The Art of Fabulousness

Often people are taken back after asking “how are you today?”, and my response is “fabulous”.  Sometimes I chuckle when they think for a moment and say to me that they are actually feeling pretty good or something similar. Other times I get a mountain of woe from people and am reminded of my need to feel fabulous.  Feeling fabulous is important because this feeling sets the overall tone for my day no matter what happens because life does happen in the most trying and exasperating ways.

Once upon a time I was a passenger on an emotional rollercoaster with feelings of happiness at the peak and despair at the bottom.  One word, action, or inference would be a ticket on this rollercoaster and off I would go on an up and down journey of emotions.  Rollercoasters are circular despite the ups and downs and the destination was the same, a sense of disempowerment, of hurt and of confusion as to how this could have happened to me.

I decided the time had come to get off the rollercoaster and simply be fabulous.  Please understand, this journey did not happen overnight.  I worked hard on me to understand why I took from people these tickets on roller coasters.  And in a cathartic moment I realized I let them.  I let people dictate how I felt and how I would react.  I had freely given my power away because of some misplaced need for social or professional acceptance, success or “to fit in.”  I truly had experienced an “aha” moment

These rollercoasters are created from the results of co-worker, supervisor, manager and their unhappiness, insecurities, and low self-esteem.  Often they too are unaware of their overwhelming need to make it all about them.  The end result: we cringe in meetings, annual reviews and presentations fearing criticism, finger pointing and failure.  We forget about our personal successes, abilities and other aspects of self that make each of us truly unique and fabulous.

I believe in my best effort, leaving work at the end of the day knowing I had accomplished to the best of my ability my responsibilities and tasks.  In the end we can only do our best and if we fall short, then it’s time to take a step back and identify the root causes of those shortages.  Did we have all the tools for success?  Did we have clear communication of expectations? Did anyone assume anywhere in this process because assumption can have a nasty impact?  When a person looks with an objective eye, much can be learned to eliminate shortages or deficits.

Often people come to me upset, discouraged or simply in need of some small guidance.  I remind people to step back and take a look at who said what and remove the emotional overtones and see the words for the simple words they are.  Do the words have value or no value?  Do the words truly ring true or are they words that really make the situation about the other person and not us?   In reality, few people truly know us or our capabilities and when threatened will say things to wound, not to build up the confidence in us.

The first reaction is often surprise at the realization of emotional reaction which resulted in a feeling of disempowerment.  The “why do you allow people to dictate your feelings and reactions” often shocks people.  Self-realization is very powerful.  While they may approach me as thunderclouds, but they leave as sunshine reminded of the fabulous people they are.

Hence I choose to be fabulous and to feel what I feel and not allow others to tell me how to feel.  Constructive criticism is always welcome, but emotional dumping is not.  Remember it’s always about personal choices when feelings are involved so why not practice the art of fabulousness with me and meet life’s challenges head-on with a positive belief in one’s self?

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Destruction of the Legacy of the Past

Watching the news recently I began to wonder what the effect will be of the destruction of our historical legacies.  Removing statues, defacing monuments, destroying gravestones, where does this destruction stop?  There is a saying attributed to several people and very pertinent for what is occurring today:  “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” 

While the manner in which the history is repeated whether it be a sword, a machine gun, a nuclear weapon, or social values that change from acceptance to bigotry or hatred, the effect is the same, deaths, injuries and destruction, so unnecessary, so unfortunate.

Perhaps the challenge lies with a society that tries to place today’s values and social acceptances to a different time era with different social acceptances.  History is the past and to remain as it was, should not be altered, rewritten, forgotten or obliterated. While we may as a society condemn actions or the actions of people in the past, again what did we learn from their actions?

For example did we learn the greater lesson from the Civil war that freedom belongs to everyone and that should never be taken for granted?  Sadly while the slavery of the blacks is condemned by many, slavery still exists even in this society that calls its self progressive.  Slavery has changed form work in fields to sex trafficking, illegal drugs that enslave people causing violence, addition and a thousand other social woes.

