Tag Archives: SelfCare

Creative Self-Actualization #selfcaresunday #selfcare

We are on a giant rock that whizzes through space without a pilot. How is that for a lack of control? Well, for most of us, the spinning of the globe doesn’t even factor in our control issues. The reason might be that we don’t even think about it. The other thing is that it isn’t really about you.  Sure, if you are reading this, you are most likely a denizen of Earth. But, it is hard to put yourself into the narrative of its orbit. It doesn’t orbit, because of you.  (Now if you do believe that, your challenges will be much more than I could improve in this blog post).

The lack of control in life is most uncomfortable when you are at the center. Let’s think about work. You feel out of control when you organization has layoffs, and you don’t have any say about your job. In this instance, your lack of control is also because you don’t have any voice. You are silent to your plight. So, what do you do in that instance? In some ways that is the moment to do anything but think about layoffs. You might even want to explore  the orbits of the planets as a way to get your mind off your work.  In other words, you want to try to focus on something else.

Let’s stay on the topic of your career. Layoffs are often symptomatic of other deeper problems. You can choose what your actions are in that situation.  You have the choice to spend your energy to find a new job.  Trust me. I know that jobs are scarce. And, its hard to get a good one. And, I mean you work in a MUSEUM. All true. But, you might take all of your bad feelings at work, and turn them into better feelings about you.

So, what does this have to do with self-care?  Well, sometimes you aren’t even sure that you are ready to take care of yourself.  But, you are in control of that. You get to decide how you react to things. You can choose some elements in your life. If you imagine your life as a pinball machine, then you are in control of the blocks and some of the levers, and your career is the ball going where it wants within the limits you set.

Let’s use exploration to create your career plan, like the easiest pinball machine to win. Grab a sheet of paper. Draw a picture of yourself now in one corner. Draw a picture of yourself in the future in the other corner. Start adding all the steps you need to get from one place to another.  Go slow. Savor all your imaginary moments. Annotate your personal map with feelings. Set this document aside.  Come back to it. What resonates? What reads false? What can you bring into action?  Make a list of plans.

While this exercise sounds hypothetical, by doing it, you are actually putting yourself in control. You might not be able to put all those things you drew into place.  But, your mind has now started to think differently. You are no longer voiceless or overly focused on your lack of control.  You have helped yourself move forward.

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#SelfCare : What to do When Your Mind is Full?

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There are times when you mind is super full.  I feel like this after I read a particularly heady book or when I am at a conference.  The book and the conference are similar in that you are immersed in a fairly cohesive set of ideas.  They are different in that a book is usually an individual experience where as a conference is a collective one.  However, in both instances, you need to make your own meaning. You might then need to incorporate the relevant meaning into your thinking.

I use a number of tools to try make sense of these ideas. Today I am sharing two tools that I use, on their own or together.

Mindmapping

Mindmapping is a wonderful tool to create structure from protean intellectual ooze. You spill ideas, drawing linkages as you go. You can use a blank sheet of paper, put your big idea in the middle, and then let your ideas flow.  If you want a styled up sheet, you can download one from me.

I love mindmapping, because you can watch the linkages appear as you think.  However, there are drawback, as well.  With some ideas, you might need to really wait to develop the linkages.  Sometimes you will jump to conclusions in order to flesh out your map.  That might not always be ideal.

In those instances, I create a MindBrew.

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MindBrew

This is when I want to percolate. I want to be a little uncomfortable with the load of ideas. We live in a society where we fashion our lives around comfort. Okay, I have definitely walked around with coffee, for fear I might have to live the discomfort of being without caffeine. So, I get it. But, there are also times when I know that I need to live with discomfort. Discomfort comes from being faced with anything that feels hard. But, if you don’t address hard feelings, you won’t be able to transform them into constructive ones. The only alternative would be for them to remain in your mind festering and fomenting unrest.

So, I try to allow my mind to brew constructive ideas. This takes longer than mindmapping. I start by writing out ever idea that was in mind with no structure. I usually do this right after I confront something mindboggling. Recently, for example, I was at a heady conference. On the flight home, I went all Faulkner on my ideas, steaming them out.

Then I set those ideas aside. I waited a couple days. Noting when one of those ideas popped up again. At which point, I know that my mind is telling me something. Finally, after I feel ready, I allot good ideas in the hot burner to work on, and then I put less interesting ideas on ice.

You can use my MindBrew tools (pg 1 and pg 2), or you can hand draw them yourself.

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