Floss One Tooth

One of the issues in any attempt at self-improvement and self-knowledge is the enormity of the task. I know it keeps me from doing anything because getting from Goal Point A to Goal Point B seems more like dog paddling across the Pacific Ocean.

 Affirmations don’t work for me because the Saboteurs in my brain call me a big fibber.

 Me: “I am a money magnet.”

My Brain: “Bullshit! You’re overdrawn and still have bills to pay.”

 Me: “I am organized and efficient with my time.”

My Brain: “Yeah Right! You have 10 boxes of papers from 5 years ago that you haven’t sorted, shredded, or filed YET! More bullshit.”

 Me: I am so happy and grateful that I make $100 a day in passive income from XYZ business venture.”

Brain: “See affirmation reply #1 –  It’s getting deep in here.”

 Me: “I am an ambitious and motivated entrepreneur.”

Brain: “In a pig’s eye. You know you are not motivated by money because you don’t believe you are an entrepreneur and can make it on your own.” More Bullshit and then some. . . .”

  In a few understated words, I am plagued with self-doubt. It keeps me from making any moves at all toward working on a business again, and it keeps me playing small.

 So I beat myself up and see the big picture fade away. And it makes me feel ashamed that someone with the potential people tell me I have could feel so obscure.

 Until a little inspiration comes along from an unexpected place. Zenhabits.com. I have no affiliation with them except to get the emails and prowl the unadorned site for bits of wisdom. And the inspiration that helps me is this:

 Floss one tooth.

 Don’t worry about all the teeth. If you hate to floss or just don’t, then set the goal to floss one tooth. Just one. Here’s the link: http://zenhabits.net/floss/

 Pretty soon you  floss two, then all the uppers. Then all the lowers and eventually every tooth.

 So part of this blog is my “floss one tooth” entry back into writing publically. Back into communicating in a larger way. Hopefully then into making a larger contribution.

 But this is my contribution for the day. If you have a large daunting project you don’t want to start, just floss one tooth — move the stuffed box into an open spot for further examination and sorting the top of the pile. Just one.

 Begin that book with one sentence. Start the blog with one paragraph.

 Since I posted once, some interesting things have happened. A bunch of people started following the blog. Now, some are probably just wanting backlinks for their own sales blog, but that’s okay. A follower from before the “Great Lapse” contacted me and I am greatly encouraged by her words. A new job opportunity opened up and I’ll apply with renewed vigor and optimism.

 From one post. The self-doubt lifts and the Sage within me begins to overtake the Saboteurs in my brain. It’s working.

 Just floss one tooth.

Starting Over

The past two months have brought upheaval, a realization of failure and a renewal of discovery. That’s a lot.

 In the past two months I have closed most of my writing business and dropped all the networking, business development, and business meet-ups. Nothing was working. I was losing money every month and my savings couldn’t take much more depletion. I’m now running on near empty.

 The last straw that made me snap was when my business development group moved to a new location and I couldn’t find it. I drove around for about a half hour trying to locate the right building and didn’t find it. That one little thing made me write an email to the leader and say, “I’m done. My business is failing and I’m done trying to hide that fact.”

 No amount of development would fix it, so FULL STOP was my answer. Partial list:

  • Aforementioned business development classes – done, but they offered me guest status.
  • My Chamber of Commerce membership was up so I didn’t renew.
  • My membership in a Construction Referral Group was up, again no renewal. They also offered me guest status.
  • I dropped my Profit Through Life Purpose group, even though I really wanted to do that one.
  • Didn’t renew a major business networking group ($700 a year’s worth of wasted time and money. I would write about the jerk in charge of that one, but he would probably sue me. I’ll have to disguise it.)
  • Business meetup once a month for Business Startups – done.

 I quit everything.

 Except two: my weekly fitness class, and my life coach. I think of both as life strengthening and affirming. I also got a job cashiering at Home Depot to help fill in the financial gaps as I retool and rethink business or job or whatever is next. This blog is part of the retooling and I wouldn’t be writing at all if it were not for Kate.

 I didn’t find Kate; she found me. Last fall I attended a conference of all women vendors and speakers. Kate was a vendor and I tossed my card in for a drawing prize of 3 free sessions with her and won. (I also won a free analysis of my handprint which was also amazing and will be part of this blog at some point.) Both wins have been instrumental in my forward movement in self-discovery. Both totally unexpected, unplanned, and unsettling.

 (Change is hard. You go first.)

 We did the three sessions and really wanted to continue. She uses a method of analysis for the saboteurs and sages each person has living in their heads. I’ve bounced around all over the place and she always seems to ask the right questions to get me positioned in front of an answer that makes the most sense. It’s not necessarily right or wrong, but it makes sense after looking at the situation a new way. Or realizing just how much I have sabotaged myself year after year, and that I can change the patterns with discovery and awareness.

 That’s what I want to write about now. I’ll do the politics and progressive writing somewhere else, but here I want to explore Me. Lynn. Friend to many, but unknown to most, especially myself. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m doing it anyway.

Aside

The Optimist Creed

Redirecting the negative to positive begins with a new outlook. A promise to look at the possibilities of growth and prosperity rather than constriction and lack. The Optimist Creed says exactly what I hope to do from here on.

