Monthly Archives: September 2015

FRUITY FRIDAY BLOGGING EVENT: PATIENCE

One of the many profound discoveries during my time with Patience was the realization that THERE IS TIME.  This was so profound I nearly had to stop my work with the fruity experiment and make this Ah-Ha moment its own exercise.

The pressure of do it fast and do it right now was so LOUD!  So heavy.  I felt that incompetence foreshadowed everything I did.  In any given task there was always someone who did it faster, knew more, or did things more easily.

It seemed it was never about me and the work, it was about trying to be faster than other people, or more intelligent, or to impress them. I felt half-assed and not quite right.  The worst was when people would tell me how to feel by saying, “that is okay, you did your best,”

Did people forget how to define the word best?  Since when was, “doing your best,” defined as substandard and not something so near perfect that it’s impossible to do any better.  My problem was that there wasn’t enough time to do my best. I’d get irritated that people would accuse me of perfectionism when I wasn’t anywhere near perfect.  What I heard was, “you met the minimal expectation, quit trying.”

I’m not talking about rolling with the punches, recovering from mistakes, and thinking on your feet.  All of that is to reach your best.  The ability to roll with it is where talent and fortitude reside.  When we tell people they did their best when in fact they have just did minimal, they don’t get a chance to use the talent and fortitude to un-bury the WoW factor.  It’s about actually feeling the satisfaction of a job well done and not trying to convince yourself it is a job well done.  Even though it’s not perfect, a job well done is exciting.  It’s perfect in all it’s imperfections.

Even though every move was about getting faster-better-stronger, keeping up the act of proving my capability took up a lot of my time.  There was so much to do between the boss, extended family and immediate family that the faster I got done with one chore, the faster I could get to the next.  Going to bed brought a new day and it started all over again.  This hurt when my daily expectations were to reserve enough time to execute one of my many ideas and instead I would drop dead of exhaustion.

The effect was that I’m an artist with no art.  Or that’s what I felt like since I never had time to develop my art.  Although I did become really good at doing stuff that I don’t know how to do.

Since I knew I wasn’t incompetent, I grew to prefer working alone. I could work at my own pace, make mistakes, learn how to recover from them, and work until I met my own standards.  Plus I didn’t have to handle anyones anxiety while they thought ahead three steps and pretend to forecast the future that I was screwing it all up.  It was a beautiful thing to retreat, and then come back out with a finished project done right.

This sounds good, but still, I wasn’t quite there.  I was proving I could do the things that I THOUGHT I was supposed to do and get them done right.  I didn’t get a full grasp on this until I gnawed at a couple of more fruits.  But it started here with Patience.

Having patience isn’t trying to be passive while sitting in turmoil as wasted time goes by and suffering in the sin of being impatient.

It is the recognition that there is time and to act accordingly.

  • Sitting in a traffic jam or a Rail Road crossing?  Don’t use that time to get all jittery with exclamations of not having time.  Time is going on now and this is what’s happening now.  I caught on that I had been wishing and praying for more time, and here I was wasting this new found time on a bad attitude and worry. (It was a gift and I was screwing it up.)
  • Put your focus on the task and not the other person.  This comes in handy when the pressure to compete shows up.  Not only do I recognize that I am still fairly quick, but my accuracy has increased.  For example if two of us are sent out to sweep, I let the other bolt right on ahead of me and congratulate them on winning while I focus on the task and sweep the stuff they missed.  I do not point out that they missed something.  If they are paying attention they can see it.  Be nonchalant.
  • Do not harass people to pick up the pace.  Either hang out and be the coach or be the defender if other people harassing to pick up the pace. (Be the mentor.)
  • No more game face.  Since I don’t need to get people to back off to let me do my job, I don’t scowl and snap at people anymore.  (again be nonchalant when they do get on your back)
  • I protect my good day.  If I am going to have a good day, I can’t get all snippy and sarcastic.  (at least not with every opportunity I’m presented with, just leave it for sometimes.)
  • I control myself and not others.  This was my big lesson in separating Self-control from Patience. (I can’t control that train, but I can chill out and control my attitude so I can enjoy my new found time.  I can’t control that kid to compete with me in sweeping, he’s probably just trying to make a chore fun, but I don’t have to be a downer either.  I don’t teach people a lesson to not get on my case anymore. I don’t control them, I control me. (be nonchalant) I also can’t control the bosses bad attitude when the train makes me late. They are going to do whatever they feel they need to do to be the boss and control the situation.  (again, be nonchalant and let them do it.)

Whenever I catch myself with, there isn’t enough time, I remind myself, there is time.

