Live Deliberately

Living each day with deep intention.


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Name-Calling, the Act of Shaming, and Manipulation

You know I like to talk about the controversial topics, and why not? It’s good for us to think deeper, dig deeper, and try to understand one another better and what makes us all TICK. So, here we go again! What is with people who choose to tear a person down, rather than build them up? Is there any excuse for name calling? Why do some people think it’s okay and what’s their reason for doing so?

I woke up with these thoughts this morning. I guess you can say, I had a dream about my own past. I’m not saying that I haven’t done my fair share of name calling and tearing people down during my young adult years… but when I look back, I quickly realize why I thought it was acceptable behavior. Lying in bed this morning, contemplating about this topic and why I woke up with it on my mind… I quickly recalled three separate occasions in which I was verbally labeled a derogatory term or shamed for simply being the person that I am.

On three separate occasions, by one single person and by someone I should look up to, I was called a bitch, insecure, and selfish. None of these things built me up, none of them were productive, and they certainly didn’t motivate me. Looking back, I realize that at one point in time I actually believed those words to true. Collectively, we know better. We are better than this. It seems like such a remedial topic but the reality is, this happens more often than we realize… and we let it happen! So, why do people tear others down or call them by some derogatory name?

I would think insecurities or self-worth is probably top of the list of reasons why people do it. Jealousy can be a factor as people see in others what they wish they had the courage to be or do, and it makes them resentful. Shaming is the second biggest reason I believe people behave this way. Shaming is never acceptable. Shaming is one of the biggest ways that manipulators tear people down, and their victims often have no idea what’s actually taking place. We’ve all heard someone passive-aggressively shame another parent for their parenting style, or a boss using polite techniques to degrade an employee for a mistake or bad judgement call, and we have even heard a parent shame their child in language that sounds pretty standard when first uttered, but when you stop to truly hear it… “you should know better” which I’ve even caught myself saying… implies that the child is a disappointment and the parent is ashamed of them.

Why is this such a hot topic for me? I think it breeds resentment in the receiver. As the receiver, we don’t realize why the comments bother us… but perhaps it’s the act of shaming, or the passive-agressive truths covered in rose petals, maybe it’s because we all recognize a form of manipulation and we inherently do not like being manipulated. When we name call or shame our peers, friends, colleagues, employees, or children, we are setting the precedence that this behavior is acceptable, particularly to children who are watching and mimicking our every action. They grow up believing that it’s okay to call your friend a derogatory term, or shame your lover for their preferences, or manipulate your peers through both name calling and shaming into agreeing with or seeing your point of view.

So, let’s not tear each other down with mind games such as name calling, shaming, or manipulation. Let’s accept one another as individuals. Let’s be respectful to one another. Let’s show our children how to be tolerant, kind, and human.

As an adult, I realize that these are all words, as hurtful as they can be, but they do not shape us and they should never be taken for truth, which is why no one should ever waste their breath uttering such unproductive and negative things. I am not a bitch… although, I can be if you back me into a corner. I am not insecure… however, I can be very shy and I am a bit of an introvert. I am not selfish… I give what I can, but I also remember that I, too, am a priority.

Much love. ❤

 

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Are you in the arena, or the stands?

When we decide to make some major quality of life changes, there will always be those individuals that don’t understand our motives, and even worse – criticize what they don’t understand. Here’s the thing: unless these critics are down in the arena with us, they can’t possible comprehend or appreciate the what and why of our strategy. Criticism holds no weight from the stands.

I’ve recently decided to make some hefty quality of life changes, starting with my place of employment. When you reach a point of little-to-no fulfillment, and can’t seem to find the joy in what you do, or begin to see people or places as toxic environments – then it’s time to think about making a change.

That’s where I found myself. I knew something had to change, yet I stuck around for about six months longer than I should have. I felt the desire to break free from the toxic and unfulfilling work environment, and to find a more meaningful direction. I didn’t need to change my career path, I just needed to shifted my focus… I needed to narrow-in on exactly what drew me to the profession in the first place. The people. The community. The relationship between the two.

