The Wheel of Obsession

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I am obsessive. It’s both a very good and a very bad thing. My obsessive nature rotates within me like a water wheel, part of the time submerging my strength and exposing my attachment to nonessential details, and part of the time holding my capacity for productive learning up to the light. I know I am not alone. Strength is weakness and weakness is strength depending on context and even intention.

I recently gave my business card to someone with whom I’d been discussing my desire to work on more co-authorship projects. He glanced at my card and asked me why it didn’t express that intention more directly. Instantly, I thought about how the messaging on my card connected with my website and I felt a sharp tug of resistance.

You see, lately I’ve been spending a lot of time working on salvocommunications.com. I comb through the copy, add and subtract links, integrate content, research best practices, and monitor everything on my Google analytics account with ever increasing frequency. I’m thrilled when the bounce rate drops, deflated if it nudges upward by even a fraction of a percent. I saw the words on my business card as a strong thread attaching to an intricate network of closely examined and laboured-over connections, and the idea of pulling that strand loose felt deeply threatening and potentially destabilizing.

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January 9, 2015

‘Be The Change Room’: 3 Novel Ideas For Beating Presentation Anxiety

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As a truly spazzy stage fright sufferer, I deeply emphasize with nervous clients who are about to make presentations or go on-camera. In the tenth grade, all music and drama students at my school were forced to try out for a production of Annie by singing ‘Tomorrow’ in front of the teacher and a few student adjudicators. My audition ended in wracking on-stage sobs after a mere one or two shaky bars. I was crying so hard that my sniffles and choke-sounds were reverberating in the Suddenly Most Uncomfortable Auditorium In The World. That’s me.

I can travel from 0 to 100 on the anxiety-meter in less than 10 seconds.

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November 28, 2014

Power Pose

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I had my picture taken at the end of July. My photographer, Kim Mallory, is a sensitive woman, so she quickly registered my anxiety, a surging awkwardness that made me feel subtly out of control of my own body’s movements. Kim is good at what she does, so she could deal. By the end of the session, her guidance had me smiling without so much tension that my teeth threatened to rocket out of my face. The portrait above was one of her later shots, taken after I became more relaxed and conversational.

I’ve been mildly dysmorphic since I was little. I’ve acquired the complement of attitudes and habits that mark the lives of mildly dysmorphic people. Fortunately, a combination of mindfulness training and lifestyle habits that reinforce healthy psychology has helped me to manage my tendency towards morbid perfectionism. But on occasion I do feel a twinge of it. Sitting for a professional photograph is one such occasion, I guess.

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August 21, 2014