Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The AEIOU (and sometimes Y) of something

I was taking my awful dog on his third walk yesterday, listening once again to Brene Brown. This is what I heard (heavily paraphrased, as I can't seem to find this online for verification, and my book is in the bedroom with my sleeping boyfriend, and my phone is in another room with my lovely dog): (yes my feelings about Buster change that much all the time)

A = have I been ABSTINENT today?
E = have I EXERCISED today?
I = have I done something for myself today?
O = have I done something for OTHERS today?
U = do I have UNEXPRESSED emotions I need to deal with?
Y = YAY for something I'm grateful for (poor sentence construction I'm not grateful for!)

 Isn't this a good daily checklist for a more whole-hearted experience of life?!?!

P.S. So now it's a few hours later, and I have the book in hand. This list is at the end of the chapter titled "Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: letting go of numbing and powerlessness." (Great title!) And this list is referred to as the vowel check. So now we all know. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Practicing shame resilience

I walked my dog while listening to "The Gifts of Imperfection" this morning, and the part I'm on is titled "cultivating self-compassion." Good stuff. After dog walking I went to Target to get:

1. Things Tucker needs for his Beauty and the Beast costume
2. Something for our family for Christmas (shhhh!)
3. Snacks and community service project stuff for Girls on the Run today

I got a phone call in the store, and decided to answer, although I didn't recognize the number.

The call was from the nurse who is going to evaluate my mom for PERS long-term care coverage. We had scheduled an appointment for this Thursday, and I needed to change the date and time. But since I couldn't find his number (although I thought I'd put it down somewhere), I had to call PERS directly yesterday to have them ask him to call me.

He started by identifying himself, and then said, "Yeah, PERS wants to know why I'm not in touch with my clients directly. They were surprised that you had to call them to get in touch with me, and must be thinking "what's going on with the nurses in California?"" I told him I'd misplaced his number, and then asked if we could change the date for the evaluation. He wanted to keep it on the same day, and I told him I needed to do the next week if possible. He said, "They really want to get this evaluation done soon, so I don't know that pushing it to next week is such a great idea."

So while we're having this conversation, my mood is plummeting, because all I can hear in my mind is, "You always screw things up. You ALWAYS screw things up!" And when he said rescheduling wasn't a good idea, I countered with "I think I'll just withdraw the claim if it's causing so many problems for everyone." (This was said seriously and with a ton of discouragement, not sarcastically. I don't get mad; I get sad.)

Then he backpedaled, becoming more open to options. I explained that my best times are morning and early afternoon, but my mom doesn't get up till noon or 1:00. I didn't add that I have clients 2 days a week (in the afternoons), Girls on the Run 2 days a week (also afternoons), and that WE'VE ALREADY DONE THIS EVALUATION, SO WHILE I GET THAT I HAVE TO DO IT, I DON'T REALLY WANT TO! So finding a time that I can get to Sacramento and have her evaluated is difficult logistically.

We agreed to next Thursday at 11:00. And said goodbye. That's when the shame started washing over me. I was in the middle of Target with nothing in my basket (but still with the list of what needed getting) and just wanting to cry. Leaving without shopping wasn't an option, so I started pushing the cart. I felt awful for putting Bill the nurse in a bad situation. And I know that my husband would never have lost the phone number. Now the very familiar refrain of "I try so hard, and it's still never good enough" started up. But then I started thinking about the "practicing self-compassion" stuff I'd heard this morning. I also thought about just doing "what's inside my hula hoop." And I considered asking the question, "What's the truth here?' Here's what I came up with:

1. It is perfectly reasonable to change an appointment.
2. Sometimes people misplace phone numbers.
3. Bill's job or how he's perceived is not my responsibility.

That is my experience with practicing shame resilience today.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Whole hearted

I've found a new love, and her name is Brene Brown. The author of "The Gifts of Imperfection" is an amazing writer and amazing person. So I kind of have an intellectual crush on her. This week I'm starting her year long e-course titled "Lessons in Ordinary Courage." Someday I'll see her speak, of this I'm sure.

So what's new? And what's the same?

(I was going to make a list, but there's really only one new thing, which doesn't make for a real list.)

I have a yoga practice. After years of being intrigued with yoga, I now have an actual practice, which means I actually DO yoga several times a week. I love having a yoga practice for several reasons. It grounds me and this means real life stuff that used to leave me stressed and crazed (for example, cooking Thanksgiving dinner) is easier to do. In fact, my mother-in-law complimented me on how calm I was while everyone was needing everything in the last half hour before dinner. I'm more flexible (duh) now that I'm practicing 4 to 5 times a week. And I'm more aware of the body-mind connection now. (Don't really know how to explain that, but it's true, and I want to keep writing while the words are flowing.)

Lots is the same, and in some ways that's fantastic. Same wonderful husband. Same fascinating, infuriating, love 'em with my whole heart kids. I still run, but don't really add up the miles. I'm active most days, but rather than keeping the info on Facebook, I keep it on iCal on my computer (and may start logging it in the sidebar here).

So back to living a whole-hearted life, that's what I'm aiming for. And it takes courage and doing things differently. So yesterday when I talked to my dad and my emotions were all over the place, I told Tim I needed to stay home and exercise, rather than go with him to pick up a purchase. Plus I actually told him about the conversation with my dad that left me feeling frightened and stressed.

That's it for now. Tim and I take a yoga class on Sunday mornings at 9:30 and it's time to get ready. Often the teacher asks us to set an intention for our practice. Mine, as usual, will be to live from my whole heart.