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Posts tagged ‘holidays’

Calling Team Future Us: It’s Time!

Hello Team Future Us! Did you get your message from Past You yet?

I just did. For those of you who participated, how did it feel to get an encouraging message from yourself? Did you totally forgot that you wrote that note? If you remembered that you wrote the email, was the content of your message still a surprise?

future me



I forgot what I wrote back in September, so it was really fun to read my message today. But hearing from Past Me is a little spooky too, because I only partially recognize myself in these emails.

During a typical day, I’m more likely to hear from that panicky, weepy kid that spins in circles (you met that kid here). But in these Future Me messages I get to hear from a different internal voice that I’m not as familiar with. She’s way more encouraging and almost unrecognizably calm. I imagine that while weepy kid is on the floor in the fetal position, this gal is peacefully sitting at a sunny kitchen table, drinking herbal tea, and petting my cat. She doesn’t own any clothing with zippers.

It was nice to visit with her for a minute today.

Just recently I learned that we spend 47% of our lives lost in our thoughts. Half our lives! We’re always a little here, a little bit someplace else. We’re lost in conversations with all the wackadoos that live in our heads and make a living spewing a non-stop stream of commentary at us.

Sometimes I hear from these guys too.

Some days my mind sounds like these two. It could be worse.



That peanut gallery in our heads is loud. It can be hard to tune in to the present moment. In can be hard to take time out to notice all the things were grateful for in our everyday lives. It can be hard to grab that one positive thought out of a sea of negatives.

Research shows that we need a ratio of five positive comments or events to outweigh a single negative one. Considering all the negative stuff we’re chewing on in our minds, we can stack the deck in our favor by contributing to the positive feedback for ourselves. We don’t have to wait for anyone else to do it.

So I hope that all of you got to visit with a different side of yourselves today, through that note. That instead of just hearing the din of all the anxious or angry or critical voices that we all spend so much time listening to or trying to tune out, that you got to hear something positive and encouraging instead. There is value in purposefully taking time out to care for ourselves through simple acts of self compassion. Maybe writing these notes is one way to do that.

And if your note didn’t do much of anything for you, then let me be the one to say: You’re doing awesome.



Tell me about your experience with Future Me in the comments: good, bad, funny? Will you try it again? 

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Team Future Us Challenge

This morning I got a surprise email from someone I know really well. It made me laugh and then my face leaked a little. Even though it was only three sentences long, the email left me feeling cared for and encouraged.

The message ended with:

p.s. you will figure this out!

Who’s writing me such nice emails? Who knows how much time I spend trying to figure it out (“it” being a synonym for my life/my career/the fate of the world/the plot of Homeland)? And that I need to be confident in myself and then learn to let it go?

I’ll tell you who: Me.

Yep, not only do I walk around talking to myself all day, but now I write to myself too.

That’s because I discovered FutureMe.org

future me



It’s the most simple, brilliant idea ever. You write yourself an email and schedule it to be delivered to yourself some time in the future.

You might think it’s dumb to write yourself because you’re soooo smart that you’d never forget what you wrote to yourself in the first place, so duh, who cares if you get an email saying stuff you already knew.

Nope. I completely forgot that I wrote that email. Given, I forget to put on real pants some days, but I’m willing to wager that most people totally forget (the email, not their pants). And more importantly, everyone probably forgets what they actually wrote. The content will be a surprise. Wheee!

Think of how helpful this could be. You could:

  • write yourself monthly emails with your plan and motivations for taking care of yourself.
  • write a letter and schedule it to arrive the morning of a day you anticipate will be challenging. Like the first day of a dog training class you’re afraid of going to with your poopy-pants dog. Or a difficult anniversary.
  • write yourself a caring letter of encouragement, to be read on any random day in the future. You might be surprised at how good it feels to hear kind words, even when they’re your own.
  • write yourself random reminders like: Look Down. Are You Still Wearing Pajama Pants?



I really think this might be a good thing. I want you to do it. So let’s try it together. I’ll call it the Team Future Us Challenge.

This week take a few minutes to write yourselves a letter of encouragement. No beating yourself up. Keep it above the belt. Just write a few sentences to give Future You a boost.

