Circle time

I suppose every action we take is one of two things: a tradition or a moment.

I sat in circle time this morning. For the last time. Sebastian is graduating from preschool today at 6pm. Silverspot has been home to us for almost 3 years.

One of the mom’s looked at me during the circle time. A look. I started sobbing. Calvin, 3, leaned against me and just cuddled me. Moms across the room nodded and held my gaze.  Sebastian sat on my lap holding my hands really tight.

Sebastian. Well, that was interesting. From the moment he was born he has not really ‘needed’ me. When we go into a new environment, he has always just said, “bye mom.”

Today. He wouldn’t let me leave. “Momma Play.” So I played. “Momma, circle time.” So I circled timed. He cried and clung to me in ways he has never done. Talking to me in a baby talk he hasn’t used since he began talking in sentences. Which was about 3 days after he learned to say “dah-dah” and roar like a lion.

I guess the time just passed by like a Brisbane night wind. We had all this tradition. Making lunch, walking down the hill, the cubbies, the art.. all this… tradition.

We are both a little unnerved I think. Regressing back to the time he was a baby. He sat on my lap and leaned back and asked me to hold him like a baby. I teared up.  He spoke in one-word sentences.  I cooed.  He wouldn’t let me leave.

Then he went to sit on the couch and read a book by himself. He wouldn’t say goodbye. Wouldn’t look at me. Just read a book.

I walked away. Mom’s grabbing me on the hand as I walked out. “I’ll see you tonight.”

I wonder why it is always at the end of things that we realize the true impact of them. When we are in it, the clock gets in our way, we hurry.. we rush… we blur.

I arrived home unable to work today. So, I moved a bookcase, packed up for our graduation trip and, well, cried a lot.

I painted IN IT behind the bookcase before I screwed it to the wall.

I’ll miss that preschool.   I’m excited to find Sebastian’s favorite toy mouse behind the bookcase.. missing for the last two years.    Along with a Lego head and the picture of some intestines.  Oh the pieces of our life that get lost in the nooks and crannies.

I’m a lucky girl.  Sad today, a bit snotty, and lucky.

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Mom your business

My sister is brilliant. Really. She says stuff casually.. sort of under her breath at times.   It often changes my life abruptly and in such a great way.   She does things that just do not show up on a bio- that matter so much to the world and others.  I admire her.

A few months ago she dropped a whammy that I’ve been practicing the past few months. It has been, um, profound and simple in execution.

She said that what she and Jay taught the girls (she has 3: 21, 23 and 26)… about boys.. is..this  “Do not listen to what they SAY… watch how they act. People tell you a lot by how they act.  Words are easy – behavior is transparent.”

It is really kind of cool.  I started listening more to actions rather than the words of those around me.  Trying to do so without judging them.  Just noticing how we say things and we don’t always match up our words and our actions.  Not judging them because, of course, I realized I am not syncing up either.  In my business I do this thing called “somatic linguistics” that intersects words, physiology, group dynamic etc…  Switching to separating words from behavior has been interesting.

And, humans do this a lot.  Act differently than what we say.  I started noticing the incongruence with what I said to people and what my actions showed. It slowed me down a bit. Made me self reflective in a good way.

I realized I say I want to reduce “Us and Them” in our culture and yet my actions do not always show it.  I’m not doing the tough important stuff to grow my business to truly make that happen.  I’m skating a little at times.  (Not a reference to the Roller Disco, I mean skating in a not so good way.)  Not enough focus.

I’m easily distracted because I like people and all too often do more than I should to please them.  My behavior is not matching what I teach.   I am easily distracted from what I know I need to do because I am incessantly curious and want to learn every second of every day.  Kind of lags execution a little.  Excuses excuses.

I am not often curious in my own life.  I teach curiosity and I ignore it too.

To wit:  I get a lot of e-mails about my blog.  It is neat.  I like that.  I look forward to comments and emails.  A friend from Cleveland asked me recently if this was a business blog or a personal blog.  He couldn’t tell and thought maybe I should make it clear or something. (It was a loving e-mail, not snotty at all.)  He asked me why I would do a business blog that distracts prospects by talking about my child.

I thought about it well past the dial tone.  I am thankful for the distraction.  It is another version of my US and THEM.  There is the US (business) people and the THEM (friendship) people and the lines are often blurred.  By being both in this blog I suppose I am only pleasing one person – me.  and… the real purpose behind the blog that I suppose needs to be said.  Just in case you are reading this thinking it is about my work.