So, I took the dive. Thanks to all of those who were in the arena with me. They got it. They understood my passion, and my drive. They had an appreciation for what I wanted to accomplish, and they stood behind me 110%. The support and encouragement that I received from those in the arena with me – setting out to achieve the same fulfillment and happiness that I sought – held more weight than those of the critics in the stands, who just couldn’t see my vision.

In addition to a more rewarding career, I wanted more quality time with my daughter, flexibility in my schedule, and time to focus on my health, which was taking a very sharp decline and fast. I’m only one month in and there are still some adjustments to be made, and still some fine-tuning to be done – but overall, I find myself in a more consistent and jovial mood. I’ve been able to focus on what’s important in life, and make my career align with my values. Even better, I have more control over my health and stress-levels.

So, stay in that arena, find your teammates, fuel one another and go for the goal. Pay no mind to the critics in the stands for they’re not on the field with you; they have no stake in the game.

(Helpful reminder: Judgement is just a mirror through which people see their own insecurities reflected back at them. When you find someone judging you, it might help to remember that they’re may be feeling insecure about the qualities they may lack, such as the courage to pursue the unknown.)


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Be still with this…

“The scars are there because the wounds have healed.” – John O’Leary
The end of 2016 was difficult for me. While many exciting things happened, many heartbreakingly sad things bubbled up. I’ve been forced to revisit past memories, some self-inflicted and others not. Memories that I care not to remember and serve no purpose, yet somehow I feel more whole and complete recalling them, sitting with them, and making my peace with them. Those who know me understand that the many paths to where I find myself today have been very bumpy and yet, I find myself in a stronger place in life with myself, my peers, and in my circumstances. I feel fortunate for my friendships and my successes and failures, all of which have molded the person that I am. And so, while I am still recalling painful memories from my past – a past that I am choosing to forgive and growing from – I am thankful for the quote that I heard today, because it reminds me that what doesn’t break us, makes us stronger. 
I had to share the quote with you because it might resonate with you as it did for me.  

“The scars are there because the wounds have healed.” – John O’Leary


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The Power of Expectation

Expectations have such a hold on each one of us. Marveling at its possibilities with wide eyes and lusting after what could be, you become hooked and drawn into believing it’s whispers that “this is reality.” It’s so right, so perfect. 

And WOMP! Expectations have a way of letting you down, crashing in disappointment, possibilities unraveling before your own eyes. Feelings of emptiness where the hope for what could have been once live. You think, “how could this be?” And maybe you throw yourself an adult tantrum (yes, it’s a real thing) at not getting your way. The vision was so clear and so seemingly real and possible. 

Behold… the power of expectation. 

Let go of what should be and embrace what is, each day and each moment. 

Set yourself free. 


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Hey you go-gettin-son-of-a-gun!

Nothing stops you. You’re on a mission, a mission for change or advancement, or maybe it’s realignment with your dreams and desires. Nothing is going to stop you… If you can just figure out where to start.

Paralysis is a challenge we all face. We have a vision but we struggle to execute it. I’ve been there and it can be a long process, so let me offer a quick guide that I developed a few years ago.This guide has helped me quickly identify what I want, why I want it, and how to get there. 

Dive into the meat of your desires and chart your course of action by answering these ten questions. When you answer these questions, remember to dig deep. 

  1. What do you want? (The feeling you’re seeking: To feel love; to be happy; feeling of fulfillment)
  2. What does it look like? (How it translates into action: A new job; break up with that lousy partner; moving to a new community)
  3. Why do you want it? (What will it accomplish; how will it move you closer to achieving your desire? What will it mean for you?)
  4. How will you feel when you get it? (Accomplished, relief, free, happy)
  5. What’s holding you back? (These are typically emotional or resource-based: Money, time, support, fears, limiting beliefs)
  6. What are you tolerating? (List them all!! Is it someone, something, maybe even yourself?)
  7. What can you control? (Internal vs external – list only what you can control because these are the only areas you can effectuate change)
  8. What needs to change? (Identify what HAS to change to move forward, both short term and long term)
  9. What changes are you willing to make right now? (Incrementalism is key, so start with the easy stuff and work through the rest.)
  10. Who can you enlist for support? (Find at least one person who believes in you and your vision. Ask him/her to hold you accountable.)

