Tag Archives: happiness

Fly into the Light, Butterfly

Like a worm in a cocoon we are unaware of the transformation taking place until the moment we emerge a butterfly.

As the season that represents the hopes and dreams of the world is upon us once again, I find myself  filled with a hope and joy in my life I haven’t felt since 2003. 12 years in the making. I nearly gave up many times. It has been a long journey; at times very painful. Nonetheless, I have finally arrived. Today, I realized it all at once.

I haven’t been on a solo travel adventure  in some time.  As I left my house this morning my luggage lightly packed to leave room for possibilities, I stood on my front porch and taking a deep breath I thought – you’re really happy aren’t you?

I am at peace.  I finally care about something again.  In my teaching, I have purpose.  They help me be a better person and I help them too. I have great friends. I haven’t found that one special guy yet, but I’m enjoying dating 4 different men of interest in the meanwhile 🙂  I make a good salary finally and found a way to make extra money and paid off all my student loans.  I am debt free.  In 3 months I took my 7th graders to great success in an engineering competition where they were 5 of only 12 students in two counties to be awarded “outstanding engineers” and have lunch with the Chief Scientist of NASA. My life is on the rise again after fighting in the trenches so long. 12 long years.

I’m estranged from my mother who left me on Mother’s day, yet to return again. I have made peace with her choice and learned there are some things you cannot control.  One of those things is how people choose to behave and interact with the world.  Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is to let them go. Many times she asked me to leave her life. I wasn’t listening.  Now I hear loud and clear.  At about the same time my ex-boyfriend had left and my pet of 16 years died.  The timing of those two relationships ending was the peak of the tragedy over these 12 years. I spent much of the summer recovering from two big blows. I was really alone with myself once again.

After I came out of it all, I began to map out how I wanted the future to look. I became very clear on what I would and would not accept into my life. I thought a lot about what I wanted to focus on.  I made a plan. I stayed focused.  And you know what? I’ve been knocking it out of the park.  My goals are from my soul so working towards them feels in harmony with who I am.  When I FEEL that connection, I know I’m on the right path.

I also made the choice to have a serious talk with my doctor to manage a debilitating health concern when I finally couldn’t continue to have any quality of life without beginning medication. It is something that no one knows about and I’ve kept private for a very long time.

“Coming out”, if you will, freed my soul and allowed me to accept the whole me. Walking into the sunlight helped me love myself better.  In the end seeking treatment instead of suffering all these years was a great act of self-love.  Everyday I am happy I made the choice and my only wish is that I had made it sooner. That conversation with my doctor saved my life.

So, now I head to the red rocks and sunshine of health-conscious Sedona to introduce myself to the world of butterflies.  A new beginning; surrounded by some of the best of natures’ creation, I will spread my newborn wings and fly towards that which brings joy, peace, and health.  I look forward to witnessing the vastness of the Grand Canyon and drinking in the elixer of possibility seeing both my smallness and my greatness at once.

As  I go into the new year, I have but one resolution – to keep flying towards the light.

—- With love this holiday season from aneternaltraveler ❤

Advertisements

Who’s Changing Who’s Life?

Offically about 1 month into my first year as a science teacher and overall I have to say it was one of the best career decisions I’ve ever made.

I truly love the subject matter. I enjoy reaching the kids and engaging them. I even have gotten through some major challenges like breaking up a fist fight in my class or having one of the boys make a sexually explicit gesture towards me.

I teach 150 7th grade students everyday. My day starts at 5:30 am and I usually leave school 12 hrs. later. I eat lunch with the kids I’ve called in to get their work done and keep from failing. I write parents every Monday so they knows what’s coming up and in my off time I have more meetings and have decided to head the after school STEM Club. 

I LOVE what I get to do. I’ve never felt a greater sense of purpose in my life. I now understand what they mean when they say, do what you love and you’ll never “work” a day in your life. I bust my butt day in and day out, but I don’t want to miss a day watching them blossom and grow.  So, in sickness and health, I am committed to these 150 amazing and unique people 100%.

