🌟 Be the Change Project πŸŒŸ

This is the same project, last week I realized all of the habits were unified by me trying to be the change I want to see in the world, so I changed the name. The project revolves around restoring harmony to my mind, myself, my life in the three arena of humankind (how I treat and enjoy people), spirituality (for me clearing my mind and accepting my emotions), the world (my service to the world ie martial arts and teaching my kids, my physical home ext), and the balance between spending energy, time, and money between the three arenas.

Arena 1: Interaction with Human Kind – Life Time Goal: Learn to Treat Myself and Others with Dignity and Unconditional Positive Regard. Tools: Assertive Communication, Tactical Empathy, Observation, Sports Casting, Look Up, Look In.

Tiny Plan: Use problems as an intentional time to connect with other people.

πŸ—Ή Connect with Other Humans – “It’s been going well, it felt backward, meaning that I had to set limits on letting my adult family drain my energy. Having intentionally less connection, in order to have a better quality connection, and leave myself enough energy to do the childcare that I have to do for my 8-month-old and my four-year-old. In a word: limits.”

πŸ—Ή Read books or Articles – “Read two articles about self-regulation and co-regulation in regards to babies (from my son’s RIE class) that remind me of the book I read earlier this year: How Emotions Are Made, which explains the concept of a body budget. It’s a great, but very complicated, book explaining how recent neurobiology debunks almost all of what science and popular stereotypes currently think about emotion formation. It confirms a lot of truths, that there is no one static “happiness,” “sadness,” ext, that men and women have a huge variety of being more or less emotional, a man can easily be more emotional (my husband is) and a woman can be less emotional (I am) and vice versa. It’s so easy to jump to conclusions about people and life based on very few examples, “How Emotions Are Made” somehow helped me validate me just being the way I am, even though I would like to become more patient, more open to enjoying life, more proactive in making more breaks for my health, I learned a lot about how and why I am how I am in that book and it was really helpful in finding wonder and curiosity in learning about both myself and others.”

πŸ—Ή Seek and Discuss Healing, Reunite that Which has Been Broken into Unity, and Awareness (in Short, to Renew) – “Today I realized that I prefer doing this with people instead of alone, even though I am an introvert I do enjoy interacting with others in this way quite a bit.”

Arena 2: Spirituality – Life Time Goal: Think about Balancing Serenity, Proactivity. Tools: Gratitude, Kaizen, Kon Mari, Minimalism.

Tiny Plan: Keep Kon Mari decluttering. Keep Clarifying My Goals and Plans.

☐ Malama Pono – Be forthright and proactive in your life. – “There was a lack of being proactive, I wasn’t able to speak up and say “hey I need more time to write, I need more time to think, I need more time for myself, think of something else to do for a short time, because the things I do to maintain my peace and composure and enjoy life matter to this family as well as what you want to do.”

πŸ—Ή Radical Acceptance – “This helped, not every week is perfect and accepting that helped both Friday when I took my baby for vaccines and didn’t do my evaluation on time and also overall that in my human failings.”

☐ See problems as opportunities. – “In viewing problems as opportunities to connect to others I have to view the problems as true opportunities mentally first; first it starts in my mind and then I can take that view to the interaction, but it starts by centering myself mentally, if I try to skip that grounding step it doesn’t work for me to fight the reactivity in the heat of the moment.”

☐ Create your own reality consciously. – “This week I felt like I was living one step behind life instead of one step ahead of it, maybe I was rushing again, I suppose I am a slow thinker and living at a fast pace makes me unable to think about the way I am choosing to live.”

Arena 3: The World – Life Time Goal: Responsibility to Take Action Towards my Inner Callings Tools: Permaculture Gardening, Martial Arts, Stoic Living, Self Leadership.

Tiny Plan: Teach martial arts Sundays 11 AM.

πŸ—Ή Aloha Κ»Δ€ina, Teaching Martial Arts – “Going well, I didn’t know when I started why I wanted to teach martial arts to girls, on a flight I watched “Rise of the Wahine” about female volleyball players, it explained many successful businesswomen are athletes, it’s not athletics in the name of athletics or even financial success, but athletics as a vehicle to give an extra road personal power and self leadership to those who lack it (whether male or female, I don’t exclude boys, I just focus on having the accommodations females would need to feel safe and comfortable in martial arts that most schools lack, boys and men sometimes train with us and are 100% welcome). The school isn’t big, the class isn’t perfectly organized, but my heart is 100% behind it and each week I and at least a few others show up and that’s the most important and meaningful thing (other than taking care of my kids) that I do in life.”

Balance Between Arenas: Harmony – Life Time Goal: Resolve Imbalance Between Productivity and Rejuvenation to Safeguard Resilience.

Tiny Plan: Keep Clarifying My Dreams, Intentions, Goals, and Plans with this Check-In.

πŸ—Ή Clarify my Dreams, Intentions, Goals, and Plans Here – “It still isn’t perfect, but it’s much more streamlined today, than ever before. More like a puzzle than a pile of puzzle pieces.”

☐ Money: Keep Careful Track of Your Income and Expenses. – “Lost and found my debit card, so still a “not yet”.”

πŸ—Ή Cleaning – “Going good, so surprised that I was able to add vacuuming a few times a week without getting tired or bitter, now that my son is crawling there is a good reason.”

☐ Creative Endeavors: Brainstorming, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Writing, Architecture. – “I could feel that I didn’t do enough of this, when I do just a few hours a week it makes me feel alive and well, for some reason it’s hard for me to justify taking the time for myself to do these things (maybe hidden fear?), but when I do them just a little I feel differently about myself and about life. I just realized that this is rejuvenating for me.”

Weekly Review:

7 Points of 12 Points = 58% this week, that feels right! I was so frustrated this week, doing all the important checkboxes, doing the things that make my family’s life smooth, but neglecting what makes me feel centered and what I enjoy because I was rushing and mismanaging my time.

Thank you guys for supporting me with your comments and presence via reading, it’s comforting to know I’m not alone as I deal with being an imperfect person who is grappling with managing life in this fast-paced, modern, yet beautiful world! 🌻

UPDATE:

I started last week to try to make a better list of my completed articles, under the menu’s newspaper section: πŸ“° “Today’s Fresh Articles” is a scrolling list of articles in reverse chronological order, and the rolled-up newspaper in the menu: πŸ—žοΈ goes to aΒ pageΒ that categorizes my main topics such as organization, self-leadership, family life, seeking inner peace, but I just started linking the articles to their appropriate categories, so it’s completely a work in progress. Another menu section under the newspaper heading πŸ„: “about me” is a mini-blog within a blog, called my “inner citadel” it has an image of my true emotions for the day (it usually gets updated daily) as well as short journal entries about the meta experience of blogging (my overall feelings about how the 100 blog challenge is going, how my journey as a writer is going or how I’m adjusting to major life changes). I’m planning to fix the main topic article menu in the near future and maybe add a traditional archive page with titles someday, but I’m pretty weak on the tech side of blogging, so it’s a start from level 0 kind of learning process on that end. ✌️

I JUST REALIZED:

I just realized what this system measures, it measures success at living the way I would want to live, which is a direct response to the book “Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More,” the habits that make me feel I’m living my best life are not identical to Rachel Macy Stafford’s in her book, but they are the ones that allow me to keep track of how much I am living my goal of living that lifestyle of overcoming distraction, living a better life and loving more. Whenever I fail to live that way the weekly score reflects that, from the outside people don’t see it or notice it, but it validates my sense of frustration and gives me a tool to check where things went “wrong” ie what important things didn’t get a slice of my time-energy-money that week. Just knowing that allows me to naturally adjust the following week, after seeing what went wrong I don’t make a concrete plan to change, yet the changes unfold once the awareness is there. πŸ’‘

πŸ† Blog of the Month Award – November 2019

Intended as a reply to Lovie Price, the site wouldn’t let my publish this as a reply (probaly because of the amount of links). So instead of figuring out the restrictions on that end, I’m just going to post this as a post here. For those of you who haven’t read her blog, Wake up! Operation Get A Life I reccomend it because not only is it interesting and insightful, but for me it really spawns a lot of deep thinking and helps me draw connections in my own life in a way I don’t really understand.

Your writing is really helpful for me, I wish I could put it clearly and easily why, maybe because you tell the truth in a way that is uncommon and encouraging.

I used to feel the same way about writing (that nobody cared less) until reading the “Boldly Celebrate Yourself,” post by Nomz. There have been other people who encouraged me since then and it helps, but for the first time changing myself to allow myself to celebrate what felt like an accomplishment with myself, by myself shifted all my feelings just a little bit, but in a way that has allowed me to be less afraid of doing creative things. There is some kind of a need for celebration and encouragement to fuel the creative process, it’s fine to accept it from others, but it’s so helpful to learn to be able to provide it for ourselves. To become friends to ourselves. Since I’ve restarted my blog I was really revitalized by noticing how a few writers were going through similar trials in different places all over the world, I tend to think my problems are because of a failing in me, but although it’s partial correct, what I didn’t look at was the universality of some problems because of our shared human condition (of being human). Through reading your writing in particular, it allowed me to see past myself in myself to see the universal human within me a little bit more.

The “Life Improvement System” is really complicated and hard to understand, it started years ago after reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about aligning your goals to not only your values but also natural principles of virtue. He argues that even a thief has values, they value prosperity ext. So that it’s not wrong to align life with values, but that they first need to be aligned with principles of nature, such as truth, diversity, love ext. When I used to set goals I had trouble sticking to them, Steven Covey argues that when the “why” is strong enough you will find a “how,” so that it isn’t just bad time management rather a lack of your soul’s true values aligning with the goals in a succinct way. So I am attempting to align the principles of virtual and what seems good and right with the world (pono in Hawaiian) with my particular values (such as integrity or honesty) excluding the values that are still valid, but not my values, and then use my strengths from the Clifton Strength Finder test, because using one’s strengths rather than trying to skill build your weaknesses is supposed to be more effective. I read the book Strength Finder 2.0 and it said that if your manager primarily ignores you the chance of your being actively disengaged is 40%, if they focus on your weakness it is 22% and if they focus on your strength it is 1%. So as my manager or me, I try to apply my top 5 strengths to my goals and it has really helped me achieve things that I had always dreamed of, but never been able to do. So the system is a very complicated multi-prong approach initially a copy of comedian Demitri Martin’s system, which he explains in the comedy show “If I?” Since he got divorced while living by his system, I felt that since I’m married and don’t want to get divorced I should add some relationship building priorities in and also since I’m not Demitri Martin that the system would need major changes over time. It was just easier to start with his framework than to build from the ground up. I use the Hawaiian system of Lōkahi as my base for natural principles or virtue, it’s harmony/life balance = humankind + spirituality + care of the Earth since that’s what resonates with me. The three major components are 1. Aligning Natural Principles with Personal Values 2. Choosing Weekly Goals in Line with the Personal Values (from The Life Values Inventory and Russ Harris) and 3. Choosing what personal strengths from the Clifton Strengths Test . Everything except the Clifton Strengths Test is free, the test is $50 for all your strengths or $20 for the top five, there is a free version, but it was less helpful because it doesn’t match the book to find out more about the strengths, the test is included with the Audible book: Strength Finder 2.0.

