Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Amygdala Hijacking (oh noooo!)

I am a relatively busy person--and like many busy people, I keep post-its on my desk and a wall calendar next to my desk to help me remember the things I need to do. It always seems like a good idea to write things on post-its. If I'm on the phone and need to remember a phone number, name, and date, then it's much faster to reach for a post-it than scramble through my book bag for my homework planner that I don't look at very often anyway. For the big important things--like a meeting or a deadline--I make sure to write them down a few times, like on a post-it, my calendar, my homework planner, and sometimes my hand. And still I manage to forget a lot of important things. Why is this??

I'm sure a lot of it has to do with my fear of taking responsibility for my life, being fully present, awake, and engaged, and of being seen and heard. On the one hand, I often want to be seen and heard, but on the other, the more I am seen the more opportunities I have to make a mistake that someone will notice. My unconscious mind tries to convince me that if I hide in the "background" and don't step up to actively paricipate in things I'm asked or have committed to do, then no one will notice and I can slip away "safely."

What my conscious mind is slowly realizing is that people notice me when I'm not there. I am seen and heard even when I'm not around to be seen and heard--what I mean is, my lack of presence still has an impact on others, especially those who I have broken a commitment to.

My lack of presence also has an impact on me, no matter how much my unconscious mind tries to tell me that I'm not missing out on anything if I don't show up to the meeting I said I would or to the class I signed up for.

So how can I fight my unconscious mind when I'm already doing "so much" to thwart it (see: post-its and hand notes)? I need to work with it. What's driving my unconscious mind if often fear--of rejection, of failure, of not being recognized, of not mattering, etc. I don't need to fight these fears or pretend they don't exist, because that will just make them pop up and paralyze me when I'm not expecting it. Pretending I don't have feelings doesn't change the fact that they're there. What I need to do is acknowledge the fear (or anger, hurt... whatever it is that is holding me back) and get control of my mind back. Instead of being mentally hijacked by fear, I can name the feeling and decide to go to that meeting anyway. Without acknowledging the emotion, I can't take back my mind and I will continue to operate unconsciously, but if I acknowledge the fear, I will be able to use thaat energy to propel me instead of drag me down.

It's a journey and a constant effort, but getting my conscious mind back from my unconscious for moments here and there is like catching the first small waves in an ocean of opportunities.

Learning lots,

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I had a great day yesterday! In the morning, my boyfriend and I made breakfast, then saw an apartment, went grocery shopping with his mom, went out to lunch, test-drove a car (that I am definitely not going to buy), saw another potential place to live next year, walked around the mall, then made a delicious dinner of steak, mashed potatoes and corn muffins, and ate ice cream while watching Indepencence Day, which I have never seen all the way through before.

One of the best parts of yesterday was the way my boyfriend and I talked about what we were really looking for in a place to live--and it turns out that we have very different desires. The most important factors (for me) in finding a place to live are that I am close to friends, within walking distance of downtown, and near people. My boyfriend prefers living in a more remote area and it doesn't matter to him how close we live to downtown. His opinion was really frustrating me because I didn't get why he didn't understand why these things were so important to me. Finally, I realized that he didn't understand because I hadn't really told him!

We talked through why I wanted to be near town--because I currently don't have a car and if I can't walk to town, I am essentially stuck in the house/apartment all day, and my job options are limited--why I want to be near people and why I want to be near my friends. Once I told him why I wanted what I wanted, he talked about what he wanted, and we were able to agree on which apartment was the best option for us. I'm proud because I got myself out of the drama (of being a victim to why he didn't understand what I wanted) and moved to a responsible space. I decided on the things I was not willing to compromise on and the things I was willing to let go of, and when I took the lead into responsibility, he followed.

The biggest win is that I wasn't alone in the conversation--my fear of "being the responsible one" is that I will be the only one, but when I chose responsibility over drama and victimhood, my boyfriend followed. I didn't feel like I had to carry the relationship and not lose my head--by having him on the same team, we got onto the same side.

Learning lots,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Risks, Changes, Productivity, and my Gift

When I was at the MORE Life Training in Chicago this weekend, I had the opportunity to do a lot of typing--more specifically, transcribing a large portion of the training. I am a fast typer and over the past year or so, I have begun to embrace that talent. I've gone from having to look at the keyboard when I type, to being able to go for long periods of time wihout looking down (woo!!!). I've even gotten faster--about a year ago when I first began to assist at the usually bi-monthly trainings, I typed at about 70WMP, and this weekend I was up to 80!

I had a lot of fun this weekend and got affirmed quite a bit for being so fast, being so willing to transcribe often, and for my strange method of typing. Historically I have been a hunt-and-peck typist. (That means that instead of resting my fingers on the home keys (asdf jkl;), my fingers hover over the keyboard, and I only use one finger (and sometimes my thumb) on my left hand.) Although I took computer class in middle school every year, I always preferred this method over the way I was taught. I find the hunt-and-peck method easier because I have disproportionately long fingers, and in order for my pinky and pointer fingers to hit the proper home keys, my middle fingers have to be bent at a 90 degree angle and my wrists bent a little sideways--it is very easy for my fingers to lose their home position. I just figured out this problem last night when I started teaching myself again how to type with all the fingers on both my hands.

