Sunday, June 18, 2017

The 8 Destroyers of Happiness

8 Destroyers of Greatness and Happiness

Many factors can undermine the greatest of plans and the best of intentions. They can turn a visionary into a paper-pusher, a dreamer into someone who knows only regret. Ultimately positive change is a decision we must make every single day. Are we going to sit on the sidelines of life or are we going to participate?

(1)  Availability. Often we settle for what's available - and what's available isn't always great. "Because it's there" may be a great reason to climb a mountain, but it's not a great reason to accept a job, a marriage proposal or even a free sample at the grocery store. Don't settle for mediocrity, availability or "good enough."

(2)  Ignorance. When we don't know how to make something great, too often we simply won't. When we don't know that greatness is possible, too often we don't even attempt it. All too often, we truly don't know any better than "good enough". Understand that greatness doesn't arise from the distraction and busywork that often fills our lives - it comes from thinking, planning and acting to make a difference in the world.

(3)  Consensus. Nothing can deaden or destroy a good idea quicker than a mandatory consensus. The lowest common denominator never is a high standard, so understand your individual commitment to group efforts and push for the highest good of all. Keep your ideas flowing, don't wait for inspiration to strike, but commit to producing strong and creative ideas regularly - and then act on them This can include bringing old elements into new combinations, and seeing positive relationships and opportunities in the world and people around you.

Sabotaging others by seeking the consensus of other's opinions, rather than, being an independent thinker.

(4)  Comfort. Why pursue greatness when you've got the premium cable package, the remote and a comfortable recliner? Pass the pretzels and forget about any grand plans. Set aside some quiet time for yourself to think, meditate, connect with yourself or be creative. Carve out a bit of privacy to cultivate those thoughts and actions that are uniquely and beautifully your own even in the most intimate of relationships.

(5)  Momentum. You've been doing it for years. Maybe it's not so great, maybe it's a rut, but it's what you know, and it's comfortable. Many people refer to their ruts as careers and marriages. Commit yourself to stepping out of your comfort zone, casting a new vision for your life, setting initiatives in place, launching new projects or creating meaningful art toward results that will bring positive energy to your life.

(6)  Passivity. There's a difference between being agreeable and agreeing to everything. Develop your communication skills - listening as well as speaking, and understand that passive aggressiveness is a poor coping mechanism. Always speak with integrity and say only what you mean. Keep your words loving and truthful. Trust your instincts when "they" tell you something is a bad idea - and trust them when they tell you that you can reach for a star!

(7)  Expectations. Often, we project our expectations on others - they're "supposed" to somehow know what you expect them to do. When they don't perform to our satisfaction, there's often anger, drama and unhappiness. Find the courage to open the lines of communication to express what you really want and agree upon mutually acceptable ways of living and working together with others. Transform your life and your relationships by being sincerely complimentary reasonable, grateful and courteous.

(8)  Offense. Don't take everything others say and do personally. Almost nothing others do is because of you, rather, their unkind or unthinking words and actions are a projection of their own realities or their own dreams. Do not make yourself the victim of needless suffering by assuming others are putting you down or by holding grudges over trivial matters. Avoid judgment, abuse, revenge and regret by focusing on your own reality and dreams, and doing your best from moment to moment.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Just my rambling thought 11.10.2016

People are afraid of change 
People catastrophize and go to extremes out of knee jerk fear based thoughts.
People do not like the uncertain future 
And the feeling of being out of control.
It's a snowball effect.
People lack the proper ability to communicate and emote effectively when in a fearful state or when biased thoughts cloud and close the mind or when we don't utilize critical thinking skills.  

We are all guilty in this. We are all united regarding the above!

Our society is in fight flight or freeze mode that much is clear. I have been talking with some friends, listening to perspectives and options. Some people want to leave the country and are serious about. I even thought about leaving. I urge to to stay. I urge you to not leave others behind, but to stand, stay and do the work. 
There are real concerns to be had in the upcoming years. We will have a lot to lear from one another. Our President will have a lot to learn and we need to use our united voices to help him hear and understand us.
I also urge everyone to stop blaming or looking for a source to blame. Blame will only perpetuate fear, anger and hate. Start with accountability, within yourself, your family and other relationships. Heal those areas. Set the example of kindness and understanding. Open your mind to other points of view. Learn to problem solve. We have to meet each other half way. Our future is too valuable to be closed minded. We as people are too valuable to do nothing but shut each other down. 
Finally, within all of this, find one or two issues that you feel passionately about and focus on fighting for the best solution, not greediest or self-serving solution but the solution that empowers individuals, lifts us up, unites us as a Human Race.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Make It or Break It

Make It or Break It
May 21, 2016 

Some would say that the number one reason why relationships fail is based on money. Some would say that it is has to do with values, or infidelity. Some people say that they don't pay attention to the words that people speak, but rather, a person's actions. I find that to be a lie. I believe that it is communication (what we say and how we say things), he type of, lack of, or even perhaps the fear of communication that make or break relationships. It is only through communication that partners can acquire a deep understanding of and agree on ideals of money, values, relationship goals, needs and wants and how to build a foundation for the love they hope for. People, not just partners, will never be able to collaborate or understand one another if they are not able to effectively communicate. Sounds like it should be simple right? I communicate my needs, you communicate your needs, we come together, solve disagreements, open each other's minds to new perspectives, get closer, bond, fall in love, create a friendship and life is grand. Well, ideally, yes.

