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I'm on the flight back from the Align Retreat in Santa Fe, and I'm still soaking in the creative juices that were whipped up in the mountains of New Mexico. When the retreat started, we drew a card that had a message for us. My message was that the time wasn't right; I should wait and look for guidance. I took this to mean that the time wasn't right for me to worry about how I was going to get my new parenting book published; instead I should focus my energy on completing it to the best of my ability. I wasn't real sure about the guidance piece, but I was willing to keep an open mind.
The exercises during the rest of the retreat were all pointing me to look for guidance in both spiritual and corporeal form. Now this is a message that doesn't sit very well with me; part of me wanted to put the card back and draw another one. I am not great at asking for help on things that are really important to me. Part of it is the perfectionism bug that I've had for the last 35 years, but part of it is that, until recently, I haven't had people that I could turn to for creative help. But I do now. I have a whole tribe of like-minded coaches and friends that support me in my vision of publishing my parenting book and then taking my show on the road. More messages throughout the weekend underscored the directive to just write the stinkin' book, and let others worry about the distribution.
I may not know how to get my message delivered, but I'm the only one that can craft it. That's all I need to be doing right now, honing my craft. I'm supposed to be clarifying and parsing down my message until it is ready to send out into the world. I'm making a message soup, as it were. Right now, my job is to just make the soup; how I deliver the soup to my hungry readers...well, that's up to the Universe. I just need to keep cutting up the veggies and meat and trying new spices. If one combination doesn't work, that's okay, I can always start over and make a different kind of soup.
I know what the flavor is supposed to be...it is supposed to taste like love.
What goes into the pot is what I'm practicing right now. As all good cooks know, the most important ingredient in any good soup is the stock. The stock in my soup is rest and play. When I get my soup just right, and all I taste is love, after fishing out all the stuff that doesn't make good soup like ego and doubt, then I will be ready for the Universe to step in and become my very own Meals on Wheels.
This way of thinking about my work makes me happy. When I think of my book release, I usually jump straight to ego stuff, "Will anyone read my book? Will they like it, or will it flop?" The only question that really matters is, "Will it help anyone?" If I can stay playful and approach the author/speaker/coach life as fun, then I will at least be helping one person...me. Since I am the only one that can make my soup, it's pretty important to help me first, or my Meals on Wheels will be operating an empty truck. If I think of delivering my message soup as fun, then standing in front of a roomful of hungry parents becomes less a messianic mission and more like a party.
Because the first rule in parenting is always, "Have fun!" Have fun with your kids; love them and play with them. That's why they're here; that's why we're all here. Through play, you can teach them to make their own soup, and then they will never go hungry.
What are you putting in your soup? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me all about it! Or you can visit me on my website at www.alifeinbalance.com.