Mental Wellness Challenge
2021, October 15
My life is a Mazda commercial… ZOOM ZOOM…
The past 10 days have simply screamed by… I have no real notion as to what made them go by so quickly, but they have… That’s odd really as I have had lots of stuff going on in my life – maybe the stuff kept my mind occupied and I didn’t notice the time fly by… at any rate – I’m another 10 days older… don’t know that I am any wiser for the time… (isn’t it a curious thing – a minute is a minute… but a minute can seem like an eternity or a second depending on the circumstance)
My last challenge for you was:
- Take a look in the mirror and tell the person you see there… that they are incredibly important in the world, that they are loved by many and that the crud they might be experiencing will pass!
- Give someone you love a long, long hug. Take some time to feel physically close to someone.
- Take note of the wonderful colors of the season before they are gone… cuz… the colors will go…
How did you make out? I sincerely hope that you were super successful.
I find it really difficult to do the mirror talk. This is an exercise that I find so powerful, yet I find it super tough to tell myself that I matter, that I’m loved, that I am important in the world… I’ve waded through myriads of ideas on why I have this difficulty, and I’ve even come up with some reasonable thoughts on why – The truth for me is that it’s a tough thing to do… for whatever reason. I still do the exercise and even though I get the “fakey fakey” feeling doing it – I still do it.
Thanksgiving came and went and I had the opportunity to share a wonderful dinner with my youngest daughter and her famjam… I took the opportunity to give her a huge hug. (Both of my kids give super good hugs.) I took opportunities to hug some friends and my wonderful spouse too. Some folks don’t do hugs and I get that too. But me – I like em!
I took advantage of the many opportunities to enjoy the colours around me over the past bit. The tamarack and/or larch are turning and dropping their needles/leaves and lots of the deciduous trees and shrubs are through their “fall”. Now – my maple (Mable the maple) in my yard is the very, very last tree to drop its leaves. I don’t know why King Crimson Maples hold their foliage for so long in the fall – but they do… it usually takes a big wind or a snow to get them to drop… and that’s fortunate in some ways. I love the colours in that tree – from the deep dark greens to the wonderful crimson through to the auburns and dark oranges it produces… beautiful tree… Love the colours of fall.
I’ve been on vacation for the last bit – and its been good. I have been making a point of trying to “accomplish” at least one thing each day. Check something off “my list” as it were… (lately – I don’t really have a list – I likely should have one, but don’t.) I find that I feel better in my skin if I am doing something at least a little productive… That could be anything from – well – taking time to journal what’s bugging me, to putting some new lighting in my K’s china cabinet, to sharpening some saw chain and to getting out and playing wood games. Doing something helps me “Feel good”. I suppose I am not alone at all in this regard…
This past while I’ve stopped using some of my social media too… The only system that I use at all is FaceBook and I am having a conflict of feelings about supporting and using the platform. I struggle with the ethical pieces of that company… and while I enjoy the app for keeping in touch with my friends – I just can’t bring myself to use it when I hear of the ideals the company has and their motivation of doing what’s going to line their pockets… Anyway – I dumped the application from my devices and I don’t use it. “Nothing out there changes – the change happens within – ME”…
That gets me to thinking about the amount of technology in my life… the number of hours that I spend watching YouTube videos and surfing the interweb. I know there’s a whole lot better way to use my time – other than gawking into my tablet. I have been telling myself that “Hey, you don’t watch much for television, so some tablet time isn’t a bad thing.” I’m at a point in my thinking where I believe that I should be doing other things… doing things that stimulate my own creativity rather than just watching other folks do thing they love doing… This is certainly something I need to work on.
Making good use of my time… I know I’ve shared lately that I have been looking at my figurative hourglass… at the amount of sand that remains… My evaluation of time spent doing things that don’t really feed who I am is no doubt a result of looking at the sand that remains… and unfortunately – some regret regarding spent grains that I simply can never get back. I totally get that everyone needs some down time in their experiences to relax, recreate, rejuvenate, what I am saying is that I am being a little more critical of what that should look like for me.
I’m reminded of a substitute teacher that I had in a class in grade 7 or 8. Julius Moltzen. He had a story he told (basically played with math) that – at the end of the story – made me really think of the value of every minute. He took us through the amount of time we take for sleep, for food, for work and for all the other pieces of a 12 or 13 year old’s day… and after breaking it all down – there certainly were not very many minutes left… I wish I could find that story again – somewhere… maybe it was Julius’ story and was never recorded… True enough – the message was soon lost in all the things that my life was taking me through at the time – and I wish I could have had the essence of his lesson stick in my life… Perhaps it has…
Sometimes I still find myself looking for the “Atta boy” from others for the things I do. This is becoming less and less of a ‘thing’ for me. I think partly because I have finally started to understand that its more important for me to feel good, or self value from my accomplishment and partly because I am starting to figure out that some of the folks from whom I value acknowledgement – don’t have enough of what I am looking for – of their own… I hope that makes sense. Maybe I seek the approval and warm fuzzies from others because I am getting older… This certainly is a piece of my life that don’t think I will ever master. I have an injured or damaged sense of self worth – I know it… I work at fixing it… I work at shutting down the negative self talk and the self deprecation – and sometimes I get ahead – most times – I find myself saying “You idiot!” or “Moron” or so many other negatives to myself (out loud even) so quickly… and then – the words are out.. they are said and I have heard them. It really is like I’m hearing that stuff from someone else… (my inner roommate for sure).
My coach/councilor used an analogy of white and black marbles… I, like everyone, look to fill my vessel – my self – with white marbles. I tend to look for white marbles from other folks and I find that I put loads of black marbles into the mix too. The gnarly part is that the black marbles in my experience tend to sift their way to the bottom of my vessel. There, they tend to form the foundation of my experience and they tend to be tough as heck to remove… its almost like they grow when they are in there.. and won’t fit through the opening… I suppose the good thing about my vessel is that it isn’t finite – and there seems to be room to be able to include lots of marbles…
I spend time sorting my marbles… I’ve spent days and weeks going through them. It would be great if it were as simple as all of the marbles being either white or black… but some of them are both – swirly marbles, some are grey, some are other colors too… so – while I understand that I need to focus on being my own source for positive re-enforcement in my life, I am also aware that I am my own strongest critic… So, I try to do more things that help me to feel “fulfilled”… and I believe that’s a valuable use of my time.
One of the best “investments” of my time this week was simply being there for another. I had the opportunity to support a couple of friends going through some tough stuff, really tough stuff. Giving them my time to listen, to offer love and encouragement was super important to me and I believe that they appreciated the support and my time.
This week I’d like to challenge you to:
- Spend an hour of your time doing something for yourself. Take a nice hot bath, get a manicure, go for a walk, pet your dog, sit in stillness – just be super intentional that you are taking that hour of time for yourself, on purpose.
- Spend an hour of your time doing something for someone you care about. Make a meal, be an understanding ear or an open heart, clean your partners car, whatever – it doesn’t have to be anything super unique – but be CERTAIN OF YOUR INTENTION, spend that hour out of caring.
- Take a moment and do something kind for a total stranger. Hold the door, plug a parking meter, anything – but be intentional that you are giving that person a moment of your life – your time.