Posts Tagged ‘Beginning’

May You Get What You Deserve

Monday, March 26th, 2012

I’ve been seeing a lot of pins on Pinterest with messages like “You Deserve Everything You Want” and “You Deserve to Be Happy” and every time I see one, I make a face and click away.

You see, as much as I think you are amazing and precious and inspiring, you really only deserve one thing, we all do. You don’t deserve what you want. You don’t even deserve to go after what you want. You deserve the *opportunity* to go after what ever you want.

A Learning Curve

What You Deserve Bag zazzle_bag
If you like this thought, take a peek at the Social Caterpillar store

Because even though it’s worth it, going after what you want is often complicated and difficult, if it wasn’t, you’d probably already have it. And sometimes for whatever reason you have to choose between opportunities. And, on occasion, even though you deserve it, the opportunity has passed or never existed.

People who have a positive outlook find more opportunities than those who have a negative or neutral outlook. And the  good news: you can learn to have a positive outlook.

  • When something crappy happens, look for any good sides, even if it’s just that whatever happened wasn’t worse.
  • Watch what you say. The more you say things like “it’s just my luck”, “this always happens to me”, and “people suck”, the more you reinforce those beliefs.
  • Remember that each event is individual, just because you got splashed by a mud puddle, doesn’t mean that the rest of the day is ruined.
  • Look for the grey, you are not perfect, no one else is either. And the converse is true, you’re not all bad and neither is anyone else.
  • Try laughing when things go wrong. Being irritated doesn’t make whatever it is any better, but laughing at the absurdity can lessen your stress.
  • Take a look at the company you keep. Are your friends positive people?

The Tiniest of Baby Steps

And you can just start with noticing, you don’t have to change anything right now. Or ever if you don’t want to, but if you don’t want to make some changes, this may not be the blog for you.

Fair warning: making these changes will change how you see life and the people around you. I love my life and see so many options and opportunities around me. But, earlier this year, I had to leave a party because every time I asked someone how they were doing, they answers were all the same: “Surviving”. While it’s certainly better than the alternative, just surviving is so far below my line of sight, I really didn’t know how to respond. I still don’t. I want more and I want to be around people who want more.

So tell me, what opportunity are you looking for right now?

Want to receive small comfort zone stretches and resource recommendations every couple of weeks? Sign up for Inching Along and I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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And One to Grow On

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

I’m turning 35! This means that I can tick a different box for age range on surveys now. And probably some other stuff to, but mostly after 21, all the cool perks of aging have passed, unless you want to be president, which I don’t.

When I turned 33 I started this blog (Happy Blogiversary!) and made a whole slew of changes and took on loads of lovely fun challenges. When I turned 34 I watched the sun rise from the top of a float in Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. And since then… meh, it feels like I’ve fallen into a rut.

So, I’ve written down 36 things I want to do or try over the next year:

  1. Host a Get Together
  2. Drive a Manual Transmission
  3. Learn to Tell a Story
  4. Fire Poi Spinning
  5. Toast Masters
  6. Singing Lessons
  7. Improv
  8. Aerial Arts
  9. Ballroom Dance
  10. Dance Club
  11. C25K
  12. Give Speech/Talk
  13. Submit Writing
  14. Go up in a Hot Air Balloon
  15. Snow Board
  16. Learn how to make drinks
  17. Paddle Board
  18. Have a full High Tea at The Russian Tea Room
  19. Krav Maga
  20. Capoeira
  21. Tandem Hang Gliding
  22. Learn to Sail
  23. Go Rock Climbing
  24. Rafting
  25. Range Shooting
  26. Parkour
  27. Take a Real Vacation
  28. Have a Spa Day
  29. Attend Awesomeness Fest
  30. Take a Cello Lesson
  31. Evasive Driving
  32. Dive
  33. Shoot Pool
  34. Glass Blowing
  35. Conflict Resolution
  36. Visit Canada

Most of these deserve a bit of explanation, but rather than go through each one now, I’ll give the necessary background in the posts related to each event. Some may be combined, like taking a real vacation, I can see at least ten other options that would work well with that one.

A majority of what’s on this list is stuff that I’ve thought about trying over the years and just never got around to. Well, you only live once and all that, plus, I’m feeling a bit stifled and I just signed another lease, so I need a way to keep having adventures without taking off again.

