The last day has been pretty emotional. I chose not to blog in the midst of it because I’m having trouble sorting out my feelings.
One thing I know for sure…
When we die, it doesn’t matter whether or not you ever lost “the last 10lbs”. Your PRs aren’t printed on your tombstone. You can’t take your Mercedes with you, no one will know if your Louis Vuitton bag was a dud, and I think we’d all hope we’d be remembered for something more powerful than a six pack.
I got the news today that my grandma passed away yesterday. She’s been sick–in and out of the hospital–but no one thought that it would happen so quickly. In some ways, it’s a blessing–not drawn out, not a painful process for her, etc.–but still. It’s hard.
When my mom called me, I was working on my goals for lululemon. I was focused on things like how much weight I want to deadlift by Christmas, what kind of car I want to own, and how much money I want to make in a year. While I’m not going to come right out and say that those things are stupid, their just details.
Are you familiar with the story about the rocks and the sand?
Rocks and Sand
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in
front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large
empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks
about 2″ in diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them
into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course,
rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and
poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this is
your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your
partner, your health, your children – anything that is so important
to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed.
“The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your
house, your car.
“The sand is everything else. The small stuff.
“If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the
pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend
all your energy and time on the small stuff, you will never have
room for the things that are important to you.
“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your
partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean
the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.
“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set
your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
I think you can see the application.
Focusing on what you want is important, but focusing on the big stuff–your values, your relationships, your message to the world–that’s where the real important and rewarding work pays off. I’ll be damned if the most memorable thing I do in my lifetime is to deadlift 300lbs. I’ll also be damned if I don’t do something big and inspirational–leave a legacy.
Considering I’m still in the process of figuring out my why, defining my purpose, all that good stuff, I think this calls for some cheese:
And since I’m just sorting my feelings out, I’m not going to rush into the “I’m awesome, I’m okay, I’m not sad” stage. I am sad. I am still awesome, but I’m upset. I’m not pushing this away.
Please take the time and watch this…
It did it for me.
What she says about needing to be vulnerable to the “bad” feelings–fear, sadness, etc. are the ones I tend to avoid–so that we don’t get so used to numbing ourselves that we also miss out on the good things hit close to home. I have a knack for taking the good things away from shitty situations…and I love that about myself. But right now, I’m sad.
But also the stuff she concludes about what we need to do…
“To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen. To love with our whole hearts even though there’s no guarantee. …To practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror when we’re wondering can I love you this much, can I believe in this so passionately, can I be this fierce about this instead of catastrophizing what might happen…can I say I’m just so grateful because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive? And lastly, to believe that we’re enough…”
If 20 minutes was too intimidating on that video, here’s some more inspiration (can’t take credit for this — someone shared it at work) in about a tenth of the time: