These WOWs (Words of the Week) truly challenge me, because when I pray and ask I really BELIEVE that the answer is something I need to apply in order to grow as a person.
To provide context so you know where I’m coming from, my former life was bathed in a toxic cocktail of self-criticism and abuse masqueraded as personal growth. Higher levels of spirituality were dangled in front of me like a carrot by others (whose ideas about my shortcomings were used to torment and control me.) So happy was I to eventually be free from the scrutiny, I took a sabbatical for almost a decade and declared (to myself) – ENOUGH!
“If I never change another thing about me, I’m going to love myself and start enjoying life.”
And I did! And I do!
But something happened along the way and, I realized I still yearned to grow. Now it’s a gentle, self-motivated and healthy exercise that serves to make my life happier and more fulfilled. I say all this to affirm:
My hope is that none of you reading my exhortations beat yourself up with criticisms and judgments but are rather inspired to bloom, like when the sun kisses a budding flower.
Lots of preamble to get to my personal experience with WILLINGNESS this week.
My husband surprised me by being willing to go to an oudoor concert featuring my favorite funky dance tunes. He’s not a guy who likes to dance, but he knows I am happy to boogie in my beach chair and sing along. So we did!
Finding a spot on the grass with hundreds of other Sarasotians on the grounds of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, the sun began to set on our water view. The sounds of Earth Wind and Fire’s “September” had me shimmying in my seat.
And then the clouds descended. And the sprinkles of rain turned into a steady stream, causing me to pick up my chair and seek the nearest shelter.
To my surprise, Duane stayed put. At any moment I expected him to say, “Let’s get out of here.” Instead, he turned to me and beckoned me back to our spot on the grass. “It’s just a little rain.”
I had a momentary pause. My cute little tie-dyed sundress would get soaked, and my hair? I could already feel it expanding into Roseanne Roseannadanna territory.
And I literally asked myself, “Are you willing?”
Out into the rain I went, bouncing to Uptown Funk and boogie-ing with abandon as my look went south.
But my heart soared. Especially when they broke into Marvin Gaye and the man I said “I do” to stood up and wrapped me into a slow dance as we were pelted by raindrops.
I would have missed all of this if I wasn’t willing: IMG_1185
It doesn’t have to be a huge, life-altering willingness to tip your life into the happy zone. Just a decision to replace the customary “No” with a “Why not?”
Like when I went to Zumba and realized, “Oh no. New teacher. She’s Ariana Grande’s twin and I will be hopelessly inept for the next hour.” Normally, I’d use this as an excuse to skip class and head to Starbuck’s for an iced skinny café mocha grande.
Instead, I asked myself, “Are you willing?”
Fifteen minutes later, I was deep into Fireball (and Uptown Funk, again!) and smiling. None of us knew the steps. And it didn’t matter. We were working up a sweat (and working off last night’s ravioli.)
I wonder what other treasures WILLINGNESS has in store this week?
My wish for you is like the song. If you have the chance to sit it out or dance…
I hope you dance.