Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week #2 - No judgment 2.0, learning to make adjustments - 5 minute meditation

Had a powerful check in call with Anjali this week.  She says "So tell me what's good!" ...and I chose my words carefully so as to just state the facts and what I observed, without judging the hell out of myself for my results. :)

Last Week Objective: 
  • Wake up at 6 am and have a glass of warm water. 
  • NO JUDGMENT. Practice catching myself when I use words to describe what I do/don't do - am I judging or observing? Also observe my schedule of wake, work, eat, rest, sleep.
  • Be in bed by 11:30. 

About the 11:30 bedtime... Well, I've noticed some things.

I start making my way towards bed at 11:30... meaning, brush teeth, feed the cats, grab laundry, get water, pee... and then I'll be in bed by 12.  I have been using the sleep cycle app every night and this has been a GREAT tool because I'm tracking what time I ACTUALLY get into bed.  To keep me from playing on Facebook, as soon as I hit the bed, the sleep app goes on and phone is set on nightstand.  I track exactly when I get into bed and what time I wake up. 

So, funny story…. it's last Monday night and I’m tossing and turning, 12:30-1am, not falling asleep, mind reeling asking myself:

“What’s the deal, Court? Bedtime is 11:30, why aren’t we getting to bed on time? What’s the deal with that? OMG, I have ANXIETY right now over not going to sleep on time and now I can’t sleep! GAH!! WTF is the deal? OMG This is so fucking stup – GAH – NO JUDGMENT!!!”  

It was in that moment, I GOT IT. This isn’t about me getting to bed consistently every night at 11:30… the deeper lesson in all of this is how I talk to myself. When I don’t succeed, what does my inner voice do and say to me? So I can’t fall asleep right now, that’s ok. So I didn’t make 11:30 tonight, that’s ok – so long as I observe, take note of what had me late, accept I didn’t make 11:30, ask myself what I can do differently next time and above all, NOOOOO JUDGMENT.  

In Pathways I learned my purpose is to create a patient and loving world by teaching others acceptance and compassion.  Those 4 words are so impactful for me.  Patience, love, acceptance and compassion – I DESERVE THAT FROM ME FIRST.  I’m not gonna master this “no judgment” thing right off the bat… practice makes better, accept what I’m doing without judgment, practice compassion for my mis-steps as I am not gonna get it perfectly every time, and loving myself all the way through.

I explained all of this to Anjali and she was happy to hear that I was seeing that deeper lesson... cuz really, that's what it's all about. Everything we do, everything we are... it's all broken down to one very core level - our relationship with ourselves and how peaceful and loving THAT is. It drives everything else in our world.

Other observations.. I'm not up at 6 am every day. My brain tells me I can sleep longer if I don't have a 7:30 am appt. Rather than hitting snooze for 30-45 minutes, we agreed to re-adjust this goal also. Warm water still all good, that's daily.

NEW Weekly Objectives:
  • Bedtime ALARM set on phone for 11:15. Start process of 'getting ready' for bed - wash face, brush teeth, do cats, get water, etc - and goal is to be IN bed at 11:30. Sleep app on, asleep before 12. Progress not perfection. No judgment. Getting Ben's support on this also to keep me accountable.
  • Depending on morning schedule, alarm will be set for 6 or 7 am. If I am able to sleep until 7, set alarm for 7 so will sleep soundly up til 7. Working to find the right solution to get me off this snooze button usage.
  • When wake, get water and brush teeth, then set timer on phone for 5 minutes of meditation. We are starting small with realistic, attainable, bite size changes.

Other thing I noticed... Friday and Saturday nights have been exempt from this bedtime/wake up schedule thing. I've always liked staying up late those nights and then sleeping in the next day. I realized, with the upcoming launch of Falacos, those are going to be late nights anyways... so it's kinda a good thing I am already used to being up late. :)  For now, staying up late has looked like COLORING. I'm soooo in love with coloring in my coloring books before bed.  Very relaxing and meditative. And pretty. :)

In Falacos news, I went down to see the truck the week and met with my buddy Chris with Genisoft to see about installing a reverse osmosis water filtration system in the truck so I always have SUPER clean drinking water for my infused waters, cooking, etc and never have to worry about a bottled water service. Zack says the truck will be ready in 2-3 weeks - HOLY CRAP!!! It's GO TIME!! Once the truck is finished, I will be spending 3-4 weeks getting the truck ready and practicing cooking EVERYTHING in the truck, before I go anywhere public. Lots to do!! Feeling excited and ready!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week #1 - No judgment and a bedtime.

