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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lieh-Tzu: Knowing How to Absorb Force with Softness is Key to Survival


Wisdom Comes from People Living Through Times of Treachery

I have a habit of starting intriguing books and failing to finish them. Before I know it, I'm off in my head thinking about the implications and 'so what's' of what I read. 

Sometimes I get stuck at the title and sometimes it's just one little passage. This is especially true when something in the book captures my imagination as it did as I began Eva Wong's 'Lieh~Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living' the other night. 

I didn't even get into 'the good stuff' before I was off pondering a little tidbit of an idea that wormed it's way into my consciousness.

As I read about the historical context for the writings of Lieh~Tzu I was struck by the thought that so many practical words of wisdom that speak to us comes from people living in times of treachery, discord, and struggle far greater than most of us experience today, with the exception of those in war-torn countries.

No matter our situation in life we all struggle to figure out the purpose of our lives, and the keys to survive and thrive. We have the opportunity to learn from the sage wisdom handed down to us through those who have lived through difficult times. But each of us absorbs messages and choose our take-away based on our own life filters. 

To truly benefit from the wisdom passed on to us we must put it to use--not just see what's written as words of enlightenment to be read in a book.  We must make good use of that wisdom.

This is why I can't finish a book: When I stumble across an intriguing thought or a bit of deep wisdom I'm compelled to think about it, apply it, and ultimately share it with others. I choose to read interactively to experience and test the truth of the written word.

Life isn't always easy. We all live through difficult times and deal with difficult people. We benefit from heeding the sage words of those who've struggled before us. 

Choose to put the wisdom you stumble on to use in your life. When you read something that speaks to you, choose to act on it to make your life better--and you a better person.






'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.'

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

(....So change your ways! Stop being self-seeking, easily angered, and keeping a record of wrongs. Stop delighting in evil and dishonoring others.  Choose to build trust, hope and persevere with love, patience and kindness.)





'The rigid branch of a tree will snap in a strong storm, but the soft, bending limb will survive the storm. Knowing how to react to strength with yielding and how to absorb force with softness is the key to survival.'
Lieh-Tzu



'To the enlightened person, enlightenment is a common and ordinary experience attainable to all.'
Lieh-Tzu






'Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.'  
Eckhart Tolle





If push then pull; if pull then push.
Martial Arts technique for using the power of your opponent





Flow like a river.
Nature's technique 



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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, May 30, 2017

Making Connections and Building Trust: The Four Messages All People Want to Hear


"A smile is a light in the window of the soul indicating that the heart is at home." Anon


Hello ~ Bonjour ~ Hola ~ Ciao ~ Hey There

Greeting another when your paths cross is such a simple social grace. It takes no time to look another in the eye, smile, and offer a simple greeting--and it does so much to ground you and improve your connection with others.

On the other hand, when you fail to acknowledge and greet people--whether co-worker, family, or stranger—you leave the others feeling invisible, unwelcome and disliked. As a result you end up feeling disconnected and isolated yourself.
When you fail to acknowledge and greet people you leave them feeling invisible, unwelcome and disliked.
πŸ’“
Good morning

πŸ’“
Have a nice day.


πŸ’“
Nice chatting.

πŸ’“
Good to meet you.

πŸ’“
Love you.

πŸ’“
Be well.

πŸ’“
Peace be with you.

πŸ’“
May the force be with you.


Hello! How unique you are~a fish out of water!

To Feel Connected Make Others Feel Welcome

We all do our best work, bring our best discussions, and enjoy connecting with the people around us when we feel welcome and appreciated.

No matter what the situation, we all want to feel others are happy to be with us. From our first day of work to our last, we want to feel welcome and included in the workplace. When we join online discussions, family gatherings, or social groups we want to feel like a welcome addition--especially if we're feeling like a fish out of water.
The art of making people feel welcome is simple. In all situations convey the four messages all people want to hear.



The Four Messages All People Want to Hear

πŸ’™ I'm glad I'm here.
πŸ’šI'm glad you're here.
πŸ’› I care about you.
πŸ’œ I know that I know.


You don't have to actually say those words; you need to convey the four welcoming messages through your actions. The simple social nicety of greeting people is a great first step. When you convey these four messages to the people you interact with you'll discover you connect with people faster--and your own happiness factor will rise.



'I've learned people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'  
Maya Angelou

Are You Connecting and Building Trust?

How do you make the people around you feel? Do you practice the art of making others feel welcome and connected? Do your actions convey to others you're happy to be here and happy they're here? Do your non-verbal messages convey you care about the other people or that you're concerned with yourself?

