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Thread: Becoming authentic

  1. #1
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    Becoming authentic

    Or self determination, or something.

    learning who you are and standing up for that.

    i couldn't figure out where this should go. I thought about putting it in relationships because one of the problems that I'm having in this area is that I tend to define myself in terms of relationships. Daughter, wife, mother, teacher, friend, even as an artist I define myself by the responses of other people.

    But it's not about the relationships, because the problem is coming from within me. So I picked here because the subtitle about inner simplicity is exactly where I want to go.

    for example, I want to do a pop up sale at an open house on August 19th. Doing this is going to require some studio time. Which is not a bad thing - I want to spend time in my studio. So I see the sale as motivation - a deadline to work toward. Except I'm not in the studio.

    because I know dh wants me to finish painting the addition. But I woke up sore this morning from painting the addition, and I am kind of hating it right now. I decided I would take turns painting and working in the studio.

    except, I'm not in the studio because I feel guilty about not painting. And I lined up a partner for the sale today, so there is even more pressure to get into the studio. And I am creating arguements in my head for dh about how I now have this partner (external commitment, relationship created to justify what I want) so I need to be in the studio.

    except I'm not in the studio, but neither am I painting. And really while dh would like me to be painting, he tries really hard to be supportive of my work, and he would understand about taking turns. He has not said a word about me spending time in the studio. The guilt is me projecting on him and then responding to something I made up.

    what he won't understand is me sitting at the kitchen table drinking tea and spinning my wheels online instead of painting OR working in the studio.

    and I'm not sure I understand it either, but I want to stop doing it.

  2. #2
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    I think that's called analysis paralysis. I suffer from the same sometimes, the only cure is to choose one and do it, stop thinking about it.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Part of being authentic is deciding who you are not, and lining up your actions accordingly.

    I am not a hostess of large parties, but I once wished I was/could be. It was hard to give away all those things I had collected when I had the idea that I'd be a party host because it was giving up a dream/identity of sorts. When I gave those things away, I was also giving away the dream and the recognition that this would never be who I was. It stung. But in order to have both time and space for other things that are more important in my life, I had to do that. When the decisions aren't made, is when hoarding starts. Both mental as well as physical.

    You only have so many hours in a day and so many projects calling your name, in addition to the caretaking roles which you seem to feel obligated to do - though I don't sense a great love for many of them. You're going to need to choose. It will be hard. But you can't be all things to all people, and remain true to who you are.

  4. #4
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    I totally get where you're coming from; it's the "wants" vs. the "shoulds." I do the same thing.

    Would writing down a schedule help? I remember a tool from the "Feeling Good Handbook" by Dr. David Burns--one I turn to when depression/anxiety/procrastination creeps up on me. It's called the unschedule. You take your day's calendar, mark off the hours, fill in all the things you HAVE to do, like meals, showering/grooming, pet care, daily chores, etc. Then with the blank hours that are left, you fill them in with what you want to do, or what you've been putting off. It's an exercise in finding time which you thought didn't exist.

    Also, procrastination has so many root causes: all-or-nothing thoughts, fortune-telling (I'll never get it done, so why start), too many "shoulds" and thinking the problem is bigger than it really is (magnification). It's really hard to sit down and identify the reason for it, because it makes you face your weakness. But it's best in the long run to figure out why you do it. Then take charge and conquer it.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  5. #5
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    I hear you. It is however, self-defeating to do neither. Reminds of a conversation with DH years ago...."by finishing nothing, it's as if you fear success". So as a coach (part of my job growing staff)...You have 2 short-term goals so let's walk through........

    1. How many pieces do you need to complete for your pop-up-sale?
    2. How many hours per day will that goal take between now and the night before the sale?
    3. Spend that many hours each day on this project.
    4. Spend any available "working hours" on the painting.
    5. Are there any other MUSTS during this time? If so, schedule those in as well. You may need to work extra hours to achieve your goals but there is an end to this in just 17 days so this is short term.

    You CAN get both projects done but ya gotta work on them rather than spinning your wheels. You say DH is supportive. Create your plan and share it with him. He sounds like a guy that will support your workplan AND your success.

    Personal example of avoiding this: I am a quilter. Not having a plan means I don't go in there. So, the best thing I can do for myself is to have something sitting there ready to grab and sew. It can be just a few triangle pairs. It gets me started. Then I'm in there doing something and the creative juice has ramped.

    Can you do the same thing to keep yourself moving forward?