Just wanted to check-in and let you know where my attention has been lately and why I’ve been less prolific.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Empty promises, dangling carrots, and other forms of general assholery

empty-promisesI have been thinking a lot about people who promise you that they will change but keep stringing you along instead. This can be profoundly painful in romantic relationships.  While we as women love to talk a lot as a way to work through things, we sometimes end up with assclowns who talk up a storm too and never deliver.  One of the major differences between men and women is that men don’t talk  endlessly about what they are going to do. They just do it. When a man wants something, he goes and gets it.  If he says he’s going to make it right, he makes it right.

If you want to know the character of a man look at his ACTIONS. 

For example, if the two of you are still talking about the same issues months down the road that he promised to fix months ago and nothing has been resolved, there’s a bigger problem than you realize. You may be with the dreaded man-who-talks-too-much-and-doesn’t-follow-through. Are you at the point where you are exhausted trying to verbally communicate?  Maybe you can’t understand why he can’t understand. Maybe you’re even screaming at the top of your lungs thinking he’ll hear you better, or keeping yourself up late at night in pointless arguments until you’re too exhausted to speak, or taking some space to recuperate hoping he’ll start to value you more, etc., It’s all just a version of waiting and hoping he’ll give enough of a shit to suddenly turn into a caring, loving man and stop the nonsense.

To quote the great Natalie Lue in her article Even if They’ve Changed it Doesn’t Matter. You’ve Changed Too,

Stop the madness. This isn’t what ‘love’ feels or looks like. They’re just not that special and you’re not that desperate. Love involves a lot of ‘doing’ and without actions that reflect the love, it’s like being cloaked in hot air. Even if they do move on to someone else, this is not how you want love – trying to use an emotional battering ram to squeeze effort out of them that others do willingly.

That last line reallymean what you promise hits me.  “Trying to use an emotional battering ram to squeeze effort out of them that others do willingly“.

I mean if a man says he wants something, he’ll do it. Period. If he tells you, I’ll change this or that. He’ll change it if he values and respects you and doesn’t want to lose you. End of story.  If he doesn’t make good, then you have to value and respect yourself enough to call it quits and walk away.

If you stay when he doesn’t deliver and listen to the excuses and empty promises from men who talk too much, and don’t do enough, then you teach them that their shady behavior and half-assed efforts are good enough to keep you in place. They don’t have to change. They will do the bare minimum to keep you around.  An apology here and there. A promise of a bright future. Offer something they can do in lieu of what you want in order to keep you in a holding pattern.  It’s manipulation.  They hope you’ll think to yourself, “well he did do this nice thing, maybe he’s not that bad.”  Maybe I should hang in a little longer, give him another chance, find a new excuse for him. It also has the nice additional benefit of  ensuring that he keeps you off the market and all to himself. Of course this solidifies his position of bare minimum behavior, because you’re not going anywhere.

All you’re doing is compromising your own happiness by letting him get away with general assholery. Funny how you’re willing to make sacrifices for him that he’s not willing to make for you. 

good intentions vs characterYou deserve to be with a man who wants to do for you and DOES what he SAYS he’ll do.  Words must match actions.  Always look at the ACTIONS of a man. Even if there are NO WORDS. You deserve a man who will appreciate your giving, loving, caring nature.  But you are wasting your time if you’re trying to turn a cockroach into a prince. Let go of the fairytale and go find yourself the real deal.  Remember as the 90’s taught us ladies, you’re not an exception to any rule. He will not suddenly become a better person and your happiness shouldn’t depend on him being someone else. Go find someone else that actually has the characteristics you want.  A good man will have the character of someone who doesn’t play games or talk your ear off with empty promises. He’ll show up right and he wouldn’t risk doing anything that might make you leave. It’s WHO HE IS not who you hope he’ll become.

If he’s not that into you, I guarantee there is someone out there who is.  Release the beast that you’re with and free yourself up to meet your prince. Because if you stick around waiting for change, the only thing that’s going to change is your own self-esteem as you sink lower into a pit of despair and self-hate. You are fabulous and you deserve to be with someone who treats you like he thinks so too.

