Practicing the Pause Before You Speak.

Social Media can either uplift, inspire, amplify, influence, or shift your moods in the most positive ways; likewise, it can show division, hate, disrespect, ignorance, greed, falsifications, and ways that people think they are living in a much better way than their fellow-man by putting others down. Using words like “all” and “everyone who ever did this__”, and hashtags folks have found which are derogatory, so they feel better in that one moment maybe being part of the mean hashtag club.  In light of many recent events, I just encourage you to practice the pause right now brothers and sisters. The pause is important.

Are you alienating people you once broke bread with? Are your words in hate and anger more important the human being?  Do you feel better arguing on social media or perhaps by doing so you are becoming the very thing you are so vehemently denying?

I spoke to you guys this week on my page about a few things and people commented that I looked a bit tired…maybe sad even.  The leaders/clergy/healers of the world have a lot on their shoulders right now and they aren’t perfect either.  Whatever religion, beliefs, or views you have, I want you to think about a few things before getting into a debate with others on social media.

3 Ways to Practice the Pause:

Is it True?  (How would you know for sure) Is it Necessary? (Is it adding value to your feed) Is it Kind? (if the answer is no…)  This is actually pretty interesting as it comes from a book of Victorian Poems called Miscellaneous Poems by Mary Ann Pietzker published in 1872.  Here is an excerpt:

Is It True? Is It Necessary? Is It Kind?

Oh! Stay, dear child, one moment stay,

Before a word you speak,

That can do harm in any way

To the poor, or to the weak;

And never say of any one

What you’d not have said of you,

Ere you ask yourself the question,

“Is the accusation true?”

And if ’tis true, for I suppose

You would not tell a lie;

Before the failings you expose

Of friend or enemy:

Yet even then be careful, very;

Pause and your words well weigh,

And ask it be necessary,

What you’re about to say.

And should it necessary be,

At least you deem it so,

Yet speak not unadvisedly

Of friend or even foe,

Till in your secret soul you seek

For some excuse to find;

And ere the thoughtless word you speak,

Ask yourself, “Is it kind?”

 

So, my thought is this.  If you are out there shouting the words of someone who does not practice the pause, and deliberately provoking people you once considered a friend, how are you being different from what you are shouting about?  To be honest, I expect those of you reading this do, in fact, practice the pause.  We can only work to change ourselves and most often I have found those who are actively working to change themselves, will reflect on this and think about it in more than one aspect.

Because I want you to have more than one take away here, especially if this brought to mind certain people in your life, I was doing research on how anger affects the brain (for my Club content), and this wonderful PDF is free so while I wanted to share this with my Club, I also want you to have it today.

In a nutshell, the research from The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine outlines how stress hormones affect your body.  Those of you with heart problems acting in anger will elevate your heart rate, blood pressure will rise, arterial tension rises, blood glucose level and blood fatty acid levels will rise as well.  I don’t want you to basically have a stroke over your anger and reactivity.  I also don’t want your headaches to increase (have you noticed that), your stomach to be upset, and your immune system to be weakened all because of how you are reacting to stress.

If this helped you in any way, here are a few tips on how to practice a simple meditation.  <<  Thank you my friends.  I wish you good health.

3 Tips for Turning Pity into Self-care!

I was drawn to this post my friend shared today by a famous yoga teacher who I really admire.  She seemed to have a really cool life.  She is young, admired, in shape and really self-confident.  Or so I thought.  She gets to go on exciting trips and travel all over the world…little did I know she was homesick and going through a divorce.  She posted a photo of herself on her social media today and the first person to comment said some ugly things about her being “vulnerable” as an excuse for pity.  Wow.  Harsh.

Interestingly enough, I bet we have all been there though.  Seeing someone’s posts and wondering if they just needed a pick-me-up or were they seeking attendees for their pity party?  The truth is, we all have felt this way at some point in our lives.  We are on the brink of being really vulnerable and wondering if others care.  The flip side to this is we might stay closed off from the world because we are busy thinking we will be judged for how we feel.  The fact is, emotions are like waves.  We can no more control them than we can control the turbulent sea.  We just have to ride it out.