It seems, and is, really complicated, but that’s what it took for me to be able to put my very complicated mental life down in words, which helped get the complexity off my personal mental plate, yet still allow me to use the concepts I had heard of and wanted to try, in order to get leverage on completing the changes that I struggled to be able to keep track of, or accomplish, without having in some kind of a system.

It was never really meant to be public, but since the vast majority of my writing is public it ended up that way as well.

My blog, in general, serves the purpose of organizing my mind, it was meant to be a home to my consciousness, which is why it has my martial arts class, right alongside with my struggles with family life, right alongside with my journey as a writer, because in life they exist that way, influencing and affecting each other, they also exist that way in my blog.

For years no one read my writing at all, that’s just the way the traffic worked, but I switched back to wordpress.com because of tech problems with the theme I ran on a Blue Host site with the same domain name and I wasn’t really aware that switching to wordpress.com would expose me to so much more traffic than having an independently hosted wordpress.org site. It’s been quite nice because it has allowed me to meet really inspiring writers, it seems like only writers are drawn to my writing, but I take that as a compliment. It also allowed me to achieve the only goal I ever had as a writer, freeing me up to be able to think about and set another one at my leisure.

Thank you again for your post “Step#1-Let’s start with Labels,” it was the first time I had been invited to define and redefine myself, it was something so fast and simple, yet emotionally life-changing in a way that many people may never understand. πŸ’

The Lovely Day I Stopped Inconviencing Myself to Follow Traditions that are not Important to Me.

Lovely Day by Bill Withers

When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
A lovely day When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
A lovely day When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
A lovely day

When I woke up today to some tuba music at 3AM, I couldn’t have been happier. I’ve woken up angry before, but it just so happens that today I didn’t. I’m lucky that I tend to wake up in a really good mood, almost always. My sister is the opposite, she may throw something at you if you wake her up too early. But not me, even though I can’t keep up at night and drag through dinner time, I can trust that I will have a good day, at least in the morning time.

The song “Lovely Day” is how I feel about my son Milo, yesterday was his first day with RIE (baby school), he was born in March and he feels like he grew up in a million ways already (not every way, but too many for me). He was singing in class, we do a lot of singing since he was born. I’m happy that both my kids sometimes sing, it’s not about how it sounds, it’s about that kind of joy that they must be feeling to start singing. I hope I remember to tell my daughter I love hearing her sing, her best friend asked her to stop singing while they were riding an inflatable goose in the ocean and she took it really hard, I guess I didn’t help her through it much because she always tells me to stop singing (schadenfreude a bit I guess). I helped a little, I told her it was rude and asked how it made her feel, I let her know she didn’t have to choose to be around that friend, but also that everyone is sometimes rude and we have to try not to take it personally as best we can and grieve the sadness to get through it, but I didn’t yet tell her how much I enjoy her singing on a normal day, that it lightens my heart and makes me feel like everything is okay with the world.

Yesterday I decided not to inconvenience myself following traditions that are not important to me. I wrote myself a note “I won’t inconvenience myself to follow traditions that aren’t important to me.” I didn’t want to forget and I was already sleepy. Yesterday I asked my husband if Christmas was important to him and how much he liked it, he said that it was, he liked it 8/10. But the past few years it hasn’t been that nice, his brother didn’t want to come out of his room and be around, many people were absent who started their own families, the small children have been almost completely gift-fixated and unsatisfied with both waiting and the gifts they get. It’s so unpleasant, mundane, rushed, busy, and irritating to see how materialistic the kids are that I couldn’t even understand what my husband likes about Christmas. I also felt trapped, as if there was no way I could avoid having my daughter grow up to be like that as well, right now she is four and she isn’t like that yet. She told me yesterday in the car that her mommy, daddy, and baby brother were what she “loved” most in life and that all the things she bought were things she “liked,” it was so important for me to hear that from her, so healing, so empowering. It was the second time that something she said seemed to stop time and connect directly to my soul and feed something in me to let me grow immediately, like a miracle grow fertilizer for my heart. Rachel Macy Stafford talks about those moments in parenting and until it happens to you, it may seem irritatingly sentimental, or imaginary, but if it’s ever happened to you, it doesn’t, you know what she is talking about is 100% real and valuable and rare, yet tangible. The first time my daughter simply struggled very hard to say “I love you” but she couldn’t talk yet, so it sounded like when dogs bark “I love you,” it was such a struggle to form the actual sounds, I have no idea how old she was, but I think she was about three months old and the act of it will be with me for the rest of my life, if I don’t remember anything else about her, what I remember will be the time I saw how much effort she put forth to let me know that she loved me.

I’ve been feeling trapped by materialism, that I couldn’t raise my children to appreciate what they have in America. A lot of people are materialistic here, a lot of advertising happens, a lot of people celebrate Christmas via gifts and nothing else, but I don’t have to follow any of those trends. I was thinking about taking my daughter to Mexico for a few months to learn to be humble and grateful, but all I really needed to do was to become humble and grateful because I am what she seems most.

Eventually I will take my daughter to Mexico to solidify her Spanish, to be immersed in her father’s culture, to explore, to learn, to enjoy, but I won’t rely on that to show her she can appreciate what she has and be grateful for life instead of chasing more and more toys and things just because some other people around us are doing so.

We can take our own path without complaining about or changing anyone else’s path or choices.

It’s like level 2 of proactivity for me.

Level 1 was changing my own habits that no one knew about, that no one opposed, that no one saw.

Level 2 has been having to discuss with my husband what traditions he loves and wants vs the ones that are not important for him, he didn’t like talking about it, it was tense and unpleasant, he asked me why I was asking, but it was important for me to be able to respect exactly what he cares about without blindly following a holiday I don’t care about. Example, he doesn’t care about daisy chains, caroling, popcorn chains, ext, he cares about being around friends and family, and that’s beautiful and admirable and I will inconvenience myself to follow the things that directly matter to my husband, because my husband’s feeling matter to me, but what I won’t do is follow any of the other parts of the holiday that no one in my family cares about just because I see it in adds or it sparks joy for someone somewhere or I imagine that I have to because something made me feel like social pressure had a right to dictate how I spend my free time and money.

I am escaping from social holiday pressure and I’m not going back.

I’m not going to blindly turn down any requests from my husband, daughter or son, but I’m going to think about them, how they align with our values and resources and make sure my overall life balance comes first not second and I am going to blindly turn down any kind of purchase or activity that neither I nor my husband, daughter or son is asking for. We are going to forge our holidays freshly as history will be honest holidays continuously undergo drastic changes and holidays never exist unchanged for long. Christmas was a parade of costumes much like carnival, it has been a celebration of the sun God Appollo, it has been a celebration of the celestial sun coming back after the darkest nights of the year, a celebration of warmth coming back, a celebration of debauchery, a celebration of Christianity, shunned by Christianity prior, last year I watched “Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas” and was surprised at how many different ways it has changed, it was illegal in the USA when the country was founded, it is now a holiday that 90% of Americans celebrate and 51% of them religiously (according to the article “How Many Americans Celebrate Christmas? It’s Time To Get Into The Holiday Spirit“). I don’t appreciate the pressure in the title, by the way, today is Sunday, I choose to have a spirit of calm and reflection today and I don’t want that trampled on by other people’s suggestion that I have to “get into a spirit of celebration,” because they said so.

I find it silly society finds it appropriate to tell other people what to do with their spirit and sillier that most of my life I let that stress me out. I think I’m done with being bullied by adds, articles ext.

I’m completely supportive of people finding and doing non-hurtful things that they enjoy for the holidays, but one person’s preference does not need to be pushed on more and more people to validate it. The 90% of people who enjoy Christmas do not need to bully the other 10% to join to have fun, it Christmas is good it will still be good without forcing people who don’t want to participate to join in.

So once I thought I couldn’t live in the USA without feeling stressed, rushed and pressured about the holidays, but then two things happened, one I realized I have control over myself and I stopped choosing to respond that way to the suggestion by other people, advertising, or imaginary views of society and two I connected to my own family about what they enjoyed (which was much less of a burden than the holidays as a whole as presented by advertisements, movies, TV ext) and I decided mindfully what I was willing and able to be a part of in a healthy way.

Some kids may be disappointed this year that I don’t buy them anything, but they were disappointed every year I bought them anything as well, because it wasn’t enough, even if it was right, it wasn’t enough for them, so in a way their disappointment was what freed me emotionally, if I can disappoint all the kids for free, then why spend hundreds of dollars to disappoint them? If they don’t feel loved with gifts, as they shouldn’t, because gifts “are not love,” then do I “have to” do that just because 90% of other people in the country are doing that. I’m not fat and the average American is 17 lbs overweight, do I need to gain 17 lbs just because other people in the country are doing that? I think not. I think it’s my choice and I choose to have a non-materialistic Christmas with very little decoration, overspending, effort or stress.

A look at modern America:

Here’s what average looks like in America, according to U.S. Census data, Pew Research Center findings, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Institute of Retirement Security, NerdWallet and the CDC:

  • The average American household is about $131,000 in debt.
  • The average American spends $69 a day.
  • The average American has $34 in their pocket.
  • The average American watches 33 hours of TV a week.
  • The average American reads just four books a year.
  • The average American works 34.4 hours per week.
  • The average American is 17 pounds overweight.
  • The average American spends 116 minutes a day, or about two hours, on social media.
  • The average American spends five hours a day on their cell phone.
  • The average American consumes 11 alcoholic drinks a week.
  • The average American exercises just 17 minutes a day.
  • The average American has less than $1,000 in savings.
  • The average American makes about $48,000 a year.

