Have you ever met someone so amazing you just couldn't get enough of them? Or someone so challenging that 5 more minutes would be too much of them?! I am lucky enough to have many people like that in my life, as I'm sure you do too. Teachers come in all shapes and sizes; some are likeable, some not-so-much, but they are all here to teach us something.
It occurred to me today that while we have all of these inspiring, fabulous souls in our life, time is still spent talking about or focusing on all the people that you don't like and who you wish you could avoid. That's a lot of energy. Quite frankly, it's exhausting.
Then I thought, why not focus on the lessons that I have learned from some of my favorite people (teachers of sorts). In an "ode to my favorites", (which actually includes some of the most challenging people I've been fortunate to know)! I've come up with life lessons that I have learned through some of my experiences with these great souls. Here goes!
I have learned that more is not better.
Having another tube of lipstick, another "perfect shade of pink" lip gloss, a dress (when I own several), a bigger house, or a fancy car is NOT what I need. In fact, it's just more things I have to take care of, organize, return, pay for, etc... Exhausting...What I really love is spending time on my porch with my husband, talking about our day, taking day trips to farmer's markets and hiking on the CT Airline Trail. I love catching up with a friend during a pedicure, dinner with our closest friends, and creating the perfect gift for someone else. Now that feels good.
I have learned that the glorification of busy will at
best fuel fatigue, and at worst anger
Have you ever noticed the "one-up" game some people play with who is busier! Notice next time you are amongst other people how quickly people jump in to play. Be the trendsetter and commit to not playing that game. Instead, shift the conversation to talk about something joyful in your life - something fun you did, or plan to do, over the weekend, how well you are doing in some area of your life, a success or milestone of your child. See if it catches!
I have learned that friendship is not always
convenient, but the payoff is tenfold!
It is a call at 1am to help with a heartbreak, a plane ride to visit your best friend and her precious newborn, dinner parties to practice the perfect lasagna - over and over again -to perfect it for an upcoming dinner with your in-laws. It's driving 6 hours to the boondocks of NY to give a real live hug and much needed homemade cookies to your baby sister, so she feels adored, even when she is unsure of herself. And in return...I get endless laughter, faithful honesty, coffee dates to catch up on the latest, "I love you" texts for no reason at all, frosties when my wisdom teeth are removed, road trips, support (even when my idea may be crazy!), and most of all, unconditional love. I'm talking about letting my crazy fully hang out and they are still there. Doesn't get much better than that...
I have learned that forgiveness does not mean
excusing poor behavior and it doesn't mean that
I have to spend time with them.
Sometimes that best thing to do is detach with love, preserving your own self, feelings, and integrity. I can allow these people the freedom to live the life they choose and while still keeping my life intact.
I have learned not to devalue myself,
because if I do, others will too.
Having respect for myself means setting the tone for how others will treat me. It's hard to be respected if my actions don't reflect self respect. This will look differently for everyone, but I know since finding it that I will never give that up.
BONUS LESSON! I know I said 5, but I can't help myself!
Living an authentic life allows others to show their
It's true. Being your true self, completely unfiltered, is freeing...who cares if a coworker thinks you are weird or that your clothes are funny. So what if your neighbor thinks you should plant more flowers, that your mother thinks you need to make more homemade meals. What do YOU want to do? Forget about the have-to's and about what everyone else wants. BE THAT! Try it on - like a new outfit. It may feel awkward at first, but you'll get the hang of it. Better yet, it's truly contagious. Other people will start trying it out. Read more on how to be yourself (which also talks about the mind-body connect) by clicking here .
What life lessons have you learned? Who were your teachers? A thank you to them is always wonderful, but even better is replicating their lesson. Strive to live your life in reflection of the valuable lessons you have learned, from the many teachers along the way. It's the purest way to be a teacher to someone else. How will you give back today?
