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There is a part of my soul

That is like a child

Learning to walk again

For the first time

Again and again.

Those are my words.

Imagine living your entire life in fear, only you don’t realize you’re living in fear, because your brain is so fast at learning that it has figured out exactly the behaviors you need to do in each moment to keep yourself safe. It’s not that good at protecting you from physical danger, but luckily you are also surrounded by other people who do everything in their power to keep you from doing anything that might involve physical movement.

Since fear is constant, and your brain is desperately seeking ways to keep you out of danger, the proxy for safety is people liking you, people praising you, people having nice things to say about you. It’s the next best thing your brain has latched onto because there is so little kindness, so little softness, so little trust in your environment that you have to go foraging for scraps of these things wherever you can find them. You’re like a bottom feeder in the fish tank of love.

Luckily you have a lot going for you in many ways. You have a nice smile, a body that found ways to move in non-dangerous physical ways, and a brain so skilled at adapting that you can become almost anything you need to be in order to please the people around you. This has made you appear “successful” in many systems of your society – school, in particular. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wow. This whole section in Katie’s book, I Need Your Love – Is That True?, is about how our lives are governed by our search for approval from almost everyone we know – and even the strangers we don’t know.

One by one, Katie asks us to question our own thoughts and find out what we really believe about these aspects of seeking approval:

  • Making an impression
  • Pretending to be interested
  • Making yourself more likeable
  • Minding your manners
  • Tact

I love this:

If you haven’t questioned the belief that it’s possible to win people over, and your manipulative charm doesn’t seem to be working, you’ll think there’s something wrong either with you or with your technique (or both). You may buy one of hundreds of self-help books that teach you how to market yourself – for instance, the multimillion-copy best-selling classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. The author’s main suggestion is to make yourself interested in people because, he says, that’s guaranteed to win them over. If you find it difficult to do that, he has an alternative recommendation: Pretend to be interested. How is that done? Smile, remember the names of their children and dogs, write down their birthdays in your organizer so you can send everyone cards, and also pretned to agree with what they say. It’s all about impression management. Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m wondering right now is exactly how I got to this point. I’m looking at myself from the outside in, wondering wow, why, how. I used to go to Bloomingdales (or somewhere at the mall) for stress relief. I called it “retail therapy”. I have a closetful of clothes, some of which I actually like, that represent all those times. These past two weeks I observe that on the days I wear what I feel good in right now – which is gaucho pants, a funky belt, and a cool long sleeved fitted T shirt that cost five times what my pants did – I teach better. I feel at home, and joyful.

Now I don’t attribute all of it to the clothes. But the clothes are a symbol of something. Of my courage to be comfortable, and believe that I will still be accepted. Of my conviction that I have something internal to offer that has nothing to do with my shoes, my suits, or anything I put on my body. That when I light up from the inside, it shines through anything on the surface.

So when I stopped by the Bloomingdales store this morning to pick up the promotional postcards they had printed for our upcoming holiday concert, I wasn’t prepared for the barrage of “marketing” stuff thrown at me by the Marketing Manager of the store. That’s her job. Her gift. Her thing to share. So I should expect her to be “all over it” and super gung ho about “potential partnerships” and the exciting launch of a new magazine for the Silicon Valley elite called, “Scene.” I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth just thinking about it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Days I Reflected Here

August 2019
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