Hopelessly Devoted to You

 

Who are you hopelessly devoted to?

Child

Lover

Partner

Parent

Sibling

Friend…

What about yourself?

Did that make you feel a little squeemy? (It’s a word.) A whole lot selfish, or maybe you think I’m selfish for even asking the question.

Well let me tell you why I ask this; I was feeling lost in my own life a while back. Like, reading the lines and entering on cue but not part of the writing team, not a producer or a director. It got me thinking: if I don’t care about my role, I don’t care about anything.

We all know this: you have to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else.

We know it, but do we believe it? And if we do, do we really understand the depth of what it means to love yourself? It’s not something we do by rote, like answering the priest with our, “thy will be done” said without any conviction or awareness. Yeah, yeah…love myself unconditionally. Got it.

No. I didn’t get it. Or, rather, I forgot it. We have to fall in love with ourselves again. I’m not talking Narcissism, that is definitely not what I’m talking about.

This is not about seeking attention from others.

This is about paying attention to who you are and honoring that.

Devotion. I love that word, it makes me feel all gushy and intentional. It’s my core desired feeling for Creativity and Learning, one of five areas of our life Danielle LaPorte writes about in The Desire Map. But now I see it’s how I want to feel about myself, my whole self too. And not just feel it, I want it to be a verb for my life.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of Devoted: having strong love or loyalty for someone or something.

Maybe if you’re still feeling squeemy about being hopelessly devoted to yourself you could swallow being loyal to yourself–it reminds me of Shakespeare’s “To thine own self be true…” Be loyal to yourself and the things that are important to you.

Fir me, the first step in being loyal to myself is remembering who I want to be, and honoring that–making steps toward that next higher version of me.

How does this look?

The first thing I did was start saying affirmations. I am not even kidding.

Actually, the first thing I did was decide on the affirmations I wanted–what changes did I want to see? Those became the basis for my affirmations, then I wrote them,

…and then I let them languish

…and then I found them and rewrote them

…and then I said, “You are gonna start doing this today, dagnabbit! And you are committing to a year of living affirmatively! Ha!”

And then I started saying them. Every day. Out loud. Five times each.

I keep a Bullet Journal and in it I made a mini daily accomplishment thingy and affirmations are one of my daily goals–I really really like seeing all the boxes colored-in for saying them.

Then some little things started to happen, then some other things…one thing that happened was I spoke in front of an audience of about 125 people with my sister, and I wasn’t heart-pounding nervous–I had fun doing it.

One of my affirmations is: I’m an excellent speaker, logical, well prepared, and at ease in front of any group. I’d been repeating that 5 times a day out loud for 2 1/2 months.

I’ve been re-energized to do the things that move me forward and bring me joy–like writing and exercising, like being re-committed to helping folks support their health and happiness through essential oils https://www.youngliving.com/en_US

This is a continuous effort and a re-commitment every darn day (and evening).

I’m going to continue this conversation in upcoming posts–because its important and there’s lots to say!

What one thing could you start doing to show your devotion (loyalty) to yourself?

 

Young Living Distributer #933549

 

 

Muscle Memory

Have you ever noticed how, when you stop doing something good, like: writing, drawing, dancing, exercising, meditating, delivering a baby,* even if you start to want to do it again, your “this is so good for my soul” muscle says, “um… sorry, no.”

*Of course I have to tell you the story of the interruption of delivering a baby…

1987: I was in the birthing room with my sister, (husband was there, but had a hard time with that kind of thing) things are progressing smoothly, this was my second child plus my sister was my breathing coach. As I was transitioning, we’re talking full blown labor, dilated to 10, the nurse comes in to check and she says:

“You can’t push yet, the doctor isn’t here.”

In case you’ve never experienced labor, my ENTIRE essence, all my cells, everything was on the only mission there was–which was to push with each contraction, each contraction that were now from finish of one to the start of the next probably 30 seconds apart. Every 30 seconds and lasting for 60-90 seconds the MAIN DIRECTIVE was to push my baby out.

