It Happened!

Hello brave humans!

This weekend my middle daughter and I began the time honored tradition of looking at colleges. As a junior, it is time she begins to map out where she will go after graduation… or so the world says. In the fall of junior year the checklist of what to do next says, “Begin college search” and so we did. We packed up the car, headed north at 5:00am for Vermont and the St. Michael’s College lacrosse prospect day, excited for what was to come!

As she slept in the back seat… I drove in silence allowing my thoughts to unfold. The drive north carves through beautiful New England scenery, tree covered mountains and sharp granite ledges. To my right the sun was rising and as I drove colors painted the horizon, blending pinks and oranges with blues and purple tinges… it was exquisite. With each turn in the road the colors shifted. I wanted to lean into what I was seeing, just enjoy it…but I couldn’t stop thinking I should wake Grace up to show her… or better yet, stop and take a picture to post. I felt such a strong pull to share the experience, to show what I was seeing, to document it, I was having trouble just experiencing it. The desire to take a picture was so strong… my thoughts became dominated by how I might capture this image. It was, of course, gone before I could figure that out, and I was left with a sense of sadness that I would not be able to offer up some proof of this experience to others. Oddly… my thoughts trailed to working out. Our brains do that sometimes…. they connect the seemingly unconnected.

At the gym I have worked out at for the past five years, people typically wear what is called a MyZone. It is a device that tracks your heart rate and based on some personal data indicates the level of your effort, rates it and awards you “MEPs”. Workouts are then posted and shared. It can be a great accountability tool and a wonderful way to support and encourage each other. However, it is widely noted that “If it didn’t happen on MyZone, it didn’t happen at all”. Translation: If you forget to wear your red strap, you didn’t do it. It can begin to feel like, if others can’t verify and approve, it is not real.

The sunrise on my drive north began to feel like the workout no one could validate. Did it really even happen at all?

We seem to have this idea that our experiences cannot be simply for ourselves in order for them to matter, to have purpose or to be real. We have grown to need or even require proof and validation to assign value and worth. I saw this in the sunrise and my inability to simply soak it up and feel the joy and beauty of nature. I saw it as my daughter looked around for approval and acceptance after a great play on the lacrosse field in front of coaches she desperately wanted to satisfy. I see it in our insatiable need to post, share and like on social media. I see it in myself needing to offer that validation to others that proves the experience was real and worth it. It is a longing for love and worth that can only be found in ourselves when we know and trust our experiences.

So, brave friends, your Mindful Mini invitation this week is to lean into the experience of being YOU for the sheer experience it offers, knowing it happened without proving, validating or documenting it. Resist the urge to take a photo, a selfie or post on social media. Walk through your day and take hold of every bit you feel, see, and smell. Embrace the beauty, the joy and the sorrow, disappointment and regret. Feel it all and know that it is real, it is valid. You do not need permission or witness to know that everything you do, everything you are, is worthy and valuable. It happened and your experiences matter. You matter and you are soooo worth it!

Yours in heart,

Kelly Lynn Driscoll

About Kelly Lynn

Kelly Lynn Coaching & Consulting

I empower districts to transform culture and educators to transform their lives so they are connected, fulfilled and aligned with purpose. With over thirty years experience in education and education administration, I specialize in supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL), balance and a culture of wellness. It is my MISSION to bring joy back to education!

Contact Kelly Lynn

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