Tuesday, December 22, 2009


December 23rd, 2008
Journaling. It wasn’t called journaling when I was teenager, though. I kept a diary back then. I’ve kept a diary or journal since I was in the 9th grade. I’ve lost many of them, but the journals I recorded for both of my kids and the journals of my growth as a mother and entrepreneur are all in drawers in my bedroom.
Every once in awhile, I like to go back and read some of the early entries. My 10-year old loves it when I read to him from an entry I recorded when he was 1 or 2 years old. He can’t believe he did or said some of the funny stuff he did back then. The same is true for me. But let me digress for a minute.
I love to read. Everything and anything. Historical fiction; old English literature (especially Jane Austen and Joan Aiken); chick lit; biographies; English fiction (hilarious stuff out of these new fiction writers hailing from England); African American fiction (love that Eric Jerome Dickey); religion (all religions), philosophy, astrology and human studies (extremely interesting to me); inspirational; anatomy and kinesiology (it’s my business - gotta stay up-to-date, right?). I’m always totally engrossed in some deep tome.
Deepak Chopra. If you know who he is, heard one of his tapes or ever read anything by him, you understand why I can stop with simply writing his name. Deepak Chopra - the man is deep and he’s on point.
A couple of years ago, I picked up The Seven Spriritual Laws of Success by Mr. Chopra. It was on a table of $3 books at a going-out-business sale. I spent a month reading the book - a couple of days to read and digest each chapter. My plan was to put the 7 laws into practice a day or so after marinating on the content of each law. Right. I thought I was so deep and in-tune and all that. I didn’t know what the Hell Deepak was talking about in a couple of the chapters. And I was extremely frustrated that I couldn’t follow the 2 or 3 simple rules for putting each law into practice that was carefully outlined at the end of each chapter. (sigh). I put the book on a shelf and went on my busy wife, mommy, entrepreneur way.
Every once in awhile, I’d pull it out and review the outlines at the end of the chapter. But for a year, it was still frustrating that I didn’t believe that people (read I) couldn’t really live like that. Trusting, believing, giving completely of myself, living only in the moment, etc, etc. Now don’t get me wrong… I was GOOD on a couple of the laws. Take the Law of Pure Potentiality. You’re supposed to be still 2x a day and take moments to commune with nature - listen to water or a breeze, watch the sunrise or set. I’ve got that thing down to a science and it’s easy and comfortable for me. It’s the other 5 and a portion of 6 that was bringing your girl down.
I put the book on a table at the studio and didn’t read a page in it from February (when we started construction on the studio) to December 21. During that time, I kept two journals - 1 to chronicle every step, word and deed of opening the studio and the other was my normal “diary” journal.
Yesterday, I spent a quiet day in my studio wrapping up some loose ends before the holidays. I took care of some accounting and bookkeeping issues. I shipped off some videos and final holiday cards. I cleaned out my in-box and updated my calendar for the week of my return to the office. I returned about 50 past-due emails. I reviewed some legal documents. After posting a “Closed for the Holidays” sign in the window, I drove home to heat up leftovers for my lunch.
I’d brought Deepak’s book home in my cleanup of the studio. It was lying on the table next to my placemat. So, as I consciously chewed my food (I’m really in to paying attention to flavors and textures while eating), I slowly reread each of the outlines at the end of each chapter. What was crazy is every word made total sense. Each bullet point was something I am currently practicing in my life. And I get it. I really get it.
After lunch I wrote some of my thoughts about the year in my journal. Then I took a moment to read a couple of entries from a year ago. I compared it to what I’d been writing for the last couple of months. It was like reading entries written by two different people. The current entries were full of hope, faith, excitement and promise. The entries from a year ago were full of fear, frustration and being overwhelmed. A recently a friend asked me if I’d always thought and acted the way I do now, and I didn’t know the answer. Now I do.
Sometimes, we think we’re grown, but we’re not really grown. Someone can’t tell us we’re not grown, though. We have to experience something personally to know that we’re not grown. Growth is a continual process - it’s the purpose of life. Gaining wisdom through experience. I couldn’t understand some of the principles in Deepak’s book, because I hadn’t grown through certain experiences yet. The challenges of the last year of opening my studio while still being a parent volunteer in both of the kids classes; community volunteer; running the household while Big Maurice traveled for work; networking my butt off for the business at breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, happy hours, etc; teaching 10 - 13 classes a week, personal training clients, and listening with true care to the troubles and challenges of each student and member at the studio; being a good friend, sister, daughter, wife, mother to the people I cherish in my life. The balancing act would have been impossible to pull off well if I didn’t use the laws. And the personal changes required to make it happen was apparent in my journaling.
I don’t know what 2009 will bring me. Life is full of challenges, surprises (good, bad and in-between), and experiences. What I do know is I will have a chronicle of the journey to read and reread like the outlines at the end of a chapter.

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