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.

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.