I’m minus 36 hours from what promises to be a life-changing, silent meditation experience called Vipassana (www.dhamma.org).
In preparation, I wrote an email to my former husband and this was the first line; “I’ve created and uploaded 10 videos for the girls, one for each day, onto my YouTube channel and set Kaila up in my CRM system so it will email her iPod each day with the video embedded into the file.“
This stands out to me for two reasons. The first reason is that I would never have considered myself to be a “techie” person but that sentence sure sounds “geek speak” to me. The second is the juxtaposition of the technological preparations for a silent meditation retreat.
In my mind, these two experiences reside on opposite ends of the spectrum.
It was a wonderful reminder for me of the importance of expansion; of stretching the boundaries of your comfort zone and, despite the fear, moving through the discomfort of the unfamiliar.
I am the first person to preach about doing what feels good and avoiding what doesn’t.
To me, there’s a difference between what doesn’t feel good and what doesn’t feel familiar.
Familiar is a sense of routine, it’s your favorite meal, your go to drink or the well-worn path from your bedroom to your car in the morning when you are on auto-pilot.
Unfamiliar is something we don’t know about ourselves, or our environment. It’s about the stories we tell ourselves about what we can and can’t do. It’s the boundaries we place on our lives when we think about “good and bad” or what our previous experiences tell us about our skill set.
These stories and/or boundaries we set are important and significant because they create a framework (or lens) through which we see and act.
As a child these stories keep us safe; fire is hot, the stairs are steep, I have a food allergy, etc.
As an adult, however, these stories can become full-blown cages if we are not careful.
I’ve heard my 10-year old daughter say a few times “I’m not good at that.” My response is always something along the lines of “If you say so, then it will be.” In other words, reminding her that she’s creating a self-fulfilling prophecy with her words.
I’m working to get her out of her “stories” and into a growth/expansion mindset; one that will allow her to change her lens and keep it fluid by habit and training. The hope for her, and for everyone I love, is to never have to feel caged by your experiences of the world.
My dream for my daughter is that instead of her stories, she has ingrained within her, a belief that she can do and be what ever sets her heart on fire; the capacity to witness her own boundaries when she puts herself in them, and the skills to work past them.
My dream is the same for you.
There is a very strong surge of power that comes from knowing you have the skills, capabilities and capacity to shift the outcome of a moment and to mold it into what you want it to be.
As I begin to plant new seeds for 2017 as a foundational year , I do so with the idea of expansion in mind. With the goals of gaining comfort in the exploration of the unfamiliar, rewriting my stories and dismantling my well-built walls as I set an example for my daughters (and hopefully for others who need it).
Because I can be a tech geek when I want to and as challenging as it might be; I can also be silent and without a phone, computer, book to read or notebook to write in for 10 days. (Even if my Dad thinks his "motor mouth" needed an extra incentive to make it past the first 36 hours.)
A girlfriend of mine shared a quote with me once: "Play your range." I believe the credit for the quote goes to Nisha Moodley.
For 2017 I’m going with Expand Your Range. Will you join me?
Thank you for your patience as I worked through my wintering. I continue to be blessed and honored that you are on this journey with me.