Friday, December 17, 2010

#reverb10: lesson learned

(what day 16 (friendship) was all about)

day 17 prompt ... Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
(Author: Tara Weaver)

(my commitment to myself for stream-of-conscious writing ... excited to see what pops up as i type!)

(from previous reverb10 posts, i've learned about
"shiny penny" can be good for writing, letting go opens space in one's life, and not everyone wants to receive silver lining friendships, for which this is a lesson in progress.)

i learned that i am sometimes mischievous with commitments ... that means that i come up with little annoying reasons (that seem plausible and rational) for why a commitment has slipped. in fact, i over-commit at times, with all the good intentions of seeing commitments through.

for many, the little reasons are acceptable. for me, i have learned not to accept the little reasons anymore. not that i am going to be hard on myself if i don't keep a commitment. it's when i do not keep a commitment - i want to make sure i am more honest about why i have not kept a commitment. "no" to mischief-speak. "yes" to forthright-speak. (i am happy that i learned this lesson about myself and that i am not self-flogging about it. it is truly a lesson-learned.)

back story: turning mischief away ... mischief was the word my chiropractor said to me after i gave "reasons" (many of them, e.g., weather, errands, ...) for why i did not hold up my commitment to myself and to him to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. he said, with a bit of disappointment and annoyance, "that's just mischief speaking. i am not buying it!"

dr. chiro's thoughts? ... for him commitments that we do not keep and where we reason away (aka excuse) is a kind of mischief.
simply saying "i chose not to exercise" sounds powerful, and yet, why not simply say - "i did not want to exercise today." enough said. turns out - i really just did not want to exercise. of course certainly, there are truly justifiable reasons why there is not follow-through on some commitments - accidents, lower priority compared to something else, etc. point is ...

more 'splaining ... we talked about this in much more detail. he shared about his also having this mischief going on in his life's commitments. with all the good intentions of keeping commitments, rather than have this mischief-speak, why not simply be more honest about our motivations, short-comings, etc. and build upon that ... don't create a laundry list of mischief.
just being plainly honest. commit to being accountable to my commitments and being honest about my actions.

i realized that, with all the good intentions, i have commitments that have slipped. when i have been TRULY TO THE CORE honest with myself about why i slipped, i have felt much more space open up. sure i have a commitment i still have to do, but rather than have this little bag of reasons (many seemingly rational) that i carry around of why i didn't follow-through - why not open up and create space from honesty.

- and how will you apply that lesson going forward? simply put, i am striving to make more mindful commitments - and not allow any wishy-washiness reasons of slipping on a commitment creep into the picture. this doesn't mean that i have created a rigid accountability structure of incentives and consequences.

from the heart ... it means the following - when i make a commitment, i do so from my heart. i will strive to be forthright about making and about missing commitments. i have made little commitments to myself such as - take a daily multivitamin, meditate 20 minutes a day, read a book at least 30 minutes, write 2 pages in a journal daily, exercise at least 35 minutes daily, etc. i have kept some, i have slipped on some. and i have seen how being forthright and having no mischief-speak does open more space in my life.

step aside mischief-speak ...
forthright-speak is in the house!

(thanks for letting me share your time!)

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