Social Media Dis-Ease

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Progress is defined as movement onward toward a destination.  Before we label something as “progressive,” it’s important to determine if a particular move is really an advancement and a betterment of what is here now.

I recently viewed a documentary about medical devices and one of the premises of the movie was that “new” and “technologically advanced” was not only not better, but much more dangerous as it eliminates our human ability to spot and address problems and changes as they occur.  Namely, while it seems that the extended robot-doctor can be much more precise in performing surgery, it is the intuitiveness and observation of an experienced doctor that is far more valuable in the operation room.

My issue with this growth in technology as initially been a simple fear of expansion.  Nobody wants to invest money and time in learning something or buying a device that can be made irrelevant so shortly after.  In my family, things have been bought to last for generations, so this was a new way of thinking I had to adapt to.  This is where I had to have a personal expansion and ability to constantly think outside of the box. I can  do that.  However, what I find most difficult is responding to the information that can come outside at the pace at which it can be coming.

Think for a second about the way text messages are sent.  A person can have a thought and instead of capturing it and then evaluating it’s intention and rightful place in a schedule, it is far easier to just “shoot” a text and let the other person deal with what they need to deal with so that we can get a response while we are doing something else.  It seems like there is no issue there, seemingly we are moving things forward way faster than we did in the prehistoric times.  I do believe, though, that this fast paced way of communicating sometimes fails to take into account our need, and right, to take time to think things through, mull over it, consider options and then return with an answer that actually serves us. I have heard it time and time again, especially from moms, that they get irritated when people send them text messages any time of the day and night with an expectation of an answer immediately or shortly after.  I happen to agree.  Just because it takes a split of a second for someone else’s though to show up on my phone and in my possession, it doesn’t mean I am in any way obligated to respond to it (I am not talking to relationships or commitments where this is predetermined or promised).  Just because communications can travel fast, doesn’t mean that they will “land” at that pace or be processed in the time the other party expects it.

Besides texts and this arrogant expectation people have that their emails, messages and voicemails should be answered in whatever they think it’s a timely manner, I think the information we are bombarded by at every corner is very hard to process.  I believe some of it needs to be brutally repelled:  I really don’t want to be knowing the latest soap opera drama from the self made TV stars, ambitious social media influencers (some of which have really not much to say, it’s just that the frequency of their posts is so high, it actually begins to cause traction), and even celebrities.  While some stories can surely inspire an ordinary person (all of us on the other side of these messages), most of the information out there is tailored to create fake images, needs and wants that literally targets our vulnerable minds.  And I do say vulnerable minds because I feel that anyone that is bombarded by information from every angle and all the time is eventually going to crack and just feel too vulnerable to give a dignified NO.

On one hand, marketers and advertisers, as well as celebrities, brand managers, influencers, are brilliant.  They have found a way to gather tribes of people, fans, followers to send their messages, sell their products and be known in this world the way they want to be known and seen.  I think there is art to it all and I am naturally curious about it as I am curious about human beings and our design.  But, technology allows for too much of this so I believe that we naturally start forming thick skin, or we tune out or we are only half way present.  Don’t tell me that when you are scrolling down your Facebook feed or Instagram, that you are actually really connecting to what people are trying to tell you.  If you are like me, you do this almost habitually and neither giving yourself fully to it, nor fully blocking it so that you can have a peaceful ride on subway, dinner, uber ride or whatever it is that you usually use as a perfect time for social media binge.  And it is this half-ass-ness that I think has us neither committed to finding out information we need nor fully honoring our personal boundaries….We are simply there absorbing and being impacted without much say in a matter (intentional thought in this regard).

With one such obsession lately, I was noticing, from finding out information I needed to looking at how other people were commenting, seeing their brutal replies, some of which were in agreement with my way of thinking, and some completely opposing, I have began to feel a little sick.  I began to feel mildly depressed and disconnected from my own life.  Luckily, my husband would catch me, interrupt me and sometimes even unintentionally shame me:  “Marija, are you taking care of the kids?” and I would snap out of it, sometimes perhaps after first getting angry at my husband for catching me in crime.

