Crash Course in Badassery: Lesson II

The Book: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. Jen Sincero. Running Press, 2013.

These last couple days — well this afternoon in the bathtub — I read through the third part of You are a Badass, which Jen calls “How to Tap into the Motherlode.” The Motherlode is the Universe’s store of great things for me (and you, and you, and you over there!), and naturally I want to tap into some of that!  Or, if I’m honest, all of that.

There are more how-tos and advice for long-term practices in this section than exercises, per se, so I’ll just go through each chapter and give a short(ish) commentary:

  • “Meditation 101” : Meditation and why you HAVE to do it.

I already do this…or at least I try.  Most mornings, I get up, make my coffee, sit on the sofa, and set the timer for 20 minutes.  The image of a green, lush valley projects itself on my eyelids. There’s a snow-capped mountain in the distance.  I observe my thoughts wander by from north to south.  They take the shape of…buffalo? I just run with it.  And then I get distracted.  And then I come back.  Distracted, come back.  Distracted. COME BACK.  I’m now up to a total of approximately 4 minutes of actual mindfulness in my 20 minute block, up from 17 seconds when I started.  They don’t call it a practice for nothin’.

  • “Your Brain is Your Bitch” : Master your thoughts to master your world

This chapter has a cool, actionable exercise that I really, really want to do: make a VISION BOARD!!!  I even have a big pad of drawing paper that would be perfect to glue things to! What I don’t have are magazines to cut pictures out of.  I thought about doing a special Pinterest board — and still might — but a physical vision board might be a more powerful tool.  So, I gotta get me some magazines and glue! I’ll share that one later, with pictures!

  • “Lead with Your Crotch” : No, no, no!  This title isn’t meant to be interpreted literally…I think; instead, it’s about letting go of your set ways and embracing doing new things with youthful exuberance and with a beginners mindset.

OOF.  I’m gonna need more time with this one.  As one of those people who was probably born old, I don’t recall doing very much with youthful exuberance, and I hate being a beginner.  But damnit, I’m gonna try!

  • “Give and Let Give” : Or, how to embrace the power of giving AND remaining open to receive.

I like to think I’m good at giving of what I have to give, but maybe it’s time to seek more opportunities for giving.  Working on receiving with more grace and less uncomfortable awkwardness definitely needs to go on my list.

  • “Gratitude: The Gateway Drug to Awesomeness” : Be grateful for the Universe’s gifts and lessons; no one likes an ingrate!

Practicing gratitude is one of my New Year’s Resolutions.  Not just saying, “thank you,” but actively looking for and recognizing things for which I’m grateful.  To that end, I’m now one of those people who keeps a gratitude journal.

  • “Forgive or Fester” : Holding a grudge is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

HA HA HA! *nervous shuffling* HA HA HA! This will be hard.  I hold my grudges with an iron grip.  I know it’s good for me, but man, a grudge is hard to drop.

  • “Loosen Your Bone, Wilma” : Allow yourself to participate in the awesome strange-ass things the world throws at you…who knows what you might learn.

Like Wilma’s, my hair bone is way too tight. I gotta let my hair down.  Or I will once it grows back from that terrible haircut in October that still pisses me off every time I think about it which is like 10 times a day since that’s about how often I look in the mirror (see…there’s the grudge-holding.  I’m not quite ready to let that one go yet).

This is all really good stuff, huh?  It’ll take some time and extra practice to integrate it all, but while I work on doing that…

Next Up: Even More Badassery!

Eek!  I read ahead a little, and I think we’re getting into the scary dig-deep-into-your-soul chapters…



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