Tag Archives: relationships

Zen Day Who Knows at This Point: Outsider

That’s right, I’ve lost track.  And I’m too lazy to see what day I’m on.  But I think I’ve reached that point where counting the days no longer seems relevant – the point of counting the days was, at first, to give some sort of shape to the seemingly insurmountably huge and long process of IVF.  Now, on the other side, every day is just another new day in my new existence post-IVF and presently pregnant.  The significance of days has dissipated, I suppose – yes, there is still definitely forward motion, but life is getting back to living, not waiting or anticipating.

Picking the Outsider card again today was so amazingly coincidental.  I had just begun to really process the issues surrounding my father yesterday – issues that stem back much, much farther than his recent psychotic episode, issues that originate at my birth and, as I am realizing, have shaped my world view and relationships for better and worse.  I have realized that I carry a lot of fear and lack a sense of self-worth when it comes to opening myself up to relationships.  Beyond my immediate family and partner, I really don’t have any close friends and I certainly don’t allow anyone to get too close to me.  Afraid of rejection, disappointment, and embarrassment, I have guarded myself from deep platonic relationships and even, to some extent, to some aspects of my romantic relationships.

It is not an easy thing to admit about oneself and one’s life choices.  It can be deflating and demoralizing.  But it can also be empowering.  To take control of one’s unconscious pain and to chart a more conscious, positive existence – even if through an uncomfortable process – is an unspeakably wonderful gift to give oneself.

I’ve been in the habit of watching a few TED talks before bed and, last night, this one popped up.  How extraordinary of a coincidence and what a wonderful message.

You can check out the video here: Brene Brown: On Vulnerability


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Six steps to simplifying and honoring yourself…or, at least, to beginning…

I believe that I’m the poster child for over-commitment.  My entire adult life has been filled with a series of projects, events, jobs, side jobs, internships, classes, you name it.  It took several years of my mother and partner repeating, “SLOW DOWN,”  until I finally listened.  And, truth be told, it wasn’t even their words that affected me; it was facing the fact that I’d have to undergo IVF.

IVF really forced me to re-evaluate how I was spending my time and energy.  And what I realized, once I gave myself the chance to think, was that I was filling up my life with so many things and people expressly so that I wouldn’t have energy to contemplate bigger things.  Like, what really drives me?  What do I enjoy?  What challenges me?

I’m not going to pretend that I have the answers to those questions, but I’m certainly not afraid to have the time to contemplate them now.  I’m even comfortable with the fact that I don’t know the answers.  That’s probably the biggest gift IVF has given me: the space to take time for myself and to honor myself.

With that in mind, there are a few basic things that are integral in cultivating the time and space to honor yourself.  You don’t need to have some thunderbolt like IVF to snap you into it, you just need to…

1. Give yourself permission: allow yourself to be nice to you!  You must be okay with giving up bits of time and energy to “pamper” yourself – which it will undoubtedly feel like at first, but which you will soon realize is not simply pampering, but energizing your soul, thereby allowing you to give and do so much more for yourself and others!

2. Reallocate funds: figure out what money is going out the door towards things that aren’t that important (partying, take-out, frivolous purchases) and dedicate it to something meaningful.  Yoga, acupuncture, organic produce, fancy supplements – whatever it is that will fill your body and soul holistically.

3. Make it routine: whatever it is that you’re implementing, make sure you do it religiously.  No excuses.  Why?  You have to make yourself top priority!

4. Be consistent: don’t make excuses not to stick to it.  Honor yourself and keep your promises!

5. Journal/blog: find some way to mark down what you are doing for yourself; when you can track the care you are taking to nurture yourself, you’ll be able to actually see and appreciate the impact that much more.

6. Evaluate: like any good project, you must evaluate its progress to determine its success.  Once you’ve been really good to yourself for a while, ask yourself some hard questions.  You may not like the answers you come up with – heck, you might not even have the answers! – but, with a clearer mind and a kinder heart towards yourself, you might find yourself being more honest.  There are a million questions you can ask yourself, but here are some I started with:

  • Am I happy?
  • Am I challenged?
  • Am I surrounding myself with people who support and challenge me, who bring out the best in me?
  • Am I making good choices about my professional life?  My personal life?
  • Am I being the best partner/friend/lover/child/parent/employee I can be?
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