Stop Acting So Small

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Ways in Which I Have Acted Small:

  • Being jealous of the place others have in the Universe

  • Whining about how unfair the world was to me

  • Hurting others to make myself feel better

  • Telling myself that I was more or less valuable than any other human being

  • Thinking I was common

  • Wallowing in my limitations and pain

  • Giving up too quickly

  • Failing to smile at the future and to act with courage

  • Ignoring the magnitude of the miracles that sustain me any given moment

  • Fearing scarcity and loss

Where to Start When Things Are All Messed Up

Messed up day? Messed up life? Messed up anything?

Fix it.

When I quit arguing about this and took complete responsibility for turning off the complaints and turning on the acceptance, change began.

Without this first step, all others are more difficult.

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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Putting Ourselves to Sleep?

“If the individual receives no satisfaction from his work for its own sake, he dies internally, a condition which no financial reward can justly compensate.” – Timothy Gallwey

This quote describes the inner struggle I experienced while working to support my family in the wrong job.

Sometimes, for a season, many of us are constrained to do so. In those cases, rather than die inside…

  1. Don’t give up hope. When things were the darkest for me, it was because I believed having a job that fully engaged my talents was out of reach. (It wasn’t.)

  2. Be completely present. For the sake of those we serve. “The anecdote for exhaustion is wholeheartedness.” – David Whyte

  3. Challenge yourself. Character goals. Physical goals. Relationship goals. Efficiency goals. Success is sweet…no matter how small.

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This March…march into your best life.

It Won’t Help

When we decide to worry, we are not only surrendering our power, we are also…

  • ignoring wisdom from those who have lived before us
  • disregarding well-documented facts concerning the insanity of worry
  • dishonoring our health

We enter into the realm of the elite simply by saving ourselves the trouble that worry creates.

What Difference Does It Make?

Craving significance is a huge part of our human condition.

When we understand how our work matters, everything changes. We have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. We have a reason to overcome obstacles. We have a reason to keep going when pain is unbearable.

One of the greatest gifts we can give each other is to acknowledge the difference we make. Great managers do this. Good people do this.

“If it breathes, it needs encouragement.” -Charlie Chaplain

This Will Shut Us Up

“If you have time to whine and complain about something, then you have the time to do something about it.”

That might sound trite…until we calculate the astonishing amount of time that we have wasted whining and complaining.

With just a little of that wasted time, I have found that I can…

  • Ask the Universe for wisdom and help
  • Offer what I do have without complaining about what I don’t
  • Seek out mentors and inspiration to counteract my feeling of helplessness
  • Decide to do what I don’t want to do
  • Take a baby-step toward something meaningful

Probably worth the discipline it takes to watch what I say…

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

Middle of the Night Assessments

Thinking, thinking, thinking of all the ways I have screwed up, relationships I had marred, the many flavors of stupidity I let fly out of my mouth, and my inaccurate estimations of myself at the root of all these embarrassing displays of weird. In the middle of the night I can quickly label myself as unredeemable or I can remember that it is the middle of the night when I am most prone to be out of whack.

I can wait until morning for judgement, when rested, when I will see that I am more than this: still a work in progress, a mixture of bright and dull, awesome and not so awesome, light and dark, sunshine and shadow.

 

Distilled Power

My romantic relationships and my work relationships improved when I quit worrying about how I was being perceived, or how I was being treated, what had just happened, or what was going to happen next. So did my tennis game. And my relationship with my kids and in-laws. And my health. And my joy. And my ability to have a good night’s sleep.

It took me over thirty years to figure that out with relationships. Over ten with something as inconsequential as tennis. Still working on it with new clients, new challenges, and strangers.

Most of us spend our waking hours splintered out in so many directions that we don’t even know what true focus is. People who bring their complete attention and focus with them wherever they go are so rare that when we are lucky enough to meet one, we cannot forget them. They are distilled and refreshing power: the power we have always longed for.

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