The Good Life

The Good Life

“We’re on the go for love to open our lives to walk tasting the sunshine of Life.”

It’s getting cold up north and I don’t like the cold. I’m never ready for wintertime. The chill. The ice storms. I’m summer’s girl. Give me the beach, some sun, and a book. That’s my good life.

It’s the oddest things that make us smile. Our favorite songs. A good hot dog. Popcorn at the movies. Hugs from our grandparents.

Life is lived in the small moments. What do you enjoy?

Walk through life

Beautiful more than anything

Stand in the sunlight

Walk through life

Love all the things

That make you strong,

be lovers, be anything

For all the people of

Earth

You have brothers

You love each other, change up

And look at the world

Now, it’s

Our’s, take it slow

We’ve got a long time, a long way

To go,

We have

Each other, and the

World,

Don’t be sorry

Walk on out through sunlight life

and know

We’re on the go

For love

To open

Our lives

To walk

Tasting the sunshine

Of Life. – Amiri Baraka, Answers in Progress from Brain PickingsSelected Plays and Prose of Amiri Baraka

Advertisements

The Thing About Neighbors

I was walking into my complex and overheard a conversation inside my downstairs neighbor’s condo. Not strange, except she lives alone. I paused in my curiosity. Yes, I’m nosy. “You don’t appreciate anything I do for you.” I imagined her little dogs lined up on the couch being lectured. It’s like she was playing school, but she wasn’t a child. Medication needed?

Young

One of my young guy neighbors was trying to hide his motorcycle inside since management was trying to impound it. He didn’t like parking it out front with the cars and as he stated it, “they are on my ass.” So up the stairs, he struggled and shoved until it was inside the condo. I wonder how his girlfriend felt about the chunk of metal in the living room?

Old

We have an older gentleman, one of the few condo owners who live here, besides me, who is working to clean the grounds. He is a well-dressed fellow, dress shirt, suspenders, and slacks. I’ll see him sometimes in the morning getting into his Mustang GT. I’ve never asked where he goes. Is he still working at his age? I’m not sure even how old he is. In the evenings and weekends, he’s picking up leaves and trash.

All

Neighbors remind me of the story Stone soup. At first glance my neighbors are annoying and I don’t know why I stay at this place. But I’m the stone, the rock in the middle of all this pot of water. They bring the flavor. The painter, a dog trainer, a nurse, and many more good people live here. If I get to know people their lives become more than static, more than the ugly boom, boom bass that disturbs me. Neighbors are people living their life. I have to re-frame it sometimes, understand the annoyance and let it go.

Something to read:

Train Station Drop Off

I have a few abandonment issues. It seems odd when you’re my age. No, I wasn’t dropped off at a train station as a youngster. My parents weren’t crack heads either.

Think of big families. Loud. Boisterous. Then there’s that one person who tries to speak up. The quiet one. No one’s listening. It’s at that moment you understand the feeling of introverts. Do we jump up and throw potatoes to get attention? Or do we sit down because what we have to say isn’t worth the effort?

People are not listening, and you can tell. Have you noticed the general trend towards perfecting our own bubble? And when we jump into our particular listening mode, you almost hear the weirdness. The “Yes, Aha.” If you were in therapy, they’d say, “And how did that make you feel?” Ick.

Narcissism and Self-absorption are more prevalent than they once were. Maybe it’s because we are living in a more crowded environment. I don’t know. More people are choosing to become attention grabbers-potato throwers. Hey, whatever works for you! I’m currently trying to decide whether to sit back down or eat my potatoes.

Thanks for listening.

Living My Words

11e8efb0de99e437aa6c5a7983a86f94I’m not a great poet or speaker, but that never stopped me from saying what I felt. Maybe at times I’d be better sitting down and letting others wax poetic. Maybe. It’s a tough call to know when to speak up and when to sit quietly, hands folded. I want that wisdom.

There were times when I’ve spoken, and the words echoed back at me. Awkward. A room full of conflicted expressions and I was reluctant to continue. I wasn’t understood. How do you breach people’s defenses? Do we have an obligation to try?

