I work with clients a lot on how mindful daily practices impact your effectiveness and happiness. Recently, I bought some water color supplies on Amazon, watched a video on watercolor painting and experimented one evening. I had fun then tucked the supplies away for another day.
Last week, after the overwhelming and emotional experience of having to clean out my parent’s house to sell, I got out the box of supplies, threw inhibition to the wind and on the first page of my new watercolor journal painted an image from a peaceful photograph I had taken in the low country of South Carolina. It won’t be in any art contests but the experience of doing this with a shuffle of Michael Buble playing in the background calmed me.
In that space I could get curious about my emotions instead of running from them. I felt frustrated that my brother was not there to help me. I was sad going through the papers and memories of my father. I was worried about my mother who we had just moved into a senior home. I struggled with my own mortality. And I was anxious that I wasn't doing enough or that it wouldn’t be to everyone’s expectations and feared their judgment.
In the end, as I experimented with color, water and a paint brush I remembered that when we stay in the moment we realize how precious each moment is because this moment is all we truly have.
The next day my husband and I went back to the house, not to clean it out but to say goodbye. I hadn’t allowed room for that the previous day because I was so wrapped up in the task and the emotions. I just wanted to get it done.
We only spent a few minutes at the house that day, but it was a pivotal few minutes for me. As I held my father's whistle that he used to officiate our swim meets as children I realized how fortunate I am to have had a dad that was right at my side supporting me. I looked outside from my bedroom, remembering how I could hear the railroad whistles two miles away through that open window on hot summer nights after having awakened from dreams where I could fly. As I sat on the front porch wicker furniture one last time, looking at all the Sycamore trees, I smiled at how I used to think the leaves danced as they fell from the sky. And as I lay my hand on that sidewalk hand imprint next to the one my brother made I could still hear the cement crew yelling at us as we ran way down the street.
I realized that my memories of childhood are sacred. As much as I revere this time gone by it is time to let this house be the chalice of memories for another family. It’s time. It’s a necessary ending without loss of the experience or the feeling. I said goodbye and can move on.
Though I am sad to transition my childhood home, the precious moments I had there are the backbone of who I am today. I look back with joy. I’m grateful. And peaceful by choice. Wishing you peace by choice today.
If you are ready to get off the treadmill to nowhere and have peace, confidence, executive presence, career advancement and high performance in the face of challenges, personal agendas, cynicism and bureaucracy request a free consultation call to see if coaching is a good fit to help you get calm, promoted, hired, happy, connected and effective before it’s too late.
Watch my new FREE Training on Three Ways to Move to the Next Level In Your Career Right Now to 1) identify the right role for you, 2) position your transferable skills and 3) create a career portfolio that sells you before you even get an interview. If you don't know where you will be at the end of the year, you are already there.
P.S. Feel free to send this link to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. Request a free consultation call now.
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