Could It Be Me?

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My challenge this week is, be the person you want to be.

 Often times I lay in bed at night repeating some of the things I’ve done or said into the late hours of the night. They repeat over and over until I’ve beat myself up enough to finally fall asleep. I get stuck in these negative patterns that weave their way into who I am leaving me feeling discouraged and ashamed. I am not perfect. None of us are but the fact is, when you are doing something you know is wrong, you have to decide to make the change. Awareness is the red flashing light that screams “don’t allow yourself to go there again”. Habits are hard to break. They don’t happen over night and the more you fall victim to the act, the more it becomes embedded into who you are. That line between where the habit stops and where you begin blurs to the point you will never see again. So how do we stop doing something we are not proud of? How do we wake up and say, this is the day I take control over my life again? This is the day I be the person who will say, I got it right today and drift fast asleep when night quietly knocks on the door. The first time you do something you are not proud of is the day you should decide to never do it again. The more you repeat the behavior, the more you start to accept it. Expect more from yourself, never less. This is the day it stops, right here, right now. No more excuses. Be accountable for who you are and the effect you have on the people around you. Ask yourself, how do people to react to me? Is it them or could it really be me? It’s a tough question to ask but you cannot heal what you don’t acknowledge. It is time to heal. 

How Does Your Heart Feel?

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Today is a lazy, rainy day. I’m not sure what it is exactly but days like this allow me to feel very relaxed. I don’t have that gnawing pull that makes me believe I should be doing something, accomplishing something. Sometimes I can tackle more after a meditative day than I can during one where I remain regimented. I am choosing to relax and to read today and enjoying the freedom I feel to just be. My husband is traveling so I am taking on both our roles. With extra responsibility comes extra love and patience with myself. If I am not taking care of me, how in the world can I help anyone else? I can if I force myself to but my attitude won’t be one anyone around here enjoys, including myself.

Today, be kind to yourself. Forgive your imperfections and love yourself anyway. Do something that brings you to a place of peace and then you will be able to take others there to. Find something to smile about and reasons to love the ones around you even more. Focus on what makes your heart feel good and let go of all the rest.

You Write It Wednesday

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What is your most admirable quality?  

So many times we focus on what is wrong with us instead of what is right with us. Imagine if we could look into a magic mirror that only allowed us to see what is great in is. Does that mean we deny the fact that we are imperfect and full of flaws? Of course not, but it does help us change the way we perceive ourselves into something positive. Love who you are and take pride in your uniqueness. We are all different and we are all beautiful. 

 

Coming Clean About Compassion

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With all this talk and focus on compassion lately, I felt compelled to stand in front of the mirror and be honest with myself on whether or not it is common practice in my own life. I have a big heart but it is surrounded by an electric fence. It’s tough to get through it and the ones who try may feel a nasty sting a time or two. If I am truly candid, I must admit that it is hardest for me to personally practice the act of compassion around the people I am closest too. I am ashamed to admit that when people need my compassion the most, I am often very hard on them. I convince myself they’ve brought it on themselves with their words, actions and often times their own attitude. I asked myself a very hard question today. What gives me the right to decide if someone deserves my compassion? The hard fact is that everyone needs it and last time I checked, I was not given the title of judge and jury. I realize I have a lot of work to do with the people who NEED my love and compassion the most. They don’t need my tough love, my harsh words or my ‘told you so” advice. They need someone to look into their eyes and share their troubles, burdens and pain. My mother always told me to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. I twisted that advice along the way to mean treat someone as you would treat yourself. Sometimes self love and compassion for oneself is one of the hardest challenges we ever face. We figure if we can beat ourselves up then we can beat up everyone around us too. That never feels good though and leads to justification or plain guilt that spirals into feeling a deep sense of guilt and shame. That is when we step away from the mirror. We just stop looking because the reflection is not a person we want to see. I say, stand there even when it’s hardest to look. Super glue your feet and hold yourself accountable. Don’t beat yourself up. Practice self compassion right then and there and then watch how the person in the mirror grows. Watch the change and celebrate in the knowledge that you are trying your very best to make a change that will not only help you learn how to accept compassion. It will also help you hand it out more too.

