I really do like to sew. If I had an extra 2 kid-free hours every day I would take a nap. But if I had 2 more hours after that, then I would sew. I love to sew because it’s fun and creative and fills a need in me to create something that didn’t exist before. But I do not sew for Halloween. I DO NOT make Halloween costumes for my children because if I did, I’d miss out on one of my favorite Moore family traditions where I buy them a very poorly made, overpriced, unidentifiable (or totally cliché) costume from the store.
This beautiful tradition begins with a trip to Party City and then a long time starring at “The Wall.” The Wall towers over my children and has pictures of all the possible costumes one can overpay for at this store and take home in expectation of Halloween. Costumes like “unknown light-up-face phantom” and “rainbow sprite fairy” and countless other gems my children never would have dreamed up on their own. Only a marketer with discounted fabric by the bolt and one big shot per year to meet a financial goal could dream this stuff up.
It’s a great day when we go to Party City and stare at The Wall. My kids soak it all in and I can see the Halloween excitement rising in each of them as they imagine how scary and wonderful they will look in one of these costumes. Ahh….but WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE? For a one-night commitment, this decision takes far too long but I have unlimited patience for it because nobody is fighting, crying or asking me for chocolate milk. Better yet, everyone is smiling and filled with joy and excitement at the anticipation of Halloween.
But it’s not Halloween. Not yet anyway. And they’re not wearing costumes. They don’t even own costumes yet when they’re starring at The Wall. There is no candy rush, pumpkin carving, or admiring friends and family telling them how fantastic they look. In fact, The Wall itself is entirely neutral. It doesn’t make anyone feel any certain way. In fact my youngest son is quite afraid of The Wall and many of the parents I saw who appear to share our Halloween tradition were looking impatient and annoyed at the whole process. So if The Wall doesn’t actually have magical powers to make anyone feel any certain way, then it must be true…that all of this is happening in our minds.
My two oldest kids’ minds are full of thoughts that make them feel excited. My youngest has thoughts that make him feel afraid. Other parents are having thoughts that make them feel impatient.
There are two points I hope you’ll take from this example. First, if you choose to make a costume from scratch or put together something really creative and amazing for your child, I promise not to judge you for robbing your kids of the experience of The Wall.
Second, the excitement your kids feel about Halloween is something that they (and you) have the capacity to feel any time they want. Our ability to feel happiness doesn’t change. It doesn’t grow or shrink based on the season or what happens to us in life. It’s always the same. You can tap into it anytime you want. You can be at the dentist getting your teeth cleaned and feel the same way you would if you’d just learned you had a distant relative you never met who passed away and left you a million dollars.
I’m not suggesting it’s easy to do or that you’d want to take it to that extreme. It takes practice and skill. The kind of skill my clients do hard work to get good at. My point is that it is available to you always and when you learn to live your life from a place of compassion for yourself, peace for your circumstances and love for everyone, miracles happen whether you want them to or not.
Circumstances do not create our feelings. Circumstances are neutral. The Wall is neutral and so are the socks your kids keep leaving around the house. They don’t make you feel anything. Even the movie I just saw called Meet the Mormons (to which I give a 5 star rating and say hurry up and go see it already!) isn’t the cause of the “emotions” that streamed from my eyes a couple of times. It was my thoughts about what I saw in the movie that made me emotional.
This knowledge has entirely changed who I am and how I live my life. It does not mean for a second that I always choose thoughts that feel good. It only means that I’m getting better every single day at recognizing where my feelings are coming from and when I choose to, I have the skills and knowledge to supervise my mind and direct it to get the results I want in my life.
Now, I have a confession to make. The results I want in my life are simply to teach YOU how to get the results you want in your life. Whatever that may be. Maybe it’s to come to peace with the limitations of your disabled daughter and know how to best teach and empower her. Maybe it’s to figure out if you should really leave your corporate job you hate (and if so how?), or stay there because it’s supporting your family. Or perhaps the result you want is something you haven’t figured out yet but it feels like there should be more than just surviving one day at a time without too much yelling.
Figuring this stuff out takes work and skill and it’s what I teach through my 6-week Be Bold Program. If you’re ready to master this skill for yourself, just in time to do the holidays the right way, let’s talk. I’m currently interviewing clients who may be interested in working with me one-on-one. In addition I’m running a wait list for a workshop beginning in January, which will teach the Be Bold skills in a group format. Both options are done via phone so you don’t have to live near me. You don’t even have to change out of your pajamas if you don’t want. I might not. I’m just sayin’.
Love your guts…