learn

It’s the moments that matter

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Last week we were driving to do normal errands.  It was the first real storm of the winter the roads looked something like the photo below.

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We were driving a little fast for my liking, but I have been called a back seat driver so I took this opportunity to just be quiet.  I notice a SUV was baring down on us but we could not pull over a lane because another car was in the way.  Any way I was getting nervous and I said something like ” it’s kind of slippery.”   As I said that I looked in the mirror and the SUV following us was in a total spin out.  He seemed to not hit anything but the next car, a sedan, also spun out and took a direct hit into the concrete medium.

No traffic continued forward for a while, we are not sure what happened, but what I do know is the we easily could have be in the sedan behind the SUV.  That very well could have been our accident, except for the moments that got us where we were.  A displacement of 20 seconds total.  So if you find yourself wasting or rushing a few seconds here or there, in the course of your lifetime it does matter.  You’ll never know how much it matters until its right in front of your face.

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Cheers!

“atta girl”

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Self-Sabotage-610x448

Self sabotage.   Ever hear of it?   It’s when we know better, and yet we continue to follow ideas, thoughts and actions that will not get us where we want to be.

Why do we do this? I have no clue, but I am willing to try to figure it out.  So here are my guesses:

1. We are comfortable in habit.

2. We are afraid of failure.

3. We are lazy

4. We have no will power.

5. We have low expectations.

6. We are afraid of change.

7. We doubt our abilities.

Those are the top seven reasons that just popped in my head.  You may have come up with different reasons.  (I would love to hear from you in the comments)

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Now, I want to take those same reasons and listen to them as if a child was telling me why they could never ride a two-wheeler.

My reaction to the child’s reasons was simple and automatic. I effortlessly and instantly offered encouragement.  I quickly reassured the child that there was no harm in trying.  I let him/her know the worst that could happen isn’t that bad, and that she could always try again.

So why is it as adults we (I) fail to encourage ourselves?  I don’t have the answers, nothing is popping into my head.

As a matter of fact, I must take this little post and apply it to myself.   It’s time to encourage myself.   Wish me well.  Cheers to all of you out there who are trying to break out of your existing patterns.

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Tip: Treat yourself like you care about yourself.

Inspiration: “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn

One-day one-thing: I am going to paint or draw  something today.

Out of the snail box

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I am currently drowning in a sea of paper.  Paper that I never ask to recieve.  All junk.  Junk snail mail.

We closed on our new house in April, and I still have not changed my address.  I am afraid of the mail.  Actually I am terrified as to how much more will show up.

I have so many papers from the kids, the business, my many other non-profitable wastes of time, bank cards, student loans, medical billings….you name it, and it keeps growing.  I am sure some of you can feel my pain.  I just want to be left alone.  Remember Kramer and the post office episode:

That’s where I am….. “I want out, permanently.”

I am tire of the mindset that something important will be in the mail…..it is never important.  Never. If it is important someone  will knock on your door and make you sign for it.  Been there and done that a few times, and guess what ?  It is usually important, and usually not good news, so why would I want any more of that?

This is all getting to my clutter “issue”…..Okay let’s call this one a Problem with a capital “p”.  I have been trying to de-clutter for what feels like and eternity now, and I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere.

I want to be honest, but I can’t even bring myself to take a photo of where I am sitting.  Okay, you talked me into it…..I am only sharing this photo to make you feel better…..here goes…..gotta find my iPhone…. still too lazy to get my big camera out.  Ok ready……

This is bad.

Granted we are in the middle of a total renovation of our house, and we haven’t yet finished even one room.  The renovation is taking far longer than we ever could have imagined in a million years.

Dining room table/desk inventory:  Wine glass from last night (nice touch gonna have to rinse that out for tonight), dog brushes thus add “dog hair to my clutter”, a paint palette, a white board, a printer, a stapler , headphones, a new light fixture from Ikea….and of course junk mail, and papers.

This isn’t acceptable. I gots me a problem.

What to do when you are overwhelmed and unable to focus:

1. Drink alcohol.

2. Stay up real late browsing the web.

3. Make zero attempt to fix this situation because you know it’s only going to happen again.

4. Acknowledge you have this problem, because they  say that’s the “first step” to fixing it…..Do this so you feel better and can justify another glass of wine.

