Act 3, Lucky 13: Do I Want This?

Here's my idea:

I'm going to come over and record you, film you on my phone,

doing whatever the thing is that you do

that, when you really think about it,

you actually don't want to do.


I'll spend the evening with you, as you

polish off a bottle of wine or

eat 3 slices of cake or

vape yourself silly--

whatever it is that you do.


It doesn't have to be a compulsion, but it could be.


I'll record your face as the alcohol starts to create blotches and swelling and lines

and your posture

and just exactly what it looks like as you "lose"

(relinquish? give up?)

your inhibitions.


Or I'll record you eating your fourth apple fritter,

as your face crumbles because your belly burns.


WOW.


This is where my mind went this morning.

Where's the Grace in that?


On the one hand,

our brains are designed to make decisions

For Our Own Good.


When I was 17, on a Saturday morning, I yelled at my boss

because he didn't understand that I was hung over,

which was my very, very, very good reason for not working as hard as usual.

Fired.


There's a part of the brain - orbitofrontal cortex,

it's like the bottom lip of the front of the brain,

sitting right above the eye sockets,

that's in charge of decisions.


When I ask you a question, and you answer,

that's a decision.

When there's a change of plans and you go along with it,

that's a decision.

When someone asks you on a date,

or to marry them,

and you answer,

that's a decision.


Three years ago, I started making decisions

every morning

of what I was going to eat that day.

So simple.

Maybe it sounds tedious to you.

Writing with a pen, BLDS, every day...

It sounded simple to me. I trusted the process.


I made a decision about my food every day.


Over half of the days in the last 3 years

I did NOT follow my eating plan.


And the plan was NOT to eat boiled chicken and steamed broccoli at dinners,

or salads at every lunch.

I planned pints of non-dairy ice cream when I noticed

my body hates dairy.

I planned peanut M&Ms, until I decided I didn't like the explosive gas.


I didn't really understand it

but I was exercising my orbital cortex.

Like lifting teeny little weights.

Building the muscle of making decisions--

and half the time, following through with what I decided.


That's how you change behaviors.


If your goal is to declutter you closet, you could hire B Organized Today

to come and wipe it all out with you

in a few hours,

or you could spend a little time each day,

making a decision

and following through.


What's amazing in this process of deciding what you want,

is that it carries over into other areas of your life.

Because wherever you go,

you bring that bottom lip of the brain with you.


For over a thousand days,

over a thousand sheets of paper,

(you can use digital - I like pens)

I have genuinely changed my brain.


I have been making decisions, crazy-big ones,

and itty bitty ones,

all that time.


Have you experienced the "Morning After,"

where you did something the night before and

reeeeeaaally didn't want to,

like,

if you thought about it?


You didn't rob a bank.


But you kind of know what you want (ideally)

but you did the opposite?

Nobody got hurt, you weren't arrested (this time)

and, honestly, you did have a good time.


The Extra two slices of pie at Thanksgiving.

You planned one drink and had five.

You decided you didn't want to date anyone with ______,

but you went out with him anyway.


We ALL do this.

It is perfectly, biologically, systematically impossible to

be a perfectionist

at following your goals.


BUT


We can exercise our bottom lips

to be a little tougher, a little stronger.


This week, I was reminded of my whys for not having

dairy, sugar, gluten and alcohol.

(Is your limbic brain freaking out right now?)


It is quite a list.

If you think about it, none of these four ingredients

are in the foods we give a newborn.

As the baby grows, we give them quite a bit of gluten, a little sugar,

a lot of dairy.


In our modern food landscape

not having these four things might sound

ridiculous

not fun

boring

strict

the opposite of freedom

stressful.


Those are some interesting thoughts,

but are they true?

Is it actually ridiculous to not eat gluten?

Is it actually boring to eat low sugar?


There's a word: LOW.

(Or Lowe, if you're me.)


Because I have been a little compulsive about

being perfect,

the girl in the front row of class

raising her Hermione hand

and getting all A's (until she started drinking,)

LOW is the word.


I eat low gluten, low sugar, low meat and very low dairy.

LOW tempers the tension and pressure of being 100%.


Today's Deep Breath: a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.


In the 1,069 days since I started practicing making decisions,

I have decided to separate from my husband of 27 years,

get divorced with a mediator and without lawyers,

sell our family home,

change my name back to Lowe,

and decided it's okay to cry over

empty-nesting,

my dog's death,

child abuse and

to give myself loads of grace for all my imperfections.


Maybe it was more comfortable to say

I didn't want a divorce.

He decided first, right?

But I decided next.

I decided it was okay, and loving, for both of us to stop

and move forward separately.

I decided to get divorced.

I still want to qualify it with but, but, but.

I decided to get divorced. He certainly didn't force me.


I didn't decide to be abused as a child.

But I decide every day to do things that

heal, calm, and restore.


I don't need to do things that cause

pain, discomfort or illness, frankly.


What decisions did you make this week?


I'm doing a Year Review.

The first question is,

"What is the best decision I made in 2021?"


That's a little tough to nail down.


I decided the date and month to sell the house,

which turned out to be the absolute perfect time to sell

because it was a week before

other homes went up in my neighborhood.

The market was crazy.

My house sale set the tone -

and, you're welcome, raised the bar for other sellers.

And we made a ton of money.


I decided I wanted a divorce mediator,

to walk us through the process of

filling out the document draft

and making A LOT of decisions together.


I decided to start my own digital marketing business,

which led to working as an organizer,

which led to doing digital marketing for that business.


I decided to go to school to be a certified life coach.

Why?

To help myself and other women recover from trauma and enjoy life and love.


The entire rest of my life is on FIRE with making awesome decisions.

I feel it.

I have evidence of it.


If, half the time, I make a decision and

don't like the results,

then I just make another decision.


And to take you further down this rabbit hole:

What if there are no Right and Wrong decisions?


There are decisions and consequences.

As we keep making them, we decide further

and further

what we want and don't want

and we improve.


That's the 100% Blissed Out Joy.


Thank you, Corinne Crabtree for advertising

where I would see it.

Your program has changed my life.

Wait.

I changed my life.