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Still learning: making space for success in my life

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Several years into this journey to a healthier me and I'm still learning. Today I really saw the importance of being gentle and compassionate with myself in my times of weakness and perceived failure. A few minutes of conscious self-compassion can make all the difference on how successful I will be for the rest of the day in all my life goals - from healthful eating to exercise to career and relationships.

To give you a picture, the last 10 days have been unusually hectic and busy for me; a show I've been rehearsing opened this past weekend and the week prior to opening night, in theater world is lovingly referred to as "Heck Week" (expletive removed to avoid offending anyone) for a reason.

Today was my first day without any external obligations, appointments or commitments. I have a list of to-do's that flows off the page, piles of laundry and clutter needing attentions, errands enough to fill a week and a ton of other backed up tasks to focus on, as well as prepping for a contest I was invited to join-- Best Busker in Rochester, with a 1st prize that would allow me to finally get a real, professional quality demo made. Ironically, it was also the ONLY day we're supposed to get sun or temperatures above 50 for the next week. sigh. So the pressure to 'get things done' weighed heavy on my head from the moment I lifted it off the pillow.

I felt well rested, I'd technically had enough sleep and I was in decent spirits. And yet almost from the get-go I noticed something odd; I was clutzy and uncoordinated. Not in anything major, just little things, like knocking something over and not having my normal reaction speed to catch it before it fell. And I was leaning a tad toward grumpy at external irritations. These things told me my body was NOT as rested as I wanted to believe or even as I thought I felt.

Now my old self- my pre- healthy living self would have gotten irritated and pushed harder. I would have demanded more of myself and I would have said some choice words to myself when I knocked that bowl of splenda on the floor. And my old self would have set an even tougher schedule for the day just to prove I wasn't a sissy or a weakling. However, my old self wasn't very happy.
And I thought, if this were my child or someone I loved and they were tired or not at their best, what would I do? Then I did that for me.

I stopped all my tedious cleaning tasks and I went out into the sunshine and tried a few other tasks on my to-do list until I found something that I could do today easily and successfully. Turns out that was strategy for the contest and planning. My mind was rested and full of ideas-- and it wanted to work. And I got a lot done, a lot of major realizations and focusing on how I can bring my strengths to the contest and compete where I'm strong, verses focusing on my weaknesses and becoming fearful of how I might not measure up.

And all this is very new for me, this learning to reframe things so that I have lots of room for success, for feeling competent and strong. And those little tasks I couldn't do well today, the good news-- they'll still be there tomorrow. And maybe tomorrow I'll be in a place mentally and physically where I'm ready to be successful at those instead. And they'll get done. And I'm okay with that.

I had a really good day. I feel good about myself and what I did do. And while yes, I wish I could have done more, crossed off more actual things on my to-do list and made that mountain a bit smaller, I'm finally learning that sometimes I just have to accept what I can do, do it to the best of my ability in the moment and let go of everything else. And that's okay. That's how I become successful. But more importantly, that's how I stay healthy and happy. And that's enough...it's more than enough.

So, how do you take care of you? What ways are you compassionate and gentle with you? Or how would you like to be?
Please let me know in the comments because hey, we're on this journey together and I keep learning from you, too! :)
Thanks as always for reading me.


Copyright©2010 Cassandra Kelly. All Rights Reserved.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I like this... I've been doing this more with myself recently too. "And those little tasks I couldn't do well today, the good news-- they'll still be there tomorrow." I've been doing that, and when I came to be in a position to do those little tasks... well they got done, everything turned out OK, and I was happy and unstressed when I did them. wOOt!
    4016 days ago
    I have so enjoyed reading you from the start to the end. Great big accomplishments you have made and are still in the process of doing and becoming. I love you for what you have brought and are bringing to my journey to finishing this weight loss concept to bridge the bridge to get to the maintaining stage. I am still losing and the only time I weigh in is when I go to the asthma clinic which is every two to three months. So far it is working out very well like that. I just keep focused on doing what is the right thing and things to do as each day comes into view and it is working out really great this way. I am in the process of forming so many good and valuable living and eating and exercising habits that will be with me for my life time. Each and every day is a new page in my life. No two days are alike. Each day has its own life and learning aspects and abilities. Thank you so much for sharing so much of your spirit and soul and your wealth of wisdom that has really been a great big help to me. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4018 days ago
    I Liked reading this and the way in which your real you told your surface you what had to be done (or not done in this case!).