5. Talk with anyone around about funny things that have  happen in your life….This causes you to laugh and forget you even have a messy desk/table.

6. Make a plan in the back of your head as how to procrastinate cleaning up this mess tomorrow.  After all weekends were made to enjoy.  We only get so many summer weekends in a year. Make it a good one!

Cheers!

Okay, so yeah this isn’t the way to get anything done.  It’s the tomorrow of yesterday, and I am about to go to the park.  By nightfall I plan to have a living room and a dining room that are identifiable.  Wish me luck!

Assholes clutter a good life

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Do you know how many assholes clutter this world?

Here’s the thing, we are supposed to take the high ground and let it go.  Let it be, etc, but you know what?  The assholes aren’t getting the message this way.

I am sure you have read about the “everyone gets a ribbon” syndrome that is plaguing American youth. Well this same idea, of not telling someone they suck, applies to assholes, jerks and rude people.

We ignore them. We take the high ground.  As a result they see no negative repercussions for their rude inconsiderate behavior. They think what they are doing is acceptable, a-okay, so they continue.  Most of these people have no person close enough to them who will say , “Hey knock it off, you’re being an asshole.”…..They live in this bubble of self- absorption, only thinking about their own needs as a primary focus of each and every waking moment.

So here is the question:  Do you call them out, or let them continue?  You know if they continue they will pass it on to their off-spring, thus we are promoting the trait.  Or do you protect your own well-being and peace of mind? In other words, let them live in their pathetic asshole lives and cut them out of your circles, and move on. ( thus living in a bubble of your own creation)

Yep, everyone knows an asshole, has seen an asshole, and encounters them frequently.  From what I see there appears to be a growing number of these characters around.  Are we somewhat to blame for allowing  them to exist?  Has our choice not to get “involved”with their low-life behavior embolden them?  Are we now “Asshole-Enablers?”  (AE groups starting at a church near you)

I see both sides of this coin.  I know I want a peaceful and kind life, but can I have that when I am not doing my part to squelch the jerk?  When I look the other way, am I being selfish by helping only myself and not society as a whole?

It’s like that show on T.V. calledWhat would you do?  Notoriously they have actors acting very badly, and they wait to see if anyone (any civilian in the area), will speak up.  Audiences are joyful, even tearful,  when someone stands up to the asshole and conversely the audience is totally disgusted when the people look the other way.

I believe it takes a village to raise a community, but those days appear to be gone for the most part.

I am positive I don’t have the answer here.  I am working on this one because I think we as a people have to start playing an active role in what we see and what we deem as acceptable in our communities and in our lives.  Sadly I am not yet ready to play in the mud, but some days I get real close.

Please let me know your thoughts on this one, I am very interested in all points of view.

Kill the Judge Within

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How many of you out there feel like this:

You read all the cool stuff about how to be happy , centered, nurtured, live in the moment, live in love and light, eat this and that, they are super foods after all and then you feel good. Yeah, it feels pretty good reading the words and thinking about the possibilities. “Feel good” words, but when it comes to living that life I have found it’s a ongoing struggle. Sometimes I want nothing more that to eat BBQ chips and watch TV. Yeah, crappy TV.

Don’t get me wrong, if TV was better I would pick the better shows….but that’s not the point. The point is there is only so much a person can take of learning how to be “wonderful in mind, body and spirit”

I hate to admit this, but I find it difficult sometimes to read more then the headlines…..or given a top ten list and I read the only the words printed in bold. I tell myself I will read in depth later. Ha!

I understand when a person is in that world, they are excited and want to share, and thank God they do. I would never spend the amount of time takes to figure out the grams of fiber and calories in any particular green smoothie let alone a book full of these recipes. There’s only so many hours in a day.

When I get my rest and eat well, and balance my day – there’s very little that can get me down. I know when I am really it, “it” being in the moment with a clear mind and heart, everything is so dang easy.

