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Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment

This is the post excerpt.

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So the journey begins….

This is my first attempt at a blog post, so bear with me if its hard to read or navigate around. I am not savvy with this stuff yet.  Thank you all for your patience in advance.

The idea for my having a blog was some of the recent posts I had made on FB about things I have been going through. That post and several others got some good comments and a few people suggested that I start a blog. So here we are.

Currently, I seem to be in a rather transitional period in my life. Lots of changes going on, big and small, positive and ‘negative’. More on that ‘negative’ later on in the post. I will post my initial  writing at some point in the near future.  The title of this first post was inspired by a something a friend put on my Facebook page, saying that this phrase was in a fortune cookie she had and it made her think of me.

I am sitting in a cozy Air BnB place in Hardwick VT as I write this post, so its hard to think of fear sitting in such a place. Fear seems to be something everyone relates to these days.  Aside from the primal fear when our lives are in danger and the ‘fight or flight’ instinct kicks in, we can learn a lot about ourselves from facing our fear. Usually fear comes from trying new things where we don’t know the outcome. Pushing outside our familiar place….the comfort zone.  Change is hard for everyone. Its easy to take the path of least resistance, heck, its in our instincts as animals. The path of least resistance is built in from survival in the wild. In the wild there were lots of unknowns and threats and things to kill you every where, so conserving energy was key to survival. We don’t live in the wild anymore, and there are not predators everywhere.  Ok, unless you are in reading this from overseas in combat.

Most of my fear lately has come from the big changes in my life, and not knowing what is on the other side of all the new things coming down the road for me in the near future. When I really sit down and think about it, if I get in a mindset of gratitude for everything I have, and the opportunities that lay before me, that fear does really change into excitement. So fear vs. excitement is really just the lens that I chose to look at the world with, its a choice.  So is acting on the fear. Acting on the initial fear that comes up for a new opportunity can cause me to turn it down. At work in particular, I have never turned down a opportunity to work on something new, meet new people, etc. My initial reaction may be ‘no, I can’t do that. its too scary. I may screw it up’. Sometimes, its just taking time to breathe, and think about things before we give an instant answer is key to changing our perspective. It takes practice, like with anything, start small and work up to the heavy lifting.

Its really all a matter of perspective for me. Viewing something new as ‘opportunities to learn’, and going into whatever it is I am doing with that mind set. Failures are just opportunities on how NOT to do things. I no longer fear failure (for the most part – no one is perfect). As kids we were always excited to try new things, we weren’t generally afraid of new things. Maybe its more about putting a more child like perspective on new things. Life and adulthood has dirtied up our lens with self doubt and other negative messages we see and hear every day.

So start cleaning off the lens and change the focus from fear into excitement….

 

 

Time…

R0011976Its definitely been a while.

Much longer than I thought than I put fingers to keyboard and written things out. What better reason to blog again than a milestone birthday, huh? Pretty cliche, I know. Birthdays are good for reflecting back on the past year, and this year I got to thinking about the 10 years past and where I see myself 10 years from now more than anything else. What do I want my life to look like in 10 years?  Or better yet, what don’t I want it to look like. Sometimes knowing what I don’t want is more important than knowing what I want. The right things will come to me when I am ready for them.

I was asked a question this week ‘you have two choices: 1) you get to go back to when you were 10, knowing everything you know now or 2) you are 45 years old with $55 million dollars. For me the answer was easy. Going back to when I was 10 years old. Not at all to do things over or correct mistakes – since all those things have collectively made me who I am which I can honestly say today I am proud of the woman I have become. By no means do I think I am perfect, but I am grounded in who I am and what my strengths and weaknesses are.  That said, I would do back with the perspective that my time with certain people is more finite than I EVER anticipated – mainly my parents as well as my grandparents. I am sure that perspective would cause me to make some very different choices in life and certainly change some things, but to say I would do certain things over  just to avoid certain unpleasant situations in life, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a thing.

What this made me realize about myself is the importance of how I am spending my time now, with whatever finite amount of it is left. Yes, I know, its cliche because we have all lost people we have loved. However, there is something very life altering to actually watch and be with someone and be holding them as they pass over in to the next phase (what ever it is you believe). It makes the notion that life is fleeting very tangible. I have begun to see life through a different set of lenses, that are still continuing to evolve. None of the conversations I had with my Dad in his last few weeks or days had anything to do with money or things he accumulated. None of that mattered to either of us.   I can honestly say it was 100% about the times we spent together and experiencing life with other people and just enjoying each others company.

Which has begged the question: Where am I investing my time? Not just with whom I spend time with but what activities I chose to participate in.  Time is a resource, like money, but its one that we get less and less of it as each minute, hour, day, etc passes by. One very powerful lesson I learned in DC was that I really am fine completely on my own, in a new city, new job and no contacts.  In fact I thrived and was very happy.  So now I ask my self, am I investing my time in people and activities that add value to my life?

 

 

 

 

Leaving on a jet plane…

planepic

Something about sitting in a cramped coach airline seat, with barely enough room to open your laptop screen completely, that makes you think and for me that spurs the need to write. Sitting here with no life’s distractions, no emails or texts coming in and no social media to numb the thoughts. Out the window, almost 35,000 feet below, is just a grid work of farmland with a river running through it.  The picture at the top is from the end of the flight, in the mountains of California just before we landed in LA. My thoughts this morning are of the heart. The reason my mind wanders here is because Strength of Heart is the theme this week for the #Impact program I am doing with “Rob DuBois and the Impact Actual team”. This is definitely an area I need some work in.

