Do Unto Yourself As You Would Do Unto Others.


Hands Holding a Small Globe --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisI know, I know, that’s not the way that saying technically goes, but for today’s purpose, it does. Are you a healer, teacher, counselor, social worker, or any of the myriad of jobs or personal lifestyles that fit into those categories?

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you work as a nurse or a counselor (though many do), but perhaps you constantly find yourself in that role with family and friends. Maybe you are the only person you feel has the ability to hold your family together, keep your friends sane. You might simply love doing all that you can to help others. (You know who you are!)

MP900216112While it would be nice if there were even more of it the world, there still are a lot of people who feel this way; feel compelled to help, nurture and heal. You might do so to the point where you drop into bed exhausted, sometimes late at night, only to get a few hours of sleep and start again in the morning. You might wear yourself out physically, mentally and emotionally.

Now, if you think of yourself as an engine – not very romantic or spiritual sounding, I know, but hey, whatever works! If you’re a lovely, shining engine of healing, helping and nurturing, but you don’t take the time to make sure this engine has fuel, is properly oiled and maintained, and isn’t constantly running day in and day out without stopping, there comes a time when that engine burns out.

MP900407087If you allow yourself to burn out, run yourself ragged, and don’t take care of your own needs, there comes a point where you are no good to anyone. If you are exhausted and emotionally frayed, the quality of what you can give to others deteriorates. The more frayed you get, the more you tend to take on and feel personally the struggles of those you are helping, and then cycle of wearing yourself down continues.

There is probably no type of person more needed, yet more underappreciated in the world, and that includes underappreciating themselves. If your engine is only running at half power, you’re only giving about half the quality and care to others, your light dims. Take the time to take care of yourself; if not for your own sake, then for the sake of those you take care of.

The back view of a man wearing a straw hat while relaxing in a beach chair, facing the Indian Ocean near the coastline in the Maldives. 2000 MaldivesTreat yourself to a little pampering and relaxation. Get a massage, take a trip to the hair salon, or get a mani-pedi. Spend a day at the beach. Soak in a hot bath. Take yourself on a date (alone) to your favorite café, library or bookstore. Go for a walk in the forest. Go to bed early once in a while. Take some “Me Time”; perhaps even turn off that cell phone for 20 minutes while you read, walk or have a nice cup of coffee.

Don’t forget, if you need your own physical, mental or emotional help or healing, allow yourself that. Ask for help. You can only give what you allow yourself to take.

 

MP900316548The quality of time and care that you give yourself will only improve that which you give to those you care for. Taking care of your own physical, mental and spiritual well being, or “engine” will help you keep your light burning brightly for years to come.

Forgive Thyself


Tough Love - Tricia GriffithWe all beat ourselves up over one bad decision or another, but I also am inclined to think that those of us who are very empathic, emotionally and spiritual sensitive, and who have put a great deal of effort into being an overall more self-aware and kind human being, tend to be the hardest on ourselves. We agonize over the wrong choice of words, the inadvertent hurt feelings we caused, the bad decision we made.

The trick is, we’re all human beings, and the trick of being a human being is that we are all far from perfect. That bad move you made does not make you a terrible person. In fact, the very idea that you feel remorseful about it makes you a good person.

Cherub - Tricia GriffithWe lose our tempers, we make hasty decisions, we hurt people without thinking about it, but having the conscience to realize it was a dumb move doesn’t mean you have to flog yourself daily about it. If possible, you make your apologies to the parties involved, you learn from your mistake and you move on.

Many of us sit on this guilt and let it fester. Well, I’m here to say, stop all that festering! Everything we do in life becomes a series of learning experiences. If you choose not to learn from all of those experiences, good and ugly, then you are probably living under a rock and really need to come out look around at the sun.

This doesn’t mean that you need to hunt down every person you’ve wronged or every dumb decision you’ve made and make it all better. It means you need to ask yourself, what did I learn there? Am I smarter now because of it, and perhaps will think before doing the same thing again? Great! You’ve evolved!

Now, you have to forgive yourself. Even if every person you know came to you and said, you’re forgiven, we know you didn’t mean anything bad, or we know you know that was a bad move, ultimately, that doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t forgive yourself for being imperfect. Let go, stop beating yourself up.

Selkirk Sunset - Tricia GriffithIt can be as simple as quietly contemplating the situation and saying to yourself, “I forgive you.” It can be more involved and ritualistic if you need it to be, write a journal page about it and end it with “I forgive you.” Go to your favorite spot in nature, hug a tree, and say, “I forgive you.”

