Week Six of my 100-Day Project
by Jeanne Savelle
(Atlanta, GA, USA)
1. I woke up thinking about my cat this morning. For the last two nights she has slept next to me on the bed, something very unusual. This cat’s temperament has been closer to that of the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes. Lately though she has been more like the cat curled up in front of a simmering fireplace. It got me thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I wonder if anyone has ever created something like that for domesticated animals? What do animals “need” beyond the basics of food, shelter, procreation, safety? How does the connection between humans and animals manifest in their lives?
2. I have been reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book The Lacuna and she makes many interesting observations. But this one on page 479 (written the opposite of the book for obvious reasons) I love: it is more important to think than to speak. There is danger is non-stop speaking. I try to remind myself of this but fail most of the time. I have always told people what I think and why it’s right. My intention now is to listen more and speak less. I’ll keep at it and not judge myself when I don’t live up to it. I’ll get there if I don’t give up.
3. Passwords: the bane of modern life (besides email.) How is it possible that I have almost 500 passwords!! That shocks me. I really need to do some cleaning up of both passwords and emails. How did we get this far down the road in such a short time? I don’t mind using a password manager — it really helps. But I have signed up for too many things over the years and just let them ride. I’ll set aside 10 minutes once a week to start going through the passwords and removing myself from those I no longer need/visit/want.
4. I had a wonderful call yesterday with my coach. We were talking about quieting the mind, reducing the noise, finding stillness. This has been a challenge for me in the last couple of weeks, well, for much longer than that. I have been feeling very far away from anything still or quiet. But after our call, or during it really, I understood that the stillness or quiet is like the air. It’s around us all the time and we get to live in it. The imagery I love is the snow globe. When its still, the snow is lying on the bottom and Santa (or whatever) is clear. When you shake it up, the snow clouds the globe, and you can’t see Santa. If we just let the snow fall to the bottom, we can see clear again.
5. We coaches worry about talking with people about what we do, the benefits that coaching provides, and what we charge for our services. I read an article in Vanity Fair this morning about a global megachurch. It got me thinking about all the people around the world searching for something, they don’t know exactly what it is but they think the answer is in religion. The truth is the answer is within themselves, even if they follow a spiritual practice. What a good coach can do is point someone in the direction of themselves — point them to the internal, to the inside, to their own insight, their sight within. There they will find what they are searching for. No need to worry about showing people this. It’s the most valuable thing they will ever learn.
6. Yesterday was a challenging day for me. I was upset, angry, worried. The issue was Medicare — I got a bill for 150% more than what I am currently paying for my company retiree health care plan. Just for Parts B and D and does not include supplement policies. So, I was shocked and concerned. I had my pity party, not a little one either. But today I realize that indulging that way just makes me unhappy and does nothing to solve the problem. I am working through all options to resolve the issue and I am certain of a positive outcome. If we can keep our heads, we can find solutions. But we are also human, and my pity party showed me that.
7. Feelings show us our thoughts. We invest so much into our feelings but they are just directional signals. The heavier feelings show heavier thoughts and vice versa. But we are not our thoughts. We experience life through them but they “R” not us. Who we are at the core, our essential self, is unchanging. Our thoughts and feelings change second to second, minute to minute. When we start feeling heavy, like I did yesterday, we can give ourselves some space, and look at our thinking with more objectivity.