I don’t want to say I’m doing better, but I’m doing differently, I’m living with a strong joy in my heart, I’m fit not because I feel compelled to look good to others, but so I can walk places I like to go, play with my kids and teach martial arts, I’m still about $42,000 in debt, but I’m not ashamed by the debt anymore, or crushed by the feeling of having children without owning our own house or being able to afford their future college ext, we may live humbly, but our overall life quality is high, we have love and music and good education, health and good food, very good friends, supportive family, we live in Hawaii for half the year and California for the other half, so we can access the wonderful schools, beaches and nature in Hawaii and the many science activities, friends and family in California. I think I know exactly what a normal American life feels like, I used to work 76-126 hours a week (since I worked in health care it’s legal, possible and common) and still have no money after paying for college. I worked long hours, spent too much and had too little to show for the sacrifice of not having time for personal growth, passion projects or well being. I know what it’s like, the way to change is to know that you don’t have to, you choose to and you don’t always have to take the highest money-making choice or buy what other people have or eat or do or watch what other people suggest that you do, people suggest you try things they like, not out of malice, but because “they like” them, but at a point it becomes necessary for well being to live the way that “you like” to the extent that you can and it’s surprising how far you can make changes that once felt beyond your control when you start dancing in the bathroom instead of waiting, no one stops you, when you smile at the things you love, no one stops you, when you order two of your favorite side dishes instead of the default ones, no one stops you. No one stops you from living your best life more than you do and no one else can give you true permission to start except you.

⭐ Life Improvement Project Week 6 “Be the Change You Want to See in the World”

I think this is the sixth week with this system, I also updated a google slideshow that I was using three years ago to try to replicate the school planners that helped organize homework, goals ext in elementary school (the daily planner). I keep looking for a daily planner that fits me but never find exactly what I want, so I made my own as best as I could. For some reason it felt grounding, meaning I felt like it helped me get my bearings a lot. I integrated the labeling exercise from Lovie Price into the google slideshow naming myself not as people see me per se, but with the identities that most matter to me. Everyone says don’t label people, escape from labels, and I agree about arbitrary ones that fate hands you, however, the labels that describe your soul, it is empowering to find them, name them and claim them. At least it is for me. So I kind of want to merge these goals with my daily planner goals somehow. On my daily planner I have four goals that are kind of immediate and real, but not deep or the most important, here I have the things that really matter to me, yet I am aware my system is a bit over-complicated and unclear still. I’m hoping to integrate myself with these (my long term goals) and my mid-range goals soon, but possibly not today. I realized all these habits were the “be the change you want to see in the world” so I dropped that as an individual habit.

Na Kanaka (Human Kind):

Life Time Social Goal: Treat Others with Dignity and Some Human Respect

Using: Learner Strength

Large Practice: Assertive Communication

Tiny Plan: Become grateful and use problems as a time to connect with other people.

πŸ—Ή Gratitude Challenge – “Going extremely well again, literally powering all my other goals emotionally with this now, it’s no longer hard to do.”

πŸ—Ή Look Up – “Going well, not perfect, but honestly better than last week. What helps is not being always available, if I allow everyone to interrupt me at all times I am bitter and eager to zone out, if I set limits like my dad can only chat with me Friday, my daughter has to play alone at least from 1-2PM, my husband can talk to me when he gets home, but not at his work unless it’s important-ish, then I want to honor the person during the time I made for them, I guess in a word: boundaries.”

πŸ—Ή Look In – “Going good, sometimes I worry about my daughter when I don’t need to, once this week I looked into her soul as best as I could and found she was really into what she was drawing vs being sad because her face was not smiling. “

πŸ—Ή Connect with Other Humans – “Going great, I’ve been honest with everyone I talked to and if we didn’t like each other at least all parties had the benefit of communicating honestly.”

πŸ—Ή Read books or Articles – “Article of the week is: 90 Days Facebook Free!, by Lovie Price, it’s so helpful for me, someone who had problems with internet stalking and just recently, very timidly started Facebook for the first time, doing it backwards to most people (starting when most people have quit) kind of allows me to avoid a lot of the pitfalls, but it’s still been hard drawing new boundaries and I just realized why it’s so hard is because one good friend of mine is a bully online (not to me but to others) I didn’t want to think that one of my good friends was part of the negativity that people are leaving Facebook to avoid, but it’s true. The quick solution is to stop following their feed, but I guess I had been avoiding drawing the conclusion that someone who was a major source of motivation and respect in real life, was the opposite when it came to the internet, or perhaps they have just changed over time?” The second article is “Society and Aging Women,” also by Lovie Price, it’s really beautiful in its honestly kind of like looking out onto a dessert at dusk and noticing the stars above a vast and stark ocean of sand. It’s not poetry, but that’s the way I feel after reading it. There were so many truths that I have lived with, yet never heard voiced, Lovie is braver than I am, I don’t discuss feminine topics out of both a fear to be misinterpreted as a feminist when I stand quite firmly in favor of both/all genders (I wouldn’t open an all-girls school to close the gap in poor areas, I would just open a school, if most families have brothers and fathers supporting just the women is pretending that we don’t all affect one another’s well being, some people don’t have females or males in their family, but overwhelmingly we count on each other as a whole and should work together by tearing down the idea of separateness, that’s my view anyway) but also because I grew up not identifying with females (born and always was female, but didn’t identify with them, hetero ext, married, have kids) so it almost feels like I’m not qualified to speak for a group I never emotionally claimed. Like an American of Irish heritage may or may not choose to learn about Ireland, I haven’t really learned or associated with my gender, but the world has always judged me by it and I have experienced the impact of it, therefore I suppose I am, even though I still don’t feel like it. I was reading Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations Book 2:”

6. Go on, go on, O my soul, to affront and dishonour thyself! The time that remains to honour thyself will not be long. Short is the life of every man; and thine is almost spent; spent, not honouring thyself, but seeking thy happiness in the souls of other men. 7. Cares from without distract you: take leisure, then, to add some good thing to your knowledge; have done with vacillation, and avoid the other error. For triflers, too, are they who, by their activities, weary themselves in life, and have no settled aim to which they may direct, once and for all, their every desire and project. 8. Seldom are any found unhappy from not observing what is in the minds of others. But such as observe not well the stirrings of their own souls must of necessity be unhappy. 9. Remember always what the nature of the Universe is, what your own nature is, and how these are relatedβ€”the one to the other. Remember what part your qualities are of the qualities of the whole, and that no man can prevent you from speaking and acting always in accordance with that nature of which you are a part.

And something between seeking the correct balance between productivity and rejuvenation (ie self-care or leisure) resonated with Lovie Prices’ 90 Days Facebook Free! article and Marcus Aurelius’ writings. He says “but seeking thy happiness in the souls of other men” is a waste of time, Lovie says “There is something very sad about β€œneeding” that type of validation to feel good about oneself.” It seems to me that the same emotional process has been going on since ancient Rome and probably even before, that perhaps the market place gossip changed to Facebook gossip, yet at the deepest level it remains the same. The first time I had the feeling humans haven’t been changed significantly by technology was watching “I Love Lucy,” I didn’t like it growing up, I thought it was silly, then I saw it again after a few years of being married and it had become my marriage almost exactly. Some things were different, I married a Mexican, not a Cuban, I don’t care about fame, but I do want my husband’s attention and he ignores me for his smartphone (instead of the newspaper). I have a feeling that blaming technology for depression and discontent misses the mark, perhaps the way we fall into habits to use it is at fault. Like guns don’t kill people, people kill people with guns. Tech doesn’t kill people, not having emotional boundaries for healthy tech usage does kill people. There were so many interesting points in both of Lovie’s articles that I’m not going to be able to finish ruminating about it anytime soon but they both resonate with books. 90 Days Facebook Free! resonates with The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God which is not a religious book despite the title, it’s a book about connecting in your own soul to your internal validation despite any religion, it’s spiritual, but not religious, I think Steve McSwain did an excellent job of keeping thought experiments and meditations non-religious in this book even though he is religious in his personal and professional life, I think it was a very well done and inclusive book about connecting with internal validation. Society and Aging Women resonates with The Science of Attraction: Flirting, Sex, and How to Engineer Chemistry and Love by Patrick King. I never would have read that book, but someone else bought it and left it near me and I was so surprised that it held so much information that I should have known earlier, it talks in detail about how male and female brains differ in real, scientifically tested way rather than made up ways that are not helpful, it was insightful in knowing how people act and also made me feel more connected to the opposite gender, because although there are some differences, especially in dating and romance, there are so many parallels in reality that society pretends are not there. In my opinion, knowing the differences makes it easier to see how small the differences are and feel a sense of solidarity with both genders.

πŸ—Ή Radical Acceptance – “Going well.”

πŸ—Ή See problems as opportunities. – “Getting better in as much as, I’m taking responsibility if I am rushing, instead of thinking so and so is making me rush, so using the problem of rushing myself in an unaware, frantic, checklist, type A, kind of life as the opportunity to own my decisions, slow down, is not only an opportunity to have the time to enjoy what matters and take care of the most important responsibilities first (prioritize) it is also the time for me to take direct ownership of my life emotionally and grow my proactivity, it’s a time to assume the mantle of self leadership.”

Ke Akua (Spirituality):

Life Time Goal: Live with Serenity, Proactivity

Using: Intellection Strength

Large Practice: Kaizen, Kon Mari, Minimalism

Tiny Plan: Keep decluttering.

πŸ—Ή Malama Pono – Be forthright and proactive in your life. – “Going well, I guess at some point I was told to be quiet to get along with others and my choice was just to avoid others all together, yet as I’m growing I see that all parents make mistakes and it was a mistake of my parents to have and share such a limited perspective on humanity, there are those who will listen and stand with you when you tell your truth and those who won’t, but staying quiet leads to a kind of slow death when no one knows the real you, not even you.”

πŸ—Ή Creative Endeavors: Brainstorming, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Writing, Architecture. – “Going fine, just taking a back seat to the kids, yet at least I’m able to do a little most days that exercises my brain and makes me feel like a human being instead of a service animal (specifically a pack mule since I wear my baby a lot).”

