Change Your Life Today!

I’m not really a winter person. So when my family  took off for two months to Tucson, AZ, Costa Rica and then the Sacred Valley in Peru – And invited me to go along, WHY did I choose to stay in the beautiful albeit snowy, slippery, slushy, squishy (ok you get it) frozen North? Nelson BC is a mecca for skiers, snowboarders and spiritual seekers. Once I loved downhill skiing, adored it. But my knees aren’t up to it anymore. Not up to walking on ice either. And there has been 2’ to 4’ of snow in my backyard since the first of the year. Dumps, meaning serious snow shoveling, have come once or twice a week. So Why Not go away immediately? with my beloved family?

Space and some quiet time to contemplate. Time to revamp my Life one more time. Space to turn my direction away from computer tutoring, websites and overcompensating volunteerism back towards art, creativity and soul.

You’ve been patient. I said Change Your Life Today! So how? Will you be ticked at me if I say Change Your Attitude. Don’t care. CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE. Have an attitude of gratitude – sorry it sounds so hokey – but it is So True. But let me explain a bit.

I don’t know what you want to Change in your life. And I don’t know if the circumstances in your life can change. But I absolutely Know that you can impact Everything by changing your attitude. Why the Heck am I writing this blog when there have been hundreds of books, articles, blogs, etc. written by famous authors, teachers, and more experienced bloggers than I? Well they say we teach what we most want to learn. This is it.  And I’m having such great insights these days I just want to share.

The only moment we have is the present, today, this moment. We can’t change the past. We really can’t predict the future. So what have we got? The Present. You can’t be happy in the future or the past. Maybe there are visualizations that may impact you in time. Intentions can set the stage for the future. Forgiveness exercises can work with the past (usually ending with forgiving ourselves for being human). We can work within our timeline. But Pausing and Savoring the Moment, allowing the Juice, Joy, Miracle of Being Alive in the present, can only happen in the Present. It’s a Present!

Appreciate what is here: yourself, the beauty that surrounds you (even if it is mud), the fact that you can breathe. Love yourself and all other beings and things that please you. If it is a really tough day appreciate the challenges you have right now for they are one way we grow – stronger, more resilient, wiser. Pausing to savor the moment will change you life.

For all Moms who had a crappy day…..

Mothers Day flowersYou feel so much like the victim, and you Really don’t want to feel like a victim. Which makes you feel worse. This time it was Mother’s Day, but it could be your birthday, gift giving holiday, another big bruhaha. And it didn’t happen for you! No damn celebration of who you are, what you do, what you give! The kids blew it off, or your honey (not today) did. What they got you if they got you anything was insulting rather than heart fulfilling. They didn’t clean the house, cook you a special meal or even say Thank You! in a way that you could feel.

It So Sucks!..... I remember and I’m writing this blog because I want to give you that Love You So Deserve. Unfortunately it isn’t the same; as it would have been if they’d just woken up and been thoughtful and loving. But I So want to give this to you. It took me so many years, lost relationships, aching hearts, years where grieving pissiness would slap me upside the head - just when I wasn’t expecting it to gain these insights. So hope this helps.

The bad news, you’ve heard it over and over, but bummer, it really is real:
“You can’t get anybody to do anything [no matter how much you need, plead, become a hollow shell, yell - Or Deserve It], whether it is clean the house, pick up their clothes, get you a card, or plan you a special event. You just can’t get them to do it because you Really Really want them to…”

If you nag enough there is a one in ten chance they might do it the next time, maybe. But then there is all that nagging on your heart, in your relationship, makes you feel well - negative. Or you keep quiet about it until the resentment bubbles right up your throat and right out your mouth. And then you are stuck with being in a worse situation than you were before - doubling doomed. You were feeling bad, you expressed it and that made you feel worse, and then depending upon their reaction, and in my experience it usually was an argument or a fight, damn, much worse.

