I went to the #LivetheLifeYouWantNJ weekend with OPRAH! It was everything an O-admirer could have hoped for, inspiring, motivating, lots of waving of the hands trying to get her to notice you. She was wonderful and her “trailblazers” were equally phenomenally motivating.
During a Q&A someone asked, Rob Bell, how do you begin to “pump the brakes” on busy lives.
He responded: take a look at your life this week. Reflect back on it and then choose the moments that were good and the moments that were the best.
You will have to learn to say No to the good, so that you can have more Yeses for the best!
Amazing right? It’s the kind of answer where you say, “I know that!” Yet, how many of us actually DO that? For me it took a lesson in daily practice to recognize the very profoundness of this answer.
From the time my girls were little, I would put them to bed singing prayers and songs of love and a peaceful night’s sleep. As they grew, the songs became more age appropriate, and now we actually just “talk.”
And then “life” happened. You know, “life”, like when someone asks, “hey what happnened?” and You respond, “Life.” Also known as “too busy.”
I actually stopped having nightly conversations with my kids and started to give them quick good night kisses and hugs and I love yous, and would walk out, close the door and go meet “life.”
Life, the BS I think is more important, like washing dishes, making lunches, laundry, paying bills, watching the rated-R shows, I can’t watch when my kids are awake.
Last night I actually sat in my daughter’s room and wanted to have a conversation about an incident that happened. I realized that she was acting a certain way out of fear: Fear of speaking up for something she wanted, Fear we would say no.
I did an exercise from Oprah’s own workshop, where I had her close her eyes and imagine someone she loved very much and then I had her bestow all kinds of gifts unto this person, what do you want for this person? After she listed all the material things, she added thing like happiness, peace, being brave, fun, laughs and smiles followed.
After I told her that all the things she wanted for this person she loved dearly is things she wants for herself. Its easier for us to want happiness for others before ourselves. She was amazed. So she closed her eyes again and I said imagine yourself. Now imagine you have happiness, peace, you are brave to say what you want, you have no fear. What does that feel like?
She actually said, “I feel free.” Full quote! Amazing!
She literally opened her eyes and her entire aura, her facial expression and spirit had shifted to being lighter. She was smiling! She got it!
Then she had a question, “When we see other people not being themselves, should we say something?” BLESS HER! Really this question out of a 6 year old.
I answered with, “If someone pointed out to you that you aren’t being yourself. It may make you feel upset, especially if you think you are being yourself. If we are being 100% of ourselves, 100% of the time, like being happy, peaceful, loving, all the things we see ourselves as, if we are doing that every minute of every day, then we may…”
She interrupted me to FINISH my sentence and say, “If we are being ourselves all the time, then people will just see us and want that for themselves. We won’t have to tell them anything.” AHHHH SERIOUSLY my heart is still melting writing this!
So back to Rob Bell, thank you, for helping me recognize that this moment is a BEST in my week. This moment is the one I would to say Yes to every time. And although I could have read (which is my all time favorite things to do) a chapter from a book and it would have been good, tonight I said No to the good, so that I could have the best with my daughter.
THIS IS LIFE! This is how we should be defining life. Its not controlling and overwhelming and exhausting. Its love and peace and moments like this! So stop blaming LIFE for your melancholies, and the so-so moments and the upsets and the daily mundane routines, because that’s not life, that’s your choices!
You have a choice to start embracing Life for the lessons and the wonderful moments, to start making each moment the best. And to say in the words of Iyanla Vanzant, “here’s to life!”
When I shared this story with my best friend, she said pointed out something wonderful, she said, although its sad and terrible to think what-if, “what if this person were not in my life?”
What’s sadder is what-if we never got to say the things we wanted to them or do the things we wanted with them. These moments, these people in our lives are gifts, sometimes only momentarily.
So make each moment the best, because the good is just not good enough.