Friday, December 19, 2008

Reconnect and regroup

I have been quiet on the blog. This means I have not made time to reflect and "process" things as I would like. I have noticed that especially during the holidays, I tend to be harried and disconnected from what it is going on within.

I enjoy the rituals and the festivity. Holiday cards. End of year celebrations. Gift shopping. Gift wrapping. Gifting. Socializing. Breakfast with santa. Urban Nutcracker. School holiday concert. Cooking. Baking. Last karate class. Last gym class. This year, pepper in out of town interviews, graduate school application deadlines (mine by default), job applications, medical testing, travel planning, hosting... And it makes for a whirlwind.

Knowing this was going to be a hectic week, I promised myself that I would be present. Focus on the task at hand. Get through it, and not think ahead too far. Or, I would get overwhelmed. I succeeded. Got through a pretty hectic week without losing my temper or cool. Relatively calm and centered. Everything that needed to be done got done. No balls were dropped. I even enjoyed myself. The key to this was not to get in my head too much and worry about what might happen... but rather to be present, and take simple action.

But, I can not deny that I am physically and mentally wiped out. So much doing and not so much being.

I am wondering today what I can do to recuperate my energy, step into the holidays refreshed and ready to enjoy the blessings of the season. Surely being exhausted is not going to allow that. Besides getting much needed rest for my body, I am sure it is time to reconnect with myself and the Divine.

I am going to make space to think and reflect and pray. When I don't, I end up silent on the blog. I end up in do do do do mode and forget to step back, process and learn from what is going on.

How do you reconnect and regroup?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Relishing the boundless possibilities

My mind is racing a mile a minute, and I have a strong urge to write a brief post on the blog. It helps me focus and make sense of things.

On Monday, I opened up to the possibilities in our seemingly uncertain (potentially stressful) situation. Opening up has been a wonderful perspective to hold.

Being open is allowing me to hear all kinds of messages of affirmation, encouragement, and hope. Some of these messages come in unlikely places. A closed door. A job that is not ours. A bill. A neighbor's phone call. A venting session with my sister. A FB chat session with my brother's brother. I am feeling energized by these messages coming loud and clear from the Universe.

Dream. Hope. Learn. Step up. Take simple steps. Enjoy the journey. Overcome fear. Believe in yourself. Trust God. Live your purpose.

Yesterday, I vented to my sister of the heart, the one I never had but adopted growing up in Botswana. After I shared the burdens of my heart, I ventured (yet again) to my big idea that tugs at my heart and mind daily. I affirmed how simple steps can make big changes in the world. If I yearn to make an impact and do something meaningful, I can take the heart from people who have done this. Regular folks with regular means making big changes. A children's librarian who raises funds to take books to Ethiopia and creates a simple and powerful means of disseminating them to children all over the rural areas -- donkey cart libraries. Talk about inventive. I can do it too. Why not me? I have education. I have vision. I have friends (lots of them). I have friends with big ideas, education, resources. I have social resources. I have an unwaveringly supportive life partner. I have parents who will put their all behind me. She says, "you're rich." I hear her loud and clear. This is just the message I needed to hear. I agree. I am exceptionally rich.

And, as my other sister of the heart says often, "to whom much is given, much is expected."

Today, as my mind races a mile a minute, I am truly relishing the boundless possibilities that lie in our lives and futures. And, I am so incredibly rich! Woo hoo. Now, I am going to figure out what I am going to do with all this rich possibility!

Want to join me?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Opening up to the boundless possibilities

This morning, as I got little man dressed for school, I began composing a blog post about "navigating uncertainty."

I spent the weekend noticing how for someone as action and planning oriented such as me, our current state is highly challenging. I am mindfully noticing the frustration I feel every time there is a question that I can not answer. "Will you be re-enrolling the kids for gym class?" I can't say. "Will little man be attending afternoon lessons in the new year?" I'm not sure. "Will little miss sunshine begin pre-school in January?" It depends. "Will you be teaching next semester?" I'm considering it. "Will you be traveling over the holidays?" There is a chance. "When do you plan to visit home?" Who knows? "Will the kids have their adenoid and ear tube surgeries soon?" Possibly. "Have y'all found jobs?" No. "What will you do if...?" I don't know.

I just don't know about any of this. And, as I have shared on this blog before, this is not easy for me in the least bit. I would like to be decisive, informed, organized, systematic, and in control. I am not. Only yesterday I confessed to Charles how I was having a hard time with this. I think the ambiguity will "kill me softly" if I allow it to.

Notice how I actually decided to write about opening up to possibilities?

This is what happened to turn my perspective around. I received an unexpected phone call this morning. A big brother I never had but I adopted years ago growing up in Botswana, called. This brother of my heart, to whom I send the holy "rakhi" (Hindu festival celebrating the sibling bond), was the gift I needed most today. He was exhilerated, enthused, hopeful, excited and frankly thrilled with his recent trip home. He shared countless examples of people like us who decided to leave the grind in the United States and head home. A young man he met, started a condom factory. The first in Africa. The only African owned condom factory in the heart of the region struck with the highest HIV/AIDS infections in the world? Talk about socially responsible entrepreneurship. We can each of us do this. Why complicate it? It all begins with a simple step. All of this positive energy was contagious.

Midway into the conversation, we had affirmed that what we most need to do is take simple steps to realize our dreams, the purpose for which I was born to this life. For me, this is (to my knowledge) founding the first women's post-secondary college in southern (Sub-Saharan even) Africa. This "big idea" born of my unique life journey tugs at the recesses of my mind and spirit every day. And most days, it gets shelved.

There are many obstacles to achieving my dream "big idea." But, today I am choosing to open up to the boundless possibilities.

Thank you, brother for this priceless gift that I needed most.