If you’ve been considering Year of Inquiry, today’s the best day to join.
Because then, you’ll be a part of Orientation tomorrow, and the first calls next week (we start Tuesday morning, Sept 6th).
An amazing group of 22 people from all over the place–Canada, Norway, Lebanon, England, Florida and every time zone of the US.
Now, I’m not trying to be Doreen Downer….
….but some of these people may have sudden urges to quit, and they might do it.
Which is why I give people two months to be a part of it, and withdraw by November 1st if they choose.
This is the fifth time I’m offering this program, and here’s the funny thing about my own mind, when it comes to the shuffling that happens at the beginning of gathering together a group.
I finally am aware that I know nothing about who will stick around, who will plunge in and participate whole-heartedly for the entire year, who will get scared about something they’re looking at and decide….”maybe not right now, after all.”
Some people may even be ghosts for awhile, then return with renewed energy.
Some may think “that’s enough of answering questions and looking at my thinking!!!” and then come back to looking only a week later.
Everyone has their own pace, their own process, their own journey and I know and trust, it’s just right for them.
I wasn’t like this the first year initially.
OK, fine, or the second.
If someone signed up, participated for the first week or first month, then disappeared or wrote and said “I won’t be doing the program” I would have this disappointed feeling in my gut.
It was the same if I asked my daughter “Hey…do you want to go to this movie with me?” and she said “I would never want to see that movie, are you kidding?!” (She was excellent for not just a simple “no” but a really blunt you-shouldn’t-have-even-asked-me-that “no”).
I would respect their decision of course, and I’d always write “what made you decide not to continue?”
I’d cross my fingers that I’d get a really good, long answer so I could work on improving or changing or learning something about what did not work.
Which is great to get honest feedback of course (awesome, in fact)….
….but that underlying gut disappointment was not exactly thrillingly pleasant.
I knew to do The Work.
I was reminded of all this the other day when six people joined, but two withdrew before we’re even beginning the year. My focus went to the withdrawals.
One had more explanation than the other, and it made so much sense around scheduling conflicts. The other, almost no explanation.
(And there never needs to be any explanation, by the way).
But people come to me all the time to do The Work with huge anxiety and grief around someone breaking up with them, someone expressing the need for change in a relationship, and making the change.
Huge stress follows the words “I’m out” or “I’m leaving” or “it’s over”.
This person should not withdraw. They shouldn’t leave. They shouldn’t break up with me. They should stay.
Is it true?
Wow. What a question. It seems like it’s true. All the love songs are about the disappointment of people parting ways, or not living up to what is desired. Sadness. Anger. Rage. You done me wrong! This is not good!
But is this absolutely true, that no one should ever break up with me, or say “no” to spending time with me, or “no” to a social event I’ve invited them to, or “no” to a program I’m offering?
Is it absolutely true that it’s sad, if someone does?
That would, in fact, be weird if it was absolutely true. I’d be tied like a ball and chain or some strange “rule” to others, and they to me. What I notice about reality is life morphs and changes, interests move, curiosity opens doors, the future is unknown, the past is full of learning.
How could it ever be true for me that someone should “stay”? Whatever “staying” is.
How do you react when you believe someone should stick around, or not say “no”?
Upset. Worried. Anxious.
Seeing visions of EVERYONE doing it. If it starts with this one person, it will increase explonentially.
(I love how the mind does that multiplication thing about the future….let’s 10x the future vision! It’ll be MUCH WORSE!)
But who would you be without this story? What if you couldn’t even have the thought enter your mind and heart that someone shouldn’t say “no” or that people should stay put, or that no changes should ever ensue in relationships?
Amazing idea, right?
And so very exciting.
What if it was The Way of It that people come and go. Reality.
I notice we all get born, and we all die. We’re only here temporarily. Why do we wish, sometimes, for permanence? Guarantees? Certainty? It doesn’t exist.
Without the belief that it should….wow the freedom.
I trust. I let go. I notice I never leave myself, which is very exciting to notice. Something is always here.
Without the belief other people should stick around, I get to notice the thing that DOES stick around….no matter how mysterious. The thing that notices All This. Presence. Nowness. The air in the room, the chair underneath, the fingers moving to make words and express.
The wonder of “here”. This isn’t “nothingness”.
Turning the thoughts around: They should go, when they do. They should withdraw, they should leave. They should break up with me. They shouldn’t stay.
I can’t even begin to list the advantages I’ve discovered when people have left. Even if it’s that I get to do whatever I want on a Friday night with zero consultation. No more dealing with what the other person wants. No more trying to help someone else.
Nothing left to focus my attention on, outside of myself. Left with the fire of neediness or disappointment, I could do The Work.
I shouldn’t go away from myself. I shouldn’t withdraw from me. I shouldn’t leave THEM, or myself. I shouldn’t break up with them, with myself. I should stay with them (no matter where their body is). I should stay with myself.
I’ve noticed, when someone withdrew, or abandoned, or left….whatever I want to call them being gone….I would forget myself. I would not be enjoying my own company.
I should stop doing that!
I could notice what was magnificent about having this moment all to myself, to enjoy the world around me, whatever was there. Long ago when I was in the midst of divorce, I did this work and found how incredible it was to play the piano again, all by myself, and read….all weekend long. My favorite!
And I should trust and enjoy the movement of that person’s life over there. That’s how I can not leave them. I can support them doing what they need to do, with respect. I can trust the greater universe, this reality, and the friendliness of it all, and that I have NO IDEA what the future will bring.
It’s never been 10x of the worst moment ever, and everyone ditching me.
It’s been the opposite. New people come along. I am cared for and loved.
P.S. Thanks dad, for going when you did, so many years ago. Your departure helped me stand on my own two feet, and find out I could not only survive, but thrive. And thanks for Not Leaving in my mind and heart. I talk to you almost every day. You might not be here in form, but you’re here.
P.P.S. Learn about these last few hours of joining Year of Inquiry before our Orientation tomorrow by visiting here.