My sweet Ladyfriend always says I am the most powerful person she knows. In some ways I do believe her, yet lately it feels incredibly abstract. Like I am a person that has been powerful in the past but not so much the present.
I have felt invincible at times in the past. Specifically, when I was rowing in college and both times I was did an Ironman. Since then….not so much. A sense of anxiety-ridden flailing about. Doing things just because it felt like the only option. Waiting and hoping for something different. Shooting down options out of a sense of powerlessness and, likely, fear.
If I were being truthful I would probably admit to feeling like a bit of a victim of circumstances. That feels pretty gross to admit that I felt that way. Because, really? Could my angst be any more entitled? I mean seriously? Agh. Acting victim-y feels disgusting.
The past few months I have been off work healing from wrist surgery and back injury, both of which have brought up a lot of vulnerability for me. I am not good at relying on others or being limited in my activities. In fact, I’m downright resistant. I despise asking for help or admitting I can’t do something. Needless to say, I have not been a barrel of laughs the past few months. Think: less fun and more whirling dervish of anxiety and all things pissy.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the Babylady, the Ladyfriend and I have a “Positive Power” mantra. We are pretty careful about the rhetoric we use with her and are careful to avoid things that are labeling and/or potentially shaming. So, if she whining for something or dissolving into 3-year-old tears about some random thing, we ask her to find her positive power. Sometimes we have to go look for it. Her answers are pretty amusing, such as “My positive power went on a trip. It went down the drain (or to the park or downstairs or to the chickens).” The point is, it shifts things. It is a gentle way to stop the whining without labeling, shaming or berating. And honestly, the world needs more girls to kick ass and be confident. Girls that aren’t afraid to ask for what they want and powerfully say how they feel. So, at 3, she already gets it. She has found her voice. She has found her power. And she turns that whine into “I’m frustrated! I want more pretzels please!” Or “I’m sad. I’m angry. I miss Mimi! Call her please!” She may not get what she wants, but when she asks for what she wants with power, positivity and authenticity she handles the outcome like a champ. It is beautiful.
So, my 3-year-old rocks at this, while quite frankly, I kinda suck.
I went to California on New Year’s Day to be with my folks as my dad had an unexpected medical crisis. Through his hospitalization, I found some of my long-lost power.
It was a week of advocacy, making shit happen and schooling some doctors who dropped the ball. I did it politely, confidently, and with no mistaking that I meant business. I told people how I felt and told them what I wanted. I was clear. I was focused. And, I was full of power. To be quite honest, I was on fire. And then I remembered: when I’m on fire, I’m unstoppable.
Now that the power has eked back in, I don’t intend on losing it again. I have squished dreams, poo-pooed ideas and generally let life happen to me instead of living expansively.
I’ve got a secret. I’ve got a big dream I’m working on and while I’m not quite ready to unveil what it is, I assure you it is years and years in the making. Years of shutting down ideas. Years of hiding. Years of compartmentalizing. Years of denying my dreams. Years of feeling small and unimportant. Years feeling trapped. Years, years, years. I’m 40 and I’m not letting another year go burying ideas.
I’m a big fan of the blog Tea & Cookies (and her book The Butcher and the Vegetarian). Through her blog I learned about Mondo Beyondo an online course that I’ll be starting this week. I am excited about an intentional practice of believing my dreams and the possibility it might create. I have big dreams for 2011. Dreams that have paralyzed me at times the past few months. But it is time to keep my power and make my dreams a reality.
Who has big dreams for 2011?
(By the way, if you know, or think you know, the big secret dream, please remember it is still a secret! Email me directly if you are dying to talk about it in specifics…otherwise, comment away!)