Tuesday, June 14, 2016

We All Have Shit Days

This morning I woke up cranky. Like binge-watch crappy reality TV, stay in my PJs til 3 pm, eating a bowl of popcorn the size of my head, and drinking before noon cranky. I didn't want to see anyone, do anything–even the dogs were annoying me! That is saying something!

So I angry cleaned, but that didn't even work. Cleaning was making me crankier, whaa?! Angry cleaning often makes my mood better, or at least the clean house does.

So I just surrendered. I accepted my cranky bitchiness, plopped down on the couch and watched embarrassingly bad reality TV. It was deeply satisfying. After some leftover heated up scalloped potatoes, scrambled eggs and too many cups of coffee, I still wanted to throat punch everyone that crossed my path (no I did not actually throat punch anyone, I stayed home for this reason); I mustered up some energy to get the few things I needed to do today, done. I reluctantly peeled myself off the couch, half-assedly put on yoga pants, like somehow that is an acceptable equivalent to PJ pants (trust, I contemplated wearing PJs in public today. NO I did not, don't judge) and ventured out, hoping to holy hell I saw no one and didn't have to talk to anybody. Don't even get me started on the irritation level when I got to the place and had to wait 30 minutes because they were closed for lunch, "Seriously, who needs to eat lunch?!" (See the irrational anger of the day!)

I finally got home which took longer than expected, I barely dressed enough to be seen in public and 30+ minutes was passed the point of safely not running into someone I know.

Of course the dogs are pleading for their daily walk, "Fuckiing dogs! God why did I get dogs?? DoggsAH!! I don't like doggsah, whhhatt do you waaant from meeeee??!" (It's bad people!)

But I took them on a walk to the post office, which is not a regular walk for us. It is relatively short and on a really busy road with no sidewalk, but they seemed to enjoy it, and shockingly so did I.

Now that I had my "must dos" done, it is time for the PJs to go back on, the wine to come out, the buttery, salty goodness to coat my finger tips and epic bitch battles of all that is reality TV to commence...but wait...that is not exactly how it played out.

I came home. Doggies panting and happy. I didn't get the buttery salt kernels going, instead I made an Asian coleslaw with napa cabbage, red cabbage, sliced, raw poblano pepper, fermented cabbage, ginger, carrots, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, garbanzo beans in a white miso, honey, garlic, rice vinegar, Braggs liquid aminos, and sesame oil dressing. It was delicious and crunchy and salty and nutritious (clearly not an important goal of mine today). And surprisingly I am less eager to drink wine, shame watch TV and shove popped corn in my mouth.

The takeaway as to why I am sharing with you my irrational ire that has perpetuated throughout this crappy day...acknowledge, accept and even embrace where you are emotionally. Don't try to ignore it. Say out loud, "I am feeling fill in the blank (crabby, bitchy, cranky, moody, emotional, throat punchy, hangry) and I love and accept myself." It is okay to have a shit day, a shit mood, hell, a shit period in life, it happens to everyone. Rather than unleash the self hate and loathing; acknowledge, love and accept that you are human, that you have emotions, hormones or a deeply twisted relationship with popcorn and just allow yourself to be that. It too shall pass. Or maybe it occurs to you that you are PMSing hard core and that explains all the craziness! Seriously don't mess with a bitch PMSing, get her whatever she wants and slowing back out of the room. Even saying out loud, especially to your significant other, "I am PMSing hard right now," is SO valuable! To you and your significant other AND your relationship. They don't take it personally. They understand your need to eat everything in sight and will be more likely to do a junk food run for you. Win, win. And no petty fights.

Don't be ashamed of your emotions, head space, or general meh-ness. Accepting it, allowing it space to be, then pass and even kindly reminding those around you that you aren't always a heinous bitch, will allow them to give you space, and still love you once it's passed. Oh, and a little bit of exercise really, really, like really, helps with a shitty mood. Yes, I know, it is the last thing you want to do, but even 5-10 minutes, seriously, just walk, you'll be amazed! Seriously, I am somewhat amazed that I don't have butter running down my chin right now.

Lastly, my whatever meh-ness today reminded me of a simple interaction while standing in line at a cash register yesterday. The woman in front of me had two fussy kids, a cart full of baby necessities, and a bunch of cards and coupons in her hands. The kids were flailing and fussing. The mom scanned each item with her phone before placing it on the conveyer belt (coupons?) and then ended up paying with 5 different cards. Every few seconds telling her kids to be quiet, or sit still and wait. I stood watching the whole thing, thinking well poo I picked the wrong line, thinking 1 person would be faster then the other line of 3, ha ha. Rather than switch lines, rather than judge, I stood there and observed. The mom got more and more irritated. The kids couldn't do anything right. The kids were getting louder and louder and the cashier was judging SO hard, that by the time I got to the register she made a noise, an eye roll and a geez-head nod, like "get a load of that." I didn't engage immediately as I think she was hoping, you know, get on the judge-y train. Instead I said, "She looks like she is having a rough day." The cashier looked surprised and then went, "Awww." Like how sweet, I guess. I didn't think much more of the interaction, other than we ALL need to be less judgmental of each other (me included!). If we interact with everyone with compassion and love, then judgment doesn't have a place.

