Emotional Weight

by Mary Ann on August 14, 2010

The mentor in question, Jodie Palmer

Do you know what a mentor is? Simply put, it is someone who is at least a little farther ahead of you in a certain topic. They don’t have to know everything; they’re just a little farther down the path than you. I have noticed that really good mentors usually have mentors. Interesting isn’t it? Those who really know something, realize that they don’t know it all and they get mentors.

I have mentors. Whenever I don’t know how to move forward I call them. They listen to my worries, complaints, fears and some times whining. They help me work things out in my mind and see more clearly, and sometimes they just pull me up short and let me know that I am not doing the required work!

That happened today. I called my mentor because I was feeling some anxiety about what to do next in my business, and whether what I’m doing really mattered or not. My mentor listened and finally said, “Mary Ann, you’ve been avoiding the real work you need to do. The work of thinking and visioning what your life and your life’s work is really all about. You won’t be able to get answers and solutions to these questions you’re asking until you get clear about what it is you really want. It’s a clear and vivid vision of what you want that will be your best guide. ”

Leslie Householder

Leslie Householder, author of The Portal to Genius, says it like this in her School of Life Mastery program, “You don’t stake your claim after you’ve found it, you stake it in your mind right from the get-go.

“It’s like tying a long string to the end of an arrow, and walking up to the target, stabbing it into the center circle, and walking back to where you came from. You’ve identified precisely where you want to end up, and from there, all you have to do is reel yourself in. The string will ensure that you end up in the right place. Whether you go left or right doesn’t matter, because in the long run, as you wind the string up into a ball, the gentle tug of the string tied to the arrow firmly jabbed into the center of the target will keep you moving in the right direction. There could be a hundred people tied to the center of the target, all coming from different directions, and yet they’ll all end up in the same spot because they each had their arrow firmly set into the target.

“This is why it is more important to have the ultimate goal clearly in mind than it is to have a checklist of steps from someone else to follow. The string is like your inner voice. If you begin to go in the wrong direction, the string will tug and you’ll easily be able to make the proper course correction.”

So, the advice from my mentor was to stake my claim. In other words do the work of obtaining a clear and vivid vision of what I really want for my life and my business.

It occurred that that isn’t any different than what I’ve been asking you to do—create a clear and vivid vision of the family and family culture that you want.

So, I thought we could travel this journey together. I’d like to share with you what it feels like, and what I learn as I go through this process. Actually, it’s really helpful for me to publicly commit to doing this work. If you want to make a commitment too, feel free to make your declaration in the comment section below.

The truth is that I had hoped that this vision would just pop into my mind. Secretly, I was avoiding the work of writing and thinking. It just felt so daunting and emotionally heavy in my mind.

I don’t think that I’m unique here. Most of us have very weak thinking muscles. We don’t want to think too much because, darn it, its just hard work. So we avoid it. Then we begin carrying “emotional weight” around. That is the feeling you have when you know there is something you are supposed to do but you resist doing it because it feels too hard or overwhelming.

We use all kinds of excuses to justify the fact that we aren’t doing the thing that we know in our heart we should do, and in fact are supposed to do. We claim that we have no time, we are so busy with all the important other things we have to do. We complain that we don’t have enough creative space to just think and figure it out. We focus on the fact that we have too many children, we have to work outside the home, we are caring for our aged parents, we are so involved with the community, whatever it happens to be for us. Does this sound familiar to you?

So we continue procrastinating and the emotional weight grows heavier and heavier, and we become less and less productive and less and less satisfied with our lives. It’s a horrible waste of energy.

I’m not discounting spontaneous inspiration, because I know that is real. But, the fact is that most of us keep waiting for inspiration to come knocking when actually we just need to get to work and invite inspiration to us through the act of writing and thinking.

Here is the suggestion that I got from my mentor this morning. Be ninety in your mind. Write down what has happened over the years as you have worked with families. What difference has it made? Write down what it feels like helping parents to see their children differently. Write down what it feels like to help families love being together.

So there it is. I have the same work that you have. I have to THINK!

I have asked you to study the information on Family Mission Statements and write one for your family. I have asked you to THINK about what you want in your family culture, what you want to give to your children from your heart.

I have asked you to create a Master Inspire Plan to help you have a road map to accomplish this mission you have of creating a GREAT family culture so that your children can have GREAT lives. I have asked you to THINK about what that would take.

So I am making a commitment to you all to begin writing. I will begin today. I hope you make the same commitment. I will let you know how it is coming along for me and I hope that you will let me know how it works for you. Make a comment here. Come back after you have done some thinking work and comment again. I know that we can all do this!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie August 16, 2010 at 11:25 pm

This summer, I started my family’s Master Plan. I created a family “motto” and covered several sections well. When I got to the last few sections, I lost my steam. Thanks for reminding me that I need to return to it. The biggest one that I haven’t really completed yet is a detailed plan for this year’s schooling.
I’ve been reading your blog and your articles have given me a bunch of great ideas. I have 3 Core age kids. And this week, I’m going to create our Learning Closet and separate the other toys from it. As I have thought about it, the Closet really is essential for the kids to take on their own education by choosing what they play with and, therefore, learn. Now, I need to put that into our Education Plan for this week. Then I actually need to Print my Master Plan and put it in my Binder!


Mary Ann September 30, 2010 at 3:31 am

Dear Angie, I hope that all is going well for you. You are on the right track. Don’t get bogged down thinking you have to do it all now and perfectly. Keep moving ahead and by the end of the year you will have made progress. Let me know how it is coming along. [email protected]


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