Why was I laughing and smiling last night while I was cleaning dog poo out of the crevices of the sole of my hiking boot?

Three times in the last week, I have stepped in dog poo (and one time in old chewing gum). This never happens. Just to be clear: I’m not lucky. I’m careful. I’m always on alert, scanning for potential danger.

Betsy, the Love of my Life, is the one who took note and pointed out this new pattern. After my left hiking boot found a patch of dog poo on our visit to a local nature preserve, she asked me, “what’s going on with you?” Until she asked, I hadn’t noticed how careful I usually am. I know that I am meticulous with my things. I just didn’t realize that I also walk through my day with such precision.

So what is “happening to me?” I am tightening up where I spend my energy, shifting shifting away from leaking energy in directions that don’t serve my purpose. Consider this question in your life: How are you leaking energy each day?

When Betsy asked me what was going on, I immediately thought of the lyrics from the song “As Is” by my favorite folk singer, Ani Difranco.

“When I look down I just miss all the good stuff. And when I look up I just trip over things.”

I am getting more intentional in choosing where to use my energy. This is a big task because I have been leaking my superpowers of creativity, kindness, and curiosity for years, actually decades, if we’re being honest!. There is a lot of reinforcement to keep doing the same things.

One way that I am making these changes is to think hard about my Starting Five, the five people with whom I interact most often (the subject of a future blog post).

The biggest investment I am making is to expand my value for the families that I serve. Working with a life/business coach (for my own development) and currently working through two powerful money mindset books, I am evolving who I am being.

I can still recall a pearl of wisdom from one of my gurus, Psychologist Dr. Dan Gottlieb. A parent attending his keynote address begged Dan to boil down his talk. He requested one thing he could do to be a better parent. Dan said, “it’s not what you do, or even what you say, that will make you a better parent. It is who you are being.”

So what does that look like? First thing in the morning and last thing at night, I restate and write down a list of “I am …” statements. I make the choice to carve out this time, especially at the beginning and end of my busy days. As a result, I change the way that I engage with the people in my day and how I look out at the world.

When Betsy asked me why I keep stepping in dog poo, I realized that I have literally shifted where I direct my gaze. I’m looking up more since I started getting intentional about who I am.

I may not be as careful where I walk but I am definitely catching more of the “good stuff.”

It’s OK. The dog poo washes off.

photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash