Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Just Leave it Behind

There are some things we have to leave in the past if we want to have a different future.

That is a lesson that has taken me years to learn.  We can get so comfortable with past experiences that we make them our present and our future.

Many of us have lived through a tragedy, had our hearts broken, or been mistreated.  There is no reason to keep reliving those horrible moments.  Certainly those experiences have shaped the people we are today, but they don’t have to shape us in a negative way.  We should view those experiences as learning moments.

We often use past traumatic experiences to excuse our present behavior, but the only reason these past experience continue to affect us is because we continue to reach into the past and bring them to the surface.  If you have ever uttered the words “I am like this because_________happened to me a long time ago”, you are guilty of allowing past experience to shape your present life.  Stop creating issues and focus on healing and moving forward.  Learn from those experiences and make better choices for yourself.

If you were ever in a relationship with a dishonest person, don’t create trust issues.  Make better decisions on who you share your life with.  If you grew up in a household where accountability and responsibility were nonexistent and you can recognize that, don’t allow that to be your excuse to continue that pattern.  I admit that not everyone who exhibits a  certain negative behavior is aware of the reason, but for those of us who like to blame current behavior on past experiences, we know exactly what we are doing.  We know there was a problem in the past.  Let’s leave it behind and move forward.

Posted in Write On Wednesday

Write on Wednesday #61

 

Today’s Writing Prompt: What do you want to be when you grow up?

 

I recognize that many of you who will be reading this post are probably already grownups.  I work in higher education and I often ask the young adults I counsel, “What to you want to be when you grow up?”  We often have ideas of how certain jobs lack financial stability or may not live up to the expectations of others.  Many of us have had careers for many years, but there was that one thing or job that you always wanted to have.  A dream job.

For this writing prompt, write about your dream job.  What would you daily activities be?  How would your life be different? Who knows, you may be inspired to take a leap of faith and follow your dreams.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

Attraction in Action

It is great to form good habits.  It is also important to have habits that serve a purpose.

I believe in the law of attraction, particularly in your thoughts.  There is biblical scripture about it as well.  There are some things that I do to enforce that.  I have a few tips that I feel keep my thoughts positive.

Life is unpredictable and there will be days that will challenge you.   Everyday won’t be perfect, but it is important to not allow your thoughts to linger in a dark place.  Often I use a few little reminders to keep my thoughts positive.

Persuasive Passwords

I like to make my passwords means something to me as a little reminder of something I want to accomplish or a goal I have set for myself.  It could also be the name of a country you have always wanted to visit as a reminder to yourself to plan for your dream vacation.  As you will be logging in many different devices and/or programs, this is a perfect opportunity to repetitively introduce positive language into your mind.

Gratitude Journal

I love journaling.  It is a way to organize your thoughts, brainstorm ideas, or just doodle and have fun.  I have a daily gratitude journal and I write down the things I am thankful for in it.  It is small enough to carry with me, so when something happens that I am particularly thankful for, I write it down.

Public Displays of Intention

I love inspirational quotes.  I display them in my office and in my home, but I don’t like for them to be completely obvious to everyone else.  Sometime I display them in different languages or in some code that only I can understand, but they serve a purpose for me.  They remind me to keep my goals in mind throughout the day and to stay positive.

 

The most important thing is to have periodic reminders to ourselves to not only look for the positive in all things, but to not lose sight of our goal and to to be in a constant state of gratitude and growth.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday

Put it On to Pull it Off

I have never in my life been very traditional, but a few years ago you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me.  I have always loved all things bold and danced to the beat of my own drum, but I was afraid to express it.  I was, for all outward appearances, average.  I believe what the popular term nowadays is basic.  I was that basic chic who kind of looked like all the other women my age, or what society said women of my age, ethnic background, stature, sexual orientation, etc. should look.  I spent countless hours and several hundred dollars a year getting my hair professionally straightened, I never wore anything overly masculine or feminine, I always chose either contacts or a light brown pair of wire-framed glasses that said “I’m near-sighted, but professional”.  I was never to bold in my speech or my demeanor.  I was not too plan, but not too flashy.   Generally, I was nothing out of the ordinary.  I hated it.

