LOVE BRAVELY

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I was invited to a Bridal Shower. I had the gifts and the card, all I needed was something other than last years Christmas wrapping aka a gift bag.

Have I ever told you how I hate to spend too much on things that might get thrown away? Like 7.99 on a birthday card…I don’t think so, I’d rather throw in another mini Lego set, thank you very much. Well the same goes for gift bags–I mean, I re-purpose and reuse, but what if you don’t?

So, I’m in Target looking for a gift bag that’s just right and won’t cost an arm or a leg…nothin’.

But then I saw this one bag with perfect colors and the size was right…okay, also, it was on sale.

“Live Bravely”

Yes! Live Bravely is a good command, or, you know, suggestion, maybe not the best slogan for a bridal shower–and suddenly, I knew what I would do (you probably do to if you looked at the photo :))

I would change “live” to “love” because, let’s face it, you have to be pretty fricken brave to love someone, especially with the “till death do you part” business thrown in. Yet, if you go into it knowing you should LOVE bravely, well, that puts a whole new spin on relationships, yes?

Loving bravely is all about truth

And vulnerability (yes, it is)

And accepting your significant other’s truth and vulnerabilty

Showing ourselves can be scary, and accepting someone else’s truth and vulnerability is not exactly for the faint of heart. No, it is for the brave of heart. ❤ ❤ ❤

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What’s a Fox to God?

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I was taking a walk and thinking about all the things I was doing and wondering if I was on the right path, and as I walked I said, “Okay God, show me a sign that I’m on the right path…show me a fox on my walk.”

And then I immediately said to myself, you can’t ask for that! Simultaneously thinking: if you ask for that kind of sign you won’t get it, because it’s too much, ask for a smaller sign. Who do you think you are asking for a sign?

And then I literally stopped in my walking tracks.

Because, what’s a fox to God? And I didn’t mean a fox means nothing to God, I meant if God wanted a fox to appear–a fox would appear.

With renewed confidence–in any outcome, ’cause if God didn’t want a fox to appear then no fox was showing its cute pointy face–I continued my walk.

I always walk to Haeg Park, it has a circle of wizened Oak trees at the top of a hill–like a flippin’ circle of wisdom. I love to go up to the trees and place my palm on them, giving and receiving energy. Anywho…I get to the park, climb to the top of the hill, and look down to the lake and there’s a fox. A fox, fast trotting at the bottom of the hill.

And once again, I stop. And the fox stops too–looks at me and then continues on its fox way.

Well. There it was. A veritable sign. Aaaand now I had to live up to it.

If you are going to ask for something, you have to be all in, it can’t be a half-assed ask, it needs to be a full-assed ask. And then once you ask, you have to accept the answer–especially if its in your favor. I asked for a sign to tell me if I was on the right path–I got the sign and now it was up to commit to it.

A fox to God is nothing and everything.

You have to first believe in the possibility of the sign to see the sign, or as Wayne Dyer so eloquently said it: You have to believe it to see it.

 

The Funny Thing About Problems…and what to do about them

I accidentally drove past my childhood home this past weekend and it was tiiiiiiiny! I mean it was a normal sized house, just not the size I remember. And the vast side yard? A quarter of the size I remember. There were still pine trees in the front yard but the lower branches had been cut and you could see the house–the small house–from the street.

What was this?

The busy wide street that went around the lake at the end of our street wasn’t busy or wide–no wonder my mom and dad let me cross it and ride my bike on it!

All this got my thinking about problems (hang in there with me) and how we carry them around with us. And with all their aspects and complexities they can seem daunting and gnarly and BIG.

But, what if they are all just childhood homes and if you could get a “grown-up” perspective you’d see they are not insurmountable. To be clear, I am not talking about health (disease, addictions, or the loss of a loved one). I’m talking about work or coworker problems, stuck in traffic, I hate change problems. Those day to day (and some not so day to day) problems that we build into oversize childhood houses (childmansions). I bet even if you grew up in a mansion and then moved away (as a child) it’s not as big as you remember. I feel like the only time this wouldn’t work is if you continue living in your childhood home–it and you continually right-size each other.

So. How to get that “grown-up” perspective:

First: Recognize that your problem may not be as big (or as bad) as you first thought. A great way to do this is to ask yourself a question: Is this as big as I think it is? Just asking the question gets you out of stuck mode and readies your brain for something different.

Second: Take your problem out for a viewing, this will give you a different perspective–you can’t just continue to hold it and turn it over and over, it wasn’t until I drove past the house and saw it that I realized its actual size.

  • So, get it down on paper–yup, work–writing something down helps. Words on the page can create new pathways in your brain. Maybe you’ll see something you hadn’t before.
  • Talk to someone, not someone who’s heard you complain about it, or worse yet shares in your complaint, you’ll only end up in a bitch session with no forward motion! Lay it out with: I’m wondering if I can talk to you about something I’m trying to get a new perspective on?

