Some closing thoughts

Glad to have my running back on track. I get to meet the trainer this week, and will have a full schedule as of Tuesday. Following that I’ll start my fundraising. 

Re: side gig, $, etc. – that’s all really tied to my June 2018 vision, which gets to be its own goal. 

Thankful to the planning committee for keeping us on track; to my buddy for prioritizing our calls each week; to everyone who blogged or recorded themselves and shared their journey. 

Looking forward to the next cycle and maintaining a high level of integrity for this group. Would love to see us get involved with a community project and think we should poll people in advance to get ideas of the type of projects to which the group may align. 

Onward

I can’t believe that this cycle is coming to an end.  I remember thinking an extra two weeks is a long time and Wow! time really progressed.   Meditating really became easier at the end of the cycle.  I have become more comfortable with it and actually look forward to trying different types.  Today while sitting in traffic I thought to myself that it would be great if when I feel stressed that some meditation would automatically begin. It does not happen all the time but there have been occasions this cycle when I have stopped myself and just breathed prior to possibly hulking out on something that I found stressful (most of the time it was something not worth getting upset over).  I have found that meditating and/or listening to different meditations has been helpful in getting me grounded.

My father is currently in a rehab center participating in  intense Speech, OT, and PT sessions to get him on the right track after his stroke.  There is a lot of uncertainty right now that includes: How soon will he be able to live at home?  When he does get home what assistance will he need and what modifications will be necessary?    Honestly I have resorted to working out and meditating to help me to ease this anxiety of the unknown.  I am committed to taking this one day at a time.

I stayed commited to my second goal of reading and/or listening to something inspiring each day.  I did not read everyday but was able to make up for days I missed via reading and listening more over the weekend.  For example I found myself multitasking listeing to more podcasts and audiobooks while doing housework and/or driving.

I plan to continue to meditate and read/listen to inspiring books, podcasts, etc.

I have a few thoughts about the cycle.

I always enjoy having a buddy and always learn a lot from this relationship.  Thank you HKWeiss  for being there.  I learned a lot from our weekly discussions and meetings.  You are a true student and teacher of the work.  I know that you are on the right track to great things!

I also enjoyed my small group.  Despite almost all of us being located far from each other  I felt that I got a lot from our calls. Initially, I was worried as we were only going to have Video Conference / Audio Calls.  Due to some techical difficulties from the first meeting we stayed with the audio conference calls.  I learned a lot from our calls as I was fortunate to be in a group with such a great, honest and vulnerable group of women. The simple conference call format actually allowed us to spend more time on connecting as opposed to figuring out the logistics of where to meet and if the technology was working or not.   We even made a third conference call work this week despite everyone being busy.

I am glad that we stepped up monitoring of the ground rules via Integrity Captains.  I believe that it allowed everyone to become more aware.

I remember this from HKWeiss at the end of last cycle noting:

HKWeiss Closing Thoughts Cycle 9

“Some stalwart bloggers were hot and cold, and some other members ‘hid’ more so this cycle than previous, which limited the blog and general sharing, although it elevated the shares from those who did post for me –> sharing = caring and I’ll take what I can get from whomever is willing to share!”

and I remember  Kyla778 Vision Post

I found both of these posts as a catalyst for stepping it up this cycle.  I know there were many other conversations, regarding this.

I believe that the blog was much more active and juicy as everyone shared.  I think we accomplished a lot from this consistency.  I am speaking for myself but I believe that there were occasions that we spent too much time focusing on the people who did not blog as opposed to focusing on the people who did.  I know that I could have made more comments on others blog posts.  Sharing is caring.  Going forward I am going to make more time to comment and focus on the people who did blog.  Balance is key.

NAMASTE1234567 had posted the following at the begining of the cycle. ” If you want to reach a state of bliss, make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge.  Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time.” It’s important to be aware of them everyday. For me, the activity on Whatsapp provides a good lesson for this.  I was a bit quiet this round as I have a bit of Whatsapp fatigue.  I have been active on Whatsapp since the begining of ALP4  in December 2013.  I am communications captain so always did my best to stay engaged.   Last cycle as Inspiration Captain I would overanalyze everything that I sent.   I wanted everything to be “inspirational” and felt that I wasnt always able to accomplish that.  This is coming from being an analayzer/perfectionist.  It is for certain that I get to cointinue to work on my ego.  I know that I need to state my contract to remind myself of my power. This cycle I spent more time focusing on my goals and doing my best to connect with others directly.  I will continue to focus on direct connection going forward into the next cycle and beyond.

Thank you everyone!

