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Posts from August 2014

A Mindful Approach to the First Day of Fall Semester: Like New Year's Day!

Road
Last year, when I wrote this post, I said that the first day of the Fall semester was like Christmas morning, because I got to come down the stairs five different times to see the presents under the tree with  each of my new classes.

 

This morning, as I contemplate the new academic year ahead of me, it feels like January 1, New Year's Day. I find myself searching for new goals, new areas of particular focus that I would like to improve upon.

 

I would like to use the tool of Mindfulness to slow my reactions down and resist the temptation to judge, to be impatient with students who waltz in late, who ask questions that have already been answered six times, and who cannot seem to form a complete coherent sentence.  These students appear to be my teachers this lifetime. I know this because they really piss me off. 

 

I would like to use the tool of Mindfulness to stay in the present moment, to not get ahead of myself with concern for the future. I sometimes suffer from pTSD. This is a new diagnosis I invented based on a Case Study analysis: my own. It stands for Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder - the experience of anxiety caused by trauma that has not yet happened - except for in my own creative catastrophizing mind. I hope to live not only one day at a time,  but one life at a time - the one that is actually happening right now in front of me in this moment. And when you think about it, most "this moment right now" moments are pretty manageable.

 

I hope to use the tool of Mindful Self-Compassion to not take myself too seriously. I Comedy Sign
intend to be a compassionate witness to myself. I hasten to add that I want to use a humorous lens through which to experience myself as starring in my own Emmy Award-winning sitcom.  Through Humorous Mindful Self-Compassion, I can laugh at myself with a knowing smile of acceptance and I suspect this will help me to extend this benefit of the doubt to my students as well.

 

OK, I think that is a good start toward a good start. 

 

Let the academic New Year begin with lighthearted mindful awareness of this moment unfolding into the next. Throw open the doors to the school; I am eager and ready to get started!

 

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It's Never Too Soon to Start Menopause

Self Concept- Valentine Candy I'm Me
Yes, you read that right. I encourage everyone to commence menopause as soon as possible. Men, that includes you, too.

When I was about 35 years old, I noticed that I had a few women friends who seemed to have it together. They were confident, self-assured, comfortable in their own skin. They didn't seem preoccupied with needing everyone's approval. They weren't constrained by arbitrary cultural norms for appropriate role behavior. If the norm suited them, fine. If not, they made up their own rules for their own situation.

 

Self Esteem

These women had voices. And they used them to speak up - to agree, to disagree, to point out inconsistencies and injustices. They spoke up just to share their opinions, to have their vote counted as though it was a legitimate contribution. They didn't hesitate with self doubt and, I hasten to add, they didn't abuse the privilege by being overbearing. 

They carried themselves with an air of self-legitimacy, taking their rightful place among other respected men and women. They didn't seem to need to convince anyone of anything. They didn't try to earn the right to be reckoned with. They just showed up assuming they had it. Incredible!

 

Menopause?

Then I noticed that they all had something in common. They were all over 50 years Woman Power Martial Arts Moveold. I asked one of these women, "What's the deal with you? What is your secret? You seem so comfortable, so self-confident." "I'm not a people pleaser anymore," she replied, matter-of-factly. "Oh, and menopause happened." Menopause? Apparently, it has something to do with estrogen levels dropping and then that unmasks the testosterone that's been there all along, waiting to finally have its day.

 

Self-Empowerment

So, I decided to start menopause at the age of 35. I liked what I saw and I wanted some of it. I got a jump on all that self-empowerment. I decided to start even before the hormone changes started. I figured when I hit 50, I'd get to be a gifted student for the first time in my life. I found out that parents aren't the only ones who get to use the phrase, "because I said so." It's a very freeing thing to say. Try it right now, "because I said so." Nice, huh?

Those of you who are in your twenties, I am so sorry. That is such a tough time, always being simultaneously anxious about and devastated by what everyone thinks of you. How exhausting! I totally understand why you feel that way; our culture does that to you. I remember. But take heart. You, too, can choose to start menopause anytime you want. Imagine the gifted student you will be by the time you arrive at your 50th birthday!

 

 Stop Being the Jailer and the Jailed

Puzzle Missing PieceJust decide today that you want to be free. You want to figure out who YOU are and what YOU want. Take back your Life. Silence the noise of your family, the culture, the advertising and the myths you unwittingly bought into. You are plenty. You deserve to be here. In fact, you have a responsibility to be here to share your particular gifts. I am meant to be gifted by you. So show up! Let's hear that voice! Start menopause!

Why?

Because I said so! 

  Wisdom Owl

What are your thoughts?I would love to hear from you! Really! Please take a moment and submit a comment.You all write such nice emails to me and I would love for them to be published for all to read. Thanks!

 

Make this easy for yourself! Let me come to you!

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When you become a Subscriber, you will get an e-mail from me when I occasionally publish a new post. The link will bring you right back here with one click. Just fill in your e-mail address over there >>> on the right side bar where it says, "Subscribe."

WELCOME!