In late September, my daughter and I were in a car accident.
The car was totaled; we walked away feeling pretty battered and, thankfully with some awesome healing attention, we will get fully back on track within the next couple of months.
As I stood there looking at our ruined car, I kept having the words to an old Elton John song run through my head.
Someone saved my life tonight – thank you dear!
When I scurry through all the woulda-coulda-shouldas, events coulda been much, much worse.
What I know for certain is this: the quick thinking of my driver daughter saved me from a world of hurt.
She is definitely the one I thank!
As we stood, taking in the wreck, she said to me, “Mom, deep breath. Now let go of whatever does not serve you.”
(Isn’t it amazing when your kids reflect your words back at you just at the right moment!?)
This event is why I didn’t send out my weekly newsletter last week.
I already had it half written in my head but I’ve decided to save it for next week.
Instead, what’s been on my mind since that evening is this question:
What keeps you from doing what you want to do?
It’s actually something that has been rolling around for some time — years in fact.
Especially as a whole pile of stuff I promised myself I would get done last week was still languishing as I filled my day with insurance adjustor calls and filing DMV reports.
I think we all get that life shows up with the unexpected usually when it is the least expected.
How we act, react, and create within this unexpected is always interesting.
And probably very insightful into the deeper, perhaps more truthful, parts of our hearts and minds.
I had to really struggle to let myself rest, let myself choose to let go of what didn’t serve me in the moment.
I was pushed by the sense that somehow I owed it to myself to keep my commitments to myself even in the face of the unexpected.
No, I decided, what I owe myself is to respond to the call of my heart, to the truth of this moment.
Resting on the couch, allowing the pain and anger to rise and move on — that’s what I felt was truth.
When I let go of my expectations on myself for perfect action always, I found that I could relax a bit and allow my body to be guided by its own inner wisdom toward shift and balance.
Yes, I have broken commitments made before the unexpected that I have and will attend to.
And yes, my week did not go anywhere as planned.
But isn’t that both the joy and the challenge of life, figuring out how to deal with the unexpected?
Which is why I think that this question came up: What keeps me from doing what I want to do?
And what I was reminded of as I tussled with myself on the couch about my inaction — well, I was reminded of expectations.
More often than not, it is what I unrealistically expect of myself at any moment that gets in my way.
My expectations like to make me think that I have somehow failed miserably.
And my expectations gather power as they get wound up in the stories I tell myself about who and what I am and am not.
But, I have also found it to be true that if I am not doing what I want to, I only have myself to consider.
Yet when I look at it deeper, I realize that I often set myself up for heartache because of expectations I set in place before the unexpected happened.
With this realization, I find that the only way past the pain is through it by looking at what expectations are holding me frozen.
Then I do as my daughter reminded me.
Guided by my sense of truth in this moment, I let go of what no longer serves, freeing myself to do what I truthfully know I need to do now.
It’s hard to stay in the flow in the face of the unexpected.
But it makes no sense to try to swim in a dry river bed.
Letting go of what no longer serves helps me to know when to change rivers.
So, what keeps you from doing what you want to do?
A lot of my writing just comes in the moment. I feel an urge rise to put pen to paper. No outline. Not much forethought. Out the words come, all on their own. For me its always an act of mindfulness. A mindful moment.
What Keeps You from Doing What You Want to Do? is one of these mindful moments. Read more on mindfulness and my mindful moments.