Dr. Wayne Dyer
Despite my two decades or so of working in the biz and knowing that renovations always take twice as long as you expect, I still find my own pace of progress surprising and frustrating. Mainly it comes down to that old expression; "Many hands make light work." That's the rub. From Monday to Friday I only have my own two hands and on the weekend I double that number to four. I need a team, not a doubles partner.
All of this will no doubt contribute to my growth and acceptance of Rome not being built in a day. Back in the day, I used to tackle these home improvement projects with an obsessive mania. I would drop everything and spend every available minute on the task at hand to the exclusion of the rest of my life. My family and health would take a backseat to the cause. I wanted the job done quickly, so life would get back to normal as soon as possible. One difference between then and now is my available energy and my priorities. I still want to eat healthy, exercise and have a life outside my renovation. Without outside help, things are going to take longer.
And this is where the passing of one of my spiritual gurus enters the picture. I was saddened to learn that Dr. Wayne Dyer passed away on Saturday in Maui at the age of 75. He has been an amazing source of inspiration on my journey through this life. A few years ago one of his books actually saved me from the depths of despair. I was on my way to London for a March break holiday with my daughter and I had been under tremendous stress at work. I picked up a copy of Excuses Begone at the airport. I was in the midst of separating from my husband, I was in a conflict with my employer and I needed to focus on the special time with my daughter. My anxiety level was through the roof.
I started reading it on the flight over the pond and continued reading it at night while my sweet girl slumbered in the bed next to mine at our hotel. I was so stressed out, I could not sleep. With each chapter of enlightenment, I felt myself becoming more calm. I finished the book with a renewed solution to all the stresses that were confronting me. The main message I took from that book was this. Every time you are doubting or worried or full of fear, ask yourself this one simple question. IS IT TRUE?
Will the world end if I leave my husband? Will I end up destitute on the street if I get fired from my job? If I quit my job? Will my family disown me for making choices they disagree with? Am I too old to start over again? Am I strong enough to endure these changes? The questions were endless. However, when you take these and other questions about your life and then ask IS IT TRUE? Nine times out of ten, it is not. The world will not end, you will not become a homeless person, your family will get over it, you're never too old and yes, Deb, you do have the strength.
Since that time, I have used this reasoning frequently. It is positively amazing how often it works. So, in terms of this renovation, when I get frustrated or anxious about how long it is taking, I have stopped and asked myself IS IT TRUE? a few times now.
ME: I cannot live with all this mess and disorder around me.
ME: IS IT TRUE?
ME: No, I can, so just relax.
ME: I need to get this house done before I can relax.
ME: IS IT TRUE?
ME: No, I can still relax, just like I did before we actually bought this house. I will just have to get used to being surrounded by renovation clutter...paint cans in the hallway, ladders leaning on the walls, splotches of test paint on the walls, drywall dust, etc., etc.
ME: I should have had at least one before and after shot ready for my blog by now.
ME: IS IT TRUE?
ME: Only in your own mind Deb. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to perform to some kind of unrealistic schedule for completion. The world will not end if you're not ready.
This is how this simple question works for me. It seems almost ridiculously simple really. However, until I read Excuses Begone, I would just get so ramped up with anxiety putting pressure on myself and those around me, it was unhealthy. I would forget about my own self-care and caring for others and I now know that those things are far more important than finishing a project in record time.
Thank you Dr. Dyer for this gift. You gave so much to the world before you passed and it is the kind of gift that keeps on giving. He was a wise and spiritually evolved human being that will be missed. If you have never read any of his many books, I highly recommend them.
I do hope a wonderful new journey has just begun for him.