Monday, November 26, 2012

Give Thanks for Your Gifts: Inspiration from Temple Grandin

Rain Man's Rainbow by jurvetson, cc license
Jason and I like to listen to podcasts when we wash dishes and clean up the house every evening after Cadence goes to sleep (an exciting existence, I know). One of my favorite shows is Science Friday and, while catching up on post-Thanksgiving cleaning and a backlog of podcasts, I heard a segment they recorded with Temple Grandin. Among many other things, Temple Grandin is a teacher, a scientist, an engineer, a geek, an activist, and a person with autism. I find her to be an inspiration.

Temple Grandin has a uniquely objective empathetic ability and a keen sense of perception when it comes to understanding the world from another's perspective - be it human or animal. She is probably best known for using her unique gifts to design more humane slaughter houses.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sometimes You Have to Ask for What You Need

365.177 by Dyanna Hyde, cc license
My last five posts have been dedicated to finding ways to remain gentle in stressful circumstances. I've been in crunch mode, working on my thesis, and the stress has definitely gotten to me. It has been incredibly helpful having this space to reflect on the importance of self-care and to remind myself of the practices that will strengthen my ability to remain gentle. However, I have also come to the realization that there are going to be those times when I just can't do it without the help of those around me. And, until all of my loved ones are able to perfect their mind reading skills, I have to ask for what I need. And then, of course, in order to ask for what I need, I need to know what that is.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to Speak Honestly and Gently During Confrontation

An argument... by Tambako the Jaguar, cc license
I had a confrontation with some roofers during the Summer. They were repairing the roof on a neighbor's house. We don't have what you would call backyards, but the back of the neighbor's house abuts a strip of our non-yard which is home to a couple of trees, two azaleas  a rose of Sharon  and our compost heap. It's not much to look at, and at the height of the Summer it was overgrown with weeds, but I have plans to convert it into a lovely outdoor space over the next couple of years.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Get Gentle by Asking Questions

Question mark by Marco Bellucci, cc license
I keep coming across this concept of being curious as an alternative to being judgmental. It keeps popping up in what I’m reading, conversations with friends, and podcasts. It’s almost as if the universe is trying to send me a message. So, okay universe, you have my attention.

It really is a great idea, to be curious about our own quirks or the behavior and motives of others, rather than judging and reacting. I’ve been developing my toolbox of strategies to be more gentle in trying situations, and I thought curiosity would be a wonderful tool to add. I thought that at the next opportunity, I would simply remind myself to be curious and notice what was happening, rather than judge and react. I didn’t really think that one through.