Just because we have this immediate access to the world around us (nowadays you can send emails and letters to the President or Queen herself), doesn’t mean it’s normal.  Perhaps at some point humans will evolve into being more adapt to technology and what it provides, but with all my spiritual, leadership and psychology training, I find it so hard to do so, and I truly don’t doubt my intellect in this regard.  Even if you don’t believe me or find my experience credible, go on to one of the political Facebook Pages or Instagram posts and read comments for about 10 minutes and tell me how you feel, how your body feels and if you have faith in yourself and humanity right after.  I would sincerely doubt it.

When it comes to commenting, I have experienced this myself, we want an immediate relief from our anger, disappointment and alike and there is nothing as easy as googling the person you deem responsible and laying an irresponsible comment on their post, page or link.  In fact, most of us would never in a million years look at that person in the face and say what we are willing to write in comments, some of us courageous to keep our own profile pictures while many are hiding behind the fake ones.  Speaking of this, there should not be a way to create multiple social media accounts or post fake names as this is a sure way to have people not have to be responsible or held accountable for their actions in the cyber space.

We forget our manners, simply put, but that is not nearly as bad as vomiting of our opinions the moment we have it.  On one hand, some people just have a view and then they lay it out without paying any mind to how it could affect people who could read it, on another, some of us are brewing our opinions for some time so when we finally lay it out, it sounds like a massive attack.  Hate is real, people, and while I think it’s awesome to express it in a safe container such that we can alchemize it and see what our experience and emotion is teaching us, I think being able and allowed to spread hate at the speed at which technology works is scary at best.

As a relatively new mom, my kids are 2.5 and 5, and already 40 years old, I have been thinking about death and dying as well as the legacy I want to leave behind.  I am an avid self help book reader, personal development course student and teacher and someone who thrives on constant learning.  All this has me think about what the point of life is, how to live the best version of it and be the best of myself I can be so that, if I can ever have conscious experience of dying, I can feel content and like my life was worth a while.  When I think of my life from the perspective of being on my death bed, I can see so clearly how much all these things that are irritating us day to day really don’t matter at all.  Do I really need to make sure to weigh in on someone’s style choice, personality, political views and alike…  I think not.  I believe that deep inside, we all try to do our best and if you look at people who seem aggressive, unkind, bullies, you can track down that they didn’t have love that I believe each human being deserves.  Somehow, I do believe that we are all exactly where we need to be and that nobody’s value is overlooked.

With all this said, I think social media can be a real addiction.  We haven’t had it in our hands long enough to see the damages it can pose on human experience so I think it’s important to be careful and pay extra mind to the experience of it and predictable impacts.  For me, again, given I was feeling mildly depressed over vastness of how information, especially fake one, can travel and that many people so easily buy into it, I had to take a step back.  I don’t fully disconnect because I do not want live my life alone, but I time myself.  I teach myself how to use these things as tools the same way I was teaching myself how to nourish my body with yoga and healthy food instead of dieting and eating disorder in order to look the way it was never possible for me to look.

My true recommendation for all of you who read this here is to take a step back and invest your energy and creativity into what really matters to you and then use tools available to share that, mindful that it can back fire, that not everyone will see you the way a person in front of you can.  I think we have to “fight” this tech expansion by giving ourselves an enormous space to expand within, to address pains that we carry and share healing that is available.

With so much love and appreciation that I can share my deep thoughts with a click of a button,

Your friend, Marija

 

The Price of Truth

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I wrote the title right up front so that there is no confusion about where I am going even though I will explain how I got there just for the record and instead of posting angry rants elsewhere.  This is my blog, I pay rent on this space, I get to say!

After a painful dental surgery yesterday, I cleared my schedule and turned on to watch Dr Ford’s testimony just in time.  I wanted to be with her as she speaks up and tells her truth.  Having been a coach in some capacity of the past decade and a half, I have witnessed many women sometimes even unwillingly, share their story of sexual assault, harassment and rape.  I worked with some of these women diligently to take their power back and I know for sure that many of them are very powerful, compassionate, smart women today.  I always knew, if something as radical as this happened to me, it would take something to get through it.  I know it.  I downplayed my sexuality most of my life for a reason.  I even acted dumb in some situation or was overly masculine just to survive.  I wore less revealing clothes to hide my body.  I escaped assault many times and I know I am lucky I did.  I take that back – I am not sure I escaped it because even to this day, when I tell my older son who is 5 to stop playing with my hair or something like that, when he continues, I get so angry I have to leave the room to compose myself.  I am teaching him with no wiggle room that: NO means NO, and I cringe when people say: boys will be boys.

