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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Unlimited Refills for Life


My daughter, Macy, is recovering from an awful case of strep throat. Again. The doctor at Urgent Care scraped the back of her throat a few weeks ago and confirmed the diagnosis. She was prescribed penicillin and she missed an entire week of school.

A week after being on the antibiotic, Macy felt well. She was back in school and seemed to be thriving. Because the penicillin upset her stomach, she asked me if she still had to take it. Even though the doctor specifically told us to run the full course, I hated that she was still feeling bad in any way, and I told her to stop the prescription. I mean, she was cured, right?

Wrong.

A week later, Macy complained of a sore throat. She was re-diagnosed with strep throat and she missed another week of school. This time, the doctor put her on a different antibiotic and made us promise that she will not stop taking it until it's gone. Lesson learned!

While this could be a post about bad parenting (!), it's really about the metaphorical prescriptions we stop taking. We stop doing things that work and we're surprised when our lives revert to the former status quo. For instance, I teach leadership classes at local companies. Recently I visited one of my steady clients and had a chance to work with many people I'd worked with in prior trainings. We reviewed some key concepts and tried to see how they could enhance their effectiveness.

No surprise to me, several participants said that they'd forgotten about the concepts since the first time around. One said that the tools worked... when he remembered to use them. Another said she was happy to have the refresher because many of the ideas had gone to the wayside in the ever-changing, stressful work environment. I immediately thought of Macy, her prescription, and subsequent relapse.

Effective communication tools are a prescription with no end-date. Like my daughter's penicillin, we can't take them until we feel better and then stop. Whatever we were trying to "heal" by using new communication skills will resurface when we go back to business as usual.

Teams that stop showing respect to each other will suffer low morale and higher tension. Colleagues who stop assuming positive intent with each other, and instead revert to jumping to conclusions, will stress relationships and negatively impact workplace productivity. If the prescription calls for "responsible communication" it's one we take for life.

On a more personal level, I know what sets me up for success: Morning mantras, sleep, running, spiritual reading and green smoothies always make me feel great. Sometimes I get on a kick and do all of those several days or weeks in a row. I end up feeling fantastic! ...And then something happens and I stop taking my "medication." *Sigh* You think I'd know better by now!

What "prescription" worked for you, but you stopped taking it? It's time for a check-up! I am giving us all unlimited refills.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stream of Consciousness: Thoughts About Me and Dieting

I am becoming fluffier by the day. Fluffy bunnies are cute. Fluffy pancakes are desired. Fluffy clouds are welcomed. A fluffy Michelle = None of these things. I don't like the way my waistline spills over my waistband. I don't like that the scale seems to only go up, not down. I don't like that my current weight doesn't match my driver's license and I'm afraid it never will again. So here I am, 47, and still bumming out about my bod. To make matters worse, I bum myself out by still bumming out about my bod! I think I'll take a few minutes to sort out some of my ideas around body image and weight loss. This is stream-of-consciouness journaling. Here goes: Ready, Aim, Fire!

  • Dieting makes me grouchy. So does being over my goal weight. 
  • Switching perspectives helps sometimes. I'd like to "get healthy," not "lose weight."
  • Scrap that -- I really do want to lose weight. 
  • I have enough stuff (programs, clothes, books) and don't need to delay fitness by buying one more thing/joining one more club/reading one more cleanse. 
  • I like cookies better than rice cakes.
  • I really do think losing weight will make me happy. 
  • Even if weight is "just a number," I'd like a lower number, please.
  • I love feeling strong. 
  • I love kicking tail on Laurent Hill.
  • I love feeling fit and running long runs successfully.
  • Giving up things often makes me want them more (I'm talking to you, Wine and Chocolate).
  • Every thing in moderation is easier said than done.
  • My best "clean" days start with green smoothies.
  • Sleep is my best weight-loss pill.
  • I'm afraid that I'll keep gaining weight.
  • I'm often ashamed of my appearance/weight when I am in public.
  • My body-shaming voice doesn't usually chime in until I get dressed each day.
  • Evenings are when I usually overeat. 
  • I don't want to pass my body image issues to my kids.
  • I'm pretty sure I am passing my body image issues to my kids.
  • My husband deserves the best version of me.
  • Feeling fit helps me feel sexy.
  • Gymnema helps me stay away from sugar.
  • I wish I could accept me As Is.
  • I am pretty sure I'll never be able to accept myself As Is, unless that As Is is perfect, which it will never be.
  • That makes me sad.
  • I am more than my love handles. 
  • I have more energy when I eat clean and follow a fitness program.
  • Good music makes me run faster, harder and longer.
  • I am capable of doing better than I am right now.
  • I envy people who are confident in their skin.
  • I have so much to be grateful for.
  • I still have a lot of work to do.
  • I'm ready.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015