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Their View Mirror

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I have noticed something that I just keep getting clearer and clearer about it.  Every time I get down or go into a depression, it is almost always because I am viewing my life from someone else’s view of me.

To say it another way, I love my little life.  I live in a funky environment that is rare and doesn’t necessarily FIT into what society views as normal.  I absolutely devour my nights at home and LOVE my living situation.

Yet, there are times that I find myself depressed.  Lately I’ve been able to pinpoint why–it’s because I’m viewing my life from THEIR view of me.TARAreflecting

People say things to me that are so inappropriate and with such pity aimed at me.   Please don’t pity me just because I’m not living the life that you would live!  I am me and you are you–please consider that when you judge!

When I view my life from within, I am blissful and happy.

When I look through THEIR eyes, I become that poor pitiful person they see me as.

Really, I ask you, why does it have to look a certain way?  Why do our lives have to conform to everybody else’s way of living or society’s view of what a successful existence is?  It doesn’t, and the clearer I get about this, the more I thrive in my own reality.

“The older you get, the more you understand how your conscience works.  The biggest and only critic lives in your perception of people’s perception of you rather than people’s perception of you.”
― Criss Jami

Brilliant!

So, when it all comes down to it, I AM in charge of my thoughts and feelings.  When I feel what people are perceiving my life to be, I don’t have to allow those perceptions to permeate my being.

Our lives are our own and when we embrace them with a sense of wholeness, we thrive.

As Emerson said, “Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide.”  God I love that.

So, this I say to myself and to you if you care to receive it:   our lives are our own and we get to decide what we value and what feels good–nobody else.  I suppose it is easier said than done but with some introspection and breath work within, we can come to the place where it really is okay REGARDLESS of what THEY think!BrightLightLantern

Presence Is Power!

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Did you know– Gratitude is THEE most powerful spiritual practice to cultivate.  I spend my days looking for beauty and I always find it!  I am grateful I can see beauty everywhere I look.IMG_0785

Recently I had lunch with a friend and her sister.  I really wanted to get to know her sister better since I had only met her briefly in the past.  Instead of engaging in conversation, she looked past me and judged every person that walked by behind me.  Granted, we were sitting in a restaurant on Venice Beach and that is quite the place to people watch–I’ll give her that.

At some point though, we need to BE with the people we’re with.  Every comment was cutting and critical.  It was hard to be in that space since most of the people I spend time with have realized that I don’t like to go there.  

Truly, I’m looking for the greatness in others because I know that will enhance who I AM.CriticsEncouragers

I want to be present with people, not tear them apart.

After too many non stop minutes of this, I decided to do what is the biggest NO NO these days–I picked up my phone, started taking pictures of the beauty around me, posting to Facebook.

I’m sure that was frowned upon but, truly,  I had to remove myself from all the negativity.VeniceBeachBeauty

Something I learned a long time ago, whenever you judge anything, you hold yourself apart from all the things you are wanting to be and do and have.  All the attention on “what’s wrong” just pulls more of “what’s wrong” into your life!

The other thing I know is that we are all part of the same stuff, let’s stop tearing ourselves and others apart and start celebrating the greatness within and beyond ourselves.

I want to be with people when I’m in their presence — I don’t want to judge everything that moves behind them!  It’s a practice, it’s an art–to become present in the moment and fully absorbed in that moment with no distractions.

Presence within ourselves and the presence within our fellow beings is where ALL the power resides but it’s only here NOW!  I’m going to celebrate NOW. Please, please, BE With Me Now!

A Frustrating Force

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As the woman in the 3rd car behind me laid on her horn for a good minute, I smiled to myself, I was once that obnoxious driver.photo-10

I had a form of road rage–when drivers didn’t drive correctly, I let them know about it!  Well, not really, I just yelled and screamed inside my car to myself.

The constant insults I hurled at all the other stupid drivers had to stop!

I never held up my fingers or yelled out the window, but inside my car, I could not recognize myself.  I was not a pleasant person.

I remember feeling so bad about what had just come out of my mouth toward another driver that I thought, “what if my sweet, elderly client, Charlotte were witnessing my behavior right now–she would not recognize me!”

This had to stop, I  felt possessed by a frustrating force!

“How can you be so stupid–don’t you know the left lane is for cars to pass not for you to go slow in.”

“You idiot, turning left on a double yellow line (while I laid on the horn for dramatic effect).”

It took me quite some time to get it all under control.  Probably the biggest aid in my rage recovery was taking The Landmark Forum (http://www.landmarkworldwide.com).

The Landmark Forum is a weekend intensive transformational seminar that can unlock some of the patterns and behaviors that hold you back from being the truest,  most joyful being that you can be!

I remember their definition of “being peaceful”–give up the story that there’s something wrong here.

At first glance, you think, “yeah right”…

One exercise was pretty simple–we shared with a partner one of our biggest frustrations.  For me, it was behaving very badly as a driver.  By continuing to tell the story over and over to your partner what it was that frustrated me while driving, after so many times it just sounded so silly.

I would tell these detailed stories about what he did that was stupid and how it affected me. Over and over and over…

It really is just a story.

Give up the story that there’s something wrong here!  It may sound super simple, but that was a big breakthrough for me.

It was all just a story–the story I told myself about all the idiot drivers out there.

The more I gave up the story in my car, while driving, the less I noticed the stupid drivers in my vicinity.  Even if there were stupid drivers, I began to let it go.  It was simply the story I told myself.

We get to choose what story we tell ourselves about ANYTHING!  I wanted to feel joy and ease for my entire day, not feel the fierce frustration that always occurred while driving.IMG_2369

Tonight (years later) as I was driving down a residential street that had cars parked on both sides of the street but there was still enough room for 2 cars to travel, the driver coming from the other direction laid on his horn as if I was taking up too much space.

He was angry.  His face was all snarled up and he was miserable.  This man was elderly and had a severe case of rage.   I just smiled and felt free–free from the stress that he so clearly has carried every time he gets in his car.

That’s something I noticed years ago–how the older people were some of the angriest drivers I’d ever seen.  I keep those images in my mind to remind me of what I don’t want to become!

Imagine if you could let go of that rage, let go of those judgments, let go of the blame and ridicule.  Imagine how you would feel  without all those emotions weighing you down!

Give up the story there’s something wrong here.

Reach for ways to feel better, and I promise you, you will attract more experiences that feel better.

Frustration is a force that is finding its way out of my body.  Little by little, as I focus on what’s beautiful, the frustration falls away.

I actually get into my car and feel ease while driving.  I enjoy my drive wherever it takes me because I’ve got a calm and loving force that lives inside me–a force that I’m in charge of.  I get to choose how I feel and I choose peace!