Do You Value Yourself?

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What does self-esteem mean to you?We begin today with a definition. The dictionary says it means confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect. Some of the synonyms offered are: self-respect, pride, dignity, self-regard, faith in oneself; morale, self-confidence, confidence, self-assurance

Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer. Stand up for yourself. Shannon adler

 

Self-esteem, by itself, means confidence. But we rarely use it by itself. It is almost always preceded by adjectives like low, poor, inadequate, lack of… And, this is because we live in an age where we try to place value on ourselves, or others, often compared to someone or something else.

Many people walk around, actually most people walk through life, thinking that they are less-than someone else. There are certainly people in our lives who have an easier or tougher time of getting through life, but, I daresay, that this does not define them or us.

“Mistake is an event not a person. aniekee tochukwu

 

We have wandered into some kind of wasteland where we think our only value is in what we can acquire or accumulate, so that we have more than our peers. Or, we have begun defining ourselves by the few things we can do better than anyone else, so we refuse to share our knowledge and talents with others. The problem, of course, is when someone else catches up, or, gets more. Or, when someone else learns how to do what we do, in spite of our not helping them learn. Or, worse, when we can no longer do it.

Our lives are not defined in such simplistic terms and events. And, our esteem for ourselves must always, ultimately come from within. It is an inner flame, which cannot be dulled by losing a few possessions, or teaching someone else how to do what we do well.

Esteem is confidence in who I am. It is what I truly think of myself. The totality of my being; as is yours.

Trust yourself.

Trust in who you are.

Stop selling yourself short.

And, yes, stop putting those awful adjectives in as you speak of yourself, and the regard you have for yourself and for your talents…

Be truthful with yourself. Face today Doc

 

Chat soon

Doc

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Parts of Life, and Laundry, Redefined!

 

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Unanticipated Opportunities

Most of you who regularly follow my posts, know that I sustained an injury last year. This was followed by way too much drama and a couple of surgeries. But, I continue to be on the mend. Which is something I think I will be saying for some time to come.

More importantly, it has provided me with an unexpected opportunity to see if I truly believed my own pitch, about getting through change and the transitions of life. Because that is what we talk about here every day. Getting through life, and finding ways to thrive and not simply survive. That also means getting paid for a wider variety of the things I do (more often) and changing the way I do many of things.

Housework has never been a favorite of mine, but there are a few chores that I still wish to keep for myself.One of them is laundry. Yes, this will sound a bit salesy, but, a) its supposed to, and, b) it is a true story and my opinion.

P&G: A Way of Life

I grew up in a house like most of you where laundry was a one-shot deal. You tried to do as much as was humanly possible in one setting, even if it took a few hours. All the steps are bunched together, so that, as much as possible, when it was over, it was done until the following week. That was my former life, but this has changed, dramatically. Laundry is not longer a one-step, hit the ground running activity for me. It is a multi-day process.

I was raised in a Proctor and Gamble household. My mother was the #1 fan of Tide. She washed everything in Tide. Including me! As a little (old school) church girl, I can remember those crisp white, almost blue, usher uniforms and almost dazzlingly white gloves on Sunday mornings. This was accompanied by the faint smell of bleach. But, you looked so cool doing your servant work in God’s house. Well, cool to the other church kids. :) And, of course, even though we didn’t have a lot of money, my clothes always looked bright and clean. And, no, you should not wash your children in Tide or Gain!!! See ILoveGain.com for proper instructions and precautions.

As I got older, I started looking at prices, and getting cheaper and heavier packages, trying to pinch a few pennies, especially during my early years of training. But, they never worked as well. Additionally, I can no longer wield those heavy jugs of liquid detergent, liquid bleach and fabric brightener.

Before

Before

 

This is where innovation comes to my rescue. Great innovation means more than just creating something new – it can actually help improve lives. And the revolutionary laundry pacs developed by Procter & Gamble’s Tide and Gain brands have reinvented the laundry process to provide excellent cleaning and freshness results, with minimal time and effort.

After

After

 

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The invention of Tide pods and Gain flings! gets me back to doing a specific chore in a way that I can now it, and it gets my clothes back to a state that I can remember from long ago. Laundry, because of my limitations, is no longer a one-stop shop. It takes several days and several trips down to the laundry room.

