Mmmm.... I am taking in so many different kinds of information these days. Everything from newsletters sent home from my children's teachers to rich course content in an online course I am taking. It's a lot and it is all part of my effort to get clear on a few things.
September is my January. It feels more like a New Year to me than the one that officially starts January 1 and so that is probably why I've been doing a lot of soul searching. Last year I felt like a complete failure on the mom front. It was a rough school year and I played a huge part in how rough it was for all of us. I will give you an example... Last year I drove my two younger children to school every day. Of the three of us, the youngest --who was 4 years-old for the first half of the year -- is the most motivated in the morning, AND this is a little girl who would sleep until 10:00 a.m. every day if she could. Our mornings were tough on all of us and I just wasn't very good at handling it.
This year, they ride the bus to school. The other day they missed the bus. When I told them they missed the bus and I would be driving them to school my son burst into tears and screamed, "I'M HAVING FLASHBACKS TO WHEN YOU TOOK US TO SCHOOL LAST YEAR!!!"
Now, I can't take full credit for the flashbacks. I think some of his horror was due in part to the teacher who greeted him in a not so friendly way each day. The ramifications of running a little late are intensified when the person to whom you are running isn't very welcoming. But still. I knew I had work to do to help rewrite my son's school story.
My work is around figuring out what I am capable of in the realm of being the primary caregiver for my family and starting a creative business at the same time. I am finding that it is necessary for me to be okay with baby steps in the business area. Last year I said yes to everything and tried to get myself "out there" as much as possible. I stayed up late working on multiple projects and had a hard time waking up most mornings. I taught a few classes after school and had to arrange for childcare for my children. This year I want to make sure I am home when my kids get off the bus each day. I need to be more selective when it comes to deciding how to put myself "out there." I am okay with that. I am clear on that.
What I just realized that I wasn't clear on was exactly what my intentions are in being home for my children or facilitating a retreat for a group of women. I thought I wanted to help people. You know? Because I am a helper. After last weekend's retreat (which was AWESOME by the way...more on that another time), I realized that YES, I definitely do what I do because I want to help people.
BUT, what I really want is to...
...help people help themselves. There is a HUGE difference.
I want to help people.
I want to help people help themselves.
This is as true for my kids as it is for anyone I work with. I am not here solely to whisk in and chase all my children's problems away. I would LOVE to be able to do that! But I am not their fairy godmother, I am their MOTHER. My job is to give them everything I can to help them help themselves. Because I'm not going to be around forever.
I thought I set out to do the work I do because I want to help people. I was getting a little caught up in that idea - maybe even anticipating that I am way more powerful than I truly am - that I have some kind of magical helping wand and when I wave it all your problems will vanish (I wish I could do that, but it's just not real). With the work that I do there is really only so much I can do to help anyone. The rest is on them. I think what I want to do is inspire people, to empower people, and to share what I know in case it might help them to feel less alone or to solve a problem or to create something beautiful.
Now that I think about it, I think it is one of the most loving things you can do - to help someone help themselves. I like that.
So, this is what I am clear on now, thanks to all that soul searching... I show up here to share my stories and some tools that help me stay present in the moment and accomplish the things I need to do - for myself and for others. I hope that by sharing what works for me you may find a thing or two that works for you. That's all. I think sharing is so powerful. It has the potential to unlock doors and create flow where one is stuck. When I had this moment of clarity I knew I had to share it. Think about it - where could you use some clarity in your life?
When I show up here, I am committed to sharing - open, honest, from the heart sharing... the rest is up to you.