Episode 81 – Making it Mean Something

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Memorable events are part of our daily life. We can remember what a school teacher said in the second grade, a shocking news flash, a slight smile or acknowledgement in a vulnerable moment, or a roll of the eyes from someone we admire.

We assign meanings to these events that, over time, define how we view our life experience and how we interact with the environment around us and the people that cross our path.

How often do you question the meaning you assign to these events? And, the beliefs you have from the meaning you’ve assigned?

Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself a few questions and decide which of these meanings or beliefs you want to keep and which may benefit from you viewing them in a new way. A way that helps you progress on your journey to offer up your best life work.

Episode 81 Show Notes

Episode 81 Transcript

This is Rebecca Clark, Episode 81. Making It means something. This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? One of my favorite questions is What are you making that mean? And another question closely related to It is Why are you making that wrong? And one of the questions I learned during life school in one of the questions I heard from my sister Renee, and she heard it from someone else. I think it’s really interesting that can remember where we heard certain questions. Questions air really important in our lives through asking ourselves difficult questions. We can put our mind toe work, finding answers and figuring out solutions. And I think it’s important to ask questions on a daily basis so that we are constantly in a mode of self assessment and making sure that we’re not just on autopilot or default in the world. So they were asking, Why am I doing this? Should I be doing this? Can I be doing something else? Why do I choose to do this is it because everyone around me is doing the same thing. Is it because I really like it? What’s my reason and do I like my reason so often as I coach and go through life, I hear people telling their stories and I hear myself telling my stories. And as we do this, we’re sharing our version of events that have happened in our lives and what we’ve made those events mean, which is why it’s so important to ask that question. What are you making this mean? Because we find that other people may have the exact same events in some part of their lives and interpret those times completely different. And how we interpret it matters because that’s how we go about living our life, interpreting what’s happening to us. And it can be surprising for most of us to find out that we could choose to interpret event in a different way. And what I think is very fascinating and exciting is that we can choose to look back at past events that we have made mean something and decide right now that those events means something else and hopefully in that process we can learn how to individually discover how to make new meaning of events that are happening to us right now and some things air horrible to most of us, and it will be really hard to find a different meaning while we’re going through something. However, it can be an invaluable skill tohave in our life and in the lives of those we serve, because we can help those around us have a different perspective as to what is going on in their life and what they can make that mean. So I want to share a story about how my parents made something in my life means something that other parents may have chosen to make mean something else. But how that choice helped little Rebecca Oh, and therefore adults. Rebecca. We moved from California to Nebraska when I was entering the first grade, and I was excited for the new experience, and I’m sure I had some fears. But I don’t remember that because I remember liking my first grade class, and one of the extra privileges I had in first grade is that I was able to go out of the building to the kindergarten trailer for reading and I thought I was pretty special because I got to do what no other first grader in my class got to Dio. I got to go over to the kindergarten trailer for reading, spend time with them and then come back to my first grade class. And one of the things I enjoy doing in that first grade class is going to a particular corner during free time, where there was this little pretend teaching area and I would pick up one of the reading books. That was the teacher’s edition, and I would pretend like I was a teacher. I don’t know how many of you have seen the teachers version of some of the text books, but it looks like there’s a snapshot of each page of the book and then surrounding. It is a set of directions for the teacher to follow when they’re on that particular page of a student book. And I thought it was just super cool how this was larger than our reading books, but it had a picture of each page and then these words for the teacher. So anyway, I’m pretending I’m a teacher, teaching reading during free time and Perhaps I played with a little ovens and stoves and whatever toys they had their as well. But that’s what I remember wanting to practice being a teacher. Well, fast forward. Years later, when I was an adult, I find out that part way through that first grade year, I no longer went to that kindergarten class for my reading time because I had actually improved my reading skills and ended up being in a higher reading group in the first grade class. And what I did not know is that when we had moved from California to Nebraska, I had taken some tests and they realized that I was far behind my peers. And so that’s the reason that I got the special privilege of going over to the kindergarten trailer for reading time. It was a privilege and a special thing to Dio because I was behind Now. I was surprised to hear this when my mother told me this information because I have a teaching background in my past, and I