Breaking the Rules

breaking the rules with a plate of pastaToday I broke the rules.  Some people might not think that this is too serious.  I didn’t break any laws.  I didn’t cheat at any games.  I ate pasta for dinner.  I’m sure it doesn’t seem like much to you, but to me it is quite disappointing.  When it comes to my food, I don’t like breaking the rules.

Rule #1.  Don’t eat when you aren’t hungry.  I had a snack earlier.  I drove toward town and stopped at my favorite Italian restaurant and ordered gluten free pasta.  Its a great place where they really understand my allergies and cook off-menu for me.  My motivation…I was tired of eating salad, felt frazzled from work, and just wanted some relief.

Rule #2. Don’t eat any starchy carbs after 5 pm.  I know that eating late in the evening is bad for me, so I load most of my calories before 5, and try to eat raw fruit and veggies in the evening if I’m hungry.  This was definitely a plate of starchy carbs, and there were very few vegetables involved.

glass of water to keep you from breaking the rulesRule #3. Drink a full glass of water before eating meals.  I didn’t drink any water at all, and none before the meal.  I already know that thirst wasn’t what was driving my behavior, but it might have helped me to slow down.  If there had been a video camera on me I bet I would have seen myself actually shoveling the food in.

Rule #4. Use tapping before eating anything that isn’t on my meal plan.  I want to know that I’ve dealt with my emotional baggage BEFORE reaching for food.  No tapping before this meal.

These aren’t rules given to me by anyone else.  These were my own rules and I couldn’t – or wouldn’t – follow them.  Luckily I get a redo tomorrow.  I’m not going to spend a lot of time beating myself up for it.  One meal of pasta isn’t a disaster but I do know that it is sometimes hard for me to get back on track after starchy carbs.

Here are the tapping topics I see in my very near future:

  1. stress eating
  2. resistance to following my plan
  3. using food for emotions instead of eating for fuel
  4. forgiveness for being an imperfect human

How about you?  Did you have challenges with food today?  Did you stumble or overcome them?  Did you tap?

I’d Rather Be Them

Want to Be ThemI don’t think I’m alone on this.  Sometimes it looks like everyone else’s life looks like it is going much better than my own.  I catch my self thinking “I’d rather be them” instead of embracing being me.  If this is ever true for you, tap along.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point): Even though I often think that I’d rather be them instead of me, I am open to learning to accept being me. Even though I often long to be someone other than who I am, I am eager to learn to love and accept myself more completely.  Even though being someone else seems to be quite alluring at times, there is another part of me that likes who I am.  I am open to getting more in touch with that part of myself on a regular basis.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I’d rather be them instead of me

Side of Eye…This is another manifestation of the grass is always greener

Under the Eye…Even though I know the fallacy of that type of thinking it still creeps into my consciousness

Under Nose…When I want to be someone else I’m really rejecting me

Chin…How can I expect other people to accept me when I don’t accept myself?

Collarbone…When I want to be someone else it sometimes means that I just want to hide from my own problems and challenges

Under the Arm…Other times it means that I’m buying into the myth that other people don’t have the problems I have

Top of Head…While I know that is false, it is easy to fall into the trap since I don’t see their problems

Eyebrow…I only feel my own

Side of Eye…When all of my longing to be someone else or live someone else’s life is over

Under Eye…I’m still left with whatever it is that I need to deal with

Under the Nose…The energy of wishing and longing for someone else’s life is wasted

Chin…It would be better spent trying to be the best me I know how to be

Collarbone…That’s the advice I always give to others

Under the Arm…Be the best you that you know how to be

Top of Head…In every second, minute, hour, and day

Eyebrow…That’s the message I often need to hear too

Side of Eye…Be the best me

Under the Eye…During the good times and during the bad times

Under the Nose… Not trying to be perfect

Chin…I don’t really want to be someone else

Collarbone…But sometimes I’m materialistic and just want the things they have

Under the Arm…I don’t want to be them

Top of Head…I want to learn to be the best me I can possible be.  Because I am enough.

What Do You Believe You Are Capable Of?

Jump Ship by Josh Shipp book coverYou may have already read my book review of Jump Ship by Josh Shipp. As I mentioned in that review, the book offers much more than guidance for changing careers. There are many gems hidden in the pages that have potential for profound life-changing “ah ha” moments.  One of them is this question, “What do you believe you are capable of?”

Those 8 words stopped me in my tracks. I re-read them several times.  What do I believe I am capable of? It sounds like a lot of ego, but I have always believed I was capable of great things. There has always been a burning desire to do something big, something that mattered, something remarkable. I honestly don’t know where that came from. I don’t remember being told that I could do something important. Actually, I remember being told from a variety of sources that I wasn’t anything special.  There were those warnings that “pride goeth before a fall”, that I was acting “too big for my britches”, and many other quaint but powerful statements that suggest that “I am not all that.”

