Tag Archives: well-being

Waiting for Closure: Don’t Put Your Life on Hold

When things end differently than we expect, especially when we’ve invested a lot, it can be really hard to move past the outcome.  The phrase most often heard to describe this is “needing closure”.  In some situations I believe closure can be achieved, in others not so much. Hanging on to getting it in these situations can put your whole life on hold.  And you deserve better than that, don’t you think?  I think you do 🙂

I’ve recently extricategood intentions vs characterd myself out of a really bad relationship that I’ve been hanging onto for about 1 year. It was one of those situations where you keep thinking it will get better because it is “not so hard to fix”. You believe that he will move beyond making promises and finally take action. You think the meanness will stop. I began to hold on to the few moments of happiness in between the pain thinking that the 10% could become 90% if we talked enough. You start asking yourself what you’re doing to cause it or if you’re imagining things because it seems so unreal. I’ve never done such mental gymnastics to be in a relationship in all my life.

it's not personalHe claimed he was here for me, but sabotaged every important moment in my life. He badmouthed me to his family to the point that they hated me and then invited me to drive 6 hrs. to spend Thanksgiving with them. He caused drama in an attempt to come between my best friend. Then, he’d buy me expensive”I’m sorry” gifts as if that should make it all better. He’d tell me how much he wanted to spend his life with me, but could never manage to get past his selfishness to actually include someone else.  As he often reminded me – “I just don’t think about you when you’re not around”. Nice. So, yeah he was here for me, but not in any way that you’d want to have someone around.

I just couldn’t understand how someone could be so consistently hurtful.  It is, after all, so easy to be nice and kind.  The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.  Particularly if you really want to spend your life with someone. I took so much crap from this man.  I didn’t like who I was around him.   He put on a good show in front of friends and family, but in private, I rarely smiled, cried a lot,  didn’t want to be intimate with him in any way.  I was completely unclear why I stayed or invited him back again and again.  Somehow he would always find a way back and it would always be worse the next time.

Finally he had done something so horrible to me while I was heavily turn the page or close the bookmedicated and sleeping, that I was done with giving out chances. But my mind still wanted answers for how someone could behave in such horrific ways. Why, why, why?

So, I wanted to share some thoughts with you that have been helping me move forward even though I have not gotten any answers or asked him to make sense of it for me.

First Lesson: Who Cares?wpid-20140625_161727.jpg
If a person cares about you they would never disrespect and humiliate you – EVER. If they do and you tell them and they don’t do better or feel remorse, this is a reflection of their shitty character.  It is not a judgement of who you are. People who care take care of you especially when you’re weak.

Second Lesson:  Invest Wisely
Sometimes we invest so heavily in someone that we feel we are owed a return on investment. But in fact, it is a lot like the stock market, there is NO guarantee.  Also, there are some “stocks”, like men, that are simply better performers.  They have shown what they’re made of over time. If I had taken his “portfolio” to heart, I’d have walked away from a man who was a serial cheater during his entire marriage, who blamed his ex-wife for his unhappiness, and also bad-mouthed her to his family while never revealing his misdeeds at any time.  After all he started to do the same things to me.  Every time we’d have a fight he was out on the online dating websites trolling for new women to stroke his ego, he’d bad mouth me to his family, and told me that if he ever killed himself, it would be my fault because I make him so unhappy.  Yeah.  Sometimes, you have to cut your losses ladies and admit that you put your trust, time and energy in an undeserving man. Just walk away and learn something that will make you invest more wisely next time.

Third Lesson:  Where’s the Apology…the Explanation?
Waiting for the apology that never comes can be infuriating. It is kind of a waste how much faith and belief I put into a man who has shown no integrity in his thoughts or deeds.  Even though he’s let you down more times than you have fingers and toes to count on, frustrationyou hold out hope that he will care enough about you to suddenly realize how “worth it” you are and rush in like a knight to prevent losing you. I assure you that you ARE worth it. He just is lacking the integrity present in decent human beings. Think of yourself like a placeholder more than a significant person to him and it will make a lot more sense. Anyone who stands in that spot gets that treatment. Trust me, I wanted an explanation for his despicable behavior towards me. An account of how he could bring himself to commit a crime against me. An apology. I didn’t get any of that. Not for days after. Not now. Nothing except complete denial as he walked out and slammed the door at me crying in a heap on the floor. Used and discarded like trash. Good men just don’t do this. Period.  


