Nine months in with my word and some days I feel really ready to move on… others… well, the many more other days I feel like the struggle is real.
Thank you, Ann Voskamp for that quote to remind me that practicing is indeed the hardest part of learning… but it is necessary to changing/learning/growing/being.
So this month, I have been practicing… and it has not been easy at all.
I went back and pulled out my Authenticity Manifesto and looked at it to see if I could find my struggles… and almost instantly I did.
Less-Controlling Kat, where are you?
Defining one’s struggles this easily should mean it would be easy to move past them, to let go of them, to release them… but no, I am living proof it is not.
So this month… I stumbled… and I struggled more… and I reacquainted myself with my word and my goals…but it was a challenging month and I will absolutely keep practicing!
As always, I want to thank Carolyn for providing us all a space to share our progress!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity. — Jame Clear
August has always been my least favorite month of the year. The heat. The humidity. The end of summer break (at least when my kids were little!) The wishing for the next season. I wanted to break those habits this year… habits of dislike. Of wallowing in the misery of August (most of which was self-made misery!)
So this month I took a step back and looked back on all I have discovered about authenticity this year and set about unlearning of what August always has been… and to find a new outlook.
I started with a list of all that I have learned… a Road Map to Authenticity of sorts. And I embraced the silence versus trying to fill my day with noise. (Thanks Kym for this brilliant inspiration!) I leaned into the quietude this month… and it was amazing! In the silence I found so much to love about August!
And pairing a list with the silence… well, that has been the winning combination! My gift to myself this month will be taking my list and putting it on a bookmark to use in my calendar/journal… a reminder every day of where I am heading… what I want to be… and that, my friends, might be the best gift I will ever give myself – a gentle nudge to keep myself on the path.
And I am departing August with a new-found love for all things late summer…okay maybe not the humidity! But I have appreciated how my tomatoes have loved all that heat and humidity… and those tomatoes have provided August with the best thing ever about late summer… an abundance I can share!
As always, I would like to thank Carolyn for providing us the space to share our journeys! I will see you all back here on Wednesday!
Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it.
― Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Last month I coasted with my word, this month a merger happened. The merger of the previous collection of my words into authenticity.
Or… that moment when the lightbulb finally switched ON!
That’s right authenticity burned brightly this month when I really focused, releasing the baggage I don’t need to carry any longer, anl to live my days intentionally full and authentic. Not being defined by my past, my (often poor) choices, my at times endless what if’s.. but rather to take the sum of all of that and allow myself to enjoy the me of all of those things!
Ali Edwards gave us the suggestion of writing a post card to ourself (from or word) or writing a card to our word (from ourselves)… that suggestion was the starting point for the month long conversation I have been having with myself about being more accepting of myself… and yes, more work on loving myself for who I am.
As always, poetry played a part in this…early in the month I stumbled across a poem by the brilliant David Whyte, which has been part of my morning meditation time every day since then… especially these lines: “the visible and the invisible working together in common cause, to produce the miraculous.” Yes, yes, yes!
Is there more work to do? Of course there is, but I very much feel like I moved beyond so much this month… and that, my friends, is a very good thing!
A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing us the space to share our progress.
See you all back here on Wednesday with some NEW projects!
A month of coasting… that was June with my word.
But I don’t think that is a bad thing. This month, I read a book that I have not stopped thinking about since I finished it. I am thinking about it when I wake, I am thinking about it as I go through my day, and I am thinking about it as the day draws to a close. The book… Jenny Odell’s How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. As I said in my review, it really is not about doing nothing… at all.
Two quotes from Jenny Odell have stayed with me since I read them. They are quotes that pack a huge punch and they are the things I have been thinking about:
Our very idea of productivity is premised on the idea of producing something new, whereas we do not tend to see maintenance and care as productive in the same way.
When overstimulation has become a fact of life, I suggest that we reimagine #FOMO as #NOMO, the necessity of missing out, or if that bothers you, #NOSMO, the necessity of sometimes missing out.
For me… a person seeing an authentic path where I can be authentic to myself these quotes stopped me in my tracks. To me they are very much tied together… you cannot have one without the other.
Great reminders to me that maintenance and care are as important as seeking that “next new thing.” And for myself… that reminder moved several things off my list entirely… and that felt like a huge weight lifted from me which leads me to the Ali Edwards prompt for this month. It encouraged us to collect our thoughts around an “In Progress” list of questions. I did some thinking about where I feel like I am with being authentic thus far this year and two words just jumped off the page for me:
eye-opening and freeing
and that very much brings me back to those brilliant quotes from my new bestie, Jenny Odell. It is a very good place to be.
I would like to thank Carolyn for gathering us all together… even on the coasting days with our word!
(and in this vein of doing some maintenance and self care, I am taking a bit of a #NOMO break from blogging but I will be back soon!)
Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen. ― The Gifts of Imperfection
This month, Ali Edward’s team suggested a “Day of Yes” but I decided to take it one step further… to make it a month of yes to choices that allowed me to be real with myself and to let that self shine a bit.
It was not easy… old habits are so hard to break. But when I felt like retreating, I read poetry that lifted me. I tuned out the negative voice in my head and stood up for myself… to myself!
It was a good month of nurturing myself in the very best way. And as this month draws to a close, I hope that this month of practice begins to take root. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the positive things by continuing this practice as the year unfolds!
A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing a place to share my progress. I hope this was a good month for all of you as well!
See you all back here tomorrow with some Unraveling!
It’s been a very quiet month in the OLW department. Ali Edward’s prompt for the month was to look for our word to show up in our days… and so I practiced patience and tried to pay attention…. sigh. At times the silence was jarring and after a week of waiting with no Word Sightings, I decided I needed a new tactic for the month. I decided I would look at the impediment for my word… i.e. what prevents me from being authentic. Enter Brené Brown… at the end of last month I listened to her lecture/workshop: The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections, and Courage…twice. It was the best 10 hours I spent last month and I wrote down lots of notes of encouragement for myself and this one I wrote in big, bold letters:
How much we know ourselves is extremely important…
Know myself… okay! I know myself very well so making the “Let Go” list was easy:
- Let go of my inner critic… who is often the loudest voice in my head (this inner critic jumps in often about all.the.things!)
- Let go of expectations that I cannot control… i.e. expectations in others
Sadly, the “Let Go” list does not contain any “new things” … sigh. Thankfully, William Shatner provided me some insight to this problem:
Most people, including myself, keep repeating the same mistakes.
Rather than allowing my inner critic to begin the Chorus of Defeat at my inevitability of repeating mistakes, I considered a different path…
Identify, acknowledge, and diminish….
with a big focus on diminish because I don’t think I am every going to completely “Let Go” of that damned inner critic, or expectations that I cannot control… but perhaps I can make them less…a lot less!
I don’t think that will be easy… but I am going to work on it with these words printed out boldly as a daily reminder..
How much we know ourselves is extremely important but how we treat ourselves is the most important. — Brené Brown
As always, I’d like to thank Carolyn for keeping me faithful in sharing my word, I might have taken a hard pass on this month, if not for her! Please make sure you go see how everyone else did with their word this month!
See you all back here on Wednesday!