This quote struck me in the face with the word ‘vision’. How can we live in such a creative world and sometimes just lack the need to connect to the creativity of it? I see myself as sometimes being blinded by the technology where we cannot live life or function in this world without all the gadgets we surround ourselves with. Some of those gadgets are the creative tools and I am not downplaying those needs. We have grown so dependent on them though. The part I talk of is the brain’s primary role of creativity. To which we have given up control and forget to just daydream. That is the link I speak of. Sometimes we need to be present in the moment and give ourselves over to the energy and thoughts of creativity.
I have been blinded myself, having lost sight of the joy of being creative or a visionary. Writing, daydreaming, painting, drawing, and I have pursued some as temporary curiosities. One should see, to dare, to put oneself into the future energy. And that is a quest worthy of pulling back into my life. Pluck it from the ether, give it relevance, breath life into it, and do not waste another minute of it circling without purpose.
Covid-19 has put us into fear-mode. We are survivors, each and everyone of us on this planet. We are global and we have tapped into the creative sides of ourselves this past year. Yes, we are survivors and this will continue for longer than many of us would like. So I choose, to add a slice of ‘vision’ to my space. I will re-introduce myself to it like an old friend and see what ‘fires’ we can birth. I choose, to be able to be creative. I choose, to be able to give what gifts I have a life. I choose, to be in the here and now. I choose, to wake up and remove the blinders of my existence. I choose, not to be blind anymore.
Once you lift the veil from your eyes you cannot unsee what is before you. Be a ‘visionary’, bring that to life and give it a voice. Paint it, draw it, sing it, sculpt it, take it and mold it into the most beautiful creative vision of your soul. Let creative energy flow, reach through you and guide you to being a mortal creature with vision. Let the divine sparks grow brighter and may the fleeting bursts shine so bright that it propels you to seek that inner ‘visionary’.
I say, “Welcome back.” It has been a long while since I wrote something other than in a journal this year and a half I’ve been away. My time away was due to my personal relationship ended after 13 years, I took it really hard. I am much better after taking a break. It is a good thing sometimes to just pair things down and just survive.
I will admit that this time was the time of “Putting Yourself Down”. As far as challenges go this would be something you’d want to change. But due to the changes in my life, this became the one thing that was unavoidable. It’s the worst thing you can do to yourself. It’s visceral and with a relationship ended that was not seen, you can only tear into yourself. Who needs enemies when you are your own worst enemy.
I second guessed myself, I berated myself for things that in hindsight I felt I should have seen. I have learned something simple is to see the flaws for what they were and did I learn something from them. Yes, I learned that you have to get the ‘stuff’ out of your head onto paper or you torture yourself as you go viscously in circles. That was the enemy within.
So writing down the things that you replay in your mind is the best thing to ‘airing your laundry’ kind of therapy. Not everyone will be comfortable writing things down. Many times I wished for him back. But in that, he refused to even talk to me. So I did all I could to not break down except at home. I shielded myself with work with mindless TV shows and journaling.
From my journal: “Do you feel the darkness, the mirror of your face reflected back at you from the deepest abyss and where you feel the pain like an all-consuming live hot wire and yet you feel the coldest of ice in your veins, like someone dead? When all that was is so destroyed, and you stare at a black mirror in that timeless space wishing things to end?…”
One paragraph after another was the catharsis that helped me move from one day to the next. My hashtag on IG was #onedayatatimeand #healinginbitsandpieces. Each day was a gift and I did take a big breath and move through the days sometimes just chanting a mantra of “one minute, one hour” you can do this. Get up and walk for a minute and come back with my mind still holding hands with my sanity.
We also put ourselves down, in this time of stress and change. I said the below and more even hurtful things I’ll not post.
“How could I’ve not seen this?”
“What did I do wrong? Everything!”
“You’re getting old and stupid!”
“You’re a blind bitch!”
I had to stop at some point. That point came when we (body and mind are separate entities) were so raw with emotion and we can no longer cry, no longer yell at ourselves, no longer take the beratings. That we see ourselves at the bottom of the well and it is now empty. That we see the ladder and the light above our heads. We can then start to sew our body and mind back into one being.
