Posts tagged ‘perfectly imperfect’

Creating an Environment of Well-Being

There have been times in my life when I have felt as though I was emotionally hanging on by a thread. By a thread that was fraying. And I was hanging on for dear life. Those days are behind me, and I owe it to having created an environment of well-being for myself. I wake up at 5:30 a.m. most mornings so I have time for a wellness routine. I begin with a gentle stretching routine by Bob Anderson and his DVD “Stretching.” I do the “Mindful Movements” routine by Thich Nhat Hanh, and a qi gong routine that varies according to the amount of time I have available. One of my favorite routines is free on YouTube and features Lee Holden. It is only 10 minutes long and helps move energy through my body. I like to end these wellness practices with qi gong shaking and mindful meditation. I really like the Insight Timer app for meditative music and/or guided meditations. These practices have had such a positive impact on my well-being that I also do most of these when I’m on a vacation.

The central theme of my focus on well-being is “self-compassion.” Kristen Neff, Ph.D. has written a really nice book, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. My morning routine helps begin my day with self-awareness and self-compassion. I have found that by building up a reserve of self-love and self-compassion, I am not relying on others to fill me up. As Neff says, “Instead of relying on our relationship to meet all our needs for love, acceptance, and security, we could actually provide some of these feelings for ourselves. And this would mean that we had even more in our hearts to give to each other.” (7)

One of the greatest gifts of a life focused on creativing an environment of well-being is a deep feeling of calm and peace, even in the midst of emotionally challenging times. As someone who used to suffer from panic attacks, I am grateful for a sense of well-being that provides me with a resilience I never knew was possible. As Neff says, “…self-compassion is a powerful way to achieve emotional well-being and contentment in our lives. By giving ourselves unconditional kindness and comfort while embracing the human experience, difficult as it is, we avoid destructive patterns of fear, negativity, and isolation. At the same time, self-compassion fosters positive mind-states such as happiness and optimism. The nurturing quality of self-compassion allows us to flourish, to appreciate the beauty and richness of life, even in hard times….Self-compassion provides an island of calm…” (12)

As Neff says, “…open your heart to yourself. It’s easier than you might think, and it could change your life.” (15)

For more information about how to create an environment of well-being for you and your family, here is a podcast with Dr. Dan Peters of Footprint Parent, and me.

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September 1, 2017 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

When Being AWKWARD Can Have Its Benefits

I have some clients, young and old, who have  social skills that might be considered “awkward.” They do not have autism, but others often mislabel them because of their awkwardness. I was so happy to read the book Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome because it helps illuminate the reason for the awkwardness, and the benefits of this brain style.

You see, people who are awkward have a cognitive style that does not have their social brain engaged 24/7, as is the case with the “neurotypical” person. The awkward person has to realize they are in a situation requiring the use of their social brain, and that is why they might seem so awkward when they enter a room or attempt to join in on a conversation. Some of my clients are brutally honest, and I know it is due to not using a social filter, and it is not because they are being rude.

The really awesome part of the awkward brain is that “they are a passionate bunch who tend to be obsessive about the things that interest them. Their obsessive interest to learn everything they can about a topic mirrors the ‘rage to master’ that researchers observe in high-achieving people.” (xvi) Whereas socially-aware people see the big social picture, awkward people have a spotlighted view of the world that isn’t focused on social norms. “Awkward people’s minds tend to make them natural scientists because they are good at seeing details, picking up on patterns in those details, and taking a systematic approach to problems.” (xvii)

Awkward is divided into three parts: PART I: So This is Awkward, PART II: This is Getting Awkward, and PART III: How the Awkward Become Awesome. PART III includes information about the relationship between giftedness and awkwardness, as well as groundbreaking innovations and the awkward brain.

For a great introduction to this book, read the author’s article, “Being Socially Awkward is Actually Awesome, According to Science, by therapist, Ty Tashiro, a self-described awkward person.

 

 

September 1, 2017 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Living Wabi Sabi: Celebrating the Perfectly Imperfect Uniqueness of You and Me

For those of us with overwhelming intrinsic perfectionism, or for those who are raising a gifted child who exhibits destructive perfectionism, Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life is a must read. Taro Gold shares the wisdom passed down to him during a visit with his Japanese grandmother.

“The simple wisdom of living Wabi Sabi shows us that our hearts already hold everything we need to be happy. It celebrates the perfectly imperfect uniqueness of you and me and everything, revealing the joy, creativity, and empowerment of imperfection through an ancient way of looking at life: the way of Wabi Sabi.” These words, written on the back cover of the book, illustrate the power of this book for parents of a gifted child. While perfectionism is an innate aspect of many gifted people, learning to live Wabi Sabi allows us to celebrate our uniqueness and appreciate our imperfections.

April 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment


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