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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Letting Go and Moving On~The Art of Taking Charge of Life



The mind is everything. What you think you become.

The Buddha

What Prevents You From Fulfilling Your Potential and Dreams?

We all want to get the most out of life. Even the most disgruntled and disengaged person wants to feel useful and satisfied.

But what prevents you from fulfilling your greatest potential? A bad boss or uncooperative co-workers? An unsupportive partner or raising troubled teens? Too much responsibility and not enough control? Getting laid off or failure to get a raise? 

While these, and other factors can serve as obstacles, they are not what holds us back. Our beliefs do.



It's Best Not to Believe Everything You Think

Years ago I read a fascinating story about a man freezing to death in a refrigerator. Colin Rose in his book, "Accelerated Learning", shared the tale he discovered in a newspaper article with the headline, "Man Freezes to Death in Refrigerator." While the headline wasn't unusual, the circumstances were.

According to Rose, when rescuers found  a man locked in the refrigerator car of a train, although he had all the physical signs of freezing to death, the freezer had never been turned on, and the weather was warm. Freezing temperatures didn't kill him. His beliefs did.

Picture the man when he first climbed on board. As he stepped into the refrigerator car, he thought he found a safe place to rest. As the train started moving he took a closer look, realized it was a freezer unit and wanted to get out. But when he tried the door it was locked. Panic set in.

This is not unlike how you might get locked in and die on the job. When you first come on board, you have great hopes. But as the job picks up speed, you take a closer look and discover you feel boxed in -- the workplace is so cold. You think about getting off the fast track, but discover you've been locked in by family responsibilities, a depressed economy, or no time to look for a new job. 

Your beliefs can tie your hands with invisible threads, preventing you from taking action in a bad situation.They can make it difficult for you to see you have options. Your beliefs that box you in can kill your motivation, and prevent you from getting on with, and enjoying your life.


Beliefs Can Be Keys to Your Success 

But your beliefs can also be the keys unlocking the doors to your success and satisfaction.

If you're dissatisfied in your job, relationship or life, you can do something about it ~ but only if you believe you can.  

If you've lived your life believing 'things happen by accident', or 'control is out of my hands'--it may be a difficult leap in belief. But you can do it.



Your Ability to Actively Choose Your Way Changes with Practice

According to Erich Fromm, author of the timeless classic,"The Art of Loving", our ability to actively choose our way in life changes with our practice of life.
'The longer we continue to make the wrong decisions,' Fromm said, 'the more our heart hardens. The more often we make the right decision, the more our heart softens --or perhaps comes alive.'

Practice making the right decisions -- the ones that increase your self-confidence, and foster a belief you're in charge of your own life. 

Change when you're ready. If you want to hate your job or relationship, or blame your current situation on others, go ahead. Hold on to those beliefs until you're ready to let them go. 

When you're ready to have a satisfying job or life, take steps to change your belief about who's in charge.


Stop Blaming Others. Your boss may be rotten, making your job difficult; and you may have family responsibilities and bills to pay, making it more difficult to quit. But when you blame others for your unsatisfying job, life or situation, you're saying you don't have control or choices. Don't limit yourself. Don't box yourself in.


Take responsibility. When things happen, practice acknowledging, 'I am responsible for what happens to me now.' There are bad bosses and bad parents. People do take advantage of others. They can devastate and lower your self-esteem. But ask yourself what you can do to gain back your sense of worth.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, 'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.'

💓 If you're held back by things that happened long ago, get counseling. 
💙 If you're being held back by things happening now, get coaching. 


Care enough about yourself to face the difficult issues directly. When you're ready, let go of a bad situation, and get on with living. Put yourself in charge so you're free to fully pursue a fulfilling and satisfying life.




You are not responsible for the way other people treat you. But as an adult, you are responsible for the way you treat yourself. Look for ways to break free when you feel locked in by your beliefs.


Questions to Ask 

💓 Where in my life can I practice making the right decisions?
💙 Where have I given others control over how I feel about myself?
💚 What steps can I take today to open options for myself that make me feel good about myself and my direction in 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. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy Introverts~Happy Extraverts: Why it Pays to Know Yourself


Happy Introvert

What's All the Fuss?

💓 What's all the fuss about introverts and extraverts? What does it matter if you figure out which side of the fence you sit on?  
💛 Why not 'hold your cards close to your chest' so others can't use who you are against you?
💙 Why do you resist identifying yourself as an 'innie' or 'outie' and attempt to straddle the divide between the two preferences--wishing to be seen as a plain old 'vert' rather than an 'intro' or 'extra' vert?
💚 Why is it better to clarify who you really are?


