Archive | December 2011

2012 What Lies Ahead?

As is the case as each new year approaches, there is a newness in the air.  People tend to look forward with anticipation to changes on the horizon.  Many, commit to making certain changes in their lives which they list as “resolutions.”  Others, have thrown the notion of resolutions out the door and simply look forward to growing and improving each day that they live.  Whatever the case, the question that always looms is: what lies ahead?

I know that for me, in particular, 2012 will be a year of great change.  I will admit that I am somewhat anxious about what all of that means.  What exactly will the changes encompass and what form will they take?  As I continue on my path of spiritual and personal growth, I see where I still have some areas of challenge.  Perhaps challenges greater than I was previously willing to admit to or perhaps areas where I will see the greatest breakthroughs.  Whatever the case may be, I am now at a crossroad.  Do I rise to the challenge to embrace some news ways of thinking and behavior patterns or do I take the lazy way out?  Do I tell myself  “well at least I don’t do this, that, or the other” or do I continue not to do those things and improve on top of that?

There is one thing that I know for sure though.  Work is always involved.  Though things “should” get easier, they don’t necessarily if you are continuing to grow.  Change is difficult and challenging and many of us face it kicking and screaming.  Yet, we all have characteristics about us or areas of our life where change and growth are necessary.  As we master one challenge, we are confronted with another. Thus, the reason why things don’t necessarily get any easier.

I am deciding to go forth like a trooper with a smile on my face tackling the challenges as they come at me, stepping out on the proverbial limb, doing what I need to do to enhance and enrich my life, and YES fixing those areas that the spotlight is now shining on. I know it won’t be easy, and if you see one of those “this is waaaay harder than I thought it would be” blogs, think back to this one, smile, and offer me an “atta girl, you can do it.”

Wishing all of you a happy, prosperous new year full of growth, enrichment, and most of all love.

Spread love… peace and blessings.

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

In life we encounter difficulties, we struggle, and we have challenges to overcome.  Sometimes the challenges are mental, sometimes they are physical, sometimes they are environmental, and oftentimes they are financial.  When faced with difficulties and challenges, the natural thing to do is worry. “How is this going to turn out? Will everything be alright? What if  the outcome doesn’t go my way?” While it is natural to worry, worrying provides no rewards; so, don’t worry be happy.

Worrying causes stress. It has been proven (though I don’t have the statistics readily at hand) that stress causes and exacerbates a laundry list of diseases and ailments.  The phrase “you are gonna worry yourself sick” is not just an old wives’ tale but a medically proven fact.  Thus, the trick is to take some time find ways to overcome the worry.  Exercise releases endorphins that have been shown to be pick me ups.  So, if you are feeling really anxious about something one of the best things to do is get moving.  I know, you don’t feel like it because you are down in the dumps.  That is exactly the time WHEN you need to get up and get out.  By putting your wheels in motion you will naturally help yourself both feel and look better.

Another way to bring yourself relief is to focus on what makes you happy.  For me that comes in the form of music.  Ever since I left home to go 900+ miles away to college, I have turned to music to get me through the homesick/down times. I am very into lyrics and thus have always been able to find some song that relates EXACTLY to what I’m feeling.  Sometimes that song made me cry, but the feeling that someone else understood what I was feeling made me feel better.  Music may not be what does it for you.  It may be reading, spending time with children, writing, whatever.  Find individual, holistic ways to heal thyself.

You do know the “funniest” thing about worrying don’t you?  90% of the things that we worry will happen don’t.  So by worrying you have made yourself sick, tired, and miserable over something that more than likely will not occur.  So, on this Monday afternoon I say to you as loudly as I am saying  to myself: don’t worry,  be happy.

Out On A Limb

One of the scariest things for some people to do is to put themselves “out there.” You see in being “out there” we are exposed.  Our feelings, our emotions, our thoughts, our actions are visible and available for someone else’s approval, perusal, and potentially criticism and judgement.  Most people have a strong need to be accepted by others.  This need is heightened when we are personally vested in the situation- either we have feelings for  the other person, have professional goals at stake, or hold the other person in high esteem.

The fear of exposure leads us to hold back that which should or could be shared.  We walk the line gingerly,  giving some but not too much.  We think that allowing ourselves to be fully seen and accepted is unnecessary and unwise.  After all, we have enough evidence  to the contrary to know that very few people ever “put themselves out there like that.”  The  result?  We have a number of relationships that are not operating at their fullest and greatest potential.  And this, in my opinion, is a sad state of affairs.

