Hope

CdOVbD_WAAEEZzRTime is closing in on me. It’s been a problem of claustrophobia. Lack of oxygen. Not enough air. Maybe it’s depression. If I listened to the doctors, they’d give me another pill. I don’t need another. I’d like to take fewer thanks! Maybe the ones I use are causing the issue. Well, yeah, could be.

One thing I realized finally is that I’m not alone.  Society has been steadily growing more complicated. And it’s been creeping up on us all. More demanding. Greedy. Our boundaries have become porous, and we have to be the ones to say, STOP!

Bob Lefsetz in his Letter says – Who’s gonna lead us out of the wilderness? Artists. If they just grab the wheel and start to drive.

Here’s my thing-I don’t fit into the entrepreneur’s gig. I’m not aggressive enough to work on my own. I like the umbrella of a company paying my income. Unfortunately, it pigeon-holes me into the 9 to 5 cubicle workforce.

Maybe I’m looking at this wrong. The creative side of me likes to have fun. Books, movies, and music make me happy. Get my light burning again.

Gordon White from Rune Soup suggests we turn to literature for restoration

And he brings up another reason, social media, and the difficulty of speaking out, which I mentioned in my blog We Have Wet Feet 

There is another reason why creatives may want to think very seriously about unfurling their towel on this part of the beach. It is getting more and more difficult to say anything real publicly. The pH level of the discourse is hovering around 2. (Acid rain starts below 4.)

We’ve all felt this. We really only fire up social media for private conversations now. Venturing out into its public discussions is akin to looking down at the fork in your hand and realising you weren’t doing anything else with that other eye, anyway. – Gordon White

Lately, I’ve questioned my choices. Should I be more assertive? Do the Tim Ferriss thing? Jump from the airplane and be an adventurous person? I know, I know. It’s a ridiculous thing to ponder. I don’t even have a plan. It’s all self-doubt and speculation, but it’s there, sitting and waiting, in the back of my mind. I won’t do it really. I’ll read more books.

I’m just a creative needing to breathe.

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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

Pajamas Are For Wearing All Day Long

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.

mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century

One thing that I wish is to walk past the idea of right and wrong – and to keep walking until we no longer notice other people’s expectations or even our expectations. I would like us to keep stepping through the tall grass until we can actually say that we ARE. No more guilt for not loving enough or not saying the correct words. I want us to live. To run with joy to the top of the hill and then roll down the other side to nowhere in particular.  I would like to spin and swing until I drop to the ground with laughter.

Do you get the idea? I no longer want you or I to hesitate just because someone didn’t approve of us. Walk to the beat of your drum and feel how good it is to not be rushed or pushed or forced to someone else’s pace. And if you want – to skip or run. Go with all of your gusto.

If wearing your pajamas all day long in your house makes you happy and keeping you window open at night helps you breathe easier then do so. If you like eggs for supper and hotdogs for breakfast, guess what? It can be just as you want it to be. This life is your life. These are your rules.

—This is an EXCERPT from my book Get Your Life Back Now!  and will soon be available on Nook with Barnes and Noble when my account is approved. Usually that’s within the 72 hour time frame. I’ll provide a link on my sidebar. Thanks for everyone’s support.  I’m skipping the post next week since I’ll be too busy visiting with family. Until next time – have a great week.

New Book

I’ve just posted a new short nonfiction book, The Big Five. It takes you through Arrogance, Doubt, Shame, Perfectionism, and Unrealistic Expectations. Short read, not expensive and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks all!

Janet

The Big Five. Live your life without a mask.

Click to view at Amazon. Just $0.99.

You Embarrass Me

I drew a monster. Such a cute monster. He looked like a puff ball with legs. His sleeves and leggings didn’t match. He was hiding his eyes too. His name is You Embarrass Me and he thinks I talk too much and help too much. He tells me I need to shut up. According to The Fluent Self, our monsters are really there to help us. They help us protect ourselves so we don’t get hurt. They curb our excesses. This morning I noticed You Embarrass Me. What does he want? I’m sorry little guy. I didn’t mean to embarrass you or to put you out front like that.

