The Real Deal
Also, I want to apologize to our dairy-free friends. I know we use a lot of cheese at the Monday Lunch table but I promise you will get more out of this cheesy blog than a tofu tower at a vegan convention!
The thing is, there really isn’t a way to replicate a French tartiflette. There is something very different about the cheese in Europe. It’s just so…REAL. Like, gooey and creamy.
I did some quick research and it appears the French age their cheese for half as long as we do here in the US; something about high bacteria content and the desire to keep us alive. I like that theory, but there is no question that the aging process has a huge impact on taste and texture. The less it ages, the creamier and richer the outcome.
You might be asking yourself, what is the difference between a social and an essential self?!
Our social self is the processed self (nice “cultural” reference, right?) influenced heavily by outside stimuli and operating in a way we BELIEVE others want us to operate, even if it doesn’t quite feel right or make us genuinely happy.
For example, I once let a good friend talk me into teaching religious education each Wednesday evening at our church one year. I didn’t have children at the time, but I did teach all day and I was pretty clear during our initial conversation that I was NOT interested in adding this activity to my schedule. Her pleading and relentless encouragement wore down my defenses and I eventually agreed.
We were given a class of seventh graders (almost all boys).
In the end, I dreaded each Wednesday night, cursed my friend silently because she missed almost every class, and I was surprisingly tapped out of ‘God is like football/basketball/baseball’ metaphors after just a few short weeks.
Have you ever done something you knew you didn’t want to do? How did that work for you?
Enter our essential selves, the part of us that is peaceful, real, and true. It is the part that easily knows what feels delicious to us. There is something very rewarding about being authentic and our goal, ultimately, is to live authentically at all times.
But perpetual authenticity can be tough!
It can especially be a challenge for moms as we start a new school year. How many sign-up sheets do we encounter as we get our kiddos squared away in their new classroom? How many times do we sign our names without conscious thought only to wish we hadn’t? How many times do we forget even signing up in the first place?
Maybe that's just me.
There is definitely something that happens to me when I walk into an Open House at school. Sign-up sheets are everywhere and I am drunk with delight that my child is returning to school. In my delirium, I ignore my essential self. Any task the teacher asks me to consider is a breeze compared to the endless summer hours I have knocked myself out entertaining a twelve year old boy in all of his energetic splendor (paintball anyone?!).
I copy the other mothers as they gingerly move from one sheet to another.
This is easy!
I feel like the most generous woman on earth!
Mom cape - activate!
I have news.
You don’t HAVE to sign up for anything, let alone everything.
Take a minute now to write down or mentally review your personal goals and values. Does reading to kindergarteners every Tuesday afternoon or coaching your child’s soccer team support what you value? Remember that saying ‘no’ to one thing means saying ‘yes’ to something else. Maybe that 'no' frees you up for something more in line with your life's values. Your essential self will let you know when you hit on the right ideas.
So, the next time someone asks you to head up a committee, check in with your body before you state intent out of giddiness that school is starting or out of fear that others are judging you and keeping track of your contributions.
If your essential self does not leap with joy at the thought of what you intend to do, then you might consider this:
No one is counting the number of times you help out or sign up.
No number is the measure of your worth; including the amount of times you help out in a classroom, a charity, or a committee.
Volunteering is not a race, you cannot win.
Someone else CAN and WILL do it. (Even if they don’t, it is none of your business).
Do what you CHOOSE.
It’s what makes life WAY more delicious…and far more REAL.
The Busy Buddha
Video: Martha Beck explains the social and essential self http://marthabeck.com/2010/05/essential-selfsocial-self/
Brene Brown talks about setting boundaries in O Magazine:
Talk Back to the Trio
When you finally released your story about SHOULD or HAVING TO do something how did it feel?