I say this as I am still in the clutches of my own grief on losing a beloved pet.  So I can’t control my waves of grief right now, but there are things I can do to make this time more bearable.  I can turn my pity, of which I honestly feel like I am the only one at this party, into self-care.

3 Ways to Turn Pity into Self-care:

  1. Observe your thoughts as they turn to “why me”?  I recognize that I will have moments of thinking I am the only one who has ever experienced x,y, z.  Since I know this is definitely not true, I use this as an excuse to journal my feelings and explore what is really going on here.  Did someone post a photo of the exact opposite feeling?  Quite possibly.  And what is the exact opposite feeling I want to explore right now?  Happiness.  Love.  Support.  Okay, so now let me list the ways that I feel these emotions I am trying to get to.  Who makes me feel this way or what?  It doesn’t have to be a who…as I can definitely create my own happiness with things that make me feel successful.  So then I go down that path instead.
  2. Don’t open the invitations you get…to go to the other pity parties.  This one might be hard.  So do this one as tactfully as you can, but if you are struggling, the emotions you want to surround yourself with are not going to be more struggle and pity.  Get my drift?  You really want to think about the things that are going well in your life and get back to that higher vibration that allows you to feel good about yourself.  If you can turn it into something productive, like a friend journaling session, or a walk of pity, then go for it, but set a timer.  After 3 minutes, switch and listen to the other person.  Then you must have 3 minutes of praise and success.  Because ultimately, you know that this stage will not last forever.
  3. Make a practice of talking about your joys.  Again, this one is hard.  We always want to talk about what is bothering us…or what we want to change, but feel like we can’t.  What if we talked about all the things that made use feel joy, happiness, and fulfillment in life?  Ask a trusted friend to tell you 3 good qualities about yourself if you are feeling down.  Even better, text them and tell them 3 things you love about them out of the blue.

Opportunities for growth exist as we see our pity for what it really is.  A moment of self-doubt where we don’t feel good enough.  A moment of judgement where we think we should be doing more.  A moment of envy perhaps, where we see the outside of someone’s life and look at the highlight reel.  Go deeper into what is really bothering you and what the opposite of that feeling is.  It is there that you will find your gold.

Like this?  Read more on self-confidence. <<< 

judge

The art of words…

This keeps coming up in my life, so I am meant to share the message with you.  Picture this, you’re stressed out.  Feeling moody about something…maybe even angry.  You send off a quick text to someone.  All of your anger and frustration can actually be felt through that text.  The person on the other end was not really the cause of it, but they’re sure getting it.  They open up the text and it’s like whooooosh.  It washes over them.  Then they react without thinking and send one right back to you.  Before you know it, you aren’t even speaking and you don’t know what happened.

The reason this happens is because you forgot that words have meaning.  The thought behind them, the vibration, even the punctuation carries a message.  You misplaced this in today’s fast paced society.  ALL CAPS still means you are screaming.  I need you to look at this!!!!!!!  Means, honey, you are way too over-excited about something, and you feel it must be done now.  What is wrong with you?????   With numerous question marks means clearly, you think that person might have a problem…not realizing the problem is how you are communicating.  Using abrupt, demanding language without even so much as a hello, how are you doing, seems like you don’t value my time.  You just want your question answered now, and my time is not as valuable as yours.

Oftentimes I get this…hey girl.  How are you doing?  I answer and never hear back from them again.  Clearly, they didn’t really want to know how I’m doing.  I’m done with those one-sided conversations that are “phishing” for information.  I’m not sure what they wanted…but obviously it wasn’t to build a real relationship with me.  It’s time to take stock of the “friendships” you have in your life.  Are they all one sided and devoid of trust?  Do they use demanding language when “speaking” to you through texts or messages?  Does anyone actually make dates with you or call you on the phone?  When is the last time someone said to you, I miss your face.  Let’s get together soon.  I have these dates open.  Not the empty, “We should do lunch.”

