Saturday, March 13, 2010

I can read my mind, but not yours, and i'm okay with that.

I've been working for the last three years or so on becoming more grounded. On trusting my choices, and why I make them. I've been focusing specifically on my own boundaries and understanding the impetus behind the choices I make.

This past summer, I hired a therapist with the explicit goal of learning to trust that the decisions I made came from healthy roots and not from some sort of learned coping or knee jerk behavior. It was a tough summer, in order to make a change like that, I had to look hard at my belief systems about relationships, about what attracts us to each other, in friendships or in love relationships, and be willing to ask why, what was this connection fulfilling?

As I've traveled down this path, I have found my feet sinking further into the ground, my heart feels easy and true with many things. The easiest thing to feel connected to and sure of the choices I was making was with my kids. Are they getting what they need? Is there balance there? Are they with me enough, apart from me enough, challenged enough, happy and fulfilled without being enabled and smothered?

These questions made it easy for me to find my path with them, I feel like I walk down it easily. I can read the signs, I understand why I make the decisions that I make, and the "self coaching" cues make for simple corrections along the way.

When I look at my career path, while its constantly full of things that I don't expect, I feel like I'm able to navigate those waters well. Does this ring true and clean, does it propel me down my path, am I giving back?

When I look at my personal relationships, I get a little lost. I have a hard time making my boundaries as strong as they need to be, and as a result, I reach for what I need whether its there or not. Tonight, my mom was out at the symphony, and the kids and I watched our first Warren Miller movie, Storm.

They went to bed talking about wanting to skin up a mountain, and I fell apart on the couch until Alisa came home. It came over me suddenly, this wave of emotion, and I just waded around in it, wondering what it meant.

There's four weeks left in the season, the days are getting longer, and I'm booked till the end of the season. Which is lovely. And when I'm on my skis, or with my kids, my world makes sense. Moving through the snow, connecting to my student, snuggling my boys, reading, walking, adventuring with them, this is all open, no noise, sensible.

I feel sure, I feel grounded, I feel accurate, I feel flexible and present. And when I am with my friends, I feel the same way, but to a lesser degree, my understanding of where and who I am is not always on point. When I look at my heart, I sometimes feel clear as day, and often feel lost.

I wonder if that's because I believe in honesty, truth, no game playing, and I try really hard to understand where the other person is coming from so that the message going both ways is as clear as it can be, but I can't read someone else's mind. So while I strive to know if my actions are clean in impetus, I can't know if someone elses are. I can't look inside and see if the honesty they feel they are expressing is honesty or bitterness, I can't tell if the truth they are telling me is convenient truth for them which gets them what they want... As careful as I want to be, to make good choices, and come from a place that's true, I can only do what I can do.

And I suppose, once again, that this is a lesson in letting go. When I coach people, I talk to them about what they can control and what they can't. When we are talking about skiing, I ask them; can you control the weather? Can you control the snow conditions? Can you control who you are skiing against?

No. But can you control what you put in your mouth and how much sleep you've gotten. Making the conscious decision to work hard in the areas where you have the ability to make and impact and letting go of the areas where you don't, allowing them to be organic and developing, that is the trait of a person who moves through their world in a grounded way.

So for me, I think all I can do is hope to continue becoming a more whole person, practice loving as selflessly as I can, and stay true to that. Whatever comes back at me will tell its own story, and I need to listen, without wishing, imposing or wanting. I need to hear the other person and decide if what they are giving me bumps a boundary, or rests comfortably within.


Anonymous said...

WOW Kate. Love your blog and your story! I knew from the moment I met you on the cat that you were a spirited chick. But I had no idea you were such a DEEP spirited chick with incredible insights and wisdom. It's a special gift you have and may all your dreams be realized...I'm a follower now!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much, Erin! What a lovely thing to say!

I really enjoyed skiing on the cat with you as well! email me at kate howe at mac dot com and I'll send you the photos!

I'd love to ski with you again sometime!


Bill said...

It takes a lot of guts to write son honestly and open!

Very refreshing!

look what I just got from today (name changed for you)

Those who achieve great things, defeat long odds, and become legends, Kate , didn't have anything you don't have.

They just kept showing up, expecting a miracle, long after everyone else got practical.
Here comes one now...!
The Universe