Blogging Awards ~ Two Minds ~ Updated

27_Blogging AwardsWhen I started blogging a month ago, I saw other bloggers announce blogging awards they’d been nominated for. “Awards!” I thought. Golden rings I hoped to win.

The awards provide recognition and potential exposure for bloggers, and typically involve various Q&A’s along with a requirement to pass-it-forward by nominating others. Often a generous list of “others.”

“Cool,” I thought. “I can do that.” I was getting myself ready for the day my brilliance was recognized and the nominations poured in.

Continue reading “Blogging Awards ~ Two Minds ~ Updated”

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Personas & Voices: The Average Aspirant

Header-HomeThis post is from The Average Aspirant, by a blogger who chose blogging to express, motivate and inspire herself and others. Or, as her tagline reads, it’s a blog about the “average life of an average person with aspirational goals.”

In this post she shares her thoughts about Blogging Awards such as the versatile blogger, mystery blogger and sunshine blogger awards.

There was one short sentence that illustrated, to me, how we often use language to recognize different thoughts or personas that we may not want or like.  Our language often creates distance from a thought, or reflects an awareness that we really can be of two minds about something.

“I wish I didn’t think like this, but I can’t help it.” ~The Average Aspirant


 

Personas & Voices: Self Love Living

Header-HomeThis blog post is from the Self Love Living blog, by a woman who hopes to inspire others to love themselves.

Her post, titled Rebirth-Repost is heavy, dealing with doubt and depression and darkness. If you link through, be prepared for that.

She captures the idea of characters and voices in our heads in the paragraph below. The language reflects an idea of separation, separation that’s part of an idea from meditation that we aren’t our thoughts and our feelings. I find it helps to realize how often we use this language, without fully realizing how powerful it can be to help us know those thoughts don’t make up our entire being.

“There’s this girl in my head that I’ve learned to tame over the couple of years since this incident, this bitch. I’d like to call her, she hurts me, belittles me, makes me feel lonely; to sum it all up: she makes me feel like shit…”

~Self Love Living

 


 

Stormy Mind

Stormy Clouds-2Bubba ordered four slices of bacon at the meat counter yesterday. The butcher picked and packed and wrapped and handed him his parcel. He paid, brought it home, and tucked it in the fridge.

“You feel like bacon?” he asked me this morning.

Today would be a good day: bacon-and-eggs.  Bubba cooks bacon via a slow-bake process that produces perfection.

He was in the kitchen, getting the bacon started.  Minutes later he came out to the living room, where I was reading the paper.

“I ordered four pieces of bacon,” Bubba said, mildly agitated. “But I just opened the package and the butcher put five pieces in!”

I tilted my head, waiting.

“There’s a part of me that claims ‘that’s not right!’ He heard me order four pieces but he didn’t do that.  I can feel myself getting all righteous about it; wanting to go back and call him on it.”

“The thing is,” he continued, “I don’t want that negative energy stomping around in my brain. And yet, there it is.”

So many moments in life where thoughts and feelings come up, whether we want them to or not. The more I pay attention–not just to my own mind but to others–the more I start noticing it everywhere.

Bubba shook his head as he headed back to the kitchen. The negative energy drifted off. Bubba cooked five pieces of bacon. And we ate it all.


 

Personas & Voices: Life on the Skinny Branches

 Header-HomeHere’s a post by another blogger that reflects the idea of personas, voices, characters or “other” parts of our minds. It’s from Life on the Skinny Branches, a blog by a woman who is “a closeted introvert” attempting to “live life out loud.”

This post was titled “Perfectionista Blues.” It captures that tug-of-war that can occur between two characters with different ideas about things.

““Life will go on. It is not the end of the world,” she continued, though somewhere inside was a part that did indeed experience such an event as life and death, and no amount of coaxing was ever going to change that part of her mind.”  ~Life on the Skinny Branches

 


 

3 Day, 3 Quote Challenge Day 3

 

Day 3-QuoteCrazy Lady In My Head nominated me to do the 3 Day, 3 Quote challenge. Today is Day 3.

Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three bloggers each day.

Quote #3: 

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anaïs Nin

I like to think that starting this blog–and exploring the characters running around in my head–is a form of risk. Lovely to imagine a bud opening up to its full potential.

Three bloggers I nominate to participate:

  1. White Privilege Syllabus
  2. Inmate Blogger: A site that is a collection of blogs written by inmates. I just learned about the site so this links to the platform, not to an individual blogger. Yet.
  3. One Day at a Time: “To stop a whirlwind”

Feel free to participate if it’s your thing. If not, I hope a few new people find you through this.


 

How to discover new blogs.

My blogging character wants to get better at this blogging thing. This post by One Day at a Time has some great tips to help. Thanks!

One day at a time...

It took me an embarrassingly long time to get a single view on this blog. This blog was born to help ME, so when I hit “Publish” for the first time, and did not get a comment or a “Like” for a while I did not really care. I was new. This was normal. But then I wrote another post and waited a few days, and then wrote another post… and it just seemed like not only was I the sole writer, but also the sole reader on this blog. “Is that what blogging was supposed to be like?” – I asked myself.

Regrettably, I do not remember what got me my first view, my first “Like”, or my first comment. But things have picked up a bit. Nothing crazy like thousands of followers, hundreds of “Likes” and comments a day, but sufficient enough that I started to feel connected…

View original post 3,029 more words

3 Day, 3 Quote Challenge Day 2

 

Day 2-QuoteCrazy Lady In My Head nominated me to do the 3 Day, 3 Quote challenge. Today is Day 2.

Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you (Did on Day 1!)

2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three bloggers each day.

Quote #2: 

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good and how he treats people who can’t fight back.” ~Abigail Van Buren.

I try and watch how I treat folks as I go about my everyday business at grocery and retail stores, in restaurants, banks, etc. It’s amazingly easy to forget to be present for the short time I’m “doing life” with these folks!

Three bloggers I nominate to participate:

  1. Life on the Skinny Branches: “A closeted introvert attempts to live life out loud”
  2. I Wanna be a Lady: “On a journey to inspire women to be more connected”
  3. Whatever I Write: a 14-year old with a brain writing about bunches of things

 

3 Day, 3 Quote Challenge Day 1

mlk-quote.jpg

Crazy Lady In My Head just nominated me to do the 3 Day, 3 Quote challenge.

Given I’m in my first month of this blog, it feels great to have her reach out.  Plus it encourages me to connect with other bloggers. Whoot! Whoot!

Thank you, my crazy lady friend, for what you serve up on your blog and for reading mine!

Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three bloggers each day.

Quote: The Martin Luther King, Jr. quote illustrating this post inspires me.  I love being encouraged to stick with love. Especially given how crazy it can be out there…

Three bloggers I nominate to participate:

  1. My Journey to Imperfection: “Learning to Accept, Embrace & Love My Imperfections”
  2. The Minimalist Taurus: “Lifestyle, Self-Improvement. Create. Minimalism”
  3. Wells Baum: “Sampling the Web for Interestingness”

 

Personas & Voices: Pearls & Grit

 Header-HomeI’m linking to blogs where I catch language that captures the idea of “characters.” Sometimes it’s “personas.” Other times it’s “voices” in our heads. As I write about the idea of characters, I’m realizing how common this concept is in writings and conversations.

Today it’s from Pearls and Grit, a blog by a woman who loves “learning how to take personal struggles and crafting our best selves out of those struggles and changes.”

This post was titled, “Is Your Inner Voice Sabotaging Your Confidence?” It was in this segment where she writes about our “inner voice.”

“Which brings up the inner voice that we all have. Our inner voices all have personalities too. Most often, our inner voices are not very kind. In fact, they can be downright mean. That inner voice, allowed to run unchecked, can be one of our most toxic relationships. To make positive change towards true confidence, we must build kinder, healthier inner voices. “  ~Pearls and Grit

 


 

I Don’t Darn Socks

25_darn-socks.jpgI called my mom the other day. She was darning socks. She has always darned socks.

