Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pleasure, A Close Cousin to Negative Emotion

I started another blog post but got hungry. While searching for some research on my post, I found this paragraph below that I wrote in my capstone for grad school. Because I'm craving a yummy breakfast - I'm taking the easy way out of this post opportunity by copying and pasting something else I wrote. Read and you'll see how my hunger/ desire for food is affecting this opportunity for expansion, for giving you something bigger:

"I want to distinguish the difference between positive emotions and bodily pleasures. While they feel good, bodily pleasures do not function like positive emotions. The positive experience of sexual stimulation, a massage, yummy chocolate cake, or a warm blanket on a cold winter day, do not lead the way to flourishing. In fact, bodily pleasures are close cousins to negative emotions by the way they similarly narrow one’s mindset to focus on satisfying a desired action. Unlike negative emotions, rather than moving away from something [like danger], we are drawn to the craved experience (Fredrickson, 2009)."

Pleasure isn't bad, it just doesn't necessarily lead you to being your biggest self, to growing, to expanding - because you can't look up until satisfied. There's a role for pleasure, because damn, it feels good! Just know it has limits on how it can actually serve your intentions.

Quickly signing off for some bruncheroo action.


Fredrickson, B. L. (2009). Positivity. New York: Crown Publisher.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Boundaries in Boundlessness

The challenge of being a human is that you have two arms, two legs, one head, and so on. You have 24 hours. And you have needs that need to be met - like sleep, food, sex, friends, family, money, etc.

Yet. At the same time. You are limitless. You are boundless. The possibilities for your imprint have no horizon.

Everyone great has the same limits you do. Everyone has the same time. I know you and your problems are special - so are mine. But so what?

So what are you going to do with your limits? Use them as a creative challenge. Use them to rub you into action. Use them to squeeze, to wrap, to wind, to twist around, in, between, above, and below. Be like water with them - flow, with ease, get through the cracks, rush with elegance, cleanse the unclean, nourish the dry, give life to what's yet to be born.

Use your boundaries as a way to get into your boundlessness.

Doing my best to expand with flow. As much for me as this is for you.

numb is dumb - hope is dope

Stress, shock, stuff that sucks - is inevitable. But how you deal can have big effects on your health. I was reading Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Christiane Northrup - one of my favorite books. Most transforming. And I re-found this:

People who see their situation as hopeless actually release opioidlike substances (enkephalins) that numb cells of their bodies - making them incapable of destroying cancer cells and bacteria. It's not stress that creates immune problems, it's the perception of stress being inescapable. It's the feeling of not having control that kind of tells your cells - indeed, you are not in control.

What's disarming, mysterious, and wild is how sometimes our beliefs (established perceptions of the world) are lodged deep - so much so we don't even know (as in consciously, with our intellect).

So what do with this:
1. Be open to the fact that you may be a passenger to certain beliefs that don't serve you.
2. Know that you can un-do them or find them out with the help of hypnotherapy and other mental/spiritual health professionals.
3. Let yourself feel it. Cry if you want to cry. Scream if you want to scream. Move if you want to move. Don't ask why first - let yourself experience and the answer will come after.
4. Remember, you can create beliefs, destroy beliefs, and choose beliefs. You are in control.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Thank you 20's

On the last 24 hours of my 20's here I go.

Thank you life for what you are.
Thank you lessons for getting me here.
Thank you loved ones. Family. Blood. Friends who are family. New friends. Strangers. People I pass on the street who smile. Thank you all.
Thank you NYC for being my home.
Thank you cozy-1-br-with-bricks-and-patches-of-friendly-grass.
Thank you coffee for my mornings.
Thank you body for being there, each second. Working beyond my knowing. Being my knowing.
Thank you possessions. My mac, my phone, my green t-shirt, my glasses, my key chains, my fur, my candles, my new laptop bag, my socks, soft toilet paper, great bronzer, all things, thank you.
Thank you universe. For today. For every moment up to now. For now. For what's to come. For it all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

How Success Sucks: The Anti-Climax

This theme has been coming up a lot amongst my friends and clients (and I experienced it a few times myself) so thought I'd dig into this rather unspoken context: the messy, anti-climactic, depressing nature of success.

If you are feelin it, just know, I think you're normal.

I recently started another Incubator Workshop, reveling in the bad-ass-you-go-girl-you-rock-my-world entrepreneurs that I have the privilege of knowing and working with. In just 9 months one of my participants created a jewelry line that's ready to be sold on QVC and she is entertaining offers to sell her company before even officially launching (HOT). Even though she is making her wildest dreams come true she confessed, after receiving her product fully manufactured, and showing and telling in the Incubator: "I'm so ready to be done with this shit. I cried my eyes out for days when I received the final product. I'm exhausted. I don't know why I feel this way. But I'm done. I'm over it. Is there something wrong with me?"

Another friend who recently put her NYC pad up for sale and got an offer in two weeks calls me shakily, "Stell, I'm tender. This couldn't have gone better...but I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm out of it. I'm not myself. I'm trying my hardest to keep it together."

Had I not experienced a total melt-down after pulling off a supremely awesome conference in November, I wouldn't have been able to understand what my friends/clients are going through. After Dream it! Launch it! Live it! - a-couldn't-have-asked-for-anything-more-successful-conference, I totally lost it. I couldn't finish my sentences. I was depressed. I was ickey and anxious and irritable. WTF?

So here's my theory: the process of creation is F'in uncomfortable. In fact, if you think about how babies are born, it's usually painful. Moving from one state into total newness means leaving or departing from something you know. In creation, there may be destruction of the former. Postpartum isn't just for moms - it can apply to anyone birthing new ideas into life. Perhaps the ick factor of success realized can be contributed to mourning the loss of the old (baby in belly, idea in heart, life as it was) contrasted with vulnerable, here-I-am-finally-here anticipated results.

I'm not saying all success comes with pain or anti-climax, just saying, if you happen to be lucky enough to ARRIVE, and it's not all you thought, and you're not feeling what you expected, you may just be experiencing some normal, uncomfortable, tension - and you're not messed up.

So what's the remedy? My remedy to most things is gratitude. Drinking in the privilege of the moment. Staying present. So present. Don't feel guilty, don't feel bad, just do your best to be loose, relaxed, and nurture yourself with rest.

I guess this is a long way of affirming, "it's about the journey and not the destination."

Does this make sense to anyone? Have you experienced this?