Self-Improvement Is A Farce

For a long time now, I have seriously appreciated self-improvement books, courses, and materials. Sometimes I wonder if I single-handedly power this global economic industry… For example, I’m currently practicing how to improve my relationships (with friends, loved ones, money, myself) through clearing myself.

And then I had an Aha Moment. The kind that made me sit down with my disequilibrium while the world reset itself on its new axis.

Self-improvement is unnecessary.
Continue reading “Self-Improvement Is A Farce”

New Year, Awesome You

 

laura-williams-creative-invisible-reflection-photo-session-1-1024x1024
This amazing image is from blazenwinters.

 

I’m a highly reflective person by nature. Although this serves me well overall, it can sometimes drive me bonkers. Also those near me. Perhaps you yourself have also received comments like these from people you love and who dearly love you:

  • “Don’t think so much. Just roll with it.”
  • “Don’t feel so much. Not everything really means something.”
  • “What are you talking about?!?”

Then again, maybe it’s only me…

Either way, it’s all good. Because we are in connection with the Divine when we are truly being ourselves. No matter if others understand. Or not.

It’s not necessary to be understood, in order to be loved and supported.  (Click to Tweet this!)

The close of an old year and the beginning of a new one nurtures reflection in just about everyone. Here is an approach that is hugely helpful in its direct simplicity, and it comes from Marie Forleo:

capture

Think about your past year, then ask yourself:

  1. What’s something I did that I’m proud of?
  2. What’s a mistake I made, and what did I learn?
  3. What story am I willing to let go of before the New Year?

At the risk of not being understood, here are examples from my own life:

  1. I am proud of myself for creating and sharing a free, online, self-paced training program for folks that use a specific library manager system.
  2. I goofed on a free day I had, when I tagged along with my husband on his errands instead of puttering at home with my interests. But I learned to begin to identify and prioritize my wants and needs. And to make that more important than my desire to make others happy.
  3. I’m willing to let go of my story of being the Keeper of the Extended Family. I believe I can let go of orchestrating ideal gatherings, and instead allow them in whatever form they arrive. Perhaps not every situation needs solving…Ooo! I can let go of my story of being the Solver. (A story I didn’t even know I carried, until just now.)

What insights do you have when you look through this annual mirror?

As we move together into a New Year, keep being you.

You are loved and supported.

you-are-awesome-700x700-1

I’d love to see your reflections in the comments below. You are more inspiring than you know. Go, you!

Stop “Should-ing” On Yourself

resizedimage951325355651842_2-snow

I love this time of year. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, it’s a constant sense of anticipation, hopefulness, and connection.

And it can also bring self-imposed expectation, striving, and sneaky idealistic perfection.

Dangit.

You might recognize some of the symptoms, yourself:

  • As long as I’m hosting dinner, I should include everyone–making it 60 instead of 20.
  • There are 126 on my Christmas card list–I should send cards to everyone because, after all, it’s Christmas.
  • I should go to (insert family member’s name here)’s house for Christmas Eve, because I grew up doing that.
  • We have so many great holiday treats–I should make all of them because, well, it’s tradition.
  • I think I’ll get another gift for each of the kids, because I should give them something more substantial.

Wait a minute. These examples aren’t inherently right or wrong–they are just fabulous opportunities to pause and take a personal reading.

  • Am I thrilled with who I am additionally inviting, or am I just trying to avoid family drama?
  • Do I love sending a card to each person on my list, or do I feel guilty at the thought of no longer sending to some?
  • Am I uplifted to take my family to my Great-Aunt-Twice-Removed Bessie’s every Christmas Eve, or do I want something else?
  • Do I still enjoy my standby holiday treats, or is it time to try new recipes–or fewer?
  • Do I know that I am enough and am giving out of love, or am I seeking to be enough through my gift-giving?

There is no wrong answer, there is simply awareness. For me, that makes all the difference in following my joy.

Besides, you never know if Great-Aunt-Twice-Removed Bessie is wishing for a quiet Christmas Eve, for once. She’s got her own joy to follow, too.

If the impulse comes from a joyous thought that feels good, follow it. If the impulse comes from an uncomfortable thought that felt bad, don’t follow it.

—Abraham

This holiday season, we need to take care of our Self. Kris Carr has a fabulous Holiday Self-Care Planner and stress-management tips that I appreciate.

Do it because it’s what you desire. Do it because it brings you pleasure. Do it because it makes you come alive. Do it because it lights you up. Do it because your intuition told you to. Do it because it ignites a spark in your heart. Do it because it lights a fire between your legs. Do it because it’s what you came here to do.

–Rebecca Campbell

Reach for the better-feeling thought. Follow what lights you up. Recognize and let go of your “shoulds.”

I’m thinking my Christmas card list will be smaller. Or maybe I don’t send any this year. I’ll sit with that thought for a while, and see how it feels.

Now to you — what holiday “hit” are you getting at this time that could be looked at anew? In what way can you best care for yourself in this particular situation? Please share in the comments below.

