A knock came on my door and a burly man with a grey mustache and old man belly told me he was here to winterize the place. This is all new to me, so for all my warm weather folks, this is when they do a sprinkler clear and shut off deal and then cover or close up the swamp cooler on the roof. He was tinkering around on a ladder and closing off Summer with the flip of all the switches in our sweet and tiny bungalow home. I actually had no idea how to use the sprinkler system so he showed me the ropes. It is an outdoor manual system, I walked to the side of the house with him through the falling leaves for a full on demo and at that moment, I felt a sting in the bottom of my foot. I had stepped on a thorn/splinter of sorts. The old man took out his humongous tweezer tool and asked if I needed help with it. Not humored and almost a bit creeped out, I declined, went inside and locked the door and sent him off to welcome Winter to the rest of my neighborhood.
I checked my foot and all seemed normal and I went along my day.
Later that night, I was taking a long hot bath soak. I love a good bath in the Fall/Winter time. You know that moment you are freezing and it almost stings when you submerge the tub to warm up. I love it.
So, there I soak.
And then interrupting my heated relaxation and warmth, there was an odd stinging pain in the bottom of my feet. I get pretzel like and there is a tiny dot on the bottom of my right footpad, realizing the splinter it becomes a throbbing pain now. So weird how the awareness does that, it can make it worse once you know it is actually there.
I start to poke, prod and squeeze. Nothing surfaces, except more gnarly pain.
I begin to ponder leaving it and living with the tiny wood piece in my foot my entire life. Like a connection to nature or an ode to being barefoot and the Summertime. It might be nice to remember through Winter.
I know, crazy.
And yet, I like this plan and I put my foot back in the water. Shit, even worse now.
I call in my husband, he is the best at splinter removal. In his language, he calls them 'slivers'. Have you ever heard of a splinter called a sliver before? He enters to assess the sliver damage and leaves the bathroom to grab a few tools. He returns with a safety pin.
Fear rushes in and I immediately tell him never mind, leave me here, I'll get it out later. I can do it by myself. Leave me alone.
Hands on hip, a deep sigh past his beard and that look of a wisdom monster, he says, "No. Jacki, you are getting it out now before it gets worse or infected."
So we remove the thorn/splinter/sliver after several attempts of me yelping, yelling, again considering living my life with it forever and ever into the rest of time, and then it comes out.
To be clear, I am in the bathtub still. Naked. Steaming hot water. All while yelping, yelling, crying, considering wood in my foot forever, Chris shaking his head and being the ever-so patient man that he is (why I married him) and more whining. Way too many life analogies, I'll get there in a second...
So he leaves me to the rest of my bath, which is totally not enjoyable anymore, as you can imagine. There is still a lingering pain in my foot, even louder now and I wonder if we actually got the whole thing out? Did we break it off in my foot? How could there be more? Please, no. The pain stays into the night. The next morning I wake up and realize I am all good, splinter removed, small bruise on bottom of foot and into full recovery mode.
So let’s talk life analogy, shall we? Today is November 11, a lot of people associate the number 11 with angels, so this is a double whammy kind of angel day. I read on someone’s instagram that it is also a new moon, a great day to feel and declare new beginnings.
I love all of that spiritual shit. I do.
And so, I have been pondering my new beginning today. And with new beginnings there is always an end to something else, a letting go, a removal, if you will. I think of that piece of wood lodged deeply in my right foot pad causing discomfort, pain and my reactive consideration to "deal with" pain and live with it forever. I believe that piece of wood, for me, was my own self limiting beliefs around money and the hustle (p.s. On that dollar bill not, this podcast titled Math & Drama = gamechanger).
Michael Singer’s talk about this exact choice we make as human beings in his book, The Untethered Soul (read it!). Chapter Nine is titled “Removing Your Inner Thorn”. It was a big chapter of a-ha moments for me and of course, I lived it the next week.
In the book and in our lives, how often do we need to let go of a goal, an incorrect belief or a story that no longer serves us, yet we keep it there? Like a thorn, or in my case a splinter, we consider keeping it there in fear of the bigger pain it will take to remove the nuisance. And then, we build our lives around this thorn. I could have purchases padded socks, bought larger shoes, gotten crutches….I considered all of these options. The list goes on and wow, the lengths I might have gone to choose to live with this tiny piece of wood in my foot so uncomfortably.
So I ask you, what is your splinter right now? Identify it, the location, the feeling, the story.
Can you remove it today? Let go and release?
Can I get you a safety pin?
Yes, it might hurt. Actually, it will hurt. There even might be a lingering pain after the removal, as your body might have gotten a little too comfortable in that story or in that pattern. However, before you decide to leave it, talk to me about the cost of believing that story or incorrect belief or outdated goal? Talk to me about the drama it causes in your own life, your vision, your goals, and even in the lives of others?
Tell me, do you want to remove the splinter?
Ask for help, if need be. Get naked, if need be. Cry, if need be.
Let’s make space for a new beginning. It is November 11, after all.
I made space, you read it, I removed that splinter physically and metaphorically. Sharing my new beginning: I am open to receiving the upgrade now and now and now. I say thank you for the compliment, not deflect. Yes, I do accept your cash payment for my badass coaching services because they got upgraded, Beyonce style. Yes, I would love to read a book together via online book club. No, I will not sit in complaint with you, yet I will listen and love you. Yes, I am growing a human and have two hearts in my body, effing magical upgrade, I receive you.