This one's personal ... the key to self-confidence? Part 2

Part 1 (recap from Feb. 29)

As anyone who’s ever watched an episode of The Louise Log might imagine, a lack of self-confidence, has been the bane of my existence. I’ve tried ignoring it and acting as if I feel sure of myself, I’ve tried affirmations, read every self-help book in reach, gone to psychics and to therapy, consulted the I Ching and The Runes. It all helps.

But it’s all felt like band-aids, that I’m a broken person pretending to be okay.

Part 2

Over the past number of years, the gobbledygook of ‘The True Self’ and ‘The Inner Child’ has been in the air. Both sound corny enough to be right out of Roz Chast cartoons which, as far as I'm usually willing to admit publicly, is where they should stay.

But I've heard that ‘connecting’ with one or the other can be a crowbar to change. And though I’m a very practical person with little patience for forays into the rat’s nest of my past, who wouldn't be curious about psychological crowbars?  And then the question arises, just in case you wanted to ‘connect’, how would you?

Being visual, I figured that if I ever wanted to, I’d do it by looking at the pictures I have from childhood. Unfortunately, studying them gave me only the usual sense of rooms and places. It wasn’t until I read about ‘non-dominant hand writing’ that the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.

I finally got around to giving it a try the other night at 3AM. After tossing and turning for an hour, I got up and went to make a cup of tea, looking forward to the single good thing about insomnia, the bonus ‘found time’. Waiting for the water to boil, I figured I had three minutes to kill and tried writing a question to my “Inner Child” with my ‘dominant hand’ (the hand I write with) - nothing fancy and no expectations:

“Hello (childhood nickname too embarrassing to reveal). How are you?”

And then I put the pen in my other hand. Within half a page of very bad handwriting, I’d crossed over into The Twilight Zone.

It was as if a periscope had dropped into a specific moment of my childhood: the past and the future stretched in opposite directions away from a precise present. I’d made contact with (and was channeling?) a presence or a personality of a very young version of me but whose perspective, until then, I’d only imagined.

This didn’t feel like imagination. It was too distinct, she was too mysterious. And as we wrote back and forth, I felt more aspects of her personality, especially her innocence and her vulnerability.

And then it got even better: I was flooded with an unusual calm and a sense of being 'enough'. Something like the feeling of falling in love, I was relaxed, with a sense of compassion and of being exactly where I was supposed to be. And it felt as if I had all the time in the world.

This may be, for me, the brass ring of life. After decades of yearning to feel strong, to feel capable, to feel enough, in a matter of a few minutes I somehow tapped into what feels like the source of self-confidence.

It’s so radical, I can hardly believe it’s true. But for today, it still is.

(Click on the Like button below the picture for something instant and delicious ...  And if you want to Share this, please hit the 'Share' button right next door. Thank you!  \o/ )

On my mother's lap, wearing tap shoes.

On my mother's lap, wearing tap shoes.

This one's personal - and all about change (Part 1)

When I told Mr. Green about what had happened the other night, his reaction was:

“Annie, it’s unbelievable. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening, especially not overnight.”  

I reminded him that it hadn’t happened ‘overnight’, that it had happened instantaneously. He choked out a dry little cough of the inexpressible:  

“I know. I heard you. I was trying to give you the benefit of ‘overnight’. Instantaneous is … incomprehensible.”

To keep this blog going, I’ve had to write about pretty much whatever’s going on in my life. It’s a special bonus if it’s related to my effort to get The Louise Log out to a wider audience but I don’t always have something newsworthy.

What happened the other night was so personal that I’ve been hesitating to write about it here. Thinking that maybe it’ll be worthwhile for someone else, I’m forging ahead.

As anyone who’s ever watched an episode of The Louise Log might imagine, a lack of self-confidence, has been the bane of my existence. I’ve tried ignoring it and acting as if I feel sure of myself, I’ve tried affirmations, I’ve read every self-help book that ever caught my eye, I’ve gone to psychics, I’ve gone to therapy, I consult the I Ching and The Runes. It all helps.

But it’s all felt like band-aids: I’m a broken person pretending to be okay.

(Trying to keep this blog to 250 words so please check back on Wednesday. And please don't hesitate to click on the 'Like' button under the photograph for something instant and delicious ...  If you want to Share, please hit the 'Share' button right next to the 'Like'. Thank you!  \o/ )

Me at about five years old.

Me at about five years old.

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 179 (How To Be More Confident and Serene with Built-in Meditation from Leo Babauta's "The Power of Less")

For decades I've known that it'd be a really good idea for me to meditate.  It would probably help with focusing.  It might even help with feeling good enough in my own skin that I'd stop looking 'out there' for everything...  answers, affirmation and that elusive *self-confidence*.  For something so potentially powerful, of course I wanted to get it right. 

And so I read books and even took a course at East West.  The most help came from talking with my friend Bernadette who had meditated daily for seventeen years while she lived in an ashram in India.  She told me that meditation is more than anything like slipping into an old t-shirt.  She also suggested that I read Meditate by Swami Muktananda, a very thin and simple book which I loved

And so, with this guidance and encouragement, I've actually had some success with meditating.  Occasionally.  The problem is keeping at it.  I forget how beneficial  it is and let complacency and real world pressures eventually push it to the back burner and then out the back door.  The idea of setting aside ten or fifteen or even five minutes to just, what, sit there??  This has been the hardest part.  Who has time for that?  Not me.  Not usually.  Not unless I'm out of my head frantic or otherwise in trouble do I risk just sitting there.

And then the other day, listening to The Power of Less  (in audiobook) by our old friend Leo Babauta, I heard and decided to try the suggestion to cool it with the multi-tasking.  "Don't read when you're eating.  Don't watch television or even listen to the radio when you're eating.  Just eat.  Pay attention to the act of eating."  (quote is approximate) 

My efficiency maniac within had a hard time with the first five minutes of this, but to my surprise, I've very quickly come to love 'just eating'.  The peace of it seems to expand out beyond the length of a meal.  I feel LUXURIOUS.  It even makes me feel important. And here's the most amazing thing: it's actually a form of meditation to just focus on tasting and chewing.  For someone who loves to eat, this almost feels like cheating.  And best of all, it's built into the day!  Yes I know you're supposed to Never Eat Alone.  But how about one meal a day? 

It's easy to overlook powerful simple things all around if you don't have that stillness that comes from meditating.   

Special Thanks to Victoria Trestrail for my copy of the audiobook "The Power of Less".