Wrapping up

Hmm, remember last week I was thankful for my health? I mean….I still am overall, but I got an awful bug for the last 24 hours, following last week’s staph infection, and the eye infection the week before. UGH. I am finally starting to feel a bit better. Just awful timing because I am in Dallas for work.

I don’t have much energy right now so this will be a short and sweet last post. I created abundance tonight after walking around for 20 minutes trying to find something to eat that wouldn’t kill me, I finally ordered room service breakfast style! Granted, it’s easier to justify paying $8 for a bagel and cream cheese when the client is paying, but I took on the aura of abundance – in this case, being comfortable receiving what otherwise feels over the top – for the last 24 hours. Complete with taking advantage of staying at the Ritz and being able to ask them to bring me Tums, dry clean my blazer, etc. I’m telling you people, i do NOT live like this typically. I’m not gonna say I mind it though…

I don’t really know what to make of my abundance goal. It didn’t have a clear linear path, and I’m a linear person. That’s why being goals are hard for me, because they don’t generally follow logical paths! But I learned a good amount about myself with this goal, and have a feeling I’ll be bringing it back in a later cycle, perhaps in a different form.

Fashion/appearance goal was awesome!! It feels like one of the few goals I took on that I created enough traction to keep going post this cycle. I just got into a good groove of certain daily rituals, but the biggest piece was finding my FB group and the fashion challenge! When we put things into the universe, often the universe produces what we’re looking for!

Thanks all. This is a fantastic group of people. I’d love to take a step back and see if we’re doing everything we can to create the community of support we want. I know I felt a bit less engaged this cycle and I heard that from others too. But I know we have enough of an incredible foundation here to stay strong. Love you all!

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Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday is a term I acquired from a¬†friend, or really acquaintance, who has the most incredible spirit. Despite suffering for YEARS from complications of a lung condition, going through chemo, getting a transplant etc etc, she continues to dedicate each Thursday on Facebook to naming what she’s thankful for. I barely know her, but have the opportunity to gain an important lesson every Thursday when she continues to express gratitude. Gratitude is a sentiment often shared in this group and I so appreciate it.

It’s incredible how one small health issue can impact your life so greatly. For me, I got a cyst on my back a little over a week ago, and despite going to get it treated while I was in Michigan last week, it got worse as time went by. It has been difficult to sit or sleep. So I went back to Urgent Care yesterday and had a SUPER painful, not expected procedure. I was in insane amount of pain yesterday morning. Thank god for drugs and the passage of time, it is improving slowly. I’ll go back tomorrow to get it checked out again.

But seriously. Something the size of a quarter ruined my week. It’s unbelievable how lucky we are to have good health and how easy it is for me (I won’t speak for you) to take it for granted. Kyla’s reminder this morning of her incredible mentor is another reminder.

So on this Thanksgiving day, I am grateful! We are headed to Baltimore to be with family today (mine and Hadar’s!) and will spend the weekend there and in Silver Spring.

Beyond the cyst, it’s been a good week. Last I left you I was in Grand Rapids, MI, which was a cool experience, and then spent the weekend with a good friend in Detroit. I didn’t leave her house for 48 hours and we had a blast.

I got home and hosted Hadar’s awesome niece for a few days (while he was in Israel) and got together with his sis and bro in law when everyone was back in town. Had a busy few days of work (we got two new awesome projects!)

On the abundance front, I decided to say YES to be on the host committee for a benefit concert in December. It benefits LGBTQ teens who are from religious families, many of whom have likely not come out to their families and who need a safe space to be. It is an amazing organization and a cause I care a lot about. Despite feelings of ‘too much money’ and ‘too much to ask of others’ to be on the committee and go to the event, I pushed through!

On the fashion front, nothing too crazy to report, but continuing to enjoy.

And OMG, there is only one week left to the cycle! Time flies! Even though the cycle will be over by the time next Thurs hits, I’ll write a closing blog then. It’s been a good ride and love you all.

New context

I am pooped! Long day at a conference, capped off by a fun trip to Urgent Care (I’m fine) and a part of a bar crawl (I’m in Grand Rapids, MI – beer capital USA!)

