Do you believe yourself?

Believe yourself

Believe yourself

This isn’t a typing error. There should be no ‘in’ after believe in that sentence. We surely all believe in ourselves to some extent but do we believe ourselves and why does it matter? 

When I was a kid my siblings liked to stir me up by pretending they didn’t believe me when I told them something. I would get all upset about it and promise and swear on my Tiny Tears, in all earnestness that it was true.

It’s all too easy unfortunately to be mean to a child as they take things so seriously and believe in justice, right or wrong, black and white. It takes a while for them to realise that others sometimes like to be mean for the fun of it. It still eludes me today and I don’t enjoy practical jokes that can cause even a nanosecond’s discomfort to someone else.  Perhaps it’s because they have the tools to deal with that kind of thing, they assume everyone else does and that it won’t do any harm. Go pick on someone your own size!

Anyway it’s taken me a lifetime to realise that it doesn’t matter if others believe you as long as you believe yourself. If they say that red is green and you are an honest person yourself, not understanding why someone would lie, you might start to question yourself and look for proof that red is in fact green. What a waste of energy, better spent questioning why someone else would lie or try to stir you up. Better yet, accept that people are different, their journey is theirs and let it go. It doesn’t have to be part of yours. What they believe or what they tell you they believe is their business. Nothing to do with you. Have faith to believe what you believe until such time as you no longer do.  No one can take your beliefs away unless you let them.

This blog is for all the sensitive people out there on a journey to lose that sensitivity, see the rest of the world for what it is and accept that people do things which are incomprehensible to you. All we can do is get out of their way, not try to control or even change anyone else and work on our own filters, our own minds and our own stories. Most of all we need to believe ourselves. A lifetime of genes, experiences and decisions has brought us to where each of us is now, doing our best with what we have.  Further observation of life will take us onward, hopefully to a place of peace and understanding. All we ultimately have is our thoughts. Guard and protect them well.

guard your thoughts

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Watch how you do it

Weighing it up

It’s a fairly regular occurrence it seems. You see it on TV and in the movies and you even do it yourself. You have an item you need to place somewhere else, say a piece of paper or an item for the laundry basket. Unfortunately you are not close to the bin or basket, but you are within throwing distance you reckon. So what happens next and what does this say about you? There is even an app or a game for your phone to chuck paper balls in the bin. It’s so satisfying, a little win in your day if it gets there. A little excitement, a little risk. A little finality. Think how nearly all sports involve getting a ball of some sort into a final resting place. Final, done, no questions asked (usually). Some certainty in this otherwise very uncertain life.

Anyway, there I was this morning, throwing dirty sexy lingerie (I’m joking, boring cotton underpants) into the laundry basket….. I assessed the distance, the wind speed, how hard I would need to scrunch the undies so they wouldn’t unravel in flight and slow themselves down. I looked at the direction, considered underarm and overarm throws and other items they might bounce off on the way. I aimed carefully at the basket and….

Waste paper

Do we often take this much care in life when doing things? Do we prepare ourselves for ‘flight’, decide how we will make our next move, aim ourselves in the right direction and give ourselves just the right propulsion, not too much, not too little? Or do we take no risk at all and simply walk over to the basket, using perhaps more energy than we need to do the same work and without the excitement? What if we throw the item and fail? What if we miss? Are we resigned, laugh, decide it was worth the fun and then walk over? Do we leave it for next time we are passing by or hope someone else will clean up after us?

There seem to be signs everywhere about who we are, how we do things, what mood we are in. We manifest in every little thing we do and I mean every thing, even as simple as this. Take a look at how you do things and wonder perhaps if there’s another way…

As for me I missed the basket. I forgot to factor in my unco-ordination. It was off to the right and fell short of the basket. All the more reason to try again next time 🙂

paper slam dunk

 

I Had It All Backwards (as usual)

The finger

Just when you think you are on your way, you are almost smug, you think you have a handle on this thing called life and wayward emotions, something happens, the penny drops and you realise you are barely there after all.