I created this blog for my son.

Right after he was born I had all these crazy nightmares about ..oh crap.. I can’t even write what they were about.   Too scary.  I had nightmares about me leaving the planet.  How would Sebastian know who I am and how much I want him to never let the accidents of life dictate how much happiness he can glean from it.  That we don’t always get our preferences and if the story is still sad, it isn’t over yet.  (My sister told me the part after the comma.)

I created this blog so my son would know who I am- who his mom is.   Just in case something happened to me.  So that the silly videos of me with him as a child had more depth into who I am as a person.  What I think and how I am in the world.  Not just a mommy blog about him – a blog about all of me, my warts and the things I see.    I tie it to business at times because it just makes sense to me and, well, it often ties to what I do for a living.  I tie it to parenting sometimes because, well, it often ties to what I live for.  Sebastian.

“Who of us is mature enough for offspring before the offspring themselves arrive?  The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.” = Peter de Vries

I suppose if I think about it, parenthood is also making me a better entrepreneur too. ( I’m just wish the team around me would ask why as many times as Sebastian does.  Seriously, that boy can ask why 17 times without even blinking.   His desire for a deeper dive is incessant.  Most of us in business need to answer the why questions that aren’t being asked.  We need people around us to fight us on the unimportant things we want to distract the business with.)

So.  Back to behavior and actions.  I am naturally curious.  I say that.  I’m not sure my behavior this year shows it.  So, there you go Sebastian.  Your mom moments before her midlife crisis.  A friend of mine today said I am not having a midlife crisis, I am having a “medically induced” crisis.  If you don’t know me, you have no idea what the heck I am talking about.  Sorry, this blog, after all,  isn’t actually for you unless you are 4 and my son.

The realization that I am  just like my parents and their parents and Sebastian if you are reading this 30 years from now, YOU as a parent.  Life’s little incongruencies… the ways human behavior just doesn’t make sense at times.  I’ll keep trying….

(and blogs that do not end with a well-thought-out-bow-tied-around-it that makes it all make sense.  THAT is your mom, son.)

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Off the platform

Tony Robbins was cool in the 80’s.  He did something sorta new and accessible.   Since him there have been TONS of platform speakers who create 1-minute rolls of themselves and what they can give an audience.  I know a lot of them- they are cool people.

A sugar high.  Often we leave events with a sugar high that doesn’t turn to action.  Most of us know this.

If you do presenting and get hired to do it – look at your ‘roll’.   Is it sexy?  Edited?  Does it show you looking away off in the distance and then turning and looking at the camera like the dramatic squirrel?   Does it show you jumping around on the stage doing your thing?  With perfectly fonted words and action… have you counted how many raised fists, raised hands or exclamation points in the videos?

Here is a tip:  platform speakers are losing their luster a wee bit in our culture.  There is a lot of them.  You are not one of them.  You have an interesting thing to say that only you know how to say.  Performance reduces listening and your ability to, well, um, communicate.

At your next event, hand out some Flip Cameras.  Ask a few people you do not know to film their interpretation of the event.  To film the audience (not just you).   Tell them after you upload the images they can have the camera.  Don’t ask them to INTERVIEW people – just film the event as it is going on and maybe talk to people after.

The view from back stage OUT is more interesting than the view your camera peeps create.. than the view from the audience IN.

The intimacy of the experience of the audience – now that is interesting.    The cheese ball antics leave most of us cold.  It isn’t you anyway- it is some prettied up version that you don’t want to be.

In the Flip camera rolls you will see the stuff that isn’t working… that isn’t you… that you can fix.   In the Flip Camera you will find the odd moments that you didn’t even realize is the beauty of what you are REALLY doing.  What wasn’t planned.  The real stuff that copywriters would have a hard time capturing.  The real you is SO much more interesting than anything you can make up….

Have a glass of wine handy though.. parts of it won’t be pretty….

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Go.  Really.  Stop what you are doing, call them, make a reservation and go.

The best (exponent 10) massage I have ever had.  I filled the woman in on my neurological episode and she did the most soothing work on me.  Go with a partner.. romantic as heck… yummy yummy.

Staying there is a wee bit pricey… instead drive a few miles south on hwy 1 and you’ll find these super cute cabins looking out over the ocean in Lucia.   Big deck chairs, crashing surf, sunset YUM.   Gorge yourself in their restaurant and stumble back to the cabin.    Beach access is a little tricky but possible.

Are you still reading…  make the reservation.  blah blah blah

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