How you do it is not important, what’s important is that you simply forgive yourself.

Tricia Goes on a Rant -or- If You Don’t Have Something Nice to Say, Don’t Say Anything At All.


Okay, brace yourselves. This is purely editorial, no research, and no citations. Just a rant.

Super-Bowl-Football_Copl

It is sparked, I confess, by Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show; or rather, by the reactions to it I have seen on Facebook, Twitter and other internet sites. In particular, the comments about Madonna being too old, too flabby, to wrinkled, etc.

What the HECK people?????

First of all, how many 53 year old women have you insulted by making these remarks? It’s hard enough in today’s society to feel good about how you look and what you do with your life, particularly as you age. Then, to hear how awful someone like Body Image. The subjective concept of one's physical appearance based on self-observation and the reactions of others.Madonna looks, when you’re already comparing yourself to her and how much better she looks than you (even if you’re YOUNGER than 53!), is probably a crushing blow to anyone’s self-esteem.

Then, consider the comments or insinuations that she is too old to be dancing around and singing on stage; something that she LOVES! Does this mean that 53 year old women should stop performing? Should they not enter marathons? Should they not climb mountains? Should they stay home and quietly “act their age” and not present themselves as an affront to the “rest of us”?

There is an alarming propensity in this society to bask in all that is negative, inflammatory and even cruel. Reality TV show hosts tear people apart on national TV. Reality show contestants insult and backstab each other for our entertainment. Websites and print media revel in hunting down or making up negative information about celebrities; pointing out every wrinkle, patch of cellulite, error in judgment or character flaw.

How, in the face of seeing people that we admire and maybe aspire to be like, are we supposed to nurture the last vestiges of our self image?

Political campaigns are filled with hateful attack ads, but we perpetuate the cycle by continuing to vote for the people that condone them.

On the RocksOur children get bullied in school and on the internet.

They say that children say the cruelest things, but does it occur to us that they might have learned this at home? We come home from our day and vent about our co-workers or customers or people we saw at the store. We criticize their intelligence, their looks, their behavior or their usefulness to society. Sometimes even right to their face.

What happened?? How did we get so… MEAN??

What happened to that old adage, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all?”

Why has it become okay to tell an empowered, talented, vibrant woman that she is too old?

How can we expect our children to grow up kinder and gentler when these harsh criticisms, mockery and cruelty are so common place?

Let’s start with a little self-censorship. Maybe it’s okay to criticize Madonna’s artistic choices for her halftime show, but really… her AGE?? Her LOOKS?? I say way to go Madonna for having the level of energy, enthusiasm and physical fitness she does at age 53.

Girls, don’t listen to those negative comments? YOU CAN accomplish amazing things regardless of your age. You ARE a beautiful, wise and powerful woman.

Brotherly LoveLet’s resolve – it’s early enough in the New Year yet – to cut back on unkind words, encourage each other to aspire to accomplish anything and follow their dreams, point out each others good points instead of the flaws.

I confess, I slip and criticize or bitch about people on occasion. I have my opinions and it’s hard not to voice them. But seeing these things happening leads me to consider the cost of words, the energy they can carry. Don’t you think that the more you focus and comment on the negative things in life, the more power you give them?

Stop. Think before you speak. Let go of your negative criticisms. Say something positive. Give back power to the things that are good in this world.

Or don’t say anything at all.

You Are What You Think


I was in the grocery store the other day, I have started going very early since I’m not overly patient with crowds and the inevitable dodging of carts and fellow shoppers and people stumbling around in some sort of shopping coma. Not particularly enlightened of me, I know. Given the right frame of mind, I can navigate crowds pretty well, but I digress. That’s a subject for another post.

I was not so early shopping that other people didn’t have the same idea. I was in one aisle with another woman and her cart. She attempted to move out of my way, but ended up putting her cart right in front of the section of shelf I was headed for. Being in a fairly congenial mood towards my fellow early shoppers, I apologized to her and said I just needed to get that thing right there. She pulled her cart out of the way, also apologizing, which I thought was nice. But as she pushed her cart away, she said something which struck me, “I’m always in the way, it’s what I’m good at.”

Now, said in one way, you might think she was just laughing it off people sometimes do, a bit of self depreciating humor. But she sounded so resigned to this fact, it was almost heartbreaking.

I recall one of my favorite movies, a 2004 film called What the Bleep Do We Know!?It can be a truly life changing film if you take the time to think about its message. And maybe, as I think back to it now, remind yourself periodically of its message.

