Thursday, October 31, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - WrapUp

Thank you so much for joining me every day in October for the 31-day Challenge. Myquillyn, the genius over at the Nesting Place, has hosted the 31-day challenge for the past five years and this was the first year that I joined up.

We've been talking about creating a healthier inner dialogue and getting rid of our stinkin' thinkin'. I found it difficult to write something each day without succumbing to harried writing or a preaching tone but here we are, and I would definitely recommend you consider taking part next year. (I know I will be).

Here are some of the things that I learned this month:

I love slam poetry. Never heard of it before I went looking for some commentary on beauty, but I am struck by its power now.

We all seem to be in the same boat. Oh we might have different names for our hangups, but we all having little things that trip us up and we are all working on improving those things.

We all seem to be striving to be better, to do better, and to accept our wonderful selves just as we are too, not an easy dichotomy.

It feels really good to take on a challenge at the start of the month and then sail past the finish line, a little bruised and roughed up, but successful.

There are some brilliant gals out there commenting. 

Here are some of them:

Lisa Handley from Paper and Ponder commented on the 'Different' blog post: "Your post reminded me that each & every one of us, despite similarities and shared views & interests, is ultimately different. This, in turn, prompted me to think about how becoming courageous & comfortable with being & expressing our "different" selves can resonate with others, & by reaching out through sharing our different perspectives, we can end up connecting on common ground."

Stacy from Magic Love Crow says: "Tell your friends that you know, to wake up in the morning and say to themselves, they are a beautiful Goddess! And, tell them to look in a mirror when the say it too ;o) "

Maureen Hayes of Being Chronically Ill Is A Pill responded to the 'Should' post with this: "I had to laugh when I read this because a few years ago I was struggling with using the "s" word (should) until a friend explained that when we do that we "should all over ourselves!". It made such an impression on me that I no longer use the word should in that context because I don't want to "should" on myself."

Did you learn anything from this month of posts on how to achieve a healthier inner dialogue?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Don't Believe What You Think

I have had two recent revelations about my thoughts. The first is that I should not believe every idea that goes through my mind.  The second is that even if my impressions are true, I might be wise to ignore them.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Love Yourself

I don't know why it is so much easier to be unkind to ourselves than to be kind. Judgmental instead of understanding. Impatient instead of tolerant. Punishing instead of forgiving.

But it is.

Nanowrimo - It's Back

I can hardly believe that Friday is the start of this year's National Novel Writing Month, aka nanowrimo. If you're new to nanowrimo, head on over to the website to get the details.  Briefly, it's all about getting together with a virtual (and real life) community to set aside all of your excuses and write 50,000 words in a month.

You get the 50,000 words done, you win. Easy peasy.  ;)

It doesn't have to be a fiction piece either. You can take the challenge and completely make it your own. Maybe you're dreaming of writing a non-fiction piece? That works too. Writing is writing, just get in there.

I've come across a couple of sites that I know are going to be helpful for me so I thought I would share them here:

Scrivener - I am completely in love with this program for writing.  It has index cards, research sections, templates, awesomeness.

Justin Swapp - these are free templates for different writing genres and techniques to be used with the Scrivener program

Dan Wells - story structure video series (5 parts)

Tiki-Toki - this is a timeline site that some people might find useful (I tend to use a big whiteboard for this but might give this site a try)

Unofficial Binder of Resources - FireFallon has created a binder-type list of resources for everything from characterization to name generators to productivity tools. Super helpful.

Crockpot White Chili - from Practical Stewardship - nothing like crockpot recipes so you can just throw everything in the pot and then go write.

Crockpot Drip Beef - from The Pioneer Woman - looks amazing.

Slowcooker Chicken Tacos - from Happy Hour Projects, so easy, so delicious.

Please feel free to share any resources that you might have discovered.

Is anybody else signing up for the challenge this year? I know that Kei from Unfortunately Oh is going to be taking part. Kei is easily the most prolific writer I know during nanowrimo. Watch her numbers and be astounded (no pressure there, Kei).

I would certainly love company if anyone is interested -- I can be an awesome cheerleader. Let me know if you're joining up.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Beauty Re-Revisited

This is a poem by Katie Makkai. The last stanza of her performance honestly (and literally) brings tears to my eyes. So powerful. Chilling. I hope you enjoy it.

Oops, meant to warn you that there is swearing so make sure the little ones are not within earshot.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Compassion

If all roads lead to gratitude, then all streams must lead to compassion. Can you imagine if our world was filled with gratitude and compassion? I can't imagine we would need a single other thing (okay, I'll throw in love - but that's it).