It’s awkward at best to keep speaking. Usually, we sit. Or grow red in the face, yelling at our new opponent. The enemy has been marked. There’s another strategy to try. Stop the oratory. Become ordinary. Be Joe. Be Jane. Simple people, everyday activities. Change things. It’s alright if you’re not a great spokesperson. Maybe you hated speech class or drama in school.

Do you tell your friends about your favorite TV show? That local dive you went to with your guy last weekend. Did you share those pics on Facebook? Yeah, so did I.

We’re all spokespersons, all the time. Marketing has caught on, outfitting individuals to advertise for them using Instagram and blogs. They look fun too! It’s all in the name of profit. (i.e. Kelly in the City, Read this: Confessions of an Instagram Influencer

And no I’m not talking about plastering your profile with religious or political slogans. No! This is the opposite! Live your words for awhile. Be the good.

Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But, please don’t be meaningless.

Here are some of my book suggestions:

Scary Close: Dropping The Act and Finding True Intimacy

41wfpyp81ll

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World of People Who Can’t Stop Talking

41srmtzntyl

Brain Freeze

Brain Freeze

By Wednesday of last week, I’d started feeling the creaking stiffness set in that came from sitting at an office desk for too long. I grabbed the bottle of Ibuprofen from my drawer, poured out a couple of pills into my hand and tossed them into my mouth. I grabbed my water bottle with my other hand and poured it into my hand. What? I sighed at my silly mistake. I now had a wet lap. At least no one else had seen my mental lapse.

Soggy brain

The fast paced world gives us less time to think, so we compensate by adding shortcuts. We acronym, do serving sizes, micro manage, compartmentalize, over-compensate, map things out, program, and function key every part of our lives until we wonder if we are alive.  Is this how we end up with water in our hands instead of our mouth? There’s a video I watched that talks about the difference between machines and living things. In it the announcer explained, you can disassemble and reassemble a machine, and it will still work. If you took apart your family pet, then tried to reassemble the parts it would no longer be living. Of course, we know this, right? We can care for ourselves, but we are families and neighbors also. I think someone needs to invent a personal pause button. It would be better than a time machine.

Al dente

al dente

italian for “to the tooth.” refers to pasta that is slightly undercooked. pasta cooked enough to be firm but not soft.

“we forgot to cook the pasta all the way”
“just tell ’em it’s al dente and quit your bitchin”

by bacm123 October 08, 2005

 

April is the month for Camp NaNoWriMo, which in case you didn’t know, the month for catching up on writing for some of us. I’m using it as an excuse for what I’ve been thinking about for some time. I have some writing projects to complete so I’ll be quiet on this site for awhile. So even though I’ll still be working for a living, part of me will be writing in my virtual cabin at CampNaNoWriMo. #BeJealous My Secret – not a copyright infringement #NaNoWriMo

 

Feel free to say hi over on Twitter or Facebook.

Live life al dente, just a bit to the tooth, a bit to figure out, to chance. That’s my advice at least.

loveyourself

 

 

What Color is Your Power Drink?

What Color is Your Power Drink?

I just finished reading the book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, by Amy Cuddy. I’d watched her TED talk previously and I was impressed. Her book is every bit as inspiring. My friend had told me about a recent episode on Grey’s Anatomy that demonstrated the Wonder Woman power pose in their show even, which I’ve put at the bottom of the blog. Wow, does this stuff permeate through our society or what?

Closing the Door

When I’m feeling overwhelmed and needing to find my strength, I close my eyes and picture an emptied space in a room. I mentally push everything away from me, leaving only a void. Emptiness. I can breathe. Think.  I become still. I find that space inside of me. That’s my space. No one can enter but me. This is one of my coping strategies. Amy has others.