Why was I am embarrassed? I angered someone. I said the wrong thing. And it bothered me. Sometimes people push my buttons. Sometimes they rub my fur the wrong way. It’s going to happen and it’s not predictable. Sometimes I get over involved. I try to set things right, fix the problem and I make the situation worse. If I take a step back, everything calms down. I don’t have to change others, either their opinions or their lives. When I feel the unable to set things right, when I think someone sees my stumbling, my imperfections, I want to hide. Dig a hole and crawl into it. The urge to hide in shame because I goofed up once again, or I said something callous is so strong that I know You Embarrass Me is close at hand. At that moment, I know it’s time to stop. Sit down.

This was helpful for me, Seven Ways to Push Through Embarrassment.

Your Drama is Spinning

Drama is fun. If you’ve ever been in the middle of a big, chaotic ball of drama you know what I mean. The person at the center of the drama gets tons of attention. The people surrounding her act as her courtiers, fanning, patting and all the little comforts necessary. We all have times that this is necessary, but there are those that create it. Maybe it’s not intentional, but they created it nonetheless.

Have you ever noticed the lull after the big holiday season? Or maybe after the sports season? It’s difficult to know what to do. No rush. No big fire to put out. It’s been said that the hardest times are during the holidays. That’s true if a loved one is no longer with you. For the rest of the population, the highest suicide rates are after the holidays. In January.

Why is that? Why is the let down after the chaos so difficult to cope with? You’ve just made it through all the rush and energy zapping events and now there’s a feeling of disappointment. We’ve used up all of our energy and there’s no outside event demanding our attention. We were probably running on pure adrenaline for days already then we stop. You would think you would be relieved, but no our mind is using its balancing methods to support the previous vigor.  It’s been called Dynamic Equilibrium. The body needs stability and our entire system tries to keep up the same weight, the same speed.

This is what It was like before I made boundaries. Here are some things that help me cope. These are some tools to let life flow more moderately.

Your voice. Saying no or speaking up is difficult, but it’s a necessary tool in many situations. There are things to consider before speaking. Would it serve me better to leave the situation, or to let someone know that something is wrong? Such as Thelma, your best friend, talks nonstop and rarely filters when she’s talking. Part of the reason you love her so much is her outgoing personality. There are days that her talking gives you a headache. So the two of you have planned to travel to the beach this weekend. You’ll be in the car for several hours. What should you do? Tell her to limit her talking or just don’t go? Tough call.

Your mobility.  Walk away. Distance yourself from the chaos. Sometimes you don’t have control of the environment around you. Once I was out with a guy friend. We were going to cook so I didn’t eat before I went. I was hungry and looking forward to some time together. He wanted to stop over and check on an older friend of his. The older man’s health wasn’t great. I was thinking 30 minutes and we’ll be out of there. No, not 30. 45 minutes were creeping into an hour. I felt bored, hungry and impatient. And feeling sick from not eating. But I sat there. Didn’t say anything. It was close to 2 hours before we left and I was angry. Afterwards, I knew how I should have handled it. I should have politely told him that I was going to run an errand, stopped and ate a taco or burger and came back later. I would have been happy and taken care of myself. Yes, it was rude of him to visit with these people for so long when we had earlier plans, but I can’t control other people. What I do have is the ability to get my keys and take care of myself.

Your environment. Surround yourself with your stuff. What makes you happy? Hot tea at noon? Snacks? Can you listen to music? Make your personal space like your home. Claim your space as much as you can. Pick out your major purchases for your own convenience. Dependability is very important to me. I like a car that can respond quickly. So I bought something with a certified warranty. It cost a bit more but for my peace of mind, it was worth it. I extended the loan period to cover the monthly fee which goes against all of the advice I’ve ever received, but the alternative was to get a car that I wouldn’t trust. Worry is my flaw. Being single in a large city, means I have a little backup. No spouse to call to take me to work or repair my vehicle on the weekend. So AAA is my back up. I’ve arranged my life to fit my needs.