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Stop Talking

Sometimes, the best inner dialogue, is no dialogue at all. Silence, glorious silence, is a healthy alternative to your internal chatter. It is easy to do anywhere, totally free, and comes with a truckload of health benefits.

Ghost Stories for the Kiddos

I can hardly believe that October is nearly over and Halloween is on our doorstep. Are you ready with costumes and candy? I'm ready with a couple of ghost stories.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - The Paradigm Shift

Many moons ago now, my husband told me a story that has stuck with me. It was something he had read but neither of us remember the source now, unfortunately.

The author is sitting on the bus when a man and his two kids get on. The man sits quietly, ignoring the children as they terrorize the other riders -- running, screaming, misbehaving. The bus riders are irritated, some even getting angry. Why won't the man make his children behave?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Expectations

Do you sometimes look at your creation (whether it be a painting, a recipe, a crochet piece, an essay, whatever) and think that it kind of sucks? Then someone sees it and they're all crazy for it (sincerely it seems), and you think - what the heck? How was I so off about this piece?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Soul Suckers

Have you ever been stuck in the company of someone who sucks your soul dry? Maybe they prattle on endlessly without asking you a single question. Or maybe they are the type to whine on and on about every little mishap like it's the end of the world. Or maybe everybody else is stupid (of course not them).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Different

Are you afraid of being too different? A little leery of standing out from the crowd? What if the descriptor was changed from 'different' to,...

One-of-a-kind. Unique. Special. Distinctive. Exclusive. Rare.

Does that sound better? Feel better?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Beauty Revisited

Though I could not have crafted this fabulous poem in any number of lifetimes, this is the feeling of what I was trying to say on the previous post about Beauty. It's 3 minutes and it's amazing. Be warned, this is a spoken poem and there is swearing so be sure to wait until the kiddos are out of ear shot.  :)

Female, by Anna Lieberman

Friday, October 18, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Check In

Gretchen Rubin, the Happiness Project guru, has the greatest idea to prevent snapping and being grumpy. It is free, doesn't take any special skills, and is almost effortless.

What is it?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Under-React


I remember reading somewhere (or was it on Dr. Phil?) that you don't have to show up for every fight you're invited to. This was a revelation to me. If I feel attacked or accused, I don't have to respond. If I feel that someone is just grumpy and lashing out, I don't have to respond.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Change It Up

I do this thing.  It's kind of weird. Well, maybe a lot weird, but it really works for me. I change the endings to things so that I like them better.

I find this especially helpful when it comes to commercials. I think we will all agree that a lot (a LOT!) of commercials are just plain stupid, or even worse - annoying. So instead of getting all tense and irritated (a land where I tend to reside a good deal of the time), I make up a new ending.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Habits

Sometimes I find that I respond badly to a situation entirely out of habit and I wonder how I can stop doing so. For example, I have a hard time resisting the snappy comeback, no matter how inappropriate or unkind it might be.

I'm not sure where this started, but I can tell you that it is definitely ingrained - a habit. My mind thinks quickly, my mouth works even faster, but my filter is tremendously slow. Yep. Not really an optimal situation.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Self-Pity

Today's post is difficult for me, embarrassing really. Originally, I started off by asking if we are all guilty of self-pity and even started to type that I only succumb occasionally, but the more I sat with that statement, the more I realized it wasn't true.  I am a self-pity queen.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Beauty

I've started this post about beauty in so many different ways, but I can't get it right.  I can't get started, I think because I don't understand it. This obsession we have with beauty.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that I am unaffected by this quest to be pretty, because I'm not.  I pluck and tweeze and exfoliate and moisturize and condition.  I know which side of my face takes a better picture.  I know that if I give a full toothy grin my jowls will disappear.  I know that good posture makes me look significantly thinner.  I know that a smile will always make me look more attractive. I dye my hair and whiten my teeth (but not too much) and wear eyeshadow that makes my blue eyes pop.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Mistakes

I really dislike being wrong.  A lot. I don't even have to be right to be happy, just not wrong.  Maybe I should be rethinking this. Maybe we are all too hung up on not making mistakes?

I say that like it's a question or something to ponder, but I think we all know that focusing on perfection isn't a wise course. Letting go is the easy breezy way to be.  :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Me, Me, Me

Have you ever talked to a friend the day after a party and had her mention something like, 'so did you like my dress last night?" or "Oh wow, did you notice that I spilled that dip on my shirt right at the beginning of the night and I had to wear that on my front the entire evening?" or "I'm so embarrassed, did you hear me slip out something about Jane's husband?" only to realize you have absolutely no recollection of this 'horrific' event? You were there, must have heard or seen it, but nope, didn't stay with you at all.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Comparisons

Do you know that most (all?) of the visual media that we are fed has been altered in some way? Some of it is fairly benign, a brighter colour, tweaking the background.  We even do some of these smaller things on our blogs, to make our photos look just a little better. Some of it, however, is anything but harmless.

