Practising What I Preach


The Lizard at Sam’s Place

So, just like that, I’m going to speak at a MoMondays Winnipeg on January 6, 2014, at Sam’s Place. If you are local, I hope you will come and see me. Yes, I’m terrified. So?

I would assume that speakers usually have more than a week’s time to prepare their talks, but this was a last-minute, step-in-as-an-alternate type of thing. I’m not complaining – I’m glad to be getting my chance, given that most (not all) of the speakers I have seen there so far have been professionals. I am grateful to Stephanie Staples for thinking of me.

Of course, I’ve spoken before groups many times – as a scientist, as a teacher, as a volunteer in all sorts of capacities. So this challenge doesn’t come completely out of left field – after all, I did sign up for it. And yes, of course I’ll be talking about my friend the Lizard, especially since, as you can see in the picture, Sam’s Place has a giant stuffed one right at the feet of the speakers. I knew as soon as I saw it that it was meant to be.

So, what am I doing right now? Well, obviously writing a blog post. But otherwise, today I’ve spent a lot of time on Facebook, catching up on my email newsletters, all sorts of “urgent” stuff like that. Why am I doing this? Because I’m acting like a poster child for Resistance, that’s why. That sneaky Lizard is doing its best to get me to admit that I can’t do it, it’s too scary, too hard, too big for me. So, how am I going to deal with that?

In the old blog post I linked to on the word “Lizard” up there, from August 2011, I was still trying to deal with the Lizard Brain by force – battling it, celebrating every victory where I beat it.

In the meantime, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like being at war inside my own head. I’ve been approaching that fearful, primordial part of me as I would a tired toddler – first of all, carefully. They tend to lash out, and they can be stronger than they look. The Lizard Brain is no different – it will channel every hurtful word anyone has ever said to me, especially impatient parents or teachers. It has an amazing memory that way. It doesn’t remember my successes with equal clarity, unfortunately.

Soothing words, a hug and maybe a cookie work so much better than battling my inner toddler. Bringing together all the kind words and encouragement people have given me over the years, every instance in which I have proved to myself that I am strong, capable and worthy, I can cuddle that fearful little one to sleep. Facebook can’t match up to the confidence and sense of purpose that are left over from that exercise.

What do you think, is that a talk you would like to hear? Constructive suggestions welcome!

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2 Responses to “Practising What I Preach”

  1. Zohar Says:

    totally wonderful! I love the way you are going about it – one of the things I do as a therapist is talk to people on how to deal with the angry/frightened/*/* child inside of them – how to remember that you are no longer at the part of your life where you received this punishment from someone else – now you have volunteered to punish yourself…and that is where you can stop it. Personifying that frightened part of yourself is good – have you ever interviewed your lizard? Asked him where he came from? How much of you he thinks he controls? WHen was he the largest? When was he the weakest? WHat is the Lizard afraid of? WHat makes him happy? This ‘outing’ of the lizrd is a good way to assess him and to figure out how to live with him…Pretty cool stuff babe 🙂

  2. Hadass Eviatar Says:

    Thanks! I’m not sure how far I want to go with this personification … but this is definitely food for thought.

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