 

I’m Special

JBJams was talking to me about “core filters” the other day, and that got me thinking about one of the big challenges I’ve faced in pursuing my major goal that I still don’t think I’ve really gotten to the heart of.
So, again, “core filter” is a term developed by Belanie DeShong, a woman that runs workshops devoted to helping people uncover what their core filters are.  Stated simply, her theory is that a “core filter” is a limiting belief, but it’s a highly ingrained limiting belief developed in early childhood that’s usually concealed by many other limiting beliefs that are piled on top of it (because our egos are desperate to never let us discover our “core filters”).
Belanie says you can never rid yourself of a “core filter” — it is a part of you the same as your arm or your nose.  But you CAN extinguish its power over you by unearthing it and making a choice that you are willing to “be” whatever the core filter is.  For example, if my core filter is “I’m unlovable,” and that’s something I’ve fought my whole life trying to prove I’m not, the goal would be to shift to be willing to be “unlovable” (along with a recognition that it’s not true, it’s just a belief I made up about myself one day as a kid).
Belanie is very clear in her trainings that no limiting belief, or core filter, is ever true.  They are all just beliefs.  But, as human beings, we have to have beliefs.  It’s not possible to be belief-less.  This is why the goal of the Lifespring trainings that we did is not to rid yourself of beliefs altogether (because you can’t), but to ditch limiting beliefs and adopt/replace them with empowering ones instead.
So, one thing Belanie talks about is how just as there are limiting “core filters,” there are empowering ones, too.  She gives the example that one of her beliefs about herself is “I’m a people-person.”  She says because of the work she’s done, she knows it’s not really true — there’s nothing inherent in who she is that causes her to be more of a “people person” than anyone else.  It’s just a core belief she adopted as a child, and now, for her, it’s the truth — she’s a people-person.  Because she holds this belief about herself so strongly, she does things to make it true — she’s very social, she puts in the effort to be “good with people,” etc.  She says she has no desire to change this core belief because it helps her.
Getting back to my Goal 1, I realized I’ve been facing this ongoing tension between two competing beliefs, or “core filters,” that I have — one disempowering, and one empowering.
The first disempowering one is the one I talked about before:  whatever you do, don’t stand out, because if you do, people will discover how “ugly” you are.  As I wrote about previously, this is a very strong belief.  It affects me each and every time I do something that might cause me to stand out in a crowd.
The other core belief that is constantly clashing with the one above is an empowering one (though it has its pitfalls):  “I’m special.”
How or why or when I decided that, I couldn’t tell you, I guess it must have happened as a child — maybe as a result of that whole skip-a-grade thing, but it was probably something prior to that.  In any event, I believe, in my core, that I am special.  My sister has made fun of me for this all my life (and note to self:  if I ever want to discover more core filters, I need to just look at what my sister makes fun of me for).
It’s funny because it was hard for me to get to this understanding, and I couldn’t have done it on my own.  Jimmy helped me.
At first, I talked to Jimmy about how I thought maybe this “special” thing was another disempowering core filter:  a belief that “I’m not special,” and so I’ve spent my whole life trying to prove that I am.
But as I tried to articulate why I thought that to him, he kept telling me it just wasn’t adding up.  He suggested I tell him a story about when I think this belief may have played out.
So I told him the story about how I didn’t walk at my high school graduation.  He stopped me and said:  “You’ve told me this before; you were being rebellious, you hated the people in high school and just wanted out of there.”
I said yes, that’s what I told you, that’s what I tell everyone — that’s even how I told the story in my posts on here — but that is not, in fact, the truth.  I recently remembered the REAL reason why I didn’t walk (this is how deeply buried it is, to where I even thought my “cover story” was the truth).
My whole school career, I was a straight A student.  I was in the gifted programs, advanced placement programs, what have you.
Everyone knew “Kyla is smart.”
Well, at 16 — the same time I got my convertible mustang — Kyla suddenly went from being a homely girl with glasses no one noticed to being considered attractive (think:  “She’s All That”).  The reason why is that many things happened at once:  the car, I started brushing and blowdrying my hair (lol), I grew boobs, I began to dress differently (more confident about my appearance), I got my braces off, etc.  As a result, suddenly I had access to a whole other way to get pleasure out of life, and I thought to myself, you know what?  I’m tired of working so hard, and because this school thing is so easy for me (and was boring me quite a bit), I bet I can put in, like, 50% effort and still do really well.  So I was still on the debate team, I was still in the advanced placement classes, but I stopped trying so hard; I started building a social life for myself instead, got a boyfriend, started working in restaurants after school and flirted with “older” men (in their 20s, lol), etc.  The result was that I did continue to do well — but not as well.  I let myself get a few Bs, and even a C in Spanish (I hated Spanish, though I don’t anymore).
