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Monday, June 26, 2017

Everything in Life is an Omen~'Good Thing, Bad Thing, Who Knows?'




'Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right'

Irving Berlin


Life is an Interpretive Dance and Everything is an Omen

Life is an interpretive dance, and every day we get to choose our dance steps depending on our interpretation. 

What do you see when you look out of your eyes? Good things? Bad things? Blue Skies? Grey Skies?

In 'The Alchemist', Paulo Coelho says, 'Everything in life is an omen.'  What does that mean for you and me?

As we step into each day, we are already primed to see or hear based on our internal filter. Do you expect a good day or bad day? Are you braced for battle or expecting to find love? 

When that cup of coffee spills first thing in the morning or you come out to a dead car battery or flat tire--what does that say to you about how the rest of the day is going to go?  Like the rest of us, you have your own omens that set you up to predict what to expect next.

While the word 'omen' often has ominous overtones, it is simply a thing or event believed to foretell a good or bad event or circumstance in the future. It is our own belief or interpretation of how the world works that creates the sense of something foretelling the future. 

It's all a matter of perspective--i.e. how we choose to interpret what we experience or what meaning we give to the 'signs' around us. This is true for animals too.



For example:

💓 I put bird food out for the birds and the squirrel sees it as a good omen.
💓 I pick up the dog leash and the dog sees it as a good omen.




All of Life Works in My Favor


If you have a tendency to look for bad omens instead of good, consider injecting a question to balance your thought process before you fly down the dark road of interpretation. 

When seemingly bad omens occur, consider how your 'seemingly bad event' could actually be something good that works in your future favor. How could this be a good omen portending good things coming your way?



By simply considering this alternative line of reasoning you can create an opening for a different perspective--one rich with possibilities instead of fear and foreboding.

In my early years of transitioning from college to career I chose to reinvent the breakdown of my car into a positive omen portending future financial gain. How'd that happen?

The first time I had car trouble I was struggling financially and the fear set in with the big bill I faced. But I decided that a car--which is a vehicle that gets you from here to there in life--knows when you are about to make more money. Silly, but it worked.

After I let go of seeing my car breakdown as a bad omen filling me with fear and foreboding, I experienced a financial gain--and from that day forward whenever a car broke down and demanded it's due--like paying the ugly old troll under the bridge--I had a positive expectation about financial gain coming my way.

Now you would probably like to argue with me that YOU don't indulge in this silly, magical type of thinking. But we all do--whether we call it looking for signs or omens or we simply call it analytical thinking to hypothesize probable outcomes.  We're all looking for a way to predict a future we have some control over. And we all want a positive future.

So why not be a bit silly and look for ways to put a positive spin on your interpretation of omens? To this day, whenever someone tells me they're having car trouble I say, 'Good! Your car always knows when you are about to make more money!' It makes me smile every time.

Like the Old Sufi Tale below illustrates, everything in life may be an omen--but good thing, bad thing, who knows? Try to find your good fortune in all.






Good Thing, Bad Thing, Who Knows?


A man and his son repeatedly experience alternating 
bad luck and good fortune. 

His neighbors gathered around him to sympathize over
 the bad luck and congratulate him on his good fortune. 

But no matter his experience--seemingly good or bad-- 
the man always maintains his composure and says:
“Good thing, bad thing, who knows?”

Old Sufi Tale 







Look for the Blue Skies in Your Future

Blue Skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

Bluebirds
Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long

Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Blue days
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on


Irving Berlin






'She smiled, and that was certainly an omen--the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life.'  

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist




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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.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reconnecting with Loved Ones after Your Connection is Lost


💓
'Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing 
there is a field. I'll meet you there.'  
Rumi


💓
'Love is the bridge between you and everything.'
Rumi

Why Don't We Talk Any More?  Where'd You Go?

We all deal with difficult times communicating with family and friends. Over time, feelings can get hurt, political viewpoints can create chasms, and family feuds can create factions. 

But sometimes it's just life, distance, or familiarity that cause communication to dry up and that sense of connection to fade. 

In the communication void we harbor private theories about why we don't talk to each other any more, and then we fail to test those theories and further the divide. We just stop talking to one another about things of importance, get caught up in life, and continue to contribute to the communication conundrum in silence.

Where do you go when you realize you've lost that connection and you want to re-establish your relationship?


💓
Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond 
that draws one person to another, not words.
Rumi


💓
The wound is the place the light enters you.
Rumi


Reconnecting after Your Connection is Lost

So what's to be done when you suddenly wake up and want to rekindle your relationship? Is it even possible when so much time and life has passed without significant communication or connection? And is it worth 'risking the relationship' by reaching out to try to bridge the communication gap? 

