Friday, May 27, 2011

I am not one to want to leave conflicts unresolved, though I often have in the past.
I've been too scared to bring up things that have hurt me, for fear of being hurt again... So after a while, I've just let things slide. Unfortunately, unresolved conflicts stay with you--locked in all kinds of boxes in the unconscious. Then, when another conflict arises, the anger is doubled, tripled, quadrupled--because it gets
aggravated by all those other, earlier hurts... Those seemingly secure, locked boxes open all at once, causing one to want to retaliate, often not proportionally....

Confrontation is (still) scary to me. So far, I have not come across many people, who are able to talk through a conflict without re-injuring me. The goal is, that one day in the future, I'll be able to dodge bullets flying at me, like Neo in the Matrix. Or better yet, stop them entirely..! This week, I find that sitting with my emotions, for however long it takes for me to make sense of them, is healthier than acting on my anger straight away. I am still far from being able to dodge a bullet and I know it. I'm also trying not to shoot anyone myself.

Figuring out how I feel about the hurt, considering the best way to bring it up and to talk about it, may take days, weeks possibly. It is not wimpy--it actually feels quite powerful. As long as I'm not able to call some people out on their shit in the moment, I'll sleep on it, sit on it, and do it later, as well as I possibly can. At its best, resolving conflicts can be incredibly beautiful and purifying. I have been lucky enough to experience this, more than a few times now...

“The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results.”
-Carl Gustav Jung

Friday, May 20, 2011

For half of my life, I've had this misconception that I'm lazy. I've beat myself up about it royally every chance I've gotten. Seems rather sad now that I realize that I'm anything but lazy. I have merely been fearful. See, getting to know oneself is imperative!

What I discovered this week, is that one of the reasons for my perceived laziness, is extremely high goals. Goals, that require a lot of work to attain. I have actually felt quite paralyzed by what I'm working towards, as I've felt like I'm so far from where I want to be.... I have often had this thought: "well, what's the point?" I've been intimidated and scared to do the work, because I've felt like nothing is enough.

I found this amazing book on Sunday, called "One Small Step Can Change Your Life" by Robert Maurer. Until now, I've incorporated changes into my life through huge innovations... I've been attempting to change my life completely in one day. I've struggled through these phases, through an immense built-in resistance. Sometimes it's worked, but often it has not. Changing myself like this has required an enormous amount of courage and resilience on my part... Now, I realize that the process doesn't have to be that arduous.

Robert Maurer's book instructs me, that if I incorporate tiny changes into my life every day, I'm able to tiptoe around the fight-or-flight response in my brain, which follows every departure from my usual safe routines. This is true for all of us, and is a life-altering realization for me. I don't have to be scared about doing the work I want to do anymore, because I can start doing it in Very small increments. I have certainly been headed this way in my soul-searchings, but reading this book really speeded up my understanding. I whole-heartedly recommend it.
Hehe.... I feel like I just gave some frickin' book report... Well whatever. I like to share.

When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stone-cutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it would split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before together. -Jacob A. Riis, journalist and social reformer (1849-1914)

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'd like to harken back to the toolbox of emotional tools, that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago... As one hacks away at the stuff in life, one gets so tired sometimes, that all one can handle is a pair of tweezers. Even lifting up the hammer is a chore. But this is a valid phase, and the tweezers are a valid tool, I say. Seems to me, that if you keep hacking at the big things at all times, you will miss the splinter. Take the splinter out, even the bigger things get easier.

I've been disregarding the splinters of my life a lot, because I thought they were insignificant. I learned to live with many "small" annoyances, because I was taught it was sissy of me to get so worked up about "a little splinter." So I walked around with many. But here's the thing about splinters: they hurt, and thus they take up a lot space in the mind. Plus, they can get infected. Better to take care of problems while they are still small, is what I now think. It is justified and healthy. The little things is what the big picture consists of.

The way I see it, is that if anything hinders my journey at this point, or slows me down in my quest, it has got to go. However much work it may take me to get rid of them (and provided these are things that I can actually control).

As I address the issue of the splinters, I feel like for the first time I may have a fair fight ahead of me. Seriously. It almost feels like I'm starting over...
*gathers tools and gets back to work*

Friday, May 6, 2011

I have decided to ban the word 'should' from my vocabulary. Nothing good has ever come from it. Using it in any context immediately makes me feel like I'm failing at **fill in the blank**. Not quite reaching what I'm aiming for...

Should has possibly been one of my most frequently used words, in thoughts, and in speech. I know I didn't come up with it on my own... Instead, I have been bombarded with it my whole life, as I'm sure a lot of us have. How powerless it makes me feel! And not to mention the fact, that any time I should on myself, I immediately go into resistance mode. When I should on myself, I can hardly get anything done. Even if I should on myself with something that I normally like doing! I believe that my tendency to should, is one of the reasons, that I often start working on songwriting, when I'm walking in the park. There's no 'should' in that moment. Rather, I'm free. And creativity lives in freedom, not in rigidity.

Turns out should can be replaced by "I would like to." I feel quite noticeably more energized, when I spin it like this. Plus, it gives me a choice to not push myself when I don't feel like it.

Apparently, it takes 90 days to kick a bad habit and to learn a new, healthier habit. Yo, I'm like 5 days in already! Today, instead of shoulding myself on the work-front, I think I'll head over to the museum and fill my artistic well. I would very much like to.