Be your own best friend

There’s a meme on FB that says if you love your friends, let them sleep. I believe I should count myself among my friends! I also think rest and general vegetative time should be added. As well as time to unpack the car, cook a healthy meal of real food, clean, wash laundry, practice the violin, meditate, breathe and slow the racing of my heart, and have a cup of coffee.

Just this morning, I was entering my info into my iPhone so that Siri would know who I was. It asked me if I wanted to add myself to my favorites. Of course I do!

My type A overachiever personality wants to get cracking. My body says “Whoa! After teaching 6 middle school dance classes yesterday in 91 degree partial sun, during the time of the month when you should be resting, uh, NO! Don’t even get me started on the fact you haven’t taken a day off in months! And you’re planning to do this again Friday?! Wednesday morning, you’re mine!” I hate conversations where my body is right. My body is still mad at me about moving away from the cool ocean breeze on the beach in San Francisco, (because I was working only to afford it) and getting a job that involves 100+ flights of stairs/day (because losing weight and getting healthy in a fat shaming culture is necessary for my employment and financial future with the rising cost of medical coverage).

In other news, I’ve discovered that I need to stop getting frustrated about my lack of motivation. I know, it seems crazy coming from someone as crazy busy as me, but so much of what people see is execution, I’d like to direct my actions to bring them more in line with my goals. Without constant fine tuning, there’s always a drift. Just like papers and general clutter take over your life if you don’t develop a regular purging discipline.

I’m starting up work again with my life coach. I have many mentors who all motivate me in different ways. But he is the one most effective at getting to get my A game on. Some people motivate me with fear, cajoling, guilt, shame; some with responsibility, deadlines, ultimatums, consequences; and others with flattery. He calls upon what is already within me to rise above all these things to achieve the good kind of entitlement (I deserve to be happy).

It’s surprising how hard this is. Working in Union Square, San Francisco, there is no place I can turn that does not have the enlarged, photoshopped H&M ad of Beyonce in a bikini with a body I haven’t had since I was SEVEN years old. If I wore that $4.99 bikini top, society would judge and crucify me faster than Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction! For starters, I’m too tall. Then there’s that not being 20 years old and rich thing. Ahhh, rape culture is a powerful thing and it’s as bad as trying to take on the lawyers at the NRA or Monsanto. Every woman has to fight it alone. There are days when I am brave (don’t get me started on Disney’s sexualization of the princess from Brave, she’s a role model of mine!) and there are days when I just feel defeated.

And now that I’ve gotten what was bugging me off my chest, my headache has miraculously disappeared! I can breathe! So I’m going to take an hour to shut off the digital distractions and practice the violin. Because that seems to work really well for me, as a member of the digitally distracted.

Be well and be the best friend to yourself that you can be!

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About Shelly Crouse-Monarez

Violin Performer and Mentor
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