What to do when you realize that “Life isn’t fair.”

Life not fairI came up with a million catchy titles for this post, but the truth is, I am reminded of one of my favorite movies today.  Labyrinth.  Yes, yes.  That movie.  As Sarah battles the wits of Jareth, the Goblin King, she exclaims “That’s not fair!” so much that he counters with “You say that so often, I wonder what your basis for comparison is?”   Huh.  Profoundly true.

What is our basis for comparison?  Let’s ponder that a moment.  Social media?  Where we only see the photos others want us to see, who have edited out the sticky parts, the not so nice details, and put “filters” on how their life looks?  Damn.  My profile looks amazing right now if I do say so myself.  So does my Instagram.  There I am in my yoga pants, doing some hard poses and I have nailed those suckers.  Mostly.

Society is busy judging me by how I look and what I can do for others.  True story right there.  It doesn’t matter that I say to every single yoga student in my class, the only competition is with yourself.  They still want to kill that pose and look good while doing it.  For me, I personally feel like my battle is different, but they don’t know what’s going on in my thoughts.  They know what they are observing.  They are observing me doing well in the flow.  They don’t know that I am thinking “Thank you so much wrist, for holding today.  I remember a time when you went out on me every single time I held downdog for longer than a minute.”

So in my head, I used to get angry…have a million conversations about fake profiles, and what would happen if people knew the truth, etc.  Why are certain people admired, followed, liked even, when in reality, I am not even sure what they have ever done to get fame (just thinking out loud, like, ermm, rhymes with Smashian family). I still am at a loss on that one.

So life isn’t exactly fair.  We have learned this time and time again.  What do we do next?

3 Steps to Take When Life Isn’t Fair:

  1. Acknowledge the feelings…perhaps even the envy.   So, you have been working hard all year, and your friend, just got the promotion at work.  She is being taken out to dinner with the boss.  She is going on a shopping spree to buy a whole new wardrobe because the promotion was huge.  What is it that drives you crazy about this scenario?  Everything probably, but it’s the feeling that no one noticed your hard work that probably gets to you most of all.  Explore what you are doing everyday and really think about ways you can improve.  I know it’s not ideal, but meet with your boss for a strategy meeting and be proactive.  See if there’s something you are missing.
  2. Unplug, or unfollow, the “perfect” people.  Comparison is a bitch.  It will drive you crazy if you let it.  So quite simply, don’t.  Yes it’s easier said than done, but do your best to put your phone down.  Stop stalking your ex, your ex friend, your ex boss, your ex place of work, or whatever it is that drives you crazy.  Why do we do that?  We feel the need to please others, and quite simply, we wonder if we are not enough.  >>> I am too big a gift to the world to waste my time on self-pity and sadness.  You have gifts that others wished they had too.  The reality is, you don’t see it right now because you are focusing on what you don’t have, instead of what you do have.
  3. Develop new habits that focus on what you want in your life.  Personally, I am focusing on using gratitude to move forward.  I know that life isn’t always going to be a bowl of cherries.  I am extremely selfish when it comes to my friends, and I think NONE of them should have cancer.  In fact, since I hate cancer, I think it should be eradicated.  Do I have the cure for it?  Sadly, no.  Crying hasn’t cured it.  When there is a situation out of my control, first, I pray.  Next, I make some sort of plan.  What can I do to make this hurt less?  How can I be of service?  Those are actually my thoughts.  So if you are interested, I do have the Gratitude Group Tab up top.  You are welcome to read more.

I know from years of research into my own illnesses that life throws you curve balls when you least expect it.  But even if you drop the ball, pick it back up again and get moving.  The only time you have is this moment.

Affirmation

How to Create Space to Breathe.

How to create space to breatheDanielle LaPorte says “Letting go makes way for something closer to your truth…which is always more beautiful. Always.”  Did you know that you can even let go of plans, appointments and commitments in your life?  Well you can.  I am giving you permission to say no to being over-programmed.  Your kids too.  Let’s begin this process shall we?

It’s Friday!!  Woo-hoo I am so excited to sit down and relax.  But wait, I have to pick up Johnny, then take him to a sleep over, then dry-cleaning was ready, but no, that doesn’t work because it’s not on the way…wait, crap!  Did I agree to meet someone for cocktails later?  I think I did.  I said I needed to relax.  When all I want to do is go home.  Let’s see.  I will relax tomorrow!  But wait, I have to take Mia shopping and then pick up Johnny, and then Mia has a soccer game.  Maybe tomorrow night, yes tomorrow night, I will rest.  Did someone ask me to play Bunco?  Okay, Sunday.  At least I have Sunday.  But I agreed to host family dinner didn’t I?

