This week I am taking a course at MIT called Designing Your Life. It is taught by a professional life coach from the Handel Group. I have been so looking forward to this class. It is all about looking at your “life script” and deciding if you want to keep following what you have written or want to do some editing. I felt it would be a great experience for me and give me a new perspective heading into the Brighten Your Light Seminars.
I went into the first class, yesterday, confident that I was going to be aligned with everything that was presented. I felt pretty sure there would be some people in the room who would struggle with the idea of owning where you are in your life, but it was going to be smooth sailing for me. Driving home I was rifling my glove box for a barf bag. What happened? Let me explain.
We were about 30 minutes into the class and the instructor was really pushing for audience participation. Why was I so terrified to speak up? My brain was on a time delay. I would have a comment formulated only after she had moved on to a completely different topic. Our instructor began talking about integrity. She explained if you say you will do X and you do X, you have integrity. Simple enough. If you say you will do X and you do Y, you do not have integrity. How do you handle that? She proposed three options. 1. You can own it. Say, “I was a bum” and I didn’t do what I said I would. 2. You can make excuses or lie. 3. You can feel bad. Number 2 and 3 are actions we choose to get ourselves off the hook.
This was my big chance to participate. I said, “My name is Heather, and I do both, lie and feel bad.” Great. I participated and it wasn’t too painful. But wait, what is she saying, “Give me an example from your life.” Oh shit! Why did I say anything. Note to self, SHUT UUUPPPPPPP!!! “Okay, I was supposed to meet my friend for lunch but I lost track of time. When I realized I was going to be late I made up a little fib so she wouldn’t think I just blew her off.” I will never speak again. Except she is still talking to me, “So your homework for the next class is you have to call up your friend and tell her that you lied.” So, I’m thinking there’s a pretty good chance you won’t see me on Wednesday.
I can’t really tell you a whole lot about the rest of class because I was mostly trying not to barf. I drove home with my window open, gulping down the fresh air. Man was it good to come home to my awesome family! I was starting to be able to breathe again. I told them about my homework assignment. My kids laughed and said, “That’s easy just go in on Wednesday and tell her you did it.” Houston, we have a problem. Is it possible that I do not live with integrity? Am I teaching my kids this? Maybe… After a lot of laughing and teasing, I started to get some perspective back. My life would surely not end if I called my wonderful, sweet, compassionate friend and told her the truth. I vowed to do it the very first thing- tomorrow.
Well, I did call and own up to my white lie to my great friend. She doesn’t hate me. Thank God. I’m pretty sure she isn’t going to hold it against me. She even suggested I go in and punk the teacher and tell her how much my friend hates me now. That her kids are throwing eggs at my house. We had a good laugh and it was good to catch up for a few minutes. The word lucky doesn’t even begin to cover how blessed I am to have such a wonderful friend in my life. She is a treasure.
What did this experience teach me?
1. If it terrifies the crap out of you. It’s probably something that needs doing.
2. Own it. Do what you say you will do. If you don’t just step up and admit what happened. Making excuses and lying is, “giving away a part of your soul” according to the instructor. Who wants to take a chance on that? Feeling badly about it is so draining and time-consuming. These are two bad habits that can be broken. I am going to spend some time imagining what my life would look like if I didn’t have to spend so much time feeling bad for all of the stuff I haven’t done.
I am headed back to class tomorrow. I am a little less confident that it will be all rainbows and lollipops, but I am more sure than ever that it is where I need to be.
Check out Susan’s bio https://lifeandfriendship.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/meet-the-experts/refresh-your-plate/ . Susan will be leading our first seminar on February 26th with her Refresh Your Plate presentation. Susan is wonderful. You will leave feeling that you are doing more right than you knew, and primed to do more. Check out the Brighten Your Light Series page for more info on all of the seminars. Click the link to my website to sign up http://lifeandfriendship.com/brighten-your-light-series-sign-up
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