Life has ebbed and flowed over the past year. I have missed the space in my life that allows for pondering, writing, and sharing via my blog. Authenticity is very important to me and I have not felt that I could give of myself in the way I wanted to write and share in this past year. And since I bring myself to everything wholeheartedly I shut this blog life part of my life away in a closet. What I want — and have every intention to try — is to share (at random of course) blogs as I can. Hopefully it will not be another year until my next one.
I have been fascinated lately with how I will hear an idea that will resonate so strongly with me and then it shows up in varying ways. Recently I ran across this Daily Om called “Focus on the Good.” It brings up the idea of vibrations – and it is one of those ideas that has been popping out at me in articles, books, and conversations. Everything you do at every moment is watched and seen by others. What you do and say is like throwing a rock in the pond, the impact of the action reverberates out to those that surround you. Vibrations can have an expansive, spreadable impact — whether positive or negative.
Every moment of every day you have a choice — what comes out of your mouth, the language your body expresses — is absorbed by all around you and makes up the vibration you share as part of who you are and how you show up to others.
I have been thinking a lot about the “vibe” I bring in a meeting when I react to good or bad news, how I handle Nico when he might have a tantrum, the cashier at the store, when I am grumpy, what ripple do I leave? We talk a lot at work about the “vibe” we want to leave. Your vibe is really the vibration you leave behind.
This week, Chris and I were pondering the last 12+ years and how we know when we feel settled with decisions. Sometimes we know right away and other times it takes a bit longer for the decision to feel right. Sometimes he knows so clearly, and sometimes it is me. It really depends on what the decision is, how big it is, how costly and its impact on our lives.
A plane ticket: I will not purchase it until it feels right to me. I have had quite a few occasions when the trip changed drastically, and I saved a lot of change fees because I had waited to purchase the ticket.
Furniture or large house items: Usually I am not as picky as Chris is – I know when I like something and I know when I do not like it, but we have a rule that we both need to like, want, and appreciate it before we make a large purchase. Sometimes I can push the envelope a bit and continue to show him different options because I am not set on his choice. Other times all the other options still lead us back to our original choice.
Large financial decisions: These always get me to slow down to a snail’s pace. I hate spending money, and even though not all financial decisions are spending money — they could be about investing money. I still want to look at it front and back and all angles to make sure we are making the smartest choice. Nothing wrong with that.
Food: If I know I do not want something I voice it, but generally, I just want Chris to decide on food. If something sounds amazing, I will state that, and whatever sounds nasty I will state that too, but I have way to many other decisions to make in my day, the last one I care about is food!
What I find interesting — on most things at work I know fairly quickly what feels right to me, but at home I tend to hem and haw about decisions. Maybe because it might be a large purchase, or a decision that is extremely permanent. Maybe it is also because Chris and I always make our decisions together. Regardless of whether the decision is at home or work, it is always important to feel settled, happy, and content with your decision. You have to live with it and the consequences.
I love being around people who have a fire inside and want to be in the world. Whether that is in the smallest of ways of impacting those around them, or in the largest of ways of wanting to change the world. Maybe that is through small acts of kindness, politics, your child’s school, at work, it does not matter. The positive energy inside that exudes into the world is what I love seeing come forth. I recently came across this quote from Marianne Williamson and thought, ah so true:
“When a woman rises up in glory, her energy is magnetic and her sense of possibility contagious.”
This can happen every day, every moment. Each time we do not get pulled down by the crap that surrounds us — the nay-sayers, the ones trying to push us down, we are contagious. In a good way.
I have posted blogs quite a few times about how I want to suck the life out of every day. I like to do everything I possibly can each day. Find the opportunities and go into each moment knowing that almost anything is possible. So often we get sucked into the energy around us (and yes it happens to me too). Someone can be complaining about their day, their weekend, or their life and so easily we get pulled into that toxic energy. Instead of getting sucked in, we need to change our thought and keep it focused on energy that allows us to thrive and shift the thought of others. Just maybe your energy will bring those toxic people into the world of possibility.
Here is to having contagious energy and an openness that makes others know anything is possible.
“Do it right the first time.” My dad ingrained this into my thought. At times he was a bit of an asshole, and I hated him for it. Looking back I sort of understand what he was trying to teach us. He definitely left an impact on me (and most likely my sister and brother). Not always in a positive way. Yet, I find myself responding to issues and feel as though my dad is yelling through me. There are times with work projects that I think “do it right the first time.” I have words form in my brain, that feel like something he would say (I have just enough of a filter to not say it out loud).
He adamantly cared about looking at a task and thinking about your approach. His response to our sometimes half-ass focus to the task was often asinine. I can remember once when my sister and I were asked to clean our shared room. We did. Or so we thought. We came home to find that all of our dresser and desk drawers where dumped in the middle of the room, our closet contents were on top. When I saw the mess I freaked out a bit, and honestly so did he. His comment to us was: “If you cleaned it the first time you would not have to start from scratch.” His actions were definitely extreme, but his point was made. I have never forgotten what it felt like to see every one of my possessions and my sister’s spewed out all over our bedroom floor. I was also pissed. How could he?
That was his style. That was his way. He made memorable (not always positive) moments. He wanted you to have a reaction so that you would not do it again. Dan and Chip Heath potentially would have appreciated his style, if only it was a tad bit more on the positive side.
Sunday is Father’s Day, and I hope that as my dad watches over me he is seeing my life and thinking: “Tami is doing it right the first time.” I taught her well. Or, “one day she will learn.” Dad’s do their best to teach us what they know. Sometimes they are still learning and growing and we have to take their feedback, comments, and instructions with a grain of salt. Either way, they love us to pieces.
Are there people from your past that have had an unforgettable impact on you? They came into your life at a specific time, left that imprint on your heart, they may or may not be in your life anymore, but you remember the lasting effect they had on you.
There are so many people in my life that had that kind of impact on me. Children, other families, parents of children I took care of, friends, the list goes on. I can remember when I was in elementary school, a neighbor on my street would let me come over after school. She had been an art teacher and took time off to have a baby. I would come by to play with her son, and she would often have an art project out on the kitchen table and ask if I wanted to join her. I learned a lot from her, and often wonder if her encouragement and interest is what ignited my interest in art. If she had not left that imprint on my life, would I have pursued many of my creative and artistic endeavors? I will never know, but I am grateful for the connected afternoons of playing with baby + paints, paper, pencils, wax, and my imagination.
Why is it that I remember very specific details of interactions outside of my family, but many details of life inside my home are a blur? I could list off many experiences I had babysitting kids in my neighborhood, or from my church. Families I came close to in high school and college. Often I spent more time in their home and with their children than I did in my own home. Many times it would begin to feel more like my home away from home. I would have meals with their family and the parents would tease me that they wanted to adopt me. So why did I find such solace and comfort in spending time with these families? They had a definite impact on me. They taught me different ways to live, politics, things I wanted in my life, and things I did not want.
The unforgettable impact continues in adulthood. Whether a colleague, a friend’s precious child, or that night out to dinner with friends. I can walk away from an experience and feel the imprint internally. The deep conversation that changed me, taught me to look at myself differently, or helped me to appreciate all the goodness and greatness already in my life. I am honored to look back and appreciate all the individuals that have changed me.