Welcome to Charlie’s Toolbox. The place to learn more about you. I am your host Charlie Taylor. Last week I had a break week and this week I am back with part 2. I am still trying to figure out the schedule. Should it be every other week or 3 weeks on one week off? Would love some feedback so shoot me a DM on IG, twitter, or FB, @Charliestoolbox or reach out to me @ charliestoolbox.com
Today we are going to have a longer format that will be the new setup for future episodes. The format will consist of three parts:
· Part I. A short segment about what’s going on in my world.
· Part II. Topics in the world that are peaking my interest or are worthy of discussion.
· Finally, Part III we will discuss the main topic in great detail and end with a summary of the lesson.
So, let’s get started….Some things that have been going on with me. I am in the final stretch of school. I’ve been in school on and off since 2008 and I am happy to be done with it. As far as learning goes, it will no longer be formal. If I want to learn something new off to YouTube I go!
Beyond that, I’ve been really feeling myself and I know it is because I am present. It’s a wild concept because I hate hearing stuff like this because it sounds cheesy, but I am saying this because now that I am present I see how colorful my life is.
I have a super-rich and fulfilling life. I go to dinner and have 3-hour long conversations with people I love. I go to free art shows just to see how people are currently expressing themselves. I people-watch on my stoop. I walk my dog. I visit people I love and we become family. I listen intently genuinely wanting to know more about people. I ride a scooter around Brooklyn with music and shades. I have friends who listen to me and randomly surprise me with gifts just because they saw it and knew I’d like it. I am well-loved and I love well. And If I stayed in my head like I’ve done most of my life, I would not see this. So, shout out to me for being present, and seeing how delicious I live. My advice to every one of you is to reach for it. Like just reach for a rich life that when you lay down you can smirk at the pleasure you receive every single day.
Along with feeling myself, I am really excited about this artist Doechii. I haven’t been inspired by an artist in a long time and she is lighting me up. I love when someone gets it, and she gets it. She’s forward-thinking and she knows her audience. So stream the song Persuasive and dig into her work.
This week I read this really great article in the cut called What my toddlers nom-noms taught me by Jessi Klein. And basically, this article starts off with an idea that Elizabeth Gilbert brought up in an episode with Oprah. Basically, she states that the hero’s journey, its archetype is often only attributed to men.
While women are relegated to waiting at home or never affording the journey at all. Basically, the article makes a declaration that motherhood is a part of the hero’s journey archetype. The battle that mothers have where they gather all of their strength to do something so impossible as keeping their children healthy and alive and keeping themselves, is in itself a hero’s journey.
And the reason I loved it so much is that it gave me even more compassion and empathy for my mother, which at times I struggled with. It helped me see this internal battle. It helped me see this young baby, who is my mother, gathering the strength and the knowledge she has to show up every day and mother me. It showed me the reserve of patience, kindness, and selflessness she exhibited. It showed me that mostly she showed us the top of the iceberg, and spared us the battle she had within herself as a new mother. It was a great article that gave me more compassion than I thought I had. ..
If you enjoy these podcasts and want to know more. Please go to charliestoolbox.com, there we have videos, e-books, guides, and much more!
Now back to this episode:
So, let’s pick up where we left off. Part. 1 we discussed the art of getting back to yourself. I asked you to acknowledge you are in a pandemic because that plays a role in your discontent or not feeling like you. I asked you to love your routine, but also make space for spontaneity. Sometimes routines can make your life feel dull. Finally, win small! Winning small feels like a jolt and sometimes you need that jolt to make you feel good. To feel like you!
Part 2. We will discuss your thoughts and your environment. There are particular ways they hinder you from feeling and being who you want to be. So, let’s start.
Sometimes you stop being yourself because you are creating stories about what other people are thinking and what they feel about you.
What I mean by that, is that most of your behavior is dictated by a story you tell yourself and not what makes you feel good or present. For example, you go to a party and no one is on the dance floor. You hear a song you like and you want to dance, but you don’t. Instead, you decide to wait until the dance floor is crowded before dancing and enjoying that. Why is that? I mean you want to dance, you liked the music, and you can dance. Why aren’t you doing what you want? The reason is of course anxiety, more specifically social anxiety. But behind that is the story you created about what everyone around you is thinking about you if you dance. You have not even danced yet, but you are already making yourself out to be the butt of random people’s jokes. How can you be yourself, when the voice of so many ghosts are dictating your moods and actions? How can you be yourself when you are busy interpreting someone’s actions/moods and determining your behavior based on them. That thinking is not only exhausting. It keeps you in a box that you might want to live outside of. It keeps you away from things like freedom, liberty, joy, and authenticity. So, when you are thinking and creating stories, you can either stop because it is your mind. You can stop, because you really don’t know what people are thinking. Or you can use your mind the same way with different results, and come up with stories that support your self-esteem or even delusion.
