Monthly Archives: February 2013

QTIP: Quit Taking It Personally (In other words: That Pesky Ego!)

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Today, I had an exchange with someone close to me in my life, that left me feeling hurt, confused and reeling about how to handle it and what should come next. We were expressing our thoughts and feelings, in a private email message, which left much up to interpretation and potential misunderstanding. And, to add to it all, I was taking it all WAY too personally. Why was this loved one lashing out at me in this way? What have I done to deserve this?

Then, I began my day of training, covering a topic that I am fiercely passionate about, yet also brings up feelings of negativity and misunderstanding, and our trainers were quick to advise us about QTIP: Quit Taking It Personally.

In that instant, I saw how that sneaky devil of my Ego had been hard at work.

I am becoming much more aware of my Ego, which is always present, more than I ever have been earlier in my life. My Ego is the first to complain about how I am being treated; how I have been wronged; how the other person is the one that needs to evolve, grow up or get over him or herself, because what they are doing, saying or thinking is bothering me.

In other words, whatever is going on with him or her, I make about ME.

It is natural, right? As human beings, we have been programmed through our social process to think for ourselves, and think OF ourselves. Self preservation; self determination; self esteem; self knowledge. While I applaud and aspire to expand in and on all of these areas of self, I still do, more often than I like, go into the area of making many things that express another person’s process not about what they must be going through. No, I make it about what it is doing to ME.

There it is again.

When my emotional response to this interaction had died down a bit, I was able to connect with the deeper desire within myself, that is always there but masked at times behind what I need, wanting to know what was going on with her. What is it that is bringing on this much pain and anger in another person? What part of it can I be supportive and helpful with, if any? What do I need to own?

So, while I want to keep catching myself where I can, in expanding on my own growth and evolution, I want to always be wary when I want to go to how badly someone else is MAKING me feel. That is a trap. For, we all have a choice, of how we want to handle the impact of circumstances in our lives. There may be some circumstances, although not many, from my perspective, that we cannot control. HOWEVER, we can ALWAYS control how we have them impact, or not, on us.

How a person acts with or responds to me, says everything about them and nothing about me. Truly. And, as long as I can believe that, and say and feel it with love and compassion for the experiences of others, then I am on my way to taming the Ego and yet, knowing the Self.

Intention

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Special Sauce.

cross and faith

The last few days, I have been more aware of how as humans, we can begin to feel quite exclusive in what we think, feel or believe. Meaning, we can start to believe that we hold the corner of the market on spirituality, health, food, or mental health. It can get pretty complicated for those of us still trying to figure all of that out.

Now, believe me, I have once upon a time, believed myself to be COMPLETELY evolved and well rounded, and definitely the expert, when it came to sobriety, or being a trainer, or even in relationship to my spiritual growth or how I take care of my body and health. I believed that I knew all there was to know in many of those areas, and therefore, didn’t have to entertain other points of view, NOR did I have to believe that they were more accurate than my own.

What was really at work in those instances was a good, healthy dose of arrogance, along with fear. Arrogant in the fact that I thought that I was the expert; and fearful, in that I was scared to imagine what it would mean if I didn’t have it all figured out. What if I was wrong? What if I had to change my mind or rethink my position?

Today, when I pose that question to myself, it doesn’t come with fear, but a great big “SO WHAT?”

So what if I have to figure it out differently. Today, I am grateful for learning new lessons, new perspectives, every single day. There will always be other human beings that know more than I do, and ones that I know more than they do. There will always be points of view, about any number of topics, that I will hold a much different position from others around me. Yet, that is the beauty of it all, the beauty of life and living. Is that I get to keep figuring it out.

The bottom line is, there is no Special Sauce, no one, exclusive recipe of how to handle our spiritual selves, how to eat well or take care of ourselves, or to raise our children or make money. No one person, group or organization holds the power in being the expert in any of these areas.

The great beauty of being human, is that we all get to be our truly unique selves, while we figure out how to fit in with the world, and still stay unique and have our own perspective.

What a world!

world of faith

I am willing to be awake.

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I have been spending more time in the last few weeks, getting into my exercise routine from a different perspective. After having gone through a few months, complaining and whining about the reasons that I should be able to eat what I want, when I want, and exercise only when I feel like it, and NOT gain weight, I am seeing the light. The light, for me, is that I get to build a body, and a life, that is focused on healthy eating, and healthy, consistent movement.

My most favorite way to exercise, see the world, breathe the air and clear my mind, is walking. Whether indoors in the cold weather, or outdoors whenever I can, it is very need fulfilling for me. I did, however, find another work out, that is a good exercise for your heart, physically and emotionally.

It is called Intensati, and I know that I have referred to it here in past blogs. It is an unique combination of cardio workout; yoga; pilates; and martial arts thrown in. It is movements, as well as intentions that you speak as you work out. What fascinated me about it from the beginning of my introduction to it, is that the combination of moving my body, and my mind, has transformed me in some major ways.

