One decade down, another handful to go

So, I turn 30 tomorrow. It’s kind of a big deal, to me anyway.

I like to spend the time around my birthday reflecting on the past year, as I suppose a lot of people might do.  This year I took a suggestion from my ADAC counselor and took some time to congratulate myself.

If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time doing stuff to get ahead. Whatever ahead means to you. In a lot of cases we don’t take the time to stop and have a little victory party for what we’ve accomplished, survived through, improved on, decided on etc.

This post is about that.  How awesome it is, and why I recommend a victory party in whatever form you think would be best.

I decided to write myself a love letter. Cuz, let’s face it. I am an A type personality and that means I race from one goal to the next, never stopping to reflect on the joy I should be feeling at achieving that one thing that I swore would make me happy if only I could get to.

What I discovered is 2 things. The first is that life doesn’t work like that. If you’re suspending your happiness until such and such happens, you’ll never be happy. Really, all you have is this moment in your life. As I like to say, you might get hit by a car tomorrow. You just don’t know. So, as hard as it is, try to live in the present and find happiness now, in the life you have and the body that is yours. There’s a lot of great stuff about the present moment that if someone were to bribe you with $1000 to do so, I bet you could list off faster than an Ethiopian sprinter.

The second thing is that writing yourself a love letter is absolutely fan-fucking-tabulous. I am totally doing this next year and probably every one after that. It gave me permission to see myself from the outside, not the internal critical brain that I can’t quite get to shut up. The point is, if you look at yourself that way you ( I swear to God) will find that there’s a lot that’s great about you. A lot that’s great about who you are and where your going. A lot that makes you different and special and WAY cooler than anyone else.

I dunno about you, but I think we could all use more love letters in our lives. And since no one is handing out gold stars these days, I propose you give yourself a well deserved schwack of them.  It feels wonderful.

To the next decade! *clink!*

❤ Rolo

 

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Have You Given Yourself Permission to Do These 43 Essential Things?

By Scott Ginsberg

1. Give yourself permission to ask for what you need. Expectational clarity is a beautiful thing: It saves time, prevents extra work and lowers the probability of future surprises.

2. Give yourself permission to be a student.Even if you already know everything. Especially if you already know everything. Those who refuse to learn, doth burn.

3. Give yourself permission to be a work in progress. Think of it like a calculus equation: Asymptotic, approaching zero, continuing forever. Never quite hitting the line, but getting microscopically closer every day. That’s a reasonable goal.

4. Give yourself permission to be confused. Being dumb is highly underrated. The challenge is that it requires humility and vulnerability. Not everyone has the courage to muster such forces.

5. Give yourself permission to be disloyal to dysfunctional message-givers.Inherited faith fails. Believe what you believe because you (actually) believe – not because someone told you to believe and you mindlessly followed.

6. Give yourself permission to be happy. You’d be amazed how many people refuse to do so. Almost like they don’t believe they deserve to be happy.

7. Give yourself permission to be human. To be imperfect. To be wrong. To change your mind. To be emotional. To have baggage.

8. Give yourself permission to be impatient. As important as patience is, sometimes you just have to declare, “Screw it – I’m going to Nashville.”

9. Give yourself permission to be scared. Not afraid, but scared. Huge difference.

10. Give yourself permission to be selfish. Totally underrated. Practicing rational, healthy selfishness is oxygen to the soul. As I learned from Honoring the Self, “Practice selfishness in the highest, noblest and least understood sense of the word – which requires enormous independence, courage and integrity.”

11. Give yourself permission to be the best, highest version of yourself.Anything less is dishonest living. Besides, nobody wants the coach version of you – they want first class, all the way.

12. Give yourself permission to be. Probably the hardest task on this list. We’re just so used to “doing” all the time that the prospect of simply “being” is terrifying.

13. Give yourself permission to breathe. It’s ok for people to hear you breathe. Breathing keeps you present. Breathing keeps you relaxed. And developing a healthier relationship with your breath is one of the smartest moves you could make.

14. Give yourself permission to capture and express any idea. Good. Bad. Ugly. Doesn’t matter. True creatives treat all ideas with deep democracy. Capture first, evaluate eventually. That way you don’t suffer from premature cognitive commitment. Order comes later.

15. Give yourself permission to change your mind. You’re human. And like Gandhi suggested, your commitment is to truth – not consistency.

