5 Little gems…

… dug out of me in Life Coaching sessions that have surprised me.

  1. I am not a commitment phobe as I have always thought, but quite the opposite.  I am a commitment junkie.  Totally addicted to the stuff.  But, as with all addictions, this one is terribly unhealthy.  I over-commit and then drive myself into the sick-bed/the grave/some form of insanity in order to get the impossible done.  The worse thing that can happen to me in these commitments is for me to succeed.  Because then I set a new, stupidly-inhuman goal and go all out to kill myself to meet that one too.  And succeeding this, there is always a new level of insanity to conquer.
  2. I am hiding myself in work.  There is no balance.  Time poverty has been taught to me and accepted by me as a virtue.  If I keep this up there will be no humanity left within me for other sentient beings to relate to!
  3. I hold on to hurts.  Doing this only succeeds in hurting me longer.  This is not a surprise to me as some of the other five gems have been but I have historically had No. Clue. At. All. how to let things go.  It isn’t natural for me to forgive and forget those who do not actively and contritely seek my forgiveness and forgetfulness.  I have to teach myself how to do it.  Follow a difficult and disciplined process to purge myself.
  4. I am in love with my own essence!  Falling in love with myself and my own gifts, my own unique reflection of God himself, is a process that is bringing me much joy.
  5. I have let myself go.  My wellbeing is way down on my list of priorities.  Something has got to give.  Panic attacks and migraines, drinking and breakouts, insomnia and weight fluctuations are all pointing to abject neglect.  My neglect.  Of me.  And this has to change.

Some things already have!  Friendships, pastimes, focuses have all started to shift.  But more will come and I am very excited!

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Writing Found a Home

I was late and sat in the back.  My first writing class.  But I was hooked before I even sat down!  Twenty men and women of various ages and backgrounds were in the room where the collection of Art and Manga books call home in our local Books & Books.  They were rapt, listening to the instructor, eloquent as a feather, laying the framework for our six weeks together.

Tingles danced over my arms as I reached into my bag for my diary.  I was engaged, caught up in her reverence and passion for a thing she clearly loves.  She talked on writerly habits, having a writer’s journal, writing daily for at least fifteen minutes, reading like a writer.  She expressed in words several of the things I have learned since sitting down and committing to this blog.  Like the extraordinary gems of material hidden in the ordinariness of our own lives.  Like the way a writer thinks, examining the event of the day or the moving moment and creating words to recreate this picture to someone else.

We were given a class exercise – to write a paragraph each on three childhood memories – and the silence was broken only by the odd chuckle and the dizzy rush of pens.  I smiled down at my book feeling like a little girl again on the first day I realized that I could read.  I had cracked the code!  Found a new world to explore.  Once again I am in that moment.

This class will change my life.

And I won’t be alone.  The excitement in the room was like the 22nd person – hard and defined by bones covered in flesh.  The questions asked and experiences shared came as though from one massive tank of thought.  I learned something that will stay with me forever.  There is a community of writers.  Everywhere.  Watching, observing and loving the moment enough to write it.  Even here in my home town.  People like me who shut down a part of their day to spend with a pen and paper or notepad or laptop to pour themselves out for a moment.  There are people who take the colours of life and recreate them more brilliantly in black and white.  Others are fluent in my language.

This morning I have my blog to commit to and my homework to do.  I am praying for the time to do it all – both mean a lot to me.  And so I am giving fair warning – much of the frilly bits of my life will be cut for a time to make space for this thing that promises to take over, to bring a new chapter of meaning and a whole new purpose.

Onward with the Journey!

3 Steps to conquer Commitment Phobia

1. Admit You Have a Problem

Bushlings has a commitment problem.  I get bored with a single idea.  I get distracted.  There are so many other things I could be doing.  Telling myself “its good for you” or “you really should do this” is never enough to get me to really commit.

There are so many examples of this in my history, to my shame.  I quit playing the clarinet when I was 12.  I was good at it but I got bored with my teacher.  I quit playing the harp when I was 14.  It was a beautiful instrument but I liked piano better.  I broke up with all of my ex boyfriends before we had been together for a year.  I got bored with their flaws, I got bored with their strengths, I got bored with their interests, I got BORED.  I have never been in the same job for more than two years.  Ok… that last one is probably not the best example because the change has always been a promotion or for the better.  But it all amounts to the same thing.  I have no experience with commitment.