Are you so fixated on your own imperfections you fail to reach out to others? Are you so concerned about making an impression, getting your work done, and finding the next opportunity you can't be bothered with how you make others feel? 

πŸ’“ When you're comfortable with yourself others feel comfortable with you. 

πŸ’“ Remember~while you see yourself for what you aren't, others see you for what you are. 

πŸ’“ Practice being other-conscious, not self-conscious. Let go of fixating on your imperfections and put your focus on making others feel welcome instead.

πŸ’“ Reach out to others with a kind comment and smile.

The key to connecting with others is to make them feel you have all the time in the world for them in a few short moments of greetings. Practice conveying the four messages all people want to hear.



How High is Your 'Hello Factor'?

Go ahead--run an experiment—consciously greet and acknowledge each and every person who crosses your path for the next 24 hours. Notice--as you increase your 'Hello Factor' does your 'Happiness Factor' increase? As you focus on welcoming others, does your self-consciousness fade away?




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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. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Comparing Private Self with Other's Public Image is Recipe for Disaster

How to Fill Yourself with Self-Doubt and Insecurity

A few years ago, a funny thing happened while I was in the throes of updating my resume during a job search. Instead of filling my head with positive attributes and praises to showcase myself, I ended up filling it with self-doubt and insecurity by mistake.
Intent on polishing my public image I thought it would be a good idea to study the profiles and experience of other like-professionals to see how they presented themselves. Good idea, right? 
I figured I could learn a lot from other professionals. Let me tell you, there are some impressive people out there-- and you're probably one!

So after spending the morning studying other's profiles I decided to take a break from my job search activities, get a cup of coffee, and relax for a few minutes before going out to the garden to conquer the weeds. 

As I took that first sip of coffee and looked over the garden, my mind lazily wandered over what I had seen in the profiles of other amazing professionals. Suddenly a flash of self-doubt and insecurity about my own skills washed over me.
What was I thinking? These people were really professional---and with incredible skills. I was just me--currently sitting in my t-shirt, jeans and muddied shoes, ready to pull weeds and haul dirt. Not exactly what you'd call a polished image. 
Forget the coffee. This feeling hit me with a thud big enough to wake me up to consider how I got there. 
How I got there was by breaking one of my cardinal rules: 
πŸ‘‰Never Compare Your Private Self with Other's Public Image.

Cardinal Rule #1: Never Break the Cardinal Rule
Now usually I believe rules are to be broken--and with a smile. My younger sister calls me the 'system breaker' since I'm always looking for new ways to do things. But when I set a rule for myself, it's a cardinal rule and not to be broken.
A cardinal rule is a fundamental rule, upon which other matters hinge. 




Cardinal Rule #2: Never Compare Your Private Self Image to Other's Public Image
I ended up with a momentary case of self-doubt because I broke the cardinal of all cardinal rules: never compare your private self-image to other's public image.  
It's an unfair comparison, and you'll always find yourself lacking.


When we compare our private self with other's public image, we see all our drab humanness and measure it against other's polish. It's the proverbial comparing apples to oranges.
Now perhaps you're saying to yourself--'there's no difference between my public and private self--what you see is what you get'.  It just ain't so. 
We all have a public persona and a private one. 
It doesn't matter how authentic I try to be to achieve 'what you see is what you get'. No matter how authentic I am, I still have that inner person who is the only one who sees the truth behind my eyes 24/7.

We View Ourselves and Others Differently 
There is an interesting difference in perspectives when we're looking out at others vs. looking in at ourselves. 

πŸ‘‰We see ourselves for what we aren't; others see us for what we are.

We all want to be better than we currently are. This leads us to see ourselves for what we aren't--like when we look at a current photo of ourselves we want to tear up while others think it is a great picture.

This isn't a bad thing--if we use it to nudge us forward. 
Where we get into trouble is when we compare ourselves to others and we see ourselves as static--forever stuck in what we aren't, and others as dynamic--forever putting their best foot forward.


Are You Doing Yourself a Disservice Comparing Your Private Self to Other's Public Image?
What's giving you a case of self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence? 
When you discover you're filled with self-doubt and insecurity, ask: 
πŸ’₯ Am I making a comparison between my private self and what I see in other's public image? 
πŸ’₯ Am I assuming I'm not worthy since I'm looking from within and seeing what I'm not while looking out at others and assuming they are without insecurities and self-doubt?



 Look Within to Better Understand How Others Feel Inside

Are you trying to meet new people or fit in with old friends but feel self-conscious because everyone else seems comfortable in the group and you don't feel very interesting or accomplished?

Instead of using your private self to compare yourself to other's public image, learn to use your private self and thoughts to understand the private truth in others. 

