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Underbelly: 10 Things - Readiness

Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#147 in a series of wild and precious ways to consider what readiness means.

1. TWIL
This week I contemplated readiness. Contemplating readiness is another way of contemplating patience and waiting.
I have a (very sad imho) little picture of my eldest at 4 months, sitting up. I was meticulously tracking *everything* by that book series “What To Expect…” The earlier he was ready to do something, the more relieved I felt. I ticked another “milestone” off and could breathe again.
This next sentence is actually hard to write, but I feel compelled. I am ready :)
I read Leo the Late Bloomer ironically the first few times.
I think it's important for context to see the book cover...
I think it's important for context to see the book cover...
So, confessional out of the way, readiness.
When we are not ready quickly, we have to fend off well intentioned advice givers and encouragers and others for whom your ability to recognize that you are not ready causes them a lot of angst.
That “person” might be your “inner adult” — that well intentioned advice and encouragement might be coming from inside your own mind :)
2. Quotes
“ ‘Are you sure Leo’s a bloomer?’ asked Leo’s father. ‘Patience,’ said Leo’s mother. ‘A watched bloomer doesn’t bloom.’ “ — Robert Kraus,
José Aruego, Leo the Late Bloomer
3. Prompt
Not being ready or being around someone who is not ready can bring up anxiety and fear. Or at least, that is my experience.
When we are not ready but “should be”, it can feel like a newly formed butterfly, not still protected by the chrysalis but not yet flying. In fact, our wings at this stage are wet and useless.
The appropriate response (patience, waiting, calm) is often not the first response available to us in that moment. (Amirite?)
I have noticed that the safer the habitat, the easier it is to stay calm and patient. I do spend quite a lot of time creating a safe place for me and my family to land.
And I still feel anxiety and fear sometimes when I need to wait on myself or anyone to be ready for something — whether it’s a “milestone” or putting on a warm coat before heading out. Or simply waiting for someone to heal.
Sometimes it can be helpful to grab a pen or pencil and a piece of paper and label what you are feeling. Not a novel - one or two words.
The labeling shifts your brain’s focus from the amygdala to the prefrontal cortex, helping us to move from fear and anxiety to a more measured place. You can then analyze, practice vigilance, and think more symbolically. You’re also aware that these emotions are universal, you’re not the first or last person to feel them, and, as a social animal in community, you’ve got this.
It’s also, basically, self compassion.
4. Quest
This week, what if we tried to notice when we become anxious from our own or other people’s lack of readiness?
What if we tried to use the rubber band snapping technique or something similar to gently stop ourselves in those moments and then guide ourselves to label the anxiety or fear and move to a quieter “waiting room” in our minds?
5. Level up
(a) an attitude of kindness and understanding
to one’s self as opposed to harsh judgment;
(b) perceiving one’s experiences as part of the larger human condition instead of feeling separate and isolated;
© being mindfully aware of painful experiences without overidentifying with them (Neff, 2003a).
And, according to at least one study, greater self compassion leads to more grit and fewer PTSD symptoms :)
What if we considered self compassion and compassion something important, essential?
6. Video
Self Compassion Part 1 Kristin Neff
Self Compassion Part 1 Kristin Neff
7. Article
Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem
8. Poem
The Lonely Sleep Through Winter by Kemi Alabi - Poems | poets.org
9. Hero
The Online Hub for Carolyn Cowan - Teacher, Trainer, Therapist
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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