Self-Care Song

From the moment the first tune of the song “Don’t Wanna Fight” by Alabama Shakes I felt it deeply.  The idea of letting go of fighting anything in life never gets old and this put to music? Yep.

“Don’t Wanna Fight”

My lines, your lines
Don’t cross them lines
What you like, what I like
Why can’t we both be right?
Attacking, defending
Until there’s nothing left worth winning
Your pride and my pride
Don’t waste my timeI don’t wanna fight no more [x6]

Take from my hand
Put in your hands
The fruit of all my grief
Lying down ain’t easy when
Everyone is pleasing
I can’t get no relief

Living ain’t no fun
The constant dedication
Keeping the water and power on
There ain’t no money left
Why can’t I catch my breath?
I’m gonna work myself to death

I don’t wanna fight no more [x6]

No, no, no, no!

I don’t wanna fight no more [x7]
I don’t wanna fight, I don’t wanna fight!
I don’t wanna fight no more [x8]

Self-Security

When we are cool with who we are and what we have: rich, poor, job, car, partnered or not- whatever. Self-security comes from not being held captive by our external circumstances.

Our internal vibe also plays a role.  More often than not, we vacillate between feeling bad because of this or that, wishing for a different past, and wondering what other people are thinking.

Here’s how this looks:

The suggestion here is not to slap on a  pair of rose colored glasses and “walk it off”.  Not the intended message. It’s about building the practice of just being okay with how you think and feel about you, your situation, whatever that is – in this moment, in this lifetime.

The following quote by simplereminders.com fully captures the sentiment of this message.

“You are being called to heal yourself, not to agonize over mistakes, quit over thinking, this is what surrendering really means, don’t focus on your problems and don’t obsess about “fixing things”. Avoid forcing “positive thinking”. These thoughts can be psychological irritants. Just leave yourself alone! When you pick at things, they never heal. Simply relax and give yourself some time.”

Self-Security, like anything else in life worth doing takes practice, and pays of ten-fold.

 

10 Ways

10 Ways To Step Up Your Self-Care Game In 2017

I don’t know about you but I’ve already started coming up with goals and my game plan for 2017. I’ve got big plans and I’m so excited to rock this coming year. However, all of this planning would be pointless if I didn’t have a solid self-care game plan in place first.

Remember that you are the foundation for everything in your life. If you’re not taking care of yourself first, everything else in your life will suffer. 

Whether your goal for 2017 is to implement more self-care into your life or you just want to step up your self-care game I’m going to give you a bunch of ideas to help you hit the self-care ball out of the park this year.

 Put Together A Morning Ritual

The time you spend when you first wake up sets the tone for your entire day. What you choose to fill that time with is very important.

Instead of spending an hour scrolling through social media, opt instead for a well curated morning routine. Choose a couple things you want to get done every morning and put together your morning routine.

My ideal morning routine looks something like this: wake up, stretch, meditate, go through my Good Morning Beautiful e-mail, drink a glass of water, write up my to-do list for the day and get to it.

If you’re new to self-care and morning rituals, the Good Morning Beautiful emails are a great place to start! These emails package up everything you could possibly need in a morning routine and get sent to your inbox bright and early to help you wake up the right way.

If you haven’t signed up for the Good Morning Beautiful emails yet, you NEED to! I’m not even saying this as someone from the yes supply team but as a self-care fanatic and true morning ritual connoisseur, these emails are thebomb.com !

 Take Time For Affirmations

Whether you’re working to manifest your yes or you just need a couple words of encouragement to yourself, affirmations are the bomb! They’re exciting and powerful and can help you literally manifest anything you want.

Fit a couple minutes into your morning routine to sit with your affirmations. Say them out loud to yourself. Write them down and keep your affirmations in your pocket all day. The power of your affirmations will help you manifest whatever you want into your life. They also work as a perfect little motivational kick in the butt whenever you may need one.

Start A Self-Care Piggy Bank

This one’s pretty self explanatory. Start saving money in a jar specifically for self-care related things.

At the end of the day put any spare change in the jar. Whenever you find yourself with a couple extra dollars, add it to the jar. Every month or every couple of months, dip into your self-care piggy bank and treat yourself to something self-care related. Book yourself a massage or buy that big fuzzy robe you’ve been eyeing. You deserve it!

Get Serious About Journaling

Let it out girl! Let it all out!

Journaling is so underrated. I always thought journaling was dumb until I really gave it a shot. It’s an outlet for you to get everything going on in your head out of there. We all know how crazy we can drive ourselves by keeping things bottled up or going over the same situation in our heads a million times.

Grab a notebook and a pen and go to town. I love journaling when I find myself trying to sleep while my mind races a mile a minute or when I’m trying to work through a problem. It’s a great way to get your thoughts out of your head and down on paper where you can actually see them in front of your own eyes.

