Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stimulating Freedom

I've recently memorized a quote that provides serious empowerment. Who doesn't need to be empowered and to feel the energy from it? So here's the quote and my thoughts. If you have anything to share about it, please do.

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. 
In that space is our power to choose our response. 
In our response lies our growth and our freedom." 
~ Viktor E. Frankl 

It's that darn "space" mentioned in the quote that gets me.

That space feels so small, but it is actually quite large, yet we oftentimes respond in a quick second. The following are questions I ask myself about the space:

Is the stimulus good, bad, desired, undesirable? If the stimulus is a good thing, then I am going to go out on a limb and assume that my response will be good too.

If the stimulus is bad, then the following thoughts come to my mind when questioning this space.
  • Do you willingly ignore that you actually have decision making power when the stimulus appears?
  • Do you ponder the stimulus and then relent? 
  • Do you talk to yourself to try to understand why the stimulus is  actually a stimulus?
  • Do you try to talk yourself out of the stimulus as being tantalizing?
  • Do you try to rationalize stimulus so that you can continue with the preferred response?
  • Do you ignore the stimulus and let it subconsciously fester?
The list could really go on, but I'll stop there. I don't know about anyone else, but I've found that the largest portion of that "space" is occupied by choices that generally follow the path of least resistance. In other words, giving in. 

If we don't just give in, then within the space there's a sub-space that we use. That sub-space determines so few of our decisions. It's the sub-space we really want to be in as often as we can.

It's not until I persistently rest in that hard to reach sub-space of "the space" that I am able to respond the way that is really the best for me. Those choices are the ones I rarely ever regret.

I've been using the recitation of this quote to change some of my unwanted habitual behaviors. I'm using this quote to help me reach the sub-space more frequently; to make me more aware.

I believe this is a healthy way to retrain my brain to view certain stimuli differently. The effort is to reassign the stimulus to be no longer tantalizing and recognize it for what it actually is, damaging. 

It's efforts like this that have helped me train my brain time and time again with many different habits. I take comfort in the part of the quote where it says that in this effort we can find freedom in our responses. 

Freedom from unwanted stimulus would be awesome. Yea for continually discarding guilt!

It's like Jim Rohn says, "Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don't fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgment, repeated everyday."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Poetry Corner: Alter Me

I've been thinking a bit about a period of time in my life that I simply didn't enjoy. 

I suppose that I have been thinking about it because I'm extremely thankful that I'm not forcing myself to be there any longer.

Here's a work of mine from that time. I've thought some of writing a companion piece that has a more positive spin from the "alterations" - we'll see. 

Alter Me

a looming haze hovers
slowly descending,
years in the making,
and I sit here
waiting powerless
not knowing how or 
in what way
I should prepare...

I can't, I won't
this way.

By Diana M. Bateman
2008 ©

It's a struggle to not slide backwards at times. The reality though, is that we are all individual authors and we truly do get to decide our destiny; it's not haphazard. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Death by Gas Station

In blogs past I've addressed my emotional binge eating history. I've also described the great strides I have made to reverse the ingrained habitual behavior of open mouth insert breaded pastry. 

Most all my woes, through denial, have been chased down with the said breaded pastries and over ninety-six ounces of carbonated beverages. What you may or may not have picked up on is that the battle isn't over... mentally.

So far I have been winning - in pieces. I struggle frequently. Sometimes the struggle is all day, every day, other times it's every few days, but sometimes - it's every second. 

When the triggers are set right, I salivate. When the pressure becomes suffocating enough, I swallow without tasting. Then I need more. Sometimes the hum of the refrigerator can sound like the echo of a gunshot.

If I have just one soda or sweet, it snowballs. The last time I had "just one", it turned into three. That many pastries and soda far exceed the caloric intake of a pretty darn good sized nutritious meal; without any nutritional value whatsoever.

As I write this, I feel vulnerable enough to want food or drink to wash the emotions away - even if for a little bit. I know the moment will never last long enough. I can even tell you that I'm honestly not quite sure what is really bothering me, yet.

I wonder what the subconscious is struggling with so the conscious part of me can cope better. Dr. Phil McGraw would say that something about this all "works" for me and provides a payoff of some kind. 

It's hard to understand why or how a pastry and soda can even come close to satiating, comforting, or loving some unmet need. Especially when in reality the simple truth just might be that I'm a sleep deprived mom.

On a second, but related note, my skin is very elastic from the weight-loss I've gone through over the years. When I lean forward it hangs down from my stomach, raise my arms and the triceps area jiggles, I run and I feel all my excess. 

I look at my lose skin like it's just some foreign part of me. In reality though... the leftover skin is a mass of scars, "leftovers" from the ongoing battle.

There is no finish line. This is why endurance is a good thing to build and develop.

And to think, this blog entry came from simply driving by a gas station, rather than stopping in for a sweet and a soda. It has gotten better though. 

There are times I drive by a gas station and I don't even think about it.  I seldom dream of a gas station when there isn't one in sight. This is improvement indeed.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Poetry Corner: Harsh Reality

I think it's so interesting that we sometimes set our own darn selves up and then act surprised about how we got there. I am human and I face this repeatedly; such as my poem below would suggest.

Harsh Reality

muddied by self-deception, 

I sip the realization carefully, 
hoping to circumvent
the absolute inevitability that 
I've sabotaged myself 

I am facing yet another 

By Diana M. Bateman
2005 ©

I used to punish myself when I discovered that I would or could sabotage myself. The only thing that has changed, is that I try to embrace the opportunity to further my knowledge about the messages I missed the first time around. If I can't let go of the error, now that I'm aware, then I punish myself. So human!

What I like about the situation this time around is that the wall isn't brick any longer, its more pliable. I'm okay. Life requires work in order to evolve into who I have always been "becoming."

The reality isn't so "harsh" any longer either. It's simply a reality that most likely can be rewritten. Now I understand that the only crappy thing about any situation is if I am not willing to make any personal changes that got me there in the first place.