it’s amazing how motivating voicing my goal about the mindfulness posts out loud is.
So mindfulness day 2 part 2 – the idea here is a little bit of “fake it till you make it” and a little bit of “see yourself as others see you.”
It’s not always easy to be self-loving and self-confident and generally I know I am WAY harder on myself than I am on others – especially those I care about. Couple that with being very self-deprecating, brushing off praise with self-put-downs, and it can be a hard habit to break.
Step 1 – accept the compliment. No “it was nothing”; no “I could have done better”; just “thank you.”
Step 2 – start a compliments file. Last year I did this in my journal (for like 2 days or something). This year I am going to try and keep it on my phone – so if someone sends a text or message or posts something on my fb or ig I will screen shot it and save it in an album.
Step 3 – review the file – pretend you actually believe the kind things your friends / co-workers / random strangers / family say. Pretend you said “good job” to yourself. Eventually you’ll be able to say it and mean it!
Next up is thinking about your values. I know this is hard…
…la di dah we’re just gonna waltz on in here like it hasn’t been a month since my last post and a month and a half since my last mindfulness post…
There are a couple of activities on “day 2” and there’s no way I can do even one of them in a day so there are gonna be at least 2 “day 2 v.2” posts. I guess I should re-name this one day 2a v.2? Or maybe day 2 v.2a… Or just day 2 part 1 – y’all know it’s not the stuff from 2021. …anyway, back to the regularly scheduled programming.
Everyone knows what physical clutter is right? The stuff hanging around that really serves no purpose except for getting in your way, or making you feel guilty, or worry about unnecessarily. Well, it turns out emotional clutter is pretty similar.
That tchotchke isn’t inherently bad – it only becomes clutter if there are too many and they overwhelm you and don’t serve their intended purpose anymore (i.e. reminding you fondly of someone or some place). Negative thoughts and emotions are also not bad – fight or flight is a survival tactic. BUT most people don’t need survival tactics every damn day.
Feeling guilty about something is the same – you can use the feeling to see how to change and grow OR it can cause you to seize up and freeze and never evolve.
My “emotional decluttering” focus is definitely centred on guilt. It’s so easy for me to absorb any and all blame. My train of thought recently, as an example:
“We’re in a pandemic and we were going to go visit the family in BC but another pandemic wave hit and so we can’t go and it’s my fault I never thought we should move to be closer to the BC family.”
So this is my focus: Forget the mistake and learn the lesson. Don’t hold on to regret and guilt.
I got tested on this too soon though. I offended someone last week. I was trying to process something about how I felt after an online conversation and I forgot the cardinal rule that really there is no nuance online and while the second conversation would have probably happened very differently if it was in person, I made a mistake. I didn’t think through what I was saying before I said it and I completely missed an obvious interpretation.
I’ve given myself a couple of days to wallow and while I wish I had done it differently, I cannot go back and change it. I’ll consider a bit more about what I can learn from this and how to avoid – or at least minimize the chances of it – it in the future.
as an aside – I am going to try and make time for this. It’s important to me even if it isn’t (and probably because it isn’t) easy. So my calendar says I have to post something about this every Tuesday from now on… *fingers crossed*
In August I wrote: “Back in February, a friend who recognized how hard COVID and the pandemic was hitting me invited me to a FB group to focus on self-love and mindfulness and care for a month. I couldn’t do it then – I wasn’t ready, I didn’t have the focus, I don’t know what. But I’m going to try it again now. 28 days.”
Narrator (sounding a lot like Morgan Freeman): Reader, that did not happen.
And here I am again. But here is better than not here and so away I go.
Definition of affirmation
1a : the act of affirming // nodded his head in affirmation
b : something affirmed: a positive assertion // His memoir is a reflective affirmation of family love.
Day 1’s work is to ask “what positive affirmations do I need to say to myself this month?”. The important thing I think that I have recognized is that I often repeat a whole lot of negative affirmations to myself – I’m lazy, I’m can’t figure this out, I’m fat, I’m slow – and so I think this time I see that positive affirmations aren’t just a load of candy-floss / silver lining thinking.
Instead, I’m looking at positive affirmations as a way to disrupt negative thoughts that arise. I came up with a few back in August but I thought I would spend a day or two and think about them again now, what I need to hear now:
I make mistakes because I am trying to learn new things and grow.
Last year when some friends and I were chatting about health generally, I complained I needed to move more and stretch more and just do something.
One of the friends – Sara – mentioned Yoga With Adriene (YWA) and that she did this monthly program of sessions. (And yes, I’m pretty sure I’m the last person on the planet to know about YWA; in fact I’m sure it was recommended to me in the past when I asked about good beginners yoga…) A couple of us decided to give it a shot at the time. We had varying degrees of success but I remember it more positively than negatively so I would occasionally go back to her YouTube channel.
When the end of 2021 was approached I was thinking about how to re-introduce yoga again. Sara said there was going to be another 30-day programme so I thought I’d subscribe and give it a go again.
And here is the Day 1 video (no physical yoga just a quick chat about what’s coming up): HERE
I don’t really know a lot about yoga but to me YWA seems very accessible and approachable. For example, I have a few old lingering injuries (especially stick side 😉 so my right wrist and rotator cuff and shoulder) as well as chronic osteoarthritis in my left knee…oh and the whole being overweight too and yet there is usually enough modification for me to continue. And enough encouragement to keep me going even if I am sitting out the third set of downward dog (right wrist) and doing a child’s pose instead.
I do have very good balance and I would love to improve my flexibility. That’s what I would like to move towards. I committed to myself that I would focus on getting in a little bit of yoga every day in January so when today’s MOVE session was a quick chat, I went and did one of her Morning Yoga sessions.
Hoping to post a very full log at the end of the month!
I went back and read my three posts from … ahem … August. Seriously, why is it so freaking hard for me to focus on myself, on what I think, on what I feel? I mean, it’s literally one place where no one can tell me that I’m wrong.
Except of course they can. Putting it out there – even to myself – means that someone can say “why do you value X, B is so much more important?!” Why can some things make me happy and joyful when there are other things that make me sad and lonely? ARGH…
All that to say I’m going to try and pick this up where I left it off.
In August I drafted some positive affirmations and committed to maintaining a compliments list. I also listed off my values. So I’m gonna start there. Look them all over again and keep moving forward.
Word of the Year
I’m not even sure where this one started. I mean, Merriam-Webster announced its 2021 word of the year was vaccine. Dictionary.com said its was allyship. Oxford Languages picked vax. But that’s not quite what I mean.
Somewhere in the recesses of my brain I had the idea that it was a mindfulness hack to come up with a “word of the year.” Something to focus on and use to help steer you through the coming days. So I let that idea percolate a little and then recently I woke up with a word in my brain.
Go with the flow; water flows; to circulate; a continuous change; to rise; to abound; a flow state; just let it flow; music flows; seasons flow; the wind flows; time flows;
Now I’ll just go with the flow and see where it takes me in 2022.