mean what you promiseIt takes time to get past all this sludge  because we want our hurt, our experience to matter to the one who does the hurting. We want them to feel bad about making us feel bad. We want them to make good on their promises. It is normal and healthy for people to interact in a caring way about people they care about and most people are decent.  For example, I hurt you. I apologize sincerely. I don’t do it again.  You accept.  We move on stronger and deeper. But some people really don’t give a shit about you or your needs or the fact that you are a person with feelings, let alone that you were in a relationship with them.

The thing is that the longer we hold on to our desire for “admission of wrongdoing” from the one who hurt us, the longer they are left in charge of our personal power.  And nobody should have access to that wheel except you should they? No. They shouldn’t. So, let’s just take that back, shall we?

What we really want is to just feel better. We want all the yuckiness to clear out so that we can feel good again. It is more of an internal/emotional shift that we are looking for from another person.turning point

Luckily that is a gift we can give ourselves, much like forgiveness. We have to do it all the time really when you think about it.   We know that the rest of the world, our coworkers, strangers, etc are not responsible for our feelings, right? So, if we apply that to relationship “closure” we don’t really need the other person to help us move on do we? No. We don’t 🙂

I would say instead of trying to deny it or drink, drug, or shop your way out of it……

Do this instead: 

  • Just acknowledge that something sucky happened. Don’t pretend you’re not hurt just so you look all “together”.  That’s just gonna mess you up for interacting with other humans. It doesn’t mean your weak, it means you’re human.
  • Get real about the feelings you have – name them. Are you sad, hurt, humiliated, betrayed, violated*. You get to decide what’s important and significant to you.  Nobody else can tell you what’s real for you or how bad it hurts. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Resist the need for outside approval. You don’t need others to validate your feelings.  Learn to accept and acknowledge your own state of being and consider it valuable. This way you can trust what you want and need for yourself. Use your own voice!
  • Learn something as you process this life moment. It will help you make different decisions next time. Nobody’s perfect or has all the answers and that’s ok because we’re designed that way.
  • Finally, give yourself the gift of closure by honoring yourself, remembering you are awesome, and that sometimes other people really suck and that’s not got a darn thing to do with you.

-with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

*If you feel that a crime has been committed against you, I would add to the list that you consider contacting authorities and taking appropriate legal action.

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Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust Don’t Feel

god sharkWhile I love delving into a variety of psychology topics, I seem to have developed an acute interest in researching, understanding, and explaining Narcissistic behavior.  Perhaps it is because I grew up with an abusive, alcoholic “N” father and was left with a lifetime of questions I’ve been working to answer. I also seem to meet a lot of narcissists and even date them (Freud. Is that you?).  As time has gone on I’ve gotten far better at recognizing the red flags and have healed so I walk away a lot faster and minimize the damage done to myself.

Recently I was reading an FAQ on Sam Vankin’s website, who is a narcissist himself and writes extensively on what it is like from a 1st person perspective.  For whatever reason, his description about the two different “geneotypes” of narcissism; somatic and cerebral struck a different cord for me.

It made me think about religion and its long standing relationship to misogyny and narcissism.

First and foremost, narcissistic men hate women.  So do most religions. It is hatred of an irrational and passionate kind. Narcissistic men despise women who are independently minded—those they cannot fool and know instantly who they really are.  So they hate women in general and independent women especially.   Keep in mind, that they are aware enough to realize that this is not appropriate, so they have learned to repress it.  But it is always lurking beneath ready to burst out with the right irresistible trigger.  In religion the hatred is couched as acceptable simply by saying it is “tradition”.math codependents

The second thing that it important to know is the definition of the two genotypes and that if you stick around long enough you’ll witnesss both. One is default or dominant, but both will show depending on circumstances:

Cerebral narcissists – basically trying to impress you with their brains, intellectual accomplishments, “the know-it-alls” define this dominant type.

