Five months ago I decided to run the TC marathon.  It happened one night on my way to the grocery store. I got a “message:”

“Jessica, your first marathon started a life period. Now, you’ll close that period by going back to the place you started and run it again.”  Hmm.  I wasn’t being asked to rob a bank, shave my head or eat herring.  This sounded like a doable “plan!”

So, I set out to run the marathon.  I trained with a group.  I stayed focused on my goal.  And, I arranged for my daughter to make her first trip home to be with her brothers to watch me cross the finish line (in some ways, this race is for both of us).

Yet, while I felt fantastic, there was something I was missing — it nagged at me.  But, true-to-form, I ignored my gut.

Then, last week – BAM! an injury.  So painful that I could barely walk.

I quickly realized that there was a serious possibility that I may not run this marathon.  I freaked (inside, of course).  This was THE PLAN.  This would close the circle.  How would I do that if I didn’t run?

Then last Thursday at 3 a.m. I heard this:

“Jessica – you missed the f***ing point of the plan.  This wasn’t about the running.  It was about you.  About finding time to shut down your mind.  About running and enjoying the beauty of the world.  Where you could meet people, hear and share their stories.   You thought it was the freaking running?   Sister, a monkey can run.  You have to do it NOW.  You need to learn that your closure was re-learning how to love your mind, body and soul.  And, you’ve got two weeks before the marathon to do it.”

Yes.  I am an idiot.

So I stopped – completely.  I got quiet.  I rested.  I slept and I ate.  Know what happened?  I got “messages.”  I talked to people I’d not talked with in a long time.  Today it was someone beautiful and full of light — and I was in the parking lot of a strip mall!  No one cared if I ran or not.  They just cared about me.  And, I took care of me.

The lessons?

  1. We know jack s*** about what’s happening.  Pay attention. Listen first, do second.
  2. Put your oxygen mask on first.  You can’t help others if you don’t love and help you.  Start now.
  3. Open your mind.  I’m not sure what’ll happen on Sunday but life isn’t about the goal – it’s about the process.
  4. Stay close to energy-sharers.  Those who infuse your mind with thoughtful ideas, fresh thinking and a contagious enthusiasm for what’s possible. 

Me? I’m still quiet. I’m going to pick up my race packet on Friday.  Maybe in the quiet of the night I’ll figure out what to do next.  Or maybe not.

Friends, the “plan” is about learning to love and care for you.  You don’t know about tomorrow – so do it today.  XO