Did you hear? I started a club. EVERYONE’S ALLOWED. Do kids still do that?
This week we had our first official meeting of “Joy Club.” Twice a month, a bunch of amazing ladies from my neighborhood (and across town) are getting together to learn about thought work and how to direct our thoughts to get the results we want in our lives and our relationships and our work.
And I know one thing for sure: I got the name right.
Because it was sheer joy to teach. When David asked, “How did it go?” I said, “Well, I don’t know about everybody else, but I thought it was amazing.” Which was a first for me. I never give myself good reviews. Notoriously stingy with self-praise, over my lifetime I’ve given loads of bad reviews, my share of scathing reviews, and I’ve even managed a mixed review once or twice, so I dare say, this one bordered on a “rave review.”
To be fair, my expectations were low going in. I woke up on Tuesday morning with sweaty palms and a stomach that had bottomed out. I was nervous. I asked myself, “Why am I doing this? It’s totally unnecessary. Why make your life harder? You wouldn’t have to be nervous at all right now…this was totally optional.”
My nerves quickly turned into recrimination and despair. This is going to be terrible. What what I thinking? I’m totally unprepared. How can I possibly help anyone? Did you forget you’re a mess yourself? (Don’t worry, I never forget this.)
My brain is like, so helpful at times like these. Thanks, brain.
My brain was just doing its job, selling me the front cover of a magazine that was all about how I was going to teach this class and how I was probably going to die. But the thing is, I don’t have to buy it. I don’t ever have to buy what my brain is selling me.
And so I thanked my brain for doing it’s job and then I coached myself instead.
I told myself I was totally prepared. I had been studying for six months. I told myself that it was going to be amazing. Because I had the model. I had all the tools, and I don’t have to be perfect because the model is perfect. The model always works. No matter what. It didn’t matter that my workbooks didn’t arrive or that I had never coached anyone that wasn’t related to me, or that this was the first time I’d ever tried to teach what I have been learning. None of it mattered because I managed my brain.
And it was amazing! Like really amazing and at the end we had sugar cookies with thick pink icing. See? It’s a really good club.
Late that night, as I lay in bed grinning in the dark, hopped up on adrenaline and frosting, I thought about it all again. It wasn’t perfect. I could see where I could have explained this better or helped someone see that differently. But, remarkably, it was still amazing. It was exactly as it should have been. And where normally I would have spiraled into self-loathing and mental flagellation, I saw the things I can improve from a place of joy and appreciation and wonder at what I had done anyway.
And that’s what I mean by amazing. If only for me—to see the peace and progress that is available to me, to see the work I’ve been learning work in a real way in my own life. It was amazing because I thought it was amazing. What? You mean I’m the only limiting, determining factor in all of it?
Kinda makes you wonder what else is possible, doesn’t it?