Mental stress causes physical distress. So, what does that look like? Well, first let me point out the obvious (what most of you are thinking right now), and that is that stress is part of life. Everyone experiences stress...and is not all bad. There is lots of good stress in life - getting a new job, a wedding, new love! The "problem" begins when there is no reprieve from the not-so-good stress. That buildup can cause something referred to as distress. Most people have symptoms of distress everyday, but they become so use to them that they are categorized as "normal". Distress can lead to physical upset. Some of these physical symptoms include:
As a Licensed Massage Therapist, Energy Practitioner, and Spiritual Counselor, the obvious answer to me is, book an appointment, let me help you!! However, there are some other things you can do for yourself, such as:
1. Be honest with yourself. I mean it. Be really honest with yourself.
Make a list of your "have to's" -- including all the social obligations and those in your life you say you just must interact with....No one but you will see this list, so don't hold back!
a.) This is the fun part...highlight anything that doesn't make
you feel good. What do you have an adverse reaction
b.) Out of what you highlighted, what can you truly say "no"
to? Some of these "have to's" will be no-brainers. Those
are easy to cross off the list. Others will require more
thought...Anything you initially feel can be knocked off
your list, cross it off!! (How good does that feel?)
c.) Okay, now to the rest of your list. Some of what you really
don't want to do may be necessity. For instance, you
really do have to pick your kids up from daycare. Though I
am not big on needing the approval from others, there are
those (including law enforcement) that will frown on
neglecting the kids...with that being said, what are the
other things on your list? How many of these "have
to's" are attached to what other people might think of you if
you don't do them?
d.) If you find yourself unable to cross things off your list
because you are afraid of what you will look like or what
other people will think of you, now is a good time to spend
a little bit thinking about what that means to you. I've come
up with some very simple reflection questions. Here goes:
What would it say if I didn't do this?
= the answer here may just lead you to a belief
systems that may or may not serve you anymore.
We do things all the time because we were
conditioned at some point to do them, only to figure
out later that we never liked it and it's not really
Does this feed my soul?
= We need to do things every day that uplift us, are in
alignment with who WE saw we are and what we
stand for. So, simply ask, is that task in alignment
with who I say I am? In other words, does it feed
my soul? If the answer is yes, then what a great
thing! If the answer is no, you can ask, "Then why
do I do this?" You will probably be brought right
back to your list and having to determine if it is truly
necessary or not.
2. Be Silly! I mean it, be really silly! Have you laughed today? Well, you should. You should laugh every day. Don't miss the opportunity to find humor in every day living. It's fun, it's easy, it's free, and it's an immediate stress buster.
3. Get some sleep!
It is really necessary to stay up to catch up on your
"shows"? Your body needs and reprieve and sleep is just the
thing to bring that!
4. Incorporate self care into your daily life.
That's right, being nice to yourself should not be considered a
treat. I hear that more and more...When did we begin thinking
and acting as if everyone and everything around us deserved
more attention and love than us?? Worse yet is the feeling of
guilt that some have associated with doing nice things for
Some things you can try:
Meditate. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, you are capable of sitting with stillness for 3 minutes. Trust me, you may even start to like it :)
Take a walk, even if only around the block. Carving out 15 minutes is doable, even for a working person, with kids, a dog, and deadlines.
Make a monthly date night with friends - or your partner for that matter. (Preferably a weekly date night, but we can start small.) Laughter is the best stress buster and best done in the company of your besties! (I don't care how old you are, there is healing power in being silly with your best friends!)
Schedule a massage, an Energy Healing Session, or a Spiritual Counseling Session-- Swedish Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Deep Tissue, or Therapeutic. Whatever your preference, massage and energy work will certainly help to quiet your mind and for at least the time you are on the table, you are certainly not focused on what you "have to" do. It's your time. It's your reprieve. You may be surprised at what your body is trying to tell you. Need to know more about Spiritual Counseling, Click here: Spiritual Counseling.
5. Take a class.
Paint class, exercise class, whatever! What's your style, your
passion, or what have you always wanted to try? Do it! Not
sure where to start? Check out the Connecticut Small
Business Networking Group. There are direct links to various
professionals from all different business wanting to connect
and teach you!
I'd love to hear from you -- what stresses you out, what have you done to combat stress? Check out what I offer and schedule your own appointment, or contact me for a free consultation. I love helping people get back on track.