“I sat up in bed with a gasp the other night as I was falling asleep. ‘What is it?’ asked my husband. ‘I just thought of the perfect prayer for me: Give me only ideas which easily come to fruition and which best serve me, my family & my community.’”
This nugget of wisdom came from a new friend who finds brainstorming easy but can tip into overwhelm at the implementation of so many good ideas.
I love her prayer but even more than the particular phrase I love her reminder that in a flash of insight we can be given not only the answer to some deep question but actually the words we most need to say. And keep saying.
Call it a prayer. Call it an affirmation. Call it a mantra. Sometimes it helps to have some words to come home to.
For me, it is “Show me the work which is mine to do today.”
I pulled an unexpected all-nighter this week with Rosetta arrested in cough spasms that just wouldn’t let up. Today I feel the deep fatigue which is familiar from other high-intensity parenting phases.
Yet I find something soothing about moments like these. I am gifted with total clarity about the work which is mine to do in this world: be with a sick little one. And everything else fades away or is multi-tasked around the edges. It is not a sustainable way to live, but I do rest in the comfort of knowing, at least for one day, what is mine to do.
Yet it is important to be careful here. It is not about being addicted to drama or letting externals, even our responsibility to children, totally set our agenda or the pace of our days.
My day with Setta (which was greatly enhanced by a visit from a friend with a large latte) was just a reminder of how good that feeling is of knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you are in the right place, at the right time, doing work you were born to do. And thankfully, she is now well on the mend.
That “right work” feeling graces my days with Bird in Hand and each time it comes I am grateful. It can happen when on a coaching call with a client really leaning into some new tender growth, or leading meditation, or even writing this post and imagining you reading it in your busy day.
But there are other moments in work-from-home entrepreneurial life which can by comparison feel almost too open-ended. When my head is fuzzy and I don’t know which task to pick up first. Or am acutely aware of the discomfort which comes with new growth. The way excitement for new opportunities can show up wearing a mask of anxiety.
Which is why I need to come home to the words: “show me what is mine to do.” They help me let go of my illusion of control, and sink deep into the desire to be of service which is underneath it, and the fierce longing to show up for my one wild and precious life.
I wonder if these words help you too come back home? Or maybe by getting curious you will be hit with a moment of inspiration which reveals the words you are meant to live.
One of my dearest desires is that the sense of clarity I have when I know I’m engaged in my right work (and the peace it brings) will grow into ever larger circles so that it might one day fill up all (or most) of my days.
Here are two simple practices which help that “right work” feeling find you:
Give every task a home on your weekly calendar. I have my day to write/develop new content. My day to biz-build. My days to coach. My day to meet with new people. My day to be with my three year old. My days to go on adventures with my family and partner. And my days of sacred and unplugged rest.
Of course there are tasks I do every day as well. But knowing I have these focus days for important tasks grounds me.
And then there is the power of the MIT or Most Important Tasks.
These I write on a sticky note. Only three a day. I discern right after I meditate and (this is key) before I open email. Those I do. For reals.
So… listen for your words, attune to your work. This is the recipe for big, big growth.And this is a good season for it. My son’s mandarin tree is flowering and fruiting like crazy. Perhaps you too are ready for big greening.
PS Summer of Meditation Challenge is coming! Did you catch this video about my free 8 week online training program? Sign up and share it with a friend. xo