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Lessons from Lunch

As I write this blog post, it’s a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. The weather is sunny, there’s not a cloud in the sky, the temperature is near 70 and I’m typing this from our deck. And today was a good day. I went to the movies with my husband and some other family members (we finally saw Black Panther!), and then we had a delicious lunch together with some deep & interesting conversation. Thus, the inspiration/topic for today’s post.

The conversation was all over the place, we were discussing all the themes of the movie and it’s impact on each of us, we were discussing our own current events and then it got interesting. I really don’t want to leave the specifics of the conversation here for the world, as I think that would take away from it’s meaning in one way or another. What I want to do instead is write about some of the lessons and ah-ha moments that were had during this interesting discussion.

Let me lay the ground work for you – we were talking about goals and how sometimes it feels like our jobs get in the way of those goals. There was some misspeaking, some misinterpretations and some hurt feelings too. But there was also an opportunity for clarification, apologies and standing up for ourselves.  So without further ado, here are today’s lessons from lunch:

  1. Always use your voice. What does “use your voice” even mean? It can mean many things… it can mean to correct someone when they’ve mispronounced (or misspelled) your name, it can be adding in your 2 cents worth to a discussion, and it can mean standing up for yourself. There are many other examples of using your voice out there, but the basic meaning is that your words are valuable and meaningful, and you should always say something when you feel misheard, misinterpreted, misrepresented or even mistreated. And always use your voice with respect to others, the conversation and yourself. Using your voice doesn’t mean you should abuse others. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this, but it took me a long time to learn how to use my voice and there were a lot of hurdles to jump over during the learning process. It also took time to feel confident in doing so. Just like everything else, the more you practice, the better you’ll get. Our lunch conversation was just more proof to me that it’s always better to speak up when something doesn’t feel right. And I know my lunch companions would agree with me as we all took turns voicing our thoughts and opinions.
  2. Life has patterns and cycles. This was not necessarily an ah-ha moment for me, but it was for my husband and I thought it was a big enough ah-ha moment that others may benefit from sharing it. We all know and understand nature’s cycles, we even named them ‘seasons’. Just like nature has seasons, so do we. We slow down in winter, perk up in spring, become really busy in summer and enjoy the last days of warmth while welcoming the process of winter when it’s fall. This is important to remember when we look at where we are and we’re not completely satisfied with whatever progress we’ve been attempting with our goals. Things naturally slow down when the days become short, the nights are long, and we’re only focused on feeling warm, full and cozy. So give yourself a break if you haven’t lost 30 pounds yet. If you aren’t as active as you thought you’d be by now. If you’re like me and haven’t been creating in the way you want to be creating. Life is not a race, and it’s ok to slow down. You’ll get hit with motivation and inspiration one of these days. So enjoy the rest while you can, summer will be here before you know it! LOL
  3. Gratitude is important. Here I go again, preaching about gratitude lists, “living in gratitude”, and never taking things for granted. But we all know there’s a reason for this. Being thankful keeps us mindful of our blessings, even when we think we have none. A grateful heart opens us up to more things to be grateful for. It’s the beginning step in the manifestation process and it keeps us humble. I write out a gratitude list every morning before I start my job and on my off days, I keep a running list in my mind. You can never go wrong when you’re showing gratitude.
  4. Walk your talk. We’ve all probably been guilty of talking a big game about something but then never following through. As a Gemini, I can relate to this because I personally have millions of interests, goals, and things I want to do with this life. But I’m also easily distracted, sometimes lazy and even restrained by finances, reality or whatever else seems to be standing in my way. But we should all strive to “strike when the iron is hot” and take action when inspiration hits. Yes, it’s ok to take a break when you’re tired or just not feeling it. But when “it” is all you can think about, you better be doing it, working towards it or living it. Don’t just talk about it, be about it. Don’t dream it, be it. One of the Four Agreements is “be impeccable with your word”. Not only does this mean to speak in truth (aka use your voice), but it means that if you’re going to say that you’re going to do something, you better do it. The more you talk, talk, talk and the less you follow through, the less people with respect your word. Which ultimately means they’ll respect YOU less as well. Now, you may not care what other people think, and that’s ok. But shouldn’t you care about how you think of yourself? How you see yourself? We all know when we’ve verbally committed to something but we’re not physically doing it. It doesn’t feel good. And most of us women are on some kind of self love journey these days, and feeling good is important to us. So do yourself a favor and walk your talk.
  5. We each felt safe. I think this observation is an important one because when you have delicate conversations, sometimes one of the parties doesn’t feel safe. And then, they shut down or act out. I know for my own life and the things that I teach and learn, I always want others to know that my presence means that whatever we talk about, is safe. It’s ok to speak honestly, directly, emotionally and about deep, dark, private topics. Take today’s lunch as an example: the main discussion happened between myself and one other person at one point and I really felt like I needed to use my voice. The other person is someone I’ve known for a little while but we don’t make it a habit to get into difficult discussions very often. But for my own wellbeing, I knew I had to speak up and clear the air. Doing this can feel risky, but I knew I was safe in that moment. And as someone who gives safety to others by listening and not judging, that person felt safe too. And we had a really great talk. I’m adding this to the list as an observation and to maybe help someone else know that it’s ok to be a safe place for someone else.

Circling back to gratitude, I am so incredibly thankful for where I am in this life. I’m thankful for the reminders that I can have real, deep, difficult conversations. And I’m always thankful for new lessons.

Have you had any ah-ha moments, deep conversations or even been challenged in life recently? Feel free to share in the comments below.

~Sending you all the love!

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