 

What do you think?

 

with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

Gratitude Challenge Day 17 of 30

image

Day 17 of 30 – Gratitude for something that makes me smile

The kindness of others without fail makes me smile: A hug when you need one, a thoughtful gesture, a small gift that brightens your day.

Gratitude for every little thing that brings beauty into my life and for all the ways that this challenge is bringing more smiles into my life.

I smile more in general now. During the past few years I’ve had a lot more frowns than smiles. It is so nice to see that trend changing.

It is interesting to realize that the more you are grateful, the more you smile. The more you smile, the easier things seem to go. The easier things go, the more you believe good things will continue to happen.

And that’s a lot to smile about 😆

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 💖

Stop Expecting People to Be Happy All the Time!!

Please don’t try to change how I feel without at least first understanding what I feel.

I am surely not alone in this experience. I’ve noticed it on the Camino as well. They are the people who “need” to be happy or need YOU to be happy all the time in order for them to be around you.
image

Can I just say…this is just so damn exhausting!

For example,

Me: I’m so exhausted. The extremes in temperature really wear on me.

Eternal Sunshine: Oh really? I love nature. I appreciate all the natural beauty. It doesn’t make me tired at all. Try to cheer up. You should be happy. Tomorrow is another day!!:) 🙂 🙂

Me: Ummmm… (silently to myself: Do I have to hate nature to be exhausted?)…Well I’m gonna go check on my nature-dried laundry. See ya…

Here is the thing. Before you chime in like some mindless, compassionless sun-shiny a**hole, take a moment to give a shit about the person who is sharing their feelings with you. Maybe then they’ll even care to listen to what YOU have to say. Heck they might even change how they are feeling based on your compassionate understanding.
image

Another note…Not every comment from another person requires your view. Sometimes it is ok to just explore one side for a bit. This is particularly the case if you happen to notice that the person in front of you might be too low on emotional resources to listen to the message of “hope, gratitude, & renewal” that you’re spitting out.

Learn to recognize & accept other states of being, besides happiness, in yourself as being ok. That way when you meet someone who is tired, angry, sad, lonely, etc…you can identify with them instead of trying to change them. People are not broken or happiness deficient. We just feel what we feel and feelings change.

I find that the fastest way to get to a new feeling is to accept the ones we feel and be surrounded by others who are mature enough to do the same.
image

Buen Camino — aneternaltraveler 😉

Assault of the Mind

Today was another day of waking up to a roll call of my failures and shortcomings.  All before I even opened my eyes.

Sometimes, I stay paralyzed in this state for a good 15 min. while I get the shit beaten out of me.

At some point, another dude shows up and says, “C’mon now, it’s not that bad.  I love you & we’re gonna be ok.”  I have to hear this repeated over and over in order to release the physical paralysis and get up.

Tired Before I Get the Day Started

Do I have to get out of bed?
Do I have to get out of bed?

Needless to say, this is an extremely exhausting way to begin my day. Often it will take me until afternoon to start feeling ok.  It makes it hard for me to focus on the things I set out to accomplish.  Often, I’m too exhausted to do much else after just managing these assaults all day long.  This, of course, folds back on itself creating “proof” that the asshole in my head just might be right after all.

Of Two Minds

Wait a minute!! Who's in charge here?
Wait a minute!! Who’s in charge here?

Research shows that the conscious mind averages about 40 bits of information/secondapproximately 1-3 events at a time. The subconscious mind however takes on an average of 4 BILLION bits of information/secondso literally THOUSANDS of events at a time!!!

If these two were in a fight to get the message across the fastest, who would you put your money on to win?? If you said the subconscious, congratulations…you’re a little richer.

If you are one of the many people out there, like myself, who have jumped on the “law of attraction / affirmation” bandwagon in order to feel better about your life, you may have also noticed that it’s not quite cutting the mustard.  Why not?  Well, I’m glad you asked 🙂

First, we read all these books or watch the videos and we “think” Aha!  I’ve got the secret.  Soon, after much practice…we say something like…wait a minute, it’s not working.