I realized after I posted my first blog, I forgot to mention my assignment for last week! Whoops! Here we go... :)

Each week when I check in with Anjali, we will have a new thing for me to start implementing into my schedule. On our first consult, we determined the areas of my life I want to change or create:
  • Meditate
  • Yoga/exercise
  • Read
  • Enough sleep
  • Meal planning
  • Stress management
During our consult, Anjali picked up on things I was saying and she called me out... (in the most loving and supportive way, too).. I described things I'm currently doing like, "when I smoke, I know it's so stupid" or "I'm terrible with planning meals" or "I am like a bratty kid that never wants to go to bed early" and she pointed out that I am judging myself HARD with those statements. Why does it have to be stupid or terrible or like a bratty kid?  It just IS. Those behaviors I'm doing?  They are what they are, and I tie a lot of emotion and judgment to those behaviors.  Anjali pointed out that if I am judging the behaviors I want to change, it's a lot harder to change them.  First step is to accept them. No judgment.

So, my first week's assignment was: PRACTICE NO JUDGMENT.  And boy howdy, has this been an enlightening exercise! I do it ALL. THE. TIME.  I adopted an affirmation awhile back - "I AM ENOUGH" - but all those little judgments about my behaviors don't say "I am enough".  Quite the opposite, actually.  I have been practicing awareness on my thoughts and when I catch myself thinking "oh, you dumbass" or "I'm terrible at this", I instead think "How else can I say this without the judgment?" and then rephrase the thought to say "I haven't been successful at this yet."  Sure, I can see where I'm not doing things yet and I can acknowledge that they aren't done and omit the feelings and emotions about them being undone. It is what it is. Just OBSERVE. I AM enough.

This has been a big challenge for me and I will continue to practice this awareness every day. 

Anjali also asked that I observe my schedule - what does a regular day look like in the life of Courtney?  When do I get up? When do I eat? When do I get home at night? When do I go to sleep?

We had our first official check in this past Thursday on the phone, rather than in person. Anjali knows how my schedule is and she is so accommodating; we agreed that our check ins could be done on the phone if that supported my schedule better. 

I have been keeping a daily log of my wake up times and if I am drinking my glass of warm water as soon as I wake up.  We reviewed this and I found I am often waking up past 6 am and then feeling rushed to get out the door by 7. The solution looks like waking up earlier, but that means I would need to get to bed sooner to not lose sleep. Right now, I run pretty well on about 6 hours of sleep.

I also observed that I usually spend time playing on my phone right before bed, which doesn't support me in getting to sleep sooner. The focus of this next week is to not have my phone by my bed anymore so as not to distract me. But Anjali, my phone is my alarm clock! We worked through this too - I agreed to not use my phone anymore but use an iPad instead so I can still have a gentle song to wake up to and not a blaring alarm clock. I took this a step further and (thanks Diane!) downloaded a sleep tracking app for my iPad.  I hit 'start' as soon as I go to sleep and hit 'stop' as soon as I wake up and it logs my bed and wake times for me so I have a record.  It also has a gentle sound of nature and birds to wake me up, which I LOVE. 

