Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Stress?? Don't take it Personally....

   As we enter Christmas Week, the air is getting thick with anxiety and trepidation. You hear all around you the words "Holiday Stress". These words are touted around the water cooler, in the newspaper and on the Evening News, as an outbreak of the latest disease. Let's address the idea of "stress". Stress is defined here as : "Emphasis" importance or significance attached to a thing. It goes on to describe this "stress" as "a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism". The most integral definition I found was the mechanical one: "An action that causes strain or deformation".
   Wow! Holiday "Stress" is it really that bad? Are we really wanting to attach such a detrimental label on an occasion that brings families together to celebrate a Holiday? Let's break this down.
In America, we spend the months of November and December fretting and anticipating the idea of gathering with friends and family, exchanging gifts, listening to music, spending time at events, having conversations and experiencing the joy that is Christmas. Why should this bring "stress"? The answer is pretty simple.
   We anticipate the worst outcome. "Oh my God, I have to go to the Mall. It's going to be packed, I'm going to have to park in Guam, it will take forever, I will spend too much and they won't even like what I get anyway." Tell me you are not putting this thought out there! You know you are!
   It's really not that bad. If we just stop and not take this so personally we might get through unscathed and shockingly enough "ENJOY" the season. Let's take it issue by issue:
Shopping: There are several issues within this one small task. Traffic, Parking, Crowds, Long Lines & Item availability. My ideas are simple. First, please be organized. Know what you need before you even start out. Know what your looking for a list helps. Perusing the sale pages helps too. That's a great start.
   The Drive: Take a moment as you get in the car. Sit in the drivers seat, before you put on your seat belt, and take a deep breath, eyes closed. Prepare your mind, Prepare your heart. Take one step at a time. Address only what is right in front of you at the moment. After the deep breath, say out loud to yourself and anyone who may be with you. (yes the child in the car seat and the teenager and most definitely the growling spouse) I (we) am going to enjoy this ride. I am going to get to where I am going easily and find a front parking space. Affirm this. Make a point of knowing in your mind exactly what you ARE going to do. This sets you up for success, as in anything else your universe takes your direction. Then put your favorite music on the radio. Strap in and glide to your destination without incident. The most important part of this is that you BELIEVE this. Know it is true. I can tell you from experience it most definitely works. I do it every time I leave my house.

   The Store: Ok, you are now sitting in your front parking space amazed...but smiling. As you park, turn off your car (so the person cursing you behind you knows he should have had a better attitude before he left home), Take another deep breath, be grateful say thank you then affirm for the next step. "I am going to greet everyone I see with a smile. Everyone I come in contact with will be pleasant and happy to assist me. I will find everything I need and get out in a timely fashion." Smile and believe this to be true. Get out of your car and walk into the store. Smile. It's Christmas! A few things to be mindful of: Be careful of your
expectations of the people who work in the stores. Smile always, be pleasant. It will be refreshing to the employee and you will get better results. Ignore the environment. Feel bad for those who are not enjoying their experience. Feel good for yourself. Feel good that you can and will have a pleasant experience. It is YOUR choice. Make it a good one. Lastly, When you are done and sitting in your car smiling with amazement, say THANK YOU. Now affirming for the drive home should be a breeze!

Family Gatherings, The Relatives and
The Office Party:
Here's a thought: Life in general is an experience lived by individuals. Each person lives their life through their own view. People live in their own world, in their own story. They invest all their faith in that story, and that story is truth for them, but it’s a relative truth, because it’s not truth for you. If you can see that all their opinions about you really concern the character who lives in their perception, not in yours it would be harder to take anything they say personally. The "you" they are judging in your name is a character they have created  with their perceptions of interactions with you. Whatever people think of you is really about the image they have of you, and that image isn’t you. No matter which way you look at it, People are going to think what they think. Even with your best intentions at hand, you cannot change another person. So, in this vain, Enjoy your life for YOU. Do what You feel is right, and do the best you know how to do. Nobody can expect more of you. If they do, they were expecting more than they should have, and it's on them. Not your issue.

The Bottom Line: Enjoying the Holidays is a choice as in everything else. Don't put expectations on yourself. Just enjoy the moment. If you expect to enjoy them you will! Just as if you expect to hate it You will! Just make the right choice. You are only responsible for your experience.

Happy Holidays my friends.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Everyone has a

Through all of my reading lately I have come to know one thing.  Not everyone realizes what it means to say "Everybody has a story". Contrary to popular belief a person's "story" is not their "real" life experience. It has come to my attention that people don't even realize they are here to "experience" life. They walk through life getting through the tasks. They are just numbing their way through. Just muddling through, day after day with no particular enjoyment or realization that time is passing.
People live with mantras. Stories they tell themselves to get through events. These mantras escape the confines of their mind sometimes in the form of excuses and explanations. They don't even realize their doing it. It's funny that once you actually come to understand what this experience is all about, the way you look at people and the way they act becomes very interesting. You begin to hear and see people in a very different light. Others become more of a learning experience.
Here's my take on this:
The perception that the events that occur in our life, are what
define our life, is not only wrong but the easy way out. For example a woman might say,  "I will never find the right guy because my father physically abused me." or "I have never found a good job, I'll always be poor because my resume is terrible". "I didn't get my degree, so I'm not successful".
"I got married early  and when the children came along I didn't have time to do what I wanted". These are Mantras. Stories we tell ourselves and anyone else who'll listen, to explain why we have given up. Why we muddle through each day with no intent and no vigor for the "gift of life" we have been given.
These stories are the "excuses" we use to justify our actions in our hearts and in our minds. This doesn't make them TRUE.
The incidents and events that have happened are just that. Events. They do not define our life in any way.
If you choose to hang on to those excuses you have decided to make them valid. It still does not change the fact that YOU made the decision NOT to do what you wanted to do.
So as I come to this realization and I now, have to ask myself "What are my Mantras?"  Tough question.
This means if I have these Mantras, I have to recognize them. That also means if I recognize them as Mantras I have to either dispell them or justify keeping it. Oh no! This means that the stories I have been telling myself
for so many years, has to change??? Does this mean I have to own up to the fact that I have always made every decision?
This is a tough path...Lets take this one slowly.
Ok, my first Mantra. I was a Daddy's Girl, but he left when I was 13 and this screwed up my life forever. I now was a single parent child, now poor and no longer spoiled. My life was ruined! I was going to go to public school, have to move..etc... Ok, Ok, I know...nothing that happens when you are 13 dictates what happens "the rest" of your life.
I also realize, the marriage rate is >50% divorced in this country. I'm not that different from anyone else. So I guess that "Mantra" is gone!
2nd Mantra: I had to LPN out of College because my husband got sick and I had to go to work. He then died and I never got the chance to become an RN. Hmmmm, this is a tough one. I truly believe I did the right thing, here.
But I guess it's not completely true. I guess I could have taken the money I made, and have well paid for myself to go and finish my degree. What does this mean though? What does this truly mean? Did I NOT want to become an RN?
Looking at it today.. I would have to say yes. I DID NOT want to be an RN. Can I answer why? Nope. I really don't know.
I have others, but those 2 were biggies for Me. Now the rest of the questions come into play. So, if I don't WANT to be an RN, what do I want? How do I know? Where do I start? For God sakes.. I'm too old to not know what I want to be when I grow up...aren't I?
At this moment in my life, I am looking at MY Experience. My experience has been what I have made of it.(or not)
Right or wrong, I made every decision, I took or didnt take every step that lead to where I am right now.
The only thing I can do is make sure that every step from this moment on is what I Want. I have to know I am the only person living MY experience.

