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I’ve spent the last 12 months vacillating between wanting to hug a human so much my heart hurts to rejoicing the fact that I rarely need to put on a bra these days.
This is a year of dichotomies, we’re relishing the slow pace, and recovering from the screeching halt whiplash of last March.
I’ve had days when I’ve felt like crying because everything feels dark and heavy (Christmas lights in October helped!), and I have had days filled with absurd moments like when I did a socially distant trade on my front porch for a 12-pack of toilet paper in exchange for yeast packages for baking.
There were serious moments, like helping my husband rapidly pivot when the company he worked for (and income we depended on) suddenly folded, and absolutely hilarious moments like when my mom accidentally swore unmuted in the middle of an online Zoom dance recital for all to hear (#earmuffs).
There are exactly 19 shopping days before Christmas, 4 shopping days before Hanukkah. And if you’re anything like me, today is a day to give your Visa card a workout and get down to some serious holiday gifting.
But before you do, I want to tell you about the hedonic treadmill. Don’t worry, this isn’t the latest workout craze with a waitlist as long as a Peloton.
The Hedonic Treadmill
The Hedonic Treadmill is what psychologists call our human tendency to have our pleasure diminish over time, little by little things that used to give us a big hit of happiness.
We are highly adaptable creatures. Our ability to quickly adapt and habituate to a situation has kept us alive for thousands of years in an ever-changing environment.
The advantages of adaptation
My twins just turned 15 years old and recently got their driver’s permits. Learning how to make a left turn at a traffic light gives them a thrill (and me a panic attack) like nothing else right...
This summer, our family spent an inordinate amount of time at various doctors’ offices. Since sleepaway camp was canceled, I figured it was a good time to have teeth pulled and sinuses probed (I’m an awful mom, I know).
We went to at least 12 doctor appointments this summer. We had dentist, orthodontist, oral surgeon, pediatrician, allergist and ear nose and throat appointments.
There were shots, scratch tests, blood draws, nose probes, teeth pulled and an amoxicillin allergic reaction. Not exactly a dream summer for two fourteen year olds.
Plus the end of August had us inside a lot due to smoke and haze from forest fires. In addition, I sat through a bunch of zoom meetings trying to figure out whether or not we should do hybrid or online school, stressing about school safety.
Photo by Catherine Larock
The cherry on top was that just a few days ago, my husband found out that the treatment center where he was clinical director is folding due to the pandemic.
I am a water person. I’m also a dog person (but not a wet dog person!). We divide ourselves up into dog person, cat person, water person.
But wait… lest there be on more way to divide us, please know that we are all water people.
You might be shaking your head no, but neuroscientists know better. Our brains, hearts, and planet are all made up of over 70% water. This deep biological connection to water means that, as humans, we love it.
Our brains are hardwired to recognize the evolutionary purpose of water and our connection to it. This makes sense because we can't actually live all that long WITHOUT water. When we are in, on, under, or near water our brains reward us with what marine biologist, (in his book by the same name), Wallace J. Nichols calls Blue Mind. Just coming close to the water’s edge floods our brains with calming neurochemicals, reducing our cortisol (and our stress levels), and increasing our capacity for awe.
Ideally, we would be meeting in person, in my downtown Steamboat Springs studio. But life has taken a strange turn this month, and, alas, we are meeting online.
Because music is imperative to a perfect gallery experience, please click play for classical music perfectly paired for viewing this online art show. If I could send you a glass of something bubbly through the internet ether, I certainly would!
In this ONLINE Steamboat First Friday Artwalk, I'm sharing with you a favorite subject of mine ... #ceilingselfies.
photo by Lizzie Larock, ceiling of Lyon's Drugstore (directly below my studio) taken the night before the Colorado stay-at-home order.
Since we're all climbing the walls, we may as well take a #ceilingselfie ...
photo by Lizzie Larock (creator of The Life Feast), ceiling selfie of the gazebo by the Steamboat Creates Art Depot
photo by Lizzie Larock - Houston airport ceiling
photo by Lizzie Larock, ceiling of Emmanuelle Vital's studio (next door to mine)
Thanks for watching! If you want that big fat permission slip, you want to infuse your life with curiosity, awe, mindfulness, play and adventure, and you want that photography gateway drug into possibilities in your life, dig...
Congratulations! You made it to the final email of the Right Brain Resolution Revolution. Now it’s time to take all of this, and go from INFORMATION to TRANSFORMATION.
Why bother setting goals in the first place?
Because let’s be honest, we rarely regret the things we did do in life, most of our regret is focused on what we didn’t do.
We regret the life we didn’t live.
We regret the chances we didn’t take.
The confidence, self-efficacy, mastery and resilience that we gain from achieving a goal, especially a hard goal, is something no amount of positive affirmations and rah rah praise could ever match.
We don’t set the goal just to get to the finish line. We also want to enjoy, SAVOR, and grow from the ride... Don’t believe me?
Let’s think about this in terms of parenthood
We don’t get pregnant hoping to give birth to a full grown 45-year old adult who is happily married with two high functioning kids and is a...
If the word “drama” doesn’t resonate with you, feel free to substitute any of the following: because you have to want your dreams more than you want your:
or better yet ---> goodBYE drama!
For me, drama sums it all up nicely. It's taken me a few decades, but I choose to see all of my un-motivating mind chatter, bad habits and self doubt as “drama”. And I do want my dreams more than I want my drama. thankyouverymuch.
Our minds blather on incessantly to the tune of at least 60,000 thoughts a day. Does that mean we have to believe everything that we think? Hell no. Especially if we’re thinking of quitting our goals or drowning them in chardonnay.
ANT is a term from Dr. Daniel Amen and stands for Automatic Negative Thoughts. We all have them. They’re part...
Are you hiding your goals?
A lot of times, especially when we set some goals for big dreams, we keep them under lock and key. Maybe we have a big dream to be a New York Times bestselling author and our best friend doesn’t even know that we can write.
I mean, why be vulnerable and proclaim your big dreams out loud (and possibly publicly fail at them), when you can just tout your success after you’ve gotten the call from Oprah or Random House?
Accountability is the reason.
But there’s a catch here. Telling too many people can actually hinder your goal achievement.
Psychologists call it social reality. And research has shown that if you’re telling everyone you meet about your big dreams, and receive lots of praise and well wishes (aka dopamine hits of instant gratification), your brain can be tricked into thinking it actually already achieved the goal.
As Derek Sivers says, "Don’t let your mind mistake the ...
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