Updated: Sep 21, 2020
I so fondly remember as a kid, the frenzy of excitement on Christmas Eve as mom tried to get my sister and I to go to sleep. The recurring threat of “Santa can’t come if you’re awake” was ever present and it certainly got our attention! In hindsight, for my mom, it was a way more daunting task to get us to bed on that night, more than any other.
By bedtime we would have been to at least one church service – yes that is right – at least one (my father was an Anglican priest), we would have gotten together with all the aunts, uncles, cousins, and we would have consumed copious amount of sugar loaded treats! I don’t know how mom ever did it! We would wake up early Christmas morning and run down to the tree to unpack our “stockings” AND then we had to STOP and wait! Dad always had a Christmas morning church service to officiate and so we sat for what seemed a lifetime for him to get home mid-morning, so that we could then finally open our presents.
The opportunity of those wrapped packages held felt too much to bear! When he finally arrived home, we revelled in the unadulterated, pure joy of tearing packages open to see what was there for us. I cherish such powerful memories of being fuelled by the anticipation of the unknown. What did Santa bring me, did he get my letter, I wonder which of the things I asked him for he actually brought me????
This is the time of year where my thoughts turn to what lies ahead for 2018. Much like those Christmases as a kid, I am filled with excitement for what is ahead. However, I came to the realization this week that there is one very significant difference for me as an adult. The greatest joy of my childhood Christmases came from NOT KNOWING and being filled with joy and surprise as to what was in every single package – opening them one by one. As an adult, I have lost my ability to sit in the unknown and it is really showing up for me in the way I am thinking about my 2018. I am trying to plan every detail – what I will do, when, how, and with whom.
What will be the barriers? What will be my contingency plans? Etc., etc., etc…… I am realizing this approach is robbing me of that pure joy that comes with the unexpected and wonderful surprises. The more detail I plan for and the more rigid I am, the less room I have to be present and responsive to what shows up that I have no idea about right now. My planning is being driven, in large part, by my obsession to control!
I know I need to do some planning for next year – the challenge I am wrestling with is what do I need to plan and what don’t I? The business planning paradigm which is so imprinted in my head after 30 years in the “corporate” world is a hard one to break. But it doesn’t work for me anymore – part of my planning needs to include how I live my purpose and who am I being in every aspect of my life – not just my business.
So, I don’t know the answers, but I am in the midst of an experiment. There is lots I don’t know about this yet, but here is what I do know about 2018. I am going to stand in my values in purpose. I am going to look at every opportunity through the lens of being in service to the person/organization, and to my calling. I don’t know ALL the answers as to how it will all unfold (that is very uncomfortable) AND I am going to use the support of my coach to learn to be ok with the “not knowing” because I “DO KNOW” that there is huge potential and joy in creating space for what will show up, what will emerge, in the moment.
As you think about 2018, what are your intentions and dreams, your seemingly impossible future, your purpose? Are you creating space for the emerging or are you so “planned”; there is no space for the joy that comes from not knowing RIGHT NOW? How can you honor yourself and others in all this?
I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a 2018 that is filled with purpose, joy, and SURPRISES!