Gain flings! offer a great long-lasting scent experience, thanks to their 3-in-1 benefit of Gain detergent, the added cleaning power of OxiBoost, and the odor fighting power of Febreze in a convenient, pre-measured pac.

The pacs are small, light and easy to use, but thanks to their long-lasting scent experience, I know that all my stuff will remain fresh until the next day, when I can make the next tentative steps down the basement stairs to move on the next action.

And, that is what our lives are made of, isn’t it? Making conscious decisions and informed changes about the next steps of our lives.

Make conscious decisions and informed decisions about the next steps of your life

Doc

 

Note Well: I repeat, do NOT wash your children in Tide or Gain, or any other clothing soap powder! Also, just as with any household cleaning products, it is important to keep these laundry pacs up, away and sealed. Keeps these pacs away from your children.

 

POST DISCLAIMER

As a member of The bLink Marketing Network, I participated in this sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Proctor & Gamble. The opinions and text are all mine.

READER COMMENT DISCLAIMER

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

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The Unintended Consequences of Just Being Yourself – Guest Post .@HennaInam

“Just be yourself, you’ll do fine”. Ever heard this well-meaning advice? I gave this advice recently in an email to a mentee to get her pumped up for an interview for a job she really wanted. Just after I’d hit “send” I thought, well that could be disastrous advice. Here’s why.

This young woman is painfully shy. In practice interviews her body language says “why am I even here?” So, really I should have told her, “Don’t be yourself. Be the interview candidate that gets the job!” My current perspective on “just be yourself” is that it’s an overused cliché that those of us who mentor others grandiosely repeat without understanding the unintended consequences.

Most of us don’t really know what being ourselves really means. Who we are is complex and most of our behaviors are driven from our unconscious. Here are five ways being ourselves can be dangerous:

  • Just be myself (forget what’s appropriate) – Yes well, I may have dressed inappropriately for that job interview, but I wanted them to see the “real” me – the identity I want to project as a cool, hip dude. The real you is not the identity you want to project. The real you knows what they want and are willing to flex to what’s appropriate in a situation.
  • Just be my (insert emotion here) self – If I’m angry or frustrated, being authentic is letting all of that emotion hang out. It gives me license to show up and blow up. The real you isn’t whatever emotion you happen to be having. The real you acknowledges the emotion you’re having and discerns what’s appropriate.
  • Just be myself (and remain in my comfort zone) – Here’s one issue some of my mentees talk about. “I would like to get ahead, but I hate talking about myself. That’s just not me!” So let me just stay in my comfort zone. Or “I know I need to build strategic relationships to move ahead, but it feels so fake to do that”. The real you doesn’t let “that’s just me!” stand in the way of goals important to you.
  • Just be my (insert opinion here) self – I know I need to work with Mary over in Accounting. But, I just don’t like her. Trying to be friendly with her would be so fake. That’s just not me. We take strong stances on our opinions (Republican or Democrat, Catholic or Protestant, I like Mary or Not), and let the stances define and limit us. The real you can find the right attitude or perspective that best serves you in a given situation.
  • Just be myself (and true to my values) – This is a tough one! So many leadership gurus tell us that being ourselves is being true to our values. However, so many tough decisions cause many of the values we have to collide. Abraham Lincoln was open to coercing others and indirectly offering payoffs to get the 13th amendment (abolishing slavery) passed. Yes that would be “Honest Abe”. The real you understands your personal values, wrestles through tough choices, to pursue what’s in the greater good.

We often form our identity around our beliefs, our status, our work, our values, our roles, or even the labels around gender, religion, football team, nationality, etc. Yes, these labels do define who we are, until they no longer serve us. Then the “real me” emerges as the silent witness to the labels, emotions, and perspectives – and empowers us to choose powerfully and be what serves us and the greater good in that moment.

So the next time I proudly tell myself or others to “just be yourself” I will need to pause. How about you? Please comment and share your thoughts on the topic.

by Henna Inam

 

Wired For Authenticity

Henna Inam is the CEO of Transformational Leadership Inc., and author of Wired for Authenticity – now available on Amazon. Learn more about her work at www.transformleaders.tv or connect with her on Twitter @hennainam.

Originally posted on December 12, 2013 at http://www.transformleaders.tv/the-unintended-consequences-of-just-being-yourself/. A version of this post also appeared on Henna’s Forbes.com blog.

