Men + Myself + God

Tag: #31writenow

The Importance of Challenging Yourself

by P. Braithwaite

Thirty-one right now is OVA! And, because I’m in silence, I’m not able to celebrate. I can’t send virtual high-fives to my new blogging friends, and I can’t send out a twitter post full of self-congratulatory hashtags.

But I can write a blog in advance, so I will.

I used to be a runner. I used to run half-marathons and 5Ks and all sorts of other races. And people, upon hearing I was a runner, would reply – you’re soooo disciplined. You must be so disciplined.

The truth was, however, I wasn’t disciplined. I ate horribly and often had to bribe myself to run with promises of pasta or snacks. I wasn’t overwhelmingly disciplined. I was a person, caught in tension between what she wanted and where she was, and so I kept choosing to lean into the direction of what I wanted.

Discipline is simply a series of choices made in succession.

The same is true for any commitment or goal. It’s not about becoming a magically different Drill Sargentesque version of yourself. It’s not about becoming more confident BEFORE you act, it’s about choosing the right choice over an extended period of time.

When we challenge ourselves, when we reach for things that are difficult or seemingly impossible, we create room become better versions of ourselves.

Who do you want to become? What do you want to accomplish?

Choose it, over and over and over again. If you do that, I promise, you’ll get whatever it is you’re chasing.

And so it is.

Psst…I’m away from technology until September 8th, so if you comment I won’t get back to your right away. Sending you love from my retreat. Xoxoxo

What to Expect When You Paint ONLY Your Middle Finger (#31writenow, #nablopomo)

by P. Braithwaite

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Last Sunday, while bills sat on the table waiting to be paid, I sat on my couch lamenting over a horrible manicure. I’d gotten a cute pink manicure, but one nail looked dingy and cracked. There were air bubbles and they were driving me crazy, so I decided to paint that fingernail with glittery pink polish. Yep, just so happened to be my middle finger on my right hand.

As I added several coats of polish, I started to feel a sense of power. Every brush stroke made my middle finger more seductive. I had the desire to start flipping people off. As I waited for my lone nail to dry, I had the strongest feeling that I’d be giving the finger to someone over the course of the next few weeks. Typically, I’d refrain from these thoughts, but my own bravado mixed with nail polish fumes made for an intoxicating cocktail of madness. I fell in love with this idea of giving people the finger so I Instagramed it.

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And tweeted about it.

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And I also practiced flipping people off in the mirror (no picture. Sorry).

And then I went off to meet friends for dinner and forgot about the whole thing. Monday came, I sat down at my computer, and ran smack dab into an aggressive confrontation that left me shaking for hours. I paced back and forth, I wrote replies and deleted them, I held back tears…But in that moment I had to decide: do you want to use your middle finger or not?

I’m not really a middle finger kind of gal.

The truth is, when we entertain and invite anger and aggression into our lives, we get what we’re looking for. Whether we paint our middle finger glittery pink, or put on invisible armor and defense mechanisms we’re preparing for a fight we may not want or need. You know what the say, luck (both good and bad) favors the prepared…Hostility begets hostility; aggression begets aggression.

Whatever we’re searching for we find.

And so today, I recenter and re-polish my nails so my middle finger is no longer running the show. I don’t want anymore fighting. It’s not good for my heart, and I don’t want to even think about extending my middle finger anymore.

And so it is.