March 2018 Reflection

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One way of choosing a more intentional life is taking time for reflection.  When we allow ourselves to remember and give meaning to our past, we can make way for intention.  As March came to a close.  I took the time to reflect on all that had occurred and then chose three lessons that I wanted to push myself to articulate further so that they would really become a part of my story.

Here are my top three March Reflections:

Camden Meets Gaston

When visiting Disney World the moment that Cam looked forward to and dreaded was meeting Gaston. 

Cam loves Gaston.  He loves that Gaston is strong and carries a sword and sings and has a booming voice. 

Cam is four.  He wants to be strong, carry a sword and sing with a booming voice.  He has studied Gaston, imitated Gaston, and even tried to meet him once before.  But being in Gaston’s presence previously completely overwhelmed Cam.  He gave into his fear and acted as if Gaston was not even there.

He was feeling super excited and nervous when he learned that Gaston lives at Disney World. 

But he chose to be brave. 

We warmed up by meeting Buzz Lightyear.  That was happenstance, Buzz was there, we met him, Camden survived. 

And then we went to stand in line to meet Gaston. 

Camden was feeling pretty shy and overwhelmed.  But there was a wonderful friend of Gaston’s there, Sarah, and she saw Cam’s dilemma.  She helped distract him by giving him paper and crayons to make a card.  Cam took this SO seriously.  Before he knew it, it was his turn.  He did not have time to think.  There Gaston was in front of him, and he did not retreat.  Every part of him wanted to, his whole body was stiff and scared, but he did it, he chose to be brave. He met Gaston.

He felt nervous and scared and shy but went ahead and was brave any way.

March lesson:  Feel the fear, and then choose to be brave and do it any way.
 

My Friend, Myself

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“We are a lot, “ said my friend Andrew H “People wind up feeling strongly about us.”  And we looked at each other and nodded.  He encapsulated in a few words how it is I have always felt around people.

I am not shy.  I process out loud.  I am always looking for ways to keep the conversation, the event, the party going.  I am what some people call “a lot.”  I can have a lot of energy, a lot to say, a lot of opinions, a lot of ideas.

And while rarely has anyone said to my face that I am a lot.  I feel it.  And there are many times when I tense up and pull way back.

My revelation in March after spending days with Andrew is that I LOVE that he is “a lot.”  I was so in love with having a friend around who was willing to be outgoing and a leader.  I loved that he was up for figuring things out and that he did the work of keeping the conversation going.  I loved that he was an optimist and found the good in things.  I loved everything about him . . . and all that I appreciated about him . . . it finally somehow gave me permission to love those things about me.

March Lesson: I am a lot, and a lot can be a gift.
 

Add Value

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I learned in my twenties that sometimes people will take whatever you offer and then ask for more.  I was taught the lesson that a person needs to learn to say “no.”  I got good at saying no.  I got good at being wary of volunteering.

I have been unlearning those negative perceptions.  Now in my 40’s I have been taking the risk to offer unsolicited assistance.

In March I stepped out twice to add value. I have a friend who is writing a book.  I so appreciate him and the work he does in the world, so I offered to help however he might want.  I have been helping him edit.  I love supporting him in this big step.

We have moved hundred’s of miles away from our previous community.  My son's previous school has a big fundraiser coming up.  I realized that I could help from afar, so I offered. And in small ways I am adding value to their fundraising.

I love connecting, and giving my time and myself to things that are benefitting others. I used to takes weeks and months to volunteer overseas.  That is not what I can do today, but today I can still give of myself.  It has encouraged me to look for the value adds I can bring and then embrace those opportunities.

March Lesson: Living with open hands means looking to where I can add value.
Liza Sharp