However, I find that the thing missing from communication is emotional correctness. What is emotional correctness? Without emotional correctness people take pot shots, and make low blows, at one another with the intention to hurt the other person. They call their beloved partners names, put them down, or point out every negative aspect in order to tear down their self-esteem. This never made sense to me. I have been on the receiving end of this type of communication many times in my recent past, and I always think, "Wow, thank you for pointing out what a horrible person I am, how I am so cold-hearted. You chose me as a partner and a couple of months ago you wanted to spend the rest of your life with me. Now I'm a cold-hearted and cutting". Interesting. How people can go from love to hate so quickly is always, more often than not, poor communication and proper expression of emotions.

Emotional correctness is reflected in the tone and feeling of what we say. It's the respect and compassion we show show each other when we share ideas, feelings, or solve differences of opinions. It is not selfish, or self-righteousness, it is not putting someone down to make them hurt the way you hurt, it is not using another person's vulnerabilities as a weapon in an argument later. Emotional correctness allows us to be honest without being unnecessarily hurtful. Emotional boundary setting is also essential for communication with emotional correctness. Learning to communicate boundaries in a clear and consistent way prevents disrespectful communication or at least, allows people to know what you will and will not stand for, and what you will allow. This is not to be rigid, but to be able to identify toxic unhealthy communication styles.

When we don't consider emotional correctness we talk past, and over, each other. We don't hear the other person, we become narrow minded, and closed off to cooperation and problem solving. Without emotional correctness we don't speak with compassion, and we certainly don't feel heard, the intention is to hurt the other person with verbal darts, and gossip. The person on the other side, the receiver, can be shamed in a fright, flight, fight or freeze state. For myself, I spent a great deal of time in the fright and freeze state after being steamrolled in a conversation lacking emotional correctness.

However, taking time to put ego aside, for the sake of understanding with compassion is the first step to supporting a relationship. Living and communicating authentically with yourself and others requires a respect of boundaries, emotional correctness, and trust in relationships. It is certainly not easy, it takes courage and vulnerability. But we must challenge ourselves to find and speak with compassion rather than look for blame, while not taking responsibility for how our words affect others.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Vulnerability, Reaching out and Relationships

Vulnerability, Reaching out, and Relationships

From the time we are little girls and boys, we are led to believe that there is something wrong with being alone. It has almost become a learned fear, as if, to be alone is the worst possible thing in the world. We see it everywhere, people stay stuck in unhealthy relationships simply to avoid being alone. 

We also see ideal couples everywhere: the movies, television, and our partners are referred to as "our better halves", thus indicating that that we are just a piece of a person, a like a piece of pie, that only another person can otherwise complete. In fact, the phrase "you complete me" has become the marker for an all time dream letting us know when we are in love. 

But let's get real shall we? Being with other people throughout most of our waking hours, helps us to avoid the most difficult task of all: exploring ourselves and facing our shadow in the mirror. Solitude is not so much about becoming a hermit. Rather, it is about becoming free from emotional dependency. It is about becoming free from bad behavior and unhealthy communication that never changes. It is about setting boundaries regarding what one will or will not put up with. If we believe we are less than whole and constantly seek that missing half, how will we ever really get to know ourselves intimately? 

Recently, I inadvertently ended a relationship with someone I deeply loe and with whom I wanted to build a future. Her immediate response was "Who are you talking to again? Who are you seeing". I should have known that would be her reaction, but it still caught me off guard. For the following two weeks I dissected and analyzed the situation and why those hurtful words escaped my mouth. Over and over I kept asking myself if breaking it off was the right decision, OR, if I was trying to fit a square box thought a mouse hole for the past (almost) six months. I drove myself crazy with  questions like: am I putting up emotional barriers? Is she making me crazy by interrupting my barely spoken sentences? Is she interested in my life at all or does she just want to talk about herself all the time? Is she emotionally unavailable because she not quite out of the closet? Am I too sensitive? Am I going crazy or are her outburst of anger crazy making? 

It finally dawned on me that if I had to ask so many questions, and our communication had taken a serious downhill turn, I didn't know how to right it, and we were seriously out of balance. 

There is a price we pay for avoiding ourselves. Only through exploration of our true selves can we hope to achieve some peace in life. 

Two weeks after breaking things off I reached out, I needed to do this. I want to change my communication style.

It is also important to remember that affairs of the heart are delicate and must be handled responsibly. 

I did not ever imagine this. I did not ever want to cause her pain. Who could ever want to cause another pain? 