Lessons Learned

An incredible lesson I’ve learned over the last few years is, I can’t control my downstairs neighbor or my co-worker who wears too much perfume. But I can take actions to protect myself. I do empower myself. I protect my interest. When things get chaotic, such as overtime at work or if I’m not feeling well, I know I have to take care of my health. I take a day off. I turn off my phone. I tell people no. I ask for help. I negotiate with my boss. I talk with my coworkers if something is bothering me. We’re all human and we need to work together. Remember, you have rights too. Use them. Ask for what you want without a guilty residue.

The Secret Life of Amy Cuddy PBS 

Pick Green or Red or Any Other

Whether you like a green juice or you want to do a victory stance wearing the colors of your home country, it doesn’t matter. You don’t even need colors. Strike a pose such as Amy suggests. Hold that pose for at least two minutes. Try it. You’ll be amazed. Remain OPEN. Calm. Relaxed. Empowered. Alive.

Check out my book, Get Your Life Back Now, if you want to know more of what I have to say on the subject of self-empowerment.

Next week I’ll to talk about Nudges and Retraining our minds. I hope you have a great week!

Vacation Poster Promises

Vacation Poster Promises

There are plenty of posters and travel blogs promising bliss and restoration. Smooth, polished rocks, cascading waterfalls, and green plush grass are there for you. Rest and Restore. Leave your worries behind. Well, I chuckle. Life’s just not that convenient. Worries are like clingy little babies. They want to be fed, and they want only you. To remove them takes some conscious choice. Mindfulness.

Mad Max Highway

I drive the same short stretch of highway connections every day. People like me are jamming this interchange, just leaving work and wanting to go home as quickly as possible. Tired. Cranky. Maybe short on patience. Twice this week I’ve had the same thing happen. Two different people cut me off when there was an opening for me to enter a lane. Once it was my lane and the fellow thought I wasn’t quick enough I’m guessing, he passed me. The nerve! Both episodes I reacted poorly by speeding ahead, glaring or yelling. Something inside me quickened, warning me. Bad responses. Not that I might harm someone, but what if another, a third party, was injured. Was I willing to continue this same path? As I realized I wasn’t mindful or grateful, I noticed a large tire in the middle of the highway. Would I have hit it?

Allowing Stupid to Be Stupid

Last week I mentioned in Mindless Searching clicking through one book after another. I realized after twenty minutes had passed that I was not interested in any of the books I was looking at.  I was in a trance. Mindfulness doesn’t happen by accident. It’s something I have to do. Pay attention. Watch the road. Stay calm. Let the anger go. Allow the stupid to be stupid and not even the score, because life isn’t fair.

Serendipity and Irony

I’m a passionate person, which is why I’m not good at just letting things slide. Some things can be planned, but there are a lot of stuff that just happen that are so much better if they happen on their own. For instance, the lemonade that I drank in Mexico. I couldn’t have planned that and made it taste any sweeter. And the memory of that day couldn’t bring me any more joy if I’d planned it.

When a moment happens and the events come together it seems perfect, as if you’d planned it, serendipitous. Athletes call it the flow or the zone. They’ve planned for it by practicing, maybe even visualizing. Who knows, that could be what happens to us when our lives have real things that fall into place. Ironic isn’t it?

 

 

 

Mindless Searching

Mindless Searching

While I was listening to a podcast, I heard about a book that I might be interested in reading. I popped open my browser to Amazon.com, and crazily enough twenty minutes had passed before I realized I was, at least, six books deeper in my mindless search through book after book following the connections, Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought & Inspired by your browsing history. 

On Being Tired

I was tired. It was late. So why was I still up and browsing books? I was in a trance. I had followed the first book but I ruled it out. Still I connected it to a second book then a third and so on. The mind game. The whirlpool grabbed me, swirling me into its game of mindless searching. I had no interest in any of these books. Their topics or titles were similar. I’ve noticed that I do this a lot lately. I read articles when I’m not interested. I watch videos when they don’t hold my attention.

Mindful

The knee-jerk reaction is for me ban myself from the internet. Absurd. Not going to happen. I’m going to browse. I love researching weird shit. The more bizarre the better. The trick is keeping my mind engaged in the activity. Mindful. Attentive. And always be aware of how long I’m doing the activity. Most importantly, asking myself, am I having fun?

