Tuesday, December 03, 2013
According to Marshall Rosenberg, author of Nonviolent Communication, it has "enormous power to create shame and guilt" yet is so ingrained and commonly used, many of us can't imagine living without it. It is the word "should."
It is strongly judgmental, and suggests the person not doing what they "should" is somehow morally defective or bad--or lazy or stupid, or somehow branded by one or more negative characteristics. It also implies a lack of choice which leads to resistance, for humans crave freedom and choice, and abhor tyranny "even when it's internal tyranny in the form of a "should."
Though most of the book focuses on skills and attitudes that assist you in communicating more harmoniously and effectively with others, I was most struck by Chapter 9: Connecting Compassionately with Ourselves. I especially liked the point he makes on p. 132: "Our challenge then, when we are doing something that is not enriching life, is to evaluate ourselves moment by moment in a way that inspires change both (1) in the direction of where we would like to go, and (2) out of respect and compassion for ourselves, rather than out of self-hatred, guilt or shame."
When our actions or progress do not yet match our values or goals, there is no need to call ourselves names or condemn ourselves, for that does not inspire lasting and joyful change. It is much healthier and more helpful to contemplate what we "could" do (examining our many options) and what we most deeply desire (considering our truest motivation) than beating ourselves up over what we think we "should" be doing.
So who's up to the challenge of no longer "shoulding" on yourself?
Sunday, September 08, 2013
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." -- Albert Schweitzer
That was my update today. I found it in a tapping (EFT) book I got from the library. I mentioned 2 other books I got on tapping in my last blog. I got them from the library, too, & I’ve since purchased both of them so I can review them as often as I want.
I thought I might stop there, but I had picked up another library book, Freedom at Your Fingertips compiled by Ron Ball, and decided to open it up & skim. The opening chapter “The Basics of EFT” by Ron Ball is followed by chapters covering such subjects as “Abundance & Prosperity," "Addictions," "Blockages & Obstacles," "Fears & Phobias," "Pain Management,” “Procrastination” & “Weight Loss” (plus more besides), all by a different EFT practitioner or expert.
I was intrigued by a chapter on “Happiness” by Brad Yates. It opens with the above quote by Albert Schweitzer, and in 13 pages presented enough thought provoking material that I’m considering buying this book at some point, and have signed up for the free monthly newsletter on Brad’s website.
Getting back to Mr. Schweitzer’s message, it got me thinking about how it was much easier for me to lose 75 pounds & go from obese down to a healthy weight, than to get rid of my clutter. I didn’t struggle the way many of my Spark buddies do with shedding weight; I even wrote a blog “It Doesn’t Have to Be Hard.”
I realized that I really enjoyed that journey to greater fitness and better health as I started walking at work, eventually striding 3 times a day during the week, sometimes adding stretching, yoga or ST, and making small modifications in my eating without ever going into deprivation mode. I was happy doing all the things that led to weight loss success for the 2-plus years it took.
On the other hand, I get a lot less enjoyment from sorting through old papers & boxes of “stuff,” trying to decide what to keep, where to file or house the stuff that stays, what to recycle, donate or dump. I sometimes feel satisfaction in taking a positive action, or can find the pride in choosing a good home for an item, or even have fun with designing a functional new space in a drawer or closet or shelf. But I have to admit, I don’t “love what I’m doing.”
So while I’ve made progress, I also lose momentum, and haven’t experienced really lasting success. But then I’m mostly doing what I think I should or need to in order to reach my goals—I’m not loving what I do.
I haven’t figured out what to do yet. I haven’t discovered a Clutter Cure. I just sense that by looking at things in a new way, I may have more success in letting go of what I don’t need & in creating easier routines and a more nurturing environment—and have more fun along the way!
Blessed Be, Amanda
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Hard to believe it’s been 4 months since I last blogged. I’ve never been an every day blogger—I wait until I have something inspiring or important to share. But I admit I’ve also gotten into that mindset that my blogs should be positive or hopeful—and that’s not really how I’ve been feeling.
Life wasn’t bad. I had lost those 75 pounds over 2-plus years, I was maintaining a healthy weight and trying to focus on applying what worked with shedding the pounds with shedding that other kind of weight—the clutter in my home that has plagued me for years. Sure I’d get stressed at work, and sometimes my PTSD would get triggered, but not big time: I wasn’t miserable.
Then came the pinched nerve. My arm and hand kept buzzing uncomfortably at odd times during the day, sometimes going into a dull but debilitating aching. I didn’t know what was causing it. It was getting worse, so I went to the doctor who recommended physical therapy and seeing a chiropractor.
On the physical therapist’s recommendation, I stopped using upper body weights—I actually gave up on any resistance work for a while, and a few pounds crept back on. I had never tried chiropractic, but found the only female practitioner in my area was a great match. And from the first, when she confirmed the PT’s assessment that issues with both my shoulder and neck were contributing to the problem, emotional stuff started coming up, especially as she worked on my neck.
I got the message that it was time to work deeply on the emotional stuff again. I even met & chatted with a therapist who works out of the chiropractor’s office—who happens to be in my health plan network, and was familiar with how to navigate the whole HMO referral process. She’s been wonderful, and we’ve had some intense and healing sessions, with lots of tears, and the discovery of many different aspects of myself that need tending, yet which also possess strengths and energies that make me more whole.
She has also mentioned some great resources, especially tapping, or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). My therapist back in California, with whom I worked for several years on the incest issues, had mentioned it and given me some handouts. I played with it a little back then, but not consistently. This time around I’ve checked out some books from the library which I’ll probably pick up on Amazon: The EFT Manual by Gary Craig, and The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner.
I’m excited and encouraged, though sometimes exhausted, by the release of intense emotions around painful memories and issues. I’m hoping for some positive changes on the physical plane to accompany the shifting energies inside. Since some of this may resonate with others, I’ll try to share more of the process and lessons along the way.
Blessed Be, Amanda
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Just a short blog copied from a Spark Mail message to a dear friend I met here on Spark. I offer it to my other friends--those I've met & those I haven't yet, but who may find these words and be touched by them, in that magical way we motivate, guide and inspire each other in this amazing community.
Yes, trying to find that elusive balance is perhaps a never-ending process! I sincerely believe it is essential to make a commitment to oneself to spend some regular time doing what is most needed--preparing healthy meals and snacks, exercising, creating an orderly & nurturing environment or building a strong relationship. We have to matter enough to ourselves & we have to value our well-being enough to overcome habits and negative messages and invest time and effort in ourselves and in cultivating new, life-affirming, empowering habits.
I hope you know how much I'm talking to myself here--as much as to you! It's sometimes easier to encourage or see the truth for our friends and loved ones than for ourselves. So thanks for giving me the chance to encourage both of us to do what's right for us! Sending you healing, empowering, joyful energy tonight. Take care!
Blessed Be, Amanda
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