Yet, we are fools to think that we can smash someone's heart and walk away with a smile. There are consequences for causing intentional harm. However, there was one simple fact that I could not avoid: in the process of becoming a "we" and an "us",  I lost my individuality. And she, admittedly, did as well. 

I am an introvert by nature and not at all intimidated by being alone. I want to enjoy my hours of the day to the fullest extent. I'm not afraid of the work that a relationship takes. But I do believe that communication should not be a constant struggle, especially in the beginning of the first few months of a relationship.  But I forgot that it is in the 6th month that realities of who we really are begin to surface and this is what the relationship is, and we must wade through the goo in order to get to the honey. I want to enjoy the hours of my day with people and activities that cause the most peace, contentment and joy. I also do not believe in explosive outbursts of anger, I cannot condone that communication style in my relationships. 

When we end relationships, we often say "I need time for myself" most often that is the scapegoat statement. It usually means, " I don't want to spend time with you, but I will be filling my life with the booming social life I had before I met you".  For her, she is definitely doing that. 

After the break up I spent some time with a friend so that I may gain some clarity. She told me that, even though I initiated the break up, my heart is still broken. Broken from losing the hope I had for love and broken from breaking her heart. I too, will need some time to heal.

I understand that she may never come back, that the rift may never be healed. But I do hope that she will see my monumental fuck up as just that, a mistake made in frustration. Shock freezing me from moving further and taking immediate corrective action. That yes, it took two weeks, but I did reach out. I did apologize, I am humbled and my love never wavered. Hopefully, she will see that the courage and vulnerability that it took to reach out was just as monumental. And that a new beginning may be made. Hopefully. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Selective Authenticity

Selective Authenticity

Authenticity. I've been thinking about this word a lot. I see it thrown around everywhere, in all kinds of memes. I've been told recently, by an ex, that I am not an authentic person. This accusation was made because she did not feel I was addressing issues as they occurred. However, not everyone processes the same way, and in the same time.  So yes, in some sense, I would whole heartedly agree. Yet, in others, I would disagree. The word authentic is synonymous with the words real and genuine, and share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation. The word authentic carries a connotation of authoritative certification that an object, or a person,  is what it, or, he/she claims, and is perfection in every aspect and compartment of their life.

I have recently come to the belief that authenticity does not actually exist for anyone. We are all works in progress. We live life compartmentalized so that we have a particular level of authenticity at work, and another with our family and another with our friends, and often, hardly at all, with ourselves. Additionally, there is a level of inauthenticity that exists within our compartments. We offer a smile and say "fine" when we are not. We push through when we are in pain. We pretend to love the job we hate. We tend to say we enjoy the company of people we really do not like. There are also people who tend to live life in the closet in some compartments and not in the others and when faced with the truth, the true self shatters and a false self emerges. 

So while we all enjoy moments of authentic levels of living, they are truly selective. 

So whenever, I hear someone spout in righteous advocation of how they live an authentic life, I know that in reality it is their ego shouting, "hey pay attention to me, see me, I am here". Whenever, I hear someone shame another for not living authentically, I have to remind myself, over and over, that none of us live an authentic life. For authenticity is like selective hearing. We hear what we want, what makes life easier for us and we live life the same way. This is not to say that we are lesser people, horrible individuals, however, I do believe that it is wise to be careful with throwing this word around like a stick or stone to shame others and to make them feel less than. 

Now, to take this deeper,I could say that she is wrong. That even my imperfections are authentic, because they are authentically created by me, and are mine and mine alone. Thus, exposing the fact that it simply boils down to another person's inability to accept my authenticity. Either you don't like what another person presents or a person cannot control what the other person presents. However, the end result still stands. Whether it is disagreement or an inability to control another, it is never another's right to shame another person based on whether you think they are authentic or not. I don't shame the person who doesn't like their job, or their boyfriends friends, or the person who lives life in the closet half the time. We are all doing our best. Just don't expect me to stick around if you try to shame me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Love

How is it that in such a short time

Her image has been burned in my mind’s eye

All stress in my life unwinds when I she enters my thoughts.

Remembering her lips on mine and her smile

Oh man her smile beneath auburn eyes

I do not want to be any other place and all the world melts away.

There are unexpected aspects that bring me great pleasure

 I think I like things to be a certain way

But then the opposite appears and I am blown away

At the joy it brings to my heart.

So much love swells up in my heart

And has yet to spill out over my lips

But oh how those words set my mouth on fire

And my heart comes alive like never before.

~ Becky Alleen Stuto 4.15.15

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tripped Up Ending

He is an oil glide 
On an information highway 
Attention intent on his rear view mirror 
Of his past
Missing out on the scenery of this 
Beautiful drive 
Never saying what he means 
Never meaning what he says 
Once must read between the crossing 
Of his lanes 
Capturing his life through the lens
Of his camera
Never present in the moment 
It is all a push and pull 
Swing and a miss
Never going with the flow 
We could have had a beautiful road
Trip never-ending 
Instead he was just a tripped up 
In the middle of my week.