Created: Wednesday, 11 June 2014 16:50
Yesterday was a noble experiment in food portions that led to a Blinding Flash of the Obvious. I am tempted to post about it now, but I'll let it percolate a bit more before I do that. The realization is so obvious that many of you will think (or know) that I can be clueless sometimes. I'll take a "fertile pause" before I disclose.
Fertile pauses are useful in the middle of conversations as well as in blog postings. The simple words:
...reset a conversation. Try it today. When you're tempted to be forthcoming, but suspect it might be better to wait or alter the conversational trajectory a bit, try that phrase. My fertile pause will be a day or more, but the phrase works well mid-conversation as well.
Created: Tuesday, 10 June 2014 12:36
I posted yesterday about how I ate more fat and protein than my system could handle, and I wanted to get at the root of why. I mentioned that cheap and easy answers won't change anything.
Of course, it's important to be fair to myself about the circumstance. The same meal that sits well with me one day might not sit well at all on another. Hindsight is 20-20, and there can be plenty of days where I eat the same way with impunity. It won't occur to me that I had the same warning voice that day as I did the day I paid a price for my meal.
I want to be fair, but my goal isn't to let myself off the hook - nor is it to chastise myself unfairly. My goal is to figure out why I overload my system so I can remove the obstacles that prevent me from eating in ways that promote health and healing. That requires me to understand what happens and what I want to have happen. It requires that I help myself stay completely conscious at the decision points of eating.
This principle applies to any way we overload our systems and for any decision that is less than optimal.
Angela made an important point. She says she'll make a less nurturing choice when her "yes" isn't big enough. To make it easier to make the most optimal choice, she cultivates a bigger "YES."
Yesterday, when I tasted my lunch, I noticed it tasted like it had more fat than usual. I had the thought that I should probably just eat half of what was on my plate. That would have been a good time to put half in the fridge.
Instead, I ate it all.
What did I trade off for the pleasure of eating the whole thing? I traded a Sunday of enjoyment for a Sunday of discomfort. Sounds like a devil's bargain to me.
Seems obvious to me now. Why didn't it seem obvious at the choice point? How can I make it more obvious next time? How can I make my YES to eating without overloading my system big enough that it will be bigger than my desire to keep eating?
I'm still working with that one. I mentioned yesterday, cheap and easy answers won't change life-long patterns. I'm aiming at root cause here.
I invite you to work one of your own challenges through in a similar way. Bob and I just now explored his overloading his day yesterday, leading to restless sleep. Oh, and the extra handful of sunflower seeds didn't help. He has made remarkable strides thanks to his big YES to creating Space for Grace. He is one step closer to creating that reality.
When will we ever learn? Now. It's just that it's a process to go deep into the root cause.
Created: Monday, 09 June 2014 15:58
Why do I eat too much? Not a question you would expect a 105-pound woman with a total of five pounds of body fat to be asking. But I do.
Why did I push the limits and eat more fat and protein than my system could handle yesterday? Why did I set myself up for the agony of The Gall Bladder Blues? I don't ask this question disparagingly. It's a real question. I don't assume the answers are all negative. We do what we do for a reason.
Or for many reasons.
We learn more from mistakes than from our successes. When I keep making the same mistake over and over, I figure I'm setting myself up for a big learning.
Quick, cheap answers won't work with this kind of inner conversation. It takes deep listening, careful noticing and reflection to get anything likely to unravel a long-standing habit.
Why do you do what you do?
Created: Friday, 06 June 2014 11:53
Purple Sansa Clip MP3 Players are $20 more than the black ones, but I wanted purple, so I bought one used. "Works perfectly," the ad said. $19 instead of $47. Seemed like a deal. Except it doesn't work perfectly. It only turns on when it is plugged in.
The vendor was happy to accept a return. I hesitated, but then said,
- I can still use this plugged in. If you would consider a partial refund, that would work for me.
He refunded $13 and we both consider it a win.
I'm glad I asked, and so is he!
What are you not asking for?
Created: Thursday, 05 June 2014 13:28
Betty defended her joy. When her husband told her they couldn't afford massage right now, she told him with her new job,
- We can't afford for me to not receive massage now, with all I'm doing.
He got right on board with her and has been supportive ever since.
Betty spoke with certainty. That probably played a strong role in winning her husband's support. But what if you're not certain? What if you're looking for support in coming to certainty? Often, people who are more results-oriented will tend to push a decision on people who are processing options and seeking input but not premature answers.
Being pretty much of a verbal processor myself, I find it helps to speak with certainty about my need to be in process until the path is clear enough for a decision. I will say:
- I'm getting perspective and processing my options right now. I'd love your input into my decision (that process.)
Now that I write this, I realize my husband defended he process last night. He had a confusing exchange with a client. He asked for my input, but clearly told me he was aware that he would see it differently in the morning.
He does see it differently this morning. He shared today's perspective, and told me he intends to let it settle over the weekend. He let me know he might ask my input again once he's had more time to process it.
He intends to call the client Monday. If we discuss it Sunday, I expect the conversation to be more concrete and more focused on action.