Each day the journal helped empty my head and heart of feelings. Each day was a significant milestone, a year built into one day. We’ve all been there and we hate the way it makes us feel. We do come back to life, we do feel the shock disappear and we awaken once more to a beautiful day without the pangs of anger, loss, and helplessness. We also stop thrashing ourselves back and forth over the floor like a wet mop!
So I learned to not be my own worst enemy, for I had to be my friend when friends also have to go back to their family’s and their duties after supporting me. I am ever grateful for the late-night chats via text or phone that my friends provided that ‘life-line’ when I felt low. I am ever grateful that I looked into the abyss and saw myself and felt the fire and ice and was able to come back by sheer will. I am grateful that I learned to stop putting myself down for surviving each day. We cannot destroy ourselves for we have the desire to win, as long as we come to realize that.
I came to find the beauty in myself, the beauty in life, the beauty in being me, and being someone who can love themself without having to define it by another. I came to realize that being a visionary of seeing the possibilities in others and remember to look within and see them there inside of me as well.
To all of you who have walked this path, I salute you. We are survivors and we have won.
Yeah, this challenge is laid to rest. One more to work on, last one #5 – Overthinking.
Going back to school is like a well-loved baking recipe. This recipe though is for Achieving Academic Success. Now you are probably already thinking that this is way too hard. I do have the ingredients for that. The number one main thing holding many back from moving forward is that main ingredient, money. I’m not going to let that deter me though. In my case, I am an older professional and after many years of hard work and achievements, I find myself in the arena of needing to upskill. No matter how much you can learn from within your work organization; you sometimes come to the realization that it is not enough.
So, to fill in my recipe of success and come up smelling roses, so to speak! How does one find the energy to go about finding those five necessary ingredients? The first one is ‘Determination’ to succeed. Can you see your co-workers getting congratulated when they mention some cool achievements? Can you see that person learning more and possibly receiving more responsibility or even a better job position within the organization? Well now you have seen that determination in action. You need that to just get started, and it’s a good start.
Yet you also need to have the next ingredient ‘Desire’ or mindset to grow. With the old habit ‘learn-as-you-go’ must go away. Start with the free eBooks, YouTube videos and free online learning courses that can give you an introduction to what you desire to know and improve on! Now this ingredient is easy and requires no monetary input. But the thirst for knowledge is a good thing to have. Feed it and it will grow and it will be possible to reach a certain awareness and level of improvement. But will it be enough to change your impact internally? That remains to be seen.
The next stage is the hardest, when learning is more than just a ‘when you have free time’ kind of investment. The energy seems to be all gone by the time your workday is over. When all you want to do is eat and have some much needed down-time. ‘Perseverance’ is your next ingredient needed to face time shortages. Carve out another sliver of precious time in learning new things and change your mind-set to accept improvement. Sticking to a plan and seeing it through is the glue of getting your recipe to take shape.
Now the next part how does one show newfound knowledge? We take a pinch of ‘Pride’ in our accomplishments and we look forward to opportunities to show that. But what if there are no opportunities, projects, or conversation where it comes to bear. You now realize that you cannot showcase this new found knowledge. That kind of frustration can set you back and think, “Why am I wasting my time?” How can I show my co-workers and company I’m worth investing in on that new project or open job position? We compete in the workplace and in the world and our pride of a job well done. This is something that no matter how humble we strive to be, we also need that recognition that all that work was worth it.
Lastly, but not necessarily considered last, is the ‘Investment’ ingredient we need in our recipe. A key piece that we apply to all areas of our life. We use to invest in ourselves, like new clothes help shape our persona. We also have to pay for groceries, rent/mortgage and other mundane life requirements. To show that we can take care of ourselves is an investment as much as our Academic Success requires financial application. This we need to stir in and it need not be a hard found ingredient. A good start is school yourself in learning how your finances work. Savings is a good start for future and for schooling. Keeping ourselves in good credit standing also requires work. Being aware that we have access to monetary advantages such as grants, scholarships, personal loans can go a long way to funding your ‘Recipe’ towards Academic Success. It is also a good motivator to know that in the end it is all worth it.
