I Love You Charles Ingalls

My last couple of posts have been about Christmas and feeling freaked out over it all. And also about how I am coping with the freak out. I think of myself as a fairly calm person, mostly happy- I would go so far as to say upbeat. I know some of my close peeps are laughing right now. I consider myself upbeat, though I don’t pull the punches about what isn’t going so well for me. I tell it like it is. So, if I’m having a rough time, I don’t pretend otherwise, at least, not for long anyway. The conversation might go like this,

Friend: “Lisa, how are you?”

Me: “I’m fine.” Pause. “Well actually, I spent the afternoon on the couch soothing myself with Little House on the Prairie reruns and hot tea with commiseration from my dog. I’m having a rough day but, it is temporary.”

We might go on to talk about the stress and pressures we put on ourselves over the holidays. And we might talk about this being an emotionally loaded time of year for folks. It is no wonder with the decorating, gift buying, social engagements and FAMILY time that people feel a little overwrought, myself included. So, this time of year can make me feel nostalgic and a little sad. The year is coming to an end. The days are short and dark. The expectation and anticipation of the jolly, joyful season can often lead to disappointment. The ‘all the presents are open, now what’ feeling.  And then we will get to the so what’s new about that, part of the conversation. Tell me something I don’t already know.

Me: ” Yeah so, I put a lot of pressure on myself ( see Perfect Christmas post) and I feel more emotional. It’s what I do this time of year. What am I going to do about it?”

And here is where it shifts. Here is where the chat gets interesting.  The question is Do I allow myself to be swept away with What I Have Always Done or do I Try Something New? Let’s TRY SOMETHING NEW!

My SOMETHING NEW LIST:

  1. Nostalgic Cure for Sadness: Charles Ingalls.  I watched Little House on the Prairie for hours the other day. It was so comforting. I loved this show growing up. Pa (Charles Ingalls played by Michael Landon) was so handsome, loving and reasonable. The kids were good but, not too good. Yeah, things were hard but, they had each other. And a tin cup was a darn good present in the late 1800’s in Minnesota. Charles Ingalls will put some perspective on things and he can FIX anything.
  2. The Gift:  We spend a lot of time thinking about others in this giving season. And that is awesome! I love hunting around for something to give that will bring joy to another. Just remember to Be good to yourself, too. Give yourself some extra time if you can. Take a walk or a nap. I have signed up for a Yogra Nidra class at my local studio. All of my joking about yoga and napping– turns out, to be true. How perfect for me? And a relaxing, rejuvenating way to begin a new year.
  3. Feelings: Think about how you want to feel and then do things that make this happen for you. Um, this has been HUGE for me. It sounds simple. It takes some digging and a bit of work to be clear but, organizing your time around how you want to feel will make a massive difference. Trust me on this. Massive. I’m going for Joy-Creative-Affluence-Love-Energized! Check out this link for more on feeling your way through the new year!!
  4. Say No: I thought I needed to say Yes more. But, really I think I need to say No. Saying No to projects that don’t fulfill me. Saying No to anything that feels like a grind. Saying No unless I can fully commit and feel good doing it. It feels so positive to say No!! Try it. You won’t be sorry.
  5. This ones for you. Add something to TRY SOMETHING NEW LIST. I know you have some good ones!

Peace & Joy ~Lisa

Rules for Scales

Ok, so last week I talked about being a serial dieter and reluctant fitness monkey and vowed to approach things in a new way with the Hells Yah Diet and Fitness Plan, which I now will call Hells Yah Lifestyle (HYL) . There was a lot of response to this post. It seems I’m not the only one who has these thoughts combined with the binge dieting and I’ll try anything exercise history. I even got some new followers, which is always exciting for me. Even when I know that they are spammers and not going to read a word. I can tell because their recent posts are things like; About Me or How to make money from home. Still, the number is going up and that is exciting! Thank you for not deleting this from your inbox and at least getting this far.

