Change

This new project is stretching me in ways I’d never imagined. It’s terrifying and wonderful and overwhelming.

change treeI can feel my brain adjusting neural pathways as its pushed to produce strange connections at faster speeds. There’s a soreness in my soul as its pulled in different directions, increasing my flexibility and resilience.

This is what growth feels like.

It’s not the warm and fuzzy expansion that self-help sites praise, as though we’re cocooned in soft silk before metamorphosis and gentle fluttery emergence.

No, this is the systematic breaking down of the very fabric of my being, as life hurriedly reforms me with the finesse of a toddler reshaping a cracking lump of Play-Doh. The older I get, the more cracks accrue and the more pieces fall away, but I’m still changing. And therein lies the beauty of this messy business.

My change is eternal. My atoms will reassemble after death and continue their shapeshifting until the end of time. Perhaps our experience of change is the closest we get to immortality.

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21 day Happiness Challenge!

get happy5 simple activities repeated for 21 days straight will rewire our brains for a lasting, more positive outlook according to research by Shawn Achor.

 

Wanna try it out with me?

  1. Gratitude – think of three things for which you’re grateful, with a new list each day

  2. Journaling – write one positive thing that happened today to allow your brain to relive it (there’s an idea for a blog post!)

  3. Exercise – keeps the brain healthier than Sudoku; remember any activity’s better than nothing!

  4. Meditation – even a few minutes daily improves focus and compassion for ourselves and each other (have you seen the free Take 10 My Headspace app?)

  5. Random acts of kindness – write one person a quick note with a few encouraging words

Thanks to Shawn Achor’s TED talk and My Coaching Corner for the inspiration! To learn more about Shawn’s positive psychology, check out Good Think Inc.

Faders up

Are your faders all the way up? I’m proud of myself for doing breakfast radio today, despite feeling so ill I would prefer a punch to the throat. And I was rewarded for my steadfast work ethic with a free practice session afterward to amp up my mixing board skills. While I was slapping at faders and dials like a baboon learning to read, I realized that how I program a desk is startlingly similar to how I’ve been living my life:

Graphic of a digital sound on black bottomI’ve been so focused on trying to find ‘the sweet spot’, not too loud, not too quiet, that I’ve missed out on the freedom that comes from jumping to extremes.

Do you grapple with this kind of perfectionism too?

Side view of Sound Mixer SystemSure it’s great when everything’s ticking along nicely, but the terror that comes from anticipating glitches dampens my enjoyment of the great. As soon as I succeed with one project, I’m already predicting possible failures for the next so I can pivot around them. It would be one thing if staying in the middle groove were fun, but it’s exhausting! So f*ck it. Here’s to a newfound bravery to take bigger risks, consequences be damned. Because in those failures will be a sweet release from perfectionism, and an acceptance of myself independent of accomplishments. So let’s see what happens when we jam our faders all the way up! Sometimes it’s good to live loud.

Cry, baby, cry

Crying is a sweet catharsis. I envy people who can blubber at the drop of a hat. I think I’ve gone through so much sh*t that my threshold has become unreasonably high. My tear ducts aren’t seared shut, don’t get me wrong, but stimulus has to be something like my sister saying I’m the reason she’ll kill herself (bonkers story I won’t horrify you with, so take a deep breath and relax!). So when do you enjoy a good cry?

I miss the tearful safety release valve for the more mundane stuff, like a day when all the stupid little things go wrong. One wail fest could trump my urge to drown in chocolate or lock myself in the bedroom for a Game of Thrones marathon.

cryingPeople complain about lack of restraint in children. I know because I’m one of them! But now I suspect their unabashed screaming may be a healthier coping mechanism than the responses many of us have. So the next time your boss is a complete dick, your lover offends you spectacularly, or you’re feeling a bit wound up, just cry, baby, cry! It might not prevent obesity, depression, or point you to the solution, but…

it certainly beats just sitting there like a dry-eyed tool, flooded with unexpressed emotion. Or, come hang out with me on WordPress, and we’ll write the emotions we otherwise struggle to express.