Are you the choices you make?

6b467915e5e5c78240284ff5c302e4dbWhy does the lady with lung cancer and a horrible cough still refuse to give up her smokes? What is the missing ingredient in all of us? We know it’s not just will power.

We make choices every day. I can wear the gray pants or the black, take a sandwich to work or eat my lunch out. Sometimes our choices seem less trivial, do we go to a state college or local, start a family or grab the golden ring on the career ladder?

Most things we do are minor. The apple we ate isn’t going to change our life on the grand scale. Not one by itself. It’s the patterns of living that creates a mosaic.

If only we could see the picture we were creating as we step out into each footstep. Is that possible? I mentioned Values in last weeks post, How to be Strong. I wanted to revisit values and add a little more information today.

Are these some of your values? Honesty, Loyalty, Love, Kindness, Individuality, Tenacity, Forgiveness, Intelligence, Nature, Education, Nationalism, Multiculturalism.

It’s not possible to see any life as a whole to know how it will end, but we do know certain actions tend toward certain directions. Rob a bank and usually you get caught. Smoke enough cigarettes and lungs develop carcinoma. Read books with a fresh vocabulary, and you’ll increase your word usage. These are mere projections, not certainties, but they’ve happened enough times in the past that the odds are pretty darn good.

The truth is something that burns, it burns off deadwood and people don’t like having their deadwood burnt off often because they’re 95% deadwood

  • Joe Rogan Experience #958 – Jordan Peterson [2]

Our life is not all one choice. We’ve created patterns that are comfortable. I like my car, my house, and my bed. It’s home. Familiarity is like the puff of a warm cigarette. Mine isn’t nicotine, but we all have a crutch. I’m afraid to jump, to grab the golden ring when I’ve been handed it. What if I fail? I’d be leaving my couch. That’s my weakness. #Hardchoices

I believe we need to know who we are before we can walk the truth we’ve learned. Below I created a link to a resource I found. Each module has a fee and takes some thought to complete. I’m starting with Virtues. Tell me what you think.

Self Authoring

If you want something easier or free, there’s the Keirsey Personality Test. Whatever your direction, take some time to know yourself. There will be choices. #Hardchoices #learning

Check out these older posts: Living My Words and Not My Grandma’s Soap Opera

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The Key To Measuring Up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst grade jarred me from my innocence. That’s when I learned society had expectations. It required me to measure up. I knew about the measuring tape and the door post. I knew my mom was five feet two inches tall and she was tall enough to reach the top of the refrigerator. This was big. Elementary School opened my grey-blue eyes another concept.

What did you get for Christmas? Where did you go for Summer vacation? These were the questions my teacher asked when we were in school. The fun camping trip or the week you spent with grandma became part of competition. Level up.

In second grade one child shouted she went to Disneyworld for summer vacation. My summer paled in my eyes even though it had been filled with staying up late with best friends and playing hide and seek with my cousins. I wasn’t enough. As you can see, my belief in scarcity started young.

Know your currency

My family owned two thriving businesses in our small town of 3000 or so people. None of that mattered to a first grader when it’s story time, though. I reached for a quick currency. The going rate of exchange for school kids was a story. It was how we were proving our worth at that moment. If I’d only seen a bear while camping, gosh darn it!

Fitting in isn’t quite as easy as picking a pair of shoes. You don’t point to a style and say yeah, I’ll take that in size 8. There are methods. But it’s not so simple when you’re six or even twelve. Maybe not when you’re 20.  If you’re the queen, you know where to sit. You wear the crown, and people bow to you. There are rules. Royalty. You do what you do because – well, hell, you are you.

Collinsville thrived on its small town charm. Parades filled Main Street on cold holiday mornings with marching bands and paper flowers covered cars with trailing streamers. Friday nights meant a competitive football game or a movie in the theater. We had our regular early morning coffee drinkers at the restaurant. And those who liked to stay late at the bar down the street.

Tweet: So, I learned a new trick. I learned to tell my story.

I might not have been tall like my brothers, but I could reach the cereal box on top of the refrigerator by dragging and standing on a nearby chair. It was this new type of measure that was difficult. So, I learned a new trick. I learned to tell my story. But now I know it’s much more than telling a good tale. It’s listening without worrying if your present was better than mine.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” John Rohn

Book suggestions:

Never Eat Alone

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Trance of Scarcity

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Can You Neuro Lingo?

