When the mind discovers that you are no longer afraid of its content, it will leave you alone.
There I was again — lying in bed paralyzed by emotion. Constant noise clamored for the attention of my awareness like an uninvited circus.
Calliope music screeched a cacophony of self-criticism as lions roared and circled below me, eagerly awaiting my plunge from the high wire after losing my delicate balance between safety and self-destruction.
What could I have done to deserve this?
I lay there, unable to move physically, but tortured by a violent mental fight that raged within me. My mind wrestled with intricate contortions in an attempt to keep its balance when what it really needed was stillness.
My consciousness kept trying to put out fire with fire, to silence thought with more thought. But these were only flames of a different color.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.~Dr. Seuss
I’m outing myself.
For many years I chose to live seeing mostly the fear and scarcity that I believed was controlling me.
I couldn’t make enough money. I couldn’t sustain a loving, healthy relationship for any length of time. And my business wasn’t successful, even though I was running myself ragged, working nights, struggling to get my business operational during the day, and taking care of my daughter 24/7.
Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible.~Unknown
In my quest to actively create a personal and professional life that offers me all the things and experiences I desire, I’ve begun to notice the discrepancy between what I believe I deserve and what I actually ask for.
My conscious mind is in tune with my greatest attributes and I feel as if I’ve always had some degree of appreciation for what I am capable of contributing to a relationship or a job. I believe that I am monetarily worth a significant amount.
Yet, when it comes to asking for what I believe I deserve, I state my bare minimum and offer it up for negotiation. Then, I brood over being completely unappreciated.
When there are no enemies within,
the enemies outside cannot hurt you.~African proverb
Treating myself kindly is not something that comes naturally to me.
From a young age, I believed I needed to be perfect to be any good. It was probably a combination of my natural type A tendencies and my family environment. My younger brother had a lot of problems when he was a kid, struggled in school, and often acted out. He was always in trouble.
My parents were probably happy to have one child who made things easy for them. I always did well in school, always behaved, and always followed the rules.
Everything seemed great up through high school. I got straight A’s without studying too hard, excelled on my school’s water polo team, and was a respected leader in my class. I was accepted to go to college at Harvard, and thought I was pretty special.
Being a perfectionist caught up with me, though. When I got to Harvard, I was immediately knocked off my high horse by people much smarter and more talented than I was.
When we’re in the grip of inspiration,
an idea has taken hold of us from the invisible reality of Spirit.
Something that seems to come from afar,
where we allow ourselves to be moved by a force
that’s more powerful than our ego and all of it’s illusions,
is inspiration.~Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Goal setting can be a great tool for achieving and improving different areas of your life. It can also be a source of frustration, disappointment and anxiety.
We’ve all heard of the traditional S.MA.R.T. guidelines for setting goals (making your goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). It seems to be widely touted by personal development gurus and business professionals, however it may not be for every goal seeker.
A few years ago, I worked with a business coach to help me grow my business. I learned a lot, but I also experienced many negative feelings like the ones mentioned above.
When I didn’t meet my goals, I would get very down on myself. I felt like something was wrong with me. My self-esteem went completely down the tubes.
Think about that for a minute. Everyone in the world right now will be gone. Will they have left their mark — had an impact — made a difference? Maybe.
How much can one person matter when there are almost 7 billion people on the planet? At any rate, the people who remember them — were impressed by them, disgusted by them, helped by them, hurt by them, loved by them, hated by them — will all be gone, too.
What matters most to each of us is what happens to us today … here … now. The “long run” is of very little consequence. As Ms. Lamott points out — and as John Maynard Keynes is often quoted (out of context) as saying — in the long run, we’ll all be dead.
Striving for excellence motivates you;
striving for perfection is demoralizing.~Harriet Braiker
My neighbor came to my door while I was baking my first loaf of gluten-free bread. She said she admired our diets and told me how she was doing more to eat less sugar.
“I’d heard from a lot of people that it makes a lot of sense for them,” I said, “but I just didn’t think I could cut another thing out. I mean, after getting rid of dairy, wheat, caffeine and sugar, what would be left?”
She laughed a little and said, “Well it’s all about just cutting yourself some slack. You don’t have to be perfect or anything.”
Here’s my confession: I have this compulsion to be perfect. Everything I do has to be just so, or I don’t want to do it at all. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.
Prosperity depends more on
wanting what you have than having what you want.~Geoffrey F. Abert
Any sense of physical security I have felt from the time that I was 18 onward, has, for the most part, been a direct reflection of how much I have in my bank account. It’s always an arbitrary number that I shoot for, an amount that I believe will completely cover anything unexpected with plenty of room left over.
However, for a money hoarder like me, this sense of security is always superficial and never long lasting. It’s leaning heavily on something physical to mask a festering internal issue.
Much like one might inherit a certain eye or hair color, I believe that my money issues are ingrained in my family line, spanning through generations of outwardly negative spending habits to equally damaging behaviors like my own.
We grow primarily through our challenges,
especially those life-changing moments
when we begin to recognize aspects of our nature
that make us different from the family
and culture in which we have been raised.~Caroline Myss
When Oprah Winfrey interviewed Jane Fonda for The Oprah Magazine, these two amazing women touched briefly on the subject of caring about what others think of them.
Oprah:I’ve read that, like me, you’ve always struggled with the disease to please.
Jane:I used to walk into a party and think, Oh, my God, will I be interesting enough? Will people like me? Will I be pretty enough? Do I fit in? Now I go into a room and think, do I really want to be here? Are these people I want to spend a few hours with? It’s a big shift.
Oprah:How did you make the shift?
Jane:Hard work. Growing up.
Jane didn’t elaborate on her answer, and I’m not qualified to speak for her. But I think we can all relate to how she used to feel.
There’s a lot to be said in that proverb and quite a bit to think about.
The biggest lesson I take out of those six little words is consistency. Consistency is something I never really liked. In fact, I’ve always found it boring. It’s so….well….consistent. But I’ve come to learn that big goals require three things: a plan, commitment and consistency.
But I have always been a do it now, get it done, and move on kind of girl. Life was always too short to just keep plugging along at something day after day after day.
But…here is what I am learning: If you don’t keep plugging away regularly at something big, you won’t reach the goal. Plain and simple.