Songwriting

What Do I Really Need?

Self-care is hard. Not the “Insta” self-care of spas and influencers, but really taking care of, and making time for my needs, and my wants that bring real joy. 

It’s not news that in our culture I’m not encouraged to take care of myself. I’m discouraged away from listening to my body. I’m encouraged to work hard, play hard, shop hard, even sleep hard. (Sleep is one of the few things I’m unlikely to make better by working harder at. There are so many ideas and things which are meant to make up for, or act as a reward in lieu of listening to my body. The hidden message of most ads is “This product will cover up or away the wear and tear of striving so hard to be happy. I’ve heard lost sleep can’t be made up for. I’m not sure lost genuine self-care can either. 

A better question is: What do I really need? What do I really want? Listening to myself means listening to the answers from my body.  What can i experience, right now that will care for my self, my body. How will I make time to do that? 

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Songwriting

Inherently Good, Most of the Time

I was asked the other day “How would you define a heart-centric person?” It’s a challenging question, but here’s a shot. A heart-centric person is someone who understands and experiences themselves and others as inherently good. (Most of the time).  

Let’s define inherently good. Being inherently good doesn’t mean that a person can do no harm, and moves through the world saintlike, performing miracles. That’s a fairytale.  It means a person takes ownership of their actions, aspiring to learn from them, yet recognizing that no action brands a soul as wrong for eternity.  

Part of Inherent goodness is recognizing that individual actions aren’t our identity. Another part is recognizing that another persons actions aren’t their identities either.  A heart centric person is focused on living in out of integrity, curious it, and a desire for understanding.  Most of the time.

I say most of the time, because I’m suspicious that every human ebbs and flows on tides of self-worth. Sometimes I’m fully able to live in my self-worth and recognize other people’s worthiness as well.  Other times I’m knocked off my spot. My aim is to return to my spot after I realize i’ve been knocked around some. To be curious about what happened, and see what I can learn about it. And also to remember that being knocked off my self-worth doesn’t make me unworthy.  It just means I want to return to it. 

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Songwriting

Just Like Me

There are people I admire for their love and their exuberance. It just feels good to be around them. But I don’t live with them. There’s a distance between myself and any person I believe leads a life without blemish. 

Once I sat in a workshop led by a person, (I’ll call them Jane), whom I believed could walk an inch above the ground. And her partner. Her partner lives with Jane. With love and understanding she told those of us in attendance that everyone loves Jane and thinks her generosity and love come naturally to her, but Jane puts a lot of effort into being the person she is.  

I was given a fleeting glimpse behind the curtain that afternoon. A person I perceived and admired as perfect has to work at it. Just like me.  

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Songwriting

Clever

I have a tumultuous relationship with being clever, or witty. For a long time, the height of my aspirations was to be clever. The first problem with that is that cleverness isn’t fun if no one recognizes my cleverness. But if I need recognition, I’m not acting out of my self-worth. My self-with doesn’t need other’s approval. Another problem, cleverness requires one-upmanship. I need be smarter than someone else, (the person who suffers from my cleverness). There’s a chain of status that aspiring to be clever creates, I’m not even at the top.

Songwriting

Disarming

Everyday I see conservations go sideways. Very often they are my own. I want to prove I’m right, that I’m sided with righteousness. If I’m, I must be wrong. Does anybody want to be wrong?  

What if I could find something in what a person says that has truth to it, and then agree? Dr David Burn’s calls this idea the disarming technique. He says when you find yourself in conflict with someone, if you want to end it, you must find the truth in what a person is saying and agree. Listening to a person and agreeing with them allows them to drop their defenses.   

It they don’t drop their defenses, they’ll never listen to what I have to say, no matter the facts or the truth that prove my side. If I hope to change a person’s mind, I have to first convince them I’m worth listening to. Or, I might decide that a person isn’t worth my respect and my agreement. In which case, what is the point of conversing with them?  

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