When my kids were little, we were at a busy restaurant after a long day of sightseeing. They become restless, knocking things off the table and squabbling. As a parent, we know these moments, when we’re done parenting for the day (about 4:00 PM) but kids keep…needing parenting. I sighed. I closed my eyes. And suddenly had an idea.
I said, "Do you guys want to take care of two baby kittens? They’re here in my purse. They are super small. What color kitten would you like?" I reached a hand into my purse, rummaging around as if trying to capture something small and squirming.
"Blue!" my son yelled, staring at me with wide eyes.
"Oh, good! I have a blue one. Are you ready?” I peered into my bag, “…Are you sure? You need careful, quiet hands to take this little kitten." Slowly I pulled out an imaginary kitten and gently put the kitten in his cupped hands.
He watched his hands intently. Carefully, he held this tiny (imaginary) creature with great kindness.
"Orange! Orange tiger cat!" his brother shouted, extending his small palms.
"Ah! here you go! Please, please, please be careful with these small kittens. They don't even have names yet. What will you name them?"
And so 25 minutes passed.
They huddled together, brainstorming kitten names, quietly talking to their cupped palms cradling.... nothing... but the best imaginary cats.
Our agreed upon reality.
What did our new agreement bring? Peace. Contentment. Care.
This might sound like a cute imaginary story...but don't we live in stories? (Uh, hello.)
Everyday we live our stories like “I’m in the wrong job.” “I’m not enough.” “I’m falling behind.” But we can also change our minds, our connection, and our agreements - anytime, anywhere. We just aren’t in the practice of taking advantage of that.
It takes courage to take responsibility for the your progress, mood, and potential. It takes imagination to bring a dream to life, to design a new solution, or to sketch out a fresh path forward. We may habitually fall into the drift of what's happening, feeling victim to circumstance.
What stories are you perpetuating in your life? Where do you need to imagine a new outcome? What happens in Act Two? How does this plot twist? Practice waking up from the drift and stepping into new bold creations.