Thursday, July 20, 2017

My First Completed Read of the Summer

Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.  -Freidrich Nietzsche


Yesterday I read the book Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life  by Gary John Bishop

This book is a good start to becoming the protagonist of your own story, owning your failures and successes and analyzing both.  I seldom feel that I am a victim but sometimes when things continuously go wrong and I'm exhausted, especially when I'm exhausted,  it does begin to feel like life is happening to me in spite of all I do.  The book gives affirmations and explains why they are important.

The idea that you are "winning at the life you have" really gets one to think about the decisions they've made and continue to make that have led to whatever you're unhappy with about yourself or your life at this moment.  The first affirmation is, "I am willing"  and begins with asking yourself the question, "Am I willing?"  This is powerful because there is no wiggle room, no room for excuses or justification.  If I am willing, I begin the work that I need to do to change and if I am not willing then I quit deluding myself.   This was linked to the second affirmation, "I am wired to win."  If I am indeed wired to win then I need to begin to make winning happen not just think about it and hope for it.  I need to make a detailed plan.

Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it. - Kahlil Gibran

The third affirmation, "I've got this" was about perspective and how we tend to blow things out of proportion.  Life has ups and downs and we work through them.  If history is any judge, well, I"ve got this.  It was about the importance of looking at things from a distance to get a better, more realistic perspective.

The next one I will reread, "I embrace uncertainty."  As I read I remembered a girl who did; she reveled in it but she became a mother of many and uncertainty hasn't since been her friend.  She = I am going to have to learn again to embrace the uncertainty that is life.  A quick reflection will show you can always count on life to surprise you and they're not all happy surprises.

"I'm not my thoughts; I am what I do"  THIS is why I bought the book, to get out of my head and into my life!  I think and think and go through every possible scenario experiencing both the positive and negative emotions that go with all that might be but when I focus on doing, I find peace...

"I am relentless."  I may have to say this one to myself daily.  I recently experienced a great disappointment and felt truly crushed.  It was something that I had worked toward for years and I felt misled and cheated.  I have since set new goals that are loftier but I've also realized that I need to make a list of everyday goals, a list of smaller, sweeter things so that I don't forget to live.

The final affirmation of the book is, "I expect nothing and accept everything."  I expect nothing and accept everything, I expect nothing and accept everything, I expect nothing and accept everything...  MUCH easier said than done but I can see how this is a healthy mindset.  Having no expectations means never being disappointed.  I like the idea but can't really imagine how to separate one's self from expectation.  When does hope turn to expectation because IT also precedes disappointment? desire..?.  The idea in the book is that the expectation is your own creation of what things should be or how they should turn out.  It is your own fabrication that causes the greatest disappointment.  I guess it is hard for me to separate that from vision.  This is one I will continue to meditate on.

I really enjoyed the book.  I was going to find a job this summer and I still may but during the summer I read.  I plan for the next school year and I read. Teachers need to rest and invest their non-teaching time wisely.  This has been lovely.  I've been spending mornings sitting in the car with a cup of coffee, reading.  When I get to the bottom of my cup I begin to feel the strength to do laundry, dishes, and planning for the children's day that I must do.

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