The conference I’m at, while it’s nothing special, was super awesome because it’s my PEOPLE – people who love strengthening nonprofits and organizational effectiveness. The first 15 min or so of the conference felt weird because I’m so used to conferences in my last sector where I knew everyone! They became reunions and work became fun. It was a bizarre feeling to walk in to a new context and not know anyone, but I quickly met people and felt comfortable. I experienced a bit of imposter syndrome just because I’m newer to this sector but overall just felt the awesome resonance that this is the right field for me.

Funny how abundance showed up with regard to this trip. I pretty much always pack in a carryon suitcase. Whether I’m going overnight or for a week it doesn’t really occur to me to take a larger piece of luggage. (Why would I pay money to check a bag? Why would I wait at baggage claim? And who needs that much stuff for 5 days?) When I started packing and quickly ran out of room I finally had the realization – I can take something bigger! My work will pay, no one will suffer, and it will give me more space to have some backup items – which go a long way when I often show up to trips and regret what I’ve brought. In this case, it allowed me to bring my warm fuzzy slippers, which was a nice treat when I came back to my hotel at night and will be nice when I’m hanging at my friend’s in Detroit this shabbat. Moral of the story, it often doesn’t occur to me to come from abundance.

I wasn’t super on track with my specific fashion challenge this week but I stuck to my goal and focused on feeling/looking good (straight hair is a game changer!).

I’m trying to think more deeply about my goals and my connection to the cycle but I am SO TIRED. With a 7 am bus tomorrow. So I think it’s time for bed. More another time ūüôā

Revisiting PSP obstacles

When I was in college I took a seminar about writing autobiographies, and a portion of the class was focused on noticing the masks we wear. Similar to part of the training in the work…

I’ll never forget an experiment we did in that class. For a full week, half the class dressed to impress – pulled out all the stops, fancy clothes, accessories etc. The other half dressed like bums – some looked like homeless people – with unwashed hair, dirty/baggy clothes, obviously no makeup or accessories. The assignment was to journal about how we felt in each case, how other people reacted to us and how we approached our day to day life. Then we switched.

the results were not surprising. When we dressed to impress, we largely reported feeling confident, socializing a ton, doing well in classes, dating/flirting more and feeling excited about the day ahead. When we dressed like crap, not only did we feel sleepy and unmotivated to do anything, but we noted crappy treatment from others – or mostly just people ignoring us.

for as much as we spend time in the training looking at how important image is to us – looking good, being right – I generally don’t associate that with physically looking good or wearing nice clothes. To me, it’s actually not connected. I do care a good amount about looking good – that’s probably the second-biggest ‘senior commitment’ i have (biggest would be need to be in control (of myself, not of others)).¬† But it’s about being liked, looking smart, seemingly on top of things. That matters a LOT (a good future goal would be to explore those/experiment with not looking good in those areas).

But it turns out it helps a lot to feel like I look physically good too. This fashion challenge has been SO MUCH fun and I’m so glad I took it on. I’ve also gotten my hair routine down to a science and it’s awesome.¬†I find myself feeling great day to day (not every single day, let’s not go crazy) and it has an impact on my overall experience.

In my PSP I listed the following things as obstacles to this goal: lack of commitment Рchoosing comfort over my goal. Trying to cut corners. And falling into feeling embarrassed/superficial about this goal. 

I’m proud that i feel like I pushed through these obstacles and it’s no longer hard. Though this is an easier goal in some ways and not a huge stretch to my vulnerability, I am really glad to see what it’s like to make lots of movement on a goal like this.

On the other side of the spectrum…I haven’t made a lot of movement with my abundance goal. Not feeling so excited about it! So I looked back at my PSP for my obstacles on this one….they were:¬†fear of vulnerability, falling into my automatic, choosing to be safe or comfortable rather than pushing myself.¬†

I definitely pushed against these obstacles big-time when I paid for my teammates’ dinner last week, as I blogged about. And as it turns out, I learned that it was not a huge deal to choose abundance in that situation, and i haven’t looked back with regret or anything. (I.e. it didn’t have a negative impact on my life, but a positive one). But I’m still mostly in automatic in other instances, and haven’t figured out how to push that automatic more consciously.

