Archives for posts with tag: you’ve got this!

Stressed out? Blue about “who you are”? Feeling like you “never get it right”? Feeling twisted, broken, angsty, or aggrieved? I have some good news for you, and you may not be ready for it (or even willing to accept it, quite yet)…

…It’s mostly all in your head. For real. Most of our stress and weirdness, most of our chaos and damage, most of our baggage – definitely most of our baggage – is not only “all in our heads”, we very carefully made that shit up. We built our narratives from bits and pieces that “feel right” to us, that “seem true” based on our own perspective and understanding of truth. We don’t spend much time checking our assumptions, or fact-checking the circumstances we assume we understand so well. We make mistakes, and ignore them. We misunderstand, without any awareness of it. We seriously bumble around with a head full of made up nonsense we give profound names such as “this is who I’ve always been”, and “if you loved me, you’d ___”, and “I can’t”, “I always”, “I have to” – I mean, just for starters, every one of these beginnings of sentences is demonstrably false, built on assumptions, and fragments of internal narrative that may not even be based in fact, at all. We don’t notice that, much, but make ourselves live on that stew of stress and drama.

…And it’s not even tasty. 😦

How is that even “good news”? Because – and here’s where it gets kinda hard – we choose it. Since we choose it, we can choose differently. πŸ˜€

One of the key understandings to unwinding the skein of bullshit that lived in my head for so long (and keeping things generally tidied up much of the time, now), is understanding that repetition is learning. Repeat something often enough, and it seems true. What loops are you playing in your head each day, that color your thoughts about you? Maybe pick one and knock that shit off? πŸ™‚ “I’m ugly.” Says who? I mean, whose opinion counts but your own, and why the fuck would you say some shit like that to yourself over and over? “No one likes me.” Almost certainly false, and again, why the fuck would you kick yourself around in that heinous fashion? If those things are not true, but you repeat them again and again, and you grow to believe them… does this literally and actually mean that you could, in fact, choose something else, repeat it again and again, and you would grow to believe it? Hehehe. Yeah. It does.

The “positive affirmation” movement is sort of built on this basic concept, and in principle, it’s a great approach. I’d suggest making some attempt to be accurate about any re-programming you may choose to do. Really think it through. Trying to force yourself to believe you are a stunning beauty may come at a cost if “down deep” you don’t “believe” it. It’s best to take a more authentic approach. Start with undermining the negative things you tell yourself every day – by disagreeing with those rote statements playing on a loop in the background of your thinking. Add things, as you notice, that you value and appreciate about yourself right now, and get those new loops going. Reinforce what is both true and uplifting. Undermine what is not true, and what tears you down. Slow progress. Trying to get ahead on the pace of incremental change over time can sometimes result in more frustration than progress, and a fallback on “that doesn’t work for me”. πŸ™‚

It’s a lot to ask of someone to love the person in the mirror, if they’ve been talking that bitch down for a lifetime. Start slow. Maybe just enjoy some time with the person in the mirror. Maybe just go to coffee “together” in a positive moment, in the context of positive, secure, self-reflective inner dialogue. You can be a pleasant experience of “companionship” – for yourself. And why wouldn’t you be?

I guess I’m just saying – there’s a more positive experience available to you, of life and of the world, and although you may have to do a little self-work to get there, I’ve found it well worth the journey, myself. πŸ™‚

How do you get from “here” to “there”? Well, for starters, you can begin again. πŸ™‚ When you catch the negative self-talk in progress – disagree. Firmly. Out loud if necessary. Counter that knee jerk bullshit with an observable fact or experience that is quite different. Once you have, enjoy that moment. Don’t rush it. Savor the positive qualities you observe about yourself. πŸ™‚ It’s a journey. There are verbs involved. Your results will vary. Incremental change over time is a slow thing – and there’s no point giving up. You’re going to fail; we learn best from our failures. So… now…

Begin again.

Every time. Every time you fail. Every time you fall. Every time you falter. Every time you face disappointment with yourself. Learn from that.

Begin again.

 

We become what we practice. I keep saying it. It’s a thing you can learn more about. There are even actual experts in the field of becoming happy. No kidding. Right here.Β You’ve got this. There are just some verbs involved. A path. Some choices. A lot of practice. A bunch of beginning again. It’s a journey, and the journey itself is the destination.

You don’t have to choose to endure endless relentless misery. You. Yes, you. However bleak things feel in this moment right here, you can choose differently. Your results will vary – and incremental change over time can feel infernally slow, but you can choose to practice practices that improve your experience of life (and self), overtime, and maintain it long term. No kidding. This is real. Doing it. It works.