Freedom From Opinions

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Every time I hear the song Follow Your Arrow I have to laugh. The words are a bit silly but the point is well made and an important one at that. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, I will post part of the lyrics.

If you save yourself for marriage
You’re a bore
If you don’t save yourself for marriage
You’re a horrible person
If you won’t have a drink
Then you’re a prude
But they’ll call you a drunk
As soon as you down the first one

If you can’t lose the weight
Then you’re just fat
But if you lose too much
Then you’re on crack
You’re damned if you do
And you’re damned if you don’t
So you might as well just do
Whatever you want

If you don’t go to church
You’ll go to hell
If you’re the first one
On the front row
You’re self-righteous
Son of a-
Can’t win for losing
You’ll just disappoint ’em
Just ’cause you can’t beat ’em
Don’t mean you should join ’em

Say what you think
Love who you love
‘Cause you just get
So many trips ’round the sun
Yeah, you only
Only live once

So, what do you think? Did you hear the message? Judges gonna judge, critics gonna critique. Why on Earth do we concern ourselves with the opinions of others? No matter who we are, someone’s NOT going to like us. No matter what we do, someone will think we didn’t do enough. No matter how many different ways we do the same thing, someone will say we didn’t do it right.

Why do we care so much anyway? Stop today and start to live your life the way that feels right for you. That is what is really important. No-one will ever know you as well as you know yourself. No -one will ever live your life, or face your challenges or ever live a single days inside your shoes. If your goal in life is to impress everyone you know or make everyone in your life happy, I am sorry to inform you that you are wasting your time. Live life for you and be proud of who you are. Don’t second guess your decisions and explain or apologize for the choices you’ve made. They are only yours to make and no explanation is ever necessary or required. Live proudly and live wisely. There is only person who has the right to an opinion about your life and that is you. Let the rest go and never let the opinions of others influence your opinion of yourself.

Thoughts On Disappointment

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We have become a population disappointed. We are disappointed in the movie we just went to see and we are disappointed in the meal we just paid to eat. We have become convinced if every second and every bite and every experience isn’t absolutely perfect all the time then it wasn’t worth our time. Imagine if we looked for the good moments instead of pointing out all the bad. Sure, maybe the food wasn’t so great but after all you didn’t have to prepare it or clean it up, so isn’t that worth smiling about?

I think our expectations have become too large and our appreciation of the small things has become too little. I see it when I am around different types of crowds. Some people are miserable. They think everything is awful and they complain about everything and everyone. Nothing seems to make them happy. Nothing seems to be good enough. Maybe what isn’t good enough is not everyone and everything that surrounds them but actually their own attitude itself. Then there are people that smile, find the good in everything and really enjoy themselves no matter who they are around or where they are. They laugh and conversation with them is easy and they are just pleasant to be around. It’s worth taking a look and asking yourself one very important question? If I wasn’t me, would I be a person I would want to hang out with? It’s a tough question but one that deserves an honest answer. Those are my thoughts on disappointment. I’d love to hear what you think.

Only One Word

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There was this thing floating around Facebook a while ago. Describe me in one word. I was really afraid to post it because I have nightmares about what I think people think about me. I have realized one very important thing. I judge and criticize myself more than anybody else. I magnify my flaws and my imperfections until they actually block my vision of all that is good. The truth is, I have some fantastic qualities but what we look for becomes the biggest thing we finally see.

Since that little experiment, I have learned to embrace every part of myself. I can’t examine each and every one of them because the meaning of the whole gets lost somewhere in the translation of one part. We have to step back from the mirror where you can’t see every freckle, pimple, skin discoloration. We have to stand close enough that we see the whole picture but not too close that we become focused on our worst part. So, for all you commenters, describe me in one word. I am looking forward to seeing myself through your eyes.

I Am A Superhero. Well Kind Of

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Recently I requested a very talented friend of mine turn me into a superhero. I got a great chuckle out of it but the more I seriously thought about it, I don’t need to be a superhero at all. In fact, I believe we are all built to be superheroes in our own unique way. Everything I need to help me navigate through this world is built inside of me. I was created in such a way that I could move mountains if I figured out how to tap into my talents. I have many powerful qualities that we could call superpowers. I’ve come to realize that I can fly above each and very trial and tribulation that shows itself in my path. I can rise above or fly above hatred, regret, wrong doing, mistreatment. You name it, when I have to, I will fly. So the point here is we have to use what we have to turn ourselves into the superhero we were meant to be. No one can sketch our character or write our story. That responsibility falls with each and every one of us.

