My life is cause for celebration.
I’m serious, my life is incredible at the moment.
- I’m writing as well as I ever have in my career.
- My new book is going very well. I have target date of a first draft by the 4th of July.
- My work here on the Good Men Project is very well received.
- I relocated my life from what I knew to what I don’t know from pure possibility.
- I have plans with a lady friend to visit friends in the Cayman Islands very soon.
- And I’m wearing a waist size in my pants that I haven’t been able to wear since perhaps ninth grade. Health and wellbeing project is on fire!
I’m on a roll. I’m killing the game right now. I’m doing incredible.
And I am absolutely terrified.
I’m scared to death of being happy. It’s like I’m allergic to joy.
I believe that I know why. And no, it’s not empowering. But I need to explain.
The first draft of Written in the Stone was completed in the summer of 2014. I emailed copies to four trusted test readers for feedback, of whom my dad was one. I received great feedback from three of them.
This was also along the time when my dad started getting sick. Way sicker than he let on.
There was an unopened copy of my manuscript sitting in his email inbox on the day he died.
This is what happens. When I start to lean into joy and into the gifts that I’ve created for my life, I run against a brick wall.
The wall goes up because when my life is going great, that’s when I lose people I love.
When my life is going well, people I love die.
Tell me, isn’t that an upbeat way to live my life? I mean, how can I do anything with that boulder tethered to my leg. I’m up, moving around, but I can’t really move. Y’know what I mean?
Thinking logically, I have always taken what life has given me. And life usually treats me like the headmaster of the orphanage treated Oliver in the meal scene from Oliver! after he asks for more food.
The more I think about it – and lord knows I overthink it tremendously – I believe there’s a breakthrough possibility for me.
What does it mean to be present in your own life?
I’m seriously asking, because I don’t know. I don’t know what being present in my life really means.
Okay, before the commenters even ask; even life coaches struggle with things in their lives. Even coaches occasionally don’t know how to distinguish something in themselves that could serve their clients, much less themselves.
Breaking news: coaches are human beings.
Except for that one woman…she might not be human. She’s either a Llama or a Unicorn, I’m not sure which.
Okay, this is not a coaching definition of presence. This is the Ryan Hall definition.
I believe being present means that you live in the only time you’re guaranteed. And the only time you’re ever guaranteed is right now.
You don’t know when your number will be called. You don’t know when you’re going to run out of time.
Being present means that you live your life for the only time you’re ever guaranteed.
There’s rarely been a time when I’ve lived for the now. The now has generally been a big ball of suck. The five years from now, there’s where the action’s at!
This helped me survive high school. It helped me survive college. It helped me get a job.
But I was never happy or satisfied with my life. I was never satisfied with my job. I knew the job I wanted and that the job I had might kinda-sorta help me get there one day, but I didn’t know for sure.
Granted, if I ever saw my dream of being on ESPN come true, I’d probably not have a job today. But I digress…
I’ve approached the last few years of my life with an outlook of never settle. I mean, I have uprooted my life for pure possibility. Because settling = complacent. And complacent = losing. And losing = weakness.
But since I’ve gotten up here, I realize just how terrified I really am. The prevailing topic I have had in coaching sessions recently has been “What’s next?” It’s as if I’m nothing without a big goal to strive toward. A big goal with a big result.
My book: that was a big goal and it had a big result.
Moving to New York: big goal and big result.
Being present and joyful: what the blue hell does that look like? How can I measure it? What’s the result? You can’t hold being in your hands.
If I look at this logically, my dad was already sick when I emailed him my manuscript. I just used that to blame him for stealing what joy I had when he passed. I made it mean that he didn’t care.
I’m going to take some steps to lean into the joy of my life.
My parents have both passed away, but the meaning I put on their passing doesn’t have a damn thing to do with being present in my life.
I’m going to accept the love that people have for me at face value.
I’m going to enjoy my vacation (By the way, E: if you’re reading this, it’s time to nail down some plans!)
As always, I’d love to work with you. Email me at [email protected] and let’s connect on a sample session.
The only thing I owe the world – the only thing any of us owe the world – is to live the best life humanly possible.
The only thing I owe to the legacy of Ann and Tony Hall is to live the most amazing life possible!
Oh, and remember the thing I said about how now is the only time you’re guaranteed? Consider this: being present is a gift. Being present to the gifts in your life right now is your gift to the world.
Dare I say, being present is a present?
Look at that amazing wordplay!