I've gotta be honest, friends, because that's what I do here: this week has sucked. I really haven't been feeling fueled up, I've been feeling like if I get through the day without telling anyone to fuck off, then I deserve many pretty things and glasses of pinot. But bad weeks pass. And even in bad weeks, there are good things. The good things I want to talk about this week are scarves, deep breathing, and the book You are a Badass. We're covering a wide spectrum here. Buckle up.
Fall has arrived, so scarves can officially be worn, and I LOVE scarves. All fall fashion, really--give me scarves and boots or give me death. Plus they can be wrapped around me like a blanket when the oppressive climate control at work is gettin' me down.
Chewy is a fickle little pickle--if I try to take a photo of him he will NOT have it (he can be laying on me for an hour, but the second I try to take a selfie he's like, "I'm out.") But if I'm trying to take photos without him, he's like, "Hey! Mom! Give me some attention!" That poor dog really needs some grooming, we've let him develop so many dreadlocks he's starting to look homeless. Plus he's taken to chewing off patches of his fur (not the dreadlocked parts, annoyingly) so that's really not helping the aesthetic. But, I digress. Moving on.
II. Deep Breathing
At the risk of this blog becoming little more than live coverage of The Living Experiment podcast, I'm going to tell you that this idea came from The Living Experiment. Dallas and Pilar were talking about the fact that you can reduce stress hormones and slow your heart rate, essentially stopping a stress response, if you breathe in for a few beats, hold that breath for a few beats, and then breathe out for longer than you breathed in. So, something like: breathe in for four counts, hold for six counts, breathe out for eight counts. I've been using this a lot lately, either when I feel myself tensing up or when I just want to consciously set a calm vibe for myself, like on my morning commute. Just two or three breaths will do it. I also used this technique when my flight home from Boston last week hit severe turbulence, dropped unexpectedly, and everyone on the plane screamed. I'm not having a panic attack, you're having a panic attack. I'm breathing. And gripping my seat and listening to Justin Bieber. It's fine. Everyone's fine.
III. You are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
This book was recommended to me as personal development by my Beachbody crew, and I just started it last night. It's awesome. She writes in exactly the way I love (true, striking, and also funny). The book is pretty well-described by its cover: it's about believing in yourself and living your best life. It's definitely self-helpy, but not cheesy, so I love it. Here's one of my favorite passages so far:
"I have a friend who's a professional speaker. She's the kind of person who is so articulate, so powerful and bright and naturally captivating, that she could be standing at the counter, ordering a burrito and I'd get all teary-eyed: 'That's right! No refried beans! You heard the woman!' So imagine my surprise when, after one of her talks, she plunked herself down next to me and demanded to know how boring it was. I have gorgeous friends who think they're hideous looking, brilliant clients who one moment think they're God's gift to mankind and the next need to be talked off the ledge of self-proclaimed ineptitude, and an entrepeneurial neighbor who can't decide if she's a financial powerhouse or if she's about to cause her family to start living underneath a bridge. Self-perception is a zoo."
She goes on to talk about how we're never surprised when our phenomenal friends go out and do something phenomenal, but for some reason we don't give ourselves the same credit. We don't get any benefit of the doubt. She suggests to try seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who admires and believes in you, to try to stop wasting so much time and energy picking yourself apart. Ok, is that not great?? And it's funny, and quick to read. Buy this one.
That's all I've got for you this week, but you never know what next week may hold! OH! Also. Last week I posted about the concept of managing your energy, and energizing vs. depleting tasks, and I decided I wanted to share that concept more deeply and connect with some of my friends and internet stranger-friends about it. So, I'm running a little online workshop next week, Monday-Friday, to do exactly that. It's going to happen through a private Facebook group, I'll share a little bit of content every day and then there will be some interaction with the group, but it can all be done on your own time and won't take more than 15 minutes a day. And it's totally free! If you're interested, you can head on over to Cocoa and Cotton's page on Facebook and comment on that post or send me a message. And actually, if you like the blog and aren't already following the Facebook page, I post a lot more content there and on Instagram (@happy_healthy_hannaloraine) that you may like. Alright, that's really it.