Allow Yourself To Veg Out

You are a hard working girl boss who is killing the game. You’re allowed to take a break!

Plan a day where you completely veg out. Stock your fridge with your favourite foods or maybe order yourself a pizza. Get cozy in your bed or on your couch and get the Netflix going. Spend the day absolutely vegging out!

Take the day to be a little bit brainless and reset. Don’t think about any commitments you have. Your commitment right now is to yourself and to your right to veg.

Make Time To Meditate

Even just thinking about meditating makes my heart feel all warm and fuzzy. Lots of people get intimidated by meditating because it seems so simple yet so incredibly difficult. Well, it doesn’t have to me.

Meditating can be whatever you want it to be.

Maybe meditation for you is sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat with your hands on your knees while you chant mantras. Or maybe meditation for you is throwing your headphones in and hitting the gym for a good old sweat sesh. Whatever it is, reward yourself with that you-time.

Whatever your meditation is, take the time to just be quiet. Alone with your thoughts. Focus less on thinking of nothing and more on letting your thoughts just pass through your train of thought naturally.

One time in a transcendental meditation class, we were told to imagine meditation as your time to let your thoughts digest. We spend all day taking in information, we need time for it to digest. You’d be surprised what parts of your day pass through your train of thought when you get quiet with yourself. 

Detox All Aspects Of Your Life

Detoxes are all the rage these days and for good reason. Instead of sipping on detox tea that could keep you running to the bathroom all day, opt instead for a little detox in all aspects of your life.

From your emails to your friends lists, do a bunch of little detoxes in all aspects of your life. This can literally span to any part of your life.

Maybe think about the people you spend your time with, are all of them worth that time? Go through your closet and pick out the pieces that no longer serve you. Your list of goals from last year? Clear out the goals that no longer fit your yes to make room for goals that will truly move your towards your dream life.

Take the time to clean out the little dust bunnies in all corners of your life.

Do What Truly Makes You Happy

Words to live by. The best way to live your best life is to do what truly makes you happy. Don’t do the things that don’t make you happy.

Do the things you want to do and don’t do the things you don’t want to do.

You are not obliged to do things you don’t want to… So don’t!

As soon as I experienced how good it felt to make moves based on what I truly wanted to do and what really made me happy there was no turning back. It’s not selfish. It doesn’t make you a bad person. You do you and put yourself first!

Do A Digital Detox

Technology is a wonderful and magical thing. Taking a break from it all is even better!

These days our lives are so consumed with our phones and computers and notifications and likes that it’s so important to take a break from it all. Just like meditation, taking a break from technology gives you that much needed time to digest everything you’ve consumed.

These breaks from the digital world allow our brains to become creative and innovative. It’s in these breaks where we think our own thoughts in a clear space which allows us to create.

I read once that it’s impossible to consume and create at the same time and as a creative it’s crucial that half of my time is spent creating. Find balance between consumption and creation to maximize your relationship with the digital world. 

Create An Emergency Self-Care Game Plan

It’s important to always be prepared in case of any emergency. In this case, it’s important to be ready for any scenario where you might need some emergency self-care.

Start by coming up with a plan. Think about certain instances where an emergency self-care plan would come in handy. For example, say you’re having a really bad day and you need some self-love time to get yourself through. This will basically be your self-care 911.

The point is to have everything in place for when crisis strikes and you need immediate self-care.

You can simply come up with a little routine that includes taking a bath, picking up your favourite food for dinner, and meditating for an extra ten minutes. You could go as far as putting together an emergency kit for these critical times. Maybe your kit will have a chocolate bar, a face mask, a bottle of wine, and a big cozy blanket.

Get creative with it!

Set yourself up to ROCK this year! Pick one or two (or all of them if you’re wild) and implement them into your every day life. Just a few simple changes can have the biggest impact on your life!

What are some of your new years resolutions this year? 

Energy & Passion

Lately, I’m noticing specific “something” from people that range from news announcers,  comedians, authors and activists. What keeps striking me over and over, is skill of topic brought to life by energy and passion.

One of my favorite examples is talk show host of the Late, Late show, James Corden.  His opening monologue is doused in energy pouring out for all to partake of.  If I had to choose one word to describe his energy, it is “expansive”.

The Rachel Maddow Show is another example of content being delivered with authenticity and energy.  Yes, she delivers news, but that’s not what strikes me.  Its how she delivers the words, and how she captures audience with inflection.

Listening to civil rights activist Shaun King on radio,  watching video and reading articles he’s written gives audience a pure a sense of his absolute comfort with his passion and comfort with himself.

It can be easily said that when people are paid for such work, they should be able to deliver the energy, but we know that is not necessarily true.