The nurse said:

“Do your breathing exercises.”

When your body is trying to turn inside-out and someone tells you to “breath” to get through it, many bad thoughts about that person flit through your head…luckily, my sister was there and she really did coach me to breath the right way–because, also, when the whole body inside-out thing happens, you really do forget how to breath, at least how to breath the right way for that circumstance.

S L O W F O R W A R D 30 minutes…the doctor is in!

All-righty, let’s get this show on the vaginal canal road!

Except, I had interrupted the natural “body in motion” of child birth, I had stalled it and now, my body said, “um…sorry, no.”

Eventually I did give birth, but the fact that I could stop a natural process and then not be able to simply, naturally, begin again was, to say the least, disheartening–I felt like some kind of birthing failure. I didn’t understand this at the time, but when I think about it now I admit I wonder what hope I have with any process whose habit I haven’t sustained?

I don’t have an easy answer for this–wish I did! We all need to come to our own way, maybe you need a “coach”–my sister helped me “not deliver” but then she was able to coach me back to the natural state of labor and delivery.

Maybe you need to remember why you’re here–I’m here to have a gosh-darn baby, today, for cripe’s sake! Dagnabit!

What ever it is, the first thing is realization that you’re NOT doing something you want to be doing–don’t worry about why you’re no longer doing it, don’t even worry about how you’re going to start again–not once did I think, well, geeze, how am I going to get back to wanting to push.

You do need to find your WHY for DOING IT. I wanted my baby in my arms. And it helps to find a coach, whether that’s someone you admire online, from a book, or it’s a real relationship.

I’ve been struggling with why I haven’t re-started the things I want to accomplish and do. I think I’m on to something, and then I let it peter out…I hate when I realize I’ve let something slide. Then, yesterday I saw something, it was a blurb for someone’s book that was going to be published in 11 weeks–11 weeks out, I think is how it read.

And something clicked. 11 weeks. What if I made a plan based on the outcomes I wanted in 11 weeks? And then sort of worked backward, what would I need to accomplish everyday, week and month? And what if I made my mom be my coach. (off-topic, we’ve been talking about creating a Master-mind group–cool, huh?) She hasn’t actually said yes yet…

I wrote out a rough draft, then I re-wrote it, I created landings–as in every Sunday, plan out the week, every night plan out the next day, NO TV until all goals for that day are done. This is my first day in my 11 week journey and I’ve hit three of my 5 goals for the day so far. Yippee!

By the way, semi-off topic: I believe our hearts have a muscle memory too–the more we practice/act open-hearted the more we are open-hearted.

My supporting oils for today: Young Living’s Abundance, it smells like everything-I-want-to-accomplish-is-done, ha!

Please share something you realized you’ve stopped doing that you’d like to start again.

Life is Like a Handful of Magic Beans

Magic Beans:

Everyone else thinks they’re crap and nothing happens until you plant them!

I am the queen, nay empress, of handfuls of magic beans:

  • hey, look at these beans, aren’t they cool? Not really. Oh. ~~~~Garbage
  • hey, look at these beans, what should I do with these beans? You should set those beans aside and concentrate on this solidly boring thing over here. Oh. ~~~~Garbage.
  • hey, look at these beans, should we move forward with these? Yes, and I shall take all the credit. Oh~~~~shit…those were my beans!
  • hey, look at these beans… They’re stupid. Oh. ~~~~Garbage.

Are you like me, always asking other people what they think about your magic beans, or asking them what you should do with your magic beans? Or maybe you’re just holding onto your magic beans–no one gets to see them! Including you!

Well. Stop it. Now. I mean it.

And when I tell you to stop it, I’m actually telling myself to stop it. It’s just easier to tell you to stop. And you probably need to hear it too.

To be fair, magic beans make other people nervous–people around you who don’t know what the heck to do with their own magic beans, let alone want to hear about yours.