 

 

I envied the beautiful women with big voluminous curls, and huge halos of cottony hair framing there faces.  I envied these women even though I had the same voluminous, cottony hair, but mine was chemically stripped of all its glory in order to fall in line with what I thought I was supposed to represent.  I envied the women with beautiful cat-eye glasses or horned-rimmed frames in bold colors. I envied their courage to step out of the ordinary and to be bold.  I wanted to be the kind of person who could pull that off.

As the years went on and I got older, I began to want to truly live my best life to the fullest.  That meant I had to be authentic and true to myself.  It started 11 years ago with my decision to stop straightening my hair.  As my hair was chemically straightened, I decided to cut the chemically processed hair off.  It was a big step as I my hair was rather long, but I was ready.  I really did not miss my hair.  I thought I would panic because I could never remember a time in my life when my hair was ever short.  I loved it!  I kept running my hands over my half inch curls and feeling their pebbly texture.  What I loved most about my new do was the ability to walk out in any kind of weather without a worrying about my hair being wrecked.

 

I got so many comments about my lopped-off locks.  People started rumors that I has some type of psychotic breakdown.  Some asked if I had been ill.  I also got comments from people who loved it, but my biggest critic was my mom.  She had jokes every time she saw me.  She bought me large earring and told me to always wear lipstick so I wouldn’t “look like a man”.  My favorite comment was ” You are the kind of person who can pull that look off.”  What??  Me?? I was one of those women??  Mission accomplished!!!

 

I was on from that point.  I got every pair of unconventional glasses I could find.  I have round Iris Apfel ones, cat-eye Shirley Chisholm ones, and big square Victoria Beckham ones too!  I also started to dress the way I always wanted to dress with no regard to what was expected.  Only what I loved and made me happy.

 

Just last week a coworker told me that there was a certain style that she wished she could pull off.  My advise to her was to just put it on.  Once you put it on, you are pulling it off.

I would like to challenge all of us to step out of our comfort zones and put it on!

Posted in Think About it Thursday

People Pleasing

 

As a recovering people pleaser, I have done tons of self-reflection on why I do what I do.  The jury is still out on that, but I’m no longer as concerned about why.  I just want to stop.  I do okay for a while and then I relapse.  I have noticed that it is easier to stop with certain people and not so easy with others.  I am constantly saying that you teach people how to treat you.  I realized that my people pleasing tendencies have taught people how to treat me.  More importantly I have taught them that they are able to use my urge to please to their advantage.

I have made a list of the things that go through my mind in the middle of my people pleasing thoughts.  I have found that my thoughts are really based on nothing.  As mentioned previously, this people pleasing behavior only comes into play with only one or two people.  Actually most who know me would be shocked that I struggle with this.  I generally give little thought about what others think, but my desire to please or not make a certain few uncomfortable has honestly stunted my personal growth.

I think all people pleasers need to examine their reasons.  Here the list of questions I asked myself:

 

Question:  What is my true motivation?

Answer:  Duh, to please another person.  This led me to ask myself another question.  Why?  I realized that I didn’t want any conflict with that person.  The person I didn’t want any conflict with is a huge part of my life.  I interact with this person on an almost daily basis and I love this person.  There is a certain degree of “I want to please this person because I fear not doing so would cause that person to think less of me.”  After thinking about this for a while I realized that although I may disappoint that person, that person will not stop loving me.  That person has been disappointed or upset with me before.  So what if it happens again.  Is it really as big of a deal as I have worked it up to be in my head?  I began to realize the root of my people pleasing is fear.  That fear is often based on what I think may happen.  I need to learn to deal with others disappointment rather than avoiding it.  So my motivation to please is based on what I fear may happen.