I used to darn my socks. Now I don’t. Now when they get a hole in them, I throw them out.

I’m of two minds—two characters—about sock darning.

One character imagines my mother watching as I toss the socks out; socks that, except for the holes in the heels, are perfectly fine; easily fixed. That character—fearing a raised eyebrow—feels a compulsion to darn the socks. Reduce; reuse; recycle.

My other character doesn’t want to darn socks. That character wants to write. Or dance. Or hike. Or hang with Bubba. She doesn’t want to darn socks.

My anti-sock-darning character has prevailed; she tosses the socks. But she hides them under other things when throwing them out.

That’s because The Judge—the disapproving judge—still presides in her mind.


 

Good People Feel Anger

24_AngerWhen shit happens and things go wrong, two characters often step into my brain, duking it out over how to respond.

“GD#*F!Soa%B,” the first one swears angrily. “The jar fell and broke and now there’s rice everywhere.” Grumble; stomp. In cartoon-land, this one is red and wearing devil-horns.

The other one—wearing a white, billowy gown with wings—instantly appears, chirping, “Yes! But, good news! No one got hurt! Be grateful for that! Let’s find the silver lining! There’s always a silver lining!”

Continue reading “Good People Feel Anger”

Personas & Voices: Clutter Busting

 Header-HomeAs I write about my internal characters that appear throughout a day, I’ve started noticing the frequency with which people write about “personas,” or the “voices” in their heads, or other language that connotes an idea similar to characters

It’s like when you learn a new word; suddenly it pops up in every article and book and billboard.

I decided to start linking to blogs where I catch such language being used, to illustrate how prevalent it is. Plus, it’s a great way to share connections with other bloggers.

Today it’s from Brooks Palmer’s Clutterbusting.com blog. Brooks helps people move forward by helping them let go of what’s no longer serving them.  Using workshops, webinars and in-person training, Brooks helps folks unclutter their lives, literally and figuratively.

Brooks’ current post is about a passage in life many of us have faced or will face: a parent dying. This is the gentle and aware description Brooks shared of his dad:

“For most of his life he was strong-willed. He would get impatient if things weren’t a particular way. But now that persona is falling away.”  ~Brooks Palmer

Love, grace and peace to Brooks and his family.


 

Ashamed by her Shame

23_MeTooI haven’t participated publicly in the #MeToo campaign, but with all the stories coming forth about women (and men) being put into sexual situations–over decades–that ranged from uncomfortable to violently abusive by men they trusted or admired or were dependent on, my own uncomfortable experiences as a young girl bubbled up.

When I’ve shared with women friends’ details about an uncle’s inappropriate behaviors toward me—sexual in nature but not sex—I’ve been surprised at how many of these friends have had stories similar to—and often much more distressing than—my own.

Continue reading “Ashamed by her Shame”

The Power of a Word

22_Tatoo-pivotBubba came home from yoga class one day; hot-yoga, something I’m sure was created by sadists.

“There was a skinhead in class today,” Bubba said. “I haven’t seen him before. He was at the front, where experienced practitioners usually stand.  I looked at him—pale skin, lack of tone, racist tattoos—and shook my head. A ‘poser.’ There just to raise hackles.”

Bubba’s dislike and disapproval of the guy was evident.  I was all-in with him.

“As I stretched and watched,” Bubba continued, “another classmate approached skinhead and asked, ‘how’s your chemo going, dude?’”

One word. It was just one word.

Yet it drained the room of air. And sent the internal characters scrambling to regain their lost footing.


 

A Habit of Apologizing

21_Sorry-croppedI have a character that apologizes. Unconsciously. Quite frequently. Especially at home with Bubba, and often when no apology is needed.

At least, I think she apologizes. She says “sorry” a lot.

“Sorry, I drank the last of the wine.”