Somatic narcissists – these are the ones that are into their bodies, sex as conquest, the philanderers. They treat women as objects to get off. If you ever felt like you were having sex with a man that felt like he was basically using your body to masturbate, you may have been with this dominant type.

In an excerpt regarding Narcissists, Sex and Fidelity, Sam Vankin, a dominantly cerebral narcissist writes, The somatic narcissist uses sex to “conquer” and “secure” new sources of narcissistic supply. Consequently, the somatic rarely gets emotionally-involved with his “targets”. His is a mechanical act, devoid of intimacy and commitment. The cerebral narcissist feels that sex is demeaning and degrading. Acting on one’s sex drive is a primitive, basic, and common impulse. The cerebral narcissist convinces himself that he is above all that, endowed as he is with superior intelligence and superhuman self-control.”

god narcissistThis made me think about about religion.  Let’s take a look at what St. Paul has to say in 1 Timothy 2:12: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent.”

Then I remember that at the core narcissists hate women.  Finally, I went back once more and thought about why religion remains a pervasive part of our society even though we supposedly have equality. How could parents bring their children to a mass that condones this kind of sexism? I thought about the horrors women still face and the very real danger they are often in.

There is a clear endorsement of female subservience in Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to you husbands as to the Lord”; and similar advice for slaves in 1 Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” One truly cannot discern a difference between being a woman or a slave.

narcissist impress strangerAnother blood-curdling tale from the Book of Judges, where an Israelite man is trapped in a house by a hostile crowd, and sends out his concubine to placate them:

“So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.” (Judges 19:25-28)

Fundamentally at the core of religion is the degradation of women. The fact that both genders still participate is an act of consent to the precepts both written and preached. 

As I consider narcissism and the misogyny that exists at its core, I cannot help but be convinced by the overwhelming evidence that the very founders of most world religions were themselves narcissists. I imagine two types of narcissist priests – the somatic who has urges he tries to repress (they are the ones we eventually hear stories about) and the cerebral narcissists who find sex disgusting anyway so it is not that hard to abstain.  These are the ones making the sexist, degrading laws.  All because they have a dysfunctional relationship to their bodies, women and sexuality.

The more traditional the country, the more easily it is bound by religion. The worse it is for women. But even here in the USA where we are in the land of the free and we supposedly have equality, day after day women continue to support religion as a front for their own degradation simply because they show up and self-identify!  And puuuhlease, even though I hear this all the time, NO! You cannot pick and choose the parts of religion that you’ll support or not support either. Every time you show up and keep quiet, every time you donate your time or your money, you condone it all – part and parcel.

3 rulesDo you know that there are 3 rules to keep a dysfunctional family intact: Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust and Don’t Feel. As long as you feel that you are being treated badly and don’t say anything, you are complicit.  You are enabling the behavior to continue.  And when it comes to religion, if you are woman supporting a religion in any way that categorically degrades women into a lesser position, then you are saying “it is ok” to treat me like less, my daughter like less.  It is ok to expect less. It is ok to be dominated and silent. And as a man you are also agreeing to treat your wife, daughter, sister in this unequal manner and to teach them that this is what it is to be a man.

stood up for self bitchIf we had any kind of real equality, religion either wouldn’t exist or it wouldn’t put the genders in a one-up, one-down position. But in the competitive society in which we live, we can’t even imagine a world where both people are equal.  There has to be a dominant and submissive model in play.  Do you realize that research shows that only 1 in 4 relationships have women in the one-up or dominant position?  That mean 75% of our “romantic” relationships have men dominating women and women in the “one-down or devalued position”.  And of course the culture punishes the men by calling them “wimps” and the women “bitches” in hopes that it will get them back in line.

Do you see that all of this perpetuates the idea that narcissism and misogyny is ok? Do you see that religion sticks around because our society keeps generationally reinforcing that this model works even when it doesn’t. The social pressure to conform feels like too much. So we stay quiet in public and dissent in private.

Don’t talk,  don’t trust, don’t feel. It masks reality.  It gives way to learned helplessness, drama, and victimhood. Instead of empowering yourself, you become “the one who survived” each life event and think that measures your success.