Appreciating Fear

Construction
Construction (Photo credit: [Sazzy B])
You just never know. You start a project and have it all planned out in your mind, but BAM! it morphs into something different from what you expect.  What I would like is to see from someone else’s eyes for a time. I like to read a variety of books to see how other people think. I live with myself all day long. I keep thinking that my way isn’t the best or maybe I don’t know what I’m doing, which often I don’t.

Aren’t we really all blundering around until we have an AHA! moment of our own? We read guides and how-tos or listen to advice from friends, but all they can tell is how to get there from the place they started.

While writing this bit, I have realized that honestly people might want to hear my story, from my point of view. Yes, it’s nice for me to learn different views, but others want to hear mine. Learning is good, but my learning is sometimes a duck and dodge move, an avoidance because I’m afraid.

There are scary monsters under my bed and they pop their heads out to remind me of my insecurities. Wouldn’t want to forget and get all big-headed, would we? So my fears remind me of my humanity. My fears keep me tethered in this reality.

It’s good to remember our human side. I sometimes forget that it’s my humanity, my falling down and getting back up, my bleeding bandaged psych that gives me any wisdom at all. It is my wandering that teaches me the best way to go. I would always question, is my way better or theirs? So since I have wandered and gotten lost, then found my way back out again, I can say with confidence, this way works.

Hello Kitty Bandaid
Hello Kitty Bandaid (Photo credit: c.a.s.e.y)

I have a thing for experts, as many of you know. I’ve written about it before. How to win in 10 easy steps. Become a superhero! Yes. That’s what I want. The reason is simple. I like shortcuts. I don’t like being stupid or even appearing stupid. Being caught in my insecurities is embarrassing. I’ve never liked it. Maybe no one does. Lately, learning to get comfortable with my fear has been my greatest strength.  It has come in handy many times.  Each time I feel the fear, I know I’m in new territory. New territory is a good thing for me. It means I will keep my mind young and I’m learning and developing my adaptive mental muscles.

If you read any of Seth Godin’s work, you know that he talks about this new age we have entered. No longer in the Industrial age, we are all learning to adapt to the Communication and Connectivity Age. Conformity and Standardization are the trademarks of the Industrial age. Raising our kids to be “good” and to sit still and be mindless sheep are no longer the best ways to prepare them for the future. They must learn to adapt and to watch for trends themselves. To assert themselves in difficult situations. Handle conflicts diplomatically. Life is no longer about might equals right.

It’s sometimes hard for me to spot the trends. I’m not talking about skirt lengths and fall colors here. More the way we earn money or do business. I’m thinking about the story “Who Moved My Cheese?” If you have never heard the story, it’s a very simple one.  Mice in the maze know where their cheese is stored. They know the quickest way to get to it and check on it everyday. as all good mice should. These are the cleverest mice. The fastest and the most efficient. Mice college, work hard ethics and all of that stuff.  But one day their cheese wasn’t in it’s normal spot. What to do? Sit and cry in the corner? Yell and scream? Protest on Wall Street? No, that’s not how the cleverest mice handled it. They immediately went looking for it. No pause, no emotional damage. Pffft,…that didn’t work out. Move on. No indignation or resentment. But you promised! How dare you? Just move forward. Try the next door. Then try the next. Forget what this one or that one promised. Forget how it’s always been done or the way it’s supposed to be. Try every door. Check every cabinet, every shelf. Keep trying until you find it.

People that succeed don’t just try once. They try this way, then that way, then another until they figure out what works.

I’m not sticking my belly out

This is from the writer of “Formerly Hot

This is the lighter side of being not so young. I really wish I had her good humor about it. And I do have to check out this book. Looks to be funny!!

Have a wonderful day everyone!