Week 3 Habit: ACV

My idea for last week’s habit of identifying feelings as they surface was to keep a journal throughout the week. While I did log several feelings I want to explore, I honestly wasn’t as structured with my tracking as I’d planned. I’ll have to address the feeling of laziness!

A lesson I’m learning from pursuing an understanding of what I feel, is that living on autopilot is easy and I’m jolted when coming off of that mode! I consider myself to be pretty self aware, but see that I assume way more than I realized. Of the top, strongest feelings I identified this past week, I either hadn’t previously recognized them at all or they ended up being different feelings than I thought they were.

By deciding to play detective with my feelings, it was necessary to let them happen. It’s not easy or fun to deal with feelings, and most people opt to ignore or numb them instead. Food is my drug of choice. It serves as a muffle and keeps me from fully living in reality.

The best outcome from going off autopilot was uncovering a truer version of myself. I’ve lived with the sense that I have a potential, true self whom I’ve buried. Allowing myself to feel, even when those feelings are painful, uncomfortable, or confusing, has been liberating!

There is often excitement from something new that’s separate from the new thing, which is part of what I experienced earlier in the week. Toward the end of the week, letting myself feel instead of numbing with food was a more difficult choice. While I could hide behind my virtual mask, I would rather openly admit that I chose to numb instead of feel a few times. I’m also choosing to not wallow or consider myself a failure and give up completely! I see it as an opportunity to continue learning about myself. It also highlighted the contrast between the choice of feeling or numbing, and I was more aware of the consequences of numbing. I miss the self I’m discovering when I’m in the muted version of me. With numbed feelings, I lose my creativity and passion.

I’m adding an easier habit this week for the sake of staying on course of another habit, and because I’m going to dig further into the feeling habit another week. The habit for week 3: drink a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning 🙂

Week 2 Habit: Identify Feelings

Last week’s habit was using people’s names in friendly greetings, the typical “Hi, how are you?” and “Fine, how are you?” types. Including people’s names doesn’t roll off my tongue naturally quite yet, but I’m continuing the attempts!

This week’s habit is to identify my feelings. This isn’t new for me, but I’ve recently learned a different approach of a psychology tool and want to implement it as I revisit a few stronger feelings. I’ve focused on the thoughts and actions surrounding a feeling, but haven’t placed as much emphasis on the beliefs behind the thoughts. That’s the new tool.

I’ve identified what may be jealous feelings, but I can’t determine the belief leading to jealousy. Maybe it’s not jealousy, or maybe it’s jealousy combined with another feeling so the belief is more difficult to determine. I’m going to write thoughts during the day on a list I keep on my phone, then write more on my laptop in the evenings. I’ll date the entries and post them all next week!

Have you experienced any recurring feelings that are unpleasant and seem to trap you in a holding pattern in life? Are you curious of their cause and have any techniques to play detective?

Week 1 Habit: Name Calling

On the floor in the building where I work, there are people in other departments I talk with but don’t know their names. Due to daily routines, paths are often crossed but names are not exchanged. After a while, it seems awkward to ask a person’s name. It’s backwards, getting to know a person and then sharing a formal introduction. It’s even more weird when the person knows my name and I don’t know his/hers!

I’ve noticed how some people make it a point to insert my name in their greeting when we pass in the hall, and it makes me feel good. There’s also the type who uses my name every third word in our conversations. That’s a little creepy, but I would like to find a balance and start using people’s names.

It doesn’t feel natural when I add a person’s name to a pass-by greeting. I’m afraid of calling someone the wrong name too! There’s probably a term for this fear, and I’m sure having it, I’m not in the minority.

My new habit for this week will be to use at least one person’s name each day, and discover the names of people I chat with in the break room.

If you are already a natural at using people’s names, is it something you started intentionally? If you don’t use people’s names, do you share my fear of using the wrong name?

if>then>else

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

 

=IF(beliefs,=IF(thoughts,=IF(words,=IF(actions,=IF(habits,=IF(values,destiny,despair))))))

– an accountant

Read ’em and Weep

Inspired by the Daily Prompt: When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

Stemming partially from how I was raised, I see fiction as unproductive and non-fiction as productive. I don’t agree with that though! Imagination can lead to more creativity, and reading fiction can inspire that flow. When I was in school or now when I’ve got extra priorities that fill my time outside of work, I feel guilty for reading fiction. I don’t like that. It’s interesting, but my mom has always read both fiction and non-fiction; the guilt is more from a generalized pressure to be productive and worthy than that fiction is wrong.

Learning about myself is fun, so I enjoy self-help/inspirational non-fiction. I go through phases of reading fiction, and will go through many late nights of staying up to read “one more chapter.” Ann Brashares’ “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” is the last fiction I remember reading, and that was last Fall. I’m in a book discussion group on Facebook and we’re reading “Undaunted” by Christine Caine.

I have quite a few non-fiction books in my Amazon Wish List, but after reflecting on my skewed perspective of reading fiction, I’m going to include some fiction titles too. Great idea for another habit!

Perspective of Truth, Part I

Inspired from a group coaching session earlier today and a Blogging101 assignment that suggested a daily prompt, of which I chose Ready, Set, Done.

