Posts Tagged ‘Inner Critic’

The Inner Critic

January 10, 2011

Oh my, we all have one, don’t we?  Some have a stronger one than others and I have to admit, I have allowed her to be much too strong.  I  have handed her the sledge hammer she uses to beat me up – I just stand there and let her do her worst.  Why?  Well, for so long I thought I deserved it – but I now realize those are only programs that I didn’t realize were there or understand what was happening.  Yes, I am now more aware – I have also invited her to beat me up because I believed all those negative things abut myself.

I heard a story the other day about The Inner Critic that was so cool and unexpected.  Her name is SARK – she is a writer and also creates posters and cards.  She tells about doing a show as she is promoting her new book and when she was finished, she heard her inner critic telling her how bad it was, etc.  She felt bogged down by it and knew she had to do something because she has other interviews and events that day.  As she walked out the front door of the studio, she saw a squad car and a police officer.  She went over to him and asked if he would do her a favor.  She explained what had just happened and asked him if he would arrest her inner critic and take her away in his squad car.  He was a little surprised, but he arrested her inner critic, opened the back door of the squad and put her and drove off – laughing.  Then SARK was able to go on to her events with out her inner critic hanging over her head.

WOW!  I loved that!  As a matter of fact, I was coming home that day and stopped for gas.  it’s been cold here for a bit – yes, cold to us, not the Arctic Circle.  As I was filling my gas tank, I started thinking “I’m so tired of the cold”.  I realized that was really negative I decided to arrest my inner critic.  I imagined an arrest warrant, then the squad car and putting her inside, shutting the door and watching her be driven away.  After that I thought about what is great about the cold weather – being inside warm and dry by a fire, reading with a lovely hot cup  of tea and a cat purring in my lap.  I also thought about going out early Wednesday mornings to my networking breakfast group and  seeing the sun rise over the mountains and enjoying a magnificent view of Mt. Rainier – otherwise known as The Big Snowcone.  I was also very glad to come home to the warmth.  Now all I have to do is remember to do that every time I feel negative.  One of those simple but hard things.

I just finished one of my Ike Pono weekends and I was surprised and pleased to see how much more comfortable I am staffing.  I even put in my 8 cents worth and felt good about it.  Funny, they mentioned how much I have changed since my own first weekend, they had to pry words out of me a lot – a little strange since I am a motormouth from a long line of motormouths.  I also was crying a lot – still do but I don’t flood the place any more.  I had a chance to talk with Michael about understanding surrendering and letting go because I still haven’t gotten a handle on it.  It was one of those times when I needed to hear it in very plain words – essentially he said to stop beating myself up and just be.  Another simple but hard.  I never thought I was an analyzer, but that’s what I am trying to do, analyze what it is and be able to see it and hold it in my hands so I understand it.

I was working with the current Ohana on an exercise and I found myself thinking about myself.  It was a breakthrough exercise and I started thinking about what keeps me holding on to RA and what does it take to truly let it go.  I told Michael I know now RA is only part of me, not my identity; I’m trying to figure out how to know that I know way down deep inside me.  That is where he told me I am constantly trying to figure things out and beat myself up – just be.  Then he asked if I dream, I said I do.  Then he asked if I have RA when I am dreaming – I don’t think I do.  That is who I really am.  There is a tug of war inside me – one side is all about RA and the other is my true self.  Then he asked me what my Spiritual Contract is – I am joy.  That is who I really am and to be that.  It may mean saying it over and over to myself and also going back to my lists of the 25 positive things I am and concentrating on those.

Like the rest of Ike Pono, it will have to sit and simmer on the back burner and then one day a light bulb goes on and I realize “That’s what that is!”.  It has happened more than once and I expect it will continue as I see patterns in my life and also as I help other with their journeys.  Yes, the inner critic is still there, I am simply becoming more aware of her and remembering to to tell her to “Knock it off!” or even arresting her.  I have been beating myself up for 63 years – for no valid reason it turns out – and as I turn 64 on Saturday, it is going to be less and less for the future.  The biggest gift I can give myself is to love myself without judgment or criticism.  Then it is so much easier to love others the same way.