Everyone wants to: 

πŸ’“Be attractive to others,
πŸ’™Be included in a group
πŸ’šFind someone to love and to love them
πŸ’›Feel they belong
πŸ’œMeet new friends
πŸ’“Be picked out of a crowd
πŸ’™Be noticed and appreciated
πŸ’šBe liked by others



Believe in yourself. Believe in others. 
Get out there and be your self-confident, fun-loving self!
Stop comparing your private self to other's public image!


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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, May 12, 2017

Conquer Your Fears and Negative Thoughts to Achieve Your Dreams


  
Big Dreams Always Produces Self-Doubt and Insecurity

What or who has caught your attention lately filling you with excitement as well as self-doubt and insecurity?

Perhaps you asked for a raise; started a new job, entrepreneurial venture, or commissioned art project. Perhaps you're in pursue of good health while struggling with illness or injury. Or perhaps it's a love interest that has you twitter-patted. 

Anything worth achieving, or any relationship worth developing, comes with a triple challenge that pushes you to both act and procrastinate at the same time —the nervous excitement driving the interest, along with its partners—self-doubt and insecurity.

If you let them, your negative thoughts and fears will easily overpower your excitement that motivates you to act--leaving you to quietly quiver and do nothing instead.

BIG dreams and great possibilities bring great insecurities. And the more you want something the greater your self-doubt. This is true for all great dreamers, leaders and lovers.

It is this lack of self-confidence fueled by the fear of being vulnerable and exposed that stops you from pursuing your dreams and acting with courage. Name it and you can conquer it.



Naming the Secret Fear: I'm Not Worthy

Face it--we all like to appear worthy, strong, healthy, and in control of our lives and the thought of being vulnerable and exposed is frightening. 

What's behind that fear? It is the niggling thought 'I'm not good enough'.

Make no mistake--the negative thoughts behind your need to retreat and hide in moments of self-doubt and vulnerability are: I'm not good enough; I'm not worthy; I'm imperfect; or there's something wrong with me. 
You may try to deny feeling shame from yourself as it doesn't fit your strong, in-control self image.  Yet the moment you adamantly deny feeling vulnerable you isolate and retreat from others compounding your feelings of shame and fear.

Think about it:

πŸ’’ Who likes admitting they got laid off and are now struggling to find a new job?

πŸ’’ Or how about facing the public embarrassment of putting your heart into applying for a position you're perfect for only to have the job given to someone else (even if you were a close second)? 

πŸ’’ Or how about being an advocate of healthy living who ends up with a chronic illness for making you feel weak and ashamed?

πŸ’’ Or how about wanting to ask someone for a date or being rebuffed when you attempt to step further into a relationship for making you feel vulnerable and exposed?

Each of these situations makes even the heartiest of us squirm in insecurity and self-doubt and sends us into hiding not only from others but ourselves.



The Fear of Disconnection Sends Us into Hiding

'I've been sick the whole trip, feeling worse every day,' a friend recently wrote. 'Then my back went out. It's amazingly challenging to just let it be and not feel like I'm a failure of a human. I feel so embarrassed. Does this crap happen to everyone?' 

According to Brene Brown, author of 'The Gifts of Imperfection', shame is the fear of disconnection--we think there is something so shameful about us that if people really knew us they would reject us--so we keep our mouth shut and stay invisible.

This is the problem for my friend who is feeling weak and ashamed about dealing with her weak and unhealthy body in the moment. We're all a bit like the dog that hides under the porch when they're injured--not wanting anyone to know. 

It sucks to feel weak and sick. How do I know? I've been there.

The answer to my friend's question 'does this happen to everyone?' is yes.  This happens to everyone but most people draw into themselves when they're feeling weak and vulnerable to hide their shame about being sick, injured or in pain so you never hear about it as they suffer in silence.



I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

When we're feeling weak and vulnerable we need the support of others to counteract our own negative thoughts and fears. By reaching out to trusted friends and family to confess our fears and self-doubts we can gain the support we need.

We need to hear from others:

πŸ’“ You're not bad. 
πŸ’™ You don't deserve this. 
πŸ’š You didn't do something to make this happen. 
πŸ’› This is simply what happened and this is what you have to deal with.
πŸ’œ You're strong. You have what it takes to achieve your goals and dreams. Keep the faith.

But give in to the need to hide in the moments you feel weak and imperfect and it'll keep you from being seen, heard, supported, and known by others--and you'll bring on the very thing you fear--a feeling of disconnection and distance from others that will stop you in your tracks.