Woman or Man – If you want to change how you’re being treated… If you want to leave the Narcissist in your life/dysfunctional relationship…  If you want to live in a healthy society and have healthy relationships between and among genders….

… Then do 3 things: TALK, TRUST, FEEL. 

– 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 😉

 

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge: Big Results Only 1/2 Way There!

Hey All!

Thought it was a good time to post some more results from my 30 day green smoothie challenge since I am now at the half-way point.

I am ecstatic with what has taken place in just a couple of weeks.  I’m now on Day 16 of 30 and I’ve lost an inch around my waist and an inch around my hips!

I thought I’d share some pics to show you my results thus far 🙂  You’ll notice those not so lovable “love handles” are starting to disappear!

Day 1 - 30 Day Smoothie Challenge.
Day 1 – 30 Day Smoothie Challenge.
Day 15 - 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge.  Lost 1 in. around waist and hips!
Day 15 – 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge. Lost 1 in. around waist and hips!

It amazes me how much of a difference it makes in such a short time to replace just one meal (breakfast for me) with a green smoothie.

In addition, because I don’t crave the things I used to, I’ve been eating healthier overall so I’m making different food choices in general.

If you’re curious about what I’ve been using in my smoothies and some of the other foods I now include in my diet as a part of this lifestyle change, well here ya go:

Morning Smoothie:
Choice of green (Kale, swiss chard, spinach) AND
Fruits: 1 each of these three fruits: bananas, mangoes, oranges

Note: Sometimes I also add 1/2 scoop of casein protein powder and 1/2 scoop of whey protein powder to get protein right away in the morning and to keep the hunger at bay.

Other foods recently added to my diet:
avocados
apples
low-fat cottage cheese
100% whole wheat bread
natural peanut butter
honey
watercress
carrots
dates
tuna (canned in water)
turkey bacon
mushrooms
80 calorie 2x protein greek yogurt
lean chicken or turkey
low fat soy milk
eggs (hard-boiled usually cause it’s faster 🙂

….and when I’m lazy Michaelina’s 300-400 calorie frozen dinners, which I’ve found are better to have on hand because they keep you from calling for delivery or heading to the drive through for lunch!  Saves money and calories 🙂

I also drink at least 1/2 gallon of water per day to keep flushing out my system and keep it hydrated.

Though I hate to admit I haven’t been to the gym much in the past two weeks, these results are without exercise!  Imagine what could be lost if that were added.  I’m going to shoot to add exercise in during the next 2 weeks and see what happens.

Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!
Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!

So, overall 2 weeks into the 30 day green smoothie challenge, I’ve lost inches, gotten better hair skin and nails, have more energy, stopped craving crappy food / ordering delivery, and started to add a whole lot of other healthy foods to my diet.  I find that I eat less than I used to, I’m way more satisfied, and I’m actually craving healthy food.

If you’ve never done this challenge before and you’re looking to make some lifestyle changes, I hope that this convinces you to give it a try.

If you have any questions about making smoothies a part of your day or  if you just want to give me some kudos for changing my lifestyle :), please feel free to leave comments below.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 6

Almost a week into drinking green smoothies everyday and I am amazed by the benefits and positive changes I’m experiencing.

Today I noticed that my skin is transforming.  There are small breakouts on my forehead, as if the toxins are releasing, but I also have a bright glow to my face and nice rosy cheeks.

My nails are growing very long and strong with bright, white tips, whereas they’d usually be brittle and easily break off.

Also, my teeth appear to be whiter! I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a natural teeth whitening system!

Other than those changes, the bloating in my stomach has gone down significantly so that my pants feel a lot more comfortable when I button them.

So, I’d say that I’m off to a pretty good start and I look forward to the other benefits that await me over the next 24 days!

Stay tuned…

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 😉

Exercise is NOT Optional

Yesterday, I had a very low day.  Nothing seemed to be ok in my life.  I couldn’t find my gratitude, my progress or even a tiny ray of sunshine.  Today I realized what may have happened.  I cannot miss a day of exercise.  It’s not optional for me.  It’s a necessity for my mental well-being.