When Dr Ford swore in yesterday, I felt her in my bones.  I would not write this here if I didn’t spend so much of the past 2+ years studying the feminine which had me understand why I felt this way.  While this may sound so cliche to those who are less aware of it, what a woman feels does not begin or end with her.  I find this true of any humans, so men included, but among women only, I have found, this travels faster.  When we are connected to our source energy, another woman’s pain feels like our pain.  I have, through some exercises, healing sessions and classes, felt my grandmother’s pain of losing her child. I remember like it was yesterday that I stood on the foot print that represented my grandmother (without knowing who I was representing) and I weeped like it was the end of world.  My womb was tightening up, my whole body was in pain and I screamed louder than ever before.  I started bleeding my period right in that moment, coincidently, and realized I wasn’t pregnant, which I thought I could be.  So something told me it had to be a child.  I felt my grandma’s pain loud and clear, I felt her loss of a child.

I know this is too much for some to hear and I have had a fair share of having people roll their eyes at me when I talk, but I’m 40, a woman and a wife, an entrepreneur and a mom, I have spent past 20+ years of my life in an intense life training and I have successfully coached people even much older than me through the toughest things in their life.  I am no longer willing to be treated like I am a kid who doesn’t know what she is talking about, because it is uncomfortable.

To return to my point, I felt Dr Ford’s pain instantly.  That is the thing about authenticity and truth, it resonates.  I listened to her speak and I heard what she said.  While I can never understand what it must be life for her, I can get that this wasn’t easy, that she has stood for something so much bigger than just her and I could have enormous appreciation for that.  If you noticed, everyone believed her, some just didn’t want to believe it was Judge Kavanaugh who did it.

His, Judge Kavanaugh’s, testimony was in my view a disaster.  I want to say I can’t imagine what it is like to be falsely accused (if he is falsely accused which I doubt at this point), I do know that this was a true for so many men and women before him who endured false accusations solely based on the color of their skin.  So while I do know this is inconvenient for him, I fully stand that if he is really innocent, there are ways to clear his name, like taking polygraph test, conduct FBI investigation and alike.  What bothered me the most about him is that he never answered straight, he went into long story about everything instead of directly answering questions, he got way to emotional and too quickly (his wife was holding up very well I found as I saw her at the left corner of my screen), so I simply don’t believe him. Here is what I do think is possible:  he may have not been fully conscious because he was drunk (“I like beer, I do like beer, …I like beer a lot”) but he surely knows that this was possible and if that is case, he is not telling the truth, which means, he is lying under Oath.

This is a tough time for everyone, women everywhere are finding their voice and speaking up, they are feeling represented.  White men everywhere are scared to be caught in lies they’ve gotten away with for a long, long time.  Both Dr Ford’s family and Kavanaugh’s families are suffering, and they should not.  Social media is on fire and people don’t hold back their anger.  We do have a right to a free speech but lashing out when your amygdala is fired up is not healthy for everyone.  As humanity, we are all hurting.  We are in this mess together, we have to come out of it together.

I think there should be a fair investigation, that nomination of Judge Kavanaugh should be withdrawn because we saw he couldn’t be a fair judge.  I know this was hard, but look at what they put Hillary Clinton through and she is still standing.  I appreciate and welcome emotions, but I also know we can’t make good judgement calls when we are swimming in them.  For this reason, I say #kavaNO, this is #HERstory, and Dr Ford, #Ibelieveyou….and to all the women who’ve ever been hurt in this way: #IBELIEVEYOU

