breaking the P-cycle

lorianderson-quotes.blogspot.com

Lately I have been struggling greatly with Procrastination and Perfectionism. I seem to just flatline when I’m thinking I either have to be perfect or just sit in my chair, stare, do nothing and feel bad about myself. Good or bad, black or white.

Today I read something very fantastic in a daily email from www.flylady.com.
Let me first say that Flylady (FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself) is a sweethearted lady who helps you manage your home again in tiny babysteps, while loving yourself instead of beating yourself up.
It is a very fun website with incredibly helpful tools and I am currently doing the beginner babysteps of housecleaning & organizing, to keep me from getting into the Procrastination and Perfectionism cycle.

So today I read this awesome entry about there being two other P’s associated with Perfectionism and Procrastination, so all credit for the 4-P idea goes to Karen, a Flybaby from Tennessee and to Flylady for her advice and resources.(I’ve also added a fifth P)

Pride

The first P Karen says is for Pride, which wants you to set too high standards for myself (oh yeah baby!). I tend to do that a lot with household stuff, or my to-dolist for the day or week. I always cram in way too many things.

Perfectionism

The second P is Perfectionism, which is the result of setting the bar too high in the first place. With me this is closely related to never feeling good enough. It’s definitely gotten better the last years, but when I am hungry, angry, lonely or tired, or (God forbid) PMS-ing (you ladies know what I’m talkin’ ’bout…), then I tend to slide back to this horrible P to try to regain control my life (of course, in vain).

“You cannot open a flower with a sledgehammer” –

Bob Wilson

Pressure

The third P is the inevitable selfdestructive Pressure you’ll be on then, resulting in negative self-talk, spiraling down to feeling like crap and behaving that way as well.

Procrastination

Fourthly there’s mr. Procrastination. Now I think there’s good and bad Procrastination. Good Procrastination is letting your mind wander, daydream, do nothing and get creative.

Bad Procrastination is the result of negative self-talk, self-condemnation, being stuck in a irrealisticly high expectation of yourself, perfectionistically disabling yourself from doing ANYthing ANYmore.

In this state (where I was in yesterday afternoon) my muscles turn to jell-o, and I feel like a boneless chicken , not able to think, not able to move, I was even crying out of sheer self-imposed helplessness and inertia.

Punishment

At rock bottom of this process I’d add a final and utterly sad fifth P: Punishment of myself. That’s when you actively start thinking horrible thoughts about yourself and punishing yourself in your thoughts.

Like:
“I am good for nothing; I cannot do anything right; I am worthless; I am lazy ; I am a bad person, I am not worth being on this planet.”
Recognize those bugger-thoughts?Time to turn it round!

I know that these negative thoughts are so self-destructive, they prevent me from being the me I am supposed to be, they increase my stress levels, decrease my quality of life.
Who am I to say that I am not good? I am God’s beloved creation!

Awareness, Acceptance, Action

But I know that if I am to beat this nasty P-cycle, I first have to be aware they are there, drink a cup of acceptance-tea with them, gently usher them out of the door and start praying to my God and saying healing and healthy thoughts to myself (action).

Now be nice to yourselves today and go replace them nasty P-s with nice ones!

Patience, Pleasure, Potential, Pampering, Pleased, Peacefulness, Prayer, Passion, Perseverance, Peace, Possibility, Positivity, Praise, Pureness, Playfulness and you are PRECIOUS!

If you like what you read, please take a minute to leave a comment below, follow me on Twitter or visit my Facebook page. Thank you! Spread the positive word!

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Do it anyway!

It’s holiday time for me, which means I’m browsing through old photos and videos on my hard drive. Trip to memory lane…That’s where I found the video above. For me it symbolizes amongst other things the fact that I was scared stiff to sing in front of a packed church with all my friends and some family, but that I did it anyway. And I loved it!
It was an exhilarating experience for me!

I want to share this with you to encourage you people to do the same. Chase your dreams! Do it inspite of your fears!

Maybe you want to start a business, but fear failure. Do it anyway!
Maybe you’d like to do a presentation at work, but fear blackout. Do it anyway!
Maybe you want to write a book, but fear that it won’t be good enough. Do it anyway!
Maybe you want to dance at a party, but fear looking foolish. Do it anyway!
Maybe you want to do a flamenco, salsa or ballet presentation in a big theater, but fear failure. Do it anyway!

Maybe you want to get your butt out of bed, but are afraid of the day… afraid of failure… shame… looking foolish… not being good enough…

Get yourself together, take a deep breath, surround yourself with happy and positive things. Even pray if you can… Build your life on love and trust. Do it anyway!

God loves you just the way you are, you don’t have to be different, you are okay, you are amazing actually!

And now move your behind and get going!!!