Last week, I told you that it wasn’t about losing weight (not entirely true) but, feeling good (still totally true.) The truth is, I want to feel energy and heath in my life. I think, I’m going to have to drop a few pounds to achieve these goals.  So, there is a weight element to this feel good idea of mine. What I meant when I said, ‘not about weight’ is that I wasn’t going down the calorie counting, fad diet, weird exercise path I have taken in the past- as laid out in last week’s post.  Because as well as feeling energy and health, I want to feel JOYful. And bean sprouts and lycra don’t cut it in JOYland, not that there is anything wrong with bean sprouts and lycra, they have their place and can be very useful. I gotta be me in this new way. And me likes beautiful, aromatic, lovely food  and chocolate- often with coffee and moving oughta- no hasta be fun. HYL should feel inspiring and awesome. It must not be a grind. I’m determined to be lighter, in every sense. Though sometimes, I lose track of this driving force. I get off path. I get bogged down.

So,  I weighed my self obsessively this week. Daily. There is a triumphant thrilling fist in the air, ‘Yes’ when the number goes down and I like this feeling. It’s like gambling.

I’m talking to the scales, ‘come on, show me the money.’ And then, ‘How the hell did I gain 4 pounds in 24 hours? Is that even possible? Would it be less if I peed first?’

There with just that one set of numbers, my mood has plummeted. I am no longer strong and triumphant. I am perplexed, depressed, defined and defeated by the three numbers on the scale. Reel it in Mrs., this is not joy, this is not health, this is not light. So, I made rules for my scales, for my sanity, for my being. I had to. I am obsessive by nature. It was the only way I could control the need to check, confirm I am doing well or not well. I have to limit myself to a weekly check-in (link to illustration below). I hope that one day, I will not need this external confirmation. I hope that one day, I will just know because I feel energy, health and joy. Until then, Onward…

Oh, and feel free to print the ‘Rules’ for your own scales or maybe you will make rules that work better for you- for whatever you need to go easy on yourself about. And I invite you to forward this post to someone you think might like it or get it or need it.

Rules for Scales Flowchart  <———-Have a look.

Self Defining Moment

I was introduced to a new person, yesterday, not remarkable, I know. And in the course of the conversation, she asked me,

“So, Lisa…What is it, you Do?” again, pretty standard stuff. But, I paused in answering. Here is where it gets interesting. It may have been the way she asked me or the mood I was in that day. I wanted to answer this question in a different way. I struggled because, the answer was not that I am a social media manager or in marketing or even that I am a writer. It felt like the answer was more than all of that or maybe simpler.

A year ago, I lost my job. I didn’t just lose my job. I was fired from my job. A year ago, I was fired from my job that I took pretty seriously. I was the General Manager of an eco fashion design company. It was a consuming job and I loved it. I also hated it. I was certainly defined by it. So, a year ago when people asked me what do you do? I had a quick definite answer. I am this thing I do to earn a living and not much else, thanks for asking, now I really must be getting on because I have some important work to do and a deadline and I have to go. I thought about my job all the time. I came home spent and brought my work with me. I made dinner begrudgingly and felt dread over the children’s homework time. I would often check out of evening family time to read a bit before falling asleep (the reading and falling asleep bit hasn’t changed much- guilty as charged).  A number of years went by with this routine. I was my work. And then, WHAM. No more. I was fired.

My definition of self was gone. The answer to the What do you Do question became- I don’t know. The question itself became, who are you? and still I didn’t know. AND this really freaked me out. I spent a good amount of time crying and feeling lost. I’m still working on a new definition, a new answer. Here is the cool part, I know the answer no longer starts  with how I earn a living. And I love my new work. It is exciting to talk to folks about their passions, projects, hopes and work with them to move those forward. I get to do this everyday! It’s incredible. It’s creative, interesting, engaging and paying the bills, But, it isn’t What I Do. It isn’t Who I am.  And wow that is some freeing shit right there! The answer to that question will never again come from an external source. I will no longer define myself by my work status or anything else that isn’t me.

If asked that question today, I might say, “I help people.” And that seems to lead into a very interesting conversation. Which is another thing, I Do.