Until now, I’ve been playing it safe because of self-care being the topic of my passion.  A topic, that for whatever reason I felt was more deserving of a subdued delivery.

Move over mediocrity, here comes energy & passion.

 

My Bible

“Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.  is a study guide that I refer to as “my bible”.  Each time I pick it up, its fresh and relevant.  The wisdom, history and passion can be felt on every page.

Chapter 8 – Preserving Leg Traps, Cages and Poisoned Bait – Page 268: ” She needed only one wise inner construct that she could hold on to, one shred of instinct that would last until she could begin the time-consuming work of rebuilding inner sense and instinct.  There is a wild voice that lives in side all of us, one that whispers “Stay here long enough…stay here long enough to revive your hope, to drop your terminal cool, to give up defensive half-truths, to creep, carve, bash your way through, stay here long enough to see what is right for you, stay here long enough to become strong to try the try that will make it, stay here long enough to make it to the finish line, it matters not how long it takes or in what style…”

wolvesChapter 8 – Preserving Leg Traps, Cages and Poisoned Bait – Page 272: “The feral woman is a woman making her way back.  She is learning to wake up, pay attention, stop being naive, uninformed.  She takes her life in her own hands to re-learn the deep feminine instincts, it is vital to see how they were decommissioned to begin with.”

Chapter 9 – Homing: Returning to Oneself – Page 305: ” Women’s “heal everything, fix everything” compulsion is a major entrapment constructed by the requirements placed up on us by our own cultures, mainly pressures to prove that we are not just standing around taking up space and enjoying ourselves, but that we have redeemable value.”

Anthem of The Wild Woman

The Anthem of the Wild Woman

Don’t compromise yourself, you are all you got.

                                                                                Janis Joplin

This is the commencement of your daughter’s undying right to be loud and be heard. We scoff at the notion that women should be taught to be quiet; to play nice. It is time for our girls to take back their power and counterbalance societies’ messages with feminine prowess. We are the dreamers and the shakers and the beauties of the soul. We are the voices behind the music. Our power is recognized and intrinsically cultivated into the rhythm of the beat.

We are every shade of women. Using music metaphorically to encapsulate the pulse beneath our breath, our girls will cast a shadow over pervasive attempts to be silenced. There is no victory and there is no defeat. We just play our music. Together, united. We write our own rules into existence by tapping into the parts of ourselves that refuse to die.

Let me live out loud by beckoning all that is creative within me to the forefront of my life. I am my own power. I am my own song. I do not need to cooperate, hesitate or speculate what others may think. I know they want me to be quiet. But I have something to say and something to prove to myself. And I know that I will find my truth in the hallways of my mind and in the fluttering of my heart.

Women before me have paved the way until this point. It is my turn to love and to feel and to recognize that the repressive nature of being born the “wrong” sex does indeed exist. If it is wrong so be it. I will not change who I am to please you anymore. I hear the laughter of my own soul echoing through my beautiful body. I pound sharply on my own chest to rescue the sounds of my maiden cry. I am my own hero and villain. I do not need you tell me who I am.

The darkness with me will be courted. I am not afraid. That darkness is only a mirror of the thousand times I rejected myself for someone else’s pleasure. Bear witness to the light that fulfills its own self in me. That light shines gloriously when free from conventional thought. Do not doubt its presence. It is as real as me.

Together, my sisters and I will rock to the vibrational patterns that is woman. We do not twerk. We Headbang. We dance and we sing and we laugh and we cry. That is our truth. Our power is bigger than the lies I was told. We share the beauty of the world in each of our loving hands. Attached to each other forever in the symbolism that is SHE.

When you awaken the inner warrior in your daughter there will be no mistaking all that she has become from empowering her. She will be forever yours but she is yours by choice and not by situation. She is her own context. And we believe in her. It is time for her to be introduced into the limelight and dwell deep into the glory of being an authentic version of herself.

I found every shade of me on this stage. I bathe in my own essence. I will no longer relinquish my power. The days were long but full of meaning. And I will look back on this time and thank you for giving me the chance to bask in my own glory. I will always be your daughter. But now I am my own woman.

Credit to https://superchels.com for this posting.  

Meditation

The following article about meditation was written by Laura Wieking (pictured below), operator/narrator of The Word Bridge. May you find her approach useful in thinking about your own practice.

Spiritual seekers come in all different packages. Whether they are searching for enlightenment, stress relief or getting in touch with their inner thrill junkie is irrelevant. What brings all seekers together is their commitment to exploring new possibilities for how they approach living. lauraw

Personally, meditation has given me access to the parts of myself that have a deep know-how about how I connect to others and to spiritual spaces. In many ways, I hardly recognize the person I was a few years ago. I have more joy and more clarity about doing what is right, not just what is easiest. I’m more present as a mom, as a wife and as a friend. Stress? It still happens. However, I have more tools for working through it and not collapsing under it. If I had not started meditating, I don’t think I would have found the confidence to start my own business as a consultant. Today I approach my work as a communicator very differently. I enjoy creating messaging and communication tools from a space of integrity that helps a client be authentic and clear.