Now it’s time to take stock of how you use texts, messages, and e-mails.  Do you pause carefully to consider the right words and how they sound when you read them back to yourself before you hit send?  How would you feel if you got messages in the middle of the day that are one-liners demanding your time?  What if you were going through something really hard?  Would you react with kindness and care or would you come from a place of hurt and anger as you respond?  The reason I am saying all this, is because hopefully I just showed someone the right way to look at the messages they have been sending me.  It could have ended badly, but that person backed up and thought about it and apologized.  Right then.  She didn’t wait.  And that is how you earn respect when you learn to take stock of your body language and your text language.  If you are doubting a message that you just sent and there is no way to call it back from the inter-webs, please man or woman up with your vulnerability cloak, and say hey, I am calling you because I just sent you a message and I really shouldn’t have sent it yet.  I wasn’t in a good place at the time.  Please forgive me.  End of story.  Vulnerability is good.  We are human.  Don’t wait months or years because the damage has been done.  Allow grace to come into your life.

Grace

The Written Word…

As an English major, I was taught to look deep into the meaning behind words.  Authors did not come out and say exactly what they meant.  Woven deep into the tapestry of their words were hidden meanings and plots within plots.  It was up to me, the reader, to figure out where they were leading me.  I am going to tell you that in real life, I really don’t want to untangle what you mean.

I expect you to have a straight forward conversation with me and I’ll be the same way with you.  If you don’t like what I have to say, by all means, don’t ask me questions.  What perplexes me most is when people read into what I am saying or writing for that matter.  The written word can be a lovely thing.  There are approximately 6,800 languages spoken in the world today.  The interesting thing is that if you don’t call me up and actually speak to me, and you catch one snippet of what I am saying without ever asking me questions, it can be like trying to decipher one of the 6,800 languages without having the Rosetta Stone (which was pretty awesome to see).

>> More on using guilt as a weapon here << As some people manipulate with words.

I have found more and more people in my life do not take the time to understand something and appear to be using some version of their own translation system.  It reminds me of the versions of the Bible, and how it has been translated into 6 different versions or more.  The more we translate and change a thing, the more it loses some of its original meaning.  I’m going to be honest, I was not aware of the Douay Rheims Bible until recently.  It is a Catholic translation into English, follows the original canon, which includes the 7 books of the apocrypha, AND predates the King James version, without the same errors and old English writing style.

I found that very interesting.  So the next time you read something and wonder if the person meant some fictitious story you have made up in your mind, kindly ask for their Rosetta Stone.  Just lay it on out there like that and I’m sure they’ll be happy to oblige.  Otherwise, it will be a year later and you’ll still be trying to figure things out.  “Oh no she didn’t.  I can’t believe that she wrote that about ______.”  Not even close.

Misunderstanding

Diary…of kindness

When I started this blog, I started it under an Avatar photo and have never said my full name.  I did that on purpose.  At times, it’s like you are reading my diary.  My personal thoughts that I feel the need to write down here.  My stories from my teaching career, my adventures with food, and yes, my life with invisible diseases.  If you were to open any one page of a diary you wrote, could you tell what you were feeling on that particular day?  Throughout my writing, people have asked me how I stay so positive.  That is until my last post.  I did not read it as not positive.  On the contrary, I read it as I was making progress…especially from where I was two weeks ago.  It hardly seems two weeks ago…I don’t tell you the truly personal events of my life as people have figured out who writes this now.

I hope you have read the whole story, and not just one page and made an assumption.  I hope you read the posts about the homeless, poverty, and the ghetto.  I hope you read the beginning years, where I have come from.  To condemn a person for one snapshot of their life seems awfully harsh to me…especially if you read into this that it was ever about you.  The entire time I have written, it has never been about anyone else.  It is not about your journey.  What’s even more amazing to me is to get condemnation from someone who doesn’t speak to me…ever.  Not one phone call, ever.  Who can take words from a page, and not know what my thoughts were behind it.  Not see the picture in my mind as I see it.  It reminds me of a story that was read to me once called Each Kindness.  You really have no idea how the story is going to turn out, even from the words.  You keep hoping there is going to be a lesson and a happy ending.  You guess what is going to happen next, but you don’t know.  You read into it because you want it to end happy.  You even make up an alternate ending because you just don’t know.  Life is like that.  You read into it because you just don’t know.

