Sunday, September 24, 2017

How lucky you think the world was made for you

"You're 50 years old, and you still think the world was made for you."
Ananya- in the movie Brad's Status

On rare occasions we go to see movies (mainly so Greg can eat popcorn), but its even more uncommon that a movie can affect me as much as Brad's Status did when I saw it today.
I had to get out on my bike for an hour this afternoon to process Mike White's way of getting our attention about what is important in life, because I felt so unsettled afterward.

In the movie Brad Sloan, founder of a non-profit agency,  experiences a confidence crisis as he starts comparing his life to the lives of friends that he went to college with.  Even though Brad has a sweet wife who works for the government, a prodigy son, and a cozy house in Sacramento, he compares himself to his buddies...constantly making up stories in his mind of how wonderful their "successful" lives must be.  He becomes obsessed with the fact that their grass seems greener, only to find out that they too have troubles of their own.

The quote in this movie that really made me think comes when Brad is talking to his son's beautiful, idealistic visionary friend, Ananya- a college student attending Harvard.

Brad: (after telling Ananya she should forget non-profit and go make money)
"Do I sound jaded?  I started out as idealist as any of your friends are over there."

Ananya:  "You know what I'm thinking?  I'm thinking how lucky you are.  You're 50 years old and you still think that the world was made for you. The people in my country, they make $2.00 a day, and are just trying to figure out where their next meal is coming from."

It felt like someone hit me on the head with a frying pan.
You still think the world was made for you.  

At a time when I've had some pretty important choices to make that seem to be a complete blow to my ego's "status,"  this made so much sense.
You think the world was made for you- what if people think you're a failure?
You think the world was made for you- you deserve more.
You think the world was made for you- others owe you something.
You think the world was made for you- it's all about me.
You think the world was made for you-  you think you have time.

So many times the world tells me otherwise......but damn, it's really not all about me.
It's not about my business, or my accomplishments, or how people perceive me. It's not about my Facebook status, or relationship status, or political views.  It's not about first place, or "making others proud" or trying to prove myself.

It's about belief in a higher good.
It's about a desire to make a positive difference in people's lives.
Its about vulnerability, and team work.
It's about "love your neighbor as yourself."
It's about looking people in the eye.
It's about us. You+me.

Together- we can do anything.
Would you be willing to let go of your ego, if you knew you could make the world a better place?
For me- the answer today is yes.  Let's do this.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Sure - You Own the Sexy Undies, but You Really Prefer the Comfy Ones

"This morning when I put on my underwear- I could hear the Fruit of the Loom guys laughing at me."
Rodney Dangerfield

It's Monday, my day off.  I'm showered and digging through my underwear drawer....past the lace, past the satin, past the skimpy....because today's agenda calls for a trip to the dentist, grocery shopping and carpool hell.  Today is a solid, cotton underwear kind of day.

Now don't get me wrong, I have my g- string moments!  The hair, the make-up, a little dinner- a little dancing........but the reality is that most days are just not sexy lingerie days.  Most days we want comfort.  We don't want anything riding our ass or up in our business.  We want support.  Lycra that holds us, a dependable fabric that we can trust.  No scratchy irritations or constricting discomfort.

And while that bustier may catch his eye- don't we really want someone who thinks we're just as beautiful in his t-shirt and our Calvins?
Heck- they're just coming off anyway......

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Life is not a "To Do" List

"We are always getting ready to live, but never living."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

3:45- wake up 
5:00- teach TEAM 
6:00- small group 
7-9- take kids to school 
9:00- 3:00- clients, phone calls, meetings, work etc......
3:00- some form of exercise
5:15- take dogs to vet 
7:00- dinner for family 
8:00- so done.  Should meditate - but I'm too tired.  Ready for bed. 

Some people call them "to do" lists.  Some people call it "living by your calendar."
I'm starting to think its more like being in the prison of hell on earth.  
Sadly,  some days I wake up and the first thought I have is "how am I going to make it through this incredibly busy day?"  Every morning, the race against the clock begins- and I'm off........