 As I continue seeking and traveling my path of self-care and self-development, I’m excited to be able to look back again and again to chart my progress, and see how much further I can go.

To learn more about Laura Wieking, visit www.TheWordBridge.com

Boat Driving

We spend time obsessing about the past, our personal history and what we “coulda, shoulda, woulda”…  Then layers of guilt and stories pile on.  Imagine the amount of head space that would free up if mulling over our past was not a thing.

Wayne Dyers book  “10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace”.  The “Fifth Secret; Give Up Your Personal History” really stuck with me because it has taken me a long time to recognize and get on the path of letting go of my personal history.

“When a speedboat zooms across the surface of the water, there’s a foamy froth behind it that’s called the wake of the boat.  The wake is nothing more than the trail that’s left behind…It does not drive the boat”

True enough the experience of our history makes us who we are today.  The difference is letting go of what is over and done with, because no amount of toiling can change it.  This moment is calling for us to live.

What or who is driving your boat?  Do you know or are you too busy looking back at the wake?

We Must

A challenge that I believe is universal is the ability to ask for what we want.

Our comfort zones tend to reside in sugar-coating, partially asking or avoiding our what we want all together.

Be gentle with yourself about this. Fear of asking and fear of rejection are normal. Ask anyways.  Then, we are less likely to be swept away wondering “what if”.  The fear will have faced along with the realization that it gets easier with practice.  Negotiating can also be part of the outcome.

I’m at a loss to think of any relationship;  family, friends, partners or work mates where the health, respect and communication are not tied to both parties being forthright.

I often wonder if we can be more afraid of hearing “yes”…after all, it can be a bit intoxicating to be all caught up in worry.

We must be honest, and gentle with ourselves and still ask for what we want.

Self-Care Lessons For the Resistance

The following post is by Mirah Curzer

Since the election, a lot of people not previously involved in activism have jumped in with both feet. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have been inundated with donations, mostly from first-time givers. A reproductive rights non-profit I work with just hosted its third 30-person meeting of prospective volunteers — before the election we had been meeting with people occasionally, one on one. The election of Donald Trump was a wake-up call for many people, and that’s just incredible. I’m so excited and inspired by this outpouring of support and enthusiasm for action. If you’re gearing up to become an activist for the next four years, I commend you and look forward to standing beside you.

But before we head out to the barricades together, there’s something you need to know.

This is not going to be an easy four years. We’re going to be subjected to constant gaslighting by the President and his administration. We’ll be dealing with a ferocious, multi-front attack on the entire progressive agenda, without exception, and a lot of it is going to succeed. We’re going to helplessly watch institutions we care about and depend upon destroyed. The Trump years are going to be emotionally exhausting and deeply traumatic for all of us, but particularly to those dedicated to protecting the vulnerable and preserving democracy.

Most of us are not ready to take on the mantle of the resistance. There are things we can do now to get ready, but if we don’t, the ranks of would-be activists and resisters are going to thin out very quickly.

Professional organizers and veteran activists have strategies for staying sane during a long fight. If you’re serious about sticking it out in the picket lines for the duration of the Trump presidency, you’re going to have to learn these strategies or else burn out in the first six months.

1. Don’t Get Used to Trump — Get Away From Him

The last few months have been a relentless onslaught of awful news. My homepage is the New York Times, and it’s started to feel like every time I open my browser I get the wind knocked out of me. I wake up in the morning, check my phone, and a cloud of sadness and anxiety settles over my entire day. I can’t live like this over the long term, and neither can you.

So when it gets to be too much, it’s ok to unplug for a bit. Stop refreshing Twitter and reading the news. Stop feeling guilty when someone asks you if you’ve been following the latest story and you have to say no. Go a week or a day or even an hour without talking/reading/writing about the dumpster fire smoldering along in Washington. It will still be there when you get back, I promise.

This is really important, because at some point it will become too much to handle. You can cope by shutting it out for a while — binge watching Netflix, playing with your dog, going to yoga. But if you don’t do that, if you try to maintain this fever pitch of anguish and fear and outrage, something far worse than a little down time is going to happen. Your brain, to protect you, will just turn down the volume on the outrage and adapt.

People can get used to anything, and if you don’t take steps to prevent it, you will get used to Trump.

You will stop being shocked by the latest scandal and horrified by the latest attack on civil rights. Trump will become the new normal. And that is the worst thing that could happen, because THIS IS NOT NORMAL, and democracies fall when their people stop resisting.

