Posts tagged ‘action’

January 31, 2011

The tragedy of self-deception and the gift of honesty

by Dandy

One of the biggest challenges to obtaining happiness is by living in denial and by telling ourselves lies and half-truths.  This self-deception enables us to live in negativity and invest in people who help us to create illusions.  This means we are resistant to acceptance, truth, and change.  If we didn’t resist, whether knowingly or unknowingly, we would have to see things in reality and possibly have to make big change and most importantly of all – take action.

When we deny and lie to ourselves, we:

*  Focus on somebody elses problems to distract from looking at ourselves.

*  Act happier than we feel, that we eventually lose touch with who we are, how we feel, and what our values are.  Bad behavior is seen as normal.

*  Become defensive or even aggressive when people say what we don’t want to hear.  This can result in us isolating ourselves, because we’re not ready to hear the truth.

*  Claim we want to make others happy, because it’s easier to do this rather than put the work into ourselves.  We think our happiness will be a by-product, but we end up often trying to make the wrong types of people happy.

*  Hold onto anger, frustration, and indignation for a long time.  We replay and analyse the situation.  Brood over the woulda, shoulda, coulda, and basically holding on “it” or “them” as a security blanket.

*  Create obstacles to why we can’t change or improve, and use these as reasons to remain fearful, and spend more time worrying than experiencing the reality of these fears.

*  Claim that the reasons we continue to engage with someone or something is for reasons that it’s not. 

*  Say it’s them not us.

*  Become so distanced from our true selves, that we become inauthentic, acting out of sync with our values, doing one thing and saying another.

Denial and lies let us keep telling ourselves the “story” that rolls around in our mind about what we believe to be true about ourselves, about other people, life, love, etc.

If we really want improvement and change in our lives that results in happiness, self-love, loving relationships, we have to minimise the lies and have an honest inner dialogue with ourselves so that we can get back to our real self.

This gives us boundaries, lets us know what feels right, wrong, good, bad, and basically treats us with respect, trust, kindness, and love.

We have all seen people participate in relationships where there are obvious red flags, but they were so wrapped up in all the illusions that they just didn’t see ir, or denied it.  They decided there were no problems, or that the problem was less than what it really was.  That if they love enough the problems will go away.  They think the good in the person outweighs or cancels out the bad.

To put an end to these deceptive illusions means minimising the amount of dishonesty in our lives, especially what we have total control over – ourselves.  No deceptions, no rose-colored glasses, no normalizing bad behavior.  No pretending to be or feel things that we don’t.  We will then stop being participants in unhealthy relationships and situations.  We will be able to catch ourselves and say, “no that isn’t the truth.”  There will be no excuses.  We will be accountable and we won’t shy away from the responsibility that we have to ourselves.

By stopping the denial and lying and start being truly honest, we will be more likely to take action and do something about a problem and actually find a solution.  But we must acknowledge the reality of the problem in the first place.

We will get over relationships if we stop trying to deny who the person is, their issues, and the holes in the relationship.  We will get over the lost love when we stop lying to ourselves about who they are, the truth of the situation, and our own feeling and learn to accept even the uncomfortable truth instead of trying to control people and situations through denial.

If we allow positivity to take up our lives, we will make positive decisions, find ourselves in positive situations, and we’ll become authentic. 

In what ways have you been in denial?  How have you been lying to yourself?  Have you made the decision to be honest with yourself?

December 20, 2010

The Highly Sensitive Person part 1

by Dandy

There can be a multitude of descriptions and definitions of the highly sensitive person.  It is agreed that the highly sensitive person, or hsp for short, experiences a deeper and higher level of sensitivity and have different nervous systems than those that are not highly sensitive.  Incoming information is processed and reflected upon so deeply that we are more likely to become overwhelmed and over stimulated than those who experience a lesser degree of sensitivity. 

