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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Embrace Sorrow and Sadness as Natural and Enriching Part of Life



TO BATHE~TO WASH SADNESS FROM THE MIND

Tracy A Gibbons

'When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.'
Khalil Gibran

What Thoughts are 'Bathing You in Tears' Inside? 

💔What's up in the deep dark reaches of your life? 
💔What blows has life dealt you lately causing you sorrow and sadness in your heart? 
💔What named or unnamed distress is making you feel weary, disquieted or anxious? 
💔What have you lost or fear you are about to lose? 

Life Baths Us in Full Gamut of Emotions

Life is a richly emotional experience bathing us in in the full gamut of feelings--washing us with sadness and sorrow as well as happiness and joy. It is indeed being awash in our deep emotional experience that makes life interesting and worth living. 

While none of us willingly steps into experiences that distress us, much can be gained by reaching through them to discover the source of our distress is 'weeping for our delight'. 

Instead of fearing your moments of sorrow and sadness, embrace them as natural and ultimately enriching parts of life. As painful as they are when we sit in them, they point us towards what we truly value in life and help us live better lives.

You can't experience love without experiencing grief and sorrow, and you can't experience great joy without experiencing great sadness.


Sorrow:  'Bathed in Tears'

Let Your Tears Come. Let them Water Your Soul

Feel Your Sorrow and Get on with Living

💓'If we wait until our lives are free from sorrow or difficulty, then we wait forever. And miss the entire point.'
Dirk Benedict 
💓'Patience is sorrow's salve.'
Charles Churchill



Choose to Love, Not Avoid Sorrow

💓'The source of one's joy is also often the source of one's sorrow.'
Jessamyn West
💓'The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.'
Russell M. Nelson


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For more than 35 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 letting go and moving forward with life 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 FREE Lightarted Living mailing list. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Feel Pressured? One Simple Tweak in Outlook Revives You


Basket of Ease
Lee Bryant


Think back over the last three days:  

💥 How many times did something happen to make you worry something in your life wouldn't work out?

💥 How many times did you respond to that fear by relaxing and letting yourself know 'life always has a way of working out in your favor'?


When Life Gets Challenging~Ease Up

There are certainly lots of things to worry about as you navigate life. But when life gets more challenging, that's the very time you need to be more nimble and flexible in your thinking. 

In short, you need to ease up and change how you think about situations you find troubling.

Do You Feel Pressured or Challenged? It Makes a Difference!

How you think about your current predicament will determine if you'll have limited or more expansive choices for responding to life. 


The good news is you can change how you think, and therefore open up options for yourself. 

Keep in mind:

💓 You're in control of choosing your role in difficult situations, and therefore your response. 

💙 You have the power to choose what matters to you.


Pressured? Yikes! Run away!

Think Pressured? Welcome to Your Reptilian Brain

When you sink into feeling pressured, fearful or worried about a situation, you downshift into your lower, or reptilian brain, where only low level flight-or-fight responses are available to you--the extremes of fighting and withdrawing--outbursts, yelling, arguing, quitting, ignoring, denying, running away and pulling the covers over your head and never going back. 


The lower brain isn't a very empowering or engaging place to come from, and it leaves you feeling weak, threatened, out-of-control and unsuccessful.


Challenged? Let me See....

Think Challenged? Welcome to Your Higher Brain

By switching your view from feeling pressured to feeling challenged, you move up to your higher brain, or cerebral cortex, where conscious, critical thinking is possible.  


Switching to your higher brain puts you in control. It is from this place you're capable of considering calm, clear, focused choices, and listening to your inner wisdom.



Chose the Self-Satisfied Calm of Knowing You Can Handle Life

Give up the adrenaline rush of feeling pressured for the self-satisfied calm of knowing you can handle whatever life throws your way.

The next time you feel the angst of your situation, consciously switch to thinking 'I feel challenged' when you first note you're feeling pressured. Then focus your attention on calmly considering your options and determining what matters to you.

No, things don't always go as you planned. But you do have what it takes to successfully move through life's challenges. So switch it up and regain your drive, determination and opportunities! 

Look for the challenge and give up the pressure. Know 'everything is working out' because you have what it takes to switch from navigating life from your reptilian brain to your higher brain.

What's the one simple tweak? Switching your perspective from 'feeling pressured' to 'feeling challenged' to move into your higher brain to open up opportunities and creative solutions.



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For more than 35 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 letting go and moving forward with life 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 FREE Lightarted Living mailing list. 


