Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Appreciation and Deprivation

Hanging out on my porch last night, as I am wont to do, I was thinking about appreciation. Earlier in the day, someone let me know that they appreciated my efforts on their behalf. It was a nice feeling.

I like to write notes of appreciation. I send them both through email and snail mail. Thanking someone in writing for a pleasing or helpful attitude, the fulfillment of a favor, for being a good friend, the reasons are myriad, is a quick and easy way to spread around that feeling of appreciation.

But how do we appreciate ourselves? I like the concept of "future self." How do I show my future self that I appreciate her? A clean and orderly house, lovely, wholesome groceries, enough sleep, and fun plans are all ways that I appreciate my future self.

Pampering, movement, meditation, journaling, snuggling to name a few, are ways to show my current self my appreciation. My focus is always on the treat-nature of the activity. If I turn it into a labor, then it ceases to be an act of self-appreciation.

Why is it important to appreciated ourselves? For a lot of people, being shown appreciation isn't something that they see much. They may have busy families, or challenging work situations. They may spend a lot of time alone, or with non-demonstrative people. If you relate to this, you know your situation.

Not feeling appreciated can lead to feelings of lack, a tragedy in such an abundant universe, and those feelings of lack can lead to a sense of deprivation which, in turn, can lead to choices that leave you feeling empty like too much TV, binging, over-spending or buying junk, this list can go on and on.

By taking a few minutes a day to appreciate yourself, you will develop a habit that will serve you well, and keep you happier and healthier for a long time.

How do you appreciate yourself?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What's in a Name?

At last week's Celebrate! we tried something interesting.

We brainstormed a list of names. We wrote them down and made slips of paper and took turns drawing a name.

We would take a moment to notice how we felt saying to ourselves, "My name is X," and then we would introduce ourselves to the group.

Wow. It was so interesting to notice how my physical body shifted to accommodate the name. One name made the muscles under my cheekbones clench, another name made my upper chest contract. The third name I drew was the most potent for me. She has a lot of the characteristics that I think I want, but she felt so unhappy. Or I felt so unhappy. Or something. Anyway, we asked each other questions about our lives in that name and then marveled at the responses. It was kind of intense.

Subsequently, I've been writing from the POV of my big name, the third name I drew. I found that while she has a lot of what I would like, the cost has been big. It made me think about how I want to achieve my goals and what I'm willing to trade internally for them.

When we finished the exercise it was such a relief to go back to being Pam. Phew.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Inner Mind Radio

I'm having fun today playing with the concept of Inner Mind Radio. IMR is that chatter in your mind, mostly thoughts, that runs constantly. I'm fortunate in that I get a lot of music clips, ear wigs some people call them, from my very large collection of music in my head. And I'm delighted that a lot of what comes through has been shaped by Creative Questions, so that I feel better for those thoughts.

I do, however, still get the harangues from time to time, which leave me feeling bad or stupid, or such like. Or I have the dialogues like I did last night over whether I should turn on the air conditioner or just use the fan. (The fan voice won, but I would have been more comfortable with the A/C! I will try to remember that this evening.)

Anyway, as I think about IMR, it reminds me of channel surfing in my car, and that reminds me that, while I can't control my thoughts, I can control my thinking. What will I put my focus on? Harangues telling me how much I suck? Or will I tune into a station that lets me know I am valuable and loved? Hmmm.....

What plays on your IMR? I would love to hear about that.