You may be wondering--why learn another way to type when my method is already so fast and it seems to be working well enough? Well, I had a great conversation with a friend over the weekend who asked me something like, "What other areas of your life do you live typing without all your fingers?" In other words, where else do I settle for good enough and not push myself to use all the resources available to utlize my talents to the fullest and be the greatest gift to the world that I can be? Where do I stop at "good" and not go for "great"? Where do I accept mediocrity when I have the capability to make things better? Where do I hide in safeness instead of making changes? Where do I give up in the face of a challenge? (He may not have meant every bit of this, but that's what it meant to me.)

So, I have started to relearn another way to type to see if it will make me a better typist. It may not, but I will never know unless I try. I am taking this idea into the rest of my life and becoming conscious of the times when I only type with one finger and I could be using all ten.

Learning Lots,

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hello, eleven days later

Well, I'm back. I have been deliciously busy the past few weeks. I went to my parent's house for Spring Break and did a lot of facials and got new customers. Then when I got back to school, I had even more stuff to do! This past weekend I went to the MORE Life Training in Chicago with the Wright Leadership Institute--I have been having such a full life!

I love assisting at the MORE Life weekends because it is a great opportunity for me to learn and grow and have adventures and make mistakes, but also because I really believe in what the Institiute offers and I want to help other people make use of the opportunity to join our community. I went through a lot of personal growth work, did a ton of typing, and had a very exciting rollercoaster weekend--high highs, big mistakes, and low lows. I felt more things than I have at any other weekend, and I have solidified my decision to do whatever I have to do to join Lab (an advanced program at the Instititue). I got to hear and express some deep truths, tell people my heart's desires for them, play during lunch, and stay up late with people who want so much out of life. I feel so much joy, and some sadness that the weekend is over.

My vision for myself is that I bring energy, truth, adventure, and risk-taking to my community here in Bowling Green and push myself to engage fully with others so my life here is fulfilling, adventurous, and intimate.

I heard many new ideas on how to work my business, how to push myself to greatness (instead of good-enough-ness), and how to make my relationships with others more meaningful and adventurous.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to have worked with Bob and Judith Wright, all my fellow assistants, and all the participants this weekend. I recommend this experience to anyone who wants more out of life, wants to learn to love themselves more fully, and to create deeper and more meaningful connections with the people around them. If you're interested in attending this free weekend training in June, contact me and I will be thrilled and honored to have you come play with us!

Learning lots,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Business Smarts

I've been cranking out the facials/makeovers this break! So far I've done six faces, I have another scheduled for tomorrow, three as of yet unscheduled, and one on Sunday! Go me!

I brought some extra MK products to my parents' house because I wanted to have some stuff on-hand when I (thought I) was going to do lots of facials during the day at the school my mom works at. Due to various circumstances, the possibility of hanging in the teacher's lounge and giving quickie facials to busy teachers has been postponed for a little while. So now I have two bags of extra products that I've been afraid to take to the one- or two-person facials because that means that (as samples) I couldn't sell them.

So I've been thinking since last night, are the benefits of sampling nearly $50 of products (and so not being able to sell them) outweighed by the benefits of having customers try them, realize they love them, and potentially buy them? Logically, I know the answer is yes. When I went to my most recent facial/makeover (before I became a consultant), I was unmoved by the idea of eyesicles or the satin lips set--that is, until I tried them at that party. Right then, even though I had no money to buy them, I knew I wanted them. I even went so far as to search through all my purses, pants pockets, and jackets searching for spare change or singles. Though my efforts were fruitless at the time to wrangle enough money to buy the products, it was a good lesson for me now--sampling products is key for getting customers to buy them. People won't know how good their lips can feel with satin lips unless they try it, or how bright and fun their eyes can look with eyesicles until they put it on their lids.

So, to get myself to take some more business-friendly risks, I took the satin lips set out of the packaging and used it on my lips so that I could never in good conscience sell them to someone else--so I would have to use them for facials. I did the same with eyesicles and a 5-in-1 perfume/lipglosss sampler. Now, armed with more wonderful products that I believe in and that I know make me feel good, I'm on my way to helping other women feel great about themselves, too!

Learning lots,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Working During Spring Break

Well, it is officially spring break! I am really going to miss all this great time off when I'm out of school and have a job--maybe I should be a permanent student...

Anyway, I'm back in my hometown with most of my family for the next few days. I spent some time in Ann Arbor two days ago with some friends who dropped me at home on their way to New Orleans. I bought a beautiful coffee mug (I would upload a picture now, but I forgot the transfer cord so you'll just have to wait with baited breath until I get back to school) at a fair trade store in Ann Arbor, and walked around some old bookstores, coffee shops, and cafes for a few hours after having pie for breakfast.

