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Nurturing Ourselves

Who do we talk to, and are we careful in selecting them? Yesterday, I mentioned Julia Cameron’s acknowledgement page in Finding Water (2009) and the power of the gifts she outlines.

She has chosen these friends and family members and cultivates those relationships. So with whom do we chose to share our journey and what do we do to cultivate the healthy relationships? How should we accept and manage the ones that are less so.

I am often reminded of the lyrics of Caledonia. Dougie MacLean wrote: “Now I have moved and I’ve kept on moving, proved the points that I needed proving, lost the friends that I needed losing, found others on the way”.

Do we need to lose friends? What about family members? Perhaps not lose all of them, but certainly renegotiate the relationships.

  • What are the messages we get from them?
  • Are they reinforcing negative messages we give ourselves?
  • Are they relating to us now or the person we were 5, 10 or 15 years ago?
  • If we met this person tomorrow would we chose to have them in our life?

I have a friend who is proposing April 1st as ‘National De-friend all those People you Shouldn’t Have Friended on Facebook Day”.

It is easy to make light of this, but it does beg the question – do I need to go on a negativity diet?

Every interaction, every conversation impacts us. Are we guarded? Available? Invested? Are we telling the truth? Asking for feedback or reflection? Most importantly are we listening? And when we listen, what do we hear?

A colleague reminds me: “How do you treat sick fish? You treat the water, their environment.”

So what might we do to change our environment to be happier, healthier?

Surround ourselves with happier, healthier people. Those aren’t necessarily the cheerful ones, or even the optimistic ones. They are the people honouring their own struggle and ours to be themselves.

We spend a lot of energy keeping our true selves to ourselves. Our “persona” is the face we show the outside world and if it is not genuinely us, we are spending a lot of energy displaying it. Underneath is a voice reminding us that the “real me” isn’t good enough to bring to the outside world.  Well why not?

Let’s shed the voice, the inner critic and look to the people we admire. We can adopt their voices, accept what it is they like about us. And affirm ourselves.


We’ll get there- and until we do let’s simply

“Fake it til we Make it”

I love and accept myself the way that I am today, I am enough!

 

You don’t have to go it alone – get in touch if you think we can help!




Association and Affiliation

I find the thing I miss the most about work in a traditional office is colleagues. The discipline of work is hard outside of “9 to 5” but manageable. It is the absence of the “water cooler” – that’s the loss. The conversations started randomly, the overheard snippets that trigger an idea, the laughter that evokes the smile that changes a mood.

Today I am grateful for gratitude. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way – published a new book in 2009. Finding Water; The Art of Perseverance is a worthy companion for anyone’s journey – but before you dive into the contents – note the acknowledgements page. It is a testament to how she has persevered. The list format, powerful in its length and simplicity reads:

Elizabeth Cameron, for her commitment; Sara Carder, for her care; Carolina Casperson, for her daring – almost thirty names – a full page in alphabetical order.  Each honours life-giving energy given and modelled by the people she chooses to share her life. They include vision, generosity, fortitude, loyalty, belief, insight, inspiration, guidance, enthusiasm, shepherding, strength and clarity.

My challenge today is to write such a list and acknowledge those people and their gifts in my life. That done I am reminded that the real challenge of this day is to be present; to choose to associate and affiliate with people who live well and model the daring, grit, wisdom, perseverance or calm I need to learn and relearn every day.