That’s where the gurus typically tell us that we are not trying hard enough and we are affirming our negativity.

Try harder!!
Try harder!!

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing more I hate than someone telling me I’m failing because I’m not “trying hard enough”, especially when I”m giving everything I’ve got.

I believe that’s both unfair and unhelpful.  It gives you absolutely no insight whatsoever.  To make some headway (pun intended hehehe), first you have to understand a little bit about the purpose of the conscious and the subconscious parts of the mind.

Conscious vs. Subconscious

Conscious –  uses logic & reason, anything you CHOOSE to do, past & present, filter for your belief system (the judge/bouncer)

Subconscioususes emotions, involuntary actions, always in the present, core of your belief system and memories

Let’s use an example.  Based on my experience of being bitten by a big dog I trusted, my subconscious has stored a memory of the event and a belief that ALL big dogs are dangerous and I should stay away.  When I see a big dog my conscious mind is alerted by the subconscious that there is danger and it logically chooses to avoid contact to keep me safe from perceived danger based on my belief system.

Now, let’s imagine you try to create a conscious affirmation that “ALL big dogs are safe” because you’re tired of being scared.  Hmmm…it isn’t working.  Well that’s because your conscious mind says these words and then dutifully checks in with the subconscious belief system and learns that the subconscious says…hell no.  So basically, you can say all you want, but if the subconscious says bullshit, all bets are off.  You are still afraid of big dogs.

The Powerless Feeling of Positive Thinking

In my own life, without realizing it, I’ve habitually and chronically adopted some beliefs deep down that prevent me from achieving what I say I want out of life.  This is really demoralizing and depressing.

You start to get pissed at yourself because, you’ve tried to convince yourself to believe differently through affirmations and you’ve failed.  You start to think well maybe I really am useless, messed up, broken, etc. So now you’re basically afraid AND feel like a failure.  Cool.  So much better. Thanks.

If this sounds familiar, first of all take a deep breath.  You’re not the only one who has tried the power of positive thinking and felt at your wits end.

It is enormously helpful to understand that, you simply cannot consciously do what you subconsciously don’t believe without creating a moral dilemma.

That is the whole basis of the conflict, misery, and discontent you feel inside.

When these “two minds” are aligned we can be successful, when they are not we are in conflict with ourselves and others. PERIOD.

If you wonder why you say you want to do one thing, but seem to quit before you start, or half-way through, or lose it after you get it, this is why. It is almost impossible for us to achieve a goal if we hold subconscious beliefs that are in conflict with that goal. Your subconscious mind will find a way to sabotage you at some point in the process.

Any time the conscious is distracted or offline the subconscious takes over the reigns of control.  So, that’s why I wake up to the jackhammering sound of my subconscious every morning for a while until my super slow conscious comes back online to get me up and going like a good project manager.

Your Head is Like an 8-Track Player with One Tape to Play

Most of us have heard about the “tapes” that play in our heads.  This is another way to approach talking about the subconscious mind.  Sometimes, it is really hard to tweeze out the messages that are constantly replaying in our minds because they play so quickly.  If your’e lucky you have great positive messages playing, but for many of us, that’s not the case.  Today, I wrote mine down immediately after my conscious mind got me up.

I’m going to share them with you because, I have a feeling you might think you’re the only one this is happening to and you’re cracking up.  You’re not alone.  I can’t promise that you’re not cracking up ;p

You little worm...
You little worm…

Here are the ramblings of my subconscious (my tapes) that I hear every morning and whenever I feel insecure and my conscious can’t keep it under control.

Why don’t you just kill yourself?  You always take on more than you can handle.  You know you are going to fail, so why do you even try? Sooner or later you’re going to be homeless and living on the street.  Nobody loves you.  Nobody cares about you.  You are insignificant.  Fucking loser.  You can barely keep it together.  Why do you even bother getting up day after day? You are not good enough.  You are not smart enough.  You’re a fraud. You suck with people.  Nobody would ever want to be your friend.  Everyone see that you are a problem.  If they don’t see it yet, give it time.

