30 days of growth mindset: day 10

Alright, after a thousand posts on the theory of growth mindset, it’s time to share some of my daily learnings since I started this 30-day challenge.

One of the things I’ve been doing since about December last year has been to write in my journal at least one thing I learned that day. It might be a fact, a hint or tip, or lesson I’ve learned from something I did that day. I have a lot of hints and tips gathered in this way, but haven’t done a lot with them! How unlike me. (*Collects more underpants* )

Here’s a few examples of things I’ve collected since the challenge started.

Day 1: Gretchen Rubin wrote “the opposite of a profound truth is also true”. She writes:

As I’ve worked on my happiness project, I’ve been struck by the contradictions I kept confronting. The opposite of a profound truth is also true, and I often find myself trying to embrace both sides of an idea.

One of the examples she gives is  to “accept myself, and expect more of myself”, which I have already written about. A couple of other ones I like are:

  • Use my time efficiently, yet make time to play, to wander, to read at whim, to fail.
  • Take myself less seriously—and take myself more seriously.

Day 3: From the Dan Harris 10% Happier podcast with RuPaul on meditation: “The real you is not your thoughts. It is the awareness of your thoughts.” RuPaul suggests the real you can be seen as sitting on a riverbank watching your thoughts drift by.

It’s a bit like leaves on a stream exercise that various counsellors have suggested I try when I can’t get rid of troubling thoughts. I am a giant failure at this exercise. I can’t see the stream, I can’t see the leaves (I cannot form a mental picture of anything, no matter how hard I try) and the thoughts won’t get out of my head. Even so, I’m continuing to practise through daily meditation. I know this is something that isn’t going to happen overnight and the more I persist, the easier it will get, but it will take a long time. I’m not giving up.

One of my readers recently suggested trying slightly longer meditation sessions might help, and I’ve noticed that sometimes my thoughts seem to start calming at about the 10 minute mark – when it’s time to stop. So I’m going to try that and see how it goes.

Day 5: Roasted Brasil nuts and raw carrots are a very tasty combination. I learned this by accident. You have to try this!

Day 6: Keep spare gloves, beanie and scarf in my bag. It’s winter. Read the weather forecast. Enough said.

Day 8: In Sanskrit, swastika means “crossed legs”. Swastikasana is one of the basic poses of yoga. It’s essential asana while practising  breathing techniques (Pranayama). I knew the word swastika had come from Sanskrit. I didn’t know it was the name of this yoga pose.

Day 8: A tip from the Power of Moms podcast that I mentioned in my post yesterday: Develop “modes” for your time at home, and stick to doing what you have to do when you’re in each mode.

For example, when you’re home, you might have: Mum mode, me mode, work mode, and whatever other modes you need to have. Explain these modes to the kids so they know when it’s their time with you, and make sure they have things to do when you aren’t in Mum mode so they can entertain themselves (obviously this works better with kids that are old enough to be capable of entertaining themselves for the relevant time).

Stay fully engaged in whatever mode you’re in. Don’t check your phone when you’re engaging with your kids, don’t try and do work around the kids’ activities, don’t entertain the kids when you’re working. When it’s Mum time, be with them 100 per cent.

The importance of this became apparent on Wednesday when we got home from work. I’d spent an hour with Kramstable after school, and I had about 45 minutes between when we got home and when I had to go to my yoga class. I needed to do some admin stuff and finish Wednesday’s blog post. Kramstable wanted me to watch 15 minutes of his new favourite movie (which I can’t stand, but we won’t go there) and I was frantically trying to finish the post, while watching this movie I had zero interest in because it was important to him. I couldn’t help but feel like I’d disappointed him and felt very guilty for not focusing on what he was trying to share with me.

Explaining that I wasn’t in Mum mode at the time but I would be after I’d finished the post might have worked out well in this situation, because I could have concentrated on the post and got it done quickly, rather than flipping between writing and watching the movie and taking longer to get the post done, and running out of time to watch the movie. End result: I was flustered, he was disappointed and both of us were unhappy.

(I’m going to write a bit more about how I handle time with Kramstable doing things that make me want to poke my eyeballs out with burnt sticks – like watching this particular movie – in a post about one of the books I’ve read recently.)

So there you have it: some actual stuff I’ve learned. Great hey!

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