Sweet & Sour

by Chrysula on January 7, 2011 in defining,dreaming,planning

I spent the Christmas/New Year week focused on my family.  It’s a different kind of work than the usual weekly rhythm, but it is still work.*

We had a wonderful few days.  Friends and wonderful food and the thrill of all my children engaged and in a magical frame of mind for the most part.  I focused with intention, to be wholly present with them all.  It paid off in beautiful conversations, cuddles on the couch and hot chocolate moments when they got back from sledding or pretending to swim in the “snow waves” in our back yard.

The major exception was having to deal with one of the more frustrating, difficult bureaucratic experiences of my life (and I’ve had plenty).  In the last 10 days I’ve spent more than 20 hours on this project, fighting a system that felt overwhelmingly stacked against me.  Sparing you the mindnumbing details, after much negotiation I am close to a solution, and very grateful to be so.

My key take-away?  You’ve got to grab on to the sweet with both hands even when you are in the middle of the sour.  I utterly refused (OK, I did have one melt-down) to allow those hours of mysterious administrative process, mess with the joy my family and I created over that same period.  Nor get in the way of the important commitments I made for the beginning of my year as I reviewed and planned and dreamed.  I cannot get those 20 hours back.  But I also cannot stay in a place of frustration or anger to begin one of the most important years of my life.

It is messy.  And complicated.  And there will always be obstacles to the conscious life you are trying to create.  You can count on it.  The only path through is to make sure we are anchored in the big picture of what ‘it’ is all for, what our existence is all about.

How do you stay focused on your higher purpose when you’re in the midst of experiences that are difficult, painful or simply make you furious?

* My friend and all round genius, CV Harquail, expressed it perfectly in her blog earlier this week — it’s a must read.

As you dive in to 2011, I invite you to join me for She Negotiates Balance and Purpose starting January 17th.  Details and registration information here.  It is an investment in yourself that will energize your life and benefit those you love.  Make 2011 the year to tackle the obstacles head on!  Make it disruptive!.

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Lisa Gates January 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

This is so very wise, Chrysula. One bunch of sour (hours in the beaureacracy of healthcare) should not obliterate our commitments. It’s kind of like being on a diet and because I fluffed and ate a piece of chocolate I then give myself permission to go for the whole box :)

I’m so looking forward to your course. You’re an amazing coach and people are in for an amazing ride.

Whitney January 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm

“You’ve got to grab on to the sweet with both hands even when you are in the middle of the sour.” That is a great quote!

Erik Orton January 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm

I’ve had a similar experience this week with back taxes. Despite the fact the the state of CA owes me money, and not the other way around, they continue to send the threatening letters. But the beaureauacracy is maddening.

I’ve made it bearable by breaking it up into little steps: 1) download forms 2) print forms 3) pulls appropriate files 4) glaze over while looking at forms 5)get out a pencil… I’m a sucker for crossing things off my list. That’s why the first thing on it every day is: “Sleep”. Just by waking up, I already have one thing to cross off : ) Hang in there. Good for you for finding the little rays of sunshine!

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