The origins of slavery are as old as time itself.  Africans sold other Africans into slavery or took them into slavery in countries within Africa.  Colonialism had both positive and negative impacts on Africa as a continent, but if you dwell on what was wrong and forget to embrace what was right and build on it, you are doomed to repeat and retreat from social growth and progression

In the United States, people forget that blacks were NOT the only slaves in this country.  The so-called indentured people who came over were not treated well by those who “paid” for their journeys.  The Native Americans were forced into Christianity and enslaved to build churches, missions and other buildings, and children taken from Reservations and “white educated.”  Many examples of injustice exist here in America and the rest of the world from the early times of the Egyptians and other societies until today.

So do we go back and erase not only our history or the world history or do we educate people about the actions of those behind statues?  Do we educate about the Civil war and allow people to embrace their heritages no matter the heritage?    I say yes  with a caveat: What should not be allowed is the emotionalism of that heritage.  Many people from all sides died from the Civil War, but do we honor all those who died by continuing to practice hatred and bigotry?

The challenge with free speech is when you do not agree with what is being said and take that disagreement to a violent and senseless level.   You change nothing to the positive when you embrace this negative behavior.  Quite the opposite occurs in that when you embrace such negative behaviors and each feels (not thinks) themselves justified to be standing up for their “cause”. By listening and acting, not listening and reacting we can change what is needed for social change.

One last food for thought came from George Orwell:  “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

 

 

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What if We Said?

An advertisement asks the question about what if we said what we are thinking, and I wondered how much more can we say especially in the social media realm where even identified people spew their feelings, biases, opinions and create tempests in teapots all over the internet.  Words, only words, but are words only words?

Words can simply be words until inflection and emotion color the intent.  A simple phrase “an old woman” can denote anything from sage-like, or busy body or simple an old woman until someone adds a tone of judgmentalism such as insinuating less worth because of age, or someone to simply be ignored because of age.

So what if enough people simply said what they thought without filters, what then?  Words without filters could fuel prejudice, bigotry, disrespect, hatred and a thousand other negative emotions into actions.  Without filters a person may feel “great” or “pumped up” as they release what they are holding within, but without regard to the consequences of their words.

Few people in the world are totally grounded in self-worth, self-value and can ignore the emotional spewing of others.  Most people are impacted to some degree internally or externally by these negative often hateful or belittling words.  Enough negative words spewed towards someone could cause them to make decisions with dire consequences because the words continue to echo over and over within them.

Often many of us can be swept up into mob mentality and whisked along with actions such as rioting and worse because emotionally the words they heard touched a cord deep within them.  How often have we seen people surprised by their actions or suprised at the actions of others.  There is truth in the saying “think before you speak.”  Unfortunately too often many speak and then think or never think about the words they used.

Unfortunately the words can never be erased from the universe, once out there, they remain suspended through time because with them came consequences large and small.  Another food for thought…..

 

 

 

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An Emotional Tug of War – A Baby’s Right to Live or Die

The world has been mesmerized by the story of Charlie Gard, the English lad born with a rare condition that has dire consequences to his ability to thrive.  Facts have been overshadowed by the emotional drama this saga has unleashed on the world.  At stake is the forgotten future life of a child that has challenges beyond our ability to comprehend.

No one argues that a baby should have all avenues exhausted when possible to provide them the care and treatment, but what about the quality of the life of that child?  Emotionally our heart strings cry for the parents, cry for the child and cause us to become angry and outspoken without taking a moment to reflect on the consequences of saving a child that will need around the clock treatment, face a battery of health issues in the future, cannot see, and cannot function with even the slightest semblance of what most children do.

For eleven months doctors in one of the finest hospitals in the world have done their best to provide care for this child.  They are not gods, but simply people who want the best health outcomes for anyone, especially for children.  How can their professionalism, dedication, experience and understanding of the medical condition of this child be swept aside?  One has to wonder how can society condemn this group for making a decision no one else truly wants to make.