The causes of hypersensitivity are not known to be biological, but rather an evolutionary trait inherent in a particular gene that has been with us since humans started walking this earth.  There have always been people of a strong spiritual nature.  We were known to be healers, saints, prophets, shamans, and philosophers – people known to be deeply rooted in their souls.  We are people who are able to access wisdom, knowledge, and love that comes from the sensitivity to the world around us.  Hsp are blessings to this world filled with chaos, violence, and injustice.  Highly sensitive people have access to parts of their brain that others might not experience.  Hsp use over 10% of their brain and filter out less reality through the optic nerve, so more reality is experienced.  Hsp notice energy fields and chakras can sometimes be seen.  According to Dr. Elaine Aron, who wrote the revolutionary The Highly Sensitive Person, hsp take up 15 to 20% of the human population.   The following are some common traits:

  •  Ability to perform deep processing of information.
  • Picks up on subtle details while in the learning process.
  • Are not able to learn effectively when over aroused.
  • Are known to be thoughtful, sentimental, and loyal.
  • Are able to accomplish tasks with great accuracy, detail, and speed.
  • Gets more affected by caffeine and other stimulants.
  • Can stay still for a longer period of time than others.
  • Has more right brain activity.
  • Creative by nature.
  • Highly imaginative.
  • Takes time to come out from the effect of some kind of stimulus.
  • Can understand human emotions more deeply than others.
  • Does not give their best while being watched.
  • Tends to mix less with others.
  • Does better work when the environment is relaxed, calm, and quiet.
  • Prefers to feel and experience quietly by themselves.
  • Are great organizers.
  • Are more loyal and hardworking than others.
  • Strongly compassionate and caring.
  • Are inclined towards spirituality.
  • Strong aesthetic sense.
  • More in tune with nature and elemental forces.
  • Notices subtleties in appearances, physical sensations, and placement of objects.
  • Prefers to work and play quietly.
  • Asks deep thought-provoking questions.
  • Gets easily disturbed by noise.
  • Reads the moods of others with great accuracy.

So as you can see by this long list of information the perception of things are magnified; therefore, the feelings and emotions are stronger in a hsp.  The hsp can strongly benefit from yoga, meditation, chanting, and/or deep breathing exercises.    Because the hsp is prone to become over stimulated and stressed it is of the utmost importance that coping techniques be learned and applied.  We are more sensitive to chemicals; therefore, a diet as free from chemicals, preservatives, and dyes should be sought.  We are more inclined to sleep disturbances so leading a disciplined life of proper sleep and relaxation is crucial.

Hsp are more open to negative fields.  We absorb people’s negative energy and emotional toxins.  We can feel a person’s psychic chaos very easily.  Physical symptoms can show in us such as chronic colds, allergies, sinus troubles, headaches, sore throats, stomach upset,  and breathing difficulties.  On a positive note, we are just as open to a person’s positive field.  Which is why it is imperative for us to surround ourselves with healthy, loving people.  Children who are hs are particularly sensitive to energy fields and are strongly susceptible to the physical ailments.

November 17, 2010

Accept and be free

by Dandy

There is so much stress coming at us from all directions.  Some of it is avoidable, some is not.  Sometimes we bring it upon ourselves by trying to fix people or wishing they would change.  Learning to accept things and people for what and who they are means stepping out of the self-imposed stress and letting go.

There are people we look at and see what they are doing wrong and the various ways they could improve themselves and their lives.  That is judgement.   We are all guilty of it.  Sometimes that judgement can cause us anguish and heavy amounts of stress.  When we are wrapped up tightly around people who have qualities we disapprove of it affects us in profoundly negative ways. 

People are who they are.  Just because we see room for improvement in their lives doesn’t mean they’ll change.  People won’t change because we want them to be happier, better, or different.  No matter how many times we kiss a frog it will still be a frog.

Start by choosing to accept yourself.  We all pick ourselves apart at times.  Women especially are notorious for this.  When we feel we aren’t good enough we either have high expectations of our partners, or have none at all.  Just because we feel a person should be a certain way doesn’t mean they will feel obligated to meet those expectations.  Nobody is obligated to adopt or adhere to our belief system.  Do not speak or think the words, “ought to”, “should”, or ,”why can’t she”.  If you are profoundly unhappy with someone, move on and away from them if possible.  If the someone is someone you can’t say toodles to, strictly limit your time with them.  Look after your own well-being.

