In sixth grade I had a teacher, Mrs. Rudden who gave us weekly spelling tests. On every test was the word “RECEIVE” as she believed that learning the exception rule: (i before e except after c) was critical. Funny to spend so much time with a word and still resist it so profoundly in my own life. Well, 52.65 years later I have finally put this word on my own docket and am determined to give it its due.
I live in Washington, DC now. A city filled with people who talk to each other while looking up from their phones with a cursory glance, who take multi-tasking to a level that is beyond my own comprehension and who strive to achieve the next rung on the power ladder with great aplomb and precision. These are talented, philanthropic, driven people who I respect immensely–I just am too f’ng exhausted to get on that treadmill again and I’m not even sure what I’m all that tired from to be honest but I know I AM tired.
I have decided to make RECEIVE my word for 2017. I realized this year that the things I really have loved having the most in 2016 were the things I did nothing to create. There’s an extra gear in my “car” and it’s STRIVE and that gets confusing and when I get uncomfortable my “car” rolls right into it. It makes neutral feel a lot like reverse. It makes care taking of myself feel a lot more like self-centeredness. It makes disconnecting from things and just daydreaming feel like wasted time. It even makes healing feel like laziness.
I push. I push myself, I push the people in my life, I push my clients. I get paid to push but what I don’t do enough of for the people in my life, myself included, is shut the f up and just let things unfold. My brain is always, always, always, strategizing, which is fancy, justifying business speak for manipulation. This removes a lot of what organically is supposed to happen from the equation and then when I get what I’ve pushed for it tends to be lack luster. However, when I look back on the shitstorm that was 2016, the things that I loved about this year were the things that I RECEIVED.
A highlight of my year was the leadership retreat I ran in Tuscany for Mastercard. At one point, on the last day, I called my best friend and I was crying so hard I could barely talk. I was so overwhelmed by God’s grace, the feeling of being permitted to do what I so love to do, the honor of leading these amazing business leaders through a maze of awakening and perspective changing and laughter, the deepening of confidence that I could truly DO this for a living, and the mind-blowing reality that Tuscany–Leadership–Being of Service-Creating Business Tribes-and my “job” just intersected–well, I was as overwhelmed as I could be. I didn’t make this retreat happen. My clients asked me to do it. It just needed to be RECEIVED.
I love my new apartment. I didn’t search it out. My incredible realtor, Nelson did. He opened the doors and my head came off and I saw my Christmas tree in my mind’s eye. When that tree went up and it was in the window, again–moved to tears. Why? Because I didn’t push for it. I RECEIVED it.
So I’m not the girl who is going to swipe left or right to date–I’m pretty, pretty, pretty happy zipping around the world on my own and very open to meeting someone with the awkwardness, anticipation, excitement and nervousness that LOVE deserves. I’m not the girl who is going to “look for clients” as I’m delighted that I don’t have to right now and I’m really choosy about who is on my book as my clients get everything I have in the tank and I think they know it.
I’m going to put my hands up on this rollercoaster ride of 2017, learn to love the loop I’m on vs. being terrified of the the loop that’s next. Just because my parents are preparing for assisted living doesn’t mean I have to! I’m going to travel, connect, be present, cultivate my tribe, RECEIVE, RECEIVE, RECEIVE and create. Yeah, I know it will be harder here than in most places because Washington is all about moving, and moving fast, but I have the perfect laboratory to work on myself on this one. Isn’t there a moment in a science experiment where they put the the hypothesis to the test under pressure? Well, managing RECEIVING when I lived 30 miles out to sea was simply easier. Here, it will be tried, tested and tried and tested. Pushing sucks. RECEIVING rocks.
Anyone else up for this?
What are the things you did nothing to achieve that you have that you value?
What’s your word 2017?