Maybe read a book? Got an entire reading list for you right here. πŸ™‚ Watch a video? How about this one?Β (Be sure to also watch the less tongue in cheek follow up, though… πŸ˜‰ )

You have choices. Maybe you chose poorly some recent day and you’re feeling sort of defeated. even now? Maybe you haven’t yet understood just how much of your misery you are not only choosing, but also working very hard to carefully craft and maintain it? Just begin again – please. Give yourself that chance. Be your own best friend on this one.

Be real with yourself. Be who you are. Be authentic about where you are in your life right now. It’s a place to begin. Now?

Begin again.

In life, generally, there is an implicit expectation that we each “pull our own weight”, or “handle our share of the load” – basically, to do our part in our family life, our community, and even our world to create, maintain, and nurture the world we want to live in, and that we want to provide for our loved ones and descendants. That seems almost effortless compared to the more practical, less metaphorical, pulling of my own literal weight around each and every day.

I weigh more than I’d like, more than I find beautiful based on my own aesthetic, and more than is ideally healthy for me, personally, based on my own experience of movement, fitness, and comfort each day. This morning I am sipping my coffee and rather rudely chastising myself for finding losing a few pounds (and keeping it off) more difficult than building world peace, or overcoming poverty, privation, and disease. Ludicrous. So… while we all work on those other much larger issues, I’ll also work on making my issues with my weight much smaller – and thereby making myself somewhat smaller, and probably quite a bit healthier, and even reducing the burden on global resources in some minuscule way simply by consuming less, and more wisely. SomeΒ of my chronic health concerns would be eased, possibly resolved, if I lost the excess weight I’m dragging around, too… which sounds like a great way to reduce my health care expenses, as a further “value add” to getting fit.

So. Another journey begins again. This is a hard one for me, for a number of reasons that are intertwined with the chaos and damage. It’s time to set down more of the baggage, shed unnecessary pounds, and walk on. I even know I can do this – because I’ve done it before; I haven’t always been overweight. This morning, I practice bringing more mindfulness to my yoga, and to my physical therapy routine. It’ll be an every day commitment to be successful, and I expect to begin again any number of times… there are verbs involved, and I know my results vary. I’m very human. Still, it’s a worthy endeavor, so I begin again. Again. I fall back on practical basics that I know work: gamification (SuperBetter is a great tool!), accountability (talking about it reduces ‘get away with something’ opportunities), and mindfulness – both with regard to consumption and with regard to tracking data. “What gets measured gets managed” still works for me. And… there are still verbs involved.

…In the three plus years I’ve been writing this blog, I could easily have reached my fitness goals several times (and got really close once). I’m frustrated by that, sure, but I understand that incremental change over time does really work – it’s those pesky verbs! The verbs are not avoidable, and must actually be lived, done, performed, acted upon, otherwise they remain only words in sentences, becoming, perhaps, thoughts and never becoming achievements. It happens. I know – I happened it. πŸ™‚ (Or, rather, I didn’t.) It’s time to begin again – it’s nearly always quite an ideal time to begin again. It’s not necessary to save it for a Monday, or first thing in the morning, or perhaps on the first of the month, or for a New Year’s resolution, and in fact I’ve often been surprised to find that handling something that way (by selecting some opportune seeming beginning point in the future) resulted in failure more often than success. Failures are okay – steps on a journey – but they can be quite a buzz kill, and that’s more to deal with.

Each time for the first time, each moment the only moment. ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

Each time for the first time, each moment the only moment. ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

It’s funny something so practical as losing some weight can be such a challenge… I think we probably all understand that doing so requires fewer calories, more carefully chosen to meet nutritional needs, consumed in the context of the most active lifestyle we can comfortably maintain for our overall fitness. So many verbs…but hey, no fancy diet is actually required, and it doesn’t cost anything more to eat far less, generally. Choices. Verbs. Incremental changes over time. It’s tempting to see this journey as being “about” the destination (losing the weight), but this too is more about the journey itself, is it not? πŸ˜‰

Practical thoughts on a Thursday morning, likely the result of practical thinking generally as I begin to shift gears from living largely at leisure, painting and writing, toward something more commonplace, with a commute, regular hours, an income, expectations… and yet another beginning. It’s enough to be who I am, in this moment. It’s enough to be here, now, content and relaxed, and still aware that there is more to do on the journey of being the woman I most want to be. I’m okay with that; it’s about the journey, after all. πŸ™‚ Today is a good day to begin again.