Monthly Archives: January 2012

Monday… Monday…

Welcome to the first Monday post of our new regular schedule!  I wish I could say I’m to be happy to be here but in reality I wouldn’t have posted today if I hadn’t told you I would.

This is going to turn out to be a good thing though… hold tight.

Couple things about grumpy posting before I get on with the show. I’ve noticed than when I’m in a foul mood while I write a blog post it shows, and it’s often met with an outpouring of love from y’all which is appreciated but feels awkward because by the time I’ve written all my feelings out I’m doing much better and all I really want is to look or move forward.

Also, when I’m not in a great headspace I’m not as good with words. And that’s pretty important here because they are all I have to communicate with besides that horrid photo of my ass which I’m getting really sick of looking at… So, lately I keep the grumpy and confused version of myself away from the blog and share with you what I’ve learned once clarity has been achieved–all wrapped up in a nice neat little package.

While that tactic feels safe it hasn’t been particular productive.

Historically, I have had enough strength in enough areas of life that I have been able to appear quite productive without ever actually having to work that hard. This was all fine and dandy until I started to want things from life that weren’t easy and had to learn to really do the work. I’m much better at that now but I still find myself avoiding difficulty if I can help it. Part of committing to blog on a schedule is removing one of my opportunities to escape the work.

Damn, we are our own worst enemies aren’t we?

I thought a lot about what I would write today… I always think a lot (yes, don’t hurt myself… I’ve heard that one) but only when my thoughts start to sound like writing do I think about what to write. Today it went the other way. I had a jumble of messy thoughts, including some dark and nasty ones, and I would start to compose blog posts about these thoughts in my head until I realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be with these things and I’d start over with my newer perspective. All in all I think this served to accelerate my normal regulating process. I’m already a quick processor, and today I doubled my speed!

Here’s where I arrived eventually: I’m finding that there are two things I know to be true that are playing some evil tricks on me today. The first is the idea that the more I know the more I realize how little I know. The second is that I (and a lot of the world) fear what I don’t know. Shit. Can you see the problem in there? Essentially the last few days have been full of opportunities to learn how much there is to be afraid of. Of course I’m not going to stay in this place (of fear) long but it’s where I am today and I told you I would post so this is what we both get.

I know you’re dying to know what I’ve learned right? Well, for as freaked out as I feel there is too WAY too much for one blog and I’m sure we’ll get to it all eventually.

Here’s one story that is on topic with this month’s focus on revamping the physical space my soul lives in:

38 and I, for the short time we’ve known each other, are becoming close friends. I suppose I knew that would happen since her blog nickname made the opening credits in the sidebar there –> after only one lunch… Both of us acknowledge that there is ease in our conversations and sometimes we find ourselves talking about things that would be considered pretty awkward if taken out of the context of how we have typically conversed.

So when yesterday we were talking about my weight and my being overweight and how that came to be it was all copacetic. And then this morning when the words were rattling around in my head I was surprised to find that I had touched on something new and that something new (reminding me of how little I know) was scary.

There are a lot of factors contributing to my issues with food and subsequent physical condition but one of the most significant is that being overweight has served several purposes in much of my adult life. In a purely instinctual sense animals who are lost or abandoned are compelled to look or get bigger to increase the ability of their compatriots to find them–check. In a mostly metaphorical sense my weight was a form of protection or a barrier between me and what I needed protection from (like some of my less healthy relationships)–check. In a very practical sense my weight was a way to hide, particularly from attention from the leers of men, and stay focused on my goal (which as you recall was to create a “perfect family” husband, wife, kids, house, dog, etc)–(you guessed it) CHECK!

This may sound ridiculous but it wasn’t until this morning that I realized that this blog was an invitation to see me for what I’ve been hiding behind for years. I’ve left nothing to the imagination and released the power of anything I had going for me (like a height and body type that helped me get away with this situation for a long time without having to face too many of the fat-hating elements of our society) by laying it all out there in the form of scale readings and unflattering photos. I did all that quite consciously and then I was still surprised to realize that other people can see what I thought made me invisible. I have been hiding behind this extra weight for so long and now (for lack of a clearer explanation) am being seen for and by it. I have been using it as an excuse for so many things… And soon I’m not going to be able to anymore.

Terrifying I tell you.

Alright, I’m feeling much better now. How are all of you? Did this post make sense at all or should we switch to a “Music Mondays” format?

Until Wednesday. xoxo

January 1-23, 2012: the FP so far recap

I said I was going to post on Friday so here I am and yes I do want a cookie or a medal (and I’ll hang it right by the one I didn’t get for giving birth without an epidural).

