Oct 12, 2010

Posted by in Leadership, The 40 Inch Jedi Speaks | 8 Comments

The 40 Inch Jedi Returns. How Head Lice Rocked My World

The 40 Inch Jedi Returns.  How Head Lice Rocked My World

Last week my son Brennan came down with a case of head lice.  We have no idea where he got it from.

It could have been school.  I could have been trying on Halloween masks.  Who knows?

If you have never had to deal with this crap, then you have no idea.  It’s rough.  The medical treatments are all incredibly toxic so we went the natural route.  It’s slower, but still effective.

BrenTree_0910

The actual head lice is killed almost immediately, but these little things called “nits” are left behind.  Actually, they are eggs…which it not only a disgusting thought…but a massive pain in the ass.

The school won’t let a child come back until every single nit is gone.

 

We picked…then picked some more.

There were thousands.

So I shaved Brennan’s hair down to where it was tight to his head.  It looked like I got all the nits…or at least I thought I did.

Come Monday…the school sent him home again.

The only thing left to do was completely shave his head.  We talked about it and Brennan was totally cool with going “Bruce Willis.”

Kids rock that way.

So here I am shaving away and I have about a third of his head completely bald and thinning out the rest.

Then it happened.

In an instant I got absolutely overwhelmed with emotion.  It hit me out of nowhere.

And it hit me hard.

As I shaved my amazing 5½ yr old’s head and looked into his eyes with his new very fashionable look…I got images of kids with cancer and leukemia after chemo treatments.  I got images of kids who have to shave their heads for brain surgery.

In that moment, everything collapsed together – Brennan, chemo, leukemia, trauma, pain, helplessness, family challenges, appreciating things, losing things,  – it just all came over me and tears started rolling down my face.

This stupid head lice and shaving his head made me start thinking about how fricken fortunate I am.

I started thinking about all the people in my life that I love and am grateful for.

I started thinking about all the opportunities I am afforded and in actuality…how easy my life is.  I started thinking how blessed I am that I have been able to work from home all this time and be with Brennan in his challenges and triumphs.

And I started thinking about how I often take these things for granted.

So far today my biggest challenge was to get Brennan to eat breakfast…pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of life.

And yet we often make these small challenges seem HUGE.

I usually shift pretty quickly from things.  I take my lessons and go.  This one floored me.  I was numb for hours.  I had a mastermind call with my team leaders later in the morning and was moved to tears again in appreciation of their contribution to my life.

At a very real level, I am still in it.

Brennan often teaches me lessons.  He does it virtually every day.  But this experience was the most profound of all.

Sometimes we need reminders.  We need to relearn.  We need to unlearn.  We need to reprogram and reconnect.

Here is what my little lice infested angel reconnected me to…

Stuff In Life Just Happens…We Choose The Meaning

How often do we get sucked into believing something or thinking something just because that is what is familiar to us in our past…or most of the rest of the world believes a certain way?

Nothing in life inherently has any meaning.  Zero.  Ziltch.

We CHOOSE whatever meaning we want and we attach it to the events in our lives.  The events themselves give us nothing other than an experience, which alone is meaningless.  Additional years aren’t always liberating…sometimes they can aid us in creating mental prisons.

Experience is indeed the best teacher, but we have to bring awareness to what it is actually teaching us.  If I had to shave my head as a teenager I would have been devastated.  Even today, it would be a serious gut check moment.

Brennan has no negative anchor.  No need to impress.  No comparative judgment.

He has no past experience to limit how he embraces this moment and because of that…he grabbed every ounce of positive emotion from it.

Imagine if you had to shave your head today.  Would you embrace it or would it stop you in your tracks?

What emotions and fears would it bring up for you?  What would you make it mean?

This is one of the things I love about being a Home Based Entrepreneur…It’s the best personal development program ever…you are forced to come face to face with all your “stuff.”

We Need To Unlearn To Move Forward

It’s often said that things like fear of __________, (success, failure, embarrassment, not fitting in, etc) are “part of the human condition.”  I believe this to be true, but I would change it slightly.

I believe these things are “Part of the human conditioning.”

For the most part, we learn about fear…we aren’t born with it.  We learn most of it before we are seven, then the rest of our lives reinforce it.

Mentally, we become our own best supporter of limited thinking.  I see it over and over again.

I have been a student of personal development for over 20 years.  I have been facilitating programs that help people move through this stuff for 15 years.

And I still get stuck…all the damn time.

We HAVE to set up supportive structures in order to have any shot at UNlearning, reprogramming and creating massive success for ourselves.

You truly make up and choose your beliefs.  Your current ones have been hardened by life over the years, but they are NOT permanently fixed.

Begin today to look at the beliefs you have and look at what you want.  Are they in alignment?

If they are…awesome.

If they are not…awesome.  Now let’s change them.

Then give yourself plenty of opportunities to create small victories that support your new beliefs.

Brennan didn’t have anything to unlearn.  I do.  You may as well.

Start unlearning your ass off and set yourself free.

It’s NOT About Living Like You Are Dying

I’ve never liked this philosophy.

“Live like you are dying.”

“Live each moment as if it’s your last.”

It doesn’t work for me.  Honestly, if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

For me, what works is to be completely present at all times.  Do all I can in all I do.  Be joyful.  Let people know how I feel and how much they mean to me.

My little 40” Jedi is a masterful teacher.  These lessons for me were so unexpected.

It literally came out of nowhere…but it was exactly what I needed.

I am so incredibly grateful for lice.  If you have any question as to why…look at the pure joy on Brennan’s face in the photo below.  He could give a rat’s ass about his hair…it doesn’t define him.

What life-changing lessons are you walking past everyday because they are disguised as tiny obstacles, nuisances, “problems” or challenges?

Please forward and share this with everyone you know who has children and anyone who is committed to living an authentic and joyful life.

If you want to know what pays for me to stay home to create these moments…CLICK HERE.

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  • http://santasecretary.com Cindy Clarke

    Wow, that is amazing… how odd that right when you said that you got overwhelmed I was thinking about cancer kids and how grateful I am for a healthy little Malia.
    I’ve often wondered what I would do if I knew I was dying (well, I know I am, but you know what I mean). My attitude has been one of gratitude, in light of the trials we have had to face. Give your little Jedi a big ole hug from your buddies in Richmond

  • Onnita Ekvinai

    Wow! What an incredible article.
    You are an awesome man.

    Much love your way…
    Pear :)

  • http://wisewellwomen.com Nanette Saylor

    Well said, Keith. As always. Awesome isn’t it, the things we learn from our absolutely amazing kids!
    Wishing you well!

  • http://www.foolforlifecoaching.com Talesha Hogan

    Very touching and thought provoking, Keith. Thank you for passing on this amazing gift to all of us. Tell your 40 Inch Jedi .. I love his new look~! Smiles~ talesha

  • http://authentic-networker.com Keith O’Brien

    Cindy, Onnita, Nanette and Talesha – thank you all. You are all beautiful people. Thank you for stopping by and for your wonderful comments.

  • Stacey

    That is an amazing statement and so dead on about life and how a person chooses to live it. Your son is beautiful and you will teach him to live his life in a way that he will forever appreciate. You all are blessed. I, on the other hand, guess I won’t be seeing him for a haircut anytime soon ;) . I’ll see you soon :) .

  • Bertpepi

    He looks so cute with his head shaved bald!

  • Jls

    i wish i could shave my childs hair off!

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