Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Watch Out Fake Brain

As part of my doula work, I am passionate about advocacy. I encourage parents-to-be to advocate for themselves and their babies...to ask for informed decision process and to stand up for their rights.

Well, I should know by now that life has a way of slapping you in the face with the truth.

The truth is that in my real life, I am "too nice". I have a hard time saying no, to ask for what I want, and, if I don't get what I want, to stand up for myself and say so.

For example, if I get a haircut and it is not what I wanted, I may or may not say something. If I do say something it's usually only part of the whole truth and in the end I still don't get what I wanted.

Another example, a few months ago I hired a woman to help me clean the house. We agreed on pay for 4 hours of work. She finished the work an hour earlier, and instead of asking what else she could do, she left and still charged me the amount as if for 4 hours. Not such a big deal I told myself, but she did it again the next time she came. Then she burned my hardwood floor with the steam mop. Repairing that is going to cost us quite a bit. So I didn't ask her to come back. But still, I didn't tell her the real reason why, I didn't stand up for myself the first time she took advantage.

The past week and a half, I've been noticing this trend in myself and being really observant and mindful about it. No judgement, just observing it. Accepting it.

But now I have gone past the observation phase and I am in the action phase.

Don't get me wrong though, it's not like I am a complete pushover, it's just that I am sometimes hesitant of standing up for myself, when I should be. I rationalize it and think, oh it's no big deal. But then those moments add up and I look and have a whole string of moments that left me without my voice, my power. It's not that I am wanting to turn myself into a bitch, I just want to remember and know I have a voice. And that there is a way to make my voice heard without being rude or hurtful.

With the most recent action taken being that my nanny tried to change her schedule without much notice. I kindly told her, "Sorry, but no. Come when we agreed you would come, I've already made plans."

And guess what, no one exploded or cried, she didn't quit or yell at me.

She said, "OK, no problem." And we had a great day.

Not only do I need to stand up for myself with others, but with ME too.

Side-but-related story: Mermaid Girl came up with the idea of a "fake brain" a couple of years ago when I tried to explain to her what I did as a Life Coach, helping people overcome their own internal self-saboteur. She looked at me and said quite matter-of-fact-ly, "Oh, it's their fake brain." Wise words kiddo.

So I am also standing up to my fake brain. I have been going to yoga classes regularly because I love it. I feel great during and after. It makes me a better person to take care of myself.

Watch out Fake Brain, here comes authentic, vibrant and strong Kat!

Me and Bebecita
Look how big she's getting!

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