So far it has been a really wonderful break! I did a MK facial with my mom yesterday and got some great feedback. She's supporting me a lot with creating new business opportunities--reaching out to people I know and being more direct and proactive about asking to do facials with them. I only have a short amount of time to meet my 30 faces goal! Eeee!

I'm feeling nervous about calling people and asking for support--I'm afraid of getting rejected or sounding like an idiot or being overly pushy. I heard once that if you don't have a job, you should make getting a job your full-time job--that is, waking up early, showering and putting on business clothes, and then making so many calls an hour asking about interviews and job availability. Well, I have a job, but it's a little bit like not having one. I don't go into an office or restaurant, put on a uniform, and type/file/serve/manage/style 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I work from home, and my business depends almost entirely on making calls and asking for business opportunities, and selling myself and my services (wow, that sounds bad... I don't mean it like that!) to people that don't know me very well. What I've got to do is push myself out of my comfort zone anyway, find support from my close friends and family, and remember that I am alright, even if I call someone and they're not interested in Mary Kay.

Well, I'm off to work my business. Make a great day!

Learning lots,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mistakes, Whoooo!

So I made my first meal in my Dutch oven last night. It was (I my have mentioned this earlier) a maple pot roast. However, I didn't have the cut of meat the recipe demanded, nor did I have the right type of vinegar. Also, I am sure I didn't have the oven at the right temperature (thanks, Book, for not telling me what temperature to set)--350 didn't get the sauce to boil, which the recipe said it should do before I covered it, so i turned it up and that didn't work either. Soooo it kind of came out crappy. The meat was dry in the end and the sauce was too sweet--now I understand the important difference between red wine vinegar and balsamic. Although I was disappointed enough in it that I took just one bite and couldn't eat any more, my boyfriend ate his portion and mine. I know he knew it was overcooked and too sweet, but I also know that he loved that I made anything at all. So I will be trying to cook in the Dutch oven again--this time with all the proper ingredients and a better recipe.

Spring break is just around the corner! I am going home to see my family and to get some dental work done. My roomates are going to Florida and another friend of mine is in California. And I will (probably) be getting a root canal. What fun.

I wrote a haibun that I am very very proud of. It is taking a lot of courage to post it here, but if you want to read it, it's at the bottom. I've been meaning to write about this subject for a while, and after talking with one of my friends about writing and our fears of "ruining a good story," I decided to just do it.

I turned in my Technical Editing midterm today! I am learning crazy things about grammar, punctuation and all sorts of things in this class that I never knew and never thought to consider. As a writer and self-proclaimed lover of editing, I am tickled pink (amused) that I've never even heard of what dangling and misplaced modifiers are, that I don't truly know when to spell out numbers or leave them in their numeral form, and that I still mix up when to use "that" and when to use "which." What was I learning during all those years of English classes?? (That is rhetorical, I know I learned a lot.)

Aaaaand now my neighbors are stomping around, banging on drums and screaming. Not joking. I guess it's time to go meet them.

Learning lots,

Walking home: a light breeze carrying the tempered chill of winter pinches my cheeks. Ahead, above the trees, the last color of the sunset stains a small section of sky dark blue green. It is the color of tornado skies, of the ocean as I imagine it, the color I wish my children's eyes could be. The color is sexuality--it looks like an orgasm. Every bit of my body aches for it to remain. The bright obelisk of the court house clock tower burns excitingly, knifelike in the green. It is unlike anything I can describe. Even my words bring on the night.

unearthly beauty--
the things
of earth.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I found the recipe I want to use to break in my newly discovered Dutch oven: maple pot roast. I found the recipe in The Best of the Taste of Home recipe book that my wonderful boyfriend got me for Christmas, which is awesome because it puts a little icon beside recipes that are especially portioned and designed for two people, so I don't have to cut them in half myself. As the recipe presupposes some knowledge in the user about how to use a dutch oven (for instance, it doesn't say what temperature to put the oven oven on, or precisely when the lid should be on and off), I'll most likely be on the phone with one of my parents for most of the cooking time.

I learned yesterday in a book that a friend and I were looking through at the library that too much compromise in a relationship is bad, especially if it's unacknowledged. I knew that before, but what stuck with me is the idea that if you always compromise on something (like if your partner has very long, difficult weekdays so you decide to do the dishes and cook dinner every day because you think it would be asking too much of him to help out since he's tired when he gets home and you have the time... hypothetically) and it's not discussed or acknowledged yet you expect something in return for making the extra effort, eventually resentment can build up and show itself in ugly ways. My boyfriend and I talked about this last night and how we can acknowledge and change the ways we make compromises for each other so that resentment won't build up for as long as it has in the past. By acknowledging eachother's points of views, desires, expectations, and fears, we are on our way to a healthier place in our relationship.

That's all for now. I'm off to work on a midterm for one of my classes.

Learning lots,