I was recently listening in the car to a discussion on happiness by Dr. Robert Holden, as I was driving across the state. Because as happy as I am, I’m always interested in Leveling Up.
An interesting exercise he shared was to complete this sentence: “One way I’m making myself unhappy is __________.”
What was your initial response when you read that? I was rocked by my own discovery.
One way I’m currently making myself unhappy is by pushing to get through some upcoming days, so that then I can relax and enjoy my time.
Can you relate? Is your schedule so full of events and to-do’s — some are fun, some are tasks — that you have relegated Enjoyment as just another calendar event? One that is placed afterward, off in the future? Read More
Have you ever been in a conversation where you each have a differing opinion? Of course you have, that’s a large reason for conversation! And while you know that you’re having a civil, perhaps even pleasant, discussion, you increasingly feel that you’re getting further and further apart? Despite the fact that you’re really listening to each other?
It’s because really, you’re not.
“Allowing each other to talk” is not the same as “listening.”
There’s a pattern of discussion that we believe fosters listening, when in reality it sneakily hinders it.
Fortunately, there’s a trigger word that lets us know when we’re in it.
I used to want to be liked. And I learned that pleasing others is exhausting.
Next I hoped to be accepted. And I learned that approval is insidious.
Then I desired to be understood. And I learned discernment is both a gift and a choice.
Now I validate myself. And I learn that authenticity is sacred.
If you have ever felt alienated when you are fully being you, remember this:
As a whole, we people have always needed to express ourselves to others. From cave walls to the Louvre. From telegraphing to texting. From social visits to social media.
Self-expression creates community. It’s also part of our self-awareness process.
When we share with others, we actually create ourselves. Because what we focus our attention on, grows. We are magnets, in that what we offer attracts more of the same right back at us.
Who do you want to be? Okay, that’s pretty huge. Let’s begin with, What kind of day do you wish to have today?
The good news is that this is flexible. If you don’t like the current story of your life, or maybe just a particular chapter or passage, then change it. Begin by attending to how you visit and what you share with others.
When I describe a major event (such as a new job, empty nesting, or the passing of a parent) as going through a difficult time, then that’s exactly what it becomes. Yet when I describe the same situation as navigating a new normal, or charting change, or even maneuvering a milestone, I now have an entirely different experience of this life process. And I know which one feels better to me.
Beginning to make this switch is as simple as one word . I can start with going from “What’s wrong?” to “What’s up?”
Did you have any Ahas? What would you like to attract more of in your life? Is it easier to forget to attend to what we express because of social media, or is it the same as when we did it over the phone or across the table from someone? Create yourself in the comments below. We’ll create ourselves together as we read and respond. 🙂