MINDSET

Don't let the peaches get you down

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At 6 a.m. this morning I was leaning over the sink with peach juice running down my chin. Not my best look. I don't eat a ton of fruit but I love fruit in season. And I have a flat of peaches on my counter right now. And apparently little self-control. But I was enjoying that pure innocent peach. A major shift from the way I felt about it earlier this week. 

I've been thinking about consumption and abundance. I've got about 15 books on my shelf to read, podcasts ready to go and a couple of audio books in the queue. There are people to see, places to go, things to do, and experiences to be had. And at times I feel overwhelmed. 

I actually found myself feeling a little bitchy about my list on Sunday. I was planning my week and thinking about everything I wanted to do and how I couldn't possibly squeeze it all in. I started feeling pressure and resentment. And at the same time I was beating myself up for being so whiny. My internal voice started mocking me, "Oh poor Sandy, she has too many people to see, a house to take care of, work to do, and fruit to process. And she said she would blog every day. Poor baby. Life is so hard."

I definitely needed to reframe things and so I started being intentional about practicing gratitude. I made a list of everything I needed AND wanted to do this week. And then I went through the list and reflected on how grateful I am for each one of those things. Visiting my father in LTC gives me a chance to be with him in this difficult season and driving there gives me 30 minutes to listen to a podcast. (As it turns out that podcast was just what I needed that day.)  I have a house to clean!  I love writing and I've got the opportunity to write every day! 

I've been reading Gratitude by Diana Butler Bass. She writes, "Practice takes time. But that is not the only relationship between time and gratitude. When gratitude becomes a habit of being, our capacity to see time --  past, present, and future --actually changes. Not only does gratitude open our hearts; it also give us new perspectives on our own lives. It stretches through our experiences -- past, present, and future -- creating a fabric of appreciaton and awareness that forms the story of our lives."

By the end of reviewing my list, I had a new perspective. Simple? Yes. Obvious? Yes. Automatic? No. Our lives can be overwhelming. And we need to make good choices about what we consume and I want to talk more about that this week. But let's start with gratitude. 

Is that really what you value?

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I’ve always thought of values as guiding principles. They inform my choices. They function like a committee I filter decisions through. But I’ve realized that there is some work involved in saying who gets to sit on that committee. And I also need to make sure that they are actually working in alignment with what I really want in my life. They aren’t a board that was elected and then makes decisions on my behalf. I appoint them.

I was reading about social desirability bias this week. According to Wikipedia, “In social science research, social desirability bias is a type of response bias that is the tendency of survey respondents to answer questions in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others. It can take the form of over-reporting "good behavior" or under-reporting "bad," or undesirable behavior. The tendency poses a serious problem with conducting research with self-reports, especially questionnaires. This bias interferes with the interpretation of average tendencies as well as individual differences.”

Social desirability has a lot to do with the values that we choose. Think about all of the things you say you value and then the choices you make that seem to contradict what you say you believe.

I may say I value my health but then I choose to sit on the couch eating a bag of Smart Food popcorn, drinking cider and binge watching my current Netflix obsession. You would be right to question if I really  value my health.

Working with a spiritual director, therapist and coach have all been useful for me in helping me to identify my true values. Not the ones I think I should have but the ones I really do have. And the ones I was to be guiding my life. I’m working on a course to launch this fall. I'll be announcing more about it in the next month. In one lesson I plan to take participants through a deep dive into values.  

On one of the earlier episodes of Reframe Your Life we talked about values. It was good for me to go back and listen to it again. In that episode we shared this quote: 

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.
— Ghandi

Do you know what your values are? If you feel unaligned in your life. Or you aren't seeing the changes you want to see or making progress in the direction of your goals. It might be a good idea to explore your true values. And join the mailing list to find out more about this new course! 

Do we have enough warriors?

Today's blog post addresses a trend that has me curious. It may sound a bit like a rant. In fact, I debated calling it #mondaymouthoff.  The good news it will be short and hopefully will convince someone to rethink the language they use.

I've noticed a big uptake on the word 'warrior'.  I've read about love warriors, creativity warriors, environmental warriors, sister warriors, social justice warriors, warrior scholars, warriors-of-light, etc. The list goes on an on. I even saw something for Peace Warriors. 

If language matters then maybe we need to sit back and think about the use of this word being used so pervasively in our lives. 

By definition a warrior is a person engaged in warfare. Or a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics. (Source: dictionary.com) I think it probably means something more than being a member of a facebook group or having read a book or watched a youtube video on a topic. 

It just seems to me that so many people talk about being pacificists. Or being anti-war. Or wanting to be peace makers. I hear a lot of people talking about a lot of ideals. And I see a lot of hate and violence playing out in our world. 

Maybe we need to start thinking of a better way to express our deep commitment to change and our desire to see a better world than using the word 'warrior'.  That's it. You can go back to whatever you were doing.