And I totally reserve the right to change any of these as I see fit. I mean, I am a grown up after all.

I’m curious, what have you been thinking about doing, but just haven’t gotten to, for whatever reason?

Want to receive small comfort zone stretches and resource recommendations every couple of weeks? Sign up for Inching Along and I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

7

Remember when…

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

I was a little reticent to put up the last post. It can be so easy to say,”Well, yeah, you can do X, look at all the stuff on that list. You’re obviously so much more Y than I am.” Maybe, maybe not.

I may have something you don’t, though. Blog archives.

When I do something that I’m proud of having accomplished, especially related to being shy/HSP/introverted, I usually write about it and post it here, with the hope that you will read it and get something out of it. Preferably inspiration, but whatever.

You’ve Done Eeeeeeeeeeet!

Once you’ve accomplished something, unless it’s HUGE, it doesn’t stick in the forefront of your mind. It slips further and further back until it’s almost not there. And this can be a great motivator, this wanting to move on to the next great thing of yours, but when your’e feeling low, it’s a problem.

I’ve got an easy way to look back and see what I’ve done, which is good, because when I was writing that post, I didn’t remember everything. I had completely forgotten that I rode a horse after refusing for 20-odd years. I forgot about contract negotiation and the taxi driver too. annoying git

Anyway, if I can forget these things after having done them and then written about them, I can only imagine what non-blogcentric folks manage to forget, especially in a time of the I-can’ts.

Twofer

Truthfully this is a two birds, one stone kind of deal. When you write about something, you create a story, one you can tell when you’re first getting to know people (or later) and it’s already there for you to draw upon. Second, you’ve got a record for when you get hit by the I-can’ts.

  • Obviously, you can journal, in a notebook or on your computer, or
  • You can write notes on FB, or
  • You can start a blog, public or private, or
  • You can write on 750words.com, or
  • You can email yourself, using the subject line to create a smart folder for organizing, or…

You are awesome, I am sure of it. You’ve also done more than you can think of right now. I’m sure of that too. Keep track of your stories. They tell us who you are, but they tell you who you are too. Usually when you need it most.

How do you remember what you’ve accomplished?

Want to receive small comfort zone stretches and resource recommendations every couple of weeks? Sign up for Inching Along and I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

 

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Amazing You

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

When you gonna make up your mind?
When you gonna love you as much as I do?
~Tori Amos

Will the Circle be Unbroken

Today I was at an intimate concert from Ariana Hall with a few friends and a few new-to-me friends as well. To set the feeling as more of a group of friends than a show, we went around and introduced ourselves before the music started. I introduced myself as someone who works with creatives on stretching their comfort zones and practicing self care.

I have a tendency to introduce myself as a jewelry designer, my day job, because people know what that means. I design jewelry. They know what jewelry is, they know that people design it. Simple. I’m still working on telling people this:

I’m a comfort zone stretching social enrichment coach for creatives who want to get out more, meet people, have adventures; and believe that being shy, introverted, and highly sensitive is a blessing — if we allow it to be.

But if I don’t claim it, then I am, in fact, denying it.

Against the Grain

In this group there were yoga teachers, body workers, musicians… All people I tend to think of as having two jobs and maybe they did and maybe they didn’t, but they chose to identify in a certain way.

As the music got going I couldn’t stop thinking about how the people I surround myself with all go after their dreams. We do what we can to live our lives, the ones we claim. We may not make every possible choice to get us closer to our goals in life, but we do make every choice we can.

Can’t You Hear Me Callin’

I have one friend who comes to mind, N, he’s an author, just finishing the second draft of his novel. While I haven’t read any of this particular work, I have read his writing before. He’s got a strong voice, a talent for spinning a story and the man can research like few I’ve seen.

And, yet…

He makes light of compliments and currently considers anything less than a publishing deal to be failure. I want to bring him into this circle of determination and love. To *force* him to see how much he has done and how much he has to offer. But I can’t.

Never Give Up

As pissy as it makes me, I can’t tip back his head and feed him his own worth. I can, however, do this, I can support him in his choices and let him know how amazing he and his works are and maybe one day, he’ll get it for himself.

And I want you to know this, you are amazing. Whatever you create, share it, and when people praise you, believe them. You know what it was like getting there, you know how it all happened (maybe) and you probably even know that you’re not *quite* where you want to be yet. And still, believe them, because you need to love you as much as I do.

