Hello again,

If you have followed my blog, it will come as no surprise to you that the thoughts I’m sharing are very reflective of my personal journey.  And for those of you who know me, it also comes as no surprise to hear that I have had yet another frustrating experience with technology.  So the good news is that in the midst of the past 24 hours, as I have been vacillating between acceptance of those things beyond my control, and wanting to throw the computer out the window, I have realized the personal significance of today’s blog topic.

Because my five blogs up to this point have been written from the perspective of where I started my journey, it didn’t occur to me how much I rely on the S.O.D.A. strategy on a daily basis. This realization is yet another aha moment regarding living authentically. One doesn’t consciously think about their default actions very often until they have a day like I had yesterday. And even then, it is only when I chose to be present with myself that I acknowledged the vital significance of S.O.D.A. in my life.

In my last blog I shared that I was at a critical junction in my life. It had come to a point where I had two choices. I could either maintain my current way of being/living and risk losing myself.  Or I could risk the potentially uncomfortable unknown of what I might discover by taking a deeper look at who, why and how I was at my core.

This frightening feeling of is this all there is?, or I might have to change was the impetus for S.O.D.A.

Last time I introduced the S.O.D.A. Formula and discussed the S. for self. What thoughts, memories, mental pictures were triggered when you asked yourself how you would answer the S. questions? Did your answers surprise you? Did you go back mentally and add/delete/edit your answers?  If so, why?  Perhaps at first you simply gave the default answers that were accessible in the moment.  But hopefully, your responses niggled around in your brain the next few days, resulting in more intentional searching below the surface of your public persona. I hope so. And I challenge you to revisit those questions/responses as you dig even deeper within yourself.

Today, we are going to explore the O. of the formula. O. is for Others.  The definition of Others as it relates to S.O.D.A. would be those people whom you have chosen to keep on your journey. Some of them may have been with you since the beginning such as parents and/or siblings. Perhaps Others have just recently joined you, but somehow you know they will be part of your journey decades from now.

As with the S. questions, please remember to think whole life. Not just today or even the past few years. Think sandbox until this moment.  Your answers should not be titles, e.g. parent, teacher, preacher, coach, friend, favorite pet. The response you choose should represent the qualities, characteristics, attitudes, choices, behaviors, values, etc. of the Others in your life.

Please answer the questions in the order given. Then review and add/delete/edit if necessary.

  1. Questions:
  2. Complete this sentence: The Others in my life are…
  3. Complete this sentence: The Others in my life are not…
  4. Complete this sentence: If the Others in my life want me to be the BEST ME I CAN BE, then what I need from them but have the hardest time asking for is….

My aha moment today was when I acknowledged how important those Others are in my life when I feel not only frustrated or need an answer, but when I feel  less smart/capable than I know I can be. We all have those areas that showcase our vulnerability. One of mine happens to be technology. When days like yesterday happen, I can allow myself to feel stupid, unqualified, impatient, childish and old…all at the same time!  It is the Others in my life who bring me back to reality and allow me to be me. Not always at my best in the moment, but they always challenge my process, enable me to act and then (bless their hearts), encourage my heart. This thankfully results in my persevering to achieve my goal.

So, until next time, I hope you will stay present and invest in being the BEST YOU YOU CAN BE!

Enjoy the journey,