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The Value of Intergenerational Communication

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As we touch the lives of many others, so too do many others touch our lives. Intergenerational communication and wisdom, help us grow and learn without the necessity of experiencing every event, especially the painful ones, ourselves. Stories provide us with entertainment and with wisdom.

Being Mentored

“However, you are not alone. Generations of women in your family have chosen. Women around the world have chosen. We all have chosen at one time in our lives. We stand behind you now screaming:

Choose to let go.
Choose dignity.
Choose to forgive yourself.
Choose to forgive others.
Choose to see your value.
Choose to show the world you’re not a victim.
Choose to make us proud.”
~ Shannon L. Alder

I grew up in an old-fashioned home. Old-fashioned, and poor. I also grew up with “old” people, in years, if not in spirit. My grandmother lived with us the last 8 years of her life, and the first 8 of mine. In fact, we shared a bedroom during our time together. In addition to making special treats for her favorite grandchild, me :), while sharing family recipes, she shared her life stories. Her father was a freed slave, so she could tell me true stories about the resilience of people, and what it takes to stay alive and stick to your beliefs.

Another woman, my fourth grade teacher, struck a spark within me when she made me see that I was smarter than I was trying to let on. And, in letting my light shine more brightly, become who I was meant to be.

Yet, another woman, my pastor’s wife, spent long hours with me in conversation, usually over a glass of lemonade. We talked openly and honestly about faith, church life, the politics in church (and life), and how to get through it with integrity, grace, mercy and faith.

My mother, of course was the foundational rock beneath all these other women I learned from.

Mentoring

I now have daughters and granddaughters of my own with whom I can share all of the above knowledge, sprinkled with my life experiences, my innate and acquired wisdom, and all the other things that make me who I am. I can share stories about real life throughout the last 200-plus years. I can talk about trips South to spend time with our greater extended family. Stories about seeing a mule up-close for the first time, running around the woods, and catching tadpoles with my new cousins. I can talk about my grandmother’s biscuits which were too sweet for anyone else to eat. I can share stories about helping make sweet potato pies with my aunt, and being rewarded with tiny sweet potato turnovers from the remains. I can share what I have learned through all my years of education, work and dealing with people. I can share all that I continue to learn from and with them.

 

Standing in the Gap

“Human beings have always been an unfinished species, a story in the middle, a succession of families, tribes, and societies in transition to new awarenesses. Although we have always prided ourselves on our willingness to adapt to all habitats, and on our skill at prospering and making ourselves comfortable wherever we are — in a meadow, in a desert, on the tundra, or out on the ocean — we don’t just adapt to places, or modify them in order to ease our burdens. We’re the only species that over and over again has deliberately transformed our surroundings in order to stretch our capacity for understanding and provoke new accomplishments. And our growing and enhanced understanding is our most valuable, and our most vulnerable, inheritance.”
~ Anthony Hiss

As I said over on the group blog, we are each of us always standing in-between. In between past generations and future generations. Our children, and everyone else learn a great deal from what we say, but even more from what they see us do. It is a huge responsibility helping the next generation evolve into their best selves and fly away from the nest. A responsibility we should all take very seriously. And, our responsibilities are not only to those who are family by blood, but, also to those whom we invite into our lives to form new families and communities.

 

Never stop learning.

Never stop sharing your story and your life.

Someone is always learning from you.

 

 

One of our most important tests in life giving up something today for future generations Doc

 

Doc

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Affirmation: Moving From Visions and Dreams to Reality

Lifting Crate clip art

 

 

 

Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. Why do I feel  disappointed when a dream that I am excited about fails to materialize?

2. In what ways do I, and can I going forward, encourage myself to dream big even if it seems unrealistic?

3. When do I set aside time to hone the skills needed to achieve my goals?

 

For the past two days we have talked about visions without plans, and plans without the benefit of a concrete vision. One is not rally much good to us without the other. We need both. It doesn’t do us, or anyone else, any good to carry around out magnificent vision in our heads and never unpacking them, never sharing them or working on them. Just so, it is insanity to just do a lot of different things in the hope that life will magically, eventually work out to your liking.

Even as we live in the current day, and are present to others in our lives, we need to maintain some vision of life that reaches beyond nightfall, along with a plan made up of actionable, doable steps. And, I will add, step that we will actually do.