I heard them. Believe me, I definitely heard them. And there were times that I didn’t attempt something because I also, on some level, believed them.  Little things, like not being one of the senior superlatives in high school also caused me to question and doubt.  There were many comments and experiences to help balance some of this out. I received many accolades for being smart. My musical spark that never goes outtalent was almost always praised. And boy could I water ski for such a little kid. So while there were individual ups and downs in my confidence level at certain points in my life, that tiny little spark never went out.

It was that tiny spark that has allowed me to continue pushing through the tough times and continue striving for something better. So what do I believe I am capable of? I’m still not sure. Words like “anything” and “almost anything” come to mind but are quickly silenced by the doubts of other people that still ring in my ears. So, I chose to revise the question to “what do I want to be capable of?” That seemed like an easier place to start. In the context of Jump Ship I want to be capable of making a living as an author.

Next in the Jump Ship process is the internal review process. OK, so I want it – but do I BELIEVE IT? That is TBD. After writing and publishing the last two books I have discovered just how much is really involved in becoming an author. It isn’t as simple as just writing some pages of text and voila, you are an author.  My third book has been sitting in the wings, almost complete for more than two years. On my white board over my desk I have written “Authors Must Write” in big bold letters to remind me what I must do to accomplish this.

So my expanded  set of questions includes, “Am I capable of coming up with the ideas, capable of editing, capable of promoting, able to tolerate rejection, and all of the other things that go along with it?”  So far I’ve found that I am certainly better prepared for some of these tasks than others, and I enjoy doing some of these tasks much more than I enjoy others.

I do believe Josh Shipp’s premise that you have to BELIEVE in order to really ACHIEVE your dreams.  So what about you?  What do you believe you are capable of?

Setting Boundaries

brown wooden fence to illustrate setting boundariesWhy is it so hard to set boundaries with other people?

This is something that I have struggled with most of my life.  For me, setting boundaries gets all mixed up with religious teachings about loving other people, societal values, and the general admonition to be nice.  Intellectually I know that one can set boundaries without being mean.  Emotionally, it usually still feels mean.  Try this tapping.

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (tapping karate chop point):  Even though I find it hard to set boundaries with other people, I deeply and completely accept myself and all of my feelings.  Even though I have found it hard to set boundaries with other people in the past, I accept myself and all of my feelings about this.  Even though I find it hard to set boundaries with other people, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and am looking forward to feeling better about this in the future.

 

Eyebrow…I find it hard to set boundaries with other peoplediagram of the tapping points

Side of Eye…I get all nervous

Under the Eye…And I feel it in the pit of my stomach

Under the Nose…And my jaw tightens up

Chin…Even worse, sometimes I stutter

Collarbone…When I do set boundaries, I’m usually very mad

Under the Arm…Then I’m more aggressive than assertive

Top of Head…Or a total basket case

Eyebrow…That’s not really setting boundaries with others

Side of Eye…That is just reacting

Under the Eye…I want to learn more about why it has been hard for me

Under the Nose…I think I’m afraid they won’t like me

Chin…There have been times when I’ve said no

Collarbone…And sometimes it works well

Under the Arm…And sometimes people react badly

Top of Head…I can’t really control other people’s reactions

Eyebrow…And by not setting boundaries, I’m attempting to feel like I’m in control

Side of Eye…But it is really false control

Under the Eye…Because my needs aren’t being met

Under the Nose…I’m looking forward to catching myself in this unhealthy pattern more often

Chin…So that I can observe it and change it

Collarbone…I am open to understanding my motivations in each situation

Under the Arm…I am open to learning new ways to set boundaries with other people

Top of Head…I am looking forward to respecting my own needs while still respecting other people.

 

This tapping sequence is just a jumping off point.  One way to take this further is to tap while telling the story about a specific time that you had trouble setting boundaries.  Include what happened, the thoughts in your head at the time if you remember, the feelings that were present during the event, the feelings that you have now when you think about the event, and even how you wished you might have handled it differently.  The more specific you get, the better the result.

Book Review – Gifts From Eykis: A Story of Self-Discovery

Gifts From Eykis is another magnificent book from Wayne Dyer. This is a bit different than most of his other books because it is written in the form of a novel, rather than a typical self-help book.

Eykis is a visitor from the planet Uranus. First, the main character from Earth visits the planet Uranus and observes many oddities that seem to resemble Earthly emotions. While on Uranus, Ekyis introduces the Earth traveler to anxiety attacks, worry, guilt, fear, dependency, and other emotions. The difference on Uranus is that these emotions exist only for a purpose, never just as a perception or neurosis. That wouldn’t make sense and everything on Uranus makes sense.

Later in the book Ekysis visits Earth and is quite troubled by the suffering the inhabitants of Earth inflict on themselves and others with these emotional states. In the end, Ekysis shares some “gifts” for all mankind. These words of wisdom include:

 

  • Learn to cultivate your own garden
  • If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
  • These are the good old days.
  • There is no way to happiness; Happiness is the way!

To receive more of your “gifts” from Eyksis, pick up the fascinating book and take a humble look at the ways in which we create our own suffering. I bet you will be soon wishing for a guilt-prodder or a worry-ware.