One of my 3 words for 2017 is OPEN. In the last couple of months, I’m living out this word and I’m head-over-heels in love with the results.
Being open means saying yes to what I really want, even when it scares me. It’s choosing to ignore that nasty little voice that whispers, “Are you kidding? You’ll never be able to do that. You aren’t qualified enough, smart enough, thin enough, confident enough, brave enough.”
I’m coming to understand that the people I admire who accomplish amazing things all struggle with these crises of self-doubt before they take action. But they move forward anyway. I’m 44 years old. If I’m lucky, I’m at the halfway point of my life and I’m done with sitting back, playing safe and regretting the missed chances I’m too timid to take.
Now I’m saying yes to the things I most want to accomplish and no to almost everything that doesn’t move me toward those big goals. This means being intentional about my time and choosing not to worry if someone is offended when I’ve said no.
Crystallizing my priorities has helped me to be happier and allowed me to stay open to the truly good people and experiences in my life. I was blocked from enjoying them before because the longing for what I DIDN’T have was just too strong.
Now I’ve reversed this. I’m clearer about what I need to do on any given day to move my priority projects forward. Everything else I can let go of. Every one of us can only do so much with our days and our resources. I’ve decided to be content with the choices I make and tell myself that what I’m accomplishing really is good enough.
Since my appendix rupture last summer and our subsequent move to another province, I know who really matters to me and who doesn’t. And I choose to spend my time with those who enrich my life and make me laugh. I encourage them and they reciprocate that joy and gratitude back to me.
It’s so lovely to actually enjoy my life and my decisions. The word open is beautiful because it’s expansive, inclusive, generous and caring. It doesn’t close itself off, the way I used to as a defence mechanism.
As always, this kind of inside work is never finished. It lurches along – messy, uneven, unpredictable and ripe with vulnerability. Sometimes I fall flat on my face. I get unreasonably pissed off by small things and the zen outlook I’m trying to cultivate flies out the window. But other times, the openness is like a window left open in my soul, where the cool breeze enters and leaves the whole place refreshed and renewed.