When I dare to be powerful, less important afraid audre lorde

 

I can be a huge dreamer. But, I have found I take that it is the only way to achieve a few greater things in my life, to move to the next steps of where and who I wish to be.

Every successful idea that you have begins with a sizable dream. It is unlikely that we will turn every dream into a reality. But, we can be satisfied achieving smaller goals that are inspired by our larger dream.

This does not mean that we should dreaming aimlessly. The key is to act upon the ideas, visions and dreams. Your creativity will flow as you take the time to mark out a path that leads directly toward your desired goal.

“Never surrender your hopes and dreams to the fateful limitations others have placed on their own lives. The vision of your true destiny does not reside within the blinkered outlook of the naysayers and the doom prophets. Judge not by their words, but accept advice based on the evidence of actual results. Do not be surprised should you find a complete absence of anything mystical or miraculous in the manifested reality of those who are so eager to advise you. Friends and family who suffer the lack of abundance, joy, love, fulfillment and prosperity in their own lives really have no business imposing their self-limiting beliefs on your reality experience.”          ~ Anthon St. Maarten

I suggest that you keep a notebook on your bedside table, so that you can record your ideas. This simple step helps me keep my brain active, even in the middle of the night. It also creates a solid connection between my creativity and reality.

Most of our days are quite ordinary. But, this does not mean that we cannot achieve some, if not most, of the wonderful dreams that enter our minds.

Your dreams dance around in your consciousness. You are the only person who has ownership of your thoughts.

Make every effort to convert your dreams to goals. Then, make and spend the time needed trying to turn those goals into reality. And, keep your stress down by working to achieve one goal at a time.

Affirmation dreams into goals through actions

 

 

Doc

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Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Anywhere

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Yesterday, we talked about the futility of having or casting a vision without any real plan in place. Today, we will take the opposite road. What does it mean to have a plan without having a vision?

 

Detailed Work Leading to…

A goal is not always meant to be reached Bruce Lee

 

Some of us are super detail oriented. This is not always a bad thing. We are each different and the world needs us all with our own little quirks. But, without a clear destination in mind, it is possible to get mired in the details and lose site of the destination.

Without a clear destination, something to aim at, we have no idea if we are moving in the right direction or not. Are we moving toward the goal, or away from it? Or, are we not really moving at all, and just standing in place spinning our wheels.

The spinning may be fun for some of us, but it grows tiresome and becomes drudgery if it remains the same pointless journey over and over. W can always focus on some new details, but we are still stuck with asking ourselves, “Are we making progress?”

For instance, let us say that someone asked us to take a picture of a particular building downtown for a blog post. We can shoot 100s pictures in a day, but if we did not get one good shot of what we are supposed to be photographing, then it is a big #fail. Sure, we did a lot. But, we didn’t accomplish the task set before us.

 

Plans Without Action

The most pathetic person in the world is sight but no vision helen keller

 

It is also possible to be so focused on setting up just the right plans, and putting plans (and people) in place that we never take any action. For some of us this may be caused by our perfectionism. Our undying need to get everything just right before we can call a job done. For many it is fear. For some few others, who knows.

Whatever the reasoning, there is a disconnection between the planning phase and the vision casting, and the implementation. Again, a big #fail. This can hold just as true for our organizations, our teams, our churches, as it does for our individual lives.

We are after is the middle way. And, that is what we will talk about in our affirmation tomorrow.

A plan without a clear vision in place pointless journey Doc

 

Chat soon.

Doc

 

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Visions Without Plans- Lies We Tell Ourselves

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Today, we will begin, as we often do with a definition. The word today is. It is a word we hear daily, often tossed around in the things we read, as well as our organizations. But, not everyone understands this word in the same fashion. And, it is hard to keep a team moving forward if we are not all using the same, or similar definitions, of what we are trying to achieve.

What does “vision” mean?

There are a myriad of definitions, but we will stick with the ones germane to our discussion.

  • the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight. 
  • the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be: prophetic vision, such as the vision of an entrepreneur.
  • a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation: visions of wealth and glory.

