Tag Archives: kindness

Be Nice, dammit!

Being honest with yourself can be one of the hardest things you can do. The ability to see who you are and sit with it in peace is something I believe few of us acheive in our lifetimes. Most of us who do not sit on mountain tops, get glimpses now and then generally try to avoid the less than ideal stuff that comes up.wpid-img_991120245608510.jpeg

Recently, I was thinking about how difficult I find people. I really want to play well with others, but sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed by how toxic people can be. How much they are willing to hurt others for some perceived gain. It disheartens me. It is not as though we can walk away from every person like this. We have to work with them, live with them if they are family, associate with them if they are in an organization we volunteer.

I find myself often very depressed and anxious around these people. They suck the life out of everything and seriously decrease my creativity and joy. To make matters worse, they aren’t responsive to communicating about the problem and often try to blame it on you. It’s a real cespool of our worst human traits.

Personally, I have a hard time letting go of the feelings that arise from this because I feel trapped and uncomfortable. I don’t trust them and feel treated during our interactions. It plain sucks. To make a bad situation worse, it takes a hit on my self-esteem because I feel like a failure for not being able to handle the situation and create peace and harmony. I feel like the other person is saying, I don’t think you’re worth it to make things work. I feel resentful and angry then on top of helpless to advocate for change. A recipe for depression.

I’m curious to know if others have had similar experiences and at what they did.

For me, this one of the most challenging aspects of myself. I feel deeply, my skin is far thinner than people realize, and I have a hard time finding a way to positively interact with those who are unkind in this way. It eats me alive and I obsess over the “why!?!”

So I wondered if there are fellow empaths out there who have advice for me on not having it consume me.frustration

I suppose because it is considered unfashionable to “need” anyone nowadays, I have even tried to divorce myself from my own needs inside in romantic relationships. Fact is I’d like to have someone to take care of me. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one looking out for myself. I have tried to make due with unloving men telling myself I can give that to myself and I don’t need that. That’s bullshit! You need to have both if you’re in a relationship. I miss feeling the safety of another person I can count on besides myself.

Nowadays it seems like everyone considers the other disposable. It is as if people try to pretend they need less connection than they really do. We all try to act like we’re ok when we’re lonely as hell and desperate for connection. Fewer and fewer people want to risk their own vulnerability. They keep people at arms length with texting and chatting electronically, but won’t expect themselves to act with courage towards one another.

Once upon a time, before technology became our life line to others, people actually faced challenges and people head on. Yeah it was tough, but it built character. You learned, by doing, what you could handle and as time went on you actually grew as a person. We talked things out and took for granted we’d be together, so the only two options were to be miserable together or work it out together.

The problem now is that now people don’t make that assumption and so their relationship is always on the line. You CANNOT build a relationship with someone when you are always willing walk away during challenges. No one could relax in this situation. With the constant threat of it ending, both people are not all in or committed. It is like being in a relationship that doesn’t exist.

Maybe it is nostalgia clouding my memories, but I remember it being easier to be in a relationship and to work things out with people. Now I just find myself digusted most of the time with how people treat one another.

Thoughts? Advice?

Gratitude Challenge Day 27 of 30

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Challenge Day 27 of 30 – Gratitude for Kindness

Never ask yourself if the kindness of strangers is an accident. Everything happens for some reason. In that moment you needed to be reminded that you are seen and loved. Kindness between two or more people is another way to say friendship. It is the fastest way to make a stranger a friend.

Kindness to oneself is an act of love so profound that the rays of your self-acceptance stretch out so wide that they touch others and tenderly give them permission to be who they are too.

Kindness requires compassion. Compassion is the root of love. Every kindness we offer is the manifestation of love.

To whom will you extend your loving kindness today? How will you manifest love in your life?

I am grateful to have the knowlege that there is a very practical way to show love to everyone and anyone no matter the walk of life or the conflict you may find yourself in. Even cooler — Anyone can do it.

Just be kind. Repeat.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler ; )

Stop Competing with Other People

I’m going to share something that I have a feeling many people can relate to even though they may keep this feeling hidden.  I don’t like competition.  Not only that.  I don’t get the point.

It often results in this “one-up, one-down” ranking that cements the idea that one person is better than another.  What’s more, there are often scenes where you can see the “winner” belittling the “loser”.  I think this is just a terrible thing to participate in.  What exactly do you win from this kind of mindset?

Keep in mind that I’ve played all kinds of competitive sports in school including, basketball, volleyball  and I was a sprinter on the track team.  I’ve worked in a gym, lost 40 lbs., and I’m a certified personal trainer.

