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.

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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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.

The Happiness Illusion

If I only had _______________, I’d be happy. Is that too much to ask? Why does life have to be so difficult? Why can’t I just have what I need?

Whatever word is used to fill in the blank in this sentence doesn’t matter: money, a partner, freedom, a vacation, a child, a family, friends, job, beauty, health, a house, a car, a better body, recognition, fame, respect, you name it, the statement is still untrue.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a test:

Have you ever met, or heard of anyone who has what you are seeking but still isn’t happy?

Are you aware that drug addiction, suicide, depression, alcoholism, despair, and abuse still thrive among people who have what you want?

Changes in our circumstances can make us temporarily more comfortable. Happiness still has to come from inside; a you-decide deal.

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I Have a Dream…Not a Nightmare

dr suess

Historian Rutger Bregman’s TED Talk about eliminating poverty is worth watching even if you don’t agree with his conclusions. His quote, “The one thing that history teaches us is that things can be different,” reminded me that even when things have been the same for centuries, the tenacity of courageous thinkers and doers have made huge differences for us all.

Radical, “impossible” changes occur when we:

  • Use our gifts to make a difference
  • Dream new dreams
  • Refuse to give up
  • Face the world with courage

Living like this is so much more fun than complaining about, or shrinking away in fear from, the way the world is. As Bregman said, “Martin Luther King’s famous speech is “I have a dream, not, I have a nightmare.”

If I Want a Big Life

If I want a big life

It starts with a smile on my face

Not in that very small place

Where everything I see

Is bigger, better, or more than me

If I want a big life

I can’t wallow in some small slight

What someone said, or what isn’t right

If I want a big life

It’s me who must live 

Worthy of big

Worthy of noble

Worthy of strong

When I Don’t Feel Empathetic

When I remember that…

  • Every person I encounter is much more than meets the eye, it is easier for me to treat them with kindness, even when I don’t approve of their behaviors.
  • Others have fought their own demons as I have fought mine, I am less prone to blame or shame them.
  • People crave love and respect just as I do, it curbs my aggressive or passive aggressive behaviors.

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Taking the time to do that, before reacting, is the key.

Or, we can keep the madness going.

Drama Haters…or Not?

A woman I met this week on an airplane complained about everything the entire flight…loudly. Toward the end of the flight she asked me why I was going to Denver.

“To speak about being drama-free at a conference,” I answered, impaling her with my eyes.

Her response?

“Good for you. So many people have a problem with that and those people have made my life miserable.”

Her oblivious response was not a surprise. Typically, those of us who cause the most drama denounce it the loudest. Mentioning it to her would have done no good. It took years and multiple messengers before I saw the drama in myself. And when I finally got it, I quit wasting the airspace with hate for anyone and anything that crossed me.

Here’s to a drama-free day!

Demonizing or Deifying?

Nothing is ever as good as it looks or as bad as it seems.

Yet we still squeeze out the last drop of drama by demonizing people and circumstances that have disappointed us. (see social media)

And, despite common sense, we go on to deify other people, allowing our expectations to soar out of the range of possible fulfillment.

The happiest people I know are people who look at the world without illusion, who know that all of us are terribly inconsistent and fallible, who treat good news and bad news the same without jumping to dramatic conclusions, and who build structures of happiness on the inside rather than the outside.

It’s taken me way too long to learn this but I am inching my way there.

will rogers