    We really must listen to real messages but it can be difficult to distinguish between these and fakes!

    Still, you have obviously got the hang of it.

    Wishing you every success in the competition and with the show!
    4019 days ago
    Wow, you did that so well! Thanks for sharing it.
    My current problem- at work, I am producing about 4x more 'product' than the rest of my team. My error rate is about exactly the same as every one else's... but that means about 4 x more errors. Like- I do 200, person x does 50. They make 1 mistake- I make 4. I'm such a freaking perfectionist, that I keep hearing that I made the most errors. (I'm working about 3 x as many hours... I am a superstar, but I'm putting in more hours, too!)
    Duh. My crew leader brings it up that way. Like, read the 196 RIGHT first! Please! I keep having to walk away from the meetings with the mantra going, or I get crapped out by it.

    4019 days ago
    This was exactly what i needed to read today. I am very hard on myself on a regular basis. I am on my way to a healthier me and I will definitely try to take a few pointers from you and cut myself some slack. Thanks for sharing. Take care and God Bless. Rick emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4020 days ago
    Thanks for sharing the beginning fruits of your maintenance journey. I will be there this year and I know that this phase can be harder than the losing part. But, I'll take maintaining any day. I give you props for losing all the weight. You are a blessed woman and have so much to give to Spark and all of us here. Take it one day at a time and one minute of everyday and everything that you need to get done will be done. You might want to make your list or look over your list and cross out anything that is not necessary for you to spend time on or pass the task over to someone else. Pray for God's guidance and He will show you now to do what you need to do in the 24 hours He has blessed us with each day. Like you said, there will be a tomorrow and we must live for today on TODAY! Congratulations again for losing all the weight and sticking around so that we can learn from you during your maintaining phase. Be blessed and know that The Lord is the Strength of your life. Ask for His Help and He will give it. Have a great day!!!
    Many Blessings to You!
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    4020 days ago
    This was a good read. Thanks!
    4020 days ago
    I think this is sort of like getting out of our own way...
    You really are onto something good here!!
    The day you describe, could be any of us on any given day...the key is stopping and taking those few minutes and recognizing that we always have a choice...and can always turn our day around if we choose!
    I am slowly learning this, and i am going to borrow your idea of thinking of myself as a small child and how i would treat them in any given situation....
    it works on so many levels!!
    4020 days ago
  • PRESHA911
    Sometimes, the hardest changes we make are within ourselves, not on the outside (by losing weight). Kudos to you for adopting a more positive, self-giving mindset. I'm still trying to work on it, but I think if I'm just more mindful of my thinking and wonder how I would treat someone else feeling the way I do, perhaps I'll make the right decision for me.
    4020 days ago
    As I was reading this I was starting to think that the universe was telling you not to try your "to do" list and you came to that on your own.!!!
    I have had similar things happen and after the universe kicks my A** a couple of times I learned to let go for a bit and things work out. On the other hand I still need to make those to do lists for times when I am just plain lazy. LOL

    Hope that you win the contest! I know you will do your very best. Besides, you are good.

    4020 days ago
    Great perspective!!!
    4020 days ago
    What a neat way to look at it. I would probably be like the "old" you - fuss at myself and push to do the "important" stuff instead of the brain work I felt like doing - and the result would be a very frustrating, non-productive day. I'll keep this in mind!
    4020 days ago
  • ASH72461
    that is a different way of looking at things
    i like it emoticon
    4020 days ago
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