Third: List one or two small things you could do immediately to feel better. Maybe its redirecting, so, if you’re always triggered by a coworker (or your boss) prepare for it, tell yourself they may say something that sets you off, but you are in control of how you react. Ask to talk (if your problem is with a person) to them without blame. NO: you always do this. YES: It makes me feel or I feel.

I hope this helps you deal a little easier with something or someone.

An (in)Elegant Life

How often do you feel like a 7 year old? Let me be more specific, how often do you live with the metaphorical feeling of your socks balled up in your shoes just living with the uncomfortableness of it?

How often do we live in the uncomfortableness of a situation? Job? Relationship?

It’s okay, you are not alone, far from it, I have been uncomfortable for years on end–but thought it was my “duty” to be there in that vat of uncomfort.

{{{Aside: I make up words, just so you know, “uncomfortableness” and “uncomfort” are not realio-trulio words. But I like them.}}}

At times I blamed it on my sense of “worthiness” or lack there of! But lately I think its fear–fear of pain, fear of unknown, fear of being better.

But I truly believe the most common reason is it seems far less uncomfortable than extricating ourselves from said situation, maybe it would feel embarrassing or even painful. The payment seems too dear for the payout.

In the short term.

We think it will be worse, and yes, it might suck…for a little while, it might be messy…to begin with, you might not know exactly what to do…until you do, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (as my, slightly older than 7 year old, crush Yul Brinner said in The King and I).

And then it will start to feel a little better. And better begets better. It’s a law, and an equation, possibly a mandate. Trust me on this.

Are you willing to share when uncomfort became too much?

 

Freedom in Systems

I believe freedom can be found in systems. Yes, systems create freedom.

 

I know! I used to be all about spur of the moment, and free spirit, and go with the flow…in my mind I pictured myself as a gypsy fairy wild woman. But in reality I was always putting out fires (not literally–okay, once literally, but it was small, another story) and could never actually DO anything free-spirited, because, well things would keep coming up–or it seemed hard.

 

I believe I could/can go with the flow because my life was always set on reactive mode! I didn’t have a plan/s so nothing I did was ever pro-active (I don’t know why, but I really hate that word, I may have mentioned this in another post and will, more than likely, mention it again).

It was a survival mechanism.

 

It was a survival mechanism–now I want a soulful strategy mechanism

 

Some systems I have down–okay, two systems, possibly three, maybe four:

  • I pick out my clothes the night before (no decisions in the morning–have you noticed how everything takes longer in the morning?
  • I wake up and make my bed (made bed equals clean bedroom, yes?)
  • And I make sure to sit with a cup of coffee, to let my thoughts be my thoughts
  • As soon as I get in my car in the morning I start saying my affirmations–it’s automatic
  • I guess I have one more, dishes get done as soon as we’re done eating (no dirty dishes guilting you equals happy when guests show up unannounced)

 

But I need more–waaaaaayyyyy more. And how about some for cool things and not just cleaning, sheesh!

 

Plus those systems are more like habits.

That’s it though, right? Habits, so if I can make something small a habit, why can’t I make something large (and seemingly hard) and “meaningful” a habit as well? Don’t get me wrong, One Good Cup and affirmations are super-dooper meaningful, but I need more meaningful habits.

 

Take what I’m doing right this very moment…writing this blog post. I started this post aeons ago, I love writing blog posts, or, do I love having written blog posts? If it’s going well, I love the act and frankly I usually learn as I write, because the things I choose to write about are things I either needed to learn in the past, or am in the process of learning now.

 

When I look up “systemizing your life” I get lots of articles on automating your life and delegating your life (okay, you don’t actually delegate your life, you delegate the tasks you dislike in your life). This is not what I’m looking for…I did find something on Kaizen, the Japanese way of continuous improvement–and following a daily action plan–that’s a little closer. And then I found Dan Ryu, he wrote an article for Medium, here’s a few of his quotes:

 

“It’s not how well you can do something ONCE. It’s how well you can do it over a sustained period of time.” Dan Ryu

 

Ah, now we’re on to something

 

“However, for most of us, ‘knowing’ what to do is not the problem. What ends up stopping us is the way our life is constructed.” Dan Ryu

 

Oy! Yes! This.

 

“When we want success, we focus on goals. When we want to be a successful person, we focus on habits.” Dan Ryu

 

Yikes. That’s it.

 

His post is aimed toward business, but it can just as easily be used for life. It’s a great article, I’ll link at the end of this post–don’t want you to get derailed and lose your focus of reading my post.

 

I’m thinking a lot about that last quote, I don’t know that I’ve ever differentiated between “success” and BEING a successful person–that entails so much more. A successful person is well-rounded and thinking of others and not just their first million in the bank–it is a whole life type of success, and I think thinking about being a successful person could motivate me to focus on the habits that I have, well, NOT been focusing on.Ha!