Happy Extravert

Resistance is Futile--You Are Who You Are--And We All Know it!

Surprise! You show who you are every day in every moment to every person. You can't hide. So stop squirming.

When you resist knowing what your preferences are for being in the world and acknowledging who you are 'so others can't use who you are against you' it's like you're hiding under a blanket in a crowded room thinking no one will know that you're there. Yoo-hoo...we see you!

Why do we resist? We resist accepting ourselves as introverts or extraverts because: 

💢 We incorrectly prejudge what it means to be one or the other, or 
💢 We think defining ourselves as one or the other limits who we are and allows others to prejudge and limit us. 

But you are who you are. Others always see who you are no matter how you attempt to obfuscate the truth. The more you attempt to hide, the more you show who you are!



Happy Extravert

Why it Pays to Know Thy Self

Stop worrying about others using who you are against you and start using who you are to make better choices for yourself.

When you accept the truth of how you prefer to deal with the world as an introvert or extravert you give yourself choices about acting au naturel or acting differently when it serves you better. And you make it easier for others to communicate and negotiate with you when you have clarity about who you are.

The sooner you identify your preference for introversion or extraversion the sooner you can get on with living a happy, healthy life--one guided by your preference for living more of an inner or outer life and showing you what energizes, stresses, or interests you. 



Happy Introvert


What Makes for Happy Introverts and Happy Extraverts

If you're an extravert you prefer to scan and interact with the world outside yourself; if you're an introvert you prefer to scan and interact with the world inside your head. 
💓  Extraverts' interests whose attention turns to the outer world have broad, expansive interests. 
💓  Introverts' interests whose attention turns inward have narrower, deeper interests.

What makes for happy introverts and happy extraverts? Following our interests. No one is happier than when we're being the proverbial 'dog digging diligently in our preferred dirt, barely coming up for air'.

Happy Introverts

💓 Those of you who are introverts need to disappear behind your eyes, hold your own counsel, and lose yourself in the depths of your interests. 

💙 You need to keep digging deeper to discover the roots and foundation of your interest. 

💚 You need to spend more time in your inner world and less time engaging in the outer world to be content. It's more tiring for introverts to engage in the outer world than it is for extraverts. Balance your time to favor more down time in your head.

💛 When you come out to engage in the outer world you need to already know what you think before you speak to feel comfortable and competent. Know what you're expected to address before a meeting so you can prepare ahead of time. 

💜 You are happiest when you're not caught off-guard by people asking you a question and expecting an immediate response. You need time to think so you can organize your thoughts. You can facilitate better communication by having a plan. When you're asked an off-the-cuff question, have a ready response: 'I'll need to think about that. Let me get back to you.' 


Happy Extraverts

💓 Those of us who are extraverts need the freedom to burst into the world to engage others and fully explore the world around us--without being concerned if we know what we're doing or thinking before we open our mouths. We like to just jump in and figure it out as we go.

💙 We need our attention to flow freely from one possibility to another, making connections and constantly broadening our explorations of the world to figure things out as we go. This can look messy to introverts, but no matter.

💚 The outer world is our natural habitat. We need to spend more time actively engaging in the outer world to be content. This doesn't necessarily mean talking to others. It can mean physically engaging and acting in the outer world--gardening, walking, painting, creating, dancing and writing. Don't be surprised if some of your best ideas show up while you're actively engaged in one of these physical activities.

💛 We like to share what we discover with others. Once we figure things out for ourselves, we are often compelled to share what we've learned.


Healthy, Happy Extravert

Extraversion and Introversion in Action: How We Look to One Another

I once had an Introvert (introverted sensor thinker judger) look at my resume (I'm an extraverted intuitor feeler perceiver)  and say, 'No one knows this much.' 

From his introvert perspective (narrow, deeper interests), my very broad range of interests and experience was overwhelming. But from my extraverted perspective I was just getting started. 

For me it has never been about 'knowing it all'. It's always been about being curious about it all--and sharing my curiosity with you.

True to my extraverted nature, my interests are broad and ever-expanding. I constantly scan my environment for things that interest me and the list is endless as every day brings new possibilities.

My ENFP preferences have me scanning for things pertaining to people and how they work: healthy living, stress management, conflict management, communication, body and self image, time management, healthy relationships, getting the most out of life, disease management...you get the picture.

I once overheard my father, an ENTP (extraverted intuitor thinker perceiver) and theoretical physicist say to one of his physicist friends, "Susan is like a gas. When she enters a room she fills every available space.I felt so understood (even though he was referring to my tendency to fill up the physical space with my stuff)! 

