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Archive for October, 2012

Do you ever get that feeling like your sinking…and sinking and sinking?

Not the one that comes when your stomach sinks and you realize “oh crap, this one thing is not going as expected.” That’s different from what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the feeling that you are sinking into a deeper and deeper pit of nothingness.  Like some sort of weird emotional quicksand.  I’ve been there and when I think back I’m always reminded of the Neverending Story. Do you remember that?  The story world was being swallowed up but nothingness because of a lack of belief.  Sounds rather familiar no?

The nothingness is a dark place, a lonely place and I want to talk about it.

There I said it.  People have cautioned me about talking about this because they say if you spend a lot of time thinking and writing and thinking some more you are going to invite that into your life.  Bunch o’crap if you ask me.  My intention is not to do that. It is to talk about so those who feel that way know that they are by no stretch of the imagination, alone.  I want to stop the nothingness too!

You are not alone.  The nothingness pit if FULL of people.  Trust me. You just can’t see them yet because that is the trickiest part of feeling this way.  It causes you to isolate yourself without you even realizing it.   It’s hard to see past your own self.

Shame, fatigue, lethargy, confusion, embarassment…you name it.  The emotions that prevent us from stepping out and asking for help runs a rather large list.  

There is so much of this going on right now with all the cutbacks, homes being lost, fear etc that I really feel the need to talk about it. To bring it OUT of the darkness.

There is no shame in falling down.  It happens.  Sometimes, through literally NO fault of our own, sometimes we’ve made a bad choice and sometimes…yes sometimes, we royally screwed up and ended up face first on the floor.

It happens.

As with every event, it’s what you do afterwards that really matters.

What I’ve learned from feeling like life screwed me over, is that I  have a choice at that point.  I can play the victim card and start the sinking.  Or I live in gratitude for what is still in my life and what is still to come. 

I have been in a position where I had to sell some of my things in order to eat.  My goodness that was hard.  I cried and cried about how I didn’t deserve this; how I’d always worked hard and done the ‘right’ things in life.  Yet, here I was. You know what?  At the end of the day it wasn’t that bad.  Stuff is just stuff. 

Here’s the other interesting thing I learned.  The darkness cannot easily exist when the light of love, hope and a thankful heart are present.  It just can’t seem to co-exist.  Don’t get me wrong.  I had some days that were darker than others…but I was no longer sinking into it.  I know where the exit is located.

Can I share an example that still makes me so grateful that I have a bit of tears show up?  I was cutting waaaaaaay back on everything.  I cut out the TV cable and was pretty sad about that because I used it to distract myself from life of painful recovery.  I looked for another way to use my time and I began to use it to read books that taught me so much more about living well.  I count that time as a time of peace and internal healing.  I snuggled up with my dog and cat under a blanket and a cup of tea and read.  I wrote in my journal and had time to reflect and think. 

It was like I had been living in a room with a dim light and suddenly someone added a whole bunch of bright lamps. 

If I had simply despaired, or tried to fight it, I never would have had that time.  I looked for what opportunities presented to me and I stepped up and took them as small as they might seem.

The thing is if you are experiencing that feeling of life being out of your control, please know that it is not.  You have the power to change it. You really do!  It may not happen overnight and there is no magic pill but you can step out of what is dragging you down and pulling you under.  This is what I help with – setting goals and breaking them down to ‘those little steps’ that make a huge difference.  I’ve seen the difference it makes.

Ask for help if you need it.  Sometimes this turns into a depression that needs medical help to overcome.  That’s okay as long as you get the help you need.  Sometimes you just need to force yourself into a next little step.  Let’s face it.  You are reading this and made it to the bottom which tells me you don’t want to live stuck in the dark.  You don’t have to. 

You can do this.  Your light, your energy, is needed in this world as much as anyone’s.  It’s time to talk about feeling like we’ve sunk and are sinking.  It’s time to throw a few life preservers out there for others.  Let’s shed some light on this and lift each other up.

Blessings

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We’ve all got ’em, we’ve all dealt with some of them and we all have a few that still chase us in our nightmares.  Fears.