For further clues on overcoming fears check out this wonderful blog post by Leo Babauta:
A guide to beating the fears that are holding you back.

Please leave a comment or leave me a tweet. Thank you!

p.s. the video was shot on the 7th of May 2006, at the service of the public confession of my faith in the Oosterparkkerk Amsterdam. It was a year after I became a Christian.

The song is by Day of Fire – Cornerstone.

See lyrics here.

tips for a non-consumerist Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is coming up in 4 days. You either dislike it or love it. But there’s a third option for all you who fight a raging war against Valentine’s madness: we could all twist it round again from being the commercial, consumerist feast it has become to a day to show people our genuine love and to perform random acts of kindness.

“[Love] If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

First I want to share with you the origins of the feast:

In the Catholic Encyclopedia we read:

Saint Valentine’s Day

The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine’s Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. Thus in Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules we read:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

For this reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. Both the French and English literatures of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries contain allusions to the practice.

The custom of choosing and sending valentines has of late years fallen into comparative desuetude.

What if we could broaden the meaning of Valentine’s day and make it pertain to all the people around us?

I want to propose some tips for a simple and non-consumerist Valentine’s day and — in fact — any other day:

  • write an e-card to a sick or lonely person, or to your friends and family at: http://www.dayspring.com/ecards/
  • buy a magazine from a homeless person and buy them some bananas and luxury nuts too
  • smile to the people you meet today and greet them purposely
  • write a card or letter to a long lost friend or family member
  • give your pets an extra hug today
  • go visit that lonely elderly neighbour or granny from church
  • craft your own cards for the people you love
  • do the dishes and make the bed for your spouse — unasked!
  • put up little post-it notes in every room with sweet words or Scripture-verses on it for your spouse
  • send text messages to the people from your phone’s address book telling them they are special and loved
  • And to you singles out there: Why not write a handcrafted Valentine’s card to your secret beloved?

Although we sometimes forget to honor and show love to our loved ones, friends and family, it can be even harder to remember to show love and kindness to strangers.

When Jesus tells us the following in John 13:34 (New International Version), He doesn’t only speak about love for the ones we already know and love:

34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

How can we be more kind and loving toward strangers?

This morning when I had my steaming cup of spicy Yogi Tea I read a message attached to the tea bag: “The art of happiness is to serve all.”

I found some awesome ideas to serve and give joy to other people at a website on performing R.A.K’s: Random Acts of Kindness is http://www.helpothers.org/ideas.php.

I will share a few with you here:

  • Public Transportation

    Before you get off the bus or train, leave an inspiring book on a seat with a Smile Card. Give a flower to the bus driver or anyone else that looks like they can use it. Leave a nice CD with a smile card. Offer gum or candy to the person sitting next to you. Give your seat to the elderly or mothers with children if it’s crowded. Help people find their way if they look lost. Write a card with a beautiful quote or a blessing and leave it on your seat for someone to find.

  • Five Bucks And Under

    What can you do with five bucks to make someone’s day? Tape the exact change for a soda to a vending machine or a payphone. Pay the toll for the person behind you. Leave flowers in front of someone’s house. Bake cookies for your neighbors. Put quarters in the laundry machine for the next person. Send cards with beautiful messages to anonymous people. Leave chocolate on the desk of your co-workers. Treat someone to a cup of their favorite coffee.

  • Gift of Positivity

    Restrain from criticizing or saying anything negative to anyone this week. Don’t gossip! In a challenging situation, dare to see the glass half full rather than half empty. Listen more than you speak. Give freely of yourself. Practice kindness at every opportunity you get.

I want to conclude with a Henri Nouwen quote about God’s love, the only One who is able to give perfect and unconditional love:

What can we say about God’s love? We can say that God’s love is unconditional. God does not say, “I love you, if …” There are no ifs in God’s heart. God’s love for us does not depend on what we do or say, on our looks or intelligence, on our success or popularity. God’s love for us existed before we were born and will exist after we have died. God’s love is from eternity to eternity and is not bound to any time-related events or circumstances. Does that mean that God does not care what we do or say? No, because God’s love wouldn’t be real if God didn’t care. To love without condition does not mean to love without concern. God desires to enter into relationship with us and wants us to love God in return.
Let’s dare to enter into an intimate relationship with God without fear, trusting that we will receive love and always more love.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, let’s celebrate it everyday! Get going and make someone happy! 🙂

p.s. For more on love:

  • Tara Rodden Robinson from GTD Virtual Study Group wrote an excellent blog on loving productivity http://www.tararobinson.com/2010/02/loving-productivity.html
  • Max Lucado wrote 2 books on God’s love: “3.16” and ” God thinks you’re wonderful”.
  • Did you know that if you search the Bible for the word love, you can find it 697 times?

Jesus puts it this way in