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Friday, September 27, 2013

Miserable? Embrace Your Angst


"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." Helen Keller

Why Do I Suffer a Lack of Confidence? Is Something Wrong with me?

Every person who has ever done anything great has suffered times of low self-confidence and self-doubt. You're no different.

In The Crystal Caves, author Mary Stewart captured the internal struggle we all deal with at one time or another in the character of Merlin the Magician. In Stewart's view, Merlin the great sorcerer had self-doubts despite his incredible supernatural abilities. He was always questioning if his abilities were real.

This image of a powerful sorcerer, who from the outside appears so skilled and powerful--yet is so filled with angst on the inside as he questions the truth of his abilities--provides a great representation for us to see what naturally occurs within us mere mortals.

Inside and Outside Viewpoints

So what's going on? Why, despite accomplishing sometimes great things, do we like Merlin still doubt ourselves? When it comes to taking the next step, getting the next job or love, or recovering from a breakup or loss why do we fall into self-doubt and a lack of confidence?

It has to do with our perspective--from the inside we see who we aren't and what isn't finished--i.e. everything we still want to accomplish, while from the outside people see who we are, what is finished and what we have accomplished.

"Others see our work for what it IS; we see our work for what it ISN'T."


"Others see us for who we are; we see ourselves for who we aren't."


There isn't anything wrong with you when you move into these times of internal angst. You are experiencing what it means to be human. Don't run away from your angst; embrace it; sit in it; experience it. Then, when you're ready, step out of your private shell and take a public step.

  • Put on the painter's pants, pick up the paint brush and paint your next masterpiece.
  • Put on your superhero's cloak, put your best foot forward, and work to save the next animal, organization or environment.
  • Put on your best face, be your best self, and go meet the person who may be your next great love.

Your private angst isn't as bad as it's cracked up to be. Somber times lead to enlightened times.


"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."  Helen Keller


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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. Contact Susan to schedule life change coaching, weekend retreats, or engaging Lightarted experiences to share with friends.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Memories of Loved Ones Are Like Songs in Our Soul



'Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul.' 
Margaret Wakeley

Who or what has touched your life and made it better?

Who do you think of with fondness that is no longer part of your life? Perhaps it is a beloved pet or person who has passed, or perhaps its someone who passed through your life for a brief moment and moved on?

For me, my mother who died shortly after Mother's Day  years ago tops my list. Mother's Day has become a time for me to sit in happy memories of my time with her and contemplate how deeply she touched my life. Remembering her bright spirit and kind heart always brings a smile to my face.

Memories of my mother are etched in my soul--a day doesn't go by I don't think about a bit of her homespun wisdom. This lighthearted and fun-loving woman loved life, animals and people--and passed that love of life on to me--leaving me with a daily song in my soul--and a belief in the basic goodness of humans.

My dog, Ginger, a golden-beagle, was my constant companion and confidant for almost 18 years. As most dogs are, she was a wonderful listener who was also comfortable sitting alongside me in silence.  She would cock her head and look at me as if to say, "And what else? What else is happening?" And like my mother, memories of my time with Ginger are like songs in my soul.

Songs in Our Soul

The word 'memorie' first appeared in the mid-13th century meaning 'mindful remembering'. As Margaret Wakeley said mindful remembering--or memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul.

It is through our mindful remembering  we create and maintain a sense of connectedness with people and animals present and past who have touched our hearts and we have the strength to get through the difficult times.

We are uplifted by sharing the stories of the companions we hold dear--relaying and replaying how they touched us and influenced our lives. Through the mindful remembering of the stories we tell we give more shared meaning and strength to our own lives as we move forward.

A few years ago I attended a celebration of life for a well-loved colleague who passed through this life too early. It was a day filled with friends and joy. One of the gifts I took away from the gathering was the Chico Gospel--a great song to share with those you love. I offer it to you to share with others. 


Don't wait for those you cherish to pass  on before you share memories. Contact those still in your life to share memories of how they've touched your life. Take time to acknowledge who you are grateful to have in your life. Reach out and lend a hand to someone who needs one.

Mamuse-Chico Gospel
Chico Gospel Lyrics by Karisha Longaker
 

There was a time I believed

Life was over for me
There was time I believed
My life was over
I feel strong today
Thanks to your help
I'll find my way and
I too will lend you a hand
when you need one
Chorus
Sometimes I get so down
I feel like
This is the end
Like there's no way in hell
I can get over this mountain
The sun has come out
Beyond the shadow of my doubt
I am walking on this earth
Stronger than ever


'The holiest of all holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart: The secret anniversaries of the heart.' Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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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.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Seek Meaningful Experiences to Be Authentically Happy





Jennifer Aaker--What Makes Us Happy?


Get Meaning, Be Happy

According to Jennifer Aaker, author of The Dragonfly Effect, happiness isn't an elusive or superficial goal found by acting happy. It is a state of mind more easily attained by seeking meaningful experiences rather than trying to be happy.

In an interesting study performed by researchers at Stanford University, study participants were asked to either 'go create meaningfulness' or 'go create happiness' in the next 24 hours. Upon returning to the lab the following day they were asked 'Are you happy?'

The people tasked with creating happiness reported feeling less happy than those who sought to create meaning. Interestingly, the two groups didn't do that much differently but the people who went out to create meaning reported feeling more connectedness to the people and world around them.



Be Authentic--Be Real

False Fronts. With all the chatter about 'happiness' today, we can lose sight of the importance of being authentically happy. Happiness as viewed from the outside can simply be a false front leaving you feeling empty inside. And seeking happiness instead of seeking meaning in your day is the fast-path to feeling lost.

Shared Difficulties Create Meaning. Surprisingly, when we make a true connection with someone who shares a difficult experience with us or when we share our own with others we create a solid sense of peace and contentment inside.

It is the meaningful experience and feeling of connectedness that makes the difference. The connectedness deepens our life experience and makes us feel a part of the greater whole. Don't be afraid of the tough part of life. Learn to embrace the difficulties by letting them connect you to others and helping you find greater meaning in your life.

Get real.  Seek to fill your days with meaningful experiences that connect you to the people, animals and world around you. Start to notice how making a true connection in a single experience elevates your mood and graces you with a deeper contentment.



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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.