Part 2B. Don’t let your past control your capacity or capability
Do you ever dream? And then a voice comes and says how can you be that when you’ve done so much of (fill in the blank with shit that you are ashamed of). That voice not only sucks, but it is also wrong because first off, who said you had to be perfect to get, win, live, be, or do anything. That is quite literally a lie because those who received all that you want are just as flawed and human as you. Those rules that keep you imprisoned and stop you from taking steps can be released at any time. So, decide to continue to let them go.
Secondly, it’s time to work through your shame, my love. You still feel guilty for living life, and it is weighing on you. Think about you like this, would you hit a child or scream at them for not knowing how to use a microwave? No, you would not because they didn’t have the knowledge on how to use one, no one taught them, and they have no experience in it. You wouldn’t remind them once they learned that they didn’t know before and how bad they were at it. How they could never learn anything new because of how bad they screwed up learning the microwave. How they will never be anything because of it. You would never say that because you would give that child grace and compassion. And the same thing you give to that hypothetical child is something that you will have to learn to give to yourself. Like the child with the microwave, you have no experience or knowledge, and many of the people around you did not teach you some of the lessons that you “failed” at. You were just like the child, walking into something you don’t know and you gave it your best shot considering you were ignorant in the truest sense of the word. You literally had no knowledge. Give yourself grace instead of shame.
Learn the difference between Gut feelings that signal danger, and gut feelings that are to stop you from taking new adventures.
Our gut feelings protect us and for the most part, we’ve been trained especially if we are structurally oppressed, to ignore it, bypass it, or people gaslight us and we mistrust it. So, when I am talking about gut feelings, I am not talking about the life force that pushes you in the right direction, warns you of danger, or tells you that something is off. I am talking about the gut feeling that feels like that but does none of that for you. There is a gut feeling that stops you from leaving your comfort zone. There is a gut feeling that tells you it would be easier and more comfortable if you stayed where you are, despite your desire to be something different. There is a gut feeling that says no don’t do that! It’s going to be hard! Do you really want to do something hard? Do you feel like you are capable? That feeling is the one you have to disarm. That is the one you have to question. When it says it will be hard? You will have to say, but what if is not? What if it’s easy? Fun? Life-affirming? What if it will lead to meeting your hero? Or a new friend? Or co-worker? Or a new boss? Gut feelings are great! But the one that stops you from trying is not always the one you should listen to.
Take the chip off your shoulder
Self-help is a wonderful thing because not everyone has the resources and people give us the resources for little to no money. However, on the flip side of that self-help is an industry and because it is an industry, it does a lot to keep you buying. That also means creating problems for you or training you to find problems in your world when there is none and when you are constantly finding and solving problems. Constantly, prepare to enact your boundaries. Constantly, preparing for war, you no longer are yourself. Instead, you are a warrior and warriors aren’t bad because sometimes you need that. But you can’t be yourself when you are always ready to fight. There is no peace, joy, or rest in that. There’s no feeling of being at home, by yourself, as free as you want, when you are putting the gear on to fight anyone who slightly crosses. You. That is not you. That is someone afraid that they won’t be there for themselves. And you have to take that off your shoulders and let it slide off of your back. You will take care of yourself and enjoy the moment. You will be fair to you. You will figure out something isn’t right for you and change direction. Take it off.
Find places and people that allow you freedom.
I saw this video (and I wish I knew the title and could find it), but basically, it stated that the possible reason why introverts are tired is that they put up the mask when socializing. Meaning, that when you interact with others you create an identity that you think they want or that you believe is right for the environment, instead of being yourself. You do so much predicting and calculating to be what you think they like, and that is not only tiring, but also it’s not SOCIALIZING. Stepping out of the house and being what you think others want is work. So, to address this nasty habit that we all have. You need to understand the spaces, places, and people that make you feel like yourself. Ask what about them allows you to be yourself. Go there more. Find more like places. And like any muscle the more you become authentic, the stronger that muscle will get, and the more places, spaces, and people you will decide to drop the mask and really enjoy yourself.
Stop compromising yourself
The last point is to get back to yourself and be yourself. Stop compromising yourself. You know you wouldn’t do that. You know you don’t like that. You know you don’t want to go there. You know you don’t want him So, why do you continue to 1. Be oblivious to your needs and 2. compromise your needs for others? You don’t need to compromise your needs to be liked. Furthermore, if the only time you are liked is when you deny yourself. That’s concerning. What type of relationship thrives from that dynamic? And who ends up happy in that type of relationship? It’s certainly not the one who changed her behavior to benefit someone else.
Getting back to yourself or feeling like yourself is a great goal to have. It feels good to feel like you, but also if you aren’t feeling like you it is ok because we are in a pandemic, and feeling bad comes with that reality.
You can opt for some good days and use some of these tips to keep you going. Or you can take a break and give yourself some more time to feel odd because that makes sense too. Either way, it goes, gives yourself compassion and patience and really take care of yourself and decide to be you every step of the way.