Today, I’d like to hear what you’re working on, what you’ve just finished, what ever it is that you can share that makes you, you. Please, share with us.

Annnnnnnnnd we stretch Two Three Four. Sign up for Inching Along and you’ll get small comfort zone stretches sent to your inbox ever other week, plus resources and other fun nuggets of info. 
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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Open Home, Open Heart

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Recently, I’ve been working under the theory that my mind is clearer when my home is less cluttered. But, what about the heart?

For years I’ve been really good a building walls between myself and other people. Not letting them in emotionally… and physically. Very few people get invited in to my home. It’s not that I don’t like them, but… more that I’m not letting them see the *real* me.

Behind the Curtain?

The real me and my lack of perfection. My dining area that has a rug mat and no rug, a folding table and two director’s chairs. And before, in my old house, the, well, the dining room was unfinished there too.

Hmmm. I leave the one room in the house that is primarily used for entertaining as the last room to be finished. I finished the studio, that I never used, before I got half way through the dining room in my old house. Wow, okay, I started with one metaphor and ran smack into another one, which still fits with the first one.

Mine, All Mine

I’m keeping my life and my self to me. Not sharing, not inviting people in. I mean, I know more people and I’m more social, than I was, but still. I keep people at a distance. And maybe I need that, but maybe not. It’s a pattern to watch, at this point.

The excuse of clutter, the excuse of unfinished rooms, that’s what they are. Excuses. Reasons to keep people at a distance. And I’ve been wondering, if I’m spending all this energy keeping people out, how do I start letting people in?

All of the people who I’ve invited into my home, they are people who have seen me in my jammies and with sleep hair. I know them that well.

Opening Up

What about having acquaintances over for tea, or a few new friends over for supper? These ideas don’t seem particularly out of the ordinary, and yet, I don’t do it.

So, this was supposed to be about softening my walls and creating an inviting home, opening my heart and mind to finding someone new, someone special, and instead, I ended up at a much more general version of the same idea. Which is maybe where I need to start any way…

Now, I’m curious. How do you handle your boundaries for your home? Where do you draw your line?

Have you been thinking about adding a few comfort zone stretching challenges to your life? Get those plus resources and other fun nuggets of info in your inbox every other week, sign up for Inching Along today.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

1

Heat Mapping Your Energy

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Charlie Gilkey has a post about using heat maps to organize your day. And I never did it because I could never understand *how* it was supposed to work. Until I worked with Kirsten Simmons from Personalized Productivity and she made it make sense.

It’s a Pie Chart, Mmmm Pie

This is how it worked for me:

  1. Download Charlie’s template (it’s in the beginning of the post linked above)
  2. Print out a week’s worth or import the image into a new file in your drawing program.
  3. Every few hours color code the previous hours into categories. Mine are Creative, Meh, Useless, Sleep
  4. Make notes about anything odd about that day or relationships you notice between what you’re doing and how you’re feeling
  5. Repeat for a week

Once you’ve got the sheets in front of you see what your patterns are. Adjust your schedule accordingly and in a few months, do it again to see if it’s making a difference.

Doing What, When

For me, my least creative time is from 3-6 pm. So, I do my least creative activities then. Because if I try to create during that time frame, I get frustrated, tired and then go play sudoku.

My most creative times are right after breakfast and just before bed. So that’s when I work on creating and learning. I’m starting a reading practice at night and writing in the morning, but I haven’t gotten to the point where it’s part of my armature yet.

Do you know your energy flow? How do you use that knowledge to your advantage?

Looking to stretch your comfort zone in tiny ways and pick up some resource recommendations? Sign up for Inching Along, and every other week I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

1

One Tiny Thing Thursday #21, The Cutting of the Hairs

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Welcome to One Tiny Thing Thursday, where we choose to do one lil bit of a part of the scary, instead of trying to tackle the whole overwhelm all at once. Because, starting small is usually better than not starting at all. Join us?

I need a hair cut. I wouldn’t quite use the word desperately, yet. The ends are damaged and tangle badly and break when I run a come through my hair. Did I say ‘yet’? I haven’t had one since March, when I got back from Brazil. Of course, this isn’t even close to the longest I’ve gone without a hair cut.

