Authenticity

How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 2 of 3.

How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 2 of 3.

This is the second of a three-part series about limiting beliefs: how to identify them, uncover their emotional power, and ultimately transform them into thoughts that “spark joy."
Click
here to read the first part.


It's 11:45am on a rainy Parisian spring day. I walk into an empty restaurant where I have plans to meet a friend for lunch an hour later. 


I tell the woman behind the counter that I’m early for lunch, but that I’d like to have a coffee and sit and work a bit before my friend arrives. 


“There’s no one in the kitchen now,” she snips. 


“That’s fine, I’m not ordering any food yet,” I say.


“How many will you be?” she asks. 


“Just two.”


She points to a table by the door and tells me that’s the only table for two that’s available. 


It’s raining and chilly outside and I ask whether I can sit somewhere further inside.


She points to another table in the back, by the toilets. 


I’m not feeling that location either. Especially since every single seat in the place is currently empty and it's just a casual, neighborhood place. 


I spot a little table for two on the cushioned couch in the center of the restaurant and ask if I can sit there. 


She rolls her eyes, let's out a huge exasperated sigh and nods “yes” reluctantly.  


I walk calmly over to the table, take off my backpack and my bright red raincoat. As I start to sit down I hear the dull thud of old coffee being banged out of the portafilter and the hissing of steam on the espresso machine. 


I turn around and say, “oh, I’d like an allongée” (an americano)  not the regular short café that I assume she’s starting to make.


She lets out another enormous sigh, so loud this time that I can feel her distain wash over my body like the Polar vortex.


My throat seizes, my heart starts racing. I want to scream and run out of there. 


In the 45 seconds that this entire scene unfolds a million thoughts have raced through my mind. 


“I hate this woman!”

“I’m going to walk out of here.”

“I’m going to leave a bad review on Yelp.”

“I should contact the owner and complain.” 

“This would never happen in America.”

“People are evil.”


The emotions that boiled up were a mix of hatred, anger, even guilt. ("How did I provoke this?")


And then I took a deep breath and thought about my last message to you about tracking self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings, which brought on a wave of new ones:


“She must be having a hard day.”

“This job clearly isn’t working out for her.”

“Interacting with humans is hard when you're miserable.”

“It’s not you Zeva, it’s her.”

“Write about this and you’ll feel better.”


I suddenly felt more calm, grounded, confident, and even grateful as I found the tools to transform this experience into something positive. 


How did that all happen? If we slow down the process frame-by-frame, like in a comic book, this is how thoughts and emotions work together.  (Click over to read more)

How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 1 of 3.

How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 1 of 3.

This is the first in a three-part series about limiting beliefs: how to identify them, uncover their emotional power, and ultimately transform them into thoughts that “spark joy" and help you move forward with meaning. 


Marie Kondo has helped millions of people rid their homes of objects that clutter their lives. 


“My mission is to spark joy in the world through tidying,” she says in the first episode of her Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo before we meet an overwhelmed couple with two young kids and a house busting at the seams.


“The cluttered house seems to be affecting their relationship as well,” says Kondo about Rachel and Kevin, the exhausted homeowners and young couple who are having a seriously hard time liking each other.  


“I would like to help this couple focus on what matters most to them, time with their family,” she continues before helping them bring light and joy back into their home. And, more importantly, back into their couple. 


Where focus goes, the energy flows. 


By asking people to wake up their objects, hold them close and look for a spark of joy in their bodies, Marie Kondo is teaching people how to identify and focus on what's most important. 


She’s also helping people learn a physical and emotional language in order to do so— a new tool to put in their self-development toolbox.


What I love about her concept, dear reader,  is how poetic and simple it is. 


And how it can be applied not only to objects, but also to the beliefs in your head. 



Click over to find out what I mean by that.

Creepy Stroller Stage Prop

Creepy Stroller Stage Prop

The red-headed drag queen with the never-ending legs, gold glitter eyeshadow and pointy stilettos kept appearing on stage with a khaki-colored baby stroller from the 50s. 


Just like that creepy Rosemary’s Baby stroller with the devil’s baby inside. 


What the hell was that stroller doing there all of the time? 


Were the songs all about babies? Collateral from previous relationships? Reflections on responsibility and independence? The pursuit of liberty? Growth and transformation?


I had no idea. 


All of the songs performed that night were by an old-school French composer named Jean-Jacques Goldman that none of us American expats in my entourage had ever heard of. (side note: a friend chose the campy drag show as a fun offbeat activity for a birthday celebration, and it was a BLAST!). 


When the stroller appeared on stage for the third time, my friend Ajiri leaned over and whispered the exact question that was running through my mind for the last 45 minutes: “What’s the deal with the stroller?”

Death to perfection and the rise of the real

Death to perfection and the rise of the real

When I started learning about values I discovered “authenticity” was a bad mama jama value for me. 

When I meet someone I don’t want the glossy, airbrushed, everything is “GREAT!” version of life, I want it real and raw. I want the cracks in the pavement. The frays around the edges. 
 

THE MOMENT SOMEONE DROPS THE MASK AND LET’S YOU IN — THERE’S NOTHING ELSE LIKE IT. 


Knowing that they trust you with their fears, doubts, or fantasies (of wanting to slowly roll out of a moving car to escape kids screaming in the back, for example). That’s the real deal. That’s connection. That’s the juicy stuff that makes life worth living. 
 

Everything else is like a canned laugh track from an 80s sitcoms. You can sniff that fake nonsense from a mile away but after a while you become totally numb to it.