Boundaries, Inherent Self-Worth, Self Love, Songwriting, Writing

Self-Love, in the Third Person

Recentlly I heard Mark Brackett on Brené Brown’s podcast. He touched an an interesting idea. He said a study was done that showed people are kinder in how they speak to themselves when they speak in the third person.   

As someone who aspires to beat myself less that’s exciting to me. But speaking in the third person has a bad rap. It’s often portrayed as foolish and grandiose. What if it could be merely loving? 

Daniel Coyle in his “Little Book of Talent” talks about looking for good models of the skill we want to develop in ourselves, and then deeply watching and studying how they do it. Who could I look at deeply as a model of self-love? 

Elizabeth Gilbert.  She was on “The Tim Ferriss Show” recently. She said; “part of my sense of stewardship and friendship over myself is that I try to do really nice things for Liz and I try to do really nice things for future Liz.”  

There it is. She’s offers herself friendship and stewardship and it’s in the third person. She said; “I try to do really nice things for Liz and for Future Liz.” 

Here’s a little bit more, in which she’s talking about for her books.

“I’ll find some really great detail and I’ll write it on a card and I’ll be like, oh, my God, future Liz is going to be so psyched when she finds this card three years from now because she’s going to be writing the scene and she’s going to be stuck and she’s going to reach in and she’s going to pull out this detail and she’s going to be like, ‘Ah, yes.’” 

“And then what happens is that while I’m writing, I’ll reach in and I’ll find some amazing card with a great piece of dialogue on it or a great detail that really helps with the scene and I’ll be like, thanks, past Liz, you’re the best. And it’s this little salute across time where past Liz is like, I got you babe and future Liz is like, thank you for looking out for me, you’re the best.”

(There’s lots of great tidbits throughout the Tim Ferriss’s interview of Liz.  The quotes above start a bit after minute fifty ).

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Boundaries, Inherent Self-Worth, Self Love, Shame

Project Banckruptcy

On a Zoom call the other day a friend brought up the idea of email bankruptcy. Financial bankruptcy is a pretty familiar idea. A person is out of money and can’t hope to pay off your debts, they are extended beyond any hope of recovering. It can be a bit messy, but it gives a person a way to escape.   

Declaring email bankruptcy is similar. A person is over their head in messages and can’t hope to catch up. They call a do over.  

Hearing my friend speak on the idea, I thought, why not project bankruptcy? I had at least one project I needed to declare bankruptcy on. I was uncommitted and falling behind. Quitting wasn’t even going to affect anyone. Not really. 

I’ve been encouraged all my life that being a quitter is a bad thing, (which is a version of all or nothing thinking). Sometimes freeing myself of a commitment is nearly the best thing I can do.

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Self Love, Somatics

Showing Up

Here’s a simple excercise I learned from Resmaa Menakem listening to the “On Being” podcast. He talks about how this quick practice helps a body to orient itself and recognize that a space is safe. Despite not being conscious of any threat, it’s really common for a person’s lizard brain to be on alert because they haven’t oriented to a space. Try it out. You’ll notice a difference. I notice this exercise helps me arrive. It quiets the thoughts racing through my head. It allows me to focus on the task at hand. The link to the practice is below, but the script basically this:

Take a moment to notice in your body what’s arrived, and what’s still in the air.  
Turn to look over your left shoulder using your hips and neck, 
Return to center when you are ready. 
Look down, and when you are ready return to center. 
Look up, when you are ready return to center.
Look over your right shoulder using both your hips and neck. 
When you are ready, return to center. 
Now, notice what’s different.

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Imperfection, Inherent Self-Worth, Self Love

Stop in Interesting Places

Leonard Cohen says “there is a crack in everything/ that’s how the light gets in.” In Japan there’s an art called, kintsugi in which a broken vessel that is cracked or broken is repaired with gold, making something broken an object of beauty. I’ve heard that Persian rug makers would weave in small imperfections in the rugs they wove because perfections are the realm of god. 

These are three different approaches and perceptions of how a person might work with imperfection. There must be more (these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head). How might they affect or sway my own perfectionistic tendencies? What is enough perfection? What is too much perfect? How might something with scars and seems showing be more beautiful because of it? 

Here’s another that seems related that popped up into my head. Paul Gardner says;“A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places” 

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Boundaries, Inherent Self-Worth, Self Love

Chasing Problems

I’m often focused on what I want to correct in myself. What’s wrong with me? What could be better? There’s a lot of judgment in that. And of course problems are nearly endless. I’m good at finding what’s wrong.  

Jack Kornfield tells a story of a person meditating. At first the sound of a person’s breathing meditate snared them, interrupting their perfect meditation. Next it was a noisy radiator in the room that interrupted them. Each interruption, each problem blocking their mindfulness, they reported to their teacher. In the next meditation session the cars passing on the busy road outside the room were the problems. Having heard about each problem and now the passing cars the teacher asked; “Are the cars coming into the room to bother you, or are you going out to the road to be bothered by them? 

I’m suspicious the way I worry about my flaws and problems may be like that.  

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