Quit your whining. Move.

Running. Trying to run.

Gasping. Stopping. Whining

Two weeks off.

A trip.

Of gastronomic proportions.

Eating. It all.

Jet lag.

No movement.

One with the couch.

Gasping. Last one in at run’s end.

Feeling bitchy about how easy it doesn’t feel.

Round the corner.

Head down. Eyes to the ground.

Almost.

There.

Glint. In my eye.

A car. Parked. The door opens.

Eyes still down, in view are two rubber stoppers.

Those things at the bottom. Bottom of crutches.

Two stoppers. One shoe.

Shit.

I have two legs.

Shit.

Run. Run. Run.

Dig deep, woman.

YOU.Can.Run.

Heart rate picks up. Pace picks up.

Momentum surges.

Still last runner in.

Still gasping.

But running.

On two legs.

Quit your whining.

Move.

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This memory, from a few months back upon returning from our Paris trip, is still SO vivid in my mind, in ME, and was triggered by yet another  lapse in momentum.

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It Takes Just a Nudge to Budge

A few years ago, I resolved to no longer make new year’s resolutions. I had come to see both their transience and their permanence: a lofty idea with weak velcro and little sticking power and yet a  lasting sense of failure.  I even tried tricking myself once – in the way some of us set our clocks back an “x” number of minutes thinking that it may get us to arrive on time, but really all we do is calculate those minutes into our arrival time, and we still end up being late,  or at least not early. I tried starting my resolutions in October that year, somehow thinking that I would be more successful when no one was looking, or expecting anything, and then by January, I’d be well on my way to a new habit.  It’s o.k., you can laugh.

I have seen a few different approaches to the notion of inviting positive change into our lives  and you may remember that I am a firm believer in the 21 days rule; do something {or stop something, say…eating Cheez-Its?} for 21 days and you’ve got yourself a brand new habit.  So, a little over a year ago, I found myself needing to bring more positive balance into my life.  Things were not necessarily bad, just kind of blah, stale, stuck and I found myself in a spot where I had let some ill feelings and resentments accumulate and I wanted to shake things up a bit and reset my focus.

That was also about the time I started this blog, and I got busy reading other blogs to  – a) learn from;  b)  torture myself;  c) be inspired by or d) all of the above – and came across what would quickly become one of my favorites, Create as Folk, where Laura shared that she had adopted the practice of simply choosing one word – or phrase –  to guide her year. A mini mission statement of sorts.  She explains it as choosing an intention, or choosing your own personal theme to guide your year.”  I interpreted this to mean, for me, that the word had to have meaning that I wanted to embrace, provide direction in a way in which I wanted to go,  and challenge me. Her approach had a calming effect on me; it gave me a sense of direction without the impending fear of failure; it wasn’t a commitment to anything specific, but instead suggested a gentle guiding force willingly chosen with no certain expectations for outcome.  It would serve as a framework of sorts, and I saw it as  a way to invite something good into my life that I wanted, even though I couldn’t see its form.  I viewed her video  and clicked out; I was fascinated and intimidated – I craved the direction and challenge but feared the failure. I mulled it over and over in my mind, letting myself percolate as I do.

It finally came to me one day. Quietly. Gently. Calmly. Just like I needed. The word is even somewhat gentle and quiet.

I chose the word nudge.

nudge

I sensed  a stirring, an urging towards something new.

I felt some trepidation about stepping out of my comfort zone, but I knew I wasn’t totally comfortable where I was.

I desired to move in a new direction and knew that I needed, well, a few nudges to get there.

I wanted to be pushed. But gently.

I chose the word nudge.

Or, did it choose me?   The year began with this notion of being nudged tucked securely in my pocket, and I found that I was seeing things differently. When choices presented themselves to me, I realized they had new layers, new options; was this an opportunity to be nudged, pushed a little bit further? Nudged to take a risk, no matter how small? Nudged to try doing things a little differently? Nudged to let some things go?

With each opportunity came that same fascination and intimidation…As I started to let myself be nudged in new directions, I began to realize a few things. It wasn’t as hard as I imagined, it got easier with each experience, and even when it didn’t work; knowing I had allowed myself to be nudged far outweighed the outcome.

I had started this blog, but was moving forward without certainty, and often considered hanging up my keyboard. The ambiguity and uncertainty were uncomfortable to say the least. So, finally, I took that discomfort as a nudge to look at why and wrote a post that put it out there, fears and warts and all.  That was a turning point; I learned that when we are real, others listen and I learned that some of the best blogging takes place in the comments.   That propelled me to keep going; and I found that as I did, this blog became a part of me, an extension of the person I am, and I found that the challenge to find something to say helped cultivate my thoughts and an increased awareness, understanding and appreciation of things happening in and around my own life.  And more importantly,  I found some phenomenal  friendships with the most amazing people from all around the world.

These nudges gave me the freedom to recognize and accept more nudges, with fascination beginning to out-pace the intimidation. I started to see that I didn’t hesitate as long when making choices, I felt more peaceful than I had in a long time, and in turn, the conversations with others became richer; I felt more confident in my own day-to-day life; opened myself to new projects and people who would have intimidated me the year before, but now they fascinated me;  the old resentments that I had started out with had faded and been replaced by creativity, appreciation, peace and craving more positives. I found that I could open the vault and work my way towards important life changes.

I took  my blog on a virtual cross-country road trip; reaching out and connecting with some of the coolest hosts ever who turned into friends, and with each post I began to wonder how I could have walked away; and glad I didn’t.  Each time it happened I shook my head in disbelief but I was secretly thrilled to be part of the generous and gracious tradition of sharing blog awards.  I always took too long to receive the gift; not out of lack of gratitude but always with a Sally Field-ish disbelief.  The year ended with a gift, icing on such a delicious cake at this point, when my friend Mimi from Waiting for the Karma Truck shared the Blog of 2012 Award with me.  Best.Christmas.Gift.Ever.  Frankly, one of the year’s best nudges too. Mimi, thank you [and forgive me for not following the rules!?]

I can look back now and realize that a year has come and gone, and with it, a year of nudging and blogging, and as they say, ask myself where did the time go? I appreciate the challenge and benefits of both over the last 12 months, often but not always intertwined. I wasn’t sure where to start, but did, and had no idea where I was headed [and still not entirely sure, but I do know that I like being here] and kept going.  I looked back and my second post was titled: Just Start Somewhere. Who knew that was actually for me? It was a simple tip for getting organized and went on to say:

Choose the easiest place to start…you don’t always have to start at the beginning. If that first step seems like it will be the hardest [and keeps you from starting at all!], then start with another part of the project instead. Often, once you get started…it’s hard to stop! Get going and have fun!”

Looking back, that makes all the sense in the world, whether you need to  –  a) purge a closet; b) improve a relationship, c) start a blog, d) invite positive change into our lives; or e) all of the above  – It’s true, just start somewhere. Let yourself be nudged.

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I have chosen my focus word, my intention for 2013, but I am going to be quiet about it  for a little longer; it’s a more outwardly focused, active word, requiring a little bit more of me. Again, I am both intimidated and fascinated. This word and I, well, we still need a little time to get acquainted, see how we work together.  Worried about Nudge? Don’t be, she  is coming with me into 2013 also;  she has served me so well, and I am quite certain that I still need more nudging…

What do you think? Does choosing a focus word make sense to you? Have you ever chosen one and followed it all year; what word might you choose to help guide you through 2013?

With intention for 2013…

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