I get a LOT of opportunities to be kind to myself. It's one of the side effects of having a teeny tiny attention span.
I blame Buddha.
So, I read a book about 15 years ago called, "The Zen of Eating." I was curious about Buddhism, and one of our trainers said, "If you want to understand Buddhism, read this book." It's a diet book, but it applies the Eightfold Path of Buddhism to eating...making the very abstract concepts of Zen extremely practical...and thus very easy to understand for those with a teeny tiny attention span.
That practice has become a foundation of my identity: the ability to detach from present failures and acknowledge what went wrong without judging myself paired with a commitment to better future behaviors. So, when I realized I'd skipped a day of journaling, I didn't waste time berating myself for snapping a writing streak. I thought, "Okay, well then. That sucks. Guess I'll start a new streak tomorrow." And when the new streak lasted ten days, I shrugged that one off, too. I enjoy writing in the mornings; I have every confidence I'll do it again.
|Highly recommended, even for non-Buddhists and non-dieters. Find it here.|
It gives me a true appreciation for how much complexity is involved in art, which may not seem like it should be that much of a revelation to you, but you don't realize that the main thing I remember from sixth grade art class was getting pops from a coach because I drew a permanent line on the art work of an annoying table mate named Taco. I learned several things from sixth grade art, none of them about color, shading, or perspective.*
At any rate, when your artistic education ended with a loud thwack! approximately mumble-mumble years ago, the basics of watercolors can seem pretty magical. The whole time, you're like, "No, Shelby! Mushed pea green? There? On her face??? Wait. Whoa--that's beautiful! I never would've thought of doing that...which is why I should get out the loom and do another five rows on the 2021 blanket!"
So, I'm okay with my lapses from journaling and acknowledge that I have the potential to make new good choices in the future. However, I do have that teeny tiny attention span, so I think that I want to give myself a shiny new challenge or two. I like the idea of building an image library and doing creative free writing based on images. I want to keep the poems and the Tarot, but give myself more flexibility in alternating those. The possibilities are endless; all I need is a brand new day to start over again. And a pint of Hagen Daz.