You Decide: Choices Create Your Life
Day 10 of 100 days of blogging
Queens, New York
October 10, 2015
Watching Bob’s Burgers with my granddaughter Lucille this morning, I was inspired to write a blog about the episode when it is Linda’s birthday. Linda is the Mom. (Episode is called Eat, Spray Linda. Season 5. Episode 18)
Linda wakes up remembering it is her birthday. She tries to bury her head under the pillow and stay in bed to avoid the day. When the family tells her they are working on a surprise and she has to leave the house, Linda goes out to the grocery store where a series of mishaps occur. Keys locked in car with her cell phone and purse. Pants rip in the butt. No one in the grocery store will help her. Catches a bus going in the wrong direction. Sprayed by a skunk twice. It is a day of total chaos and Linda digs deep and conquers one challenge after another.
At the end of the day, bathing in a tub filled with tomato juice, her husband (Bob) tells her, ” Sorry your birthday was horrible.” She says, “Hey! Don’t be sorry. This was the best birthday ever!” She goes on to tell him that this is a new tradition. “Every year on my birthday, you blindfold me. Drop me off at a location with no cell phone and no money and I have to find my way home.”
I love Linda! She has this way of seeing the sunshine in adversity. Linda made the best of the chaotic situation and ignited a part of her that had been dormant. She came alive!
What if we all embraced adversity and challenges with this exuberance? What could we create in our lives and in the world?
The show reminded me of something I shared in the 30 days of writing program for this month:
It may feel like you have had no choice at different times in your life. You didn’t decide your life circumstances. You had another plan and it looked nothing like this! You may feel as if you lost control of your life. And at the same time you still have choices. You get to decide who you are going to be in this moment. You get to decide how you are going to respond and to be in the moment of what is happening.
On the community call yesterday I talked about my son and the power of the gifts I learned from his birth and his death and his illness. He was my teacher. Twenty-two years later, I continue to reach into that bag of gifts over and over. I may have moments of sadness. That’s okay. When someone you love dies, you will have moments of sadness. Even twenty years later. Reaching into that time period also reminds me of things that were revealed about who I really am.
When we are presented with challenges, we can find the gifts.
I first found out about my son’s heart condition when I was seven months pregnant with him and I was driving to drop off a report for a consulting job. When I got off the cell phone, I started pounding on the steering wheel and crying out in pain. Why God? Why me? Why him? Haven’t I had enough challenges in this lifetime? More than my fair share? Why, why, why?
After a few hours of feeling like this, I made a decision. I am powerless over this situation and I can still take charge of my life. I decided I was here to support my son and I would cross- stitch angels. Every stitch would be a prayer. It would be a blessing to Cooper, to our family and friends, to everyone who we would meet. In the 19 months of his life, I cross stitched elaborate angels with tiny, tiny stitches and big, big prayers.
This is actually how you change and transform. You are presented with a life experience and YOU DECIDE who you are going to be. Then you practice it. Over and over until one day you are transformed. Caterpillar to butterfly.
Like Linda on Bob’s Burgers and the challenges she had on her birthday or the experiences we all have when we feel powerless or out of control, we have a choice. To embrace the experience and find out new things about ourselves or to shut down and give up.
I encourage you to get a new perspective and challenge yourself. You never know what surprises are laying within you!
Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voice to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.
She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.