Practice Who You Want to Be
What Does it Mean to Practice Who You Want to Be?
It was Sunday afternoon. My son was at a friend’s house, my daughter was doing homework and I had one hour and twenty minutes of free time.
I was exhausted from running around the entire weekend, but an hour and twenty minutes of free time is pretty hard for me to resist not getting something done. We needed furniture oil. The cleaning lady was coming on Wednesday and I knew I wouldn’t have any time to get it before she came, so it was now or never.
This furniture oil is very important to me because it’s the only thing that makes a particular coffee table look nice. It’s the only thing that makes the table look nice because I started spraying the table with oil when I got it, and now it’s got a nice layer of oily sheen on top that I can’t get rid of, so when the air hits it after a day or so it starts to look splotchy and gross. And so, I’ve created a nice little nasty look that requires bi-weekly maintenance.
Despite my throbbing feet I jumped in the car and headed for Target. (The nearby grocery store doesn’t carry this oil. Of course.) I get to Target and I am cranky. I tell myself, “Just get the oil… What else do I need? I am not coming back to Target for a while.” (right)
I get the oil, paper towels, lunch bags, a few bags of frozen green beans and toothpaste. I get in line and the person in front of me is paying with a check. He doesn’t have his ID. He searches. My feet throb. I wait. Then another customer approaches my cashier complaining she overcharged him on four apples. She looks at his receipt and calls for a manager.
Finally, it’s my turn. I throw everything at the cashier, swipe my card, say thank you, and run from the building like it’s on fire. I take the elevator down to the first floor, wheel the cart to my car, unload all the bags, look down at the empty cart and see IT. The bottle of furniture oil. The REASON I BROUGHT MY THROBBING FEET TO THIS STORE!!
I must have missed putting it on the conveyer belt and didn’t pay for it.
I stared at the bottle for a few seconds. You know, the few seconds where you actually decide what kind of person you want to be.
For me, there’s always two people in my head during these situations. One person in my head said, “Whatever, just take it! It’s the reason you came here. If you don’t take it you’re going to have to come all the way back again and your table is going to look horrible in the meantime. Besides, it’s not your fault you didn’t pay for it… you didn’t do it on purpose.”
The other person in my head said, “Are you really going to steal a five dollar bottle of furniture oil? You’re a life coach. You give people advice on how to live their lives better – is this the kind of person you want to be? Remember, what you put out is what you get back… do you really want to put stealing out there?”
I took a deep breath and pushed the cart and the oil to the side and got in my car. “Great” I said to myself. “Now I’m gonna have to come back here… but… I am practicing who I want to be!”
Who I want to be is a woman in integrity, honesty, good morals… a woman who does the right thing even when it’s not easy. I also want to be a woman who doesn’t judge herself.
It Takes Practice
I acknowledge (self validation here) the reason I was so tempted to steal the bottle was not just because I was exhausted, but the bigger reason comes from old, cellular memories of deprivation.
We were very poor growing up and I was highly aware we didn’t have much so whatever we had I better hold onto because I might not have anything tomorrow. This is not the case today, but when we have that “other” voice in our head that pulls us to be the person we really don’t want to be anymore — it’s always because of some childhood trauma and learned behavior we repeat as adults. When we recognize those old patterns come from the past — we can make conscious choices in the present moment.
The first step when you practice who you want to be, is to ask yourself, “WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO I WANT TO BE?” Describe everything about that person.
Once you know what kind of person you want to be — you can practice being her. Yes, it does take practice. Clearly, I’m still practicing. But, practice something long enough and eventually it becomes you.
I practiced coming from depravation of not enough-ness as a child many, many, many times. I learned that pretty well. Now, I’m practicing being away from that deprived part of my past, getting into the present moment, and then choosing to come from abundance, doing the right thing when no one else is looking, holding myself up to a high standard because I want to. Not because anyone expects me to.
And let me say one thing about abundance — coming from abundance may seem obscure. At least it did to me at first.
My guru therapist would say, “Come from abundance, Lynn” and I really didn’t know what that meant other than saying the words.
I have come to learn this abundance thing is actually a feeling. A feeling that everything is going to be okay, a knowing that your needs are going to be met. In a word, it’s faith. Having faith in the universe, God, a higher source, whatever you believe in, that all is well with the world and all is well with you. That feeling takes practice.
So, what kind of person do you want to be?
Practice being that person.
And by the way, I never got the oil.
I’ve decided to get rid of the table… and practice coming from abundance… and knowing the universe will bring me another table that I will absolutely not have to oil.
July 26, 2016
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