When it came time for graduation, my class standing had fallen — a lot (it bears noting that, while I went to a public high school, it was the best one in town and was renowned for being quite competitive).
In Texas, being in the top 10% of the class is a big deal.  It means you automatically are accepted into U.T. Austin, which is THE school to go to if you are a Texan (and even if you’re not, it is widely considered to be a good school).  Pretty much everyone I knew was going to U.T. Austin if they could get in.  So in general, the top 10% was something the students focused on.
But more importantly, at my high school, if you were in the top 10% you’d wear a gold robe and hat at graduation instead of a black one.  My sister had worn one two years before (though like me, she shirked this idea of going to U.T. Austin and took off for new frontiers, hers being in Boston).
So when I looked at the list of everyone’s class standing, and started looking for my name (which I was certain was still in the top 10% despite my antics), I kept scrolling down and down and down and down.  It wasn’t even as if I had “just missed” the top 10%; I was somewhere between 10 and 20%, and it was much closer to 20.
Keep in mind that this didn’t really affect where I could go to college; I got a very high SAT score (that my sister says I “wasted” by going to University of Hawaii) and I was still going to get into U.T. Austin (and there was still no way I would go there, as I was desperate for change).
It nonetheless was a pretty jarring moment for me.  I decided right then that I could not walk at my graduation; everyone would be expecting me to be wearing a yellow robe, and it was too humiliating to not be wearing one.  But, it was less about how “everyone” was expecting that (because in the end, did they really care?), and more about how I was expecting that.
At that same time, I came up with my cover story:  it wasn’t about my grades having fallen, it was about me being a rebel.  My hope was that no one would even delve into what my grades were.
I told Jimmy this is the pain my “you’re not special” core belief (that I thought I had) has caused me — I can’t stand to not be special, so in this circumstance, in order to still be “special,” I avoided my high school graduation altogether.  My sister still hasn’t forgiven me for it; she said she needed it, for her, as “closure,” or whatever — to help her process that her little sister was growing up.
Jimmy looked at me quizzically and said that what I was saying didn’t quite fit.  He said what he saw in what I described was that I have a belief that “special” is who I am.  When I did things to damage that truth (letting my grades slip, not making the top 10%), I suddenly found myself faced with this situation where I realized just how out of integrity I had been.  In other words, not being able to wear the yellow robe showed me how much the gap had widened between who I was being and who I really was.  I couldn’t face the pain of denying my true self to that extent, and especially in a situation where it was going to be made so obvious to me (the difference between a black robe and a yellow one, publicly displayed for all to see).  He said that’s the reason you couldn’t walk.
So our conclusion from this conversation is that my belief around “special” is actually empowering–it’s not me trying to hide an inner belief of “you’re not special,” and striving to cover it up by trying to do things that will make me seem special.  It’s instead a firm belief that I AM special (i.e., that that’s who I am, my identity).  As a result, any time I do something that causes me to not be true to that, it’s painful.
But, on the other side of it is my limiting core filter — the disempowering one I described above.  The one that tells me that I cannot stand out because everyone will see how “ugly” I am.
The result?  A lifetime of taking actions both big and small to be who I am: “gifted,” “special,” etc. — coupled with constant sabotage-like actions to stop me from standing out.
Every time I did stand out, because I was being “special,” I felt shame and pain because of my limiting belief.  Every time my limiting belief succeeded in stopping me from standing out, I felt shame and pain because I knew I wasn’t being true to who I was.
The limiting core filter has such a stronghold on me that I was telling Jimmy that this obsession around “special” — even after we figured out that it was empowering and has caused me to become and pursue many great things in my life — is bad for me.  I told him it causes me to insist on standing out, which is “wrong.”
He was like, what are you TALKING about?  You need to embrace your belief that you are special.  THAT is who you are and THAT is what will get you to the level you’ve been saying you want to get to for you and for our family.  What you need to do is ditch the limiting side of this, that it’s wrong to stand out.  He said you need to adopt “I am special” wholeheartedly and not look back, and if you keep taking actions that are true to that, the limiting side of this — which isn’t true — will eventually be squelched.
We did talk about some pitfalls for me of “I am special,” though.  Empowering as it is, sometimes it tilts toward arrogance, and being entitled.  Like with past bosses: because I’m special, you’re going to let me get into work whenever I feel like it.  Or, because I’m special, I’m not going to work so hard anymore, or go to class anymore, and yet still expect to land in the top 10%.  Jimmy said the key was to stay in conversation with him about it, and he would set me straight.
As an aside, it’s weird how when you’re married to someone you sort of start to forget that they’re talented. I had this moment of, oh yeah — I’m married to a really great coach.  Why the heck aren’t I tapping that way more often (did you see what I did there?).

