Tag Archives: relationships

Seeds Planted #7

29 Oct

Autumn in Spokane“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

The weekly reminder that I can and do make an effort to progress every week, no matter how frustrated I feel.

  1. I wrote three blog posts for my new skiing project.  (This one surprised me — I felt like I’d been procrastinating on that project, but instead I made some progress.)
  2. I’m still paying attention to my emotions.  It’s getting easier.
  3. I spent a little quality time with my roommate.  We just drove into Coeur d’Alene and had dinner, but it was nice.
  4. I feel like I’m starting to make a friend at work and that I’m becoming a little friendlier with everyone I work with in general.
  5. I found a theme for 2012.  That was completely unexpected; I wasn’t thinking about next year at all, but I think I’ll really enjoy my return to childhood.

I also saw some results from last week — I had a response to one of my job applications!  I expect to hear more details next week.

* * *

Honestly, it’s been a frustrating week.  Before I found the Stevenson quote I’d never considered measuring my progress with anything but results; I appreciate the reminder that my effort is worthwhile.

Announcing My Second Childhood

28 Oct

LEGO!I’ve decided to make 2012 my second childhood and I’m excited about it; this seems like an excellent tool to help me rewrite my core story.  I have two major goals that I hope to accomplish: learning to have more fun and building better friendships.

Turning my two original goals into a core story changing project will make me more productive; instead of just tackling those two things, I’ll be able to fit in many tasks under the umbrella of a second childhood.  I’m going to want to buy some new bedding in the next several months —  every child needs that special blankie to help her sleep, so what bedding does my inner child want?  Can she have some pillows too?

Neither of those goals excite me on their own, but now that I’ve packaged them as a year long opportunity to return to childhood, I am just bursting with ideas.  I’m trying to remember the things I loved from being a child so I can use them to achieve these goals.  I have ideas for trips and activities, I have book lists, I have toys I want to buy.  I’m glad I’m giving myself an entire year, because there is so much potential here.

* * *

I’m very excited about this project, and I’ll write a more detailed post when it’s closer to 2012.  For now, I would love to hear about your favorite activities as a child.  What did you love?

Hello Universe: Self-Compassion

10 Oct

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to bring my attention to this week.  I did quite well staying focused and maintaining some discipline in the past week, but part of me kept saying that a week, even a successful week, isn’t enough.  It can’t possibly be a habit yet, can it?  What if it’s just a fluke and I haven’t really made any progress?

Fortunately the larger part of me had the sense to remember that I am after progress, not perfection.  No, a week isn’t long enough to turn a goal into a habit, but that was never the point.  The point was to try being more focused and disciplined and not only did I try, I did quite nicely.  I was tempted to make this week’s goal “smothering my Voice of Defeat with a pillow,” but I had a better idea.

What I Want

I want to learn self-compassion.  I actually had to do a little research for this because I’ve never really thought about it before, and the best definition I found is from The Free Dictionary:

“Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.”
Except before I can truly offer compassion others, I need to learn to offer it to myself.  If I’m trying to connect with others, I need to have a compassionate connection with myself.

The Potential I Can See

I think learning to treat myself with compassion will help me with most of my current goals.

  • It will help me connect with others, and form healthy, loving relationships.
  • I’ll learn to compassionately acknowledge the problem, instead of completely over-thinking it.
  • It will help me be less judgmental about my original core story, making it easier for me to let go and build something better.
  • I’m trying to create a career, prepare to leave Spokane, and a few other adventures.  It won’t always go as planned, and learning compassion will help me treat myself with care and kindness so I can continue to progress, even after failure.

My Commitment

I commit to paying attention to these signs from that I’m being more critical than is necessary:

  • Comparing myself to others and putting myself down
  • Giving up on doing something because I feel it’s hopeless
  • Worrying about what might happen in the future
  • Being a perfectionist

I commit to trying to remember these steps to empathy from Ode Magazine:

  1. Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.
  2. Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.
  3. Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.
  4. Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.
  5. Just like me, this person is learning about life.

***

Are you offering yourself compassion?  Here’s a test to evaluate how self-compassionate you are.  Any advice for being more compassionate, both toward myself or others?

Scary New Ideas

6 Oct

I just learned about an unexpected change in my core story: I want to connect to other people.  I want to build close and even romantic relationships.

I’ve always been very comfortable being alone and my innate social skills are…lacking, (It’s a chicken and egg type thing — did I learn to enjoy being alone because I lacked the skills to be around others, I did I fail to learn social skills because I enjoyed being alone too much to be bothered?) so wanting meaningful relationships is new to me.  I do have some wonderful friends, but mostly due to showing up and luck.

