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.

Clean Slate

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Doesn’t it feel sometimes like life is coming at us at the speed of light?  So much information out there, so much to process, review, consider, choose from.  Which way should one go?

I constantly work on taking some time to myself to decide what matters and what I want to focus on because then I have to power to scan opportunities for what is in sync with what I said I wanted.  Not having done this work leaves me vulnerable to bombarding of information that happens all the time.  This isn’t wrong, we are all competing in this world for attention and a chance to have a voice about something, to leave an impact.  I just have it that it will only get louder so it is my job to create safe spaces where I can be with myself, access the divine within me and then act from there.

Often times people argue that we should just let ourselves be, go with the flow, respond to things in life as they come.  This is their right.  It doesn’t work for me though.  Just couple of weeks ago in a parenting class, I heard that one of the constructive ways to tell a child to STOP running is to tell them to USE their walking feet.  Or instead of telling them to STOP talking or being loud to USE their whispering voice.  It would probably take me decades to come up with these positive reinforcement strategies whereas people who’ve been educators for years learn them and use them and are effective with children because of it.

Expecting of myself to just go with a flow, be unprepared, not self reflect or plan ahead is actually a huge set up for failing in life and in addition, being hard on myself for reasons that are not even justified.

Everything in life, when studied, researched and explored can be simplified and broken down into distinctions, and not to rob us of freedom but to guide us through it with more clarity, wisdom and power.

I realize, as I am getting older, there are distinctions in everything people do and can be successful at, so why not stop, reset, re-evaulate what we really care about and then take on the things we really want with all of our being, learn the distinctions and practice until we master it?

There is nobody else coming! This is it! The time is now. What do you really want that is worth stepping back, learning about and giving your life to?

 

 

PROMISES

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Last week of the year, this space between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is one of the most sensitive times of the year for most people.   We cannot help but reflect back on the year, what is done or isn’t done, which promises will sneak into the next year because we know there is no chance in hell we can pull it off in the next couple of days.  I have one of those, it’s called my Online Program.  Some time in late October, I stopped even playing that game, I realized, with everything on my plate, I can’t do it in a way that works so I wasn’t going to do it just for the sake of doing it.

There are, however, promises that sneak up on us, those we promise to ourselves but don’t say out loud, like: I will do yoga every day, do a long walk outside rain or shine and stop eating processed foods.  How is that one working for me? Not so well.  You see, the problem with promises we make to ourselves is, they are safe from scrutiny, criticism and accountability but they don’t make us feel any less shitty when we don’t do them.  And this is because our promise to OURSELVES, has far more weight than any promise we make to someone out loud.

The promises we make to others, we do with much more ease, because if we don’t, we look bad and people will do just about anything to look good. It’s one of the strongest forces that gets us to do things (that and belonging).  And promising things to others, or having people hold us to account is powerful, because we will get things done, but keeping our promise to ourselves is even more important.  It isn’t easy, but it matters because when we relate to ourselves like we are not our word, or we don’t matter, it is that much harder to complete things in life.  We are always having to overcome an already established story about ourselves: we don’t do what we say we would do.

So think about those things that you already promised to yourself.  Write them all out, check off what you kept, cross off those that are irrelevant, acknowledging that you didn’t do them and re-promise the rest.  As you do, you will be giving yourself another chance to do it right.  Will you succeed? That’s up to you, but at least, you have a way bigger change at it than if you just swept it under the rug.  Because things swept under the rug are still in the room, we just can’t see them.  And often, we don’t even forget they are there.

Give yourself a gift of clean slate this holiday season.  Keep your list.  Even if you mess it up, at least you know how to reset it.  Wishing you the best.

Happy Holidays to all,

Love,

 

Marija