I spoke to someone this week, who said that it is only HUMAN to "feel" for people. That's interesting, but the only thing I can say is, from what I have learned, EVERYONE makes their own decisions. I can feel bad that a person doesn't know what's good for them or exactly what they want for themself. As I didn't.  But to allow my empathy to change my experience in any way shouldn't happen. I act in kindness. I don't laugh at anyone's expense. I am open to every person in my life, As I know they are there to teach me something. But I now can draw the line when it "depresses me or angers me" to the point where it could ruin my day. I will not allow anyone that power.  I want to be Happy. I know at least that much.

Next time: What do people see when they see me? How do the people that truly know me, see me? What are they thinking, when they think of me? How does this affect me? How does it enter into my decision making? Should it have any influence on how I make decisions? Things to talk about...

What label do you allow to define you?

Mine has been "BBW"

Google BBW.. and the first result you will get is a wikipedia definition of Big Beautiful Woman. (definition) the 2nd result is an Online Magazine "geared" to BBW's. Click on this site and you find advertisements for Jillian and her weight loss products, and an advertisement for "How to become a Personal Trainer"...I laughed until I cried.
Who is the target of this webpage? Is this truly a BBW acceptance Magazine? or is this just another Mass Media push for Weight loss products, hidden in the guise of "whats good for you"?
The Tag line for the Magazine is "The Power of Plus".
Hold on, "The power of Plus"? To make weight loss programs wealthy?
What power are you instilling if your biggest advertiser is a Weight loss ad??? The power to feel inferior and not good enough? What this should mean is that your readers should know enough to not be your audience!
Where is the empowerment? Where is your loyalty to your "brand"?
Someone didn't get the memo.
Unfortunately the perception in the World is that being a Plus Size Person means that you should "want" to be thin. You should want to spend every last dollar you work so hard for on changing yourself because someone else thinks you should look differently.
This perception is so wrong.
What plus sized people really need to do is stop feeding this mantra!
Stop perpetuating this lie and start perceiving themselves as being worthy of positive media attention. How enlightening it would be to see a list of website choices that shine a light on Plus sized people who are Self assured, Active and living life. The best way to enjoy life is to Live it!
Tell me, when was a carrot stick and a 10 mile run in the confines of a ranch dedicated to the brainwashing of a plus sized person much more than a 6 month waste of life?
Although I agree that their needs to be a movement, I disagree about what exactly that movement should be.
Here's another thought: Who is complaining about obesity? Who is the loudest force in the media saying there is an "obesity crisis"?  Insurance companies! They are complaining that "fat people" use more medical insurance dollars than any other demographic group. For one thing this cannot possibly be true. I know many many "fat people" and the last place they want to be is in a doctor's office. This is the place where they are not only unaccepted they are taunted and prodded to change. The Nurse comes in and tries to take your blood pressure with a "child-size" b/p cuff and then huffs and whines when she has to go out of the room to get a real cuff. She then hands you a "paper gown" that only covers the front side of you and tells you to sit on the cold table, where the paper covering sticks to your backside and makes a crinking sound when you breath. The doctor then comes in and look at you, smiles and says, "How's the diet? Lost any weight this year? I have a wonderful new medication, and a cousin who owns a gym! Should work wonders!" He then goes on to look at your chart, sees that your blood pressure is normal, you have no diabetes, havent had a visit in a year and walks out of the room without coming near you, for fear of catching what ever disease you have that caused you to be fat in the first place! No, insurance companies, we are not lining up for this stellar treatment! Your insurance dollars are not used by us. They are probably being wasted on the housewives who are using your dollars to fix whatever maladies they have from the breast implant repairs they have had to do. Or the senior citizens who instead of using the free bus to go to the park and enjoy their golden years, are parked in the Dr's office waiting all day for the new BP medicine the pharmaceutical company is peddling through the Dr's office this week.
In the last few months I have been using the mantra. "What you think about & talk about, you bring about". So, for me talking about the "obesity crisis" is off limits. I like to think more on the vain of,  I am healthy, I am active and I am living my life. I deserve my place in the world as much as everyone else.
I was born a miracle as much as anyone else. I am a gift from God here for a purpose and by God I am going to live out that purpose.
My wish for my "fat people" community a peace in your heart that comes from knowing you are the best person for the job, the prettiest girl at the party, and the first pick for best friend, because you know what it's like to overcome a stigma that is acceptable in this world.
I refuse to waste my precious time not living my life because someone else
decides what's good for me. I will continue being Healthy, Active and have lots of Fun doing it. Let the models worry about the carrot sticks.
I'm off to the beach!

Back to the socks again????

