Tuesday, April 15, 2014

" Giver … "

Dream wild in waves of confidence and heart 
Don't underestimate the power of your part 
Throw the rules away 
Trust your gut and make it 
On your own 

Don't underestimate the glories of the road 
Because when you're on your own you've got it all 
Throw the rules away 
To stand and deliver now. 
All is yours 

~ Hot Water Music ~ Giver ~
***


In our society, given the constant demands of our time and energy, we need to have large reserves of empathy ... it is crucial.  Yet all this empathy can also leave you exhausted and unable to care anymore because you’re a giver ... and maybe you just gave too much.


.caregiver burnout ... compassion fatigue ... empathy emptied ... giver gave out


Interestingly, most don’t recognize that they too, need care.  Usually, they feel they can handle the pressure.  But the most important way to prevent compassion fatigue is to care for yourself before you care for anyone else ... eventually your body will tell your mind ... listen.  And this is very different from everyday work stresses as the fatigue results from taking on the emotional burden of a patient’s agony.  Some even equate it to a post traumatic stress disorder with symptoms that can range from irritability, disturbed sleep, outbursts of anger, intrusive thoughts and maybe even a desire to avoid anything having to do with the patient's struggle. 
... all from trying to help others ...



So some ways that may help relieve the pressures ...

mindful meditation decreases depression and anxiety
writing in a journal helps you express your feelings
grounding yourself daily 
taking a vacation or break
asking for help to lighten the load


Care giving is a job ... and for some of us through sickness and in health.  So the best you can do for anyone is the best for yourself, because remember ...


“it’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it” 
~ Lena Horne




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

" Constant … "

You alone are wise
You alone are all consuming fire
And I want to press in to know
This God that so amazes me
You go after every heart
You won't rest until we know
You are constant, You are constant
You Go after every heart
And Your glory is in all the earth
But Your heart is for a people who
Will constantly be running after You
~ Watermark ~ Constant ~
***

There are loads of workshops, courses and challenges available for any of us to gain some wisdom.  But when some think that all their problems will be cured, like magic, in one session, they may be in for a “rude” awakening.

Life is always in flux, ever changing.  
We are not the same person we were yesterday, we are not even the same person we woke up to this morning ...

Now, all is not wasted in attending these sessions if our approach is wholehearted openness, it does make a difference ... it’s just that the work doesn't end there.
It is about LIVING it not just having a place for it on your resume.  We all know people who have taken every “amazing” session, workshop and course offered only to find them to be a unkind, negative and difficult person to be in company with.  Perhaps they registered for one of the following ...

workshop one - we will uncover your true awakening  
how can someone else find that for me or at least know where to look?  And from what I am learning ... it is a life long process and not a flip of a switch...

workshop two - we will fix your life problems   ...
how can someone else fix my life problems when they themselves are hypocritical?

workshop three - we will help you get fit fast  
how can someone else help me get healthy when they don't practice what they preach?



Confession time: I have participated in all three scenarios and did really well ... for a while.  Yet I’ve learned that it is taking weeks, months if not years to feel and make a difference ... because this becomes a way of “being” ... a way of life.  It is not an act, it is not for show, it is not a profession and it is not for a special time ... it IS always.  

Because rather than looking out there, start within and you will find what you’ve been looking for  it is a constant search to uncover who you really are.


As Mahatma Gandhi said “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”  It truly is.  And when you are truly in alignment with your actions &words, there is less resistance to what is.  

Maybe life can best be described as ... Life = Change = Life  where we can choose perfect alignment living a sincere life which even makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

" Quiet … "

There's not a sound 
Outside the snow's coming down 
And somehow I can't seem to find 
The quiet inside my mind 

3:02 
The space in this room 
Has turned on me 
And all my fears have cornered me here 

The volume's down 
Blue lights are dancing around 
And still, I can't seem to find 
The quiet inside my mind 

~ John Mayer ~ Quiet ~
***


Say something authentic rather than something impressive.  Good advice ... probably needed on regular basis ... but hard to practice.  Think about it how much humans loves to hear themselves talk and talk ...


Sometimes its best to stay quiet ...

...Silence can speak volumes without ever saying a word


Blogs ... Instagram ... Facebook ... Twitter ... Pinterest ... Vimeo ... the list goes on in a way we can “communicate” with each other, yet do we really feel heard, acknowledged or received?  Guilty of performing a monologue, I have learned to keep my mouth shut and my ears open ... yeah, even with a blog (where do you think all the thoughts come from?).  You learn a great deal about people, life and really the world when you get out of your head, your own way and allow life to just happen with minimal resistance.


"Never miss a good chance to shut up"
~ Will Rogers ~


I recently read that “Effective communication is when we reach an understanding after a well-placed pause ... when we step back and listen to others and ourselves.  And it about having the ability to recognize when we are talking too much and listening too little ... which erodes the depth and importance of conversations.”
I feel It is not about being reserved or passive ... it is about being actively silent, by choice.  And with intention, we can choose to approach moments with practice patience and silence ... 


