If it’s never your fault, you can’t take responsibility for it. If you can’t take responsibility for it, you’ll always be its victim.
~ Richard Bach, Messiah’s Handbook
The essence of this quotation has been with me for a long time. I have found it very powerful. I know, it is loaded with ugly words like fault and victim. Some of you may, unfortunately, include responsibility in the ugly category. If so, I’d like to change your mind!
I suppose another way of saying the same thing might be:
If I am to blame, or if I assume some of the blame in a situation, then I have some measure of power to change it.
I first faced the need to take a measure of responsibility in a place I didn’t think I needed to: Al Anon! I attended meetings because a loved one had a drinking problem – not me. Well, what I heard at those meetings was that the only person I can change is me and it was my responsibility to face what, in me, needed to change, and change it. No longer could I just blame my loved one for the problems we faced. I needed to assume some of the blame or responsibility for our problems and change what I could.
Then a wonderful thing happened: I felt empowered by assuming responsibility (or even blame) and taking action! This healthier way of dealing showed up in other areas of life. I began to notice that the leaders I respected took responsibility for what went wrong around them and for helping to find solutions. Their message was never blaming. Rather, “I could have … I missed … I’m sorry that didn’t go well. I/We will make that right for you.” So my own leadership took on the quality of responsibility for the good, the bad and the ugly. I was no longer a victim of circumstance. By assuming some responsibility, I had a voice to speak up with and actions to take. If you are in a position of leadership, here is a bit of wisdom from one leader I know:
When your team makes a mistake, take the blame, the responsibility, with “We made a mistake.”. But when it comes to praise, pass it on! “Yes, John (or Mary or Sue) did a GREAT job!”
What blame game stops today?
What responsibility is yours to assume?
What impact will you have when you do?
How old do you think you are?
We’ve all heard the expression, “You’re as young as you feel.” Yet, how many of us truly take it to heart? How many of us do not let our age dictate our life choices?
I am 57 years young as I write. And, I often spend time with younger persons – younger in years and younger at heart. This week, their energy reignited in me a desire to dance, to move my body freely, flexibly, joyfully, playfully! They went so far as to suggest I finally respond to my longtime desire to move like a ballerina and take ballet lessons with my friend’s 2 1/2 year old! Really? Yes! Let those beautiful, young spirits encourage more of your own spirit to play, to come alive.
Now, I could have resisted, claimed I was too old to begin ballet. I could have imagined embarrassment (as if 2 1/2 year olds would judge me!!!). But for a lovely moment, I set that aside, let my dream override any perceived limitations or judgments, and committed to contacting the dance studio!
The story is “To be continued …” since the studio only teaches children! I contacted the owner anyway. I wonder, will she consider teaching the “young at heart” alongside the young hearts?
Now, back to you:
How old do you think you are?
How do you let your age limit you?
What would you begin if you didn’t?
Today I drew this collage at random:
The questions which most spoke to me were:
What opening needs your creativity?
What experience is stale?
What potential lies in “we”?
I’m not surprised. I’ve been craving co-creating lately and honoring the craving. The most delightful expression of this was Monday night’s play date with two other women. Staring at an amazing pay load of art supplies, we asked: “What will we do tonight?” and the answer we heard was: “Let’s create a single play doh sculpture!” And oh what fun we had!
Take a moment to ask:
What lone pursuit has stalled?
What would a partner, a co-creator offer?
Where does 1+1=Amazing?
Okay, I woke up in a funk. Emotions were heavy in my heart space. I felt like I was on the slippery slope down towards depression.
Does this ever happen to you?
Some days, I go down the slope. Sometimes, I try to figure out what negative thing is causing the heaviness. Today, I tried something different. I decided to take the K out of my funk:
FUNK minus K (a.k.a. “K”illjoy) equals FUN!
And it worked! As soon as I refused to listen to the voice of killjoy, I began to hear what it is that delights my spirit, that brings a smile to my face, what it is that I consider fun.
The next time you find yourself in a funk, try removing Mr. Killjoy and ask:
What is fun to me?
(even if no one else thinks it’s fun!)
Who might enjoy that kind of fun with me?
When can I schedule a dose of that fun?
(make it happen!)
Awhile back we started this journey. And I asked:
Are responsibility and playfulness mutually exclusive?
Four demons later, I am here to answer with a resounding, NO! I’ve had so much fun, been fully in a playful spirit, creating these blog posts for you just 72 hours after I DON’T WANT TO showed up.
What if we dared to play through life?
What if work was play?
What if our playful spirit did the work?
What if delight was the norm?
I believe the journey is all about reigniting our playful spirit, the one we were born with and which never leaves us. Truly, it only goes underground waiting for each opportunity to burst into laughter and joy, to giggle with delight, to be exposed to sunshine.
Will you play with me?