Recently a friend wrote:

'My daughter-in-law and I once had a relatively close relationship, but over the past 10 years or so, it's deteriorated to the point that while she faithfully sends me Mother's Day, birthday and Christmas cards, I never have any other contact...no phone calls, emails or letters.  As time goes by, I feel even more estranged from her.  I haven't heard her phone voice for well over six years and although my son comes up she never does.  We were together for a wedding last year, but she hardly spoke to me.'
 She has two beautiful children  a girl, 16 and a boy, 14.  They're lovely, bright kids but, like her, I have virtually no contact with them.  They don't even send thank you notes when I send them gifts.
💙'Do you think I'm being overly emotional about this and perhaps I should just give up and accept she and I aren't ever going to have any kind of relationship?'
💚'Should I write to her telling her I would like to have more communication with her and that I care deeply for her?' 

Those questions pretty much sum up our quandary when we come up against the communication chasm: Should I just give up and accept the disconnection, or should I speak up and say I care deeply about you and I would like to have more communication and connection?

While each of us must answer those questions for ourselves, as Rumi said, 'Love is the bridge between you and everything.' If you let your actions and words be led by love, not hurt or judgment, you will strike an authentic tone that will convey your deep desire for connection with others.

On the other hand--if in an attempt to reconnect--your words or actions originate from a place of judgment or hurt you'll convey a message filled with expectations and recriminations.

If we're to come together to reconnect we must be willing to 'let go of holding on to a sense of wrong doing or right doing'. We must be willing to let go of hurts, expectations and the need to revisit past situations.  And we must let go of working from our head--and overthinking the situation--to come from our hearts--with compassion for both ourselves and others.

  
 💓
If words come out of the heart, they will enter the heart.
 Rumi


I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways.
Rumi
It's Not Always Personal

If you look deep enough you'll discover the lost connections weren't intentional. It's just what happened over time as people lived life and the ways to communicate changed.

As I wrote to my friend:

'You matter to me and I'm so glad you're in my life. We  make an effort to get together...but look how often that is.... not often. This isn't a judgment, it's just an observation. 
We're emailing our conversation which works for us.  Sometimes our chosen family who lives close by gets more attention than those at a distance. 
Sometimes nothing is wrong. It's just what happens as we do life.
I often email, phone and snail mail my kids without hearing anything  back from them. I realize they don't usually access voice mail or email, choosing to text instead.   
I love my kids and choose to keep up contact from my side without concern for getting a reply....unless it's been a long while and then I let them know if I fail to hear from them I'm calling the police (because I worry and a little guilt tripping never hurt any child). I've also let them know that the time is NOW to be in contact with their mother....soon enough I will be gone. (just saying...)
My point is we each have limitations on how we communication, where our attention goes, and what takes up our time. Teenagers--no matter how smart and kind--rarely write thank you notes, hello grandma notes or pick up the phone and call. They also think life goes on forever.
We need to reach out and communicate with those we care about without interpreting their failure to reply. 
If there is something that has gummed up your relationship so that loved one isn't talking to you....step past it....and communicate with them as if everything is okay.'





Be like the sun for grace and mercy. 
Be like the night to cover others' faults. 
Be like running water for generosity. 
Be like death for rage and anger. 
Be like the Earth for modesty. 
Appear as you are. Be as you appear.
Rumi


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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, June 15, 2017

The Best Stress Management Technique Ever: The Three Day Rule


Transitions are Stressful

Every moment in every day we transition from one moment to the next. And in the space between we face uncertainty about what's coming next. 

When the transitions we face are bigger and more difficult such as moving from being married to divorced or widowed; going from being a renter to becoming a home owner; changing employment status from employed to laid off; changing health status from well to sick--the stress and worry about the future can be overwhelming.

Even simple or 'good' transitions such as transitioning from home to work; returning to work after a vacation or weekend off; moving from being single to becoming a couple; moving from being unemployed to getting a job; or becoming new parents--can be stressful and give us cause to worry and fret. 


But there is something we can do to calm the worry-wart in us and ease our way through life. We can learn to apply the Three Day Rule to change how we deal with transitions-big or small.

Stop and Start Over

We all need a strategy to ease our way through the constant change called life. 


While some worry and fret more than others, we're all susceptible to reacting through life when we fail to give ourselves time to acknowledge the transition--no matter how small--and allow ourselves to just be in 'the moment after' without judging or interpreting it. 

This is what the Three Day Rule is about: 

💓 Giving yourself time to just be in the moment after without judging or interpreting.


The Three Day Rule

I stumbled on the Three Day Rule when I came home anticipating going back to work after a vacation when I was in my 20's.  The dread hit as I stepped into the house.

You know what that moment is like just before you step into the house after being gone when that irrational  fear sets in--'OMG I forgot to pay my bills before I left on vacation'; 'OMG I left the stove or iron on--or water running'; 'OMG I wonder if anything bad happened I don't know about while I was gone'.