Okay my last post about taking on Challenge for Living in the Past, I mentioned I would not share anything as most things can be deeply personal. But there is one thing out of a closet of Pink PostIt® notes, that I’m going to deep dive into and share with you.
When I was about 9 years old, my child-hood friend Kristi, lived just behind my house. We spent tons of time between each other’s houses playing and hanging out. My friend had a fantastically decorated room. Filled with strobe lights that gave off blue and red colors for those days where disco was still ruled by Diana Ross and Cher. And a small disco ball hanging from the bedroom’s ceiling reflecting those cool sparkles around the room. Enough to make you dizzy as we danced and sang to our favorite songs. We both had the usual Barbie dolls and clothing and nick-nacks that go with such toys.
So my memory of ‘past’ experiences that shaped me, and this one has that PostIt® on it. I distinctly remembered the pink plastic bed for Barbie was the only furniture I had. But Kristi had many items for Barbie to recline on, sleep on and tables built for her dolls. Needless to say, our time together was always fun with music, singing, and playtime.
I unfortunately coveted my friend’s only mini wicker chair that made Barbie look like a queen among all other dolls when sitting in it. I remember I was envious and wanted one just like it. But it was not meant to be had. I even asked Mom, if I could have one too. But this was not something sold in stores. Oh well, right?
As a child, we are still learning right from wrong. We sometimes endure painful reminders should we do any bad thing and get disciplined. I did one thing due to envy. I stole my best friend’s little wicker chair one day playing at her house. When I left that day, my Barbies were stuffed into appropriate Barbie cases and so was the chair. When I got home I was so excited for Barbie to have a lovely chair to sit on. Something that I did not have. I remember playing with Barbie the next day and Mom comes in with laundry and noticed that I was playing but something was amiss. The little wicker chair was very noticeable. And I was busted! As my friend, Kristi was not hanging out in my room and my Mom knew my stuff very well, having the singular parental duty of helping me put things away. And the fact that I had asked recently about finding such a chair… Well as you can imagine that was difficult to explain. But I had taken the chair, my friend Kristi had not loaned it to me.
So, knowing that I had been busted and Mom’s stern look and definite pointing to the said item, not mine. I learned that making Mom unhappy was one thing, but the thought that I may have made my best friend unhappy at losing their toy was unbearable.
As soon as I was presentable to go over to Kristi’s house I only took the chair, no toys and Mom was in tow behind me to be sure that I did the right thing. I returned the chair to my friend’s house. I knocked on the door and with the learned ‘I’m sorry I took your toy.” statement on my lips I passed the coveted wicker chair to my friend. I was marched home and still not out of deep water. I was grounded from going to play for 1 week at Kristi’s house. My Mom definitely had let Kristi’s Mom know that I was grounded too.
Needless to say, this was painful as a recapped memory. It’s sometimes the weirdest things we remember. I definitely remember it and learned from it well, for I’ve stayed out of trouble since. I release this memory to the sun-light, and it may be faded now but more so in knowing I forgive myself for being a child doing a childhood thing.
P.S. I remember fondly the fun times that ensued after my grounding was over. My best friend Kristi was not mad at me. She and I remained friends until her family moved away a few years later. And as luck would have it, I did get to see her again in high-school. She reprised this story when we saw each other, we hugged and graduated together.
Okay, so if you’re following along and my previous post was Challenge #1- Pleasing Everyone. At the end of that post, I had to challenges left to decide on. I was going to take time to think about which one to tackle next. Well, both have to be dealt with and I finally decided to just pick one.
Out of the 5 on the list, I’ve worked through or am still working I know I just need to move forward, evolve and change. I have decided to work on point #3 Living In The Past.
The picture above is idyllic, right? Evokes images of lazy days, slower times, and maybe a picture-perfect vacation that was taken? All of this is ‘past’ history. But sometimes we have stuff in our past that keeps impinging on our present and can affect our future.
