I had lunch with a crane today. An intimate lunch. I didn’t have it planned; it wasn’t a goal I had previously set…it was an opportunity seized. I thought he was plastic yard art at first glance – you know, to keep all the real cranes away. So, I felt even safer knowing that this facade of a crane would keep all the other pesky ones at bay. So, I sat down, grateful for the beautiful, quiet day of rest, feeling blessed for the food I was about to enjoy and feeling & hearing God’s love and goodness in the ocean breeze and sounds of gentle waves.
Hmmm – that’s interesting, how did I not see the plastic one to my left? Weird that they would have 2 in a row…what a sec…it’s real…curious. Even on the desolate Dauphin Island off the coast of Mobile, we never had a crane get this close. Ok, if you want to come up on the table, I’ll let you…Closer? Maybe I can spare another inch – but, NO…now we’re talking about food and I get pretty serious about my food (childhood issues, of course!). But, I’ll share a table with you, as long as you mind your manners and respect my space. Ended up being quite a pleasant experience, watching the lanky Crane tempt my boundaries and then respond appropriately to me saying NO, when I felt like he was invading my plan for a quiet lunch – like a well-mannered student waiting patiently for the teacher’s next directive.
I’m on a bit of a vacation following a few jam-packed days of intensive, motivating training with John C. Maxwell to become certified as one of his John Maxwell Team’s coaches. I seized the opportunity when it was presented to me in March 2013. Did I really have time in schedule to add one more thing? Not really. Hadn’t I already had my husband, my sister, my father, my dearest friends express concern that I was over-doing it with the calendar I keep in my private practice? Yes. Did I agree with them that I had stretched myself too thinly? Of course – after 12 hour days of back to back clients several days in a row – intently listening, being present and empathizing with each of them – yep, tired is just the tip of that iceburg of exhaustion.
So, what made me think I needed one more commitment added? Did I really believe I had the BIG WW gold belt hanging in my closet, you know, the one from the 70’s super goddess, Wonder Woman? Why, yes. There’s one in my closet, as there’s one in your closet. I’ve just decided to finally put it on. I’ve just decided to clean out that closet and put unnecessary, misfitting items in storage. And I mean JUST NOW – TODAY!
What does that look like in my life? Saying No – just as I said no to the Crane. Building in time for my own personal development and self-care – and making that time sacred – non-negotiable. It means bowing out of projects that don’t steal my heart or take my breath away. It means saying yes to quality time with my husband, my family and my precious friends. It means figuring out a way to teach several people at once the skills of self growth what I teach to one client at a time. I’m making plans on how to effectively and efficiently start polishing that gold W belt before I actually get it out of my closet. I know it’s going to take me a little while to actually find the belt – there’s a lot of junk, unorganized junk in my closet. And there will be times in the next month that I’ll feel overwhelmed by the mis-sorted collection of things…but, I know it’s in there and I can already see myself wearing it….be prepared, you may need sunglasses the next time you see me!
And, the Crane? He was a good reminder for me…a reminder that something can start out heading in one direction, but could end up disasterous if you don’t monitor it. Kind of like the plant kudzu we have in the south, it may look appealing at first, but the instant you aren’t intential with its pruning, you have been swallowed by the strong, green vine. He reminded me that I have an amazing opportunity before me – an opportunity I didn’t fully recognize in March 2013 when I signed on with the John Maxwell Team. The Crane reminded me that I can enjoy amazing experiences and still have boundaries in place – that there is a healthy balance…it was a good lesson to remind me people will try to push through the boundary if you let them and you have then given up your dream…had I not placed boundaries for the Crane, he might be the one who had the last bite of those delicious fish tacos rather than me, enjoying what I claimed.
Seize your opportunity! Set your boundaries and kindly tell Mr. Crane to back away from the feast you are about to enjoy!
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