United Front: Developing Better Spoons Course
By January 1, 2021. All attendees for the coaching pilot group are screened by application and interview. Please answer the following questions and follow the instructions in this module. The application assignment includes scheduling an interview appointment with the Crisses.
Understanding Panic Cycles
January 5th, 2021 group coaching session prep. What are panic cycles, how to recognize them, when we need them, and what they're doing to our body & mind.
- Introduction: What is Panic Mode?
- Panic Reactions: the F-Words
- Chemistry Lessons
- Optional: Caffeine Culture & Anxiety
- Benefits of Panic Mode
- How Being in Panic Mode Hurts
- When Panic is Warranted
- Assignment: Noticing Game
- Extra: Spirituality & Panic Mode (optional)
- Extra: Questioning Corollaries (optional)
Presence & How to Achieve it
Live on January 12, 2021 group coaching session prep. Putting an end to panic cycles gracefully when they are unwarranted; presence techniques, alternatives to grounding, peace mode, the Here & Now.
Assembling Better Spoons
January 19, 2021 group coaching session prep. How to leave peace/presence mode by way of passion/heart rather than returning to panic mode when you want to get things done again.
- Introduction: Moving from Presence to Safety Mode
- Passion: Finding Your Why
- Adventure & Reframing
- SMART vs SACRED: Loving What Y’all Do
- Maslow’s Heirarchy, Seven L’s and Quality of Life
- Your Sacred Cause – Exercise Preview
- Assignment: Brainstorming Your Adventure Toolbox
- Pilot Live Session Follow-Up
Panic Happens: Handling Mode Switching
January 26, 2021 group coaching session prep. Life is full of panic-worthy situations. Learn to recognize when you're back in panic mode again and get back to better spoons.
Spoonies, Internalized Ableism, Work Ethics
A quick August 2022 note.
First off, “Work” here includes all occupations such as standard employment, student, homemaker, caretaker, child raiser, sex worker, running your own business, etc. It applies a bit more to situations where there’s pressures to perform to a certain level or you may lose the occupation.
Another issue may be that those of us interested in working “can’t” work because we think an unreasonable or unattainable level of effort has to go into working, and we don’t have it in us or know we need our self-care to be functional at all.
So it’s important to note that able, neurotypical folk don’t give 100% of their spoons at work. They mess around, chat at the cooler, take breaks, get up, walk around, doze off, etc. and get away with it. Then have enough spoons to go home, make dinner, deal with herding kids into homework or whatever before zombie in front of TV and going to sleep.
But spoonies feel “less than” so we have a problem where we sometimes push ourselves as much as twice as hard at work, afraid of being called out about being lazy or slacking or not doing enough.
A rule of thumb to consider is to allocate 1/3-1/2 your daily spoons to work. This includes if/when you use the stuff you learn about bringing Better Spoons to your work through this course. Apply what you learn in this course to your self care tasks as well as to your occupation. In other words, as work generally occupies say 8 hours a day or so, you may want to aim to still have the energy to get ready for work, travel if needed, decompress from work, and perform self-care tasks including meal preparation, exercise, relaxation, housekeeping, and some zombie tasks (mindless things that don’t require thinking) to allow mode changing and prepare for restful sleep.
None of us will prove anything by throwing everything we have into work until we have nothing left for anyone or anything else including ourselves. Workplaces (including schools & colleges) are in the business of squeezing productivity out of people, and when someone doesn’t meet their bar of productivity they may hire (or promote, or give a scholarship to…) someone else. And if you burn out and leave a workplace, you may be even more sick and disabled when you leave.
If this describes you, please check out our Let’s Talk About Shame presentation from the 2022 Plural Positivity World Conference (optional, 44:51 mins). We mention procrastination & perfectionism, shame around making mistakes, and fears of being rejected from the groups we belong to. Burnout is addressed head-on in this course, but we wanted to also make sure to mention and help folk circumvent this shame/internalized ableism component that many of us experience.
There’s so so many caveats to add to this in terms of disabilities and chronic illness. Such as getting time off for doctor visits. Having to spend our vacation time for surgeries. All the “disability tax” items like mobility aids, van conversions, medications or treatments that may not be covered by our health plans. The additional stressors with the pandemic, and folk being forced back into offices even when being in an office is unnecessary for the job to be done well. There’s many many caveats, and we can’t cover all of them.
Y’all are still valuable employees regardless and you don’t need to “make up for” being disabled by being extra anything for the job’s sake. You’re valuable, enough, worthy of having a job, and you deserve all the accommodations you’re entitled to, and you should not be expected to do inhuman amounts of work and sacrifice your health out of guilt for working.