Come to think about it, I have changed my life. I should be proud of my growth instead of measuring myself against those far more centered or advanced than myself. That’s the key. I can read what I want and what I can handle, and if I feel like I am failing because I slack off, then at least I know I only have my self to blame…..which I should never do.

Don’t talk yourself down.

I should acknowledge that I do the best I can on any given day and that to me should be perfection. I am going to try to kill my inner judge. That judge has been living inside me way too long. I think this is a good thing.

Cheers!

Tip: Be as kind to yourself, remember you are still learning.

Inspiration: “Imperfection is not our personal problem, it is a natural part of existing.” – Tara Brach

One-day one-thing: Seek out the beauty in everyday life. Make mental acknowledgements of what beauty you see.

lawyers, liars and cold cash

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Okay so have you ever met with situation where someone screws you out of money and you think to yourself, “I’ll sue them.”

But after you settle down reality kicks in – you can’t possibly afford an attorney. Or you find an attorney who down-plays your case to cover his ass. The first thing out of every attorney’s mouth is: “If this goes to court I can’t guarantee you will win.” Believe me I have been there. So I want to offer advice.

First off: People who are going to make money off you lie. <;- Sear this into your brain.

Second: People who lie rarely put things in writing. Some will provide contracts but then they have you sign first, but they themselves never sign. (I’ve seen this trick in construction and employment)

So here is what you do, try to guard yourself against the two items listed above.

Say you have some work that needs to be done at your house. Take a notebook and date and time stamp everything that is said, no matter how trivial you think it may be. Little details will jogged your memory as time passes and it makes your record keeping more believable.

Set up your phone to record conversations. I have a cell only so I am currently looking for a way to do this. ( any apps out there? if not I will develop one)

I remember once I taped a lawyer from a huge firm, who said to me,” we really f*ck up your case.” It didn’t matter that this recording never saw the light of a court room, it was enter into a court doc and filed which made it public record. They dropped all fees right there and then, that is all we wanted.

Just recently a person on the phone asked if they were being taped before saying some very incriminating statements. (note: ANYONE who asks if they are being recorded is about to tell you the truth.) Of coarse I wasn’t taping him, I was ill prepared. If you are taping anyone do not admit it. It may not be admissible in a court of law, but the proof is there and that proof alone will spark a settlement without going to court. If nothing else remember you can always go viral with the tape.

Another tip is ALWAYS have someone with you for discussions if possible. Witnesses are very powerful. Plus they can help you recall details.

Okay, so if you just got screwed, whether you have a lot of proof or just a little proof, take your complaint to small claims court. The courthouse in my town makes this very easy. Your local municipal court should have similar forms and instructions available. If not , use these two docs: 1. instructions 2. claim form, as a reference and make your own. The worst that can happen is the court will correct you and provide guidance. The cost to file a small claim here is 65.00, .05 cents for copies and they will notarize on the spot.

I always remember those sh*tty landlords that wouldn’t refund my rent deposit. I never fought for return of my security deposit. I didn’t know how.

The limit for small claims is thee thousand dollars, that’s way better than nothing. And you will not rack up any lawyer fees. So if you win or lose at least you tried to get you money back.

If you are in a position where you need help regarding family law. Do it your self. Believe me divorce lawyers want to keep you in court and fighting as long as possible. The more you disagree, or the more a lawyer leads you to believe you can get XYZ, the more money that lawyer makes.

I used Nolo press for child support and visitation issues when I lived in California, it worked like a charm. Also nothing quite beats Legalzoom for so many different legal needs.

The moral of the story, you don’t need a lawyer and you don’t have to take getting screwed.

Fight for yourself, you are the only one who truly cares.

Cheers!

OOPS! ****Forgot this important tip. Make a paper trail that shows you attempted to resolve the matter before you go to court. It always looks good to the judge if you can prove you made an effort to avoid his/her courtroom.

Tip: Stick with facts and stay calm and always be polite in correspondence.

Inspiration: “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.” – Don Corleone, in The Godfather – Mario Puzo

One-day one-thing: Organize important documents. This may be a repeat, but with tax time, I have new docs to organize. It’s never stop

Mean people

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For life of me I do not understand mean people.  I know what bitchy is, and I know what angry is and I am fine with both those in limited quantities.  I mean that’s just part of human nature.  Who among us hasn’t had a bad day? But mean is something I will never comprehend.