Can You Neuro Lingo?

There are two different emotions I have when I feel I am losing my power. One is anger, the other is fear. How I choose to act is up to me. I can lash out at everyone else or I can learn to get a better grip of my life.

Neurolinguistics – Retraining

What is Neurolinguistics? I think Salim Ismail may have said it best when he explained,

You have your body which is your hardware, and then you have the external world, right? At an early age you develop the software operating system to interact between the hardware and the external world. And that operating system is formed in the first seven years… So that early education inputs did you get bullied. How did you respond? How do you navigate playground dynamics?….. You kind of form this operating system. Then we become adults and we run out of applications on this operating system. Career, love life, money, sports, money and the applications start crashing. And we blame the appliication. We never go back to rewrite the operating system. And so, in the newer world we live in today, infinitely more complex, global information based, we need to rewrite our operating system.  – The Unmistakeable Creative with Salim Ismail

Some of us never update that software. It’s like never retraining for a new job. For most of us, our training at best wasn’t any official practice. We grew up. Got by. Most of our lives looked like Jed Clampett who moved to Beverly Hills. And we feel that way too. Out of place and out of sorts. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Skillsets

Is there a skill you seem to be missing? Money management. Parenting. Organization. Boundaries. Relationships. Or it’s possible you don’t know what’s wrong. Find a mentor or a helper. There are many motivating and helpful life coaches and teachers now.  I know, these things cost money. Yes, they do. So does stress. Worry makes you sick. If you want to live longer and live healthier, find a way. Invest in an hour or more of their time. An emergency room visit will cost you much more.

Do It

3935_8bj3i_Backcountry_Gate_at_Jackson_Hole_Mountain_Resort_mdBuy a book, audio or paperback. Take a class in money management. If you’re having difficulty with your teenager, don’t think you have to do the parenting thing on your own. Learn. You wouldn’t go skiing down a double black diamond mountain path without either some experience or a lot of stupidity, would you? Certainly not blindfolded. Life is not any different. There are also other avenues that are available. Some have tried hypnosis. There are many therapies, besides talk. I went to a yoga therapist who did work with the body and mind relationship.

Extra Extra

Getting things done in a chaotic environment is sometimes difficult for me. Noise distractions. Here is a site that offers help Focus @ will. Purely used for mental focusing for a task at hand. Not a retraining program, but a temporary helper. They have a trial offer.

It’s not the leaps, sometimes we need the gentle nudges. We need to learn and relearn.

WHAT SILICON VALLEY ENTREPRENEURS DO AT NIGHT

Here are some books I like:

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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!

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 In or Out?

Are You In or Out?

Growing up there were those in school who stood out. You noticed them. They were involved or engaged as my manager at work once called it. Take a look at those who are involved in society. They attend functions. They are on boards or are members of certain organizations.

Innie or Outie?

One of the questions at my employment is – do you have a friend at work. Why is this important? People who are involved, have friendships, vote, and attend functions are the ones who are cooperating. They feel like they are a part of the team. In the corporate world, that’s an asset to a manager. You care.

Confidence, self-esteem, validation, and greatness

Remember the qualities I listed last week, the ones I said we crave, confidence, self-esteem, validation, and greatness? Understand that greatness didn’t always come to those who were involved in your high school years. Even though Miss Prom Queen got the chance to wear the crown, that doesn’t mean she is still someone you would admire today. To be great, you have to continue to do great things. That requires a strong inner strength.

“Impact is rewarding. Mattering makes us happy.”
Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness

I never had the nerve to try out for the lead roles in plays or start a protest, even though I wanted to.  Being in front still makes me uncomfortable, but I realize it’s not the only way to greatness, to mattering. Show up this year. Care.

Be the change for this new year

  • Be a friend.
  • Start a charity fund in your office or group.
  • Take part in giving.
  • Teach a class or contribute to a class.
  • Vote.
  • Speak up.
  • Find and join a cause.
  • Sign a petition.

What I’m reading now: Stumbling on Happiness

 

No Stars For You, Mrs. Johnson

No Stars For You, Mrs. Johnson

Confidence, self-esteem, validation, and greatness.