Fear is an incredibly powerful emotion that only gets more and more powerful as time goes on.  Unless, of course, you DO something about it.

The biggest and most important thing you can do when it comes to our fears is not let them take on a life of their own.  Put them in their real place and start dealing with them from there.

Many who’ve been kicking around this blog know that a few years ago I was in a serious car accident.  Some of you also know that because of said accident my bank account plummeted VERY quickly and I soon was in some trouble. 

At first, I wasn’t capable of dealing with those decisions.  I really wasn’t. I did the best I could but I could only do so much and was in a lot of pain and confusion (concussions are NO laughing matter).  So…things slid.  I let them slide because I really thought I’d be better ‘soon’.  Soon is an interesting time frame lol

Anyway, my point being things got bad quick and soon it was really scary to look at those numbers and know that bills were coming.  I did what I could of course but wow…the stress of it all was really awful.  It wasn’t until I finally forced myself to sit down and really look at my finances that a great deal of the stress was gone.  The money was still a struggle but KNEW exactly where I was and could try to make a plan to deal with it. 

I hid from the issue for a while. I really can’t say what I was thinking except I didn’t want to have to deal with it. Maybe it was embarassment or shame? Maybe I hoped the budget fairy would come and take care of it? 

It’s funny because knowing you are short on rent money is really different to knowing your $125 short.  The first one is like a big black hole of terrified fears around not being able to pay rent.  The second is having to deal with asking for a bit of help which isn’t nearly as bad.  Really weird how our brain works isn’t it?  The unknown factors always throw a HUGE shadow, but often aren’t as big as you think when you turn on the light.

It’s the same with most fears. 

I really advocate writing them down.  Being able to put the racing thoughts into a coherent sentence or two helps you look at them a little more objectively and writing them down allows you to look these little monsters right in the eye.

From my experience with my own issues and with other people I’ve worked with, almost every single time you already know what you have to do to fix the problems. It can just seem so overwhelming and putting pen to paper helps you get organized and figure out what I call ‘the little next step’. 

With every next little step you most certainly are taking back your power.  That shadow on the wall gets smaller and smaller and much  less scary.  It does get easier.

You can only hide from the fears so long anyway so you might as well deal with them before they get any worse.  I waited longer than I should have; I can admit it now but it was hard then.  Tomorrow is only going to make it that much worse but today…today is better then it will be. 

The key of course is having the courage to be open and honest with yourself.  Hiding from our fears gives the fear power and it gets it by taking ours away from us! Screw that!  Take it back by taking a deep breath and looking at exactly what the problem and fear is. 

You can do – I know you can.  And if you need a hand to hold or a light to shine – let me know.

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I am beginning a new concept today that brings me so much joy. 

Once or twice a month I will post on Wednesdays, a guest post from someone who wishes to share their wit and wisdom with us. It shall be known as “Wit & Wisdom Wednesdays!” <– Please read that in a very dramatic announcer voice okay? Thanks.

 I think we all have so much to share and learn from each other that it is important to remember to do so.

My first submission is from a dear lady Roberta Budvietas.  You might remember her from my Coffee with Soul interview with her.  Roberta definitely has wit and wisdom galore and I am so grateful that she has taken the time to share with us some of her personal thoughts on life.

Dear grandchildren:

One of the most wonderful gifts my grandmother passed on to me where her words to live by. I would like to pass these on to you.

But before I do, I just want to tell you a little about your Great, Great grandmother. She was born in Hungary and married very young. Shortly after my mother and uncle were born my grandfather went to Canada to build a safer life for his family. Grandpa was a butcher and after he opened several stores in Brantford Ontario, my grandmother, mother and uncle travelled across Europe and the Atlantic Ocean to join him. None of them spoke English and arriving in Canada was a scary experience for all of them. I was privileged to spend many summers and holidays working and staying with my grandparents and helping them around the farm and the store.

My grandmother taught me the following lessons. Many of them reinforced later by my husband and life experiences.