So, memories can be the catalyst to stop our forward momentum. Yes, we use them to remember things, stories, anecdotes to tell friends and family and then, there are the memories that are linked to a time and place that we’d rather forget. Those are the ones that stop us from moving forward, growing, exploring and being a “better you”. Everyone is different, everyone has experienced something that has changed us in small and large ways. Some of those ‘things’ are just that. Incidents that we can look back on and analyze it to see what can we do to overcome. Yet, it causes us to hold back. That’s why it’s a trigger for stopping us from moving forward. So how does one analyze our past to allow the future to unfold?
Hefty words indeed. We all agree, our past shapes us and drives us. But sometimes, we have things that cause us to live in the past, pressing the ‘rewind’ button one more time. No amount of self-help topics, books or analysis may help us. I’m not saying that it won’t, but sometimes if we admit it, there are items in our closets that just defy us ‘letting it go’. Right? Now, I’m only speaking for myself and a challenge is just a challenge so you think. But as I take this challenge on, well what harm can come of it? For me, I lose nothing. Going into the past to challenge me, is going to be a tough adversary. There are so many things that hold me back. But I need to find, not the easy stuff to deal and accept that I can either change or whatever. I need to find the hard stuff. The ones that cause you to flinch, shield the eyes and ver ‘hard-left’ from dealing with it.
What are those difficult moments in time, that cause me to flinch, shield and swerve ‘hard-left’? Deep diving, requires time an empty notepad and lots of searching. What will I come up with that I can review and see if I can let it go? Many of you will see alignment or a nod coming forth when I mention things like; alcoholism, abuse, relationship issues yours or from your parents and friends around you, stealing, maybe others. Those things that are locked up tight in our memory chests.
What can I find and deal with? Shine the sun on it and watch the memory become so washed out that its impact is lessened. So when its hold is loosened and I can then rejoice in the fact it will cause less pain. Thereby releasing me from being held back, hiding in shame, making decisions that are based on the layers of uncomfortable situations that make me? The inner-child is wounded and is still not allowed to heal. What can I find, shine strong sun-light on and fade that picture that is always found so easily in the murky past memorial line-up. Like its flagged with a bright neon PostIt® tag. Holding a spot in the eerie lineup of memories?
I don’t know that anyone would be interested in the unveiling…I think that is something private for many. Old wounds exposed back to the air is like rubbing salt in the wound is far from cathartic. I’ll tell my notepad the secrets, unveil them and shine that wonderful sun-light down on each page. The inner-child is wounded and needs to heal. Don’t you think we all have one?
Be back soon. My notepad awaits, wish me good luck and best wishes. See you all soon.
Okay, so I posted the list at the beginning to give a quick reference right off the bat! Well it has been a while since I checked in and gave an update and the challenges still are ongoing. (Feel free to click the links at bottom of this post to check into challenges #2 and 4. They were not done in order.) I have started and am still absorbing all the changes that make up “Saying No”, “Avoiding PC Responses” and “Being Goody Two-Shoes”; all of which for me make up just a few things that I have lumped into “Trying to Please Everyone”.
So you are most likely wondering what I consider what is “Trying to Please Everyone” in my day-to-day. Work weeks usually consist of peer-to-peer relationship dynamics. Where as the weekends will be down time family, friends and neighbors interactions. Now, I don’t have a favorite one that tops my list of being in my sights for handling. From a logical perspective many would say that the ‘home away from home’; work, would be the first and foremost place to start this challenge. Many would say start local, ‘Home Sweet Home’ being ground zero for practice. I did no such thing. I just started with -> where is the most push coming from?
For some strange reason I started with friends. I started with the 2 letter word “No”. It has an amazing reaction facially when you start saying it. Your friends are all raised eyebrows and opened mouthed. And the expectation is that you’d say “Yes”, to whatever thing was was up for grabs. My big one was the ‘third party’ to dinners or outings. I hated knowing I was just rounding out numbers and not really being asked for my company. I have more fulfilling events with friends now.
Next it was my retired neighbors. I stopped being available for spontaneous conversations while walking my dog or when I just get home from work. About ‘the height of the grass’, ‘sprinklers not working’ or the one that gets me ‘The tree it’s dead, right?’. I used to get pulled into ridiculous debates on those topics and sometimes the point of view was petty and malicious. I rush past with purposeful strides to duck into my home quickly. It has been working as I just get a smallish wave as I go by and no ‘hails’ for my opinion. I make sure I go to the Association Meetings though to stay up to date without the gossip.