The first active month of the FP started on the 25th, but prior to that I had still been making some changes. Changes that came really easily and naturally by the way… and I hadn’t told you about ahead of time… and I do wonder if that is related.

Since December 31, 2011 none of the following have passed my lips (knowingly):
Dairy
Corn
Meat
Alcohol
Soda
Coffee/any caffeinated beverage really…
Anything that came through the window of my car

I’ve been having a green smoothie (banana, another piece of fruit, sm persian cucumber, T of flax seed, 2c water, and soft pack the rest of the blender with spinach) for breakfast almost daily, really limited the snacking, and have eaten my weight in Indian food.

I have also done 10 pushups a day which may not sound like much but I couldn’t do one “real” pushup when I started and now I can get to 5 before putting a knee down for a second.

The good: it’s been remarkably easy. I have had moments, of wanting to hit the drive through and I ate a lot of Daiya quesadillas the first week to curb the cheese cravings… but not acting on the drive through (it just occurred to me that it’s really drive-thru but I’m not wanting to go back and change it) has been relatively simple.

The bad: I replaced some bad habits (that caused me significant harm) with new habits (that are a heck of a lot less harmful but still not helpful). For example, I would make a night of eating a wheel of goat Brie and a box of pita crackers from Trader Joe’s and my stomach would be no worse for the wear. Or I’d order extra naan and eat as much of that in a sitting as I did lentils and veggies… I managed to convince myself that the dark chocolate covered almonds with turbinado sugar and sea salt from trader joes were health food.

These new not-as-bad habits were even scarier than the old ones… because there were no consequences. I wasn’t shitting my guts out the next day and my weight was staying the same. They were making being self destructive easier than ever. Yikes.

AND… probably most impactful of all… I didn’t feel any better. The first time I cut out corn/dairy/and meat I felt like what a “normal” person might feel like. Totally carefree, able to respond to the world without anxiety, just really, really good. Not so much this time.

So I had a choice to make and I chose to walk away from them.

I’m cutting out more animal products (other animal’s cheeses, butter, and eggs), white flour, and white sugar. After a few days of 80% success (the leftover cheeses and chocolates seem to be making their way out the house via my digestive tract) at this my skinny jeans fit and 5 lbs are suddenly gone.

woot!

now I just need to pick some more intense physical activity to work into my routine… Talk about scary.

see y’all on Monday.

planning schmanning…

Remember how I said January would be “planning month?”  Yeah, I probably should have called it “procrastination month” instead.  I suppose I expected that inspiration would strike… and it did, but what also struck was some unexpected fear and subsequent hesitation.

I sat down more than once to plan the FULLfillment Project (FP) and the ideas came freely and easily, but I couldn’t figure out how to get them to form into a plan or project.  This is not something I usually have trouble doing.  In fact, this is something that usually comes very naturally to me.  I am paid to do it as a “Project Manager” for a very project-oriented organization.

For at least a week the table in my living room has looked like this:

it is important to stay hydrating during the project management process

Tons of post-its usually means: tons of ideas, tons of flexibility, tons of forethought (because I actually managed to think to write on post-its BEFORE I started writing), and ultimately… success.

When success isn’t immediate usually one of the following will draw the inspiration needed to find clarity:

  1. sleep–woke up irritated at lack of clarity
  2. shower–clean, but uninspired
  3. pee–this was particularly uninspiring

Obviously none worked.

I started to realize that there were two major things holding me back:

  1. Commitment–I’ve never been afraid of commitment, but somewhere deep down inside I am still afraid of what will happen if I’m not perfect (and you all find out) and while I have been experimenting with being imperfect for a few years (and no one has seemed to notice yet, phew!) it seems like committing to something here and then miserably failing at it would be a good way for everyone around me to discover that I am, in fact, imperfect and therefore not lovable.  Sigh.  (by the way, there is no need for concern here.  I am aware that you are aware of my imperfections and love me anyway).
  2. I want it all–I’ve been trying to look for a way to organize all of the ideas I have for ways to be fulfilled and pick one thing to focus on every month over the course of a year… but I just can’t… because I want to do them ALL NOW.  It doesn’t help that the last week or so has been an emotionally raw one and I am craving “feel good” experiences… In general I am a “I can do anything and therefore everything kind of person.”  

I saw this on Pinterest a few days ago and thought… Ha!  Maybe YOU can’t.