Clearly, I made all of this up based on imaginary mom thoughts…or did I?  Does this sound like your thoughts?

How can we create more space in our lives to just breathe?

  1. Just say no.  I know this is the most obvious, but it’s like a drug campaign and you need to repeat it.  Saying no to guilt about disappointing others is something I have already tried to teach my daughters.  It’s not easy.  It is practicing self-care, and that’s important to your mental health and well-being.  It really is.  What is the worst thing that will happen if you say no?  They won’t invite you?  Well good.  You just created much-needed space.
  2. Write down your perfect night.  This one might seem silly if you don’t journal, but it actually helps you to stay focused on what you want and not lose sight of it.  Sometimes, what other people want, sway our decisions.  We want to feel loved, popular, liked, maybe even honored to be invited to so many things.  But ultimately, we get caught up in the rush.  It’s okay to stay the course on your vision.  My Club practices this and they say it’s a real life saver for their weekends!!
  3. Pencil in a date…with you.  Yesterday, I had a list 2 miles long of things I am trying to complete in the next 2 weeks.  I might be launching some big program on here.  It’s totally fine.  I am not quite ready…but whatever.  Because here is what I know…IT will happen at the right time.  It will still be there when I am ready.  So I took some time and made a date with a friend because I wanted to see this new little bakery.  I enjoyed speaking to all the shop owners in this spot…and they told me what having a store front is like and living your dream.  It was a needed date with myself to reflect on where I am going with my business.  Plus I got time to chat with my friend face to face, which I am big on.
  4. Say YES to things that make you happy. If you are saying yes to things that actually don’t make you happy, examine why?  Is it because I am lonely and want more friends?  Do I not feel supported at home?  Do I not like down time, because I am unsure of myself?  Start thinking about activities that make you feel alive.  Jot down 3 things you would like to see happen in your life.  Make space for them.
  5. Just breathe.  I am breathing in.  I am breathing out.  Just focus on the breath.  Take a few moments wherever you are.  The desk.  The car.  At night.  But create that space in your life for the right things to show up.  Visualize your whole body relaxing.  Let go and make the way to something closer to your truth.  Not the truth of others.  It’s important to know your limits and boundaries.

Want to create more space for Gratitude in your life?  <<< Try this out.

Click to read more about letting go.

 

Tolkien Quotes to live by…

As many of you know, I use quotes every single time I post on here.  There are others out there who are struggling with things far greater than my own health issues, so I started posting my favorite quotes to my Pinterest board as well as my Facebook page.  Sometimes I seem to be on the same page as my friends and I post quotes I don’t even realize they need at the moment.

Here are some of my favorites:

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Good friends mean the world to me.

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Sometimes this quote is true in my life.

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)

I try to see things from all perspectives.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)

This is my life quote.

Gandalf's wish

 

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Hello change…

What’s happening hot stuff? If you did not get the reference, click the link.  The rest of us are moving on right after our trip to the 80’s.

This post is to just update you, the loyal reader, about a few things that are different.  I would absolutely love it if you would use the sharing buttons that I am updating on this blog and share anything you find relevant with your social media platform of choice.  I have heard that the way of the Facebook is yet again going to get difficult, but that being said you can copy links and share them directly to your friend’s personal page, your page, or in messages.  I have Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and I had a Pinterest button.  I have to check on that to see if it still works because…I changed my HOST!!  It seems to be going well, but I am learning my way around the dashboard.  As always, my Facebook fan page is growing, but I want more of those nice fans over here.

So here’s how you can help me out, do that awesome thing you do where you tell friends about this blog.  Friends who struggle with life, anxiety, depression, invisible disease, and friends who seem well-adjusted, because let’s face it, we all struggle.  We do.  It’s just that some of us decided to live out loud with our truths and others are afraid of what might happen if they do that.  And that’s okay.  But the ones who seem happy, and the light just doesn’t reach the eyes, you are the ones I am trying to reach.   You are not alone in your “fappiness” (word made up by me).  So my friends, share away.  And comment if it moves your soul.  More to come tomorrow…

Affirm

What is programming?

