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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on this blog — my posting energy is going toward the Memoir Inner Circle these days — but I’m in the mood to write and with you is where I want to be.
In about an hour, I’m giving an interview for Transform Your Life radio and it’s got me thinking about what I stand for. You would think after all these years of standing for it, I’d know. But the truth is, sometimes I forget.
It’s complicated to be me. I don’t want to say it’s hard, because that clouds how utterly joyous it is to be me. But so far, it isn’t simple. It’s messy. Confusing. Sticky. I’m working on that, in a lovely, gentle, surrendering way, but it’s still complicated. And sometimes what happens is that I get lost. I sort of forget, for moments to days at a time, who I am really. And I think then that I never knew or if I did know, I’ll never remember and how on Earth would I now go about finding out.
It’s silly, of course. The path back is almost always easy, simple even. It’s a trusted piece of music that reminds me. It’s a few minutes of pure presence. It’s writing, always the truth and starting with exactly where I am. Which brings me to my visit to you today.
So what do I know in this moment about what I believe and for what I stand? What do I have to say to women listening to Transform Your Life radio on the Amazing Women of Power network? Well…
The first thing that comes to mind is that we humans, in general, routinely underestimate ourselves. So many people, I think, look at me and my life and think, “Wow, that’s amazing but I could never do that. I could never sustain such a huge loss and go on to make so much of my life.” But I’m pretty sure it’s not true. And I think it’s untrue because I would have said the same thing.
Never in a million years would I have guessed that I had such resilience in me, such courage, spirit, and strength. Never. And yet, here I am, living an extraordinary life despite being touched everyday, still, by my loss. I mean, who is that woman? Not the woman I thought I was, for sure. Not even on my most confident, self-loving days.
But she’s here. She shows up again and again, says “yes” again and again to living the life of her dreams. And it’s my opinion that I am not unique in this way (or, at least, that I am not unique in my ability… I may be unique in my choice). It’s just that most of us haven’t been pushed to the kind of edge I was. We haven’t been forced to find out who exactly we are and what exactly we can do. Or we were pushed but our life did not hold, in that moment, the support we needed to thrive, and we mistakenly came to believe that we didn’t have it in us.
My point here, is that we are all extraordinary, without exception. Whether or not we have demonstrated it yet. Whether or not we have “failed” in the past. Whether or not we can imagine it. We are all extrarodinary. And if you think you are not, you are underestimating yourself.
Another thing that comes to mind is that there will always be reasons not to live the lives of our dreams. There will always be perceived obstacles (money, time, talent, opportunity…), and if there aren’t, you can be sure a few will show up the minute you decide to change your life. It’s just how it works. But in my opinion, there isn’t an obstacle that is truly insurmountable. It may take more of you than you’ve ever experienced, more creativity, more willingness to seek and accept help, more courage, more faith, more resilience, but there is always a path through. Always. The problem is, most of the time we give up even before we start because the obstacles seem so real, so permanent. I guess what’s important is to realize that the facts — a $0 balance; too much to do; no idea where to begin; paralysis — aren’t necessarily in question (though often, they are). It’s our relationship to those facts that’s at issue. Just because the facts exist, doesn’t mean they have to stop us.
I don’t actually like writing like this, I have to say. I’m really much more comfortable telling stories that illustrate my perspective than I am summarizing my perspective. But it’s helping to remind me why Transform Your Life radio would want an interview with me in the first place. And it’s helping me come forward toward myself. It’s shifting the part of me in which I’m sitting. That’s worth a lot to me in this moment. I hope it’s worth something to you.
So, it’s several weeks later now. The interview turned out to be a blast. It was fun and easy and having written the above words just prior to being interviewed was a great exercise.
You know, in the coaching world, when someone interviews you, they’re often asking questions you, yourself, have supplied. You come to the table with something you want to say and the interviewer is enabling you to say them by asking questions pre-designed for that purpose. In the theater world, it’s not like that. Whether I was being interviewed for radio or print, I never supplied my own questions. The interviewer came with his/her own agenda and I wasn’t privy to that agenda beforehand.
That’s how the Transform Your Life radio interview was. I had no idea what Rose James, the host, was going to ask and I didn’t supply any suggestions. I had a basic understanding of the audience and the intention of the show, but that was it. And it was, I think, truly transformational.
Rose did incredibly extensive research on me prior to the interview. She pulled up stuff I didn’t even know was out there, or have long since forgotten I ever said or wrote. And her introduction actually made me cry. It was such a powerful reflection of the person I am, that person I’m so often forgetting. It’s quite possible that that, alone, would have snapped me back to myself.
Anyway, I thought Rose’s questions were truly insightful and she asked things I never would have thought to talk about. For instance, she wondered where I’d gotten the self-esteem to allow Dean to adore me so utterly. It’s such a good question. We are, so many of us, pushing away the love that is offered. We’re criticizing the bearer, minimizing the offering, vilifying the intention. And Dean is definitely nodding his head and shaking me for all the years I did exactly that (and sometimes still do!). I loved being able to consider that question (for which I did not have a clear, pat answer, but the investigation was juicy). There were some other really poignant questions, too. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to remember them now. We’ll all just have to find out when the interview airs. I don’t have an air date yet but I’ll be sure to pass it along when I do.
And if, by chance, you’re missing hearing from me, please be encouraged to join the Memoir Inner Circle. I’m posting very regularly there and between that and writing the memoir itself, there just isn’t enough time and creative space to also post here on a regular basis. I’m not shutting down this blog for sure, but I’m likely to continue to be a bit quiet. So please, join us in the Memoir Inner Circle. Posts come directly to your Inbox and there’s lots of good humor and wisdom and insight coming out of my writing process. I think you’ll enjoy it. (You can sign up in the sidebar on the right, or go here.)
Ok, that’s it for now. Thanks for helping me remember who I am. Thanks for letting me remind you who you are. We make a brilliant pair.