Yesterday I mentioned in passing that I thought my boyfriend should pick up his socks from the bathroom floor. Remember how I said that I found out that he "Shouldn't because he Doesn't" Well there's a little more to that story. I have to again reiterate an argument is NEVER just about the socks, and if we realize that before we start "grumbling and bitching and moaning" and taking precious time and happiness out of our lives for the sake of SOCKS. We truly can look at it as JUST SOCKS! Not through the barrage of thoughts flowing through the mind coming from left field....
So, if I want the socks picked up from the floor, then I can do it. Seems kind of passive. And when I first started learning about this new path, I thought Oh, we go, If I want something done I have to do it. Nobody else needs to be accountable for themselves. I had to look at it again and again and again. I'm kinda stubborn like that. I get an idea in my head and its concrete. It's needs "jackhammering" to get it out. I could not get my head or my heart around the idea that someone shouldn't do something just to make ME feel better. I kept having thoughts in my head, "If he loves and respects me, he will be more thoughtful". Boy was that a farce. Really? He doesn't love me or respect me because he leaves the socks on the floor? I put other things in there Oh my God, socks on the floor again??? He does this on purpose! He knows I'm going to pick this up! HE just leaves it there for me to do!  Just reading that statement makes me laugh. Just like I'm sure he has thoughts in his mind  something like, "God, if she loved me more she'd realize that I need more sex and she should want to give it to me so I don't have look anywhere else. I should have an affair. She doesn't love me enough to keep me happy in the bedroom anyway!" May seem extreme but, the 2 sets of statements are similarly outrageous!
Yes there are authors who say "Give and take" are what make a happy relationship. And in some way I agree. I agree, that when you feel validated and listened to in a relationship you like spending time with that person. But if you are truly happy, deep within happy, the relationship will mirror that. Your innerspeak is the beginning of the peace you need. You don't have to do a thing but change the way you think.  Moreover, I think that my understanding of the human psyche has proven to me that the freedom received from forgiving someone for not being what YOU want them to be is much more reliable. I needed to stop applying my expectations to another human being. If I have a need or want, that has to be met, then I am the one who needs to fulfill it. Only I KNOW for sure how to do that.
 Now, some would say, if I fulfill all of my own needs, why do I need a life partner? Ahhhhhhhh, I truly don't NEED a Life Partner. I want a relationship. I want emotional bonding. I want someone to talk with, someone to share experiences with.  As a whole, Humans are social animals. We don't thrive well alone. Too much time alone makes us the cat hoarding people.
We simply should just recognize that being with someone isn't the food of life. It isn't what fulfills us. It's not the "completion" process. Being with someone is an addition to an already wonderful life experience. An additional person can add a different view of things, companionship, someone to share with. All too often we use these people as validation of success in ourselves. "I have a great marriage!" the woman exclaims as her husband is seen checking out the blonde across the room. If we just internally validate and believe that we are all that we need to be and are doing everything WE need to be doing in the way WE need to be doing it, then we would be so much more at peace and fulfilled with our Lives.
We need to do whats right for us! This is MY life. I get ONE shot. One performance. One screening. When I am on my death-bed, looking over the footage and pictures of the years of my life, I want to know that it was MY experience. Not one I lived for someone else. If I had someone at my side along the way that shared in it then I was truly Blessed! If not then it was a wonderful ride anyway..
Why should I choose to give my one life experience to someone else? It really comes down to that. The CHOICE. Everything is a CHOICE.
Did I do what I wanted to do with my time on earth?  Did I enjoy my life? Did I choose the best life I could have? Nobody else makes those choices for us! NOBODY. No matter the situation, you ALWAYS have a choice. Yes ALWAYS!  Yes, even with someone holding a gun to your head, YOU have a choice. It is my choice to seek the BEST life experience possible. I owe that to ME. Hope you make that same choice.

Next time:
I see and hear only through the filter of my story. My world, my life, my experience is only my perception.

Who Died and Made me Emily Post...cont.

I made me Emily Post.
 I decided I was going to be my boyfriend's Mother, Teacher, Mentor and Life Coach. Didn't he know there were rules to being in my life? Didn't he know that I was going to tell him how to live his life? Poor man, He didn't know. He didn't know that I had "rules". Funny, I didn't know I had a "rules" either... I had some questioning to do...When something isn't working for me, I'm like "Columbo". (A 1970's TV detective). Just  "one more thing". I need an answer. I need to understand. I ask questions...Sometimes to a fault...I just NEED to understand. When I question something and look at it closely.. The first thing I ask is: "Really"?  "Can it be verified"? If in this case what I'm questioning is my "thought" then I need to find out if it's true. If my thought in this matter cannot be validated (backed up) then the "thought" just isn't true.

