Practice: Showing Up

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Lately, I’ve been noticing times when something’s really bugging me but I don’t speak up. Why don’t I say something? A few reasons:

  • Don’t want to start a conflict
  • Can’t figure out a “nice” way to say it
  • Maybe it isn’t my place
  • Don’t believe my speaking up will change anything, and therefore it’s not worth the effort

My DH offered that speaking up can simply be good practice. My reactions to that were “true” and “meh.” Poor guy, why am I dismissive of good practice? I’ll come back to that.

Good practice or not, I became aware of my attachment to a certain outcome. Maybe saying something is good practice. But when I say something and nothing the thing that I wanted doesn’t happen, I get frustrated. My “why bother?” feelings kick in. And they stop me from trying again. This felt like an important realization! What if I could say something and let go of my attachment to a particular outcome? 

That was as far as the exercise went until I saw Justine Musk‘s tweet today.

Argument doesn’t change people (good stories change people) but it helps you deepen + refine your own understanding of what you stand for.

DING went the light bulb! Her words address two areas of my struggle:

  • Changing others
  • Clarity of self expression

My story about speaking up is that “we can’t change other people. So it’s not my place / not worth it / why bother.” But people do change, sometimes nudged by outside influences. I can see how stories are way more effective than complaining.

Justine’s tweet also helps me in the “let go of my attachment” department. Speaking up is not about changing someone’s mind or winning an argument. It’s about getting clear about my own thinking and being able to express it. I do have feelings about some topics of our day (Uber-style businesses, the digital divide, income inequality) but rarely say anything. The times that I’ve tried to recently, I quickly get tongue tied and stall out. Maybe there’s something to this practice thing after all.

 

Link

Negative Emotions Are Key to Well-Being

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/negative-emotions-key-well-being/

I’ve been struggling with my negativity and being down on myself for it. Seeing this article was timely for me! HT @whitneyhess on Twitter.

Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment.

One of the primary reasons we have emotions in the first place is to help us evaluate our experiences.

Even if you successfully avoid contemplating a topic, your subconscious may still dwell on it.

Researchers found that those who restrained their thinking more often had stronger stress responses to the cues than did those who suppressed their thoughts less frequently.

A Chore Became Art

Hooray for my recent art projects*! They made me more open to helping my DH with a long overdue house project – painting the stucco around a sliding door we put in. It’s about time. It’s only been FOUR years since we put the door in, haha! ;-P

Openness to helping due to recent art exposure: +1

Painting really rough stucco: -2

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Work in progress

As I was scrubbing…. er, “painting” along, the hashtag in my head was #slowesthousepainterever DH finished his other project and came to the rescue with a roller.

…. and we discovered – Oh look! The paint we used does not match the wall! Frick! Now what? The most straightforward thing to do was to paint the rest of the wall. But I just couldn’t face slapping more paint on the stucco. And then I thought – What if I Zentangle it?

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Serendipitous art! For zero foresight, planning, sketching or anything, I’m pretty happy with how this came out. This project went from #slowesthousepainterever to #izentangledmyhouse ! Haahahaaaa!!!

Today’s Zentangle tool: cheapie, 3″ brush. This ain’t your Micron pen!

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Hooray for spontaneity!

Chore turning into art: Priceless

*I learned about Zentangle last year. Before that, I believed “I can’t draw” and “I don’t like art.” I didn’t realized I had art inside me! My Zentangle albums are here and here.