Greetings, dear reader! I hope this finds you well, and basking in the remnants of a Valentine’s Day spent loving others, loving yourself and being loved. If for some reason you didn’t feel the love this year, I’m sending you an extra dollop of mine, coated in dark chocolate and dipped in sprinkles 🙂
For the last few weeks I’ve been encountering a strange phenomenon. Every time I have gone to a store, any store really, I have been unable to find all the items I went there to buy. So about every other day I’ve had to pop into one store or another on my way home from work, on my way to visit someone, on my lunch break. I normally go to the grocery store about three times a month, so going four times a week has been a frustrating challenge! I have been in convenience stores, grocery stores, natural food markets, big box stores, and drug stores, all in search of that one thing I hadn’t been able to find at the last place. After about a week of hitting up stores in a thirty mile radius of my home only to get the item the last place didn’t have but forget to get what I actually was looking for, it felt like a pattern and got into my head.
Then came Valentines week. I found a delicious sounding recipe for strawberry truffles to make at home., full of berries, made with coconut flour, and beyond amazing. Some of the ingredients were not already in my pantry, so off I trucked. Wouldn’t you know it, I couldn’t find coconut flour! Remember, this has been going on for a while for me, so I was pretty unfazed at this point, grabbed some unsweetened coconut flakes and decided to make my own.
Pro tip: making your own coconut flour using a 2 cup food processor and planning to use it in a finely textured dessert doesn’t actually work! In the middle of attempting to make the berry sludge in my mixing bowl resemble the “fluffy and decadent” texture I’m supposed to be achieving I decided that the Instagrammer who posted the recipe needed to be included in my hilarious failure. This lovely lady chuckled with me and immediately recommended Amazon for my impossible to find ingredient search.
Have you ever gotten into a pattern of behavior and found yourself literally running in circles and only when you bring someone else into it do you stop to acknowledge the issue and think for a minute? In five seconds she had jumped into the crazy situation I had been churning in for three weeks with an actual solution. Of course, it didn’t solve my immediate situation, I was still standing in my flour dusted kitchen trying to beat strawberry gloop into decadence. But she succeeded in making me pause, think and realign. I chuckled, shook my head, and gained some perspective.
In the middle of my coconut flour search I attended a two day training. As part of the training I participated in a number of practice exercises and spent most of the two days talking with the other trainees about things we wanted to change and achieve in our lives.
When asked to share with a partner about a habit that I wanted to reintroduce into my life, I immediately had something to discuss. I know I have talked before about my morning mindfulness practice, its wonderful benefits in my life, and how important I find it. Real talk, I’ve struggled to make it a priority for the last two months and only do it sporadically. I know the huge impact it has. It keeps me grounded on work days. When I spend my first 20 minutes preparing for my successful day I make better decisions. I feel better, think better, interact more positively with others and eat more healthfully. It’s good for me. I know this. And yet, I sleep for 20 minutes. You can all guess the quality of sleep I get in that time and the impact it has on my life… Alas, I haven’t fully committed to it in the last two months, so it doesn’t usually happen. I spoke with two different individuals about this desire and the barriers to making it happen. They weren’t trained counselors. We only talked for about three minutes each. I hadn’t met either of them before that moment.
They were compassionate. They cared about me and my life. They took time to listen and offer support, each in their own way.
I was willing to let them know my shortcomings and something I wanted to work on in my life. Just making myself aware of the issue, hearing myself talk about the benefits and how vastly they outweighed the barriers, created that same moment as the “try Amazon” lightbulb. And these folks were there with gentle reflections and suggestions. (Which I have been implementing! 2 for 2 so far 😉
When we focus on our challenges rather than the possible solutions, all we can see or create are more challenges. When we look forward, to the goal on the other side of the challenge and focus on how to get there, we make progress.
Sometimes talking the “big, hairy deal” out with a supportive and progress focused peer is the best way to get that crucial change of perspective. I know it was for me! If I wasn’t willing to be open about my needs with these folks, I’d still be waking up late and wandering around my 45th new grocery store of the week.
Here’s to you and a week of taking a step back, talking it out, changing perspective, and not wasting time doing stuff we know isn’t good for us ❤