So, I’m not even speaking from a place where I haven’t been involved in very competitive arenas.  

But here’s the thing —- at the end of the day you can only do your personal best.  You can only train to your personal best.  You can only run as far as you can run even with the best training.

Comparing yourself to someone else doesn’t do anything to improve your best.  It just sets you up to feel like you’re deficient and that doesn’t really motivate towards long-term results.  You’ve got to accept and acknowledge where you’re at in any given moment with kindness towards yourself.  Otherwise, when will enough be enough?  When will you EVER be good enough?  What happens when you lose?  Do you give up and call yourself a loser if you don’t win every competition?  If you’re not your own best friend, plenty of other people will have power to convince you that you are continually lacking; ie. never good enough.

When I train or help others train, I focus on the goals and how to get there.  Assuming you are committed to achieving those goals, then it is really just a matter of doing what needs to be done to get there.  That’s it.  No crapping on yourself or others.

Since we can’t really deny that we seem to be set up to organize information into little file folders, instead of fighting it try shifting it into something like this. Compare where you were in the past to where you are now.  This comparison will at least actually help you.  That way you see how you’ve improved and where you need work.  Then you can just do what you need to do to reach those goals.

Everything else is just some kind of pointless insanity.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Leave Room for Surprises

Sometimes I forget to leave room for surprises.  The past couple of days have taught me that even in the worst kinds of situations there are people  who will remind you that your heart can still sprout wings.

Surprise Example 1)

As you may be aware, I don’t feel like my current job is the best fit for me.  I go in each day trying my best to stay positive.  I feel very under appreciated.  I’m bored out of my mind working way beneath my potential despite my best efforts to expand my opportunities.  What’s more, I don’t find many people to connect to.  Most seem to want to know about me for the purposes of finding the latest gossip topic.  So, I don’t share.   It stays at the surface and they fill in the blanks.  I want my connections to be genuine.

Yesterday, I opened up to someone at work who took a heart-felt interest in my time living and working overseas in Ecuador.  As I talked, the passion and excitement poured out of me.  I was speaking entirely from my heart. Then, I had this moment when I “came back to reality” and saw where I was. I felt so far away from this passion in my current reality it almost hurt to talk about it.

When I finished my story she said, “It sounds like you really felt appreciated there.”  I said, Well yes. I guess I did.  I felt like I was really living my life and making a difference. ” She asked me if I’d considered working in an NGO.  I said, “most definitely and I’ve applied for positions at a lot of them.  However, you need to know someone to get in.”  Then she said, “Would you like to talk with my daughter?  She works for (insert huge well known NGO) and she’s helped other people. ”  I nearly cried then I gladly accepted and thanked her when the breath returned to my chest.

Surprise Example 2)

Today, I left my lunch at home.  One of the staff that usually gives me a lot of trouble, found an extra PB&J, some chocolate milk and an apple which she offered to me.   That really warmed my heart twice over; kindness from an unlikely source and food for lunch.

Another staff said she overhead part of yesterday’s conversation about Ecuador and wondered if I’d share more.  It turns out we are very much alike spiritually and in our life views.  Finding people like these are treasures to be cherished.

Surprise Example 3)

One day a few weeks ago at my second job, a colleague and I had an all out fight that was so bad that had to be taken into the office and settled with the manager.  We were clashing in a very bad way and the tension just kept getting worse. We’d tried to settle it before, but it didn’t work. Once in the office this time, each of us just let it rip, gloves off!  It ALL came out.  Then, we had to go out and finish the shift with each other.  So we tried to make the best of it.

The very next shift we worked together, it was as if you couldn’t find two people who enjoyed each others company more.  Some strange unbreakable bond was created.  I knew he had my back and he knew that I had his.  

Today was my last day at my second job. I got hugs and thanks from other staff which was nice, but ironically he was the only one who actually took the time to give me a  card.  It was homemade and filled with simple but thoughtful sentiments.

So, from now on I will do my best to remind myself that I am not alone in my way of being in this world and to stay open to being pleasantly surprised.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

Quitting Negative Thinking is Like Quitting Smoking

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been working on finding useful ways to transform my life by changing the way that I think.  I really have to concentrate all day on consciously thinking positively, stopping negative thoughts as they enter and rerouting them.  I feel like a traffic cop.  To be honest just doing it for a couple of days has made me feel pretty tired mentally.

Today I woke up and I was feeling good and had some great things happen – like my neighbor bringing over the shut-off valve or offering to let me borrow his leaf blower.  As the day wore on I noticed that I was feeling anxious and panicky.  The tension turned into a knot in my neck and eventually a headache.