Moments of anger
where our mouth moves faster than our brain, making a bad situation worse.  

Moments of void
where there is temptation to fill the silence rather than allowing space to simply process the information 

Moments of rightness
where we take a stand and argue its virtues  without consideration of another perspective
Moments of ignorance
where we don’t really know much about the topic but feel we need to contribute to look intelligent




In theory, this rocks ... but in practice it is so so hard.  Yet once we get away from a more self-indulgent response, we can then slowly begin to say something authentic rather than something impressive 



Thursday, April 3, 2014

" The Critic … "

Tell it like it is...

He gets up real early on his mornin drive.
Down to the office for his 9 to 5 ...
Loves to tell the local bands down at the bar that he's The Critic.

Yea, I can hook you up, I know everybody, in the business
He flunked junior high band he couldn't march in time.
He tried to write a song once, he couldn't make it rhyme.

He's a happy critic...
He's rollin in the dough...

~ Toby Keith ~ The Critic ~
***



Wait for it ... and there it is ... The CriticAnd it only took less than a week from launching my personal website, to bring out the hating.  I find it really interesting because “anonymous” not only voiced an opinion on my ideas, but also my writing skills.


Here’s the catch .... I appreciate the feedback!! 
That is why I’ve put myself out there.  Basically, you have to have a thick skin.  To have any sort of virtual presence comes with its ups and downs, it comes with the territory.  You open yourself up, you are vulnerable.  And you do weigh the options often ... is it really worth it?  I guess I am really interested in such opinions because it reveals much more about the commenter than it does about me.  You see “anonymous” may have not been very kind, but at least they took the time to read?!

I am learning that people will criticize you about things they do not like about themselves or things they can’t do themselves.  

I am learning that jealousy is the fuel of criticism.  When we see someone who has the life we want, the things we want, the happiness we want or the relationship we want ... we try to justify why some people have it and we don’t. 

I am learning that other people simply do not feel good about themselves, and they need to tear others down to make themselves feel better about who they are.  


So thank-you “anonymous” ... I full expected that sooner or later, it would happen.  I appreciate that taste is subjective and not everyone will like everything.  And I appreciate that writers make easy targets for those who want to pick on someone.  And some people get their kicks making others feel bad.  To each their own.


Oh, and speaking of styles ... “anonymous”, your’s is a dead giveaway so you are not unknown anymore You may want to brush up on your “anonymous” skills.  Sadly the time you spent hating my work, you could spend on gaining some real courage.  



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

" Toxicity … "

Conversion, software version 7.0 
Looking at life through the eyes of a tire hub 
Eating seeds is a pastime activity 
The toxicity of our city, of our city 

No, what do you own the world? 
How do you own disorder 
Now somewhere between the sacred silence 
Sacred silence and sleep 
Somewhere, between the sacred silence and sleep 
Disorder, disorder, disorder 

When I became the sun 
I shone life into the mans' hearts 

~ System Of A Down ~ Toxicity ~
***



It seems like we might actually have Spring in the neighbourhood.  After a very long winter, it is definitely a welcoming change.  And, it is also the perfect time for the age old ritual of spring cleaning our homes.

The main idea is to cleanse and not introduce more unnecessary toxins in our lives ... which won’t happen if you continue to blindly use off the shelf products.  Yes, even “green” alternatives can contain harmful ingredients.  Beware, they usually refer to packaging rather than safety.

Sadly, the average household products have over 10 gallons of these toxic chemicals.  It is possible that the very thing you use to clean your house are actually among the primary sources of toxins and indoor pollution you expose you and your family to on a regular basis.


Which ingredients do you want to stay clear from? 
glycol ethers, phosphates, volatile organic compounds, phthalates, petroleum solvents, formaldehyde, chlorine, sodium lauryl sulfate and ... 


Why so toxic?
Many studies are concerned with chemicals known or suspected to be carcinogenic while others disrupt your endocrine system and can cause serious reproductive harm.  Cleaning sprays and laundry detergents directly affect your skin and lungs and go into your bloodstream, bypassing your liver and kidneys, which are our body’s natural defense system against toxins.  It is said that just one application of a typical household cleaner can leave dangerous chemicals lingering in your indoor air for hours on end.  Also it is good to note that Mixing ammonia and bleach together will cause extremely toxic vapors capable of serious harm.

Spring cleaning the non-toxic way involves using common household items such as white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, 3% hydrogen peroxide and even vodka!  Trust me, these cut through dirt and sanitize just as well as their toxic counterparts.  

And one of the best website for finding age-old cleaning ideas that are safe but effective is http://greatist.com/health/27-chemical-free-products-diy-spring-cleaning

As always, do you research and don’t get sucked in by all the shady green marketing.  Toxic chemicals pose a significant health risk and we can reduce our exposure by making smart choices for ourselves and our environment.