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Got a Problem? Open Your Mind~'If the Mind is Flexible, the World is Flexible'

Practice the Pause

💓Do you worry a problem to death? There's a better way. 

💙Stop thinking about the problem and leave a space for solutions to appear.

💚Practice the pause and let your brain play off-line.





'If the mind is flexible, the world is flexible.'

Sakyong Mipham


Take a Walk

Take your brain for a walk.
Let it meander wherever it wants to go.
Listen carefully for it's whispered solutions.

'Movement is good for the body. 
Stillness is good for the mind.'

Sakyong Mipham



Dilly Dally

Sit in the garden or at a park, beach or lake. 
Let your brain dilly-dally and play on it's own.

'When we know how to create peace in our own mind, 
we can transform the world.' 
 Sakyong Mipham




You Have the Power to Choose What Matters to You

💓 'If we do not push ourselves enough, we do not grow, but if we push ourselves too much, we regress.  
💙 What is enough will change, depending on where we are and what we are doing. 
 💚 In that sense, the present moment is always some kind of beginning.' 
Sakyong Mipham


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For more than 35 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 letting go and moving forward with life 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 FREE Lightarted Living mailing list. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Alone at Last~ Seeking Solace in Solitude


'It is not that
I avoid mixing
with the world;
but I do better
playing alone.'


Ryōkan


Anti-Social or Honoring a Need for Solitude?

"It's curious but I'm getting a tad anti-social in my old age," a friend recently wrote. 
"I bumped into an old friend recently while vacationing in her town. Surprised to see me, she immediately castigated me for not getting in touch with her so we could visit. I felt badly about quietly slipping into town without contacting her, but I just felt a need to slow down and stop trying to do so much when I travel."

I totally understand where she's coming from. She--like me--is an outgoing and gregarious fun-loving person who enjoys the company of others. Yet for balance, sometimes we all need to seek solitude and limit our interactions with others to get back to our own center.

"I don't think of it as being anti-social, I wrote her. "I think of it as being more contained and thoughtful for how I want to spend my time in the moment. Sometimes I just need time to sit with my own thoughts and share my own company."

'Writers may be solitary but they also tend to flock together: 
They like being solitary together.'
Neil Gaiman

No Guilt-No Expectation Friendships

One of my best friends and I have a no guilt-no expectations relationship. We do not get mad at each other for failing to call, visit or follow through on what we were going to do together if it gets too cold or whatever.  And we don't get upset if  the other chooses to spend time with other people instead of us.

Although we love each other dearly we leave lots of room for being ourselves with each other--fully understanding each other's need to get together--or not. We never take offense if we don't get together. We are simply appreciative of spending time together when we do show up. 

While we do need to nurture and grow our important relationships we also need to nurture ourselves. Just because we have space open up in our schedule that doesn't mean we need to fill it up. 

Alone at Last

To honor your need for alone time, let go of your expectations for being on-call for others at all time. Turn off your phone, leave emails or text messages unanswered, or take a walk in nature alone. 

Chose to come together with others out of genuine desire to spend time with them rather than guilt over leaving them out. 

'Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.'

Kahlil Gibran


Solitude: A Gift from Nature

The cool water whirls between my toes
Jeans rolled up above my knees
Dirt from the pathway above trickles down the hill
Trees spinning in every direction
Protecting me in my spot
My territory

A bird in the distance echoes a sweet lullaby
I could almost dream to the sound
But I would rather stay here

Indian paintbrush spreads like wildfire among these ditches
It's as if you could pick it and eat it for dinner

Connecting with the universe
Through soil
My spot swallowing me whole
And I would not have it any other way

In the sweetest abyss of solitude
Alone at last
White noise of nature
A streak of sky through the tree tops
The waterfall only big enough for a fairy
I can see the remains of the dust from a previous visitor
Footsteps getting closer
Closer

I duck into my cavern among the sweetest lullaby and edible flowers
Only I know the password
Away from the outside strangers with nothing but bland points of view

Tracy A Gibbons


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For more than 35 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 letting go and moving forward with life 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 FREE Lightarted Living mailing list. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How to Get Out of Life Laughing


To Darling Sue with Affection

The Lord begets, and the Lord begot,
A Lower Ott and a Higher Ott,
But of all the Otts that the Lord begot,
The best of all is a Meyerott.
Who? Sue!

