Months ago, I listened to someone (podcast most likely…brene brown most likely) reference what was apparently a popular Insta post at one time. The conversation I was listening to went something like: “you know that post that was on Insta for a long time, the one where there was a person with a full cup of coffee who got bumped and was shocked that coffee spilled out?”
A person with a full cup of coffee gets bumped and is stunned when coffee spills out.
I may have messed up the expression of the original meme…but the point of the meme is what stuck with me. The point of the meme had to do with human behavior and experience. Whatever it is that we fill ourselves up with is what eventually spills out when we get ‘bumped’.
Make sense? (think anger. think resentment.)
Our thoughts and feelings run the show. Period.
The way we think about ANYTHING fuels our relationship to it, and/or our relationship with it.
I think it is called dueling consciousness when we think and feel one way on the inside, but act, accommodate, and allow for the opposite experience to continue or take place on the outside.
On a side note, I heard the term ‘dueling consciousness’ in Ibram Kendi’s popular book, How to be an Antiracist. I assumed it was a broad term rooted in psychology. I just googled the term to make sure I was using it correctly, and Ibram’s book came up along with earlier work from W.E.B. Dubois.
I posted Dubois’s full definition of Double Consciousness on my FB page (Sally & Sifer). It’s rich.
I love the term ‘dueling consciousness’ and I think most of us find it relevant to our personal experience. By using this term in a self-care blog, I do not mean to minimize white privilege and the broader context of Dubois and Kendi’s antiracist work for social equity. My voice is small (related to number of followers and social media influence) but my white privilege is not.
Back to getting bumped and whatever we fill ourselves up with spills out. (and yes, totally related to privilege and social equity).
Caring about yourself enough to notice the thoughts you think.
Considering the amount of energy it takes to think and feel one way on the inside and express yourself in opposition DAILY, can you recognize how this can make someone not well (sick)? Whether it is anxiety, depression, headaches, anger, addiction, isolation, etc. Can you see how living in opposition of your truth is simply not healthy? It’s not whole. It’s split.
Living this opposition does not only ‘bump out’ sickness. When we live this ‘unexamined life’, we perpetuate limiting, and quite harmful, social narratives that contribute to an unhealthy society.
This is not good. We can do better.
Get well. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and it is meant to be enjoyed now. Today. And yes. you. can.
The title of this blog is enjoy. I thought it was going to start by me claiming that the word ‘joy’ was a little too fluffy for me. My context for this lackluster interpretation of ‘joy’ was working with students who were really in horrible life circumstances, and the word ‘joy’ seemed a bit of a stretch as to where I was ‘meeting them at’.
I began to like the word when I put the ‘en’ in front. ‘Enjoy’ had more of a sensory sort of relatability. No matter what your external circumstances, there are still things that are ‘enjoyed’ daily and often. For example (using the student experience): “do you enjoy playing videogames?” (yes) “what does it feel like on the inside when you are playing videogames?” – now we can at least access and connect to an internal, sensory/felt experience of joy.
If we can practice noticing ‘joy’ and noticing what the inside experience is like when we are enjoying something, we can begin to create more of it (if this is the desire). If we can intentionally use our thoughts to create the sensation of joy and enjoyment, guess what spills out when bumped?
Can you see where self-care originates? If you don’t care about yourself enough to feel good, then there is no next step. If you decide that you do care about yourself, the practice of self-awareness (mindfulness) is a perfect next step. Once you begin to practice self-awareness, you begin to notice your inside, or nonphysical, world of feelings, impulses, thoughts, and sensations (FITS).
You notice the splits. You notice the duels. Noticing gives you the power to make choices that allow for integration. Alignment. Balance. An empowered person is the noticer. An empowered person notices discomfort and moves toward it. An empowered person is NOT fragile. You are not FRAGILE.
Stop it. 🛑
PS. I recognize that I bring up a lot of big ideas in my blog posts. I created a YouTube channel specifically to share simple and transferable skills, tools, and strategies that support ‘a better way’ – or how to take a next step toward self-awareness and disrupting limiting mind scripts.
PSS. Here is a 48 second trailer for the YouTube channel. Tomorrow I will post a video specific to this blog post. Subscribe if this interests you.