I was showing Bill updates I had made to our new online learning center when I looked at the clock. It was 11:52 and my tap dancing class was starting in eight minutes. "I guess you’re not going to tap class today,” said Bill, noticing my gaze. I nodded, thinking, It's the second week in a row that I’ve missed class because of too much work.
I felt sad.
I’ve been feeling sad a lot lately. I’m discouraged about coaching and not quite sure what my next steps will be after writing and publishing the baby sign language book with Bill. Last month, I nudged my coaching practice to the side to make room for the demands of the book. There wasn’t much to move, really; business has been slow. I’m not sure how my coaching practice will evolve after the big push with the book and not knowing is unsettling for me. I’m a girl who likes to know where she’s going. I like mapping out the steps. I like measuring my progress. I like working hard toward a big, specific goal that lights up my soul.
And I’m doing that … sort of. The book is big. I’m working hard. There are parts of writing the book, and creating and executing the marketing plan for it, that truly light me up. But something is missing and I’m not quite sure what it is.
I’ve been coaching myself, doing the kind of work I’d have a client do if she came to me feeling this same way. So far, I’ve described a few “Ideal Days” in my journal; I’ve started another journal entry where I'm creating a collage of the things that make my essential self feel whole and satisfied; and, every day, I’m finding a little bit of time for what I call Source Material – the activities that feed my soul, like craft projects, spending time with my family, getting outside, and going to dance class.
But here I was, still in my pajamas at nearly noon, hunched over my computer like I was chained to it, ready to miss tap class, yet again.
I thought about what author and Zen priest Karen Maezen Miller had posted earlier in the day on Facebook. Quoting her Zen teacher Maezumi, she wrote, “Act as if.”
Act as if I’m the person who has time for tap dance class on a Tuesday afternoon. Act as if I deserve to fill my life with Source Material goodness. Act as if I know what I want to come next.
I wrapped my hair up in a towel to keep it dry and raced through a shower. I put more product on my hair to hold down the bedhead cowlicks, quickly dressed, grabbed a bottle of water and my tap shoes, and was out the door in less than ten minutes.
The tap dance class was well into the warm ups when I arrived. The room was full – only one last-row spot remained, where I couldn’t myself in the mirror (probably a good thing with my hair looking like it did) and could barely see the teacher at all. But I was in class. And I was dancing. And my soul felt happy, no as if’s about it.
Hugs ~ Kathleen