I think without really naming it, I’ve struggled with depression for a long time.  I’ve had a hard time throughout my whole life maintaining a consistent baseline with my mood.  I’m already an emotional person who’s equally analytical. So, in a nutshell, I feel deeply and I analyze it ’till no stone is left unturned.  Adding depression to this just ups the ante and puts a pretty negative light on the picture.

Coming home and feeling amazing after exercising today, I started to take serious notice of this phenomenon.  Yesterday, I didn’t exercise and felt really depressed.  Today, I exercise and feel great???  This relationship between whether I exercise and my mental state has WAY too much of a correlation to be a coincidence.

Exercise is Good for Your BrainSo, my analytical side kicked in and did some research.  Turns out, there are a number of studies that show this correlation between exercise as a treatment for mild to moderate depression.

recent research shows that exercise may be one of the best treatments for mild to moderate depression.  “Every day, there is more and more evidence,” says Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John J. Ratey, MD, the author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. ” – By WebMD Feature”  Read full article…

Huh..well you don’t have to convince me!  I’m living proof of it.

If it can do this much for someone with depression, imagine how it could change the life of someone without it.  How could your life change by giving yourself the gift of just 30 min. of vigorous exercise a day? Image

I’m under no illusion that exercise alone is going to make my life all better.  I realize that I’ve got a number of things to figure out before I feel like my life is on track.

But you know what?

I think that the odds are in my favor that it’s gonna be a whole lot easier to come up with solutions when I don’t have to simultaneously try to lift up a heavy black cloud from my head in order to think clearly.

And I’ll take those odds any day.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Just be Willing

frustration Yesterday I was down for the count with a stomach virus and that gave me a lot of time on my hands I’m not used to having.  As I thought on the changes I’d like to make in my life, I scoured the internet for resources to teach me HOW to get there.  I settled on “You Can Heal Your Life” , by Louise Hay and immediately downloaded it onto my Kindle.  I’m so glad I did.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels like their life isn’t working and hasn’t a clue where to start.  I devoured the book in one day and  put it into practice when I woke up this morning.

One of the chapters of her books asks you to write down all the negative things you were told as a child by adults and  compare them to the negative things you say about yourself.  Then look at what’s happening in your life and see if the negative outcomes match the negative thoughts you have about yourself.  By golly, they did!  I was hooked!

The theory here boils down to this – you get what you think you should.  So, if you think positively you should see it show up in your life the same way you do when you think negatively.

Just to give you an idea of the negative thoughts that go through my mind, I’ll make a list of my top 10.  Perhaps, you share some of these as well.

You Get What You Think

  1. Nobody is there for me
  2. Nobody respects me or sees my value
  3. Nobody listens to me
  4. Everybody picks on me
  5. I’m never happy in my jobs
  6. I’m bad with people
  7. I don’t know what I want
  8. I’m a failure at life
  9. I never have enough money
  10. I never meet the right guys

Ok, so guess what I have in my life right now with these thoughts?  I have difficulty with people at work, I don’t get respect, I am surrounded by constant conflict, don’t have enough income and I don’t in fact meet guys that feel right for me.  Surprise, surprise!!

expect good things

Change Your Mind

So, today I decided to start to retrain the brain.  I selected a few general affirmations and a few specific ones that spoke to me and repeated them throughout the day.  Here’s what I chose:

General Affirmations

  1. “I approve of myself”
  2. “I am willing to change”
  3. “I am willing to release all my resistance”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for…(ie. approval)
  5. “I now realize that I have created this condition.  I am willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that is responsible for this condition.”
  6. “I trust that the universe is providing for me everything that I need and I am safe and well taken care of.”

Specific Affirmations

  1. “I am willing to release the need to be unworthy.  I am worthy of the very best in life and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.”
  2. “I am totally open and receptive to a wonderful new position, one that uses all my talents and abilities, and allows me to express creatively in ways that are fulfilling to me. I work with and for people whom I love, and who love and respect me, in a wonderful location and earning good money”
  3. “I am willing to release my need to be noticed”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for praise”
  5. “I choose to let go of my anger, so that I make better clearer decisions.”

