Comfortable with uncertainty?

How comfortable are you when you do not yet know the eventual outcome of a particular decision or choice you have made in life? 

You know it was something you wanted to do, for multiple reasons, and yet it did not turn out exactly as you had planned. For some reason though, you trust that is is still the direction you are meant to follow, and that each bend in the road helps you master new a set of skills for the next part of the journey.

Unsettling for a while though, isn’t it? 

Especially when all of the advice you are getting leads you back to the place you left. It is well-meaning advice, but it simply does not satisfy the place in your heart that yearns for growth in a different direction.

bend in the road.JPG
Photo credit link 

So you politely thank people for their advice, which may be based on their own fears about their situations more than an accurate assessment of yours. Then you continue doing what you know you must do, following the intuition that will lead you to the next right thing. It is not for the faint of heart, this uncertainty. And yet it can open us up to the types of growth we are meant to experience.

When the doors start to open and your path becomes more clear, you again begin to trust that inner compass. You know that you can choose to remain in your wholeness, and approach your life with presence and lightness every day. And all of these gifts and lessons travel with you to the next place where you will face new trials, and traverse new territory.

Uncertainty can feel uncomfortable. But ultimately knowing that you have the resourcefulness and resilience to meet the next challenge with grace, or at least with a willing and curious spirit, can make all the difference.

Keep your heart open to those moments of knowing, even when your inner critic starts voicing the doubts that others may speak openly. This is that nexus where your vulnerability joins with courage (thank you, Brené Brown). This is where the magic happens.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

Showing up as me

Do you ever feel like you are playing a role when you show up for an interview?

You know, there is a “song and dance” routine and you are expected to go through certain motions. You know the answers you are expected to give. You have been on the other side of the interview table, perhaps, on a selection committee a few times. And yet, you are unable to play the game in the way that you did before.

Salt and pepper hair
This photo was taken a few weeks ago before I covered some gray. Okay, full disclosure: I showed up as me with a little root touch up. And I’m unapologetic about that too! 

I think being 2 months shy of 45 has given me certain perspective on what I value. It has change the way I choose to show up these days. I no longer have a need to put on a “front” when I talk with people, at least beyond some social graces.

There’s a comfort level in my body, within being in my own skin, showing up as me,  unapologetic and real. It is freeing. I have gained experience in many challenging situations in the past couple decades. I’ve made lots of mistakes. And I’ve learned valuable lessons along the way. I’ve had success in a lot of areas, and I can own that success, and not be sheepish about claiming those victories.

I give tremendous credit to years of yoga and the past year of dance classes. Trying new things, and risking appearing foolish as a beginner has given me more confidence in trying other new things. I know that new moves (whether they are dance routines or yoga poses) can be learned and practiced, and that skills are built over time and with regular commitment.

I found out on Wednesday (after my Tuesday interview) that I will be asked for the third (and presumably final) interview for a position that excites me. I am getting better at showing up as me, rather than some image of who I think I am supposed to be. Perhaps that is ultimately the work of our lives, knowing ourselves and honoring those calls to grow.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

Move on and create more

So many dear and wonderful women I know (including me) get caught in trap of perfectionism on a regular basis.

We wonder: Is this good enough? Will it land with my audience? Am I doing it right? What if I mess up? 

These are all common concerns, but they stop us from taking the necessary actions that will propel us toward our ultimate goals. Sometimes this can happen in decision-making as well (as illustrated by my questions below in thinking through my job search):

-academia? public sector? nonprofits? small companies? (note: I have temporarily ruled out large companies)

-program management? project management? people management?

ease flow and beauty
While I am not a visual artist, I did not hesitate to create and share this piece. Some might be embarrassed but I find it endearing that my inner 7-year-old likes to do art. 😉

But when we allow ourselves to linger too much on each of the options, we just allow confusion to cloud our judgment.

This is how I feel when I am writing blog entries. I give myself about 20-30 minutes to draft an entry. Then I figure out a picture (~5 minutes?) and get it posted up. If I have a little more time on my hands, I spend another 5-10 minutes editing. In total, I spend no more than 45 minutes on each post.

It is not that I don’t *think* through ideas when I brainstorm topics. But the writing itself is typically posted without a lot of anguish or delay.

And that’s why I can write often without much stress about it. I press the publish button and I let go of the result. I am grateful that so many “citizen journalists” can exist today without editorial gatekeepers.

Sometimes I notice there are typos when I go back and read prior entries, particularly if I did not remember to go back and edit. But well, what can I say? This is the internet. Everything has a pretty short shelf-life.

Very often I will go back and read a month of entries (or entries from the year before) and discover themes emerging that I find interesting. Or I’ll realize: wow, I keep learning the SAME lesson over and over again! 😉

I move on, and I create more. There is very little advantage to spending lots of time to polish each post until it shines. Good enough is good enough.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

In syncopated time

In my dance class this Wednesday I started thinking about my life as a song or as a dance. It is an interesting metaphor, and I had to ask these questions:

What type of song would it be? 

–Syncopated, lyrical, dance-worthy, synthesized?

In what type of venue would it be played? 

–Concert call, dive bar, dance club, opera house?

What genre of music would it belong to? 

–Pop, rock, blues, jazz, classical, EDM, yoga, country, rap, Latin, samba, world music?

***

In syncopated time.JPG
You Tube link to Dangling Conversations (where the title of this post originates)

When I thought about my own life, I decided that while I would love for it to be smooth and lyrical, it tends to be more syncopated.

Sometimes there are some dance-able parts in there, and that makes it a lot of fun!

Other times I seem to be tripping over my own feet, struggling to keep time, and hoping to come out up right.

Generally, I enjoy the musical accompaniment of my life. The soundtrack includes Zumba, jazz (lots of improvisation), and some classical, when I’m lucky. But usually it is a syncopated rhythm, and I trip or dance along as fluidly as I can manage.

I am grateful for it all, and I recognize the value of each part of this interwoven melody, the story and the music of my life. Some of it is good, some of it is hard. And I am so fortunate to have each day to live it in freedom and with joy.

I’ll take it. Syncopated rhythms and all.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com