Always the first step to solving a problem to is to acknowledge you have a problem.  So here it goes… I have a problem.  I don’t know how to commit.

Step 2 – Take Steps Around Yourself – the GOAL

One thing I have learned in recent months is that people like me need to have a goal.  There needs to be an objective benchmark that we challenge ourselves to reach.

A perfect example of this need for an objective goal is my blog.  This blog has been an experiment.  I (a) set an idea I wanted to commit to – being satisfied and single for a healthy period of time, and (b)  I set the objective benchmark – until my hair reaches my shoulders.  Together they make up my goal.

The Idea: It hasn’t been easy to focus and to say no to dates and to ward off advances (not to sound arrogant) and it has been even harder to not pursue interesting avenues into potential relationships.  I am a romantic at heart and do not naturally have the self-discipline to maintain a state of satisfied singleness.  However I saw and still see the value in taking time out to enjoy singleness and enjoy being right where I am and being satisfied that this is where I was intended to be at this very moment.  But I had to set myself an objective benchmark for me to focus on.  A period of time.  A destination.  On its own the idea leaves me pretty much where I started.

The Benchmark: So it was decided that I need to wait until my hair reaches my shoulders.  It appears to be completely unrelated to the real matter at hand.  It is something that can be measured and followed.  It is unavoidable.  Every morning I wake up and look in the mirror and there it is, my hair.  It is half-way down my neck when I pull the longest curl straight.  I have some way to go before I can allow myself to let go of The Idea.  And that closes the case for the day.

In essence I am taking steps around myself.  Attaching something that I can measure and cannot avoid to what would otherwise be a very vague goal.  If I stuck to the idea alone I could rationalize myself into saying that today I am ready to step into the love world again. However, I cannot deny or rationalize myself around the fact that my hair is short.  The goal is set.

Step 3 – Accountability

Then comes pride.  Sure the goal is there but in your own head what does it do?  You still allow yourself the freedom to abandon it, to give it up, to change your mind.  But what if you’ve told the whole world that you have set the goal?  And what if you ask the world to help you keep to it?  Then pride becomes a good driver.

Accountability is one helluva thing.  I have had so much support in this blog from my friends and from readers I have never met.  And so when I go out for happy hour on a Friday night and am tempted to stray one of them will say “so Bushlings, about your hair…”  And when I write something out of the depths of emotional angst and in response to pre-haircut issues I get a comment from a reader, a new kind of friend, to say “Bushlings this isn’t within your focus.”  Accountability really is making this experiment work.

These are the three steps I have been inspired to share with you today.  Now I need to head for the gym.  Before I do…

… the practical application for today. 

Step 1: I have a problem – I am not at my best weight, my most fit body state.

Step 2: The goal is made up of (a) the idea that I need to eat right and exercise to get to my goal weight and (b) the objective benchmark is to have my wet dream body for Trinidad Carnival 2012.   …I still cannot believe I am doing this.

Step 3:  In creating my accountability I am telling all of you about it.  Kick my backside if you see me slacking off and eating junk.  Yell at me if I miss my workout for the day.  Make me ashamed of myself if I fail in my commitment.

Dear John

Today you, a gracious reader, gently reprimanded me for the raw vitriol of my morning post on Why Weak Girls Make Poor Friends.  When I stubbornly told you I wouldn’t regret it you banished me from the Shaolin.  Bless you.

The ironic thing is that this morning when I started my day it was with every intention of writing a post on the return to gentleness.  A deeper look at the last four weeks and the progress I have made in taking the focus off of the idol of an idea and putting it on the blessed present.  It was to look at the ground I have gained in forgiveness and healing.  Before my train of thought was interrupted.

For the first time in the Journey of the Hair I took a step backward, out of my disciplined and focused path to grace and back into the jungle.  I’ve been praying Psalm 35 and muttering “traicionera” under my breath allllll day.

This is not an apology.  Not yet.  Probably not ever.  But it is an acknowledgement.  A kick back to focus.  An end to the drama.  The movie is over.  The villains are slain.  Dead to me forever.

The post on gentleness will come.  Just not today.  Be patient with me.

Sincerely,

Grasshopper