You have likely heard the expression: “You can’t travel in a parked car.”
As it turns out, we can’t get far with too many cars parked in our stall either.
A woman whose seminar I sat in on last spring was at a recent staff meeting of Social Work instructors. (A truly great group of people to find myself in). She was a natural educator and taught about micro and macro levels of social work practice that made the subject relatable and meaningful. She was funny. After the talk I approached her with a collaborative idea and she responded with interest. I sent her a follow up email. And when I didn’t hear back within a month, I sent another one (in case there was an email issue). I never heard back. Then recently I see she will present the same talk again (and I’m excited to learn from her again. Like a great sermon, a repeat of her material is sure to further inspire). I admit to wondering if she knew of my secret flaws and just wasn’t interested in meeting up with me. (I admit to you I have flaws so secret I am not always aware of what they are myself, but others certainly catch on to them.) My curiosity and boldness helped me to send out one more email. No response. Then, at this staff meeting, there she was. She sat at a long oblong table among a dozen other instructors. When she spoke up she was articulate with a bent of humor and vulnerability. I wondered if she knew who I was. I contemplated whether I wanted to approach her. I put this matter in the hands of Spirit, in that, I had already reached out and there was no need to push the river or make a point. I practiced too, not taking her inaction personally. (Everything, always is grist for our spiritual practice or writing.) As I got ready to go, she came over to me. She apologized for not getting back to me. She was interested in getting together and generously offered that I share my ideas at her seminar. I declined because I wanted my students to get the full breath of her talk (and I wanted to hear it again). She said she would get back to me soon. I told her I would follow up too.
So, what stopped her from getting in touch with me? She revealed that my emails were “parked in her in-box.”
I was one of her parked cars. She mentioned having many of them.
I realized that I too have many, too many, parked cars.
In my preparation for spring break I will tend to all my parked cars first. (She now is one of my parked cars, because I have yet to get back to her). I have a crowded parking lot.
All those parked cars, if still parked during my holiday, will rob me of a truly enjoyable time off. They will haunt me, as yours do you. Parked cars cram our creative space with a chronic nag. All those things we need to attend to but put on hold rob us of fully enjoying our day to day life.
During my holiday, I want to write, attend yoga classes, take a few day trips with my dog, walk and maybe start another project. I am signed up for a facial and a massage. (I want to enjoy my TV binging time which I am sure to do!) I want to send out some letters (not emails). So, I am busy each day now clearing out my parking lot of saved emails, boxes I’ve yet to unpack, commitments I put on hold, and work related tasks. I am checking-in internally to all my “maybes,” “I will get to that,” and, unfinished projects. I am doing my Yes, No, Maybe practice. Maybes are parked cars. This simple and effective practice can be found in my book, The Zero Point Agreement: How To Be Who You Already Are.
Well, you will hear from me next week when I’m on my holiday because I want to write my blog; I enjoy writing these blogs. I hope you enjoy reading them. That's another thing about parked cars -- how many of them are things you really don't want to do?
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I will be at Sjolinds on Friday, March 29th from 10 till 2:00 Come to write, meet other writers get some free consultation with me.
I am excited to announce that I will be offering a WRITING & Yoga RETREAT in August with yoga teacher (and writer) Molly Chanson. Enjoy 4 days of writing, yoga, nature walks, meditation, more writing. Leave inspired and more aligned in mind, body and speech. More details soon!
All Write Wednesdays: World into Word
All Write Wednesdays is a blog about living the writer's life. Everything in our lives is material. Read all of the All Write Wednesdays posts.
Zero Point Blog
The Zero Point blog shares my teachings about living your life from the inside out and becoming the cause rather than the effect of your life. Read all of the Zero Point posts.
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Julie lives in Mount Horeb WI where she walks her dog through Stewart Park, gardens her corner lot, attends yoga at Bliss Flow Yoga in Madison and waits for spring 11 months of the year. She is author of The Zero Point Agreement & ten other books. She also writes for the local Mount Horeb paper and in her free time listens in on others' conversations at Sjolinds.