Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Small steps. Big things.

Author, Edward S. Finkelstein, wrote: "Bigness comes from doing many small things well. Individually, they are not very dramatic transactions. Together though, they add up."

My eldest daughter, Alexis, is currently on a 3-month trip, 'downunder'. After a month+ in Australia, she is now touring New Zealand for five weeks. Next Thursday she flies to Bangkok where she will spend six weeks before returning home June 5.

For this trip to happen, she had to do a lot of small things well. Save money, get her visas, innoculations, passport, banking, backpack, etc. The trip was big, but even bigger has been the impact it has had on her. She is seeing how big she can become on a very small planet.

"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." Michael Jordan, basketball superstar.

Yesterday, on her blog, "How I survived myself", Alexis wrote, "It seems that in order to come back home to ones self, great distances must first be travelled. I am allowing myself to lift my hands off the handlebars and all comes free!"

Alexis is making it happen. Life. Living tall. Living large. Living free.

When I was giving my presentation on Saturday in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, I said at one point, "Having children is the best thing I've ever done for me in my life." What surprises me about being a mother is, I never intended to be one. The thought absolutely, totally terrified me. I could never know enough to do the job well, I told myself. And, I could never take the responsibility being a parent demanded.

How wrong I can be!

Being a mother is doing a bunch of small things that add up to bigness. Bringing a child into the world is a sacred trust. And, as anyone will tell you who has gone through the angst of living with an adolescent into her teens, raising that child to become a functioning, capable adult is big.

Now, I didn't mean for my daughters to be my experiment in getting big in my own life, but becoming a mother has forced me to grow up, to grow inwardly outward, to grow into all I'm meant to be. Being a parent has taught me about responsibility, accountability, and most importantly for me, connectedness. I can't parent from a distance -- literal nor figurative. Having too much distance between my heart and my head, being too invested in my heart over my head or vice versa, having an empty heart that could never be filled no matter where I went, who I met, what I read, or what I did, were all lethal components that were preventing me from my becoming a 'big' human being. In denying myself my birthright of being 'big', I was teaching my daughters that, no matter how many small steps I took, nothing would ever add up to anything bigger than the empty heart I had.

How wrong can I be!

Truth is, my heart always knew what my head was denying. I am big. I am a fearless woman. I am a woman of worth. But, because I couldn't take my hands off the handlebars of life, my heart and my head were always disconnected.

Taking that eighteen inch walk connecting my heart and my head and letting go of my control, has been a constant journey of one small step after the other. It is predicated upon the leap of faith that states, "My head does not know what it doesn't know and what my heart knows is not always best for me."

See, my head gets caught up in gathering information to make sense of the feelings of my heart. My heart gets caught up in the pain of the past and is continually scurrying around searching for the secret elixir to love that will ease its pain. But my heart has no words. And in the past, my heart only knew fear so, without the capacity to think, my heart repeatedly told my head it had to do the same thing again and again, only with different men, different environments, different words in the misguided belief it was teaching my head how to fill it with love.

Truth is, love is limitless. Love is an action. Love is. And all the men in the world will never fill a hungry heart.

Hungry hearts are filled from within by being open to the limitless capacity of love around me. And from within that place of completeness, of wholeness, hungry hearts learn to love without fear.

My daughters taught me that and remind me everyday as they take small steps into the big world out there. Small steps that take them further from me on the physical plane, and bring them closer to me in my heart.

Alexis is thousands of miles on the other side of this ball spinning through space. Yet, no matter where she is, she will always be in my heart and my heart will always be connected to hers. As I witness her taking her hands off the handle bars, I stand in awe of her capacity to grow, to leap, to live large and be free.

I've done a lot of things in my life, some big, some small. Having Alexis and Liseanne call me, 'mum' is BIG. What they've taught me about loving myself is even bigger. Because in learning to love myself, I have come home to myself, that place where I will always belong inside me, my heart.

The question is: Are you willing to take your hands off the handlebars, fling your feet into the air and sail through your fear of living big? Are you willing to leap into love with yourself and come home to where you belong?

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