A few weeks ago I wrote about self-love and proposed it as the answer to humanity's woes. This week, the phrase “Are you available?” has been floating around in me. I'm a little afraid to get started here thinking this entry could get long, especially as the two tie together a bit. But, I will start and see what happens!
“Are you available?” comes from seeing so much pain and challenge in the lives of those around me: serious illness in family members, depression, jobs that aren't fulfilling or go contrary to deeply held beliefs, jobs that are non-existent, … And the list goes on. And, the same persons seem to have more than their quota of simultaneous challenges! My heart reaches out to each of these human beings in a big way – I want to support, help, and do whatever I can to ease the pain.
Am I available? The flexibility in my schedule allows me to be physically available way more than I could when I was at the office nine to five. And I am grateful! Not all of you can say the same thing. There really is only “so much time in a day”. Beyond that, you just got done reading about self-love and spending more of that precious free time on yourself and now I'm talking about being available to others! No, I haven't (yet) figured out how to get 48 hours in every day.
So what is the message here?
What am I thinking?
We are more than physical beings. We are emotional, intellectual and spiritual beings as well. We have the option of being present or absent in each of these. Have you ever been physically present while your thoughts were on another planet (or trying to figure out how you would get out of this conversation gracefully)? Have you ever been so emotionally consumed with your current challenge that everything you did went wrong?
In these moments, you were present… but were you available?
Personally, there have been many times in my life where I have to say: “No, I was not available. I was physically present but emotionally or intellectually absent”. I was not available to the human being in front of me who desired my undivided attention and trusted me to give it. Unfortunately, I missed a lot of my sons' childhood, so caught up in what was to come that I missed the sacred moments here and now. Sometimes, I am sad and embarrassed to say, this still happens. It has become even more apparent since my coach training has taught me about the foundational skill of “self-management”. When the coach has “self thoughts” going on, they cannot be available to their client.
Are you available?
- Do you wear the world loosely enough that “the stuff of life”, the to-do list, can be set aside with ease?
- Do you take great care of your physical being with good food in right amounts, adequate sleep and healthy exercise that you have all the strength you need when “their need” takes you out of your routine?
- Do you have a spiritual belief system that allows you to trust and frees you from needing to “figure it all out yourself” so you can be intellectually available?
- Do you love yourself so much that you can't imagine that you have nothing to give when asked?
For today, just notice. Begin to become aware of what consumes your precious life energy. If you find yourself less available than you would like to those human beings who share this journey with you, ask yourself:
What am I willing to release?
What task just doesn't need to happen?
What level of trust would free me?
How important is it anyway?