My father's own ENTP interests were even more expansive than my own. His realm of ENTP interest and fascination embodied the entire universe and how it worked.

My husband, an ISFJ (introverted sensor feeler judger) used to describe me as 'a weed--spreading out over everything'. Again, an accurate depiction of my large space, expansive nature. I, of course, did not take offense, preferring to translate the image into 'may all you(r) weeds be wild flowers'!

True to his introverted nature, my husband's own interests go deep. As a financial analyst in the hospital setting he became an expert in medicare reimbursement delving deeper and deeper into the finer nuances of the very complex medicare system. And he is an avid student of history, absorbing book after book detailing events and the lives of public figures.

I met my introverted husband at a professional conference where he showed himself to be a social butterfly and adept at public speaking. I watched him give a lively presentation, get people on the dance floor, and organize a social gathering of people on the beach to share Hagen-Daz ice cream. I didn't figure out until a year and a half into our marriage that he was an introvert because he was so skilled with people.

When we were first married we worked together in the Health Promotion department at a local hospital. In the beginning, when we'd head home after work he would say, 'I don't want to talk about work when we get home'.  I tried to talk with him about other topics, like the people we worked with and what was happening in their lives. But this always got me into trouble, ending with him saying, 'I said I don't want to talk about work.'

One Friday night at the end of our work week, I planned a cozy evening. I decided to cook a special dinner followed by a long walk together in which I would introduce a topic that couldn't possibly lead to work. I'd ask him when he wanted to start a family.....

Of course, not realizing I was talking with an introvert who needed time to think about what he thought before he spoke, the conversation did not go well. Instead of the intimate sharing I'd imagined, we spent the next hour 'processing' how I asked the question.

Eventually I learned that not only did my husband, the introvert, not want to talk about work...he didn't want to talk after work because he needed time to refresh himself. And I learned to give him time to to think about what he thought before answering. 

Over time, instead of processing my day with my husband, I learned to go for walks and chat it up with girlfriends, get on the computer to write, or call my Sister. This parting of the ways--a la introvert and extravert preferences--made for a much better marriage.





Why It's Better to have Clarity about Who You Really Are

Introverts aren't better than extraverts and vice versa. We're just different in our preferences for dealing with the people and world around us. When we have clarity about who we are and accept our different preferences life is good.

The more clarity we have about how we prefer to be in and deal with the world around us the better we will be at communicating with those around us and the happier we'll be. 

Figure out who you are relative to others so you know how to best set up your environment and your communications so you get the most out of your life. 

Be Happy!

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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, July 19, 2017

Dealing with Initial Stages of Grief~"Puttin' Up the Beans"


How we get comfortable with uncertainty



Arrow the Perro 
Waiting for News~Dealing with Uncertainty

Recently, I found myself 'puttin' up the beans'. While waiting in that numb and suspended state of animation for news on my sick 13 year old dog I'd left with the vet to get IV fluids and tests, I suddenly pulled out the paint, sandpaper, and paint brushes to paint the front and back door. 

I didn't want to think about the future. I didn't know if after days of throwing up and failing to eat, Arrow was on death's door so I did what I do when I face uncertainty and I'm unable to control the outcome. I did something physical. 

I had to do something--anything--to put one foot in front of the other while waiting in the sludge of uncertainty. 
It's what we do to calm and center ourselves in the face of uncertainty--we engage our hands to dis-engage our minds.


The Painted Front Door

I didn't think about what I was doing or wonder if I had enough time to complete the job before going back to the vet. I simply performed the task with determination and concentration. 

With laser-focus and no-fuss I completed painting with precision and in record-time. It was my natural way to cope with the uncertainty of the future.  It was my way of 'puttin' up the beans.


On vacation days before the stroke

Puttin' Up the Beans~Preparing for the Future

The term 'puttin' up the beans' originated years ago, after my mother had a stroke coming home from a family vacation. The family was reeling with the uncertainty of what the future held. 

After we gathered at the hospital an hour away from my parent's home, my father, who had been at the hospital all day, was tired and ready to go home for the night asked a couple of us 'girls' to go home with him as he needed help 'puttin' up the beans'. 

None of us questioned why at this time when my mother was still in a coma, he wanted to get home to 'put up the beans'. We instinctively understood his need to normalize life and act as if tomorrow's another ordinary day.

Three years later, as my mother was being transported to the hospital in the ambulance after suffering a heart attack at home, I watched as my father stopped to clean the kitchen counters and put dishes away. I gently coaxed him out the door so we could get to the hospital, knowing once again he was 'puttin' up the beans'.