Defend your joy with as much certainty as you can authentically muster. If you're not certain, defend your right not to know for sure yet, and defend your right to process options.
Category: Consciousness, Character, Ego and Balance
Created: Wednesday, 04 June 2014 15:06
"Why are your dreams so clear, but you are so fuzzy to talk with?"
I had an immediate and clear answer to that question, which was posed to me by a therapist thirty years ago. But I was fuzzy to talk to, so of course, I gave a fuzzy answer.
My quick answer was: dreams are unconscious. There's no need to justify my dreams. I just report them as experienced. Conversations are different. I need to jump through hoops to say the right thing.
I have other insights to that question now. Dreams speak a symbolic language. Back then, I didn't speak that language. My dreams were clear to a therapist who worked with imagery and symbols - but not to me.
The other insight is that my inner world and outer world were so many miles apart. In my experience, one only spoke of the externals. These days, when someone asks me what I'm up to, I'm likely to share insights, dreams and inner experiences. Those days, in conversations, only the externals mattered. It was as if the internals didn't exist.
I have residuals from those days. Recently, ladies in a new group asked me to tell them about myself. I spoke of my career. The fact is, for this group, the internals are much more relevant. How do I think, feel, and operate? What matters to me? Where is my heart?
It is becoming much easier to talk about the internals. It's also exciting to experience the connections and the sharing that the "inside story" inspires. Last night, a longtime family friend dropped by. I asked him questions about his life that got him sharing about his vision, his values and his interests. We discovered all kinds of things he had not shared before. Much of the detail was over our heads, but it didn't matter. We didn't need to understand the particulars to get a sense of the depth of his life quest. We learned a lot about how this dear friend thinks, feels and operates, what matters to him and where his heart is.
I love exchanging true inside stories.
Category: Consciousness, Character, Ego and Balance
Created: Thursday, 29 May 2014 14:41
"I learned two things last night." Bob told me. "That I should listen to you more, and that I shouldn't eat Kimchi and beans together."
Bob has a wonderful way of weaving humor with heartfelt sharing.
I had consulted two dream memories before I spoke last night. Just as Bob is learning to listen to me, I am learning to listen to my dreams. Here's what happened last night.
We returned from playing with our neighbor's kittens when Bob noticed a flashing light on the internet modem. He immediately went from kitten consciousness to problem-solving mode. He enlisted my support and I helped for a few minutes. Then I remembered a dream where I had been helping him with something after hours and decided it could wait. I told him in the dream,
- This can wait. I don't want to focus on this now.
That's what I told him in the waking state last night. Everything was working and there was no emergency. I shifted my attention. Bob continued to research the issue. He joined me for some pre-bedtime bonding, but went back to trouble-shooting when I went to bed. I got up and told him,
- This feels like an intrusion on our evening.
In speaking up, I was guided by the first dream, but also by a dream I had earlier this week. In that dream, I threw a workman out the window at 5:30 in the afternoon. It was a very decisive gesture that allowed Bob and me to settle in to our evening. The workman could finish in the morning. When the morning came (in the dream), I snuggled with Bob before I checked to see if the workman came back.
It felt like the right thing to do in the dream. It feels like the right thing to do in life as well. Not literally, of course, but figuratively. Throw out the striving and the fixing and the focus on results when the day wanes and the evening begins. The image is very powerful for me.
I listened to my dreams. In reflection, Bob listened to me. He decided his quest had been an intrusion on the evening. He also decided he needs to listen to me more. Yay!
Tonight, we will play with the kittens again, and will enjoy kitten consciousness as we settle in to embrace the night - and as the night embraces us.
I am considering starting a SpeakStrong dream group where we will explore how our dreams ask us to speak up, and what images they offer that can guide empowered self-expression. Let me know if this interests you.
Created: Sunday, 25 May 2014 12:57
Graduations are everywhere. Friends, neighbors and service providers have kids who are graduating or are graduating themselves.
I notice that those with graduating teens are experiencing a graduation themselves. It's a new stage of life for parents and children both.
It feels like a new stage of life for me, too.
My illness has been my teacher. My dreams put my malaise on the same par as The Maharishi. Yesterday, I wondered if on some level I needed and chose to be unwell in order to remake my life on the deepest level.
My first question is, what does my illness want me to learn? What have the teachings and gifts from it been?
That list is long. I came up with most of the items on my list by using the phrase:
- Because I'm sick, I get to...
So just to name a few, I get to get new clothes that fit me physically and personally. I get to drop my superwoman personna that had me doing more and carrying loads that wore me out. I get to be human. I get to spend time cooking, learning about herbs, and developing my kitchen alchemy. I get to speak a deeper level of truth with Bob, even when it's hard for him to hear. I get to stop supporting Bob in ways that deplete me. The list goes on.
My second question is, can I live these teachings and receive these gifts without needing to be sick?
One phrase for that question is:
- I don't need to be sick to...
If I consciously choose to live the teachings of my illness, I think it would unravel anything I might be doing unconsciously that prolongs the illness.
Have I graduated? I don't know, but it sure feels like I have. But like all graduations, it's really just the beginning.
Happy graduation season to you and yours. May your transitions be liberating.