This morning I had a epiphany that is increasing in impact as it sinks in: my subconscious is expecting me to redesign me. I started this process of unpacking my life and redesigning my habits and pace of my life. The idea was to reduce my consumption and stress level, and increase my level of good activities. Today I spent some time in a meditative state and realized that I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety because I thought at some level that I would transform me by changing all of these other externalities.
What is that saying? Wherever you go, there you are. In some part of my head, I was believing I needed to change in some fundamental way. This has been making the redesign very difficult. First, because I am not changing the core of who I am with all of the external changes I made. Second, because there is an implied judgement that I need to change.
This morning I agreed to evaluate my redesign. It is about bringing my everyday life into sync with who I am. It is not about changing my essential self. Of course I will continue to evolve. However, I am going to continue to let go of the expectation of transformation because I am just fine as a person. Kind and sometimes crabby. Funny and sometimes too serious. Intelligent and sometimes triggered. Perfect and flawed. Just like every other human on the planet.
In my Co-active leadership course we learned about arcs–those natural beginning, middle, and ends of relationships, activities, and organizations. A few arcs in my life are worth noting.
I went to New York City to spend time with some of my Panther tribe buddies. Ray, Christie, Connie and I had a jam-packed weekend that confirmed that the arc on the leadership experience is still in the rich and rewarding phase. Maybe it has started a new arc of deep friendship that thrives without the support of all of the structure of seminars and pod calls.
However, the arc on taking red-eye flights is so over for me. A week later and I am finally feeling all my molecules in one place again. I am planning a visit to New Zealand in December. Otherwise, I do not even feel the desire to look at the deals on Southwest Airlines or Jet Blue for awhile.
I do not know where I thought I was in the writing fiction arc before my first feedback from writing group last Thursday, certainly somewhere different that the three other members. They brought my writing ability into perspective, like one of those posters of the galaxy with an arrow and “you are here” signposts. It reminded me of my experience in Drawing 101 at USC in Fall 1980 when I realized I might not even be relied on to draw a straight line. It was a positive shock and I am not going to quit. Now I have a much more realistic understanding of how much work writing fiction is and I am determined to stick with it, just like I did with drawing class where I did eventually become competent.
The arc metaphor does not adequately describe every situation. My relationship with my children defies analogy. While Tevis is traveling in Asia with Google, Sarah and I have shared a lot of rich stuff, some of it painful for one or the other of us or both. So my time in the “waiting room” is both offering us an opportunity to love one another more deeply and really dance on each others’ nerves. I hope we will look back at this time and give thanks for the time we had living in each other pockets (with a dog and a cat).
Tonight I am thinking about my redesign and wondering where I am in the process. I managed to shed almost all of my material belongings (and have not reacquired them). I am earning a good living on part-time hours and this allows me to maintain good habits like cycling and zumba. So I am somewhere mid-arc. It is like that uncomfortable moment when you are cleaning out your closet and everything is still in piles and a few things are carefully and elegantly put back and there is still a lot of stuff to figure out a place for in the closet.
I will figure it out. Just have to stick with the chaos a while longer.