The car is totally out of control on icy roads, wrecking into things, gaining speed, fish-tailing on the edge of dangerous cliffs. As I am being thrown around the car, I am astounded that the driver is allowing this chaos by not even attempting to steer!
Then, horrified, I realize that the focus of my disbelief is sitting in the backseat! I am in the driver’s seat! It has been me, all along, who has abandoned the steering wheel and gotten us into this mess!
I don’t need a psychiatrist to interpret the dream. My subconscious is screaming, “Wake up, quit blaming others for your stress, and take responsibility.”
(Photo courtesy of Mental Floss. Click on photo for link to 12 Common Dreams and What They Supposedly Mean)
Next stop for me: apology…to my “passengers.”
Men complain about their female exes, romantic interests, bosses, and co-workers being the b-word, manipulative, or impossible to please. Women complain about men being selfish, self-centered, and shallow.
If we want to stop repeating the madness and find movie-quality soulmates, partners, or heroes, here are the rules:
- Quit assessing people by their outward beauty or body type (when I meet a man whose primary measurement of a woman is how fit, pretty, or built she is, or a woman who obsesses about bald, overweight, or old, I know I am in the presence of the immature and lonely)
- Look at all people the same (don’t measure by what they are or do, $$, or possessions)
- Forgive everyone (bitter people are not attractive)
- Honor your suffering instead of complaining about it (the nicest people in the world are often those who have suffered most)
- Give generously (and forget about getting something back)
“The Universe is asking…show me your new vibration, I will show you miracles.”
That might sound stupid or “New Age,” yet the times when I have recovered from despair, found hope when I thought there was none, somehow discovered a way out of a bind, or seen a miniscule ray of light in the deepest darkness, it has been because I did the changing. I quit waiting for something or someone else to change.
Although, it was as easy as…
- admitting I might be wrong
- changing an “I can’t” to an “I will”
- thanking instead of complaining
- questioning instead of denouncing
It was very difficult to accept that responsibility.
Most people never do.
There is an energy, a vibration, about us that repels help or attracts it. If you doubt that, think about the people you avoid, and why.
Some leaders define Vision simply as imagination plus courage. This definition reminds me that any remarkable accomplishment happens because someone had the courage to stand for what could be. And that…
- My imagination has a purpose.
- I have ideas that can make a difference.
- Many brave people before me have tenaciously fought against unbelievable odds for ideas that mattered.
- Their imagination and courage made a difference for me.
If I have imagined anything that can benefit others and if my dream makes me feel alive, chances are…this is what I was born to do.
And, if I want to accomplish anything, I must remember this on the days my efforts appear useless.
If I could buy an automatic filter that would not only clean the air, but also remove all of the harmful things I think, say, and do, how different my life would be! I would…
- Think more clearly
- Sleep better at night
- Become a stronger and kinder person
- Be happier
- Be less competitive, jealous, or angry
- Have more peace and patience
- Be more productive
- Play better tennis 🙂
Since this miracle “filter” doesn’t exist, my job is to create a routine for myself that functions as the “filter.” It may be a lifetime project, but so far my filter consists of:
- Setting an intention of radical self-improvement and contribution
- Daily meditation and prayer
- Reading and learning from others
- Honest, on-going evaluation
- Owning my mistakes quickly
A small price to pay for all the benefits.
When the first thought finds me
Let it be the weight of light
When consciousness comes
Let it be a tiny whisper of surprise
That I have survived the night
Helpless and adrift in those dark hours
And have somehow landed safely
On the sun-soaked shore of another day
When the first thought finds me
Let it not be an anchor of dread
Or a tangled net of worry
Tugging me to the bottom of myself
Away from the light playing purposefully
Above my head
I wrote this poem for a personal reminder to purposely choose a first thought in the morning: a thought that doesn’t call for a sigh or a groan.
When things don’t go right, go left is good advice but I must do it quickly; move to plan B before I have time to fret, fear, or flounder. Otherwise, I will bog down from the weight of all the disappointment and frustration.
Like this morning, when things started to crumble around me, I couldn’t even get a foothold to change my direction in the onslaught of minutia and miscommunication; redoing my work, spending twice as much time and effort with nothing to show for it in the end. So, I just had to stop, quit taking myself so seriously, and trust that who I was in the moment would be more important in the long run than anything I might accomplish.
It was an anxiety-erasing, temper-soothing directional change. Thanks Lemony Snicket.
I caught myself today worrying about how others perceived me…at the dentist! Really? What a waste of time; time that I could have spent:
- Making a difference
- Viewing others with compassion and interest
- Concentrating on my work
- Remembering my value…which is not dependent on someone else’s appraisal or evaluation
Although I wish I hadn’t slipped into the temporary “insanity” driven by an overactive ego, I am thrilled that I caught myself in the act! That’s progress! In the past, I would have been unaware of my inner dialog and ended the day wondering why I was:
C. Angry, or
With just a little awareness, I can stop the slide into those states before it is too late, while there is time to bail.
I was a little embarrassed to answer, “Meeting the coolest people” when asked the question in a media interview, “What is your superpower?” What kind of a super power is that? (Yet, many of my single friends tell me they wish they could meet the interesting men that I have met with this power.)
The source of the power has to do with setting aside judgements enough to show genuine interest in everyone. In fact, my strategy in a group of strangers has always been to seek out people who appear to be the most uninteresting, uncomfortable, or out-of-place. And, I am continually astounded at the unexpected riches I have found.
I have never gone wrong by putting aside my own agenda, honoring everyone equally, and standing on the holy ground of discovery.
“We talk to ourselves incessantly and choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk.”
Castaneda was quoting ancient Mexican Shamans, yet this teaching can be found throughout the world, along with the first step out of talking ourselves silly: becoming aware of it.
When I noticed how adolescent or ridiculous my thoughts were and began to laugh at them, it became much easier to grow past them.