A few weeks ago, I started to get reminders from the interwebs, helpfully pointing out that there were less than three months in 2017, wondering how I was doing with my goals and if I was on track to slaying and crushing and 10X-ing by the end of the year.
All of a sudden I look at my life and feel bad that I haven't been crushing or 10-xing.
I start telling myself the story that I am not a good and enough person, because a good and enough person would be exactly on track, doing Insta-worthy slaying and extensive 10X-ing.
I spastically start to get into gear, nonspecifically trying to crush a lot of things I don’t even really care about because of some sort of deficiency I've spontaneously decided I have.
I remind myself that an authentic breath is available to me.
With the new intelligence that comes from actually breathing, I summon the audacity to remember that these kinds of gymnastics are not how I want to live my life.
I remember that measuring my success by other people’s metrics does not provide meaning and fulfillment, and that shaming myself into doing things consistently fails to produce the quality work I want to be known for.
(I ALSO REMEMBER THE MONSTROSITY THAT HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY/WORLD THIS YEAR AND REMIND MYSELF THAT THE FACT THAT ANY OF US EVEN GOT OUT OF BED – LET ALONE DID ANYTHING AT ALL RESEMBLING PRODUCTIVITY – IS A MIRACLE)
We have to be gentle as we evaluate our 2017s and heartily acknowledge ourselves for showing up in whatever ways our broken hearts could muster during this uncanny moment in history.
And also: We need to gather our warrior-strength for 2018.
We have big roads ahead, both personally and collectively, that will demand our stamina, power, clear intentions, and fierce open hearts. My plan is to soar into 2018 with the strength and purpose of Wonder Woman and I hope you will join me in the spirit of whatever supershero gets you going.
(I am classically late to the party but newly obsessed with Wonder Woman. More on this later, but, for now, she is my daily spirit costume and it is magic).
But in order to soar, we need an unburdened and aligned take-off. Nothing is born well by shame or force. Usually, we carry some sort of personal deficiency narrative about not measuring up as we transition from one year to the next, vaguely hoping we can finally be better next year.
The urgency of the times and our big dreams demand we evolve out of our attachments to thinking of ourselves as unworthy and not enough and make the radical commitment to gracing ourselves with wholeness.
Here is a quick but mighty practical ritual to ignite this evolution into your coming year:
THE DAILY INVITATIONS
A simple, spiritual, and subversively strategic practice to cultivate worth, hope, and power.
#1: Grant Yourself Grace
#2: Ask for Miracles
The invitations take about 1-5 minutes and they can be added on to any other type of daily routine. Right now I do them daily-ish (because my ducks are nonlinear nothing every happens exactly every day) followed by my Courageous15 (I kept going after our exploration because it makes me a better human) and then some type of physical movement.
You can do them anywhere, at any time.
The Daily Invitations invite you to start the great adventure of whatever lies before you - your day, project, relationship, year - from a place of grace, intention, forgiveness, trust, and strength.
You can download the Daily Invitations Worksheet HERE.
Invitation #1: Grant Grace
I remember the day during my coach training when our instructors introduced this principle:
People are whole, and simultaneously moving toward a fuller experience of their wholeness.
I nearly fell out of my yoga-meditation chair.
Isn’t that cheating? My obsessive Tiny Terrorist wondered.
Isn’t feeling whole only reserved for that magical day when we finally arrive at our destination having DONE ALL OF THE THINGS???
Prior to this revelation, my Tiny T and I had been operating from a pathology worldview - that myself and others were in constant need of improvement and fixing, and that were we to accept ourselves as whole, we would be admitting that we were lowering our standards or giving up on big dreams.
The Pathology worldview sounds like this:
Once I ____________ (get the job, know the right people, lose the weight, get representation, have enough followers, find my partner)
then I am _______________
(whole/legit/enough/an artist/worthy of love/deserving of time off)
We do this in relationships, too:
Once she _____________ (takes out the trash, respects me in this way, makes enough money, works hard enough)
then she is ____________
(whole/legit/enough/an artist/worthy of love/deserving of time off)
The faulty thinking leads us to believe that depriving ourselves of acceptance is what fuels us to accomplish with excellence.
We believe that by withholding a view of wholeness in others, we will somehow more effectively be able to get them to do what we want them to do.
In addition to being utterly un-fun, this perspective actually inhibits us and those we love and lead from doing our best work. Thinking of ourselves as not enough and unworthy is profoundly energy-draining and puts us in a constant state of stress, which can actually shut off the part of our brains that are responsible for creativity, problem solving, and connection.