also have heard so many stories of how kids heard they were behind, and it affected their self esteem and all kinds of things, and so is really interesting to hear that something that I thought was a special privilege was actually something that some could interpret as a negative, like Oh, no, she’s behind. Will she ever get ahead and could have been presented to me in a way like, Oh, you have to go get special help because you’re dealing with this or whatever, But it wasn’t presented to me that way. Or at least that’s not the way that I remembered it or that I interpreted it right. Whatever my parents told me, I made mean that I had a special opportunity to go over to that kindergarten trailer and my sister was in kindergarten. And so that was cool for us to be in the same class for an hour a day. Or however often it was, and I appreciate that. That’s how my parents dealt with that situation. Now I know because of further stories from my parents, how important that was. I think, especially to my mother that I learned to read, and she didn’t want me to be behind in school, and she didn’t want me to not be successful. And every time she talks about that California school she brings up how far it was behind and the poor schools and everything. And so that’s a different part of the story, right? That she’s made mean something. I don’t remember. That is a kindergartner. And I don’t remember what she said. That I’d come home and angry little child every day. Uh huh. I went from this happy kid playing and everything to going to school, and perhaps I felt constrained or whatever I felt I came home and I unleashed it on everyone at home. But what I do remember about my California experience is that in that California school I stood on some bleachers and I sang This land is your land. This land is my land from the Gulf Stream waters, and I’m probably getting the words wrong, But I remember singing that song and how thrilling it Waas and I remember learning how to say the pledge allegiance to the flag. I remember having swim lessons in the parking lot of that school and how we had to take a little shower and then step up some steps and get in the pool. And that’s where I learned officially how to swim. That’s the street, where we went on our scooters and learned how to turn at the bottom of this so called hill so that we wouldn’t go into traffic. That’s the place where I had a very tall Hispanic friend that was also a kindergartner, and she had huge, long, curly masses of hair that I thought was super cool, and she had more confidence than I did. And she knew how to ride a bike and I didn’t. And she helped me practice on my bike that had this turquoise banana seat. Or maybe it was her bike. Now that I think of it, I can’t even remember whose bike it waas. I just thought it was in the 19 seventies. It had this super cool, huge turquoise banana see with sparkles in it, and I started to learn how to ride a bike, and I was not quite successful. In fact, that’s another story. I cut my ear on a license plate, trying to stop a bike right there in that driveway in California. I remember playing store by driving up to the kitchen window and placing my order and my mom accepting orders or something on the other side. I remember sitting at the table and eating raisins with my dad from a big jar. I remember going to Disneyland. I remember sitting in a huge stadium for the Rose Bowl on the Rose Bowl parade and seeing all the rial flowers that went into the floats. I remember the beach. I don’t remember not knowing how to read so many memories and so much meaning that we place on our experiences. There’s this meme that has gone around Facebook and other parts of the Internet recently, where there’s a bunch of little turtles or animals or something that are sitting there making a lot of noise around this turtle that’s doing the impossible, and I wish I could find it right now. But the main point of it was that this was a deaf turtle, and because of what this turtle could observe, he thought that all the other turtles were cheering him on. When really they were saying he can’t do it. Why is he trying it? What’s going on? This is not possible, but he couldn’t hear it, so he used that as fuel to move forward and do the impossible goal because he couldn’t hear all the naysaying. He couldn’t hear all the other voices and he decided to make it mean something different than the other turtles actually wanted it to mean. I think this is a great example of showing how we get to choose how to make meaning what we will make the events in our lives meet. And so as a practice today, I encourage you to pay attention to something in your life. Some event that’s taking place, some circumstance that you’re in. And ask yourself, What do you think about it? What do you believe about the circumstance? Is it bad? Is it good? Is it horrible? Is it interesting? Is it weird? What do you think about it? It’s even worth writing this down. But if not, just think about it and think about why you are deciding to think that about this event or circumstance. Is it something your parents ingrained in you when you were young? Is it something a teacher said? Is it something you heard? And it really resonated at that time. Try to really think back on it. Where did you originally get that belief or that thought? And then, after you think about that and discover it doesn’t even have to be the very first time. It could be a time that stuck in your head because we all have these little moments stuck in our heads, right? Take a few minutes and think, OK, does someone else believe something different about this same event? Do they have different thoughts about it using the example of me and my reading skills? What could someone have thought about the event? Could a parent of thought Rebecca stupid? Oh, I better pull her from school. I better get her in a special program or all is lost. Let’s get her into arch. Let’s get her into