 

Question:  Why am I worried about what they are going to say?

Answer:  First of all, who is “they” (also known as “people)?  “People” and “they” are our own reservations and insecurities.  We are just putting a name of group of nameless people to an issue we are not willing to address ourselves. Are they even important enough to really be concerned about?  So what if they do talk.  They will talk anyway.  This is something I have gotten over, but I feel people pleasers generally stress over the ubiquitous “they.”  What I have learned is that if I am concerned about the “they/people”, that is a personal concern of mine. This thing may be something I am not quite comfortable with.  It may be something that requires a bit of a risk, so I want to be let off the hook.  What lets me off the hook is blaming my dependence on the “they”.  This finding led me to my next question.

 

Question:  Am I making excuses?

Answer:  Sometimes.  I will admit it has been easy to say that I don’t want to do something because I don’t want to rock a boat, but in actuality I’m just scared.  I have noticed this when I verbalize my decision to do or not to do something to another person who I am certain to share my view.  Once I get that confirmation, I feel that have been let off the hook.  I use people pleasing as an excuse because, unfortunately many people can relate to it and often find it acceptable.

 

What I have learned is my people pleasing has been rooted in fear.  As I have started to break a lot of my people pleasing habits I have realized that when I fight against the urge to please, the results and reactions are not as drastic as a I thought they would be.  Of course certain people did not like certain decisions, but that’s life.  No disavowals, or broken relationships.  Life simply goes on as usual.  Once I began to hold fast to my own decisions, I got little to no interference, not two cents were thrown into the mix.  It was just accepted.

I would like to continue to challenge all of us to examine hour people pleasing tendencies.  Let’s get to the root of it and grow beyond it.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday

Intention

Intention has been coming up a lot lately in conversations with my friends.  Intention along with authenticity and integrity are the keys to living a life of freedom.  As I write this, I feel that is enough to say, but I can go on to how I came about this realization in my own life.

I have stated many times that I went through a season of unfortunate events.  During that time, I felt that I would never get a break.  It seemed one bad thing was happening after another.  I began to question everything.  I began to question my choices of friends, decisions, and commitments.  That is when I began to examine my intentions.  First, I began to look at my friendships.  I had and still have a pretty tight and small circle of friends.  I did not put much thought or emphasis on my friendships at the time because the friendships I had were many years in the making.  The friendships I had were over 20 years old.  I didn’t question those because they had lasted so long how could there be anything wrong with them?  It was not until my season of unfortunate events had ended that I was able to see the true nature of some of my relationships.  I began to notice that some of my friends were very present in my life when things were at their worst.  I got phone calls everyday. At the time, I thought it was wonderful.  I had a friend who was ready and willing to listen to my problems and I am thankful for it to this day.  It was what I needed at the time.  It wasn’t until my season of unfortunate events ended that I realized all the support, check-ins, and attention began to be replaced with something else.  I was then faced with out of nowhere confrontations, discouragement, and negativity.  All of this was confusing to me as I thought  friends would be happy for my life to take a much more positive and happy turn.  It seemed that every good thing I shared was quickly shot down.  Every new opportunity I shared was met with warnings and dissuasion.  Where was the celebration?  I thought friends would  be happy for their friends. It seemed to me that it was my misery that was attracting certain friends’ attention.  True friendship was not their intention.  There was some joy and comfort they found in my struggles, but not in my happiness.

As my life and the circumstances around it began to improve quickly and exponentially, that particular “friendship” began to weaken until eventually all contact ended.  Although the relationship has endured for well over 25 years, surprisingly, I didn’t miss it.  I began to realize that over the years there have been several instances when I was in a happy season, that particular person would find a reason to be absent.  That same person would come back into my life and seem somewhat disappointed when things were going well.  I also noticed that while I shared, participated, and supported my friend’s endeavors, the same was not reciprocated.  The absence of longing for that relationship was validation to me that that particular person’s intention was not in line with what I considered friendship.  My intention created what I had believed was a friendship, but the other person apparently did not have the same intention. To everything there is a season.  The same goes for relationships.

