Forces and Core Values

Another thing about Noom are the introspective exercises it asks you to do. And they are pretty fucking deep if you ask me. I know you didn’t, but too bad.

There’s writing exercises in some of the lessons. You can do them, or not. Most of the time, I try to do them, but of course, I don’t post them on my blog. At least not most of the time. I felt like it this time since I haven’t posted here in a bit.

My blog is pretty candid. Everyone knows. I feel like a lot of these things relate to my art since there’s little division between my “real” life and art. And someone out there (somebody somewhere) might be able to relate.

So, I’m going to combine both yesterday’s lesson with today’s. Yesterday, I was supposed to write down what I thought about the positive and negative forces in my life. The whole week of lessons have been physics-related, talking about various types of forces in the universe. It’s slightly metephorical, but it also applies in a psychological sense to ones behavior as a result.

So, first off, I’ll identify what the positives forces are. I thought about it, and here they are:

The Positives

Hannah is a positive force in my life. She came to mind first and foremost.

Art. My art, and art in general, because looking at all art feeds my soul (as cheesy as that might sound).

My friends. I have a couple of great new ones, which are just making my appreciate the wonderfulness of my older ones.

Therapy: my therapist and the work we do. It’s been hard work, but all beneficial.

Noom. What a miracle this has been. And what a surprise.

My gallery. I am very fortunate to be working with such good people.

The self-care I’ve been doing. I’ve been stepping it up a bit. I haven’t been walking, but when I do, that’s a huge positive. I’ve been doing Tai Chi lately, and that’s been great. Eating better, journaling, resting, drinking more water are all self-care things I’ve been getting better at.

Making creative plans and following through with them. That’s a force within me of self-determination.

Being who I really am in terms of my gender. Being post-surgery (on the other side of that) make a huge difference in my overall clarity of all this and my confidence.

Having health and dental insurance. Is this a force? My gratitude for it is!

Being better off financially than I used to be. That too is about gratitude, but I had to do a lot of hard things to get here.

Having better life skills, and using them more than ever before. That is a giant force of effort. Willingness to do that kind of thing is not always easy, and it honestly takes a lot of self-awareness too.


Negative Forces:

Trauma, anxiety, fear, shame, depression, self-doubt, low self-worth, lack of confidence, and self-deprication. I’m bundling that all into one thing, just because.

Smoking (yes, I’m doing that again). This is the fucked-up force of addiction. I’m seriously working on it!

The computer. (What a time-waster!) I need it for all kinds of work tasks, but a lot of the time I wonder where the hell the time goes. I always seems needless to me.

Sweets: chocolate, candy, all those temptations, or whatever else puts me over my calorie budget. Once in a while it’s fine, but I’m pretty weak with this one.

Unbalanced tasks. What I mean by that is that I’m either overwhelmed with my to-do list or I’m lazy as fuck and procrastinating. I’d be better off giving myself a couple things to do a day instead of a hundred.

Assholes, nay-sayers, my brother, and anyone else who has been an absolute negative force. Certain people in my life have all but wasted my time and energy, my positive energy, and turning it ugly. But the positive part is that I am getting better at redirecting my attention elsewhere.

Injustice and ignorance. This is a force in the world, near and far, close to home and further out in our communities that affects me immensely. I don’t even have words for it. Much of the time, the after effect of this is just exhaustion and apathy. Staying angry, or trying to do something about it feel futile. These things are vampress.

Comparing myself to other artists. Super bad habit, but I have to kinda blame Instagram. I never really did this before the age of this particular social media platform. Not even on Facebook (when I had an account there). I don’t do it all the time, but I just don’t understand how so many artists get so well-known there, or how they create so much work so fast. Even if I painted twelve hours a day, I could not post a new painting twice a day, let alone once a day. I also wouldn’t have the time to interact all the time on Instagram to conjure up all those followers if I was working my ass off in the studio. And how would I be able to creatively promote otherwise, answer emails, fulfill my already busy work schedule, see the doctor, go to the store, prepare food and eat, shower, read something, or take a piss…?? It’s a huge mystery I have yet to crack, but it seems like their days have more hours than mine do.

Self-instilled pressure. This gets it’s own position, even though it relates to anxiety. It’s a truly negative force from deep within. It’s a voice that cracks a whip at me all day long telling me to get to work, work faster, do better, be perfect, and do it all with a huge sense of urgency. Very little of this works for me. There are times when it does, but it’s mostly for the birds.

Ignoring my needs, capitulating to others, suppressing anger, being silent, lying about, or hiding my emotions. In a nutshell, self-censoring. This also relates to something else: fear. This seems to call for Super Therapy. It’s not that I haven’t worked on it a little, or even a lot, but it’s a nasty, stubborn force. I don’t like making people mad at me. I don’t like disappointing others. I don’t like facing anger and dislike. When I do things to overcome this fear, it’s a fucking HUGE deal! I can never believe I do it because it always feels like the most difficult thing in the world.

Okay, so, all good things to think about and consider. Good exercise.

Today’s lesson was about finding your core self and your core values. It’s a good one to follow up with. The reason for it is so you can be more motivated to reach the goals that you set out to do at the beginning of the program. And that’s not necessarily to lose weight either. Mine wasn’t/isn’t, but I’m losing weight anyway. (All good.) Mine is to be more confident and comfortable in my own skin, no matter how much I lose, as long as I’m a healthier person in and out.

Anyway, the exercise here is to write out twenty or so qualities you value most. Once that’s down, you put similar ones into five groupings. Then, pick the one from each group that stands out most for you. The five you’re left with are your core values. So, here’s what I came up with once I grouped mine together:

Group 1: Authenticity, Originality, Creativity, Risk-taking, Curiosity.

Group 2: Bravery, Courage, Justice, Strength.

Group 3: Humor, Play, Friendship, Connectivity.

Group 4: Loyalty, Trust, Commitment, Honesty.

Group 5: Love, Kindness, Compassion, Empathy, Growth.

And here are the five I picked, my core values: Authenticiy, Justice, Connectivity, Honesty, and Love. Pretty simple, I suppose. But I’m happy with that because it feels right to me. It actually seemed like a no-brainer.

It’s good to be able to look back on this stuff. I learn from it. I grow from it. I’m glad I did it. Thanks for reading it all (if you did).

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