Finally today, after therapy (probably not a coincidence), I realized I had it!  I knew what was getting in my way and what I needed to do!  …and just like most things I really knew all along, but was clouded by assorted bullshit and other influences.  In addition to the two things above the main thing holding me back was that I had completely forgotten the purpose of the project…

The purpose of the project is to find fulfillment (or FULLfillment); aka get full from life instead of food (and as a result: be happy often, cease to be fat, have fun, etc.).  I couldn’t find a way to make it work in my head (or on post-its) because I had interpreted the project (and its planning) as a list of things to-do to become perfect (or healthy, or healed, or whatever…).  I was trying to figure out exactly how to orchestrate each moment of the next year so that on December 31st I can say that I am who/where/what/how I want to be.  Period.

A little lofty (ahem, unrealistic) wouldn’t you say?

So out loud in front of everyone I am giving up the idea that this project will be anything more than an experiment.  Please remind me of this in the future if you see me drifting back the other way.

Each month I will focus on one area of my life (might be by adding things, might be by subtracting things, might be by changing things, might be by maintaining things, in a box-with a fox-in a house-with a mouse)–yes, ONE at a time and, after tracking and recording my experiences, I will evaluate how those particular things effected my life and decide what I will do that information (take action, make a change, do nothing, forget about said information, etc.).

and Voila! the plan existeth…

Important things:

  • I’m going to follow the lunar calendar, meaning a FP “month” will begin at each “New Moon” and end the day before the next “New Moon.”  No, this has nothing to do with Twilight… I like that it gives an opportunity to make up for what I perceive to be a bit of lost time and I’m a bit of a hippie dippie.  And because I like to think I have this on my side: 2012 is the year of the Water Dragon. The dragon is the only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac and those born under this year are non-conformists. The dragon symbolizes power, good fortune, and new beginnings. In Chinese element theory, water produces wood which signifies growth. The water dragon personifies creativity at its best. Now is the time to use that creativity to resolve old issues and to aim to build strong new foundations. Adjustments in society structures and peoples world views and development are highlighted during a Water Dragon year. 
  • The order of things I will work on is based on nothing in particular and everything I can think of (a little astrology, a little earth religion, a little of what I think sounds good, a little of what feels more or less important, a little about what I think you might judge me for if I don’t do soon enough).
  • This isn’t really important but the sound of a drum line practicing is occurring outside my front door at this moment.  I am not getting up to see what visuals accompany the sound.  The image in my head looks like that picture right there. 
  • I am going to update the blog (at least) three times a week.  I find that I only come here when my thoughts are collected enough to present something that I can feel good about (aka: something that I think will make you think I’m still perfect).  Even though it isn’t going to be focused on directly this first month I already know that “putting on the perfect show” is something I am going to experiment with letting go of; I might as well start now.  I’m going with Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for no other reason than that’s what Paulo Coelho does and he seems awesome.  We’ll see how it goes.  Today’s Wednesday right?  Looks like we’re on the right track.
  • Probably the most important thing: I’m going to use what I call a “conscious choice log” to track my experiences.  I’m aiming for consciousness in most of what I do… I intend not to do things mindlessly or let things happen to me, instead I hope to heighten my level of awareness of my day to day goings on by looking at everything as a choice (writing it down) and then looking for the response/benefit/consequence (and writing that down too).  In here.  
Thanks Oprah for the handy little journal (from your “life class” that I never actually took because I found the name to be a little presumptuous) it fits perfectly in my bag.

Drumroll please… (did you see how that worked out?  I swear I did not plan this… magical things like this just happen to me.  It’s awesome).

The agenda for The FULLfillment Project-2012(ish)

  1. January 23-February 20: prime the canvas (nourishing the physical body that my soul lives in)
  2. February 21-March 21: creative force (making art or art-like things)
  3. March 22-April 20: just the two of us (being the parent I want to be)
  4. April 21-May 19: ish (living without knowing answers, maybe even without questions)
  5. May 20-June 18: get smart (from books and other sources)
  6. June 19-July 18: no maps allowed (experimenting with adventure)
  7. July 19-August 16: plenty (money, honey)
  8. August 17-September 15: where the heart is (loving where I lie my head and other spaces I occupy)
  9. September 16-October 14: chosen family (nurturing my relationships with both blood and chosen relations)
  10. October 15-November 12: graTTitude (yep, an attitude of gratitude)
  11. November 13-December 12: get sexy (getting, well… sexy)
  12. December 13-January 10 (2013): work smart (love what I do and do it with love)

See y’all on Friday.
xo

epiphanies, a-has, and oh-duhs

Part of my day job (what is my night job, you ask?  mother…  blogger…  crappy television programming consumer… other assorted unpaid adventures…) is to teach.  And as a teacher (or trainer of facilitator, depending on the environment) my goal is to help the people I’m with have at least one “a-ha” moment; a moment where suddenly something becomes clear and the concept(s) I’m teaching is something they can make their own–and therefore make work for themselves.  I have  a fair number of a-ha moments in life… I usually call them epiphanies (because I like to be dramatic and like religious allegory).

