Cleaning Renewal This Easter and a Wonderful Inner Victory

China cats in a dish drainer
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All of my clay and china ornaments (including my pig whistle) get a gentle hand wiped bath and rest in the dish drainer to dry. You have to be careful that they dry COMPLETELY so water won’t drain from their inner holes and ruin the wood finish of the shelves. One reason I usually skip this step due to impatience.

Happy Easter!

For those that celebrate the religious reason for the season, I hope you have a wonderful sense of renewal and hope today. For those that do not celebrate Easter, it still can be a time of reflection as well as a way to score oddly colored candies half price the day after.

I intended to climb the mountain today, as I did last year, but time and chance didn’t work out. So here I am, using my Easter, to reflect on the powerful lessons I learned yesterday about bravery and letting go.

My Voice and Bravery

You hear and read A LOT about bravery from me around here and on the show. That’s because bravery is my key to living a better, and more authentic life. I realize I had been scared my entire life:

Here’s my Scaredy-Cat List

  • Scared to say what I want – thinking people would have a negative reaction and leave
  • Scared to hope for what I want – thinking I would only have the pain of disappointment
  • Scared to go for what I want – thinking I would always fail and prove myself a loser and a failure
  • Scared to be who I really am – again, thinking people would leave if they knew my horrible real self
  • Scared to allow myself to ever feel what’s really inside – because if I EVER REALIZED the truth I might have to take action that would rock my safe though unhappy, world

Now Brave Companions, you can SEE that if I continued to live according to my Scaredy-Cat list, I would stand no chance of increased happiness, true heartfelt service, nor meaningful interactions in life. I would continue to dig myself into a bigger hole of discontentedness and misery – as indeed I have for many, many years.

Let’s flip that on its head.

My Bravery List

  • I will bravely say what I want – if people are negative and leave then I don’t want them in my happy, fulfilled life. God bless and good-bye.
  • I will bravely hope for what I want – the only disappointment to fear, is living without hope. Hope is the awesome fuel for adventure, joyful risk and acceptance.
  • I will bravely go for what I want – the only failure that is possible is lack of trying. All other result is useful feedback, and I can ALWAYS change my mind or change my course. The only way to fail and be stuck is to NOT MOVE.
  • I will bravely be who I really am – again, If people don’t like who I REALLY AM, then they never liked me in the first place. As myself, I will develop and reinvest in relationships that are authentic. I won’t spend precious energy maintaining a mask.
  • I will bravely allow myself to feel what’s really inside – because the truth, WILL set you free. It may not be pleasant, nor warm and fuzzy. It may be hard to admit to yourself. But feeling your actual feelings gives you powerful choice in life. Your vote in an election isn’t effective for what you want if you know nothing about the candidates or issues. Same with yourself. You need to KNOW how you feel to process what is working or not working. To make useful decisions. To let go the negative and embrace the positive. This is the biggest bravery of all and pays the most reward.

My Voice

This last year or so has been filled with scary things I’m attempting to do because I WANT to. Top of that list is voice acting. I have been struggling with parts of voice acting quite a bit. Struggling enough I was doubting myself. I checked in with my heart.

Me: “Heart, do you STILL want to pursue voice acting even though you have been having painful experiences trying to improve? Wouldn’t it be more comfortable to give up and let this one go?”

Heart: “Laurie, I am your heart of the lion. We were born to tell stories and use your voice. Your doubts are but the sign of how much we want this.”

Me:”But I SUCK”

Heart:”Everyone sucks when they are learning. We are warriors. We don’t give up.”

Me:”I think we’ve been watching too much Survivor lately…”

Heart: “Imagine, right now, that we NEVER go to Voice Acting class again. What do you feel?”

Me: “Relieved…”

Heart:”And…?”

Me: “Sad and like I gave up too soon… (surprised) Like I shouldn’t give up AT ALL!”

Heart: “There’s my warrior!”

Now as hopeful as THIS realization was, it didn’t change the fact that I still struggle with character voice and forget to breathe when nervous.
I knew that admitting I want to pursue voice acting meant I was facing, many, many, embarrassing and difficult moments in the booth as the price of attaining my dream of getting skilled enough for professional mastery.

On the positive side, I knew the class I went to YESTERDAY would be easy for me. My study part was closer to me as person and closer to my regular speaking range. I LOVED the character, and knew I could nail it. So I happily went and DID nail it.

Then came the bombs.

First of all, we studied some action video game sides (scripts) where I had to let myself scream for real and go to a place of fear for my life to be believable. In acting, you need to connect with your OWN life to access these emotions. Not a comfortable, easy, or sunny way to spend an afternoon.

Next came my animation script – OMG

Funny character, with loads of emotional turns, crying, one minute, sarcastic, hopeful, funny voice required. The voice would need to be low and rough, my waterloo! I tried to give the script back.

“Er..I can’t DO this…out of my range”

“No, it’s PERFECT for you!”

“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR EVERLIVING MIND?” (I really didn’t say this last, but what I showed on my face)

I showed the script to a classmate.

“See how hard this one is?” I demanded

“You got this”. He said it sooooo matter of factly.

“I got this?”

“You got this,” said another student.

Well, if they all AND the teacher think “I got this”, they must see something I don’t. Do I believe my doubt or do I believe them?

I nailed it.

Of course it wasn’t perfect, but David, my coach, found my last read so funny and my comedic timing so good, he replayed it again just to enjoy my read. Wow! I did a character. I did it.

I reaped one of the rewards of bravery. Progress.

