Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – M Scott Peck

I accepted a special assignment this week that will have me doing several things over the next 8 months that make me a little uncomfortable:

• I will be travelling alone

• I will be travelling internationally

• I will be gone from 6 to 8 weeks at a time (away from Mr. Self Care!)

• I am expected to provide some high profile project management on subject matter that is not within the scope of my expertise.

While I have wanted to stretch myself for a while now, and I am excited and honored that someone has decided I am capable; inside, I am a bit anxious and worried that I am going to blow it. There is also the prospect of being out there in the world alone…going to dinner ALONE! Figuring out the lay of the land ALONE and trying to make my way ALONE in places where the culture and language are new to me.

I am putting together this survival plan in my head…

• To look at this as an adventure. Every time you step out of your comfort zone you expand it! I am going to meet new people, and have some great experiences along the way.

• To take things as they come…one thing at a time…one step at a time. The answers will be there as I require them.

• To rely upon others and ask for help when I need it. I am going to be leading a team of subject matter experts- I only have to know how to communicate and organize (which ARE my areas of expertise). I really am not so alone. I may even learn new ways to communicate!

• I am going to practice lots of good self-care.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hug Happy

“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” - Virginia Satir

Have you hugged your child today? Your spouse? A friend? Hugging is good self care, and it also benefits the person you hug!

Why hug?

Research shows that hugs (and human touch) enhance our feelings of security and well-being
Hugs reinforce our connections to each other.
Hugs tell people that you love them.

Some Dos and a Don’t of Giving and Receiving Hugs:

DO: Aim for 4, but know that the more hugs you get (and give) the better
DO: Hug first and let go last!
DO: Hug often – you can give one hug to four people or 4 hugs to one person (it all counts!)
DON’T: Be pushy- people have different comfort levels with being touched. Always ask if you don’t know someone well enough.

Take Good Care!

***Hug O' War is from Shel Silverstein.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day!

"You listen to a piece of music and it will remind you of something-it might make you happy, it might make you sad, but it is very emotive. And I think that Duran Duran have always understood that. " -Nick Rhodes

Today is Duran Duran Appreciation Day!

Quite frankly the band has always given me a warm, fuzzy feeling and...well...warm and fuzzy stuff is exactly what we do here on the self care is just good self care to be a little giddy and nostalgic at times...also we are always looking for a good excuse to celebrate (and eat cake.)  Today Duran Duran is our answer, girls! 

Last year, my English husband, Simon (ironic isn't it?), took me to Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington to see Duran Duran.   We got great seats and some pretty good pictures too.

The most striking thing about seeing these guys in person- other than just loving their music played live- is how amazing they look.   They arrived at the park dressed to the nines and just looked stunning!

Here are a few more pictures from the concert....Be sure to take some time today to pay homage, girlfriends...turn on your favorite Duran music...grab a glass of wine and do a little appreciating!  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happiness Happens

“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

Today is National Happiness Happens Day! 

While happiness happens to all of us all the time, today has obviously been set aside with the intent of increasing our mindfulness of the joy and beauty that occurs in our every day lives.

There are two kinds of happiness I think.  The kind of unexpected happiness that sort of bowls you winning the lottery, getting a promotion at work, accomplishing a huge goal, or having someone throw you a surprise party.   There is also the type which I think is more subtle-the kind I believe this holiday is intended for- the joy we feel when we are quiet and in tune with the world around us.   It is often the small things- our children's laughter, a quiet evening snuggled with our spouse, a conversation with a good friend, a walk in the park- that brings us contentment and serenity. 

You can also just make a choice to be happy.  It is raining today. For many people- especially those who may have had their plans dampened by the gloomy weather- rainy days may not very conducive of happy feelings.   You can choose to look at it as a bad omen, or put up an umbrella and enjoy the refreshing scent of wet earth and the uncrowded spaces outdoors created because everyone else is staying in.

Finally, you can create some happiness for yourself by causing happiness to happen for others.   Take a moment today to do something nice for another person.  Pay for the coffee of the person behind you, let someone go in front of you in line at the store, make cookies with your children, or give you spouse a nice massage.   Giving happiness doubles it!

Happy Happiness Happens Day!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Grumpy (but I am OK with that!)

"I'm only grouchy and moody on days that end with Y.”

Feeling a bit grumpy today, and quite honestly I have decided to just roll with it.

While it definitely makes me not very fun to be around, I can honestly say that I am not feeling very sociable anyway- I would actually like to be left alone today.

I think being in a bad mood is okay. Especially if it is fairly temporary and no one gets hurt. I have already warned the majority to stay the hell away. I have provided the “its not you, it’s me…I really just need my space” disclaimer (which may or may not be completely truthful depending on the person.) The disclaimer is somewhat effective in reducing the probing questions from people who take other people’s moods a little too personally.

I am one of those people, for sure…which is why I knew to create the disclaimer. (and shows that I really am pretty nice)

I just want room to think today (and occasionally to kick something). I know what is wrong and I know how to fix it. I just don’t like the solution very much.

The point of this post is to reinforce that it is okay and healthy to have negative feelings sometimes. Be patient with yourself when this happens. Give yourself permission to feel. Give yourself space to deal. And don’t hurt anyone.

Allowing yourself to grumble a little is good self care.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taking A Little Life Inventory.

‎"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don't need to escape from." ~Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s words have stuck with me this week. The quote above sort of stopped me in my tracks when I first read it.

How would this look: This life you don’t need to escape from? And why do I feel the need to escape from the current one?

For the most part I like the life I have. I have a really enviable life, a wonderful husband, loving family, great friends. We have good jobs. We travel, we attend cultural events, we eat fine food, indulge in little luxuries here and there, and our home is quite comfortable.

There are a few things I would change given the opportunity. I would like to have my own business- or more control over my work. I would like to live closer to the water. My one regret is not having a whole tribe of kid-lets. I was raised with a big extended family around- I would love to return to those days.

The “set up a life” part takes time. If you aren’t happy with your current situation, you have to decide first what part of your life is not working for you. Then you need to determine if it is within your capability to change it.

Quite frankly, even if I had the perfect life, I think I would still need a vacation. Vacations are one of my favorite things! Not everyone who wanders is lost, and not everyone who vacations is escaping.

Although I admit that Seth got me to take a little “life inventory” and there is nothing wrong with that.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

3 Ways to Simplify Your Life Immediately

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” –Hans Hofmann

In honor of National “Simplify Your Life” Week…here is a simple list of 3 things you can do immediately to start simplifying your life…

1) Say NO. Your time is valuable! Spend it in ways that will bring you the biggest return on your investment. The best way to determine what those things are is to make a list of the 3 things that matter most to you. (Make sure that one of those “things” on the list is YOU.) When making commitments check your list. Does the commitment enhance the existence of something on your list? If the answer is NO- say “NO.” You do not need to make an excuse, but if you feel you must say something, a simple “No, Sorry – I am already committed” will do.

2) Count Your Blessings. The best way to forget about what you don’t have is to acknowledge what you do have. When you look at what is important, and sprinkle in some gratitude, you find that what you have right now really is enough. Cherish those things.

3) Make Some Space. Take 15 minutes and organize a drawer, clean out a cupboard, clear your inbox, empty your purse, or define a corner as your personal space. Stuff adds a lot of unnecessary stress to our lives. Always ask yourself before adding more stuff: Is this something I want or need? If you absolutely must add to your stuff – make it a habit to remove something from your space that you don’t need anymore.

Take Good Care!