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Pair #40 Should-ing all over yourself
Self Care? Oh, I highly recommend it.

For me.

However, for about 20 years I tried (um, read “failed”) to establish a regular routine of either yoga or meditation or both. I had heard about and believed in both as good things I could do for myself.  My very earnest attempts at this however,  are best summed up not under the heading The Art and Science of Self Care but rather as Elese's Awesome Intentions and Marvelous Wishful Thinking.

My self-care rallying cry was, “I really should do this.”

I hear this a lot from clients who come for coaching.  We will delve into an area of their life that isn’t working, and it will become clear that the reason they are feeling increased stress, or are suddenly less able to maintain their cool with the kids, is because they are not taking good care of themselves.  When they realize they’ve not been going for walks, not reading, not singing or whatever it is that nourishes them, usually the first thing out of their mouths is, “ Yeah, I know, I really should do this.”

Now, that may be perfectly true.  Maybe they should. Whatever that means. I thought I should meditate but that never helped me to actually create a regular practice.  Here's the skinny as far as I'm concerned...
  • Everyone who has a gym membership and doesn’t go tells themselves they should. 
  • Everyone who wants to take vacation and doesn’t tells themselves they should.
  • Everyone who has an addiction at some point, tells themselves they shouldn’t.

“Should”  and “shouldn’t” sound accurate (especially when it come to over-eating and exercise) but they just don’t work to make us do it. They work really well to make us feel bad though!  And from what I see,  I can never feel bad enough about something to make myself do it.

Fast forward to today.

For the past 4 years I’ve had a daily meditation practice of 20 minutes (sometimes 10 and sometimes 5, I’ll admit) but I rarely miss a day.  How did I do that?  I started taking notice of what my life was like when I did it, and what it was like when I didn’t. No big deal really.  I noticed how much easier my day was when I did meditate.   I tuned into that, without really trying to make myself do it, and then apparently I just continued.  I continue to continue, I’ve noticed.

My recipe for doing something you are avoiding but that you think will nourish you, support you and make your life easier? Observe.  Notice your life with it.  Notice your life without it.  

Think of it as a Science Experiment.

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
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Pair #17 Just Dying To Shop
Being in NY for Supercoach Academy every month is giving me lots of opportunities to eat out, walk, people watch and shop.

And shop.

Shopping is an old pasttime of mine.  No, let's be completely honest - shopping was a big addiction and a large part of my life.

Just like anything of this nature, alcohol, sex or any other 'pasttime' that hangs around, it's all about looking for things to feel better.  We think the things create the good feelings, so it's natural to go seeking stuff that 'makes us feel good'.

But no matter what the compulsion, many of us have started to notice that it doesn't actually work for the purpose intended.  At least not in the long term.  It just moves the pain around for a while.

If you consider the way we learn to think about the world (pleasure comes from having and getting things, safety comes from protecting ourselves against horrible things*)  It's very understandable.  And frankly, for some of us it will take reaching the very end of the rope of endless seeking, before we even start to consider that viable alternatives might exist.

I do think we have a longing for something in life, but I don't think that is the same thing as nagging insatiable desire.   It is a tragedy to confuse  the two.  Once you come to believe that happiness can only lie in satisficing desires, you are doomed to a life that is driven by acquiring and then the real tragedy emerges: it is not so much that we can't ultimately get what we seek,  but the looking back on life and realizing you've wasted it seeking something you didn't need.

I don't think a closet full of clothes would make up for that.  Somehow.
* The idea of Getting and Protecting Behaviors was, as far as I know, developed by Greg Baer.  You can hear him talk about Relationships and Truth Telling  on this show from March 20th, 2010.
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.