Yesterday’s connection task was Basic graduation. It brought up several things for me.
-My cosmic connection to Michelle, my Basic coach. That woman pushed me so hard to hire a divorce attorney that I lost it with her (and wrote her off) during our last call together. I screamed at her, angrily hung up, then didn’t speak to her for the next 8 months. But, I hired the attorney.
Jimmy was describing Rocco to me last night as the best captain he’s ever had. “Every coach wants you to get what you want — but Rocco actually stood for what I wanted,” he told me. That was Michelle. Never in my life — and honestly, aside from Jimmy, never since — has anyone risked and put themselves out there to the extent she did for me. Frankly, I wasn’t committed to my goal of being free of my past marriage. I was too afraid, and too committed still to stagnation and misery. Didn’t matter; Michelle was committed enough for the both of us, and me and my ego and my temper and my inner “survivor” were merely obstacles for a result she was 100% determined to get (on my behalf). It’s honestly too much to ask of someone, and too much to expect of anyone–but when you get it, boy is it transformative. When I ran into her at feast 8 months later, I restored integrity with her and told her what a dramatic impact she had had. Hiring the attorney was the one domino I had to topple over for the rest to fall (which was crystal clear to her and why she pushed so hard). When my wedding rolled around, I had to have her there. It was critically important to me that she not only saw, but experienced, her results. I even had her do one of the readings during our ceremony. Her husband couldn’t come to our wedding, so she brought her friend Barbara instead–a dear friend of hers she’d been trying to enroll in Basic for years. Michelle told me soon after the wedding that Barbara had finally enrolled–because of the magical experience she’d had at our wedding. But the full-circle cosmic connection doesn’t end there. Her daughter did Basic this past weekend. She was in Jimmy’s small group. When Michelle saw me at graduation, she ran up to me and said that her daughter had fallen in love with Jimmy. She said her daughter couldn’t stop talking about him. He had changed her life. Sometimes you end up having a coach that is THE difference, she said — I agreed. For me, it was her. For her daughter, it was Jimmy. Add to that that her daughter is a writer, and she’s been writing a science fiction book with a main character named KYLA. Whaaaat? My brain is still processing all of it.
-Jimmy’s incredible. I know that, of course. I’m the last person who’s going to underestimate him. I knew he was unnaturally gifted within the first 30 seconds of experiencing him in our Advanced class, and I’ve done nothing but support him in pursuing those gifts ever since. But, you know how when you’re married to someone, you sometimes forget just how amazing they are? Well about 25 people reminded me last night. He’s amazing, he’s a gem, of course you married him, he has a huge impact, he fills the room with his being, he changed my life, he changed my life, he changed my life. Damn. I hit the jackpot of husbands. Then KEN was trying to ABDUCT him for Advanced. Which I totally would be on board for, don’t get me wrong, as hard as it is to be without him I know I’ve got to share his gifts (although I do kind of like hoarding them for myself) — but he’s got an important trip (for him!) to Orlando that week that cannot be moved. They may yet work something out though. On the other side of this, though, I am a stand for Jimmy being paid for what he does. We’re not talking about a novice coach, or someone who is doing it for fun, or someone who just wants to be in the room and give back and support people, or someone who does it off and on, or someone who thinks he should be a coach but hasn’t really impacted anyone in a major way yet. Yes, he wants to support people, but his aim goes far beyond support; he’s spent 12 years coaching, and bettering himself as a coach, and it shows (see his weekly paragraphs-long “you changed my life” messages). We’re talking about someone who is unnaturally talented and skilled at this. Jimmy IS coaching. You might find a coach who’s better at selling themselves–you will not find a better coach, though. I’m biased, sure, but, seriously, yeah – to echo several folks’ “now we get it”-like comments last night, that IS a reason why I married him. I know exceptional when I see (and experience) it. In the past I have been a bit “anti-staffing” when it comes to him. The man’s given it away consistently for 12 years–his pro bono quota has been reached. But what I got last night was his staffing doesn’t take away from anything. He hopped on several calls with paying clients today, he felt great and in his element after the weekend, and came home with about a million new ideas for his business. I appreciate too that another great result of staffing is that his amazing gifts don’t stay a secret. He’s working on, and getting better at, sales. But in the meantime, I do appreciate the “buzz” his staffing creates in the community. And yes, the lives he changes, blah blah (look that’s for him to focus on, my focus is taking care of him). So I’m working on shifting out of scarcity when it comes to Jimmy’s amazingness, is what this comes down to. And I know he knows now more than ever what he’s worth; no one is going to make him feel like his prices are too high or like he should “feel bad” for what he’s charging anymore. I can tone down my lioness protection (rawr).
-Now for the buzzkill moment. The graduation made me think about my limits. Not just think about them, but feel them, like (literally) the walls of a box. Maybe it was seeing the shining possibility in the graduates’ eyes despite myself not feeling any possibility in that moment–maybe it was because despite being a hermit for days I still didn’t much want to be around anyone–maybe it was because it was a reminder of how ineffective I feel when I staff. I have a problem with being hard on myself, and I know I often fail to perceive my own progress. But, I couldn’t shake the momentary vision of me randomly screaming out: “Lies! It’s all lies! You guys may feel all drunk on possibility right now, but, it’s the same shitty world outside. It broke you before, it will break you again. But, please, carry on enjoying your tears and hugs and ‘I love yous’.” Cynical, right? And a little funny (to me, but I’m pretty much constantly imagining what would make a good snarky SNL skit). It’s not how I generally feel, but it’s how I felt in that moment, during the weepy, heart-warming graduation. Sac-religious! Don’t get me wrong, I was moved in several moments by what folks said to their loved ones and so proud of Jimmy–but those feelings were punctuated by cynicism and frustration. It comes down to this, really: I’m angry I haven’t had the breakthrough I want with writing. Angry, bitter, resentful, as if it’s someone else’s fault. And then the fact that that’s how I have it even though I SO know better (victim v. responsible, hello) is incredibly discouraging.
To end on a positive note, I don’t like being apart from Jimmy, but missing him sure is fun. We were like a couple of teenagers last night. We got pancakes on the way home, enjoyed an intimate evening, and then stayed up excitedly talking far too late. I guess I give into scarcity about my relationship sometimes, too. My friend Richard (married to his AMAZING wife Rosemary for like 40 years) told me you’ve got be willing to grow apart. Not grow apart, but be WILLING to grow apart, and not really grow apart, but: grow, apart. And I get the value in that; we get to rediscover each other when that happens, and because of what we’ve built, those moments end up being even more intoxicating than they were when we were discovering each other for the first time. So I get to let go, and trust that we can grow, apart — without growing apart. Yes that may mean less time together, in terms of quantity, but, there’s something to be said for quality.
And before I sign off, a quick shout out to Josh for a fun night out Saturday. It single-handedly saved me from being a full hermit this weekend and it felt great to see everyone. I appreciated, too, getting to ride partway home with Scott on the N train and having a chance to reconnect and catch up. As hard as it is sometimes for me to motivate myself to connect, I usually end up feeling comforted, happy and energized when I do. It’s possible I’m not as introverted as I think.
Okay that’s it. Connection task for today: ALIs.