16. Give yourself permission to completely let down your guard and relax. No walls, no worries.

17. Give yourself permission to cry in front of people. Tears demonstrate alignment and honesty. Who wouldn’t want to be around someone like that? Let the water works flow.

18. Give yourself permission to delete things from your life. And, to not feel bad about deleting them. Productivity is a process of elimination.

19. Give yourself permission to disappear. For fifteen minutes or fifteen days. Doesn’t matter. Engaging the off button on a regular basis is essential to your health.

20. Give yourself permission to disregard the inconsequential. Ending your pursuit of the trivial and focusing on stuff that matters is unbelievably liberating.

21. Give yourself permission to divorce toxic people. If they don’t challenge and inspire you, give ‘em the boot. Your time is too valuable.

22. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Unproductive time is productive time. Recharging is essential.

23. Give yourself permission to do something imperfectly. Better done and imperfect than procrastinated and flawless. Nobody’s going to even notice anyway, so what’s the hold up? Remember: My crap is better than your nothing.

24. Give yourself permission to expect nothing. That way, failure is impossible. Pretty cool how that works, huh?

25. Give yourself permission to fail. Regardless of what your boss says – failure IS an option. Not learning from that failure isn’t.

26. Give yourself permission to feel miserable. People who are happy all the time scare me. Makes me wonder if they’re even paying attention to life.

27. Give yourself permission to feel positive about your accomplishments.Especially when your inner critic tries to take the wind out of your sails. A victory is a victory. Celebrate it.

28. Give yourself permission to get lost. GPS is the devil. I can’t imagine a world where it’s impossible to get lost. How else will you learn to trust yourself? How else will you stumble upon fascinating discoveries that the map doesn’t include? Learn to travel without plans.

29. Give yourself permission to go perpendicular to your current activity. It’s the perfect way to engage other areas of your brain and stimulate creativity.

30. Give yourself permission to have (and follow) your crazy ideas. If it’s not crazy, it’s not worth pursuing.

31. Give yourself permission to have a bad day. Fine, so resistance beat you this morning. Big deal. Don’t beat yourself up. When the world says no to you, the first word out of your mouth should be, “Next!”

32. Give yourself permission to indulge occasionally. Otherwise your admirable self-discipline will morph into intolerable self-righteousness.

33. Give yourself permission to laugh out loud. Especially at stupid things most people don’t think are funny. Don’t worry – nobody will think you’re a horrible person. Just a human.

34. Give yourself permission to let it out, man. Fine, so I sing Whitney Houston in the car at full volume. Sue me. It feels great, releases my stress and entertains other drivers. Bet I’m having more fun on the highway than you are.

35. Give yourself permission to live a life of your choosing. This is the polar opposite of allowing other people to dictate what you want.

36. Give yourself permission to live creativity in every part of your life.Creativity isn’t something you do – it’s something you are. And like humor, creativity isn’t something you “add” or “use” or “apply” to your life like hair gel. True creativity is embodied.

37. Give yourself permission to make bad art. How else are you supposed to uncover the good art?

38. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. As long as you learn three things from each one. That’s how it ceases to be a mistake.

39. Give yourself permission to make taking care of your life your top priority. Put yourself at the top of your own list.

40. Give yourself permission to matter. I wrote a helpful guide on doing so here.

41. Give yourself permission to pause. They. Can. Wait.

 

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How to get through hard times

A Plan for Working Through Personal Challenges
Listen to the Podcast
I write this lesson as I reflect on some of the most troubled times of my life. Because we all go through these challenging times—no one is exempt—I want to share some ideas and insights that will help you get through them and come out stronger and wiser.

Step 1. Seek to Understand the Problem and its Cause

The first step in addressing any challenge is to make sure you clearly understand the problem and its cause. By gaining a clear understanding of the problem, you will be better prepared to find the right solution.

It is also important to backtrack. Look at the decisions you have made that led to the situation in which you find yourself.  Refuse to blame anyone. You are where you are largely based on your decisions.

If we don’t take the time to understand what decisions led to the problem, we will likely repeat them.

Step 2. List Your Options

Once you have a clear understanding of the issue and its cause, the next step is to consider all your options.

  • If you lost your job, you have two obvious options. One to wallow in self-pity, play the victim role, and blame someone or something; or two, suck it up and get your butt out looking for a new job.
  • If you said or did something that hurt another person, you have two evident options. One, make excuses and try to justify your actions; or two, apologize, ask for forgiveness, and restore the relationship.

