Boundaries, Resistance

Reading the News

One of the lessons of Tiny Habits is to simply watch what I’m already doing, (without judgment) and build on that. This is a way of looking at where my motivations lie. (It’s also a lesson of from animal trainers—try as I might, climbing a tree is a behavior I’m not likely to elicit from a seal).   

Interesting things that come out of this. For instance, in my mind, I’d love to be someone who doesn’t read the news. There’s a lot of judgment and effort I’ve put into not reading the news. 

Yet, I still do it daily.  

I’ve found I can build habits into my life that preclude reading so much news, and also that I actually just enjoy reading the news.  

There’s a chance I just haven’t tripped over the correct approach to excluding news from my life. There’s also a really good chance that all the judgment and shame I lay on myself over my news reading habit is just wasted energy.   

David Burns/CBT, Resistance, Shame, Somatics

Questioning Procrastination

What are the steps involved in doing the work? 

Get tiny. Can you go into the room? Can you sit down (if that’s required to do the project). Turn on the computer, etc. . . 

Where do you get stuck? How does it the stuck-ness manifest in your body?

You might want to note when Resistance pipes up and what it says. 

What value is resistance protecting for you? 

Is it a value you want to serve? If the answer is yes, maybe it’s time to ditch the project? 

Maybe you’d rather serve a different value and finish the project? 

Maybe there’s a negotiation you can have with the work and the project so that you can do it on more agreeable terms?

Imperfection, Resistance, Songwriting, Writing

Once I start, what will I fall in love with?

Looking at a blank page, it’s easy to believe nothing I do will be very good or measure up to what I’ve done in the past. Yet most things I’ve done in the past started with a similar blank page, while I experienced similar feelings of anxiety.   

Waiting to feel good about what I create has rarely made the work good. But starting has.  

An idea rarely feel great when I begin. Most ideas are barely an idea when I begin. It’s an hour or two later when I look back on what’s been created that I feel satisfaction and enjoyment with the work. (And if the work is good, I’ve generally forgotten all about “me” at some point in the effort).

Telling myself I was inspired when I started is usually a lie, and a dangerous one. Most work I do starts in uncertainty and trepidation. But picking up the pen or pencil and starting to write, or draw lines on the page is how that trepidation begins to take same and solidify into the Work.   

The question isn’t; “Can I think of anything good to create.” It’s; “Once I start, what will I fall in love with?”

Here’s an update on the incomplete drawing from Monday. The progress is in the bicycle which has been a little better defined, and is now blue. “Slow and steady wins the race;” my second grade teacher used to say.

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Imperfection, Inherent Self-Worth, Resistance, Self Love, Self-Care, Shame

Befriending Myself

The following is an email from the past, composed on June 27, 2020. It is being delivered from the past through

Dear Future Timmy,

I’m working to look out for you better. Even now, as I write this, I’m noticing a habit I have of denigrating past Timmy.

I can imagine this letter arriving in my inbox in six weeks. Sometimes I receive an email like this and think Timmy a fool, a naif for dreaming, for being aspirational. A message like this arrives and I’m mortified. Embarrassed that past Timmy could believe some present-Tim in the future would follow through. Or would want to read these words that an angry, embarrassed future Tim may want to call drivel.

Recently, I reread Liz Gilbert talking about her stewardship of her self. How she cares for, attends to, and respects herself. She even befriends herself. Applauds herself. Hi-fives and offers joyful standing ovations for her own actions. A part of Timmy perks up his ears on high alert to danger when hearing these stories. There’s a part of Timmy that says I don’t dare do that. That part looks at other parts of Timmy and imagines they need stern words and harsh treatment if there’s any hope for Timmy to be responsible, to fit in, to be worthwhile.

I wants to experiment with Liz’s way of doing things for a while, for future Timmy’s sake. Which means I thanking past Timmy. Thank you for your hope and aspirations for me. Thank you for the reading you’ve done. Thank you for all the songs you’ve written and the people you’ve reached out to bravely. Most recently thank you, past Timmy for all the hard work you put into The Creative’s Workshop. And into training to be a coach for others, and a friend to me.

Sending my best,


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