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
-William Shakespeare

I go for a run each morning and the first 800 metres is along a narrow street where you basically have to park to let another car through. It means I have to park myself and break my ‘stride’ in order to let each car pass. I have this silly thing where I watch intently to see if they will thank me for anticipating their passing, and taking myself off the road (there are no footpaths as it’s on a steep hill). Anything would do, a wave, a nod, a smile. Just any recognition that I had given them a little gift and not made them slow down on their way to work.

When I would detect no trace, I would walk back onto the road and give them the finger behind my back at waist level. Hah! That showed them!! As if they would even see it in such an odd place or know what it was!

Then I realised I had it all backwards, yet again. My joy is in doing a good deed, even if no one notices; in my own opinion of myself. And their joy would be in thanking me, if they did so. The ones that don’t acknowledge it are either in their own little world, perhaps late for work (more reason to get off the road), don’t realise that I got out of their way on purpose or are just not appreciative people. So their little joy is lost to them.

Now I can look into the faces of those in the cars I have stopped for and give them the warmest smiles, come what may. My run just got easier!

 

But I didn’t ask for your advice!

I don't want your advice, son

There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as adviceJoseph Addison

Now that depends. Is the advice asked for? Do we hate it when someone says ‘if you want my advice….’? There are certain situations when everyone wants to give their advice such as having a baby, child rearing, dieting, or, god forbid, if someone gets cancer. Eat lemons, see that guru, eliminate dairy, meditate!

Sometimes we may think we are asking for advice but really we just want a sounding board. No matter what the other person comes up with, it may just be the vessel for helping us examine our own real beliefs. We may even realise that we want the opposite of what is being suggested. But at least we have our answers by resisting the adviser’s comments and stating our ideas out loud.

When do we go looking for advice? Are we open to it really? Do we have any intention of being swayed or are we too rigid to accept anything outside our current belief system? I like to think I am wildly open to any new idea or suggestion but if I am present and have time to contemplate while the other person is talking, I catch myself thinking. It might be ‘No, but’ and then have dialogue with myself (great multitasking while I am listening) and decide that I might tell them politely but firmly that it’s not for me, or I’ve tried that. Sometimes I might just agree and then go do the opposite! Some cultures are excellent at this; in fact it’s the only polite way to proceed.

Do you have these conversations with yourself, even while you listen to others? If I can be fully aware like this, I far prefer it as I come out with a more measured response and not a reactive one. It can also advance the conversation as you work out how they might respond to the first response you are formulating, so you predict both sides of the conversation and come out ahead.

Anyway, see if you can catch yourself thinking, next time someone is offering advice, and moderate your reply. By responding differently, who knows what different outcomes you might invite into your life and your relationships?

As I was saying...

Do you have plans?

I was planned

 

When I go to my computer each day, I have plans to blog, to reach deep inside myself, see what I find, hopefully like what I find and put it out there.

Sometimes life doesn’t go to plan like with these adorable boys and you like what comes even better!  I’ve had a great time on Pinterest today.  I am taking some of my own advice from a little while ago which is so good I reckon that it is my goal for today.

Dont put off your happy life

 

I hope you enjoy your happy life today, and that if your plans change, you enjoy them even more.

 

She says, she says, she just says!

Deep in thought

It’s one thing to have saying, it’s another to live by it – Gary & Shell

Who on earth are Gary and Shell? Shelley? Sounds like it came from a comedy programme.

Anyway, how appropriate, how fantastic. This blog has made me realise how common sayings are. I have become a ‘Saying bore’ and find myself talking in quotes. Do you speak quote? I know the point of this blog was to learn from quotes and I certainly have done – heaps, thank you very much. I should be grateful that ‘right thinking’ spreads in any way it can, and if sayings and quotes are the way to spread a little cheer and wisdom (every time I type wisdom I type wisdeom unless typing this has cured it).

For some reason the mind likes to take in smaller bytes of information. It’s doable. We remember songs better than exam material. We can remember phone numbers if they are a certain length but a couple of extra digits and I, for one, am sunk. We are apparently drawn to bullet points and blogs entitled ’10 ways to hide your farts’, according to Copyblogger, my bible to which I would refer to more often if I wanted to. I once read that we should replace the word ‘should’ with ‘I could if I wanted to’ and I liked it so much I try to live by it!! 🙂

Anyway now I have completely digressed. Ah yes, do we live by these sayings? Do they make us smile or nod in agreement or turn a lightbulb on in our heads but are forgotten in a nanosecond?