You Get to Say How You Feel

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I’ve been massively obsessed lately about how I can get through to people.  Frankly, my drive was coming from feeling very lonely and feeling that I often fuck up with people and have a hard time cleaning it up.  I know people in my life, close to me, who still cannot forgive me for some things I did.  And surely, I can talk until I am blue in my face that it was not my intention, some of them won’t budge.  Part of me gets it, because they are also hurt and they have the right to not trust me.  But how do you get the hell out of this vicious circle?  I even thought to myself, maybe I screwed up this life, perhaps I should wait for another one to come along so I could do better.  This made me cry because it shows how defeated I was, how much I was afraid I could never change and I can never have better life, better relationships, more results than I can currently show for.  Surely, it seems like some got it right, being sweet, likable and all.  I just didn’t fit that mold.

I don’t know about you, but I think about this a lot: how hard to push where I can change things, where do I need to surrender because it is what it is. I am a bit of a perfectionist, an overachiever, and while I love people, growing up as a single child, I do have this knowledge that: nobody else is coming, so that if I don’t do it, I can’t expect anyone to do it for me.  Perhaps this has me go for it where some people wouldn’t but also lack confidence in places where some would feel reassured.

In my obsession with being nicer to people, letting them further in, releasing more of my judgements and surrendering to the flow of life, I naturally remembered this saying: “People don’t remember what you did, but they remember how you made them feel!” And all happy I started to breathe more deeply when I am around people, to notice when my reaction takes the best of me, to try and step back and let other people shine and not feel like I always know best.  And this thought has been on my mind for days, as I would drift of to sleep, play with my kids, go to my yoga class…  And then suddenly it hit me:  WE are in charge of our experience, fully and completely.  I really got to see for myself how thinking that X person made me feel bad is not the X persons’s problem, it becomes mine.  It suddenly flashed before my eyes that when I make other people responsible for how I feel, regardless of what they said or did to me, I am giving away my power and ownership of my feelings and to people I don’t necessarily like or trust.

This, naturally, took me by surprise.  I could see the statement as valid:  yes, we don’t necessarily remember what people did but how they left us feel.  And here is what I see:  it’s not how THEY left us feel, it’s what they did that triggered something in us that wasn’t in alignment with how we prefer to feel.  Said another way, people who made us feel bad, for example, are not “making us feel bad,” they are merely shining the light on something within us that we need to take ownership of so that we don’t feel bad.  This instantly turns the power of people to leave us feeling anything to the power for us to feel and learn from everything that comes our way.  Doesn’t this instantly make you feel grateful for people who do push your buttons?  I feel it should because I really don’t have it that any person out there is fundamentally bad.  I have it that we all try to do what’s best and sometimes that’s just not enough for some of us and that is ok.

Then, obviously, there is no such a thing as “toxic” people we so openly try to let go off, cut off from our life, our love and our attention.  While we can choose people in our life that we vibe with (notice a reframe from “make us feel good”), that doesn’t for a second make those people we are not getting along with TOXIC.  There really is no such thing as toxic, maybe not a match, good mix or however else we can express it to remain true to what we feel without labeling those around us.  Said even better: there are no toxic people, just things, buttons, issues we would rather be not dealing with right now.

I feel this could make for a better world because suddenly, we are owning that we have the power to change how we feel and in that process, which can take some effort, we can choose who and how we want to spend time with without labels or judgement of others.  And there, we have a word free of “toxic” things, only playground to play on, work with, work through and choose while generous, understanding, loving and in full ownership of who we are and what we feel.

Give Women Some Room to Breathe

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US Open, Serena Williams, everyone is talking.  I didn’t watch the game so I had to research it and see it from a different angle to see if things add up.  Surely, she is being seen by many now as an entitled brat.  In her mind however, she is a victim of sexism and unfair ruling.  Where do you stand?

I will say right away that I don’t care to be right.  I will share my view so that it’s there and so that it can validate all the women out there that may feel the same. Here is the thing:  Serena broke rules.  She said she didn’t cheat though her coach admits to giving her coaching during the game, but she did slam the racket (which is a violation to the integrity and professionalism of the game) and then insulted the umpire by calling him a thief.  The first time I watched it, I cringed, thinking: Oh my goodness she is losing it and it doesn’t look pretty.  But then I watched it again, and again, the longer version, the in betweens and here is what happened:  my stomach started to hurt, I began to curl up and cry feeling anger and defeat.