I couldn’t understand what was happening at first.  I tried everything I could think of; breathing deeply, repeating my affirmations, lying down for a bit, getting active, distracting myself.  Nothing was even taking the edge off and it only made the panic worse.  Meanwhile, I had to head out to the store to exchange some things I’d bought online and so I had to get a move on.

I hopped into my car and said, “Dear universe please help me understand.  I am at a total loss.”  No answer. Ugh.  I started getting mad at myself.  I felt like I didn’t understand.  I spent the whole car ride just trying to breath away the tightness in my chest.

My whole trip was a mess.  The traffic was awful.  The GPS took me to the wrong place (the store had moved and my GPS didn’t have an updated location).  When I arrived, there was construction and people were frustrated in the parking lot looking for a spot.  There was a lot of aggression around me.  I get into the store and head towards customer service and there is a line out to the front door. Inhale, exhale, keep listing things I’m grateful for. Damn it!  Why isn’t this working already!!!???

I finally get my items exchanged and pick up a few more things in the store.  As I’m standing in line, I reach for a drink and this lady behind me pushes her cart flush against the back of mine.  I said, “Mam, could you back up your cart so I can get in here?”  She proceeds to tell me that “I have issues” and then bumps her cart against my bottom.  I grabbed her cart and said, “yes mam I do have issues and one of them is you banging your cart against me.  I need you to stop doing this.”  That’s when she decides to call me “a dumb white bitch with issues who has parents who are fuc*** up like me.”  At this point I turned away and the man behind the check out counter says, “Just let it go.  It’s not worth it.  Don’t let her get to you.”  I take yet another couple hundred deep breaths while the lady continues to insult me without pause.”

Finally, I get out to my car, pop a few ibuprofen and pray that I just make it home safe and sound.

As I’m driving home, the answer to my earlier request comes to me (“dear universe please help me understand”) in the strangest of ways.  “It’s like you felt in the beginning when you quit smoking”.  And it clicked.

I smoked for 15 years and though I knew it wasn’t good for me, I couldn’t find the motivation to quit for all those years.  I tried halfheartedly several times, but I always went back. The longest I quit was a month.  I saw the negative impact it had, but I was also pulled towards the familiar, the comfortable, the cycle of addiction itself.  It was a part of my life for better or for worse.

About 8 months ago, I woke up one day and said I’m done smoking.  I put on the patch, grabbed my nicotine gums and I knew deep inside I wasn’t going back.  I was ready.  It finally hurt enough.

During the first 2 months I went through so many mental, emotional and physically uncomfortable changes, that there were many times that I started to question my choice.  I reminded myself that although – I can’t focus, incessantly think about smoking, my stomach is constantly upset, I’m bloated, I’m getting ulcers in my mouth, can’t sleep, feel constantly irritated, cry out of nowhere, etc. – going back to smoking now just means that someday I’ll have to go through this whole process again. That kept me going.  8 months later, I’m so glad I made the change even though in the beginning I was in hell and I had zero proof that it would be better for me.  In fact, it was much worse!

So when the universe answered me that “this is just like when you quit smoking”, it all made sense.  The “habit” of negative thinking is something that develops over many years.  It becomes so much a part of your life that it is second nature.  What’s more, most of us were raised with the idea that criticizing what someone does will lead to better behavior.  You may get the desired behavior, but you also get a lot of shame and guilt passed on with it and that all comes out somewhere too.  So we grow up and beat the crap out of ourselves and others because that’s what we know how to do.

To change a thinking pattern that’s not only ingrained in your mind, but in the mind of a whole social structure is no small task.  You could say we’re all addicted to a way of thinking and don’t even realize it.  For some people, it becomes uncomfortable enough that they are ready to change.  I felt this when I was finally ready to quit smoking and I feel it now as I work moment to moment to change my thoughts towards the positive end of the spectrum.

Whether it is quitting and addiction, a way of thinking, a bad relationship or whatever else you feel burdening you, there is temptation to slip back all around you.  It takes real effort in the beginning to keep yourself on the new path.  There’s not as much proof for your new way as there is for your old way.  It’s all about having faith in the unknown, in the dark.

Today, I reminded myself that I am human.  I am to be congratulated for the steps I am taking towards creating a better life.  I am not to be criticized for struggling to get there.

Finally, I could take my first deep breath again.

To quote Louise Hay, ”

All is well.

Everything is working out for my highest good.

Out of this situation only good will come.

I am safe.