Sometimes, you do the hard things first just to get them out-of-the-way.  Other times, you do them last…putting them off until you can wait no longer.  Many people have been broken by the “hard things” as they carry them around.  Yesterday in my yoga teacher training, we talked about a burden I still carry.  I have gone through a different sort of spiritual awakening and not everyone is going to be there when I am done.  I know this.  That being said, it doesn’t matter how much you know, how much you prepare yourself mentally for making the hard choices, it still hurts when people closest to you don’t understand, or worse, decide they know what’s best for you in your life and how you should handle a situation. 

What is programming anyway?

Because let’s say that the roles were reversed.  Would you know how to handle their pain?  Their righteousness?  Their “programming” as it appears?  Chances are, you would not.  It never fails to amaze me how many ugly things I see out there on the internet or social media platforms.  One in particular happened just last week.  An old friend from high school posted something he found funny…in defense of being gay.  You know where this is going.  He is openly gay…some people from our old way of life were programmed to think differently.  It ended up being rather sad…for the hater.  Not my friend.  He handled it well.

No matter what you think about another person’s way of life or beliefs, I want you to stop for a moment and think about what they have to carry through life.  Then think about what you are carrying.  Are you helping carry this person’s burden and do you genuinely care about them or are you just trying to persuade them that your beliefs are better than theirs thus adding to their burden??  Getting into an argument on social media and trying to persuade the masses about your way of thinking and how it’s been handed down from the mouth of God Himself helps absolutely no one.  What it does instead is send your ego forward.  You are no longer thinking with your heart…because if you were, you would understand that this person is carrying their own stuff the best they can and you pointing out their faults is clearly trying to break them down.  And honestly, I don’t think God instructs this way.  It’s time we stop doing that to each other my friends.

Carry

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Irritations…

I don’t know when it became acceptable for others to simply do whatever they feel like doing at any given time, speak to you however they feel or act however they want.  Today’s society drains me as there seems to be no common courtesy in the world anymore.  Yesterday I went to my local health food store.  Unfortunately, I said I wasn’t going in there ever again after something happened the last time I visited.  I spent about 6 months personally boycotting the store.  Seriously.

Until I needed some things that no one else sells.  So I made my trip up there hoping I was going to see him…the cause for irritation.  I made it into the store and poof, he magically appeared.  Throwing a comment over his shoulder as he walked by me, can I help you find anything, as he kept walking away from me.  Yes, actually you can.  I need coconut butter.  Using a simpering, irritated voice “Oh my God. You are like the 5th person to ask for coconut butter.  I do NOT have it. I have coconut manna. What do you all want it for anyway?”  As he sighs heavily like I am putting him out.  Did I mention that he is the owner?  Well he is. 

Let me tell you about the first time I ran in with my whole family to get something.  It was like 4:45 p.m. and I needed something as I eat gluten-free.  Some of my ingredients are difficult to get.  I am sometimes, erm lots, depressed when I can’t eat similar items my little family is eating as we used to make things together.  We have changed our whole eating habits for me as a dinner ritual, which is nice, but occasionally, I want a cookie darn it.  So we went in to get some ingredients only this guy has.  Seriously, it wasn’t much of a list.  I went in and they yelled out “Closing in 15 minutes.” as a way of greeting us.  No hi.  No hello.  No welcome.  Nothing.  I got my little things with my husband and kids as we were on our way to my parent’s house, and went to the counter.  From behind the counter a voice says “BETTER late than NEVER” in a seriously ugly tone.

So number one, I am doing this guy a favor by shopping in his store.  Number two, I get no recognition, no greeting, no courtesy.  Number three, it’s like I am putting him out by being a customer.  So I refused to enter the store for months and apparently he hasn’t changed because after he “helped” me yesterday, he proceeded to mention things he can’t sell now because we are getting a Whole Foods soon and people would just drive there, which by the way, is 40 minutes away right now.  So let me just gently remind you all, if you are a small store owner, a business person of any kind and someone is doing you a favor, don’t speak to them like you can’t be bothered or perhaps “don’t have the energy” to treat them right.  They will remember.  Trust me.  Treat the person how you would want to be treated.  It’s just a small thing in this world.  Kindness.  Pass it on. 

Kindness

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Guest blogging…

Hey everyone, I am appearing as a “guru” this week.  Isn’t that a fun word to say?  Guru.  “Sheila Burke is an inspirational and spiritual author and the founder the online communities of Hello Peace, Irie and Zensational Living” and this website called HelloPeace.Guru has my latest article.  Please pop over and have a look at her page.  Of course, I ermmm, used my funny GINORMOUS sunglasses photo, and should have used a different photo.  But that’s me…going all Elton John on you.  Except I’m pretty sure his glasses aren’t $5 or less.  Okay, next up, I found out the e-zine I wrote 2 articles for isn’t going to continue.  Sad face.  So I will publish one of those articles here soon as it really went in depth about illness and how to come back from it.

