What are you proud of this week?

  
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Hi there, Huddlers. We start Community Time sharing a moment from the week where we are proud of how we related to our private experience. This week, I want to elaborate on why we do this. 

The Huddle.care schedule this week is: 

  • Community Time - Mondays at 8pm CT

  • Any and all content - Tuesdays at 4 pm CT

  • Any and all content - Tuesdays at 7 pm CT

  • Any and all content - Tuesdays at 8 pm CT

  • Any and all content - Wednesdays at 7 pm CT

  • Any and all content - Thursdays at 7pm CT

  • Any and all content - Fridays at 2 pm CT

  • If you try to sign up for a group, but the sign-up is closed, email me so I know that there is extra interest in that time. 

Content for review: 

Donate to Get Peace, Give Peace

Listen to my interview on The OCD Stories Podcast

Review the Huddle.care Core Values

Review the Huddle.care Curriculum infographic

Review the Huddle.care Self-monitoring infographic

#MoreEffectiveMoments When you click on the button below, you'll be redirected to a secure form where you can share your moment. Follow the prompts when you submit your moment and explain how what you did was effective. I'll give you an animated character and post it to Instagram. 

Share an effective moment

Edited transcript:

The interpretation of a moment of high physiological arousal as a threat or danger is an experience that your mind is co-creating with your brain. You aren’t making up what you feel. Those sensations and feelings are very real. You are making up what it means. Sometimes a racing heart is a good workout and sometimes it’s a reason to panic. Sometimes when your stomach aches you are hungry and sometimes you miss someone. Even feelings that seem objective, like hunger, are dependent on how you’ve responded to it in the past. 

We have to stay awake to our experiences to understand what’s happening within us and respond effectively. Notice that I’m using the word effectively, not accurately. We are not striving to respond to ourselves and our environment accurately, as if there is an objective reality. We are co-creating reality with our environments. In striving to respond effectively, we can use the human proclivity to add meaning to experience to create lives that are more and more values-driven. Put another way, if you pay attention and learn to read your feelings well, you can add meaning that helps you build your life in a way that is more and more meaningful to you over time. 

Your interpretation matters

Here’s an example of how interpreting your experience with shame will impact you:

You experience anticipatory anxiety before something you care about. 

You add the interpretation: “This feeling means I can’t do it. I shouldn’t have this feeling. I’m not good enough. I should feel confident and competent. I don’t feel that way so I should quit. I’ll never be happy as long as I have this feeling.” 

You avoid the thing you care about or you bear it with dread and fear. You add self-criticism for avoiding or for not doing your best. You lose motivation to do the thing you value in the future. You are further from valued-based behavior in the future. 

Here’s the same experience interpreted with pride:

You experience anticipatory anxiety before something you care about. 

You add the interpretation: “Yes! Look at me! I found something that I care enough for my body to pump me with adrenaline to prepare for it. This is great! What an opportunity for me! I’m going to do my best and see what opportunities this creates for me.”

You then try as hard as you can at your valued-based behavior while feeling anxious and uncertain. You learn whatever skills are relevant while you’re practicing the thing you value. You gain new opportunities because you have new skills. It’s easy to feel compassion towards yourself for the way your body reacted before the valued-based behavior. Your insomnia and diarrhea and muscle tension and catastrophic thinking were just the result of the extra adrenaline your brain gave you. It’s easy to feel proud because you know your own experience and you can tell that that moment was the next step for you. Great job. Keep going. 

Shift from avoidance and shame to connection and pride

Bringing us back to Community Time, we’re trying to shift from feeling ashamed about moments of anxiety, OCD, and depression to interpreting these experiences as opportunities for connection and pride.

Some of you have known each other for years. Isn’t it awesome to hear how people grow? It feels great to hear when someone without work finds a job they like or when someone who was struggling with dating finds someone they love. It feels great to hear people who used to be totally stuck in worry, OCD, or depression describe how they got out. You might notice that your feelings towards fellow Huddlers when they describe progress are more positive than hearing the same thing in everyday life. How come? It’s because you heard their internal process. 

As you hear the details of other people’s experiences, you had two experiences: Some of what they said totally resonated with you and it felt very human and connecting for you. Some of what they said didn’t resonate at all and you realized that your life path is completely different and incomparable to them. The combination of these two experiences made it easy for you to feel connected without comparison or competition. 

In everyday life, most people don’t describe their internal experience unless you know them really well (and ask them about it with curiosity and acceptance). One way to understand the urge to compare and compete is that it’s a misunderstanding that everyone is on the same or a similar path. That’s not true. Once you start to see the subtle differences between your path and that of those around you, comparison isn’t useful or relevant. 

Hopefully, you have friends and family who share their ups and downs of their internal process in a way that gives you a genuinely positive feeling when you see them grow. Children often naturally provoke this feeling in us. You know the baby not walking, so walking is just miraculous. You know the child not talking, so reading is miraculous. 

I’m trying to provoke this same type of experience in you, towards yourself. You know yourself stuck in anxiety, OCD, and depression. I feel proud when I see you taking steps to get out. If you let yourself interpret that experience the same way — with pride — you’ll have natural motivation to keep going. 

When we share what we are proud of in Community time, we are celebrating progress. We are giving each other ideas for how to respond to anxiety, OCD, and depression effectively. Most importantly, we are learning to accept ourselves exactly where we are. We are developing self-trust, self-esteem, and self-confidence from owning our own process. 

So, what are you proud of this week?

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