Whew!! I read these aloud and began sobbing uncontrollably half-way through.  Day after day of waking up to this barrage of abuse.  Knowing it is lying just beneath the surface of my consciousness threatening to undo me with the right trigger, makes it damn hard to get much out of life.

What do your tapes play?  See if you can write it down and then read it back to yourself.  How did you feel?

Prolonged Exposure Therapy?

I recalled reading about a “prolonged exposure therapy” developed by U. Penn psychologist Edna Foa to help veterans with PTSD.  It has been enormously successful, but it works contrary to the way most of us deal with trauma (by avoiding talking about it or discouraging survivors to dwell).  Basically, this therapy encourages you to talk about it /tell your story over and over until it minimizes or eliminates the PTSD entirely.  If we don’t talk about things, they don’t magically disappear.  They fester.

Prolonged exposure therapy is now also being successfully used to help survivors of rape and sexual assault to deal with their PTSD.  It has been shown to be more effective than conventional therapy.  After exposure therapy, 83% of these girls no longer had the diagnosis of PTSD vs. 54% who received conventional supportive counselling. Even their depression and daily functioning improved significantly with exposure therapy.

It got me thinking about how the tapes we play in our heads operate in our lives in a very similar way as PTSD in that they both can take over your life and belief system to negative affect.  Ultimately, in both situations a trauma has occurred that has affected your belief system AND is making life unmanageable.

Could a version of this “prolonged exposure therapy” help us to manage our crippling fears and beliefs that negatively impact our lives so that we may move past the trauma and towards creating the life we really want to live?

Experimenting with Conscious Exposure to Subconscious Tapes

Step 1: I decided to begin by recording myself saying all the messages I hear on my tapes in the same mean way I hear them everyday.

Step 2: Then, I played the recording over and over and over while I visualized someone outside of me saying these things to me/about me.

Step 3: Each time I listened, I rated my emotional reaction on a scale of 1 (least affected) – 10 (most distressed).

Step 4: When I need a break, I either go to a safe place in my mind or I get up and go to another room to create a sort of “environmental reset”.

My theory is that I “know” somewhere deep inside that the things on these tapes are bullshit….somewhere beneath the trauma and the entrenched belief system.

I hope that by courageously facing the fear of hearing those words and feeling the feelings that go with them head on, I can get to the point that I recognize it as false, reject it as untrue, and desensitize myself to the emotional terrorism I feel day after day so I can have my whole life back again with a much better belief system.

Then maybe we can talk affirmations 😉

 

– With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

You Are Ok As Is

Before you read this, make sure that you are in a place where you will be undisturbed for at least 15 minutes.  Pull your car over and sit inside if there is no place at work or home.  Just find a place where you can be alone.

Imagine for a moment that it is the beginning of a new day.  You lay in bed and feel the way the sun warms your face and the way your body has relaxed into your bed. Even though your eyes remain closed they can sense that daylight has come as the brightness seeps through your eyelids. A brand new day is upon us.

Before your first thoughts of the day begin racing through your head, breathe. Really inhale and exhale.  Do this 5 times. Now, feel the weight of your body on the surface beneath you.  With your eyes still closed, smile. Keep the smile on your face and keep breathing slowly.

Sense how beautiful you are when you smile.  Imagine the beauty of your face.  Notice how your whole body feels when you smile. Perhaps a tear comes to your eye since you haven’t thought much about that in a while.

Imagine if at this moment before you even open your eyes and begin your day, you are just right as you are.  Imagine that you are filled with amazing strengths and capabilities.  Imagine that your weakness are less important than your strengths.  Imagine your greatest strengths lie just beneath your weaknesses.  Imagine that you don’t need to be fixed. Imagine that you are not broken.  You are ok as is.

Imagine that you already have all the tools you need to have a great day. Imagine that you can handle whatever comes your way.  Imagine that every person you meet and every situation you find yourself in is temporary.  Imagine that your happiness is as fleeting as your sadness.  It is a moment. It is not permanent.