One small positive thought

Who cares? Every little helps and I believe all those little nuggets of wisdom accumulate, reaffirm what we believe, enlighten us a tad on this journey and bring us together. If someone quotes one of my favourites at me in conversation it’s like the sun has come out. Instant connection. Huge smile.

So I will continue to try to live by the sayings, use them in my thoughts and remember why I remembered them in the first place. And don’t forget to be completely fickle. It’s your world, your choice. I go by ‘In the waste or on your waist’ when I am dieting and resisting leftovers, but then I practise ‘Waste not, want not’ when scraping out the last of my face cream with a rubber spatula! Many conflict anyway and it’s how you interpret them that counts.

Do you have a favourite saying to share with me/us? First one that comes to mind? Please comment, even if it’s just the saying/quote.

Who wants this?

Pretty fit

Who wants this kind of body?

What I love best about this photo is that she is smiling and looks pleased as punch and proud of her ‘work’. I imagine it would take a lot of effort to get a body like that. I personally don’t want one so strong and toned and would be very scared if I saw that in the mirror one morning. It wouldn’t be ‘me’, like wearing certain clothes isn’t ‘me’ and they would make me uncomfortable. My mind is not strong and toned. Does your mind usually match your body? Others will look at this image with envy, or react favourably because they know they are on their way to achieving this or appreciate the beauty of the human form.

And that is the joy of this life. There is something for everyone. For every ‘me’. We don’t all want the same things. Not only that; we might set out on a path to get one thing and end up with something else we like much more. Or even better, we can get our heads around anything and convince ourselves that absolutely everything we have is the most fantastic thing we could have had at this point in our lives.

Actually, look around at what you have… Your possessions, your body, the state of your mind, your friends, your job, your hobbies. You could test some things by the ‘is it beautiful or useful?’ rule. (I think you are supposed to throw it away if it isn’t but what about sentimental or humorous etc). Each ‘thing’ probably has some stored meaning for you – a memory, a purpose, a response to it. It’s hard to throw away your mind or your body but you could throw away the state it’s in now and work on creating ‘new’ states if that’s what you want.

Anyway, I am just happy that we do want different things. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Though many aspire to live in a mansion, many others couldn’t think of anything worse. Too precious. One person wants the limelight and the other is very private. One wants recognition for all they’ve done and the other would hate to be thrust in the spotlight, perhaps feeling guilty and undeserving. So there is abundance in this world; no lack – of love, joy, appreciation – the things which these ‘possessions’  bring you. The possessions themselves are actually immaterial; just a means to an end.

What do you actually want today?  To feel toned or worthy or clever or to have fun? Add an activity that makes you feel any of these to your ‘To do list‘ every day (if you keep lists) and if you don’t take the time to do it today, you will have to catch up and do two of those activities another day, or 3 activities, or however many you have put off. You may decide it felt more like a chore to do that thing, so you will make better choices tomorrow and know yourself a little better. Take 5 minutes!

It’s always a useful thing to know what you want on your way to a better life.

 

Top 10 Benefits of Loving Yourself

Like me or dont

OK maybe it took me a few more years than that but I finally got there. Definitely life’s most important lesson; that whole loving and accepting yourself thing. It really is such a relief. And it’s true you don’t have time to convince someone else. The point is that you don’t need to when you love yourself. Maybe it’s you that you were trying to convince in the first place by trying to be popular.

Anyway here are 10 benefits of loving yourself off the top of my head.

