clarity

No Big Deal: How to Know When to Let Something Go

Day 3: Self Confidence

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No Big Deal

I remember my mother in law saying these three words a lot.

She had a stroke in her 40s and eventually ended up in an alzheimers home with dementia.

She became a bit of a social butterfly there.

Going from room to room, visiting friends.

She seemed happy, although in her own world and often not able to remember the details of who we were.

She smiled a lot.

She said “no big deal” a lot.

I think sometimes it was prompted by the look of concern or worry on our faces.

I started then to really think about what that phrase means.

For me, I remember thinking it when something really was kinda a big deal. (Or at least a big deal to me)

As a way of not feeling disappointed. Because disappointment felt terrible.

Or as a way of reframing somthing that I perceived as “negative”.

As a way of avoiding the bad feeling that was sure to follow.

Sometimes when you have adhd tendencies, it can feel like you experience things differently than most people.

It can be hard to regulate emotions. We can tend to react quickly, overreact or make things mean something negative about us. We can take things personally. Be overly sensitive to criticism.

I used to ask myself “what is a big deal to most people? Is this a big deal to most people?

What does a typical day feel like to most people? What does planning feel like for most people?

Is this an appropriate reaction? Am I normal?”

Those questions were an attempt to make sure I fit the mold of being reasonable, acceptable. Fit in with what was expected.

When I’m trying to decide if something is a big deal to me or not, if I want to speak up or not, I use different questions now. Questions that feel more personal to me.

1) Is it a big deal to me, yes or no? Why?

2) Do I like my reason for speaking up?

3) What is my motivation behind speaking up?

Ultimately you’re the only one that can decide if something’s a big deal or not. That will vary from person to person.

What if there is not a “typical answer”? Or a correct response?

Guess what? There isn’t!

In the realm of people pleasing, there are times something will bother us and we will choose to speak up.

There are times something will bother us and we will choose not to speak up.

Both are ok as long as we’ve checked in with ourselves.

If we’re not speaking up because we don’t want to “rock the boat” we’re probably operating from a fearful place, and worrying about what others may think of us. We may want to notice that and decide if that’s really how we want to respond.

If we’re not speaking up because it is truly not worth our time and is actually not a big deal, we may like that reason and stay quiet, and just let it go.

If you find yourself feeling anxious from time to time, like you’ve got something to say but would rather not “cause a scene”, or step into a potential confrontation, it may be worth exploring.

If you’re afraid that what you want to say to someone may hurt their feelings, let’s talk. There’s another way and it feels so much better.

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Breathing In Clarity-The Effects of Nature on the Mind

“I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put together.”
— John Burroughs

The opposite of being "plugged in" is to be "unplugged".  An electric guitar is amplified and plugged into a soundboard.  An acoustic guitar is one in which the sound is not amplified in any way, it is unplugged.  

I've found that an interesting thing happens when I go out into nature to "unplug".  Leaving my electronics behind, with a plan to soak in the natural sounds of nature, I can feel my soul awaken.  I discover that as I unplug, the energy surrounding me actually increases.    I begin to feel a shift inside and a calm, peaceful sense of clarity comes over me.  

Our minds are amazing things.  They separate us from all other species.  Our ability to observe ourselves and pay attention to our thoughts is what makes us unique as a species.  I wonder if by surrounding ourselves day in and day out with phones, computers, iPads, electrical lights, electrical fans, buzzing air conditioning units, cars, video games, cameras...the list goes on and on, I wonder if all of that "electronic noise" is separating us from ourselves.  If it's so noisy that that our minds are not "hearing" the sound of our souls screaming out what we need, in order to be our best selves.  

Our brains are incredible machines.  Given the challenge of ever increasing electronic input, they increase performance, process more, calculate more, think and do more, more, more. What we may really need is to listen deeply and quietly to the sounds of our own souls.  Each person is unique and the message our soul wants to deliver is especially crafted just for us.  No one else can have OUR answers.  They are tucked away inside of us.  Just for us.  We simply have to be able to hear what we are trying to tell ourselves.  

People turn to all kinds of vices to "quiet their minds" alcohol, caffeine, drugs, shopping, tv, eating, exercising...when what is really needed is a deep bathing in nature.  Some type of "paying attention" to our innermost thoughts.  A soaking of the soul, in a place without electricity.  When we are able to unplug, our souls voice is amplified.  We can actually hear our unique soul message and our minds become clear.  Our mission becomes clear.  Our dreams become clear.  

There is so much out there these days about mindfulness.  There are apps and books and experts. I believe mindfulness was birthed as a response to all of the excess noise.  It is a "practice" of being present and clearing your mind.  Because it takes practice and effort, it is still very active. Especially in the beginning, when you're first learning it.  It is an active choosing to focus on the present.  While it is an excellent tool, it's hard for me not to notice that we are still trying to "do something" to clear our minds when practicing mindfulness.  

When walking in the woods, it feels to me like mindfulness without the effort.  A naturally occurring mindfulness if you will.  No effort necessary...just walk and breathe.