I have always been a rule follower. Are you one , too?
Here’s a partial list of rules I’ve quietly and consistently placed on myself:
- No junk food during the day (only while watching television, in the dark, when no one is watching (except your husband, lucky him)
- No deep-fried foods eaten or ordered in public
- No loaded baked potatoes – just plain, no butter with salt and pepper
- No mayo on turkey sandwiches (“she likes her bird dry” a former boyfriend once remarked drolly to a deli clerk off some upstate New York parkway)
- No farting in public (or in front of anyone for that matter)
- No talking (writing) about private, ugly things that would embarrass or draw attention to or cause pain (shame) to someone I love. Or to the town I live in. Or to people who have suffered enough and do not deserve to have scabs re-opened.
Nice box I’ve built, huh?
Very predictable. Very controlled. Very safe.
So here comes our second-to-last Quest 2016 prompt – tromping down the lane carried in its pretty basket and gifted to us by visionary Jen Louden (whom I adore):
“What is the story you most desire to bring to life in 2016?
Duh. The one in the “Do Not Open until Mother’s Day 2016” box.
“What is the story your just-right clients most desire to bring to life in 2016?” Their own story (the one they hide from, shutter away, pretend isn’t there)
Where do your stories OVERLAP?
In that magic space where darkness meets light
And bears dance.
This afternoon, on an intuitive leap, in the midst of writing this reflection, I went into my daughter Katie’s room, and asked if I could please have her stuffed bear.
“I guess so,” she says, accompanied by her my-parents are so-weird teen look.
In 1996, this Bear entered my life – “adopted” from the Blue Lantern Inn at Dana Point Harbor, CA. My first husband Jay & I stayed there on a second honeymoon of sorts. It was spring and such a sweet beginning time for us – before kids, and just after my leap from corporate america to the land of sole proprietorship (owning my own wedding consulting business). Possibilities were endless and hope was as high as the moon.
There on the king-size bed, in the pretty suite overlooking the bluffs and the Pacific ocean, was this same stuffed bear. First he was there, sitting all prim upon the shams, and then , after housekeeping’s turn-down service, he was caught mid-cartwheel on the pillow. Obviously, this bear was a mischievous one, one who liked to romp and play when no one was watching. I adored him! And needed to have him.
So I purchased him at check-out (I didn’t buy “the new one, just-like-this one”bear, the desk clerk tried to sell me from the Inn gift shop, but the one who played and danced in our beautiful room with the view)
For the rest of the trip, I held onto this Bear and looked down at him closely for many, many precipitous miles, heading south to San Diego along the western-most rim of California on Route 1 (yes, I was on the side closest to the cliffs.) In years to come, this same Bear would accompany me to our hospital’s labor & delivery room (twice) and be cuddled every now and then by both my children.
Guess it only makes sense for this same Bear to re-join me now – 20-years later – at the start of this grand adventure – a kind of falling into the beginning of this StoryBox – with you.
[By the way – I’m calling him Dancing Bear now. I think it suits him.]
Rounding out WEEK 4 of Quest 2016 on “Doing Your Best Work, Not Someone Else’s” is JEN LOUDEN.
Jen Louden helped launch the self-care movement with her first book The Woman’s Comfort Book (HarperOne 2005). She’s the author of 7 additional books on well-being and whole living, including her most recent book, A Year of Daily Joy (National Geographic 2014). She believes self-love + world-love = wholeness for all.