Become comfortable with your MBs. If you’re not sure about ’em, who will be? Not until you’re comfortable with them yourself, and you’ve found a spot to grow them, and you’ve tended them for a while and not, you know, let them whither and die because you were too busy…

Clearly, magic beans are ideas–not just any ideas, not those ideas you freely scatter all over and if someone thinks it stinks, so be it. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn’t. Magic Beans are not those, they are the ideas that wake you up at night, those ideas you can’t shake. The big ideas. The ideas that if someone says stinks, you’ll be crushed. Yeah, those ideas.

Again, what to do, what to do. Get an idea buddy, not a “yes” woman, but someone who is there to help you flesh out the idea, not to squash, but maybe to question and hold space for your accountability–its a reciprocal relationship, you’d be there for them in the same capacity. Put it on your calendar, bi-weekly, or monthly meetings specific to ideas (magic beans ;)), hold space for incubation and idea formation, and have faith in yourself.

Here’s to MBBs: may you find one and may you be one.

If you’re willing to share, I’d love to be an honorary MBB, tell us your big idea! Amy

 

 

How to reStart Doing the Thing(s) You Stopped Doing. Unstick That Stuck.

ring a bell to clear the air

Ring a bell to clear the air, redirect your thoughts and give an angel their wings!

I wondered about my inability to write a blog post…okay, inability is wrong, I’ll do anything but write–paint the bathroom, rearrange my office (although, this might have actually helped me*), vacuum, wash the kitchen floor–my resistance to writing a blog post.

Why was I actively avoiding it? I’ve read The War of Art, I’ve listened to Melissa Dinwiddie’s Podcasts, I’m the daughter of Joan Kennedy for goodness sake! What the ever loving heck?

I wrote in my One Good Cup notebook:

What if I unstick myself in this situation and write about it…maybe I can help someone else in a similar situation.

Clearly much has been written about this before, I am not a pioneer, but I am a pilgrim and a lover of acronyms, sometimes, when they work. And when they seem the only way out of my stuckness! A while ago I made an acronym for S.T.U.C.K. and F.R.E.E.D. I haven’t shared it yet because I’m still playing with it, but my pen wanted to play so I let it!

Scared: This is the main thing, right? Call it scared or resistant–ego gets in the way.

Tired: I wasn’t feeling the zest for the project.

Unmotivated: So, why bother, why make an effort?

Cautious: Don’t want to make the wrong move…should I do this? Or that?

Knowledge (lack of): Who am I to be writing this? Creating this?

(Kind of silly…but it got me excited and motivated to figure out F.R.E.E.D. Plus it was fun–and fun kept me going.)

Feeling: How do I want to feel? I will do the things to support that!

Ring: a bell*. I am not kidding! I rang a bell (repeatedly), plus an angel got their wings!

Eyes: No one sees the world the exact same way I do.

Essential Oils: Of course! Oils can raise my frequency, help me focus & motivate.

Desire: Go back to desire–back to what I love. I have to fall back in love with my project, remember why I started it and what I wanted to accomplish.

*I painted this bell and blinged it out, it stands before me on the window ledge in front of my desk to remind me to keep going!

I’ll be working on this for awhile, you don’t just make up an acronym and change your life (or habits) around! But I know action–movement in the right direction helps, things start to loosen up, an outer shell starts to break away. Just a little bit.

I hope you all are moving forward in whatever your dreams are! Tell me how you stay the course.

 

 

I am not an expert at: SEWING!

Welcome to the first in a new series of I AM NOT AN EXPERT AT…I’m excited to share this, because, well, I am not at expert at most things (am I an expert on anything? Laughter, probably. Making people feel good, sometimes…) yet I want to do so many things! Play the guitar, sew a dress, create rad jewelry, re-purpose awesome found things.