Our Tiny Terrorists lead us to the delusion that this kind of destructive carrot and stick situation will be effective, when, really, we are depriving ourselves of our full capacity to be all in to any moment, situation, creation, or relationship.
Furthermore, by maintaining the pathology worldview of ourselves, we are also teaching others to view us in this way. Many of us want others to see us as whole and worthy even and especially when we have not done the work to see ourselves in this light. But the reverse manifests - if we are constantly thinking that there is something wrong with our own magnificent selves, others will inadvertently begin to adopt the same view.
(If you get quiet and honest, do you notice yourself expecting others to make up for your lack of worth?)
The times of right now are calling on us to evolve out of our patterns of inherent unworthiness.
We have too much to do together to stay stuck there.
By granting ourselves grace we audaciously accept ourselves exactly as we are before we have done all of the things we think will make us better.
This kind of unconditional positive self regard is the most strategic move we can make because it unlocks our most excellent work and most excellent selves.
Acceptance is the special success sauce we have been searching for.
How It Works:
The Practice is simple. Every day-ish, say to yourself:
I grant myself grace for...
And mentally list or write down anything - big or small - that needs your acceptance.
Here is what I granted myself grace for this morning:
HERE is the challenge: After you make the list, take a moment to say to yourself that despite what you may have written, you are more than enough, and a very very whole human being, just as you are, even before you start to address whatever you have written.
(This is an essential step that you will want to skip. Please do not skip it).
I still may work to amend some of these behaviors, but by accepting the granting grace invitation I commit to doing so with forgiveness instead of judgment.
I know that this practice works because one of the humble privileges of my lifetime is getting to witness the breakthroughs (at work, in relationships, in art, in bodies) that emerge when people start seeing themselves in the way that I see them.
(Also - granting ourselves grace is oh-so-especially-important as we move into the Holidays when advertising and cultural messaging can make us feel like we are perpetually lacking and not enough until we buy it/eat it/own it...).
Invitation #2: Ask For Miracles
I asked several clients, recently:
What would a miracle look like this month?
It's a harder question than we might think.
Though we can ask for miracles at any moment, we are afraid to because we:
I encourage you to work with a definition of a miracle that feels aligned for you - Marianne Williamson calls a miracle a shift in perception from fear to love, and I think of a miracle as any tiny or big shift that can bring authentic light, wonder and relief into our worlds.
We do not need to get precious about definitions or origins, nor will we judge the sizes and types of miracles we ask for.
Asking for them is a transformative practice that we underutilize. Here is why I think we need to ask for them more often and especially right now:
1. They focus your attention: You'll start to think about what you authentically want (it's nearly impossible to include a "should" in a miracle list) and what it would actually take to up-level the quality and circumstances of moments, days, and years of your life in ways that will feel uniquely meaningful to you.
2. You are held accountable for granting yourself grace: The only way you can have a chance at asking for and receiving miracles is if you first deem yourself worthy of them (which is why this comes after Invitation #1)
3. You grow underdeveloped muscles: If you have overdeveloped doing muscles, you will strengthen your trusting, surrendering, and receiving muscles.
4. Miracles are the best holiday time-management hack: The Holidays take a lot of energy and it is more efficient to ask for a miracle than muscle through an unforgiving to-do list.
5. We need a new way: The torrential nature of our world is providing a clear message that our current strategies are not working. Anyone who is awake knows we need to make a seismic shift. We have not yet tried regularly and collectively asking for miracles so I think this seems like a great option unless anyone has any better ideas.
6. You allow yourself to be helped: Regardless of who or what you believe in, asking for miracles calls on inexplicable forces to act on your behalf. Magic will occur if you are patient and open. There, I said it.
When I asked the question about miracles, I was moved by what I heard:
To trust myself
To take a break and not feel guilty about it
To let myself dance again
To create a film with my child
To receive the money I need to start my business
To follow my intuition
To get my script into the right hands
To reconcile with my sister
Invitation #2 is about asking for miracles - as many of them as you want, any size or scope - every day-ish, without judgment. You can ask them for yourself, and you can ask them for the world.
It is comfortable and easy to pick apart why things are not going well and think of ourselves as undeserving of the things we want. It is much harder to grant ourselves the grace and courage to ask for what we really want - for ourselves, for our communities, and for our world - then remain open to actually receive it.
Granting yourself grace and asking for miracles is your most powerful strategic plan.
To grace. To miracles. To taking an intelligent breath and remembering our inherent worth.
With big love and encouragement,
A little book of inspiration, frameworks, and guidance for your next creative project.