The parents truly do not want to make the decision that to give a true quality of life is to let this child go, provide loving passage and know they did the best they could but their best could not heal this child.  They are so absorbed in their fight for Charlie, they have forgotten Charlie on another level, what IS the best for Charlie.

Of course as parents in their desperation will grasp at the smallest of hopes that somehow, someone can help this unfortunate child.  No one can condemn nor criticize their need to try to save their child.  Again what are they saving?  When the cameras are switched off, the money raised spent and the world goes onto the next mesmerizing drama, if they save the child what then?

Can they emotionally handle as many moments as this child has left that would need tremendous care emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually?  Can they totally sacrifice their lives for a child who cannot look at them, cannot whisper I love you, cannot walk, cannot do anything but lay as the days pass slowly?

All food for thought, but then life is full of food for thought.

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Uncommon Common Sense

Merriam Webster defines common sense as:  sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts, but somehow many people have evolved away from good old common sense.  No one can argue that our children, young adults and some middle aged people are brighter, smarter but unfortunately lack common sense.

Perhaps one of the challenges is the ability to use technology for answers, for design and a thousand other applications.  Often emotionless, faceless and impersonal, some people make decisions that common sense would have avoided.  Common sense would have said there are consequences to every decision that has a ripple effect.  The ripple effect can touch deeply into society or into the people directly affected.

Ah the key words here are sound judgement defined as the capacity to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions.  Years ago, I had a friend with four children who have grown into successful adults.  He used to allow his children to make decisions with the caveat to make the right decision because each decision right or wrong has consequences positive or negative.

He taught them how to think and to discern what is a sound judgement.  They also evolved into level headed thinkers who acted and not reacted.  Reaction is one of the hallmarks of a lack of common sense.  Instead of stepping back momentarily and thinking, people simply “go off” in directions that could have been avoided with simple contemplation.  The adage “Think before you leap” always comes to mind in these situations.

Can adults be taught common sense?  perhaps IF the word accountability is used in conjunction with common sense.  I remember too as children reward and punishment helped us to  learn how to make good choices.  We also learned that it isn’t important that you always win, but rather that you always try your best.  We also learned good sportsmanship and to avoid being “sore” losers.

Maybe this lack of common sense is also encouraged by the practice of everyone wins and no one loses.  A warped view of the world exists that does not teach sound judgement or wisdom that life is not fair and not everyone wins.  How can anyone develop discernment, good judgement or wisdom if a distorted view of one’s world exists?

Common sense has been replaced also by this sense of entitlement.  I am entitled to so much with little to no effort.  Common sense does not breed entitlement.  Common sense says “we reap what we sow.”  Common sense has also been replaced by a new means to think, to act and react, technology.

Technology does not teach emotion, sound judgement or wisdom.  Too many parents do not invest efforts into teaching children how to think, discern and choose.  Some are shocked to learn the decisions their children have made with the direst of consequences.  Perhaps lack of common sense has been exacerbated by the lack of common sense boundaries.

Lack of boundaries is easy to see on social media.  The personal items people post for the world to see, thinking only their friends will know this but friends have re-posted and suddenly the world knows….  Or the other actions that occur that people believe they are immune to any type of consequences.  And often these same people are shocked that they are.

Technology may make us smart, but doesn’t teach wisdom, boundaries, respect and a multitude of other important and necessary social attributes.  Why else do we need to be taught classes in subjects such as emotional intelligence, social interactions, team building and a  jandra of other social interaction skills?  Welcome to the world of uncommon common sense…

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Selfless Selfishness to a Better You

Often time spiritualists will say to me that they are here to heal, help and serve others.  They spend every waking moment thinking of everyone but themselves. Is it no wonder that too often these same people crash and burn and become ill themselves because they have not taken care of themselves.  They erroneously believe that to take care of themselves is contradictory to their life path’s mission in helping others.

