I’m spending a quite a bit of time laughing at myself lately. It’s a good hobby, raising the endorphins and such. I’m laughing because I keep catching myself in the act of raising my own level of awareness.
In case you didn’t know, the primary task of a Life Coach is raising the level of awareness. I’m just going to take a pause right here and acknowledge myself for doing a really great job with myself!
Today’s laughter is around my new awareness of what my Type-A behavior might really be about.
It’s been a rough week, even by my standards. I haven’t had time to fully adjust my already-packed schedule to accommodate my new position of Corporate Life Coach, so I’ve been doing everything and feeling rather self-important. Sometimes I really like feeling that way! It speaks to one of my values: feeling valuable. It’s not nearly as fulfilling, however, when it comes at the expense of my self-care. Self-importance usually winds up as a hollow egg for me. Pretty on the outside, not truly fulfilling through and through.
This week’s schedule involved working 30 hours in the office, driving 500 miles round trip on two separate occasions to Central Florida for a speaking engagement Tuesday evening and two meetings and a speaking engagement Thursday, a scheduled coach training webinar with a class in India, plus the normal routine of breakfast, lunch, dinner, laundry, house care, etc. I parked the car at 12:02 this morning, and got to ‘sleep in’ until nearly 8:00 this morning before waking up to teach the class. Tired is an understatement. I promised myself that my ‘busy’ would be rewarded with no alarm clock tomorrow.
At 9:15, I got a phone call that I wouldn’t be needed to teach today’s class. My first thought was, “I wish I had known that last night. I would have slept in!” My next thought was, “What can I get done in that 2 1/2 hour time slot?” I started making a mental list of projects I could get out of the way.
I caught myself.
I had an opportunity to cram another 2 1/2 hours of busy into my life. I also had another awareness. I was being given a gift, and it wasn’t just this 2 1/2 hours. This is a gift for my whole life, if I choose to apply it.
My awareness is that all of the things that I could cram into those 2 1/2 hours would not have gotten done, because I would have been otherwise occupied. I knew that and had accepted that. Why were they suddenly so important? Why did I suddenly need to do them, even though I clearly needed rest?
One of those little ‘should’ voices piped right up, “Because you aren’t valuable if you aren’t busy! You can’t just sit around! Who would love you?” Clearly, that is a voice of old conditioning, and the tenor of the voice sounds to be 5 or 6 years old. As irrational as it is, it is a perfect example of the internal dialogues that drive irrational behavior.
Rather than ‘should’ right back on that little, should-y voice, I chose to respond in my compassionate adult voice. “I will love me, and that is the most important love of all.”
It took me a long time to know that truth, and even longer to voice it. Sometimes I still lose sight of my truth, and that is okay, too. Eventually, I find my way back. We all do.
My truth that I would love me and that was most important was all the little, internal ‘should’ really needed. It gave a comforted sigh and settled down for a nap with me. All this time, it has been so afraid and I am now aware that is the very fear that drove my Type-A behavior. It makes me wonder if I ever really was Type-A or if I was just scared. As I look around at others who appear as Type-A, I see the edges of fear. Am I noticing it for the first time because of my experience, or is it merely projection?
Whatever the case, I’ve raised the awareness bar again, both for myself and others. I’ve experienced another dose of compassion that I can carry forward into the world.
What do your little should-y voices have to say to you today? Where can you be compassionate with yourself in your answers? I invite you to take that to compassionate inquiry and would love to know what shows up for you!
Blessings, Love, Light, & Laughter! Hooray!