Always build a nest in the eye of the storm

Treat Every Day as an Extraordinarily Ordinary Day

I remember the first time I learned about this desire of ours to go on as if it was another ordinary, normal day. 

While visiting a friend in Southern California, I was enjoying a cup of coffee with her and looking out her front window as we watched her next door neighbor--an apparently carefree young woman--wash her car in shorts and a tank top on a bright, sun-shiny day. 

'She's dying of cancer', my friend said. 'She only has a little time left.' 

She died the following week. 

Back then I marveled that this young woman--just a few years younger than me--would engage in such an ordinary, every day activity as she faced death. Today I understand she was just 'puttin' up the beans'. It's how we continue on--taking it one day and one step at a time. 



Keep on Puttin' Up the Beans

Life Requires Us to Carry On

In the face of uncertainty we must take one step and then another until the future unfolds to show us it's hand. And we must learn to do the best we can to keep on keeping on despite the uncertainty, fear and sorrow.

No one welcomes or expects these times of uncertainty and grief we stumble our way through. Yet in the process of dealing with them we discover we're made of strong stuff--and we find our own way to 'put up the beans' to help us through the most difficult of times.


'A simple definition of life: The chance you've been waiting for.' 
Robert Brault 


'...Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?'
Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"




I have within me all ingredients for a good life

Thanks to Lee Bryant for playing with the affirmation hearts
to give them new meaning and beauty. 

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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, July 17, 2017

Stuck in a Negativity Rut? Four Questions to Get Back on a Positive Track


'By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try the world is beyond the winning.' Lao Tzu

Where's Your Focus?

Do you find yourself focusing on things that aren't going well during your work day, or perhaps the piles of things you failed to get to?

Stop beating yourself up--learn to pay more attention to what's going well instead. Shift your focus to your achievements by learning how to take an inventory of your day with four questions.


 Discover Your Happiness

Shift Your Attitude in 3-5 Weeks

Take a daily inventory. By consciously and deliberately focusing on what's going well in your life you'll train your brain to accent the positive. Answering four easy questions is all it takes.

At first you may feel it's awkward or forced to focus your attention on what's going well--but do it anyway. Persist. Set aside 15-minutes daily to focus on the good stuff.

With consistent focus on identifying what's going well in your life you'll shift out of a negative groove into a positive channel in three to five weeks. 


Journal 

It's Natural to Focus on the Negative

Re-focus by writing. Our natural tendency is to focus on the negative in our heads making it difficult to shift our thinking towards the positive. The negative track is too deep. That's why it's essential you write down your answers to the 4 questions below.

The physical act of writing down the questions and your answers each day focuses your attention as it moves you into a different part of your brain. Get a notebook or journal to collect your positive actions and life experiences--doing it the old fashioned way--by hand.

Share the good stuff. Once you get in the groove of looking for the good stuff happening each day, share what's going well with a trusted confidant you know cares about you.  This will further strengthen your path to a more positive outlook and keep you focused on looking for the opportunities instead of the obstacles in your life. 

Good stuff has a way of piling up in your life when you make it a habit to look for it and welcome it in. Do it. You deserve a good life.

'I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.'  Dee Olanubi

Four Questions to Accent the Positive
(Ask yourself daily)

💓 What is working well for me today at work and home?
💙  What have I accomplished today I've failed to acknowledge?
💛  What is the most meaningful thing I did in the last 24 hours?
💜  What is one meaningful step I could take today?

'Appreciate yourself and honor your soul. Love your soul.'  Yogi Bhajan

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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, July 6, 2017

Snap Out of it! Fret Less; Focus More


SNAP OUT OF IT!

YOU THINK TOO MUCH

Admit it. Sometimes you think too much. Instead of letting life unfold naturally you worry an issue to death and get yourself tied up in knots, too overwhelmed to take the steps necessary to enjoy or create a good life. 

Snap out of it! It's time to let go and get on with living. But how?


CAREFREE AND HAPPY


 FOCUSED AND HAPPY

To get out from under the cloud of worry, we would all do well to follow in the footsteps of one of my friends who recently said, 'I'm going to fret less and focus more'.

Stop overthinking and start focusing and acting. When you focus your attention on what you want--and take action--you'll naturally fret less.

What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it, that’s another matter.
Peter F. Drucker


FOCUS 
Lee  Bryant


'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

💓 Focus on what you want in life and take steps to make it happen. 

💓 Don't think about it; just do it.


MAKE A BEELINE FOR YOUR DREAMS
Lee Bryant

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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.