Here’s what they are:
1. I always pay attention
2. I always tell the truth and tell it quickly
3. I always ask for what I want, when I want it
4. I always take total responsibility for my experience
5. I always keep my agreements
The two that have been really pushing my buttons lately are “I always tell the truth and tell it quickly” and “I always ask for what I want, when I want it.”
It’s not that I lie a lot or never ask for things. There are, however, amazing subtleties to this. The tiny white lies of “that’s fine” or “I’m ok” or “it’s no big deal.” Or when things are generally good, so I avoid asking myself “what would be great?” or “What do I really want here?”
I’m slightly shocked at how often I say things are fine or ok when, while they might not be big things, they really don’t feel totally fine or ok for me. Or how anxiety provoking it can be to simply state what I want without also mitigate any pressure I’m worried I might be putting on another. For example, “I know you’re really busy so it’s ok if you can’t, but would you be willing to help me with X?” Instead of just asking, “Could you help me with X?”
Instead, I’m practicing being completely honest and simply asking for what I want. I’m trusting those around me to be able to handle their responses to my truth or ask.
A few examples of how this showed up just during the day yesterday:
1. Someone wanted to know if I would be ok changing a plan that we had made. Instead of doing my usual, “Sure, that’s fine” even though I didn’t really want to, I responded with “I would really like to keep our plan, but you need to decide what your needs are.” I stated my truth (I want to keep our plan) and put the responsibility back on them to make their own choices (You need to decide what you need). It’s a subtle honing of truth-telling, but very powerful!!
2. I really wanted a specific kind of chocolate yesterday so on my lunch break I went out to get it. The first place I stopped didn’t have it and I almost settled for something different. But, I remembered to ask myself “what do I want?” and realized I really wanted that specific chocolate. So, I put the other kind back and took the time to go find what I really wanted somewhere else.
The truth is that it usually feels easier just to settle or to engage in the little white lies of social niceties. It doesn’t seem readily apparent how these subtle shifts of these practices would make much of a difference.
But they do. HUGE differences.
I’ve been struggling with extreme tiredness and fatigue for a while now. Bone-deep weariness that, you’d think, I’d have learned by now is a huge red flag for me to check in to see what I’m avoiding. I’m always avoiding something when that crazy fatigue comes around!!
So, in alignment with this practice, I sat my butt down and started asking myself “what do I want?” and “what truth am I afraid of?”
I realized that it is time to move forward with the next phase(s) of my business. My long-term plan has always been to have a mobile business. To write my books, hold retreats, and see clients over Skype/FaceTime. It is a slightly scary transition, to move from the familiar model of counseling and into something new – I have been avoiding it because I didn’t want to face the uncertainty of how to make the transition.
I’ve been doing some of this model all along, but I have mostly focused on building my practice with in-person sessions. That will start changing over the rest of this year. My intention is to be completely mobile by the end of 2015.
This week has been about starting to move toward that. I started announcing the women’s retreat that my colleague, Sybil and I are doing in November. (You should really check it out – it’s going to be AMAZING!!)
I’m working out a plan to talk with my current in-person clients about the upcoming changes and transition them to Skype over the next 6 months, including options to practice it with me during some travel this summer. I have stopped taking in-person folks altogether in Asheville, offering new people who inquire the Skype option instead. I’m making changes to my marketing to adjust to the new model.
And, biggest of all – I finished writing the first draft to my next book, “Invisible Mothers.” This is a huge and exciting and fantastic accomplishment. I’m still giddy with excitement over it J
I told myself the truth. And now I’m practicing asking for what I want.
I would love your help and support in moving my business into a thriving, mobile business. Ways you could do that would be to share information about our upcoming retreat (or attend if it sounds like you!). I would love if you would share my information with family and friends who might be looking for support and open to gaining it through Skype or FaceTime. Help spread my name so people can find me. And, of course, you can always buy and share my book when it’s published in September!!
It’s not always easy to ask for what we want, not even just with ourselves. There is a vulnerability to asking for what we want – people might say no. But they can’t say yes unless we ask.
So, I’m practicing. I invite you to practice with me!
Tell your truth. Ask for what you want.
See what happens – I’d bet you find it rather freeing 🙂