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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lonely? Emerson says take time to Create Friends--The Masterpieces of Nature


 

"A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Who's Your Masterpiece of Nature?

Who doesn't long for a play pal or best friend--someone who understands you, enjoys your company and at the same time understands sometimes you need to be alone? As Emerson said a friend may indeed be the masterpiece of nature.

Who do you count as a friend? What are the qualities of your masterpiece of nature? Good listener? Non-judgmental? Serious or deep? Funny or Fun? One with fur or skin?

To me, a friend is someone I can be myself with and who is fully herself when she is with me. We know we can share secrets as we mull over the day letting the difficulties of the day disappear as we examine in detail our responses to whatever excitement occurred. We know we can talk or not--and we won't be judged no matter what.

So if you're currently feeling alone and left out--how do you develop your masterpieces of nature--those friends you hold dear to your heart and you to theirs? How do you move from feeling lonely and alone to feeling loved, accepted and a part of things?

The Only Way to have a Friend is to be One

Take a lesson from the boy and dog in Sawyer Zook's painted tile above. They 'Get It!'--as they demonstrate what Emerson said, "The only way to have a friend is to be one".

You must put time and energy into establishing a relationship and this means spending time playing with each other if you are to develop a lasting relationship. That is why dogs are such great 'Gurus of Play'--they are unselfconscious about insisting we spend time with them in play. They simply walk up to you and expect you want to play too.

But how do you start to establish a relationship when you're feeling unsure in the beginning? You get over yourself and simply step in. Accept the self-consciousness and nervousness as the natural feelings of facing the unknown.

In the beginning we're all self-conscious about spending time with someone we don't know. But if you learn to take the focus off yourself and put it on a 'play activity' instead it gives you something outside of yourself to focus on. When you spend time with others in a shared activity it gives you time to get a sense of how compatible you are.

What Is Play?

To find like-minded people to play with you need to seek out activities YOU enjoy---that YOU define as play--and get involved. It is through your active involvement in activities you find engaging that puts you in contact with others who share your interests and open opportunities to develop friendships.

Play is defined as YOUR play--activities that engage YOUR interest. If you're not a person who 'enjoys having fun'  find something serious to sink your teeth into.

Growing up I watched my serious physicist father who had no interest in games or  traditional 'play' activities come alive when engaged in animated conversations with his physicist colleagues. He was also an avid gardener, bee keeper and animal keeper who enjoyed camping and hauling horse manure.  His interests were playing with the universe in his mind and running practical experiments at home.

So don't sit at home alone sulking and feeling lonely. Get out there and find your masterpieces of nature. Put the time into creating and maintaining your masterpieces and you'll reap the greatest reward of nature--a friend.

"It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."  Ralph Waldo Emerson



Meet the Artist

 Sawyer Zook, 3rd Grader


Footnote: So who do you think is the good boy in Sawyer Zook's Art Tile--the dog or the boy? Hard to tell--isn't it? And isn't that the way it should be--when you're immersed in having fun with a friend, no one really thinks about it.


The Dog Tile Art Project for the Jackson County Animal Shelter

Debi Blair's 3rd grade class at Walker Elementary school in Ashland, Oregon painted tiles to create a bright, cheerful entrance to the dog kennels at the Jackson County Animal Shelter. Their creative and fun spirits come through in their art. Come on down to the Shelter to see what a difference their tile art makes.

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For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Worried About Being Laid Off? Snap Out of it! Find Your Strength and Resiliency to Persist


Are You One of the Lucky Ones?

Layoffs create fear and uncertainty throughout an organization. Even if you're one of the lucky ones still employed you're left to wonder who is next. If I'm laid off what will I do? Where will I find a job? 

As one of the lucky ones who survived round after round of layoffs, you may find your own fear and anxiety rises daily as you stand in hallways with fellow coworkers ruminating over the latest rumors about who is to stay and who is to go. And adding to your anxiety you come to work after a restless night's sleep too tired and drained to do a good job.

