Best Argument for Listening to Someone You Don’t Agree with

For many years I didn’t get along well with bosses. I pretended. I talked behind their backs. I thought they were idiots.

Unfortunately for me, they were the people who could tell me the truth about myself.

Saying “What can I do to fix this?” would have been much more effective than dissing their opinions. Arguing and defending my own perspective is what I chose to do instead. It got me nowhere.

When I finally got humble enough to see myself from the outside, my world rearranged itself into peace and success.

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“Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.”

I Am So Annoyed…or Is That Annoying?

Annoying Stuff that We Don’t Like about Others, but Do Ourselves:

1) Try to “fix” everyone

2) Blame others for our unhappiness

3) Cling to, and complain about stuff (without doing anything about it)

4) Hustle for worthiness and acceptance from others (instead of finding it within)

Quick Fix Tips:

1) Drop our own agenda for other people and just be present for them. 

2) Seek out a coach who will tell us the truth about ourselves. 

3) Reject fear. Study the brave.

4) Honor and value ourselves.

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Important Times to Play

My challenged nephew has reminded me that being goofy, making up a stupid song, quoting a comedian, doing a silly dance, and laughing out loud at my own seriousness are effective recovery techniques, especially when…

  1. I feel mean

  2. I want something that isn’t good for me

  3. I feel overwhelmed

  4. I am disappointed

  5. I am sad

  6. I am afraid

  7. I am jealous or angry at someone

  8. I feel wronged

  9. Things don’t make sense

  10. I have a resting bitch face

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My Scale Often Needs Calibration

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Some days I measure myself as hot stuff, when, indeed, I am clueless.

Some days I measure myself as worthless, when, indeed, I did my best and learned a lesson.

Sometimes I measure someone else as an A**hole, when, indeed, that person was facilitating my future.

Sometimes I arrogantly measure myself as more valuable than others, when, indeed, others have been holding me up.

And, then, there were those times, when I weighed myself in as a total disappointment, but time would tell a different story.

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As long as I don’t put too much confidence in my own “scale,” I can feel big and feel small and learn from both.

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS

I didn’t expect this book to hit me between the eyes and challenge my status quo, but it did.

It starts off slow, but gradually lifts up a standard of courage, and somberly reminds that the Universe will come to the aid of the brave.

Only nineteen, but stubborn enough to reject defeat, Farida said, “Fear blinds us to possibilities.” 

Locked in a container in the middle of an ISIS war camp for many hopeless months (and vain escape attempts ending in brutal beatings), Farida discovered a hidden door they had previously overlooked. Then, using that door, executed a risky plan that saved her life and that of five other tortured and malnourished girls.

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Now, anytime I am tempted to chicken out or make excuses, I will remember her example.

In My Hand I Hold…Only This Moment

“…only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake.” –Francis Bacon

Sometimes I am shocked into considering the ridiculous brevity of my life by…looking up at the vast universe or by looking back into the history of generations of people who have already lived and died. Sometimes it is a brutal confrontation with death in a dream or in an unexpected tragedy. But, when this happens, my life takes on the more noble qualities of:

  • a sense of urgency to live fully today
  • a sensitivity about what really matters
  • a renewed commitment to live with courage, compassion, and surrender

I can make the sparkle and the melting count today. I can do what I was born to do with cheerful abandon.

Or, I can fret, fear, despair, complain, and squander what little I have left.

(encore post from July 2014)

The Illusion of Knowing People

The trick is

Getting still enough to see past the tower 

Of our own shadow

Into theirs

To slow down enough to take a walk

Into their secrecy

Leaving ours

To walk barefoot on their path of fallen leaves

Pushing aside the undergrowth

And the tentacles of our own briars

That choke their young

Untended foliage starving for daylight

A good Friday Question:

How long has it been since we simply admired those who grow beside us…without bringing our pruning shears?


Want More Love and Less Hate?

The more one judges, the less one loves and the less one feels loved.

Whatever we give we will get back.

  • Most who judge others harshly go into a tailspin when they make a mistake.
  • Our judging is fueled by an illusion that we are somehow superior, and when that illusion topples, it messes up our elaborate construct of self-respect.
  • It is easier to hate and judge others because doing so helps us avoid our own part of the problem.
  • When we avoid our own conscience, we betray ourselves and that feels bad.
  • Instead of feeling bad, we get temporary relief by blaming others for stuff instead.

When we do an inventory of our lives and we don’t have enough love, there is only one fix:

Judge less. Love more.

The Case for Calm

Big, fat waste of time:

Stressing over winning another’s approval.

Absolute best use of my time:

Diligently believing I am who I am for a purpose and deciding to live with productive passion.

Always a good idea:

Love people who love others for who they are, vs. status, or looks, or money, or power.

Not Feeling the Love?

Recently, when my phone had been silent for a while, I was surprised by the thought, “I guess no one loves me.” I urgently changed that path by picking up the phone to remind others that I loved them.

No more silence.

In that same week, my email box was empty of substantial mail and the thought crossed my mind, “I guess no one needs my services.” I quickly made a U-turn by initiating contact with people who might need me but were busy or something.

The inbox filled up within the hour.

How creepy that I had started using my electronic communications to “feel better about myself” instead of as a tool for making a difference.

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I have found this simple lesson to have implications anytime I feel crazy about what I need.