Open Up Outrageously This New Year

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Cleaning out my space and recharging my batteries is an annual practice for me as the New Year approaches.  I can feel deep within me that it’s time to re-read two of my favorites by Tosha Silver: Outrageous Openness: Letting the Devine Take the Lead and Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender.

When I say “re-reading”, what I really mean is tapping my Audible app to listening to Tosha speak to me on my the ride to and from school, on my walk around the block, and when I’m cleaning the house. Her casual, comfortable tone has her sitting right next to me in the front seat of my car, walking right in step with me up the steep hill of our neighborhood, and helping me with the bathrooms. For however long it will take me to listen, I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to every word she has to share.

Tosha’s message is very simple:  Offer it up. Let the Big Guy take over; or as Tosha writes, “She”.  This shift in my daily prayers has transformed everything for me.  Like many of you, I am a multi-tasker despite continually pretending that I am not. I’m an over-planner. An obnoxious “To Do List” maker. A payer of attention to too many details. A people pleaser. And though it’s hard to write, a self- sabotager (at times), typically I am very, very kind to myself.

Having journeyed through the experience of cancer, I constantly want to prove to myself that I can still “Do”.  The lesson the cancer has taught me, however, is I’m not supposed to keeping “Doing”, I’m supposed to slow it down.  While that lesson immediately came through for me loudly and clearly, and I’ve really come leaps and bounds in learning the lesson, there are times when it’s really hard for me to practice. The ego just takes over. Simply that’s just what it comes down to. I have to keep the ego in check and that’s where letting The Devine take the lead is my saving grace. Slowing down was very easy to practice at first while I was home recuperating; but as the months and years pass by, I get sucked into the vortex of “Doing” and going and planning and making things happen just like everyone else.

I cannot begin to tell you how liberating letting God take-over is.  I’ve always been a prayer. And everything Tosha talks about, I’ve learned and practiced in my Catholic school upbringing.  Nothing she has to say is new, it’s just a different approach that I was used to.  It’s easier, more comfortable.  I have been having so much fun playing with this. I’m being playful, yet intentional.  Offering is not about being passive and it’s certainly not about manifesting. You will learn that in the book. Tosha gracefully and comically answers any questions you may have within her pages.

When I wake and begin my day, whether it’s walking into my classroom or being faced with the weekend, I become overwhelmed with the many things that need to be taken care of. First I thank God for the day and for my good health that allows me to move through the day with my healthy body, independent of anyone (except Him of course). I thank Him for the job I have, all of the students I get to spend the day with, and the supportive colleagues, administration, and parents I have this school year. I thank Him for my family and friends and I then ask to be led to only that which needs to be done today.  And that’s what’s different.  That’s the piece I’ve never done before. I ask to be shown what is essential in the unfolding of the day.

There has not been a day that I have not been amazed! Ironically, not much on the “To Do” list gets done and what I find is that it didn’t even need to get done.  I am easily led to what is most important and to things I wasn’t even thinking of: visiting neighbors, chatting with friends on the phone, reading, walking, going to a yoga class when I had no intention of going to because I didn’t think I had the time, going off of the lesson plan and rocking it, reading a magazine, writing, listening, playing, being silly.  My body just moves and I giggle as I follow it making sure after each surprise I say, “Thank You for that!”.

Practice trusting and being led to only that which needs to be done today and allow yourself to go through each day with little surprises around each corner.  And do yourself a favor and pick up Tosha’s book: Outrageous Openness: Letting the Devine Take the LeadYour life will never be the same.

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