AKA Re(view) + (Re)flection on The Gifts of Imperfection
In Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection” she often refers back to her 2007 B̶r̶e̶a̶k̶d̶o̶w̶n̶ Spiritual Awakening. I experienced something similar in 2017 when I started therapy and participated in the #52essays2017 challenge. I can’t help but feel like our world is going through a 2020 B̶r̶e̶a̶k̶d̶o̶w̶n̶ Spiritual Awakening. We are contending with the fragility of human life and the consequences of greed on that fragility. This reckoning causes a lot of anxiety.
Here are two quotes (out of so many underlined and annotated passages) that I’ve been sitting with since early this morning:
- “Dr. Lerner explains that we all have patterned ways of managing anxiety. Some of us respond to anxiety by over-functioning and others by under-functioning. Overfunctioners tend to move quickly to advise, rescue, take over, micromanage, and get in other people’s business rather than look inward. Underfunctioners tend to get less competent under stress. They invite others to take over and often become the focus of family gossip, worry, or concern. They can get labeled as the “irresponsible one” or “the problem child” or the “fragile one.” 𝐃𝐫. 𝐋𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐬 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐧𝐱𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲, 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞, 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐮𝐬 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞.”
- “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
I want to be mindful of not being prescriptive about how to cope with anxiety during this #covid19pandemic. My patterned response is definitely that of an overachiever. I’ve been balancing the weight of that truth by taking naps as needed, allowing myself good cries for emotional release and taking scorching hot baths/showers (really though…I’m not sure how I haven’t burned my skin off yet.)
We are all coping in our own ways and at our own pace. Here are a few of the things that have helped me:
💡 Routine: Getting dressed for work, exercising consistently and sticking to a regular sleep schedule has helped me hold on to some sense of normalcy in an otherwise very not normal situation.
💡 Cultivating Joy: In the form of cooking meals/baked goods, random dance breaks, checking in on loved ones, reading books and watching things that make me laugh.
💡 Pursuing Calm and Stillness: Through prayer, meditation and quiet reflection. Surrendering my worry and the world around me. Digging into my faith. (the midday prayers led three times a week by Pastor Rich Villodas have been MAJOR for me.)
Here’s a challenge for you that I lifted out of my latest read. Make an “ingredients for joy and meaning list” aka a list of the specific conditions that are in place when everything feels good in your life. Then check that list against your to-do list and your to-accomplish list for this Quarantine season. What do you notice? How do you feel about the cross-over or lack thereof? Take a few moments in stillness to reflect on how you are coping with the current world crisis. 𝘈𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴, 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴, 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨? 𝘐𝘧 𝘯𝘰𝘵, 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘧𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘱𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬? 𝗖𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗢𝗡𝗘 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗼, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸.
Happy Sunday fam. Stay well, stay safe, #stayhome ✨
(P.S. While this may not have been my favorite Brené Brown book, it was still a really solid read. I walked away with a deeper understanding and greater awareness of how I relate to others and why. If you haven’t already, check out her TED talk and Netflix special. You won’t regret it.)