 "Byron Katie" (author of the book: Loving What Is) calls this "inquiry".
Inquiry is defined as: "The process by which we question or challenge our thoughts". <giggle> Byron Katie has a label for my obsession with understanding :)
Anyway...This process can be an uncomfortable one. When we question ourselves and something we have believed for a long time to be true, we can become very uncomfortable with the upheaval that this  "belief distortion" can cause in our mind. We build a foundation of learning experiences into our minds as "Fact" or "beliefs". This is a process from about the age of 6 or 7. Our mind previous to that is our own. It's merely a function of brain maturity. The brain of a 3 or 4 yr old hasn't been told that putting a peanut butter sandwich in the vcr is wrong. They simply have not had enough experience in the world to know certain things. It's trial and error. But as we grow, the process where we socialize and become more interactive with our parents, teachers and mentors, we learn those little things we call "suppose to's" and "shoulds". This is the "Underworld" or the "foundation" of our "belief system". Our "foundation in the beginning is built on little things. Example: A 3 yr old child runs naked through a dinner party. The parent's immediate response is to say "NO. Dont ever do that again. Dont ever embarrass us again".
What does the child learn?
Running through the living room is bad. Period. Naked isn't even a concept...Embarassment isnt remotely a concept. Those are the parent's issue. The child learns those type of lessons from Parents, Mentors, teachers etc.. As children we learn that the people who are here (on this earth) before us know "the way". We don't question it. We assume the roles they lay out for us. The foundation is layed.
Now as teenagers and adults, we learn that the foundation may be flawed. Nobody's fault. No blame here. Our parents, teachers, grandparents, etc... did as those who went before them. The foundation isn't entirely flawed, but may have some cracks. When this realization comes about there can be some very real turmoil.
Remember the movie "Carrie"?
What did Carrie's mother say when she wanted to go to the High School Dance? AAAARRRMAGEDON!!! It's kind of like that. Chaos! The end of life as we know it!
Your mind and body react to "assaults" to it's foundation in that very same way.You feel like a traitor. You feel like you are betraying your "belief system". Here's the rub: If inquiry shows that a part of our "foundation" may be flawed then we may find that the (foundation) doesn't support Reality. This now causes a shift in the way we view Everyday Life. The truth of the matter is we are all individuals.  We all grew up in different houses. We may have grown up in the same community, so we have some similarities in the way we were raised, but for the most part we are different.
We all are responsible for ourselves.
The "shoulds" and "supposed to's" don't apply to anyone but us. If this is what You identify with, then it is Your "should", not anyone else's. Byron Katie explains that statements including the words "should" are false, because it isn't.
Example;  My boyfriend should pick up his socks and not leave them on the bathroom floor. This statement is false. Do you know why? Because he doesn't. Period. He doesn't. It is that simple. This leaves me a few choices. Do I pick up the socks because it will drive me insane to have socks on the bathroom floor, or do I scream and yell like a scorned mother and shame this grown man into picking up his socks causing resentment and anger for however long it lasts, (arguments always start with socks but never end there, do they?) Or, do I simply leave them right where they are and go on with my life???  The bottom line is what do I want in my life.
What choice am I making for my life at this moment?
In my life right now today. I want peace. Peace is at the forefront of my being. So, sometimes I pick up the socks and sometimes I don't. Sometimes He actually does. It's not life altering, but it's also not an issue I choose to brood over or even pay attention to. Because what we pay attention to in our lives we bring about more of! Do I want more issues about socks???  Oh for God sakes, No of course not! I want to enjoy my life. I want to remain at peace and be happy. The truth is, that even the life altering things give us choices...their just harder to see at first, but we can find them if we look closely enough. Just call on your inner Columbo!

 Tomorrow:  "Back to the socks again...?"

Who died and made me Emily Post?

Ok, so I have a question: 

When did I become my partner's teacher, mother & manners coach?
Why is it up to me to correct this person when he is rude? Who gave me the job of showing a grown man that he isn't the center of the universe. Who made it my job to point out this person's "bad behavior"? Who am I to tell him that it is completely self centered to walk in a room where someone is reading, blurt out words and expect a response? Why is it my job to tell someone that his everyday plights are not my business and although I empathize with him, I dont understand why it is my job to make him feel better about them. Especially when he never does this for me. Why does it bother me? Why is it an issue? Am I just impatient? Am I too critical?
Why do I care if this person is rude? What is rude? Who defines it? Why is it an afront to me personally?
Is it because of MY culture? Is it because of what I think is RIGHT vs what he thinks isn't a "big deal"?
Maybe someone else has a different belief. Does that make their belief or mine more important? Is the issue important at all?

Boy am I perplexed.

I have been away from writing for a while. A blurb here and there, but only because I truly am not finding an answer.

I may not have be looking in the right place... Seems that to find the answer to some of these questions, I need to look somewhere inside of myself. A book, an article, a blog is not going to tell me why I make myself the judge of all creation! Who am I? How did I become so righteous? Is there no place for difference of opinion? What about patience? Kindness?

Guess I'll finish reading and try to get it all straight. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In need of Inspiration...

Sometimes along the journey we stall. It happened to me this week. Usually I get uninspired or doubtful when I hit a bump in the road. I have become more enlightened, but I still stumble, as I'm sure everyone does. I continue to read and listen to my mentors, but it becomes drone like. When this happens I need a new voice.
I found myself today looking for that new voice. I didnt know what message I was looking for. Maybe some affirmation? Maybe some intuition?
I am pretty crafty at finding sources. In my reading I learned about Louise Hays. She wrote the book : "You can Heal your life".  Seems like exactly the type of thing I'm looking for. I found the ebook...but wanted something a little more immediate.
I found it!! I'm sharing it with you: Enjoy!!!


Journeys and Paths...

When you have inspired thought, you have to trust it, and you have to act on it.

Everyone seems to have there own reason for doing what they do to make there way in life. So many people are motivated by the end result that they lose sight of the journey. I read a book recently that most would balk at as a philosophical piece that is nice to read, but not worth the time spent to read it. I so disagree. Although most philosophical pieces are full of inspiration and light hearted thoughts this piece makes sense.

The writer takes you on a journey with a man who has lost all hope in himself. His family is drowning in debt and lost all faith in him. This writer takes you and this man through a journey where you follow the path always traveled.  The path to making others successful. Our "daily grind", as it were.
 The man in the book, always saw others who attained their goals as "lucky" or "smarter" or "having less integrity" than he. How many of us have come upon people like that in our lives? People who appear to "have it all"?  Of course we have. Did we ever stop to see that this person's journey, might not have been the same as ours. Did we ever stop to think "I want my own journey"? Did we ever think we were brave enough to get off the beaten path and forge our own journey? We wake up everyday with the same opportunity everyone else does. We wake up with the opportunity to continue on being comfortable in what we KNOW or we can decide to forge a NEW journey where we KNOW we will attain our Goal.

A few months ago I chose the latter. I chose my GOAL. I didnt ask anyone's permission. I saw it. I believe it. I do it EVERYDAY, and So can you!

Belief in yourself and knowing what you want, is the key to getting it done. The ability to truly know what you want is all you need. Knowing what you want will bring on the way to get it. You first have to KNOW what you want.