Mack David



Take Life Seriously and Yourself Lightly

Ever since the late 1970's, when American lyricist and songwriter, Mack David (who was sitting in a workshop of mine at UCLA) popped out this silly ditty and gifted it to me I've had an amusing image of two characters--a 'Lower Ott' and a 'Higher Ott'--residing inside me dictating whether I take a 'higher' or 'lower' view on myself and life. 

The 'Higher Ott' is my easy-going and empowered adult self who is gracious, generous, trusting, lighthearted, forgiving, creative, compassionate, kind, and smart. She doesn't take herself too seriously and she is amused by life.




The 'Lower Ott' is my childish 'chastised-by-life' self who takes herself seriously, holding on to feelings of betrayal, bitterness and disappointment as she holds onto the past chastising her for mistakes, failures or wrong-doing. 

The 'Lower Ott' is not amused, period. Living as the 'Lower Ott' is serious business with serious consequences. It is clearly a non-productive and not-fun stuck state of mind. 


Luckily I don't like residing in my 'Lower Ott' for long so I jump out as quickly as I can and this makes all the difference in my enjoying life more.


The key to getting out of life laughing is to take life seriously but yourself lightly. 


As we all have times when we retreat into our lower 'take-ourselves-too-seriously' selves this means we must find ways to step back up to functioning as our best and higher selves.

The minute we drop down into our 'lower-base-selves' we'll see life as dangerous, unfriendly and unforgiving and we react in kind.  Not a very easy or empowering place to live. 

So what is the key to finding a way to get out of our lower self sooner into the more empowered, higher functioning self? Create an amusing picture.


Who should I put in charge of my life--
the Lower Ott or the Higher Ott? 
Hmm...that's a hard one...

Create a Simple Amusing Picture of Your Lower and Higher Self 

You might say Mack David, who I only met briefly, became one of my life muses helping me take my life seriously but myself less so. 

In five minutes of musing he wrote something that went on to influence and amuse me for the next 40 years. With the flip of his pen, he provided me with a simple amusing picture of my lower and higher self I can clearly envision when I fall into my less-than-desirable serious and stuck self.

I laugh at myself every time I find myself reciting the ditty. And when I fall into my 'Lower Ott' self, my personal poem from Mack faithfully appears in my head and I find myself singing it, smiling and lightening up. 

Frankly, it's hard to take my lower self too seriously when I think that the man who created the 'Lower Ott' image for me is also responsible for writing such silliness as 'Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo' for Cinderella and 'The Unbirthday Song' for Alice in Wonderland. I share his silly view of life so imagining the difference between my two Otts lightens my outlook so I can move on.



To make it easier to move from taking yourself seriously to taking yourself lightly create a simple amusing image of your lower and higher self.

Look Outside Yourself for a Muse 

If you aren't naturally inclined to taking a lighter view of yourself, it helps to look outside yourself for a muse to spur you on and inspire you to see differently and with amusement.

What is a muse and why should you have one? 

A muse is a person or being who acts as a source of inspiration for a creative artist. But before you disregard that as not applying to you, consider we are all creative artists looking for inspiration for the best way to get out of life laughing.


We are all creative artists looking for inspiration for the best way to get out of life laughing.
Mack made the perfect muse. He was a funny, creative and silly man--writing lyrics and/or music to over 1000 songs to uplift  and help us access our sillier, more trusting HIGHER selves. 

As I was a forever lover of musicals and Disney animated cartoons who has always had a musical living in my head I was already susceptible to his influence when I met him. 

But I was also open to looking for muses--or people who could inspire and influence me--to be my best and who would help me access the lighter side of life even when I'm down.

Stay open to muses to guide you to a lighter way to do life. They are all around you.



A Musing on Muses and Amusing

"The Muses were the nine Greek goddesses who presided over the arts (including music) and literature. A shrine to the Muses was called in Latin a museum. An artist or poet about to begin work would call on his particular Muse to inspire him, and a poem itself might begin with such a call; thus, Homer's Odyssey begins, "Sing to me of the man, Muse" (that is, of Odysseus). Today a muse may be one's special creative spirit, but some artists and writers have also chosen living human beings to serve as their muses."
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary


Be on the Look Out for Your Muses

We all want to get out of life laughing and living from our higher, better selves. We all can benefit from the Muses inspiration to help us figure out how to take life seriously but ourselves lightly. 

Our Muses are out there, but we must keep an eye out for them. 

💓Who or what would you like to influence and uplift you? 
💙Who would your Muse(s) be? 
💚What kind of influence would you like in your life? 
💛What makes you laugh? Who or what amuses you?
💜Who or what keeps you from taking yourself too seriously? 