My point is not that she is right, but my point is that it’s hard for a woman to be a woman in the world we live in.  Yes, there are rules and we must follow them but here is the deal: these rules are not made with us in mind.  Serena is 37, she had a baby a year ago and she is probably completely hormonal.  She must be dealing with what it takes to bring up a child in this world, what it is to be black, what it is to be a champion and how to do the rest of her career given all the difficulty that we experience after birth (and from following her IG story, I know she almost died).

Why is it that “emotions” run so much in our lives and yet we have to “keep them in check.” I know some men can read this and say, “well, we do, because that is what being an adult is like,” but I beg to differ.  It is not easy to keep your emotions in when your hormones are running the show and when the world you live in, fundamentally, doesn’t give you space to express what you feel.  I have experienced this time and time again and unfortunately, more from other women than from men.  Somehow, when we “lose it” we seem like we are not in control and that is bad…and yet, the whole world wants us to be vulnerable, to give up control, to be flexible, to be good moms, to be good at what we do etc.  I get it, Serena broke the rule, but in my world, she broke the silence of those of us who suck it up and try so hard to live in the world where being who we are is not accepted.  And I admit, when a woman has charge on something, she does seem crazy and disconnected from herself but I also know that the only way out is not trying to tame her crazy but validating how she is.  Those that are smart enough to honor the space we are in will help us see more clearly and we will calm down.

Here is one way to see it:

“The feminine’s moods and opinions are like weather patterns. They are constantly changing, severe and gentle, and they have no single source. No analysis will work. There is no linear chain of cause and effect that can lead to the kernel of the “problem.” There is no problem, only a storm, a breeze, a sudden change in weather. And the bases of these storms are the high and low pressure systems of love. When a woman feels love flowing deeply, her mood can instantly evaporate into joy, regardless of the supposed reason for the mood.” ~ David Deida

 

Again, I am not going for the right and wrong, I am just simply sharing as another woman who can see Serena’s storm just as a storm.  It is sad that people comment that she lost her grace.  This is a woman that won in Australia while already pregnant and wants to continue to create legacy.  It is unfair to blame her that she overshadowed another woman’s win.  She didn’t do that, we did that by looking at what she did with judgement and not empathy.

Her coach is right when he said in an interview: why is it a big deal that people show emotion on the court when that emotion is real.  Emotion is energy in motion, if we let it be, it will pass, but when we judge it, punish people for it, then we add mass to it and then that energy doesn’t flow freely, it gets stuck.  That is what happened in the game.  Serena was accused for cheating and she wanted to set the record straight.  Finding the wall instead of attentive listening, her emotions escalated (this can happen to anyone, let alone a woman who just became a mom), and after that we knew this wouldn’t end well.

Part of me wishes she could “collect” herself, but a big part of me is grateful for the dialogue that will follow as the judgements resurface for us to clear so we can begin to honor people for who they are, giving them space to have an emotional response especially when they were done wrong.

Serena, and all the women out there that struggle to keep it together, I feel you ❤

 

Being A Mom

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I only vaguely sensed that being a mom must be magical and expansive but I never knew how much it would impact my life, how deeply I would feel my love, how strongly I could stand, how much I could endure and how unwilling I would be to hide and pretend I am anything other than a human being trying to do her best.  I learned to surrender, to take it easy, to put myself first, as in put oxygen mask on my mouth before I offer it to others.  I slowed down and became more effective.  I added a level of compassion I didn’t have.  I started thinking for more people not just myself, consequently, I have expanded the way I see things and the ways in which I manage my life.

I often complain that people don’t share the truth about motherhood.  I don’t think we are fully honest about the effort that this role requires (and I don’t mean complain, but be real about it) as well as not fully bragging on the world that this role also makes possible, the love that is there, the joy we could feel and how small things in life often become the essence of our days.