Live with Courage and Confidence 

'Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and our clarity of purpose.'
Brene Brown

To be the hearty, resilient person you are--and not let the fear of your imperfections over-ride your desire to pursue your interests and dreams--publicly and consciously own and engage with your own vulnerability instead of hiding it in shame. 



Conquer Fears by Reinterpreting Self-doubt and Insecurity

Accept that great possibilities brings self-doubt and insecurity. 

Learn to make friends with your soft underbelly by taming your shame and its negative influence on your actions through consciously acknowledging your humanness to yourself and to trusted confidants.

When you acknowledge your negative thoughts and fears as natural consequences of stepping into your life you give yourself choice and opportunity. 

It always feels dangerous to be seen, to be heard and to be known. It is also thrilling.

Choose to view insecurity and self-doubt as a starting points, not stopping points. They help you take notice of what you want and help you consider if this is the direction you really want to pursue or if you want to change directions.




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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, May 11, 2017

A Mother's Day Message~Keep Your Sense of Humor and Keep Flirting with Life!


Moo~The best mother in the world!
πŸ’“
~A Message for Children and Mothers Everywhere~
Keep Flirting with Life!
πŸ’“

You are Worthy and You Belong

There she is--our 'Moo'--the best mother in the world with her signature smile, sparkling eyes, and her fun, flirty, and kind nature. 

From our youngest days, my mother taught us that life, humans and animals were to be treated kindly and made to feel they belonged in the 'Meyerott Menagerie'. Through the years we watched as she engaged and welcomed everyone into her life and our home. 

Through my mother's loving leadership we came to believe 'I am worthy', 'I am loved', and 'I belong'.

Moo was a natural flirt who used flirting as a way to engage people. With her 'good Catholic girl' upbringing she had no fear she'd 'step over the line' when flirting with men. It wasn't about being sexy. She flirted with everyone--young and old, male and female, human and animal. 

Flirting--or light banter--was just what you did to engage others and make them feel they were important and a worthy part of the tribe.


The way to Deal with Life and Strife is with a Sense of Humor

My mother used to say she raised 'all Chiefs and no Indians', when referring to her tribe of six independent children. 

This very proper, self-described 'fifth generation Washingtonian' from the District of Columbia raised six California wild cats while keeping a clean house--and most importantly--her sense of humor. 

My son related to my mother's good humor by saying 'I'm from your side of the family---the enjoying side of the family'.
Thanks to my mother, I learned to deal with life and strife with a sense of humor--and that has made all the difference in getting through the more difficult challenges of life.

Laughter IS the Best Medicine

My mother would often say 'laughter is the best medicine', and she'd demonstrate the truth of that belief daily as she sought to find the humor in situations and respond to trying life situations with laughter. 


I am so grateful to have learned the importance of keeping my sense of humor no matter what the situation from her.

I still remember the night my father was out of town on business one beautiful summer evening when my siblings and I stayed out late playing kick-the-can in the neighborhood. Our mother called and called us to come home but not one of us answered.

When we finally dragged our tails home she was hopping mad and promised a spanking for us all. As she herded us into the back bedroom to carry out the punishment, children wandered this way and that into other bedrooms and bathrooms on their way to their predictable single swat on the rear end.

Finally herding us into one room she lined us up by age to spank us in order from oldest to youngest. My oldest sister got the first swat on the behind, followed by my older brother. My mother burst out laughing as soon as her hand connecting with his rear made a metallic pinging noise . 

On his way to his swat-on-the-behind my brother had stopped at the sewing machine to grab the metal lid off the sewing tin so he could stuff it in his pants to thwart the whack. My mother's surprised laughter relieved the tension of the moment--and the rest of us got off scott-free.




The Care and Feeding of Future Leaders

Moo was the mother of all mothers. She knew how to bring out the best in everyone. She was a mother to all--and her legacy of extending love, kindness and compassion towards all lives on in me. 

One of the greatest gifts she passed on to me was showing me how to raise my own children keeping my sense of humor through the difficult times, and honoring and respecting the unique differences and strengths of each one.

My mother taught us the keys to raising future independent leaders:

πŸ’“Don't try to control them--find ways to catch their attention instead.
πŸ’™Love and support their independence and individuality. 
πŸ’šEnjoy and respect them.
πŸ’›Keep your sense of humor.


No matter how frustrated you may get trying to herd a group of independent children (or adults), know that to accomplish the impossible task of leading them the key is to accept and respect the individuals for who they are and to find a way to enjoy the challenge of engaging their attention. 

I thank the best mother in the world for providing me such a positive perspective!




Go On...Get Out There and Keep Flirting with Life!

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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.