Reaching for the Shiny

“It is not needful for our dreams to be very grand nor very big.It is only needful for our dreams to be very shiny."(C. JoyBell C.)Reaching for the Shiny

I’m finding more and more that we COVID-weary and Social Justice struggle-weary folk are reaching for shiny things. People are getting engaged, moving in together, starting new careers, redecorating their homes, buying or figuring out how and when to buy new homes, retooling their work-lives, retiring… the husband of a certain therapist *might* just be getting a puppy in three weeks. (20 more days, but who’s counting??)

We really need some shiny about now!

I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. IF…

Living Awake Lives

Those of you who know me and/or have worked with me probably know how much I value intentionality and conscious choices. When we choose not to think critically about the decisions we make, they tend to get made on the heels of a whole lot of unprocessed, un-owned data from our gut brain and heart brain. The data itself is truly fine: It’s tuned into our deepest needs and our best creativity. However, it’s raw data.

Have you ever opened a computer file that was in ASCII text? The data is entirely accurate. However, it needs to be executed in a program in order to make any sense.

We might see a few words that are familiar, like “retire,” “engaged,” or “fun,” but without executing the code, we miss a lot of important stuff. Those weird squigglies might mean, “DON’T–RETIRE—YET, HAVE SOME –FUN—WHILE YOU STILL HAVE A SALARY,” or “GET –ENGAGED— IN TWO YEARS AFTER YOU PAY OFF SOME DEBTS,” but all we could interpret was RETIRE and FUN, or ENGAGED. In our genuine need for a sense of hope and future, we shoot our employer an email informing them of our impending retirement, or rush out and buy an engagement ring entirely on credit because we haven’t yet saved any money.

You Have 3 Brains: Use Them Well

Those files were not intended for linear-mind interpretation alone. They need to be executed in the program that helps us tune into the raw data from the gut and heart brains and then consider it in the linear logic of the mind. The gut is leading you toward buying a home. Great! What does your heart say about timing? What does your mind tell you about your budget? The heart is saying to marry this person in front of you! Your gut, however, might be signaling some warning signs. Your mind might need to gather the data from your gut and heart to put it all in one place and make your best choices.

But we want it now. It is shiny.
We need some shiny. Now. Child Minds

Under stress, we human folk have a tendency to regress.

That is – to think, react and behave as we might have when we were much younger.

As children, the part of our minds that connects impulses and desires to consequences, error correction and problem solving is still underdeveloped. The connections snap off entirely in adolescence and slowly grow toward reattachment through much of our 20’s. Consequently, there isn’t always a lot of gap time in between “I need something shiny!” and grabbing the shiny thing.

We are all under a great deal of stress eight now, even if we aren’t consciously aware of it. Even if things are going well in the microcosm of our lives, we are surrounded by uncertainty, grief and chaos. It’s on the wind. It’s in the bizarrely uber-aggressive driving we encounter when we venture out to the store.

We are all under pressure, all susceptible to regression and all in need of conscious contact with shiny, hopeful things that remind us that there is also good in the world. We have a natural “righting response” like a ship that gets tipped in the water. Something in us just won’t be resolved to keep sailing in a way that is pulled viciously and indefinitely to one side. It’s part of what makes us so resilient.

We Are Still Getting the Puppy.

So notice the shiny. Appreciate both the shiny that caught your eye, and the fact that you need some shiny in your life in order to do all of … this… well.

Sometimes when you run all of the data through the grid you still get the thing you want! Other times, synthesizing the raw data shows you that the need was not as concrete as the shiny thing you imagined.

Now you can discern what your mind, body and spirit are telling you that you really need and then make a plan to make it happen. And still other times, the shiny thing is something you will appreciate a lot more once you’ve fully vetted the idea and let your gut and heart brain data more fully inform, shape and time the thing you are longing for.

A Little Zen

… And perhaps this entire blog was created just so that I would have an excuse to show off the latest picture of my husband’s new puppy, Zen, who we will be welcoming into our home in August. (Hey – we have to get our “zen” one way or the other!)

Listen with all three brains to your need for the shiny, friends! Feed your soul with your very best.

If you would like help listening and discerning the data form your three brains, contact Tiffany today by clicking here