Write down your goals, this makes it easier to visualize. Keep reading it. Set the words to memory. Visualize your dream accomplished. This makes your dream a reality in your subconscious. Convincing yourself that you have what it takes to accomplish your goal is 95% of the work. We are our own worst critic. We have to train ourselves to be our own promoter. Nobody wants to see you succeed more than you!
Help everyone else know, you are that person. You are a success!
Realize that the naysayers are people on the well traveled path of making other people successful.
They are afraid to take your journey. They are afraid to be on their own, on a road they have never traveled. Of course they have never traveled it, they have never been successful!

You are on a brave journey. You are on a journey to success. As you get to know this road, it will become familiar to you, so that you will never need to go back in the other direction. This road will be more comfortable. This road will be the easier way to get to your goal. You have the GPS!

Remember, everyone thought Columbus was crazy!
Misery loves company someone said... ever wonder where that came from?
We want happiness, not misery. We want to love what we do and be successful while doing it!  We deserve the comfort and happiness that comes with doing something you love. Simple as that.
Believe in yourself. The goal and the way will show itself once you do.
You deserve it & It WORKS!

Breaking the Addiction of a Bad Relationship

The first step in Breaking a Relationship Addiction would be to define the addiction: 

An addictive relationship is defined as being addicted to a particular relationship and feeling  great anxiety and despair (withdrawal symtpoms) when trying to pull back or get away from that relationship. Just as in any other addiciton, relationship addiction is a state of losing yourself to an outside force. Addicts often suffer through bad (sometimes abusive) relationships rather than risk the chance of being abandoned - or being alone. It is not alcohol, heroin, pills or pot that is the drug; it's another person.
As in all addictions an addictive relationship can be damaging. The relationship and all of it's trappings cause isolation, loss of self-esteem, self resources and self respect due to the result of losing the vital "connection" to self. The stress, anxiety and despair resulting, can cause real havoc on the body. It can exhibit itself in real health issues such as; decreased immunity, migraines, high blood pressure, substance abuse, clinical depression and in some cases as severe as suicide.
How do we recognize an Addictive Relationship?Recognizing the addiction can be different for everyone. As in all things in life. Not everyone is the same.
Here are some key points:
Approval:  Living a life solely based on what another person does or does not do. A craving for approval of what your goals are and basing those goals on the approval of another. Feeling good relies on getting approval from others. Only feel good about themselves if they feel "liked" by others
Losing Self:  Losing interest in personal goals, interests and entertainment. Nothing is as interesting as seeing the relationship happy. Your relationship's happiness is central to your own. Hobbies and interests are sacrificed to share the interests/hobbies of others
Accepting:  Accepting of aspects in your relationship that you don't agree with, and that may be unhealthy for you, just to maintain the relationship.
Addicts often are not honest in expressing opinions or desires; fears of rejection or anger keep them from discovering or revealing their emotions.
Dillusion: Unhealthy attachment to trying to change or modify the relationship aspects that are painful. Telling themselves they are over-sensitive,  jealous, needy. Believing they can change and become the person the relationship needs.
Unworthy: Experience feelings of unworthiness or nothingness without the relationship. They have an inability to see life or happiness outside of the relationship.
Powerless: Often feel lost, empty, powerless, depressed. Completely jaded to the ability of the self.
Crave Attention: Crave attention from the relationship whether, positive or negative. They feel abandoned and anxious when the other person pulls back and is isolating, so they "act out" in whatever way will end in attention. This sometimes is evidenced by, multiple phone calls, nasty messages, sexual overtone or enticement, romantic promises etc..
Frustration: Ultimately this relationship doesn't work. The addicted party does in fact have needs whether recognized or not. Those needs are not met in a one-sided relationship. Thus frustration occurs. The addicted one then exhibits behavior that can be defined as "out of control". ie: rage, crying, screaming, exhibitionism, attention seeking and sometimes physical violence to self, or others.
Staying too long: Lastly, this person has been in a relationship for quite awhile that, generally, is unhappy. Author Jewel Taylor states ""People have convinced themselves that there is a shortage of good men and women, so they're just thankful to have `somebody.' Some would rather be in a bad relationship than no relationship."  The reasons are plentiful. Books have been authored solely on this subject.
Recognition of such an unhealthy existence is a major part of being able to conquer it. Once recognized as unhealthy, the participant can move forward toward health and to "Self".  Increasing independance and self-worth through confidence building exercises and daily inner exploration of the self  through journalling, can be the first steps to freedom.

When journalling, the reading back over time periods, gains confidence through personal goal setting and comparison of day to day accomplishments. As the first few entries will most likely be based on anxiety and fear, (withdrawal symptoms) comparing those entries to latter entries in the following days will let the participant clearly see the ability to move forward without negative consequence and actual fulfillment of personal goals. Instilling affirmation of Independant happiness.

Physical ActivityWalking and affirming are great motivators. No competition. No goal. Just simply walking to walk. Simply walking for 30 mins, 3 times a week can be a mood elevator. This gives us the ability to be alone with our thoughts
affirming a gift to ourself.
Physically; Walking can increase the production of "Endorphins", a natural "opiate".  A brain chemical that makes you feel good!
This will replace the need for the negative chemicals the brain was trained to need previously. Walking has several health benefits that also include making it easier to sleep.
Tips for walking would include a device that  makes it possible for you to listen to your favorite music, or record some affirmations and play them while you walk. Reinforce what's RIGHT  and GOOD in your life.You can listen and recite them as you walk along. Pick a favorite place to walk. A beach, a beautiful path, a busy downtown avenue. Something that excites you. Remember this is a gift to yourself! YOU deserve it!
There are several websites and resources for Relationship / Love addictions. I have included some at the end.
As in anything, talking with a professional may lighten the load and give you an added resource from someone who won't judge you.
Someone who is paid to listen and has a vested interest in your success.
My personal interest in the issue is this:
You need to realize at some point that YOU are the only one who can live your life.
No matter how much you would like someone to be more important, or how much you convince yourself that you just don't matter to anyone.
It is YOUR life. YOUR experience. Honestly life will go on with or without you. Everyone has THEIR own life. YOU make it what YOU want it to be. If you are miserable where you are, then it's where YOU want to be. If not, CHANGE IT!  It REALLY is that simple.
At the end of the day, we are all given a certain amount of time on earth, It's like a vacation. Either choose all the activities or choose to lay on the beach. But it is YOUR CHOICE. Just dont sit and find excuses to waste the time...You owe yourself more.
Thoughts on, Why people stay? Let me know.. Don't agree with me, let me know that too.
Next time: Plain Inspiration

The Science behind a Bad Relationship

There is  Science behind a Bad Relationship...Can you believe it?

