#greatpretender, #landmarkforum, Badassery, empath, Grief, gun control, Health & Wellness, march for our lives, vulnerability

Finding Time For Grace

I decided in the last year that I’m not cooking dinner anymore. I decided this but I still felt guilty like I “should” cook dinner.

I definitely had this unrealistic vision of sitting down together every night, saying grace, eating a balanced meal and connecting about the highs and lows of our day. Reality: we end up fighting•everyone sighs in disgust when I put the food down• kids are never hungry because I have to feed them a “pre-dinner” because they are ravenous after school. Then a “post” dinner -again conveniently before bedtime. I make them breakfast, lunch, & snacks.

Kids have games, practices, homework, and us parents may have unfinished work from both our full time jobs and side jobs, traffic to fight and no energy left to use 15 dishes and load dishwasher for the 2nd or 3rd time that day.

Last year, one of my friends with five kids, 11 and under, said to me “I don’t cook”. I was in awe. She said that sometimes she goes to Mariano’s to get chicken and they grill it for her for free. Sometimes they have sandwiches. She doesn’t cook…ever.

She is my hero.

However, she does have time and energy to do fun things with her kids, coach them and spend time with them. Kids will remember her presence; not the amazing dinner she cooked. I decided to do this too, however I always had this nagging “should” guilt. This is also exacerbated when my daughter exclaims “you don’t feed me.”

I wrote myself a permission slip this week to myself, for myself, that I no longer have to cook dinner and permission to not feel guilt. (Concept by Brene Brown). A permission slip, means “it’s okay”& “I’m off the hook.” Like how you write a permission slip to excuse your kids for stuff; do it for yourself.

I stopped comparing myself to other families and feeling like a loser because other people eat dinner together. It might work for other families and their schedule. For my family, it doesn’t work… ever. It never has and I doubt it ever will.

My kids are old enough now to read directions and make their own dinner. You want chicken nuggets, go for it. Frozen pizza- I don’t care- go ahead. I surrender this battle. If my husband wants dinner, he can cook it, we both work. He also is a way better cook with less mess. I’m done with this standoff every night on who will suck it up and cook. 😂

Since giving myself permission and by letting go of this guilt; I have felt very liberated and free. One day last week we were all home together so I actually cooked dinner because “I felt like it.” There was no fighting, kids were starving because it was like 7:30pm.😂

I discovered that I now have more time for other things than making dinner and saying grace. I now have time to notice grace.

Despite my kids going to Catholic school, I struggle with my faith at times. With all the tragedies and evil that is done, it is difficult to not become jaded.

Which in turn may cause a person to question their faith and remembering how to stay on their own path.

How can you experience joy while people are getting killed by some senseless massacre? How are you supposed to feel content and at peace when there is terrible illnesses in this world? I feel like a real asshole experiencing frustration about my kids game conflicts or having fun with my friends when there is so much pain in the world.

I put this audiobook on hold at the library a long time ago (like 15 weeks). I forgot about it. The book became available at exactly when I needed it.

All chapters are summaries of different super soul Sunday’s that Oprah has done. (Now you may have a pre-judgement about Oprah as I once did and immediately say, “I don’t like Oprah. She bugs me. She’s full of herself.” Oprah will tell you and admit “I am full of myself, I have to be full in order to give.”) I now understand her more and realize I was judging her instead of paying attention to what her true intention is…to serve others.

Every chapter of this book gives you something truly thought provoking.

I obviously cannot write everything out for you to read and highlight it all. That’s why it’s a book, not authored by me. But, I can share how this book impacted me:

I see patients at my job who are disabled. Many have dementia and Alzheimer’s. I have to keep my boundaries up at work to stay unbiased, objective and remain detached. This is healthy and necessary to prevent burn out. These boundaries are to prevent myself from becoming too emotionally attached. The brain is truly fascinating how it can be trained to do certain things. My “fortress“ goes up in work mode as if I push a button in my brain. It just…happens.

I am sure police officers, firemen, nurses, doctors and anyone in service industry all possess a similar capability. It’s essential for survival.

Anyways, I am at home where my boundaries are not up and going through the motions of doing this online training for work…it was on Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s makes me cry.

Alzheimer’s makes my heart hurt.

Alzheimer’s makes me question my faith.

I don’t want to feel this.

I don’t want to think about it.

I don’t want to think of this harsh reality. I don’t want to think of my friends who have had parents go through this. I don’t want to think about my mother-in-law.

This CBT work training was 10 chapters, I was on chapter 6 when I felt this overpowering need to stop.