Imagine smiling when your heart is breaking simply because you know that moments are just that — moments.  And at any moment we choose we can look at something another way.  We can start a chain reaction in our minds, bodies and lives with just a smile.

Go on hold that goofy smile a little longer than it feels natural to do.  You might start laughing. Feel your mind shift. Each breath you take reminds you that your heart is beating, your body is working, your mind is firing away. You are a beautiful, capable, whole and vital being.  You are not broken.  You are still ok as is.

Now, quickly name 5 things you are grateful for while you continue to smile and breathe.  Don’t over-think it. Just name them.

You’ve come into this earth as uniquely as each and every one of us has. You have a purpose on this earth as you are.  There will never be a more perfect version of you than you.  You see the world differently than I do. You share yourself with others differently. You cry about things that I may not and you laugh at things that other people don’t think are funny.  You make love as your body, mind, and spirit guide you to do.  All uniquely you.  You cherish people who love you and you can be hurt by those who harm you too.  But you are still ok as is.

Allow yourself to feel what you do, but remember and never forget that these feelings don’t define you.  They are reactions and reactions can change as we change what we choose to see in our view.  I am me and you are you and each and every day we can only do the best we can do.  There is no more, no less and there is stress when we forget that others have the right to do what they want to do too. But so do you. We look at what we see as limits and we think that is all we can do.  You are not what you think and most of the time we have a limited view.

We respond as we’ve learned to, but there is something we can do.  Let yourself accept yourself as you are.  Don’t try to squash it or fake it or put it in a cake and bake it just to make it more palatable for those around you. You are still ok as is.  Ok as You.

If what you do does not give you the results you want, then change it.  If you don’t know how right now, find a way. You have everything you need to do what you need to do.  And you have what you need to make changes too. As you go on your journey continue to acknowledge that you are still ok as is.  Just simply be willing to change how you do what you do because you want a different result than is coming to you.  That is all.  No judgement, shaming, blaming or guilt.  It doesn’t matter how long the journey is as long as you are on a path towards your goal.

Finally, remember that there will be uncertainty.  We actually control far less than we think.  Happiness in life is directly proportional to how much you can let go of and how comfortable you can become with uncertainty. Trust yourself. You don’t have to know how or when you will get there all at once.  Take one step, then another. Trust. Just trust that you are still ok as is and have everything you need to get to where you want to go.

This is your journey and it all begins with the willingness to take the first step.  Then another and another until you have created the momentum to step without wondering if you can.  Each step, feel the firm ground beneath your feet.  You are safe.  You are enough.  You are ok as is.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty

Today I was thinking about how often we try to force things to arrive at a specific outcome. More often than not we become really frustrated — regardless of whether we achieve our stated goal.

It is as if we are uncomfortable trusting that things will work out as they are meant to. We need added security that we will get what we set out for. So we push and we demand and worry and plan far ahead for any eventuality we may encounter. 

We end up missing out on the experience of the journey in an attempt to “control” things that are beyond our control. We rarely appreciate the present moment for what it has to offer because we are 10 steps ahead in a reality that hasn’t even occured or may not ever occur.

Let’s say you have a dream you want to turn into reality. If you are seriously ready to pursue it you’ll start doing research,  networking & making connections with others who have done what you want to do.  Imagine you meet someone who could be your mentor but you’re not sure where this relationship will lead you or when you’ll be paid to do the work you love.

This is where the choice to trust & accept uncertainty (live in the present moment) vs. forcing an outcome (living in the future) comes into play.

If you trust yourself and trust the person your working with and you seem to be headed towards your dream, why ruin it with predictions?

Can you honestly say that there has ever been a time in your life where forcing something has ever turned out for the best? Did you enjoy the journey? I highly doubt it.

On the other hand, recall a time where you were doing something you loved and got lost in the flow of it. Did you worry what would happen next or how far ahead you’d get or how much money you’d make? Nah…you probably just lost track of time doing what you’re passionate about and you felt great afterwards. You were in the zone, fully in the present moment, lovin life.

Your happiness in life is directly proportional to the level of uncertainty you are comfortable with.