Lately every blog post has been immediately following an epiphany–or even more truly a part of one.  I know it’s time to blog when my brain starts to send out shoots (like strawberry plants in winter) that are gathering around something (an idea, thought, or feeling).  I can rarely get to the source or final destination without coming here.  I will have the first couple of paragraphs of a blog post in my head, I will sit down, they’ll come out, and then what will follow is usually some clarity and a descriptions of my thoughts coming full circle… all the way back around to a witty ending that somehow ties in with the title.  I always write the title first, by the way, so I’m not sure how it always works out that way… but it does. and I like it.

I rely on these a-ha moments and/or epiphanies to propel me forward.  I feel like they are a symbol of my growth.  I still take two steps forward and one step back just like everyone else, but once I’ve learned something it is always present in my mind.  Not always at the front, but at least stored away in an easily accessible cabinet that remains unlocked.

Today I had an a-ha moment, but it was not the same as the others I’ve had recently.  My latest a-has have provided me with a sense of calm direction when my divorce negotiations are getting more and more difficult by the moment.  My latest a-has have come from moments of quiet introspection while flipping through catalogs of past learning experiences and attempted imparts of wisdom from others.  My latest a-has have been motivating and inspiring me with hope… and that’s the only place where my a-ha moment today has anything in common with the others recently.

My a-ha moment today came from someone else, or rather, with someone else in my new therapist’s office.

As someone who has been in and out of therapy since the age of 11 (that’s 20… count ’em, 20 years) I am pretty difficult to therapize.  Both my work and my personal experience have resulted in a few situations: I am well versed in non-violent communication and reflective listening, I know about motivational interviewing and the stages of change, I know about cognitive behavioral therapy and behavior planning… I’m kind of a pain in the ass.

I’ve been on the hunt for a therapist for a while and after mostly relying on my insurance website as the source with limited success I’ve been hoping to find one on the recommendation of a friend.  In the absence of finding any results in more traditional methods I’ve taken to looking for therapists who specialize in something new and interesting.  I spent some time exploring somatic experiencing which was cool, but the practitioner’s affect was absent of any nurturing and I found our sessions only to be successful when I had my eyes closed.  After completing our 8 approved sessions I took what I learned and moved on.  I’ve done some bio-reprogramming and found it wildly successful in identifying and breaking some of my patterns of self destructive behavior, but it’s $150 a session and I’m broke.  Today the person I saw specializes in Brainspotting which I have yet to experience, but I’ll tell you about it later if you’d like.

Our first session was awkward in the beginning (as most therapy intakes are as we both trying and dance around the fact that we are strangers and I have come for help with my most intimate of topics), but I was in tears within 10 minutes (this.  is a good thing.  it was safe.  i cried.) and later when I started to try and explain something she gently stopped me and said “you’re telling me what you think about it.  can you get out of your head, go back to your heart, and tell me how you feel about it?”  Really?  I did that?  It was a little shocking, but not surprising I suppose.  I describe myself as someone who is driven by her feelings, but I certainly do also rely on those moments when they feelings “make sense” (aka, the epiphanies… aka, the moments when the feelings and thoughts align and are blog worthy).  It was good feedback.  I like feedback.

But the a-ha came near the end of the session after she had heard me explain all the current issues, some of the past ones, and what I was hoping to get from our work together she asked “in all your years of therapy have you ever had someone talk to you about building a relationship with yourself?”

I sat there with my mouth agape, eyes up and to the left looking for a memory of a time when that might have happened and realizing very quickly and plainly that “no.  I haven’t.”  And after that I didn’t hear a lot about what she was saying because I was having a moment (which she intuitively realized, sat by and waited for, and then asked me about–good therapist!), an a-ha moment…

She is going to teach me how to have a relationship with myself so that any time I need to recharge, seek love, connection, approval, understanding, forgiveness, attachment, comfort, anything… I can look within and find it.  I won’t be looking to other people, food, shopping, even some of those healthy coping skills like doing regular exercise and making time to do things I enjoy will pale in comparison to the effectiveness of building a loving and fulfilling relationship with myself.  Damn… I was a little taken aback when I realized that I thought that is what I had been working on this whole time.  I mean, I’m always looking inside–I can see myself, I have “good insight,” I am open and accepting to feedback, I am constantly striving for improvement–but apparently I was doing that to be better able to cope with all of the relationships I was having outside of myself. 

