Monday, September 14, 2009

Trusting Your Gut

We all have an inner voice. Now before you think I still have an imaginary friend at the advanced age of 51, let me explain myself.

I "discovered" I had cancer in the shower. No, it wasn't a previously undetected lump that I discovered. I had a small "bump" on the right side of my jaw, just below my ear which I thought was caused from being sick with a very bad cold. I've posted about this before, but my "inner voice" kept asking me a question: why do I feel like I have cancer? That's some pretty heavy duty shit. And to some, I'm sure, pretty hard to believe. But it's the God's honest truth. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be at the keyboard right now. I'd be six feet under or spread over the outfield of Dodger Stadium as my ashes became a fixture at Chavez Ravine.

But this isn't about that day in the shower that saved my life. This is about having to present myself and my group at work in front of the new Big Boss. And this was a big moment for myself and the group who works with me––and I wanted to crush it and hit it out of the park. (Sorry, I have baseball play-off fever and it's on my mind). We've been doing some really great work lately. And I wanted everyone to know it.

So I agonized. Wrote down stuff. Wrote down stuff others wanted me to say. Got on the defensive. Went on the offensive. Talked to myself––my inner voice was NOT paying much attention at the time––and even juiced up on more caffeine. I wasn't nervous. I was anxious. I love the stage. I love being able to share work that others have created. It's a positive blast to the ego, and we can all use that every now and then, right? Then about 15 minutes before we were on, one of my co-workers walks in and says, "we only have 2 minutes? What do we say that they already don't know?"

After he walked away, my inner voice finally spoke up––about time, rat bastard––and gave me the same advice Denny Kuhr gave me 20 years ago.  Go with what you know. Speak from the heart and the head will follow. Forget trying to script it or spin it or spew out somebody else's words from my mouth. I know this stuff. I live this stuff. I love doing what I'm doing. I don't know exactly where my "inner voice" lives inside my body. My head? My neck? My feet? No.

Right where it should've been all along. Right in my gut.

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