Friday, April 16, 2010

The Journey of a Thousand Miles

It's been a very long time since I have had anything worthwhile to say.  However, in thinking what to share next on this blog, I reviewed my previous stories and came to a realization.  You don't know me.  It's very possible that my previous posts have touched someone, and of course I am elated if they have.  But the meat of the story behind these stories is how I got here.  How did I arrive at these understandings and strength... and why not sooner?  The understanding is in the journey, not the destination.

So I've decided to begin sharing the life I shed.  I wish to reveal what I have experienced.  For so long I held on to all my experiences very privately and, truthfully, with much shame.  If you've heard of Post Secret, you know this is a blog where you can send your most private of secrets anonymously to be posted for all to see.  That blog is proof to me that we are never alone in our pain.

Please join me here for my next post in a few days.  I'll begin at the beginning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I am a unique individual,

just like everybody else

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Your Immense Power

Look around you.

Where do you live? What do you drive? What do you eat... wear... do? What is your style? Where do you shop? Where do you dine? With who?

Every minute of every day, you make a choice. Every choice, every day, reveals a picture of you and creates who you are.

The other day I attempted to explain this large concept to my 10-year-old, who frankly was overwhelmed. I admit it, so was I.

In one of my rare moments of insight (and panic, but that's another story), I looked at the desk where I sat working. The blue pencil cup, filled with all my favorite pens and pencils. The stylish cordless phone. The large monitor in front of me and the beautiful office armoire which houses all these items, to the chair in which I sat. I had made a conscious choice to procure these things. I had taken the time to drive to a store, peruse a catalog, to select this item over that item, and then make the purchase with the credit card I chose and had applied for. And in some circumstances, I opted to haul huge items home and assemble them myself!

Every single little and big thing surrounding me, above me and even under my feet, I chose. I acted on some minor decision which considered acquiring these things which became the big decision of purchasing these things and even resulted in the enormous decision to purchase a house for all my things!

But don't get me wrong. This post is not about "things".

It is, however, about the immense power in tiny decisions. Those little decisions you make every single second of every single day accumulate to large effect. Think about that. Calculate the amount of time and energy you have spent over all the years in your life on making all kinds of decisions.. Then it would go to show that the tiniest decisions you make today, even the one you made to read this article and perhaps more of these types of articles, is going to have an impact on your future and how it looks and feels. To make those decisions more consciously and re-focus your power away from material things and onto your growth can lead to immense personal wealth (financial, emotional and spiritual).

So take that power and wield it wisely. It's no little thing.
"The world itself is the will to power - and nothing else! And you yourself are the will to power - and nothing else!"
- Friedrich Nietzsche

(And re-read this post the next time you're feeling powerless to Create The Life you want.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

You Are Nothing More Than A Reaction

Newton's 3rd law states:
"Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."
I've been having conversations with my mom via phone lately, which in and of itself is an enormous accomplishment for me because of our historically volatile relationship. Most recently I had stopped communications with her in reaction to an egregious action on her part.

After a 9 month hiatus, a new relationship is being born. I am not who I was 9 months ago, and so the conversations just couldn't possibly go in the direction they used to. But during one 6-hour phone call (yes, you read that right), I learned more about my mother than I ever knew and quickly saw a similarity between her and me, which I'm confident extends to the entire world population.

We, as the humans we are today are nothing more than reactions to our past experiences and those people who caused them.

Who doesn't talk about upcoming family gatherings with hints of trepidation? Who hasn't muttered that they become like a child when around their family of origin again? Who hasn't promised or made good on a promise that they will never be like their parent in some respects, or all!?

I am highly responsible with money today because of what I witnessed around me as a child. I devote quality time to my young children, very much on purpose, because of what I experienced as a child. I dress the way I dress because of how I was dressed as a child. I hate discussing weight or being asked about it because of memories concerning that topic as a child and the associated feelings of shame, inferiority and exclusion and some of my resulting actions. I am who I am right now solely because of circumstances, experiences and people which caused me to react the way I did and become who I was.

Was any of it under my control? Not directly. Not in any way a young mind really understands. I thought it was all under my control, the choices I made, the boyfriends I dated, the college I attended. But it was all reaction.

Talking with my retired, accomplished mother and find out that our volatile relationship was very likely a factor of her reactions to what she experienced as a child and seeing how her resulting choices were all shaped by those reactions, softened me immensely.

In the same way I absolved myself of culpability for who I was (in my negative attributes), I had to absolve her of her negative attributes. Just as I was under no control of those experiences and people around me, neither was she. And neither was her mom. Or her mom's mom.......

And even the highly positive mental change I initiated 9 months ago was a reaction to my previous life choices! And while, again, I feel naively that my life is thoroughly under my control, I know that future decisions will be direct reactions to that previous life.

Only, this time, I am aware.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Evolution of Self Development

What do you do?

What can you do?

What do you love to do?

Photo courtesy Encyclopedia Britannica Kids

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Integrity - It's The Little Things

What does integrity mean to you? What does it have to do with leading a happy life? You may think it describes concepts like being honest, trustworthy and reliable. You may say a person of integrity lives a life of goodness, helping others while staying true to their core values. And you're 100% right. But that's only half the story.

With integrity, it's also the little things that make a big impact.

Have you ever been shopping at a store for, say, tissues? The box design of one attracts you. You can't quite explain why. The box of another brand is plain, and also much cheaper. So you buy the cheaper tissues and live with the ugly box displayed in your home. Every time you pass the ugly box, you subconsciously react to it. But, in a split millisecond you rationalize that you paid much less, and that's more important. Isn't it?

When you live a life of real integrity, you surround yourself with only the things and people that truly delight and inspire you. The ugly tissue boxes of the world drain your energy and your creativity, leaving less with which to create the life you desire. And by choosing to buy the ugly tissue box, you perpetuate the idea that money has more value to you than your own mental comfort or creative abilities - your integrity.

Quirks and pet peeves are the little "nudges" that remind you who you are. When they pop up, they are attempting to steer you towards your true self. Name a pet peeve of yours. It can be the simplest thing. And ask yourself why you've chosen to ignore it on some occasions.

One example for me involves inspirational notecards. I used to hand write them on 3" x 5" index cards to view each day, little comments, quotes and ideas to motivate me. But rather than inspire me, they irritated me. The only way the cards began to work for me was when I printed them out in beautiful italicized, bold font with a green scrollwork banded edge. What I realized, and yet had always known, is that I gravitate towards beautiful things. They fill me with joy.

These are things I can't explain. But when I am true to what I like and true to who I am, things begin to work for me. Not only am I surrounded by beauty everywhere I look, I find I'm able to lead a more fulfilled life, finding that creativity comes more naturally when it's not being depleted by little irritations, be it food, restaurants, books, clothes, plants, home decor or even friends. Only select what makes you smile. Everything else detracts from your integrity, and ultimately your happiness.

For one designer I read about recently, integrity came down to the pencils she had in her home... she only allowed a very specific type to cross the barrier of her front door. I connected with that. Being a writer, only a few pencils and pens satisfy me when I write, and using the "wrong" ones will thwart my choice of words and eat away at my inspiration, because my mind focuses on the negativity brought out by the pen or pencil that is not in line with the things I love.

Think about it in your own life. Realize that living a life of complete integrity comes down even to the little things which bring you joy. Being true to yourself, accepting and enjoying those eccentricities and pet peeves that define who you are, will bring about a fuller, freer and more creative life, when all your energy is devoted to that life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do not despair when you hit rock bottom.

From that place, there is only one way to go.

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