Playing Small

I recently had a slight setback health-wise, nothing major — in fact quite small really.  However the slightest deviation from what we perceive as normal in our bodies can make a major difference to how we approach our lives in general.

My elbow was injured.  It was sore — really sore and such a nuisance because it affected a lot of what I did.  I was constantly conscious of it as it hurt  every time I moved my arm, and it was especially painful when I was in bed, as I’d go to roll over and use my arm then whoa there — that hurts.

So I became rather focused on one part of my body, almost obsessed about it. It appeared to be my only focus at times to the detriment of other areas of my life.

I began thinking about my reaction to such a small inconvenience.  And thats all it was — an irrelevant inconvenience, but I had made it into something much bigger.  Poor me!

So then I asked myself if there was anytime else in my life that I was allowing to keep me small, that was stopping me from achieving greater things.

Last weekend I attended a workshop on public speaking, which I did because I knew the presenter and I had attended one other of her sessions and enjoyed it.  I enrolled because I thought that I might get something out of it that would benefit a business I run.

So a really early morning start on a Saturday morning, getting out of my comfort zone and grumbling to myself that it would be nicer to stay in bed and then have my usual leisurely weekend breakfast.

Five minutes into the first session I had an epiphany.

I realised that what I had come for wasn’t nearly as important as another area in my life. It occurred to me that I had been playing small, really small in the area of marketing my book.  My intentions when I wrote the book were to get the message out there that we all have a role to play in the prevention of suicide.  It was written because I didn’t want Kelly to be just another statistic on the register of deaths by suicide.  So I didn’t play small when I wrote the book, it just evolved.  I found so many reasons why I didn’t have the time to devote to it, and when I look at it like that I have been minimising the importance of the message I set out to deliver.

The breakthrough was being able to admit I’d been playing small and that there is only one person who can do anything about it — me.

Once I had come to that realisation, then it seems everything makes sense again.  I have a purpose, but more importantly a commitment to fulfil.  A commitment I made over a decade ago that I now know I will make.

In a few days time it will be the seventeenth anniversary of Kelly’s death.  So it seems only fitting that I begin the next year honouring Kelly.

Where are you playing small in your life??




Resolutions & Commitments

We make lots of resolutions about how we are going to change our lives “next year”, but the reality is we can do that any day of the year.  We don’t have to wait until the end of this year to decide to improve our lives.
The expert analysts tell us that very few of our resolutions take root and bear fruit.
So this year is going to be different for me.  I’ve started already, some weeks ago with a few changes.  I set myself the task of walking for a minimum of twenty minutes every day, which doesn’t sound very hard.  Gave myself a limit of ninety days, and now I’m up to day forty, or thereabouts.  It really hasn’t been hard to do, although some days I’ve really had to push myself to do it.  I’ve only missed one day, and that was because I completely forgot about it, until I was getting into bed.  A bit late to do any walking then!
Rather that calling it a resolution, I labelled it a commitment, set an end date, and then started.  Of course, now I’ve been doing it for over a month, and I’m almost halfway through, it has become a habit.  I don’t plan when I’m going to do it, but as I haven’t walked yet this morning, I will walk when I get home from work. It’s only twenty minutes, so is relatively easy to fit into a busy day.
I also find it a great time for reflection and planning when I’m alone, but often Ross comes with me.
I know that I’m fulfilling my commitment to myself, and I’m also looking after my health in many more ways than just getting fitter.  I also know that I can commit to something and then stick to it.  I’ll most likely keep on walking for twenty minutes a day – I may miss one here or there, but it will be a habit I’ll keep.  Knowing I can stick to it, means I can look at other areas of my life I might like to change, that I could work on as well.
So how about starting with a commitment for yourself now, or it could be next week.  But rather than making it a “New Years Resolution” which can easily be discarded, what could you do to improve your life right now?