We have to stay outraged for the next four years and resist the powerful urge to adapt to the new normal. But that doesn’t mean you have to live the next four years in a constant state of anxiety and anger. It means, when you do think about Trump and his minions, the appropriate feeling is outrage. But you can’t live like that all the time, and that means you have to spend a significant amount of time not thinking about Trump and all the work that has to be done. Do not get used to Trump — get away from him.

I promise this will not make you a bad activist or a weak person. You will do more good if you make time for non-Trump conversations and non-political activities. It’s like taking a vacation from your job, which research has shown dramatically boosts productivity. Take a good long break, then come back refreshed and ready to work.

Not every job has to be done by you, even if you’re the best at it. If social media trolls are giving you heart palpitations, you can let a tweet go un-answered. Even if you’re the most knowledgable person at the dinner party, you don’t have to be the one to jump in when the conversation turns to politics. For that matter, you don’t have to show up to the dinner party if you know it’s going to turn into a debate.

2. Focus Your Energy on One or Two Issues

You can’t show up to every march and donate to every cause. You can’t write treatises on every issue and argue with every Trump supporter on your Facebook page. If you want to be effective on anything, pick an issue or two that matter most to you and fight for them. Let the others go.

Important caveat: I’m not saying we collectively should pick a few issues and let everything else fall by the wayside. Please don’t confuse me with those saying we have to abandon “identity politics” if we want to make progress on economic inequality (or vice versa). This is advice to individuals, not the party or the movement as a whole.

Another important caveat is that you shouldn’t actively undermine other people’s issues. Just because you aren’t personally excited about something doesn’t mean it’s not important. The only way this works is if lots of people focus on lots of different issues, with the result that all the important stuff gets covered. So don’t be in the business of trying to convince people to switch their allegiance from one issue to another. Don’t tell people to stop talking about racism because climate change is more important, or that health care can wait because we have to focus on LGBTQ rights. It’s all important.

The movement works as a coalition of people focused on different issues, so don’t let anyone convince you that by focusing your energy on one or two issues, you have effectively sided with the bad guys on everything else. Ignore people who say things like, “you’re not a real feminist if you aren’t working to protect the environment” or “you’re betraying the cause of economic justice if you don’t show up for prison reform.” That’s all nonsense. There is a spectrum of support, and nobody can be everywhere at once.

By the same token, don’t allow yourself to be shamed for being new to the game. Ignore people who tell you that your protests of Trump are hypocritical because you didn’t protest Obama. That’s hogwash for many reasons, but most importantly, YOU ARE HERE NOW AND THAT’S WHAT MATTERS. Do not engage in activist one-upmanship, and don’t allow yourself to be shamed for not being fully briefed and up to date on everything, for not spending your days glued to CSPAN and Twitter, for not making someone else’s number one issue yours as well. That is a demand for emotional labor from you, and you do not have to give it.

Sure, retweet and share on Facebook about your peripheral issues, but focus your real energy on the things you care about most. I will do the same for my different but complementary issues, and that’s how the work gets done.

3. Make Activism Fun

Do things that are good for the world, but do them in ways that you personally enjoy. Yes, call your representatives, but maybe make a contest of it with your friends, like you might challenge each other to achieve workout goals. Volunteer for an immigrants’ rights clinic with a group of colleagues, and then go out for drinks afterwards and feel free to be proud of yourselves. Go to the Women’s March with your mom and your sister and your best friend — and have an amazing time. Laugh, sing, chat, and flirt while you’re voting with your feet.

You don’t have to suffer to make a difference.

Don’t let anyone tell you that humor has no place in the movement, or that you aren’t allowed to be proud of your contribution, or that it’s unseemly to have fun while you’re doing serious work. That’s all bull, and it’s counterproductive to boot.

As Saul Alinsky wrote in Rules for Radicals, protest and activism is supposed to be loads of fun for the protesters. (And I can tell you from personal experience that he’s right.) If you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re doing it wrong.

One of the best ways to make activism fun is to make it easy. Resolve to do something small every day, without fail. There are many “daily action” lists going around, each with different emphasis, but they’re all very similar. Pick one and commit to following it. It will make you feel great, and will do wonders to combat that helpless, hopeless feeling. Plus, by doing something every day (even if it’s small) you will actually accomplish a lot — probably more than if you only do big things once a year.

Don’t forget to play to your strengths. There’s no need to force yourself to do a kind of work that you find unpleasant or boring. If you’re a writer, write articles shedding light on important issues, convincing the other side or rallying your allies to action. If you’re an artist, make art with a conscience. Teachers can bring social justice into your curriculum. Lawyers can volunteer at free legal clinics, write amicus briefs, do pro bono work. Like to argue? Be the one who calls out the sexist comment at a dinner party when everyone else doesn’t know how to react. Love to bake? Bring cookies to activist meetings and homeless shelters. No matter what your passion is, there’s a way to use it for good and have a great time doing it.

