We set summer goals with the children a few months back. They chose 25 things from a list of maybe 100. Things like learn to set up and tent and start a fire, give 50 different compliments to 50 different people, hike three letter-hikes, etc. And, as a reward for finishing, we promised to take them to a local creamery called Leatherby’s.

And when they got close last weekend, we set a dead-line for finishing their goals and going out for ice cream. But, the night before, we found out that one of the children hadn’t reached one of the goals. After talking it through, we decided to move the deadline. And after I told the children as much, Julia was so confused: “Why do we need to move a dead lion?”

I just love being a mom!

Let’s look at today’s podcast from Brooke Castillo. Most of us want to be different than what we are right now.

“I want to change that. I want to teach you the value of enjoying yourself and your life right now. I want you to learn to wake up in the morning and be excited that you get to be who you are right now. I want you to be able to get a kick out of yourself in this moment, just because it’s an amazing experience to be alive.”

I thought this perfect for FRIDAY HEALTH AND FITNESS. What if we can enjoy who we are right now without changing anything about who we are? How would that motivate us to take care of ourselves and our bodies better, rather than coming from a place of hate and frustration and resistance and wishing we were different than who we are, right?

I love where Brooke starts:

“The easiest trick I have found to do this is to remember that I didn’t create myself. I was created. It’s not my place to judge the creation. It’s my place to marvel at it, enjoy it. There’s never been a human made exactly like me. I wonder why not.

It’s important that I’m exactly the way I am and that my life is exactly the way it is. It is for me and for the world.”

We all have the same problem. We all have an idea of how we are supposed to be, how our lives are supposed to be. I should be more patient. I should have more money. Remember the exercise yesterday, listing all the things our friend or our husband or our mom is supposed to be?

“It’s really good for you to see it all written down – what your expectations are, and then to look at the reality of what is and notice the discrepancy. What we do is we blame them for creating the discrepancy. We create the manual that we want them to follow, and then when they don’t meet up to that manual, we get angry and upset and are disappointed that they’re not fulfilling that…”

Really really good thoughtwork yesterday. It opened my eyes to where I had created my own grief in expecting someone or something to be what it isn’t, and resisting was IS.

Now, do we ever do that to ourselves? Can we make a list like this for ourselves? Do we have a manual for ourselves? Do we feel the discrepancy between what we think we are supposed to be and what simply IS?

“We spend a lot of time upset that our life isn’t matching up with the version in our heads. I watch it happen consistently with my clients. They have an image in their mind of how their parents should have raised them and how their body should and how their spouse should treat them and how everything is ruined…

We’re going to dive into this and it will blow your mind. You will see how many of these beliefs you have argue with the reality of how life really IS. You will see how this makes you feel off and wrong, when everything is really EXACTLY RIGHT.”

Let’s start with this: Life is always always going to be 50/50. 50% positive and 50% negative. And that 50/50 will change as we get older or as circumstances change. But it’s still 50/50. When we lived in NYC, we had incredible food and incredible entertainment, we were able to expose our children to different cultures and different ideas. We loved it. But the environment in the schools made me feel really uncomfortable. And the size of the apartment and the cost of the apartment was hard on our family. It was a 50/50 experience. And when we moved to Utah, it was still 50/50. Sure, we had more space for less money – way less money, let me tell you – but the children didn’t relate to the children here as well as they related to their friends in NYC. And I had to kind of reconsider who I was and what my value was in this new environment. 50/50, right? The other night, I couldn’t sleep. My daughter has had a hard time making friends. And I’ve a hard time thinking that something hasn’t gone wrong. But, lying in bed, discouraged and not sleeping, the principle of 50/50 came to mind. And it brought me so much peace. Nothing has gone wrong. This is the hard part of the 50/50. I don’t need it to be any easier, nor does my daughter. This is the full human experience, my friends.

Can I enjoy my life and my self in the 50% positive? Yes. Can I like my life and my self while experiencing the 50% negative? Absolutely. Maybe even more so. Maybe it’s then that I am the most conscious – the most intentional. Let me use an example from Brooke:

I taught master life coach training. 20 coaches came to the Grand Cayman to learn to how to master the model. They knew the training was going to be hard. They came ready. And it was hard. There were lots of tears and frustration and anger and doubt. But they all loved it.

At the final dinner, I went around to all the tables and everyone told me the same thing; this was the best training ever. Later, I thought about this for a long time. It was the hardest training most of them had done, and yet they enjoyed it so much. They had expected it to be hard. They had wanted it to be hard. And when it was, they loved it and used it to learn and grow.

What if I could teach everyone to do this with their lives? What if we let go of the idea that life is supposed to be good and kind and easy and instead expected it to be hard? What if we, like our master coach students, could enjoy it being hard?

What if we stopped arguing with the way it is and started enjoying every part of the way it is? Like CS Lewis’ words I’ve shared before:

“I have learned … that we should attempt a total surrender to whatever atmosphere was offering itself at the moment. In a squalid town, to seek out those very places where it’s squalor rose to grimness and almost grandeur. On a dismal day, to find the most dismal and dripping wood. One a windy day, to seek the windiest ridge. There was a serious, yet gleeful determination to rub one’s nose in the very quiddity of each thing – to rejoice in it’s being so magnificently what it was.”

CS Lewis, Surprised By Joy

What if we stopped rejecting the way we are and started just simply delighting in ourselves?

That would take our weight loss goals from I have to get down to 135 pounds TO I want to eat healthy and I want to move my body everyday because I feel so good when I do this. And our future-me goals from I am going to get a Masters degree if it’s the last thing I do TO I wonder how my life experience would change if I got a Masters degree?

Do you feel the difference? How would my life be different if I delighted in myself? Both parts of the 50/50? What if I delighted in the hard, knowing that that is exactly how it is supposed to be? What if we stopped trying to change it and said YES to it?

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