People who are comfortable with uncertainty stay in the present moment. They trust themselves & those around them who are sharing their path. They believe that they are exactly where they are meant to be at this moment. They’ve turned in their dream to the universe and trusted that it would provide  answers about what to do next when the time was right. They don’t preoccupy themselves with worry because they know that it doesn’t change anything to do so . They accept that all they have to do is act when that time comes.  Meanwhile, they enjoy each step along the way with joy and gratitude.

Remember, comfort with uncertainty is not the same as complacency.  You still have to act when the time is right. 

I’m bringing across the idea that when we force something or worry, all we are really saying is that we are really low on trust & refuse to live in the moment. We miss out on all the good stuff life has to offer and diminish our hapiness in life. 

It’s either doing that and being miserable or becoming comfortable with uncertainty and radiating  happiness & joy from one moment to the next.

Totally up to you.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Think of Your Fear Like a Wet Suit

2013-2014As I go into the new year I’ve committed myself to an attitude of gratitude. However, that also means that there is a transitional phase from negative attitudes and mindsets that have to be managed. It’s a little like a corporate takeover. A lot of sorting out to do before it all settles down again. Oh how nice it would be to have my very own “Easy Button”!!

Today I noticed that I was feeling really tight in my chest and down in mood. I tried telling myself to stop it, but that didn’t work. Then, I tried closing my eyes and breathing, that didn’t work either. What gives??

As I searched for answers, I remembered what I wrote yesterday about using “LAG” as my new conflict management style and I thought, maybe this will work for conflict within me as well.

LAG is an acronym for a conflict management style I created to help me create the life I want to be living. It stands for these three steps in the process: “Lean-in”, “Accept”, “Go on”. I’ve started applying it to situations where I am in conflict with others and today I learned it could also be applied to internal conflict.

LAG: Step 1: When I “Leaned-in” to the feeling, my mind fought very hard to run away. It did not want to focus on the ill-feeling at all. I kept saying to myself, “Stay with it”. “You are safe”. I kept breathing in and out to stay calm. When I breathed in I said, “breathe in”. When I exhaled, I said, “breathe out”. That kept me better focused.

When I felt less flooded, I asked myself, “What are you feeling?” “How would you describe it in one word?” The answer came – “I feel rejected”.

I thought, ok. Now we’re on to something. The feeling has been identified. I had no idea until this moment how often I actually never knew what I was specifically feeling. It was just “bad” and I wanted to avoid it and get as quickly as possible to good. That’s all I knew.

It makes sense now why my internal conflict never got resolved as it arose. Negative feelings just kept building up until I began to feel helpless and hopeless in my life. I felt like a prisoner who was put on this earth to do her time. As if I were chosen to be unhappy, while others were chosen to have a fulfilling life. I have felt powerless in my own life for a really long time.

LAG: Step 2: “Acceptance” – I said to myself, “thank you for sharing that. I accept that you feel rejected. That must be very painful. How can I help?” Much nicer 🙂

??????????????????????????????????????????????I waited a bit for an answer and then seemingly out of nowhere, an image of myself on a beach wearing a zippered wet suit popped into my head. The suit felt tight and constricting. My skin felt clammy. I could smell the salty air, hear the waves lapping onto the shoreline and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. I just stood there and took it all in for awhile.

A few moments later, a guiding voice spoke to me over my shoulder.

“What if I told you your pain of rejection could be removed at any time you chose?”I said, “Shoot. I’m all ears”. He said, “Unzip your wet suit and let it fall to the ground. Walk forward and feel the warm grains of sand between your toes. Look behind you and see your pain balled up and lying on the ground. You can pick it up anytime you want and suit back up or you can leave it there and go for a swim in the ocean and clean off all the residue that it left behind”.

LAG: Step 3: “Go On” – I decided to walk into the ocean and swim. It felt good to get the suit off. I kept swimming until all the residue was gone and I felt refreshed. I found myself smiling and laughing again. I felt lighter.