Let me say right here however, ‘YOU DESERVE IT!” Whatever little or big thing you had hoped for, whatever silly or sweet expression of love you desired, you deserve it. You do so much. You work so hard. You care so much. It is hard. It really is! Being a Mom is a huge big job, virtually thankless, it is unrelentless too. Just keeps going until you die. But whether or not they show it everyone wants that to be when you are 101 plus (as long as you are relatively healthy).

Now for the Good News: You, yes you, can get to the point where you don’t care. Not that you don’t care about them or yourself, but you really don’t care if they live up to your hopes, your expectations. You can get to the point where you actually think the whole thing is amusing and you can be at peace. Honest.

Note: It does not make you feel better to hold on to the resentment. They may deserve it but right now what we care about is You! Resentment, sadness and bitterness just makes you feel crappy, doesn’t actually impact your loved ones. Even if they feel guilt - that feels lousy too and is not likely to make them more pleasant to be around.

You can feel Peace and eventually Joy! That is what I want for you, and to feel gratitude for the fact that you are Alive and have anyone at all to feel pissy about. The only reason I feel qualified to go here is that I spent 34 years learning about this, practicing all the unworkable emotions, neglected negotiations, destroyed dreams. My hope is that if I tell you what I learned it will make a difference for you. You probably already know this, but maybe today you need to hear it again.

Nobody else can make you happy or sad - really. Your thoughts trigger chemicals that create your emotions - or sometimes an emotion will click in a whole bunch of practiced thoughts. But they are your thoughts and emotions. You are the only person that can examine them and decide if this thought, that emotion makes you feel well, alive, more at peace. I’m betting you want to feel happy more than you want to hold onto your gripes, more than your entitlement. If not well….

There are all sorts of ways to examine your thoughts. Bryon Katie’s The Work is brilliant, and everything to do it is right online. Eckhart Tolle’s pain body paradigm in The Power of Now made sense of my totally out of control menstrual rants. Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul was the most illuminating for me. When he talks about the voice in your head that just won’t shut up, that keeps arguing, that is crazy, well I got That. Whatever works for you. Meditation helps alot - if you can carve out the time - even Deepak and Oprah’s 20 minutes. It is just so important to remember not to believe your thoughts! They are just thoughts. They are not Truth (if so perhaps you have a new career as an oracle unfolding). And emotions change, move, roll on if we let them. It will be better later, honest.

And they are not your fault! Remember Dear you are human. That is the game we are all playing. You are doing the very best you can and evolving as a perfectly lovely human being! Human Beings get pissy, sad, mad, believe their thoughts, get in arguments, yell at their loved ones, sulk and fuss. We love drama and have deep real feelings. At the end of the day we are all doing the best we can, that day.

We all want fun and a break from the work, the stress. I’ve been thinking how easy it is to have fun when we are children. Holidays were exciting and our parents made them special (maybe). We had fun taking a walk and looking at the pretty flowers, throwing rocks into the stream, digging up dirt, swinging on the swing, talking with friends for hours, kicking the ball, playing games, dancing. Those might be fun now.

At 65 I’m still trying to figure out how the adult me likes to play, what makes me feel good, how to switch out of sad or madness. That is your job too - figure out how to take care of yourself well enough that how others take care of you doesn’t matter. Give yourself a break, literally, a cup of tea, a massage, a walk by yourself, write a blog, soak it in - whatever makes you feel renewed, refreshed, amused by the intricacies of life. So much so that whatever they do, or don’t do, doesn’t really matter - because you can and will give yourself peace.

Styles

 

It drives you crazy! Why do they do things that way? Why do they do them at all? WTF

I live in a cohousing community in southeastern BC. It is a new community and There Is So Much to do! And it is late summer, people have been traveling, some committees are just getting going. Gosh our Common House isn’t even done yet. Nor the path from one side of the community to the other.

And I’m a newbie and an American at that. My voice carries – I blame that part on Italian genetics and maybe voice lessons as a kid. But I’ve been around the block group wise – The Artist Gallery – a cooperative gallery of over 40 artists in Flagstaff, AZ; the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament (that was a Trip); teaching both high school and elementary school; women’s groups out the yin-yang. WORKING IN GROUPS IS A SPIRITUAL EDUCATION UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE I KNOW!