πŸ—Ή Create your own reality consciously. – “Going well, I have to keep challenging myself, but every week is better than the last, noticing problems and addressing them instead of complaining or blaming, for the most part.”

Ka ‘Aina (That Which Nourishes):

Life Time Goal: Perseverance

Using: Responsibility Strength

Large Practice: Permaculture Gardening, Martial Arts, Stoic Living

Tiny Plan: Teach martial arts in the non-growth season, farm in the spring and summer. Stoic Quote of the Day.

πŸ—Ή Aloha Κ»Δ€ina – “Teaching is getting more rewarding, my daughter can read “play” that for some reason is much more rewarding than her learning to read and write the letters, not sure how to put words to that feeling yet. It’s a small moment where I had what feels like a large impact on someone. If I didn’t do it someone else would have, but that feeling of teaching someone to read is so powerful for some reason. Maybe because I love words, there is a hidden power to words beyond just identifying items and feelings, words have the power to shape the items and feelings as well, to create concepts that wouldn’t otherwise exist, yet are real in non-physical, yet quantifiable ways.”

Lōkahi (Harmony/Life Balance):

Life Time Goal: Resilience

Using: Resolver Strength

Large Practice: Self Leadership

Tiny Plan: Keep working with this Life Improvement System

πŸ—Ή Seek and Discuss Healing, Reunite that Which has Been Broken into Unity, and Awareness (in Short, to Renew) – “Going well instead of phrasing this goal to teach others I shifted it as it should be to teach myself and now it feels honest and in harmony with where I am and what I can and want to do.”

πŸ—Ή Set Weekly Goals – “Still trying to clarify, hacking away at the excess, while trying not to cut out the part that is working to improve my life, because thankfully the system is working and life is getting more peaceful and beautiful (or at least I am able to see the beauty since I’m at peace).”

πŸ—Ή Cleaning – “Going wonderful, grateful to have a very small house, that makes it easier.”

☐ Money: Keep Careful Track of Your Income and Expenses. – “Better than ever, yet still not careful.”

The New System First Week Review:

14 Points of 15 Points = 93% this week, that feels right, I wanted not to get a good score, but to have a metric for success that matched my feeling that I was either being the best I could reasonably be for who I really am right now or getting distracted and forgetting the changes that I felt and said I wanted to make. This may seem excessive, but it’s been really helpful as an exercise in meta-thinking, to have something I can use to see the way that I think about life and identify sources of discontent and help me rebalance my life as needed. I would recommend this kind of process to anyone who feels overwhelmed, instead of something that makes life more overwhelming it has definitely been worth the time it takes, because it’s one more thing to do, but it helps eliminate so many unnecessary things that it saves time in the end.

Thank you, readers! You honor me by taking the time to share the journey with me and thank you for your help learning new good habits and accepting my failures along the way! A special thanks to Lovie Price for your rare honesty and inspiring consistency, it’s been a pleasure reading your work! 🌻

⭐ Life Improvement Project Week 5

This is the fifth week with the new second system, it’s only been two days since the last post because that post was five days late, but it’s a different time in my life anyway. I was able to declutter my home and shift my attitude back towards gratitude, which changes everything. I realize this system is a little bloated so I’m looking for what I can achieve and what needs to stay.

Na Kanaka (Human Kind):

Life Time Goal: Treat Others with Dignity and Some Human Respect

Using: Learner Strength

Large Practice: Assertive Communication

Tiny Plan: Become grateful and use problems as a time to connect with other people.

πŸ—Ή Gratitude Challenge – “Going so well, not perfect, not by any means, but started collecting a quick note of one moment I loved with my son, my daughter and in general, they are all from today though not recycled from the past.

πŸ—Ή Look Up – “Going well, I caught myself slipping tonight when my husband came home, yet before it was reversed I caught myself being good only rarely.”

πŸ—Ή Look In – “Surprisingly going well, when I vent to my husband about the things I don’t like in my life I wonder about him, how hard he works to give me this life that isn’t what I want still… and how he is doing in general because I am so busy with our two kids and myself that I don’t even usually know or ask, but this last week I have been thinking about how he is and asking, maybe not enough, but more than before. “

πŸ—Ή Connect with Other Humans – “Going well, I’ve been putting my honest self out there and hopefully, I will be able to not get too sensitive when negativity eventually visits me.”

πŸ—Ή Read books or Articles – “Article of the week is: What I’ve Learned About Myself in my Brief Blogging Adventure, by Ebony, she explains the feeling of realizing she wasn’t a nice person, that happened to me about two years ago as well. Many people want to comfort you because it’s not looked at as being fine to be a not that nice female, yet males that are gruff or tough are often lauded… I like myself honest, I like myself responsible, I like myself with boundaries that protect what matters most to me, so sometimes that puts me in other people’s not nice box and I’m fine with that. I’d rather be kind to the people I love than nice to the people who would want me to do their bidding before my own is done. Being nice, in Hawaiian is summed up by the idea of “Aloha,” which means share the breath of life, it means to fill your own heart first, know love and acceptance yourself, then offer it outwards to the world. Very similar to the airplane oxygen mask recommendation, fix your air supply, then help others. I think nicer people were people who received love and people like myself are simply starting from a different origin or perhaps nice is just one flavor of people? Like milk chocolate and dark chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate myself. The article was healing for me because I took too many criticisms of blogging to heart and this article is the kind of honesty that disproves the attacks that everything on the internet is fake or bloggers are all egotistical ext.”

πŸ—Ή Radical Acceptance – “Gratitude helps me, once I have something good in my heart and mind, accepting the bad is so much easier, it changes my perspective though not my circumstances.”

πŸ—Ή See problems as opportunities. – “I’m unprepared for martial art class this Sunday, but it will allow me to let the students design more of the curriculum.”

Ke Akua (Spirituality):

Life Time Goal: Live with Serenity, Proactivity

Using: Intellection Strength

Large Practice: Kaizen, Kon Mari, Minimalism

Tiny Plan: Keep decluttering.

πŸ—Ή Malama Pono – Be forthright and proactive in your life. – “Going well, I told my daughter when she was making me claustrophobic instead of holding it in because I was ashamed to ask for breathing room.”

πŸ—Ή Creative Endeavors: Brainstorming, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Writing, Architecture. – “Going well, starting to sketch more freehand just to sort out life.”

πŸ—Ή Create your own reality consciously. – “Going well, I have to keep challenging myself, but I can feel when I am living ahead of life instead of playing catch up and it feels great.”

Ka ‘Aina (That Which Nourishes):

Life Time Goal: Perseverance

Using: Responsibility Strength

Large Practice: Permaculture Gardening, Martial Arts, Stoic Living

Tiny Plan: Teach martial arts in the non-growth season, farm in the spring and summer. Stoic Quote of the Day.

πŸ—Ή Aloha Κ»Δ€ina – “Teaching is getting more organized and balanced.”

πŸ—Ή Be the Change you Want to See Happen Instead of Trying to Change Anyone Else. – “It’s going well.”

Lōkahi (Harmony/Life Balance):

Life Time Goal: Resilience

Using: Resolver Strength

Large Practice: Self Leadership

Tiny Plan: Keep working with this Life Improvement System

πŸ—Ή Communicate and Illuminate Healing Reunite that Which has Been Broken into Unity, and Awareness (in Short, to Renew) – “Going well from myself to myself, myself to my family, myself to my friends, myself to the world.”

πŸ—Ή Set Weekly Goals – “Getting in sync, cutting the excess.”

πŸ—Ή Cleaning – “Going so well.”

πŸ—Ή Money: Keep Careful Track of Your Income and Expenses. – “Finally keeping track of money more, not spending less, just watching carefully.”

The New System First Week Review:

15 Points of 15 Points = 100% this short week, that feels right everything seems to be falling into a beautiful balance without a struggle.

Thank you, readers! You honor me by taking the time to share the journey with me! 🌻

πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈStoic Walks

A few years ago, in the late summer of 2017, I started using the free website Coach.me because at the time I wanted to be a life coach. I didn’t end up becoming a life coach professionaly, although I was successful with all three of my test clients it was more draining than it was worth for me. Yet in the end I did become a life coach for myself and kids, which is important in it’s own right. Anyways the point is I found and joined a community of stoics via the “Stoic Quote of the Day” Habit.

I think I may have become interested after reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” by Mark Manson, or maybe I had always had stoic tendencies. Early on in my marriage my husband attacked my stoic behaviour, it could have been because he is very reactive and passionate that he didn’t appreciate me showing him his behaviour was his choice not mandatory or simply because he was hurt by something else or because it’s hard not to be afraid of differences, but for some time I was ashamed to be who I was because my husband insulted me. Over time I got over caring what my husband thought, even though we are still together and happier now I care very little about what he thinks, because he thinks very quicklyy without any fact checking. I respect my husbands right to an opinion, his feelings, his hard work, who he is, but no longer what he thinks and that has allowed me happiness and well being I didn’t have when I did care what he thought.

A modern definition of a stoic by Nassim Nicholas Taleb “A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.” It’s not how the mainstream portays them which I think is just an accidental placement of “Spartan” steriotypes onto “Stoics” because they are both from Ancient Greece.

What I would say is that stoicsm is how to prevent other people’s problems and baggage from weighing you down so much you can no longer see the beauty of life nor feel empowered to be the archatect of your own inner and outer worlds.

“7 Habits of Highly Succesful People” and “9 Habits of a Hands Free Life” are stoic books that don’t use the term stoic. “7 Habits of Highly Succesful People” introduces proactivity, the instant after something happens where you can choose how to view the event and what to do (or blindly react) and “9 Habits of a Hands Free Life” deals with being mindfully aware of unpleasant truths without being crippled by the real and valid negativity of life.

So besides those books I also read the classics, “Meditations,” “Ego is the Enemy,” ext. “Meditations” was a special book, it was a diary, never intended to be published. It was the Roman Emporer Marcus Aurelius’ personal workbook of him trying to live by stoic quotes/stoic philosophy from Epictetus (a slave and great philosopher) and others such as Seneca (a roman senetor forced to commit suicide due to regime change). “Meditations” seems like a blog straight out of modern life, the problems in it are timeless (or at least still happen to me).

