I could fall, or I could fly
Here in your aeroplane
And I could live, I could die
Hanging on the words you say
And I’ve been known to give my all
And jumping in harder than
Ten thousand rocks on the lake
So don’t call me baby Unless you mean it Don’t tell me you need me If you don’t believe it So let me know the truth Before I dive right into you
I love Oprah. Don't you love Oprah? It's okay if you don't, but I do. One of the things Oprah always says she learned from her 25 years as a talk show host is that every person just wants to be seen and heard. To be validated and know that they matter.
This has always been stuck in my mind, but it didn't really hit me until one day last year. I had recently started my new job and I needed to ride a shuttle to the parking garage to and from work every day. I get on the shuttle, I get off the shuttle. And proper shuttle etiquette dictates that no one speaks to one another on the shuttle unless you really know the other person. Kind of like in an elevator. It's just weird if you do.
Well, at this new job, I was attending weekly meditation sessions in the chapel every Friday. There would be a short reading or music or something, we would meditate, and then we would discuss how it affected us afterward. I really loved this time with my coworkers.
One week, part of the reading had to do with coasting through life without being mindful. Being on auto-pilot and praying for the weekend to come. It hit me that I was guilty of this. And why? Why are we always wishing for the weekend to hurry up and get here. Well, I mean, duh. That's a dumb question I suppose, but my point is that these are our lives we are wishing away. Every moment of every day is what makes up our life. And we aren't really living it. We are missing our lives.
My first thought was of the work shuttle. Specifically, to the driver. I thought to myself, this man drives me twice a day and I bet if I saw him in a store I wouldn't even know who he is. I decided to start looking him in the eye and saying "Good morning" or "thank you" and also learn his name (it was Ron, by the way).
I also decided to start trying to be authentically present during my days. If someone walks up to my desk to speak with me, I determined that I would not keep working and mumble "uh-huh" or "okay". No, I would stop what I was doing and turn around and look them in the eyes and smile. I would actually see them and have an authentic interaction with them.
Wow! After doing this for a short time, I couldn't believe how it impacted my daily life and the relationships with the people around me! When people felt seen by me, you could see the joy coming into the situation. You could feel their energies start to rise.
I started to notice, "Wow, she has really pretty eyes." Or, "That's a really great tie he's wearing." Even, "I had no idea how funny he is once you actually get him talking." And I started telling them these things too. People blossomed and so did I. I've actually been told many times that they love working with me/my floor because I am the "friendliest" and "most fun." Not really saying that to brag, but to point out that what I actually think is happening is that people are feeling seen and heard and it is reflecting in their attitudes.
On the shuttle? The good mornings and thank you's started catching on and pretty soon (and still now I think, although I no longer ride the shuttle so can't confirm) it became a constant stream of "Good morning, good morning, Hello, good morning,..." when people entered the bus and "thank you, thank you, thank you, have a great day and thank you..." when they exited. Kindness is contagious! Especially when it is making people feel connected and like they matter. Because we all want that.
Recently someone told me that they could tell I was never happy with Paul because I have been letting my representative blog for several years now. I thought about that for a minute and had to concede to that fact. I have absolutely been letting my representative blog for a very long time.
Who or what is my representative you ask? Well, your representative is who is front and center when you have a wall or mask up. When you first meet someone, your representative makes you look as wonderful as possible. Like you are happy-go-lucky all the time.
In my case, my representative was posting very surface, benign posts like recipes, clipart, and crafts. When I'm happy, I am creative and deep. And my writing reflects that.
When talking to my friend last night about this, she agreed. She said, "Yeah, your writing changed when you got together with him and it's never been the same since." That's sad to me, but I know it's true.
So, what do I do about it? I'm not sure. As Elizabeth Gilbert describes in Big Magic, the Muse is an actual entity that will bring you inspiration when it knows you are serious about bringing forth works. I guess I just need to fake it till I make it so that the Muse will want to come back to me. Because what we had before? It was magic and I would like to get back to that place.
Not only is the full moon on Tuesday, but Mercury went retrograde today (until May 3rd). Be patient, be kind, and brace for impact. lol Don't make any major plans, have important conversations, or sign important paperwork for the next month...or it may go haywire.
I just finished this biography of Sheila Chisholm (also known as Lady Loughborough, Lady Milbanke, and Princess Dimitri). She was one of the original "it" girls. She was from Australia, but through marriage became one of the most popular London socialites in the 1920's and 1930's.
I've always said I should have lived during this time period because I have been fascinated with it for my whole life. This was a nice glimpse into that era of glamour and happiness.
I was telling my friend Lauren lately that I feel so creatively dry. See, normally I am an extremely creative person. I always have several projects going and if I see something that inspires me, I go home and make one for myself. But the past year or so? *cricket, cricket* Nope.
Why is that? I'm not totally sure. It just feels like the creative anointing has lifted off of me. But, I know that isn't true. I know that the Muse is still there, just waiting for me to tap back into that creative flow.
So I followed Elizabeth Gilbert's advice and did a creative CT scan on my life. Be still and think of all things creative and see if anything gives you a little tingle when you think about it. Even if it's just a little tingle, sometimes if you grab onto a thread and pull you will get a whole ball of yarn. As I scanned over all of the areas of my life...writing, painting, cooking, cross-stitch, knitting, making candles, etc....nah. Not much was happening.
Currently, the only things that I find intrigue me are cake decorating and photography. I would LOVE to learn cake decorating, but for what? I don't plan to open a bakery. And having cake and frosting around the house all the time? Oh Lort. That would be so bad. So, photography it is.
Lauren suggested that we go to different places and just spend a few hours taking pictures and see if it sparks my creativity at all. So, that's what we did today. For our first day out, we went to the West Side Market. I mean, come on...who couldn't be inspired in this gorgeous old building? I had a great time and had a delicious gyro all while taking some gorgeous pictures. It was a great day.
And then some from home because it was such a GORGEOUS day!