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Friday, April 22, 2016

Not Ready to be Nice? Good! Walk Away!

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Martin Luther King Jr.


I'm Not Ready to be Nice!

When I was younger I was responsible for getting my younger sister to do the dishes on the nights it was her turn. One night as we were arguing about her failure to clean the kitchen my father had enough of listening to us argue.

"Suz! Nanc! Go outside and don't come in until you're ready to be nice!"

We both did as we were told and went out on the back patio to cool off. After a few minutes my sister simply walked back into the house, but not me. I just sat out there and stewed.

Finally after so much time passed my father stuck his head out the door and said, " Suz, come on in."

But indignant I was yelled at for just trying to get my sister to do her job I was still too mad to come in and replied, "No! I'm not ready to be nice!"

Still Sitting on the Back Patio

That was one of those defining life moments for me. Over the past  50 years I've found myself 'sitting on the back patio' when someone hurts my feelings or inappropriately chastises me. There I am--totally unwilling to come in out of the cold to 'make nice'.

It's just how it is--there's a distinct period of time after a perceived injustice when I'm just not ready to deal. If I was to face the conflict before I was ready, it would only produce a poor outcome so I retreat into myself until I'm ready to come out.

Maybe Good Communication Begins with Avoidance

It's a no-brainer: If you're going to resolve conflict with someone you must face the issue and talk directly to the other person.  But sometimes you're just not ready.

As embarrassing as it is to admit, we all have those private moments of feeling like a chastised child when someone gets mad at us or 'does-us-wrong'--especially if we're working hard to do good or 'get it right'. The unfairness of it all throws us into our own private childish funk.

Think about it: What was your private reaction to a recent unfair situation or perceived injustice? What conversation went on in your head? What did you want to say to that person but didn't? How did you blow off your anger?  What's your 'sitting on the back porch unwilling to come in from the cold' experience?

Sure, as we mature we learn the art of waiting before we react when we're upset. But that doesn't stop the immediate feelings of being a reprimanded or discounted child. So maybe our path to good communication begins with avoidance. Avoiding a confrontation allows us to work through the child-like feelings before proceeding to facing the difficult--or crucial—conversation so we are better equipped to handle it well.

Self-Calming Activities Restore Your Mature Self

We all need time to let the heat of the moment subside. Stepping away from your hurt or anger to engage in self-calming activities is key to restoring good relationships and your mature self. Take a walk, talk to a friend, take a nap, play with your dog or participate in any pleasant activity that serves as a distraction from dealing with the issue.

The more time you put between when you first get upset and when you choose to talk with the other person, the more time you have to allow calm thinking and options to appear.

 
Go Ahead--Sit on the Back Patio Until You're Ready

There's nothing wrong with taking your time sitting in your feelings. Don't rush to deal with an issue before you're ready. Sit out in the cold for as long as you need to. Then, when you're ready, find a way to deal with the other person so your relationship is restored.

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."George Bernard Shaw

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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.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Overcoming a Case of the Blahs: The Secret to Regaining the Fire in Your Belly




'Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.' 
Corita Kent

 If everything is so Good, Why Do I feel so Blah?

We've all been there. 

There's nothing wrong. But work is stressful and you've been working too many hours to finish a project. Oddly enough you might even be thinking of quitting.

You pride yourself on putting your all into your work and this focus on excellence has brought you praise and landed you great projects you can really sink your teeth into. Everyone loves your work and sings your praises-- "You're smart, responsive, creative and productive". 

So why are you now nursing a case of the blahs--feeling anti-social, wanting to take naps instead of going out, and turning inward when you finally take time off?


Burnout and the Blahs

When you feel you've lost that fire inside driving you to excel and enthusiastically jump into the next project--or you secretly fear you're in over your head and are soon to be discovered as incompetent--you've come down with a bad case of the Burnout Blahs.