I want to say lastly, but not really it was work. I have observed in the last 8 months or so that my needs of ‘Not Pleasing’ really revolved around me saying “No” in some fashion. Nor did it include being standoffish. It was more of not saying a literal “Yes” to everything. I wasn’t a ‘Yes Girl’. I was and still am a team player of “lets get the stuff done”, yet I make sure that I finish my promised work. Then I find out if anyone on the team needs assistance. Yet there is the underlying unhappiness from former parties that as things shifted and new duties came about that rousted out old duties. That by an unknown consensus that I would still be available with a ready “Yes” tripping off my lips with old stuff that popped up with an immediate turn-around. I find that I have to reply with a not available right now, but give me time to get to it. (Insert frowning faces “here”.)
So I have not been ostracized yet. Things are definitely uncomfortable as friends kind of shift their viewpoints, neighbors wave abstractedly and coworkers frown with frustration when I’m not readily available as I used to be or not at all. I sometimes feel pangs of guilt because I used to jump to it, but things shift and change. I analyze it and go with prioritization now, unless some one really comes screaming with hair on fire. I throw documents at peeps to assist as they do the same as I did and share knowledge freeing me up to do more.
So I’ve talked about friends, neighbors and coworkers. But your wondering if this has impacted any family, your tossing that around in your head…(I hear the gears clunking around.) I stopped trying to “please” long ago my siblings. We after all now live in different states. I call on birthdays but we don’t talk week to week, we’ve never done that. I don’t “please” my parents. My Dad is estranged and that is okay. My Mom, well lets just say no one likes to ‘displease’ their Mom. Seems to me to be an inherent ‘thing’ to not do anything that will make them anything other than happy with said offspring. Now that doesn’t mean I’ve not rocked the boat for Mom. I have and I have done good things that make for calm waters. But that is as it should be. I would not be the adult that I am if I didn’t try to establish that I can do the knocks and either correct the wrongs and at least live my life moving forward better.
I think since I’m still alive and kicking that this Challenge #1, although not fully complete by my standards, it is done. It’ll run in the background like an old program keeping things going. Hopefully no glitches or slipping backwards! If you’ve just come into reading about my challenges, feel free to click the links below to the others to catch up.
So I think I need to figure out what ‘bad habit’ needs to be tackled next, 2 left! I’ll leave this for now, as both are weighty subjects. I need to make sure the loop on “Trying to Please Everyone” is holding.
#3 Living in the Past
Anyone had any of those weird or non-weird moments when “Trying to Please Everyone” left a lasting impression? Feel free to comment below. Know that you do not walk alone.
Okay it’s been a long, long time between the start of Challenge #2 “Fear of Change”, I knew that it would be hard. Yes, and a veritable beast it has been to me and still continues to be. But!…Yes, I have been working on it. I get up and go to work. I take deep breaths and then some more. I look at the stuff I’m doing and take a walk, process and I come back and tackle it bite-by- bite.
It is interesting, because I think the Universe is laughing at me and still continues to feed me more challenges in this genre. Well then, months have passed and still things are shifting and changing. I’m pretty sure that are many of you who are also feeling the same thing. Ever since I started these challenges, I’ve noticed nothing is constant. Things (loose term, I know), are still fluttering over and under buoyed by the ever-changing winds. Old challenges look to be overcome, I just think that they are taking a back seat for the moment so that new challenges can come in. Yet they are there, waiting for us to return to them and get on with it.
So, which one do you think should get the nod for attention? Well if you read my previous posts, you’ve noted I mention them in the same breath as ‘bad habits’. So the next offender is #1 “Trying to Please Everyone“! (roaring crowd in the background!)
Okay, so doesn’t sound bad, but sure looks bad because it was listed as number one in the list. But by my estimation it will be difficult too. We live to please lots of people. And strive to not fall off that horse on the carousel as it goes round and round.
