Like many of you, I really enjoy the New Year. I love reflecting on everything I’ve been able to accomplish in the previous year, thinking about the stuff that didn’t work out as planned, and mapping out my vision for the upcoming year.
I enjoy goals — the bigger, the loftier the better.
This year’s New Year’s Resolutions started out simply and tritely enough. Lose weight. Exercise More. Same old, same old, right? My cousin is getting married in June and has asked me to be in her wedding, which was a great (additional) motivation for my health goals.
As I started thinking about how I would incorporate health into my life, I was strongly considering signing up for bootcamp classes. Bootcamps are typically women-only, group “personal” training that focus on both cardio and strength training. Lots of great things about bootcamps — camaraderie & accountability, someone pressing you beyond your physical comfort zone, less expensive than a personal trainer, etc.
Why was I hesitating? The 6:00 am start. Which means a 5:00am wake up call, 3 days a week. Anyone who knows me well knows that the only time I am up at 5:00am is when I’m still awake from the night before. I am NOT a morning person.
After asking a bunch of friends, I still was having trouble making the decision — I really wanted to commit to the bootcamp, but I really didn’t want to get up at 6:00am. I decided to pose the question to my coach – what should I do?
What happened next is probably one of the most profound insights of my life.
My coach very quickly helped me identify that the 6am wake-up call was not aligned with WHO I am and so I shouldn’t sign up.
Then she asked, “doesn’t it feel great to make a decision that honors your true Who?”
“No!” I quickly retorted.
It didn’t feel great. It felt lame, like I was this defective person that had a get-up early handicap. Just like I can’t keep my house clean. Just like I can’t seem to grocery shop & cook on a regular basis. Just like I have trouble figuring out what to wear every morning. The next words out of my mouth shocked even me.
“I feel like I would make an excellent man, but I am a crappy woman.” (And no, this isn’t some big reveal about how I need a sex change operation — I’m talking about the “roles” of women and men have in our culture.)
|By Mary Engelbreit|
You see, growing up, all my female role models — my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts, my friend’s moms, the ladies at church, etc., were all of a type. And, because many of these women read this blog, I want to be clear — I am not trying to judge these women, or say one is better than the other. I love these women dearly and think they are phenomenal.
The type of women I grew up with as role models were so amazingly domestic. My mother is probably the best hostess on the planet. Seriously! She gives coupons for visits to her home as gifts and people practically punch each other to get the coupon. She’s that good.
No one is asking for a coupon to come to my house. I’m either deflecting visitors from coming over to view my piles of “to be sorted” this or that, or begging a friend to come “work” on decluttering my house — a far cry from my mom’s hostessing prowess.
In the “womenly arts,” my family of women have collected all the merit badges. They are awesome.
And next to them, I truly can’t compare.
Albert Einstein probably said it best: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Here’s the thing though — sometimes it isn’t *other* people judging us that hurts us. It’s us judging ourselves! I may not be the hostess my mother is, but I can talk to a room of 1,000 people with no planning. I may not being the snappy dresser my best friends and aunts are, but I can fix almost any computer problem you have. I may never cook an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, but I can organize a week of travel for 20 people.
Rather than focus on what I am *not*, I want to focus on WHO I really am. I’m not going beat myself up for not being a tree-climber. I’m going to be excited to be the best darn fish I can be.
I won’t be signing up for the 6am bootcamp. But I know that I will find a “Jaime” way to get more fit this year. Awesomely, I have a much better chance of being successful at my goals when they are aligned to my true self.
I want 2012 to be the year that I honor my true Who in all that I do.
How are you honoring your true Who?