Ms. Goalypants

Hey there, Ms. Goaly-pants. Ease up.

If January (and all its goal-setting hoohaw) is sitting hard on your heart, then here is a reframe.

Relax. Breathe.

Most of us tend to overcomplicate everything because we’re driven by lack-thinking. And so we spend our days trying to be super on top of everything so nothing bad will happen. It’s frickin’ exhausting.

Now add those new January goals to the list. Arggh! Do you see why you don’t keep them?

The idea of living in a state of ease has become an ideal for most of us. Instead, it’s all: Goals! Work! Goals! Work!

Letting go and trusting Flow is apparently only what you get to do when you retire. (As in: hard work, frustration, and sacrifice now . . . ease later.)

Overcommitted exhaustion and continuously feeling behind or “not as good as”become the default energies that show up in every area of our life. And, instead of ending up successful, we end up burned out, cranky, unhealthy, and often with lower self-esteem than when we started.

Here’s the email that provoked this thought in me:

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My meltdown friends

The first email I read today is a friend’s “so-called” business newsletter. She usually hardly ever talks about business in it.

Instead, she’s typically describing her latest break up drama, or how her company is reinventing itself in perfect syncopation with her own internal reinvention, which happens dramatically around every six months. Her newsletter stays juicy.

I love it.

I’ve realized that the three newsletters I read most often are all from women who tell me about their kids, husbands, and lives more than anything else.

There’s the corporate woman with the farmer husband. And the Australian woman who keeps moving houses every year, always searching for the better place to be, dragging her husband and kiddos with her. And the entrepreneurial lawyer who’s a Burning Man devotee.

I realize that even though I’m reading their emails just to find the juicy scoop on what’s going on in their world, they somehow slip in their business messages too.

In fact it deepens their validity that I can watch them build and run hugely successful businesses exactly while all their head and heart drama unfolds.

It’s not a slow train wreck…it’s a slow train assembly, and they’re simply handling all the routine fallout from life as they continuously assemble their dreams.

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You’ve all blown my mind

You’ve blown my mind. Over 200 of you replied to my last blog, “No More Pretty,” or emailed me personally with love.

Wow, has this been a big a lesson for me.

First of all, I wrote that newsletter (about my new bald life) to give you permission to let go of any hidden need to come across to the world a certain way.

I wanted you to share in my liberation by finding one of your own hidden needs to release.

So I asked you to post your personal liberation, or revelation, whatever that may be.

You know what you all told me instead? That I’m pretty no matter what. Holy heck that was sweet.

Even my hairdresser texted me that I rocked the fake Mohawk in my photo (and good god she sure hasn’t seen me for awhile!).

And it overwhelmed me. All of it.

Because of course it gave rise to another thought: I’m not a loner or a solo flyer anymore. I can drop that belief now.

So there I was thinking about this as I was zipping up the freeway to Long Beach for my next cancer treatment. My mother was driving and as usual we were getting lost and chatting about work, life, kids, and yeah, chemo.

The whole time, my phone was beeping and buzzing with your comments pouring in.

And I’m wondering: “All these people really care. Why?!”

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Stressed? My favorite way to drop it.

 

 

Once a month, I take a flex week. This is a week where I may work, or I may not. But I don’t schedule any of my normal work.

Instead, it’s my week to daydream, see my friends, go on a mid-week overnight trip with my family, or just chill out for a few days.

Pretty nice, huh?

I worked hard to create this life. Moreover, I Flowdreamed consistently and took committed, inspired action toward it.

But as with everything, I have to allow myself some regular downtime in between all my work and manifesting. I need to clear the space and detox.

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No more pretty

I’m standing in a juice bar stocking up on fresh juice for my 3-day cleanse. Not only am I wearing my baggy house clothes, but I’m bald. And I’m a woman. And I look pretty bad.

There are three other people in the tiny shop, all waiting on their juice orders. I suddenly realize that they are in the position I’ve been in so many times before: The “Oh gosh, that poor person. Look at them. They must have cancer. Or some horrible disease. No wait, don’t stare.”

I grin at them. They look awkwardly away.

I’m surprised at myself. For one thing, I’ve realized for the first time in my life that not worrying about being pretty is awesomely liberating. I realize I don’t give a rat’s ass how I look.

It’s a funny feeling having no way to hide. I could wear a wig, but I just don’t care enough. It’s hot, I’m tired, and chemo is kicking my butt.

Everything is fully exposed: forehead wrinkles, saggy neck, heck even the shape of my skull.

Here I’ve spent 30 years with my long blonde flowing hair and pretty makeup, fully invested in how I show myself to the world. Now I look 10 years older, bald, pale, and parched.

My ability to control how I look to others has largely been taken away from me. I can’t shape how people see me to the degree I used to.

The next day, I get a text from my mom about some new bald photos of me that have made it onto Facebook. She assures me I don’t look that bad in person and that I must really be getting a big test having to do with stripping away all my ego.

I whimper in response, “So you think I really look that bad?”

I hesitate. I could untag myself in Facebook. Or I could suck it up and get over myself. And that’s exactly what I decide to do. I leave the awful photos up.

By the way, this email is not about vanity, or feeling good about yourself. It’s about control and identity: Who we are and what we expect life to give us as a result of how we control how others see us. Identity is our deeper layer. Think vanity on the outside, and identity on the inside.

Vanity is fueled by lack-thinking.

Self-worth is fueled by feeling good about yourself.

And identity is fueled by many things, including your comfort with yourself at the deepest level, your ability to shift and flow with your changing identity, and by letting go of your need to control others’ perceptions of you.

I discover that I’m tired of trying to control everyone’s perceptions of me and my identity. I don’t need to look any certain way to do my work, so why did I ever think I had to?

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