Lift Off

March 19, 2010

Houston, we have lift off!!! It is so exciting to be off the tarmack!!  How many years have YOU been saying you are going to set up a web page or start a blog?  It’s been about two for me.  Made it into a big, fat hairy monster I did!  No signs of hairy, fat or monster here! Well that’s a relief!  How many times a day, since we’re on the topic of how long it takes, do you confront a big, hairy monster and then hang a Louie and leave the scene?  “I think I’ll talk to my boss about that manner in which he publicly reams me and let him know how that feels.  On second thought that project deadline and product launch are in my face, so NAH!!! I’ll talk to him after those are off my desk.”  Or, “I really, really want my daughter to know how much I admire her courage for making a choice to stay home last weekend instead of going to a party where she knew there would be drinking.  No, that’s too confrontational, I’ll just wait to tell her when there is a natural segue in a future conversation.”  Segue is now a noun and your chances of confronting a noun are next to nil. How rampant our thoughts become in situations like this where we create this crescendo (oh lordhavemercy tell me there is an auto spellcheck in blog heaven?) of a story about how bad something is going to be BEFORE IT HAPPENS!!!  We’re not even there yet and we decide to engage in “anticipatory conversation” about where the situation or conversation is going to go.  As if we could carry the weight of the crystal ball THAT would require!!!  So we proceed with our lovely, rampant imaginations into all corners of that dangerous neighborhood that is our mind.  And we stay ON the tarmack.  How much do you hate sitting in a hot plane on the tarmack? Drives me insane. I pretend not to be claustrophobic  (score!! nailed the spelling first time!) by entertaining myself with stories about exactly who that man is in front of me with the odd patterned polyester shirt wondering when he missed the memo that his shirt is in fact  flammable and actually makes you sweat more.  You hate the tarmack too (and I normally profess that the only thing to hate is hate itself) but this tarmack thing is really bugging me today.  Because it represents inertia. Stuckedness (I am submitting that word to the word smith association of America, thank you). A state of being staid.  (I am SO going to take you back to your SAT tests where you had to learn these lesser-used words).  So there we are in our heads, imagination fully engaged, future fully predicted and action fully not taken. Begin with the ending (you predict) in mind.  Not what Steven Covey was talking about.

And I wonder, who of us can look back at their own tarmack story and entertain opening up to say,  a different possibility?  What if for a day there was a lock out of all big, hairy monster thoughts???  Byron Katie would love us and be proud.  So for grins, let’s take the boss thing.  Let’s just pretend that we TRY to say something to the boss.  Let’s pretend that we muster that courage to say “Boss, there is something on my mind that I really need to talk to you about, when is a good time to meet with you for a few minutes?”  Let’s get really bold and wild and pretend some more that he says “I have a few minutes now, what is up?”  And then, remembering to breathe (and leaning into the knowing that the oxygen mask will come down if the air gets too thin), you launch into a rambling “Imreallysorrybutitissohardformetounderstandwhyyouyellatmeinfrontofeveryonewouldyoumindnotdoingthat?”  Did you catch that subtle as a Mac truck reference to launching?  You’re off the tarmack baby and you are in the air!!!  Do you know what is so cool here?  You have a boatload of instrument panels full of all kinds of cool stuff to navigate with,  and, GET THIS, to help you course correct as you go!  Thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of times between just San Francisco and L.A. alone!!! This allows you to “make mistakes” and or get off track and get back in alignment again…over and over and over (did I say over?)  Now admittedly this next part of the story goes into some scenario-building (do not confuse this with crystal balls and anticipatory-whatever- I -called -it) for the sake of discussion.  And here’s the rub.  We are out of the “OMG he’s going to bite my head off now but  in private” story telling and we are entering into the land of “I suppose it might be possible that….”   Guess what is here?  What is here is the possibility that said Boss is somewhat ashen in the face, having never heard anyone actually utter the words “yell at me in front of everyone”.  Perhaps he actually notices how sunken your shoulders are and how tentative your speech is and how jittery you are as you sit across from him.  I know, inner skeptic in all of us says “If he yells in front of everyone then he sure the heck is not going to notice stuff like my body language, tone, tentativeness…”  But we are entertaining in the land of perhaps and seriously good stuff goes on in “pretend” so just hang the heck in here.  So let’s take this one more scary step.  Perhaps he not only sees where you are coming from and hears what your words are saying but maybe he even says, “Gosh, I’m so used to taking charge in that room, I didn’t actually realize I was doing that.  I think I’m going to take five before our next meeting and see if I might focus a little more or something, I’m not sure what….”  I know, you are barfing!  It just can’t be!!!  Well, fine, hold that story if you want to but my point, lengthy as it has been to get here, is that “it could happen!”  What I really mean is that you just witnessed a (clearly) fictional bad-ass boss who was actuallyNOT the big, bad, hairy monster earlier anticipated.  I wish for all of us one non-big, hairy monster outcome this week.  Entertain the radical possibility that you might get through whatever it is that you think (see “dangerous neighborhood” above) you can’t.  Then share that with me so I can post stories about everyday champions like me and you.  I dare you to get off the tarmack!!  After two years, here I am, launching, laughing and loving life.  Do not ruin my new dream!

4asyouare love yourself there,

Jennifer

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