Last year I wrote a piece about “holding your space” in chaos. I wrote that piece sitting at a volleyball tournament rebooting between bouts of feeling tortured by “no coffee or food allowed on site,” a wicked early wake-up call on a weekend, a long-ass drive, a cold-ass gymnasium, screaming parents and whistles, and confusing scheduling. All of which resulted in my cumulative snarkiness. (I won’t even mention “their’s” ;-)).
Last year I wrote a piece about “holding your space” in chaos. I wrote that piece sitting at a volleyball tournament rebooting between bouts of feeling tortured by “no coffee or food allowed on site,” a wicked early wake-up call on a weekend, a long-ass drive, a cold-ass gymnasium, screaming parents and whistles, and confusing scheduling. All of which resulted in my cumulative snarkiness. (I won’t even mention “theirs” ;-)).
It was a less than pleasurable experience, and my way of being, thinking, and contagiousness did nothing to make it go better — it only made it worse. I left that tournament exhausted and missing the whole point which was to watch my girl play and smile. As we left that tournament for the 90-minute drive back, I told my daughter, “Sorry I was crabby, love. We’ll do it better next time.”
Today as I write in the bleachers, the location, event, venue, computer I type on, and my multi-tasking as I go, is all the same. I think I may even be wearing my favorite same jeans and Adidas. However, my experience is completely different.
In fact, today is… lovely.
Why? Because I am not the same. My choices and way of being are different.
I’ve chosen to create a great experience. I’ve set an intention. I’ve taken care of myself. And I am leaning into the present moment.
I’ve decided to Show Up and have an awesome tournament experience — no matter what. Period.
Here’s how it played out…
First, I made the decision to show up.
Then, I did my work using the IEP Method.
I claimed my intention to create an experience I would love; I’d love the noise, the cold, the no coffee or food allowed, the long early drive, and the glee of watching my girl play and all the magic that goes with it. I’d let go of all my “should’s” and “to do’s” and chapters to be worked on that I had waiting for me at home that would have loved to have had my Sunday. I’d surrender to the present moment. I’d remember WHY I was here. I’d take literal and metaphorical breaths. I’d show up.
That intention set the foundation for everything.
Next, I set myself up to make the intention real. I planned and took care of my energy; I packed great food for my girl and I the night before (with extras for her friends — and even cookies to boot!). I packed a protein shake, an extra traveler’s mug of Bulletproof Coffee to stay in the car, and almonds. I grabbed gloves and my favorite fuzzy hat. I packed my computer and “busy” work that could be knocked out easily on breaks with my favorite noise cancelling headphones. I packed a comfortable chair (which I then forgot in the garage — oh well), and I made sure we had everything necessary for ease and comfort. I even volunteered to drive other girls who needed rides! My intention was set up for success and the day of, at 5:30 a.m., I was ready to go — a newly-attituded volleyball mom. With chicken breasts, cookies, coffee, and a choice to LOVE this day.
Finally, I set an intention to be present to every moment, and to appreciate it. Five a.m. wake-up call? How awesome I get to do this with my girl. Long drive to the venue? How great to have time with her and her friends. A day away from the book? What a great excuse for a brain break. A volleyball tournament? What a gift to be able to do this at all. And so on…
Every time I caught myself not being present, feeling pressured for time, going into judgement or contraction about something not being the way I think it should be (ha!), or not feeling absolute peace and pleasure, I’d reboot, breathe, come back to the present moment and enjoy the shizzle out of it.
The noise was the noise. I barely even noticed it.
The people? We were all caring parents who wanted our kids to smile and shine. I love them.
The cold? Ha! So cozy.
No coffee or anything in the gym? No food to eat nearby? No problem. I like my food better anyway. Plus my food keeps my energy (and the gym) clean.
And all the to-dos? Not ta-done, AND I knew in my bones this ta-do was the one that counted today.
As I sit outside on breaks with the other parents (while we all clear out our emails and do our own versions of “work/life balance” ha!), I find myself enjoying the delays, the rules, the chaos, even the noise.
Why? Because I’ve chosen to have a different experience. And my girl is playing her volleyball.
As I head back in to watch another game, the irony that I KNOW this stuff, TEACH this stuff, and FORGET this stuff just as fast as anyone is not only not lost on me but appreciated. Why? Because forgetting is what makes remembering even richer. And I remember again that we are contagiously always just one breath and decision away from pleasure.
Want to learn more ways to boost your IEP? Join me for IEP Live! this June!
The IEP Live! Leadership & Influence Immersion is this June 20th & 21st, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Early bird pricing is going on now ($300 off).