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Choose Your Life Monday #28

Choose Your Life Monday is an invitation to name what pattern you will lovingly notice this week and to do so in community. Join in when and however suits you.

Last week I declared I would

lovingly pay attention to when I am second guessing, over working or otherwise prevaricating


I will lovingly look for the thought – which comes in many shapes and flavors – that what I’m doing isn’t important enough.


I’ve been a significance spotter all week.

I became terrifyingly, achingly aware of how strong this pattern of significance is and how it’s tied to this other pattern of “I’m so utterly freaked out about not being able to make this presentation the greatest ever experienced in the history of presentations, I just want to get it done so I don’t have to feel anxious about it anymore.”

This pattern sometimes means I end up doing not so great a job. I lose my creativity and my own voice in the pursuit of just getting it done.

The result of not doing such a great job fuels my story I’m a stupid loser and that starts another cycle of “If I could just be like X (whomever I’ve deemed smart and talented that day) then I would be finally significant and I would feel safe.”


I get it now!

Significance = safety in my mind.

Now that is wild. How the hell did I come up with that one?

Because what the labyrinth of significance actually = is anxiety. Crazy making comparisons. Losing touch with my heart. Moving away from trusting myself into the never ending void of not enough.

Significance = anything but safety.

I’m attending a retreat with Pema Chodron this coming weekend in Seattle and I’m sure being steeped in her teachings, plus spending time with wise friends who are coming from out of town, will give me new ways to lean into this pattern, as Ani Pema often says.

And what will I lovingly pay attention to this week?

My thought pattern that I need to just get it done, that I will feel more peaceful and safe when it’s done.
Instead, I will pause and resource (shorthand for drawing on, being fed, by into something larger than me, myself, and I) and I will repeat my new mantra “I am resourceful and it’s not all up to me.”

Resource and be resourced.

Ah… I know it’s going to be challenging. I can feel the story trying to morph into some new version that can resnare me. I won’t get caught there because I’m not trying to change myself; simply loving watch my story.

What will you notice?

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Deb Owen Jul 6, 2009

    A retreat with Pema? Awesome!

    And yes! The work I do when pressured is never as good as letting the work evolve and emerge, when I give it the time it needs to be what it really can be.

    As always, you give me great things to notice each week!

    All the best!

  • 2 Hiro Boga Jul 6, 2009

    This week, I will lovingly notice all those precious, small moments life offers me.

    Moments of beauty, kindness, love.

    The approach of wild things when they trust me enough to draw near.

    Moments of sorrow, tiredness, necessary dissolving of what was.

    I will notice the small.

  • 3 Amy Mommaerts Jul 6, 2009

    I’m going to be noticing how happy I am now compared to the last 12 years.

    I’m noticing the moments that the energy wants to shift to art, or work, or to play.

  • 4 sandy Jul 7, 2009

    This is the first week in a long time that I’ve been willing to even *try* to lovingly notice something. I’m going to take a moment to notice how I feel in my body when I delay — for just a little while! — immersing myself in the shadow comfort of reading blogs and other online publications (good things! important things! but shadow comforts nonetheless). This is big for me, though probably just step one.

  • 5 sandy Jul 7, 2009

    A little P.S….I was so busy putting in my little two cents that I forgot to mention how much I relate to the significance thing you’ve been wrestling with, and how much I appreciate you sharing the process with us.

  • 6 Liz Jul 7, 2009

    I love the notion of recognizing resource- from whatever source it springs.
    This week I will lovingly notice where I feel a lack- mostly a lack of time to do all I want/need to do… I will notice the fear and urgency it causes/is caused by, without trying to talk myself out of it or rush through it.
    And then I will notice the resource that always turns up somewhere, somehow.

  • 7 Kat Jul 7, 2009

    I will lovingly notice when I am grounded and when those around me are feeling insecure and ungrounded. I will notice how my energy effects theirs. I work with some very threatened people and I want to see if me being more grounded will help them to relax. Or, me letting their anxiety flow through.

  • 8 Stacey Jul 14, 2009

    Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing your experience with longing for “significance.” I struggle with this problem all the time, and it’s nice to know others do, as well.
    This week I will notice when I/things feel calm and cool and languid. I have the sneaking suspicion I will accomplish what I want more quickly and with less struggle, the more I let the feeling of stretching in the ocean come over me…