Archive for the ‘inspiration & selfhood’ Category

Plugged In and Doing

Monday, October 6th, 2014

unplug and breathe graphic

I think I’ve always thought of myself as a reluctant participant in the “technologically connected” bandwagon of my generation . I’ve long been resistant to using technology to stay connected because¬† I’ve always felt more comfortable with the old ways of doing things. Preferring instead in-person conversations, dinner, and coffee dates to see what friends are up to, I hardly had a need or desire to use social media for that purpose.

But as the years have gone by, I’ve changed. The older I get, the more years I spend in blogging, the more my relationship with social media, technology, and”staying connected” has changed. I’ve slowly, over the past five years, come to use technology and social media more.

I thought I’d never say it, but I am a phone person. Ten years ago, being a phone person meant you stayed on the phone talking all day. In 2014, it means I have a smartphone that I use (for mostly not making calls) and rely on far more than I should. Like most in my generation, I check for emails throughout my day, text more than call, download apps, check Facebook status updates, and carry my phone to bed with me.

My transition to using social media and technology more was slow, but I think it was accelerated in this past year with a new phone and other professional obligations necessitating that I be online, connected, plugged in more. I don’t know if I could have said it before this year, but I am now “modernly” connected.

This new status of mine has been been good, for the most part. If you ever need me, my new status as a connected being, has made it all the more possible for you to get me, to know about me without much effort on my part. I am more communicative with the people in my life.  I know more now about friends, about things in my world, faster and more easily than I ever could.

I am connected and I like it…

Kind of.

With every new good there must be some not so good, right?

Well my not so good is that in becoming more immersed in connectivity, I started losing the dying art of being still, of doing nothing, of concerning myself with nothing but what I am doing in this present moment. Since this present moment is all I’ve got, right? I know this, but in my moments of super connectivity, I lose sight, perspective, MYSELF. Easily.

There’s been studies that argue that the more connected we come, the more opportunities we have to connect, the more unhappier, more isolated we feel. I get this. Not all the time, but I do get this.

I think the imperative for being connected is remaining, or feeling like you’re remaining a part of a conversation that is bigger than you. I write this as a person who is not nearly as technologically connected/ involved as most. But still. I get this.

In past months, I’ve been getting better with this, however.

I am checking my email less. Leaving my phone to charge when I go to sleep. Doing “Facebook” and “Twitter” and “Instagram” less.

I am getting better.

But it’s hard. Like any habit, deciding to unplug more when you have gone through any extended amount of time being plugged in can be tough. But I like to think of these kinds of things, of any habit, as a pattern. You don’t unlearn a pattern overnight, but you do, with time. With time, you change by building your “muscle” to be different, to do things differently, to reorient yourself differently by assessing your unique priorities and values and acting accordingly.

So that’s where I am now. Learning to do things differently by changing my fairly new, learned pattern of connectivity use.

I still love my phone and social media and technology for allowing me to more easily stay connected. But I am re-learning, by unplugging more, the intrinsic value of old ways of doing things, of coffee dates, missed emails, and breathing.

How do you balance your need to technologically stay connected with your needs of staying grounded in your real life?

 

 

 

 

 

25 Things To Remember If You’re Having a Bad Day

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Not every day is my best day in life. Some days, I go to sleep in a bad mood, often, inspired by something in my life, and wake up that way in the morning or worse.

I used to feel bad about having bad days. I used to beat myself up for my bad days because I believed that they were my fault, a sign of my inability to handle stresses in my life.

Back then, or when I felt bad about my bad days, rather than attempting to process why I was having a bad day, I immediately would judge myself as being weak. “Normal people don’t have bad days,” I would tell myself. “Happy people don’t have bad days.”

But these statements I’ve been telling myself for years are not true.

Bad days happen to everyone.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I am more able to embrace my bad days as a part of my normal life. I take them in stride, accepting them as temporary and good opportunities for me to grow, reflect, and decide to do things differently.

