Monday, June 25, 2012

Turtle Stepping to the Finish Line

How we do one thing is how we do everything. Take a moment to pause, ponder, and consider this. Are you typically a procrastinator or do you jump straight into the fire? Are you organized to perfection or a chronic case of disarray? Do you primarily listen to your head or does your body have the option of weighing in on decision-making? Do you operate from the learned behavior of others or can you recognize the epiphanies of your own heart? What works for you? How do you operate in the world?

Finish Line Approach
Throughout my life I have been each and all of the above, but as I become more aware of my ways of being I see how the initial statement, How we do one thing is how we do everything, rings true on a relatively consistent basis. Two perfect examples are the writing of my book, As I Lay Pondering, and the half marathon I completed this past weekend. In each case, the spark in my heart said, “Go for it!” and set in motion a journey toward the finish line. In either case, was I prepared? Yes and no. Did I believe I could achieve the goal? Yes and no. Did I keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter how challenging, scary, or disheartening things became? Unequivocally Yes!

Turtle Steps @ Green Lake
Here is where I am reminded of the timeless story of the tortoise and the hare. My essential way of being holds both characters. I typically leap quickly into the race (once the spark ignites) and then pause to notice what I’ve set in motion. If the goal continues to ring true, I turtle step my way through until the finish. On Saturday, I believed I would finish the race even though my training routine was a bit underdone (just like my book writing experience). All along the route, I checked in with my body and noticed when I was able to push forward and how I needed to occasionally hold back. I ran on the downhills when things felt easy and smooth, and I muttered under my breath on the uphills as I systematically put one foot in front of the other. (To author the book, I kept showing up to the page... even when inspiration or completion seemed a long way off).

When I got scared or tired and felt my heart beat with anxiety, I kept the end result in mind. I felt the exhilaration of crossing the finish line (or holding a completed manuscript in my hand). I believed completion was possible. I chose to follow my vision and turned my back on the naysayers (including my internal critic) who said I couldn’t do “it” without proper training. I wasn’t fully prepared in either instance, but I was prepared enough to begin. In the last two miles of the race, I came upon a t-shirt that read “Courage to Start. Faith to Finish.” It was just what I needed to see me through those last paces.

On Saturday, I set out to have fun, hang out with my daughter and sister, and move my body 13.1 miles without serious injury. I wanted to break my record of last year, but mainly I focused on my intention: Have Fun and Finish. I succeeded in both (and I broke my record by 15 minutes.) It happened one step at a time, because I've learned that...

how I do one thing is how I do everything!

Tortoise? Hare? Combo? Other? What’s the “everything” style that works best for you?

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