Thursday, November 28, 2013

Get Your Self-Image Off Default!

Self-Image Refresh

As I enjoy a week long Thanksgiving vacation, I've dived I to an incredible book called Psycho Cybernetics. Long name, right? It's actually delightfully simple... and deep. Written by an old-school plastic surgeon who spent years analyzing his patients' psyches and self images, it lists out some awesome ways to set goals, evaluate your inner chatter, refresh your view of yourself, and live an overall happy  and self aware LIFE!

I'm all about that!

One of the first activities listed in the book is to write out some "truths" about the TYPE of person you want to be. By focusing on identifiying and accepting the type of person you wish to become, you end up achieving the benefits of actually BEING more outgoing, a better golfer, a confident employee, or WHATEVER you wish to be!

Here's my preliminary sketch of who I am. Read it and go write your own! The only limits on who you can be are ALWAYS placed there by YOU!

What Type of Person am I?

1. Full of life and energy. I always say "yes" when presented with new challenges and opportunities. My base assumption is that things will always be FUN.

2. I'm calm in moments of turmoil. I don't feel the need to crowd out the pain inside with distracting actions or statements.

3. I live without fear of my weight and without sharing/obsessing about it because I know that thin thighs is my birth right and by staring at what I don't want, I will never look up to see what I do want. I'm the type of person who lives in a 129lb (or less) body. I am the girl who finds the combo of foods to help me thrive!

4. Every moment I choose happiness. No matter how crummy I think things are, my inner light is controlled by my decision to be happy and beautiful.

5. I'm the type of person that refuses to worry or hang onto guilt because these things trap me and prevent me from enjoying my treasures.

6. I'm the type of person that calmly CRUSHES it at work. Every DAY. I refuse to get down in the moment because speed bumps threaten the path. I relax knowing I have the power within and it is my mind that attempts to throw me off the path because the way is new and unfamiliar.

7. I am the unconsciously competent person whose mind is so engulfed in what I'm doing that I lose track of how I look to others and focus on the moment.

8. I am the type of person who fearlessly pursues creating sandals and ignores harmful self-talk bent on stopping me from creating beautiful things. I am the girl who sets out an organized plan and doesn't let a large project overwhelm me.

9. I am the girl who is easily aroused and not dismayed by emotional duress because I deserve sexual freedom and pleasure. 

10. I am the girl who assumes the best in people rather then jumping to negative conclusions that may not even be there. I am the girl who loves and blesses those better off than I because I am comfortable with myself and my path and I know those who succeed before me are there to light my way.

11. I am a generous, loving, and self-less girl who has fun by giving others joy.

12. I am the outgoing, confident, friendly girl who loves talking to people and learning about THEM because true souls care for each other. I will no doubt get back more then I receive. My circle of cool friends is large and I think of positive, true things to encourage and inspire them with.

13. I relish my present without destroying it with lofty goals for the future. My "now" is as potent as my "when."

14. I constantly adapt and change to new scenarios with great mental and emotional fortitude. My psyche is robust and isn't easily daunted. Whether moving, starting a business, working things out with my lover or family, I rejoice in every opportunity to LIVE.

15. My smile is constant and my body is relaxed and open to accept love from others and myself. My breathing is deep, calm, and regular giving me hope and courage.

16. I seldom over-complicate things. I learn quickly and don't need things repeated twice to grasp them and recall them. Names and faces are a cinch to remember. Good habits come naturally to me. Mental challenges quickly unravel in my adroit brain. I no longer stall on making tough choices because of the confidence and courage I know resides deep within my strong person.

17. I routinely and gracefully take breaks every day to recharge and fan the light within to ensure my spirit is full and whole.

This took about 20 minutes to bang out. I feel awesome about it. The next 30 days are going to be insane for me as I set about to correct negative assumptions I've let myself believe about myself for years and consciously replace them with a new, healthy TRUTH! Join along!

It's hard NOT to be happy in a hat with a bow!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

7 Tricky Forms of Self Harm That Appear When You Are Stressed

Risky Business...

How do you respond to pressure? Not just the momentary pressure of public speaking or passing a big exam, but the big picture stress that comes when you have to perform or your life and the lives of those around you will never be the same. Been there?

Sadly, I can't share all the details with you, but for the past two months I've been under incredible pressure and have noticed some potentially dangerous behaviors cropping up as the walls of my life compress me. This is my personal list. Some might seem pretty stupid....but for me they are a natural response when I am not mindful of the needs of my body and soul. Take a look and make a list of your own!

1. Starving myself or overeating:

This one is so nasty. When my heart is gripped with cold fear, food loses all appeal and I survive on an apple and some nuts. When my courage returns and the angsty, irritation and depression arrives, I snack to try to ease the pain. 

2. Holding my breath:

DAFUQ is up with this??? I will literally clench my throat and chest as if not moving or breathing and holding very still will protect me from some hidden danger. The first time I recall noticing this bad behavior, I was learning to drive with my dad and he asked, "Will holding your breath make you drive better?!" No. Obviously. Deep breath........