Always Arriving

 About this time last year I was set to staff an Advanced that was canceled at the last minute. I had staffed the previous basic and felt like I was making my way back into the work. Now it is a year later and I am still making a comeback to the work. Starting this Cycle marked the time of the biggest transition in my life thus far. So much of the last 13 years has been taking the next step in school, graduate training, and residency; and now I am leaving to blaze my own trail, make my own decision. choose my own path. To ask myself, “what do I want?”

 For the longest time I have not even considered “what I want” because my focus has always been “my career and academic achievement should always take priority and focus over everything else.” And everything else will come when it comes. When I think about the goals of this cycle it was this idea of setting off on my own path, carving time for something that is truly mine that provides happiness for me intrinsically, some hobby or activity that was me. And even more my secondary goals of traveling alone and finding an apartment emphasized the need to create something for myself and my own fulfillment.

 Still, yesterday I was getting a tour of the apartment I will be subletting in July. The woman who owns the place is a little quirky, new-age, and very emotive. I am not sure how we got to talking about my job, and although she was tentative, she eagerly prodded with a bright face–and non-judgmental curiosity–‘tell me what the next 5 years look like for you.’

 And all I could think about was “work will be work,” but I kind of just want to start a family. Or create something of a family. I realize how important that is to me. I was fortunate to have that emphasized growing up, yet ironically, I most often speak about how frustrating my own family is with our poor communication, entrenched ways of being, and stubborn need to maintain our own agendas–speaking of my siblings and me.  

 It may be a little while until I have a family on my own. But for the time being I appreciate the community that I get to help create during the PSP cycle with you all. And I hope I could be part of the ways you have been on contribution during this cycle. I know that being a part of it has made clearer what I really want out of myself

Last week of # 10!

This week for my creativity project I decided to focus on finally selecting a painting for my apt. I was at a local coffee shop with my friend when I was making this declaration. He then ask me, “Why don’t you buy one of the paintings on the wall here? Everytime you are here you check them out?”  So I looked at the paintings again and read the artist name…. Me: “Hey I know him he used to be a member at my gym!” I remember seeing on facebook when he started taking on paintings. So, I reached out to him to see if I could commission a piece.  He responded that he would be glad to. Best part is that he uses painting as his outlet for karmically giving back, so the proceeds minus materials will go to a charity of my choice.  Win, win!

For my spirituality goal I am really happy with my new mindset and openness about the topic. It is hard to describe but it seems so light for me to talk and be curious and ask and share without fear of judgment about it.  As far as by when’s I reached out to Naomi to attend a service and Shabbat dinner with her in July.

After my last post about me hulking out on the Medicare rep, I had two other situations that came up in Texas with friends that had me take a look at my being and how I was showing up in the world. Without self beat up I have taken the downs or perceived downs and as Josh wrote the other night thinking about the fact that yes I get to take a look at me but also it is not all about me. Yes this is feedback and it is also about other people and their stuff. I am failing at times but failing better……

I am going to continue my spirituality foundation and practices and now I know some of the what is possible when I get creative. One step closer…….

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

I am ready

This last week was a perfect opportunity to test if practicing skills for my Goal #1 made any difference in how I’m able to make eye contact in out of comfort situations, forge genuine connections, and show up authentically in settings that usually trigger me constantly, cause a lot of anxiety and quite frankly make me want to run for the hills.
I was attending and presenting at the annual ‘legal offsite’ at work. It is a 3-day gathering of lawyers from all around the world working at my bank for training, exchanging ideas and networking. Out of thousands of lawyers working here, only 150 were invited and my manager was rather cryptic about who will be there. I dread such events; I’m not a shmooser, find small talk extremely boring, and constant new introductions require making eye contact with a slew of strangers. In one word: torture. Which got instantly magnified upon arrival and finding out the others attending were only the very top executives, all working for the bank for many years and knowing each other well. I was the most junior kid on that block, and a newbie to the bank who has not yet met or worked with anybody except of my manager. My first thought: kill me now and put me out of my misery. But then I remembered the latest post by Créatrice des bijoux about the importance of stepping left. And so I did. I checked in, brought my luggage to my hotel room, and in this oasis of privacy thus created: I took a moment to meditate for 2 minutes by just focusing on my breath, I wrote down top 3 limiting believes/occurring world beliefs about this event, and how I was going to make a different choices. It all took a 15min.

I went back downstairs lighter and with intention to create authentic connections and have fun with it (yes, fun)! And it was indeed a very intense, but also very enjoyable 3 days. I learned a lot, I forged connections and even made few new friends. I gave my scheduled presentation on ‘how blockchain technology will change the world for the better and why our bank is in a best position to be the force driving such change’ to a standing ovation and animated Q&A session. When Universe threw me a curve ball and I found myself drawing a table #1 out of a hat for lunch seating, which happened to be the one General Counsel was sitting at, and a panicked feelings returned, I stepped left again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.