1. If you are unable to say anything kind then say nothing

2. Keeping your word is the most important thing as it is the only gift that is really yours to give

3. Always do your best. You may be unable to do it right but as long as you give it your all, you can never give anymore.

4. Avoid assumptions. You really never know what someone else is thinking or will do. You can only know what you do and think.

5. Avoid taking things personally. Nobody really cares about you so take personal responsibility and make it happen for yourself.

6. Live as if today was all the time there is.

7. Hug often and tell people that they matter to you.

8. Help others as often as you can. Give generously

9. Take care of the planet. Waste nothing.

10. Enjoy good food and cook fresh food.

11. Buy fruits and vegetables in season and enjoy them

12. Never shave your legs

13. Never go to bed angry

14. Try something new every day

15. Clean your room regularly

16. A little dirt never killed anyone

17. Say I love you to someone every day

18. You can do anything if you put your mind to it and then work really, really hard to make it happen

19. There is a God so believe

20. Be swift to praise and slow to judge

21. Always wear clean underwear

22. Stay aware of what is happening in the world

23. Talk to strangers but never get too close to them physically

24. Dance in your bare feet in the grass whenever you can

25. Smell the roses

26. Say thank you when you see a rainbow

27. Stretch when you wake up in the morning

28. Laugh often at things, never other people

29. It’s okay to cry.

30. Pray for what you want and then work hard to get it.

I am blessed to have wise people in my life. Be blessed too.

Your grandmother

 
Thank you so much Roberta!

Here’s a little bit more about Roberta.

Roberta Budvietas is a mentor, presenter who is passionate about helping businesses take ideas to $$$$S. She helps others make the impossible, possible.

Roberta is a Canadian by birth born on an Indian Reservation and a Kiwi by choice. Her business life started in a corner dairy that her grandparents ran. She has taken on sales roles, marketing roles, management roles in industries that include direct sales, manufacturing, wholesaling, importing, network marketing and tertiary education. She currently works for the family business mentoring businesses.

With her husband of over 40 years, she co-authors ebooks, articles, presentations and blogs. Roberta’s purpose is to help people find and live their purpose and she does this one day at a time living the 5 agreements.

You can find her at  roberta@budvietas.com or rgbudvietas on Skype.

Blogs include Get out of Stuck, Purposeful Performance Group and Eat the Rhino, Business Idea to Business Plan in 30 Bites.

Their Ebooks can be found on Keep It Simple then Simplify.

______________________________________________________________

Interested in submitting to Wit & Wisdom Wednesdays?  Please do!

“If I could share 500 words of wisdom to regarding what I have figured out so far in life, these are the important things I’d want to pass along to others”

-bio 
-contact info
-your 500 word submission
-pic (optional) or link to pic.

Send to info@rivendellcoaching.com with subject line “Wit & Wisdom Wednesdays”

 

 

 

 

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People who are constantly negative suck the happy right out of you.  There is a term for people like this and it is ’emotional vampire’.  I like it..very visual isn’t it?

A lot of people will tell you to get rid of and away from these people who seem to only be happy when they and every one else is miserable.  I see the point they are making. After all, why let someone bring you down right?

The thing is that may not be possible for you.  So, great advice in a perfect world but as we know this world isn’t always so perfect is it? 

I guess we’re stuck having to figure out how to deal with those people – at least some of the time. Otherwise we might find ourselves out of a job, lost to family and friends and very much alone in our ivory tower.  Although it might be good to have that ivory tower, because you’ll need a place to live without that job. 

First, I want to clarify that I’m not talking about a friend who is going through a tough time and is struggling to be positive.  I’m talking about those people who can’t for the life of them find joy in anything – even the good stuff – ever. 

I meet them and heck, I’m related to a few.  Here’s what I do. First, I work hard to cultivate my own inner peace and self-awareness.  No one else’s actions can destroy those things unless you let them.  But the key is to have both in place.  When you feel the drain or frustration coming on you can step back emotionally and refuse to participate in the negativity. You may need to let them in your life and space, but  you do not need to let them in your head!