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This post is an attempt to articulate one layer of what I see occur occasionally. Conflict happens – perhaps actually between individuals, or just an internal dialogue one person (me perhaps) has within about a situation, action, Something that someone has done. They just didn’t Do It the Right Way… or at all… or went 180 from the way I think they should have gone. I can create dissension in my heart and perhaps in my group by holding that position. And maybe what someone did is really against my preference.

But when did making someone wrong ever succeed in doing anything? No really think about it in your life. Other than making you feel temporarily – and I do mean temporarily, Superior. Does making someone wrong – within yourself, or within a family, group, organization, country ever Really help the situation? Does it make you feel loving or empowered? [note: I’m not talking about serial killers here I’m talking about someone relatively close to you pissing you off.]

I have a solution. I realize hundreds of long books have been written on this, and this is just an early blog of mine – but I do have a potential solution. What if we frame the whole situation in a different way? What if we are curious? What if we Forgive that person for not being us and consider it a QUESTION OF STYLE.

“People very rarely set out to cause upset – they just behave differently because they are different.” Business colleges have classes, workshops and degrees teaching how to work with this. 

This one is good….  http://online.gannon.edu/resource/business-and-leadership/how-motivation-is-affected-by-personality

DIFFERENT: Different personality types, ala Meyers Briggs, different generational groups, ala Boomer, Gen X, Millennials, and now Gen Z, different enneagrams (check this one out for fun), different astrological signs etc. We are different from each other (duh) but what I feel is important to talk about is that we each have a preferred style of doing what we do.

I’m going to end this rather quickly – Life has come up and hopefully I’ve made my point or will try to make it better later. Let’s give each other a break, realize that it might be Style rather than Error. Whatever framing of the situation helps me open my heart, forgive perceived errors and actually be curious about the situation is what I want my style to be!

Don’t Believe Everything You Think!

DontBelieveEverythingYouThinkEvery time I see that bumper sticker I find myself pausing, smiling and going Yes!

Back in 1988 I ran across a book called “The Three Minute Meditator.” Life was super busy, Robin was 6. I was starting a new job and plotting a move to some property in the country. Undeveloped is a nice word for no-running-anything. It didn’t feel like I had time to breathe much less meditate. This book taught me that I could stop – stop the mind movie, focus on how my body felt or my breathe or just what was around me. Ahha…. All at a stop light.

Many many books, workshops, experiences brought me along. “The Power of Now” was the next really BIG one that disconnected mind from thought. Eckhart Tolle expanded my thoughts about thoughts and gave me a Huge gift with the concept of pain body. (But that’s another post….).

But “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer was the crème de la crème. My copy is festooned with underlines and highlights in 6 or 7 colors. Every time I read it I find another treasure.The following parsed quote from Michael’s book was the AHHA for me about thinking.

“The first you will notice about this your voice (in your head) is that it never shuts up. You do hear it when it talks, don’t you? Make it say “hello” right now. Say it over and over a few times.” (IMPORTANT HERE:) There is a voice talking, and there is you who notices the voice talking… But it’s difficult to see that no matter what the voice says, it is still just a voice talking AND YOU LISTENING. There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.”

My life really started to change when I “got” it. First there was the concept of just because I thought something – that didn’t make it true or real or anything. It was just something that I thought for some reason or other – programming, culture, parents, school, a belief I use to like but maybe have outgrown, or perhaps a new idea that I’m intrigued with.

Then after I realized that maybe all of my thoughts weren’t true – nor the emotions the thoughts caused I ran across Byron Katie. She came to Flagstaff, Arizona years ago… What a treat to see her in person. And she has The WorkWhich is a grand way to deconstruct a thought. Give it a try. Especially when you are just Positive that somebody is wrong, behaving badly, or just plain out to get you.

IT’S JUST A PRACTICE. Life is a practice. Life is Play! We are here to learn and grow and Love. So I have to remind myself not to take my thoughts too seriously, or my thoughts about my thoughts, or my “work” around my thoughts, (goes on…..). But it is nice to practice “Not Believing Everything I Think….”.