Vision is seeing something or projecting something that we hope for or anticipate for the future. And, although we live in the here and now, today by being present, most of us see something beyond today’s nightfall. If we do not, especially if we are in a business enterprise, then each day would be much the same, with no next in mind. All tasks would have the same importance, and eventually, the same low priority. Or, alternatively, we would be on high-alert, because everything is vitally important.

We can only see a short distance ahead, alan turing

 

 

Getting things done, getting anything done, would all soon be bereft of importance if we continually function in either of these extreme states all the time. For instance, our morning grooming routine would either become totally unimportant, or be the most important thing we think we need to get done for the day. Prepping for our presentations would mean nothing, or we would forsake everything else in life, including our loved ones, for the sake of getting it done. We would be bored stiff or absolutely exhausted when we finally reached the “end” of each day’s journey.

How we get through each day comes from our sense, and need for prioritization. Choosing what is important and what is not. What things have an important impact on today, and what is important for the future.

If the doors of perception were cleansed- infinite william blake

 

The future lies in the vision. Vision lies in tomorrow, next week, next year, the next decade…

What are we preparing ourselves, our families, our colleagues, and the people we interact with and lead to do? 

Where are we going?

Why are we going?

What is the hallmark of the agenda we all all working toward?

How will we know when we get there?

How are we going to get there?

A vision without a plan is wishful thinking without a plan. Never lie to yourself Doc

 

Along with our vision, we need a plan.

 

Chat tomorrow…

Doc

 

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Music: Fuel for Your Spirit

 

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Always Nearby

I don’t always find music relaxing. But I use it in the ways that I relax.

Long ago, probably during training, I developed an issue with insomnia. I can remember trying the usual American sedative of watching television until I drifted off. And, only ended up watching a lot more TV than was good for me, or than I was truly interested in, and considering purchases that had no real value. You remember those late night sales commercials. A few times I tried using music to induce sleep, and on rare occasion, this seemed to work. But, I all too often found that I quickly became more interested in the lyrics of the songs, and trying to remember when I had heard it last, than I was in falling asleep.

There is always something playing in my car: satellite radio, with its wide array of music and preset channels. My iPod brings me almost every worldwide genre at a single touch. And audiobooks to feed my thirst for science fiction-fantasy and murder mysteries.

Music univerasl language henry wadsworth longfellow

 

Music for the Mood

What I choose to play depends on my mood, rather than the other way around.

If I feel like dancing, I can crank up some music from my youth, usually something from Motown, or a few recent danceable tunes. If I feel like being quiet and chilling, jazz, blues, or classical music usually fills the bill. Gospel music is always nearby to help me feel enriched, especially if I am feeling “poor in spirit.” I will listen to almost anything.

Music nourishes me, even if it does not fill most of my quiet and relaxed moments. And, I don’t always know what will strike a chord. I can recall two recent specific times when the right music came to me at the right time. On a longish, for me, drive, The Supremes came on, “Love is Like An Itching in My Heart.”. I can’t remember the last time I heard this song, but I when it came into rotation, I had to play it (loudly) and sing it about 10 times before I could let it go. It made the rest of the journey a blast! Recently, on a drive home from church with, in my opinion, a great sermon, and just-okay music, one of my old gospel favorite, “Unspeakable Joy,” came on the gospel channel, and that made the day. Each of these incidents brought joy to my heart and a smile to my face for the remainder of the day.

 

Music has always been a matter of Energy- fuel hunter thompson (1)

 

Like much of the rest of life, music and relaxation are about being open and receptive to the light that we posses inside, and finding ways to make our own lights shine brighter. And it is also about the light and the messages of life that surround us each day, if we pay attention.

 

 

Music is an significant language of the spirit Doc

 

Doc

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Affirmation: Second Chances, Room to Grow

Second Chances @MartinaMcGowan.com

Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. What is one positive experience I had when giving someone else a second chance?

2. What is a positive experience I had when I gave myself a second chance?

3. How does believing in second chances make me feel more hopeful?

4. Why is it important for me to persevere?

 

Don't let second chances pass you by daisy whitney

 

Reaching what we hold as success requires persistence. We have to learn to give second chances, to others, and to ourselves.

Second chances give us another opportunity to apply what we have learned from our past experiences. In a sense, it is like doubling our education and training.

Coming back for a second time also teaches us to be patient. Most worthwhile pursuits demand significant planning and sustained effort to attain them.