Now I am at a wonderful place and things are better and better everyday.  I am examining my intentions.  I am deliberate and focused.   Life is so much easier.  Decision making is effortless.  There is little to no back and forth in my mind as my actions are motivated by clear intention.

Posted in Write On Wednesday

Write On Wednesday #57

 

 

Today’s Writing Prompt: What are you thankful for?

 

Today’s writing prompt is a little different.  I would like for us to write a list of all the things we are thankful for.

This year I have started a daily gratitude journal.  Each day write 10 things I am grateful for.  I have asked some of my friends and family to start the practice well.  Sometimes they tell me it is hard to come up with 10 things each day.  Oftentimes we take many of the small things for granted, but we should take time to acknowledge their importance and express gratitude for them.  For instance, my love of reading and writing began at a very early age.  Way back in the 1900s, when I wanted a book, I either had to order it from a catalog and wait for it in the mail, get it from a library (if they had it, or if it wasn’t checked out by someone else), or buy it in a store.  Now, as soon as a book is released, I can download it and begin reading it instantly!  Isn’t that something to be thankful for?  When you think about it, it is truly amazing.

Also, I started this blog just as a kind of online journal of my thoughts.  I didn’t expect to have any followers.  As of today, I have over 1500!  That may not be a lot to some, but it is to me. For that I am grateful.

Thank you to all my followers and those of you who stop to read my posts.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday

Gratitude

I can’t say enough about the power of genuine gratitude.  Not only is it great for others to know you appreciate who they are and what they do, but it is just  a good feeling to feel gratitude.

When most people think of gratitude, they think of saying “Thank you” after getting something or and polite acknowledgement of something.  I’m speaking of a feeling, something that lasts long after the words “thank you” exit your mouth.  I’m talking about walking and living in a constant state of gratitude.  There are so many wonderful things in this world that we take for granted.  This blog post has the potential to reach people I would have otherwise had no opportunity to speak it to because of technology.  That is something to be thankful for!  The fact that I don’t have to hand write this post is a blessing (I have very difficult to read handwriting).  I have a computer of my own to make this post.  That is something to be thankful for.

Throughout the day, name at least 10 things you are thankful for.  It doesn’t have to be something grand or extravagant. Just see if you can feel gratitude in everything you come into contact with today.  Think about what your life would be like if you didn’t have it and feel those feelings of gratitude.

 

Posted in Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Change

Change-Sign

Change happens.  There is nothing we can do to stop it.  We can prolong it but, it is  inevitable.  We don’t have to like it but, we must learn to accept it.  It makes some people uncomfortable. Oh well.

I have always been the type of person who accepted change.  I am not normally a combative person.  I do like to challenge things and  I am assertive.  I also know when to pick my battles.  Sometimes it is not worth it to put up a fight just to kick the can down the road.  I like peace and peace comes with acceptance.

In the past year, my life has changed drastically.  For the most part it is good but, there are some things that weren’t so great. Fortunately for me, those bad things were temporary.  Nonetheless, there was nothing I could do to stop it.  I had to work with what I had.  I had to make adjustments and, more importantly, I had to get on with my life.  I had to surrender, embrace the changes, and work through them.  Had I fought it, I would have prolonged the discomfort.  Now it is just a distant memory.  I even laugh about it now.

Life is good and I will continue to give little time to the things I cannot change.

Posted in Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

God’s Plan, Your Action

Many of us Christians will say, “I will put it in God’s hands”.  I have said it numerous times, but being a Christian also requires action.  As followers and believers in Christ, we are well equipped to take action in our lives.  It is our Christian duty.

It is not only necessary to believe but we must also support that belief.