For those of you who have been with me for a while, I wanted to say thank you.  Thank you for listening with your heart.  Not your eyes.

Romans 2:1-3

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?

Judge

Save

Finding the good…

I was having a conversation with my girls and I was trying to find something to say that would be worthy of great mom advice.  So often I wonder if I am giving them the right advice and then I just blurted out, well, stop dwelling on what’s wrong in this situation.  What do you like about this friend?  She went into a litany of wonderful attributes this person has.  There.  Whew.  I did it.  I passed the mom test.  Okay, I said something great and now she is focused on how good this friend is to her.  She can forgive the other issue.

Find your focus…

Wow.  I feel like I just had an epiphany.  So often we focus on the things that bug us about others.  Not just in friendships, but in our relationships with our sweethearts too.  We feel “judged” (do not like that word).  We feel criticized.  That is more like it.  It is difficult to live up to the standard you think others have set.  I know I feel that way.  I do not like it when I feel like I am being told I should do something by someone who has not walked in my shoes.  It makes my skin crawl.  So what if instead of focusing on why this person is doing that, I focused on the nice things about them?  I know it is hard, but it makes life easier.  Give them the benefit of the doubt EVEN if you don’t think they would do the same.

You have many other alternatives, but if you want a healthy relationship with this person, take a step back and find the good.  When you have done that, you can respond.  It gives you time to assess the situation and make your life easier.

Helped you quote

Tricky Tuesday…

Isn’t it funny how the use of one word that means almost the same thing can cause such a big disruption to someone’s life?  Let me start at the beginning.  I am in this “support” group, and as you know, I sit back and research before I ever decide to make a move.  My comments are logical, and have research to back them up whereas, um, other people do not always do that.  If you give me a topic, I can research it for you.  Seriously.  Ask anyone.  I use the words disorder and disease from time to time to explain my condition.  If we get right down to it, as I have explained in other posts, I actually have a gene mutation.  So what sounds better?  Mutation? Disease?  Disorder?  Does one of them make me sound better?  I’m just curious.

I have many, many links in my posts on health issues that show my research.  I have a few more to show you tonight.  Here is one I found on the difference between disease and disorder.  Next, we have this other link here.  Because my blood condition, for lack of a better word, caused other problems, I actually see it as a disease.  To say so implies that I “caught” it as one person said.  Hmm.  Well, um, let’s see.  Did my friends catch cancer?  I don’t remember any of them running around trying to do so.  Some people argue the word disease means there is a problem that can be identified and that it also means relative permanence.  Well, umm, I know someone who was cured of cancer.  So, maybe it wasn’t really a disease?  I don’t know.  All I know is that whether or not you classify what you have as a condition, disease, or disorder aren’t we all hoping for the same thing in the end?  A long and happy life?  Maybe one with some answers?

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”  ~John Adams

I don’t write for you…

I know WordPress means well when it sends me my year in blogging, but quite frankly, I don’t write for you.  I write for me.  I always have and I hope I always will.  Oh sure, I want to write for a magazine or even publish my short stories one day, but it will still be for me.  I think that’s how writing should be.  If it helps other people, good.  That was my intention, but ultimately, I am my own critic.  I am the one who writes and re-writes posts in my head a hundred times.  I am the one who gets up at 3 a.m. and pounds away on the keys when I can’t sleep.  I am the one who can’t let an idea go until I get it out…even if I shove it away from me because I don’t feel like posting it at the time.  It comes back.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse.

It’s like an argument I have with myself.  I don’t always say the right words when I want to, and they certainly don’t always come out the way I planned.  In my head they sound better and I can hear the way I meant to get the point across, but occasionally, it morphs into something else.  That’s fine.  I know what I meant.  The best part about all of this is when you do get me.  When you click “like” or find me days later, and say, hey, you know that piece you wrote on the horrible thing?  And I look at you like you are crazy because I don’t know what you are about to say, and you say it really meant something to you.  That’s the part about this that I love.  So thank you for a great year even if my stats aren’t the highest or I don’t have the most likes on my FB page or the most followers on Twitter or you don’t read this every time I publish something.  Because I write for me.  You are an added benefit.

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.”  ~Graham Greene