In other news this week, I co-facilitated my first two retreats for work. They were awesome. I only did a small part of them but got to learn from my very seasoned boss. The retreats were also super fun because they were with many people I used to work with. I have two more trips coming up this month where I’ll be facilitating more. And I must say, when I’m wearing a kickass blazer while facilitating, i feel more confident! And I am super grateful to the public speaking training I did a few weeks ago at work because I think I’ve gotten over my awkward ways of standing/not knowing what to do with my hands when I speak.

Looking forward to the weekend (hosting my team at work for shabbat dinner), GAME NIGHT with you awesome people, and date night with Hadar. Yay weekends.

Feeling unfamiliar

Thursday blog day. It’s weird how a week has passed already and how much more plugged in I felt last week, immediately following my small group meeting. I saw the blog posts come in today and thought, oh, new posts! And somehow disconnected myself from thinking about blogging myself. I’ve felt a bit distanced like that for a chunk of this cycle.
It’s been a stressful week, but I’m feeling better now that Thursday night is here. Work was crazed with lots of deadlines, along with frustration with my boss who has zero regard for the deadlines she commits to (and commits us to).¬† I do have a lot of love for my boss, and she is super open to feedback, but there are MANY days where our team wants to sock her in the head. Today I finally parked myself in her office and got done what we needed to get done.
I feel like I’ve been a bit irritable this week, which is honestly an unfamiliar feeling to me. There must be something going on, and I’m glad the week is slowing to an end so I can have some downtime and relaxation and time to process. Tonight a few friends and I did an exercise interpreting strange pieces of art. It was fun and different and I enjoyed the time to do some sketching! But the main piece of art we looked at I found to be sooo ugly/bleak, and I feel like it colored my night a bit too. Hence why my blog post is feeling a bit down in the dumps.
On my goals front, I didn’t focus so much on my abundance goal this week. My small group had challenged me to show up late to something and live with the feeling of scarcity of time. (Funny how different things bother different people!!) I honestly forgot to do it…or maybe avoided it? But the scarcity of time showed up in tons of ways with the work deadlines, as I experience my boss feeling overly abundant to a fault (e.g. she feels she has all the time in the world and everything can get done.) Most things don’t get done, and that creates more resistance for me with that concept of abundance!! Of course, there are many ways to interpret abundance.
I did have a great week on the fashion front, getting into the groove of my fashion challenge and largely following the outfit formula each day. I can’t even tell you how much smoother my mornings have been without needing to think about what I’m wearing. Today I fell back into old ways, as I hadn’t planned, ended up trying 6 different outfits and leaving for work later than I wanted to. Good proof that I should stick with the challenge!
Up ahead: so excited for Hadar’s marathon on Sunday. And time with friends, time to chill and more. Tomorrow we have a staff retreat at work which should be fun. And Sunday I’ll dedicate some time to thinking about/working on my goals as the cycle is charging ahead!

Getting uncomfortable

You know that‚Äč ‚Äč’‚Äčgame‚Äč’‚Äč credit card roulette? When a whole bunch of people slap their credit cards down‚Äč at the end of a meal‚Äč and tell the waiter to pick one at random? ‚ÄčThen that one person gets charged for the full‚Äč ‚Äčtable‚Äč, while everyone else gets off scot-free‚Äč.

This concept literally gives me hives. First, because I assume it‚Äč’s generally‚Äč rich male bankers trying to show off how money is ‚Äčn‚Äčo object‚Äč to them‚Äč. And next, because ‚ÄčWHO IS THE FOOL who pays $800?? ‚Äč

I played my own game tonight, somewhat willingly and somewhat against my nature. I found that that’s what the work is, taking on stretches that feel‚Äč super uncomfortable‚Äč, in order‚Äč to grow.

‚ÄčI was sharing with my small group‚Äč over dinner‚Äč tonight that I haven’t moved much on my abundance goal. I don’t feel I’ve been‚Äč specifically‚Äč avoiding or resisting it, just feeling completely disconnected from it. I didn’t ‚Äčcreate a real structure‚Äč for this goal‚Äč to start off the cycle, and so I never really moved forward with it‚Äč.‚Äč ‚ÄčM‚Äčy 30-day fashion challenge became my daily game, and I let myself focus on that‚Äč instead‚Äč.

