Today this phrase has been repeating in my head, if you are not moving forward you are sliding backward. There is no such thing as being “idle”. We are either growing or deteriorating, maybe that’s a strong word, but it is true. I am not saying we have to be at a full run all the time, but if there is no effort towards growth then old habits and behaviors creep back into our lives. What I focus on gets stronger. If I focus on the negative that grows and gains power over me. If I focus on positive things and improving that grows and changes me.
I got comfortable after I moved to Fort Worth. I have a great job, a 5 mile commute, a very nice apartment with quiet neighbors. I love being at home and feeling at peace. Well there is a very short distance between relaxing & being peaceful and hiding out & being lazy. While at work I was growing and gaining respect, and my spirit was finally calming from its frantic pace, my health and physical condition was deteriorating. Sometimes I feel like there are three sides to me, characterized by me at these various ages:
There is the confident, business woman who feels like a super hero. I can do anything I set my mind to and feel absolutely competent. As my boss and I say, we are “Ridiculously Awesome!”
Then there is creative, silly, funny and flirty Brenda, who has survived what life has thrown at her and still smiles. She is a strong woman who is compassionate and loving with a bright spirit. She is adventurous and loves to try new things and is always ready to grow and improve. This is Brenda the Brave.
Finally there is the little girl who is terrified, but goes along with change, only after she is done fighting it. She is very self-critical, and remembers every time she has been hurt. She is always comparing herself to others. It is amazing how much self-loathing can come from such a cute little girl. Viking Brenda (I couldn’t find a picture of me with my arms crossed)
Trying to keep these three sides all moving forward is like trying to stop the tide from rolling in and out. I feel like Super Hero and Brenda the Brave is the main part of the ocean ebbing and flowing and then there’s Viking Brenda running up the shore and then relaxing back. (attack and retreat) Honestly, I have improved over the past 5 years, but Viking Brenda is sneaky.
The question is how do you calm a raging child, so she doesn’t drag you back into the hole you just crawled out of? I have struggled with taking these actions, but in 2014 I learned a technique of “Self Therapy”, which was highly effective for treating trauma (PTSD). Basically, when my feelings would rage in some way I had to sit with myself and figure out “who” it was coming from, it was usually Viking Brenda freaking out. It was always fear based. I would spend time talking to my little Viking and let her know that I am not in danger and Brenda the Brave can handle the situation. I would talk to her with love, kindness and compassion. Now, what I needed to do on-going which I have slacked off on is spending time talking to her with love and compassion through meditation every day. I feel kind of silly, but that is how the negative tape in my head gets changed.
So my efforts in this area ebb and flow, but I decided, in October, that I was going to jump in with both feet and go on a retreat and concentrate on what I want out of life and create a map of how to get there. It’s okay to ask for help! So in May I will be attending the Matthew Hussey Retreat in Florida.
I am so excited and I know that it is going to help me pull all the areas of my life together and get us heading in the same direction. My “Core Confidence” is the key to this phase of my transformation.
Until then I am practicing things I have learned through other resources and taking these gradual steps to keep from sliding backward.
Action, Action, Action! Thrive by Arianna Huffington is a great book for the “A” personalities out there.
Resources to this post:
Get the Guy. By Matthew Hussey
Power of Vulnerability by Brene’ Brown
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Self Therapy by Jay Easley