Monday, May 17, 2010

Building Muscle

“Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going.” ~ Jim Rohn

I find myself being irritated lately.  I am straying from my center and paying more attention to outside noise.  Even though I know better, I am taking my cues from "external" things.  This will get you (me) into trouble every time.  Have you ever noticed that?  I swear I did not mean to launch into this, but I am going to take this little detour for one second and talk about looking inward and---looking outside of ourselves.  I know so many things in my head, but absorbing them into my cell membranes and making them part of my cell memory (love that concept) are two different things.   Ooops. That was a bumpy sentence.  Here it is in plain English:  When we look for answers, solutions, comfort, approval, gratification, acceptance --"out there"--in external things (people, places, things) then we will forever and ever go without---and just keep on looking frantically to fill up that unnamed emptiness we feel.  News flash---and one I wish my parents had taught me from birth:  It's never out there that we long for. It's an inside job---so to speak.
It's so alluring to believe that what we need is outside of ourselves.   That's probably why we all keep doing that dog-gone, relentless tap dance trying to get recognition, approval. love, acknowledgement from a degree, a job, a spouse, or a smaller size pair of pants.  But, it's a a phantom route---and we all fall for in and day out. 'Cause very simply put:  If we don't go within.......we go without.   (Say that to yourself 100 times and see if it makes sense by supper time.)
   Ok, back to the bad mood/irritability.  Taylor has been perserverating a whole bunch lately.  That means he says the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again until I want to scream.  His perseverating  is in direct correlation to  how much pain he is in.  And, because we can't seem to find out what is causing him pain, his broken record words just keep repeating and repeating.  (Please cut and paste that 200 times so I won't have to write it out.) Here's the thing.  When I'm with Taylor by myself, I get into his rhythm and work around it.  I go into my own head, settle into my center, and just let him do his thing.  But, when we're out in public or out to dinner, I can see how it irritates the living daylights out of everybody-----and then I feel responsible---and helpless and like a bad mother.  Irrational but true.
I can see people just shrug and wonder how I do this---maybe why I do this..  "This" meaning have patience again and again for doing what I do during my day.  Here's the deal.  I guess dealing with Taylor day in and day out is a lot like doing crunches or practicing  Hanon scales or flossing your teeth.  There are just some things in life that may not be gobs of fun, but to make our lives function---and better, we have to develop habits that just kick in without our even thinking about them.  "It's just what I do."  I know you have stuff like that in your own life.  Some of you walk every single day no matter what.  Some of you  meditate, or do yoga, or create a habit of writing, praying, vocalizing or applying your Oil of Olay religiously---every night, no matter what. 
We all have our own particular motivators.  Our values, beliefs and even our fear of failure often motivates us.  But it's our ability and willingness to honor our habits that give us grit.  Feel the fear (irritation, fatigue. pissed-offness)---and Do it Anyway!  Putting this into writing allows me to get a clearer idea of  why I have been so irritable.  I have looked outside of myself---fallen for some illusions that are probably not true---and have fought with the loving muscle that I must have to be Taylor's mama. 
I can see some of you so clearly right now in my mind's eye.  I am imagining what habits  that you have been forced to hone and perfect in your own lives---whether you have wanted to or not.  You have had to reach deep---inside of yourself---to do those emotional crunches so that you---and someone you love stays alive or gets fed/bathed. or has an outing or gets to work or stays sober or sees you as a beacon of light.
I am motivated to be a good mother to Taylor.  I know this is a life-long contract---for better or worse as it were.  But motivation with  the practiced  habit of living this life with grace, humor, and yes, "101, 102, 103....however many times it takes..."   is the joyful journey I have been called to make.
I want to walk this path with heart.  It's easier that way.
Now, if I could just find some motivation for doing those sit ups.
The sit-up habit falls into warrior category-------Please, God, don't send me down that path too.