I want so much more than just making it through the day.  I want to be present.  I want to be creative; to evolve and to flow.  I want to laugh and have intelligent conversation with my clients and my family.  I want to smile lines on my cheeks instead of worry lines on my forehead. I want to gift my time peacefully, not frenetically.....because you my friends deserve more.  And so do I.

In her article Why we Rush Through Life, Surah suggests that we busy ourselves out of habit, self importance, laziness, competition and control, false perceptions, pressure and avoidance.
Of course! We worry about others perceptions of us. We don't want to deal with our true feelings.  We want to be numero uno. We like the adrenaline rush. We want it all.

I'm the first one to admit that I feel extremely guilty if I don't have a full day planned, and that I'll even create a schedule that includes cleaning the closet just to feel better about myself.
Its ingrained in us that "busy" means "productive" which means "happy."  And by God I love the dopamine release when I cross things off of a list!

But its time to get out of survival mode.  What if we were to make space for creativity, conversation and fun without feeling guilty?  What if our focus shifted from "getting things done" to being present?  Just the consideration of it all rocks my world.  And so I strive....
But first- let me add that to my schedule ;)

Friday, September 1, 2017

10 ways to Chill the F*ck Out

"It's not stress that kills us.
It's our reaction to it."  

Some days, I completely overreact, and Thursday was one of those stressful days.
Perhaps it was for you too? The "gas panic" in Dallas was out of control, causing heavy traffic anywhere near a gas station.  Abundant fear caused abundant stress, and I lost 2 clients.  This, on top of the guilt most of us have been facing being so close yet, unaffected by Harvey (except for wonderfully cool temps)has made it a bit of a challenging week.  Personally- I've been in a complete funk.

In her article " 20 ways to Relax and Unwind," Magarita Tartakovsy explains that "Sometimes when we're exhausted, we gravitate toward activities that drain us more, or we think that we don't deserve a break."  My hand is raised.  Anyone else?
If we just worked harder, of course we would be more successful and feel better!  Well, I'm here to tell you Dallas, we need to chill the f*ck out, or we're all going to explode, both literally and figuratively.  Yes, literally explode- at least our heart will.

So- I've made a list of things that help me to chill the f*ck out.  Perhaps they'll help you too.
(In case you're  asking for a friend.)

1.  Get outside and play.  Improved overall health, reduced stress and depression, improved sleep, beautiful trails, mating rabbits and dragonflies.  What else can I say?

2.  Phone a friend.  Talking to someone helps you to look at your problems in a different way.  Maybe they're not so bad....or maybe its time to make a change.  Therapists listen to your problems without judging.  Get it the hell out!  I get by with a little help from my friends.  (stole that).

3.  Get a massage.  Physical touch distinguishes us from other animals, and humans need touch to thrive.  Pair that with the medical benefits and you have a win win.  Ask me for a referral.

4.  Have sex.
Speaking of touch.  7 reasons.
Right here:
An unnamed ex and I used to call it "time for a tension breaker." For a reason!
Surprise your significant other tonight, in the name of science.

5.  Stay present.  Do one thing at a time.  It's probably not as bad as you think.

6.  Be grateful!  Keep a gratitude journal.  What things are awesome right now?  Do I really need to worry so much?  Practice mindfulness.  Tell someone how much you appreciate them.

7.  Meditate.  I KNOW you say that you can't sit still, but you can.  Really.  Concentrate on your breath and watch the shit that is piling up in your mind be shoveled away.

8.  Listen to music.  Music can bring us in, or be a distraction.  As a unique link to our emotions, it can be an extremely effective stress management tool.

9.  Get in the water.  Let it caress and hold you.  How is the temperature?  Unwind.  Breathe.

10.  Eat amazing food.  Drink amazing wine.  Hang out with amazing people.  
This is purely my philosophy, because life is short.  It has to be the good stuff, and the good people though.  People that lift you up and make you smile. Food so good you close your eyes to savor it. Wine- because wine.   Get rid of the shit food, and the shit drink and the shit people.
All toxic.  Period.

So- can I get an AMEN?  Can we agree that its time to chill the f*ck out?
To live our most abundant and authentic life?
Happy to hear what works for you too.  Cheers!