3. Desire to shop recklessly:

Ok, I may be guilty of this when I'm not feeling especially crushed, but retail therapy is an outlet I RACE too when I'm scared, unhappy, dissatisfied, or let down in myself or my situation. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb idea. And expensive too. 

4. Sexually promiscuous urges:

I'm sure we all agree that throwing myself onto the world as a wild and crazy Girl Gone Wild won't release my tension the way I imagine it will. Everyone wants and deserves sexual satisfaction, but I'm pretty sure joining a bisexual gang bang in pursuit of inner peace may be harmful if I'm not participating from a place of confidence and pure sexual arousal. Don't let stress drive you to new depths. Repel mindfully down this crevasse.....don't throw yourself over the precipice.

5. Scratching at my face:

This is excruciatingly embarrassing and I'm so shy to share it with you. I scratch at the small bumps and pores on my face to the point where I bleed and potentially scar myself. Not your traditional form of cutting, but I believe there is something to the need for pain and the site of your own blood that is brought about by fear and stress. 

6. Driving fast....or erratically:

Texting + driving = lunacy. At some point when I'm freaking out, I switch to a form of careless I-don't-give-an-F driving style that is basically asking for a terrible accident. Speed. Fast turns. Irregular lane changes. Anything outside of normal, safe driving crops up when I feel unwell. Don't do this. Ever.

7. Craving smoke, drunkenness, and regulated substances:

Under normal circumstances, I am straight and narrow - no smoke, drugs, or rowdy rounds of shots. It just isn't my style. So when my subconscious kicks in and starts nudging me to do things outside of my normal realm of preferences, I have to check myself and ask if it's Tara that wants to try new things or scared and stressed Tara trying to find relief from her life. 

Stress's Achilles' Heel

Living with a 3-6 month "mission" where this one big THING has been the most dominant factor of my life - deciding everything from whether I need sunscreen to what time I eat - has me looking at other people in a new light.

If my temporary raison d'etre has me curled up in a ball on the floor at night, how badly must some other folks I meet be hurting and how are THEY coping??? I judge softly now when I see some self-harm choices others make. Pain and stress can make you go crazy.

My hope is that you find your stress signals. Don't act on them. Act in spite of them. Tell a friend. Take the time to love yourself. You are the only one who can. <3

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Do a Little.... A Lot

The Space Between Work

I don't have two kids. No husband. No full term of school and a night job. But yes, I'm freaking swamped right now. The day starts at 4:30am Mon-Fri/Sat and runs until I go crazy and need dinner. Or I find my way to the gym for a meek 30min workout before slowly driving home in the cold darkness to a shower and my bed. What's YOUR version of this circle???

As my new gig has ramped up, I've realized that I may not have a FULL day of doing whatever I want for a long, long time. I refuse to let this stop me - the days of my life are not limitless, and instead of throwing a pity party (and some of my parties are LEGENDARY), I'm purposing to fill whatever space my day leaves me after work to produce some work on what I'm passionate about. 

 What I am coming to see, is that the best "livers" fill their lives with their passion activities inbetween whatever constraints they are currently living under. That sounds SO much better then waiting for "tomorrow" or exhausting myself further with whiny self-talk! :)

What do YOU wish you were doing that you aren't? Encourage me with your project or dream that you are dedicating small nooks and crannies of time to rather then waiting for "the perfect moment." Life seldom leaves you gobs of time. At least not until you are dead.

How to Deconstruct Shoes from Goodwill

Lol - typing that heading feels so funny! As if you are all dying to shred shoes too! ;) Gonna share anyway!

This is (one) of my "passion projects." Designing the sandals I see clear and glowing visions of when I close my eyes.

Basically, I'm too impatient to wait for the leather shoe prototype shop here in Portland to finish their current orders, I've started out on my own. A visit to Goodwill at the end of summer actually yielded some decent sandals with great bases similar to the basic shape of my shoes.

I set the hand-me-down shoes out near my kitchen to constantly bug me with their silent, judging presence until I had the guts to start pulling them apart. After a few weeks, I sat down with several razor blades, scissors, pliers, a hairdryer, and some muscle and courageously began ripping the cloth uppers off of the shoes. Personally, I dislike hand work involving troubleshooting and technical skill with tools (other then sketching pencils or a drafting table). What I accomplished makes me glow with pride.....

I started with an enclosed peep-toe wedge and finished with this:

Note the unglued sole over the wedges

Really love the tapered, sexy shape of these soles. Feminine.

Later, I will reglue the soles after I've added my NEW uppers!

Pretty nifty, huh? I cut off all of the fabric I could while still leaving enough material to pull on to get the sole to separate from the wedge. Some hardcore glue held some of the uppers in place so I softened it with a hair drier, although the best way to get them apart was controlled yanking. :) I know, really technical. Up around the toes, I just trimmed the fabric (which was softer) close to the sole and very neatly, so you don't notice the leftovers. 

Voila! Now I am ready to cobble together the macrame uppers with the beads and gems. Can't WAIT to actually get some of my new work onto these! Baby steps.....just going to keep plugging away every day until I've got some rockin' new kicks. 

This is fall in my hometown.

View on my Sunday afternoon run. Hilly - calves still sore on Tuesday!