Like so many others who desire to make their mark on the world you have given your all without sufficiently replenishing your energy along the way. When we fail to adequately engage in non-productive play to re-balance, our fire and drive can extinguish quickly. 

When your emotions flat-line into a case of the blahs you know it's time to re-balance.

'Burnout is nature's way of telling you, you've been going through the motions and your soul has departed; you're a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.' 

Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly


The Secret to Regaining the Fire in Your Belly

You already know you want to excel and be the best you can be. So why is it so difficult for you to do what you already know you need to do to maintain that fire in your belly more often than not? 

So what's the secret to regaining the Fire in Your Belly?  Engaging in non-productive play in your private persona.

Times of drive must be balanced with times of idling, and you must give yourself equal time living as your private self as you do as your public persona. Staying 'on' 24/7 is crazy-making behavior that leads to burnout, self-doubts and the blahs.

The antidote is to practice doing nothing--regularly. You must consciously plan fun private time into your week or you'll find the subtle ever-pervasive infiltration of work into your mindset. 



'Find a place you trust and then try trusting it for a while.' Corita Kent

  • Stop.
  • Do nothing.
  • Unplug.
  • Give in to that nap.
  • Unplan.
  • Have a dream-free day.
  • Lose the expectations.
  • Accomplish nothing.
  • Putter.
  • Lolly-gag.
  • Tinker.
  • Find your FLOW







'Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.'
Sam Keen

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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.


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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Stressed Out? Calm Down!



'Personal mastery is the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively'.  
Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline 

'You're Okay, Jessica'

Years ago I heard the story about a reporter who observed a mother in the grocery store calming her screaming toddler in full tantrum-mode. The reporter watched as this mother very calmly talked to the out-of-control child saying, "You're okay, Jessica. Everything is going to be okay, Jessica. Be  calm, Jessica. Just breathe and calm down, Jessica."

The reporter was so impressed with how calmly this mother talked to her child she followed the young mother out into the parking lot to talk to her as she strapped her child into the car seat.

"I just have to say how impressed I am with how calmly you talked to baby Jessica in the store, " she said.

The frazzled mother turned toward the reporter and giving her a tired, little smile said, "I am Jessica!"


Calming the Beast

I can't tell you the number of times that story--and punch line--has popped into my head.
I'll be in the middle of a crisis of other's creation swirling around me, thinking 'stay calm', 'breathe', 'relax'--when suddenly I see myself with that tired little smile saying 'I am Jessica'.

Most of us hate that stressed-out, out-of-control feeling. But face it--many times throughout the day we're hit with situations pushing us out of balance and giving us that anxious, queasy feeling in our gut.

So many things happen outside of our control, but our own response to those out-of-control situations IS what we have power over. The question is how do we best calm ourselves when stress happens?




Calm Begins Within

You are the only one who can calm yourself. Jessica knew this and made a valiant effort to calm herself as the situation unfolded. This is no small feat when the stress-producing factor is another human being who is tired, hungry and over-stimulated (i.e. a bundle of reactions and emotions with no ability to rationally negotiate).

But before you assume I'm just referring to the difficulty of dealing with a toddler, think again. Consider how often you begin your day frazzled when you encounter another adult who is also on her last nerve and sparks fly. We all become a bundle of reactive emotions when we're tired, hungry and over-stimulated. 



How to Step Down to Calm

1Dis-engage. Find a way to dis-engage your emotions when stress happens. If you can--walk away from the immediate situation and keep your mouth shut. If it's not possible for you to leave the situation, dis-engage your mind  by talking yourself down like Jessica did so you don't engage your mouth.

2.  Nourish Your Body. Get in the habit of keeping your body well-nourished--eat protein every couple of hours to help keep your blood sugars even. If you discover you forgot to eat and hunger contributed to your reaction to stress, grab nourishing food as soon as you can.

3Get Physical. Your stress response--or fight or flight response--is set up for you to take action. To dissipate the stress hormones in a positive manner, engage in something physical--pull weeds, take a walk, clean the house, dance or do yoga--anything that will burn off physical energy and calm the nerves.