After taking myself through the process, I now understand why my initial attempts to deal with the feeling that arose didn’t calm me down. By flat out telling the feeling to STOP, I was completely ignoring and avoiding it. Then, with zero tolerance or acceptance, I wanted to flush it out with my breath without taking a moment to understand its purpose for being there. Very rude of me actually!

I looked back at the wet suit on the shore and thought about how I don’t have to wear outfits just because someone else thinks they suit me well and I can take them off at any time.

In more practical terms. Let’s say you are in fact being rejected by someone or a group of people. Do you have to feel ashamed of yourself and wear your feeling of rejection like a full body wet suit sponsored by, “THEY REJECT ME”? No, not really.

And here’s the kicker. You can still acknowledge to yourself that they reject you because they very likely may not like you or want you around. It happens.

You don’t have to treat yourself like a reject.

That’s where most of us end up in major pain. When we agree with another persons opinion of us, we are subconsciously feeling that other people know us better than we know ourselves. We give them permission to change us to become what they say we are, what they limit us to. This is the express lane to pain, depression & loss of self.

it's not personal

Instead, you can just accept that they do reject you and that it sucks.

Remind yourself that other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.  YOU are not a failure because of this.

You are still that same awesome, talented, special person with so much to offer this world no matter what other people say.

People who try to make you feel bad about yourself are really unhappy people. Believe it or not, it is NOT personal at all. They are just showing you how bad they feel inside. Something in you reminds them of a quality they wish they had inside but they don’t know how to achieve it.

Pray for them. Acknowledge that they are in pain. But under no circumstances do you let what’s going on in them define who you are. It’s separate.

Instead of carrying their load as if it were your own, bless and release them.

You just may not currently be with a person or a group that honors your gifts in the best way. It’s just not a good fit. Focus your energy and talents on honoring yourself and surrounding yourself by people who do honor you.

You’re already good enough as yourself.

Happy New Year and lots of love from aneternaltraveler 😉

All Talk, No Action

ImageToo often we get distracted by the pretty sounding words that spill out so easily from another person’s mouth.  We are kept in place and held up from creating meaningful relationships with people who go beyond words and show you how they feel.

How often have you encountered someone who says things like,

“I miss you”

“I love you”

“We should get together”

“I support you”

…but they make no effort to show you?

You can say you love me, you miss me, you want to get together, or whatever else you want, but if you don’t make the effort and show me, then you may as well not say it at all.  

When you base your decisions and life choices on people who offer little more than words, you are denying yourself a world of genuine happiness and authenticity.

Do you have friendships with people who say they miss you, but never make and effort to see you?  Are you in a romantic relationship where the person says, I love and support you, but there is no evidence that this is the case or they even sabotage your efforts when the time for action comes?  Are you that person?  Think long and hard.  This is not a dress rehearsal.  You get one shot at life.

How many times have you ignored the lack of evidence and continued to hang on to the words instead?  How long have you been waiting for the other person to make it happen?  How much space have you given people in your life that don’t demonstrate that they value you in theirs?  Have you ever been the one to give someone false hope?

Friendships, romantic relationships, professional relationships require effort from all parties involved in order to be successful for all parties involved.  Every time you allow someone to stay “rent free” (that is; all talk, no action) in your life, you are diminishing your own happiness and giving space to emotional freeloaders.  The same applies for those who string people along to avoid taking action in their own lives.  You don’t get a free pass.

ImageTo turn it all around, begin by just noticing the people in your life that are following through on what they say and those who are not.  Just take notice.  You’ll be surprised how just seeing the lack of evidence will give you a reality check in your life.

When you’re ready to make the change into a life filled with people who SHOW you, not just TELL you, here’s a little “empowerment mantra” I developed which you can borrow to keep you on track:

“Please understand that in order for me to take you seriously, you’ll have to make an actual effort to bring your said desire into reality with me.  Please also understand that the available space in my life is only reserved for those who will follow-through.”

You can have the life you want, but it all starts with taking off the blinders in your current reality and making the effort yourself to focus on quality of life.

——Please share your thoughts on how your life changed when you got real about the “talkers” vs. the “doers” in your life.—–

–With love from aneternaltraveler 😉