Whatever challenges you face, there are always options to address them. Take some quiet time and consider ALL your options, as well as the pros and cons of each. You might want to review the best post I have written on the subject: How to Make Critical Decisions

Step 3. Make a Decision

The fastest way to get out of your taxing situation is to make a decision as to what you are going to do about it. When I reflect on my challenging times, the most difficult part of each experience was not knowing what to do. This is the danger zone. Because you are not making any forward progress, you are prolonging your pain and damaging your self-image and attitude.

A close friend, who is going through a challenging period right now, called me yesterday for some advice. She explained the situation and said, “The most difficult part is not knowing what to do.”

Together we reviewed all her options. After selecting the best three options, we discussed the pros and cons of each one. Then I challenged her to make a decision and not to allow this process to drag on any longer.

When I spoke with her later in the day, she had made her decision. I could tell she felt better and was smiling by the tone in her voice. By making the decision, she was one step closer to putting the challenge behind her.

Step 4. Put Together Your Plan

Once you decide what you are going to do, your next step is to put together your plan. Look at your decision as a goal; put together a plan to achieve that goal. Your plan is as simple as writing down the steps you will take and the things you will do to achieve your desired outcome.

Depending on the severity of your situation, it may be wise to review your plan with your spouse or a respected friend. The more refined your plan is, the greater your odds will be of achieving your goal in the shortest period of time.

Step 5. Execute Your Plan

After you have your plan outlined, use your personal initiative and discipline to execute it immediately. When you procrastinate and delay executing your plan, you are making a decision to drag out your pain longer.

If you are going through a challenging time in your life, I encourage you to go through this process. Think about it. What do you have to lose?  Make the decision right now that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH; you are going to take control of the situation and bring an end to it.

At times, you might feel like you are trudging through quicksand, but don’t stop. The fastest way to get through this period is by working through it—not avoiding it or procrastinating. We all go through difficult, painful times. Some wallow in them and play the victim role; others accept responsibility, put together a plan, and fight through them.

I urge you to grab yourself by the collar with a tight fist, look in the mirror, and accept the challenge to step up to the plate with courage and conviction.

There is a positive side to facing those painful, challenging times. They provide us the greatest opportunity for growth. If you are thoughtful as to how you navigate through life’s challenges, you will grow and become wiser from each one you experience.

 

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Cuz Forbes said so- lol

I was thrilled to read this articles from FORBES Magazine which succinctly summarizes what I have been preaching about. It’s focus is on workers, however, these 7 tips apply to everyone.

Enjoy! http://blogs.forbes.com/jennagoudreau/2010/10/28/seven-steps-to-happiness-at-work/

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FREE meditation workshops!!!!!!!!!

hey y’all.  so I know I keep going on and on about meditation being beneficial. Here’s an article that talks about how it helps with anxiety: http://www.freemeditation.com/benefits-of-meditation/meditation-helps-with-anxiety/

I have been attending the FREE guided meditation workshops put on by the kind folks here: http://www.meditationcanada.ca/

The sweet part is they also have online stuff you can do. For those of you not in Alberta, you can  find free, in person,  workshops here: http://www.freemeditation.com/meditation-classes/

I was having difficulty meditating all by myself as I kept losing focus…so having it guided is really helpful. I experienced actual physical results…hands tingling, top of head felt hot etc. ….in a good way!! I recommend!!!!!

If anyone has questions or comments, please feel free to post and I will get back as soon as I can 🙂

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what are your minimum requirements for self care?

Check this out:

http://www.comfortqueen.com/audio/MinimumRequirements.mp3

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Reach your potential by learning from others.

This is one of the points in my 15 steps to a better life post: Learn From Others

I promised elaboration on this topic, and here it is!!!!!!

I was reading Darren Hardy’s blog post on self actualization just now when it hit me. Self actualization is something that has been pursued by humanity since we could record history! Many of Aristotle’s musings were based on this concept.

With so many years and years of thought on this topic, somewhere,  someone must have figured it out, right?

4 steps aka Part One is here:

http://darrenhardy.success.com/2010/09/human-potential/

4 more steps aka Part Two is here:

http://darrenhardy.success.com/2010/09/potential2/

Free resources are here:

http://www.thecompoundeffect.com/resources.php

Many people feel they don’t get too much benefit from Darren Hardy as it’s so “business oriented” but I disagree, it’s about personal achievement and success…whatever that means to you 🙂 Hope this helps!!

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