Want to walk a brief path of discovery with me?
If so, then think about a recent situation where you felt stuck, frustrated, irritated, or maybe even defeated. Now consider this:
When we’re in the grip of dissonance, it’s likely we’re trampling on an important value. And our system is sending flare signals of distress.
I was there – last week. Technology issues devoured my time, energy and disposition as I watched my ability to meet deadlines slip away. It was quite the cluster including:
- Outlook became an etch-a-sketch: showing dates and then magically erasing the dates.
- Calendly refused to recognize my vacation exactly as people were scheduling online dates.
- Zoom continued to randomly deny access to start my scheduled sessions.
And you know how it works: One (too long) IT call/chat solves a problem only to create a new one. It was crazy-making and I had lost control.
Here Comes the Judge (aka Inner Critics)
Something had to give, and with that very thought in walked The Bench – my very own supreme court of seriously-serious judges.
They were not happy. They pronounced that I was going to forge forward with all commitments no matter what. A promise is a promise and I was to follow through because frankly my very character and competency were at risk. Thus leaving me in a heightened state of static and confusion.
Have you noticed that these inner critics don’t do dialogue? They talk endlessly at us, but not with us.
They want to solve our problems, but not with new information. They are the keepers of the status quo. Once they likely served a purpose. Now, maybe 2% of their council is useful yet they speak as if the sole authority.
Time to Go Belly Up
I asked The Bench if they would kindly depart and discuss something urgent, like climate crisis, in a separate room leaving me space to better problem solve – and to begin my belly-up exploration.
So what was the underbelly of this frenetic situation? What value had I trampled down into the dark?
Settling back into my body, I realized that my back and shoulders were aching from too much sitting, missed dog walks, a missed lap swim, and another dumb dinner loomed ahead because I didn’t have time to shop at my farm store. And OMG I could just taste the fresh strawberries and arugula awaiting me there. The season is so short, and they’re so delicious – just the thought makes me so happy.
Wait – happy? Me? I just felt happy? Did I lose myself by thinking I could be all things to all people? Was the belly-up side of my overwhelm a need to honor my value of self-care?
Ready to Rock the Boat?
The Bench was not pleased with my self-care discovery and roared: What’s this wimpy, weak, whining self-care pity party? Get over yourself and get back to work!
Following our values guarantees we will rock the boat – our own and others. It’s a path of choosing resonance over dissonance, over and over again. It isn’t a destination but rather a state of being in the moment. We’ll never arrive and as we continue to choose our values, we deepen our fulfillment, purpose and passion.
I actually chose to reschedule a couple of things, and it took a lot of courage. PLEASE NOTE: I didn’t get there by positive self-talk, which would have whithered under the scrutiny of The Bench. Rather, I got there by linking my decision to a core value of self-care.
And guess what? No one died, including me!
It was actually a great decision because with my energy restored, I was able to align with the joy I feel in being present and prepared. It still feels great.
So that situation I invited you to explore? What’s your belly-up? What’s a core value you might be trampling upon? Don’t expect to feel comfortable as you recognize it. Be prepared for your own Bench of critics. Then call in your support system, and rock the boat.
Good things await these moment-to-moment value realignments. Right now, what awaits me are two quarts of freshly picked strawberries.
Something good awaits you, too. I know it to be true.