  1. If you accept yourself, you can accept others, warts and all. ‘All criticism is self criticism’ – Harry Hooton. I’ve blogged on that before. See below.
  2. You save loads of time and head space not stressing about what you did or said wrong, because you accept it, let go and move on to thinking about more fun and constructive stuff
  3. When you screw up you can laugh at yourself instead of cry and that saves on tissues, and Botox further down the track
  4. It’s amazing how your confidence about doing things the way you do them rubs off on others and they start to do them too, which is fun! Start a movement.
  5. When people leave your life, as they were supposed to do, you are OK without them. You’ve always got yourself after all
  6. Your kids learn by example and learn that it’s OK to stuff up and be accepted. This fosters more honesty and communication between you.
  7. When you make a mistake you can admit it and move on instead of lying and covering up, which takes far more energy. I don’t often try it but I know that lying is super hard because lies beget lies and new stories and all the lies have to interweave perfectly to be believable. You have to create a whole new world to fit the lie into.
  8. Other people don’t have the power to offend you any more. Woo hoo!
  9. Other like-minded people are drawn to you and the non like-minded people keep away. They may bitch about you but it’s nothing to do with you and you don’t give it a second thought.
  10. Your world expands instead of contracts. You try more things, meet more people and develop constantly instead of trying to hide what you don’t like about yourself. Too much thought energy is wasted on the big ‘cover up’ instead of creating new stuff.

Well that was fun. Try it yourself! It started with 5 and then I kept going and going. It was fun to put myself in the headspace of being totally self loving in order to think of things. I do forget that I love myself and therefore berate myself unnecessarily and/or harshly sometimes but that’s OK too because the overall feeling is there and I forgive myself my mistakes, right? 🙂

Mind over matter

Well I’ll be Damned – pissing people off

Self Criticism

The Greatest Love of All

Building that Loving Relationship

 

I guess I must like this subject because I was looking for one of my posts on the subject and found at least four 🙂

Close the door on guilt

This seems a little controversial to me. I was introduced to the works of Paulo Coelho by a man I got talking to at the beach 5 years ago. I read a few of Paulo’s books and couldn’t really understand at first why he was so extraordinarily popular as he seemed to be a little egotistical and also simplistic. I think I am drawn to the honesty in his writing. Perhaps that is the drawcard. Honesty takes great courage in the face of society. We hear so many ‘shoulds’ in life that say you mustn’t close the door on this or that, that it’s lazy to give up or rude not to stay in contact with someone or you should persevere with this or that because it builds character. I have heard that family is everything and you should stick with them no matter what. But that ‘what’ is sometimes too high a price to pay and we are all free to walk away if we can be courageous enough to be ourselves and give ourselves what we think we need at any given moment. What is the price of doing something we want instead of something that someone else wants? Guilt usually. Guilt creates a no win situation if you let guilt creep into your life. Banish it immediately!

 

So I love this quote of Paulo’s. You won’t find too many like it. I love Barbara Sher because she also give you permission. We would find inner peace if we could give ourselves permission. Permission to be ourselves and to ‘do’ ourselves.

 

When we are bombarded with messages daily, we can choose whose opinions resonate and sit well with us. Barbara Sher gave me permission to stop blogging at any time and it is obvious of course but nice to be reminded. I will blog as long as it suits me which may be another week or forever! She actually gives you permission to stop doing anything you want; that’s it’s OK to do something only for as long as you want. I am a jack of all trades and get wildly excited by certain new things. It could be a song, a handbag, a YouTube video, a person, a recipe, quantum physics, the colour of something, whatever. But if I had to stick with something for too long I would miss out on discovering new things. I would ‘fall off my energy beam’. I think the general consensus is that you should settle down, become an expert in something in order to be successful, or stick with a spouse forever in order to have a successful marriage or have friends you’ve known since kindergarten. How about working at a job for a decent amount of time in order to look good on your resume? There are many examples of where we are encouraged to do, be, know something long past it’s due date.

Paulo implies that we get accused of pride, incapacity or arrogance if we don’t stick with something. Harsh judgements. Who are the people who want you to stick with them? Scared people usually. Why should you stick with a job? To become an ‘expert’ and therefore be a ‘success’, but it’s not a success if you are miserable. Why would you stick with a course of study? To get a certificate you may never need to prove to the world.  Why would you stick with a partner?  If it’s for what the proverbial neighbours think, you are giving your power, freedom and happiness away unnecessarily.