It took me a while to approve of different ways of parenting but I definitely appreciate that people have their view and do their best.  The thing is, when you know what it takes, you don’t judge as easily or as harshly.  Again, I make comments and sometimes have a passing thought but I don’t hang on to it or relate to like: “this is the truth”. I also lightly roll my eyes at people who give me advice but really have no clue about the world I am in. I do appreciate the effort though, I’ve been there myself.

At the same time, I have been screwing up way more often, feeling cornered against things in life that are seemingly unresolvable, needed on too many sides, torn in too many places, longing for some time to myself to just hear myself think without trying to please everyone around me who has a loud expectation.

All this said, the journey of mothering my first born and then almost 3 years laters his brother has been the biggest role I played.  I used to cringe when people said that in the past because I always made it mean they had nothing else important to do (as if raising future generations of humans isn’t important at all).  I try to beat that value with other things  I do but the kiddos are still small and they still need me in a way that I don’t want to say NO to.  At the end, it is always a choice not to leave them for long periods of time, not to have them raised by babysitters and friends but putting them to bed at night on my own or having my husband do it instead.

My sons are an absolute joy most of the time.  They remind me how carefree childhood is for those of us who had our basic needs met and then some.  They wake up my creative side, they soften me to love, they let me be more accepting and kinder with myself and others while holding healthy boundaries. I am moved and beyond grateful I was given the opportunity to be a mother in this life time.  They will also never know all that it takes to be their mom and what these past 5 years were like and they don’t have to know until they live their life and learned their lessons.  My efforts are not theirs to carry because if I can do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Happy 5ht birthday to my beautiful Adrian and anniversary of birth to me!!!

 

 

Last Conversation with My Dad

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Last year in the last week of may was the last time I heard my father’s voice. I was in Paris with girlfriends and then had ny husband join me for a couple of days to celebrate our anniversary. It was the first time we left kids for that long to do this.  Granted, they were with their grandma.

My dad was in Paris to pick up his youngest son and bring him home to Zagreb. He planned to watch French Open so the only way he thought we could see each other was for me to come to the gates and message him from there to come meet me.  None the less, he was in Paris an entire week.

It took everything for me to say no to his proposal to meet him by the gates and not because I didn’t want to make an effort to see him but because for as long as I could remember, I was the only one making an effort. I thought this changed when he broke the streak of broken promises 2 years before this by coming for a weekend to meet my older son and spend some time with me.  I appreciated that very much, but the reality is, this was a rare moment and one of  few I can count in the past 30 years.

I decided to do what works not what I wanted.  French Open was in a completely different part of the town and had I gone there, I would’ve missed a chance to see Paris and I felt that I worked really hard to earn that trip. I was so mad because I really wanted to see him and introduce him to my husband.  And yet, I didn’t feel like it was ok to invest so much money, time and effort in celebrating my anniversary to set it all aside and adjust my schedule to my dad’s. I was mad that he didn’t want to find another way. He was mad that I didn’t accept his proposal and that I was mad and that was it. 

He never spoke to me again. I reached out a few times and then stopped. Some time in November I began to feel regret that we weren’t talking.  Then I realized, it wasn’t up to me.  I didn’t mind reaching out, but I think everyone eventually gets tired of trying.  I knew that in every possible way, I tried to be better, more understanding and forgiving.  I didn’t see any effort on my dad’s part.  On contrary, he always gave himself an out by saying: “I am the way I am” and by asking me to “let it go.”

I cried my eyes out over this that night.  If I wasn’t happily married, I would’ve felt completely unlovable.  In fact, from time to time my husband reminds me that he will not abandon me because that experience, even though from childhood, still felt ingrained in my mind.  I even did a family constellation session.  I thought, why not give it a shot to try to repair this relationship on a soul level.  My friend, and facilitator told me: your father is there for you on a soul level, but his body doesn’t know how to be.

On New Year’s day he sent me a message with greetings. I responded with a picture of my family. He wrote back that it was beautiful to see us. On my birthday, a few days later, he had a stroke he never woke up from.  I often wonder if my clearing had something to do with his sudden reaching out.  Did he know deep inside that something was going to happen.  Had he not, the last thing I would remember would be the fight with him from my expensive hotel room about him not willing to make time to see us.