I was becoming crabby, frustrated and sad.

I wanted to keep bulldozing through it and “get it done”. Then things continued to happen; my kids needed me, I got a phone call, I had to go to the bathroom…etc.

Finally I surrendered and gave up attempting to finish the work training.

I woke up yesterday morning on my own… very early. I took this opportunity to “get this dumb training done.”

I was listening to the book-Chapter 8 on GRACE; Oprah interviews Dr. Caroline Myss.

(All the chapters are extremely well done and the audio is excellent because she has the actual recordings from the show.)

Oprah asks Dr. Caroline Myss, “What is Grace?”

Caroline: “Grace is something that will prevent you from doing something that you cannot take back. Grace comes in and says “you will be OK”. Grace is a power that comes in and transforms a moment into something better.”

Oprah asks Caroline “How does Grace work?” .

@caroline.myss: “When you are in a huge argument and you are so angry and you want to say something so intentionally hurtful and mean…and that inner voice says, “You sure you want to do that?” …That’s Grace. 🤯

Finally, something I can use!😂

She also answers questions raw & real like:

“What is prayer?”

“What is your definition of God?”

“How do you know when to surrender and let go?”

“How do I know I am making the right decision?”

You have to listen to this for yourself to discover your own enlightenment.

I will share though, Dr. Caroline Myss’s concept of “The Sacred Contract”

“The shared contract is the reason you were born. It’s not a literal document. It’s a spiritual document that our soul recognizes. It’s the feeling of “there’s something I know I was meant to do.” It’s a fundamental agreement that you simply feel because it reveals itself to you through ideas, coincidences, synchronicity’s, obligations that you can’t get out of, mad love you can’t stop, serendipity’s. People are in the dark about their reason for being here. People define it by what they want instead of what they have. People suffer when they pursue a life or chase a dream that doesn’t belong to them.”

So I listened and cried…I was vulnerable and my heart was wide open. (I try to avoid feeling this way🙈 Hello white claw, amazon, donuts, gossip, Netflix binges.) This time I sat with it. I felt it. I resisted the urge to run away and “do” something else. I resisted the urge to stop “feeling”.

I got it together eventually and turned on my computer to finish my training for work on Alzheimer’s.

There it was…

Chapter 7 SPIRITUAL & PALLIATIVE CARE FOR ALZHEIMER’S

Right there…was GRACE.

If I read this last night while crabby, frustrated and jaded- I would’ve missed what I really needed to learn. Thankfully grace intervened telling me to take a break, it’s ok. Grace was giving me permission.

I was now able to read this chapter on spirituality and what individuals with Alzheimer’s need with an open heart and open mind; despite my struggling with my faith the day before. Instead of being annoyed and complaining about this training I had to do; I was exceptionally grateful that I was given this opportunity from my employer to learn this. I realized by “hurrying up” and “just trying to get it done”; I would have missed the joy and pain of learning this.

I oddly found clarity by feeling both sadness and gratitude/joy and pain simultaneously. I was able to see the answer to my earlier question about “how am I supposed to feel joy without guilt?” to fully grasp and recognize what I read last week in Brene Brown’s Braving the Wilderness below:

“The more we diminish our own pain or rank it compared to what others have survived…the less empathetic we become. When we surrender our own pain to make others feel less alone… or to make ourselves feel less guilty… we deplete ourselves of what it feels like to be fully alive and fueled by purpose.” -Brene Brown

Below is Caroline Myss Ted talk.

https://youtu.be/-KysuBl2m_w

Caroline Myss

http://www.supersoul.tv/tag/caroline-myss

Brene Brown On Practicing civility

https://brenebrown.com/articles/2017/11/08/gun-reform-speaking-truth-bullshit-practicing-civility-effecting-change-2/

Permission slips

https://youtu.be/NY6hZf6kI4g

#Beyourself, #freedom, #landmarkforum, #opportunity, #rodanandfields, #sidehustle, Uncategorized, vulnerability, Women's Fight

Saying YES

Remember that story about the guy trapped in a flood on his rooftop and he begs God to save him?  First a man in a rowboat shows up and shouts “Jump in, I can save you!” The says “No, its okay, I am waiting for God to save me.”

Then a guy in a motorboat (that motorboatin sonofabitch)  shows up and says “Jump in, I can save you…”

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The guy declines again and says “NO, its okay, I am waiting for God to save me.”

Lastly, a guy in a helicopter shows up. The guy on the rooftop remained stuck in his faith, beliefs and expectations; gracefully refuses. He answers “I am waiting for God to save me”.

