Tag Archives: advice

Work It, Girl…

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A good mom teaches us a lot.  If we’re lucky enough to become moms one day, we realize more and more just how much we learned from her.  In general, moms get a bad rap, held to a much higher standard than anyone else who might enter our lives.  Her missteps are often severely judged, not just in her own mind and heart, but in those of her children.  But for better or worse, she’s the one we turn to most, the one who is always there, a constant gardener in love and care, in her way.

‘Her way’ may not always be something we agree with, but even if she’s made a mistake, we’re going to learn something from it.  She’s human sure, but beyond that, she’s mom, which means she impacts your life in a way like no other.  As we grow and become adults, it’s important to consider her not just as mom, but as a person on her own journey.  Puts a little different perspective on her mistakes, doesn’t it?

Considering her this way should likewise put an improved perspective on her love and constant gardening.  She’s just another human being on a journey, yet she devotes the majority of her thoughts, energies, decisions, and dreams toward your well-being, the epitome of unconditional love.  And though it may not always seem as though her love comes without strings (she actually expects things of you!?!) it ultimately does, because every demand is made with your best interests at heart.  And we cut her some slack, she’s lived longer than we have, she likely knows more than we do about a thing or two, so we try to listen more and judge less.  We have some faith in her love for us.

My mother struggled to raise me on her own, a struggle I’ll never completely understand because I have not had to experience it.  She worked…HARD.  Sometimes more than one job at a time when things were particularly lean or I needed something special for school or sports.  She did what she had to do.  And she made me do.  Whether it was “Go outside and play”, “Get up, you’re going to work with me today, I need help”, “Clean up this room!”, they were each lessons.  She was teaching me about work and life.  She was teaching me what work does for you, how it makes you feel, how to use it to empower and enable good things to happen in your life.  Translation, please?

  1. “Go outside and play” teaches that there is a whole world out there just waiting for you to experience it, but you’ll never encounter its mysteries unless you get up, get on with it, and get out there.
  2. “Get up, you’re going to work with me today, I need help” teaches several lessons.  First lesson: The value of gumption, of getting about the business of living, instead of sleeping it away.  Sleep is necessary of course, but like most things in life, in moderation and good health.  Second lesson: It’s good to help others.  We all need a little help every now and then, but a child who isn’t taught to recognize it and follow through, will never help anyone but themselves.  Third lesson: “You’re going to work with me today” teaches that work is necessary to life.  The perception that work is drudgery, something to be avoided in favor of relaxation, is an incorrect perception.  Actually, work (especially hard work) makes you.  What does this mean?  Work makes you by instilling a sense of confidence in your own abilities.  It teaches self-reliance.  It’s the only thing that helps you understand what being productive feels like; that to endeavor is to burn, to be alive and on fire with activity.  It’s a positive, worth-building thing, and the best thing to keep one depression-free and feeling optimistic. Having goals is necessary.  Without it, we sit static, motionless and helpless in a world that is moving all around us, leaving us behind.  Fourth lesson: By requesting that I go to work with her, she demonstrated a belief in my ability to help.  This is often the first experience a child has that helps them understand they can positively impact others through action.
  1. “Clean up this room!” teaches self respect.  It may seem like a demand, but in reality it’s a request to benefit both of you.  Mom has likely already figured out self respect and she has it, therefore she values her space, which includes the one you occupy.  But she’s also teaching you, because she learned (maybe the hard way) that respecting yourself directly impacts the decisions you make for yourself in life.  Decisions are choices and they ultimately influence life and happiness.  Choice in partner, environment, work place, health, even rest and relaxation, are all governed in some way by self respect.  Without it, we are a punching bag who believes we deserve less, which leads to things like poor performance, pessimism, lethargy, and stress, ultimately things that can have real affect on personal health and wellbeing.  Living in a pigsty translates to believing you deserve to live in a pigsty.  Essentially, think it, believe it, do it.  Believing in yourself, recognizing your value, merit, and goodness means you are less likely to accept less than the very best situation you can create for yourself.  Your environment is a direct reflection of how much you value you.  And beyond its impact on you, any devaluation of life and endeavors, purpose and potential, means you will fail to have a positive impact on others.

