Thursday Thought: I’m Not For Everyone, And That’s Okay

 

It hurts to feel rejected, especially by someone we thought was a part of our tribe. You know, the people that we really connect with, and seem to have a lot in common. Or even those people that we think we should be connected with, or have a lot in common, such as family. I’ve heard this dates back to the cavemen days when rejection by your tribe usually meant death.

Today, though, it doesn’t mean death. It just means feeling the emotion of rejection. It means your brain releases chemicals throughout your body that feel really uncomfortable.

So, when you feel rejected, and your brain is screaming, “We’re going to die!” Just breathe and let it run its course. Then remind yourself, “I’m not for everyone, and that’s okay.” Then choose to love. Love those that reject you. Love those that love you. Love You, and carry on. Don’t go hide in your cave. Your tribe won’t find you there. Go out and find them. They’re looking for you too.

 

Thanking Those Who Have Gone Before

This morning I went on a walk through the forest near our house. It was a new path I hadn’t been on, and there were a few muddy puddles crossing the path that I didn’t expect. However, some other people had come before me and put logs and other pieces of wood across the path so I didn’t have to go in the mud, or go too far off the trail, or find my own logs to cross the mud. I was so thankful they had done that, because when I started, I had no idea I would run into those mud spots.

It made me think of all of the people who have gone before me on the many different “paths of life” that I’ve traveled, but that did things to make it easier for me. Right now we have tulips coming up in our front garden. Every time I see them, I think of my dad. He helped me plant them. I had wanted to plant tulips for years, but never did because I wanted someone to show me how. He also helped me plant my first garden. He is a master gardener now, but he went through a lot of trial and error to figure it all out. I didn’t have to go through much trial and error; he just showed me what worked for him.

We don’t need people to pave the way for us. I could have figured out how to plant tulips or a garden on my own. Sometimes I like to use the excuse, “I don’t have anyone to show me how.” It’s really healthy and good to figure things out on our own, but there’s so much that other people have figured out for us already, and it’s a helpful practice to notice those things. I think it can generate motivation to figure things out for those who will come after us.

So thank you everyone that has gone before.

 

Thursday Thought: “I Don’t Know” Is Always A Lie

When I was in middle school, I learned about brainstorming. The only rule to brainstorming was you had to write every idea down, no matter how ridiculous. This is an excellent exercise to help you be open to an answer. So often our brains just want to shut down with “I don’t know” instead of opening up to possibilities that may take more work.

The next time you need to make a decision and your brain tells you, “I don’t know”. Say, “I don’t know is always a lie.” You can do this for simple things like choosing a paint colour. You can do it for bigger things such as, “How can I make more money?” This one thought, if you believe it, will open your mind up to many possibilities, and more importantly to what your soul is trying to tell you when you’re not worried about what other people will think.

Try it and tell me what you come up with.

Talking To Yourself

I was extremely shy in high school. Sometimes when I was walking by a group of peers that I felt intimidated by, I would kind of whisper to myself, like I was really deep in thought. For some reason, this made me feel like they weren’t speaking to me because they could see I was deep in thought, not because I was uncool. Because, obviously, speaking to yourself is totally cool! haha

Now that you know about one of my awkward stages, I’ll let you know about something else that may seem awkward at first, but is really helpful for your self-esteem. I’ve written a few times about appreciating yourself. Now I’ll tell you about something that could change your life if you tend to be on the less confident side of the spectrum.

Tell yourself “I love you” in the mirror. Look yourself in the eyes for 10 seconds, and tell yourself “I love you”. You will most definitely feel awkward at first, and you may not even believe yourself. But as you do it more and more, you come to understand that you talk to yourself all of the time internally, now it’s time to be more intentional about what you say to yourself.

Start with “I love you”, then move on to other things that you’d like to tell yourself. Tell yourself things that you appreciate about yourself. Validate, or be compassionate to yourself. When you do it out loud to the person looking back at you in the mirror, you’ll start to have a better relationship with yourself.

 

 

Thursday Thought: Done Is Better Than Perfect

How many times have you had a goal you wanted to reach, but you just never get started? I have done this many times. Then I learned about doing B- work. The idea is that when you do something, you shoot for B- work. That’s all.

At first, this sounded a little bit to me like you’re not trying to do your best. However, after putting it into practice, I have found this to be very useful. So many times we don’t put anything out into the world that could be judged because we want it to be our best work. Usually we don’t even start, but if we do, then we work on it, and try to perfect it, however, we hardly ever reach our own standard of perfection. Therefore, we never put anything out into the world.

