There we are.....riding along in the car with mom, minding our own business, looking out the window, building the courage to ask if we can stop at McDonalds for a Happy Meal......and suddenly..... WHAM!!!
Forearm to the chest.
Mom hits the brakes, a forearm is slung across our torsos like a katana! Everything in the backseat flies to the front, the seatbelt practically breaks us in half, expletives are shouted, and a pretty bird (or birds) is flung at the offender.
This my friends, is the Soccer-Mom Reach.....and I totally get it now.
I never understood the importance of its purpose until I became a mother myself. I really started thinking about this "act" of protection probably a lot deeper than I should. The Soccer-Mom Reach was invented as a second layer of protection against outside harm. It's not only an abrupt action taken to protect the things that we love, but it is a new way of thinking in terms of protecting ALL of the things that are special to us.
Since the world has been on lockdown here in the past ten months, I have seen what I like to think is an awakening of sorts. There is a major shift happening within our culture that has brought forth self-realization and courage in people. It has provided us a magnifying glass to examine the microfibers of who we are and what is important in life.
Personally, my self-discoveries have included understanding who I am, what I stand for, who I want to be, and the types of relationships that I want to have. Most importantly, I have come to realize the power that I hold as a wife, a mother, and a woman. I have come to realize that exercising protection against things that threaten what is special to me is essential for having a life of balance and peace. Quarantine, coupled with maternity leave, gave me the vision, courage, and LIONESS POWER that I needed to get going in the direction of greatness. I learned to protect what is mine.
Yes....I said "LIONESS POWER". Somebody use your Cricut and put it on a t-shirt for me.
Three important things that I learned this year to protect my work, heart, and head-space:
Leave the room.
Remove yourself from tense situations. Most things can be revisited at a later date and don't require immediate discussion. This has been difficult for me, as I am a confrontational person. Not in the sense that I am necessarily argumentative, but I'm not a beat-around-the-bush type of person, either. If there's an issue then we confront the issue. This year, I've come to realize that some things just aren't worth the energy and that they may, or may not have resolution. At the end of the day, people will be who they are, situations will be left as is, and the world will continue to turn. Leave the room, and go about your day. Do NOT expel energy for issues and people that don't deserve it. Protect your energy. Protect your time. Remember my previous entry about TIME?
Every day we are dying.
The lion is calm and collected until provoked.
2. Protect your ideas.
Protect your intellectual property. This is the golden rule as a choreographer, as an artist, as a designer, when you come up with something at your job, etc. This is why we create trademarks, why we purchase the rights to the names of our businesses. It's okay to paten yourself. If you create something, write something, or even share thoughts...stick by them! It is NOT arrogant to love who you are or things that you have created. It is confidence in yourself and your ideas. OWN IT, SELL IT, NURTURE IT.
Believe in your product. Believe in yourself.
The lion is courageous and confident.
3. Create spaces that protect your peace.
This is a big one. So big, in fact, that I intend on devoting an entire blog entry to discussing it one day. Create spaces .....even if they look like barriers ....to protect your relationships, your family, your job, and your mental state. I have faced many challenges in these areas this year. From expelling toxic friendships by removing/unfollowing certain people from social media accounts, to confronting individuals invading my marital space, setting personal boundaries for what I will and will not tolerate, turning off the news (literally...getting rid of cable), completely revamping my home to become more beautiful and comfortable, and so much more. I have given the proverbial clothesline to things and people that do not "spark joy". If it isn't bringing you peace, feeding you joy, or making you physically and mentally happy?
Don't hold on to it. THROW IT AWAY.
This includes unpacking grudges, traumas, and other old blunders. Do NOT be afraid to see a therapist. I personally have not been to a therapist to unpack issues (yet), but I have many friends and family that attend sessions often, and they are LIFE CHANGING. Sometimes an outside perspective gives us that fresh take that we need.
Objective perspective is the BEST.
Don't be offended when the "cleaning house" advice is used against you, either. I had one or two individuals block ME on social media this year, and that's OKAY! These people are creating boundaries and protecting their spaces. *shrug*
Sometimes, we don't spark joy in other people either.
The lion doesn't concern himself/herself with the opinions of sheep. Keep going.
.......they still have to see me on our mutual friends' pages though! OOP!
.....sorry......the lion isn't petty, either.
Thank you, Marie Kondo, for reminding us that feeling "joy" doesn't simply apply to material things, but "life things", too.
I am continuously rejuvenated with the idea that we have a serious responsibility to protect our space, and that we need to prioritize protecting what is ours in all facets of our lives. A lot of people confuse this type of thinking with jealousy, insecurity, or that you may be a difficult person. In reality, what is happening is that we work ourselves to the bone for ALL of the things that we have in our lives. This doesn't amount to just material things. When I say ALL things, I mean our marriages, children, friendships, jobs, and the list goes on. When someone or something comes along and makes an effort to destroy those things......we take it personally. Thus, the proverbial claws emerge.
Martel says it best of the lion:
“...if you fall into a lion's pit, the reason the lion will tear you to pieces is not because it's hungry-be assured, zoo animals are amply fed-or because it's bloodthirsty, but because you've invaded its territory.”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
Sometimes, being the lion/lioness is necessary to protect the things that we care for.
As it is said, nothing worth having comes easy. EVERYTHING in life requires hard work. Everything requires a certain amount of protection in order to have peace and balance. THIS is why our mother's clothesline us before the dangers of the outside world try to destroy us. When we comprehend the value of our time here, and the energy spent to create the life that we want, we will do whatever we must to protect it.
How do YOU protect the things that you love?
Don't be afraid to be the lion in the new year ahead.
Go ahead....build the den..... and when something comes along that threatens the energy, peace, person, or thing that you love.....
Don't be afraid to give those things the ole' soccer-mom reach.