I Pledge Allegiance to Living Stress-Free

I pledge allegiance to living stress-free

Remembering worry doesn’t work for me

And neither does angry fretting (unfortunately)

I pledge allegiance to living stress-free

Because controlling people and things 

(I don’t control) is the job of Kings

Not me.

Truthfully

My worry and stress never helped one single soul

Only pulled me deep into a sucking hole

Where there was no benefit for me or anyone

Just an embarrassing waste of adrenalin*

*Some of us, who insist upon worrying, believe, erroneously, that the opposite of worrying is not caring. However, this is not the case. Often, surrendering is the only wise way to effectively care…and much more efficient.

Impulse to Give

There have been times that I have had an impulse to give and have hesitated too long, or tried to ignore the impulse altogether. I have always regretted it. Usually, fear was at the root of my decision.

When I felt I should give a compliment, I may have feared being overshadowed. Will they think they are better than me?

When I felt I should give encouragement, it might have been the fear of rejection. Will they question my motive?

When I felt compelled to offer support, it was probably a fear of failure. Who do I think I am? What do I have to offer?

When I felt an impulse to forgive, it was a fear of someone getting off the hook too easily. If I forgive them, they won’t get what they deserve.

When I felt I should give money, it was the fear of scarcity. Can I afford it? What if I need this in the future?

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None of my fears were grounded. I could not out give the Universe.

Today, I will give without fear.

How to Obliterate Boredom

I always wanted to be able to sing like Adele or Aretha Franklin. Since I couldn’t, I decided to bring that passion to whatever tasks life handed me. However small, boring, or seemingly insignificant those tasks were, I would “sing my life” like I meant it.

Living like this has changed my life, made difficult times go by faster, brought me lots of friends, work, and loyalty, and helped me deliver energy and hope where they were sadly lacking (like at boring jobs, committee meetings, or the DMV).

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“The antidote to exhaustion is not rest but, rather, wholeheartedness.” – David Whyte

What a Bunch of Crazies!

Listen to anyone, for any length of time, talk about their family, their life story, or what they are angry about, and you will discover enough crazy to last a lifetime. It’s not just politicians, our relatives, Isis, or our exes that are screwed up.

The only healthy way to navigate our whacked-out world is to look ourselves square in the eye and admit our part of the absurdity. Even though we have elaborate techniques for burying our own culpability, each of us owns a significant piece of this action. Bashing others for their part doesn’t make you any better. In fact, it makes you look crazier and makes me feel like getting the heck away from you as fast as I can.

I might start wearing these signs around my neck to remind both of us.

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Build with Love

Sometimes I complain too much about the difficult things life requires me to do. If I am smart, I will see what others can easily see; I need the re-construction, remodel, and renovation that occurs when I am doing a work of love for others, even if I can’t see a positive outcome.

Acknowledging the mystery of this often prevents me from tearing down valuable work with my own hands.

If the Therapist Falls Asleep

I started thinking that I probably wasn’t living my best life when my therapist fell asleep during our counseling session. I’m sure that listening to me wallow in my misery was painfully tedious, especially since the solution was so obvious; I needed to move on.

It took another year before I would entertain that idea (even though, for several months, I had been hoping I would die on my way to work!).

Looking back, it is hard for me to believe I was so stubbornly attached to such a painful construct.  What we think is necessary…often is not.

I hope you will hear life calling you today more quickly than I did.

Look for the clues outside your normal.

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PS. If we are not in therapy, we may want to notice how bored our friends are with our diatribes.

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Out of Order?

When I am “out of order” I am literally doing things out of order.

  • I try to be happy before I take charge of changing my thoughts
  • I try to take charge of my day before securing my personal peace and power
  • I try to take on tasks or projects without love and gratitude
  • I try to serve my family, neighbors, or friends before making sure I am not just “checking the boxes,” posing, or being self-righteous
  • I try to “fix” someone else before fixing myself first

When I insist on doing things my own way, ignoring the natural order of success, maybe I should hang an “out of order” sign around my neck (before someone else does).

The Pain of Being “Endured”

Even on the faces of strangers, it is often easy to spot relationships that have passed from enjoyment to obligation. Sadly, so many of us think we are doing someone a favor by “trudging through a relationship” when this could not be farther from the truth. Humans are not built for the pain of being “endured” rather than celebrated.

In this type of arrangement, both the “tolerater” and the tolerated are cheated. Both are inviting all manner of disease into their bodies, minds, and spirits, and tragically, into their other relationships.

We can only unlock the door of this toxic prison at work and at home by:

1) Getting back to a place of delight by focusing on what we love instead of what we dislike about someone (this works wonders!), or by

2) Being honest enough to own the dysfunction and mature enough to set each other free without bitterness.

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Real relationships give life…not the appearance of life.

Identifying and Thanking Our Collaborators

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I was laughing at my own jokes recently, I realized that my ability to write sick quips and funny dialog had come from my family; not always in the best of circumstances, my mother, sisters, and brothers contributed to my proclivity for absurdity (along with a steady diet of Mad Magazine).

Each of us owe much to people who have helped us identify our gifts…however painful the process. Along with using our unique gifts, showing them appreciation is the right thing to do.

Today, I write in memory of my mother’s whacky life, my sister, Angela, the master jokester, and for my brother, Ronnie, who bought me my first MAD Magazine.

It’s too late to thank them any other way.

(originally posted 2012)

Misunderstanding Introverts

All my life, I have irritated introverts by pushing them, overpowering them, interrupting them, and by trying to remake them into extroverts.  Please forgive me.

I now realize I needed to give space, rather than judgement.

On the other hand, as an extrovert, I have been misunderstood by introverts to be flirting or showing off when I was just enjoying the energy I receive through being with other people.

I guess all of us need space to be who we are (even when it doesn’t make sense to our opposites) rather than judgement.

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