That’s the wonderful benefit of learning to accept others for who they are…it frees you from having to problem solve, giving unwanted help, and unsolicited advice.  It frees you from all the energy it takes to try to change someone.  Take all that precious energy and put it into your precious self. 

Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the anacceptable. – Denis Waitley

What are the things you need to stop judging yourself on?  Who have you been trying to change?  Can you wish them well on their journey and let go?

November 2, 2010

Boundaries for good health

by Dandy

There are great advantages to having boundaries.  We need to have them with everyone and everything.  Having boundaries makes it difficult or even impossible for us to be mistreated, taken advantage of, walked on, and abused.  Having boundaries shows that we respect ourselves and place great value on our self-worth.

When we have boundaries, we aren’t overly accommodating.  We can recognize when something doesn’t feel right, or when something feels wrong.  We know the point of when to say ENOUGH.  People with boundaries can take appropriate action when needed.

When we have established our boundaries we get along better with friends, co-worker, neighbors, relatives, and partners.  We discover what our values are and what our value is.  It’s about knowing what we are willing to accept and what we aren’t and we commit ourselves to it.  That way when people cross our boundaries (and unfortunately some will) we become empowered with the signal that something isn’t right and that action needs to be taken. 

When we do not accept the crossing of our boundaries, we give attention to our basic gut instinct that keeps us safe, physically and emotionally.  In keeping our boundaries strong we say no to those whose behaviour is unacceptable and inappropriate.  We are saying we value ourselves.

Having boundaries is one of the most healthy things we can do for ourselves.  Some of the most critical mistakes I’ve made in my own life have been when I allowed my boundaries to be crossed and I suffered needlessly for it.  Having boundaries doesn’t turn us into hard s.o.b.’s.  It doesn’t mean we aren’t flexible to people and life challenges.

If you need a place to start in figuring out your boundaries, look at past relationships, professional and personal.  Look at what did and didn’t work.  In doing this you can start to define what you can put up with and what you cannot.  All relationships must have deal breakers.  Write them down, put it up where you can review it often and adjust yourself to your new set of values.  This is the road to self-esteem, healthy relationships, and self-worth.

October 18, 2010

Are you being sabotaged?

by Dandy

In my post Self-sabotage, I wrote about the little and big things we do to sabotage our best efforts.  The negative self-talk, the excuses, the self-doubt all besiege our interests in bettering our lives.  We often work against ourselves and don’t realize it.  I received many thoughtful replies to that post and while writing it I realized that sometimes it’s not just ourselves that sabotage.  Sometimes it’s others.  It can even come from people who love and care about us.

It may or may not be intentional, but our friends and family might be disrupting our attempts to better ourselves.  Common tactics are complaining, temptation, and passing judgement.  For example, if you are wanting to get fit, they may complain that the gym  is taking up too much of your time.  Or you may be trying to get ahead at work and taking college classes for advancement, your friends may tempt you by asking you to go out with them instead of going to class.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your loved ones may not realize their comments and behaviors are upsetting to you.  Also they may have insecurities about their own life issues and they don’t like the pressure this puts on them to take a closer look at those issues. There is also the possibility that they fear they’ll be left behind while you are making these positive changes.  They may feel the relationship is threatened.

They may also fail to understand why these changes you are making are so important to you.  It is to your benefit and theirs if you explain that you fear for your health, which is why you’re hitting the gym.  You can explain that you are unhappy with the lack of responsibility and low wages at your job, hence the dedication to achieving more education.  Your loved ones may not appreciate your reasons if they are unable to relate.

Their negative behaviors can certainly hurt and cause you distress especially if you are stumbling down the road to self-improvement.  Of course you cannot control the behaviors of others, but you can control your own.  So how do you neutralize this sabotage?

It’s important to be honest with your loved ones.  Tell them why you are unhappy with your life and how much it means to you to try to do something about it.  Ask them for their help.  If you involve them in this mission for self-improvement they will be more apt to see your point of view.  If you have support you are more likely than not to succeed.  Ask your friends to exercise with you.  Ask them to take a brisk walk with you while you catch up on the latest.  Then reward yourselves by resting at the local coffee shop over skinny lattes.  Ask a loved one to help you study, or ask if it would be ok to call them the night before a big exam to receive a dose of “you can do it” for your shaky nerves.