If you’re only shooting for B- work, then you can get started, and it’s easier to just put something out there. You’ll be surprised at how good B- work actually is. It also lends itself to some success, which is really motivating.

Whenever I have something to do that contributes to long range goals, but I don’t feel motivated in the moment to do, I think of the B- rule and remember, “Done is better than perfect.” I can do DONE when I can’t do perfect.

This helps me put my best into the world because if it has to be perfect, I don’t even  get started.

What things can you get DONE if it doesn’t have to be perfect?

Growth

Growing up, I had this idea that I’d like to get married to a hard worker, go live in the country, where I raised my children, sitting on the front porch snapping beans, giving them sage advice, that they always longed for. Then they’d grow up and have happy families of their own, and my grandchildren would come over and I’d bake them cookies and spoil them. Everyone would love each other and get along, and we’d live a peaceful, quiet life.

Doesn’t that sound amazing, kind of like a lovely country song? I still get those longings when life feels overwhelming, and the world seems scary. A few months ago, I applied to The Life Coach School. I was and am really excited. However, there are times when I have thoughts like, “Why did I do that? It will take so much energy to start my own business. Why do I try so hard? Why not just put my kids in school and watch TV all day until they get home? What if no one wants to come to me? What if it fails? We should just move to the country, get a few animals, and live a self-sustainable, quiet, peaceful life, snapping beans, and baking cookies.”

Then I had an epiphany this morning. I started running when I was a Freshman in University. I considered myself a runner until about 6 years ago, when I had my second child. Until then I ran most of the time. I would have lapses of when I wouldn’t run, but I would always come back to it. After my second child, though, I tried a few times, but I would either get really bad headaches, or extremely painful feet. I decided it was probably behind me forever. Then a few weeks ago, I just started again. I decided I didn’t need to be the kind of runner I was before. I didn’t need to be faster than other people, or run farther than other people. My only goal was to enjoy the run. This works most days, but some days, it’s just not that fun. I realized, though, if I’m not willing to go on the not-so-enjoyable runs, then I’ll never get to go on the enjoyable ones. So, I’m willing to not enjoy a run sometimes. I’m willing to just do it, so that I can have some enjoyable runs.

Another thing I’ve been struggling with is scripture reading. I’ve had times when I loved scripture reading. I would feel the Spirit so strongly, and have really powerful insights into life. I have also had times when I’m just going through the motions. I feel kind of hypocritical or maybe even self-righteous. I realized, though, if I’m not willing to read the scriptures when I’m not feeling spiritual, I’ll never get to read them when I am feeling spiritual. So, I’m willing to read them no matter how I’m feeling, so that I can sometimes feel that strong Spirit when I’m reading them.

This can also apply to marriage, parenting, and even to going to life coach school. If I’m not willing to feel self-doubt about becoming a life coach, I’ll never get to feel the confidence and excitement of being a life coach. So I’m willing to not “feel it” sometimes, so that I can have an amazing life, because even though that quiet peaceful life sounds so appealing, it is not a reality. People don’t always get along; kids don’t always want our advice; and sometimes the cookies burn. We are wired to grow, we can do it intentionally or resist it. Growth is hardly ever comfortable, but it’s a lot more fun to do it intentionally.

 

Thursday Thought: Just Like Me…

I love the work that Byron Katie does. She has a worksheet you can fill out that she calls Judge Your Neighbour Worksheet. Basically, you write down all of your advice for someone else in a certain situation, and then you turn it around as advice for yourself. You have to be very gentle when you do this, so that you’re not being mean to yourself, just showing your brain how to think of the situation in a different way. Byron Katie says it should feel like a kiss, not a slap. As I’ve coached a couple of people, I’ve realized that this works in pretty much every situation.

I had a friend that seemed to always have some sort of drama in her life. Every now and then I would mention to my husband that I thought it was kind of funny how she was surprised every time something would happen. Then I was talking to my husband the other night about a few things going on for me, and he said, “So much drama.” He wasn’t saying it in a mean way or to point it out to me, he was just saying it because he truly felt like it was a lot of drama. As I thought about it, I realized he was right. I was making the situation very dramatic by how I was thinking and talking about it.

Now I like to do an exercise called, “Just like me…”. When something is bothering me about someone else, I just say what it is they’re doing and add on the end, “just like me.” I start to see how I’m creating the same thing in my life.