After arriving home from that relaxing and pleasurable vacation, I soon discovered I was fixated on anticipating the problems and situations that might have happened while I was gone and it began gnawing away at me. 


I didn't like that gnawing feeling one little bit.  It was in that moment I realized this was a pattern I could change.



Give Yourself Time 
To get back into the Swing of Things

As I thought about it, I realized it always felt like I was coming home from a vacation to problems that piled up while I was gone. Yet, I realized that after I got back into the swing of things--after about three days--I had a handle on things and my angst lessened.


'What if I applied a three day rule?' I thought. 'What if I approached coming back home or going back to work after being gone as if there were no problems for three days?'

So I gave it a try--and it worked like a charm. No matter what issues arose in the 1st three days after returning home or to work, I calmly took the information in as just that--'information' and approached my first three days 'as if there were no problems'. 

I soon realized that I had stumbled across the best stress management technique ever--the three day rule--as it was effective when it was applied to big or small transitions alike.



THE THREE DAY RULE

There are no problems for three days when returning home or returning to work 
after your absence, or after being hit with a major crisis or life change.



There Are No Problems

The key to applying The Three Day Rule is how you approach the information that comes at you during those three days. When you choose to act as if there are no problems, you are choosing to act rather than react to your current life.

Don't let change and uncertainty overwhelm you. Choose to tweak your approach to the ever-changing landscape of life by applying the three day rule in all aspects of your life.



Practice Being Comfortable with Uncertainty

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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.


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Monday, June 12, 2017

Paulo Coelho on the Secret of Life: Fall Seven Times; Get Up Eight Times


'The worst thing that happens to you 
may be the best thing for you 
if you don't let it get the best of you.' 

Will Rogers

Are Defeats Necessary?
'I ask myself: are defeats necessary? Well, necessary or not, they happen. When we first begin fighting for our dream, we have no experience and make many mistakes.'   
'The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.'
Paulo Coelho

Obstacles are Blessings--Make it so 

'Perhaps I should go back to school', she pondered. 'It's not that I don't like the work, it's that I have difficulty making a living on what I'm paid in this entry level job--and the woman I'm working with obstructs any attempts I make to get training. It's like she wants to keep me in the dark so I don't move on.'

Who hasn't dealt with obstructionists in their work or life--those people intent on pushing you down for fear they will be shown up?

I regularly hear stories like this from hard-working people struggling to make a living and get ahead in life.

Perhaps you can relate: Just as you take that step forward at work or in life, obstacles are thrown in your path stopping you in your tracks.

But obstacles--and the strong emotions produced by them--can be blessings if we let them as they provide us with opportunities to examine what we want and how to change our approach to best achieve it.

Instead of letting obstacles and obstructionists knock you to the ground--use the strong emotions they evoke to motivate you get up and move forward in the right direction--learning to go around the people and things getting in the way.
Fall down seven times; get up eight times.


Use Your Anger and Frustration
Don't just sit in your anger and frustration at the situation, use the energy to identify what your personal values are and take positive action based on them. Think your way around the obstacles, knowing you have all the ingredients inside you to navigate the tough stuff and to handle life successfully.
Situational depression occurs when you feel hopeless or helpless in response to a situation that knocks you down and keeps you down. 
To avoid getting depressed in response to tough situations, get in the habit of immediately getting back up, brushing yourself off, and taking action that has the potential to produce positive outcomes. Do this even if you don't feel like doing it or you don't believe it will make a difference. 
And do it eight times if you're knocked down seven times.


Fall Seven Times; Get Up Eight Times 

Think of a situation or person that put up roadblocks to you in the last week.
  • What happened?
  • List what made you angry or frustrated in the situation.
  • List things you value that may have been violated in the situation.
  • When you're ready: Chose a positive response based on your personal values.
  • Take positive action--even if you don't feel like it.




The Courage and Patience to Persist Eight Times

What if the young woman in the entry level job was in an industry that had great advancement opportunities with good pay down the road? Could she find the courage to persist in the job and change her thinking from 'I need to go back to school' to 'I need to find a way to get more on-the-job training despite the obstacles'?

What if instead of paying for more education she allowed herself to be paid for more on-the-job training, in an industry with the possibility to make a decent salary as she advances?

What if this was you? How would you do that if the obstructionist was standing in the way?

If like this young woman you like the work you do despite the obstacles and you see the long-range potential in the job, begin by identifying the experience, skills and knowledge you need to acquire to move ahead in the industry and learn to go around the obstacles and obstructionists.
....And get up eight times if you fall down seven.

💓 Contact the boss or HR department to ask how you can get the training you need to improve--and ask who in the organization you might work with to get that training. Don't be afraid to ask many times. 
Run into a roadblock seven times? Ask eight times.

