EP 149: Summer Quickie - How I Know When Things Aren’t Working


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Friends. I can't believe it. It's still summer around here. I know so many people have gone back to school. They've started putting away their summer clothes and dreaming of soup season.

But around here, we are still in the midst of summer. We call this summer purgatory slog, which is when everyone else has gone back to school, and we haven't even taken our family vacation yet.

All that being said, I'm really happy to be here with you because we are in the middle of our summer quickie series, which is all about actionable self-care that you can put into place now in under 15 minutes a day.

So you can feel better this summer and beyond. Today we are going to be talking about the third part of self-compassion. Go back a couple of weeks and you can find out about part one, which is all about negative self-talk.

Part two is about how everybody sucks; it's not just you, AKA we're all human, common humanity.

And today, we're getting to the third and final step in our new self-compassion practice, which is all about mindfulness. I know it's one of those words that's everywhere, but I think most people are like, I think mindfulness is meditation.

That's part of it. It's not the act of sitting quietly on a cushion with thumbs and middle fingers palms up. If you Google meditation or mindfulness or you look at it on Instagram, a hashtag and you'd be like, oh, so everybody's doing this thing.

In fact, it's less about the sitting and more about what's happening in your mind as you go through your day. So when you're practicing mindfulness, you're able to see objectively your thoughts, your feelings, your reactions, your behavior as if you were a natural third observer.

Where you're like, wow, look at that woman. She is having a tough time and I think she might be hungry, which might be why she's freaking out right now.

Rather than Oh, my God, I'm losing my mind and I am the worst person ever. Mindfulness is one of those things that is a practice. So how do you get to be somebody who can witness their own thoughts, behaviors, and feelings?

Yeah, sometimes it's really that meditation, the sitting meditation, where you just observe your thoughts, which are probably gonna plenty. And don't do anything about them. So I know you're like, what does that mean?

It means when you sit for; I would go with one minute as a beginning practice, maybe work your way up a few weeks later to three minutes. Then after a few weeks after that to five minutes, and eventually you may or may not get to that coveted 20 to 30 minute, twice-a-day sitting practice.

I've been doing this on and off for a decade and a half. And I still benefit most frequently. Like most people doing something for a shorter amount of time, more often than doing that coveted. Perfect practice. Never.

So what does it look like? For me, a lot of times a meditation practice where I'm building my mindfulness, where I can witness my own thoughts, feelings and behaviors from a neutral objective place.
My meditation practice is in the three to five minute range. I use a variety of apps. My all-time favorite is Headspace still waiting for them to be the sponsor of my life. I've also been dabbling with calm. I've gotten so many people recommending insight timer, but the point is. You don't have even have to do anything.

You could play a song. You could just sit with your timer. You could set a timer that has a clicking noise so that you can go, oh, that's really loud. Huh? And the idea is you're gonna sit. You're not gonna do anything other than sit. You're gonna notice while you're sitting, perhaps that you're sitting and that you have feet and.

But is sitting on a chair or the floor or your bed that maybe your ear itches all of the things you'll notice that you have a lot of thoughts, but you don't have to act on any of them. So the sitting meditation is practice for seeing things in a new way, which is I don't have to run after every thought.

I don't have to run after every feeling I have. I don't have to run after anything. I can just simply notice and go, huh. So that's happening. So that's happening now? It sounds super easy when you do it like that; it's five minutes a day to really be able to get into this mindfulness space.
Absolutely. But I wouldn't say it's easy.

I would say it's simple. The mindfulness piece here how I phrase it for myself is watch when you are being super critical of yourself. That's one of my tells that I am not taking good care of myself is when I'm being super critical of myself.

Another one of my tells is when I'm being super critical of others, Is a really good sign that I am not taking good care of myself when I am comparing myself to other people, comparing my family to how theirs is comparing their kids' behavior to my kids' behavior, what they can get done in a day, what versus what I can do when I get in that comparison trap.

It's another sign that shit's gone off the rails for me, and that I perhaps. Could spend some time taking good care of myself. So that I can be in that the frame of mind, the mindfulness state of mind of being able to notice like, wow, I'm having a big reaction to X, Y, Z thing. Huh? What does that mean?

Does it mean anything like hungry, like in order to give myself that little bit of space between the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that I'm exhibiting.

So again, it's when I say it, I'm like, wow, it sounds super esoteric. And it is until you do it for a while, this isn't a one and done this isn't even a once-a-day and done mindfulness practice that I'm cultivating for myself is on a moment-to-moment basis.

It's one of those good news, bad news things that you constantly need to work on it. And so that means there's no ending line. There's no performance piece. There's no great at the end, you just keep coming back to, what am I thinking feeling and how am I behaving in this moment?

Is this giving me the information that I need in order to I think I'm gonna keep going in this direction or is it giving me information that I'm like, Ooh, I don't really like that thing I just did. I want to make a different choice because we can't change behavior towards ourselves or others without that awareness of what we're doing or thinking.

So that is the quickie three-piece puzzle of self-compassion again, if you are like, what does it all mean? You can check out Dr. Kristen Neff's work on self-compassion.org. You can go back to episode three of this very podcast where I talk about self-compassion and you can.

Hit up the last two episodes in this summer quickie series to get more tips, if you want to practice for a year with me on self-compassion put in your calendar.

Now that the next round of deferred maintenance immersion will be coming together. Late this fall, early winter.

If you're looking for this group for accountability or practicing this new self-compassion life. That is what we do in deferred maintenance immersion. And we, as I said, we are building the 20, 23 cohort for deferred maintenance immersion starting in December.


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