Talking to Strangers

Repost from an old blog: 2013

So, it’s hot out. I mean melt the candles, burn the soles of your feet, let’s go to the State Fair hot.

We decided to go to the mall instead, you know the one–the big one, the Mall of America. Dang right, ‘Merica’s Mall!

 

I loathe it. Okay, I don’t loathe it, what I mean to say is, I hate it. Wait, what I really mean to say is, it’s like going to the State Fair but without all the cool smells and sites. Just the crowd. And they’re not even as interesting…for instance, no one is stumbling drunk and or wearing overalls. Not one person. And there are no cows or pigs, and certainly no Miracle of Birth barn…I digress.

 

But something happened today, which made me very happy we went to the mall. I talked to a stranger. And not any stranger, a young woman/girl stranger. Okay, a teen stranger.

 

Let me explain:

After doing what we came to do, spending large quantities of dollars (for prescription spectacles) we went to lunch, and let the 14 year old choose where to go. Buffalo Wild Wings was his selection. We sat at a high top, and after a little bit, a few tables over a large group of teens came in…maybe 12 of them.

 

One girl did not look like the rest–all the rest were kind of sporty/jockish/every kid. Nothing against that AT ALL–I own one of those (except he’s exceptional)–anyway, she sort of got frozen out. All the girls were filing in on one side and all the guys were on the other. As she went to sit down, a boy broke rank and sat next to a very pretty girl on the girl’s side, the other girl (the one different from all the rest) looked a bit lost, just for a moment, then she took a seat at the end of that row.

(BTW–none of these girls was the girl–rather, the idea of the girl)

Now, here’s the important part–she was so different from the rest of the kids.

Her hair was blue green, cut in a cool way in the front, kind of choppy layers, and she tucked the rest of it in a black beret (!) she wore a black and grey striped long sleeved shirt–I wish I had a picture! I had to keep looking at her…because she was the most interesting person in the joint.

 

Besides me, that is. Just Kidding, she was way more interesting.

 

Another girl had finally sat across from her and they were chatting…but she still seemed outside “the group” and I wanted her to know how cool she looked to me.

 

Now, listen, I understand that when a woman (of a certain age) tells a girl she looks cool, or she likes her shirt etc. that’s like the kiss of horribleness and the offending item/style will probably never be worn again. So as we were getting ready to leave, I said to my husband and youngest, “Hey, wait, I have to tell this girl over there something.”

 

My 14 y..o said, “No. Mom, you don’t want to do that.”

And, I thought, oh, he’s probably right, she might get all embarrassed. But then I thought, young women are different from young men–girls should hear encouraging words from their *cough* *choke* *gasp* elders.

 

I stood in the aisle, hesitating, then I thought what the hell, and made my move. I walked over to her long table, walked to her open side and said:

“Maybe you’ll hate hearing this from me, but you have more style than anyone in here.”

She smiled and said, “Really?” and I said, “Absolutely.” and she said, “Thank you!”

 

And I walked away. I could feel eyes on the back of me–the rest of the table asking her questions: who was that? What did she say? I smiled.

 

I am so happy I decided to talk to a stranger. Maybe she’ll forget about it tomorrow, maybe she thought I was some crazy older woman, but maybe, maybe it made a tiny difference in her day.

 

I hope so.

 

So I’m challenging everyone to say something nice to someone you don’t know (it has to be sincere) things you think, but don’t say–try it, say it–talk nice(ly) to a stranger!

Worthwhile Life

In order to have a worthwhile life I’m pretty sure you might have to have a belief in your own worth first.

And just how does one go about that? Especially if you are like me, and you spent years saying, OUT LOUD, every Sunday, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I will be healed.”

Besides me wondering what the “word” would be to “heal me,” all I heard was “I am not worthy, I am not worthy, I am not worthy…” over and over and over again. Then one day, in Junior High (Middle School for you youngins) no less, I said to myself, wait a minute–I am worthy, and I am not going to say that anymore. So, I became my own little  conscientious objector in church.

Unfortunately, the damage was done. I spent years looking for my worth through others’ eyes–mainly boys. Sheesh. Apparently I was still waiting to hear the “word.” Look, I’m not laying the full blame of this on the Catholic Church, I had some other stuff happen, nothing horrible, but all adding up to this. I never realized at the time what I was doing–searching for worth, in fact, I was a grown-assed woman before I figured it out.