Mom lessons extend past instruction, into the realm of behavior.  My mom has always maintained an excellent work ethic.  She’s always doing.  This doesn’t mean she can’t relax or won’t, it means she is on fire with activity.  When she relaxes, she earned it.  This enables her to exhibit an extraordinary generosity and a hopeful, endless love.  Her spirit shines with exuberant energy, resulting in a vigorous, fun-loving attitude that always brings a smile to others.  As a result, she belies her age, often mistaken for being much younger (not a bad thing, right ladies?).  She loves to learn, read, and experience.  I’ve always found much admiration for these things, and I find that in my admiration of them first in her, I now seek them out in others.  More importantly, I seek them out in myself.  I am proud of those aspects of myself that I can directly attribute to her influence.   I am an incredibly hard worker, because I enjoy being productive, endeavoring, living on fire.  I love, appreciate, and respect life.  And each day, I wake with a passion to live that drives me in many different directions at once.  These things and more are the direct result of her impassioned efforts, her love and life lessons.

Thankfully, we never get too old to learn something new.  Work it, girl…work it.  Mom wants you to know YOU ROCK…

🙂

**Image creds go to: http://www.andherlittledogtoo.com**

The Best Kind of Panties….

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**“She made me angry…” ** “That ruined my day…” ** “I just can’t get past it…”**

Are any of these statements really true?  Do others possess the capability to make us something we don’t wish to be?  Is it true to say someone, or something else ruined our entire day?

No…statements like these are fundamentally untrue…

We control ourselves… This is a true statement.

Seriously consider the power of such a statement over the others listed above.  The conclusion states we have the last word about what kind of day we have and how we are ultimately going to feel.  We are the harbinger of our own misery or happiness.  We are the ‘keeper of the mood’.

We understand it, in theory.  In practice, it gains difficulty.  That guy that cut you off in traffic, the boss who ‘just doesn’t get it’, or the person who treats you poorly and ‘gets away with it’; each tests our mettle and seems to bring on us (from the outside) anger, frustration, and misery.

However, it is the expectations we place on outside influences that are the source of our own anger and disappointment.  We expect things to go a certain way, or expect to be treated right, or expect people to behave well.  And when things don’t go as expected, we get disappointed or angry.  This is absurd, since we lack control over anything but ourselves.    If we account for the sum total of individual expectation for 7+ billion people on the planet, it isn’t hard to see how anger and frustration is manufactured on a daily basis.

Consider the power of change.  It is possible to enact positive change in our life, and it is through the mere decision to do so.  That is power that does not bend to outside influence.  That is power which dwells inside, produced by sheer will.  Your thoughts run you…

The very position of your will inside means it is protected from outside forces which will against it.  We are each a sturdy vessel.  We are our very own harbor in a storm.  We are each a force…

And because we possess such control, we are not victims…

It is necessary to own our mood and outlook.  It is necessary to be responsible for what we put out in the world.  If we are having a bad day, it is because we are choosing to do so…and that’s completely on us.  We are not a victim of someone or something else; we are choosing to victimize ourselves. 

So don’t do it….Put on those big kid panties and get on with living  🙂

 

*Image courtesy of:  http://aubenoire.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/no-expectations2.jpg*

‘Better’ is Always a Possibility…

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Blog5 ImageLiving well and being grateful for our journey is a constant process of change and growth.  Changing our thinking will change our world, but it is up to each individual whether that change works toward their betterment or detriment.

It is helpful to recognize ourselves as beings that are in constant transformation.  Transformation occurs unscripted, so while it is certainty that it will occur, how it occurs is up to each of us.  Choose well, live well.  Improvement = happiness.  With this line of thought, change is not scary, it is renewing and hopeful   🙂

Individually of course we are accountable for our thoughts, reactions, and the navigational choices of our journey.  We impact one another through the collision of individual choice, which in turn creates greater ripples of change that transcend time in ways we could never have fathomed.  In this, there is a level of responsibility to our fellow man to individually strive to be better than we were yesterday, to improve the world during our short time, rather than leave it worse than when we arrived on the day of our birth.

