David Lader - Warrior's Dance Video

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Are You Stuck?

I've been grouchy and irritable today because I've taken on too much - I've overfilled my plate...
It's always fun, comforting, and convenient to blame my high level of anxiety on everything on earth outside of myself, though this sort of nonsensical thinking simply makes it easier for me to feel sorry for myself, act like a victim, and justify even more poor decisions, such as filling up my plate even higher...
I'm sure you've never done this yourself, so I'll try to share a little more about what that's been like for me and how I've been most successful at interrupting this self-destructive cycle.

The single-most valuable tool in minimizing my risk for becoming obsessed with work has been to hand over the keys to my cage when I know it's gonna be a full moon.  Whenever I realize I've done a lousy job at taking care of myself, I've also come to know I'm not going to be very pleasant company to those I care about, or anyone, for that matter.  My snout grows, I get real hairy, and my canines go wild - I often don't remember much the next morning.  Make no mistake, I'm not a real werewolf - this is simply a way to illustrate my point...


Here's a great acronym that helps me pay attention to how I'm doing with my self-care...

That is:  Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired...

Whenever I take care of these basics, I'm bound to be at my best.  By the way, though they're all important, being angry, particularly in the form of resentments, is certainly the most serious culprit for sending me into a tailspin.


So, if I was up too late last night blogging, forgot to eat today, isolated myself in my work, and "grouched" about my kids' mess in silence, let's at least hope that I did give the "keys to my cage" to someone I trust.  What does that really look like?  That looks like letting loved ones know what my "red flags" are...  It also means I've invited them, in advance, to "call me out" when necessary.  This doesn't give them permission to be unkind or cruel - it means the time is right to gently nudge me back into consciousness.  I've told my children that if they're ever wondering if I'm angry or afraid, often in the form of anxiety, make sure to ask.  It's important for them to know what's "theirs" and what's "daddy's..." This is comforting to them, and it makes their emotional world a more safe, predictable, and stable place.

My son was a bit obsessed with Power Rangers until recently, and we got a bit concerned... 


With the help of his teachers at pre-school, we started asking him if he was "stuck," and if he perhaps wanted us to help him try some other things in the moment...it's been working beautifully, and he is cooperative and thrilled to be re-directed.  So, why not try helping daddy get unstuck with his work sometimes during the full moon?  Well, we've implemented some new tactics, and I'll let the scanned image that follows speak for itself:





Peace.

David M. Lader




David Lader

Tucson, October 15, 2013