Do I know how to do any of these things? Soooooort-of? Kiiiiind of? Not really. But that hasn’t lessened my passion for them, just my actually trying to do them :).

So, today, I am saying eff-it, I am going to try this! Here’s something you need to know about me: I love paint and fabric. But I hate to use the paint or do anything with the fabric, because what if it doesn’t work out–I’ve just wasted the paint and/or the fabric (as if having both sit unused isn’t a waste in itself!). I also save things for a “just in case” scenario…THAT NEVER HAPPENS!

Okay! Today’s post is on sewing–sure I took Home-ec, back when Home Economics still existed, too bad it didn’t actually teach you economics, instead, we learned how to sew a peasant shirt (it was the 70s), how to bake an apple pie, and… oh yeah, how to give yourself a manicure. I am not even kidding.

I’ve wanted to make an apron (again, I am not even kidding) to wear around the house–my accomplishment apron–with large pockets, and not so cute that I’d hate getting it dirty or full of paint (because I am not an expert at that either and tend to get it all over–another post though).

I have an old curtain that I’ve been saving (I don’t know why!) and I found a scrap cut from a tablecloth (mine is an adventurous life). I was going to make a skirt for the hallway bench, but as I looked at the curtain, I realized if I cut it in half it would be the perfect size for an apron…hmmm. And then three weeks went by. But this week, my vacation, I thought, “Gol darn it! I am doing this–just do it! AAARGH!”

Here I am JUST DOING IT! Cutting without measuring, Figuring out a seam without measuring. Anarchy! And I love it!

I am not measuring anythingcutting my curtain in half

Once I started, it was so easy to keep going. I had a raw edge, and I was going to add bias tape, but it seemed like a lot of work so I re-cut the raw edge with Pinking Shears–that makes me sound like I know what I’m doing, but believe me, the only reason I have Pinking Shears is because they make a pretty design.

here's the scrap material on the apronI had to get the bias tape through the seam...knitting needle

Above, I decided to use the bias tape as the tie, but had to figure out how to get it through the slim opening. first I tried the safety pin method, you know how you pin it to the end of the tie and then feed it through…centimeter, by centimeter. Yeah. Did not work well at all. I finally decided on a knitting needle (something else I’m not an expert at), I shoved the tip through the end of the tape and then slid it through the opening. Ha! Take that!

Anyway, the whole point of this is don’t wait to be at expert at something before you try it–because you will never have the expertise you want in order to do the things you want to try. So, make mistakes, have fun, and do the things!

me in my accomplishment apronYay! I made that! Then I started painting stuff…but that’s another post!

What have you tried outside your comfort and expertise zone?

What Do You Want? Or, How Not to Have Ungreat Expectations

expectations, getting what you want, declaring your goals

You are never going to get what you don’t really know you want. Declare your Expectations

I’m thinking about expectations. Other people’s for me, mine for other people and mine for myself.

Sometimes I think I’ve made my expectations clear, only to be disappointed–is my disappointment someone else’s fault or my failure of clarity around my expectations? Yeah. The latter. Dang.

No one can meet meet our expectations if we’re not clear about what they are.
We think we’re telling people what we want when in reality we’re only hinting, or worse yet, expecting them to just know.

What do you mean, you don’t have ESP?

Get clear–state what you need/want. And make sure you’re clear on others’ expectations.

All of these have been challenging for me, but the biggest was figuring out my own expectations for myself. Maybe we have a nebulous idea floating around and maybe there’s a touch of guilt and/or shame attached to it because somehow we aren’t doing/being what we VAGUELY think we should!

We do the same darn thing to ourselves that we do to other people, hint at what we want or think the Universe will tell us what to do and or be.

doobee, doobee, do…

You are never going to get what you don’t really know you want. Ever.

I started the “earning dollars” phase of my life with no direction. None. Oh, I had a thought that it didn’t matter what I did, because I was going to be discovered!!!!!

I am not even kidding.

