This week’s challenge

A few months ago, I wrote this on a post-it note: “I make the firm intention to keep my commitments to myself.” The commitments included writing this weekly blog, a consistent meditation practice, and a regular yoga class. Things were going well for quite a while but these last two weeks have been difficult. It’s reminded me of that joke, “I was trying to take one day at a time but then the days stared ganging up on me.” Last minute travel to help family required 16 hours in a car, a roller coaster of opportunities for KPCK along with the regular work of planning, preparing, and serving meals, coaching new clients, much to my delight, and the immensely helpful and time-consuming certification process for my coaching program—all things I value and freely chose. I managed them but the list of things I’d also hoped to address grew longer.

Last week, when things started to get hectic, I gave myself permission to post my blog on Thursday instead of Wednesday. My experience with writing has often been marked by anxiety and failure to write so my commitment to a particular day to post was important. Last week’s one-day delay felt like a risk but I didn’t freak out and get stuck in a vortex of self-loathing over it.

This week, I don’t feel busy; I feel overwhelmed by competing demands. And now it’s Friday and I didn’t give myself permission to delay posting this week, I just didn’t write anything I felt good about. I feel that vortex of self-loathing opening up just over my shoulder.

This is the time to lean into self-acceptance but just writing this sentence causes tears to flow as I realize I am angry with myself for being angry with myself. How often I have noticed others doing this same thing and thought, “Oh, that’s no good. We aren’t working on self-acceptance in order to give our ego another reason to thrash us.” Fortunately, just remembering that opens a space inside me and I am watching myself, observing my thoughts and feelings rather than simply identifying with them. Suddenly, my ego’s grip on me loosens and it’s no longer whipping me around like a rag doll. I bring myself back to the present moment, the only one that matters.

Author: Mariangela Maguire

Teacher, mentor, and coach are the roles I’ve most often played in my professional life. Listening, clarifying, and encouraging best describe my methods. I provide one-on-one coaching where I listen deeply, offer clear observations, and provide new perspectives.

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