Standing in Gratitude

As an introvert, putting myself on any display that isn’t as simple as my written words is a huge
S-T-R-E-T-C-H. I periodically recognize when I’m stunted (or stuck), and purposely and purposefully stick my toes (and sometimes neck) in situations or around people that are at first naturally uncomfortable for me. I know if I don’t that I won’t grow, expand, and learn new ways and conversations without doing so. It’s sort of like my interpersonal travel itinerary!

I’ve been going through and growing through some things lately, and I’ve been fortunate enough (and I’d like to think “smart enough”) to have some people around me that have heard me, love me, and are willing to have me do more than just read the “dance steps” — they are inviting me to dance and learn at the same time.

Self-Question and Answer

Q1: How do you know when it’s time to start stretching yourself — to start doing the new things you think about doing and pushing the boundaries of what you think you’re ready to do?
A1: When you crave to do more and you feel restricted in your own skin and your steps feel small.

Q2: How do you know when your change of mind (or self-talk) is working?
A2: When it starts showing up on the outside of you by way of people giving you cause, opportunity, and the space to show up as the new thinking.

Q3: What do you do when you’re scared to pieces of it all?
A3: Say, “Yes!” Do it anyway, repeat, and celebrate.

Q4: How do you get there?
A4: Tell the people that can hear your words and love you enough to drag you to the life-stretching class.

Q5: What if you do the thing (“thang”) and you don’t feel like it was your best?
A5: Refer back to A3.

Q6: What if I’m just so nervous about it all and I feel like I can’t follow through?
A6: Put your feet on the ground and stand in gratitude for the opportunity, the people, and circumstances that got you here.

You can always get a tattoo placed where you can always see it to remind you of who you say you are! Buuut… that’s not a one-size-fits-all solution! ūüėČ

There’s nothing better than to be seen and heard.
I AM GRATEFUL.

Before you can think outside your box, you must first…

Listen outside your box.

So often we speak only from within our walls and from what we know to be true inside our own secluded world. ¬†Then we suffocate any ideas that try to penetrate from the outside before we actually consider them. ¬†We assign the new thing (thought, value, movement, etc.) a value from our own cemented thoughts, and then call it false or a lie before simply considering it with a different set of experiences and values. ¬†Just because we don’t share or have never had that same experience, we act as if it isn’t true or it doesn’t hold the same value as our own. ¬†We don’t bother to try it on, to do our best to stand even for a moment in the place of the other, or even get curious enough to ask learning questions. ¬†We run away from learning from it, refuse to look at it, and are quick to kick it out of our box and forget it. ¬†Many times we do our best to convince others to do the same. ¬†Some would call this ignorance, and maybe it is, but I think that’s too simple. ¬†I say it is fear, and essentially an absence of love.

What if our knee-jerk reaction to another’s experience was acceptance instead of rejection? ¬†That’s not to say that we should believe or buy into everything anyone says. ¬†Now that would be ignorance. ¬†But why should we automatically reject anything that is different from what we are used to either – that is different from our preformed assumptions? ¬†Fear causes it to be nearly impossible for us to have new ears with which to listen to someone or something that is different. ¬†We are afraid of change; we are afraid of looking wrong; and we are afraid that if we change our people won’t go with us. ¬†Even when we don’t agree with someone, rather than giving them the honor and the credibility that they deserve for having a different life experience, we ridicule and/or we sometimes bully and terrorize them. ¬†When really, it would be so easy just to recognize them (and quite frankly, less work) as another human being with a different set of life experiences. ¬†That would be love and acceptance – without fear.

Everything in this life is not linear, is not of black and white thinking, is not only what you see with your eyes, is not cut up into perfect increments to be served in a universal box. ¬†If you can’t see outside of your own box, if you can’t even imagine what it must be like in another box, this world is going to keep bouncing off the corners and we’re never going to get a smooth ride on it together.

I invite you, at least for today, to listen instead of thinking about your reply. ¬†I invite you, at least for today, to consider that another’s experiences are just as real and true as your own. ¬†I invite you, at least for today, to be fearless and loving with your listening.

In LOVE,
Debora