Cultivating Resilience: in which I bounce back from embarrassing selfie videos.

Posted by | October 04, 2013 | Body, Food + Health, Stories | No Comments

Do you know what I’ve been doing, all day, for nearly two days?

Trying to make a video. Well, technically, trying to make four videos.

I’ve never before, ever, wished to be an adolescent, even when I was an adolescent, but I bet there are a zillion 13 year-olds in my tri-city area who could’ve shown me how to make a video with iMovie, in .5 seconds. There are probably a zillion of 6 year-olds who could’ve, too.

To be fair, I did, successfully, make wayyyyy more than four videos. It’s just that in each of the many attempts at a decent video, the picture quality looked worse than if I’d used a camcorder circa 1985.

And — the sound quality? Tin can meets a public restroom.

I’d make a video (often, two or three) and then — play them back. Awful! Back to the drawing board. Again, and again, and again.

Yesterday, I started to feel embarrassed. Here I am, a grown woman, creating video after video of myself, by myself, alone in my own home. It was cute when I made inane videos of myself at age 5. Long, repetitive self-videos today = depressing. (Or a maybe a sign of depression??)

Why am I bothering with this, spinning my wheels, trying to make some videos?

Great question.

I’ve been wanting to teach about four practices – four learnable skills, really – that relate to FeastI even included a bonus mini-book on these four practices, called Cultivating Resilience, which keep you from falling off the wagon – and help you back on, if you do tumble off. That means: better-feeling days, way more productivity, more pep-in-your step, staying in the process of … anything (losing weight, and eating well, for example).

I actually created Cultivating Resilience back in May of this year. It resulted from a lighting bolt of inspiration. I’ve used one or more of the four, every single day, since then. No joke.

Since September, I have been turning to all four practices daily. Even more than I was, before. There’s something kind of intense with the transition that is fall. Fall prepares nature for spring. The work we do in fall is planting the seeds of what we can expect to crop up in our lives next year. Neglecting what’s bringing us down leads to more stumbling next spring. But — coming home to ourselves, and letting go of what’s not working for us, sews seeds of lightness, peace, progress and opportunity.

(Which means that we have important work to do in fall, and yet — it’s a raw time, too. Cultivating resilience in this season buoys me to dig into my work despite shaky circumstances.)

Because these practices have been increasingly useful, every day, for the past several months, I figured: maybe you’d find these resilience practices useful, too.

And what better way to put this together than include four videos! To guide you, briefly, through each practice, and provide real-life stories from my own experiences?

Right?!?!?!

WRONG.

I fixated on making videos because I forgot two important factors, to consider, when doing anything.

FIRST.

Always ask: Is this task in support of advancing my goal?

The goal is sending Cultivating Resilience out into the world to be of service to those who need it. As soon as possible (because: fall is intense).

Does spending two days attempting to teach myself a new program, which I have zero background experience in, in support of advancing my goal? No.

Does creating additional content, in any accessible format, providing personal anecdotes exemplifying each of the four practices, in support for my goal? Yes. You’re smart people, it’s not necessary. But it would be helpful.

SECOND.

Always ask: Is there an easier way to do this?

If I want to provide concrete examples, I can leverage other media with which I’m familiar. I can write the examples down, and include them in the workbook.

Or — create an audio recording.

Or — blog about them.

Or — create a slideshow with power point.

I could whip out my pencil box and draw you a story.

I can publish Cultivating Resilience, with my personal stories exemplifying each tool, in whichever media is easiest, and then go to a class on iMovie, and then make videos, and then replace the existing content with the new videos.

There are lots of solutions, here, to expedite getting these tools to the people who want and need them. Which is the point.

Why did it take me two days to remember that I had other options?

Well, first of all, I have a tendency to be very persistent about teaching myself new technology despite little headway. When, really, asking for help would be much more efficient. It’s a pattern for me to learn about (which, is what I’m doing, in writing this post).

Second of all, making videos is fun. I liked it when I was 5, and I like it now. It didn’t serve my goal, but I had fun doing it.

If I played with iMovie in service of play, my goal would be met!

But my goal was to quickly put out a product that’s been of great service to me, so that it could be of service to those who want and need to pick themselves up quickly after getting knocked down. For people who want to be productive even in rocky times.

I forgot my goal.

Which is to say: I lost my direction.

What do I already know about losing my direction?

I know that it’s normal. It’s inevitable. And like being resilient by getting back up when you fall down, re-finding one’s direction is just part of living life.

Next time I can do some stuff, so I don’t lose direction, like…

Put a reminder on my writing desk, of my goal of publishing Cultivating Resilience as soon as possible (without rushing it — just, expediting the process).

(In fact — I’m going to do that, right now.)

I can also put a sticky note on the Nespresso maker. (I used to implement my french press to make delicious morning coffee, but convenience out won artistry. At least — for now.)

I can work backwardsIf my goal is to publish Cultivating Resilience as quickly as practicable, what is the second to last step before hitting publish? And — the one before that? And – before that? (Until I’m back to where I am, right now.)

I could always start with my notes from my last project. Which happens to be Feast. Where I recorded what worked, what I could do differently this time, and what was a huge time-suck. And that way, I’m not reinventing the wheel.

I could have a conversation with the version of my self who knows how to be expeditious.

I can create a ritual around entering and exiting project time (so my project doesn’t bleed over two days with little to show for it). I find that entry and exits (and rituals) facilitate reflection, since I create time where I’m clearly outside of my project. That’s what they call perspective, no?

I can set a timer for the two-hour mark, to check in with how I’m feeling. Am I spinning wheels? Drained? Two hours is also usually the point where my productivity is waning, and switching to a contrasting activity, like walking Roscoe, cleaning out my desk, eating lunch or conducting, would not only be a much more productive use of time, but would encourage more creative thinking.

I can turn to Cultivating Resilience. Because that always helps. In fact, I’m going to do that right now.

Okay, I’m back.

Those are all great ideas!

And, I’m feeling much better.

I have made an appointment to go to the Apple store for a tutorial, next week. I am committing to use a media with which I’m already familiar to document some tips and personal anecdotes to accompany Cultivating Resilience. 

Cultivating Resilience *should* come out today. (tiny yay) UPDATE!!! It IS out today! Download the workbook, audio course and audio outline HERE (my gift to you, darling).

You know what else happens today? Feast increases by a lot today. So, if you want to stop obsessing over eating, and let the food to just be food, and gain the freedom to enjoy the rest of your life (and lose weight), now is a great time to pull the trigger.

Have a wonderful weekend!

About Laurie Beard

just another person doing something she loves

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