Get Your Shit Together

A few hours after I wrote my last post I got a concussion. I wish I had some exciting story, but the truth is I slipped in the shower and knocked myself out on the bathtub. Exciting story or not, I was completely out of commission for days, and incredibly foggy and sore for almost two weeks.

As I was beginning to come out of the brain fog, I met with an emotional fog when I was confronted with the perfect opportunity to do some deep personal work that I have been avoiding for years. And so, not wanting to carry this stuff along with me any longer, I took the opportunity to dive in.

The revelation upon surfacing from that dive was that yes, it really is time for me to make a big move. And so, delaying no longer, I took the next two weeks to wrap up my personal and professional life in Portland, and to pack everything else into my car that would fit around myself, my cat, and a crap ton of yoga props, and to make my way to my new home in Ojai, California.

Knocking myself out just over a month ago was the beginning of a whole bunch of things falling apart. Some more painful than others, but all of it so very needed.  And yet, the entire time there was a part of me who was incessantly whispering, “Jay, get your shit together!”  

And now, just a few days into my new life here in southern California, the mantra is even louder and persistent: It’s really time you get your shit together! Write a blog, get the details ironed out for your upcoming offerings, or at the very least put some quippy remark on Facebook, for God’s sake!”

But as I was practicing this morning it came to me that I have been getting my shit together. It just has happened to be a messy process, and one in which some things, like this blog, got left behind. But I feel more together now than I have in a long time. 

And so I’m reminded:

Getting your shit together does not mean putting on a mask and a get’er done attitude and showing up the way you’ve always shown up. 

Sometimes getting your shit together really means letting your shit fall apart as big as it needs to for as long as it needs in the ways that it needs to until you realize it’s together in a new and phenomenal way that is beyond your wildest imagination for what together could actually look like for you. 

And during these times when your life feels like a shit show, it’s useful to remember:

1. For the most part, other people either don’t care and/or completely understand if you don’t show up the way you always do. 

If you’ve ever had someone you love die, if you’ve ever been sick, given birth, gone through a break up, a big move or a career change, you get it and you’re more than happy to give someone else their space while they get what they need. Trust that this is true for other people when it comes to you, too.

2. Don’t try to fake having your shit together because it only makes it worse for you and for everyone around you.

It’s kind of like driving on snow. When you start to lose traction you have to turn into the skid. Trying to do anything else only increases the disasterousness of the outcome.

We all think we need to keep it together for other people, especially for our colleagues and clients, but one of the greatest gifts we can give another person is our vulnerability. There is an opportunity for honesty and connection like no other when we feel our most raw.

3. Don’t scramble because you can’t rush the process. 

Though you can’t get out of your process any quicker than is necessary, you can go through times when everything falls apart clear about what you’re committed to.

For me I was committed to seeing my clients, sleeping when I needed rest, feeling my feelings, not binge eating chocolate, and connecting with my family and friends who are dear to me in meaningful ways. Everything else, including this blog, fell away. 

There are things that are impossible, things that are possible but better left for another time, and things that are absolutely necessary. Learn to discern what fits into the latter category and give yourself a break when that’s all you get done.

In fact, as I write this last piece, it seems that it applies to just about everything in this life where the only way to really do anything is one day at a time, and the only person to whom you can be completely trustworthy to is yourself. 

Here's to you in the mess and wonder of it all.

owen keturah