This quote from “Meditations:” reminds me of many coworkers I’ve had, “Betimes in the morning say to thyself, this day I shalt have to do with an idle curious man, with an unthankful man, a railer, a crafty, false, or an envious man; an unsociable uncharitable man. All these ill qualities have happened unto them, through ignorance of that which is truly good and truly bad.” – Marcus Aurelius

There are 50 quotes in the Coach.me Stoic Quote of the Day list that repeat, as I’ve read them I’ve also questioned their validity (finding a handful seemingly invalid) and tried them all via tiny habit action plans for real life. So the quotes were not just quotes, they were meditations, ideas, actions to try, and for the most part became habits.

I happened to take a free personality test before (years ago) and after (yesterday) these past two years of stoic meditation, I have the same personality, but am 6% more open minded, 17% more mindful, 15% more outgoing, 26% nicer, 13% more willing to improve myself.

I’m still the same person (the olympian) yet more than twice as nice as before. That has really helped me form better connections in my family, marriage and deeper connections with my friends.

My rotine is to wake up, check email, play Sims Freeplay (send everyone to work since the game works in real time), open my agenda (Habitca), set my intention while reading my first habitca daily task:

“INTELLECTION: Create My Own Reality Consciously
“I chose to be grateful to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy… ” Therefore I should live my best life possible, which is to mālama pono by:

  1. Being forthright and proactive. (Responsible)
  2. Examining life. (Input)
  3. Helpful restore balance. (Resolver)
  4. Clarify complicated things. (Intellection)
  5. Live stoically (Learn) https://www.coach.me/dashboard,”

and do my Stoic Quote of the Day Meditation (via link above in bold copied from my Habitca dashboard).

I’ve done stoic meditations as a workbook with this format (adapted from the Life Values Inventory self leadership for values based living formula)

🍁 Stoic Quote X 🍁
πŸ“˜ Input: β€œY” πŸ“πŸπŸ•
πŸ’‘ Intellection: I think Z.
πŸ› οΈ Responsibility: Serenity or proactivity?
πŸŽ‰ Resolution: I’m celebrating that A.
🐒 Learning: I’m learning B.

Three hundred and twelve times over the past thee years, which is about six cycles of the fifty quotes and although I still don’t have the quotes memorized, I have their meaning in my mind and can often (not always) live by them in daily life.

I have a daughter and she loves the remake of Mr. Roger’s Neighboorhood “Daniel Tiger’s Neighboorhood.” I wasn’t happy about her watching TV at first, but I was suprised to find it’s also a source of stoic philosophy. The first episode the cartoon tiger’s dad explains “when something seems bad, turn it around and find something good.” The second episode says “when we do something new, let’s talk about what we’ll do.” That’s in essence stoic philosophy, it’s not saying keep something that “is bad,” just question mentally what “seems bad,” and talking about new ideas is in essence entertaining ideas and stoic meditation.

Yesterday after two years of stoic meditation I felt I knew enough to start discussing the quotes with ny daughter. We went for a walk in the windy fall day and holding hands she repeated the first quote twice and we discussed what it meant:

“While we are postponing, life speeds by. Nothing … is ours, except time.”

– Seneca

The way I explained it was “opportunity cost,” my daughter picked to walk to the 98c Store so we didn’t go to the track (which she also loves). I also explained if she had many dino toys and no time to play with them it would be as if she had none, she seemed to understand well. It made me wonder if I give her enough time to play or not? As I try to teach her reading, math, music, art I hope that I always remember to leave time to play, as draumatic play is said to stimulate the brain the most. I don’t want to force down information at the cost of handicapping the organ that is supposed to be the master of that information, not the slave.

First I read the stoic quotes, then I thought about it, then I started writing about it, then I started talking about it with my family and friends, now I’m talking the talk and walking the walk.

⭐ Life Improvement Project Week 4

This is the fourth week with the new second system, it’s the first time I’ve been five days late, but it’s also kind of the most important time because I’m adjusting instead of quitting. Today I retook a personality test (Who Am I?) from visualdna.com and got the same result as a few years ago, the Olympian, but my big five scores (openness, neuroticism, extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) have changed. It was interesting to track the changes over a few years. Getting the same personality overall made the test seem more legitimate to me. I gave my daughter the test also and because it was pictures based she was able to take it even though she is only four. It was really helpful getting an idea of who she is now, even if it changes later, who she is now is the person I have to live with and teach right now. I’d love to know what any of the readers get for the “Who Am I” test just to see, it was a quick test if you have time please comment which personality you are and if it seems right for you?

Na Kanaka (Human Kind):

Life Time Goal: Live with Humility, Authenticity, Mindfulness

Using: Learner Strength (I’m still a bit rude in my daily life, but I can learn to replace that habit. I actually got data from visualdna.com that I went up from 24% nice to 50% nice, ie agreeableness, that’s a great improvement! Mostly due to the advice from “Never Split the Difference,” and “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”), Input Strength (I can swallow my pride, take advice and learn from others, I got data from visualdna.com that my open-mindedness, ie openness, went up from 90%-96% I think from techniques from “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”).

Large Practice: Assertive Communication

Tiny Plan: Become grateful and use problems as a time to connect with other people.

☐ Gratitude Challenge – “I lost my gratitude and lost my happiness, what happened was that my daughter had her fourth birthday (which is fine), she had a multiweek extravaganza that put everyone else’s life on hold temporarily (which is fine), but because there was so much stuff to do I started rushing (which is a huge problem) and rushing made me lose my gratitude and when I lost it I lost all my sincere enjoyment of life. So I spent nine days without gratitude and got more and more dissatisfied, until today I said “no more, I’m not going to live a life I hate when I am the only one in charge of myself,” and I thought about what my goals, responsibilities, and ways to have fun were, my daughter’s and sons goals, responsibilities and ways to have fun and I made action plans to allow us to work towards all those things. My goals from half past the hour to 40 minutes, my daughter from 50 past to the new hour, my son from 10 minutes past to 20 minutes the hour past, a break from 20 minutes past to half past the hour, flex time from the new hour to 10 minutes past, regular life ie cleaning or household duties from 40 minutes past to 50 minutes past. Since having two kids I’ve felt like it was impossible to focus on anything or make time for myself, this system I just made isn’t rigorous but it helps me focus mentally. Sure if my baby cries when it’s time to teach piano to the older kid I still pick him up, yet without making time for the older child I didn’t know when to have music time, now it’s 3:50-4PM, which is fine for her age (4). Now we have a designated time to meet her three goals of learning reading, music, and drawing and time for my three goals of doing my daily stoic meditation, writing, and my new “good things today” gratitude list. I wrote a few things to be grateful for on a piece of paper when I came home today, my daughter did as well, something about the walk got me out of a mental funk of me feeling like a victim because we had a leak that made our house moldy and I haven’t been making any time for the things I like to do, since I felt like I couldn’t (which wasn’t true). Gratitude for bad things is possible, but gratitude for good things was an easier way to get back into being grateful. One reason I may have gotten off my good habit so easily is that “neurons that fire together wire together,” meaning I was grateful in Hawaii and I left to California where I lived ungratefully for 33 years, so being back there fired my ungrateful memories of being and I kind of have to completely restart again. Like a drug addict who was clean in rehab, but struggled back in “the old neighboorhood” I have to learn new associations for the place I am living. I am completely motivated to restart though because gratitude gave me a window into a kind of true happiness and joy that I hadn’t experienced before and it’s totally worth the struggle of restarting the challenge. I am grateful that I found the challenge to begin with, that I practiced in Hawaii where it was easier, that I noticed that I fell off and was honest and that I have a plan on how to live a better life without feeling overwhelmed so I can start the challenge again here.”

πŸ—Ή Look Up – “Going well, when I first unpacked things were bad and rushed and the birthday week was bad, but throughout things being bad I noticed they were bad, that I was rushing and unaware and missing out on my kids growing up and I was constantly checking myself to try harder.”

πŸ—Ή Look In – “Surprisingly going well, when I vent to my husband about the things I don’t like in my life I wonder about him, how hard he works to give me this life that isn’t what I want still… and how he is doing in general because I am so busy with our two kids and myself that I don’t even usually know or ask, but this last week I have been thinking about how he is and asking, maybe not enough, but more than before. “

πŸ—Ή Connect with Other Humans – “Going well, I’ve been thinking of service people as people instead of as something like furniture that’s just there to be used, haven’t been talking a lot more to them, but just saying thank you and meaning it and thinking of differently.”

πŸ—Ή Read books or Articles – “Article of the week is: “Solange’s Subliminal Messages Expounding My Present Life.” by Nomz, it was very interesting, I love the way her writing ties together really complicated, deep parts of being human in creative ways. I’ve felt music describe my life before, I think we all do, but I’ve never read it tied together in the way that it was in this article. For the past two years after reading “Happiness is Not Enough” by Mark Manson I’ve been doing art projects related to emotional diversity, but this article is the first time I’ve read an article that addresses the interplay of emotions that take place on a given week vs just one emotion.

☐ Radical Acceptance – “I was so resistant to reality and so entitled about the bad things that happened to me being “unacceptable” instead of accepting that “what is” is and I need to face reality, own my dissatisfaction and take actions of change.”

☐ See problems as opportunities. – “I wanted to, but couldn’t manage it this week.”

πŸ—Ή Respectful, Treating People as Human. – “Going well.”

Ke Akua (Spirituality):

Life Time Goal: Live with Serenity, Proactivity

Using: Intellection Strength

Large Practice: Kaizen, Kon Mari, Minimalism

Tiny Plan: Keep decluttering.

πŸ—Ή Malama Pono – Be forthright and proactive in your life. – “Going well, I sent an email to the principle of a school for my daughter and told her the truth about our living situation, six months in her state and six months out of state and she was helpful and supportive.”

πŸ—Ή Walk Away from Anger, Ego, Hate, Fear, Clinging to the Past. – “Walked away from fear that my son will be messed up emotionally if I let him cry a little to take care of myself or his sister and then get back to him, I don’t have a choice, but even if I did, now I believe in his strength to grow his ability to handle frustration or find ways to comfort himself.”

πŸ—Ή Boldly Celebrate Yourself – “I drew my goals, responsibilities, and things I do for fun, that was a really cool way to celebrate myself a little bit.”

πŸ—Ή Creative Endeavors: Brainstorming, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Writing, Architecture. – “Going well, about to finish two projects tomorrow.”