Perhaps you think about updating your resume and LinkedIn profile--but you lack the energy-- and secretly fear if you put energy into updating your resume you'll 'manifest' your own demise.

Ultimately you find yourself vacillating between frenetically overworking yourself trying to save your job one minute and doing a lackluster job and feeling resigned to losing your job the next.

It's easy to let fear paralyze you into retreating into inaction and indecisiveness leaving you in a constant state of anxiety about your future. So how do you overcome the fear immobilizing you and get on with your life?

Human Hardiness: Tap into Your Strength and Resiliency

"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."  FDR 1933

 80 years ago, in another time and another context, Franklin D Roosevelt spoke these words to a nation in need of honest, straightforward talk. Today these words ring just as true as we struggle to find our way in the ever-changing landscape of today's work world.

To move on with strength and resiliency in times of fear we need to unload fear--that nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror--so we can stop retreating into a frozen stance and start advancing and rebuilding the life we want.

When you're ready to give up the fear, get ready to tap into that deep well of human hardiness inside each one of us. In short--snap out of it! Decide to stop wallowing and quivering, and choose to pull yourself up by your bootstraps instead.

You will find your strength and resiliency with every pro-active step you take.  The key is to freshen up your ability to step into the unknown by running experiments without being concerned with the outcomes. Stop thinking; start doing.


Suspend Judgment. Forget about success and failure, and forget about pre-judging the success of your actions. Simply take actions that allow you to explore options or possibilities you find interesting. Keep a journal of your daily adventures and experiments.

Be Brave. Always believe in your ability to take another action. Take one step into the unknown each day that allows you to explore your options and rediscover how to find a new job in today's marketplace.


"This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." Franklin D Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address March 1933


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For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

 If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.



Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Breath of Fresh Air



Japanese Garden, Seattle, WA  William R Brooksher, photographer



Alive

I can guarantee someone, somewhere is breathing


A breath of fresh air,


Caught up in a moment of freedom,


Dancing between thoughts,
 

Holding hands without touching

And basking in the sunlight

Remember everything is in your head

And the words left unspoken


Are always the most beautiful

Just don’t spill them


Like a smashed pumpkin

  

Tracy A Gibbons

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Live an Examined Life--Follow in Ralph Waldo Emerson's Footsteps






"Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are You Living the Life You Want?

Did you know all the great minds throughout time have one thing in common? They all kept written notes of their thoughts in a journal. Each had his or her own reasons for doing so, but in the end the result was the same: They lived an examined life.

Take Emerson and Thoreau, for example. According to Wikipedia, Ralph Waldo Emerson befriended Henry David Thoreau in 1837.  And in the fall of that year, Emerson asked Thoreau, "Do you keep a journal?" That simple question went on to have a lifelong inspiration for Thoreau--so why not for us? What inspiration could journaling have for us?

Most of us stumble along in life trying to find our way. We run into obstacles, get frustrated and perhaps get discouraged. Without living an examined life we can easily get stuck trying to figure things out in our head and fail to gain the perspective needed to see clearly and create the life we want.

Emerson said, "As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way." Committing your thoughts, feelings and ideas to paper is just what you need to get out of your own way.

Journaling gives you the perspective you need to see it is you who has the keys to go around obstacles, and it is you--not the world out there--that holds the keys to taking actions that will open your life. Once you can name the wall you've come up against when stuck, you can learn how to go through it. As Emerson noted, "Every wall is a door."

Everyone has roadblocks thrown at them, and everyone gets stuck.  Perhaps you've been been spurned by your love interest or rejected for a job, or you're facing divorce or a layoff-- and it feels like the world is getting in your way. By putting your thoughts on paper you will see clearer how to move forward creating the life you want.

Like Emerson and Thoreau, you have all the wisdom within you. Trust yourself. Start journaling--if you haven't already--to allow yourself to stand back from your thoughts and access your inner wisdom for overcoming obstacles and creating the life you want.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." Ralph Waldo Emerson

 
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For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.
If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.