Want Ecstasy?

“When we blend our unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.” -Deepak Chopra

For many years, while working as a mediocre middle-manager, I told people I had no talents.

Privately, I wondered if caring about people and talking could be talents.

This morning, I offered up to the Universe my inclination to care about people and to speak honestly about my failures.

Yesterday, someone paid me to do that (and, I could tell it made a difference).

Ecstasy.

Got a Chaos Management Plan?

Do you have a chaos management plan (CMP)? Not just for North Korea but for the other times when your life is “nuked” by relationship, financial, or circumstantial violence.

We can’t be lulled into thinking we don’t need one, especially if we are currently quite impressed with ourselves and our “cool.”

It doesn’t take much for the props that make us feel cool to fall away and our inner deficits to be embarrassingly exposed.

My simple CMP:

  1. Accept what is.
  2. Forgive myself and others for the chaos.
  3. Invest in inner strength more than props.
  4. Expect chaos and smile at the future.

If You Are Wondering

If you are wondering

What your life is about

Or if your life has been a waste

Or if you ever had anything at all to offer

If you are wondering 

What you should do

Or if it will even matter

Let me just say

That very small things can make

A very big difference

A good deed brightens a dark world

 

If you are wondering “what deed?”

Or where you would get the energy or the money

Start smaller

A text, a call, a smile, a prayer, a compliment

A kindness that someone never expected

A good deed brightens a dark world

Today

Anyone

Any time

Right now

Prescription for Getting UnStuck

My friend who was on mental-health leave from a brutal work-environment told me that his counselor encouraged him to make a list of daily activities such as brushing his teeth, taking a shower, and getting dressed so that he could check them off as accomplishments (if he managed to do them). Seemed ridiculous but it helped.

Every time we check something off a list, our body releases endorphins (natural pain killers). When we are paralyzed with pain, doubt, fear, or disappointment, pain-killing is the first, critical step.

Pythagoras and my friend’s counselor seemed to understand the simple formula of:

  • One foot in front of the other
  • One step at a time
  • Bite-size pieces
  • Just get dressed

…as a path to the impossible.

(Turn on the computer and write one word worked for me today.)

I’m cheering for your “impossible.”

Overreacting to Criticism?

I had a dream that I totally went ballistic on a family member who suggested I needed to lose weight. So glad it was a dream.

Yet, my relief dissipated when I imagined what I would have done if that person, accidentally, said something so cruel. My reaction wasn’t that far from reality.

I tend to react defensively when I feel…

  • Guilty
  • Worthless
  • Helpless
  • Conflicted
  • Inferior
  • Afraid

When I am brave enough to face the truth about myself, I can detach my emotions enough to learn from criticism instead of…

  • Biting someone’s head off
  • Criticizing back
  • Getting depressed
  • Expunging the challenger from my life

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A back-peddle

For reflection 

Prevents wasted rides

With rejection

What Just Happened?

When we wake up and find ourselves in the wrong place

When our life gets worse with time instead of better

When peace has alluded us

When we wonder what went wrong

Eventually we must see the connection

Between our choices and our emotions

Our sowing and our reaping

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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.

Have You Ever…?

Have you ever wondered how you would wash your hands…if you only had one?

Have you ever noticed there wasn’t a war going on outside your window?

Have you ever noticed you are still alive even after being totally vulnerable while you slept?

Have you ever thought about the number of people who cared for you and fought for you before you could care and fight for yourself?

Questions such as these clear my head of bitterness, complaining, arrogance, and depression.

When I remember what I have, my circumstances suddenly don’t suck as much.

It may sound trite and simplistic, but this practice is why I smile.

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Have you ever appreciated your facial muscles?

Some lost theirs in war.

Happy Memorial (Remembering) Day.

Give Up on the World?

I cannot give up on the world

While there are books unread

Their important words, to me, unsaid

Poignant voices of truth singing somewhere

Away from whom, I, deaf and unaware,

Cradle my uninformed opinions

I may be in pain and out of my mind with disdain

Cringing at the deeply-rooted, evil seed

The crawling malignancy around and within

Cold and calloused greed

But, really, can I wisely give up on the world? 

It may not be advisedly sane until I have used the one last effort

Of my sometimes rational brain

(Not in some melodramatic faint

Resigning sigh or fist-pounding complaint)

But in seeking, seeking, seeking

My sisters, brothers, mothers, kin 

No! Until then

I cannot give up on the world

(Spoken by the author who once thought herself the world’s greatest failure.)

If Someone Leaves You, Fires You, Rejects You, or Cheats on You

Being left, fired, rejected, or cheated upon is, no doubt, a painful experience. However, if we find ourselves in one of these situations, here are some critical considerations:

  1. We can’t make people love us. The right people will.
  2. We have hurt people too…accidentally, selfishly, or because we were afraid to tell the truth. Forgive.
  3. Playing the victim won’t fix anything. Move on.
  4. Many people born with disabilities, disease, or deformities will never have romantic love or employment. Keep it in perspective.
  5. Sometimes, it’s our fault. Buck up and own it.
  6. It’s easier to bear when we learn to love, forgive, and honor ourselves.
  7. Watch what you say. (Our words define who we are not who they are.) Besides, Social media has enough poor-me-finger-pointing-cry-baby jerk-bashers already.

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