Not sure what to write? Think of some area of your life that you’re struggling with and give yourself a pep talk. For example:

If you have a dog that is experiencing some challenges right now, like they lose their marbles every time a dog farts within 50 miles of your house, you could list a few things that you really love about your dog and a few ways that you’re pretty swell too, such as: Despite the fact that walking my dog is torture some times, I really do love him. He’s a world-class foot warmer, a champion floor cleaner, and an excellent karaoke audience. Also, I should give myself credit for trying so hard and stop comparing myself to everyone around me. I’m doing a really good job. Me and my dog RULE.

Or if your dog is perfect and cooks you brunch on the weekends, maybe you could write about some other aspect of your life where you feel a little less than perfect. Think about what Future You might need to hear. Be kind.

So here’s the Team Future Us Challenge part (that is dangerously close to being Team FU, huh?):

  • This week, write yourself a letter of encouragement.
  • Schedule the email to arrive two months from now on November 30th, 2013. That’s Thanksgiving Day weekend. I bet a lot of us could use a little bit of encouragement around the holidays, right?
  • In two months, we’ll all get an email from Past Us. I’ll post a blog here, so that those of us who want to can check in and celebrate our awesomeness together. Because sometimes peer pressure  a community can help motivate you to do something nice for yourself.



What do you say? Let’s go be nice to ourselves.

See US in two months!

Book Review: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know

Generally speaking dog humor books never make me laugh. There’s usually a lot of jokes about dogs eating trash and looking guilty and contrary to what the titles may imply, they actually slay my soul. I try to avoid them.

So, when I got asked to review a copy of the book Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know, I wanted to say no, but wound up saying yes for two reasons: there is a quote from Steve Martin on the front and I read an excerpt entitled, “I Can Poop The Second I Start My Walk.”

Steve Martin is one the funniest people of all time. Even if he never actually read this book, just the idea that he may have looked at the cover or tripped over the book, is enough for me. And once I read that “I Can Poop” line, I knew the writers must know something about dogs.

 

 

Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know is a collection of stories from eleven fictional dogs who reveal what’s really going on in the minds of dogs. Among others, there’s Orson the Bulldog who has an eating disorder, Tinkerbell the passive aggressive Chihuahua, and my two favorites: Sarge the working GSD who gets fired a lot and Rufus T. the Bloodhound that dreams of making it on Broadway.  It’s a fun crew.

What I enjoyed about this book is that it was really obvious that the writers not only love dogs, but understand dogs and what they’re up against having to live with humans. Without going straight for the teachable moment, the authors wove all kinds of helpful tips, advice, and dog logic into their stories.

The dogs, in telling some really funny stories, subtly teach readers that dogs see the world differently than we do and that they’re  totally justified when they do something “bad”, because it makes total sense. You just have to look at it from the dog’s perspective.

If a couch is made of leather, why would a dog think it’s any different from a rawhide chew toy? Axelrod the Lab tries to explain why so many dogs make this mistake in “Why I Ate the Sofa” and other stories about misunderstandings.

 

 

If you have a new dog owner in your life – one that’s trying to figure out how to speak dog – this would be a good gift to give them (along with some Nature’s Miracle). They’ll get the answers to all our burning questions: why do dogs eat grass? jump on us? dig holes? steal our weed?

The book also serves as a reminder to humans that we should never judge a dog by his looks, as in the case of Rufus T. the Bloodhound, a dog with a secret fantasy of making it on Broadway. His people assume he wants nothing more than to go hunting, but  Rufus reveals that when he’s dreaming, those jerky movements and whimpers aren’t from squirrel chasing, he’s dreaming of dancing in the musical Annie. My kind of Bloodhound.

And there are a few story lines that are genuinely touching for any dog lover, like Sophie the Cocker Spaniel, who is at the end of her life and wondering, in stories like “I’m Getting Too Far Ahead” how it came to be that she’s aging faster than the humans in her life. Sophie’s entry is the final chapter and there was a profound little nugget that ended the book.

 

 

So here’s what Steve Martin left out when he wrote his blurb “I laughed, my dog howled” for the book cover: the authors behind the stories love dogs and want them to succeed in our crazy world.

Cheers to humor being one of the best teachers.

And yes, if you’re wondering, there is a DINOS in the book. Moonbeam the Mutt writes, “You’re Not in My Pack” and ‘Why I Hate Dogs”, for all the dogs out there that need a little space.

To get your copy or to read some stories, check out the Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know website and Facebook page!

 

Who needs reindeer when you can use pit bulls to pull your sleigh?

 

 

Get your holiday cards from StubbyDog this year and spread the pit bull cheer!