As I was writing today (Workin’ on that book again…the one I started five years ago!), I remembered a little story about a little, old lady who once asked me to dance…on an airplane…in the middle of a little turbulence.
That story is below, in the form of a newsletter I sent out in October of 2017. It’s just as relevant today as it was then, and it’s begging me to be resent. So, I’m listening.
I hope it lifts your chin up. It sure gave me more hope!
Now, I don’t know about you, but these past few months have been a little, well, bumpy. Sometimes the initial change in season gets me good. Sometimes the weight of horrible news stories drags me down. Sometimes projects and opportunities don’t turn out the way I hoped they would. Sometimes self-doubt takes the wheel.
And sometimes I get so caught up in everything needing to happen right nowthat I fail to see the tremendous, beautiful lessons in it all. (Are you nodding your head yes? I know I’m not the only one who hits these bumps.)
…there are those divine interventions/fated run-ins that shake us to our core and remind us what we’ve been missing all along.
On a recent flight back to Denver, I was reflecting on an AHA-worthy week in NY and journaling my little heart out. Gosh. There has NEVER been a time when I regretted putting pen to paper and letting my thoughts run wild.
How can such a basic act be so therapeutic and eye-opening? It. always. is.
And here are 10 reasons why.
In Start Where You Are, Meera Lee Patel gifts us with all kinds of simple yet powerful journal prompts. In one, she asks you to write down one thing you’ve lost recently, but to focus on two positive insights you gained from the experience.
Ummm…whoa. Simple, yes. But pow-er-ful indeed. If you’ve been feeling any sense of loss in your work or your life, I encourage you to journal or simply reflect on that, too. See what happens. Feel the load lift from your shoulders as you start to see your challenges as blessings in disguise. #lessonintheloss
Fast-forward to a little later in the flight:
As I was washing my hands in the lavatory, it started to get b-u-m-p-y. Sure enough, the get-back-to-your-seat-and-buckle-up light came on. That tiny little loo quickly spit me out and threw me to the wolves, er, all the shoulders, elbows, and heads that I’d have no way of avoiding on my trek back to my seat. 😉
How am I going to gracefully make it back to the 8th row from the back of this plane?
Inching my way and gripping each seat with all my might, I looked up and saw an older woman coming my direction. We both gave each other the biggest smiles and looks that said, “OH BOY, how are we going to do this?”
As she got closer, she started laughing and asked,
“Shall we dance?”
ZOMG. (My world stopped.) Yassss. We shall, my lady.
OK. We obvi didn’t actually dance, but what could have been passed off as a random question from a total stranger was actually a mega wake-up call that’s been creeping into my thoughts the last three days. It’s been bringing a smile to my face when something challenging surfaces.
It’s been making me think.
We can let fear take over and make us wish we were already “safe in our seat,” or we can dance it off. Shake it off!
We can worry about all the things we can’t control, or we can dance with the bumps. We can TRUST the bumps.
We can focus only on the end goal, or we can enjoy where we’re going — while we’re getting there. We can dance with the journey and revel in the great in-between.
We can march to someone else’s beat/opinion/judgment, or we can turn up Billy Idol and dance to our own dang beat.
No, not everything is comfortable, easy, or predictable.
But, yes, we can dance with the uncertainty of it all.
We can always ask ourselves what there is to learn, even if it’s the cold, hard truth that there isn’t a shiny lesson just yet. Sometimes it’s simply reminding ourselves that we’re in the THICK of something terrifying AND great.
Shall we dance?