Turning the Corner


Choosing to no longer seek the approval of (and trying to please) others may be the most challenging thing we ever face. Sometimes anger is our only way out, but when the anger subsides, we can feel the familiar pull of old habits. However (and whenever) it happens, turning the corner is the difference between night and day.

The Great Equalizer

Happiness is the great equalizer. We can never really tell if anyone else is truly happy. We can never truly make anyone else happy unless they really want to be happy.

Feeling Better

I have to admit that as focused and (authentically) happy as I am now, through everything I’ve learned and overcome, there’s still pain and resistance to being happy, which requires all of my wisdom (as well as others) in order to find peace. It takes a deep and abiding appreciation of the journey and the process of life. We weren’t born to please others; we were born to be true to ourselves, and the sooner we realize that, the better we’ll feel.




Resigning from Anxiety (and Worry)


We can call it giving up, retreating, or letting go, but maybe resigning is a more neutral term for withdrawing our energy from a futile endeavor. The anxiety and worry I’ve felt for as long as I’ve written this blog is like a fitfully sleeping dragon. The cycle of appeasement, in which I throw hapless victims into its hungry maw, is never ending.

Standing Our Ground

It is a process of letting go, of not trying to control the dragon of anxiety and worry. The dragon is obsessive, and the compulsion is to fight or flee. But what if we just stood our ground, and prove to ourselves (once and for all) that we won’t be burned by its flames?

Making the Unfamiliar Familiar

Anxiety and worry can become a habit, and habits can become our identity. The familiar way is to find the anxiety intolerable, while the unfamiliar is to be OK with it. So I don’t think anxiety and worry helps me, but I also don’t give it the power to hurt me, either.



Having Personal Space


I got home from work last night and saw that my mom had taken out the trash in “my room.” I’m moving into my own place in a week, so I’m not too bothered by anything that happens while I’m staying with her. I’m actually quite appreciative and grateful, but I also felt like my personal space and privacy had been violated.

This incident affected my mood as I woke up this morning. After doing some daily self-improvement habits, I felt better and made peace – not with my mom – but with myself. Being clear about my values helped me to resolve inner conflict.

  • Having a sense of purpose allowed me to put things into perspective (I’ve got bigger things to focus on).
  • Being resilient helped me to improve my mood after (almost) waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
  • Being self-reliant lets me know that I can work on having my own personal space (physically and emotionally).

How have you benefited from being clear about your most important values?





Kicking the People-Pleasing Habit

I’m kicking the people-pleasing habit, and since it’s a habit, I need to keep reminding myself that my new habit is following my bliss/inner guidance/the path of least resistance. People-pleasing is actually following the path of most resistance, but people-pleasers don’t realize that until life starts being a real pain in the ass. We train people to treat us the way we believe we should be treated, and people-pleasing says that what we want is less important than what someone else wants, which isn’t true.

As a former people-pleaser, I’m aware of when I feel the need to justify why I’m doing what I’m doing, when the truth is that I don’t need to justify myself to anyone. I’m doing what I’m doing – the way I’m doing it – because that’s what I want to do. Sure, I could try to explain myself to someone, but why?

Kicking the people-pleasing habit is about wanting to live a sincere life. Don’t try to please people, and let them decide how they feel about you. It might be challenging for a while, and people might throw a hissy fit, but so what. Life will become much simpler and you’ll feel a lot better, especially about yourself.


Self-improvement Is Dead (Long Live Self-improvement)

I’ve tried all kinds of methods and techniques over the years to get rid of so called bad habits, only to realize that the actual “bad” habit – if there is any – is the incessant need to get rid of bad habits.

All of the things I thought were sooo bad turned out to be not that bad, and are actually amusing and even fun. It’s called black and white thinking, and it’s something I’ve been mixing together to have more of a gray scale.

The irony of self-improvement is that we don’t need it, but don’t get me wrong; sometimes it seems like we really do need it. It’s just that, at some point, you realize that you’re the one causing all of your perceived problems, and once you figure out who you are, things naturally work out, but until that happens, maybe self-improvement can help.


Meditating Every Day


I wrote about keeping a list of appreciations for a year, and how I was contemplating whether to keep it going, or experiment with something else. Well, I’ve decided to meditate daily for the next year.

Today was my first day, and I sat for five minutes with some calming music playing in the background. I’ve meditated before, but not every day for a year, so I think this will be a very beneficial exercise.

What am I wanting to get out of this experiment?

  • Physically, I want to experience a connection with what’s going on within my body; my sensations, breathing, and energy.
  • Emotionally, I want to experience a sense of balance, calmness, and flow; to feel my feelings.
  • Mentally, I want to experience mindfulness; the ability to observe my conditioned beliefs, programs, and thoughts without acting upon or judging them.
  • Spiritually, I want to experience a connection with who I really am (my True Self); the whole of my being.

My current motto is:

To inspire and be inspired.

So if this post inspires you to start a new, positive habit for the next year, that would be pretty inspirational.

Make today a better day!


image credit: GBM

365 Days of Appreciation


One of the most effective and important things you can do in order to have more clarity and be more contemplative is to keep a journal.

This is especially true these days because we’re swimming in a sea of information–people telling us what we should be, what we should think, and what we should buy–kind of like this article, so the irony isn’t lost on me.

Well, the articles I write aren’t so much about dishing out advice as it is an ongoing autobiographical memoir, but anyway, my point is that keeping a journal is vital if you think a lot, and writing down things you appreciate is vital if you feel a lot.

So, for the last year I’ve been keeping a list of appreciations, but I’ve been doing it with a twist. As I go about my day, I deliberately pause after I do something and write down the activity (actually I type it, since I use my phone). This helps me to be more mindful, self-aware, and honest, while helping me be less judgmental and unconscious about what I’m doing.

For example, when I wake up, the first thing I do is make an entry in my list of appreciations like this:

  • Sleeping

This reminds me that being able to sleep comfortably really is something to appreciate. There are people who don’t even get to do that. Then I feed my cat, so I put in:

  • Being with Beans

This reminds that even though my cat goes crazy sometimes, I do appreciate having her around.

Then I make some coffee:

  • Having coffee

You get the idea. Sometimes I do it right after the activity, and sometimes I’ll input several of them at different parts of the day.

Since today is my 365th day of doing this, I wanted to share this technique with you, and also give it a rest to see what my experiment has taught me. I’ll either keep it going or do something else that’s similar.

Let’s make today a better day!


image credit: Pixabay