Years ago when my sons we're growing up on Maui, I felt torn between two worlds. I had two sons I loved and wanted to be with AND had a thriving speaking/training business that called for me to be on the road and in the air. At a National Speakers Association convention on the mainland, I ran into a long-time friend Maggie Bedrosian. We hadn't seen each other since I had left Washington D.C. for the Hawaiian Islands several years before.
Maggie asked, "Sam, how are you?" I started telling her. Before I could finish, Maggie being Maggie, (she must have been an impish elf and wise sage in another life) interrupted me and said, "No Sam, tell me in ONE WORD how you're doing."
Wow, what a great question. It forced me to distill everything I was feeling into one catchall phrase. I dug deep, opened my mouth, and out came "Maggie, I'm … conflicted."
Her eyebrows flew up. "Conflicted? How so?"
"Yesterday morning I was on Keawakapu Beach with Tom and Andrew at golden hour. They were charging into the surf with their boogie boards, riding those waves all the way in until they scraped their bellies on the beach, and then running out to catch another one. It was Nirvana. I didn't want to be anywhere else.
Today, I’m here at this conference surrounded by smart, talented peers, I'm learning new things, speaking on my favorite topic, my brain's on fire, and I'm humming with energy and new ideas.
I feel like I'm constantly torn between two worlds."
Maggie looked at me and then shared this insight. "Sam, the words you use to describe your experience define your experience. You better come up with another word to describe how you feel, because that's how it's going to be."
That night I couldn't sleep. If I wasn't conflicted, what was I? I kept mentally tasting words, experimenting with them to see if they captured the mix of emotions I felt. Finally it came to me.
The next day I tracked down Maggie. There she was down the hall. I ran up to her and said, "Maggie, I figured it out. I'm not conflicted, I'm … blessed. I'm not torn between two worlds, I have the best of both worlds.”
That describes how I feel now.
I've just had 16 months of glorious adventuring, exploring, discovering, reflecting, and “funning” on my Year by the Water. (If “funning” isn’t a verb, it deserves to be.)
Now I'm here in Boulder holding my beautiful baby granddaughter Natalia in my arms. This morning I was sitting on the floor and playing Lego's with my grandson Mateo.
Last night I was sitting on the couch with Tom and Patty getting caught up, and as they say in Hawaii, “talking story.”
The day before, I was making nutritious greenies, doing “folding laundry meditation, and enjoying Dolores' (Patty's Mom) delicious home-made cooking.
This morning, Mateo is playing airplane on his own private jungle gym, (his dad) and watching his favorite Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood with his mom. It feels oh-so-right.
I look around and realize I once again am blessed to have the best of both worlds … and I wouldn't rather be anywhere else. I'm immersing myself in this abundance - this state of SerenDestiny where the light is on in my eyes - and I'm imprinting every sacred moment. Receive, receive, receive. Revel, revel, revel.
BTW - This recognition that I'm not torn being two options (either-or); I have the best of both options (yes-and) is one of the most important lessons-learned from My Year by The Water. I'll be writing about the adventures that led to this understanding in my upcoming book "There Is No Present Like the Time" including:
It’s not CONTROL OR COOPERATE. It’s both.
It’s not PLAY OR PRODUCTIVITY. It’s both.
It’s not SOCIAL OR SOLITUDE. It’s both.
It’s not start with the END in mind or with an OPEN mind. It’s both.
It’s not serve others or your self. It’s both.
Next time you’re feeling as if you're being torn between two options – re-frame what you’re feeling or facing. Isn’t it an advantage to have an abundance of options – to have the best of both worlds? You're not conflicted, you're blessed.