Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Overthinking

  

Remember those commercials where a movie star is standing by the stove and holds up an egg and says "this is your brain" and then throws it on a hot skillet and says "this is your brain on drugs"? I feel like overthinking could also be the cause of the frying egg...

This is my brain overthinking: a massive explosion that occurs over one simple idea that starts as a spark and then blows up everything

The anti-overthink? Wise friends. Friends who let you spill out the crazy, consider its origins and give you some realtalk to help you sweep out the cobwebs. Rinse and repeat.

In addition: strongly consider a night at home with a book, a cup of tea and your snugly pet and/or human of choice.

Put out the explosion. Choose to have a better day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Catastrophize

I finally have a word for the way my Mother and I manage feeling overwhelmed.



ca·tas·tro·phize

verb: to view or talk about (an event or situation) as worse than it actually is, or as if it were a catastrophe.

Origin:
1960–1965; catastrophe + ize


When something feels like it is too much to bear, we go ahead and make it even worse than it is. We talk about every worst case scenario and how it is very possible it is entirely insurmountable. This results in the other person having no choice but to disagree and relate all the other possible outcomes and possibilities for redemption.

If we catastrophize something, there is a guarantee our comrade on the other side of the table or other end of the phone line will come back at us with some sort of hopeful wisdom. We set up our friends and family for success because our dramatics give them no option but to sound more sane than we do.

Thanks Chels, for giving me a word to accurately describe a family trait.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Confessional


I think that there is real beauty in a variety of the Catholic Church's traditions. One of the aspects that I find myself inappropriately envying at times is the confessional.

I am a naturally introspective person, sometimes to a fault, and once I realize certain thoughts or feelings, I have a burning desire to tell someone about my impossibly frequent epiphanies.

The thing is, I would prefer to tell someone who is obligated to a higher power to never share what I've said with others. I want a person whose job it is to reserve judgment and never bring up my previous confessions. I want someone who cannot acknowledge they know me, even if I visit them multiple times in a day. I want to tell someone who can't alert me to the variety of contradictions in my realizations.

I  think I idealize the warm anonymity of a confessional booth. While I am at it, could I request that Morgan Freeman or Alec Baldwin be on the other side of the screen?

If we are dreaming up scenarios, I would like to request a soothing, rich and textured voice to give me vague responses to my stream of consciousness confessions.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hope after Boston

 
Seeing the tragedy and destruction in Boston yesterday broke my heart. I trained for a half marathon just under a year ago, and all I could think of during the news coverage was "they worked so hard to get to a finish line that became a death trap."

I felt angry and more than anything I felt hopeless in the face of yet another random act of violence. So, today I started looking for hope. I started looking for the thoughts and wisdom of others to keep me afloat through yet another wave of violence in our world. Below are some of my favorite findings. I believe that good will overcome evil and that those who seek to keep hope in humanity alive can still win. 






Give hope and prayers for Boston.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Someday


Fridays are good days for daydreaming. They are great days for making lists of things you will do, when you get the chance.

On my list today:

1. Canyon rock climbing
2. Scuba diving
3. Sky diving

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Warmth


It's almost the weekend and one of the things I have been day dreaming about over my past couple of sick days - has been my dream home. The things that I want, and the feeling I want my home to have. I want it to be warm, cozy and full of reading nooks, bubble baths, cups of tea and warm sugar cookies. I want to fill it up with people I love and maybe even some I hardly know.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Cat Dish

Anne Lamott knows my heart and my twisted up head:

“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.”
Anne Lamott


There are those nasty little thoughts that swim around your mind and threaten to run the show. They sneak in when it gets dark and when you are alone. They creep in when you aren't looking and when you are least prepared to manage them.

One moment you are feeling optimistic, the sun is shining on your face and you are reading a book. The next moment, some little thing has entered your mind and made itself comfortable in the most uncertain and insecure parts of yourself. You just put a tape on loop that makes Jesus want to drink gin straight from the cat dish.

I don't have an explanation for why this happens but I know that I have been forced to find solutions for it. I know for me, that church on Sunday helps. I know that being outside helps. I know that writing down all the evidence that things are going to be ok helps. I know that loving on others helps.

I know that crawling into a hole and accepting the nasty little thoughts as tenants is not an option.

I'm going to grab a cat dish and join Jesus in a quick drink, then we need to get our butts up and go find the good.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Directions


I spent a lot of the past three weeks trying to talk sense into the places in my inner-most self that refuse to be reasoned with.

Thankfully, I am surrounded by emotionally intelligent, devastatingly hopeful and positively inspiring women. These women help me process. They become a life line to who I am at the center of all the things that make me.

There are a thousand different ways to convince yourself that fear is both reasonable and necessary. Fear is a consistent companion and you learn how to live with him in the passenger seat. You learn what neighborhoods to avoid and where to lock your doors and roll up your windows. But I think what I'm realizing, through my processing, is that my favorite places in the world, the areas where I have learned to open up my mind and my heart are the places fear tells me to avoid.

I think that Paulo Coelho knows why. "Don't allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily." My mind has a laundry list of all the reasons not to do things. My mind is acutely aware of the dangers of optimism, of hope and of patience.

But my heart is aware of what I need. My heart is aware of what brings me joy and fulfillment. And if my mind is going to give up on the things that I value most, because they are difficult, I'll choose to ignore it.

I will choose to roll down the windows and let my heart give me directions instead.

 
Photo Credit:welcometomyfinland: Frozen flower/Jäätynyt kukka