These are qualities we all crave, but none of them are automatic in life. Many of us grow up trying to find ways to cope. We reach out for our validation and affection in places that aren’t expected. We’re like grass growing from cracks in the sidewalks. Resilient. Stubborn. Read the biography of John Lennon or listen to John Lydon of the Sex Pistols tell his story.

My teacher

I was four and a half when I started school, and that’s when I noticed that I was different. It’s at this time that most of us started some type of formal school. We either fit in or stick out like sore thumbs, awkward and in pain.

Whether we were the culprit that spilled the glue that pooled onto the floor or we forgot to bring a pencil and had to borrow one from another student. At some time there was the look of disgust.

I remember Mrs. Johnson, my third grade teacher and her clock shaped like a black cat. It had a tail that flicked back and forth distracting me from listening. She liked to ridicule her students. With me, she also sighed a lot. I was usually the last in line, not in a big hurry. I never felt she liked me. So here’s my turn around; I give no stars to Mrs. Johnson. Well, maybe two stars for being there on time.

Who is on your list? Is it a teacher or a family member?  I hope you take a moment and give yourself the love you need, because you’re worth it.

My Secret – not a copyright infringement

My Secret – not a copyright infringement

I’m going to let you in on a secret, mine even. It’s not often that people get the deep scoop you know. There are those that blab their secrets to everyone and I do have a blog so I may qualify as one. Just to set the record straight, though, I usually don’t tell a lot of my personal life. Facebook and Twitter aren’t filled with my personal details. I rarely post pictures of my meals. I don’t date a lot so I guess you won’t see many pictures of the guys I’ve dated. My cat, well she’s fairly photogenic, but she’s not much of a secret.

The bulldog‘s grip

I have this thing that I do. It’s a switch inside my head that once it’s turned on I have a difficult time turning off. Maybe you have it too. It’s like a bulldog’s grip. You know what it’s like when you’re trying to remember the name of your third-grade teacher, and it’s on the edge of your memory. Yeah, that feeling. Now if you can do something to get to it, as in the case of remembering the actor that played in Vikings, not the main star, but the one who was in the first season and you can’t remember which episode. Do you bother searching? I would. That’s my secret. I would search. Through episodes, Imdb, Google or wherever I needed to search. You don’t call this a secret? Maybe you say I’m sick or I need drugs. Well, you may be right. I say that this skill could come in handy. It did when I was in school. I’d stay up and finish my homework late into the night. I think they call it cramming now.

Can’t let go, don’t hold back

I also learned something new because of this sickness-secret. It’s freed me from my hesitation in my writing. I’ve been doing the NaNoWriMo and I’m a bit behind so I’m cramming aggressively. While cramming, I searched and listened to some helpful pointers and realized I had been restraining myself as I wrote. It isn’t enough to tell yourself to write freely. It’s like saying Be Happy to a sad person. I had to find a way past it. So I did. I wrote a worthless scene as suggested, purely for word count, a monolog. You know what? It was awesome. It worked. The difference in my word count was incredible. The ease that I’m now writing my story has improved. And the important part of the whole thing is that I can feel the bulldog grip. I want to finish this thing!

 

In Defense of the Nonconformist

In Defense of the Nonconformist

I was told a week ago on Friday that I was no longer a good fit for my company. Gasp. Incredulity. Dying with laughter here. I did suspect something. Much like the parents that were raising the offspring of the Cuckoo bird, we all felt a bit off in our office when policies abruptly changed. But I’m not a conformist. Many say, why didn’t you just conform to the new rules and just keep your job? To me, that’s about as easy as saying, why didn’t you just start writing with your other hand and while you’re at it, start singing high soprano? I can’t. I stayed as quiet as I possibly could, and I did my job. Head down and worked. But my skill set didn’t qualify me for the position they needed. Enough said.

I know who I am. No tears cried by me for not being accepted for who I am. I think it’s quite silly not to be able to speak plainly, to stand behind false accusations, to make crap up, when in the past you’ve had a great relationship with a person. I’m speaking of the people who sat on the other side of the desk, with their sour, scowling faces and dismissed me. I do realize that everyone stands in a different place in life. We’ve had different experiences. We wear different glasses. A lot of folks are blinded by their egos or by their own need for survival. The big F word comes to mind. FEAR. It chains me down often, as it does most of us. The truth is hard to see and even harder to speak for some.