☐ Create your own reality consciously. – “Tried, but failed last week.”

☐ Have no expectations, but rather, abundant expectancy. “Tried, but failed last week.”

Ka ‘Aina (That Which Nourishes):

Life Time Goal: Perseverance

Using: Responsibility Strength

Large Practice: Permaculture Gardening, Martial Arts, Stoic Living

Tiny Plan: Teach martial arts in the non-growth season, farm in the spring and summer. Stoic Quote of the Day (tidy up the farm this coming week).

☐ Aloha Κ»Δ€ina – “Not well, sprouted tomatoes, but neglected them and they died.”

☐ Be the Change you Want to See Happen Instead of Trying to Change Anyone Else. – “Tried, but failed last week.”

πŸ—Ή Let People Help You/Provide Others with Opportunities to Give – “I accepted help with my daughter’s birthday.”

Lōkahi (Harmony/Life Balance):

Life Time Goal: Resilience

Using: Resolver Strength

Large Practice: Self Leadership

Tiny Plan: Keep working with this Life Improvement System

☐ Communicate and Illuminate Healing Reunite that Which has Been Broken into Unity, and Awareness (in Short, to Renew) – “Tried, but failed last week.”

πŸ—Ή Set Weekly Goals – “Yes, here. Late, but not never.”

πŸ—Ή Take Daily Steps Toward Achieving those Goals – “I did, but the goals were stale.”

πŸ—Ή Errands, Cleaning, Paying Bills on Time – “Going well, but maybe at too high a cost.”

☐ Money: Keep Careful Track of Your Income and Expenses. – “Did a little, but not much.”

The New System First Week Review:

13 Points of 22 Points = 59% this week, that feels right, the week felt horrible. It makes sense that not living my values or achieving my goals would feel horrible.

Thank you reader you honor me by making the time to read this, for sharing this journey with me! 🌻

⭐ Life Improvement Project Week 3

This is the third week with the new second system, it’s been overly hectic. My dad decided to open up about decluttering, so I jumped on the oportunity to help because my dad hasn’t ever expressed genuine interest in decluttering before and I’m a huge fan of living with less to have more time to live a better life through decluttering or minimalism. So we washed a lot of laundry and discussed some of the reasons he was holding onto more clothes than he probably is benefited by having. Some of the leather jackets were moldy because of our high humidity climate everything needed to be rewashed and vacuum sealed. There was a financial cost of laundry soap, electricity, vacuum seal bags, under bed storage containers, bed risers, but also an emotional cost of remembering the past, thinking about the future ie doubting there would be enough money to get new clothes in the future. I had really wanted to get the garden in order that day, but instead we started organizing clothes, which was good, but also it hurts me not to have time to finish the garden organization that I wanted to do. I don’t often have help with my kids, the time I have help with them is so limited that it is extreemly valuble. I can get things done while watching my kids, but not at the same pace, my daughter asks a lot of questions and learns a lot about the world, but it slows us to 1-10% of the speed I would be able to work at alone. It’s nice she learns a lot, but it’s not nice that I get exausted and still have the rest of the day to get through her tantrums with attempted patience and grace, still would like to do dishes and laundry, still would like to get the garden in order. But I can’t. It’s still the same problem I’ve been having for the past three months, what I want to do is more than I can do. I’m so passionate about my own unmet goals that I’m resentful at helping the people in my life that I would like to help without being resentful. I am still unable to balance how much time I give my projects and well being with how much I help my loved ones with their projects and well being and I really hate it. Even though I am grateful to have other people in my life and happy to help after I get my projects done, I consistently don’t put my goals first and am not satisfied with that day in and day out. I’ve been trying to set better boundaries, but it feels like it takes me 2-4 days to notice I’m not okay with something and set a new limit. It takes me a long time to admit that something doesn’t work for me instead of trying to force myself to appriciate a life that I don’t want to be a part of. For example rushing, there is no reason that I need to rush 99% of the time but the status quo in my family is to rush, so it took a long time to say to myself, my dad or sister may like to rush, but I don’t so I won’t let them rush me anymore (absent of a really good reason). I feel kind of like a Rosa Parks, sitting down tiredly for justice. My problems have all gotten better this past month, yet I’m not sure if the core negative beliefs have been adressed. In essence I feel like my tendency is to oblige others to much instead of upholding what I want and need in my life. This is the week that my husband flew in to Hawaii to take a micro vacation (2 days) and then fly together with my daughter, son and I to California where I will begrudgingly spend the other half of my year (November-April). I would like to be grateful to be in California, but I like it so much less, actually I hate it, that it’s very difficult for me, there are some really amazing people there who I do love, yet I hate the weather, crowds, scenery, falsness, materialism, egotism, lack of wilderness in our area. We are in Southern California, in Yosemite there is pretty much everything I love, so I guess I should be honest that I don’t hate “California” I hate North Orange County. After growing up in Honolulu, North Orange County is too dry, it is too windy, it is too “not Hawaii” for me. Both are expensive, so it’s not about that, both are beautiful, so it’s not about that, it’s about having some sense of personal space without being packed into a population density that makes me feel like a sardine and it’s about living somewhere other people understand and support and share my values without me having to say anything, it’s about living somewhere that my if my kids misbehave they are treated like treasures still instead of a nuisance, it’s about living somewhere that uplifts and supports me everyday, it’s about living somewhere where someone is rude and nasty to me once a year instead of on a daily basis, it’s about living somewhere where I can feel connected to the land as well as to the people, it’s about living somewhere I can feel “home,” regardless of what state I was born in, how many years I lived where, I feel at home in Hawaii and I haven’t been able to make my heart feel that way in California ever (other than Yosemite).

Na Kanaka (Human Kind):

Life Time Goal: Live with Humility, Authenticity, Mindfulness

Using: Learner Strength (I’m still a bit rude in my daily life, but I can learn to replace that habit), Input Strength (I can swallow my pride, take advice and learn from others).

Large Practice: Assertive Communication

Tiny Plan: Become grateful and use problems as a time to connect with other people.

πŸ—Ή Gratitude Challenge – “It was such an amazing experience actually, it was so special to be doing it with someone in Africa because when the sun set on my gratitude and I was going to sleep they were awake and the world was constantly filled with our gratitude like a big loop circling the planet. It sounds cheesy, but it gave me this deep sense of connection to Earth, to other people, that I’ve never had before. As that 30 day challenge ends I don’t look at gratitude as a challenge or something I “give” other people anymore, I look at it as a free gift that I can “take” from experiences, the world or other people at any time, something I can do to life myself up. Words can’t really describe how much the simple 30 days of constant gratitude changed the way I see the world, I wouldn’t have been brave enough to try constant gratitude alone, I’m so greatful to Nomz for starting that challenge. I’m still going to be going further into the habit of gratitude, because there is still a far way for me to go, but I’m not afraid to try any more, I don’t think “that’s silly,” or “that’s fake,” or “that’s not for me,” anymore. Gratitude is so powerful, it’s so helpful, it’s so healing, and it could be for anyone, it can be done in “your own way”. Yesterday I was grateful for the first sunset that I’ve ever been greatful for, it was light pink and gold, subtle, with purple clouds of lavender and violet gray. I may have enjoyed sunsets a few times before, but this was the first one I was ever actively grateful about and it was the most enjoyable of my entire life.”

πŸ—Ή Look Up – “Going well, not only am I trying to leave time to connect with others, but I’m also not shaming myself for being burntout and over drawn emotionally when I am. I’m working at both giving more, yet also accepting when I gave all I could for that moment or that day.”

☐ Look In – “I haven’t made it a habit, it’s still hard for me and a lot has been going on preventing me from having extra focus to use to make this habit yet, it’s something I hope to do sometime this year. “

πŸ—Ή Connect with Other Humans – “Going well, checked in with my very dear friend who I missed their wedding due to having a two month old baby, and found out they are having a baby girl very soon. I feel a little better, I think once they have a two month old they will understand why I couldn’t have left the baby with a sitter at that age. Letting go of that guilt. A second friend took the four tendencies quiz, I always love finding out which type people are, I have a friend who is a questioner and one who is an obliger, also my dad took it and is a rebel like my husband and daughter. Having three rebels in my inner circles is difficult for me, but I think they all help eachother in a cool and special way.”

πŸ—Ή Read books or Articles – “Article of the week is: “I thought you Should Know” by Rachel Macy Stafford, the book it synergizes with is her own book “Only Love Today.” In my opinion Rachel writes about how and why to shift from a life of busywork and auto pilot to one of meaning and relationships first. She describes the internal battle between doing what society thinks you should be able to do and doing what is more important even though it’s different, scary and hard. I’m a huge fan of her work, but I think it’s specifically well suited for upholders with an obliger tendency. For people who can already just say “I love you, but no,” it may not be as life enhancing as it is for me, someone who works on my own goals, yet sweeps them aside all too easily if someone I care about says “help please.”

πŸ—Ή Radical Acceptance – “Going well. I’m not constantly in a state of inner peace, but very close to it. I’m able to live in the present almost all the time now. I’m able to see what I don’t like and understand, that is the way it is now. Maybe because I feel empowered to make changes if I am willing to put my effort and time into it, bad things don’t get me down since I feel I can change bad things.”

πŸ—Ή See problems as opportunities. – “It’s going well, the first time I tried doing this it felt like a lie, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not about fake it until you make it, it’s about finding a way to shift your awareness to really honestly see problems as opportunities.”

Ke Akua (Spirituality):

Life Time Goal: Live with Serenity, Proactivity

Using: Intellection Strength

Large Practice: Kaizen, Kon Mari, Minimalism

Tiny Plan: Keep decluttering.

πŸ—Ή Malama Pono – Be forthright and proactive in your life. – “Going well, I feel like my values and my actions are almost completely in line now, I may not do any large things to support my values, but almost every little thing I do is in line with my values now. I still feel a tiny bit of disodence about being overwhlemed trying to put people first and thinking people should be first and still feel disodence about not enjoying service as much as some people say I should enjoy it.”

πŸ—Ή Walk Away from Anger, Ego, Hate, Fear, Clinging to the Past. – “More and more I’m able to walk away from trying/wanting to or thinking I can be a “super parent.”

πŸ—Ή Boldly Celebrate Yourself – “I have an amazing yellow dress I got for a dollar, it shows my shoulder tattoo in a really cool way, instead of hiding the tattoo that reminds me of my past it show cases it. It’s a small celebration of myself that makes me happy.”

