This post can only begin with a confession. Two confessions, actually.
Confession # 1 - This little gem is paraphrased from an article in Southern Living magazine. Mom became a subscriber when the magazine launched in 1966 and I'm still a dedicated reader, trusting its recipes for food, design, and life. The magazine lives on my breakfast table, ready to keep me company during quiet meals.
Confession # 2 - Enlightenment, inspiration, motivation, answers to life's Big Questions, and ideas for blog posts often come from seemingly random sources, and often in response to something that is stumping me personally. Reading and writing are my go-to methods for chasing curiosities or sorting out anything troubling, confusing, or baffling, and this post is a stellar example because......
There I was, having a bite of lunch, noodling over what it means to be both vulnerable and safe, and reading Southern Living when this story jumped off the page and took on huge significance way beyond the article's intended purpose.
The inspiring article is about creating a successful supper club, but the secrets feel like secrets to successful life, love, and business. So I've taken poetic license, tweaked here and there, and offer it to you as a little Monday Morning Gift.
# 1 Show up, time after time.
The key is to remain committed and participate regularly. In life, love, and business, the first step is showing up. The second step is actively participating regularly and consistently.
# 2 Agree upon (and then meet) expectations.
Life, love and business need house rules. We choose our tribes and co-create our house rules. Once created, see Secret #1.
# 3 Don't overdo it or under-deliver.
Be real. Be raw. Be direct. Trying to look too perfect is just another name for showing off, causing intimidation and envy, pushing people away. (This is a particularly difficult one for me. I don't like to air my dirty laundry or sound like Negative Nelly.) On the flip side, slacking off creates resentment. HOWEVER, do not mistake self care for slacking off. They are are NOT the same. See Secret #4.
# 4 Don't cancel. Don't quit. Life happens.
When thing take a turn towards crazy (and it's life so they will from time to time), speak up. Let others step in. There's always someone happy to help - if they only know it's welcome. Don't skip or cancel. Punt! Miss Manners is famous for a hosting a dinner party where the meal was disastrously ruined. Instead of canceling, she fessed up, ordered fast food, and served it on her pretty plates, though she was quick to say paper plates would have been just fine.
# 5 Embrace the theme.
Themes provide a focal point, structure, and a springboard for creativity. We do it in our dinner party planning or our wardrobe planning, so why not in our life planning? The theme of Soulmate Dance is "love" and its stealth mission is to teach ME how to be more loving in all of my relationships, and that's not just limited to people. We have a relationship with our health choices, our makeup choices, our clothing choices, our food choices, our business choices. ALL of life is about our relationships with every single tiny little aspect. The more loving (and forgiving) our relationships are with everything, the more successful and happy our life will be.
# 6 Choose members wisely.
Choosing our tribes is an opportunity to pick our own second family. Instead of hanging on to people who don't get it (or worse, don't get US), set them free to go find their own tribe, one that's a better fit for them. And free up space in our lives for people who are able to love and support us instead of trying to twist us to their own needs and purposes.
# 7 Have fun. Relax.
Our life "supper club" should feel like a respite, a safe haven, from our hectic life. Success in life, love, and business should not feel like an onerous, burdensome task. If it does, that's probably a signal that we are out of the flow somewhere in some way. The short cut is to relax, have a bit of fun, stop pushing so hard. That is NOT the same as quitting (see Secret #3). Instead, we stop struggling to swim upstream. We stop fighting against the current since that never works anyway. We rest until we can once again feel the gentle flow of alignment doing our heavy lifting for us.
Whew! I needed this reminder today and hope it speaks to you, too.
Image credit: Nick Youngson - http://nyphotographic.com/