Entering a Brand New Day…

As soon as my alarm clock went off I committed myself to saying 5 things I’m grateful for before I could sit up on my bed.  Then, I read the affirmations above before I was allowed to stand.  Finally, I walked to the mirror and read  http://aplacefortheheart.co.uk/louise-hay/louise-hay-affirmations/ while looking into my own eyes.

Throughout the day, I reminded myself of those affirmations.  I even brought my index card of affirmations with me in case I forgot.  When a negative thought came in, I said STOP! and replaced it with a gratitude and another affirmation.

One of the great pieces of advice that was offered is that you don’t have to know “HOW” it will happen you just have to be “WILLING”.  Basically, the change in mindset will send a signal to the universe that the expectations have changed.  Be patient and consistent.

It’s Working!

Already today, I noticed MAJOR differences.  First and foremost, I literally had ZERO conflict in my work day at either job. That’s 14 hrs conflict free. I haven’t had a day like that in months.  Even when I got a rude email, I took a deep breath replied kindly, let it go and went on about my day.

I received more smiles, more cooperation, warmer relations and even had an easier time in traffic leaving me with enough time to get some shopping done, order dinner, and get 15 min. in a massage chair all before my next job started.

The point is…it all went smoother.  I was calmer.  I felt like I was in the moment and I enjoyed my day!  This was enough to convince me to carry on using this new method.

I’m looking forward to discovering what I can create by simply changing my own thoughts.

How have you brought about change in your life by a simple shift in focus?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

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Where Will You Put Your Energy?

Some environments are really toxic to be in.  It’s easy to get bogged down. To feel isolated and powerless.  You may find yourself fighting battles constantly.  

As I’ve written in another post, https://aneternaltraveler.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/do-what-you-have-to-do-its-only-temporary/ sometimes you have to do what you have to do right now and remember it’s temporary.  

Today we’re going to talk about how you can do it so that you feel like you’re paying dues for a membership you actually want

In my current work situation for whatever reason, I’ve become the target for people’s hatred.  I walk into work and I can guarantee with 100% certainty that I will be told something negative.  I am on a team where instead of them having my back, I have to watch my back. 

Now if I wanted to I could go into battle with these people everyday.  I did this for the first month. It sucked. And it sucked because I made the assumption that these people wanted things to be peaceful and harmonious.  I assumed talking to them would lead to greater understanding and better teamwork.

When I finally realized that I was the only one who wanted this and I had pushed myself to exhaustion to try to achieve it, I took a step back to reassess.  It shouldn’t be this hard.  “Why do they seem full of energy while I’m running on empty?”  Well simply put, they put their energy where it worked best for them – keeping things status quo.  I put my energy where it didn’t work best for me – trying to change their status quo.

So here’s the tough part – finding the courage to,

Let go of the way you’ve been doing things AND use your energy to put you where you want to be.

For me this boiled down to two choices – go to battle in the trenches, hand-to-hand-combat-style, every time a challenge is presented or think like the General of my own life and strategize a workaround where I could focus on what will advance me forward.

First and foremost, I will remind myself that my energy belongs to me.  I can choose where to put it.

Moving forward, when someone tries to engage me in a fight, I will not give them my energy by engaging them back. Instead, I will use my energy to think about how to best advance myself.  

A better use of my energy would be to, research positions on the company website that I’d like to hold. Forming a good relationship with my boss so I have his support to get to my destination.  Staying in contact with him as the pettiness comes up to make sure he knows my viewpoint and to ensure we stay on the same page. Finally, stay proactive – present my boss with solutions in the form of positions I’m interested in and qualified for and ask for his advice about moving me into one of them.

If I’m fighting, fighting, fighting in the trenches, I’ll be chronically exhausted.  I know because I’ve been fighting there for awhile now and I’m chronically exhausted.  Pretty simple equation. 

Trying to get people who don’t care about you, to care about you, is not only a losing battle, it is a sign that you’re investing more in others opinion of you than you are in yourself and your own well-being.

I’m not willing to do another battle and stay entrenched in the pettiness. I’m going to focus on what will help me move forward and stop treading water in a bad situation.

How have you changed your perspective in a bad situation and come out ahead?

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?