Among the readings I have recently ingested. I came upon a video and a subsequent article that stated that we are in the relationships we are in simply because its what we know. We know how to deal with our current relationship, no matter how hard or how difficult. No matter how unhealthy, we go back time and time again because it's what we know. Learning new ways of dealing with things would be uncomfortable and open us up to feeling things outside of our comfort zone therefore producing anxiety, vulnerability and emotional overload. So we maintain our survivor modes.
Or as some would say, we put on our "Martyr Capes".

If this sounds all too familiar to you, then try this on for size;

There is a science to this madness.

The brain's receptors are desensitized to the trappings of the current relationship. It's what the Brain has come to know as "normal". We can function. This is what we know. This is what we're used to. We have been conditioned, just like Pavlovs dogs. If we veer outside of this, we are uncomfortable.
Have you ever broken up with someone and dated someone new? Upon going on a date with this "new" person, you felt out of place? Mistrusting? Felt as though this person doesnt know you, and that they are just feeding you the lines they think you want to hear? So mistrusting that it is almost impossible to have a good time?

This "new" experience is outside of your comfort zone! Yelling, screaming, criticism, apathy and arguing is your norm. Someone being nice , complimenting you, and listening to you, just for the enjoyment of spending time with you is foreign! This new incoming information doesnt line up with what your brain knows as "normal"and the body responds with uneasy feelings and real discomfort.

Believe me, when I heard this information, I was floored. I guess because I am used to science being the constant in my life, I trust science to explain many things, but my relationship? Wow!
The article states that this phenomena is comparative to "drug & alcohal addiction". The hypothalmus (part of the brain) makes certain chemicals (peptides) that match up with certain emotions we experience on a daily basis. So there are chemicals identified to correlate with anger, sadness, joy, victimization, love, etc.. Immediately upon experiencing this emotion, the brain produces the chemical and releases it into the bloodstream and the flow takes it to the "receptors". (receptors: arms or hands that act as gateways to the inside of cells) When the chemical (peptide) reaches the receptor it locks in. The chemical (peptide) then sends a signal into the cell.

Experience of this continually conditions those receptors, and shapes how we think and respond.  An overload of this chemical to the receptor, changes the receptor. Therefore also changes the cell. The cell before this chemical, had an instructional guide. It had a job to do and knew what chemicals it needed to do that job. But when we overload it with one certain chemical the instructions change. The cell doesnt recognize good or bad.
It only recognizes the presence of this chemical. This chemical is so strong and so frequent  that the cell now recognizes a need for it. When the cell realizes a reduction in the chemical it looks for it. The cell sends a message to the brain, "I need my fix today". The brain then looks for the stimulus for this chemical, which was the Emotion that produced it. So if your anger or frustration, or depression caused that chemical to be produced, your body is now seeking it.
The brain now looks for things to cause the emotion, so that the chemical will be released from the hypothalamus. Even if you decide to leave the relationship. The need of your body for that chemical draws you back to the stimulus. (the bad relationship)
It needs the "fix" of depression or anger. If you are not in the relationship the brain takes to your memory to depress you. It needs it's fix. Your body is now addicted to your anger and depression.
 We are physical, chemical and emotional beings.
This is what makes us human. This only becomes a limitation when we keep accessing those same emotions and attitudes on a daily basis, that don't serve us and go nowhere in terms of growth or evolution within the relationship.

How can we say that we want a better relationship, when we are experiencing and reacting to the same emotions and experiences everyday?
How about this? A new chemical comes into play.

It might be the right chemical, produced by the right emotion but the brain recognizes it as "abnormal" and triggers the body to respond accordingly. We have trained our brain to be unable to recognize what is good for us. Now, when the "new peaceful and joyous experiences" that our heart, body and peaceful mind really need and is actually good for us, won't be recognized by our brain. We actually are now uncomfortable, because of the new "joyous" experiences. We dont know how to react. Now what?
Interesting stuff....

Next time: How to break the addiction of a Bad relationship.

Taken off my path with a detour into futility.

I know you all are saying yah yah.. so we need to maintain positivity. Easy to say, but you don't live my life. Everyday life presents its own set of exercises. Law of Attraction says Positive attracts Positive. True enough, but.. it doesn't happen right away. Sometimes we have some "housecleaning" to do. Whether internal or external. Internally we need to feel that the path we are on is what WE want. Externally we need to remove factors that do not align us with our goals. Sometimes that's easier said than done. So what can we do?
 Here's an example of a real life everyday occurrence...

Today someone I live with took a lot of time & trouble to go to the cable office to exchange a cable box. Going to the cable office in my city can be harrowing. Especially if you go without  good intention. An example of good intention would have been "I am going to the cable office. The traffic will be clear and I will get out of the line fast" once in the office another affirmation: "This line is moving quickly, I am going to get my task done easily".  Now, the person I speak of has yet to be convinced of the power of positive intention. So, this person dragged himself to get up and go. Words coming out of his mouth such as  "I hate having to do this, Going there is always such a task" etc.. Upon reaching the cable office,  He immediately texted me "It is Packed!".  I affirm to him via text, "before going in please say to yourself, this will be painless and the line is moving quickly." I received no response. I texted additionally, "Visualize yourself, in your car with everything you have come for and smiling." The response I got back : "There are more people behind me now than in front of me". I responded, "Great! Can you see the tide changing for you?"  No response.