In general, the American culture has become a lot more fear based.  It’s the arena of political correctness. We don’t want to offend others in any way, shape, or form.   Most of our interactions are based on getting along.  With that as our basis, however, we are very inauthentic.  If the goal is not to offend, we can still work toward that end.  In sharing our true thoughts, feelings, and emotions we can still be kind.  There is no rule that says the truth must be delivered with meanness.  Kindness can come even when the harshest of assessments is being given.  If we desire to be kind, we will seek to deliver kindness. I know of people who state “I don’t tell them the truth because I don’t want to be mean.”  My response?  “By not telling him that you are not interested you ARE being mean.  You are building hope for him where there is none. ”

We are a politically correct society.  In many cases this works to our detriment. We are also a society of selfish people.  We don’t go out on a limb because we are protecting self. It has nothing to do with the other person. I have recently been doing a lot of observation of romantic relationships, both married and otherwise attached. What I have noted is that in the relationships that appear to be working really well and are the happiest there appears to be at least one person who was willing to go out on a limb for the other person. I know it can be frightening. After all, life holds no guarantees. But I’m noting that the willingness to say and show how much you care, look like a “fool” to others, and fail, if that is what happens, also holds the promise of the greatest rewards.  I noticed the same thing in friendships.  The friends who are able to fully share their thoughts and feelings yield friendships with the greatest bonds.  As an example, I spoke with my best friend today.  They were aware that I was a little less than satisfied with some of our recent conversations.  The reason? They went out on a limb to give me their unedited opinion about something that was bothering me. The opinion was not fully what I wanted to hear, but that was ok because my friend knew that I needed to hear the unvarnished truth. Again, I didn’t love the response  but that was ok.  We are good enough friends to accept the truth on both sides and hang up laughing after discussing it a bit further.  A person who tells you ONLY what you want to hear is not a true friend.  The person who goes out on a limb to tell you the truth will go out on a limb for you in other ways.

I have been struggling with this out on a limb concept lately.  I know that it can have great rewards, but again there is also the possibility of great pain. I guess the thing to remember is that the road to greatness is not easy or pain-free.  Take the chance.  The risk is outweighed by the reward.  Be willing to say this is who I am, this is what I think, this is how I feel, and it’s ok.  And if the limb breaks? Well it’s really not that far down to the ground now is it? That pile of leaves will break your fall and you can get up and start all over again.  The safe road is never the most rewarding.

Spread love…peace and blessings.

 

Mind Over Matter

I have been working on a project recently that has taken me quite a while to complete.  As a matter of fact I am still putting the finishing touches on it.  This is not a project that I chose to do; it is one that I am required to do.  No if, ands or buts will get me out of it.  As such, it is not something I really wanted to do.  The thought of it caused me stress.  Every time I began the work I struggled.  In my mind it was going to take SO long to complete.  I felt like the volume of it was massive and overwhelming.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the store, so to speak.  As I was editing the project last night I noticed something quite odd.  I noted that the finished project was not nearly as long as I envisioned.  I continue to review to ensure that I have not failed in doing due diligence.  Something makes me feel that I neglected to include some vital information. What gives me that feeling?  Well, that can’t be all that there was to it?  Could there?

By now you have probably come to the same conclusion that I did.  I realized that the project was never as big as I thought it was.  It was just that big IN MY MIND.  I felt that it was uninvited, unwarranted, and plain unnecessary,  just a project full of uns.  Now my assessment of all of those uns may indeed be correct, but it is something that I am required to do so my thoughts on the matter really are insignificant.  What I did to myself was unfair and unnecessary.  I have belabored a project that I should have finished weeks ago because I perceived it as larger than life.

Thankfully a friend confronted me on the matter on Saturday night.  They challenged me to get it done, to stop procrastinating and face the music.  A simple “whassup Tee?!” got my attention.  See the whassup asked a lot of questions “Why are you holding yourself back? Is there some fear attached to the completion of this project?  Is there anything you would like to share about why are not getting it done?” and a host of other things.  But most importantly “If you say you want to be done with it, then ‘get ‘er done.'”  I got my butt in gear and am largely finished.  I do need to, upon completion of this blog, do a final read through and edit to ensure that I have dotted all of my I’s and crossed all of my T’s but it is ready to roll.

The most important part of this process for me has been the lesson.  I know that I have a very powerful mind.  I have consciously used it to control things about my body for years.  Now, I must be MORE mindful of how my mind controls my actions.  Intellect must take over and win the fight over insecurity, doubt, procrastination and fear.  An unwillingness for something to happen will not ensure that it doesn’t happen.  Preparation, determination and a plan have a far greater chance at success.  Just as the Nike ad says “just do it” I must remind myself that in cases where there is no choice I must use my mind to press forward, to conquer and continuing rolling.  This project has unnecessarily paralyzed me for months.  Not because I worked on it non-stop because I didn’t.  I procrastinated, used every excuse in the book and dragged my feet.  I was paralyzed by the incompletion.  Now that I am one step away from done I can move on the next step.  And guess what? That’s what I should have been doing all along.

(This is one of those “for Tee only” posts.  If you made it this far, thanks for listening to my rambles.  I appreciate you for being along for the journey.)

 

Spread love… peace and blessings.