Week #2 Objective: 
  • Wake up at 6 am and have a glass of warm water. So far, so good on this except for weekends... I love sleeping in and do not wake up at 6 am, but I do have my water before coffee! Keep track of this on chart - also record when I hit snooze and when I REALLY get up.
  • NO JUDGMENT. Practice catching myself when I use words to describe what I do/don't do - am I judging or observing? Also observe my schedule of wake, work, eat, rest, sleep.
  • Be in bed by 11:30. I was in bed on Thursday night after our call, but on Friday and Saturday nights, I noticed I like to stay up late and watch something on TV. Tomorrow is a work day so in bed by 11:30 tonight for sure.
The other challenge for me is to put down the judgment when I don't get up at 6 or in bed by 11:30.  This isn't a contest or a test or something I'll win or lose at - this is an exercise to observe and make efforts to hit these times.  If I don't successfully hit bed at 11:30 or wake at 6, I can take note of what happened that had me miss those times and then observe my results.  How late did I stay up? Did I hit snooze? Am I rushed in the morning?  Did I get to do my morning routine? (water, meditate, yoga, answer one 12 step question in my book, breakfast - all before showering/ready for work)...and just notice. No judgment. 

Some Falacos food truck news... THIS BABY IS GREEN!!!! Popped in last week for a quicky look - she is soooooo super fly! Will be meeting with Zack this coming week to finalize our plans for the exterior design, signage, #'s, all that jazz.... SO EXCITING!!!!

Friday, January 15, 2016

My first time...

Hello world!!

Yes, it's true... it's my first time... blogging. Lol

I wanted to a few years ago but never got started for two, now-obvious reasons: 1. I didn't know what to say and 2. I didn't have anyone to hold me accountable. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but with no direction it just didn't stick. I'm thinking this blog will be a good way to journal and release all these thoughts in my head.  I don't really mind if people read it, if they do, GREAT! I hope it inspires someone out there to be more open, vulnerable and get after their dreams - cuz time's a'wastin', y'all!  Anyhoos, NOW I have something to say AND someone to hold me accountable (several someones, in fact) to doing this... which is good for me. I need my buddies.  I have not been successful at maintaining a routine of loving self care, so... in 2016, I am trying something new to get a different result.

I've started my year off by making the commitment to work with a health and wellness coach. My friend, Anjali Gadre, is the owner of Inner Bliss Studio in The Woodlands and she offers a program for women called Blissful Goddess Training.  I have been doing some big work on myself these last 4 years.. I have my 12-step programs - Al-Anon and CoDA, active involvement in Pathways to Successful Living Seminars, and have a business coach - Bob Keplinger with ActionCoach but something has been missing. There are things I want to change in my world but haven't been able to... YET. :) When Anjali asked me if I wanted to try her program, my first thought was "oh gosh, I don't think I have time to squeeze that in" but I know my reality is this: If I want to do something, I will MAKE time. If I reeeeeeally want something, I will find a way.

I wanted to try the Blissful Goddess Training and the more I thought about it, the more I realized - I NEED THIS.  My world is about to spin up into some intense chaos with the coming of my new business endeavor, Falacos, and I know my need for routine self care is more important than ever. I don't have great success in doing things by myself - I need support of all kinds. Friends to call and report to, questions to ask myself daily, people to jump on me if I hide... I've learned the value of support, thanks to Pathways, and I've started asking for it ever since.  With support, I can make things happen.

I had my first consult with Anjali yesterday, reviewing my goals and what I want to work on and when I said something about the new business being chaotic she says to me, "Well, what if it WASN'T?"

Guuuurl, you really hit me with that. She is so right - does it HAVE to be chaotic?  What if I knew how to stay calm in the middle of the tornado? (I call my world the little tornado, it moves so fast and crazy-like at times.) If I can learn to stay peaceful, no matter what? BRING IT ON!! Let's DO THIS!

So we're gonna. :) I will be using this blog space to document my growth, lessons, gifts, everything, as a means to keep myself accountable.  And, be a living, working, real testimony to Anjali's work and what she can do to help people reach their personal wellness goals, whatever they may be.

My Blissful Goddess Training started with a consult to determine what I want to create. For me, it looks like a healthy routine, practicing good self care - on purpose!  Things I want to incorporate into my life:
  • Meditate
  • Yoga/exercise
  • Read
  • Enough sleep
  • Meal planning
  • Stress management
Anjali will be helping me on this journey to building good habits and I am soooo stoked for this! We will be checking in with each other at least once per week to review progress, sometimes more often than that. Having my own personal self-care accountability partner is EXACTLY what I need! 

Thank you Anjali... I'm *really* lookin forward to this. :)