I am getting a first hand lesson in the power of mean.  But I have also realized that I can take away that power of mean simply by stepping outside my feelings and observing as if I were a third party. Let me tell you what I have seen as that third party.

I have seen the depth of despair and confusion in the eyes of the mean person.  I have witness someone out of control, unable to stop themselves long enough to find the right words.  I have seen the face of hate.  In their state of meanness, which to me is void of all love, they scan their brains quickly taunting me to engage.  But I don’t.  I have learned to step outside of myself, and observe.  It’s a weird position, and quite new to me.  In the past I would definitely shoot back and lose no matter what.  No one ever wins in “mean.”

It’s shocking to me, because now I see it so clearly.  Before now I would engage and not be able to think straight.

I don’t want someone in my life that treats me poorly.  I don’t want someone in my life that holds anger and hostilities towards me.  For whatever reasons, unknown to me, I am the one that receives what ever sh*t they want to throw.   I have even received the silent treatment, which is hysterical to watch from afar, as if I care to talk to someone so mean.

Mean people don’t seem to know about love.  They just don’t.  They don’t know how to show it, give it, receive it or feel it.  They may have read about it but it’s just not in their nature.  Unless they chose to learn about it and change their core beliefs, they will continue to live on with the weight of bitterness, hate and anger baring down on their souls. I don’t even think they know they are missing out on anything.

You see it’s not about making points, or winning an argument, it’s all about what you want in your life.  A cold loveless existence just isn’t for me.  As I declutter I am purging my thoughts that someone else will ever change.

Instead I have changed.  I have changed by not taking in the hostility anymore. I find this approach both powerful and liberating.  Any sadness I held for what could have been is gone.   I have throw away all my “could-have-been(s).”

Cheers!

Here is a more in depth look at “How to Combat Emotional Warfare and Root Out the Manipulative, Abusive People in Your Life” (this article showed up in my email just now-weird)

Tip: Learn to protect yourself;  just walk away if someone is treating you unkindly.

Inspiration: “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”- Mohandas K. Gandhi

One-day one -thing: Stop thinking about what could-have-been.

Screwed up.

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So everything in your life is a mess, you’re stressed and wondering what you should do.  It’s easy to let your emotions take over at times like these, but that’s not going to help anything.

Here’s what you are gong to do about it: NOTHING.

Artist Andrew Myers, modern-day sculptor

Andrew Myers make creates portraits with screws.

Let go of your problems for a while. I suggest all day today, just don’t do or think anything related to any of the problems in your life. If you have to, put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you find yourself dwelling on some issue you can not control or thinking about an issue that has you worried or upset.

I plan on reading. I know I have a pile of books that are begging for my attention. When you read you learn. Learning is a sure way to take your mind someplace else. I may be going to a movie, by myself. It’s quite relaxing to go out without any company. I encourage you to try it.

If you are alone most the time, go somewhere social. Go to a museum and join a talk or a group tour. You’ll be with other people and share an experience, which is usually interesting if nothing more.

By the end of the day your life will still be a mess but you will not have wasted your Saturday worrying about it.

Your mission should you chose to take it is: Make your today work for you and not against you.

Cheers!

Tip: Leave the desk behind if you can this weekend and just live. It’s hard to slow down

Inspiration: “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” – Anais Nin

One-day one-thing: Enjoy something, anything, your choice.

“Do you feel lucky?”

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It hasn’t been much more than a week and already I am breaking retracting the contract on our new house.  I was ready for the experience to live in the city with everyone and anyone.  We haggled a bit and signed an agreement last Wednesday.  Over the weekend we checked out the yard because we needed to determine where the fence should be installed for our dogs.

Two days ago, I was at the property with my fence contractor.  He had to measure the entire perimeter, and as we spoke he began to discuss the area behind the garage.  We walked over and to my surprise I found this:

He said, “This is fresh, someone is sending a message.”  It could have been wet for all I know, I was too stunned to touch it.   The graffiti wasn’t there when we made our offer, it wasn’t there Saturday as we walked the yard.  No other nearby garage got tagged, just ours.

