I started the day with an alarm clock! That’s something I have happily discarded since becoming self-employed. I naturally wake up around 6:30, but I had a scheduled meeting with a company downtown and I wanted to be READY.
Here’s the first insight I had: What does READY even mean? In my mind READY meant, “locked and loaded” (as one former colleague used to call it). I found myself falling back into stress and unease, like this meeting would define my entire day. I wanted to get it right, be perfect, be acceptable. BUT… I can actually recognize more quickly now when this begins to happen and get back to “all is well” pretty easily. Recognizing it was my first win. I didn’t need to be “right” or READY. I needed to be myself. I know what I do, and the content I have developed to reflect that. I needed to be authentic and remain in attentive response to this potential client needed.
I was totally ready and by letting go of the thoughts around needing to be READY, I was able to move safely into the unknown. That doesn’t mean I don’t want the work, it doesn’t mean I would show up as less-than, it meant I was going to give it my absolute best and be OK if they said “not for us.” “OK” doesn’t mean I like it, OK means I know I can handle stuff that doesn’t feel good. Yeah, our minds can regularly give us a long litany of ideas that just aren’t true. So, I just had to get dressed and enjoy the meeting? I can do that. Once I slowed it down, I had time for a cup of coffee. Interesting….
On my way, I received a call from Kate, a former client – a lawyer who was ending a long-term relationship. She needed a quick pep talk. We discussed, but seriously, Kate just wanted me to help her with scheduling logistics for her break-up meeting. She was very clear about what she wanted, and she was thinking about all sorts of outcomes that most probably would never happen. See? We’re so good at making shit up! Kate knew it would hurt, and she still put herself first because when she wasn’t she doing that, she was completely unfulfilled.
I got the new gig, Kate got freedom… and it’s only noon!
On my way home, I stop at Dave’s, our local grocery. Amy and I coincidentally meet here often. We began to chat about what we’re up to and I mention a new project I am working on, “It’s exciting, but it’s also scary.” Amy looked me straight in the eye, paused, and began to take her bracelet off.
I immediately put my guard up because in that moment Amy saw my fear. I want to have open conversations, but I don’t want to show fear, right?!! It’s part of my practice these days, to stay open, to receive whatever shows up, but I went to all the things I had wanted, expecting I wouldn’t get them, so I didn’t get them. Now I expect to get things just because I stay open. I’m learning to recognize it’s all here, right now. I haven’t done that enough. So I stay open.
“Here, you need this now.” She handed me her bracelet. Amy explains, “This is a Giving Key. It says FEARLESS. It’s a great reminder. I needed it at one point, but now you need to have it.” I was blown away, as she clips it on my wrist. Yeah, I can be fearless, why not? I felt like we were now in this new project together. She protected me with this loving gesture.
As I ended my day, Lynn, another former client, called to say she didn’t get a job she was going for. We chatted, shared the good and the bad; and she was OK. As we hang up, my daughter texts me. We get caught up on our day through text messages, exchanging cute cat photos, and saying Good Night. We’re all in this together. Ready and Fearless.