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2019, 12-Month Challenge: Become a Badass - The Nontoxic Kind
12 Steps in 12 Months
Week 3 in Review
Last Week’s Tools
I hope you had a chance to apply theses tools. I have and can report that they work: I feel more positive and less triggered, and just a smidge more badass.
True story from last week: It’s midnight. I finally slip under the yellow comforter. Womb-like, I’m enveloped by the warmth generated by the heated mattress cover I turned on earlier. Feels like a sanctuary. Suddenly, little I-want-my-mommy kind of half-sobs escape my throat. I think, oh man, learning to be a badass is hard. It’s scary. I try to snuggle in as deeply as possible and visualize gold stars. My IBF whispers, "You are awesome."
Have you been scared? Challenged? Are your efforts flagging? Or are you still at it with undiminished enthusiasm? Have you, like me, been wondering how on earth you’re going to last for twelve months? I believe, in time, answers will come.
I keep thinking of quitting. I’ve been hoping this gets easier. Of course it does. Just not quite yet! The learning curve, by its very definition, is only steep at the beginning. I trust we're right where we need to be. The doubts are OK. For example, I’ve been asking myself, what if, after all this effort, I don’t want this? What if being a badass comes with unintended consequences?
Well, of course it does! Everything comes with unintended consequences. Otherwise, life would be nothing more than a chess game of which the outcome can be calculated.
It occurs to me that part of being a badass is to allow yourself to assume that things will work out, unintended consequences notwithstanding. So, the idea is to keep your nerve. Which brings us to this week's
Tool 1: Keep your nerve and practice assuming things will work out (mantra: things will probably work out).
Come to think of it, today I saw one such unintended consequence.
I was at the store this morning. Without realizing at first what was happening, I sized up the man who stood in line at the pharmacy counter. How did his strength match up to mine? Would I be able to take him? No way. Male bodies have larger muscles. A mini movie unspooled in my mind in which we engaged in hand-to-hand combat (he decimated me). All this happened in less time than it took to walk past him. I remember reading somewhere that men often have such thoughts. Maybe these thoughts are a result of my gender journey on which I am allowing my internal masculinity to surface. But maybe it is also part of the process of becoming a badass.
I want to be both, badass and sweetheart. Is it possible? It seems, that in the third week of practicing becoming a badass, there is a sense of invulnerability building.
For this coming week, one of my goals is to practice disrupting invulnerability. Which brings us to this week's
Tool 2: When you notice insensitivity, indifference or coldness in yourself, or judgment of others, take a moment to breathe and call upon soulful chivalrousness.
I’ve been making to-do lists for decades. As a matter of course, I put much more on them each day than is possible to accomplish because I want to capture everything that needs to get done, not only what needs to get done today. This week, I’ve noticed that every night, I am left with the sense that today, again, I didn’t do enough—likely from the years of making unrealistic “everything lists.” Steven reminds me, "Gold stars. Lots of gold stars!" These gold stars are replacing the habitual thought of 'I didn’t get enough done.'
Does not feeling you're enough stand in the way of your own badasserie?
On the other hand, has it occurred to you this week that you’re not becoming a badass but claiming the inner badass that’s already there? That might very well be the case—it’s an exciting thought.
Pains In The Neck
While in badass training, what would you do if you had to deal with someone with a difficult personality? Would you get tough on them? Would it feel like they're undermining the process? Or would you see it as a practice opportunity? The latter is how I approached it this week. Thankfully, I remembered to use the tools from last week:
Those questions worked brilliantly! They kept me in my body, focused on what I wanted to accomplish (instead of being sidetracked by the other person’s behavioral issues), and from totally getting triggered.
I was also helped by the decision not to make assumptions—another tool from last week—about why they acted as they did. Thoughts like, ‘This is who they are,’ can be replaced by questions, such as, 'What if they’re not aware? Maybe they don’t have good impulse control?' Not as an excuse for that person's ill behaviour, but to keep from making assumptions that would only fuel negative feelings.
And I asked my IBF, "How would a badass handle this?" Which brings us to this week's
Tool Three: How would a badass handle this?
Interestingly, my IBF suggested responding authentically. The IBF seems to have cryptic answers. Hahaha! In my case, focusing on being badass about this (instead of on how rude they're being), also contributed mightily to being less triggered! Basically, I felt a badass wouldn’t let shit get to them as much and that helped me shrug things off and stay better focused.
Well, these were my insights this past week. I hope they help you on your journey to claiming your inner badass!
This coming week’s work in bullets:
Thank you so much for reading. I love you. I see you as whole and wise, and because I am so inclined, as divine, perfect as you are, right now, and as you are not, right now.
*IBF: An aspect of the self that is being cultivated as an "internal best friend."