Print and post this brilliant piece of inspiration from the past. It still applies and if more of us adopt this creed, perhaps the liberal thinkers in this country can begin a new conversation. We truly need one.

The Optimist Creed

PROMISE YOURSELF . . .
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of life and make your Optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

By Christian D. Larson
Originally published in 1912 in a book titled: “Your Forces and How to Use Them.”

Playing Chicken – A simple question, an intense moment

I was holding a roasted chicken leg in my hand around 7:15 tonight, ready to take a bite when an odd, unexpected and unexplained thought stopped me. “What if you knew this was the last time you would ever eat a piece of chicken? What if it was the last thing you ever ate?”

It wasn’t morbid, just curious. But it made me open my mind.

I hesitated, noticing the spicy, warm aroma from the meat just inches from my mouth. I thanked the bird that had lived and died just so I could enjoy a meal from its body. We shared life and death in that instant – one chicken out of millions, and me, eating it. Odd, that just asking a question that implied my own death could so sharply point out the implications of another life and death in my meal. Then I brought the chicken meat closer noticing the intensity of its smell, and put it in my mouth.

The flavor became an intense secret between me and the chicken. The texture of the meat was a surprise. It was as if I had never eaten chicken before, and since I would perhaps never eat it again, it was directly sensual, immediate and intimate. And I felt gratitude for the sustenance and the pleasure, and for being alive and aware to taste it.

Biting, tasting, chewing, swallowing, smelling, breathing, digesting, being nourished, giving thanks, excreting. What begins the cycle? In that moment the entire cycle was in me, was entering me, leaving me, being me. I was the cycle. I knew the chicken, the meal the chicken ate, the agony of being killed or kept in a cage, the pleasure of scratching warm, fragrant dirt.

That moment is forever mine because asked myself a question and I stopped to be completely in the answer and in that moment. If it had been my last moment, it would have been enough for a lifetime.

Talk Thursday – Breaking Habits

Few people really know me and I have not been terribly revealing about Me-self in this blog. The following is a cryptic and incomplete synopsis of who I am and some of the habits that inhabit Me.

Baby Boomer, single, female. Born and raised in Eastern Oregon town of about 10,000 people – one-third cowboys, one-third farmers, and one-third college professors – set in the lovely and enduring Blue Mountains. Moved to Colorado November 2009 to be near my daughter, but lived in Utah for too long a time prior. Mountains have become a Happy Habit.

As a result of the Utah experience and several unexpected awakenings, I escaped the Mormon Mind-Fuck. I am now an official Ex-Mormon happily learning to cultivate the habit of enjoying each moment without guilt as a student of Buddhism (which also means I’m an atheist). I hold that fundamentalist religion, including fundamentalist Christianity, is one of the most destructive forces on the planet.

Being addicted to being ADD (or maybe that’s a habit too), I have collected disparate interests, none of which I have developed to any high degree but some of which I’m pretty at in spite of everything: Music (classically trained in voice, piano, and the woodwinds), art, politics, bellydancing, writing (technical and copywriting), cats/pets, crafts, wire and gemstone jewelry, and a big one, spirituality without religion (humanism). I have a knack for setting people at ease. Probably some more I’ve forgotten, but we’ll catch up later.

My one child, a daughter, and young grandson are both are major influences and loves of my life. (Unlike birth in some Mormon familial herds, parenthood of one child is not a habit.) I moved here to be closer to them after her ex-husband killed himself and left her with a good deal more than her fair share to deal with. Plus I didn’t want to repeat my own mother’s pattern of being distant from beloved people. I love my daughter immensely and I want to engage as fully as possible with her and her son. So far, good habit.

Well educated: I have a BA degree in English with a minor in music, an MBA, and half a BA degree in art, and half a Master’s degree in technical writing and editing. I have also coached with Steve Slaunwhite and others, and have certified in business copywriting. In spite of that I’m also unemployed, carving an income out of thin air writing and editing resumes and business documentation. Oh yeah, and maybe blogging, writing website copy, investing, thinking positive thoughts, and professionally trolling for business – otherwise known as networking.

Some Boomers were activists and protested everything. (There was a lot to protest). Then they turned to conservatism, apparently in a form of misplaced guilt. I did precisely the opposite. I was fanatically apathetic during the 60’s, then later opened to being as liberal and progressive as others turned conservative. Which brings me to this blog.

I can’t seem to shake the politics, arts, music, crafts, spirituality blend of interests, so I’m not going to try. I used to apologize for being left of everything, but it’s part of who I am. I used to apologize for skipping around in my interests, but that’s who I am as well. You may find threads of all that here, and that’s okay. (Warning: sometimes inconsistent in posting, but I mean well.) Inconsistency is a habit I’m trying to break.

However, we are not our blogs nor are we our habits. Blogs are not obligations. Blogs are for whatever you need them to be. The very few people who read my blog will notice that I changed the appearance, and that is intentional. Blogs can be amplified, changed, broken, ignored, or dumped; ditto habits.

When asked as a teen what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was, “Eccentric.” It has become my Habit. However, unlike Inconsistency, I won’t even try to break it.

So be it.