What the Bleep Do We Know!? mixes metaphysics, quantum physics, self discovery and a little bit of magic to show us a different way of looking at the world around us, and more importantly, ourselves. From the website synopsis;

“It is part documentary, part story, and part elaborate and inspiring visual effects and animations. The protagonist, Amanda, played by Marlee Matlin, finds herself in a fantastic Alice in Wonderland experience when her daily, uninspired life literally begins to unravel, revealing the uncertain world of the quantum field hidden behind what we consider to be our normal, waking reality.”

Woven throughout the storyline, top scientists and mystics offer commentary and discussion. “They are also there to introduce the Great Questions framed by both science and religion, which divides the film into a series of acts. Through the course of the film, the distinction between science and religion becomes increasingly blurred, since we realize that, in essence, both science and religion describe the same phenomena.”

While I’ve slightly digressed again from the point of this blog, the movie itself is a helpful tool to understand what I am sharing, which is mainly the power of words. Particularly the effect your words have on yourself. How often has the woman at the grocery store said “I’m always in the way.”? Think about saying that about yourself with such resignation frequently, maybe even daily. What effect do you think that would have on you, on your psyche? How long before you truly feel that maybe you are useful for nothing except being in the way?

Another reason I brought up the movie is because of a specific aspect of it. Part way through the movie, the protagonist comes across an exhibit of some of the work done by Masaru Emoto, whose work includes studying changes in the shape of ice crystals in water exposed to various stimuli. Using purified water, he first studied the effects of music on the formation of ice crystals and found that “All the classical music that we exposed the water to resulted in well-formed crystals with distinct characteristics. In contrast, the water exposed to violent heavy metal music resulted in fragmented and malformed crystals at best.”

Next, they wondered what would happen if they wrote words on paper and wrapped the paper around the bottle with the word facing in. Although it didn’t seem logical that the water would ‘read’ the word, the music experiments had led them to realize strange things could happen. They wrote “Thank You” and “Fool” on two separate samples, and the results did not disappoint. “Water exposed to “Thank you” formed beautiful hexagonal crystals but water exposed to the word “Fool” produced crystals similar to the water exposed to heavy-metal music, malformed and fragmented.” A nice synopsis of the study can be found here.

We could hang ourselves up on the science, argue that water can’t read words, wonder at what other forces could contribute to the changes Mr. Emoto found in the water crystals. But maybe it is simply intent. Thoughts. Energy. As the movie’s protagonist examines the photos of ice crystals in the exhibit, a stranger in the crowd turns to her and says, “Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? If thoughts can do that to water, imagine what our thoughts can do to us.” (See the scene on YouTube)

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

It is hard, I know first hand, not to let your thoughts become the weights that drag you down. Even if you are tired, does repeated thinking, or saying “I am so tired” help you in any way? Or does it simply contribute to the energy of tiredness around you, magnify and intensify, perpetuate the tired feeling. Maybe you feel silly saying out loud “I am energetic!” But perhaps something like that, redirecting your thoughts, focusing on something other than being tired, takes away the amount of energy you put into thinking about being tired, dwelling on it, and making it real. If you are always waiting for the next bad thing to happen, it probably will. Think instead about the positive things you hope to accomplish in your life. Redirect your thoughts to those things.

I choose love, joy and freedom, open my heart and allow wonderful things to flow into my life.

A significant proportion of the human body is water. While you’re not likely to freeze yourself solid and examine your ice crystals, you can imagine what they might look like if you did. What would your water crystals look like if you were constantly telling yourself that you are fat, lazy, useless… or always in the way? Imagine the toxic state we put ourselves in by not having kind words for ourselves.

It applies to our physical being, it applies to our life situations. If we think all the time how tight money is, how perilously close to broke we are, how we’re always struggling to make ends meet, are we perpetuating that situation by constantly feeding energy to it? If we can change our focus to positive thoughts regarding our finances, can we change our fortunes?

All the things I want and need come to me.

Years ago, we learned a little positive affirmation trick for money.

Thank you, God, for a miracle involving money today.

Repeat that to yourself. Then, when money comes to you, even if it’s just loose change in the couch cushions, repeat your thank you for a miracle involving money today. It works!

If you find yourself in this rut of negative thoughts and feelings, stop for a moment. Stop the words. Find something nice to say about yourself, or choose a positive affirmation to repeat to yourself and change your thought pattern.

I am beautiful, positive, happy and thankful that all good things flow to me.

If you are struggling and down on yourself, ask someone who loves you to give you positive things about yourself. Think about the positive things in your life, think about your ideal self and voice it out loud. You are a beautiful person, you are a miracle, it is time you treated yourself like one…

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