I made a decision when I started this blog to not share friend’s names when I talk about how amazing they are. This is hard for me because I want to give credit where credit is due. I hope not naming them doesn’t make them feel any less valuable. The people I write about are significant sources of inspiration and act as fantastic mirrors when I am working through issues. In any case I have to give some serious “brag” to one of my friends/mentors this week.
She told me, “how you do one thing, you do everything”. I really did not understand what she meant by this until examples were shared with me. I am sharing my own examples below.
Let’s work backwards: Another someone told me how amazed she has been with my progress. She said that I am moving forward on so many different things. I told her, it’s because I don’t see it as doing so many different things. That is a waste of energy. I see myself doing a few of the same things, but doing it across the board.
Breakthrough in a course in college: I wasn’t a great student outside of my major. I was trying so hard to learn things that didn’t come naturally, that my communication wasn’t as clear. I finally asked my World Cinema professor if I could write about “intersectionality”. I explained to her that in Sociology intersectionality is the concept that we are all things at once. I am my gender, ethnicity, age, and socioeconomic status all at once even though we are treated as one or the other in any given circumstance. She was really excited when I shared this concept with her, and then she told the whole class we could write about our “gaze” in the context of our film analysis. Where is Joey Lawrence when I need a “woah!”. What a relief! My words flowed so much smoother when I stopped forcing things.
Going with the Flow: To me, how I do one thing, I do everything also means going with the flow. I am starting to look at places in my life where I feel friction or irritation. Then I flip it to how I would do something if I was in a peaceful state. When I was praying at a temple a little girl next to me kept kicking me. I looked at her. She seemed to be going out of her way to kick me. Instead of getting mad, I just closed me eyes and kept praying. I told myself that I was receiving a blessing from God every time this child kicked me. I got at least 10 blessings today. I’m very lucky. Ready to conquer the world…with benevolence and love of course!
Affirmations: Other people’s irritations were making me feel like I had to apologize for taking up space on earth. Really. It was adding up so much that it was like I was expected to apologize for even being in their space. As much as I sometimes really don’t want to meditate I make sure I do so. I know how important it is for me to shake off and clear from my day. I also know that I need to clear my own personal irritations so I don’t spread it around.
It was hard for me to calm myself down when someone was irritated with me. Especially when I knew I only had good intentions. You ever just go about your business and run into that one stranger who snaps at you or is so rude to you? I usually don’t shake off those negative interactions so quickly, but I am getting better. I started to say affirmations to myself when I was walking around. I made up so many great ones and used a few I had read that when it came to a time of conflict my affirmations were there for me waiting.
If I had only done the affirmations in times of conflict, then they wouldn’t have worked as well. Because I did them even in “good times” they worked for me when I needed them the most. Two examples- I was in the library printing out a few documents. For some reason the machine decided to spit out my 10 dollars into quarters and make me feed it all over again, in quarters. The girl behind me was furious and disgusted. I apologized and explained that it was a fluke. I said I had no idea this was going to happen. Not only did she ignore me, but she turned her head to the side. I was sad, that she was still so irked over something that I didn’t mean to do. I immediately started speaking to myself with words of gratitude, “Thank you universe for letting all of my human interactions be with people who have a mutual respect for me, and I for them”. I had to say it over and over to remember that that other woman’s issues, were her issues. It’s hard to not internalize these things. The affirmations are also letting me try out the law of attraction I keep hearing so much about:)
Remember if you say the things that you “don’t” want, they will crop up too. You can’t mention what you don’t want when you are trying to get the things you want in your life…only mention what you do want. Rules of The Law of Attraction. Remember I’m just the messenger! I find the rules a bit funny too.
My second example is super personal. I struggle with those close to me assigning me doom. They tend to tell me because I am doing one thing wrong, I will do everything wrong. Okay so they are taking the “how I do one thing, I do everything” to a negative and dark interpretation. Remember what they think I am doing is just a story. They may think it’s not great, but other people think I’m super brave and a trailblazer for it. Secondly, mistakes shouldn’t be this serious. Mistakes are in fact essential for rebuilding and growth. Making me feel like garbage for a mistake will only make me hesitate to try again. How will I reep the rewards of improvement on the next try if you are busy trying to take my confidence away? I really don’t want to hear that nobody can take my confidence away. If enough people say something, it wears me down. Affirmations here I come!!!!!!!!!
Confidence: When learning new skills, I told my teachers that I didn’t have confidence. They told me otherwise. No you have lots of confidence. You just don’t have confidence in your ability to do _____, because you haven’t learned it yet. So specificity helps. If we are specific it makes our language more powerful and our perception more crisp. I now give myself a huge learning curve for every new thing. Perfection doesn’t need to be obtained within seconds. Me not having enough room to make mistakes is what turned me into a perfectionist. But also look at our educational system. When learning we are given grades. We are expected to master things in order to be perceived as intelligent. I promise you the kid with bad grades who was paying attention and putting the pieces together was smarter then the straight A student. Sometimes when you are busy being perfect you do what you have to do to get the grade. You could have deviated and tried a different solution, but you stuck with the safe solution to keep up your average. Well guess what? Innovation comes from lots of failed attempts. I think the best thing we can do for ourselves is find a safe place to learn, explore, and love. Love whatever you want, whoever you want, and love however you want.
Reviewing your day: The best way to change your thinking is to change your actions. In middle school I started reviewing class by class and thanking god for at least one good thing that happened in each class period. I was tortured in middle school. If I didn’t form a sense of gratitude then I would have remained in a negative space. Because I learned to find at least one good thing for each hour of the day, it helped me identify the good in the bad days. I wanted every day to go on the books as a good day. This was and is my way of “never going to bed angry”. I was lazy to do this on the obviously good days because I knew it was good. I knew though if I didn’t go through the motions of reviewing every little thing on the good days, I would remain blind on the not so good days. I feel like cringing a bit when telling you this. I am not an expert at life. I am just sharing a few things that have helped me. I know how daunting it can feel when we are stuck. I think it takes a village for us as adults too, not just a village for the children.
I don’t feel as coherent and self-expressed as I usually do after one of these blog entries…still in the middle of learning how to go with the flow I suppose.
I hope you find the things you do well and figure out how you can utilize those few things, in all adventures you take on, because I cannot be the only one who is looking.