I walked into the room today feeling quite hopeless and helpless after a few intensely emotional days in divorce land.  I walked out feeling hopeful and confident that I was going to be okay.  No matter how much BFO and I disagree, I am going to be okay.  Whether or not my crush likes me back, I am going to be okay.  When I am all alone, with only myself, and my thoughts I am going to be okay.  It’s not like I haven’t known this all along(I really have), but I’ve always attributed “being okay” to something happening that makes it so (whether it be outside force or epiphany)… and I have no idea how this is going to work, but I am excited to find out.

I’m going to learn to build a relationship with myself that meets all my needs.  A-ha… or rather… oh-duh.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Let’s do THAT.

who needs drugs, when you have a brain…

I get high a lot.  All on my own; without any influencing chemicals coming in from the outside.  Sure, I feel a little warm from a glass of wine, and once when I ate a pita chip after abstaining from white flour for a few weeks I felt like I could conquer the world, but I really get going (and then carried away) by what happens within my own thoughts.

It doesn’t matter what it is: the potential of a new connection, a glimmer of hope that someone’s behavior has changed for the better, or the idea of a new job or home… I find possibility to be intoxicating.

There are laws about drinking and driving, but I had to figure out for myself that fantasy and technology don’t mix well either.

I’ve known this about myself for a while now; a couple of years at least… and I have worked to learn to sit in it.  Sit in the feeling or sit in the unknown.  Let it wash over me, and basically suffer through it:
1. Wait.
2. Occassionally screw up by texting or emailing someone something that is fueled purely by emotion and then crash when their response isn’t what I wanted or doesn’t come at all…
3. Wait some more.

It hasn’t been fun.

Embarking on this FULLfillment project (yes, that’s not how you spell fulfillment… I know.  I’m trying to be clever here) has had some intoxicating moments.  There are a lot of thrilling things happening in my head at any moment, and (for the most part) I am not acting on them.  I am observing them and the feelings that come along with them, and I am waiting to see if they will pass or evolve… and I am enjoying it!

Seriously.  Instead of dreading the waiting and watching, I am finding it to be both fascinating and pleasant.

And the strangest thing has happened.  The thoughts and feelings have changed…  some have gone away, some have evolved into ideas, others linger on but with less intensity, and I have experienced very few crashes.

I think I’m onto something here.  If I’m going to be “high,” I might as well enjoy it, right?

The FULLfillment Project: January 1, 2012-December 31, 2012 (366 days)