4. Take Care of the Basics

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the ordinary, everyday self-care. It’s obvious and mundane, but this stuff is even more important when you’re living under the strain of an oppressive government. You need a strong foundation from which to fight, so take care of the basics.

Go to therapy. Yes, really. Even if you don’t think you need it. Even if your mental health is generally good. We get checkups to maintain our physical health, so why not mental health? It’s not cheap and it’s not always covered by insurance, but if you can afford it, get yourself a therapist right now. You’ll thank yourself when the resistance is in full swing and you have someone to talk to.

Get enough sleep. You’d be amazed what sleep-deprivation does to your body and mind. If you do only one self-care thing (other than therapy), this should be it.

Go to the doctor. And the dentist. It’s hard to focus on social justice when a toothache is keeping you up at night or your low thyroid is making you so sluggish you can’t think. Take care of your body — you only get the one.

Exercise. You don’t have to run a marathon, but do some yoga or go for a jog or at least take a long walk.

Spend time with friends. Just be with people who love you, doing fun stuff.

Get some me-time. Read a book, watch a movie, take a walk, whatever. Just be in your own company for a while.

Eat well. Sure, healthy is good, but I also mean delicious. Cook (or order) food that makes you happy.

Get outside. If you live near woods or mountains or oceans, awesome. If not, just stroll around your neighborhood and breathe some fresh air.

Make your bed. Seriously, it takes like two minutes max and makes such a difference.

Oh, and call your mother, if you can.
Mirah Curzer

 

Tooth & Nail

Arwyn Atreides

With tooth and nail.
By fang and claw.
With ragged stitches sewn with unsteady hands.
With broken bones set in the lulls between battles.
With a pouch full of my teeth hanging from my ragged belt.

I love the person I am today because I clawed my way up that mountain.
I beat down every monster I saw break free from myself.
I knocked down every obstacle which reared up to block my path.
I survived in wilderness and scrambled over those jagged rocks.

I stand on my mountain and shout my love for myself.
I stand on my mountain and breathe the air.
I stand on my mountain and listen to the shouts from other mountains.
I stand on my mountain and smile and wave.

Because so many of us have scrambled and scrapped and fought
Because so many of us have become someone new

Because we all know that each of us survived our mountains

…Because there are other mountains which others are struggling to climb every day…
with tooth and nail
with fang and claw…

Arwyn Atreides

 

7 Practices

I have found an article that speaks to mastering discipline *ehem* giving procrastination (my favorite past time) the boot. The entire article is HERE

7 Discipline-Mastering Practices

BY LEO BABAUTA

A craftsman masters his trade by repeated practice, with care and continual learning, with devotion to the purpose.

It takes the same kinds of things to master the craft of discipline:

  • Repeated practice
  • Single-minded devotion to the purpose
  • Continual learning
  • Care

I’ve been giving some thought to what it takes to master the craft of discipline, and have been following some practices that I’ve found extremely useful:

