Gather Evidence of Good

Summer 2016 017
It’s Day 9 of the Get Stuff Done 1×31 Challenge. Today’s task is to gather evidence that the world is basically good.
You know how when you purchase a copper colored car and suddenly you notice copper colored cars everywhere? Well, it could be that there is a sudden influx of copper colored cars on the road, but it’s more likely that your reticular activating system has now put copper colored cars on its radar of important items.
Your reticular activating system is a small part of the brain with a big responsibility. Its job is to filter through the infinite amounts of incoming information and determine what is most important for you to know to stay alive and reach your goals.
The reason you need to know about this is so you can harness its power to help you gather evidence that the world is basically good, life supports you, and you have ample resources  ready to help you achieve whatever it is you are willing to commit to.
You already know there is more than enough evidence to convince you the opposite is true.  All you need to do is turn on the television, read a newspaper, look on the Internet, or relive a few of your favorite failures to “prove” it.
But today I challenge you to do the opposite. Counter every negative with a positive. For every insult you hear, offer a compliment. Should someone slam a door in your face, open one for someone else.
I guarantee you this will be challenging. 
But it will also be uplifting. And if you write it down in your optimist’s journal or take pictures of your findings as I suggested earlier this week, you will be blown away by all the goodness gathering around you.
Don’t believe me?  Just try it.  Make it a game. Give it a go. Actively seek out the silver linings.
It’s all in the way you choose to see, hear, or experience something.

As they say in metaphysics, “What you focus on expands.”

So let’s focus on the fabulous, shall we?
Leave your evidence that the world is good in the comments below and/or send me your suggestions for today’s playlist.
 
Here’s one that’s on mine.
Tell Me Something Good – Rufus and Chaka Khan – Gotta love the groovy outfits!
 
 

Break Up with Your Scale

Weighting scales with  measuring tape. Diet concept. 3d

It’s Day 14 of my 21-Day detox and we’re heading into the homestretch. While the daily discipline required to stay on course is intense, I’m loving the confidence that comes with cleaning out my body and mind while connecting deeply with my soul.

There are as many reasons to do a cleanse, detox, or a purification as there are people who do them. Many people, however, do them to lose weight. And if they diligently follow a particular protocol, they usually do.

Unfortunately, unless they continue with the habits put in place during the detox, the results usually aren’t sustainable. Granted, the first couple of days, no one wants to continue after Day 21. But about half way through when they start feeling better, they might consider it.  By the end of it, they may have lost all desire to go back to their pre-detox habits.

I’m all for breaking up with unhealthy habits. Because breaking up is hard to do, my first rule when detoxing is to Become a Badass. I mean this in the best possible way.

You must be kind and compassionate to yourself and others. But you must be ruthless with the terrible tales you tell yourself about your inability to stick with anything for more than a minute.

Cleansing requires considerable courage. Toxins come in many forms – from the foods we eat to the air we breathe to the people we surround ourselves with.

When I detox, I’m no longer able to tolerate toxins the way I did before. Becoming a Badass is an act of bravery. I have to let go of things I no longer need since holding on to them sabotages my health and well-being.

For example, as my first official act of Badassery, I broke up with my scale. To me it was a liar, a terrorist, a tyrant, and a thief.  I decided to no longer accept its feedback as a measure of success or failure during the detox or any time.

I refused to let the scale diminish anything I might innately know about my body, like how it feels, what it needs, how I nourish it, or how I find pleasure in it. I refused to let an ever elusive number impact my day, my mood, my perspective, or my relationship with myself or others.

I have no need to give my power over to something as fickle as a firecracker. A scale can’t measure if I feel lighter, leaner, or more confident. It can’t begin to measure how much clearer my thoughts or complexion are or how much more emotionally available and spiritually connected I am. It cannot imagine the thrill of embodying fully.

The thing is I’ve always possessed the power to expose the scale for what it is. I  trusted it more than myself when I was younger. But not anymore. I trust my body to weigh whatever it wants to when I am nourishing it well and moving it meaningfully.

As a Certified Eating Psychology Coach, I know the damage a scale and what it represents can have on self-worth and body image.  I’ve seen how it contributes to a multitude of eating disorders.