When I did the workout yesterday morning, my intention was much different than it has been on many past occasions. I was less concerned about how many calories it would enable me to burn, and more interested in connecting with my body in a deep way, and enjoying the strength that is building within.

In the second part of the workout, she introduces us to Chin Mudra; chin mudra is the bringing together of the thumb and index finger; into a circle. It represents the merging of the individual with the universal; the I and the We. It also is a gesture of being willing to receive.

I find power in that meaning and gesture; however, it is the words that she says along with it that really impacted me yesterday:

“I am willing to be awake; and to bring my awareness to all of life, all others, and all of myself.”

PROFOUND.

The whole statement is powerful to me, but the big part that grabbed me in the early morning on a Sunday, was the willingness to be awake. I am gone through much of my life, over the years, being half asleep. On cruise control, just going through the motions. Somewhere in the last couple of years, I have realized, and decided, that going through the motions doesn’t work for me anymore. Actually, it never really worked at all, but now, I am not WILLING to live that way anymore. Being awake really feels like my only option today. Awake for my parenting; for my new love; for my goals and dreams of how I want to touch the world; for washing the dishes, singing a song or buying an outfit. For the food I eat and the way that I move.

I am willing to be awake, ready, and open to receive. And, remember that all is not me; but WE.

WOW.

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The Morning After.

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In days of old, the morning after would refer to my head space, literally and figuratively, after a late night/early morning party time. I would be nursing a hangover; feeling upset or disrupted about an argument with a partner; or feeling foolish or embarrassed. It was often a negative feeling that I found myself with, based on what I had done the night before.

This week, I got to put a whole new meaning on what a morning after can really look like for me. On Monday, I had a mini mental and emotional breakdown, about my body and how I view it. I felt like I was back to age nine, or sixteen or twenty five or thirty five, or any other age you could pick, any one of the 12,000 or more days that I have lived since I first started to describe myself as a fat person.

That day, that deep, significant Monday, was the last day that I decided to bombard myself with all of those negative images, messages and emotions. The thing is, I didn’t know it was the last day at the time. Although it felt less intense, and much more short lived as I have gotten about it in the past, it still felt strong and embedded in me.

Funny thing? I woke up on Tuesday, and I still felt clear. I felt strong. I felt resolved.

I felt PEACEFUL. ABOUT MY BODY.

It truly felt like a miracle of sorts. I didn’t feel compelled to obsess about every bite of food that I would put into my mouth. I didn’t feel deep guilt and anxiety about not exercising, or exercising too much. I cooked and prepared and consumed food with love and gratitude. I didn’t focus on what my daughter was eating, or not.

I just felt open, loving and free. SO new to me!

And, since Tuesday, I have had four more Morning Afters, when I woke up and felt free of the chains that I have had on myself about food and eating. About exercise and weight and mirrors and scales. Even though Monday was THE last day that I gave myself permission to deprecate myself in that way, I didn’t know it was the last day.

And, I didn’t know how many beautiful days of self love were waiting for me on the other side.

Sunset

Honesty before Clarity.

inspiration!
Last August, I had been in the Coach in Training program for two years. I was getting ready to graduate, I had clients, and I was deeply committed to the methodology. Then, one day, I really got honest, and realized, more like admitted, that I didn’t want to do it. That although helping others manage their own lives is great work, I decided it was not for me, not as a coach anyway. When I came to that decision, and said it out loud, I felt free, clear and able to create the bigger vision for myself.

When I got honest, I got clarity.

Sometimes, I have avoided making new choices, or moving forward in my life, because I didn’t have a clear picture in my mind of what I wanted, so to me that meant that in the meantime, I should do nothing. I also thought that I had to get clarity, and be absolutely clear about what I wanted, or where I wanted to go next in my life, before I could tell the world, tell those around me, or even be honest with myself.

This week, I have been thinking about this a great deal, and I don’t believe it anymore, that clarity comes before getting honest. The truth is, about the truth, that if we don’t get honest with those around us, or, especially ourselves, about what it is that we want, or don’t want, we can’t ever get clarity.

When we are hiding our true feelings, for instance, about being unhappy in a romantic relationship, we won’t have absolute clarity about what to do next, whether that be stay in it or leave it. To me, that is because when I am not honest about my feelings, ESPECIALLY with myself, there is a fog that lingers in my mind and my heart about what to do next. There is confusion.

Also, when I am not being honest, I hold onto all of those icky feelings of guilt, shame, negativity toward myself about deceiving other people. I get mad at myself for trying to pull one over on me.

I don’t want to have those lingering feelings anymore in my life. I want to create deep, honest relationships with everyone around me. There is no time or need for dishonesty, or withholding, or pretending to be someone that I am not. And, the big payoff is, that I get to then have complete, crystal clear clarity of where I want my life to go.

Clarity doesn’t mean that I always know the how. So, I may know where I want to go, without having a precise idea of how I will get there. Clarity doesn’t mean how; it just means the destination, the final stop. The how comes as I start and continue on my journey to the goal.

Today, I recommit to being honest with those around me, and remember that only by keeping that honesty present will I have a clear vision of where I want my life to be.

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