  1. Do the task even when I’m not in the mood. Procrastination is such a common problem that I believe it to be universal. The main reason we procrastinate, without admitting it to ourselves, is, “I’m not in the mood to do this.” The task is probably difficult or confusing, and so it’s uncomfortable, and you’d rather go to things that are easier, that you’re good at. You’d rather clean your house or trim your nails or check your email than start writing the next chapter of your book. But if we wait until we’re in the mood, we’ll never master life. Instead, practice this: set yourself to do a task, and start doing it, no matter what. Don’t let yourself check email, or social media, or go clean something, or do a quick chore or errand. Sit down, and do it. It will be uncomfortable. You can still do it even if it’s uncomfortable.
  2. Exercise even when you really don’t want to. Yes, this is the same thing as procrastinating — we put off exercise for many reason, usually because it’s hard and we’d rather do something easier. But I look at it as something I need to do to take care of myself, like eating healthy food and brushing my teeth. You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth for a week, would you? Your teeth would rot. Similarly, skipping exercise for a week rots your body. Instead, practice this: tell yourself you’re going to do a workout/run at a certain time, and then show up. Do it even if you’re tired or feeling lazy. Ignore the lazy feeling, the distractedness, and suck it up. You’ll find that you feel great for having done it. Either way, you’ll start to master doing things that are uncomfortable.
  3. Sit with a little hunger. We tend to panic when we get hungry, and run for the nearest junk food. What I’ve learned is that you can be hungry and it’s not the end of the world. We don’t always need to be stuff and satisfied with crazy delicious food. Instead, practice this: don’t eat if you’re not hungry. When you get hungry, sit there for a moment and turn to the hunger, and see how it really feels. It’s not so bad. This practice isn’t to make you starve yourself (not great), but to show you that a little discomfort won’t ruin your life, and that you can make conscious choices about when and how much to eat.
  4. Talk to someone about something uncomfortable. We avoid difficult conversations, because they’re not fun. They’re scary, uncomfortable. But that leads to all kinds of problems, including resentment, a worse relationship, worsening of the situation, and more. Instead, practice this: When you have a problem with someone, instead of replaying the problem in your head, talk to the person in a gentle, compassionate way. Try to see the situation from their point of view, not just yours. Bring it up with a simple, “Hey, can we talk about ___?” And tell them how you feel, without accusing them or making them feel defensive. Ask them how they feel about it. Approach it with the attitude of finding a solution that works for both of you, that preserves your relationship. What you learn from this is that pushing through this uncomfortable situation will resolve a lot of difficult problems.
  5. Stick to a habit. One of the hardest things people face with changing a habit is sticking with a habit after their initial enthusiasm dies down. It’s easy to do a habit for a week — but what about pushing through the second and third weeks? It gets a lot easier after those weeks, but a lot of people drop the habit too early. Instead, do this: Commit to one small habit for two months. Make it just 5 minutes a day, and do it at the same time each day, having as many reminders set up as possible so you don’t forget. Track the habit on a calendar or log, so you see your progress. Show up every day and do it. You’ll start to master the formation of new habits, which will open up all kinds of changes.
  6. Turn toward the problem. When we have a problem, often we avoid even thinking about it. Think about whether you have one of these problems: you’ve been avoiding exercise, you’re overweight, you’ve been avoiding a major project, you put off dealing with your finances, you’re unhappy about some situation in your life. Often these are uncomfortable situations, and we’d rather not face them. Instead, practice this: See the obstacle as the path. Don’t avoid the obstacle (the difficult situation, the problem you fear), don’t go around it, don’t ignore it. Turn toward it. See it. Acknowledge it. Figure out what’s going on. Find out how to navigate within the problem. You’ll find that it’s not easy, but not as bad as you thought, and you’ll be happy you did it. And more importantly: you’ll get stronger from facing the problem.
  7. See the good in the activity. Discipline is really learning that you don’t need some incredible reward — there’s inherent good in just doing the activity. For example, if you’re going to eat healthy food, you don’t need to make it taste like your favorite dessert or fried food (rewarding food) — you can just enjoy the activity of eating fresh, healthy food. If you’re going to exercise, it doesn’t need to give you a flat stomach or nice arms — you can just enjoy the activity. Practice this: No matter what the activity, find the good in doing it, and the activity becomes the reward.
  8. Meditate. People think meditation is difficult or mystical, but it’s fairly simple. Practice this: Take 2 minutes to sit still, and focus on your breath, noticing when your mind wanders and gently returning to the breath. There are lots of other ways to meditate, but this is the simplest, and it shows you how to watch the urges that come up, and see that you don’t need to act on those urges.

You might not be good at these at first, but that’s why you practice.

You’ll learn, through these practices, to get good at discomfort, to show up even when you don’t feel like it, to stick to something even when the enthusiasm wanes, to not act on your urges right away, to enjoy any activity as a reward in and of itself.

Does life need to be pure discipline and no fun? Of course not. But if you can enjoy any activity, in the moment, why not learn to master something that will pay off for you in the long run?”

 

 

Women’s Greatness

By: Marianne Williamson, [of course]

“Who is to hold the space for a woman’s greatness? In many heterosexual relationships, a man is threatened by a woman’s greatness, finding a variety of ways to make her question her own beauty and strength. A secure man is not threatened by a woman’s intellectual or emotional power but CELEBRATES the opportunity for joyful partnership that it offers him. The conscious question is whether a relationship can handle two stars.

We must relinquish the paradigm of men as power with women as support and instead embrace the image of both men and women as powers, with each SUPPORTING the other. BlackQueenAny man who holds a woman back is not a man a woman can AFFORD to be with. A woman has a mighty and sacred task to perform on earth. She will not be able to fulfill her function if she remains with a man who derides her glory.

Women are not powerless. We just PRETEND we are. We do this in large part because we are afraid of the punishment inflicted on us when we dare to be who we really are. It’s a subtle form of discrimination, but it’s clearly there. A few women are allowed into the club, it seems; women who have allowed themselves to be partially declawed, their sexual threat to the status quo diminished just enough, so that men and women alike can handle the juice. But an animal in the wild is not declawed, and an animal in the wild is a beautiful thing.

In the wild, we scream. We scream when we hurt, we scream when we give birth, we scream when we come, and that’s just the way it is. Now what kind of man can handle our passion, and what kind of man can ascend to the throne next to a woman who owns her OWN crown? A princess attracts a prince, a queen attracts a king. Women who whine attract men who whine. Women full of the lioness heart attract men who are full of the lion.