No matter where your past has led you so far--take time to find a muse and allow yourself to be influenced to lighten up. 

Choose to accept an outside source of inspiration that helps you keep an upbeat attitude and inspires you to find ways 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.




A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

From Cinderella

'A dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep.

In dreams you'll lose your heartaches; 
Whatever you wish for, you keep. 

Have faith in your dreams --
And someday your rainbow will come smiling through. 

No matter how your heart is grieving 
if you keep on believing the dream that you wish will come true!'

Mack David



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For more than 35 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 letting go and moving forward with life 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 FREE Lightarted Living mailing list. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Lighten Up! Play 'I Spy' to Spot Something Good Coming Your Way


I spy with my little eye...
Happiness and Joy
hidden in plain sight
Playing the Game

As a kid I loved playing 'I Spy'. What could be better than finding things hidden in plain sight? 

Long after a game was over I still scanned my environment to discover the hidden treasures present if only I looked for them. I was enthralled with the game of discovery.

The game was a natural for teaching me how to scan my environment to look for what's present right in front of my eyes I'd miss if I didn't look for it. 

I learned I loved to play the game...and although I didn't know it at the time--so did my brain. This mind-engaging practice of playing I spy has stuck with me through my life--and has helped me find ways to change my perspective and see better in life.


I spy with my little eye...
8 variations of mirth
hiding in plain sight
Kids Love to Play the Game

For seven years, I used the game 'I spy with my little eye' when I conducted hospital tours for second graders to help them get over their fear of the hospital, and to show them how to shift their focus from feeling fearful to relaxed by looking for familiar 'homey' things.  

I brought the children into a hospital room to play the game. As I had primed them with the promise they were going to play a game of I spy when they got quietly into the room, they waited with smiles and anticipation to hear what they were going to look for in the I spy game so they could play.

"I want you to look around this room and identify everything that is the same as in your home", I said. "When you've got something, raise your hand and say 'I spy with my little eye...something that is the same as at home'."

I'd watch their eyes focus as they examined the hospital room with 'home' in mind and wait for their hands to shoot up. 

'I spy with my little eye...a door, a bed, a sheet, a blanket, a light, an electrical outlet, a window, a table, a chair,' they shared. 

It was great fun--and I watched as the children's eyes focused on the familiar and comforting things in the hospital room rather than on the scary looking hospital equipment. Now, if they or someone they loved ended up in the hospital, they had a fun experience to fall back on to help them look for comfort in their surroundings.


Happy Girl
Tracy Gibbons

I spy with my little eye
a Happy Girl
hiding in plain sight

Lighten Up! Play 'I Spy with My Little Eye Something Good Coming My Way'

Too often as adults we focus our eyes on obstacles or 'bad' things we fear will occur in the future. Once you get in a negative groove 'anticipating the worst' it can be difficult to knock yourself out of it.

Truth is if you only look for bad things to show up, you'll only see bad things when they arrive and totally miss the good that regularly drops in your lap. 

If you find a way to switch to looking for good things coming next, you may actually see something good on the horizon.

Here's where the I Spy game comes into play. By using the children's I Spy game each morning to set your focus on the good things you see 'in plain sight' you can reset your attention so you look for and anticipate good things coming your way.


Happy Cat
Tracy Gibbons

I spy with my little eye...
Good things coming my way
hidden in plain sight


Set Your Sights on What's Hidden in Plain Sight

Practice redirecting your attention towards the good things coming today. Play I spy. 

Try playing by yourself, and then try playing it with a friend.  If you have a child you can play the game with do that. Kids are uninhibited and love to play. Follow their lead.


I spy with my little eye...
Love wherever I go
hiding in plain sight

Here are just a few of the things you can look for to spot something good coming your way.

I spy with my little eye...

💓Things that make me happy
💙Opportunities 
💚Jobs I'd like to apply for
💛Jobs I'd be good at
💜Something fun to do
💓Things I do to be healthy
💙People I'd like to spend time with
💚Characteristics in others I'd like to have in a partner
💛Characteristics of people I'd like to mentor me
💜Characteristics of people I'd like to emulate
💓People treating others well
💙People doing a good deed
💚People I'd like to learn from

Play I Spy
💓
Affirm
All is Well
Life Is Good
💓
Shift Your Focus 
From Fearful to Calm 
From Hopeless to Inspired


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For more than 35 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 letting go and moving forward with life 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 FREE Lightarted Living mailing list.