Just me tra-la-la-ing waitressing or bartending and SOMEONE would see me and offer me SOMETHING. Was I working toward this nebulous dream of vague outcomes? HOW COULD I? Okay, I spent a good chunk of my school life on stage, so I came by the nebulous dream honestly and after I was out of school I did audition exactly once for something–didn’t get it and that was it.

Really? Really.

But I still held fast to my “dream.” And I still thought something would happen–like some sad fairytale princess waiting for someone else to save her.

I wrote a little bit, had no set genre, or time frame, didn’t take any classes (read a few writing books)–and even submitted a couple things (years and years apart) got two lovely rejection letters, (they really were lovely with good advice) and both times I stopped writing. Instead of listening to the advice and persevering, I stopped… There was always being DISCOVERED…

I don’t know why I expected success when I’d barely worked at it. But then again, how do you work at something when you’re not sure of the outcome you want? Sheesh.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized another aspect of this: if I had no hard core attachment to a specific outcome, I couldn’t really try for it–and if I couldn’t really try, well, I couldn’t really fail.

No investment equals no (horrible) return.

So, no specific expectations for myself meant never letting myself down. Except, I always felt as if I weren’t living up to something, soooo, I was, in fact, letting myself down. Icky, icky circle.

Am I set with this now, golden with the whole expectations? Nope! Still working on it–but now I’m not kidding myself. I’m super happy I worked through The Desire Map and know that it’s the feeling we want, which doesn’t mean I don’t need/want goals, I do.

Now, I’ll start with how I want to feel, from there I can build my expectations for myself and then commit to them. And then build my goals accordingly.

Unless I get discovered first.

I kid.

Have you set your own “great” expectations? How about for folks around you? Let me know!

START HERE

image

Have you ever thought to yourself, I need to change how I do things? Stop reacting to things, maybe have some preemptive things in place? Maybe, just maybe stop slogging through the day by rote.
And then you thought about making some of those changes, maybe looking at self-help books or programs or friends and think, “Man, that seems like a lot of work.” That old 21 day thing rears its judgmental head and you think: uh, if I could actually do something for 21 days it would already be a habit!

Sheesh!

Changing how you are or how you react or work or love is not easy, if it were, we’d all be done with it! Besides, you already have a job you don’t like…
But, I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be daunting, in fact if it is daunting, it’s too much for you right now, you get to ease into daunting, for right now let’s just work on easy.

Starting here, where you are right at this moment, this is your beginning (or ending, as the case may be). Start with what you can do, say to yourself, this is where I’m at and this is what I can do.

I am so far from where I see myself being, what I know I could be, “the possibility of me” but I’m not going to let that stop me from being who I am now: the best me that I can accomplish with my strengths right at this moment.

I understand I am a constant work in progress, so I rarely disappoint myself—because, I’m not finished. Can you imagine if you were? If you were finished evolving, you’d be done! You’d be like, I don’t know, the Dalai lama, or Mother Teresa, or Angelina Jolie-Pitt! Juuuust kidding, but you see where I’m going with this?

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a “get out of jail free” card. You can’t constantly mess up and say, oh well—I’m a work in progress. You have to first attain one level of your possibility and then move on to the next. Not continually mess up at your lowest level. I guess that is where the work comes in, but tiny work and totally achievable.

I’d like to be a best-selling author, funky decor shop owner, essential oils seller, small group workshop leader, best mom, best wife, best daughter, best sister, and best friend. But I’m not going to knock all those out of the park tomorrow. Nor am I going to get all of them by trying to work on every single one at the same time!

Even though, that’s kind of how I roll.

I remind myself to relax–because when I try to do it all I get overwhelmed and do nothing. So, right now, I am writing (not as much as I thought I would be!) and working on relationships. This post is actually the start of a non-fiction book I’m “writing.” And it still might turn into that…but for now, it’s a blog post. And I’m okay with that.

What changes are you trying to ease into? And how are you being gentle with your bad self?