It's June 1st. The beginning of a month. The beginning of a season. The beginning of the second half of the year. It's the last realization that pulled me up short this morning as I was writing in my morning journal. An entire half year gone.
Just let that sink in a minute.
Where did it go? My inner critic tells me that it's been wasted time, that I haven't attended to my goals, that I don't have any goals, that I'd better get moving or I'll be left behind. Left behind. That nebulous self-threat our inner critics use to induce panic to try to get us moving toward something. At least that's how mine operates. I suspect others' do too. So I mustered a little self-control and very quickly noted my accomplishments for the year, so far. They went something like this:
1) I have a print proof of my book.
2) I have engaged consistent income to cover basic expenses and benefits.
3) I have moved through and beyond a difficult contract situation.
4) I continue to notice needed changes around my home space.
5) I've been to England and back -- and to France!
6) I've identified a rich prep period before my schedule gets heavy and full later this year.
7) I continue to invest in myself with a mastermind group, writing workshops, and other growth opportunities.
I paused for a moment and celebrated. That went something like, "So. Great to notice, and there's work to be done." I know. I know. I can do better with celebrating myself. But I realized then that I was on a mission. So I continued, noting the work to be done:
1) Review print proof and schedule appointment to review changes.
2) Create the TT and start planning transformational events. (That's for my day job.)
3) Make a plan for the house and storage unit and get it done.
4) Plan October trip and the rest of my time away for the year.
5) Plan for doing my taxes this summer.
6) Take a look at the big picture and set some goals.
7) What is still alive for me? What support do I need? What's next?
I turned the page and immediately started writing about something else.
"Where's my good pen?" I'd been writing with an unsatisfying pen, my regular journaling pen having mysteriously disappeared off the kitchen table.
"My brain is full of conversations with stubborn church people. Rehearsals. And, perhaps, conversations I'll never have. Most of me wants to get through this with few claw marks on my hide." I work with churches in transition and sometimes the work is dangerous.
"So. Breakfast." I noted what I was having for breakfast. I noted what I'll be doing the rest of the day. I noted what I'll be doing the rest of the week. I noted an intrusive thought about the health insurance system being like an extortion scheme. And a question around what a politician with integrity might actually be able to accomplish around transforming American life. This is what morning pages are for, clearing mental clutter. And, occasionally, something brilliant comes through.
Like the Summer of Self-Love, born today on June 1 as I think about how to harness the next three months for my own thriving.
I ended my morning writing with what I am grateful for today - strawberries, good tea, the chance to spend time with my son (we're going to see Solo later this morning and then share a meal before he goes to work and I get to work). There is the always curious outcome of gratitude -- hope and power. Today it was expressed like this:
"Time to thrive, woman! How about a goal of a dinner party?"
I popped over to my mastermind journal, where I track my progress with goals and such, and continued. "What kind of steps do I need to complete in order to have a dinner party? Doesn't a dinner party sound like a good, non-crazy-making goal?"
I'll do anything to disguise my need to de-clutter.
The brainstorming begins. "Summer of Love? Summer of Self-Love? Is this bloggable? Start today. Can I write a blog post today/tonight and just jump right in?
Yes. I can.