I went so far as to go shopping, see something I liked and think, “I’m worth it–I deserve this!” and buy it. With a credit card. That my husband didn’t know I had. Two, in fact. I had two credit cards he didn’t know I had.

I could say, “I’m worth it!” but really really REALLY it was my feelings of NOT WORTHY–not worth it–that directed me to shop and buy to fill the hole of not worthy. While I was buying it, I so wasn’t buying it. It took my husband finding out about the credit cards, joining Debtors Anonymous, and a whole lot of counseling that got me right with spending and let me realize (once again) the whole “worthiness” issue and the trying to fill the hole using forces outside myself.

Worthiness has to be an inside job.

Gratitude works wonders. So do affirmations. Both inside jobs.

I love the saying: “You can’t feel anxious and grateful at the same time.” I don’t know who said this first, but I think gratitude helps a multitude of ailments. And I would say, you can’t feel worthless while feeling grateful.

And this quote from Einstein: “There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.” If everything is a miracle, than you are too. There.

I started saying affirmations in December of 2016 and wrote about it here I would say the act of repeating these every morning has done so much for my state of soul (and mind).

I’m not completely cured from my doubt of worth–there are times I still have a push/pull with it. But because I have made affirmations and gratitude a habit, it’s as if they simply take over for me and save me.

photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

When you can see your own worth, you can see everyone’s.

How have you ever felt that hole of unworthiness? What did you do?

Some Questions to Ask Yourself

I have a plethora of written material spread over numerous notebooks (paper and digital). Most of it should not be shared, but I’ve decided that if I see something that might help someone else take a step forward (and at the same time, to remind myself to take that same step) that I’ll share it.

The following was from an online free course by Emma — probably 7 years ago…and by 7, I mean, I have no idea when all this happened, I just know it wasn’t in the last 4 years. Emma wanted us to consider our “ingredients” that might make up our personal brand.

The questions are hers, the answers are mine 🙂 and the funny thing is they still hold true (for the most part) today. I hope you take the time to answer these and think about your own “ingredients” and how you show up for life.

 

Your ingredients as a young child:

I loved playing pretend, also coming up with elaborate story-lines for play. I was an excellent listener and loved to read and write–never wanted anyone to feel bad

As a teen/young adult:

I was totally interested in the “why”* people did what they did, thought I was going to be a child psychologist. Also this is when we lived at Harmony** so my world was opened up to psychic phenomenon, spiritual awakening, positive thinking, etc. was sure I was a true gypsy***. Loved to act and dance! Loved the spotlight and applause 

In your working career:

Talented diffuser of bad situations, awesome customer service–internal and external. Got to know customers–a connector 

Your purpose: what is your purpose:

I really think it’s helping women feel better about themselves and teaching them an easier way to walk through life. Being the entrepreneur of your own life

Why do you do what you do:

I love women and want them to love themselves, I love to write and teach and to make people laugh

Why do you get out of bed in the morning:

Because it’s a new day! With all sorts of possibilities

Why should anyone care:

Because life will be better and more fun and more fulfilling if they do

Notes:

*I verbalized this “why”-ness until a high school friend snapped at me about always asking questions to them and others, after that, I kept it to myself. Which would explain why I liked this exercise 🙂

close up of woman working

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

**Harmony Hills was a Center for Parapsychology…yup, I lived there with my mom for two years–I’ll write about this more.

*** I used the word “gypsy” because that is the word my grandfather used to describe himself, his family–he came to the U.S. from Yugoslavia as a 12 y.o. with his father.

Supporting oil: Inner Child

This oil can help you connect to your true/authentic self

Orange, Tangerine, Ylang ylang, Royal Hawaiian sandalwood, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Spruce, Bitter orange, and Neroli essential oils

Is it a Good Thing When the Possibilities Are Endless?

adult adventure beautiful climb

Photo by Nina Uhlíková on Pexels.com

When someone says, “The possibilities are endless,” we often think of this as the most positive thing in the world! But if the possibilities are truly endless, how can we be sure we’re concentrating on the right one? If you fall into this possibilities hole–and I have, many times, got the skinned knees to prove it–what happens?

Not a damn thing. There is no acting on any possibility.

So, what to do?

Talk to someone–preferably someone you know and not a random person on the street–someone who understands your strengths and personality. List out all the possibilities that truly excite you then listen to what the person has to say.