45 mins later he returns in a horrible huff. He goes on to explain that he thinks he has been screwed and that he will need to call the cable company immediately. I slow him down and ask... "what happened?" (big mistake) He goes on to say that he thinks that the guy at the cable company was in the wrong account and that the service that we got was not at the level that was in the computer. I brought him the bill where proof showed the service we were looking to restore with an exchange of faulty equipment was in fact what we paid for. He went on to call the cable company, and the morning was blown. When he finished screaming at the cable company (shaking my head the whole time), He came to me and asked if I was going to go install the equipment. I simply explained that right now would not be a good time, and that I needed a breather. He scoffed and went into the room and attempted to install the equipment. I left to go into my bedroom. I needed solitude. I felt physically ill. I felt that I had been in a war zone. Stress does that to you. just being exposed to stressful situation that I recognize has nothing to do with me, made me physically ill and trepidous. My body is literally telling me...THIS IS NOT A GOOD SITUATION!  Doesnt seem effective does it? My mind starts to question itself.  Is  positive thinking making me weak? How do I address stress?

Hold on... is this MY stress?

Is this MY situation?

Ok, In my accounting I could have made better choices. After laying down and closing my eyes for what seemed to be milliseconds, I realized, I walked straight into the negativity. I invited it in. Why was I concerned about how this was going to go? Why was I concerned about how he would react in this situation. I, the supposed enlightened person was perpetuating what I DID  NOT want. At the very beginning of this situation I was already worried. I should have instead affirmed it myself. The power was mine. Instead of asking him to affirm, why didn't I do it for myself? I could have said "The cable equipment has been returned without incident. I am grateful for the internet, and the cable working perfectly." Period.

Ok, Aha moment realized!

After I came out of my bedroom I began to immediately go into cooking mode. I was feeling a little better and realized that He was upset that I was not excited that he went to the cable office for me and I was not grateful for his going. So, I went to him and said, please go to bed you need to go to work, I understand that you think I am ungrateful and not excited, but I will take care and install the equipment later. I simply feel, to try to install this now in an angry stressful situation would not produce a positive outcome. He became irate. I left the room, He then became enraged, that I left the room! I realize that : 1.) I should not have gone into the room. 2). To maintain peace I could have not instilled my feelings on the situation. (I don't have to fix things)
In order to deal with everyday stressors such as living with someone who does not maintain my same mindset, I have to realize that his reality is not mine. Investing emotion into his hysteria, I now have "minded his business". Let me clarify; I am of the mind-set that if you "mind" other people's business you are not taking care of your own. I have my own agenda. I want to maintain a clear mind, and peaceful heart. In investing emotion (especially negative emotion) in someone else's problems I am not helping  and probably making the situation worse. I also am not investing any attention or positive emotion into mine. This is a colossal waste of energy and time away from my path. A detour to futility. No matter how much I want to think I have learned these lessons I also need to realize I cannot change this other person. Only He has the power to do so, if he wants to.  That's the idea of Free Will. Who am I to change someone else? Especially when I have not done such hot job with my own choices. I freely recognize that I still have a lot of work to do. And, oooohhhhh there are detour signs everywhere!

 I now need the tools to help me as blinders to the detours & magnifiers to my best path.

What have been your biggest "detours"? How do you handle them? What is your best tool?  Leave me a comment. Let me learn from you :)

*Next Time: The Science behind Bad Relationships.

Realizing, If you ask... An answer comes. Always!

In the following days, I became distraught that I had hung up the phone on opportunity. I started to believe that my current circumstance was  Who I was. I dwelled in the facade that I "just can't get ahead" and now even when given an opportunity, I not only don't recognize it, but push it away!

I needed to look more closely at what was happening. I needed to look at what I could do to change my focus. I had to pull my focus away from my complaints about what I don't have, and what I don't want. I need to focus closely on what exactly I DO want and be grateful for what I do have. What can I do to change my life around? What can I do to shift my mind-set?

The book "The Secret" and the Law of Attraction tell us that we need to be grateful for what we already have. The feeling that we really do have things to be grateful for helps to emit feelings of positivity.
Positivity begets positivity!
For example, you can be thankful for things great and small. Something as simple as whatever brought you here to read this blog, it's a positive light in your day. Sometimes we get hung up on the why..and the how of the process and never get to the actual things we DO have!

I am experiencing very definite signs that my life is in the process of change.

Most usually out of the greatest despair come the greatest gifts. Did you know that the people who lived through the Great Depression learned how to become family centered and savings based?  The make-do generation, they are called. These survivors, learned to be happy with what they had and grateful to have what they "needed". This generation of people learned through great despair. They recognized how to barter / fix / grow what they needed to overcome it! From which came a great appreciation of Family, Community and strong core values.

As I continue on this path and read and listen to many authors, I realize the greatest gift life has given me in this darkest time is my ability to be grateful. (If you really want to be resourceful in finding things to be grateful for, start at the very core of who you are. ex. I am Grateful for my eyesight and my ability to read and comprehend.) See how easy this step can be?

 I recently was told to "be careful" with regard to  "true happiness" vs "pretend Happiness" This person's definition of pretend happiness was someone who pretends they are happy when they really are not. They do not understand the principle, or they cannot fathom that someone in my situation could be happy. I actually am Grateful for everything I have right now.  "The Secret" actually tells you do exactly that.  It prepares you and gives you the ability to recognize "dreams fulfilled". Remember, I told you I lived my dream come true, and didn't realize it at the time. That won't ever happen to me again. I am grateful everyday for EVERYTHING.

I have realized that the idea of recognizing what is right here near me, is paramount. This may sound too spiritual for some, but it is, what it is...  In the last 2 weeks, I have had signs of lessons to let me learn how to do this. Recognizing what's right in front of you can be as simple as being down to your last dollar and needing gas to get to work tomorrow. Then suddenly from out of nowhere, you find a twenty-dollar bill in the pocket of the coat you just took out of the closet for the first time since last winter. Sometimes it's not so evident. You have to stop and look at it and realize whats going on. Then you NEED to be thankful!

Here's an example: I have been going along and reading and trying to apply the principles of this for a few weeks. One afternoon, I was getting ready to prepare lunch for my bf and he comes in and says,  "Here". He hands me 100.00. I immediately, before even thinking about it ask, "Whats this for? I don't want YOUR money". He picks up the money... and starts to get angry...I ask again, only in a nicer tone and smiling... "No, really, what's it for? What's up?" He says "put it in the bank, don't you need to cover the monthly charges from your account?".

Ok, here's where it gets hairy..