If you have a healthy relationship with your scale, you may not need to break up with it.  Maybe your issue is with something else. Whatever it might be, call it out.

This is necessary in order to follow my Second Rule of Badassery:  Take back your power from whoever or whatever shamed you or made you feel less than all of who you are.

I’ll leave you with these words for advice. “Never ask if anything makes your butt look big. Assume you look marvelous because YOU are marvelous. You’re a Badass, for goodness sake. 🙂

Who or what do you need to detox from this week?  I’d love for you to share if you dare in the comments below. 

Also, if you are interested in learning more about detoxing, I’m starting a new project called The Detox Diaries.  If you’d like to follow along, let me know and I’ll send you an email when the blog is ready.

No Matter What – Day 17

We’re back with the No Matter What Game.  This is the place where the world’s greatest coach Gillian provides a writing prompt and I answer no matter what. She can also provide a prompt for you.  Email her at www.gillianpearce.com to get started.

Microphone on stage background

G: If you had your own talk show, whom would you love to interview?

P:  Let’s start with everyone on the TED talks lists.  These are some fascinating individuals with compelling stories to tell.  Not only are they brainiacs but also beautiful and bold as they tell their stories as only they know how.

Plus they know how to get their point across in 18 minutes or less, so I’d never have to worry about them hijacking the show.

Specifically I’d love to interview some of the bloggers and teachers I follow:  Marie Forleo, Marianne Williamson, Brene Brown, Gretchen Rubin, Danielle LaPorte, Chase Jarvis, Heidi Rose Robbins, David WhyteMichael Hyatt, Jeff Goins, Tosha Silver, Alexandra Jamieson, Jennifer Grace, Austin Kleon, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Martha Beck, just to name of few.

Fortunately, most of these people have written books and offered online workshops – many of which I’ve participated in – so it’s like having the chance to interview them even if I never have the chance to meet them in person.

We live in amazing times with instant access to incredible teachers. The list of people who inspire me is endless. And most of them are just ordinary folks without websites, books, or workshops.

Which leads me to my next answer.  If I had a talk show, I would love to interview you. That’s right, if you’re reading this, I’d love to have you on the guest list because I know you are up to something worthwhile and I’d love to hear about it. (If you don’t want to wait for my “show”, give us a sneak peak into your current adventure by leaving a comments below.)

PS  – This is a timely question because on Tuesday I will actually be giving an interview on our local radio station to promote an upcoming event as the college.

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What do you think?  Who would you interview and why?  Dare to share your thoughts in the comments below.  Or follow along in your own journal.

No Matter What – Day 11

And we’re back for Week 3 of the No Matter What Game.  To find out more about it, see details below the post.

Portrait of an attractive surprised young woman

G: You’re on holiday. You go for a swim in the pool. Later that evening you notice the bottom half of your hair has turned green. What do you do? 🙂

P:  Gillian has been on holiday this past week and I wondered if this happened to her.  She said it happened to her daughter and apparently the antidote is tomato ketchup.

This reminds me of a little incident that happened to Bob just before leaving for Arizona a few years ago.  He has a buzz cut and, curiously enough, when his hair gets too long it starts growing in a pattern that resembles the cut popularized by Julius Caesar.

I insist that he let me cut his hair since it’s my idea of an intimate Patrick Swayze/ Demi Moore making pottery moment like in the movie Ghost.  I’m pretty sure Bob feels like a new recruit entering boot camp saying sayonara to his freedom and any chance of having a good hair day again in his lifetime.

Having said this, he’s pretty trusting that not much can go wrong with the guard on.  And though he asks me every single time whether the guard is on, this day he did not.

His hair was exceptionally long (for him) and I knew we had a problem the moment I took the first swath down the middle of his head.

Wow,” I remarked.  “This seems super short.”

Then came the question, “Do you have the guard on?”

“Interesting that you should ask.  Oddly enough, I do not.  I’m sure i can just blend it in.”

I’m sure you can’t.  But I can wear a cap.  No problem.”