Television commercials have actors behaving as if they were random people being interviewed, spewing out perfect little sound bites that coincidentally enough promote the product in a succinct, pithy, positive light.  Except it isn't a coincidence.  It's choreographed, right down to the pauses in between sentences and 'surprised' facial expressions.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Prioritization

You're not going to like this, but I'm going to say it anyway, because you need to hear it.  You cannot do it all.

I know, I know. You want to. You think you can. It isn't true. You just can't. You have to decide what is most important, make those things a priority, and let the rest go.

So how do you do that?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Fear

When I look back across my many years of reading, there is one book that stands out as a life-changing read:  Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.  I've included a link to Amazon, but it's so old now that you can probably find it in your local library if you want to check it out.

Jeffers talks about a variety of tips and techniques for getting past fear, but this one is my favourite:

"At the bottom of every one of your fears is simply the fear that you can't handle whatever life may bring you."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Should

Every morning (well most of them), I do a version of Julia Cameron’s morning pages.  I sit down and write for a few pages, just to get my creative self rolling.  Sometimes I write the start of a cool poem or blog post or a snippet of dialogue that I like enough to use, but most of the time, I end up writing about things I need to do that day.

One day I realized that my morning pages were filled with line after line of shoulds: I should finish up that writing piece, I should pick up the dry cleaning today, I should stop to get stamps.  Should, should, should.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Affirmations

As we discussed yesterday, one of the most detrimental habits we have may be negative thinking. With a little bit of initial effort, the pessimistic view can be replaced with self-affirming dialogue.

Affirmations do not cost a penny, they do not require any additional time to perform, and you do not need any particular skill to use them. Sounds perfect? It just might be.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Nocebo

Okay friends, I just read about something that has totally blown me away.  You have heard of the placebo effect, right -- where there is a positive or healing response to a treatment that is inert (paraphrased from Wikipedia). For example, a person's headache or gout or cancer might disappear after taking only a sugar pill.  Well, I just read all about the NOCEBO effect.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Procrastination

I wish I could remember where I read this because I adore it.  When you are thinking of procrastinating:  
Just get your shit done.

Brief, to the point, bam.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Just Say No

We all have an unprecedented number of demands on our time these days.  The more things get easier because of technology, the more things we pile on, and yes, the less time we have for all of it.

Couple that overburdened schedule with a hesitancy (and that's likely understating it) to say no, and wow, we have no time to ourselves.  So how can we fix that?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Guilt

I am one of those people who is both fuelled and tormented by guilt.  I am perpetually haunted by things I did do and things that I did not do; troubled by words I wish I had said and words I wish I had not said; concerned about things that have happened and things that have not happened.

Crippled and paralyzed by guilt.

And the more I focus on my guilt, the more,….
The more what?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Perfectionism

Perfectionism.  Mmmm,…I love the sound of that.  There are few things that will get me feeling all swoony and high like something that is absolutely perfect:  a faultless dinner party, unsurpassed consideration, a flawless home, unrivaled conversation.  Yummy perfection.

Except, and we all know this is true, there isn’t any such thing. No matter how much of your time, attention, and skills you throw at attaining perfect results, you will never do it. You can't. It's impossible.

Stinkin' Thinkin': 31 Days to a Healthier Inner Dialogue

Are you looking for the 31 Days series? You've arrived at the right place.  We are starting off with Perfectionism and winding our way through 30 other habits of thought that aren't helping us out any.  Maybe by the end, we'll be kicking our negative notions to the curb and watching our spirits soar.

Each post is a separate piece so you don't need to go in order.  Feel free to click on any topic that calls to you. As each post goes up, I'll add it to a list below so it's easy for you to find.
And don't forget to pop over to Nesting Place to check out all of the other fabulous 31-day challenge blogs.  

Fabulous and Free E-book

I am so excited to share this project with you all.  A bunch of fabulous creators, bloggers, and friends have gotten together to make sure that you are ready for Halloween.

Need decor ideas? We've got you covered.
Drinks and dessert? You're good.
Costume ideas? Oh yeah!
Ghost story for the kiddos? Done.

Just click on the book cover below, and it'll take you to the download site.  Enjoy and Happy Halloween.