Being a guest blogger is fun and it’s also an easy way to get your name out there.

I also wrote something for this lovely lady that I met in my Wellness University group and she is publishing it on Tuesday I believe.  Here is a little something about Tina C. Hines.  “Tina C. Hines strives to educate, empower and enlighten women as they embark on their own personal journeys.  Tina’s professional career has always had one major focus – to inspire women to recognize that a part of them may be lying dormant within and reconnecting with that woman can transform their lives.”

So if you would like for me to write for you, just let me know.  My goal is to get all of my writings together on living with invisible diseases and publish a book.  I already have it started…just have to complete it.  I also want to launch a better website.  I love blogging and loved that this was a free site, but I need more.  So my next goal is to offer a free sort of e-letter, maybe a newsletter, and then the book.  The days of Facebook being the way I got the word out on my fan page seem to be dying.  I do have my business Vitalize You there, but even that has trouble getting seen.

Don’t be afraid to ask me questions about your own invisible illness.  If I know something that might help you, I will tell you.  I am not a doctor as you all know.  Merely someone who has been researching these diseases for 17 years now.  Give or take which one we are talking about.  And my nightly reminder for everyone:

 

Nice_2

 

Motivational Monday…my surprise

Hey y’all!  Guess what?  People seem to like me!!  I have friends:)  So this weekend was a certain erm birthday.  My husband isn’t known for planning things.  That isn’t his fault necessarily…it’s just the way things are.  However, in my family, birthdays have always been a big deal.  So my mom planned to take me shopping…and everyone came along.  The kids, my dad and good ole’ hubby.

We went to the outlets…but it was like they were giving away free puppies or something.  So it wasn’t really a good idea.  I did enjoy myself in one store, but after that, I was like, oh yeah, this is why I do not shop.  I don’t.  I can’t stand the commercialization of things.  Lines out the door just to get $5 off or whatever.  Maybe you all like it, but meh.  I don’t.

So anyway, it was all they could do to keep me out to a certain time.  But when we finished dinner, I told them I was coming home to put on my special comfy jammies…I bought myself for my birthday.  Shh.  I did.  I bought erm these like snuggie, zip up long john things.  Hahahaha.  But seriously.  I did.

MeProof.

But surprise!!  People were coming over to my house…and some were already in my house.  And it was wonderful because they had food and things.  Ok, they had wine.  But the food was gluten-free and that was oh so thoughtful that they went to that kind of trouble for little ole me.  But I had to stay in real clothes…but that was ok.  We had a fire pit and we talked.  I miss talking to people.  I did pick up my phone to snap a few photos, but really almost forgot to do that.  So I appreciate the party because it was about being real again.  Talking and being in the moment.  The one that is right now.  Now tomorrow, or a few days from now, or I have to do x,y,z because x, y, z will be there.  Please connect in the here and now with your peeps.  They will be ever so thankful and appreciative…and grateful.

Friends

And they will be really HAPPY.

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Fappiness…

What is fake happy?

I feel like  I need to give you permission to be honest with yourself.  So there it is.  You have my permission (like you needed it, but anyway, you have it).  If you were to be really honest with yourself, truly honest, what would you say to yourself?  I know what I would say because I couldn’t sleep last night.  That’s always an indicator that I need to write about the truth.  How I truly feel.  Without the pretty stuff.  So here it is.

I don’t feel thankful right now.  I don’t.  I just imagined a collective gasp from like 20,000 people.  In reality, you might just merely be thinking ok, why?  Or maybe you are thinking you have lots to be thankful for, why are you not thankful???  I demand it.  If you thought the first thing, you get me.  If you thought the second, I want to explain.  It’s not that I’m NOT thankful…I am.  I am just having a hard time feeling that way some days.  I know I have so much in my life to be thankful for.  I do.  I know this.  But unfortunately, there is something inside me that hasn’t been getting filled up lately and I don’t know how to fix that.

As I talked to my husband about it last night, I think he began to understand.  I didn’t want to talk about it because I felt like I was ungrateful.  I felt like the “Inspirational Page Owners Police” were going to come and take away my license to operate a motivational page.  But then he said why can’t you write about the truth?  And that seemed easier.