I think doing this is now easier for me because I have learned the power of positive self talk when times are tough. I don’t run away from my feelings on bad days. I’ve learned that trying to ignore my feelings or numb them only makes things worse. So now I give myself permission to feel them. I feel them and write about them in a journal and keep in mind these 25 important things:

a bad day doesn't mean

1. A bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life.

2. You are worthy of self-love and compassion.

3. It’s okay to make mistakes, to be uncertain, to not know.

4. Your character is make rich and deep by your hardships.

5.You have a good life, full of blessings that are worthy of your celebration.

6. You are okay.

7. You will be okay.

8. And in the end, it will all be okay.

9. A rain cloud can’t overshadow your beauty.

today was a bad day

 

10. Today was a bad day. Tomorrow will be different.

11. It’s okay to smile in hard times.

12. You can be thankful for today even though it feels hard. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not promised.

13. Your happiness does not rest in your circumstances. It’s carried in your hands.

14. You can trust in life’s process.

15. Good things are always on the horizon for those with the vision to see them.

16. Your life is a divine miracle worthy of celebration.

not broken

17. You may be hurt. But you are not broken.

18. The story of your life continues to be written with each breath.

19. The world needs your light to shine.

20. You are bigger than your problems.

21. Nothing is as impossible as it seems.

22.You are here on earth for a reason.

23.You are someone’s sunshine.

24. You are strong.

25. You have much to be grateful for.

What are some things you tell yourself on bad days to keep things in perspective?

Never Let The Fear of Striking Out

Monday, September 8th, 2014

 

never let the fear of striking out

Often in the midst of teaching my children important life lessons, I teach myself, too.

This lesson from Babe Ruth is big in my parenting brain right now because so much of what my children are doing, from walking to reading to climbing slides involves believing in their own abilities enough to continue on even when they fail.

Failure, I’ve learned in “coaching” them through their own mini failures is not a reason to give up. It’s not indicative of your abilities or the possibilities for you should you try again.

I’ve been telling my children this since their births, but it wasn’t until this year that I started to take my own words seriously in my own life. It wasn’t until this year that I started to see just how often I, when faced with adversity, just give up usually with many excuses (made up) for why I gave up.

But then, in committing to courage this year, I decided to undo this habit of mine and be different. And it was in living this lesson that I so desperately want to teach my children, that I got it.

You should try again even when your pitch is rejected, even when you don’t get that requested pay raise, even when you lose, even when “outcomes” are uncertain because it’s worth. You’re worth it.

Not giving up even when you fail or strike out…that’s persistence. Persistence in the face of failure…that defines success.

Do you also find yourself teaching yourself new life skills when teaching your children?

Being Patient

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Usually, at any given time, there are a million and one things that I’d like to do in my life.

I would like, at this moment to…

…write a novel.

…start a business.

…be a good mother.

….take a nap.

…pitch an essay on my dad’s death.

…figure out how to integrate this blog with my other blog better.

…become a better cook.

….perhaps, enter a cooking contest.

…post here more often.

…get in shape.

…get a better wardrobe.

But there’s only so much one can do before they do insane, so there’s a necessity for me, for us all, to take things one at a time. Do what we can and be okay with everything that we can’t. We must be patient then as we focus on some things while deciding that others can be saved for later.

STOP.

How do you practice being a patient person when it comes to your dreams, ambitions, and daily desires? Are you like me: Trying and aspiring for 1,000,000 stars at once?

beautiful insides

Monday, August 6th, 2012

The most beautiful things have beautiful insides.

They bleed.

They laugh. They cry.

They speak…truth, deeply.

They are deep with ridges that you can run your fingers on and through and form a mental memory of what they feel like.

Beautiful.

The most beautiful things are unknown, undiscovered, beneath things, hidden, lost and never to be found, priceless. They are shiny and dull and new and old and sometimes mistaken as anything but what they really are.

The most beautiful things are accessible and unavailable. They are inside and precious and protected from prying hands on the outside.

The most beautiful things don’t know they’re beautiful. They can’t speak words of beauty because the most beautiful things as it relates to themselves because they can’t see themselves.

They are humble in that way.

The most beautiful things are on the inside.