Have you ever had to endure an icebreaker? You know, those painful exercises you are asked to do at the beginning of a workshop or seminar or retreat?
“Now, turn to the person next to you and tell them about the last time you tried something new!”
Or, perhaps you have done this one: Tell them four truths and one lie. Then they have to guess which one is a lie!
Here are mine, can you guess the lie?
- I crave silence.
- I am motivated by money.
- I have an outie belly button.
- I think too much.
Let’s see…which one could be the lie?
- I crave silence. Totally true. I have gone on several silent retreats and whenever I tell someone what I am doing they usually look at me like I’m a little nuts. “Wow,” they say, “I could never do that!” My experience has been that it is really easy! And restorative. I often think that when I go on retreat I am going to sleep and sleep and sleep….but inevitably I end up waking up at the first peek of daylight and feel refreshed. I attribute it to the restorative nature of silence.
- I am motivated by money. A big fat lie. Although, to be honest, sometimes I wish I was motivated by money. It might make my life a lot easier. Sometimes I think I would be better served to focus more on money. I used to think I was motivated by money – I know I sure would like to have more than I do. I wasn’t raised with much and I don’t have much now. But as long as I have enough for the essentials (plus books…and travel) then I am kinda OK.
I have spent some time reviewing my lifelong relationship with money. You know, my usual routine of reviewing the past to move forward consciously and mindfully. If I keep telling myself money is important to me, then I make choices based on that fact. However, my history has shown that money is NOT important to me.
In a past life I dated a very successful professional athlete. He offered to pay for a semester of my college expenses (in retrospect I am sure it was so I wouldn’t have to work and would, therefore, be available for him.) In any event, I meticulously documented and presented a breakdown of my tuition, room and board, and an itemized textbook list so he wouldn’t think I was trying to take advantage of his generosity, like I knew others had. [Note: even writing this paragraph brings up so much “wrong” I cringe to write it. So much grist for the mill in my life.] In any event, he couldn’t believe how little I needed and when he wrote me the check in threw in extra because he couldn’t believe I didn’t have a TV in my dorm room. #priorities
What I have learned is that money itself isn’t my prime motivation, but what it pays for is, like travel – family vacations, long weekends, day trips….these are what I am willing to work for, save for, and sacrifice for.
3. I have an outie belly button. I do, it’s true!
4. I think too much. I suppose this post could be evidence that I do. I like to think about life – what’s my purpose and how should I express it? I can “what if” all day long and I spend too much time imagining different lives. I love to daydream. On the flip side, I can spend too much time talking myself into, and out of, all sorts of scenarios – and not always to my benefit.
This post, in fact, came up after my recent brush with full-time work at the expense of my dream of writing for a living. I spent some time thinking about what really makes me tick – and it clearly is not money. #bankaccountprovesit
What does make me tick is freedom. Freedom from time pressure. Freedom to dream. Freedom to write. Freedom to explore. Freedom to travel. Freedom to pick my kids up from school and watch their sporting events.
Before you say “Wow, that must be nice for you. Most of us want all that too, but we have to work,” please know I am not so delusional that I think I can get by without working. I do work, because a roof over my head also makes me tick. And feeding and clothing myself and my children. And being able to pay for those sports activities and yearbooks and birthday parties. And security and health insurance, yea, those make me tick too.
But I am determined to do all I can to realize my dreams of writing for a living (with some mindfulness teaching thrown in for variety.) Because life is short and fragile and 100% not guaranteed. Because studies have shown that what we regret most are the chances we didn’t take, the things we didn’t do, over the failures we experienced. #igottatry
My hope is that by acknowledging what really makes me tick – and accepting that it is not money for the sake of money – I will become stronger in my decision making. That I will avoid making decisions that then leave me feeling unhappy and trapped. That knowing my truths (as well as my lies) will strengthen me.
What about you? What are your truths? Do you live by them? #commentandshare