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

Crape Diem

I just realized why I hesitate to write. It isn’t that I doubt my ability to put words together in an effective or pleasing way. I know I can because people I respect have told me I can, and I get damn fine grades when I take classes in writing. I have been able to find the beauty in the English language and apply it strategically and well. Usually.

I hesitate not because I doubt my ability to write, but my ability to think. Lately I’ve been so preoccupied with the flimsy excuse the US has for politics these days, that I’ve become a one-note samba, a one-trick pony, a single-minded Republican agenda hater, and just as bigoted about defeating them as they are about defeating Obama. (If that’s their only agenda, and it appears to be, the Republican politicians are less appealing than the pond scum at a waste treatment plant.) See? I’m a bigot, too. We all are in some way, even if we hate bigots.

My brain has soaked up enough negativity that I don’t want to infect others with it. And yet, if enough crap gets thrown back at those who are creating this crushing Corporatocracy from enough people, maybe the country can begin to inch toward being more civil. Only with added things like a progressive tax structure (it brought us prosperity before-why not now?); equal rights for gays, women over 40, and other minorities; and heaven forbid, consideration of liberal ideas. In other words progression rather than regression.

I’ve called this blog The Progressive Grandma for a reason, but sometimes it seems to involve too much garbage. I do believe in the Power of One. I can make a difference, but being negative about it isn’t the way. The balance has been lost, but I don’t have to get lost in the resulting crap pile. Crape Diem or Crap o’ the Day, must evolve. Even crap gets to be fertilizer.

So many other things are more important. And more interesting. And more progressive. I want to be positive in my approach to living and communicating. So here again, I‘ll commit to being the essential Me. Mother to the best daughter ever. Grandmother to the cutest, smartest most interesting grandson ever. And more– artist, jeweler, bellydancer, cat lover, humanist, Ex-Mormon-pagan Buddhist (which leads to my paradoxical spiritual atheism), ADD, transplant to Colorado at age 60, Type O negative blood (maybe that’s where it comes from), nature-loving earth Empress.

So when I post political crap, I’ll try to offset it with some good news about progressive ideas or activities along with it. The news is not all bad. I’ll find the good stuff too. My Good Buddy Donovan/Sid/Delta Don/Donnifer started a 30-day blogging campaign a while back. This is my first post to do the same. It’s an outward declaration of my intent, and I’ll elaborate as I go. Mostly because I’m writing by the seat of my pants. It will improve.

And so it begins.

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.

Best Countries for Moms ? Norway! US is 28th

 Jennifer, Kevin and Remi came to my house for Mother’s Day last Sunday. We had such a wonderful time. They brough me flowers, and we had brunch together. Weather cooperated with mild temps and a soft breeze, so we ate on the deck. My first meal on the deck, too I might add.

I found an article in the USA Today site that was interesting, especially given that Mother’s Day was just last Sunday.

In an article earlier this money a survey from “Save the Children” ranks Norway best for mothers. Where was the good ol’ US of A? 28th.

That puts the US below Estonia, Latvia and Croatia.

This is the eleventh such report, called the Mothers’ Index. Save the Children looked at factors that affect the health and well-being of women and children. Those include access to health care, education, and economic opportunities. In Norway women are well paid, can get contraception easily, and also get government-mandated maternity leave for up to a year, not the paltry 6 weeks women get in the US.

What brought  the US ranking down as compared to other developed countries? “High rates of maternal mortality (1 in 4,800) and infant mortality (8 per 1,000), low pre-school enrollment (61%) and one of the least generous maternity-leave policies in terms of duration and pay.”

More stats:

  • “A woman in the Unites States is more than five times as likely as a woman in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece or Italy to die from pregnancy-related causes in her lifetime and her risk of maternal death is nearly 10-fold that of a woman in Ireland,”
  •  “At this rate, a child in the US is more than twice as likely as a child in Finland, Iceland, Sweden or Singapore to die before his or her fifth birthday.”

Following Norway in the top 10 are Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

The bottom ten at Afghanistan at the bottom, right behind Niger, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, Eritrea and Equatorial Guinea.

link to State of the World’s Mothers 2010 report.

(orginal article posted by Michael Winter)

This link is for a program done by Mark Joyner of Simpleology. I have found his training programs to be on point and pertinent. The last one I did was the 101 and now I’m in 102. This link is posted for the blogging program he has. I’m not sure what will come of it, but I’m interested. So Mark, here’s the post. This blog is written by a real live person – me. Lynn Allen, Broomfield CO. It’s not terribly active yet, so the challenge is high.

Now what?

<div id=”simpleology_blog_8a5888b470f3bcaad0550785e62e9871″><p>I’m evaluating a <a href=”http://www.simpleology.com/training/blogging/index.php”>multi-media course on blogging</a> from the folks at Simpleology.  For a while, they’re letting you <b><a href=”http://www.simpleology.com/training/blogging/index.php”>snag it for free</a></b> if you post about it on your blog.</p><p>It covers:</p><ul><li>The best blogging techniques.</li><li>How to get traffic to your blog.</li><li>How to turn your blog into money.</li></ul><p>I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it’s still free.</p></div>