When we can acknowledge how valuable second chances have been in our own lives, we can soften our hearts and become more willing to extend the same opportunity to others.

 

To take that second chance, we need to holly elissa bruno

 

 

We want other people to know that we believe in them as well.

As parents, we have to keep in mind that our children often require time to learn their schoolwork and master household chores. We can persevere, and keep continue working through a geometry problem until it finally makes sense to everyone. If the laundry turns out pink, we put those sheets aside for Valentine’s Day and start over with a new load, and new awareness and knowledge.

We appreciate it when our  friends give us second chances. We live with gratitude for the love they bear us and the support they give us without expecting us to be perfect. Because, we are not. But, what we appreciate in each other is that we are making an effort, not the attainment of perfection. Read: “Choosing Achievement Over Perfection.”

At work, I can ask colleagues to review projects with me to understand our strengths and weaknesses. And, I know that it is not taken as a sign of weakness for any of us to ask for assistance. Read:”Asking for help: It’s a good thing,” and “Affirmation: Leaving Our Comfort Zone to Ask For Help.”

We should be looking for ways to help everyone keep getting better each time we work together.

“Without failing at one thing, there won’t be an opportunity to try again, learn and grow. Life isn’t static but dynamic. Learn to embrace whatever situation you may face and strive to overcome. Believe in yourself, knowing your best is yet to come.” ~ Kemi Sogunle

Congratulate yourself for making a sincere effort.

Keep encouraging yourself to try, and try again.

Affirmation- I believe in second chances Doc

 

Doc

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Choosing Achievement Over Perfection

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We walk a narrow path between excellence and perfection, and a slightly broader path between who we are and who we would be. Sometimes this is because of mental constraints or recordings that we replay in our heads that keep us locked down in a certain opinion of ourselves. And, sometimes it is because of new, or old physical constraints to our mobility and function.

 

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection michael j fox

 

As we talked about yesterday, in “Striving for Perfection,” the elusive goal of doing everything perfectly, or even as we once did, is a trap. It is the endless hamster wheel that keeps us reaching, and sometimes re-injuring ourselves to do what we simply can no longer.

 

For just one second, look at your life this is it lev grossman

 

Our lives continue to change. For me it was a back and shoulder injury that have altered my thinking about my career path. More importantly, it has forced me to sit with finding the resolution between who I was, who I thought I was in terms of the image I projected, and who I really am inside. What is inside is what we come face to face with when everything else breaks down or breaks apart. The stuff inside is what gets us to rise again. To become a veritable “new creation.”

I have talked in the past about trying to reclaim some balance in life. Physical changes have pressed me to get help with some of the heavier chores of housework, which I never enjoyed anyway. It has also changed how I get my own chores done. Next week, I will touch on this a little more.
Change the things you need to change in Doc

 

Doc

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Striving for Perfection

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Perfectionism is something that eats at many of us. Perfection means very different things to us at different times and stages in our lives. But, we all work as if it were one thing. One thing, one person, one event, one feeling that we need to get to. Or, perhaps a feeling or sensation we believe we have had in the past that we spend the rest of our days trying to duplicate.

Rockstars

This second, and this is my personal opinion, is what I think happens to many true rockstars. The moment they are most loved, most celebrated, and at the peak of their talent must indeed feel glorious. But, we have watch many, like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and many more who finish their careers as some kind of caricature of themselves.

Sadly, this burning flame doesn’t exist in rockstars only, but in many people who never really grow up and become adults, but remain the “golden child” or “prodigy” they were once considered to be. This can degenerate into fear, jealousy, paranoia and constant self focus. No, most of us are not sociopaths, and can choose to step off this merry-go-round. But, we work side-by-side with a few who seemingly cannot.

These are the people in our lives that find unique ways to put us and others down so that the spotlight always shines on them. They work to shift blame and credit so that the success of any project apparently could not have occurred without them. Any good springing from another source, another person, must be quickly overshadowed and stamped down. They are the center of their world.

If you look for perfection, you'll never Tolstoy

 

Never Enough

Perfection, and the drive to always be in it, can drive us to the other extremes of madness as well. This mind trap tells us continually that what we do is never good enough (LINK Gilding the Lily), and that, in fact, we ourselves are not good enough. And possibly can never be. We set an impossible standard, that we keep straining to reach, but it is always mysteriously just beyond our reach. Read: Gilding the Lily. When “Good Enough” is “Fine”

We keep trying to be better, to do better, to think and respond better. But, it is the proverbial fool’s errand. Perfection is something we may say we seek, but, I believe that it is excellence that is our true goal. This we can do. We can do and be excellent a lot of the time.

