Monday, July 30, 2012

This is Life.

I am happiest when I am doing something creative. My hands like to be busy. My mind likes to be busy. Sitting and meditating in silence is one of the hardest things for me to do. I make a very bad New-Agey person most times (except I love wearing yoga pants everywhere!), even though the core philosophies resonate with me deeply. The peace. The quiet. Why can't I just sit in peace and quiet and let the answers flow over me like a river? Are not all answers found in the flowing waters of a river? (that last sentence should be said in Yoda voice or its equivalent).

I cannot just let things flow over me, mostly, because I get bored. Because I do not find my solace in the peace and the quiet. I find it in the busy and dirty and heat of a city street. I find it making random eye contact with people in crowded places. I find it going through an overpopulated airport on my way to a different country. I find it sitting in a loud pub and staring at the bottom of my glass. I find it at rock concerts. I find it in chaos.

Forget the quietly flowing river, I say! I'd rather be paddling down the river, having waves rush at me, dodging rocky cliffs, and forgetting to wear a life jacket. This may be to my detriment. I accept it and am going to stop trying to change it. I shall not relax!

I like to jump wholeheartedly into that which I believe. I take action. I do stupid shit. Sometimes that shit pans out and sometimes it does not (hello, shall I tell you about the time I gave up everything and moved to Switzerland?).

I have stopped trying to make sense of it. I have made so many mistakes in life. I have also never let fear get the best of me. I think those two things go hand in hand. 

I take the risks. I tell men I love them. I move to foreign countries. I invest all my money in my passions. I would rather be homeless that an accountant. I get too political. I speak too loudly. I drive too fast. I am wrong often and won't admit it. I expect more from a conversation over coffee than most people do (thrill me, please!). I get way too anti-social. I am awkward. I sing all the time.

I want to experience everything. I keep thinking this will go away. I keep telling myself that I will want to settle down. Be one place. Grow a garden. Nest. Build a life that consists of constants. But I have finally admitted that I do not want those things. I am bored by those things. I can't imagine my life not changing from year to year. This makes me a bad candidate for relationships and family units. People might pity that. I embrace it. It is who I am.

Like trying to squeeze five lifetimes into one.

I'll take that challenge.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Did I Overreact?

I have learned a huge lesson this month. One that seems simple and straightforward, but one I have resisted for years and years (decades, even!)

Let me sum it up for you:

If you guide your behavior by paying attention to the way someone else feels about your behavior...then YOU ARE POWERLESS.

This means taking action without worrying about other people's reaction to your action.


This means that you might not meet the 1950s dictionary definition of "nice". It might mean that you are the very epitome of the 1950s dictionary definition of "mean".

This is hard for me. This might be hard for most women, and even some men (because men are people too).

I am referring, on a large scale, to our close, personal, intimate relationships (not about large actions that would affect a community).

Let me give you an example: have you ever led someone on romantically because you felt too "mean" to just ignore a text message or email from a would be (or past) suitor (even though ignoring is just what you wanted to do)? Did you worry that they would perceive you as mean, and you just want to be seen as nice (we all want to be liked)?  So you answer them, or accidentally encourage, or go on dates you do not want to go on because you just want things to go well, be drama free, no one to get hurt? (note to self: these types of situations really aren't supposed to go "well").

Here is another example: have you ever told someone that you are not interested in a relationship. So, they ask if you can just be friends instead. You have your doubts. But, to be "nice", you say sure! (even though you know that they harbor romantic feelings for you (or vice versa))? Thus, making every time you are with them uncomfortable and awkward?

What about the time you say yes to things you really do not want to do because you are worried how the other person will respond if you say no (even though your gut is saying NO!)

Why do we do this? Why do we not trust our guts? Why do we not do what we actually want to do? Even if it makes us "mean"?  Sure, we could blame it on being raised in a religious setting that teaches women to be sugar and spice and every thing nice (um, I think that is society in general, not just religious society). Sure we could blame our docile mother who just baked cookies and smiled through all the things she did that she did not want to do. Sure, we could blame it on ourselves--we overreact! We are overly sensitive! We are paranoid!  Maybe the guy is nice! Just give things a chance! Maybe you are wrong. It is easier just to say yes! --So, yes, I guess you just blame yourself and now stop doing it!

Why do we second guess every first decision we want to make?

How would your life be different if you did not second guess? No apologies.

Someone asks you out and you do not want to go, so you just say no (without the fear that you should say yes because the world tells you that you are a spinster and that you need to get married).

This is classic fear-based behavior--What will people think of me? What if I hurt their feelings? What if they tell other people I was mean or crazy or that I overreacted? That I am too much drama? That I am difficult? That I am hard to please? That I have too high of expectations?

I challenge each of you to notice things that you are doing that you do not want to be doing. It is not fair to yourself, or to the person you are in a relationship with, to continue to do these things. Even if that means ending the relationship. And you have to have enough faith in your feelings and emotions to let them guide you. Be true to them. And you have to have enough faith in the other person to realize that they are capable of dealing, and moving on, and finding a better life path.

And if we all did that, the world would be a more honest place. A better place. A happier place. 

Look out world. I am doing what I want to do, and I am no longer afraid what you might think of it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Most Important Freedom of All

The White Rabbit. 
The Red Pill vs. The Blue Pill.
A Dream You Can't Shake.
                                                                                                         The Matrix.
                                                Circular Paths.

What is your world like? Who and what influences you? What questions and dilemmas do you ponder? What evils do you struggle against? What reforms do you advocate? What makes you laugh and cry?

And are you willing to expand any of those, or do you see only evil beyond your little haven you've created? Are you willing to have the freedom that comes with your own enlightenment? Are you wiling to see that only through enlightenment comes your own empowerment?

One of the most shocking things in the world to me is meeting someone who believes they have it all figured out. And yet, I understand them completely because for the first 30 years of my life, I felt that I, too, had all the answers. But within those answers I felt powerless to have any say in my life's situations. I sat around and waited for a God (who seemed pretty cool) to give me everything I prayed for, which, of course, does not happen..which then makes you think either God is uncool, or YOU are uncool. I dig God, so I my only conclusion was that I must have been the uncool one in the equation. Which led to feelings of powerlessness for me. Believing I could not choose anything other than the path that was set before me had me stagnant and feeling like an Old Maid at the age of 27.

Luckily, I took a brave leap of faith and ventured outside the little Matrix I was comfortable in (and I'm not just talking about religion here). 

And I started to see the world differently. And I started feeling powerful.

Like superhero powerful. Like web was going to come shooting out of my wrists powerful. Like my golden tiara and lasso could stop airplanes in mid-flight powerful.

For your 4th of July viewing pleasure, I thought a Good Ole Fashion Top Ten List would be appropriate. Here they are! The top ten ways that I think people, especially women, give away their power.

Feel free to disagree with me. I would love to hear your comments! 

1. Asking others what you should do.
2. Thinking God decides who gets what.
3. Worrying about how your dream will come true.
4. Thinking you have dues to pay.
5. Attaching to unimportant details and outcomes.
6. Believing in soul mates.
7. Thinking karma or spiritual contracts are absolute.
8. Fear of anything.
9. Waiting for your ducks to line up before acting.
10. Choosing to be unhappy.