three life changing words

Lately I’ve been thinking about my “shitty roommate”.  This is my personal inner voice—she makes me doubt myself all the time.  She puts those snarky thoughts in my head that I’m “not good enough”, “not reaching my potential” or “if only you were more like…”.

Shame is the inner language of self-attack and self-blame AND shame is my shitty roommate’s jam.

Instead of trying to kick her out (which is exhausting and nearly impossible), I’ve decided to get more curious about her…even love her up a bit. Yes, she’s manipulative AND she also has pushed me.  We’re really quite competitive.  When she has my ear, she’s granted me the opportunity to self-correct behavior that doesn’t line up with my values, seek forgiveness from those I’ve wronged or offer myself a little grace.

But now, it’s time to change the rules of engagement using one short sentence. 

true

The more I say it, the more power it has for all sorts of situations in my life.

When I question her language, my shitty roommate just puts her headphones on and leaves me alone until the next time…and there will always be a next time.  She hates those three words, however, we do seem to be getting along a little better lately.

South Dakota Snapshots

I was in South Dakota with my family last weekend. On Saturday I had the opportunity to borrow my niece’s truck and go on a late afternoon abandoned farmhouse hunt.  What I found was visually very pleasing to my eye.  The light was gorgeous.  I was walking in ditches wearing my favorite cowboy boots. It was warm and I kept finding these images seemingly rising out of the sky.  These photos represent resilience, strength, courage and yet they also convey a feeling of loneliness and longing.  I found the starkness quite beautiful.

On my farmhouse hunt I got so excited as I did a u-turn into an overgrown driveway and I was ready to shoot loads of pictures.  However, I quickly realized that I was at the same farmhouse I shot in August with my Mom.  Perhaps there is a reason that I got to shoot it again in different light in a different season.

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flawed & resilient

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October 12th was my 48th birthday.  I took this photo in the late afternoon yesterday overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains of New York State.  I was so struck by this image when I downloaded it from my camera. It simply reflected the way I feel at this stage of my life—flawed, unique, resilient, independent and surrounded by wonder and beauty.

Resilience

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re·sil·ience
riˈzilyəns/
noun
noun: resilience; plural noun: resiliences

1.
the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
“nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience”
2.
the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

I read last night that resilience is one of the best predictors of a successful life. How we handle getting knocked on our ass says a lot more about our character than anything else. I also read that resilience can be taught. We can get a handle on this skill even as adults. Cool huh? It isn’t one of those traits that is hard wired. If, when challenging things come our way we simply ask, “What can I learn from this?” It changes our whole story. We are on this planet as students—we have to keep seeking to understand ourselves, our family, friends and colleagues.

This painting was one I kept working and working on. I sanded too much. The shape was nothing like my sketch. It made me mad. I left it, but couldn’t leave it alone. I kept with it and I ended up finishing it with a waxy product I found buried in a drawer. In my studio this piece represents resilience to me. I will now be more mindful of asking my tribe and myself—What did you learn?