With that, wish me luck and lots of it. I’ll try to not offend the masses that I work with, or live with. And when I check back in, as least you’ll know I’ve made it through without being alienated. Humm, well, let me check that, I might be alienated. (Thinking out loud) But would that be a bad thing, you think? Sometimes I’ll have to say ‘No’.
Well I’m back to Challenges and still think that the time or time between challenges is not going to be clinically 2 or 3 weeks. I believe that everyone deals differently in how to tackle, and work on challenges regardless of how they come up and how they eventually get executed.
Okay for previous Challenge 1 – came from my previous post and was all about busting habits we get ourselves into. Habits that can be detrimental to our everyday productivity and mental well being. I took on #4 Putting Yourself Down.
Well, after about 2 weeks I was catching myself internalizing the words and nipping the down-play quickly. In the 3-4 weeks zone I found myself more accepting of my ability to be truthful and uplift myself even if I fail at a project or fail to understand “How To” documents or other. (I am having issues with first time read-throughs and have to tackle it again. Reading and comprehending has always been something that I have to work on. And I love to read!! Imagine that!) Then at the 5-6 weeks time frame I noticed I didn’t have to catch myself, I found myself more confident and assure of myself. Now in the 7-8 weeks I know that the act of “Putting Yourself Down” has been trampled soundly in my mind.
So I’m ready for Challenge number #2, so I’m back at the same drawing board which one of the habits do I need to kick? I decided to do #2 Fearing Change. I feel it goes hand in hand with #4 and since I’m on a roll I decided to put this one on the playboard. So for those of you wondering about the list, for brevity: [1-Trying to Please Everyone, 2- Fearing Change, 3- Living in the Past, 4- Putting Yourself Down and 5- Overthinking].
So everyone has issues and things that they know they need to change and stall out on. Stalling, procrastination, delaying…whatever you want to call it. Call yourself out on it! (PS – my word I use all the time? “Procrastination”) Okay so with my big word out in the open, what does it have to do with “Fearing Change”? Everything, it has to do with everything that I am afraid of. Writing, losing weight, doing a good at my current workplace and even getting my dreams into reality!
Yes! Dreams those lovely things that we visit in our heads, those inner wishes that we build into mega towns or cities and we are Queens & Kings of that world. Who are you? CEO of businesses, Independent writer, Entrepreneur extraordinaire, you name it and you dream it! Can you do the things necessary to make that change come into being? Can you step by step tackle that nasty bugger “Fear” and change those dreams into reality? How badly do you want it and what are you willing to work on to get it into the birthing canal to come into this world?
Okay, so I found out that tackling niche research, finding polls, asking questions of friends, looking into writing genres, reading, “Googling” topics and blogs and other sites I ran across to find out the little things that I need to make things work my way. I need to take classes. I need to read more. I need to work with a mentor. I need to produce things that are in my line of business that I need to be that CEO or that Independant or Entrepreneur. But fear of not being good? Well i’m finding out if you never try and you don’t pull that dream out of your head you will never get any indication of change. You will never have any progress to measure yourself or your success.
I’m not looking for notoriety, I’m looking to be successful at being productive. I’m happy that I’ve realized change is not harmful, but only the next step to learning something new. I’m productive at this time and that’s more than I was years ago when I started this blog. So I need to continue to write and need to continue this challenge, one at a time. Change is getting a new car, fear of not pulling a dream out of the clouds? Well I have no excuse, I only fail if I do nothing. I just need to complete things and not fear the outcome.
Right! Onward and upward. To all of you who find themselves in the same boat, I toss you ‘life-vest’ to join me and others on this quest.
Remember, don’t fear those who judge, for you are your own worst enemy. (IMHO: I’ve been taking a lot of deep breaths and then continue on. Or I shelve the item and pick up something else that can be worked on until I can go back. It works!! Trust me, I’m doing it.)
Aside: (“Challenge #2 – watch me blow the doors off of you!”)
I resonated with this topic. I wanted to share the positive response to what could be a tricky question among friends and family members in similar situations. Angela analyzed and then answered from a position of strength and acknowledgement…read on. 😀