I’ve always believed God and the Bible are true, and that God loves me. Until last year, I never experienced or felt God’s love and many Bible verses about God being the source of our strength and peace didn’t seem true based on my real life. I had to choose to have faith in my belief, even though I felt differently and didn’t have proof or evidence based on what I saw. I was taught that I couldn’t trust my feelings and that feelings will come after a while but can have peace now. I now think this is true (that I can’t go by feelings for what’s true), but not in the same context as how it was meant from the people who told me before.

I like word pictures to help explain. If you were taught that the sun exists but you’d only seen cloudy days, you would have to choose to believe the sun existed based on information outside of your experience. If you had a teacher who gave you a lot more homework than the rest of your classmates but she said to trust her and just do it, you’d have to decide if you believed she had your best interest at heart and a reason for the homework that you didn’t currently understand.

With me and God, it’s been like being in what feels like an abusive relationship with someone who writes the most eloquent love letters to me in French. I don’t speak French. The Bible is either true or false. If it doesn’t seem true, I can choose to believe that it’s true but I don’t feel like it is based on the conclusion that my perspective is skewed. I know my perspective has been skewed on other things in the past, like that I’m fat. I can feel fat, look in the mirror and see fat, and interpret the number on the scale as being fat. I know it wasn’t true, but I felt it was to the core of my being.

I’m coming back to explore this more, so it’s just part I. When I reread what I wrote, I see that the sentences are much longer than my typical public writing. It’s more how I write in my journal because no one has to decipher it. I hope it’s understandable enough to evoke your own deep line of thinking.

Understanding Different Cultures

Cultural differences intrigue me…why people are the way they are and do the things they do. It’s fascinating to learn the history that influences cultural norms and to see how cultures evolve.

Everyone within a culture is unique, but it’s helpful to have a general knowledge of a culture in order to communicate effectively with a person in that particular culture. This is true in business and social interactions. Without understanding a person’s culture, his/her actions are likely to be misinterpreted. For instance, in a business meeting, some people may not be as inclined to voice their opinions as others who are outspoken. Instead of assuming people are shy or don’t have anything to contribute, they could be brought into the discussion if the others were aware of a cultural norm related to how to speak in meetings.

As one of my new habits, I’m considering a regular post on culture. I would like to change people’s perplexed “Why do they do that??” question into an enlightened exclamation of “Ohhhh! I understand now!”

This post came about from a WordPress Blogging101 exercise where I searched for a blog to leave a comment. I found chandelmandeep’s post and blog about Canadian culture.

Dear New Year’s Resolution Maker:

No magic exists between December 31, 11:59 p.m. and January 1, 12:00 a.m. There is no power gained that will pave a clear path between you and what you want. Part of you knows this to be the truth, but another part remains hopeful. It’s why you continue to make the same resolution, year after year.

Let me suggest that it’s not for lack of want that you aren’t able to stick with your plan. You want to quit smoking, lose 20 pounds, keep your house organized, etc. But, another part of you doesn’t want to. It’s the latter that speaks louder when the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. on January 1, or whenever your alarm sounds and you hit the snooze button, missing your exercise class, deciding to skip breakfast to make up for it, binging on doughnuts late morning, then having a cigarette with your coffee. You hate the conflict of wanting it all and it leaves you hopeless, until December 31 rolls around again.

Don’t give up hope, just give up the false hope of the magic of a new year, new week, or new day! Baby New Year isn’t going to alleviate my cravings to overeat, so I have to put my hope in something besides a moment of time. Not to oversimplify or overlook the need to work through any underlying issues, but I’ve learned that little habits help propel big change. Obsessing and focusing solely on the thing I want to change seems to make it worse.

I want to lose 20 pounds. Instead of seeing that as the ultimate goal, I know it will be a side effect of other small habits I implement. My worst food cravings are evenings and weekends. By being intentional with a few habits earlier in the day and consistently through the week, the evening/weekend cravings are manageable. The habits don’t even have to be food related, though some can be.

Habits that help me are actions like waking up without hitting the snooze button, reading a Bible verse on my phone, having my gym bag and food packed and ready the night before a workday, getting away from my desk for a morning and afternoon break to walk with a friend, listening to upbeat Christian music and podcasts on my phone, having meaningful conversations with friends, crocheting, and reading/writing. Not everything is food related, but intentional choices are motivation for more intentional choices.

Think about what you want and what you can change to help you get there. What are some of your perpetual New Year’s resolutions, and are you inspired to start immediately?

weights

Habit Your Day

I want a means to communicate. I have passion in my heart that needs to connect and interact with someone other than my private journal. In any relationship, trust must be built through consistency. The more transparent I am in a relationship, the closer a bond can be formed. Purging the deepest part of my soul will leave me vulnerable, but it’s an unavoidable risk in order to resonate with the deepest part of yours.

My blog is about making new habits. I will blog through my growth of implementing small, weekly habits that will compound into great changes. It will be real. Not just highlights of successes, but struggles and stumbles along the way to overall victory. I will learn about myself, and I hope you’re inspired to dig in and learn about yourself too.

A year from today, I will have 53 new habits: 52 from each weekly habit, and one habit of blogging 🙂  I’m a numbers girl, so I would geek out if you submit how many habits you form for me to track! I have a few ideas for new habits…how about you?