And this is where women are now, at a place where, perhaps for the first time ever, people are remembering en masse our cosmic function. Our love affairs are not here to serve an industrial machinery or a government system. Our sex is not for procreation alone. Our love is here to SPIRITUALIZE the earth. Both women and men are in quantum fast forward. We are growing new brains. We are using new eyes.

And when a woman REMEMBERS her glory, a man of goodwill can barely contain his joy. His real self arises in the presence of her own. I’m telling you, it works, this thing, this looking within to attract what is without. Make room for love, and it always comes. Make a nest for love, and it always settles. Make a home for the beloved, and he will find his way there.”

Marianne Williamson’s website (HERE)

Monkey Mind

Our minds are move at the speed of light, taunting us with this, and reminding us of that. I’ve heard this referred to many as “Monkey Mind” that we suffer from.

For the most part I believe these thoughts are hanging on tight in our subconscious. Many random and reoccurring thoughts  so much a part of what we pay no-never-mind to, that it becomes similar to breathing.

For instance, how many times a day do you think about an old hurtful experiences? Someone that you feel wronged you? Some ass that cut you off in traffic? How often do you worry? Now ask yourself how often you think of things that make you happy? Your favorite song? Places you’ve been and the people that you love?  See what I mean?

Our thoughts are powerful and once we practice putting attention on what we are actually thinking about, “monkey mind” can take a back seat to better feeling thoughts.

Awesomeology

The Optimism Revolution is a social experiment in awesomeology:

“Each and every one of us has a superhero inside of us–capable of amazing, mind boggling things. BUT in order for that inner strength to reveal itself we’ve gotta work for it; and go through some pretty challenging obstacles.

If we want to find our ‘strong’, we gotta try getting up, day after day, BELIEVING that life is good, that people are awesome, and that we can change the world for the better. No matter what happens or what life throws at us.

And when we hit that point where we don’t have to try anymore– because it just happens when we get out of bed in the morning–we’ll be super-hero-strong enough to do some pretty spectacular things…

Stay strong, friends.”
Jim, The Optimism Revolution –  Facebook link (here)

 

Authentic Spirituality

The book “Authentic Spirituality” by Christine Green, simply put, is a read where beauty collides with common sense.

christineIt is taking everything in me to keep to my concise blog brand and share just a few of the many life lines contained in this 130 page read.

Chapter eight: “You Don’t Have to be Nice to be Good”.  In this section Christine dives deeper into how women have been trained to accept denial and the idea of needing to be needed leads to taking care of others to confirm our self-worth.

“…Nurturing ourselves does mean that we are being selfish, narcissistic, or self-absorbed.  Instead nurturing serves to renew and revitalize. It feeds our souls.  It brings balance back to the body and harmony to our          relationships.”

Through the entire book Christine gifts her readers with gratitude, practice,  prayers and appreciation.

More about Christine Green (here).

 

Perhaps

We tell ourselves stories about what took place and about what is and what isn’t.  We create layers of beliefs that do not serve us, and when examined are likely untrue.

What goes through your mind when you’ve told unfavorable things about you?   Is it possible that the messenger is lacking assurance in their own life?  Perhaps.

How about the fear that can arise when you want to do or have something but believe you can’t or don’t deserve it.  Perhaps you do it anyways and find out it was easy.

Have you ever felt taken advantage of?  Used up. Kicked to the curb.  Could it be that you did not prioritize YOU? Perhaps.

Would choosing to let go of fabrications give you peace?

Perhaps, and its up to you.

Which Way

You have your way, I have my way, as for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it does not exist.” Frederick Nietzsche

This message reminds us that we can be who we are and give others space and time to do the same. More often than not, we waste precious energy looking for and justifying what we have decided to be right or wrong.

An important element of self-care is not only let go of what we have no control of, but move past the desire to have a choke-hold on it in the first place.

A life time of practice to find your way and be cool with it.

Unite

Take a look at the notion posted here.  Seriously think about what it suggests.

528376_10151447560168908_1659470325_nThis thing has come up for me in a big way over the last couple of months.  Noting individuals and (groups) of people that understand themselves as “knowing” the way to be in the world.   And that’s cool, right? Yes, knowing what is right for you as a person = self-care.  However, taking the position of opposition against another individual or group due to ones perceived “knowing” is another story.

Think about it this way; if you are sure of what you know about you and your choices, then where does the position come from to challenge differences in others? And if sure, you then choose to set the example by holding a place of positive being.

I believe this idea to unite much easier than understood.  As we choose to practice self-care the need to weigh in on others choices diminishes. No major call to action required. Unity happens by default.