sports. Let’s get her into something where she never has to read anything ever again. Right? That seems kind of extreme At the same time. Apparent. Could think she’s not behind. There’s no problem here. She could take a long as she wants to learn how to read. There’s no issue I never read. I’m so glad she even knows what the letters look like, right? She could have a parent that’s over there on that end of this back, Trump. Then you have a parent in between that goes okay, I see she’s behind. I think she’s capable. I’m going to tell her straight up what’s going on. Or maybe hey, let’s present this in a way that it will be fun for her toe. Learn that it’s not a problem for her, because we’re going to create an environment to help her move forward and enjoy this opportunity to learn her letters, learn her words, learn her sentences and, oh, by the way, her sister will be there to How cool is that? So there’s lots of different ways we could think to interpret the same experience. Another good practice after doing this is to stop and go. Okay, what are the rial fax in this situation here? The fax for my story. I went to kindergarten in California. I looked at some books in California. I had a teacher in California. I moved to Nebraska. I went to first grade in Nebraska. I did not read words in Nebraska when I moved there. Beyond that, there’s a lot of interpretation as to what all of that means. And so you realize, as you compare the different ways you could look at a situation and the actual situation. The actual facts of the circumstance or the event realize there’s ah lot of stories that can crop up from a few very simple fax. Those stories can crop up in little Rebecca’s mind in each parent’s mind, in the teacher’s mind in the other students minds in Rebecca’s siblings minds, all kinds of possibilities. Maybe my sister Raelynn thought it was super cool that I got to come to her class because I was a big first grader. Maybe she was annoyed, like, Oh, great, my sisters in my class. I want to be with my friends. I don’t want her interact thing. Or why is she in my class? Why doesn’t she have her own reading group so many things that could be interpreted? But the beauty of this process is that in it, we can often find a new belief or a new thought that helps us move forward. Sometimes you want to keep a story, you want to keep that meaning, and other times you realize this story’s really been hurting me For a long time. I’ve been making it mean that I’m less than or I’m not capable or I don’t deserve something that going through an exercise like this, we can start to see. Well, wait a second. What if that was the most powerful experience I’ve ever been through? What if, through that experience, I learned empathy or I learned to try harder? Or I learned to notice what someone else was thinking, or I learned to look into the future mawr when I’m making a decision now and see the ripple effect, the negative and the positive consequences of those actions, What if I had that happened to me so I could share that experience with others and show them that it’s possible to move on after something difficult and become stronger And, like the turtle or, like Little Rebecca, be ableto have a strength as a result of something that others might have been looking at as a detriment or a problem? Now you could call this being naive if you want. But in those particular situations did naive served me. Did naive served the turtle it might have. You get to decide, right? You can decide what that means to you, but I think this is very interesting as I go through this process almost every day as I observe others as I observe myself as I think of situations on the past, and it’s amazing when you even try to do this with some simple situation in life. It shifts you. You make thes little shifts and may not even realize it, but can create tremendous change in yourself as you make things mean something different. I am very grateful to have these experiences as much of America, and the world is going through co vid and through political elections and to realize that I have a certain peace and calm about it, because I have chosen not to make it mean certain things for me. Now, on the other hand, I’ve decided that no matter what happens in the world, I am still responsible for what meaning I make of it. And what meaning I make of it hinders or helps my progress and my personal development in life. And so I’m very motivated to create meaning that serves that purpose right that helps me move forward and get the right thoughts and the emotions and insights that could help me offer up my best to the world and hopefully help others offer up their best as well If they choose to, I have way more thoughts on this. Uh huh. Yeah, I need to stop here. But please, if you have a moment today where you’re thinking about certain event in your life, stop for a moment and think about this and think if there’s another way to think about that and to figure out why you choose to believe what you’re believing about that event and entertain possibilities that could be out there for your interpretation of it. Especially if the event involves other people in your life that you think hate you or disrespect you or are out to get you think about whether or not that is actually true. What if that’s not actually their intention? What if something’s going on in them about them? That has nothing to do with you. But they’re reacting to you in certain ways because of that. Okay, remember these two questions today? What are you making that event mean? And why are you making what happened? Wrong? See what you come up with. Your brain will figure some things out for you. Talk to you soon. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it. I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends. Sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com. See you next Monday.

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