“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” ~Unknown
When we find ourselves not having “enough,” times may be rough; however, this is only our first glance, our perceived perception.
Not all who have little are poor. None who live simply fit into the status quo. And none of us deserves to be judged for what we do or do not own.
Poverty lines are a general measure of separating the classes, but they fail to feel emotions, see our genuine qualities, or tell the stories of our lives.
“There are only two mantras, yum and yuck, mine is yum.” ~Tom Robbins
I recently had my thirty-first birthday. I am officially in my thirties. This leads to reflection; what have I accomplished with my time as an adult?
I recently started over yet again, making this the fifth state I’ve lived in seven years. I have a roommate, half of the stuff in my room is hers, and I’m temping for a living. I was more prosperous at twenty friggin’ three…
If you were to see a photo of me at the age of eighteen next to a …
“Giving is virtuous, but so is accepting gifts gratefully.” ~Doe Zantamata
I’ve learned that how well you receive determines how happy you are.
When I was committed to loving myself more, I started to be more aware of how I treated myself. What opened up for me was that I did not know how to receive.
That was one of the things I had to learn in order to really care for myself.
Receiving Capabilities Jammed
There were times when I would squirm and be all awkward when I was given extra attention.
There would be times when I’d feel …
“The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.” ~Unknown
For as long as I can remember, I have been on a quest to heal myself. From a very young age I can remember feeling different from my peers. I was always painfully shy and paralyzed with insecurity and fear, which left me in a constant state of self-criticism.
Hardships in my young life, including the suicide of my father, left me with the belief that life was just hard.
Unfortunately, I also thought that it wasn’t supposed to …
“Look at what you’ve got and make the best of it. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” ~Proverb.
The year 2013 was the happiest of my life.
Not because it was the most perfect or problem free year. In reality it was as messy, sad, and as difficult as any previous year.
In October I looked at the last correspondence between my biological father and me for the first time since his suicide years before. I felt as devastated as the day he died. Healing is a much longer journey than I’d imagined.
“Live your life for you not for anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from being yourself.” ~Sonya Parker
The day that I realized that I was trapped inside of my life was an ordinary day. I woke up, dressed myself, drove to work, and applied makeup to my assigned actors and actresses. It was a groundhog day filled with my usual routine as an entertainment makeup artist.
I settled into my chair on set and watched as the director directed and the cameramen captured the scenes on tape.
The vibration from my …
“You get peace of mind not by thinking about it or imagining it, but by quietening and relaxing the restless mind.” ~Remez Sasson
What’s the first thought that goes through your head when you wake up in the morning? Is it deliberate, or is it the default “Oh shi#$, it’s 6:00!”?
If that’s how you start your day, then it’s likely your day will be filled with anxiety and stress. It’s not exactly the most productive mechanism for getting things done.
Questions are quite powerful if used in the right way.
“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” ~Unknown
When I was a teenager, right around the time I knew everything, my mother used to tell me I only remembered the bad things.
When I told stories about my family, they didn’t revolve around family beach trips, barbecues, and vacations; they focused on painful memories and all the ways I felt my childhood had damaged me.
The same applied to friends and milestones in my life. I chronically remembered and rehashed the worst experiences.
In fact, straight through college I followed up every introductory handshake with a dramatic …
“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” ~James Allen
Low self-esteem is like a garden weed. Uproot it while it’s small, or face the consequences of an unruly mess down the road.
Its true, I have gone to extreme lengths to supplement my low self-esteem. Hair colors, tattoos, new hobbies, new jobs, moving in, moving out. I was always waiting for there to be “enough.”
Enough what? Enough things where I could rest, feel satisfied, and be “equal” to everyone else. However, even though I often got what I wanted, …
“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” ~Brene Brown
Even though I’m a psychologist who has been working in the field of development and assessment for the last thirteen years, sometimes it still takes more than reading a theory in a book, or even seeing something work with a client, to make it real for me.
Here are three of the moments that have had the most impact on me and the way I live my life.
1. Each of us has the power to
“You can only grow if you’re willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy
I like my comfort zone and I hate it. It’s safe, but if I stay there too long it starts to feel like a cage. No wild creature is happy in a cage, and we’re all wild creatures at heart.
Sure, we like the reliability of being well fed, clothed, safe, and loved. It’s my theory though (formed just this second) that we are meant to hunt, to seek, to struggle, to engage with a world that offers no guarantees.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” ~John Holmes
Have you ever been stressed and cranky and having a terrible day when someone was unexpectedly kind to you?
When this happens, it lifts your mood and changes your state of mind. You want to hold on to that feeling of goodwill. Maybe even pass it on.
The Dalai Lama said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
It is always possible, but it isn’t always easy. Sometimes acts of kindness for people in our lives can be more difficult …
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.” ~Maya Angelou
My knees hit the pavement, unable to hold me up as I watched my entire life purpose drive away.
I had put my entire heart and soul into that relationship. I had sacrificed everything—my family, my friends, my career, my hobbies. And now I had nothing. What had gone wrong?
I lay there for a while, quite convinced that the pain and unhappiness was going to be the end of me. I wallowed in the misery of it all.
Then something touched my face. I brushed it …
“The experienced mountain climber is not intimidated by the mountain. He is inspired.” ~William Arthur Ward
I like to hike in the mountains. It is such an amazing relief from the day-to-day stress of my position as a healthcare executive.
Hiking settles my mind and puts the drama of my job aside. I am fifty-nine and have had my share of experiences, but I never feel more at peace and complete than I do on a trail in the mountains
I spent a week hiking with family in Maine this past summer. I was halfway through a certified coach training …
“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart.” ~Mencius
Remember when life was simple?
When your friends were the most important thing in the world. When a snow day was a perfect excuse to have fun, not a block of time when you felt guilty about being unproductive.
When the ice cream truck could make your day, no matter what happened before. Bad grade? Big deal—it’s snow cone time. Skinned knee—who cares, you have a screwball!
If only you could bottle that sense of freedom, fun, and enthusiasm for the little things, you could carry it …
“Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu
Being an empty nester (the kids have grown up and left home), I noticed recently that I have fallen in love with little kids again.
After going through all the kid stages, and surviving them (most notably the teenage years), I took a long kid moratorium. Skiing, mountain biking, traveling, gardening, and reading—all filled to the brim with a commodity I had forgotten about: time just for me.
Now, unexpectedly, they’re back! Exhausting, enchanting, and a source of endless inspiration.
A few doors down to the west I have new …
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” ~Albert Einstein
I recently turned thirty-eight.
Birthdays and new years always make me quite reflective and, for a long time, critical about my achievements—what I’ve done and what I have to show for it.
This time, though, there was finally a wonderful difference.
Over the past twelve months what’s mattered has been about the people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, the experiences I’ve had, and the things I’ve discovered about myself—none of which have brought me anything physical to show for it.
I’ve learned character building life lessons, the kind …
“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not eliminating our weaknesses.” ~Marilyn vos Savant
I often hear the words “be yourself.” I love those words, and I truly believe that everyone should strive to be the truest version of who they are. There’s nothing more attractive than a person who is just so utterly themselves, even when society tries to push them the other way.
Strong willed people are some of my favorite types. They can be righteous. They can be overly moral. However, they know what they want, they know who they are, and they know that nobody else …