Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day 6 - 10 of Self-Compassion 101

I have been sick and have fallen even further behind! Ugh! I'm combining posts to catch up. I know long blogs tend to discourage readers, but I feel like it's the only way to keep up right now. I will keep each segment short though.

Day 6: The Quest of a Passion Filled Life- Inner Child Work

"What was your child-self doing when you happened upon her? What was making her giggle? When was the last time you engaged in this same activity? Maybe it is time you did."

When I went inward seeking my inner child I found her coloring on the floor. She was concentrating very hard at her task and choosing her colors with care, as well as being oh-so-careful to outline her coloring before filling it in to make it look just right. After completing her masterpiece she held it up with a hopeful grin and bright eyes as she exclaimed, "Look what I made!" She was proud and wanted to share, as well as wanted my approval.

Finding my inner child deeply consumed in this task was not a surprise, as it was one of my favorite things to do growing up, and still is, although crayons and markers have evolved into pencil, watercolor, and more recently Microsoft Paint, but I will still brake out the crayons and color with my grandkids.

Art is my therapy as well as a favorite pastime; I still indulge in it, and I still like to share my work. I enjoy giving it as a gift, as well as creating positive messages with them to share some positivity with the world. Maybe I do so because I'm pleased with how something turns out, or maybe I am still seeking approval, but also because I want to somehow make a positive difference in the world.

Day 7: Validation Intervention- Examination

"When you do something exciting, is it your first reaction to share it on social media?"

Well, yes. Public media is my way of staying in touch with friends and family that I do not see or talk to on a regular basis. Is this a need for validation? Well honestly, I suppose it could be in part, maybe? But my first reaction is to to share for the simple act of updating my friends and family as to what is happening in my life. 

I don't view my sharing as seeking approval or trying to fit in. I have never felt like I fit in, and that's ok. I remain me. If people don't like me, that's their prerogative. I'm not here to fit in; I'm here to be the best me that I know how to be.

Day 8: When Life Feels Unrecognizable

"What things do I notice throughout my day that feel good in the moment?"
I have noticed that I get the most pleasure out of my day when I help someone in some way. It could be something as minor as assisting in proof reading at work, opening a door for someone, or helping to find an answer to a question. I like helping people and knowing that I can make a positive difference in someone's day, no matter how small.

I wasn't always like this though, and maybe that's why I enjoy it so much now. Growing up I was a self involved problem child, so absorbed in my own problems that I didn't take time out to recognize the struggles of my family and sometimes my friends. It was all about me and trying to make sense of my pain and feelings of confusion, fear, and displacement. My Mom said I was born angry at the world and was determined to make everyone as miserable as me. I was a child, confused and lost. I didn't want to be miserable; I just didn't know how to fix it, nor could I control my emotions.

Things didn't begin making sense to me until my late 30's and that was through my need to examine myself for the purpose of improving and growing.  So basically, I have turned a 180. My strong will lead to my pursuit to fight the depression and anxiety, which led me to the here and now, wanting to share and help others.

Day 9: Moving Forward with Self-Compassion

"What are some of the things in my life that show that I am moving forward? What can I put on  a list to help me recognize or remember all the things that I am accomplishing in a day?
Well, for starters, (1) the fact that I still participate in self-help courses to learn and grow. It seems to be I am ever looking to evolve into a better understanding of myself, which is good in my opinion (2) learning to trust my intuition, (3) helping others, (4) striving to stay positive even when life is difficult, (5) learning not to be so hard on myself, (6) how I recognize that I need cheering up and treat myself to something fun like going to the movies, and (7) learning positive self-talk to calm myself down.

Day 10: Is Anyone Home?

Today's exercise was mediation. I was encouraged to sit quietly and just be, then afterwards note the experience. I still struggle with this type of meditation; my thoughts run rampant and it's hard not to linger on one or more. However Becky gave some encouraging advice as to mediation; she said: 

"If you had difficulty, that’s cool. No judgment, please. Over time you’ll find that none of it is really important. What you learn as you sit in meditation is that there is really no end to your thoughts, what comes up now will come up later. The practice is in the sitting through it all, through the tears, the laughter, the pain. Stuff will come up and it will not kill you. Just sit, notice, acknowledge – and watch it float on by."
That concludes days 6-10, and now I'd like to leave you with this quote I found and love! I couldn't agree more!

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