My group asked me for examples of how my scarcity manifests, and I shared that money is‚Äč a big one. Other things come up to‚Äčo‚Äč, like time‚Äč and objects,‚Äč but money is definitely a frequent one. We were eating at a cute, relatively inexpensive, vegan restaurant. When the bill ‚Äčarrived, I had the fleeting thought to offer to pay for everyone‚Äč, as a personal stretch. ‚Äč

This is not something I ‚Äčever do. As in I don’t think I’ve ‚ÄčEVER done it. Even paying just for one‚Äč‚Äč friend feels uncomfortable to me (though I love when people do it for me!).‚Äč Even the simple challenge my buddy gave me last week – to leave a dollar bill somewhere random for a stranger – felt sufficiently uncomfortable (and wasteful) that I never did it. A dollar! And I thought about following Jill’s lead to pay for the person behind me at a coffee shop, but I got caught in analysis and rationalization (how much do I leave? How do I know what they’ll order? What if I leave more than they need?) Meet my brain, people!!

So we all know it happens next‚Äč. I shared with my group this fleeting thought, and after the conversation had continued for some time I decided to choose this stretch and put down my credit card.‚Äč I didn’t even look at the amount until after I had paid. The looks on their faces were of pure discomfort, but I think because they knew how it would make me feel. And yet I know for a fact that these three awesome buddies of mine would pay for all without thinking twice. Again, there is no accident I have wonderfully abundant buddies!!

So, from here I get to explore ‚Äčhow I feel! I needed to take the first big challenge this cycle to open the door for the rest. And as it turned out, it opened the door for my full group to take on stretchy challenges in this next week. We brainstormed together for each person until we saw that expression, the one that tells you you landed on the right stretch. I am super proud of our team for playing a big game and getting uncomfortable!

In lighter news, I got way more into my fashion challenge this week. It is soo much fun, and I am loving the Facebook community I’m a part of. I’m finding that I feel more confident each day and more relaxed each morning (as my clothes are already chosen), and other appearance-related items (like my eye infection causing me to wear glasses all week) became less significant.¬†I’m so glad I chose this goal.

Sending you love and a restful weekend!

Busyness or Abundance?

This week has been so nutty!! Starting Sunday morning I’ve been working my a$$ off catching up post-holidays and prepping for a bunch of client meetings and deliverables. My personal to-do list keeps growing (and I keep ignoring it) and I’ve had stuff going on every night.

I totally fall into this trap – I know that ‘busyness’ is a mindset and overwhelm is a choice. I see this article referenced all the time and there’s so much truth to it. So I try to be conscious of not ‘complaining’ how busy I am, because let’s be honest – it’s annoying. To me and to everyone.¬† And I’d way rather be busy than not.

What I also started to think about is that I have a chance to appreciate the abundance here and shift from overwhelm. And typically I’m really bad at shifting – ask Hadar – when I’m in a mood or feeling self-pitying i prefer to stay that way. Last night, though, I chose to shift and see how abundant my life is – relationships, family, work, fun. With all that abundance it’s easy to go on overload sometimes and I’ll feel busy and overwhelmed. I think we had a conversation on the chat about how overwhelm is tied to scarcity – that we feel stressed by a lack of time, but that we have the opportunity to control how we feel and how we use that time. Blah blah blah. In reality, we do have limited hours in our days! So, like all circumstances, it’s about how we deal with them.

Since this shift last night, today was wayy better. Calmer. I had a half-day meeting just across the park so I had the glorious chance to work from home before and after and enjoy the sunshine along the way.

On my other goal, I joined a fall fashion challenge run by one of my favorite fashion bloggers – Putting Me Together – and am LOVING it!!! It is so much fun and really enhancing my life ūüôā She helps pick out an outfit a day for everyone in the challenge, and, using your own wardrobe, you modify and follow the formula (if you choose). The best part is the Facebook group full of fun women from all over the country. It’s actually hilarious to see everyone’s pictures every day wearing close to the same outfit. The blogger’s goal is to make women feel more confident (and to rework their existing resources). I’ve been more organized in the morning as a result of this challenge and am really enjoying it.

Of course, the one day this week I did nothing with my hair, wore my glasses and no makeup was the day we had a training on public speaking at work and they videoed us speaking for 3 minutes, and played it back!! But, despite looking pretty awful I did well on the speaking part, and I – and everyone – improved SO MUCH between the first and second runs. Was a cool experience.

Happy (almost) weekend everyone!