Two years ago when I realized that something else was happening to my body yet again, I made the decision to stop teaching.  I went to my husband and I calmly said that I couldn’t explain it, but teaching was making me more sick.  I just knew it.  The last year that I taught I was out many days until finally, I was out for 3 solid weeks.  That year started off with a breast cancer scare, and I don’t know if I really recovered fully after that.  I was on edge.  Something was coming, but I couldn’t explain what it was.

I would sing my happy songs, smile at the beautiful children, and fake smile at everyone else.  I had previously been known as Mrs. Happy.  In my head, I was now Mrs. Fappy.  Fake-happy.  The pain in my body had already been building up for years and I flinched when anyone touched me.  If the children were sick, I put them to the back of the carpet, because yes dear parents, a few of you sent your darlings to school on Tylenol hoping I wouldn’t notice, but I always did.  They had fevers and were burning up after they had already hugged me and loved on me because that’s just how I am.  I am not going to let them be sick in my room without them knowing I still love them and want to take care of them.  I did, however, have them go to the nurse.  Sometimes you came and picked them up, other times, not so much.  You were busy and had no other options…I get it, but it made things difficult.

Unfortunately, I am immune compromised and my immune system isn’t what it used to be 17 years ago.  So I knew that I couldn’t operate this way anymore because I worked in a school where some parents didn’t have the means to take care of their children and really, truly,  were doing the best they could at that moment.  It was just difficult on me.  Emotionally, it had taken a toll long before now.

I could tell you the series of ridiculous things that happened to me up to this point in my life, but it doesn’t really matter right now.  All that matters is right now, I am trying to find the thankfulness in life.  Not just go through the motions.  I also know that money does not solve problems, I get that, I do, but sometimes I wish we had some wiggle room.  I feel responsible for my decision to stop teaching full-time because there is no longer any wiggle room…if there truly ever was.  I have to weigh decisions carefully on what we spend money on, and when I make a poor decision, I beat myself up.  Even going to the doctors cost me money I can ill afford to pay when they want to see me back in 6 weeks…at $35 a trip because it’s a specialist.  All I freaking see are specialists.  With 4.5 diseases that most people have never heard of I was told by one doctor, “It’s like building a house.  You wouldn’t expect the plumber to know about carpentry, right?”  Meh.  I see your analogy and I raise it a “I am trying to be seen in one place so this doesn’t cost me ridiculous amounts of money all the time!!!” stare.  Because sometimes, I just can’t respond to people.  The words that would come out are not nice.

So, the point to this entire erm rant?  I get you Wayne Brady and your breakdown.  I love you man.  I really do.  I love you Robin Williams and I miss you.  But I get you too.  But let’s start talking about “Fappiness” more and how it’s okay to feel this way at times.  Let’s talk about this and bring this out in the open.  Stop trying to fix it.  Just let it be.  And talk about it, until it’s okay to be fappy…

Fappy

 

30 days of thankfulness…

Be thankful

Last year at this time, I wrote all about my past teaching experiences, but I didn’t tell all the stories.  I think sometimes people go about their day-to-day lives and they don’t realize how hard it is for “others” to acclimate.  Let me explain “others”.  Others are the people who have seen more.  War veterans, drug users come clean, homeless, recovering alcoholics, people from poverty, cancer survivors, empaths, police detectives, people who live with invisible diseases, counselors, teachers and many, many more.  “Others” try to blend in, but it’s really hard sometimes.  They carry around the knowledge that there are bad things out there…bad things that perhaps normal people don’t notice.

So for my 30 days of Thankfulness on my, ahem, slightly larger Facebook Fan page,  I have paired with people from all walks of life.  Yes, all of the above types of people and I dearly LOVE them all.  They have the biggest hearts of anyone I know and they also hurt the most when things don’t quite go as expected.  The funny thing about the inspirational page owners is that we are people too, and sometimes, real life tries to kick us when we are down, but because we know, just know, others are counting on us to get up again, we do.

So I made a post and kicked off my 30 days yesterday, and the one word I used was “Life” because I am very thankful for it even though it does not always go as planned.  I am also thankful for my readers here because you guys have been with me for a while.  You know more than my FB fans do, because to them, it’s just pretty quotes.  But to me, and you, we know there are always stories behind every quote.  Always LIFE behind every quote I make.  So here’s to the life behind the quotes.

Thankful

Tune in Thursday all month long for Thankful Thursday here on the blog.

Author’s note:  I completed an extra journaling section just for you guys who are part of the 4 Weeks to Wellness challenge!

 

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