💓 Be persistent. Show your drive and determination. Let them know you want to position yourself for opportunities to advance in salary and responsibility in the company. 
Show up seven times with no response? Show up the eighth time.

💓 Alternatively, if you know people in another industry you might work in, set up a meeting to chat about the work, pay and advancement opportunities. This is part of your free 'higher education' path. 


Already asked seven contacts? Ask the eighth. 

💓 Ask yourself: What is the single most important thing I can do to go around this false barrier to achieve my heart's desire? Do it.


Already asked yourself this seven times? Ask the eighth time and do it again.

💓 Obstacles are there for you to go around. 

Do it eight times eighty....and then do it again.


💓
'Patience and perseverance have a magical effect 
before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.'

John Quincy Adams


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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. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Courage to Risk: How Do I Know if It's Worth the Risk?




'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.' 
Mark Twain

Explore. Dream. Discover.


The Challenge: Discover the Best Way to Get the Most Out of Life

Each of us is challenged to discover the best way to get the most out of life. As Twain says, playing it safe only leads to a disappointing life.


To achieve a satisfying and happy life you must risk being hurt, wrong, scared, disappointed, rejected, ridiculed, and silly. You must throw off the things keeping you tied to your safe harbor and venture into the vast ocean of possibilities.



What Matters to You?
💓 Putting yourself out there and going after what you want is a risk. The courage to risk comes from discovering what matters to you. 

Begin by defining what you want out of life at this juncture so you can better guide your choices and daily actions. 

💓 What you care about matters--it is the wind in your sails propelling you forward into a satisfying life adventure.

Discover what matters to you so you can:


💙 Concentrate your limited time and energy on those things that count.
💚 Plan your life so you feel more control over the things that matter to you.
💛 Create a sense of urgency for the things that are most important to you.



Explore ~ Dream ~ Discover

Helen Keller said, "Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing." 

The secret to a happy life is to have the courage to continuously explore what matters to you and cast off the things keeping you tied to your safe harbor. 

Stop letting fear keep you tethered.




Navigating a Course of Action

💓 What would you do today if you knew you couldn't fail? Take a step.

💓 What do you wish someone would ask you to do? Go do it.

💓 If you had all the money in the world, what would you spend your life doing? Start doing it.




Sail Away from the Safe Harbor

 What is one step you can take today to catch the trade winds in your sails?

'A ship is safe in a harbor, but that's not what ships are for.'
William Shedd  1820-1894



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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, June 2, 2017

Finding Your Balance in Troubled Times~Self Care is as Important as Caring for Others

Without turning the world off, we can get overwhelmed and exhausted--and the lines between ourselves and others blur, making us lose a sense of who we are, what we think, and what we feel.

To Everything there is a Season

Sometimes my friends accuse me of refusing to 'come down from my mountain' to play with them. They're right, of course. Sometimes this gregarious extravert just needs her own company and time to reflect and gather her inner resources.

Sometimes there's just too much going on in the world and I need to retreat into myself to re-establish my boundaries so I'm better able to give to others from a place of strength and compassion. Without time alone my energies dissipate and my thinking becomes hazy and unfocused.


To everything there is a season....including a time to be with others and a time to be with yourself if you are to remain healthy during difficult times.




Finding Your Balance in Troubled Times

It doesn't matter if you're an introvert or an extravert--when trouble hits, you need to develop a balance between being in the world caring for others and retreating to your inner world caring for yourself. We all have our own 'balance points'--with introverts generally needing more downtime than extraverts--but when life gets rocky, we all need more time alone.

When tragic events occur, we often spend too much time in the outer world worrying about and caring for others without giving ourselves enough tender loving care. Without turning the world off, we can get overwhelmed and exhausted--and the lines between ourselves and others blur, making us lose a sense of who we are, what we think, and what we feel.


It's healthy to shore up our personal boundaries. It makes us more helpful to others in their time of need.

It's good to reach out to others with compassion--especially when they're dealing with loss, death, grief or tragedy. But we can only serve as a support to others as they deal with their sorrow and grief if we have the strength to do so. If we get overwhelmed and fail to refresh ourselves, we lose our ability to be of service to those who need our help.




Tomorrow's Another Day

Stop feeling guilty if you stop to live your own life. It isn't selfish to take care of yourself, and continue to live your life or pursue your goals as you help friends and family going through tough times. You'll serve others better by building up and maintaining your own reserves along the way. Life goes on.

In the midst of crises and loss, remember tomorrow's another day. Take time for your own self care to stay strong and keep your spirits up. Take the long-haul view of the current situation and know your support and compassion will be needed for many years beyond today. 

Find an Equal Balance of Love and Care

Take care of yourself AS YOU take care of others. 

Love others AS YOU Love Yourself.






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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.