Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Where...Not How

"How you get there is not as important as where you want to go." - courtesy of my horoscope today. Inspiration can come from the oddest of places.

So true though. I have been working myself up this past week with "what if" after "what if" questions. All of which (in this particular case) are designed to run interference with my plans and sabotage my goals. How easy it would be to say I can't move ahead on any of my ideas because I need to be here for my family. It's a good reason to be around, don't get me wrong, but it comes down to why I'm choosing to do so; to the intention behind my choices.

If I am sticking around out of guilt, fear or obligation (all are really about the same thing, by the way: fear), then I am staying put for the wrong reasons. My parents, my dad in particular, would never want me to do something out of a sense of obligation. Not ever.

If I am sticking around because I want to be here, making the most of my time with my family and I'm able to maintain my sense of self at the same time, then that's a choice I can live with...and so can my family.

But I don't think that's the case. I think I am hiding behind the situation, putting off planning, putting off doing, putting off me because I have no idea how it will all happen. And it's easier to park the plans vs enter into uncharted territory. Sad but true. Yes, sad.

It has been true in my life - and perhaps a few others out there - that each and every time I set a goal for myself, I am tested to see just how much I really want to achieve it. I think these "tests", as it were, are there for good reason: to challenge our resolve. How much do we want what say we want? And how much more satisfying is it all when we do overcome those hurdles?

If I've ever wanted something badly enough, I've always made it happen. Plain and simple. But somewhere along the line I lost my resolve. I got burnt out (let's be honest, I allowed myself to be burned down) so I dug my heels in and stopped growing. I wanted a rest. I didn't want to be the one always responsible for keeping everything going. I didn't want to be the one saying, yet again, "I'm sorry, I can't make it...again" to my friends and family. I didn't want to be the one who had the fancy title, no life and who ended up in hospital for not taking care of herself any longer.

I will say that the shift in gears has served me well. I was surprised to find myself growing in ways I never anticipated and it did allow me to catch my breath. I have a true understanding now of what balance looks and feels like to me and I can quite safely say that I never have before.

But this phase has now come to an end. As it currently stands, this safety zone I've created for myself is no longer serving me. I'm making excuses not to get on with my life and excuses, as a mentor of mine shared with me, are not reasons. At their root, excuses are all about fear.

I read somewhere that every action we take is based on one of two things: love or fear. It seems so elemental. I can't tell you how much time I've spent reflecting on this particular idea but it's something that has stuck with me because I believe it to be true. If I peel enough layers of the onion away, I always get to one of these two driving forces at the core of every decision I make, every action I take. Every time.

I also know myself well enough to recognize that when I start to feel restless like I am, it is usually because I am acting out of fear and ignoring a part of myself that is trying to make itself known. I can't speak for anyone else but this is a clear warning sign for me to pay attention to what's going on below the surface. That, and the binging on book purchases (7 in the past week and a half alone...8 actually - one was free when you buy 3). Both clear signs that I am trying to distract myself from something that makes me uncomfortable. Good grief, for all the books I've bought I could be halfway around the world by now!

There's a whole lot more on this particular train of thought but that's all I can handle today. Off to hike Grouse Mountain (another thing I've been putting off for myself for far too long). Talk about needing to keep focused on where I'm going and not on how I'm getting up there!

Ciao for now,



  1. Excellent post. Life is short. Eat it up! You never get back today so build an experience that you will have for the rest of your life. What are you really waiting for? Everything to be perfect? That used to be me, but I changed that mindset (painfully) and now live with little regret.

    I read an interesting piece of advice once: "Live a life that your grandkids will be interested in hearing about."

  2. Life is about the journey, not the destination.