I’ve actually used the mantra “you may not have my inner calm” over and over while having to deal with difficult people.   I know how I feel and react is a choice.  I may have to constantly choose to let go of upset and choose calm over and over, but I can do that! And I do.

The second thing I do is choose how I view that person.  I can go with the ‘eww yucky, get your negative vibe away from me!” sort of attitude but that isn’t really coming from a place of compassion or love now is it? 

Instead, I view them with love and compassion; sometimes a bit of sadness to be honest.  I feel sad that they only know how to feel badly.  However, I don’t let them take my positivity, instead I give it to them.  Sounds odd I know, but the choice makes all the difference.

I share my joy with them.  I let it fill the room.  When you give love and joy it multiplies and cannot be depleted.  When you allow it to be taken from you it does get worn out – at least for a while. 

Emotional vampires are draining and can make life difficult and you probably want to limit contact with them if possible.  Some people, on occasion you may even want to take steps to remove from your life if they are very damaging to you and yours.  Cutting someone out completely is not easy or at times even possilbe, for many reasons; taking them in smaller doses may be a better alternative in some cases.

I’ve heard said that you start to become like the 5 people you spend most of your time with.  So yes, when you can, choose people who you want to be like and who share your positive outlook; but on the other hand keep in mind you have influence too.  Perhaps you can soften someone elses harsh view of life by sharing kindness with them.

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Aging has never sounded like fun to me. 

Just recently a lovely lady named  I know posted a comment on her Facebook page that said something along the lines of  “Next time I hear someone tell they are “Old” I am going to share this quote with them. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” ~Mark Twain.”  Thank you Cindy for poking this bear!   She asked for thoughts around that and it got me thinking.

 A lot of people think the same way I used to.  I used to hate the idea of getting old.  I actually worried about it.  The idea of not being able to move as easily or having to rely on others, not to mention wrinkles – eww right? 

The thing is we can fight against it all we want…there are only two options.  Age or die.  Harsh? Maybe a little but really, there it is.  Wrinkle creams might soften the blow but still we are going to change, age and have to deal with it.

However, it was when I read a totally different quote about aging that said to consider it a gift, as it is a privilege denied to many, I realized that I wasn’t living from gratitude on this.

I mean, wow.  I was just shocked at how I had missed that point. So many people never even get to be creaky in old age.  Nor do they get to see the next generation grow and begin lives, or enjoy more sunsets or whatever it is they would have like to have done. 

I chided my own ego and told myself it was time to be happy where I was and grateful for each new day.  Wrinkles?  Not a problem for me anymore because each one I have earned and rejoice in because it means I have more of this gift we call life to enjoy.  I may be getting creakier as I get older but I’m also gaining wisdom and usefulness in different ways.

I am amazed each and every day and the new ways gratitude fills my days with peace and new perspectives that allow me to find happiness where ever and when ever I am.

What are you grateful for today?

Blessings

 

 

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I had to take a looooooong train ride the other day.  I’ll admit to you all that while I’m super grateful that I don’t have to drive downtown, look or and pay for (expensive) parking I do wish that I didn’t have to be crammed into a metal tube with approximately a billion other people.  (hey! I said approximately!)  

I am acutely aware that I have a large personal space; what can I say? Still, the train does provide some interesting things to observe and talk about. 

One thing I wanted to talk to you about today (and get your thoughts on) was the concept of being religious and/or spiritual.

Yessir! We are going deep today. In fact, I kept hesitating around writing this.  Not only is this post rather personal but I know it will inflame someone and being me I don’t like to upset people but I think the world is changing and raising its awareness.  This is a conversation worth having.

Let me back up a bit for you so that you can understand why this peaks my interest.  While some might say the two words really are the same thing I have to politely disagree.  Perhaps it is just my way of making sense of my world to take apart words like this but as you know all know…words have power.

Okay.  So I grew up and went to Sunday School and then Church and I’ve actually read the Bible.  I can admit, I was younger and really skimmed some parts – especially all the ‘who beget who’ stuff.  I’m sure it’s important, but at 14 years old, it was not an attention holder. 

