What My World's Like

Who are you and where are you?

May
28

you-are-not-alone


Pay attention to the lessons in your journey. Be still, be quiet, be patient and you will find that your life and your body teach you more than you may know.

Many of us grow up believing it’s necessary to hide or deny parts of ourselves for acceptance: for our self-acceptance and for everyone else’s. Clearly, this logic is flawed. Nothing is more important to acceptance, whether internal or external, than self-honesty about who you are and where you are. Maybe you’re vulnerable, scared, needy, insecure, lonely, unhappy, into “strange” things “no one else” is into, a “geek”…whatever. How can you ever truly connect with yourself or anyone else without honoring your truths? You can’t so it’s ridiculous to even try.

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Is your love love?

Apr
27

black-couple-arguing

So much of our worlds are inherited. Often times, what we think about ourselves, about others, how we behave and cope with emotional stress, our expectations as it relates to career, love, and life in general, and so much more are all passed down to us from the people we interact with and from what we read or hear. Children are perfect little recorders of their environments. They pick up the vocabulary, the dialect, and all the subtleties of the human behavior surrounding them. Because of that, the emotional space a child grows up in plays a major role in how they experience and demonstrate their emotions throughout life.

My last relationship was my first adult relationship, and I went into it stumbling, wanting this love, yet very fearful. Much of the time we were together, instead of placing my trust in my partner and what we were building, I was afraid to really open myself up and let him in, let him know where I’d been and what I battled with. In being dishonest with myself, I was dishonest with him. I thought I knew how to love, but I didn’t. The reality was that I didn’t know how to love myself, so I didn’t know how to love him and I felt sort of inept the whole time we were together. Why couldn’t I open up? Why couldn’t I articulate my feelings? Why was I so afraid to be vulnerable and discuss my emotions? Why couldn’t I treat him the way he deserved to be treated?

One word: dysfunction. I was dysfunctional.

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The power is within you

Apr
21

For the first time in my adult life, I’m truly listening to and understanding the lyrics to Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All”. Yo…this song is seriously amazing. It contains such an important message.

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Happiness and self-love

Feb
17

happiness

Last week, I served as a facilitator for an all-girl middle school retreat and presented a workshop on joy. It was such an awesome experience that really lightened my heart. I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.

Considering my audience, I decided to create a workshop on happiness. Middle school was one of the most hellish phases of my life, with far-reaching ramifications that extended far beyond the secondary education phase. Well, it turns out middle school just might be hellish for a lot of folks. I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned with them in hopes of it being impactful, sticking, and prevent some of the self-esteem battering so many of us experience at that age.

Middle schoolers aren’t the only ones struggling to be happy, though, so I figured I’d post something about it.

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Mastering love

Jan
22

love is...

I’ve spent the last few months contemplating love, dysfunction and the relationship between the two. Does the absence of love breed dysfunction? That question leads to several other questions, such as “what is love?” It’s an age-old question that I’m not equipped to answer with absolute certainty at this point (maybe another post), but I know that the two don’t comfortably co-exist, and yet so many operate in a constant state of dysfunction but try to invite love in and see no positive results. It’s both amazing and amazingly sad.

After a failed romantic endeavor, I spent months beating myself up about my ineptitudes, which–aha!–didn’t improve anything. Once I got over myself and was able to sift through all the many lessons, I found this:

  • How you love yourself is how you’ll love others.
  • Being able to love others only truly happens when you love yourself.
  • You learn love from your parents.
  • You also learn dysfunction from your parents.
  • At some point, you’ll have to sort out your mess from your parents mess and make new agreements with yourself about what you believe to be true.

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Great words…

Aug
18

“If you are unkind to yourself you will be unkind to others,
and if you are negligent of yourself you will be that to others.
Only by feeling compassion for others can you feel compassion for others. 

If you cannot love yourself,
you cannot love others and you cannot stand to see others loved. 
If you cannot treat your own self kindly
you will resent that treatment when you see it in anyone else. 
If you cannot love yourself,
loving others becomes a very painful endeavor with only occassional moments of comfort. 
In other words, loving others, or how you treat yourself,
is your own dose of your own medicine that you really give to others at the same time.”

– Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul

Are you friends or enemies?

Jul
20

With whom, you ask? With yourself. With your body. Male or female, how does what you see in the mirror affect the way you interact with yourself and others?

While perusing CHEERUPNATION, I found this video from Operation Beautiful and was touched by its mission to remind women of their beauty and end “fat talk”.

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Personal power and self love

May
28

v for vendetta

The topic of last night’s We Think Radio show was power. We asked with whom does power reside: people, industries/systems, or the government? Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that power should be with the people, but for various reasons, people don’t believe they have power, and accordingly, don’t. When people decide they do have power and begin to act with that power, there will be a monumental shift in the understanding of who wields the most power.

Power belongs to the entity or individual(s) with the least fear and/or with the ability to induce the most fear. Fear and power go hand-in-hand, the same way that fear and powerlessness do. When we, as individuals, no longer carry so much fear in our hearts, collectively, we will exercise the most power. Check out V for Vendetta.