If you take away nothing else from this post remember this: 

Whenever we exert the effort to change we are working against what we’ve come to know. The mind finds comfort in the familiar.  We are creating new connections in our brains after a lifetime of doing it another way.  Be patient with yourself, be gentle with your heart, and congratulate your beautiful soul for each success no matter how small.  No more shame.  No more guilt.  Throw away the criticism once and for all.  It has never served you well and it never will.  

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

10 Great Places to Invest (in yourself)

Overwhelmed 

I feel overwhelmed by the life I am living.  I keep taking on a little more thinking that my shoulders can hack it, but lately I’ve started to notice how tired I’ve become.  I’ve noticed that I’ve given up things that make me happy just to make more money to pay for the things I’ve added to my shoulders. Say what???

For over a year I worked at a low paying job just to have some income to make ends meet.  Then, I got a new job and found myself keeping the other one as a second income.  Little by little, I let other things go just to stay focused on making money. 

Where Am I??

Last Tuesday night, I was driving home at the end of a 13 hr workday and I thought about why I was doing this and how exhausted I felt.  I used to work out 6 days/week and I hadn’t done a thing there in almost 3 months and I ordered take out more.  So, I was gaining weight.  I was letting things go in the house.  I found myself becoming increasingly irritable around people.  I was passing out on the couch and couldn’t even make it to my bed.  I’d signed up for a course to become a personal trainer and every time I opened the manual to study, I fell asleep.  I didn’t even feel like I had time to do what I needed to do to create opportunities for advancement in my primary job.  This was getting ridiculous!! 

Letting Go

By Wednesday, I resolved to take action.  I couldn’t keep living like this.  I reasoned that my second job was bringing me income, but absolutely no opportunity for advancement.  My first job, however held more potential if I put the effort into it.  It came down to deciding if I could struggle in the short term financially with the belief that getting my life in order would open me up to greater opportunity.  I remembered that the Law of Attraction states, that “like attracts like” and if I kept going on the path I was on, I’d likely attract health problems and great dissatisfaction with my life.

So, I resolved to quit my second job and gave my 2 weeks notice Friday.  I left the door open so that I could come back if need be in the future, but I am going to commit to pursuing the things that lead to happiness instead of more money this time around.  I have some money in savings that I will use as a stop gap while I get my life in order again (or maybe for the first time).

Fear, Freakouts…

I guess I’ve operated from a point of scarcity for so long that my fear of loss or fear of not having enough has been holding me back from the joy of focusing on doing what makes me happy.  For me, this is an earth-shattering concept and by no means comfortable. I’m used to working hard and focusing on earning money. Now, I’ve made the choice sacrifice money for the benefit of my personal well-being. 

…and Focus

I’m also excited about what I will learn from refocusing my attention onto my well-being instead.  Will the old adage prove true? – “do what you love and the money will follow”.  I’m about to find out. 

Below I’ve created a list that I will call my “10 Great Places to Invest.”  These are the areas that I believe are important to creating sustained happiness in my life.  To hold myself accountable and to track my daily progress, at the end of each day, I’ll give myself a check mark if I do it and an X if I do not.  This way I know where I’m succeeding and where I need work to maximize my happy factor 🙂

10 Great Places to Invest

  1. Kindness to Another (do something nice that makes another person smile)
  2. Kindness to Oneself (do something nice for yourself that makes you smile)
  3. Moderation (Do I really need that piece of cake, extra helping or that pair of shoes, etc.?)
  4. Health (exercise)
  5. Improved Environment (organize/eliminate for greater efficiency, only add what benefits)
  6. Ego Check (defensiveness, harsh words)
  7. Gratitude (what IS great in my life)
  8. Growth (always learning)
  9. Respect Your Money (do I really need that?)
  10. Do more/think less (believe you already know what you want, now go do it)

For example,

  1. Kindness to Another – Give a sincere compliment to a co-worker who you don’t like much
  2. Kindness to Oneself – Tell myself something nice about myself as soon as I wake up
  3. Moderation – Don’t eat the desert for lunch
  4. Health – Exercise 5x/week
  5. Improved Environment – Clear out my closets of unnecessary items
  6. Ego Check – Don’t retaliate insult, just say something like “wow that’s interesting, tell me more”
  7. Gratitude – List 5 things that I’m happy for each day
  8. Growth – Spend 1 hr./day studying personal training manual
  9. Respect Your Money – Don’t buy junk food with my hard earned cash
  10. Do More / Think Less – Sort through 1 box at a time in the basement
And so the journey continues…Thanks for stopping by 🙂 What are you waiting for?  Join me!!  What are your Top Great Places to Invest?