Alas, the guy drowns. When he arrives in heaven, he angrily exclaims to God, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, YOU let me drown! I don’t understand WHY!

God replied. “I sent you a rowboat, a motorboat (built for speed and comfort), and a helicopter. What more did you expect? God shakes his head and walks away whispering “dumbass” under his breath…

What did the guy expect? God himself to show up? He’s a busy guy. He sent his peeps to do his work. This guy clung on to his EXPECTATIONS instead of saying YES to opportunity.

Once you begin to look at everything as an opportunity, things in your life can begin to change; if you are smart enough to say yes. An opportunity could be a friend inviting you to lunch or to go out, an acquaintance asking you to come to a conference, a free seminar, or an exercise class. What happens is we hesitate; we start thinking. (#melrobbins) We start finding reasons why we shouldn’t or finding excuses to stay stuck. To stay SAFE.

Our brains are designed to keep us safe so if there is any kind of perceived risk, our brains respond to it. Our brains cannot decipher the risk, it can only respond to how we react. Our brains functioned exceptionally when we were non-verbal Neanderthal’s whose only existence was to procreate, hunt, gather and survive. The human brain’s “safe mode” allowed people to survive epidemics, wars, the holocaust, and countless other tragedies.

If you are fortunate to have your basic needs met (oxygen, water, food, shelter, adequate clothing, electricity, heat, running water, WIFI, a smart phone etc.) and you are physically safe; the brain prefers you stay that way.  When you step out of your “comfort zone”, the brain reacts to protect you; this is what causes you to hesitate.

“Hoping a situation will get better is not a strategy.” John Maxwell

Stepping out of your comfort zone could mean waking up a half hour earlier to jump start your day, not hitting the snooze button, doing an exercise you have never done, eating foods you have never tried, being real, being honest, not pretending, not reacting to the guilt trip your kids are trying to manipulate you with, speaking up in a meeting, standing up for someone, taking action in a situation that feels wrong, helping someone, putting yourself out there, doing something you have never done, physically taking action on something you want to change.

In reference to Theodore Roosevelt’s speech, The Man in the Arena…All of the above are examples “BEING in the arena.” (Debating with someone on social media about politics does not count-having social media balls is called sitting in the stands of the arena.:)

When you want something, you think about it, you speak about it, the universe responds. The universe has your back. It starts to work to bring you what you want. Unfortunately, many of us believe it should be “exactly” how we imagined or expected. However, we may not be ready for what we want and the next step in the journey shows up. Ever hear TRUST THE PROCESS?

If you keep talking about why you keep dating losers, how shitty your job is, how useless your significant other is or how broke you are; the universe will keep bringing you that as well.

An example could be when you are stuck in a rut, you believe your life is a mess, you have mountains of laundry, you look awful blah blah blah and a friend texts you to go to free class or meet for coffee or a drink. This is where you SAY YES.

When you want financial freedom, you may hope or expect to receive an inheritance, settlement or win the lottery; yet stay at a job you are miserable at. This expectation may enable you to not look for other options, ignore an idea you have, get a side hustle or even turn down a different job offer. It could even be a friend inviting you to a presentation or conference that could inspire or empower you. Instead you SAY YES to what has presented itself to you.

When you want to lose weight, have more energy or feel better, you may expect some kind of quick fix, magic pill or a surgery to do the work for you. Instead the universe may send you a friend inviting you to go a free exercise class, a stranger asking you to join an fitness/accountability group or you ignore the inner voice telling you to make that doctor appointment. You may do what you have always done and say no because you “don’t have the money, don’t have the time.” SAY YES.

You may long to be in a loving, fun and fulfilling relationship and you have expectations, opinions and false premises of what you think this is “supposed to feel like” and what this person is “supposed” to look like. The scenarios are endless with this one. The universe knows where you are at and is sending you individuals or situations to prepare you for what you do want. SAY YES.

Take Risks. Let go of Expectations. Don’t be a dumb ass. If you are, learn from it. Find the message in the mess.

No one is coming to save you!

God helps those who helps themselves.

#Beyourself, #greatpretender, #landmarkforum, #simonsinek, Badassery, vulnerability

The Great Pretender

“We live in a world where we don’t say what we are thinking and feeling, we say what we think other people want to hear.” Kyle Cease

When I published my book last year, I was petrified what people would think. I assumed I would be judged and that is why it took me so long to just do it. I actually lost my entire book at one point because I did not back it up to a zip drive and the laptop crashed. I attempted to re-write it, eliminating parts that may make people uncomfortable; however the same story played in my head again the same way as I wrote it the second time.

