If you follow me on social media, you might know I've had some questions lately about my participation. My recent post came from a presence perspective. After I dropped my phone in the toilet, I noticed how different I felt. How much more present and how much less anxious. But there’s something else.
Yesterday, I wore pleather. Oddly enough, it caused me to think a lot about women and how we interact with one another.
My first pair of pleather pants? University. Very shiny. I still have those pants. They'll never fit me again (and that's cool), but they stay in the Halloween box. Because those pants were fun.
They also seemed to bring judgment. Generally from other women. Actually, always from other women. But only the ones I didn't know.
I'm a recovering perfectionist. When I look back at my journey, I notice how many disguises my perfectionism has taken. Another weight loss plan, another exercise regime, another facial care trial, another degree, another course, another bit of research, more self-improvement, another look at what I've written, a few more edits... Even my spirituality became a quest for perfection (enlightenment).
What I eventually figured out is that the point of this life wasn't to attain perfection after all. Instead, it is to come to terms with my whole messy, chaotic, socially "unacceptable" self.
Is mindfulness really all it's cracked up to be?
Yes. 13 years ago, the practices of meditation and mindfulness helped save me from myself. And I've seen over and over how much they've helped other people too.
It's exciting that mindfulness and meditation have found their way into popular culture. At last, they have been scientifically proven to help with our minds and our bodies.
But is there a difference between the two? It can be confusing.
Have you ever felt like an imposter in your own life?
Imposter syndrome is when people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalised fear of being exposed as a fraud.
I've definitely felt it. Many, many times in my life.
It's another way to make ourselves not enough. To devalue ourselves and what we have to offer. And it's another tool our ego uses to make sure we don't reach our potential.
At just about every coffee shop or supermarket line I've been in for the past couple years, people no longer ask "How are you?" Instead they ask, "You busy?"
Busy is the new buzz word, and I've had so many conversations lately with people who are sick of being so busy, so run down, and so exhausted but also aren't sure how to get off the hamster wheel. We can get so caught up in the hustle, it's hard to see a way out.
But see a way out we must, because the glorification of busy is killing us.
Last month I wrote about positive feedback. We all love it, but it can be hard to truly appreciate. This month - negative feedback. No one loves it, and it can be even harder to accept.
In nature, or mechanics, "negative" feedback is designed to equalise. A thermostat will turn off the heat when it reaches a certain temperature. Photosynthesis in plants which will speed up with increased levels of carbon dioxide. It keeps things in balance.
For us, it tends to cause a shutdown. We feel small, unworthy. It throws us off balance.
Compliments are hard for me.
I really love positive feedback. That's not the problem. The problem I have is believing it.
People can rave about my coaching, tell me they love my writing or a talk I've done, and instead of taking it in the spirit in which it was offered, often I'll dismiss it - or go looking for the next one.
It's as though I need another dose to affirm the first one was correct.