So I sincerely hope that in all my bitchy, throat punching thoughts, ire-filled morning while running my few errands, no one was judging me and not understanding I really would rather have been on my couch in all my PJ-princess, bitchy glory. We all have those days. For all you know that is the day the lady in front of you in line with the screaming kids is having.

Remember compassion for self and others. This has been my lesson over the last two days.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Love = Change

There are so many different ways to define, look and be healthy. We are all different and thus health looks, feels, moves, acts, IS different for all of us.

There are standard health guidelines: eat real, whole foods regularly, move daily, be happy, have meaningful relationships in your life, have a spiritual connection to your needs/soul/God/higher power, do something that fulfills you – be it your passion-filled career, or a job that facilitates your passions outside of work. Lastly, drink water, the occasional glass of wine and remember to slow down, breathe and get consistently "good" (whatever is right for you) sleep. Oh and an orgasm from time to time never hurt anyone (well maybe, but, you know what I mean), a healthy sex life is important too.

That's it! That is living a "healthy life". We all fulfill those guidelines differently and each guideline carries more weight than others, and we all prioritize accordingly. Nowhere do you see maintain ideal weight, have chiseled abs, defined biceps and triceps, flowing long, perfectly highlighted hair, fake but real looking long-ish nails, a perfect relationship, a perfect job – seriously forget, no better yet, REMOVE THE WORD PERFECT FROM YOUR LIFE! Seriously! The word alone is setting you, me, everyone up for failure and disappointment. Perfect is bullshit and there is nothing such as "perfect"!

If we remove perfect we focus on being easier on ourselves. We all need to be easier on ourselves! I am by no means preaching, this is just as much a reminder for me, as it might be for you. I think everyone struggles with this. We are all our own worst critic. We pick ourselves apart, we are constantly striving for perfection (there's that evil word again), we are never enough, doing enough, trying hard enough, and then we compare to others and that ups the ante even more, we need, want, must be something that what we aren't right now. It's gotta stop.

We must all accept ourselves as we are RIGHT NOW! We can't continually live for the "if, then's"....if I lose 50 pounds, then someone will love me. If I work extra long hours, then I will get the raise I deserve. If...then, if...then...if we all continually live from if to then, then we will never really be living our lives now. Right now.

There are so many amazing body positivity campaigns, models, progressive movements in media right now, which is AHMAAZING! It is about time we show diversity in media – size, color, sex, gender – the more we see that we are all different, unique, beautiful, and embrace different definitions of beauty and success, we might all learn to be a little easier on ourselves. To learn to love ourselves more. And I'm not talking about ego here, I am talking about genuine, heart-felt, compassionate, non-judgmental, forgiving love towards self.

Change comes from love – externally and internally – I am thinking this might be an amazing mantra for our world right now. Without getting political and global, addressing the overwhelming amount of hatred and anger and horror and sadness in the world, imagine if we approached ourselves with love and compassion, we could only approach others with a similar love.

There is a preponderance of professing self-love in media (or maybe it is just what I am aware of) which is awesome and completely necessary, but I worry about this possible trap: the need to publicly declare self-love because it is the hot thing to do. Any positive self-talk makes a difference in your perception of yourself (side note: please, please, please for yourself and everyone, stop the self depreciating, breaking-yourself-apart-talk. You might think it is funny or somehow will allow you to save face in front of someone, but the more you do it, the more you absorb it, mentally, emotionally, physically and the more you believe it. If you are your own worst critic and you are constantly cutting yourself down, then you know what, you actually believe it.) With that being said, don't lie to yourself either; if you are not feeling positive about yourself and you are hating on you, you are much better off saying nothing – out loud or mentally – then the funny, self deprecating comment. If publicly decreeing your self-love, or your no thigh gap, your bulbous-y toes, your small boobs or your dad-bod then by all means, do it, sing it loud and proud, show it off and be you! But don't do it, don't lie to yourself because you think you "should".

If change comes from love, no amount of self-hatred, self-depreciation, or faking it, saying "I'm loud and I'm proud," but still cutting yourself down inside your head or in front of the mirror naked, will facilitate real, lasting change. 

Accept, love, embrace, acknowledge yourself as you are right. this. very minute. Say it, say it now, out loud, "I love and accept myself, as I am right this very moment." Don't add a "but" or a "..." to the end of that or an "if, then," say it over and over and over, and if you know anything about Emotional Freedom Technique (see my post) tap while you profess your self-love. Do it now. Do it daily. Do it whenever you feel the self deprecating comment lurking.

If you want to change – your body, your mind space, your job, your life, your relationship, your dread of exercise – those changes will come from a place of love, a place of full acceptance, as is.

As we can see, not much changes inside us, within our immediate circles and in the bigger world from hate. No change comes from hate, self-deprecation, or cutting yourself or anyone down.

If we all learn to work on loving self more, perhaps, perhaps will learn to love others; and then real change is possible.