Am I at peace?  most of the time. It’s bitter sweet. On one hand, I stood up for myself a year ago in Paris and broke the habit of always setting everything else aside when my dad is available.  I am glad I did that because I didn’t want my marriage to come second to my dad’s crazy expectations of me (that he doesn’t have of himself).  But I am sorry.  I am sorry I got mad and I am sorry that I couldn’t have it just wash off of me and leave no impact.  It’s silly that we get mad at people for being who they are.  My dad was being true to himself and whether or not that was enough for me, I have to accept it.

I could feel guilty but I am not going to.  I am writing this just to share because I often hear people beating themselves up over choices they made in the past.  The things is, the time is always now to make the right choice.  After that, the only choice we have is to make peace with it.  I made peace with mine.  I still and completely love my dad.  And I know he loved me. We had whatever time we had.  May he rest in peace and may my children never feel I am hard to get through to in any way.  This is not the end of grief, however, for me.  It’s merely a beginning ❤

How To Make Effective Requests

I learned this from one of the best coaches I had: “if your life doesn’t work, it’s because you suck at making requests.”  Little did I know though, I had so much to learn in how to make effective requests of people, ask in a way that honors them, myself and creates opportunity.

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Here is what NOT to do:

Pretend that what you are asking for is not a big deal for the other person

  • Nobody wants to be undermined for the effort that it takes to do something for another human being.  People often assume things are easy for others but this is not only untrue, even if it was true, it doesn’t mean we want to give away our time and effort to others just because

Give a lot of background story and explanation instead of asking for things straight

  • Nothing is as annoying than seeing someone’s elaborate intro that makes you feel like a request is coming but your time is being wasted by so much backstory you really don’t want to know about and not because you are a bad person but because you know: this person is not sharing to share, they are preparing for what’s to come: asking for a favor.  I am much more inclined to help the straight shooters because I feel that they own that they need help, they don’t waste my time in the process and then it’s easy for me to respond not feeling like I have already invested more than I bargained for in listening to the long story.  The only thing long story often does is guilts us into helping instead of helping us choose to help

Be resistant to hearing a NO

  • Most of us don’t like hearing a NO.  It is, however, everyone’s right to help us or not, so not giving them space to choose freely is a form of manipulation that doesn’t feel good.  Things like: “I am sorry I asked” and alike after you decline someone’s request are one of the worse experiences ever because they make us feel that we are only respected and honored when we say YES.  We are not really given that choice.

Being entitled to being helped

  • I once heard someone complain about her expenses blaming this person she knew who was wealthy for not stepping in to help her.  Couple of things are a problem here, one of them being: just because someone else has more, it doesn’t mean they have to give what they have away to people who don’t. In my experience, people that often seem like they are well off, are really not, their expenses may be higher or they work hard to have it so they can afford something else, not so they can give it to people who don’t make the same effort.  So entitlement is just no sexy, no matter where it’s coming from

Now, here is how to make an EFFECTIVE REQUEST:

  1. Work out all the reasons you deserve to be supported.  How can you justify this being given to you so that you can own it instead of having to dump it on others.  Deserving is a way of being, not a long story you tell, so it is up to you to do create this first
  2. Honor that another’s person consideration is valuable and enough.  Give people an experience that their time matters and ask with that in mind
  3. Honor people with clear request, don’t have them fish around for what you mean.  This allows people to easily determine if they can help or not
  4. Be mindful to express that whatever the answer, you will love them anyway; meaning, give people full permission to answer freely knowing that you will be ok regardless
  5. See what you can give return or at least think about how this can be an opportunity for the other person instead of just something you gain.  Everything balances in the Universe and affects one another so being able to see what the other person can gain (even if it’s just a satisfaction of helping you or seeing you humbled) is appreciated

Then and only then make your request.  We need to ask, we need to practice this and we are bound to make mistakes, but this will help guide us when we do so that we don’t hold a grudge against people who say NO but rather reset and continue trying.

We can’t do it alone and nobody owes us.  If we can allow these two statements to live inside of us, we are bound to make effective requests and honor people with them such that their answer, no matter what it is, can be a WIN/WIN situation for all.