Practising What I Preach
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!