When you stop expecting people to be Donald Miller

 

The Middle Ground

Life, real life is light and dark. Ups and downs. Triumphs and disasters.

Somewhere between our striving for and seeking absolute perfection and feeling continually defeated and beaten up/down by life and its circumstances, lies our sanity and hope. Alongside these, is our ability to enjoy life again. Many things will works out well for us. In fact, most things will. Be grateful.

A few things will not go as we hope. We will not get to the outcomes we dreamed of, prayed for, or hoped for. These are opportunities to learn from life and its obstacles. We can bang our heads against the same wall in the same ways over and over, or we can choose to do something different. We can trip and fall in the same hole over and over, or we can rise from the muck, and learn from the fall.

Stop. See the light. Take a breath. Doc

 

Question: What thing to you keep doing, or what thing keeps “happening” to you that is keeping you from going forward?

Doc

 

 

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Free Time is Grossly Underrated

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Free time is rarely wasted.

Doc

 

If you enjoy what you do during your down time, then it can only be of benefit to you. But, as we have discussed earlier this week, we get caught up in other people’s agendas and ‘shoulds‘ and forget what truly makes us happy.

When someone asks me what I do with my free time, I usually quip that I don’t really have any. But the fact of the matter is that we do, you do, and I do, and we should make conscious and deliberate choices about how we spend the valuable coinage of time.

Making the most of our “free” time is about seeking what will serve us best. Sometimes its doing something rigorous to sweat away out demons, and because most of our jobs are too sedentary. Sometimes it is more quiet and restrictive so that we can recharge our batteries before getting back out into the world.

 

Guard well your spare moments. Emerson

 

What do I do?

What I do depends a great deal on my mood.

I read a lot. I read for knowledge and leisure. I also listen to audiobooks. I did the entire series of “Game of Thrones” while commuting a few winters ago. I listen to non-fiction as well.

I watch movies and a little TV. I love murder mysteries like “Foyle’s War,” “Inspector Lewis,” and those that press me to think, or to look up references. Like what? Like historical facts, characters in Greek tragedies (e.g., Medea or Cressida), Latin phrases (e.g., nulli secundus), lines from Shakespearean plays, or poetry I have not heard before. Of course this means that it takes me 2 or 3 times as long to get done, but it is fun for me.

 

A master in the art of living draws no distinction play and work lawrence pearsall jacks

 

I listen to a great deal of music. Again, this is directed by the mood. I do what is generally referred to as R&B. This is loosely the soundtrack of my “youth”, 1930s (no, I wasn’t alive then) through the 2000s. I grew up in church, so I listen to a great deal of gospel. I also listen to reggae (spiritual and love), classical music, a rare C&W (e.g., Bonnie Raitt), jazz, classical music, and almost everything else in between.

I draw. I make messes, loosely called art.

I walk, and take pictures. I walk and think. I think a lot.

As my recovery continues, I hope to get back into more physical activities like Tai Chi and a little weight lifting. But, those are for much further down the road. I also have a few hobbies, like pottery, that have remained off the table for now, but I look forward to engaging them again.

And, of course, I write…

In your free time give yourself over to Doc

 

What do you do to unwind, release, relax, recharge, rekindle?

Doc

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Affirmation: Guilt, Shame and Self-Care

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Questions to Ask Yourself: 

1. How do I handle discouraging feedback?

2. What more can I do to build my self-confidence?

3. When was the last time I took a risk to find happiness?

4. When was the last time I allowed myself to have fun?

 

I will begin today with a quote, as usual. It is an interesting quote from Danielle Koepke. Much too long for an insert, but important, nonetheless, because I think it summarizes some of the feelings we have been discussing this week…

“Most of my life has been spent trying to shrink myself. Trying to become smaller. Quieter. Less sensitive. Less opinionated. Less needy. Less me. Because I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t want to be too much or push people away. I wanted people to like me. I wanted to be cared for and valued. I wanted to be wanted. So for years, I sacrificed myself for the sake of making other people happy. And for years, I suffered. But I’m tired of suffering, and I’m done shrinking. It’s not my job to change who I am in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. I am worthwhile. Not because other people think I am, but because I exist, and therefore I matter. My thoughts matter. My feelings matter. My voice matters. And with or without anyone’s permission or approval, I will continue to be who I am and speak my truth. Even if it makes people angry. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Even if they choose to leave. I refuse to shrink. I choose to take up space. I choose to honour my feelings. I choose to give myself permission to get my needs met. I choose to make self-care a priority. I choose me.”