The final step is take action

Don’t be a dud in a sky of fireworks. 

Much love. 


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Wo(man) on a Mission

So, you’re on a mission… You set your sights on a goal, you get hyped about starting, and stoked to see your dreams become reality. And then life happens and you get distracted, and you wander off the path for a bit. How do pick back up and find the bread crumbs you left for yourself?

I know this all too well… here I go again… I’ve lost sight of my vision many times but I always find myself coming back to it. It happens, we all get distracted. Building a home and planning and preparation can be any easy excuse… But I won’t tolerate my own excuse(s).
How do we hold our vision? How do we stop ourselves from making or allowing excuses for losing our vision?

We enlist support in friends and colleagues. We rally our families and make sure they know what our vision is and the end game, and what it’s going to take to get there. We ask them to hold us accountable. 

How do we motivate and get back up off our tush? Shake off the shame from ditching your dreams (temporarily) and just start somewhere. Find the groove again, pick a point to start and just go. 

And lastly, stay on target! Don’t allow yourself to lose focus for too long, and persist. Because, why? Because you don’t want to look back and regret not chasing your dreams… 

[love]


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Create Your Own Personal Freedom

If you ask someone what number one thing they want in life, they’ll say something along the lines of happiness or joy – or if they’re like most, they’ll say they want XYZ – but only because XYZ will make them happy. We all starve for happiness, for that feeling contentment and satisfaction. But to each of us, happiness and joy looks different depending where we are in life. For me, happiness and joy show up as small spurts of personal freedom.

Personal freedom like those little moments when you don’t feel rushed to be anywhere. Personal freedom allows you to come and go at your own pace. It’s the freedom of working during your peak productivity levels and not during someone else’s. It’s the freedom of sleeping until 7:30 – 8:00 AM and waking refreshed and ready to tackle the day. It’s the luxury of taking a break when you need to recharge or refocus, or the ability to stop and chat with someone unhurried and unfiltered because you can be where you are and who you are whenever you want.

I long for moments like that. I think most of us long for moments like that. Here’s the best part… it’s possible. I invite all of you to make room for little moments of personal freedom in your daily routine. Here’s how:

Personal freedom is different for everyone. Personal freedom is defined by the individual. So, ask yourself What am I seeking freedom from? Is it time constraints, the need for more money, or is it the quest for personal space? For me, it’s freedom from the mundane, or the boring old routine that no longer aligns with my values and dreams.

Next, identify What do you want to do with that extra time? Do you simply need more time to think, or space for peace and quiet? Or maybe you want to tackle the daunting to-do list… even if it’s five minutes at a time. Do you need time to reconnect with self through meditation, or connect with others? Do you need fresh air, a few extra minutes with your kids, time for a healthy snack, read a chapter of your book, or plain ol’ sleep!

Now that the easy part is out of the way, let’s address the meat of the issue: How do you make space for personal freedom? Are there increments of time you spend wastefully? It doesn’t have to be half hour increments, either. Are you spending 10-15 minutes a few times a day on social media? Are there household chores that you can delegate will teach responsibility to your older children, thereby freeing up time for you? Is there a longer route home that will allow you to squeeze in more time for peace and quiet or finish that podcast? Do you spend 30 minutes washing dishes when you have a dishwasher? (Trust me, the few extra bucks on your bill is worth your sanity.) Can you turn a chore, like walking the dog, into time for fresh air or a moment for contemplation? I encourage you to dig deep into your daily habits and find a few minutes here and there.

[Side bar: I know there are those of us who work jobs that don’t allow much flexibility. Try turning your work space into a sanctuary. Make it more like home by bringing in something warm for those days where your bones are so cold that you can’t function, or your favorite tea, coffee, or treat to give you something to look forward to. Play music that helps you relax and tune out other office chatter. Buy a yoga ball to sit on rather than a chair if you’re feeling a little sluggish.]

The most difficult part is to follow through. Whatever you do, if you’re clearing space in your day for personal moments of freedom, you must intend to use that time for those things that will lift you up and bring you joy and happiness.

I challenge you to make space for personal freedom.

Peace, love, and freedom.