4.  Sleep and Do Nothing. Sometimes the very best thing to do is to do nothing. Stop thinking about what happened. Do something you enjoy. Sleep on it.


5. Stop and Start Over.  When you're ready--let go of the anger, stress, anxiety and resentment. Restart your day and relationship. 





'If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.' Chinese Proverb


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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, sign up for free e-mail subscription.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Feeling Betrayed, Bitter or Disappointed? Put the Past Behind You--Give Life a Second Chance



No Matter Your Past --Find a Way to Move Your Life Forward

Whatever it is you're dealing with bringing you down, let it go and move on as soon as you're able. Why? Because you deserve a good life. 

When you hold on to feelings of betrayal, bitterness and disappointment it only affects you and your life. If  you fail to forgive your past or only chastise yourself for mistakes, failures or wrong-doing, you keep yourself in a non-productive, disengaged state of mind. 

Choose to get back to your best self--a person fully contributing to life and doing good for those around you. Give your life a second chance. Acknowledge what happened to bring you down, and find a way to move on so your life becomes about the good experiences while the hurtful, unsavory experiences become mere blips in your life.

No matter where your past led you, find a way to take positive action to move your life forward. Be forward looking and acting to become the person you desire to be, living the life you wish to enjoy.





Plunge Back into Life to Renew Your Self-Respect


Choose to move out of bitterness. Find your sweet-spot for living a fully engaged 
life filled with meaning, friendship and love.  It is never too late--no matter what has occurred in your past. Cultivate self respect and personal power by jumping back into life.
'Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson




A Tender and Gentle Welcome Back to Living

If you've been hurting from your past  and are ready to let go of  the hurt and bitterness, or shame and disappointment--imagine you are surrounded by a cushion of acceptance and safety as you step back into life.   Let Mary Oliver's poem  "Sleeping in the Forest' provide you a positive image for your  'tender and gentle' welcome back to living fully-engaged. 


Sleeping in the Forest 


I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.


I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.


All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.


All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.


from Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver 
© Mary Oliver


Thank you  Yvonne Rauch for sending me a Mary Oliver Poem introducing me to her work. 

To view more Mary Oliver Poems: http://peacefulrivers.homestead.com/maryoliver.html



 'Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.'


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, sign up for free e-mail subscription.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cultivating Mindfulness: Silence, Stillness and Sanctuary


BE

'Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself.'  Herman Hesse


WITHIN YOUR HEART KEEP ONE STILL SECRET SPOT

'He was taught by the river. Incessantly, he learned from it. Most of all, he learned from it to listen, to pay close attention with a quiet heart, with a waiting, opened soul, without passion, without a wish, without judgement, without an opinion.'  Herman Hesse on Siddartha


BECOME


'They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.'  Herman Hesse

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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, sign up for free e-mail subscription.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Write on Your Heart Every Day is the Best Day of the Year



Want a Good Day?
Choose Your Guiding Thoughts Daily
'Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.' Ralph Waldo Emerson


Decide which uplifting thoughts will fill your daily bowl

'Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.' Ralph Waldo Emerson


Choose your Uplifting Thoughts 
'Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.'      Ralph Waldo Emerson

I Bring Something Good & Beautiful 
to the World


'Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you.'    Ralph Waldo Emerson


I Trust Myself, My Friends & My Life

'It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.'      Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today I am She Who Scatters Joy!


'Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.' Ralph Waldo Emerson



'Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.'    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.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

What Do You Want to Create Today--Chaos and Clutter or Calm and Compassion?



What Do You Want to Create in Your Life Today--
Chaos and Clutter or Calm and Compassion?




Choose Your Affirmations


Be Well




Renew Your Spirit 




Trust



Act with Calm and Compassion



Let Go of Chaos and Clutter

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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.

Do you know someone who could benefit from uplifting messages? Please share Lightarted Living with them. If you or someone you love is 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.