 

Is there something you keep in your life, some door you are afraid to close because of guilt even though it leads you nowhere? I close doors with love. Love to go and do your own thing while I go do mine. I long ago learned the lesson that guilt serves absolutely no purpose ever. Who wants more bad feeling in the world that resolves nothing? Does it really make you do something different next time; be a better person?

 

If you have the courage of your convictions and walk away from a person, an exercise class, habit, group of people, or even way of thinking, it frees you up. I have so often heard that when one door closes a window opens. I think it’s supposed to mean that a door has closed against your will and the thought of something new coming along cheers you up. I believe that. But if you have closed that door yourself, you may be ostracised. What’s the difference?

 

This is where freedom and courage to make your own choices comes in; to truly be yourself. Those that love you understand why you are making these choices. They agree that you are free to make them. Those that don’t love you will never understand anyway. Those that call you these names are not free themselves; they are caught in the shoulds of life. Perhaps they wish to be free also.

 

Anyway thanks to Paulo for being a voice you don’t hear too often which says walk away when something no longer serves you. If we are truly strong inside we don’t need his permission either but it’s great to see it in writing. If we want to walk back later that is OK too, why should we have our ‘tail between our legs’? It is always our decision.

 

Pretty Happy

 

 

This is lovely. I am glad Audrey said this. She was always beautiful and wise. It’s not the most important thing in the world to be pretty. It can open many doors, but it can also close them for you. And though many people might long to be pretty or handsome they would probably prefer to be happy.

As I get older I know I am trading my youthful looks for happiness and I wouldn’t want to go back. Where I find a photo of me that I dislike it’s always one where I am not smiling. I find myself examining flaws. In the photos where I am grinning from ear to ear, I see shining eyes and a lopsided smile but I can’t help react to the smile, even if it’s only on paper. We are preprogrammed to like smiles.

Someone at University once told me this truth also; the best beauty secret is a smile. I’ve seen it in reverse also, where I was feeling really down and went to a party. I might as well have had a sign on my forehead saying ‘Avoid this woman. Save yourself’. How many excuses are there to move away? I learned a few that night.

I have done a lot of online dating since my marriage broke up and when you sift through hundreds of faces looking to see who you might be attracted to, the smile is the most important factor. There can be three of four photos of someone who is not smiling and I wonder if they are ashamed of their teeth or if its their serious personality shining through.

So why are we attracted to the people who are smiling? Why do we find them ‘prettier’? If we are all looking for acceptance then someone smiling has either accepted themselves and are happy at this point so are more likely to accept you or they smile at you with instant acceptance, which is the nicest feeling. Smiling is universal – every race and culture on earth recognises a smile. If someone is smiling one can assume they are radiating good energy at that point, so that’s another reason to be attracted and find them prettier. It would draw you close.

I smile a lot and I mean a LOT. I am smiling now. I read a business book recently where a shoe company preferred to employ people like me and then described us as ‘Whack jobs’. Fantastic! I love that description. I’d rather be the crazy in the loony bin with the big smile. As Dudley Moore said in the movie Arthur, “sometimes I just think funny things”. I find life pretty funny if you look at it in a certain way. The things we do are funny. Comedians have endless fodder in the everyday.

At 16 I first learned this lesson. I met a girl who was unattractive by most rules. And yet she was fighting the boys off. It’s common knowledge that people will be attracted by looks but hang around only if there is personality to go with it. And sometimes the best looking ones don’t always have personality because they haven’t had to develop any in order to attract admirers. The truth is that personality really is the best attractor or the one that brings people together anyway.

So I will continue being a whack job. I will keep collecting those wrinkles and if I can throw in some laughter too all the better. Just find what you enjoy on YouTube (try this – thanks Yaz’s commenter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBb8tx5S8x8) and use it like beauty treatment. We are all stunning!!

PS On TED.com I learned about an experiment where people had to hold a pencil in their mouths which simulated smiling by using the same muscles. By measuring their saliva they could tell that doing this fake smile lowered stress levels. Imagine what a real smile would do! Smiling yet?