When I started to read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin in September 2011 I was happy.  After years of wanting for something that was inexplicably out of reach I found satisfaction in what I had.  That satisfaction empowered me with a tremendous sense of freedom.  That freedom prompted me to explore, and the more I explored the more I found myself winding my way back to myself, a place I had departed from for far too long and was still thrillingly familiar.
Before I finished The Happiness Project, my life fell apart.
Rather, the part of my life that I had chosen to be satisfied with and fulfilled by (my family: husband and young son) fell apart.  In less than two weeks I learned that my husband was unhappy, discovered he was having a relationship with someone else, and then he left.  Still, I held on to my happiness, and I choose to now.
When I started to read The Happiness Project I was inspired.  I thought I would do a happiness project of my own for 2012.
Before I finished The Happiness Project I was annoyed by the author, Gretchen, and her perfect, easy life.  I was certain that I would do a happiness project of my own and it would be better than hers.
Long after finishing The Happiness Project I haven’t lost touch with my happiness, but a happiness project doesn’t seem quite right.
At lunch with 38 (formerly known as “a new friend” who has since chosen her own blog nickname) on Friday I had an epiphany.  We were talking about our families and I said something to the effect of “I wanted a perfect family so badly I was willing to sacrifice anything and everything to get it.  To MAKE it happen.”  I said it and something in my mind made a mental note to think about it later and the conversation continued in other directions.  
I didn’t think about it right away, but in the next couple of days I realized I had touched on the answer to the question I hadn’t even been brave enough to ask myself yet.  
My marriage is over.  My family life is forever changed.  I have felt like the victim of these circumstances more often than not in the last couple of months and I haven’t even bothered to ask myself what I could have done differently… Instead I’ve told myself that I didn’t do anything wrong or that I did my best.  I didn’t ask the question, but the answer came anyway.  
So, the answer to “what could I have done differently” is: I could have ended it.  At any time.  I actually did once, nearly two years ago BFO and I were separated for nearly a year.  Then back together for a year before now.  But I didn’t know why I was doing it then, and it didn’t stick.  I didn’t see what I can see now.
Within the context of this “perfect family” life I had created for myself I truly believe I was doing my best.  I was making thoughtful choices and acting in ways that reflected the values of preserving that family.  It was simply the wrong life.  So much of what I wanted was in an attempt to fill a void leftover from childhood desires.  The void still needs to be filled for the longing to stop, but the interpretation was too literal.  I don’t need to create a perfect family life to fill the void.  Instead I need to be my true self and follow the path my longing takes me down intuitively.
I have no idea where that’s going to be, and I think that’s a good sign.
Today, my FULLfillment project begins.  There are so many elements that I am not entirely sure where to start.  I love planning as much as doing so this project will begin there.  January is the planning month.  I will still come here to write about whatever is on my mind, but most of the planning will probably happen off screen (pencil and paper still works better for some things).
What I know for now:
The Rules
I’m not a big fan of rules.  Just like anyone else I want to create them when I feel afraid, but outside of those situations I find them to be far too limiting.  My household does maintain a few, however, and if they’re good enough for a toddler they’re good enough for me.
1.     Take care of self
With spiderman this rule helps me encourage the eating of healthy foods, getting out and getting active, keeping safe, getting enough sleep, learning about feelings… hell, there’s nothing to reframe here.  This is an important rule.  Same at home as it is here.
2.     Take care of others
With spiderman this rule is more about limiting name-calling, learning how to talk to other people, recognizing that momma is a person and not a piece of furniture… so just a tiny bit of reframing here: I won’t do anything to intentionally hurt someone.
3.     Take care of environment
With spiderman this rule is about using crayons and markers on paper instead of the walls, only jumping on the couch at home (not at other people’s houses), picking up after ourselves… here it’s going to be about my relationship to the earth, my home, the places I go…
In addition to The Rules, I’ve begun compiling a list of Things I Know to be True.  It’s likely to grow and change (and it will reside in the sidebar to the right from now on), but here’s where it is starting.
food
apples cure hunger.
take a snack– you’re going to want it.
you can’t get full if you’re not fulfilled.
some foods will not only not feel as good as you think, but they’ll feel AWFUL tomorrow.
parenting
my child doesn’t need to be happy all the time.
validate. validate. validate.
my job is create a safe environment for him to become whoever he is going to be.
people
we all do the best we can with what we have in the moment.
people want to help–let them.
everyone has a gift.
everyone wants (and needs) to belong.
life
how to get what you want (1. relax, 2. see it, 3. want it, 4. let go).
if we’re going to make up stories in our head, let’s make up good ones.
unknowns are innevitable–sit in them and be still.
there are no failures–only learning opportunities.
And finally, before I head off to do some of my more domestic duties…
It’s important for any project to have a feedback loop.  A place and time for evaluation.  It can happen at the end, it can happen throughout, it can happen at end points throughout… it just has to happen.  Without it, what’s the point?  This project is open to your feedback continuously.  Please leave comments with your reactions to any particular post at any time (and check back to the comments section and/or future posts for my responses).  I will be evaluating each month at its end to determine how (or if) the choices made contribute to my fulfillment.  How will I know if it’s been successful?  Well, I’ll tell you.
This is what I’m like when I am my best self (Inspired by “how I feel when I feel well” from the Wellness Recovery Action Plan by Mary Ellen Copeland):
(this list will also permanently reside on the sidebar over there à and may evolve with time)
airy-fairy–in touch with my spiritual self and ideas that are bigger than myself.
amused–by nearly anything.
appreciative–of simple things.
articulate–the words come easily.
aware–of my feelings, my body, sensations, energies, surroundings, and others.
conscious–of my needs and values and my actions directly relate to those values.
decisive–i know what i want and what i don’t.
inspired–ideas flow endlessly.
interested–in the world, the way things look, feel, smell, taste, and sound.
light–a little floaty feeling. yeah, really.
organized–my thoughts, spaces, and plans come together beautifully in my head and/or on paper.
If these things happen, it’s working.  If not, it’s not… but it all counts as learning, so it all counts!
Until next time… xoxo