Secret Ingredients

 
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ingredientsI’m in the opening stretch of a very busy time, and only getting busier.

I feel my body wanting to brace for impact, and it takes diligence to keep telling myself to lean in and soften. It’s so easy to spiral into the impossibility of it all – too many to-do’s for one person, three continents in three weeks, a Master’s project looming, and a brand new teenager. It’s a stress trifle.

My travel schedule looks like something I would have conjured up a few years ago, before I realized the wear and tear it was causing on my body. “I can get through this,” I whisper to myself, with more than a little disbelief.

I’m ready… I think.

There’s a new manager at my favorite airport parking spot. I dislike him immediately. He communicates as if everything is an interrogation, and within the first 3 minutes has said 3 profoundly inappropriate and offensive things to me. I believe he thinks he’s flirting. (“I bet there’s one sweet girl under there,” he says, in the face of my utter annoyance. I fantasize about getting him fired.)

I want to ride my pettiness like a pony, around and around the yard, with a pout on my face and a sharpness in my kick. There’s a whine of epic proportion wanting to make its way up and out.

To be offended comes easily. So does overwhelm.

But this is not the Big Life I want to live. This is not the Bold Soul I want to be.

What to do, you might ask?

Access my secret ingredients… those elements I know will turn the brew I’m concocting from bitter to sweet.

(It has taken me a lifetime to find my own personal antidotes to the oh-so-enticing toxic elements.)

They are:

Courage

Devotion

Joy

Courage helps me find my voice, even in the presence of frighteningly large, former law-enforcement, parking lot managers. Courage feeds the fire that keeps inspiration and passion from growing cold and slushy. It is the microsecond of push that resets the path.

 

Devotion says, “I will,” even when all the naysayers are screaming, “You can’t.” it keeps my eye on the horizon, and my heart connected to the bigger picture. It’s a reminder that every single thing that happens is sacred, from airport traffic to the warm TSA agent (!!!) to the fact that I am flying thousands of mile in an enormous metal tube with wings.

 

Joy is the sprinkle of sparkles that makes everything lighter. And prettier. I recently had the realization of how I had taken on the seriousness of life without allowing for joy (not that it wasn’t there). Now it’s a practice I’ve committed to: Find the Joy! (In the rare cases it’s not already there: Bring the Joy!)

 

One week in, I laugh at the scene at the airport that, at the time, made me furious. In retrospect, it always feels surprising that what I know now was not available to me then.

Things get really delicious when I realize they always are.

 

What are your secret ingredients? How will you remember? (Personally, I’m trying out a golden tattoo. It seems to be working.)

gold tattoo

 

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