Getting Back to my Center

Last week’s 40 days focus was on centering. I wrote a bit about my experience, but was so wrapped up in a home makeover project in celebration of this week’s focus, Triumph, that I hadn’t posted it.

Law 9: Don’t Rush the Process

Stop thinking about what is going to happen in the future and obsessing over what will happen after this or that, because we all know what happens in the end. The same thing always happens…we die. –Nancy, during class last week (paraphrased)

“I learned I had to be willing to show up and suck until I could show up and shine” – a student of Baron Baptiste, quoted in 40 Days to Personal Revolution

Both of these revelations resonate with me. I’m always so focused on achieving a goal or being excited about the upcoming trip, project being completed, or event that I resist the current process. This applies to everything I do, right down to blogging: I read successful blogs and I forget why I started writing again in the first place: to connect, to share, to chronicle and to, at times, be vulnerable.


My mom and I got into a tiff a couple of days after Christmas. It started with one thing, led to something completely different, and the past was brought up because it was relevant to what was going on. It got ugly, and we hadn’t been talking.

Last week, in our 40 days meeting, we talked about listening without preconceived notions. The exercise was to listen to people without any consideration of the past, to drop what you already know. This meant focusing on the other person stating what truth is to them and not adding any additional meaning. Only seeing possibility. I had already made plans to meet up with her and give our relationship a rebirth with new boundaries, so that advice had impeccable timing.

After eight years of working nights, four years of residency with a 2+ hour commute a day, and four years of medical school, my mom just began working “normal” hours. Immediately, when she walked up, I could see a clarity about her. When she talked, I listened, without assuming things were always how they had been or without feeling that she was making excuses or being controlling or being a villain in any of the ways that I had turned her into during those weeks that we didn’t talk.

I had been operating for years with a tinge of resentment before realizing now that my mom was neglecting a basic need—sleep—for so long and so often that she was too harried to think straight. After years of seeing her behaviors in me, I saw my behaviors in her. I realized that it was just over a year ago when I started doing this level of inner self work—the yoga, meditation, 40 days group therapy. Back then I was so harried that I was never the mother I thought I’d be when Tobias was an infant. There’s been several occasions when I was so distracted I let things go by the wayside. At one point, but at different levels, we had made the same mistake. Who am I to judge?

It opened up completely new things for our relationship, and we set up appropriate boundaries so that something like this wouldn’t happen again.

Law 10: Be True to Yourself

That’s what this is all about, really. No matter how true I think I’m being to myself, there will always be moments where I’m seeking approval or taking things too personally, or adding drama. There’ll be moments when I’d rather eat a cookie for breakfast than meditate (guilty!) and I’d rather do laundry all day than take a moment for myself and run.

PS. Honestly, part of the reason I hadn’t posted is because I feel a little “done” with 40 days and talking about what I’m doing with it/self growth. I’d rather be out there growing and doing. So thanks for bearing with me while I babbled about the process!

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