Plus, I want new pictures and Ori is in town, but my hair is at two… distinct levels. It’s like I grew out my bangs, but I didn’t really have bangs. Or fringe, for you non-US types. I’m looking for as long as possible while removing the damaged bits and creating an intentional looking style. I’m guessing that won’t be very long… Thankfully my hair grows like mad.

Making it a Date

So I need to pick three day and time choices and call the salon. Then I can go downstairs and get a treat at the raw foods place. Or a cookie and some milk at Subway. It could go either way.

So for today I’ll pick the day/time choices and keep my fingers crossed that I have the momentum to make the call too. But it’s okay if I don’t.

Update from last time: I ended up ordering recycling bags online because after dealing with the guys at the bike shop I was too wound up to take the bus. The bike shop guys are nice enough, but we don’t really *get* each other, makes talking with them tiring. So, bags are here and the piles of recycling are dwindling day by day. Yay!

If you want to play along, then just tell us in the comments what you’re One Tiny Thing is. And if you like, you can always come back and let us know how it went too.

Looking to stretch your comfort zone in tiny ways and pick up some resource recommendations? Sign up for Inching Along, and every other week I’ll send you one small (possibly even fun) challenge that you can easily accomplish plus other nuggets that I find.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

2

If I Were Choosing…

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

After having a conversation with Taryn in the comments on her blog, I realized that I had added a trick to my Trying Things bag and I never told you. It’s incredibly easy and super useful too.

I started doing this in Guatemala when I would walk through the square, with the park surrounded by vendors. Wonderful smells coming from all the goodies cooking, people calling to one another, stall after stall of beautiful fabrics intermixed with touristy tchotchkes.

So overwhelming.

I would walk through and not even slow down. When I got home, I always thought of how I *should* have stopped and bought a pastry or looked at some scarves, vowing to do so next time. Of course, next time, it was just as overwhelming as the last.

Lady’s Choice

So, I started practicing “If I were choosing to… I would”. Like this: If I were choosing to interact more with the vendors, I would stop and look at the jewelry table. I don’t have to *do* anything, just notice and think about my options. If the thing I would do sounds appealing, I can go ahead and do it, or not.

Since I’m distanced from the whole thing by the fact that it’s what I ‘would’ do, not what I have committed to doing, I can carry on, without doing a thing, no blame. It’s great. Also, it gives me practice at taking time to think in overwhelming situations.

What tricks do you use so frequently that you don’t even think about them anymore?

Have you been thinking about adding a few comfort zone stretching challenges to your life? Get those plus resources and other fun nuggets of info in your inbox every other week, sign up for Inching Along today.
You know, you can get updates by email or RSS. Yay, updates!

In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

0

5 Unusual Energy Drains

Monday, October 17th, 2011

You may already know this, but in case you don’t, I’m a Spoonie. And when I run out of spoons (my energy is low) I just can’t do much more than take care of my basic needs. Earlier this week, I skipped out on a gallery opening I wanted to attend, because I was just too tired to go.

My energy had been low for a bit, now and I’ve been looking at ways I can boost it without going for sugar or caffeine, since I’ve gotten sensitive to both. One of the things I’ve been looking at is figuring out what has been lowering my energy. I found five energy drains that we may not recognize.

Clutter

Having stuff all over the place, or having it feel like you’ve got stuff all over the place, pings your brain. You’re spending energy keeping track of all the things that are scattered around. Last week, I saw this on Unplggd, and thought, ‘Now really, why would I treat a prospective buyer better than I would treat myself?’

If you think clutter doesn’t bother you, try this: Choose one surface that is cluttered, mine was the island in my kitchen. Stand in front of it and notice how you feel. Find homes for all the stuff covering the surface. Once again, stand in front of it and notice how you feel. Better, right?

Resources:

Worry

It’s pretty easy to see how big worries would affect your energy, they’re big. Little worries get to you too, it’s like they build up and join forces. Truth: I’ve got what I consider to be a large amount of credit card debt and I’m no longer okay with that.

My first step has been watching and noticing. Charting what I’m spending, my interest rates, the pay off amounts. In the long run, lowering my debt will also boost my energy, but for now, it’s a drain.

Apparently, I need to find a point where I’ll feel like I’m making progress, and remember to look how far I’ve come, not just how far I have to go.

