As a preamble to lunch at “our” Thai restaurant, M sent me a link to a talk given by Patti Digh based on her book Life is a Verb. During the anticipated death of her stepfather, Patti began writing her blog, 37 Days: What would you be doing if you only had 37 days to live? Her intention: to find the extraordinary in the mundane, ordinary moments of every day life. She told a funny story depicting the myriad of rules we blindly, unconsciously follow at one time or another – the day she tried to order toast only to be told by the waiter “it’s not toast time!”
While I laughed at the absurdity of this earnestly made remark, I wondered how many times do I tell myself “it’s not toast time?” as a way of complying, staying in line, being a “good girl”, taking the safe route, giving in to fear? How many times have I stopped myself from stepping out, realizing a dream, following a hunch, being bold? And how many times have I said or implied this to the people I love, my colleagues and clients, thereby limiting, controlling or squelching a possibility, an intuition, a yearning, a solution? Ouch!
This really hits home now. Here I’ve given myself this glorious and precious gift of time and space to “move at the pace of guidance.” There are moments I feel rattled with anxiety that I won’t use this gift well. That I won’t realize the long held dreams I made and nurtured especially for this time. That I won’t return to work rested and renewed. That I won’t have sensed “what next” regarding my life’s work. That I won’t have grown in kindness, patience, acceptance, tenderness, and compassion.
No toast, burnt black toast – trying to do too much, fill in the space too fast – I realize it’s all the same…an invitation to notice when and how I stop myself, when and how I allow myself.
Truth is, I really love toast… crispy and warm with melted butter and honey or homemade jam…or mayo and garden ripe tomatoes and lettuce…or wild sockeye salmon salad… or a simple slice of havarti cheese.
I enjoyed some tasty “toast” from Julie Daley of the Unabashedly Female blog who shared some wise counsel and tender encouragement in the form of her first ever and successfully executed VLOG, a video-based blog.
So it is with these remaining “37 Days” (more like 348) that I’ll embrace both Julie’s support and Patti’s 6 lessons about living life on purpose:
- Say yes to life
- Be generous
- Love more
- Trust yourself
- Speak up
- Slow down
Looks like the makings of some good toast.