iDea Blog

Author Archives: deamckenzie

calling all chameleons

I’ve always prided myself on being a chameleon – someone who can fit in to any situation, with any type of crowd. It’s served me well: my friend circles are varied and wide ranging, I am a great first date (in the romantic sense back in the day, and now with friend-outings), and I am generally known to be able to go with the flow. This trait helps me experience a huge variety of circumstances and ya know, I kinda love this life of mine.

But recently this question surfaced in my noggin: How much of ME is being suppressed? When I go with the flow, am I not being ME? Am I shoving myself to the side, eagerly taking on the desires/interests/preferences of whomever I am with?

Whoa. I never thought of it in those terms and I have no idea why I suddenly did. But guess what? I suppose I have, at least a little, lost myself in the others around me. I’ve never minded…it worked for me….I was quite comfortable with this system I’ve built. Until now. Now I’ve had a change of heart.

Before you mark me off your bourgeois holiday party list or decide that there’s someone else better suited to accompany you to a bachelorette weekend in Vegas, let me be clear: I’m still flexible, I’m still up for almost anything, I’m still game. What’s different is that I now am a little more aware that I’m making a choice to be flexible/flowly/easy going gal who’ll try just about anything.

What’s the big deal with this “awareness”, you say? Well, LOTS. Just the sheer fact that I’m making this choice is a BIG DEAL. It sounds trite, it sounds like a big “whatever” but it’s not and I’ll tell you why.

Choice is a key component of mindfulness. Mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” It’s a concept rooted both in traditional psychology and Buddhism. No matter where it came from, it makes sense to me. When you make a conscious choice to engage yourself in a situation, by default you’ve made a choice. When you make a choice, you feel a greater sense of control. And it’s not a false sense…you actually have more control, because you made a choice (to be engaged, to be flexible, to go with the flow). Get it?

Maybe you don’t get it just yet, but whether you do or don’t truly understand it, try it out. The next time you are doing ANYTHING, make the choice to be doing that something. “I choose to wash these dishes.” “I have decided that I will work late tonight.” “Even though it’s not the most pleasant experience for me, I have chosen to have dinner with Aunt Elmira.”  Do this repeatedly over the course of a few days.

With some practice, you’ll begin to understand the basis – and the benefits – of mindfulness.

Eventually this practice of making choices will make sense to you.

Eventually you’ll be glad you made the choice to read this.

I already love 2012

Why? Because it’s the beginning of another exciting chapter. And because for the past two days I’ve gotten a lot of sleep. (!)

Many years ago I read a book with a message that really stuck with me. The book was not a popular read or a best seller. I paid $2 for it at a flea market. Just now, I Googled it and found it selling on Amazon for 50¢ in hard cover (http://tinyurl.com/6v72uhr). I’m not even sure I remember what the book said. But what I do know is that it planted a seed of an idea in me.

That seed was the notion of creating the life I really wanted. You know, bucking the norm, not following the expected path, throwing out the “suppose to’s” the “should’s,” forgoing society’s rules, not being in the box, but instead, living the way I felt was right for me. This, of course, has included doing a few things that made my mother say “Oh Dea!” [Ok, I admit it — this is quite fun for me, as I always enjoy a little shock value — but the payoff extends beyond this]. What I’m talking about is doing things that made sense to me, whether or not they made sense to anyone else.

In other words, I live my own true story.

It’s mine, it’s true, and it has given me greater intrinsic rewards than I could ever adequately explain here.

Crafting one’s ideal life circumstance – a.k.a. scripting your story – is incredibly important and incredibly easy to do.

Ok, so I lied about the ‘incredibly easy’ part.

It’s not at all easy – at first. Then it gets REALLY easy because it’s YOU, YOUR STORY, YOU LIVING YOUR OWN TRUE STORY.

And that, my friend, is a piece of cake.