I know it can be so hard to move from the “possible lane” to “act upon lane.” you feel as if you’re leaving all the untapped possibles behind. My precious babies! Try to remember you’re not saying, “No” to something, you’re saying “Not now.”

They have to wait their turn.

Once you’ve decided on your thing write out the first 3-5 steps you need to take to get this idea going. Do you have the capacity? Does it still call to you? The great thing about this step is when/if you are ready to start this idea, you have the steps drafted out for you ahead of time!

Say one of my possibilities is:

Write a Teen Paranormal Best Seller 😉

  1. Brainstorm ideas
  2. Character Bios
  3. Write Outline/Synopsis (whatever cruel thing)
  4. Write 1st draft (it might be good to schedule this part, 30 minutes every evening…)
  5. Re-write, re-write, re-write

There are more steps, but this gives you an idea

Typically there might be a learning component in your steps, if I’d never written before one of my first steps might be to take a class, or read a few books on writing, or join a writers’ group. I want to know what would be the best option for publishing: traditional, self, something in-between. That’s farther down the list. I need to write the book first.

Please don’t get ahead of yourself, when you get ahead of yourself you invite in overwhelm.

*knock, knock…

who is it?

…errrr Candy Gram.

Oh, come in!

JUST KIDDING, ITS OVERWHELM!!!!!!

o_O

When I’ve made a decision to move forward on one thing aaaand something else keeps trying to get my attention write it down and put it in a file marked: LATER. I like physical files, but lately One Note has my attention: all the things in one place!

It allows you to have a Notebook, and withing the notebook, folders each folder can have, I think, infinity pages. You could have a file: LATER, page——>Agents, page——>Marketing, page——>Award speech

You get the idea…

Do you have more than one idea you’re toying with? Want help narrowing it down? Let me know in the comments below and maybe I can be a sounding board.

Supporting oil: Fulfill Your Destiny from the Young Living website:

…this proprietary blend will help you create an atmosphere of focus and clarity no matter where your path to fulfilling your destiny takes you.

 

LOVE BRAVELY

IMG_4321

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. ❤ ❤ ❤

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?

 

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?

Thinking As If…

practically magic Amy Kennedy Fosseen

Are you afraid of how great the thing you want to do would be if you actually did it?

Does just thinking about it scare you?

Aren’t we hilarious–oooh, I’d like to do that, I think I might even be great at that…or, you know, maybe okay at it…I mean, I wouldn’t even know how to start. WHAT am I even thinking! I mean, AS IF!

As if. What if you took your “as if” denial and turned it on its head and you started to act:

as if you were already there

as if you were doing that thing you wanted to do

as if you believed

Think as if

Believe as if

Act as if

I’m not saying it’s one step from doubt to reality, but you have to start somewhere, or actually if you want to stay right where you are, you don’t HAVE to do anything.

Just like you’re doing now.

Nothing.

Crap.

I hate it when that happens. But, to be the you who creates the cool sh*t and creates the mind-blowing stuff takes work.

It starts with inside work–its an inside job, an interior renovation…you get the picture. And, like I said, the first thing is the thought–to think as if.

And the easiest way to start this is through, our friends, affirmations. I am not even kidding.

Now, I know how some affirmations can feel like bold-faced lies, because no matter how many times you say, I love myself unconditionally, if one of your first thoughts that morning was, I’m such an idiot! you are so not going to believe your words–because  you are not feeling the emotion that needs to accompany them. Adding four little words to the beginning of almost any affirmation will get you to the believing portion of this plan:

It feels good to…

Because, I bet at least once in your life you’ve felt creative, confident, talented, and accomplished. Even if it was in second grade Art class–hold that feeling, that truth as you say the words:

It feels good to love myself unconditionally

It feels good to create art that people want

It feels good to be confident

“It feels good to…” keeps it in the present yet makes it more palatable for those of us who have an affirmation of: I am an excellent and productive writer, I write every day and get my projects done–with the background thoughts of:

Gee, I didn’t write yesterday and wasn’t I going to brainstorm another scene…when was the last time I wrote?

LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!

And then my pants are on fire. Dang. I hate it when that happens.

But–I know with my whole being that it does, indeed, feel good to be a productive writer, so that way I’m all in, I’m living in belief city. And then every time there is proof of the “feel good to” it is further embedded in my subconscious. Yay!

We all can get there, I promise.

Next blog: A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action! What comes after affirmations.

Today’s supporting oil:

Abundance