I know it’s late – it’s January after all.  Don’t most of these types of “looking back” sentiments come out the last week of December?  Doesn’t matter. I learned a few things recently and in my reflection I realized, I should share….maybe others can learn a few things simply from reading this….or maybe they too will need to experience it.  Or maybe, I just want to write them down.

  1. Don’t buy the wireless.  We recently took the kids to an all-inclusive vacation in Cancun.  It was beautiful.  The weather was perfect, the resort was clean and big and filled with great food and fun – they even had sushi (which was included in the all-inclusive – so think about it – all you can eat sushi!).  The only thing we could really find to complain about was, you had to pay extra for the wireless.  It wasn’t about the money really – it was more about the fact that living without wireless shouldn’t be that hard.  Well, it was. Especially at the beginning.  But guess what?  We did it and it was wonderful.  We were more present with each other….we actually looked at each other and talked.  And we decompressed.  And much to the disbelief of my children, it was all definitely still there when we got home and the wireless was free again.
  2. Stress – it really is all in your head. Because that is where your central nervous system is – in your head.  And I’ve recently learned stress has the ability to screw up your central nervous system in a pretty profound way.  “It’s like you’ve been driving with the parking brake on” was what I was told by my new superhero friend, Dr. Jason Kolber (livinginline.com).  So this year, I’m going to spend some quality time (and money – because duh, it’s worth the investment), on getting that parking brake down. I wonder what is possible if I not only align my heart and spirit, but my mind too.
  3. Mom really does know best – in this case, I’m not talking about my mom, I’m talking about me.  Sometimes as parents we are faced with what feels like impossible decisions…..do we do what is best for our kids in the long run, or what will make them happier today?  What I’ve learned in my 15 years of being a mom is this…it depends.  How will we ever know the impact of either decision unless we do it?  And, in most cases, you can’t do both.  So, here is what I learned – trust your gut.  There is really something to be said for women’s intuition (I can’t speak for whether or not men also have it).  Recently I made a decision that was hard on my son – but he rose to the occasion and it turned out (so far) to have been the absolute right thing to do.  Is there anything more rewarding than that?
  4. Patience is truly a virtue. It’s a lesson for me that has been extremely long in coming, however, once learned is a beautiful thing. Sometimes I just believe that being patient is the lesson itself.  It will happen (whatever it is) – but not until you learn the lesson of patience.
  5. If I was Queen for a Day, I would want a “listening machine” so that I could best understand what was needed in the land. I learned this year (and I know this was a cumulative learning) that I don’t have to have all the answers.  And, when in fact I think I do, I should reevaluate. Instead, I need to be able to ask all the right questions and then listen closely for the wisdom in the answers. Fortunately for me, there is Waggl (www.waggl.it).  Now, I can actually be queen for the day!
  6. The Teacher Appears when the Student is ready. I can’t say I’m just learning this now.  I actually have been learning this one for a long time.  However, recently I’ve learned it again. And again. And, frankly, again.  It seems the people that have been coming into my life in the last six months have been coming there because I’ve finally be ready to receive them – to meet them, listen to them, help them and have them help me.  Don’t get me wrong – I believe that I have been extra blessed when it comes to surrounding myself with amazing teachers.  I think when the universe was handing out the teachers, I got in the line several times….but it continues to amaze me when the perfect people appear at EXACTLY the right time.
  7. Why yell when you can whisper?  This is a new one.  And it was said to me so beautifully, so casually, as though everyone just knew this.  Dr. Elissa Katz (livinginline.com) said this to me only a few days ago and it’s hasn’t stopped vibrating in my mind.  Of course!!!  Why yell, when you can whisper?  If I have to say it, and write it a million times to be able to do it, that’s what I’m going to try to do this year…..whisper instead of yell.  I love it.
  8. Gratitude actually changes your brain chemistry. Did you know this? I’ve heard this one a few times myself.  Try it.  I dare you.  Spend a few minutes – even one minute, each day being grateful and see what happens.  Better yet, share your gratitude – tell someone you are grateful for them and change the brain chemistry of two people. I don’t know much about chemistry, or brain chemistry….but I learned this, and I’m so grateful.
  9. Karma is real. I mean it. But only if you are doing good because you want to do good – not because you expect anything in return.  You get what you give, you get back what you put out….call it what you will.  There is really something to be said for this “energy” thing.

10. I know how to fly an airplane. This is a new one – something that Randall Stutman (crainc.com) explained to me this morning at a meeting when we were talking about confidence.  Here’s how he said it…. “look, he said, “I know how to fly an airplane.  I know how to take off, how to fly it, and how to land.  You might not think I know how to do it, but I do.  I’ve done it a thousand times.  So, if you tell me I don’t know how to fly an airplane, I really don’t care.  It doesn’t shake my confidence.  Because the fact is, I know how to fly an airplane”.  Of course, for me that’s a metaphor.  I don’t know how to fly an airplane, but I am certain that I know how to do a lot of other things.

I guess the point is, I’ve learned some pretty big things this year, and I’m sure that trend will continue.  The goal is to continue to apply what I’ve learned, share it with others and be open to the lessons that come along with it.