Last week, BF and I had what he likes to call “a productive discussion”. It would be productive if we didn’t have this discussion all the friggin’ time. If the discussion took care of the issue then it would be productive. Since the discussion clearly does not take care of the issue, it is not, in my book, productive. It is tedious and exhausting, and I am SO over it. So I decided to actually, finally make the discussion productive (in my book).
I looked BF squarely in the eye, and I said, “this conversation is so 2012. We either just accept that this is how the other is going to do it and don’t have the conversation any more or we both change our behavior so we don’t have it anymore. I don’t care which one we pick. I am just not having this conversation again. I am done with it.”
And so far, we have been. The other day, BF tried to bring up the conversation again and I just looked at him.
“What?” He asked.
“2012,” I answered.
He laughed, and the conversation ended.
Sometimes, it is just that clear. You just have to make a rule for yourself and set the reset button.
And that’s what we’re going to do here today. Today, we are updating the settings in our heads to their 2013 version. Because some of those settings are completely archaic. Ready? Here we go.
Reset # 1 Quit talking to yourself like that.
This should go without saying, but it needs to be said. We are so much worse to ourselves than we are to anyone else. And what we say to ourselves become our own limiting beliefs. They create a faux-upper limit for us- telling us that we can only be this big and that going bigger, bolder, better is not allowed for the likes of us. And that limit we set for ourselves? So much lower and safer and less enjoyable than our real capacity. So here is the deal: if you wouldn’t say it to a child, don’t you dare say it to yourself. When your snarky voice comes out, tell it that it is no longer welcome in your head. You have plenty to do and not time for its shenanigans. Seriously, when that voice pipes up and says, “How dare you think that you deserve more responsibility at work; you can’t even remember to feed Esther the Goldfish?” I want you to reframe that statement completely into the truth. “I forgot to feed Esther because I was so busy wrapping up an amazing project I did for work. Life gets busy sometimes and we overlook a detail. I am moving forward (and so is Esther).” When we berate, we ignore the truth and make up lies. Stop it because that is so very 2012 and we are embracing a shift in our consciousness in 2013.
Reset #2 Start talking about yourself like this.
While you are already working on your negative self-talk, let’s push it a step further. Change the whole tune in your head and start claiming your brilliance in both your words and actions. A friend says that her closet is drowning her and you are a secret Jedi organizational wizard? If you are up for helping her, offer your skills. It is not just perfectly okay to say you are good at something. It is authentic and true to claim what you are good at and what you love. Do it already. Being real about what you have to offer is so 2013.
Reset # 3 Regularly claim your care.
Our wellbeing is in our own hands. No one else can make us go to the doctor or get enough sleep or eat well or move our bodies or drink enough water or get a massage or see our therapist or connect with friends or find time alone or read for pleasure or take a long, hot bath or you get the picture. Our care is on us- and, yet, our wellbeing matters to everyone around us and to everything we do– making our care all the more essential because of its ripple effect. Be really deliberate about claiming your care. Do at least one thing every day that is about caring for you. It makes such a difference in sustaining and energizing you, I promise. Need help? Come back on Monday when The Weekly Spark will focus on writing a wellness prescription for yourself!
Reset # 4 Resist Negative Media Messages
Every semester, my Body Image class has an all natural day. As part of that experience, we look at un-photoshopped images and photos of stars all natural. This past semester, we were looking at someone’s all natural photo and someone said, “oh, she looks terrible.” But she didn’t really, she looked like a woman in her 40s who had lived a full, happy life with maybe a little less sunscreen than what dermatologists recommend. Her smile lines were real and beautiful, each well-earned over a lifetime of loving. Mostly, my students are relieved to see people in their natural skin. But, sometimes, like this past semester, they are startled and that surprise has nothing to do with the starlet’s natural skin. It has everything to do with how unreal skin and bodies have become in the media. Don’t let yourself be fooled into believing that your beauty is sub-par to someone else’s beauty when what you are looking at is photoshopped images and hyper-styled television. You are comparing apples and alien lab-developed pseudo apple-like fruit. If you are looking at an image in a magazine, chances are high (95%, I’d say) that you aren’t looking at an actual photo. You are looking at a redone image. An image that is designed to make you feel insecure so that you will go out and consume more products. Beauty is a commodity that the media markets. Don’t be sold a bag of goods.
Reset #5 Change your mind.
So often, we think that we will finally be happy when our body changes. But I cannot tell you how many women I have talked to who muscled their body into submission only to find that it didn’t make them happy. Happiness isn’t an outside job. It is an inside job. You have to change your mind to be happy. Engage in what you love, what you are passionate about, things you enjoy. Make yourself feel loved– by you– and give love to others. Quit waiting to do things in a different body or with a degree or after you are an in a relationship and do them now. Change your mind and you change your whole world.
What is so 2012 in your book? Do any of these resets resonate with you? What are you resets for 2013?