As I grew older, I struggled with some concepts. I loved the services, the rituals and the overall message, but many things confused me.  Let me tell you, as a child it’s hard to understand exactly why adults get so upset when you ask the tough questions.  The Church I went to had wonderful people dedicated to helping others, who had strong faith and who were generally good people and I learned a lot from them. 

However, one of the things I learned is religion is a touchy subject for many. Since I was a young child I have asked questions that have upset people and I never could understand why. It seemed to me that not knowing wasn’t the problem nor was it why people were upset.  I felt that refusing to look at your own beliefs is not faith..it’s blind.

So why did I drift away from my religion and the Church?  It didn’t all fit for me.  So, I started to learn about other religions.  I found that most weren’t really all that different.  Oh sure, on the surface they were but at the roots almost every base of every thing is love.  The love of the Creator – no matter what his/her name – and all living things was the basis for all I could see; but not how many actually lived. 

I found my connection to  a higher power outside of buildings, but was told that didn’t work, I needed to go to Church.  This is where I struggled.

I was blessed as an adult to finally find a Priest who was open to talking about all these questions – and admitting that he didn’t have all the answers. Ironically, he was found in a Church that wasn’t my own.  Someone close to me had decided to rededicate themselves which was a beautiful thing.

This man, he was called Father John, was very matter of fact.  He told me that he was not religious at all til his 30’s when he was called to the Church.  I was taken aback by that.  I mean, how do you reconcile not believing at all to ministering in a Church?  His story opened my eyes to many things.

Father John listened and more than that he understood.  He released my need to have to call myself by any particular name or religious affiliation if it didn’t feel right to do so.  I will forever be grateful to this man for being honest and transparent and allowing me to share my soul with him without judgement.  It was this minister that opened my eyes to how everything is so interconnected – even religions.  It was this man of the church who told me that a church is simply a building dedicated to God – but still just a building.  The Creator is found everywhere at anytime he said. Finally, someone who understood and could help me understand.

It was around this time that I found The Dalai Lama’s quote “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” that something clicked for me.  It was then I started looking at what it means to be spiritual and religious.   We can look at the definition of the words to see there is a difference.

*I borrowed these definitions from www.Dictionary.com if you want to read more of the information there.

re·li·gious

1.of, pertaining to, or concerned with religion: a religious holiday.

2. imbued with or exhibiting religion; pious; devout; godly: a religious man.
3.scrupulously faithful; conscientious: religious care.
4.pertaining to or connected with a monastic or religious order.
5.appropriate to religion or to sacred rites or observances
 

spir·it·u·al

1.of, pertaining to, or consisting of spirit; incorporeal.

2.of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature: a spiritual approach to life.
3.closely akin in interests, attitude, outlook, etc.: the professor’s spiritual heir in linguistics.
4.of or pertaining to spirits or to spiritualists; supernatural or spiritualistic.
5.characterized by or suggesting predominance of the spirit; ethereal or delicately refined: She is more of a spiritual type than her rowdy brother
 
Please take note of the bolded words.  This is where I lay my beliefs on whether I would call myself spiritual or religious.  I do not connect with one specific religious order anymore.  I find my connection with the Creator is more personal than this.  For me, for my path and journey, I am not religious, I am spiritual. 
 
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t believe.  I find my spiritual connections and beliefs in different ways.  I still pray, I still say a deep and heartfelt thank you to my Creator and I still have my faith.  I enjoy the community of others who are open to talking about their beliefs and sharing in compassion and in love.  I enjoy a healthy debate tempered by respect for others means of connecting to their Creator.
 
I see this happening for others too.  The world is evolving and so are people.  Things are changing and I am so grateful that I live in a time where it is okay to explore your own heart and soul connections.
 
I do think there is a difference between being spiritual and religious.  I do not think one is better than another.  I just know that we need to be aware that not everyone will connect the same way and that is okay
 
I have to say as time goes on and I have become more comfortable with who I am and my own set of beliefs, I have also become more aware that the world is not so simple as one group of people getting it right and everyone else wrong.  In fact, I think you can be both spiritual and religious and also from opposite sides of the world. 
 