“Sorry,” as Bubba and I dodge each other around the kitchen island.

“Sorry, I’m going to be late.”

When I look at what sorry means—a feeling of regret or sorrow—I don’t really think my character is experiencing those feelings when she says “sorry.”

It’s closer to a feeling of unconscious penitence, some hidden feeling of fault or “sin” for which forgiveness is sought. From the nearest person. Absentmindedly.

Do I really believe that drinking the last of the wine, or dodging each other in the kitchen, or being late is a sin?  In need of forgiveness? 

Maybe it’s just a habit I picked up somewhere and am only now noticing it?

I really don’t know where it came from, or why I do it.  Sorry.


 

Uncluttering Thoughts and Beliefs

20_IdenticalYou know how some people hold onto stuff and others seem to be able to freely let go?

I often have to trick myself into letting stuff go.  Because, you know, stuff is worth something. Especially once I own it.  It’s the endowment effect, “the hypothesis that people ascribe more value to things merely because they own them.”

That’s true for me. My stuff is worth more once it’s mine. The identical item in the store? Not worth as much as mine on my shelf.

My attachment seems to be enhanced if there’s a story around the item: it came from a garage sale; a dear friend gave it to me; I got it on vacation as a trip memento; it was my great-great-grandmother’s; it was a super-bargain. Any and all of those stories burnish the value of the item for me.

Even if I know an item has lived beyond its usefulness, I frequently still hold onto it, often to be reminded of “the story.” Even if it’s in the way or possibly holding me back.

I’m aware of this dynamic when it comes to stuff. Once “stuff” becomes mine, it’s hard to part with. It’s suddenly shinier; prettier; sticky-er.

Recently I started to wonder if this tendency applies not only to things, but also to thoughts and beliefs.

Continue reading “Uncluttering Thoughts and Beliefs”

The Lonely American Man

19_Hidden BrainI’m exploring characters. Ones within me are varied: selfish, generous, angry, happy, judgmental, forgiving, and more. There’s a wide range of characters I can identify, and I suspect there are characters deep in the wings I’ve lost touch with; characters that exist for reasons I don’t even know. There’s no doubt it’s good some of them some stay away; I also suspect it would do me good for others to come out.

This podcast from Hidden Brain is, for me, an exploration into men and their characters. We encourage the existence of certain “male traits” within the men of our culture, and we disallow others.  The episode is an exploration of how some characters that are present in young boys—friendship, openness, sensitivity and friend-love—are often destroyed by the time boys become men. There’s a powerful “masculine” cultural tide in which children are raised, a tide that can be difficult to swim against. Parents are “worried” that their boys are “too sensitive,” a trait that flies in the face of “masculinity” in the U.S.

Continue reading “The Lonely American Man”

Pain and the Impromptu Gift

18_gift1-e1521327996389.jpgI was talking with a woman I knew marginally, our interactions connected to our non-profit work. As we finished up, she caught site of a ring I was wearing. I don’t wear rings often. This one gets more use than others because I’m particularly fond of it.

“That’s beautiful!” she said, and asked if she could try it on. I handed it to her.  She put it on her right finger, commenting that it fit perfectly.

I did something out of character: I looked at her and said “keep it.”

“What?” she said, startled.

“Keep it,” I responded, “it’s yours.”

Continue reading “Pain and the Impromptu Gift”

Decapitated Heads

17_Seb Car-2On our walk tonight, Bubba and I were strolling past the Leland Street Country club when we came upon one of our town’s mobile art installations: a car parked on the shoulder.

Bubba and I glanced at it as we walked by.

“I don’t think my mother would approve of that,” Bubba said. “I’m not sure I approve of it either.”

Bubba’s mother, a woman of Catholic faith who attended Mass daily while she lived and who believed the Catholic way was the way, was 1950’s white, middle-class proper. The Last Supper was probably ok; weird car art…not so much.

“Plus,” he continued, “it’s kind of creepy.”

Continue reading “Decapitated Heads”