Are you having fun?

This girl understands what I mean:

Random Sweetness – Mindless Searching

Slam the Door Shut

Slam the Door Shut

Women talk. They tell me about their relationships, their spouses, and sometimes how incredible their husbands are. Maybe it’s just in the game of connecting, and I’m not playing it right, but I feel I’m left with a gap, uncertain of how to respond other than with a pat response of, That’s wonderful. You’re a lucky lady.

Envy

There was a time that I would have been envious. But I’ve surprised myself lately. Their life looks more like another variation of the same old song. That tune’s overplayed and I already turned the dial on my radio. No envy, desire or lust for eventually having it all someday.

Old Shoes

It reminds me of the Caroline Myss story of the old shoes. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post called, Old Shoes. Do you want the old shoes under her bed? Most of us want the envelope she has that contains the money, but no one cares about the old shoes that she keeps beside her bed. They’re ready for the trash bin. They’re dirty, worn, faded, and there’s a hole where your toe will stick out. Your desires don’t go out for them. Nothing draws you to them. No clamoring or yearning. They sit there, and you don’t give a damn. That’s how we know if we’re losing our power to someone or something. If it has a hold on us, we feel that tug. We yearn. We desire. Our door is unlocked, and we don’t own our power. When we look at that other person’s life and what they have feels like old shoes, worn full of holes, ready to go in the trash, then we know we hold our life. No one’s life is better than yours. Hold your own power and slam your door shut.

On a side note

I think it’s bad juju to be flashing your stuff for all to see. That’s just my opinion. But throwing it all out there in the wind is just inviting trouble, I think. Why advertise if you’re not selling?

Blogs I found along the way:

The Core Stories – The Truth About Costumes – I could quote the whole blog and be happy about it. 🙂

I remember my first favorite pair of shoes. I was about ten years old, so it was sometime in the early 2000’s, and they were Skechers sneakers. They were shiny black patent leather with sparkling silver glitter and chunky white platforms….

KickAss Witch – Book Nerd Weekly

“What you may think of as your ordinary attributes are not a fair indication of what spiritually extraordinary attributes lie within you. The obvious is never the whole truth.” -Caroline Myss

Are You Flirting?

Are You Flirting?

Does anyone else find the whole flirting – connecting thing just a bit awkward? Here in the Southern United States, we tend to be friendly. Just like we sweeten our tea, we sweeten our language and everything around us. Lace, Doilies, Please and Thank you. And there’re a lot of friendly talks, even during a business transaction.

What I’ve noticed about myself.

When I’m at work, I can be friendly, joking around. It’s harder everywhere else. I know the people at work. I’m at home. What gives with that? Then I wonder am I confusing people by being too friendly?

When is it inappropriate?

What about the other side of the coin? Some people can’t turn the flirting off. They use their seduction to get what they want. They have affairs or sexually harass their coworkers. I once had a manager who creeped me out. He told my friend and me that we’d look cute in cheerleader costumes for Halloween.

What makes it flirting?

Here’s the problem. If you’re a bubbly personality, you might always be seen as flirting. I’ve had to deal with it. I smile, listen, laugh, and joke. I care. Real flirting is reaching out and connecting.

Subtle Verbal and Non-Verbal Clues – Synonym

Some forms of flirting are more likely to be done in private, when no other observers are close enough to hear or see, suggests Elizabeth Bernstein, an award-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal, in her article, “The New Rules of Flirting.” If someone asks a direct question such as, “Are you seeing anyone?” that person will likely ask that question privately. Beyond what a person says, a person may also communicate her attraction to you via a combination of vocal signals and body language. A seemingly simple line such as, “It’s nice meeting you,” can take on a romantically charged connotation if the speaker drags out the last word, while simultaneously raising her eyebrows and smiling — and if she hangs on to the handshake a few seconds longer.

Tell me what you think. Have you been accused of flirting? Or do you have trouble approaching people? It’s a cold cruel world sometimes and it shouldn’t be. Let’s try to make it a little nicer for each other if we can.