If your on the tail end of their passing judgement, tell yourself it’s not about you.  That it is a mere reflection of their own personal issues.  Your life is your own.  They can’t live it for you.

It’s also good to be prepared ahead of time if you know you’ll meet up with those that have trouble with you life changes.  For the person who isn’t comfortable with your health efforts by offering you a huge slab of cake, tell them, “it looks delicious and you might have some later.”  But for anyone who keeps persisting with temptations simply say, “I’m trying to make a positive change for myself and I would love and appreciate your support.”

Our journeys are our own responsibilities and you are accountable for your choices.  For those who really do want what’s best for you, their actions will speak louder than words, by helping you achieve your dreams and goals.  Only you can decide what is best for you.   The reigns are all yours!

October 12, 2010

How rude!!!

by Dandy

 No matter who you are or where you live we all have one thing in common…at one point or another we encounter impolite, rude, tactless, uncouth people.  There are varying degrees of rudeness.  Some can be easily overlooked and forgotten, and sometimes the offense is startling and cruel.

It’s not easy to deal with rudeness especially if this is a person you encounter everyday, such as a co-worker, neighbor, or relative.  However, there are strategies you can take that make dealing with such people easier for you.

The most important thing for you to do is to never, ever react with rudeness in return.  Forget it.  You may want to reply with a witty, sharp comment, but this doesn’t resolve the problem.  It only encourages the banter of tactlessness (I think that’s a word).  It also reflects poorly on you.

You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  Make it difficult for them to be rude to you by being sweet as maple syrup.  Kill the rudeness with kindness.  It’s not fun being rude to a person who is really nice and polite.

Try to look past the outward behavior.  Remember there is a reason for everything.  I was once at a second-hand clothing store, standing in a long check out line.  The cashier was frenzied and fumbling in her stress.  She was curt and short to every person who checked out their items ahead of me.  When it was my turn to check out I smiled at the cashier, made eye contact, said a bright,” hello”.  Then I complimented her on her pretty accent.  She told me where she was from and it was a place I’ve always wanted to travel to.  By this brief chit-chat her entire countenance changed.  She even laughed!  As I left, she cheerfully told me to have a great day.  I’ve been back to this store a few more times and she always remembers me, and greets me with a smile.  I’d like to give the credit to my charm, but really it was just genuine kindness.  I gave the poor, frenzied cashier some slack.  We all need a break now and then.  Treat people like a friend.  Talk politely.  Smile. Watch them change.

Another thing to know when it comes to dealing with rude people is to be honest.  If this rudeness is a reoccurring thing, tell them their behavior and/or comments are not appreciated and they shouldn’t expect you to accept it any longer.  In many cases, the rude person doesn’t know their actions hurt others.  But bringing it to their attention will cause them to take a look at their behavior.  Stand up for yourself, but do so in a positive manner.

Assess the behavior.  Sometimes a person just doesn’t have social graces or may have some mild social anxiety.  This is very different from a blatantly rude individual whose comments are said with purposeful intention.  Assertive communication is needed for hurtful, cutting comments not someone who is socially awkward.

Remain detached.  If you are not only dealing with a rude individual, but a profoundly negative one, smile and don’t say anything.  Don’t get involved.  This type of person is seeking a reaction, a negative one.  It’s what they feed on.  Try observing and then tell yourself, “what a shame this person is so negative.  This unhappiness has nothing to do with me.”

If nothing else say goodbye.  If ignoring, confronting, detaching doesn’t work, it may be in your best interest to move on.  This can be particularly difficult if the person who is making the rude comments is a close friend.  For example, if  a friend is persistently making disparaging comments about your weight, or relationship, or parenting style and it is tearing you up, then it may be time to move on and away from this person.  Wish them well and say goodbye.

It’s hard not to take rude comments personally.  We do not have to respond to every thoughtless comment.  You won’t be any less of a person if you choose to walk away from the rude person.

