A little turbulence out of the gate.
I’ve been on a bit of a journey, lately. Like, a reality shattering, life altering, is this why I’m here? journey. It started, as so many worthwhile journeys do, with a challenge. Actually, a few challenges. Really tough ones that had me questioning a whole bunch of things I thought I already had answers for. Ok, so “challenges” may not hit the point quite right … it felt like things were falling apart! Mid-life crisis, anyone?
Change had to start with me.
I’m a fixer. It’s how I’m wired. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t fix anything. Nothing changed. Things weren’t getting better and you can only fly headfirst into a window so many times. The turning point was when I realized that the change would have to start with ME. As the saying goes: “Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others.” So I dug deep and rallied around a mantra of “I can only control what I can control. I can’t control X person or Y situation, but I can control how I choose to engage with said person or situation.” It was all about ME. A light bulb went off and I set out, not to change the world, but to tinker. To see if I could find what was out of whack with me so that I could fix it.
Let the tinkering begin.
I visited a nutritionist (and got on track with my macros). I researched GTD (David Allen’s amazing “Getting Things Done” methodology) and then stumbled on his Horizons of focus (🤯). I played with meditating and daily gratitudes (they didn’t quite click for me) which transformed themselves into journaling (which has been a total game changer). I started drawing again (fun childhood strength) and tried to write a bit (not as easy for me as drawing apparently!). I put thought into how I’d want to be remembered by my family and friends (try chewing on that one for a minute …) and started focusing on the things that truly matter to me. Gradually, my 90/10 work/life priority imbalance started shifting in the other direction.
Um … What Was That!? #GoodFeels.
I noticed that in the midst of the things I was trying, something started to happen. At the most random of moments, I would feel a spark. A prickle would hit the back of my neck and trickle down my spine and arms, hairs raised in the spark’s wake. It would pass quickly, but I noticed it. I felt it. And it kept happening at totally random times. Like, during previously mundane drives to cheerleading with my daughter (sparks & tingles!) … or mid-convo with my son while waiting for the school bus (sparks & tingles!) … or when I was drawing a face and that eye I’d been working on for about 20 minutes all of a sudden looked like … well, an eye (sparks & tingles!). Something crazy was happening. I was getting some sort of physical response … these sparks and tingles were totally unexpected and they were amazing. I was hooked. I dubbed these little experiences “#GoodFeels” and I started capturing them in my journal. My “journey” became an “adventure” and I was determined to figure out what the heck was causing these #GoodFeels. Because if I could figure that out … oh boy, look out.
It’s all about being in the NOW.
Here’s what I’ve discovered … and the spirit of it’s simple, really: It’s 100% about being in the NOW. That’s it. Being clear minded and open to explore your current moment or situation. We all visit the NOW, but distracting thoughts and ideas and (stupid) Facebook phone buzzes tend to swoosh in like Dorothy’s twister, pluck us from our happy little Kansas NOW, and drop us in the part of Oz where the trees throw rotten apples and the flying monkeys aren’t trying to tickle our armpits.
Being “Productive with a Purpose” Puts You There.
After a tremendous amount of trying, failing, digging, soul searching and journaling into the why!? what!? how!? was this happening, I was able to whittle it down to just a handful of things … things that when you do them, you open yourself up to just being … permanently being … in the NOW. I don’t think it’s a mindset or a concept or a framework necessarily. To be honest, I think it may be the journey itself. I call it being “Productive with a Purpose” and it’s what you do to get and stay in the NOW. When you’re Productive with a Purpose, you’re focused on what’s important and playing to your strengths. Doing healthy stuff that’ll clear space for your mind to explore. You’re able to spin distractions into fine threads of golden wonder. The ingrained, ache you feel to check your phone every 5 seconds disappears … replaced with a longing to engage and create rather than ingest (i.e. mindlessly search for) content. Being Productive with a Purpose puts you on auto-pilot and in a constant flow of in … the … NOW and it is fricking awesome.
Those #GoodFeels Are the Payoff!
Why? Because of the payoff. That’s the BIG WHY? behind this whole thing: When you’re in the NOW, truly in the NOW … you free yourself … because @ any moment, #GoodFeels will deliver their potent blow!