The excuse that is too slippery or sexy or some other thing to argue with.
What’s that story?
I CAN’T TAKE ACTION BECAUSE I LACK CLARITY.
Maybe you’ve even said or thought it yourself. And if you’re a good story teller (which most of us are in our heads...we’ve got heaps of tales we’ve spun to explain why our lives are the way they are), you might actually believe it.
But here’s the thing I’m asking of you. Stop. Don’t believe it. It’s just not true.
How could I possibly say this?! I mean after all...I don’t know your life situation like you do!
I can say this because I finally realized yesterday in the midst of struggling with a lesson in the “Training Your Inner Warrior” class I am taking with Robin Rice (if you don’t know her, you should...authenticity & brilliance all wrapped up in one) that I have never once, not in my entire life, NOT been able to see exactly what is happening in the present moment. Never.
Sure, my “filters” (how I perceive the world) might be coloring what I see to match the stories in my head...but I can in fact see everything around me when I stop, get still, breathe, & just take it all in.
Visibility, on the other hand, is often an issue. Let me explain.
Visibility, on the other hand, depended on factors outside the cockpit. Namely, the weather. On a clear blue day, the visibility could appear unlimited (although we all know the earth is round...so even on the highest visibility days, there is a limit to how far ahead we can see). But on a cloudy day, visibility dropped. It could be anywhere from a few miles to “you’re lucky if you can see the helicopter parked on the pad next to you.”
Leaving the cockpit for a moment, let’s return to our present day reality.
For me, this includes having a now 3+ pound human growing in my belly. Let me tell you that my present moment awareness (clarity) during this time has never been better. It’s hard not to feel every single thing that happens in your body when a tiny, evolving human is simultaneously stepping on your bladder making you have to pee every 27 minutes, whilst also punching your lungs making the act of taking a deep breath a distant, distant memory.
I’m tapped into clarity in a way I never knew existed, aware of every moment. It’s hard for my mind to wander very far when sometimes I have to stay present just to keep breathing & functioning. I’m exhausted...but quite clear & present. The clarity I thought was always eluding me is right here. Right now. In every moment.
My visibility on the the other hand, SUCKS! I mean really, really sucks. There’s a yoga class I want to go to on Saturday but I am not sure how I will feel that day or if it will be physically possible for me to attend. Like for real. Not the kind of “I don’t wanna” mental stuff that gets in the way of me doing things sometimes. But like truly, can I move into the poses the class will run through? Today, day 218 of my pregnancy, I feel like I could probably do a one hour yoga class. But I literally have no idea what day 221 holds for me (especially since my belly seems to be getting bigger by the second in this 3rd trimester).
Why? Because I have never experienced day 221 of a pregnancy before. Who knows if day 219 or 220 is the day I say, “And now I am done working out until this kid gets here.”?
And never mind the fact my body is experiencing all kinds of changes I can’t predict right now. In just over 9 weeks, my LIFE is about to experience things I literally cannot wrap my mind around. People say having a baby turns your world upside down. What does that even mean?! And what will that look & feel like for ME!? My brain literally has no reference point, so how could I possibly plan for that? Sure, I could try to make a plan (for the sake of having some sense of control over my life)...but deep down I know that plan would only be to keep my fears at bay.
New stuff is scary. But it’s also exciting. That’s why we do it.
And so here I sit, with more clarity than I’ve ever had...and my visibility lower than it’s ever been. It’s almost as if my life will go through some kind of system-reboot-upgrade-thingy on April 12th (baby’s due date).
What I have is a visibility issue. A bigger one than I’ve ever had before. One that keeps me from truly being able to see anything beyond April 12th. Sure, I can still plan things & make commitments. But I have to realize it is Leslie version 1.0 making those commitments...and I won’t know what version 2.0 looks like until she gets here. Some things may not change at all. Other things will be unrecognizable.
So maybe I’ll just say it like it is...not just to others, but to ME! I have no clue what happens after April 12th. And for now, commitment levels of “strong maybe” or “sounds fun but I’m not able to commit” are just fine. When I open the window & see the what the metaphorical weather is like on the day those “strong maybes” roll around, during that particular season of my life, I can make a better decision.
This certainly won’t be the last time I have low visibility in my life. My future is sure to include many planned changes that affect my visibility (new jobs, moving homes, maybe even more kids) as well as unexpected ones that will kick it in the ass (losing someone I love, natural disasters, world economic collapse, or the myriad other things in life I cannot control).
But you can be damn sure this is the last time I will EVER say I lack clarity. It is, in fact, the one thing I have access to when I simply stop, get still, & breathe into the NOW moment I am experiencing. And the funny thing is that when I do that, all feels right with the world, and I know EXACTLY what action I need to take (which sometimes might be no action at all...not what my over-achiever self likes to hear).
Staying present & swimming in my clarity has never led me astray. Trying to navigate the murky fog of my low-visibility current situation by pretending I know what the heck is on the other side of it, however, often leaves me wishing I had just slowed my roll & waited for the fog to dissipate. And many times having to UNDO the actions I took in that fog.
So for now, I breathe (as deeply as I can with an elbow in my lung). And wait. Because it’s not the time for action...which I am actually learning to be quite okay with!
Now if you’ll excuse me, my “clarity-NOW-meter” is indicating the baby is standing on my bladder. And unless I want to create a self-induced reduction in my visibility by having an accident in my office chair, I gots to go!
This post brought to you by Leslie Riley (formerly known as Leslie Stein)...who took flight in a jump for joy at the realization that she DOES have clairty after all!!