Time is a man-made invention.  Although there is the passage between the sun and the moon and the rotation of the earth, man did invent the clock and calendar.  Man invented the 8 hour work day.  Man invented weekends.  Man sets the standard for what we do during daylight light hours and what we do during evening hours.  I needed a Tune Up between my body and it’s relationship from one day to the next.  This could be sun up to sundown. …Or midnight to midnight.  Or noon to noon.  Or however you want to configure it.  I had to stop and complete the tasks related to my body, my home, my income.

BTW income is related to taking care of body and home.  Also recognize that home will branch out to community, but just start here at home.

Once I discovered that I had enough time, it’s easier to slow down and enjoy the journey. This is how I use patience to enjoy both the journey and the destination. This is how I get lost in my work.  This is how I stop and smell the roses.  This is how I get more things done than I thought I ever could have.

Ah-Ha!

Mind Blown.

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This weeks Fruity Virtue is Kindness.

(I’m going to extend this one.  I’ll check back in on Friday.)

This ain’t no Random acts of Kindness.  No challenges of grand gestures needed.  Think of the smallest, unrecognizable acts.

When someone says Thank you.  Say, “Your Welcome,” and that’s it.  Don’t say another word.

Watch for opportunities to come your way.  Do not present opportunities for you to be kind.  Do not go out of your way to be kind.  AND most importantly, no acts of sacrifice.  Do not give up your time.  Do not give up your talent.  Do not work for free.  Anytime you think someone is going to misunderstand you as rude, tell yourself that you are a kind person to misdirect that fear and let it go right on by you.  Then proceed as if everyone knows that you are kind.

With every opportunity think small, gentle and no fear.

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Fruity Friday Event: Patience

Hello!

It’s Saturday!  Right off the bat I miss a deadline.  Proof that I did not become perfect from this fruity experiment.

I lost my near perfect draft because I had the “swipe pages” activated on my mouse and I guess I accidentally swiped.  I about died when I recovered a draft that was garbage from all the cutting and pasting to perfect my work.

It was two in the morning, further proof that slipping into old habits weren’t going to make things happen.  So I made a quick comment so the people who liked or commented would get the virtue of the week and I figured, regrettably, that I’d start a new post in the morning.

I still couldn’t recover the draft.  Disillusioned, I went for a walk/run to the location of my new job.  (I just got ANOTHER new job.  My last day at my old new job was Thursday, the night I lost the draft.  That was proof the job didn’t jive with my personal life.) Anyway.  I went grocery shopping.  I hung out with my husband.  I entertained visitors.  I went visiting.

What I didn’t do?

  • I didn’t wallow in embarrassment that I missed a deadline in front of the ENTIRE blogosphere.  Especially those who joined the event.
  • I didn’t cry it’s not fair, because I worked so hard and my intentions were good then demand that it should have worked based on that criteria.
  • I didn’t toss and turn all night.  I went to bed and I went to sleep.
  • I didn’t let it wreck my good day.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I wasn’t happy about it.  I didn’t celebrate losing it.  Periodically I would check back in with the problem, groan about my options, then get back to my day.

This morning I logged on because the a.m. is my time to write and I had those options to follow through on.  When the software asked to restore a recent back up that was in my browser, I got curious and I made a couple more attempts and I found a draft that was a bit rougher than the near perfect one.

What I did do and didn’t do are HUGE changes for me.  They are less self-destructive and less miserable.  Because of this fruity experiment, the moments I’m excited are more than the moments when I’m stressed.

Here is what’s relevant from yesterday’s fiasco.

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I love a good Ah-Ha moment.

A person gets so excited about the stroke of brilliance that they usually don’t concern themselves with the regret of not thinking of it sooner.

The epiphany about an epiphany is that once you see it, that’s the way you see things.

You know what?  I quit smoking and regret for quitting sooner doesn’t factor into it.  I agree, all those years I smoked were a waste, yet I am so happy that I quit, I have no regret.  It’s intriguing to ask, “Does creating change induce the fear of living in regret?”  If that is the case, wouldn’t that fear prolong the quit and induce more regret for not quitting sooner?

When I think about the topic of smoking, I’m glad I quit.  It feels good and that’s it.

I love how a good Ah-Ha moment feels.  It reverberates.  It tingles, my shoulders relax, I perk up and stand taller.  I feel right with the universe.  I feel like I’ve gained knowledge with this new insight.  That makes me feel I’ve matured.  Not matured as if I’d just aged, but matured as if I gained power and I’m young enough to use it.

And that is the point.

Right?

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Patience is the virtue for this Fruity Friday.

To start things off, think of how close Patience is to Self-control and learn how to separate the two.  Then see how using Patience is showing Kindness, spreading Goodness, Gentleness and demonstrating Faithfulness.  This is a mind-bender and part of the process.  In fact I nearly gave up because it appeared repetitive.  Then flip it and see how they stand apart from each other.  I’m glad I didn’t because each one had an impact on my perspective.

