Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

Thursday Thought Nugget: Harnessing True Creativity

Being in a creative space is about much more than being artistic or exhibiting out of the box thinking. In this video, I will let you in on what true creativity is all about, as well as unveil its arch nemesis!

Why I Stopped Fighting for Peace

 

BeTheChange

I have loved this Gandhi quote for a long time. I even remember getting one of those quotable cards for a friend at some point during college with this phrase on it. But it was not till yesterday when it randomly popped into my head as I was contemplating peace and the state of the world, that I understood it on a different level. But I will get back to that.

Let me start with this other quote that has been floating around in my consciousness for a while now.

NoWayToPeace

It’s like an onion. I keep peeling back layer after layer, and it continues to reveal new meaning to me each time.

We live in a turbulent world. I don’t think anyone can deny that. Not only that, but we also have 24/7 access to view that turbulence in a sparkly display case known as the evening news, the internet, social media, etc. whether it is happening in our own backyard or halfway across the world. This level of awareness and knowledge, combined with media’s preference for covering negative news stories, has us being bombarded with this turbulence in a way that is unprecedented.

We want peace. But in that search, in that striving, it is easy to miss that we ARE peace.

When I was younger, I used to get into many spirited conversations with my dad about politics (read: I got very angry and upset arguing my point of view). The Iraq war was a hot button of mine for YEARS. I would get so frustrated that I would often end up raising my voice, yelling, crying and storming out in a huff. All in the name of…peace.

If this sounds like madness to you, GOOD because it is!

Fighting and screaming for peace is madness. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” There is a reason he didn’t say, “Fight for the change you wish to see in the world”. You must BE IT.

Now when I occasionally watch the news or browse through my Facebook feed, I see a lot of that same madness. Anger. Frustration. Yelling. For peace.

Peace starts within. If we want to see peace reflected back to us in our external reality, we must start with cultivating peace internally. Start with the one thing that is actually within your control: YOU.

Ask “Where am I not at peace?” Are you peaceful within yourself or do you berate and belittle yourself with your inner dialogue? Do you value being right more than being at peace? Are you overworked and frustrated and find yourself yelling at your spouse, child, or pet?

Only when we are at peace within ourselves and our lives can we begin to change the world.

This doesn’t mean that we sit back and focus only ourselves and ignore everything else. To the contrary, it will give you more power to promote peace (notice I didn’t say “fight” for peace) when you are living peace. I am not a parent yet, but I feel like the whole “do as I say not as I do” is not the most effective way to parent.

We must model the behavior that we want mirrored back to us.

Does this mean that I am a perfectly enlightened being now who is at peace all the time? Ha! No. While I am much more able to be non-reactive, there are still issues that get under my skin in a flash. That’s where I know I have more work to do. For example, the gay marriage issue. I don’t get why people are against it and I got so incredibly angry hearing about the county clerks refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. I was spewing a whole lot of hatred and venom in the name of LOVE. Now I am asking myself, without condoning their behavior, how can I be an example of love and tolerance instead of responding to intolerance with more intolerance?

In short, it’s tricky. There is a part of us that loves the fight, the push and pull, the us versus them mentality. But that’s not our most enlightened part.

If this resonates with you, I invite you to try it out. Start with your life, find your own “Core of Peace” as one of my mentor’s Martha Beck calls it, and then let that joy and love ripple out from within you. See which approach has a more positive impact on you, your loved ones and eventually the world at large.

 

Choosing Your Words As If You Were Casting a Spell

Words have immense power and that is why in this Thursday Thought Nugget, I invite you to choose your words as if you were casting a spell. This week we are specifically looking at the word “make” when used in the context of “_____ makes me feel _____”.

Is Venting Always a Good Thing?

Confessions of a Recovering Dream Squasher

Hi. My name is Linda, and I am a recovering dream squasher.

“What?” you might say. “Dream squasher?? But you are so positive!!”

But yes it is true. For much of my life, I was a dream squasher and it wasn’t until relatively recently that I realized this fact. Since then, I have been trying to keep this tendency (or survival mechanism) of mine in check.

Let me start by explaining what I mean by dream squasher. I feel like many of us fall into this category in one way or another. Sometimes it’s labeled as “realism” to make it sound much less harmful than it really is.

Left to my own devices, I am afraid to dream. Especially afraid to dream big. When I have a big, hairy, audacious dream I usually cut it off at the knees by labeling it as unrealistic. I don’t even allow myself the idea of entertaining it. Because if I allowed myself to really, really want something that feels a little out of reach, I feel like I am setting myself up for disappointment when I “inevitably” don’t get that thing.

It’s easier for me to disappoint myself NOW, than deal with potential disappointment later.

Clearly there is a problem with this logic because either way I end up disappointed (and actually, only in one of these two scenarios is there a 100% chance that I will be disappointed…I will leave you to figure out which scenario that is). But apparently I would prefer to be the one controlling the disappointment rather than take the risk that I might be disappointed in the future.

I started realizing this about myself a couple of years ago, but it’s become crystal clear over the last year as I deal with the uncertainty of starting a new business, while also working to define what I want my life to look like.

It wasn’t until I read Daring Greatly (definitely on my must-read book list!) that I realized this tendency was a way to defend myself against vulnerability (aka risk, uncertainty and emotional turmoil). It was quite enlightening/sad to see that the most common ways of armoring oneself against feeling vulnerable read like the dark highlights of my life story:

  • Foreboding joy, which is what I refer to here as “dream squashing”. It can also manifest in not being able to experience true joy without feeling like the other shoe is going to drop (which will have to be the subject of a whole other post, cause I got a lot to say on this as well!).
  • Seeing how I was a straight-A student all through my high school and college years, and suffered from an eating disorder, yep I’d say I pretty much have this one covered.
  • I pretty much conquered my eating disorder in college by drinking. It was just another way to numb out feelings of “I am not good enough” or being vulnerable.

Here’s the thing. Being a dream squasher is not very fun for anyone. What it typically means is that we settle for less than what we truly desire.

Not allowing ourselves to dream doesn’t prevent feeling disappointed by life, but rather keeps us from fully living it.

I have had to confront my dream squashing tendencies head on over the last year! I have done that by creating vision boards, Desire Mapping, visualizing my ideal life over and over again. And let me tell you, it has not been easy. It makes me want to squirm I get so uncomfortable. That little nasty voice pops up that says, “You will never get this. You are being unrealistic. You are just setting yourself up for disappointment.” I had a full-on meltdown on the phone with my coach when she asked me to emotionally engage with my ideal life.

But despite the discomfort, I do it anyway. I force myself to sit in the uncertainty until it feels slightly less scary. I tell that other inner voice to pipe down. Because I have realized that I would rather play the game and not know the outcome, than just sit on the sidelines my whole life.