Spoken just like the guy on The Bachelorette who let the girl do some whack job hair cut on him and then acted like he didn’t mind having it broadcast on national television.  (Not that I watch that show, but my niece does and happened to be visiting when that episode was on.  I think I needed so see it to remind me I have the real deal with Bob.)

Had the situation been reversed, like the time I got a few moles removed from my face right before going to a Michael Bublé concert, leaving me with Band-Aids all over my face so when Michael came down from the stage and into the crowd and saw a woman with Band-Aids all over her face he was temporarily shocked into silence, I might have reacted differently.

It’s unsettling when the outside image doesn’t match what we know to be true on the inside.  That happens to me frequently.  I feel all frisky and perky like I’m twenty-something and then I happen to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and wonder, “Who’s that woman?

But here’s the deal.  I love being the age I am, no matter what I say to the mirror on those days when I haven’t had enough sleep, fun, or fiber and it shows.

I love the wisdom that comes with having been around for a while and understanding how things work, how quickly things can change, and how I can choose to accept things or let them completely freak me out.

I will now answer the question because when Bob was proofreading what I wrote so far and gave me permission to print a story that involved him, he pointed out I hadn’t  answered the question. So, here goes.

If it really upset me, I would find a professional to help me remedy the situation. Of course, being on holiday throws a kink into the mix.  We all know how long it takes to find a hair stylist who gets us and how much longer it takes to trust them to color our hair.

However, in this case, I’d have to trust someone.  Either the person on Wikipedia who posted the ketchup antidote or the stylist at the nearest salon.  I’d go with the stylist.  Unless his or her hair was also green.

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I’d love to hear your comments below.  If you’d like to play along just answer the prompt in your own words and leave them in the comments below or keep them to yourself in a journal.  If you’d like the world’s best coach Gillian to send you your own set of daily prompts, contact her at www.gillianpearce.com.

No Matter What – Day 10

Modern Elevator Hall Interior

G:  What choices have you made that, had you made a different choice, you feel your life would have been completely different. Not necessarily better or worse but just different.

P:  Last month I had an opportunity to make a choice that would have definitely changed life as I know it.  You can read about it in my post The One That Got Away.

Although it may appears as though nothing has changed externally, I can assure you that everything has rearranged itself internally.

I have this saying in my office that reads, “The deepest joy exists in those rare instances of clarity when there is no wanting, no yearning, no clinging to some idealized life we believe exists somewhere other than exactly where we are.”

I got to experience of one those rare instances of clarity as I struggled to choose between the dream I’d held onto for the past 20 years and the reality I’d been quietly but consciously concocting the last 8.

I got to think about other choices I’d made that could have radically changed the course of my life. Like choosing to remain in the Midwest instead of going to graduate school in California right after 9/11.  Or staying at my fitness job in Texas instead of moving to Mexico to work at an upscale spa long before that.

In the end I simply reminded myself we are always where we need to be, doing exactly what we need to be doing.  Actually, this was one of my “wear sunscreen” pieces of advice I wrote for graduates in my booklet, The Graduate’s Guide to Life.

I came across this today by Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Big Magic.  “I understand that the best you can hope for in such a situation is to let your old idea go and catch the next idea that comes around. And the best way for that to happen is to move on swiftly, with humility and grace.  Don’t fall into a funk about the one that got away.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Don’t rage at the gods above.”

And I absolutely love this from Dear Sugar, aka Cheryl Strayed, “I’ll never know and neither will you of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.”

So here I am now, gratefully writing from – I kid you not – Shoreline Drive, saluting all the ships that have sailed without me.

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Join us in playing the No Matter What Game. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  Or contact Gillian at www.gillianpearce.com and arrange to have her send you your very own prompts to get your creative juices flowing .

The Cost of a Midlife Crisis

At this time of year it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the hassles of the holidays and costs of Christmas gifts, parties, and travel arrangements.
To keep this in perspective, I thought it would be interesting to look at the often untallied costs of what might commonly be called a midlife crisis.
A few months ago Daisy Barton was kind enough to share this infographic as a way to illustrate those often misunderstood course corrections many are compelled to make at midlife.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll let the graphics do the talking. However, I’d love to hear your comments below.
Midlife Crisis Costs
Source: Accounting-Degree.org