So…..

If you are abusing yourself, STOP.  Stop it…  In everything be grateful, because we cannot know the possibility and potential of everything.  Abusing ourselves is neither gracious nor grateful; it denies us a life well-lived.  It kills happiness.  SO STOP IT, because it is in your power to do so…tell yourself a different story of you.  Empower yourself as you would empower a friend   🙂

Be kind.  Kindness never hurts, destroys, or causes pain.  It adds to the world and to your life.  There is never reason or cause to be unkind   🙂

Never be the victim.  Unhappiness is a self-chosen reaction and state of being, and it breeds unhappiness in others.  No one can force us to feel.  Therefore, other people are not capable of making us unhappy.  We may be disappointed, hurt, or suffering, but we choose to be unhappy.  In this way, we negotiate our own happiness or unhappiness   🙂

Love honestly, freely, and unconditionally.  You get what you give, so give love away without expectation of its return or reception.  Love is the ultimate renewable resource; we can give it as often as we like and never run out   🙂

Potentiality exists in equal measure, good and bad.  Focus only on that which nurtures and grows, the good.  Ridding our vocabulary of negative potentiality automatically increases mood and outlook.  And research has shown that speech and thought patterns are intimately linked to outcome, so we should endeavor to fill our minds and the universe with the good stuff   🙂

Be honest.  If you hurt someone, apologize.  If you hurt yourself, apologize.  Don’t lie in an effort to avoid taking responsibility.  Learn, forgive, and move forward with love and strength   🙂

We should not be reluctant to admit our faults.  Only by acknowledging them can we ever hope to improve.  Do not repeat behavior you are working to stop.  Do not focus on the faults of others; it is unproductive and repetitively hurtful   🙂

Do not be fearful, be courageous.  Fear is paralyzing.  The outcome of fear is regret.  Put the act of attempting the things you fear into practice; if you fear it, do it.  Forward motion exists even in the smallest step, so be brave and it will eventually become habit   🙂

Suffering is a matter of perception.  Suffering exists in all forms, physical, emotional, and mental, but the degree to which it influences our life is completely up to us.  You will fall down, but get back up.  Do not give power away to things like suffering and fear.  In its own way, suffering is a force for good.  Through our suffering we are presented with a greater appreciation for life   🙂

Monitor expectation.  When we attach an expectation to a moment, an event, or a person, we are setting up disappointment.  The world is a dynamic place, so why believe we have the kind of control necessary to expect a particular outcome?  Most frustration, hurt, and disappointment is directly connected to an expectation we placed on a particular outcome.  In all things be hopeful; be optimistic, but never expectant   🙂

Laziness denies you the personal fulfillment of a job well-done.  Do the work; each time better than the time before.  Living better and being better is literally, always, a small change away…

🙂

Nature Lessons: The Movement of Water

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ImageWater is a force….

It moves freely into spaces that cannot be occupied by solid, immovable elements.  In this way, it becomes a power to be reckoned with, moving in volume where it pleases.  It fills up tiny crevices, lifting and displacing even the heaviest objects through strength, resolve, and a steady, stubborn effort. 

And when water encounters borders of stone intent on controlling its movement, to force its wild flowing to submit, water works gradually, without surrender, to wear down the stone and earth until they yield, eroding to the will of water.  In the wake of such determined labor, we are left with the majesty of the Grand Canyon.  This natural wonder stands as a breathtaking testament to a persistence that sought the tiny spaces between mighty stone barriers so it could continue working and pushing to achieve a desired path.

Be like water…

Strong and determined, steadily working, fluid enough to find the tiny spaces others are too solid and immovable to occupy.  In this way, you will get where you want to go and where you wish to be  🙂