Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Redux

Ah, Mondays.

Some Mondays start the week off fantastically bright and brilliant; others can leave something to be desired. Some Mondays are like a train moving as fast as a bullet from a gun and heading toward something impenetrable. In those cases, you need a Monday Redux.

I recommend breakfast for dinner.

When conversations don’t seem to happen clearly and nothing goes right, you’re misunderstood, misrepresented, and feeling unsupported, and clients cut out on you at the last minute due to a death in the family, and you have to fill the gap with limited time and resources...

I recommend breakfast for dinner.

When your staff is in tears because they are stressed, people have to leave an important meeting early, intentionally mean emails are flowing into your inbox before the ripe hour of 10am, and daylight savings has robbed you of a sweet hour of sleep leaving you feeling sensitive and fragile...

I recommend breakfast for dinner.

When you don’t receive the support you need and ask for, a mandatory building evacuation happens at the height of your workday due to an unidentified object that leads (unarmed) security to wonder if it’s an explosive, and it causes you to miss eating lunch between a crammed day of meetings, and all of this leaves work undone that was due an hour ago...

I recommend breakfast for dinner.

When you roll your eyes at your boss because they unknowingly made things complicated for you and added two hours of clean up work to your plate, your main office receptionist has to leave work because he’s sick, you have an hour and a half meeting with an investigator over an important personal issue, and you’re coworker that you’re also friends with hugs you and says it’s going to be okay...

I recommend breakfast for dinner.

And when the love of your life is busy with work and you have no idea how you’re going to wake up tomorrow and do the whole thing all over again, it’s important to remember that sometimes we just have shit days. And you make breakfast for dinner.

Pour the mimosas, make a ricotta scramble, sizzle the honey bacon, devour sliced strawberries in Jack'n brown sugar sauce, and butter the (gluten-free) toast.

Have breakfast again.
Hit the internal restart button.
Monday Redux.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Brené Brown Has Ruined Me

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness. Brené Brown

I wrote last night. It’s been a long time since I carved out time from my full-time job and 2-hour+ daily commute to sit and do what I love. I expected it to be refreshing and rejuvenating. Some of it was. Then I popped around various blogs and online publications reading other works of communicative art. I wish I could say that I was filled with encouragement and insight... but the only insight I went to bed with was, “Everyone else is so talented. That’s not me.” I was riddled with comparison and envy and fear.

I woke up with an emotional hangover.

I sat outside on the patio with my coffee, feeling like the sun was way too warm for that hour of morning (which is typical in Los Angeles), and my head spun stories. It told me about all the ways I didn’t match up to my dreams.

Observing what was happening inside, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to pray, not reach for the TV remote or something to numb me from my self-made pain, and I needed to tell other people about what I was experiencing. A daunting task.

I texted...

Just have to share that I am really challenged with my “enoughness” today. Feels likes ocean waves sweeping over me of not being good enough, smallness, and insignificance. I’m sitting in it, trying to learn from it, trying to remind myself of the truth that I AM enough.

In the past, I believed sharing something that deep, that real, that honest would make me appear weak. Sometimes I still I feel like I would rather die than reveal the Grand Canyon that sits in my chest. Hold it together at all costs. Don’t cry in public. Impression management.

This is how Brené Brown has ruined me.

My head and my heart are often at war with each other, and the most powerful solution to healing that part of me that is screaming inside is to share it. I don’t lose anything; in fact, I gain dignity in sharing my truth. It is my fear that keeps me feeling small. Sharing the ache might not bring relief immediately but a lifestyle of vulnerability is a worthy, self-loving aim. (Right, Brené?)

Audacious, if I do say so myself. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Staying Curious

There are few things more attractive to me than a genuinely curious question.

I’ve had a fantastic week of getting together with old friends, mentors, new friends, and talking about our lives over a good meal. Instead of allowing the to-do lists of things to get done, errands to run, and emails to respond to taking up my mental real estate, I’ve chosen to be present with these cherished individuals. Fully engaged in the moment. Eye contact, allowing my senses to feel everything the present moment had to offer.

I’m also asking questions that allow me to learn more about the other person no matter how long we've been in relationship together. Questions that inform me simply about who they are and what feeds them. I ask and I learn.

My favorite questions to ask others recently are:

What is your biggest current challenge?
What is inspiring you?

I have been amazed to hear the responses. Some have been unexpected, and that’s a good thing. That helps me recognize again and again that I don’t ever really know what someone is facing unless I’m curious and ask without expectation or assumption of the response. It’s a choose your own adventure novel being written in real time. I’ve grown in my capacity to learn from their experiences. I’ve learned how to be a better friend in support of them. I’ve also been faced with my own challenges and inspirations.

A good question is a gift to everyone involved. Take advantage of it. You just might learn something.