And have a truly happy holiday season! 🙂

Homecoming

Indeed, it is as important to learn how to receive a blessing as it is to be willing to give one. –Joel Osteen

11-dnej-chudes

I’m great at giving. Giving my time, giving my talent, giving my treasure. I love it. Not only is it my nature, I also cultivate it. I value giving to others. It gives them joy.  It gives me joy. And joyfulness makes the world a better place, in my opinion.

However, I kinda suck at receiving.

Up until now, my prideful giving side wouldn’t let myself receive. As if in doing so it somehow negated the giving. Like they would cancel each other out. Or that I’d get selfish and stop giving. As if receiving would be like a dazzling high from which I’d never come down, turning myself into a taking, selfish freak. First one’s free, kid.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

I’m sure you’ve heard the angle that in not-receiving, you deny the giver of the giving. And since you wouldn’t want to be denied in your giving…well, you see that you really should also receive. Great. Now I feel that Receiving = Guilt + Failure. Gee, this is fun.

The slightly less guilty version is that in receiving, you are actually giving the giver a gift. So, I feel better about receiving…but am I, really? Receiving? Or have I just reshaped it back into giving?

Then it finally occurs to me that in learning to receive, I enrich my entire giving/receiving interlaced experience. Which I do believe is true, and it also unveils the deeper learning that I’ve really got going on here…  

Receiving is tied to my vulnerability, my worthiness, and my self-value. Ouch.

But hold on. Let’s make that Ouch for the ripping off of the bandage, rather than for the wound. Because look–what’s actually underneath that covering is smooth, luminous, beautiful. There was nothing to protect in the first place, no flaw to heal.

That’s where I want to get to. So I’m finally ready to learn about receiving.

In my process I’ve discovered that I actually equate receiving with taking. And here’s my unconscious math from that one:

  • Giving is good.
  • Taking is the opposite of giving.
  • Taking equals receiving.
  • Receiving is the opposite of giving.
  • Receiving is bad.

 

Then I made a huge leap in understanding: receiving does not equal taking. Receiving is not the opposite of giving.

Receiving doesn’t undermine giving. Receiving and giving are each a side of the same coin. Two parts to one whole.

You could say that receiving is thus the opposite of taking! Which then completely debunks that whole funky math theorem.

And for those of us who also think in Language as well as Math, feeling as well as thinking, let’s examine new synonyms in order to help create new mental patterns. According to Thesaurus.com, some synonyms for Receive include:

  • Collect
  • Take in
  • Reap
  • Gather
  • Inherit
  • Perceive
  • Redeem
  • Be given
  • Come into

And another good one I realized as well: to receive is to surrender.

Holy cow, does that put a new light on the gift of receiving for me! 

I’m offering up a daily prayer: I’m ready to learn more about receiving.  I’m ready to surrender.

And I no longer fear that in doing so, my giving will be compromised.

 

Now it’s your turn: share in the safe space of the comments here how you feel about receiving. What’s your mental math around it? Or your learning language?

We are Divine enough to ask and we are important enough to receive. –Wayne Dyer

Reality? Check!

So you’re choosing to quit tuning into what Pam Grout calls station KFKD, and to instead tune into awesomeness and joy.

The deejay at the old station, otherwise known as the voice in your head, will try very, very hard to get your attention back. It tries to convince you that you’re not creating your reality, but that your situation is. That your out-of-gas lawn mower, stupid plugged-up sink, and uncooperative weather are real–and that you just can’t stick your head in the sand about that. The other voice–the deeper, purer one from your soul–encourages you to be your own deejay and play what makes you feel good. It encourages you to discover that since it’s raining, there’s no hurry to mow the lawn now anyway. And as long as you’re going into town to get gasoline for the mower, you could easily pick up drain opener. If you tune into this frequency, you’ll find that the weather is actually cooperative, because it provides you with time to both attend to the drain and prepare to be able to mow the yard. Well, looky there! It’s all in how you look at it!

 

ds-kronk
Even Kronk understands this.

 

To be fair, there are actual other people who will tell you the same thing that the snarky voice in your head does. They say that you can’t ignore reality, that it doesn’t go away just because you aren’t looking at it.

I say that’s crap. I say that’s precisely what happens

Because others cannot vibrate in your experience, they cannot affect the outcome of your experience. They can hold their opinions, but unless their opinion affects your opinion, their opinion matters not at all. A million people could be pushing against you and it would not negatively affect you unless you push back. That million people pushing against you are affecting their millions of vibrations. They are affecting what happens in their experience. They are affecting their point of attraction, but it does not affect you unless you push against them.—Abraham

Both realities exist. The real question is, which one is more fun? Which brings us more joy? The one we give our attention to is exactly the one we create for ourselves. Why choose doom and gloom? Why not choose what lightens our heart?

 

capture1
Which do you prefer to look at?

 

Some may worry that you’re being ignorant. You’re not. You’re simply choosing bliss.

Carry on.