Sometimes when you are critical of yourself it becomes easy to get caught up in the things you feel may need to be fixed. It’s really, really important though that you don’t lose sight of the good, of the very things that make you stand out. I believe, at least for me that my strength, determination, perseverance and ability to reason can be threatening if you are on the receiving end of it. However, if I fall victim to the people that try and turn that quality into a negative to benefit themselves, then my strength actually becomes debilitating. At least, in my mind I have come to believe it does. The lesson here. Never let anyone make you believe your strengths are actually weaknesses. Be proud of your strengths and don’t be afraid to use them, especially if you are standing tall for something you believe to be important. Stop apologizing for who you are and how you are and stand quietly and confidently tall. Once you start to explain, the game is over. Walk in with a sign that reads I Rock, period! No explanation needed and see how the situation unfolds a bit differently. I tried that approach today. I stood tall, I called on all my strengths to respond to whatever was thrown at me, I didn’t apologize for what I was doing or for who I was, I said no, I clearly defined what I would not accept and I stuck to my guns. And when I walked outside, I got my cape stuck in the door. Silly me.

What Will You Recycle?

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I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to lead a happy life without making necessary decisions. Every day we are faced with many choices and I believe it is our response to those choices that determines if we are happy and balanced or pessimistic and miserable. I am not talking about choices such as future spouse, or career , I am talking about the daily choices that determine how each and every day is played out.

I like to please. It is in my nature to make sure everyone around me is happy and their day goes as smoothly as possible. I’ll even go as far to admit that I make choices today that will make their lives better and easier a week from now or a year from now. It sounds noble when my ego examines the situation and makes me out to be some sort of super hero. The truth though, is every time I say yes to someone else, I say no to myself. Before I know it, I’ve become angry, bitter, fat, lazy and worst of all, resentful.The ego tells me to blame everyone around me for being so selfish and not appreciating the self sacrificing effort I make day in and day out for the people around me that supposedly love me. Then, my ego has me right where he wants me. I become the victim and a pathetic prisoner of the the demeaning voice in my head that tries to beat me down.

Today, I have realized that I have to choose to break the pattern. I have to say no to everyone around me, especially my ego that doesn’t have my best interest in mind at all. I have to say no to driving people around and cleaning and dropping everything to look something up for someone or help them study for a test they didn’t prepare for at all by themselves. I have to start saying yes to myself. I get on the right track, really I do. And then, when I start to feel really good about myself, the ego attacks. What’s worse, is I fall for the ploy every time. You selfish, self- satisfying, spoiled girl…have you forgotten about the family you are responsible for and supposed to take care of? How dare you go to yoga and sit for hours in Starbucks to drink coffee and blog, isn’t there a house you should be cleaning or a meal you should be making?

The self sabotage is what frustrates me the most. It’s a push and pull tug of war that handcuffs me to my fate of repeating the same patterns over and over so I never get a chance to get further ahead. It’s progress, self- sabotage, backwards slide, defeat, depression, guilt, then resentment that keeps me spiraling in the wrong direction. I even believe I see it happening and I go about it like I have no control. I know the order and I know the pattern and today I am making better choices. I am leaving this filthy house behind me and going back to my favorite little yoga place that offers me peace and quiet and a place to dispose of all the junk I have accumulated in my mind. Then, I am going to sit out by the pool and feel the warmth of the sun as I read a few chapters in the book I’ve been neglecting. Then, somewhere and someway I will miraculously find the time to do everything I left behind and do it all quicker and more efficiently than if I would have planned my entire day around my senseless and never ending to do list.

Let me be a lesson to all who read this today. Saying yes to yourself is nothing to be ashamed of. You, and you alone are responsible for your own happiness and the energy you carry around with you infects everyone you come in contact with and affects every environment you encounter. Use that energy responsibly. Make sure it’s good and positive and find somewhere safe to leave the negative garbage you need to dispose of. Don’t recycle the bad, just recycle the good.