BTW, I’m starting to get a few followers on my daily bravery account on Twitter. Here’s the info if you’d like to join them.

The Bravery Coach

TheBraveryCoach daily tweet is a morning mediation on how I either did, or can incorporate an aspect of bravery into my day. It is cheerful. It is esteem building. Those who want to follow these on Twitter may, by searching for the hashtag #bravery or by seeing my profile:

Daily Bravery Tweets via TheBraveryCoach on Twitter

Lessons from REALLY Cleaning

Back to my cleaning saga. Yesterday I tackled TRULY cleaning my computer desk and hutch. This included removing ALL books and knick knacks to reveal the dusty truth below.

Dusty empty bookcase shelves showing marks where items had been sitting.

Typical dust pattern once you remove knick knacks and books from a hutch. We tend (at least *I* do) to dust around the edges of things – IF we dust at all.

This is like when we skip over feelings and distract with food obsession, dieting, over spending, gambling, junk TV watching, we might live our lives cleanly on the edges, but underneath, we can get a growing mess.

Super dusty top shelf from bookshelf

Here’s what a shelf you can’t reach without a step stool can look like! (When you are usually too rushed or too lazy to grab your step stool).

YOWSER! No wonder I’ve been sneezing and stuffed up around my computer! I just haven’t been wanting to clean for real. I KNEW It was a big job, and kept putting it off. But yesterday I did vacuum the dust from the shelves and books, polished the hutch – even cleaned out the drawers of office supplies and receipts.

Instead of just putting dirty knick-knacks back, in a clean space, I gave THEM all a cleaning too.

China cats laid out on a towel on the kitchen counter

Here are the rest of my china cats in various ‘let’s get dry’ positions.

This reminds me of when we partially admit a truth to ourselves. We might realize something at first, but to change direction or to deal with the truth is too hard. So we plop our dirty emotional knick-knacks back on a quickly wiped shelf of awareness and hope the pain will go away.
But even if we temporarily feel better, sometimes, our issues need a good scrubbing in the light of day!

Clean and organized computer hutch with well spaced china figurines and books. Not crowded.

Now I feel a sense of peace and happiness when I survey my computer area. My collections stand out, my memory collections are focused and every book is beloved or still useful. A wonderful metaphor for what I’m trying to build for my life.

The results of cleaning for real in your house WILL bring you a sense of accomplishment and peace. Deciding to keep what’s most dear and letting go the rest gives you space and focus to enjoy your choice. Having some space means there is room for new things to come into your life and shine vs. just being added to the pile of mishmash.

Emotionally, it is the same. When we give up relationships, places, duties, expectations, or other parts of our lives that don’t serve our true hearts, we make room for our authentic selves to shine. Part of living is making choices. Do I continue or do I not? Do I agree to do this thing or do I not? Do I dare to try this thing or not? What do I focus on? How do I react to adversity? Am I brave? Do I turn to chips or do I handle what’s under the drive to eat them? And the sum of our choices makes up our experience.

Good news. Every moment is new. Every moment is a new choice. Every moment is a new chance for renewal.

Happy Easter BCs!
xoxoxoxoxox

Comments box:

8 thoughts on “Cleaning Renewal This Easter and a Wonderful Inner Victory

  1. Sue

    I read this and got to the part about the voice acting class and nearly did a happy dance and let out a big cheer. I am sooooooo pleased for you on so many levels. When I think back to the many things you have done and bravely reached out for this year, I am amazed. Go girl!

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks so MUCH Sue! I’m hoping that David will say I can play that take for you on my show. Some of our scripts are ok, and some are non-disclosure. I’ll ask next week. I know I still have far to go, but it was wonderful to have a success and to know my work CAN make a difference. xoxoxoxo

      Reply
  2. Cheryl

    Perhaps we should start calling you LEONTINA. It’s the feminine form of Roman Latin Leontinus, meaning “lion-like.” What cha think?

    I’m curious. How’d your scream go? I can’t scream and I can’t cry. You’d think it would be easy to scream. But even when I’m scared I can’t.

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks, I think *I* won’t go by Leontina, but it makes a dandy name for that voice in my head that IS brave. (Fairly new voice, so needs a new name for my book of inner conversations). 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxox
      PS, My first scream was great (rehearsal and not recorded), I imagined a bad sight I’d had involving a coyote. The second was funny, it sounded like Tarzan (as my voice was starting to tire and break) The third was pretty good – just shortened the Tarzan scream. It feels GREAT to scream! Not too many outlets for that kind of thing, so maybe ANOTHER great reason for voice acting study. Hmmm I’ve never heard of not being able to cry, that would be tough. I haven’t had too many chances to scream in real life, though I do in those awful haunted houses where monsters jump out at you. Did this start as a kid where you felt you had to hold in emotion?

      Reply
      1. Cheryl

        I don’t remember EVER being able to do either. I just figure it’s because I internalize everything. I’ve spent more time this past two months being “misty eyed” than ever in my life. My friend Teal is a counselor and he has this way of tapping into those dammed up parts of me and grabs my heart and pulls it out through my throat. Then he always says something wonderful when my fear about it all has past. I never meant to take advantage of his being a counselor. Seems we fell into it kind of naturally. Now I’ve adopted him. So like you, I have a little brother, too! He actually called last night to say Happy Easter. It was such a surprise.

        Reply
  3. Dawny

    such wonderfulness here..

    GREAT job Laurie, in realizations, OPENly disclosing everything that’s inside of you! SOOO freeing im sure! it’s almost like ‘letting’ go is freeing you sooooo much .. wahoooooooooooooooooooooo

    Reply

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