Tag Archives: growth

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 160: Recognizing my Triggers

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Ooooh, I’m getting really good at this. I know what most of them are, and now I’m learning to recognize the sensation in my body as it happens.

It can be something as simple as receiving a blunt reply by text, a “No” in answer to a question. This can trigger feelings of insignificance, as if I’m being brushed off, and of feeling worthless and small. In my body, it shows up as a tightening in my chest, a shrinking and rounding forward of my shoulders, and a slowing and shortening of my breath.

Being able to recognize my triggers reminds me that the stories I tell myself are all my own shit, and the other person’s blunt reply likely has absolutely nothing to do with me. It allows me to act, rather than react, and because of this, I can make mindful choices, rather than act out of unconscious habit.

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SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 164: Speaking Up

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If I say something, and the other person is angry about it, I can begin to feel like I am too much and should just keep my mouth shut. On the other hand, if I know I am choosing my words carefully and being true to myself, and not intentionally trying to hurt the other, then I am speaking up, speaking my truth. A part of me says I should keep quiet in the future, and say less so as to avoid angering others, but another part of me disagrees. I’ve been angered by things people have said to me, and if I allow myself to really look into why it angers me, I almost always find that it has nothing to do with the other person, except that their words happened to trigger the reaction in me. What I do with that anger is up to me. Whether or not I lay blame, is up to me. What I learn about myself is up to me.

I was recently given unsolicited advice about my artwork, about how I should paint. The message I heard was that I do too much, that “less is more”, and I shouldn’t paint hearts. I was initially angry and defensive. Then, I realized that this opinion is one opinion among many, and there is no right way to paint. Beyond that, I discovered that this person’s advice was really a gift to me, because it gave me the opportunity to work through the emotions, and it also tested my confidence in my own work. Am I willing to be swayed to change my style by one person’s comment? On the other hand, am I willing to experiment with my style to see if I agree with her? I really enjoyed the lessons I learned through this.

My friend spoke up. I was angry. I learned. Thank you.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 project, click here.
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SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 145: Letting go of fear of PAIN. Acceptance of PAIN.

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Part of my personal motto this year is to FEEL DEEPLY, and that includes the painful stuff, too. I don’t wish to inflict pain upon myself to do this. Well, that’s not entirely true – part of the reason I enjoy getting tattoos is to experiment with how I deal with the physical pain, and to be curious about it. In fact, the last time, I noticed that halfway through the tattoo, the pain turned into pleasure!

However, I do wish to allow myself to feel whatever comes up in the moment. Resisting feelings, as I’ve done in the past, hasn’t worked so well for me; instead of moving through the feeling into something else, I wind up stuck in it. Being stuck, or frozen, leads to fear. Arguably, it’s the fear that leads to the resistance in the first place, but I think more precisely, it’s my reaction to the fear (resisting it) that translates into even more fear. It’s like that saying, “What you resist, persists”. So true. Because I grew up thinking I shouldn’t feel anything (having been told, “Don’t cry”, or “Don’t be upset”), I become afraid of feelings, worried they may take over, that they will become too painful to bear, and that I will never escape. Such is the same with physical pain; when my back is in pain, I have a belief that it will never end.

The more I can build the habit of allowing the feelings to move through me, to see that they don’t last forever, and to know that there is something else to feel on the other side of the pain, then the more I can accept, and let go of, the pain.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 project, click here.
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SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 141: LearningGrowing

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I surround myself with people who are committed to growth, and who know the perfect questions to ask at the perfect moments. Today, one of these friends asked me whether I am able explain what value my art brings to this world, and I realized that until I am able to answer that, I am stuck.

I have been realizing, during the process of separation from my husband, with discussions of support, that I still don’t value my contribution to the world as an artist. Even at a young age (as stated in my Grade 3 autobiography, in fact), I thought that being an artist was an unwise career move because it doesn’t pay well. Somehow, through my lifetime, I have been taught, and have accepted, that artists do not contribute anything worthwhile (worth paying for) to our society.

For a long time, I have been feeling like there’s something holding me back from my own success, and now I think I’ve found it. I thought it was simply a story about not being a good enough artist, but this goes well beyond my own capacities as an artist. Once again, I am looking at my value, my worth. How to dismantle this story and build anew is a new challenge for me.

I am learning. I am growing.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 project, click here.
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SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 140: Awareness

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I am becoming more aware of my habitual patterns of behaviour.

I notice how, by trying to help someone feel better, they wind up feeling worse because I am denying their feelings (by essentially saying, “You needn’t feel that way because of …”).

I notice how, when I don’t like something someone else is doing, I will wait to see if it changes, and push away my own feelings, because I have a fear that by speaking up, the other person will become angry, or no longer like me.

I notice how, day after day, I deny myself the things I really want: more sleep, more reading, more pleasure, less procrastination and distraction.

I also notice how my awareness of these things is becoming more and more finely tuned. I am aware of my behaviours closer the the times they actually happen, and sometimes even during. Eventually my awareness (I hope) will be such that I see the behaviours before they happen, and then have the capacity to choose my next move.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 project, click here.
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SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 136: Ask for help

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Almost exactly 8 years ago, I was hospitalized for several days because of a high fever and a full-body rash that the doctors suspected to be an allergic reaction, but after much testing, they could only suggest that it was all due to a viral infection. It wasn’t either of these things, and my body knows it.

The rash began shortly after completing a weekend Core Connexion dance workshop, during which I danced out the story of “not needing help from anyone” (even metaphorically, through dance, I was unwilling to receive help). The idea that I can, or need to, do everything on my own, is strongly linked to my perfectionism, and it’s a story that’s been with me a long time. The hospital stay forced me to receive help, to be fed, looked after and cared for, and to allow others to look after my three very young children, too.

Since then, I have had more awareness in recognizing my limitations, I’ve had more courage to ask for help, and I have even been able to enjoy receiving help from others.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 project, click here.
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SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 135: Seed, stalk, flower

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Seed, stalk, flower.
The path of growth.
I am all of these things, at all times, in different areas of my life.
Right now, I am a seed in learning how to play guitar. I have just been planted, and haven’t even sent any roots out yet.

I am a stalk in my business. I am learning what works, and what doesn’t, trying new things, and moving upwards. There is still much potential for growth.

I am a flower in my parenting. I have learned so much along this path, and while I am by no means done, I am at a point of blossoming, with the ability to reach my full potential in any moment, and to soak up the energy of my children, the way a flower opens to the sun.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 project, click here.
To join the SelfLove365 project, click here.