As I have eluded to, life has thrown me some big lessons of the heart in the last few years, many of which have caused me to close my heart off. Although, I have to say that life growing up probably set the stage for all of this. Moving around and switching schools so often up until high school didn’t help with not wanting to let people in or get attached to people or places too much. This is not to say that I didn’t have a very enjoyable childhood, because I did. So I suppose that it’s why I get antsy after a few years in one place, it also may just be part of my personality as well. I am working to embrace this part of myself, and not feel that there is something wrong with me for being like that if it is in fact just part of my personality. It may also be part of an excuse to keep people out. Much of what has happened in the recent past has caused me to become more closed off than I have ever been.

Not to get into the gory details of a relationship, as the details are between me, him and my higher power – they do not belong as a spectacle for all of the internet to read. It began as a whirlwind romance ended roughly two years later in a spiral of self-doubt and confusion. Somewhere in those two years, things changed from how they were in the beginning, and I spent too much time and energy trying to figure out what I did wrong to lose what we had. There were many little things that kept adding up, that ultimately and irreparably eroded my trust in the relationship. Again, it’s not my place to publically take inventory of this relationship. I am just trying to set the stage of how/why I came to a place of being so incredibly closed off, and distrustful of anyone at this point in my life, romantically or not. On top of this there were some parallel issues going on with family and some other (what I thought were) close friends. What it has taught me is who my friends really are – those who have stuck by me through life getting turned upside down and upheaved a few times in this past year.

Not to say that all that upheaval and being turned upside down were for the bad. Moving to Washington DC was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. It opened my eyes to a lot of things. Including what was really going on in the romantic relationship I spoke of earlier. It also allowed more space for processing and moving on. What is helping me move on is working on what I learned and gained from it, so gleaning positives is just as important as going through the negatives. I am also not going to sit here and blame this person or the relationship for it. Holding on to anger and negativity will only poison my body, mind, heart and soul (#BoHeMiSo). Owning my part in it and making changes in my behavior going forward are the positive ways that I chose to move forward and heal.

Yes, my heart is strong, but I sit here still full of distrust and giant walls up. I am currently very closed off to any good things that could be potentially put into my path. I am not just talking about romantic relationships here. I am also including real, authentic friendships. I still push people away when they get too close. I am open to good things that have come my way professionally, but that is the more intellectual and logical side. This feelings thing is tricky. I say that I want good things in this area. Hey, we all say that we do, but deep down do I really believe I am worthy of it? The bottom line here is truly believing this comes down to my self-esteem and how I am treating myself. I can’t expect others to treat me differently than I treat myself. This includes daily self-care and also my self-talk. Yup. Those little things we say to ourselves, in our own head, are they negative and self-deprecating? I am not saying that I cannot laugh at myself or poke fun at myself anymore, which is certainly a healthy thing to do. It’s those little internal dialogues that I am talking about. That reflects in how I treat myself and how I talk about myself to others. I need to learn how to treat myself better before other people will. I believe that I get back from the universe what I put into it, so if I am putting out negativity in this arena, that is going to be the majority of what I attract. At the end of the day, the only person I can change is me. I will continue to tell myself that I deserve good things, until I believe it. So that is where I will continue my journey…

Note: I wrote this last week when I was traveling. Its amazing how a week can change my perspective, as well as putting good intentions out. Some good things have definitely come my way since writing this.

 

 

Resilience

am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. (Stephen Covey)

This quote came from a post on my friend and life coach’s page on Facebook. I have been working with him since just before the beginning of this year, and have made some good progress on certain goals in my personal life. It has helped me get out of my funk and back into working out regularly and getting things straight in my own head and getting some direction back in my life. I was not happy where I was, so I decided to set some short term goals and begin to do something about it. More so internally, things are getting much better for me. This is in addition to the other supports that I am using to build my foundation. A house is only as strong as the foundation it is built on.

The remainder of my support include a few very close friends, Susan Foster my wonderful and supportive mentor, and my counselor. Oh Yes. I dropped that bomb. I have been going to counseling off and on for a good part of the last 10 years. It is a big part of what helps to keep me grounded and able to handle changes and stresses in, what seems like, a seamless manner. Having a network of people that can give me objective feedback and listen with an open and non-judgmental ear are are crucial piece for the building of a strong foundation. Beneath all of that is also my spirituality, which is something we each define differently. That is the solid ground that I chose to build my foundation upon.  I use the word ‘seems’ because its not always that way beneath the surface. All these people have seen parts of my bad days, the times I doubt myself. They are part of the reason I get through them, and they all in their own way help me to see the positive side on days when I can’t seem to. These things I have decided to bring into my life are what allows me to seem as someone who “seems fearless, strong, out there and ready” as a good friend spoke about me in his blog. (His journey is about fitness and his journey in health and fitness, its insightful and witty and I have enjoyed reading it.)

You are probably wondering where in the heck I am going with all this and how I am going to relate it to the title of this blog. Bear with me. This will be longer than the last one. I am still experimenting here. I know I will improve at this over time.  I am looking forward to learning and growing at this!

(Merriam Webster) Resilience1. the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress; 2. an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.