Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tipping the Scales

Each morning during my residency, I roll over and flip to a random page of Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help You Stay Calm & Focused All Day Long. Today I land on "19 – Relax Deeply," and immediately decide to skip it. This is my "free" day which means I have more time than usual to prepare for the next day's work and perhaps do one or two things for myself. I already gave myself permission to sleep late (I finally sat up at about 8 AM), and I don't want to risk lulling myself back into bed.
On my second try, I land on "58 – Tip the Scales." This practice is about taking time to weigh the good things one has and done. It requires completing the four following sentences:
"I am really good at __________ (e.g. writing, painting, etc.)."
"I have many things in life that give me pleasure and meaning, like __________ (e.g. family, friends, etc.)."
"I've made it this far because I'm __________ (e.g. strong, patient, etc.)."
"Because of my experience, I am more __________ (e.g. compassionate, understanding, etc.)."
Now this exercise speaks to me. For various reasons, I'm in the midst of a challenging period, and every day I struggle to shift some focus off my problems and limitations and back onto my opportunities and blessings. And although I'm a writer – indeed, because I'm a writer – I push myself to sit up in bed and complete the sentences aloud.
As I reach the last sentence, my creativity kicks in and so my answers begin show rather than tell. Here are just a few that I want to share.
Because of my experience, I smile as I pay the bills.
I give the panhandler a dollar even if I doubt he will buy something to eat.
I wear lipstick and lingerie when there is no man to see them.
I run to my fear, grab its hand, and say, "C'mon, let's jump."
I cry to flex emotional strength.
I submit as evidence of my integrity the gossip circulating about me.
I jaywalk across four lanes to get to the sunny side of the street.
I giggle during Mercury retrograde.
I wrestle fairly with other good yet wounded souls
I dress the stereotype without playing the role.
I opt to love (the verb) rather than wait for it (the noun) to happen.
When you tip the scales, what positive things do you (re)discover about yourself?

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