Resources:

Lack of Movement

I spent a few days where I was all but immobile during my energy valley, from 3-6 pm I’m usually low on creative energy, but I’m not physically exhausted. Last week I was inexplicably exhausted.

Saturday morning, I decided to try a 10 minute pilates video I found through Angry Chicken. My day and mood were both, um, perkier. I felt like I could take on the day and that exhaustion, it didn’t hit at all.

Even a little bit helps, can you give yourself 10 minutes of walking, stretching, or dancing?

Resources:

Dehydration

First, by the time you feel thirsty, you are dehydrated, according to the medical definition. We’re busy, I get it, but keeping hydrated is necessary for energy, and as a bonus, it makes your skin look healthier too.

Another truth: I can’t stand plain water, unless I’ve gotten over heated. I drink herbal tea all day long. In August, in Texas, I drink hot herbal tea. Unless I’m walking somewhere, then it’s iced.

If you love drinking ice cold water all on its own, rock on, but if you think ‘Water, really? No, thanks.’ then herbal teas are a calorie-free, caffeine-free, way to make your water flavorful and enjoyable.

Resources:

Non-restful Sleep

If you’re not getting enough sleep your energy will be low; this surprises no one. But, it’s not just quantity of sleep it’s quality too.

There was a study several years ago where they took olympic quality athletes and disturbed their sleep cycles in the way that Fibromyalgia sufferers often naturally have sleep disturbances. Within a week, the athletes started exhibiting symptoms of Fibromyalgia. I’m not saying that sleep issues cause Fibro, but obviously quality of sleep is important.

Are you sleeping through the night? Does your body relax while you sleep? Do you have sleep apnea or night terrors? All of these things make a difference. Also, on the subject of quantity, if you need an alarm to wake up, you’re not getting enough sleep.

Resources:

What drains your energy? What have you done or do you want to do to change that?

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Make the Right Thing also the Easy Thing

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

A few years back, I was working on building a food site, inspired in spirit by Ravelry. And, being me, I read every book I could find on social media, community sites, and a whole selection on various vague internetty topics.

One thought stuck with me, although the author’s name did not: Make it easy to do the right thing and as close as you can to impossible to do the wrong thing. Since I’ve been thinking a lot about my patterns and taking care of my self and my space, this thought has been popping up often.

Obviously, this works better in some cases than others. For instance: I’m still working on how to make it easier to go to dance class than stay in bed. But it may be simpler than it seems for other tasks.

The TV Vortex

Two and a half weeks ago I decided that I needed a streaming TV break. I was spending 10+ hours a week watching TV shows. While, at the same time, I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day. I have things I want to accomplish and reruns of shows from when I was in high school were getting in the way of that.

So, I paid attention to when, why and how I watched my shows. I watched when I was feeling out of sorts, when I felt like I needed a reward, when I wanted to rest. I also watched when I ate lunch. And I always clicked on the link in my Most Recent Places menu when I opened a new tab.

Making the Easy

So, first, I made getting there harder. I removed all references to my site of choice from Most Recent Places, it is in fact editable. I started watching TED talks during lunch, they’re shorter and mostly really interesting. When I wanted a break, I started looking at my favorite food blogs (which, come to think of it, may be what started that cascade of food themed posts a couple of weeks back). Feeling out of sorts… tea and coloring should help that.

This is not to say that I haven’t wanted to watch a show. I have, but I want the space and time to come at it in a different way. And, the thing is, I do have to think about it. I can’t just click a button or two and be there. Having to make the conscious choice to type in the URL makes a difference, makes it a conscious choice.

Pattern Watching

As I write this I’ve got about two weeks left on my self imposed TV ban and I *am* getting more done. Watching those patterns showed me other patterns that needed revising. I figured out how to get my calendar to function in a way that I would actually use. My internet habits, in general, are shifting too.

And that thing about going to dance class instead of staying in bed, I may have found a use for that programable vacuum cleaner, besides cleaning the floors. I would have to get out of bed to turn it off (it’s too loud to run while I’m in the house), so it’s just as easy to leave as it is to chase the vacuum down and hit the off switch. If I ever get the vacuum, I’ll let you know.

Are there any ways you have employed Making the Right Thing the Easy Thing in your life? Are there any ways you could?

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