To me, my book is JUST A STORY. It is a story I created in my head with some true and untrue things. I changed a lot of my story because…I can. My past cannot define who I am. I wrote from the heart, I wrote my from soul, and I wrote whatever popped in my head regardless if it made sense, really happened or who I thought of when I wrote it. If I wrote exactly what happened with an outline and bullet points; I may have lost connection to the reader.

I have had many people provide feedback like “I could not put it down” or “I was reading non-stop and then something happened and I stopped.” etc. I believe the people who “could not put it down” are the ones who read it as “just a story”. The ones who stopped and  “got stuck” seem to be the ones who know me very well and “get stuck” just like the protagonist in the story did. They began to try and find the facts, figure out what is true and what isn’t, and feel those feelings so personally that it became too painful, uncomfortable, overwhelming, exciting, infuriating, invigorating, sad or humiliating.

Either way, it is a compliment.

I have never felt like I belonged anywhere because I’ve always said what I meant, felt or thought. Many times people were offended or viewed my words as a weakness, stupid or my honesty blunt or abrasive.

Therefore, I viewed myself as weak, weird and that I did not fit in. Oddly, once I completed my book, my past seemed to stop defining me. Perhaps because I faced it, embraced it and moved on; I realized that the past can be changed and it truly is just a story. I found it to be very therapeutic being real, raw and honest.

There is nothing more attractive to me than someone who speaks the truth about their emotions or thoughts. If you are a guy on a first date and feeling nervous AF, say “I am thinking so hard of something to good to say” or  “I am nervous AF”. That is SEXY AF to me. If you play the “cool card” and behave aloof, distant and stand offish (dickish); then you may attract the same person who finds this attractive because they also are not being themselves.

Instead of talking about some lame weather comment in an elevator, say what you think or feel “elevator rides are always so awkward aren’t they?”

The definition of “Stand off” is a situation in which neither of two opposing groups or forces will make a move until the other one does something, so nothing can happen until one of them gives away;  a stalemate

If people keep “pretending” to be themselves then there is a deadlock and intimacy can never happen. “Pretending” to be happy. “Pretending” to be fine. I attended a conference called THE LANDMARK FORUM this weekend and it was a mind-blowing experience. This Forum brings a new meaning to “BEING YO SELF”. Trust me, everyone should go!

It seems like I can now see ….clearly. Human interaction makes so much more sense. Of course a movie popped in my head that portrays exactly what happens. (This is an example from the movie Swingers.)

Mike: So how long do I wait to call?
Trent: A day.
Mike: Tomorrow.
Sue: Tomorrow, then a day.
Trent: Yeah.
Mike: So two days?
Trent: Yeah, I guess you could call it that, two days.
Sue: Definitely, two days is like industry standard.
Trent: You know I used to wait two days to call anybody, but now it’s like everyone in town waits two days. So I think three days is kind of money. What do you think?
Sue: Yeah, but two’s enough not to look anxious.
Trent: But I think three days is kind of money. You know because you…
Mike: Yeah, but you know what, maybe I’ll wait 3 weeks. How’s that? And tell her I was cleaning out my wallet and I just happened to run into her number.
Charles: Then ask her where you met her.
Mike: Yeah, I’ll ask her where I met her. I don’t remember. What does she look like? And then I’ll asked if we fucked. Is that… would that be… T, would that be the money?
Trent: You know what. Ha ha ha Mike, laugh all you want but if you call too soon you might scare off a nice baby who’s ready to party.
Mike: Well how long are you guys gonna wait to call your babies?
Trent, Sue: Six days.

In Swingers, the entire movie Mike is struggling with a break up and listening to his friends about how to act in the dating scene and “bag some beautiful babies”. He’s awkward, uncomfortable and does not fit in the whole movie. His two buddies say what they think everyone wants to hear and they are bagging chics non-stop (who are also pretending). Finally at the end, Mike meets a girl who is also going through a break up. They are both honest, real, awkward but their chemistry explodes. Mike whips out some ballroom swing dancing at the end leaving his “great pretender” buddies mind-blown and jaws dropped open.

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In the moment, we are always feeling something so if you say what you are feeling, another person may respond like “I know what that feels like” and connect with you. When you feel one way, but pretend to be another way, this mixed signal will have others put their walls up and pretend too.

Say what you FEEL. Say what you MEAN. MEAN what YOU SAY. Be REAL. Be AUTHENTIC. Be YOU.