πŸ—Ή Creative Endeavors: Brainstorming, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Writing, Architecture. – “Going okay, still working on a quick project, unhappy that I didn’t use more time for these things that bring me joy. Again what I wanted became an after thought instead of a schedualed activity.”

πŸ—Ή Create your own reality consciously. – “Going well, a work in progress, but going well. I’ve been challenging my sister and father to join me in this in subtle ways, but they are responding so it seems like it’s okay to do that at this time, if they tell me to back off and mind my own buisness I will, but it seems like we are ready to grow together in unity as a family a little bit.”

☐ Have no expectations, but rather, abundant expectancy. “Been slipping on this one, I have a bad expectation that I won’t enjoy returning to California, all my plants in Hawaii will die, and my husband will be a jerk about thinking as a man he doesn’t have a responsibility to take care of his own children that will drive us further and futher apart emotionally. It feels good to write them down, even if writing doesn’t solve them it gets them off my chest a lot.”

Ka ‘Aina (That Which Nourishes):

Life Time Goal: Perseverance

Using: Responsibility Strength

Large Practice: Permaculture Gardening, Martial Arts, Stoic Living

Tiny Plan: Teach martial arts in the non-growth season, farm in the spring and summer. Stoic Quote of the Day (tidy up the farm this coming week).

πŸ—Ή Aloha Κ»Δ€ina – “Going well, still so much I would have wanted to do, yet a lot of progress this year in learning, in setting up systems, in getting help, in growing tomato, papaya, and monkey pod.”

πŸ—Ή Be the Change you Want to See Happen Instead of Trying to Change Anyone Else. – “Going very well, taking a parenting class that dresses up wanting to change my kids, yet able to see through it and shift my mindset to wanting to interact well with my kids and teach them skills, yet not trying to change them.”

πŸ—Ή Let People Help You/Provide Others with Opportunities to Give – “I let my husband buy me souvaneers without feeling guilty, I didn’t overspend, but I did spend and usually I can’t do that without guilt.”

πŸ—Ή Respectful Parenting – “Done doing this.” Changing this to Treating People as Ends, meaning not as a means to an end. Hoping to phrase it better over time.

Lōkahi (Harmony/Life Balance):

Life Time Goal: Resilience

Using: Resolver Strength

Large Practice: Self Leadership

Tiny Plan: Keep working with this Life Improvement System

πŸ—Ή Communicate and Illuminate Healing Reunite that Which has Been Broken into Unity, and Awareness (in Short, to Renew) – “Did do some Kon Mari consultation, but it feels like that isn’t the best way for me, having done it it feels like that’s not going to be my nitch.”

πŸ—Ή Set Weekly Goals – “Yes, here.”

πŸ—Ή Take Daily Steps Toward Achieving those Goals – “Yes, a little bit most days, sometimes taking days off, a lot on some days.”

πŸ—Ή Errands, Cleaning, Paying Bills on Time – “Going well I think, set a new bill to autopay and sometimes that system fails because the fine print says it take “x” amount of days to kick in and the billing cycle is “y” amount of days…”

☐ Money: Keep Careful Track of Your Income and Expenses. – “I am not overspending much that I know of, yet I didn’t spend my energy and time keeping careful track of it this week.”

The New System First Week Review:

18 Points of 22 Points = 81% this week, that feels right, I felt like I wasn’t protecting my boundaries and although I treasured the experience of helping my family I would have wanted to pause, tell them I’m doing a project of my own first and do my project first for just an hour a day and then help them after that.

Thank you reader for sharing this journey with me, it’s interesting that I thought theses articles were the most boring ones I wrote, but they had the most likes so instead of keeping them to myself I continued to write them publicly. The part of my life that seems to be problems is also the part of my life that holds the most hidden value to myself and others, I don’t quite understand it yet, but that is the way it seems to be. 🌻

⭐ New Life Improvement System Week Two

This is the second week with the new (second) system, it’s been a good week. I really cut back on how much I expected to do each day and then when my baby got his teeth in and kept me up all day and all night for three days it didn’t put me behind, because what I expected to get done finally aligned with what I could do. Even still I didn’t finish my project, but I took a lot of steps towards completion and I accepted that it was enough. Reading a lovely post, by Nomz, about how we can balance the process of evolution with the ability to accept and embrace yourself in the current moment. I continue to be super inspired by bloggers in other countries, of different ages, going through the same inner struggles as me, their insights help me, and I hope mine to them, and there is an interconnectedness that people falsely shame bloggers about lacking. People joke that bloggers only rant or write diatribes, but the truth is some inform, some uplift, some grow together. I’m not sure if I’m there yet, but I know from others that it is true and possible, that you can help others with the written or spoken word, whether it be in a book, in person, or on a blog.

Na Kanaka (Human Kind):

Life Time Goal: Live with Humility, Authenticity, Mindfulness

Using: Learner Strength (I’m still a bit rude in my daily life, but I can learn to replace that habit), Input Strength (I can swallow my pride, take advice and learn from others).

Large Practice: Assertive Communication

Tiny Plan: Become grateful and use problems as a time to connect with other people.

πŸ—Ή Gratitude Challenge – “It’s going very well actually. There was a phrase from Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun:” when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learning – because that ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in hisself ’cause the world done whipped him so! when you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.”

πŸ—Ή Look Up – “Going well, I didn’t realize how much I ignored my daughter until I started doing a loose count of how many times I made eye contact vs kept looking at the phone to pay bills or my computer to relax or read ext. Now that I am aware I rarely looked at her, I can imagine why she doesn’t feel I pay attention to her, and she seeks a lot of attention to feel that she matters to me.”

πŸ—Ή Look In – “Going well, my daughter has been letting me into her mind a bit more letting me know it feels like I’m doing things with just her brother all the time. It has been a lot the past three days since the baby got four new teeth and is in a lot of pain. “

πŸ—Ή Connect with Other Humans – “Going well, sometimes a friend has time to get back to me and sometimes not, yet they all do check in from time to time and I treasure them all. One of my friends took the four tendencies quiz, I always love finding out which type people are.”

πŸ—Ή Read books or Articles – “Article of the week is: “Evolving Unfolds Your New Self” by Nomz, the book it synergizes with is Shaun T’s “T Is for Transformation.” Both describe accepting and thanking, who you are right now, to move forward with harmony into your best you.

πŸ—Ή Radical Acceptance – “I’m accepted an elderly neighbor who prefers long conversations, though I prefer concise ones.” I’m a noble out of the six types Noble, Socratic, Reflective, Magistrate, Candidate, and Senator), when I talk to “reflectives” it’s really easy to get annoyed that they are using my time to figure out what their point is as we talk vs me, I think first and then talk. Yet, I’m becoming more accepting and grateful for different types of people in the world. For me it’s not a light switch, on and off, it’s a percentage, I’m 70% able to accept reflective style communication now.”

πŸ—Ή See problems as opportunities. – “It’s going well, I cut my foot at the beach and I know if I hadn’t rested from the blood loss I would never have relaxed and enjoyed the moment either.”

Ke Akua (Spirituality):

Life Time Goal: Live with Serenity, Proactivity

Using: Intellection Strength

Large Practice: Kaizen, Kon Mari, Minimalism

Tiny Plan: Keep decluttering.

πŸ—Ή Malama Pono – Be forthright and proactive in your life. – “I think it’s going well, but sometimes it’s hard to know for sure if you are doing enough vs trying to do so much that it limits you via mental overload and exhaustion.”

πŸ—Ή Walk Away from Anger, Ego, Hate, Fear, Clinging to the Past. – “Walked away from thinking I can even give my kids all the attention they would like every day, maybe someday I can, but every day is currently unrealistic for me. I can give some attention every day and enough attention somedays and that’s all I can do, that’s my best.”

πŸ—Ή Boldly Celebrate Yourself – “In little ways, by speaking honestly in person and online, by getting little quirky items like a breakfast bowl made from a log, by making a monthly calendar of my feelings each day.”

πŸ—Ή Creative Endeavors: Brainstorming, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Writing, Architecture. – “Going well, using Rimworld to do floor plans.”

πŸ—Ή Create your own reality consciously. – “Again I was reminded of this, I cut my foot, but didn’t know and it didn’t hurt, when I saw the blood it started hurting a few minutes later.”

πŸ—Ή Have no expectations, but rather, abundant expectancy. “I am letting go of expectations little by little, let go of thinking we need to do school five days a week every week, it’s fine to have a few vacation weeks and also it’s fine to vary between 1-5 days depending on what other enrichment opportunities arise.”

Ka ‘Aina (That Which Nourishes):

Life Time Goal: Perseverance

Using: Responsibility Strength

Large Practice: Permaculture Gardening, Martial Arts, Stoic Living

Tiny Plan: Teach martial arts in the non-growth season, farm in the spring and summer. Stoic Quote of the Day (tidy up the farm this coming week).

πŸ—Ή Aloha Κ»Δ€ina – “Slow going fixing a drainage issue with the new veggie grow beds, yet going well overall.”

πŸ—Ή Be the Change you Want to See Happen Instead of Trying to Change Anyone Else. – “Going super well, meaning I started cleaning my stuff and everyone else started cleaning their stuff without being asked and the house looks better than ever before.”

πŸ—Ή Let People Help You/Provide Others with Opportunities to Give – “I let my husband buy me two $13 shirts and a $5 bike for my daughter, usually I only buy what I need, but it’s not bad buying some extra things sometimes as long as it doesn’t get out of control. I’m always worried because my mom always spent our rent money and had to beg for more when it was time to pay. That was so long ago now…”

πŸ—Ή Respectful Parenting – “Going well, main focus not being rude, teaching excuse me instead of talking over people, teaching talking about frustration in the common area or screaming in your personal space.”

Lōkahi (Harmony/Life Balance):

Life Time Goal: Resilience

Using: Resolver Strength

Large Practice: Self Leadership

Tiny Plan: Keep working with this Life Improvement System

πŸ—Ή Communicate and Illuminate Healing Reunite that Which has Been Broken into Unity, and Awareness (in Short, to Renew) – “Helping a neighbor with a poorly working car until her car situation is fixed.”

πŸ—Ή Set Weekly Goals – “Yes, this system helps me mentally hold what I want to do and review my accountability.”