 

 

Monday, we talked about how lack of self-care eats away at our self esteem in The True Cost of Self-Neglect.

Yesterday, how we allow guilt, shame, shoulds and tolerations distort our view of ourselves and our view of the world, and hold us prisoner, The Guilt and Shame That Binds Us.

Somewhere along the line we need to figure out a way to avoid feeling guilty for treating ourselves well, as well as expecting others to do so, too.

expect to be accommodated victoria moran

 

We are each beautiful and deserving human beings.

Each uniquely created and worthy of being celebrated.

Learn to use every opportunity to treat yourself well and to think good thoughts about yourself.

 

Caring for myself is not Audre Lorde

 

 

It is important to show love to yourself.

Lack self-love can result in negative feelings about who we are and what we can achieve.

How we treat ourselves, sends clear signals to others about how to treat us as well.

When we love ourselves, it becomes a little easier to love and understand others.

Honoring ourselves boosts our level of confidence. You and your attitude can help yourself feel encouraged when you take on even the toughest of challenges. And even when the outcome is less than we had hoped, we can rest in the knowledge that our best effort really is good enough.

Take the time to rest and recharge, Take breaks conscientiously and consciously. Take your well-earned vacation time. They will help remind you of how special you are and allow you to embrace it. These activities also help re-energize you and help to increase your productivity.

Begin to feel more at ease when you treat yourself well.

Try to sidestep the guilty feeling guilty when you stop to buy yourself something nice. Know it is warranted as long as it fits the budget.

 

Affirmation- Treat myself weel. Doc

 

Doc

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The Guilt and Shame That Binds Us

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Yesterday, we talked about The Cost of Self-Neglect. And, how placing all our needs to the side, ostensibly for the good of everyone else, eventually eats away at the very fabric of who we are, what we are capable of doing, and who we are capable of becoming. It can affect us on all levels of life- physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Shame is a soul eating emotion. C.G. Jung

 

Toleration

Today, I want to look at another aspect or facet of this stone. Once we have buy into this idea that our self-worth is somewhat less than everyone else’s, every time we feel the urge to break free of this seeming prison, we feel guilt, shame, remorse, or some other kind of undoing. When what we ought to be considering is, why has our value of ourselves gone down, how can we raise it again, and to look at all the things we tolerate in life, just to get by.

Shame is the lie someone told you about anais nin

 

“Shoulding”

We tolerate many things in life. Granted, there will always be things that don’t suit us well, or do not go the way we would wish. But there are many things that fall under the category of “Should.” The things we should so, or should say, the places and events we should go to, the people we should be hanging around with… And, we become prisoners to the things we feel we should be doing, because someone else thinks it is the right things to do, and the things that we want to be dong. See: “How Long Are You Going to “Should” Yourself? (Why Not?!)

 

Self-care is only a tiny ripple in this pool. We don’t take good care of ourselves because we are “shoulding” on someone else’s behalf, or for someone else’s benefit. There is no “extra” time to prep a decent meal, hang out with old friends, drinking enough water…. And, guilt and shame keep us there. Most of us are loathe to put ourselves first. We go through great pains not to let go of the “right” relationships for fear of being left out, or left behind. We rearrange our schedules in the name of being seen in the right places. And, it brings us too little joy for the effort put forth. Often, only more guilt floods in because we are not feeling any more fulfilled or sustained by the activity. Only more tired and drained.

 

We do not have to be ashamed of what we. We are good soil. Trungpa

 

Stop

Look at your life. What one thing are you doing every week (or day) that is of little benefit, has failed to get you to where you thought it would lead, or just no longer makes sense to continue doing? And, what could you do instead with that precious “free” time to make your heart sing?

Do that!

Time is not fee.

Doc

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