This little white girl raised in suburbia, isn’t fit for this.  I started thinking I would actually have to shoot someone.  Then my mind raced on, and I thought if they come in my house, I’d have to shoot them inside and all their guts would be everywhere.  My dogs would probably eat nasty thug guts.  Gross.  At that point, I decided its better to shoot when they are on the porch or when they step onto the property. Less mess.

Oh my God.  Am I going to live like this? I have never even held a gun in my hand, but you know what?  I am going to learn. And when I get good, I am getting the biggest caliber I can handle.  Peace,  love,  don’t f*ck with me.

I called the police, they told me to send the images to the detective unit that handles gangs.  I did that.  I will never hear back, because I am not buying that house. Ever. This is not going to be my problem.

I was only joking previously when I compared this house to the one in Gran Torino .  (awesome movie) Little did I know just how close I was to the truth about lucky house number #7.

However, I do still see the luck in this.  I was lucky to find the graffiti  before we closed and transferred the title.  We literally dodge a bullet or maybe two.  Call me crazy, but so many things lined up, it makes me feel like someone was watching over us.  ( I like to believe that is true, because it warms my heart)

I just sent off the mutual release form and hopefully that will be signed tomorrow by the sellers.  Back to square one, just a bit wiser and a little stronger.

Stay Tuned.  Cheers.

Update 2/24/2012: Seller says they will NOT sign the release.  However, we never signed or initialed the seller’s counter offer so there is no contract in place.  Hopefully now they will sign the mutual release.

Tip: Trust yourself.  I have said this before but it bares repeating, trust your instincts they will never let you down.

Inspiration: ” We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.” – Louisa May Alcott

One-day one-thing: Be grateful when something works out.

Un-learning or de-programing

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Un-learning is a new concept to me. Because I always believed that information was power and that I should acquire as much information as possible.  Mind you in this case , I am not talking about  real text book learning, just learning from what I experience and what I am subjected to in my life.

I never looked at my  intake as something that wasn’t good for me.   I took it all in without much of any sort of filter. I think I could classify much of this particular information as pure clutter that clouds my reality. I passively accepted images and messages, comments and ideas.  Just took them in as what? the truth? maybe not, but they each received  space on the bookshelves in my mind.

"I did not know" by Brian Kasstle

Through my blog I seem to be  learning more about the mistakes I have made instead of the my successes.  This in of itself can be very over whelming.  All of a sudden while putting the pieces together you may find the errors of your own ways.  You think to yourself, “Wow that wasn’t very bright of me to do this or that.”  It can make for a miserable realization.  Looking back sucks.  It sucks when you acknowledge your mistakes, because there isn’t a un-do button anywhere.

That’s why the phrase, ” If I knew then what I know now…” is so commonly uttered and grumbled.

My rapid assumptions are dangerous, and knee jerk in nature.  Without even considering alternatives, in a nano second, my mind jumps to a judgement, but based on what?  What was learned in grade school? maybe? learned from home? or what was learned at a first job?  That’s insanity.

It is time for me undo many thought processes and beliefs that put me where I am today.  I need to start growing again mentally.  I want to be free of the useless bullsh*t clutter in my head.  I want to live a more fluid life, in the present, without the burden old beliefs in my head stomping out new possibilities.

Stretching your mind beyond your self-imposed limitations is hard work, but I completely believe you have to get past any and all stale assumptions/beliefs that skew your reality or that are holding you back in any shape or form.  Some times these thoughts/beliefs are like voices (doesn’t matter who originally said the words) they knock you down as to why you cant do this or that.  It’s crazy thinking.   In our own minds, you would think we could control this better.  I am going to try.

Today and every day forward, this is one of my goals.  I will write it at the top of my to do list.  I am going to start asking myself, before I register an assumption or judge; “Do I really knows this to be true?”

Tip: Try to notice when others people make assumptions and ask yourself if you ever do the same thing?

Inspiration:” You do not define anyone with your judgment. You only define yourself as someone who needs to judge. ” – Wayne Dyer

One-day one-thing: Conscientiously choose to have an open mind all day today: repeat daily.