A really easy example of this is in our relationships. “He’s such a jerk!…just like me.” How am I acting like a jerk, or how have I ever been a jerk? “She’s being so dramatic…just like me.” How am I being or thinking dramatically?

You can do this in a positive way, too. “She’s so nice!” How are you nice; what is something nice you’ve done? This is helpful when you have low self-esteem. We tend to try to build ourselves up by putting others down, or feel bad about ourselves as we see all of the good qualities in others, but not ourselves.

…just like me. Try it and let me know if it’s helpful.

 

Fire Alarms

I recently went to my kids’ school’s parent council meeting. I learned that in the next couple of weeks they will be doing fire drills and tornado drills. I felt a little anxiety creep up in my chest.

We have a VERY sensitive fire alarm in our house, and have had dozens of false alarms. My son is really sensitive to loud sounds. He’s done well in the moment, but then he’ll talk about the alarm going off for weeks. Then there are times when he just sees a fire alarm and freezes. It’s so sad to watch, and I’ve tried to help him see that everything is okay.

I wondered, “Should I warn him that there will be a fire alarm? Or would it be better for it just to happen?” I decided to tell him. I still don’t know if this was the easiest answer. He seemed pretty calm about it, and then he calmly says, “I kind of don’t want to go to school, because I’m afraid the fire alarm is going to go off.”

We’ve talked before about how emotions are just sensations from chemicals released from our brains because of thoughts in our head. We’ve talked about the concept introduced to me through Jody Moore about the monkey (lower brain) in our heads, that thinks everything is dangerous. So I told him, “Your monkey is scared and thinks it will be a terrible thing if the alarm goes off and is so worried about the alarm going off. Do you think you can reassure him, just like you would a younger child, that it’s going to be okay, even if the alarm goes off?” He seemed to understand this, because he’s really good at reassuring others that things are going to be okay. We talked about how it has always been okay when alarms have gone off. It was loud, but it didn’t last for a long time, and we always left the building. I will let you know how this goes, but something interesting happened.

I don’t know why I’m surprised every time, but whenever I’m trying to help my kids through something, I say things that I really need to tell myself. “Your lower brain (lower brain, inner toddler, whatever you like to think of) is really anxious about sending the kids to school, do you think you can reassure it that everything is going to be okay?” You don’t need to tell it that it doesn’t need to be scared or anxious. Just reassure it that those emotions are normal and here are some new thoughts, that are probably more true, to create different emotions. It’s a much more compassionate way to interact with ourselves.

How are you compassionate with yourself when you’re struggling?

Thursday Thought: I Wonder Why…

I have found curiosity to be a very helpful emotion. I remember listening to someone get coached. She was upset because her son would come and punch her arm, like he would do with his friends. She felt it was really disrespectful, so she was getting coached on it. The coach said, “I wonder if he does that because he feels connected to you like a friend. I wonder if he doesn’t mean to be disrespectful, but to be friendly.” Whether or not it was okay for him to do this to his mom, doesn’t it completely change the feel of the “problem” when you see it from this perspective?

I was getting really annoyed with my kids talking to me constantly because I was finding it difficult to think while I was doing things. So I asked myself, “I wonder why they talk constantly to me?” I was suddenly filled with love as I thought about how they wanted so much to share their thoughts with me, how they wanted to be heard. I responded to them differently when I was filled with love than when I was annoyed, and I liked it a whole lot more.

This is also very helpful thought when you find yourself feeling judgmental of someone. If we really get curious, then it’s easier to get to compassion or love. “I wonder why that mom keeps screaming at her kids? I wonder what is going on inside for her?” “I wonder why my neighbour feels compelled to belch loudly on his back porch when he probably knows everyone can hear him? What’s going on for him?” “I wonder why my child is acting as if the world just ended when I put toothpaste on his toothbrush? I wonder why that is so important to him?” Read those questions in judgment. Now read them again in genuine curiosity. It gives you a totally different feel, doesn’t it?

How about when you’re being judgmental of yourself? “I’m so fat!” to “I wonder why I keep overeating?” “I should spend more time with my kids.” to “I wonder why I think I should spend more time with my kids?” or “I wonder why I don’t feel like spending more time with my kids?”

I find when I’m genuinely curious that I am more effective because I start operating out of love and compassion instead of annoyance, frustration, and anger.

How about you?