  6. #6
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    Personal example of avoiding this: I am a quilter. Not having a plan means I don't go in there. So, the best thing I can do for myself is to have something sitting there ready to grab and sew. It can be just a few triangle pairs. It gets me started. Then I'm in there doing something and the creative juice has ramped.
    Same here, same scenario...I also have to address the fear of failure I have. If it's not perfect, ya know....so if I don't go finish it, it won't be imperfect!
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Or self determination, or something.

    learning who you are and standing up for that.

    i couldn't figure out where this should go. I thought about putting it in relationships because one of the problems that I'm having in this area is that I tend to define myself in terms of relationships. Daughter, wife, mother, teacher, friend, even as an artist I define myself by the responses of other people.

    But it's not about the relationships, because the problem is coming from within me. So I picked here because the subtitle about inner simplicity is exactly where I want to go.

    for example, I want to do a pop up sale at an open house on August 19th. Doing this is going to require some studio time. Which is not a bad thing - I want to spend time in my studio. So I see the sale as motivation - a deadline to work toward. Except I'm not in the studio.

    because I know dh wants me to finish painting the addition. But I woke up sore this morning from painting the addition, and I am kind of hating it right now. I decided I would take turns painting and working in the studio.

    except, I'm not in the studio because I feel guilty about not painting. And I lined up a partner for the sale today, so there is even more pressure to get into the studio. And I am creating arguements in my head for dh about how I now have this partner (external commitment, relationship created to justify what I want) so I need to be in the studio.

    except I'm not in the studio, but neither am I painting. And really while dh would like me to be painting, he tries really hard to be supportive of my work, and he would understand about taking turns. He has not said a word about me spending time in the studio. The guilt is me projecting on him and then responding to something I made up.

    what he won't understand is me sitting at the kitchen table drinking tea and spinning my wheels online instead of painting OR working in the studio.

    and I'm not sure I understand it either, but I want to stop doing it.
    Executive function can be hard to come by.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Jan. 1st of 2016 I started meditating 20 minutes every day. In the couple months leading up to this I got caught up in a bit of perfectionism, like:
    "I have to meditate in the morning."
    "I have to meditate for 20 minutes straight!"
    "It has to be sitting meditation, not walking or body scans while laying down."

    And so on.

    But I realized that this perfectionism can be a recipe for disaster. So I said:
    "It just has to be 20 minutes a day, any configuration -- 19 minutes and then 1 minute or two 10 minute sits or 20 minutes of walking meditation." Any time of day.

    And I did that for all of 2016! It was a powerful experience. And I even kept up the habit in 2017 (except for the 12 days of my vacation in Israel/Jordan).

    This morning, for example, I did two 10 minute sitting meditations back-to-back before work.

    Don't let perfect be the enemy of good enough.

    And, remember this too, CL, it is likely you are just simply taking on too much.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  9. #9
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    So, working backward -

    interesting comment UL "impaired executive function" is a hallmark of hoarding disorder.

    and yes to Kaylr and Gardnr, I will often wrap something because I am not happy with it and never come back.

    Gardnr, I don't know how long it will take because I am terrible at keeping track of time, but I do know when I have to finish each phase - wet work done by Saturday. I would like to have at least three large pieces and 30 little ones. (I have other stock, this is to fill out my booth)

    Geila, and Kaylr, I am trying to start each day with my skeleton schedule and go from there. I am also putting new things on the BOTTOM of my list and working from the top down unless there is a crisis. Otherwise the "me" things just keep getting shoved down the list.

    And herbgerk - I am a potter. I know this because I went out to the studio and I was happy and calm and I lost all track of time and when dh called to say he was on his way home, I realized I really needed to pee.

    i love this. I need to do the things I love - spend time with the goats and the new chicks, make pots, pull some weeds... To feed my soul so that I have energy for things like painting (the goal is shiny, but the path is poo)

    I cleaned up a little, I wedged 25 lbs of clay, and I set myself a goal of making ten variations on an idea and ten copies of my favorite. (All small pieces) I ran out of time on piece #16, so that is the top of my list tomorrow.

    and I told dd she has to come out to the studio and clean up her mess. Her mother DOES work here and she needs her space!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post

    interesting comment UL "impaired executive function" is a hallmark of hoarding disorder.
    I did not want to come out and say it. But you got it.
    So keep in mind that some of the issues you face are part and parcel of your illness (CHD). You can't beat yourself up over it too bad, I'd suppose.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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