This week I’ve been going over job choices. I also have been looking at some of the books I’ve read in the past that have impacted me the most such as, THE ART OF NON-CONFORMITY, by Chris Guillebeau. I’ve been writing, a lot. This I love the most. And pondering what other things that I might love to do. There’s some good advice out there and there’s also just as much hype to read, so it all needs to be taken in stride. I believe that life is just like taking a trip. You plan as best you can. You get your map, your vehicle, and you start out. What happens along the way can’t always be helped. Hopefully, you planned well, but sometimes you just have to start driving. I’ll have to talk about my trip to Magnolia, Texas sometime, and the misadventures of the GPS. Ah, but you’ve probably had a few of your own you could tell.

Baby names for Non Conformist: Hello, My Name is Pabst

Do You Belong in NYC?– Penelope Trunk

Why I’m Joining the Maximizers – JD Moyer

A Brief Guide to World Domination

When the Quiet Ones Roar

When the Quiet Ones Roar

I sometimes feel that people misunderstand. Not about me necessarily. Communication doesn’t come easily for any of us, but it’s especially difficult for the quiet folk. When the quiet ones roar, it often comes out as a meow, if even that.

I come from a family of “do-it-yourselfers.” We were all independent, which is why I broke my arm at four years old. I was the big girl and could do it by myself. I grew up being proud of my independence. My low maintenance came later in life. Somewhere along the line, my interpretation of my independence was to not ask for anything. To not protest or complain. I was the girlfriend who didn’t need you to call her all the time. The wife who didn’t want to complain about the toilet lid and the hair stubble in the sink. I didn’t cry over needles or bugs or small drama. I scoffed when others did. Dammit! I was proud of that.

Truth: Independence doesn’t equal not needing or wanting. Introversion doesn’t either. It only means we find our inner life, our thoughts, and feelings, are more captivating than all the outside drama the others have going on. Jersey Shore, Kardashians or whatever reality T.V. show holds not a drop of drama more enticing than the fantasy going on in my head. We are like cockroaches. We can survive on remarkably little outside emotional support. But that doesn’t mean we don’t desire it sometimes. When we are cared for and loved in the best of environments, we blossom into the Grace Kelleys, the Johnny Carsons, and the Meryl Streeps of this world.

We want the compliments

The quiet one in the corner of the room will light up like a child watching the Christmas day parade if you compliment her, but all she might say is “Thank you.” Givers of compliments sometimes mistake that for arrogance. Or indifference. The truth is the quiet one doesn’t know how to express her thanks or to encourage more compliments. It doesn’t mean that she didn’t feel like a beauty queen for that moment. We want the compliments. We want our day as prom queen or the Belle of the ball. Look at Cinderella. You can’t get a better example of what almost every girl wants.

059a949e2bb16ae2647b2a9dc8010640It’s easy to know what most girls want. Or at least what they don’t want. Quiet ones need coaxing as they express their needs. The trouble is, that’s not likely to happen. Not many see the need. Because the quiet one can’t express her needs, only the loudest one gets heard. It’s not that no one is listening even. Yes, there are those that don’t care what others want, but I have found that there are those that did care, but I never spoke up.

I’m on a mission to teach speech to the speechless, to give voice to the voiceless. If all you think you can ask for at this time is just cinnamon gum instead of wintergreen, then speak up. There’s a group of people who are listening. I know you’re there. I’ve met you in the store. I’ve talked to you at church. We’ve spoken on the internet. In the quiet whisper at night. In the tear that drops from your eye. You have spoken. Now it is time to voice those desires.

You see, sometimes it hurts. It hurts to ask for something knowing that you will either be ignored or told to hush. Not now. Later. It isn’t your time. We learn early that those in charge don’t care. Sounds harsh? From a child’s perspective, it seems true. The parents are overwhelmed with living and surviving. Some children realize this and will move their wants down farther on the list.

We are not children anymore.

I don’t mean to assume that only girls are struggling with this issue. Not true! My writing is affected by my personal experience. Feel free to throw in some male perspective. My latest read is Aspergirls: Empowering Females With Asperger Syndrome by Ruth Simone