I just managed to put everything together and realize that I want to connect to others, so I’m not yet certain how to proceed.  I think I’ll start by being more selective about the people I spend time with; I don’t think learning to connect will be easy, so I’m going to need to start with some exceptional people.  Building on the existing connections I have with my friends sounds like a good first step, and I’d like to ask their help in vetting people for me to try to connect with.

As I learn and things get easier, I think I’ll be able to be less selective and more open and eventually outgrow the need for vetting.  Right now though, asking my friends for help with this project is a sign of progress for me.  Asking for help is a form of vulnerability, and I’m not good at being vulnerable.  Unfortunately, the ability to be vulnerable is a direct measure of the depth of my connection to them.  In order to learn to be good at connecting to others, I need to learn to be okay with being vulnerable.

This is scary, but I think it’s necessary.

Wishcasting Wednesday: One Day

4 Oct

Jiminy CricketWhat do I wish to do one day?

One day I wish to have a healthy, happy relationship.  A couple of weeks ago I wished to immerse myself in my new relationship, and what I’m learning from that is that I have a very difficult time with intimacy.  (So does he.  If this doesn’t work out at least I’ll know why.)

Specifically, I have a hard time being vulnerable, and people who can’t be vulnerable can’t make connections with others.  I want to connect.  I specifically want to connect with my current partner, but I think it’s important to have the ability to connect in and of itself.  So what I really wish for is to learn the how to make connections; having a happy, healthy relationship will be the tangible evidence that I can allow myself to be vulnerable to others and that I can form intimate connections.

Hello Universe: Focus and Discipline

3 Oct

As part of the first week of The Artist’s Way, I chose an affirmation for myself: “I am focused and well-disciplined.”  I chose those words because I don’t really believe them.  I frequently let the perfect be the enemy of the good, which means I procrastinate, obsessing about how I should be doing what I’m putting off, instead of actually doing it.

Enough.

What I Want

I want to be focused and well-disciplined.  I want to spend my time doing things that I will enjoy, things I will learn from, or things that will have real benefits.

I do not want to spend my time procrastinating or over-thinking.  I want to spend my time doing.

The Potential I Can See

Openly acknowledging that my current normal is hindering my progress is helpful in itself.  Having that affirmation keeps it present for me, and reminds me that there are better options.

I can see how this ties into everything I’m trying to do right now.  Instead of over-thinking my original core story, I can focus on my new one.  Instead of obsessing over everything that does or doesn’t happen in my new relationship, I can be disciplined enough to maintain it.  Instead of despairing that my job isn’t meeting my expectations, I can focus on getting a better job or creating a career.

My Commitment

I commit to being aware of what I am doing and how my actions further my goals.  I commit to being present in my life instead of over-thinking the past or obsessing the future.

My other mantra?  “I can do this.”  I believe that one.

Seeds Planted

25 Sep

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. The most exciting seed I planted this week?  My interview!  I had an interview on Thursday, and while I thought it was going well, it ended very quickly and almost abruptly.  It seriously lasted no more than ten minutes, so I did not walk away feeling optimistic.  However, they called me back the next morning and I have a working interview tomorrow morning!  I’m very excited.
  2. I mentioned that I’m starting a new relationship, but I felt frustrated with it this week.  Well, no, I felt frustrated with him.  I typically address problems immediately and directly, which can frequently be interpreted as overly confrontational.  This time I let him bring it up…and he did!  We actually had a great conversation that left me feeling very good about both where we are and where we’re headed.  This relationship is pushing me to grow and I love it.
  3. I managed to ask my dad for help.
  4. There are plums in there!At the farmer’s market I learned that plums are incredible.  I realize this particular seed sounds a bit silly, but I’m still excited about it.  I used to be a very picky eater, so I always enjoy learning to like a new food, especially in such an unexpected way.  I was buying apples and the farmer offered me a plum; I took the first bite to be polite, but then I devoured it and bought a half dozen.  I originally thought about making a plum tart, but I keep eating them.
  5. I started working on my new core story by trying a new morning routine.  Even in the short time I’ve been trying it, I’ve learned a few things: I’m tend to sabotage myself by trying to make things perfect instead of just going ahead and doing them.  The goal is to take a walk — duration and distance don’t matter, walking itself is the important thing — but I’m still telling myself that my plan isn’t good enough.  That needs to stop.  And really, the big goal is to move my body in the morning, so I could easily substitute a few yoga poses if I have time constraints or just want a change.  I can be flexible, but that can be so difficult for me to recognize.