Remember as a kid playing the game of tag? You would get five or six kids together and you huddle up to talk rules and get real. You chose BASE, that oak tree or that fence post, there are no tag-backs and you count down 3, 2, 1... "NOT IT!" and disperse like bats out of hell running as far away from the last person to yell 'not it'. Arms flailing, screaming at the top of your lunges, chasing or being chased, I remember it all being really fun.
Remember? Go remember.
Throw in the Freeze Tag style and you have people crawling between legs and freezing all over the place. I can only imagine what it must have looked life for someone driving by our field in P.E. in the 2nd grade. Sigh.
Or wait, I can imagine. It might have looked a lot like life.
I liken life to tag, one huge giant game of tag. Whether in conversation with an old friend via phone, meeting new people, sitting crammed really close in one of those restaurants where the tables are maybe 4 inches from one another, kissing, copying notes in class, running into someone who is looking down because they are staring at their iPhone, basically anything that involves being alive, really. We are all tagging one another. And maybe that person (or animal, we will stick to humans) does not physically tag you with his/her hand, however, their energy is there. You know when you walk into during an excruciatingly awkward moment, or someone is distraught and huffing and puffing or when someone is so happy they might literally become a unicorn? You can absolutely feel their energy. Tag, you're it.
Okay, so you agree. We are all playing tag.
Now, let's go back in time to when I was a kid. I loved tag and I think I remember I was pretty fast. This one girl Eleanor was way faster, but I was pretty fast. I loved tagging people out, crawling between a few legs to save a friend or two. But man, I knew when to pause and catch my breath and hit BASE. My chest would start to burn and I would beeline to the proclaimed base at the start of the game. I should tell you, I was a competitive kid. So most kids are smiling and laughing at people being tagged while catching their breath (or just being lazy) while at BASE, not me. I am analyzing the situation. Who are the slow people, who tagged me out last time, I'm coming for you with all this new gusto I just rocked at base. Ready or not.
It has been a road of (super)ego unraveling to get to 30. As you can imagine.
So, as I was saying, in real life, I believe you can start to experience or visually notice the people that are being chased, that are out of breath and that have not taken a moment to hit base and pause. And we have all been one of those people. Tired eyes, run ragged, out of balance, pushing so hard, trying to fit in and look so good. The external forces of culture, stereotypes, work deadlines, social media comparison, comfort zones and sticky routines, they can chase you. Been there? Raise your hand.
Okay, put your hand down. All of you.
Because here is the skinny dip. Go hit that metaphorical oak tree, tap that fence post and take a (sacred) pause to hit BASE. And because I like to liken things, I liken BASE to my core values, which is my inner GPS, my moral compass, my truth. If you have worked with me on a client:coach basis, you know this well. If you have been to a Rock Your Bliss workshop or retreat, you've played this game. Because values are my foundation, my root chakra, my grounded-ness. Values are the reminder, the language, the connection to the real deal self. The self with a capital 'S'. No, not the forced self, the out of balance self, the instagram addicted self, the prove it self. Values allow time and space to check myself before I make a rash decision and wreck myself. Values are BASE.
My Values are: Family, Connection, Knowledge, Nature, Fun.
I might have to add Competitive to the list (see young Jacki playing tag for reference).
How to hit base, you ask? Declare and define your core values for you. Then choose them like a daily practice. This can look like a list of hot pink post-it notes with our values written in purple marker on your bathroom mirrors, this can look like a meditation practice to check in and feel the words as mantra or intention, this can look like a goal sheet created through your values or a digital detox. The sacred pause of BASE is necessary to create the life you want to live, truly.
As you can imagine, I call and see my family often. I hike in nature alone or with other interesting people. I laugh often (especially with red wine). And I read and research often. And when I am not doing these things, stand clear. You will know. Someone or something is chasing me and I haven't taken the time to slow down and take the actions that make me, me.
So I realize, when I remove my hand, or the cool kids had their foot on base (I copied), so when I remove my foot from base, I find that I am focused and connected. I am most available for human consumption when I have taken the time to check in and I am being true to myself. I can get clear on my choices, my actions and where I want to go. I am not lost or stuck, I am home in myself, again. It's an inside job. And I thrive here.
Hit BASE. Come home to yourself. Then with consciousness and choice, get back in the game.