breathe. Take in a moment of quiet to connect with Life. Move my attention away from this world of juggling mental craziness, away from the anaconda of freeways going here and there to accomplish this and that. Move my attention to one deep breath – breathe in to the count of five, hold for five and out for five. And do it again. Breathe down into my belly. Breathe into my heart. The space naturally gracing me with the focus on my breath.
No matter where I am, (car, office, home or bathroom stall), my breath begins to dissolve the grip of my whirling mind and helps me rejoin my body, the keeper of my feelings that I have been avoiding with all this action to keep me “looking good.” Once reconnected with my body, with my heart, with my self, I usually have a good cry, letting all the build-up fall away from me, cleansing from the inside out, until the moment of stress dissolves into a hundred breaths and tears running through my heart into the rivers of the earth.
Now my heart can start to drive again. Now I can get back to my thankful awareness of this magical pulse in the world. Back to leading my life according to my intuition, back to trust, back to the clear “what’s next” that guides me through my greater purpose, to the bigger vision I am holding; all my actions getting me there in perfect time.
My heart cares nothing for the pressures I have created in my mind. My heart cares only about this moment, cares about being with it, and being with you, right here, right now.
So what is success? On the freeways of life leading us in so many different directions it still feels good to check things of my list, but in a way where my connection to self, others and the planet stays intact, where my heart leads my mind and body. It is my great desire that our collective success is a series of caring, valued, authentic partnerships where what we do and say is an honest contribution for the betterment of each other and our world.
To Our Success!
to Living Sensual!
Live in Love with Life