 

And the thing I’m most excited about (from his article) and yet seems the most daunting is creating a Mastermind group–I feel this would be the thing to keep me focused, or at the very least, to make me quickly get the things accomplished that I want to accomplish the night before the Mastermind  was scheduled to meet. That’s how I (no longer want to) roll. Plus, I love listening to other people and their dreams.

 

The challenge seems to be gathering a group of like-minded folks. I’ve thought about a Facebook group, I’ve thought about a real group, I do a lot of thinking about my circle of friends and acquaintances–would they be interested?

 

So this is where I’m at now–deciding to be a successful person and on my way to creating a mastermind group.

 

Have you ever been a part of a Mastermind? How was it?

 

https://medium.com/@danryu/how-to-10x-your-success-systemize-your-life-8df75045ee5f

 

When The Most Important Thing to You is Your Two Week Vacation…

 

This commercial has me thinking about life, specifically a life lived only for a vacation. What the hell kind of life is that? This is your life! Do the things to create a better life:

  • Change jobs
  • Sell your house
  • Make new friends
  • Visit a local museum
  • Read amazing books
  • Call a friend and DON’T complain
  • Make new and exotic things for dinner
  • Get a dog
  • Get a cat
  • Get a fish
  • Start meditating
  • Go out with friends
  • Go to the Zoo
  • See a movie with someone you love…or all by yourself
  • Get a makeover
  • Go for a walk

You get the idea…

Be grateful for one new thing every day, then two new things, then three. Create a life you love.

End of rant 🙂

A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action

Practically Magic blog

 

Or, what comes after affirmations…

We love to talk, right? we love to talk about ourselves and our ideas, our childhoods and all the horrors (imagined or real) of that, we love to talk about all the things we want to do in our lifetime. We. Love. To. Talk.

Talk, talk, talk…

But, I’m here to tell you, talkin’ gets you nowhere. Okay, let me back up, talking is great for creating and keeping relationships, great for brainstorming, great for coming to agreements. What it’s not great for is achieving those things in your life you dream of achieving, getting, growing.

You actually have to do sh*t.

When I was a supervisor, I had a direct report who was incredible at looking busy, and not just busy, but, BUSY with a purpose, he would stride forcefully around, look as if a great thought had suddenly come to him and then stride purposefully somewhere else. Then he would go make tea for 27 minutes.

I said to him, “let’s go in the office for a sec.” Probs not what anyone wants to hear, but he follows me in none the less, and then I say, “What have you been working on today?” He’s not sure what to say, a lot of “well…”s etc. And I said:

Here’s my problem, I haven’t actually seen you do anything.

That got his ruff up. As it would for many. So he said he could write me out a detailed list of all the things he’d done, I told him that wasn’t necessary, what I wanted was visible proof that he wasn’t just “doing” things, but that he was accomplishing the things that needed to be done. That others could look at him as part of the team.

Okay, so where am I going with this? I think you know…stop being coy.

We all are masters at doing stuff at being so incredibly busy, we don’t know where the day goes.

But where do we stand at the things that NEED to be done, the things that MEAN something. And, how do we stay accountable (whether to ourselves or our team)? Let’s loop back to affirmations. If my affirmation (dream) is to be an excellent and productive writer and I don’t do the actual writing, uuhhhh…I am all talk and no action! And, every morning as I’m saying my writing affirmation, out loud five times, my brain is going to be nagging me with whispers of “liar.”

So, a plan. An Action Plan, which is to say a plan that requires action. Action that you ACTUALLY do. That’s the kicker in the asser.

Start small please–and chunk it out. I  tend to create plans like this:

  • Finish 3 young adult novels (without breaking it down into any chunks)
  • Go back to school, get my degree
  • Run 3 days a week, Yoga 2 days a week, lift weights 3 days a week
  • Create online shop for the jewelry I started making but stopped…wait, what?
  • Read two classics a week

And then I get so completely exhausted by the list that I sit in front of the TV and watch Tiny Home something and do NOTHING. I know I’ve written about my incredible (read: horrifying!) lists before, but I just want you to learn from my mistakes, of which there are quite a few!

Anywho. My Action Plan now entails tiny chunks of action done in a very doable way. Plus an accountability partner. A serious one…my mother!

At first I was worried it might not s t r e t c h me enough, you know, that whole “get past yer comfort zone” thing. But, what I’ve found is, I’m ACTUALLY doing the things and not looking at my list and feeling all guilty and shame-y. I HATE that feeling!

Once you start the “action” portion of the plan, the daily affirmations start to have a different flavor on the tongue, there is a feeling to the words that wasn’t there before. I truly believe they work hand-in-hand-in-hand.

I just thought of this–it comes down to the three As:

Affirmations

Action Plan

Accountability Partner

What small thing could you do to move yourself closer to your dreams?