After the show, I thought of a question I wish I’d thought of during the show: Maintaining one’s personal power doesn’t necessarily preclude a love of self, but can people truly love themselves and give away their personal power?

I don’t have an answer, but I’m sure you have some thoughts. Please share.

A topic about every body

May
13

wtrpromo-pic

TONIGHT’S TOPIC: Body Image – How and/or does it affects men and women differently? Why isn’t it discussed if body image issues are so prevalent? What are possible ways to overcome a negative body image?

Addendum: The University of New Hampshire has a pretty good brochure about transforming body image that lists some excellent starting points. During the show, I mentioned Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics and Creative Living for Today, as well as Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. I’m particularly fond of the 1999 gift edition. To that list, I’d also like to add Marcia Germaine Hutchinson’s Transforming body image: learning to love the body you have.

Be the best you and learn to love yourself as you are and in the process of becoming that “best you”. Get rid of beliefs and ideals that don’t serve you. They were created to serve someone; if they aren’t serving you, they aren’t for you, so why hold on? If you’re complaint about your body is something that is within your power to change, commit to changing it, but it’s not necessary to be compulsive or unloving to yourself in the process.

”We are so busy obsessing over what is wrong with us – whether it’s our weight, misproportion, wrinkles, pimples, excess hair or functional limitations – that we fail to develop our potential as human beings. If we could harness a tiny fraction of the energy and attention wasted in body hate and use it as fuel for creativity and self-development, just think how far we could travel toward our life goals.”
– Marcia Germaine Hutchinson

Being helpful and setting boundaries

Mar
23

i can do it!

It wasn’t until I was 16 that someone called me “Captain Correction.” My sister whole-heartedly agreed and my awareness of this tendency has come and gone since. My desire to correct, or inform, isn’t bred out of a sense of superiority; it stems from a genuine desire to be helpful and useful (read: in ways that I want or choose to be useful).

Last night, a girl who lives down the hall from me asked me for some matches and invited me over for some of her birthday cake. I should’ve said “no” because I’m not supposed to be eating sugar and I need to keep my word to myself (more on that later), but I opted to be polite and went over to sing ‘happy birthday’ and ate cake. I would’ve preferred to have gotten the cake and left, but stayed and talked to her and her friend.

In the course of our conversation, she mentioned that she’s trying out a new workout regimen. It went a little something like this:

Her: “Last week, I started this new workout and I really like it.”

Me: “Ok. What are you doing?”

“Well, I work out every day for two hours.” (As she eats a slice of cake that’s technically a large fraction.)

“Two hours? That’s not sustainable.”

“For me it is. I just go at night.”

“Well, what do you do?”

“I lift weights and do cardio.”

“Do you work the same muscle groups everyday?”

“Yeah.”

“Hmmm…that’s really not a good idea. You should alternate days. Why do you lift weights?”

“Because I like it.”

“No. You lift weights because you want to build muscle. You can’t build muscle if you don’t give your muscles time to repair.”

“Thanks, Leandra, but I really don’t want your opinion on this.”

“I’m just saying…if you scrape your knee, when you wake up, you’ll have a scab, but that doesn’t mean it’s healed. The same thing goes for your muscles. I’m not saying stop working out. I’d never tell you that. I’m just saying alternate days when you work certain muscle groups.”

She smiles, says “okay,” and abruptly changes the subject.

Initially, I was slightly offended with her “I don’t want your opinion” comment because she needs the advice and I could be an excellent resource for her. However, that’s her decision not mine. At the same time, I couldn’t help but to respect her for saying it. I’m SO going to jack it!

Last night was eye-opening for me in a few different ways.

1.) When someone declines your assistance (or your message, product, etc.), they’re not rejecting you; they’re rejecting it! Don’t take it personally.

2.) Even if you know what’s best for someone, they have to learn on their own. Just as someone knew what was best for you at some point in life and you rebuffed their advice. Everyone’s got to put in their own sweat equity into their lives, learn their own hard lessons. Don’t impede on the process.

A few weeks ago, I read this article from this life coach on how coaching has improved their life. One of the things they noticed was that they’ve become a better listener and–this is key–they wait for the opening in which they can ask if it’s alright to offer a suggestion. I hadn’t thought of that before…asking if I can help before doing so. Hmmm… I will take that into consideration in the future.

3.) In order for people to respect your boundaries, you need to put them in place and stand by them. It was awesome that she said she didn’t want my advice, but not so awesome how she pushed her cake on me after I said I wasn’t eating sugar. The difference between us was that I conceded and she didn’t. Noted.

Sticking by what you’ve laid out for you doesn’t make you rude. You’re not causing offense, but others may take offense when they don’t keep #1 in mind.

4.) There’s all this talk about keeping your word, but rarely is it self-directed. Keeping your word to yourself is of immense importance. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you’re self-respect is tied to your ability to keep your word to yourself. I’m not eating sugar. You can offer. I won’t accept. That’s my word. I’ll be declining sugar and doing other things I said I would for myself…because my opinion of me matters more than yours.

Find the good, people. Be inspired. And be good to yourself.