What many of these same people fail to see is that despite our spiritual awareness, everyday life does impact us, sometimes with the positive and other times with the negative.  Also we cannot help but be affected by the energy of others, again both positive and negative.  Sometimes we also serve others to avoid resolving the inner conflicts, hurts and a myriad of issues we have gathered on our life’s journey.

Many healers walk around wounded in spirit, wounded in heart and soul, believing they are above these wounds, that their spiritual evolution has taken them to an illusionary level of spiritual enlightenment.  Yet one of the keys to spiritual enlightenment in the healing of self, heart soul mind and spirit.  It is the understanding of what was, is to able to reach the what will be.

I question the effectivity of wounded healers, mediums and other spiritual guides.  If they are wounded, what could be transmitted to another spirit they are trying to help?   Inadvertently, what do they also provide in that guidance and healing?  A heart that has been so badly wounded, could they not transmit some of their hidden anguish?

Here is where selfish selflessness becomes important to everyone especially the wounded.  Taking time to heal, empower, refresh or a thousand other positive actions on one’s self may seem selfish but the outcome is a strong vibrant spiritual guide.  If your goal is to serve others would this service be more effective when you are healthy and at peace within?

I have seen too many wonderful people over the years start out as these bright lights of spirituality, healers, mediums, clairvoyants, seekers, empaths etc. burn out and turn away from spirituality, and collapse with mental, spiritual, health and emotional illness that may have been prevented with a healthy dose of selfish selflessness.

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Lost in Translation

Awhile back a friend shared with me that he went out with friends for a social moment and while sitting at the table, noticed the silence at the table as everyone seemed engrossed in texting on their phones.  Perhaps ten years ago this scene would have been shocking, but today vocal communication appears to be headed to the wayside in favor of texting and countless other forms of virtual communication.

Two concerns come to mind utilizing this form of communication, interpretation and social disassociation.  With virtual communication, gone are the voice inflections, the clues that help us to understand the intent behind the words.   We read a series of words that we must interpret and this interpretation may have positive or negative consequences in our daily lives and affect our futures detrimentally.

People forget that simple words have a profound impact on the receiver of such words.  Simple words have caused wars or brought peace, incited hate and love, transformed societies and have claimed many victims. The expression the pen is mightier than the sword comes to mind when reflecting on the power of word.  The specific words that impacted us may be forgotten, but the spirit altering results  may never fade.

Many people have created their self-worth on the comments of others.   Children and teens are especially vulnerable to words and the impact of words.   They are addicted to knowing how they are trending, if people approve or like what they have shared, and are devastated when they receive negative feedback.  They sleep with their phones yearning for a ding of a comment of social acceptance by their friends and family.

People are more fragile than they can imagine and when they allow others to determine their social position, they have relinquished their personal power to others.  An odd enslavement takes place as those same people await each positive word happily or cringe or become hurt at each negative comment.  Those who become hurt can become angry or depressed or a multitude of other negative emotions.

I cannot believe this mode of communication is social association, but rather  social disassociation because every word is self-interpreted based on one’s sense of self-worth and ego.   This disassociation comes from missing the true interaction between two or more people.  How does one judge the words with certainty, because the inflections of sincerity, trust, truth, respect and so many are other positive meanings in the translation of simple text words?

I wonder if younger generations are developing true deep relationships with each other or are becoming shallow because they only have themselves to define whatever relationships they share with each other over some sort of social media.  I think one hurtful example is relationship breakups.  If people truly cared about each other and if they respected each other and found a relationship was not working, why not use verbalized words instead of simple texts letting the other person know it’s over without the respect to explain why.

Is it no wonder that magazines and other media are filled with interpretation guides and relationship guides for virtual communication.   And yet, how can you truly interpret what was said in virtual communication when you have no inflection, no voice, no body language?  You can interpolate a thousand  ways each word, each sentence.   In the end, without healthy one-on-one communication, too much will be lost in the translation.

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