I may instruct you on how to get into observation mode, but the best part of this event is you come up with the answers.  I don’t tell you what to say.  I don’t tell you how you should feel, nor do I tell you how to act or react.  In any given situation you will have the best read on things going on in that moment.  More than anyone else who will not be in that moment with you.

Tune in to your surroundings.  Whenever you feel that quickening to be immediate, or feel the pressure of right now, or the urge to snap at someone out of being impatient, merely pause, remember that everything is okay, then move forward with your options.  It is also good to test the results of doing nothing.  Do nothing but watch and learn, that is.

Remember to trust yourself.  Your not going to do anything that will result in losing your job, getting a divorce or intentionally harming someone.  Are you really that mean or that stupid? Give yourself credit.

Oh yeah, and stay away from admonishments of patience.  There is nothing naughty about this.  The exercise isn’t to shame, restrain, or punish impatience.  The goal is to find what to do INSTEAD of being impatient.

Finally next Friday, go to your blog and write about one of the many profound events you had during the week and add a link to this post.  If you are following this blog, you should receive an email that details my experience with Patience and the virtue for next weeks event.

Happy Observing,

Happy Writing!

Blog On!

FRUITY FRIDAY BLOGGING EVENT

fruitA social experiment examining six virtues.

This event is open to everyone.

Since there are misconceptions that quitting smoking starts with the quit date, which it doesn’t, I’m inviting at least ten smokers to join this event.  (Don’t worry, you won’t quit by the end of this 6 week event!  Your merely collecting information.)

Directions:

  1. Follow this blog to receive an e-mail for the event of the week.
  2. To start immediately and to connect with others partaking in the event, introduce yourself in the comment section.
  3. On Friday go to your blog and write a post that pertains to this event and link to this one to create a ping back.
  4. Check your e-mail to receive your next fruity virtue.
  5. Repeat for 6 weeks.

Now, while you are waiting for Friday, take a step back and get into observation mode.  Watch your world and the people in it, at work, at home, in line at the store, or on the road.  On your first Friday write an introductory post on your blog with your first thoughts and expectations.

Think easy.  Don’t put forth any change except for hanging back and observing.  As you go about your day think about how you normally interact with others and watch for people who react the same as you would.

No one needs to know what you are doing.  If anyone happens to remark about how quiet you are, wait for them to ask, (don’t beat them to the punch) then tell them you are battling insomnia.  That excuse should get you through this six-week Fruity Experiment.  After that you go back to normal and you talk about it if you want.

The virtues will be in a different order than presented in the picture above. You can jump in anytime with the virtue presented for that week.  The event will roll over seamlessly to get you back where you started.

You may participate in the event more than once.  You don’t have to do anything but keep on going.

Happy Observing

Happy Writing!

Blog On!

On Writing

Writing is one big, long prayer.

Whether it is non-fiction or dressed up as fiction, writing tells it how it is, demonstrates what is going on, shows how it could be.

It admits guilt, addresses hate, pride, fear, and calls for change.

It celebrates the good in the most profound way.

Similarly it’s perfect in its imperfection.  Could always do better, use another word, … always an incomplete sentence or an incoherent thought.  You only know if you’ve done a good job if you’ve come away both spent and energetic, purged but full, and nothing has changed, but… yet, something has.

Exercise 1 Hour

Slide10You know the drill.

Alternate every other day, 20-30 minutes strengthening with 1 hour aerobic.

The more recent marketing focus is one hour a day and everyday.

I know I didn’t have the reserves to make this hour happen until I made some changes. Aside from this excuse of a crammed packed 24 hour day, my diet was constantly feeding a chemical reaction to create inflammation, induce migraines, disrupt my sleep, hindered nutrient absorption to make my bones weak, made my liver work overtime … and probably made my adrenal glands work overtime too.

On top of that this grain is a necessary staple for a healthy diet and not long ago we were supposed to get 12 servings a day.  I still need to go to the doctor and make it official, but until then I’m tracking my changes, if it’s not an allergy or a disease.

I’m not saying that you need to jump on any diet bandwagon before you start exercising.  (in this case gluten)  But what I am saying is to stop and figure it out.  Take a look at your excuses and start investigating them like symptoms.

I did.  My result is that I, at 45, ran 1.25 miles, for the first time since they forced me to in Jr. High.

I tell ya.  Running because I wanted to run and because I made the time to learn how to endure the distance and the idea that I could go much, much, much farther …  is so affirming.  It affirms that I was right as a child that I couldn’t do it like the others could.  It affirms that it’s possible for me to do.  It affirms that I am included in that group it’s possible for.  Not because I was a harass about it and I needed the pressure, but because I took the pressure off and took a good hard look at my excuses and figured it out.

I took the pressure off and now I want to double it.  I want to run 2.5 miles.  I know people run marathons, but seriously … is it in my future?

bwahaha.

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