πŸ—Ή Take Daily Steps Toward Achieving those Goals – “It seems like doing this review puts my goals in my mind enough that I will automatically arrange my week to make and meet little goals in line with this system. I don’t check the goals except for Friday, I do glance at them in the Habitca App as well.”

πŸ—Ή Errands, Cleaning, Paying Bills on Time – “Going really well, we fixed the broken drier (the thermal fuse was blown) now it’s faster to do the laundry, even though I was doing fine without the drier since I used either line drying or towel warmers as a substitute.”

πŸ—Ή Money: Keep Careful Track of Your Income and Expenses. – “I did finally! I like to use Mint.com, but obviously, it takes keeping mental track and making a physical note of spending as well (because credit card purchases say the store, but not the item).”

The New System First Week Review:

22 Points of 22 Points = 100% for the first time. πŸŽ‰ I like the new system, still thinking of commanding two points seemed very similar when I was doing the review, but I’ll leave that alone until I have more free time! Thank you (the reader), you guys keep my hopeful and consistent in this system! 🌻

🐼 The Real Secret of Life As I See It

I recently read an article, by Sweet Bliss, that I wanted to respond to immediately, yet couldn’t because the topic was very gesault:

GOODBYE TO ALL THAT: TOXIC SPIRITUALITY & MENTALΒ HEALTH

My responce after a few weeks of digesting the ariticle, while reflecting on “The Most Human Human,” “The Confifence Gap,” and all my life experience became a post in and of itself:

I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who thinks it damaging to blame victims for things that they had no control over.

It’s a very complicated topic that can become confusing easily. I used Byron Katie’s method of “do the work” and it was helpful and I never could quite bye into it though. One helpful part of it is phycological ownership of your own reaction (proactivity). Like if someone shouts something rude at you, you don’t have to be bothered, you can sometimes realize it’s not about you.

One unhelpful part of the secret mentality is saying that crimes/accidents ext have something to do with you, that you attracted it. Would you really blame anyone for being raped, or born addicted to heroin, or getting beaten by a spouse ext? I wouldn’t. Bill Burr did a funny show about possible reasons to beat women, yet in his extreme restraint of doing so, he actually proved the point about it being a choice. Noticing bad thoughts (ANTS automatic negative thoughts) and using ACT (accept, choose, take action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCp1l16GCXI) to defuse your identity from them is really good and healthy for the brain in a way MRI scans can measure (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esPRsT-lmw8).

The steps of “do the work” are 1. Go over the situation in your mind, notice your feelings. 2. Write about how you feel using a feelings list (https://thework.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Emotions_List_Ltr.pdf) into a worksheet (https://thework.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/jyn_en_mod_6feb2019_r4_form1.pdf). 3. Question your beliefs about what happened with 1. Is it true? 2. Sure? 3. What is your pattern of reaction to that thought? 4. Who would you be without that thought?

Step 1 and 2 are really helpful, noticing your own mind builds awareness and it’s the same as ACT or mindfulness meditation to notice your own feelings. Yet I find that not allowing myself to go through a grieving or radical acceptance period is unhelpful and doesn’t really work for me. Sometimes I overreact and project my damage onto a situation that is when “do the work” is helpful. Sometimes I am legitimately wounded by life and need to honestly grieve and not try to turn aside from my emotions as if I was a robot and not a human. As a human being, emotions are part of the beauty and experience of being human, if I cast them off to be productive or cheerful I would be cutting out part of myself and also I would be discarding one of my two thinking systems (feeling is a primitive, yet helpful, way of thinking). So, if you add a grieving step into “do the work” then it’s not a bad system.

LATTE is a way of validating feelings, listen to what happened, acknowledge feelings, thank for bring it up, take action to fix the situation, explain why it happened. Very often when someone is hurt it is scary and people don’t want to give you room to LAT (listen, acknowledge, thank) before they either fix or explain and it doesn’t help, it stalls the healing or bypasses the learning process. I feel like “do the work” does listen and acknowledge and that is why it is super helpful, yet it doesn’t give me enough space to grieve before asking me to thank and explain and then it doesn’t encourage action.

Einstein said something similar to β€œNo problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it,” and Marcus Aurelius said β€œChoose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed, and you haven’t been.” (https://highexistence.com/22-stoic-truth-bombs-marcus-aurelius-will-make-unfuckwithable/). There is a place for overcoming things mentally and with thought (especially misunderstandings of reality or mental things), yet I cut my foot at the beach yesterday and if I hadn’t treated that wound I would be dead already… (really). But what I mean is that like kid’s who hurt themselves very easily with tags, small bumps, get scrapes falling down, unwanted brushes against other kids… yet really hurt themselves too, break bones, get big cuts, get concussions, we suffer emotional wounds that aren’t served by trying to brush off without healing.

Emotional pain may have messages of learning life lessons or at least can be used that way if we just say “I don’t want to feel that way so I’ll accept that I could be wrong and invalidate what I thought was right to feel happy,” we could stay in a bad situation longer, we could stay in a bad situation for the rest of our lives, we could stay stuck in grieving, we could choose temporary happiness over our deep values and morals, and we could turn a cold shoulder to our loved ones reaching out to us for comfort, instead wondering why they don’t just invalidate their own suffering immediately to make life more pleasant for us and themselves by always choosing cheerfulness over truth. Those are the dangers of “do the work” as it is. So actually it’s question 2 I have a problem with because once you find your truth in question 1 it asks you to invalidate it because you can’t “be absolutely sure.” The system works for me if instead, I wonder if I’m pretty sure in question 2. Yes I could be wrong about everything and anything and I know that, but without making some assumptions I can’t carry out normal thinking enough to live an interesting and rewarding life. Also at the end, you are asked to “turn around” your feelings, I think it’s very invalidating to do that. It’s great to be open-minded and try to “turn around” your thoughts just as an exercise, but turning around your feelings to be happy is like making killing Jewish people a fun game to have a fun day at work as a WW2 soldier of Germany instead of knowing you are in a horrible situation, grieving inside and doing what you can to live with virtue within a broken system.

I used “do the work” for many years before judging it, one thing great about it is that it expands your emotional granularity. There is an amazing book “How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain” by Lisa Feldman Barett, which discusses many really cool things such as how expanding granularity helps you have better control over your emotions (not to repress them but to live with them in a healthy, balanced way). The feelings list from Byron Katie is a great tool, worth printing out and posting somewhere, so when you feel down you can pass by it and find how you feel and validate your feeling that way.

Feeling like it’s fine to feel however you feel is the quickest way to get through the feeling Russ Harris explains how to use ACT to do that (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCp1l16GCXI), Rumi explains how to use radical acceptance to do that (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIhFEvuL24o), Hawaiians have used Ho’oponopono to do that (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMxXWnR-nVc).

The four tendencies of humanity are upholder, questioner, obliger, and rebel, it’s possible that I’m reacting from an upholder perspective because I’m an upholder. Perhaps Byron Kaite is a questioner and it’s possible that she never intended to omit the grieving from her system because she thought it was already automatic for everyone. I really recommend the four tendencies quiz: https://quiz.gretchenrubin.com/four-tendencies-quiz/ and book because it makes it easier to understand that the processes that are healthy for one person are non-functional or disfunction for another.

I’m really glad you brought up how negative “the secret” kind of mentality is when you actually use it, blogger and author Mark Manson also talks about that, as far as I know, it’s him, you and I who think that way and a multitude of supporters of a system that makes people think winning the lottery is something they can mentally attune to… the secret does go on in books to say after you set your intention you have to take steps towards it, but the movie I was shown in school did not. I don’t know if the system as intended is valid or not, but I know the way people use it is to have wishful thinking substitute taking action to improve their situation. Which is sad, because it wastes time and time is all any of us have, time is what life is made of. Bruce Lee said, “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made of.”

So thank you so much (to Sweet Bliss), for the post, and speaking out against a possible trap that can waste a lot of time for very good people trying to do their best to find out how to live a good life and learn to live with their human emotions. It took a long time to respond for me because I wanted to explain why I experienced growth with the “do the work” system, gratitude towards Byron Katie for helping so many people with tools that are very helpful in some ways and some situations, respect my sister-in-laws use of the secret techniques for intention setting as described by the books, warn about the common way the secret movies mislead people to thinking wishing is the same as action steps and give resources to provide alternate paths to the solutions that people would look for using “do the work” and “the secret” methods. My advice is that the real secret is accepting yourself as you are, not thinking everything bad that happens is personal and walking hand and hand with fear towards what you want in life while going through failure, again and again, knowing it is hard, it is painful, it is normal, it is human. That’s what I believe, that there is no substitute or trick around feeling the pains that enter your heart, even though if you can choose to not be hurt in the first place via humility or stoicism it saves time and energy. 🌻

My other secret is doing laundry first thing when I wake up. I just start it. Not everyone has enough laundry that they need to do that, but since I don’t use paper towels, dispossable diapers or paper napkins I need to wash daily. Starting at dawn lets me do two loads if I want to bleach the kitchen towels without putting bleach on the clothes the baby wears. I do diapers and my clothes together with soap (Molly’s suds) and then the dog pads and kitchen towels with soap and bleach. It really helps me. I keep dishes and laundry under control and all the other cleaning whenever I feel like it, that way I can keep the house running without putting my kids care or enrichment behind keeping the house clean. I keep a medium clean house, but my first priority is the kids, even though they wait for dishes and laundry, because that is part of caring for them as well as keeping a clean house. I can’t do my job as a parent if my tools, dishes for meal, clothes for living, are not in place, that’s not going to come out of my sleep or break time. Also not having long hair or make up gives me time to stay in shape, which helps my health and mental health and keeps me equally good looking to the long hair or make up, it works for me, not trying to push it on anyone. Also not cooking or shopping much gives me a lot of the time I use for goal setting, introspecting my behavior, and taking the kids to enrichment opportunities, again not trying to push it, but trying to explain opportunity cost. It seems everyone is overwhelmed these days, to make enough time, space and energy to do something good you have to take something else off your plate, it’s different for everyone what they want to keep or let go, but it’s the same for everyone that we can’t do everything, many good things are available now with technology especially and we have to stop, think and choose what we will give our time to now, because it’s impossible to do everything in a given day. πŸ•ŠοΈ