“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it”.  Rene Descartes

October 8, 2010

Harassment & Bullying

by Dandy

I have been very much disturbed lately over the suicide of Rutger’s University student, Tyler Clementi.  He was only 18 years old.  I can’t stop thinking about him and his family.  I can’t stop thinking about the pain he must have endured the days before his death.  He must have been in a terribly dark place.  Tyler’s roommates used a webcam to record an intimate moment between him and another man.  It was a horrific invasion of privacy.  He was the victim of two sick and twisted individuals.

In this post, I want to explain the difference between harassment and bullying, and what to do about it if it is happening to you, or if you see that someone is a victim.

Bullying is typically emotional or psychological.  It involves written and verbal communication.  Harassment has physical components such as unwanted touching, invading personal space, and damaging possessions.  Both are possible to stop, whether it be in the work place, school, or home.  Bullies typically target people they perceive as better than them, such as popular, or successful people.  People who harass others however, usually single out people they feel are different from them.  These differences can be racial, gender, cultural, disability, and other differences.

Harassment is easier to prove, because it only takes one instance to identify it.  Harassment is usually bold and in your face so to speak.  Discrimination falls into this category.  Bullying is more subtle and insidious.  Which makes it harder to stop and prove.  Bullying typically happens in private, whereas harassment is usually boldly done to boost the image of the harasser, and to show their peers they are better.

These differences are important to identify because different procedures and strategy need to be taken.  However, in both cases the behavior MUST be reported.  This goes for children too.  Children need to be told by their teachers, parents, clergy that they need to tell if they see another child being bullied.  Just imagine if several children reported the same bully to their teacher or principle, the school would then be pressured to do something about it, and the victim would no longer be a victim. 

If you are being harassed, keep a record of every act.  Record dates, times, locations, witnesses.  Keep every piece of evidence such as emails and phone records.  If suitable, address your concerns with the harasser, tell them to stop.  Report the behavior to your boss, or human resources if it is happening at work.  Contact local law enforcement if necessary.

If you see someone being harassed or bullied, tell the victimizer to stop, but only if you feel safe doing so.  Talk with the victim.  Rally up your peers and friends to stand with the victim.  Usually people are singled out for being socially isolated.  If they aren’t isolated anymore that is a turn off for the bully. 

Now after the suicide of Tyler Clementi there is outrage and remorse.  There needs to be outrage while people are being bullied and harassed.  No one should have to die for people to see what a devastating problem this is.  I wish Tyler would have immediately been surrounded by people who would support him and let him know that what happened to him wasn’t his fault. 

In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

October 1, 2010

The fear of starting something new

by Dandy

Since I just started this blog, I felt that a very appropriate post would be getting past fear.  Focusing on starting new things.  It’s exactly what I’m going through right now.  So many ‘what ifs’ are invading my thoughts…what if I offend someone, what if no one likes my blog, what if I can’t find the time to post regularly, what if I regret writing a blog in the first place.  Oh, it goes on and on.

I always thought of fear as something I need to make go away in order to conquer it.  But that is a false assumption.  The truth is I need to do something with the fear I have.  Give it a job so to speak.  First, I wrote down precisely what I was afraid of concerning starting a blog.  I was afraid no one would find it in the huge universe of blogs.  I was afraid I wouldn’t have the time I would need to dedicate to it.  I was worried I’d get writers block.  Writing down all my fears gave me clarity.  It broke it down into smaller, less fearsome pieces.

Secondly, I shifted my focus.  If I was to worry about my blog not being found, or fearful that no one would like me then my focus would only be on that.  I would fixate on that instead of the blog itself.  So I asked myself what I wanted to achieve.  I summoned up a vision of a blog that was well written and appreciated by those who chose to read it.  I pictured myself enjoying the camaraderie it would bring me. 

Finally I took action.  I sought answers to my questions.  I laid my fears out on the table.  I talked about my desire to write a blog with my loved ones and told them of the time I would need.  I wanted to get out all my fears, so that I wouldn’t carry it with me.  I counteracted my fears with action, and really I can’t imagine a situation worsening by opening up.  I believe that if one is honest about their feelings there will be reward somewhere.

Fear will never go away.  It is in our biology, but it can be dispersed.  What new thing have you been wanting to try?  What specifically of that are you afraid of?  Envision yourself successfull…what does it look like?  Is it worth it?

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