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June Converse

Thriving After Trauma - Author and Writing Coach

The Big Why: The True Point of Streaking

“Most of my life has been a quest to improve and equally believing I cannot.” ~ Your Body is Your Superpower by Joy Janet Farnsworth, MSW (available for free at janetfarnsworth.com)

The past two blogs have been about Streaking – a method to establish simple tasks to reach exciting goals. This week, I’m supposed to consider who I want to be and rather than just start new streaks, I’m to choose specific streaks to work towards those goals. As I’ve mentioned before, I have two somewhat troublesome habits:

  1. I go “all in” without enough thought & soul assessment. Inevitably, I burn out.
  2. I can never seem to settle on what I want – should – be doing. I’m constantly second-guessing myself, pulling back, jumping in, wondering what’s right, asking others to decide for me.

I’m never content. Never have been. Not even sure what it means. I always need to be doing, changing, striving. I never rest.

Who I Want To Be (I AM)

This time, because Streaking was working for me and I am still excited about my consistency with my simple activities, I took this task very seriously. I made a commitment to myself to develop I AM statements that were true to MY AUTHENTIC SELF. I considered areas that were going well and examined if I wanted them to go better or if I was satisfied as they are. I considered areas that I view as truly broken and examined if I wanted to fix them. I considered all new ideas and took a lot of time to ask if those ideas were truly something I wanted or if they were more about striving for striving’s sake.

I have spent weeks working on this. My journal (which is one of the Streaks I’ve maintained 😊) is full of possible I AM statements.

“’A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.’” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, as quoted in Streaking.

I resolved NOT to be a hobgoblin of little minds.

“Masters are consistent because at some point in their lives, be it early or late, they desire and decide to become something. The choice is at the heart of any master is their chosen personal or professional life.” ~ Streaking

I resolved to be a MASTER by CHOICE.

I AM What?

I’ve landed on a few (and am stilling letting others percolate before I commit – I will NOT commit until I’m sure the desire is authentic). I authentically desire the following:

  1. I am a teacher at heart.
  2. I am a lifelong learner.
  3. I am the master of my body and honor her with healthy food and appropriate exercise and by accepting rather than hiding from my emotions.
  4. I am a lover of my own body as she is at any given moment.
  5. I am a parent/grandparent who is active in their lives in an intentional and meaningful way.
  6. I am a spouse who is intentional in showing gratitude and support and love.
  7. I am a hiker.

As I finished typing these, I let the anxiety sit in my gut. What I almost did was ask you, “What do you think? Are those good ones? Can I do those?” But, as much as I’m thrilled to have you in my life even if it’s only through this blog, your opinion can’t matter right now. My authentic self-starts with the pronoun MY – not we or ours. My husband will read this blog (he’s my editor and I am so grateful) but even his opinion can’t matter this time (as long as my I Am statements do not hurt him in anyway).

So, why the anxiety? I know these are statements I genuinely desire. But …

“Most of my life has been a quest to improve and equally believing I cannot.”

I am listening to the “you cannot do this” voice. She’s loud right now. She’s shaking her cage and I can feel her in my ribs. I’m not sure which statement has her most freaked – probably the two about my body. But she is unhappy AND she is looking forward to my failing so she can tell me “I told you so”. I’m going to give this mean side of myself a few minutes to rail and whine and kick and fight. She’ll tire herself out like all toddlers do.

I have spent weeks thinking over these I Am statements. They are mine and my toddler-self will have to get in line – even if she’s kicking and screaming.

I Am But I Am Not

Those I Am statements are my true desires. But I AM NOT those yet. I’ve got great habits/streaks in place for several, but the others are standing behind the start line, waiting on me to develop streaks. I need to be careful not to add too many streaks, overwhelm myself and set myself up to fail. Streaks are simple (almost silly) tasks but too many would be a motivator killer (for me). The Downs recommend having success in one or two streaks before adding more.

My first three streaks – write one sentence in my journal, read one nonfiction paragraph, write 50 words of original content – are going well and my enthusiasm is continuing to grow. I feel confident I can add another one or two streaks. Like I was careful to choose the right I AM statements, I want to be equally careful to choose the right streaks to incorporate – and to incorporate them at the right time.

The Downs also suggest that you write your I AM statements daily. This is a streak I can add (I’ve already been doing it for my first goals). In my journal, every day, 7 days a week, I will write:

  1. I am a teacher at heart.
  2. I am a lifelong learner.
  3. I am the master of my body and honor her with healthy food and appropriate exercise and by accepting rather than hiding from my emotions.
  4. I am a lover of my own body as she is at any given moment.
  5. I am a parent/grandparent who is active in their lives in an intentional and meaningful way.
  6. I am a spouse who is intentional in showing gratitude and support and love.
  7. I am a hiker.

What’s Missing?

Did anyone notice “I am an author” is no longer on the list? It was my first I AM statement when all of this started and yet it didn’t make it to this list. Why? What changed? Why did my number one goal disappear?

Bipolar In Action

When I first started this blog over six years ago (six years!!!???) my goal was to show the reader what living with bipolar looks like. Everyone who struggles with bipolar struggles in a unique way. When I think of “I am an author” my bipolar self is causing me serious struggles.

I want to share that with you next week because I want you to see what it’s like. The “I am a writer” has been a true bipolar rollercoaster with all the of manic and depression elements. All the fears and self-recriminations. All the excitement and pride. “I am an author” might yet make the list but until the bipolar aspects level-out, I won’t be able to make a “right” decision.

Yay Me! In the past, I would have not recognized that my bipolar was active and causing me problems. I’d make a decision in the manic or a decision in the depressive and neither would work. This time, I listened to my body, felt the rollercoaster in my heart and gut. I’m slowing down and waiting on calm to be restored. That is a HUGE SUCCESS for me. 

This was going to be my last blog on Streaking: The Simple Act of Conscious, Consistent Actions That Create Life-Changing Results but I want to share the “I am an author” rollercoaster and the streaks I decide to implement for some of the I AM goals above. Stay tuned.

Journal Time

Did you start some streaks? Willing to share? If you did, are you feeling excitement every time you check off “done”?

Did you take the time to choose some I AM statements? Are these statements authentic to you? If you haven’t, would you? Which of these statements is causing you anxiety? Can you identify the reason?

Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from Streaking: The Simple Act of Conscious, Consistent Actions That Create Life-Changing Results.

Please buy the book. It’s worth it.

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June Converse with purple hair
Choosing to rebuild a life after a breakdown has been a challenge. I became an author and a blogger who openly shares...
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