This rather links back to my last post about labels don’t you think?  The way you connect to your higher power is incredibly personal and should be treated as such.  There should be no judgment from others if you choose to sit on a wooden pew or under a tree to connect; or if you do both for that matter.  After all, we all have different paths to walk and they may not look even remotely the same but they are all connected ultimately through our belief in a higher power.
 
I have to tell you that the Wiccan Rede of “do what you will, but harm none” make so much sense to me these days.  How much more peaceful would the world be if we could all just remember that?
 
Do you think that there is a real difference between spiritual and religious?   How does this discussion make you feel? 
 
Blessings,
 
 
 
 
 
ps.  Watch for a new group of posts that will be coming out on Weds called “Wit and Wisdom Wednesdays”.  I will be featuring a fabulous person who will be sharing their wit and wisdom with you. Whohooo!

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Why do we insist on labeling EVERYTHING?

I understand some labels are helpful like which is sugar and which is the sea salt or what kind of oil your about to put in your car; but often it’s really, really NOT helpful.

If you have followed me for anytime at all you know about Charlie.  Charlie is my sweet dog.  I adore him like he was my own son…I have adoption papers so he kind of is if you think about it.

Charlie is a rescued dog.  He’s got the scars to prove it.  He also came with a lot of baggage and we’ve worked through most of it.  However it does seem the ‘Squirrel War’ will be ongoing for some time.  Charlie’s view on life is if you are nice to him, he’ll love you up.

Check out his picture…he is freaking adorable right?  At 150 pounds of furry love (unless you are a squirrel of course) people tend to notice him.  I get a lot of people asking what kind of dog he is.

He’s a mutt.  He’s, as my Grams would say, a Heinz 57… in other words I don’t have a clue.

And yet, people will badger me for a label.  If I don’t provide one, they will decide one for themselves and inform me of it.  I get it, around where I live a pure bred dog is a status thing for some people.  Although, most are tiny things with no training who tend to nip at Charlie…so maybe he’s part Saint? I don’t know.

Interestingly, I have my guesses but I get different reactions based on which ones I put forth.   When I suggest he’s got Lab/Shepard in him people tend to be scared and nervous.  If I just say lab..no problem.  If I suggest Newfoundland they coo and ooh over him.  Same dog and in fact…on one or more occasions same person with the different reactions.  Heck I had one person tell me he was scary because he was a black dog and they are mean.  Yes, the color of his fur makes up his disposition – seems legit.

It drives me nutty.  Now, I simply say Charlie is a rescue and he is part fabulous and part fantastic.  Usually the hint isn’t taken.  I’ve actually had some people tell me that I should get a DNA test done to find out.

Whaaaaat???  Why on Earth would I do that?  lol  Charlie is just…well…Charlie and a DNA test won’t change that now will it?

We do this all over the place too, not just with dogs.  We do this with people as well.

We label them and we change our perception of who they are based on those labels don’t we?

We label them based on where they come from, which area of town they grew up in, their jobs, their religion, how they look and this isn’t anymore fair or sensible than people assuming things about Charlie because he’s a big dog or a black dog.  We label them based on our own perceptions and beliefs. Now that doesn’t seem quite fair either does it?

Kind, good, loving people are kind, good, loving people no matter what side of town they are from.   People who do what’s right don’t change that because of the color of their skin or what clothing they put on.

I wonder when the human race will realize that it really is made up on only one race?  When will the only label we put on one another is ‘human’?  Or at least ones that we earn though communication and experience.

I try very hard to keep the slate blank until I meet people and get to know them.  I also try hard to keep every experience written in pencil (so to speak) because things and people change.

Consider this…you too are being labeled based on how you look today, who you are talking to  and where you are from…etc etc.  Is that always fair to you?

So, Charlie is just Charlie.  I am just me and that is all the labels I am willing to deal with.

What do you think about all this labeling we do?

 

 

 

PS.  If you enjoy my blog you might want to check out my facebook page too! Love to you have you visit!

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