thoughts on anxiousness

anxiouscharacterized by extreme uneasiness of mind about some contingency 

contingencyan event that may but is not certain to occur

(Merriam Webster)

READ THIS OUT LOUD TO YOURSELF:

extreme uneasiness of mind about an event not certain to occur

Why are we spending so much time thinking about our hypothetical futures?

Anxiety is at epidemic proportions in the world.  I’m personally having far too many sleepless nights lately.  I want to get a handle on my it before it affects my health, my choices and how I respond to events in my life, both big and small.

Research always makes me feel settled down.  I dug in this morning.

FAST COMPANY ARTICLE BY HALEY GOLDBERG: “When we stare into a fuzzy crystal ball, it’s easy to start to worry about what’s inside, like a present we can never unwrap. And it feels productive. Studies show that we often believe worrying can prevent negative outcomes or it can help us find a better way of doing things.”  FAST COMPANY ARTICLE

These three words really stood out to me…it feels productive.   “FEELS” is the cue I needed to settle my brain down a little bit.  Feels implies it isn’t productive at all, our brain has been tricked into thinking that the act of worrying is somehow keeping bad things from happening.

If my brain can be TRICKED, then my brain can also call bullshit when it notices the trickery.  Not every time, but with practice, at least increase the frequency of noticing.

Today, I feel anxious about a few big things happening in my life right now…my father is in the hospital, my three young adult children are all in transition and my life is going to change quite dramatically in the next few months. And yet…

“I know what to do, even when I don’t know what to do.”

I’m trying to remind myself that, even though THE FUTURE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE UNCERTAIN, I believe I can handle whatever the universe throws at me.

Handling it, might mean falling apart, calling upon my team to steady me and going through a period of deep grief and sorrow.

Correct me if I’m wrong, that’s still handling it, right?

I try to remind myself of this often.

 

 

the necessity of play.

Over the weekend, my husband and I dressed up as Mexican artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera for a Halloween party.  We weren’t necessarily in the mood and it would’ve been easy to stay home.  A few hours before the party I thought about the opportunity to walk three houses down, see costumes, have a few beers, eat some chocolate and talk to a bunch of interesting people. When I thought about it, well, it would’ve been really stupid to stay home.  Culturally, I think we sometimes consider PLAY as frivolous or unnecessary.  NOPE.  It’s really necessary. I know that play makes me feel more creative, relaxed and better able to handle setbacks.

I’m pretty sure I’ll remember dressing up like Frida & Diego for a Halloween party more than another night on the couch watching a movie. GO FORTH & PLAY, YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.

I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Frida Kahlo’s home in Coyoacán, Mexico, but I can pretend I have with Photoshop.  Don’t you love my cigarette spoke.  I think Frida probably could do things like that with smoke.lisa-lillibridge-fridaFrida is worth knowing more about.  She had a remarkably interesting life. Her paintings, clothes and attitude really speak to me and provide inspiration. http://www.biography.com/people/frida-kahlo-9359496

PLAYverb (Merriam Webster)

1. engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.  YUP, and frequently.

I starting thinking about…

nonconformity-graphic

I read this line yesterday and it got me thinking about nonconformity.

“A culture that prizes traditional conformity, for example, may perceive specific kinds of individual rights and freedoms (e.g. freedom of speech) to pose a threat.”   Geographical Psychology, Exploring the Interaction of Environment and Behavior edited by Peter J. Rentfrow

There certainly is ease within organizations or families when conformity rules.  However, there also is a lack of creativity and innovation when we don’t have opposing viewpoints to challenge our long-held assumptions.

“A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates
when he becomes a conformist.”   —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Similarity or perceived similarity creates PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY to speak our minds, knowing that people basically agree with you. The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson refers to the people in our lives who challenge us as “BEAUTIFUL ENEMIES”.   What an apt description, huh?  We need to be challenged to be stretched.  Keep your beautiful enemies close AND consult them often.

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How do we share our perspectives without making others wrong?

Perhaps the goal isn’t to change minds.

What if our goal was simply to be HEARD?

To be heard, we have to LISTEN. Really listen.

Now, if I can practice what I preach, my teenagers would tell you I have a lot of work to do.

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I have a very helpful one page pdf file titled Blocks To Listening.  It’s a real game changer for both our personal and professional lives.  I thought I was a decent communicator—I learned that I was way off the mark in so many ways.  E-mail me to request a copy.

how do I stop the blur?

I know it’s only July 27th and there’s a lot of summer to still be lived & enjoyed.  However, this morning I felt like some of my summer 2016 memories are beginning to blur.

blur/verb—to make or become unclear or less distinct (Merriam-Webster)

I want to slow it all down.  I really want to be a good steward of my memories. 

How exactly do I go about doing that?

  1. I journal.  Every night I write down 3-4 things that were great about my day. This will help my great grandchildren try to figure out what the summer of 2016 was like for me…but it doesn’t stop the blur.
  2. I try to breathe, savor, soak it in…all of the stuff “Oprah” tells me to do…it still blurs a lot of the time.  Perhaps I’m trying to hard.

After I layered these photos and saw my daughter jumping into the clouds and a beach sign on a South Dakota gravel road I realized that I have to accept that this is the nature of our memories.  Even if we can’t recall everything with great detail and clarity our memories are always a part of us.  They may surface again one day and they may not.  I guess, just like everything else in life the path of least resistance is: ACCEPTANCE.

Here’s to a bunch of sweet summer memories…all blurred together.

lucy jumping boardwalk lillibridge

jeff guitar cape cod lillibridge

south dakota beach sign lillibridge

jeff and lisa on beach airplane shot of sd

“Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.”

—Steven Wright/comedian