Programs! Programs!

December 18, 2010

I did an Ike Pono weekend last week, another opportunity to see my programs in action.  I am there usually most of the weekend, though I tell them when I run out of energy, I’m gone.  They are really understanding because they know I give my best to them and the people in the class when I am there.  This particular weekend I found myself very quiet at the beginning since it is all about the group rather than me.  Part of it is that I feel I am back in my own first weekend learning the principles and doing the exercises.  The last day I was more talkative and I realized at one point I was worried I was saying too much and maybe saying something wrong.  PROGRAM!   (I always think of the guys who hawked programs at events I went to – they all had that same gravelly, almost New York sound.  I swear they went to school to be able to say it that particular way.)  I realized that was part of my fear of being wrong.  It also came from childhood when I was told “Not so loud” or said something opposite to what I wanted to say and got “that look”.  I see now I have wanted from childhood to not say the wrong thing or something stupid.  It also has to do with my perception I talk too much – yes, I know at times I can be a motormouth, I also know when I am nervous I tend to chatter.  It’s all part of being the “good girl” who follows the rules even when they sometimes didn’t make sense.

Recently another program came up, one about how I see myself and how it feels inside.  I am working on my resume to move into a new direction for my business and myself.  As I remembered the things I have done in the last 40 some years, I was amazed at the long list.  Then I had some testimonials from various sources and as I was typing them into the page, I realized there was one word that came up more often than any  other – confidence.  They all see it but why don’t I see it or feel it?  After awhile, I thought about growing up with not thinking or talking well of myself because it would be bragging or boasting.  Is it a huge leap to wonder if being confident and feeling that confidence is somehow in my mind part of boasting and and bragging?  Is that fear of being wrong mixed in there as well?  It feels as if I am putting a puzzle together and some pieces seem to fit but the loose ones still haven’t come together – I don’t have a picture as a reference to guide me.  Some days I feel I am floundering around in the dark, other days some things are quite clear.  The rest of the days I feel I am muddling through, with small “aha’s” every once in a while – makes me think I am on the right track.  Oh, there’s that word again – right, the opposite or wrong.  Or am I making too much of this one small thing.

I know that all of this is my perception of things – that if I don’t do something exactly the way someone else wants it, I’m wrong and not smart enough to do it right.  Another program rears its head.  I have to also look at what I have focused on all this time – guess what, it was on the negative and how I didn’t measure up.  Where did I stop looking at all the positives in my life, in what I have been and done?  Let’s face it, most often in an evaluation, it’s always the thinks one didn’t do well and what has to “be fixed”.  What would happen if, instead of looking at the negative, the focus is on one’s strengths and abilities – then it doesn’t have to be “fixed”.  This morning I had my left knee go “out on me again and I thought “What was so scary and unthinkable  many years ago that having pain was much more acceptable?”.  I know now I have a different outlook and view of myself than I did a while ago  – how would that situation seem to me now?  The knee is part of the side of my left leg that has been a big source of pain and limitation – when did it start and what was going on at the time?  I am more ready to examine it now than I have ever been, though I will admit to a small part a little afraid it may be harder to face than I think.  However, at this point, the thought of continuing with the pain and limitations is worse than the thought of what the core issue really is that started it all.  That is something I have noticed over the years, at some point there is choice to make and the thought of status quo is worse than the alternative.  I have often found pain is great incentive to make a change – but it has to be your decision, not being talked into it by someone who has decided what is right for you.

Something for me to ponder and  think about, I know it isn’t quite clear yet, nor do I have the “I know that I know” with a picture in my mind.  More pieces to fit into place before my puzzle is complete.  I have several puzzles in progress, it will be some time before my work is done.


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