My mother moved about from from one task to another, making fabulous meals in what seemed a chaotic dance, like a hummingbird flitting from flower to flower. If I dared to enter the kitchen during her creative process to grab a snack or, heaven forbid, ask if I could help, I might suddenly find myself between her and her place of interest and hear the words, “one of us is in my way!”
I can’t say that I always loved my mother’s sense of humor, which bordered oh-so-closely on sarcasm, but this remark always made me laugh, jump and flee the room. I hear her voice in my head when my husband prepares toast in the morning and I try to get into the flatware drawer. I’m convinced that the reason I haven’t relocated the toaster or the flatware is so that I will hear these words in my head every morning, because they remind me of a valuable lesson.
What I’ve learned since those days growing up in a slightly crazy-but-loving and often chaotic household, is that no one can be in my way unless I allow it. And the one person who most gets in my way is ME! I would love to blame the world out there, my husband, my deceased parents, my son, politicians, the economy, something, someone, anyone out there for my “lot in life” when things aren’t going exactly as I would like. But the truth is, it’s only me.
“Getting-out-of-my-own-way” has become a daily practice. How do I recognize when I’m IN MY OWN WAY? I hear myself making excuses, whining, complaining, sighing, feeling frustrated or otherwise unable to make a choice and move forward. What do I do about it? Ask myself what’s really in my highest and best interest. Sometimes it does mean being lazy, soaking in the tub, taking a power nap, so that I can return to the tasks at hand refreshed. Sometimes it means kicking my own butt and keeping my commitments and schedule. All the time it means staying in the awareness that life is all about choice and that the choice is mine to make.