I responded  "that's not what it is... what did you do? is this guilt money??" He grabbed the money and started to put it back into his pocket... and angrily said "you are not going to use this money against me!"  I felt a snap to my head, (like someone flicked me behind my ear)...and I realized...Wait!!! RECOGNIZE !!!! I said to him, Wait, give me that... and he handed me back the money...I apologized.. and took the money.
What's really funny is that 2 weeks before I had the notion, for a few days.. to ask him for the money to cover the monthly account charge so my account didn't go in arrears, but never had the courage to ask him out loud. I thought it was too much to ask...(Always believe you deserve what you want, because you do!)

I have no doubt that scene could have gone very differently, but I also realize that I have learned a very hard lesson. I don't know HOW it will come, But IT WILL  COME. I am not to judge. I am not to question. Just recognize it, be thankful for it and live my best LIFE!

I went the very next day and bought my son a birthday card, that I otherwise would not have had the ability to do and thanked (God, the Universe or whatever label that works for you) for the Gift!

Realize what is near you. It's there! Anger, Resentment, Hurt & nothing but distract you from what is REAL.

There's always a choice. Nothing is set in stone except death. until then, you ALWAYS have a choice.
* What signs have you ignored, and how did it effect you? Let me know.. comment me...
Next time: Detours into futility...Handling everyday distractions and maintaining the path.

How NOT to realize whats right in front of

Here's an example of what Not  to do, to save you time.

After reading Jack Rabbit Factor, I did as it said. I wrote my statement, I visualized, I believed it to be true, but life continued and I lost my conviction. I began to back pedal. I had an intermittent website cookie business and My cookie sales fell completely off. I began to think that Leslie had sold me the "Kool-Aid".  I spent several months more pitying myself and dwelling in my same thought patterns. I closed down my website. I stopped interacting with people and completely closed myself off to the outside world. I kept only my computer.

I began to be more sensitive with my boyfriend again. We are at a very tenuous time. The other night he again threw me to the curb. Only this time I wasnt going without a fight. I grabbed the phone and called my brother. Poor man lives 200 miles away, but sweet as he is, he said I'm on my way. Again as I sit on the curb, I cannot think about whats ahead of me. I cannot be excited about the freedom in front of me. I can only think of the strain I will cause my brother and his new bride. I also can't stop thinking about losing what little I had. I again acquiesce. I called my brother who was now within 50 miles of my house to turn around and go home. My boyfriend has promised to send him gas money and help me put everything away. Once I got off the phone with my brother, my boyfriend went back in the house and left me to tote all of my belongings, broken pieces and all, back into the house on my own. He then began a chant of  "you wouldn't have had to do this had you not been so angry! Anger rules you!"

I have to say I believed at the time staying was the better of the choices. Why bring someone else into my misery? The days after this pass. I went on with my existence. Back to toughing it out alone.
I then received a copy of the movie "The Secret". I watched it and was again tempted to believe that I might have another purpose in this life. I went to sleep that night saying in my mind "I need 5,000. dollars by the end of the month". Over and over again I repeated this in my mind. I knew that it was a good enough amount to get me out of my desperate situation and not be a burden on anyone. Again and again, until I fell asleep, I kept saying "I need 5,000 by the end of the month".

On that night of August 17th into the 18th something happened. I cannot explain it, but I woke up the next morning very nervous. This doesn't happen to me. I am a very quiet morning person. I woke up, did some chores and stayed to myself, for fear of a problem with my boyfriend. I didn't know what was up, but it was something. I remembered  from the movie to only put out the vibration of what I did want and not what I didn't want. So I did. I stayed in my bedroom all morning to maintain any peace there was going to be. My boyfriend was having a particularly horrible day. He was angry, said he didn't feel right and that life was not being good to him that day. I said nothing. When he left for work I warily ventured out into the living room, and saw his telephone on the coffee table. I suddenly felt a pit in my stomach. I became immediately overaught with anxiety! Oh no! I am going to pay for this! This was somehow going to be blamed on me. I somehow caused him to be distracted so that he forgot his phone. I was sick! My stomach was so tied in knots, it consumed me.

Just then my phone rang. It was a 310 area code. I didn't know the number, but answered the phone anyway. I have to admit, my attitude at the time stunk, to say the least. The caller on the other end asked if this was Cookie Memories? My response was "Cookie Memories" is closed. The caller hung up.
My boyfriend came to get his phone without incident.

I began to calm down. Upon calming I realized something. The number for my Cookie company is no longer listed on google, and the phone number wasnt on my Facebook page. I no longer had a webpage. How did this person get my number? I googled the area code and found it was a California area code. Los Angeles, Hollywood, Malibu. Oh no!!! But, how did they get my number? Curiously, I called the number and the answering machine said, "Social Capital Films"! Can you picture the look on my face? My mouth is wide open, and I cannot speak. I clumsily left a very apologetic message. Sent a follow-up email, and resolved that I did all that I could to salvage this. I then googled the "film" company and as it turns out it was a very substantial film company. For those of you who don't know a lot about the "Speciality Cookie Business". I make Custom Cookies. Cookies that are used as Favors, Event Centerpieces and the like.   When I first got in the business, that was my cous de gras. I wanted to land a Movie or Event that would put me on the map.
A friend in California did several of these for Showtime and made millions after that in follow-up business. 
It catapulted her to a Professional Level!
I just sat in awe. I immediately thought of the story of the man on the roof! The man is in a flood and boat after boat comes by but he refrains and says he's waiting for God. The man dies and upon reaching heaven He asks God why he wasnt saved and God replies "How many more boats did you want me to send???" I AM THIS GUY !!! The universe sends me exactly what I asked for and I hung up the phone?!?!? Are you kidding me????  Is this some Cosmic Joke??
Ok, what have we learned?
All I'm saying is this: Listen to the signs. Be positive. Ask for what you want, and KNOW that you DESERVE what you ask for.
Some things are meant to be, whether you can see how it will happen or not!
Ask for it, see what happens !!!!!!

More tomorrow...............

If you could have anything you want, ANYTHING, what would it be???
**Comment me and let me know

Related articles and information: