The Road to Hell (and Ulcers and Debt) is Paved With Chronic People Pleasing

Well, one (not the only one) road to hell is paved with chronic people pleasing. I’ve written about compulsive yes – ing (here and here) in the past, but I always have more to say on this subject. It seems counter-intuitive, but an unrelenting need to make everyone around you happy (often at the sacrifice of your own happiness) can destroy relationships. This isn’t run of the mill do-gooding – this is drop everything no matter what every time, anytime. I’m talking the kind of people pleasing that leaves you with ulcers and debt.

Tony Robbins believes that we all have one question that governs most of our decisions. Two questions immediately popped into my head when I heard this and they go so hand in hand for me that I couldn’t separate them. “Will they love me? Will they stay?” My inner-critic revels in it. Neediness, over-compensating, needless competition or jealousy ensues. Romantic relationships, friendships, jobs. It was always the same story and there were always the same questions “Will they love me? Will they stay?”.

Trying to answer those questions literally drove me crazy and when I backslide (and of course I do sometimes) I feel the twinge of obsessive needing to be needed from years past start to surface. Back, back I say!

Are you a people pleaser? I can’t say for sure where you picked up the belief, but maybe your core question looks like mine – which is really just another way to ask “Am I enough?”.

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.

-Maya Angelou

So where do we go from here? If there’s a people pleaser anonymous I haven’t found it yet.

There are so many pieces to consider. Whilst I was rooting through my shit bucket of limiting beliefs I began picking out the nuances trying to nail down the limiting beliefs I tied together to form this constant need to appease everyone. What is my relationship with giving? Validation? Self-worth? Receiving blessings?

Giving – obligation, necessity, loss

Validation – self-worth, craving, love

Self-worth – need, recognition, outsourced

Not exactly the well you’d want to draw your nurturing energy from – this is where the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If actions are driven by lower level desires, even the most well-intentioned act can blow up. That’s why it’s so important to know you’re giving from a place of love – give with love and be open to receive with love.

You are enough. You have enough. You DO enough. You don’t have to give everything away to be magnanimous. You don’t have to bear the weight of the world in order to win validation, recognition, or love.
Love Always,
Me
Just love the ride, never stop loving wholly, and keep on letting that freak flag fly high.

Unconditionally: Open When You Find Yourself Dwelling

Sometimes I wonder who I would have been… if I had taken a different road along the way, veered off course, made a different decision, made the “right decision”. Introspection can be a powerful and heartbreaking thing; it can be … Continue reading

What to do When the Past Pulls on Your Heartstrings

No matter what you attribute it to. Whether it’s a test from above, a small world scenario, or a thing you never fully dealt with – sometimes things come back ’round. What do you do about it then?

I’ve seen a lot of grief models, broken heart how-to’s, and decimated dream survival guides. Most of them are sorely lacking a key step: detachment. Once you’ve dealt, detach. That’s a post unto itself, but I felt it worth mentioning.

There’s this sort of shame that comes with letting a thing from the past affect you – likely something to do with the same old vulnerability associations with weakness. *I did the work to move on for a year( or two years or longer), I prayed, I worked my ass off, I forgave, I took other opportunities, I accepted, so why do I feel a pull on my heartstrings now?*

It’s maddening, heart-wrenching even. Full circle sucks, but that little niggling sorrow you feel doesn’t put you back to square one.

Own your feelings. Take stock of how you have changed for the better since the whatever-gate occurred. Don’t lose sight of the wonderful Take a moment to fully experience that feeling, whatever it is that you’re feeling. (Really, it’s okay.) Breathe deep. Release. Detach.

Repeat until that heaviness lifts. Repeat until you’re realigned with the divine will for your best-ness in everything. Repeat until it doesn’t sting. Repeat until there’s no shame tied to slipping up. Choose your own life metric system; repeat until you’re back where you need to be on the scale of your choosing.

If a part of you still loves him, still covets that job, still holds onto that dream, still reworks and wonders and what ifs, it doesn’t mean you lose. You know the spiel, it’s all about the journey + accept and love where you are.

Love Always,
Me

The Wild-Eyed, Wide-Eyed, Naked, and Gracious, Lovers of Everything

Part I – A Call to the Wild-Eyed, Wide-Eyed, Naked, and Gracious, Lovers of Everything
Nothing in this world sheds layers like laying down some truth. Knowing who you are, why you’re here, and stripping down for the masses in the name of love. Sexy.
Nothing in this world is quite so frightening or quite so beautiful as baring it all, undaunted. I want bare skin, bare bones, bare truth and only some chilled air between us.
Alas, there will be no nudity today much to your relief (dismay?).
Danielle LaPorte’s #desiremap teaches a beautiful, whole ‘nother side to goal planning using CDF’s (Core Desired Feelings). Authentic has become this sort of cheesy New Age-y buzzword and has begun to remind me of the YOLO tribe – good bones, poor execution. Still, it stands as one of my diehard CDF’s is Authentic (or maybe just plain ole’ Real is better). Call me kooky, but it makes me think of stripping everything down.
Those are the people I want in my tribe:
living their lives as a prayer,
identifying the strength in being vulnerable,
naked,
transparent,
wide-eyed and wild-eyed,
brimming with gratitude,
hearts wide open.
Come.
Dance with me,
celebrate with me,
linger with me in the buff
and chuck up the deuces
to those that have always told us
we are much too much.
Even the silent can be bold and live out loud.
Tanah Lot by JasonParis https://flic.kr/p/auDdct

Tanah Lot by JasonParis
https://flic.kr/p/auDdct


Part II – Stripping People Against Their Will is Frowned Upon
There was a time I thought everyone wanted to be seen (unmasked). A propensity for reading people coupled with an immature filter moved me to strip down the people that came close to me. Intentionally, but never with malice. Never gave thought to the fact that maybe they wouldn’t want to hear it or maybe they just weren’t ready. I’m just saving them heartache, pain, and time – my justification. Let’s call a spade, a spade: I was being judge-y. I’ve gotten better, but the urge and the “know best” tone still lingers.
Frustrations only grew when whomever finally came to terms with whatever they needed to come to terms with; they would sling back the same insights I had been telling them for months (sometimes years). Thing is people realize things on their own  terms, on their own time. I do it and I’m one of the worst offenders. You do it too. We’re a stubborn kind.
Armed with this knowledge, one might think that I let people go on to make their own mistakes and learn things in their own time, but I still care (and I’m especially the stubborn kind) so I still speak my piece. My goal now is to let it go after that. I hold space, I pray, but I don’t worry or push my agenda… however well-intentioned
Once upon a time I thought I was here to pry eyes open and if I sat around watching this or that person plummet into their despair I’d get all hot and bothered (not in a sexy way). This may very well be my raison d’etre, at the end of the day it’s not my baggage nor my weight to bear. And someone wiser than me tried to spare me the heartbreak of carrying the world’s pain, but just try telling a half-grown someone with a heart full of compassion and no personal boundaries that the pain of the world is not theirs to hold.
Detachment isn’t apathy; that’s a lifetime of lesson right there.
 I’d like to hear a “Let It Go” parody for that – letting go of other people’s shit buckets.
I say it often, forgive me for repeating myself, the world needs hearts on fire!
Love Always,
     Me

You Don’t Have To Watch It Crash and Burn To Know When It’s Over

 

 
It can be anything: from jobs to relationships (platonic and romantic) to living situations.
 
Quite possibly one of the saddest things I’ve ever experienced is letting go of someone that I loved very much because it just wasn’t right. It was also quite possibly one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Things just weren’t right, but for some reason that wasn’t a “real” reason for putting the kibosh on things. Maybe because I’m equal parts lover and fighter and I dig the idea of fighting for love. Maybe because I’m stubborn and I crave familiarity (possibly destructively so in the past). Maybe because I had learned somewhere along the way that in order to justify an ending there had to be some huge, pointedly final collapse that signified “Yup, okay. It’s really time for this to be done.” Not sure where I picked that gem up, but it has created a nasty habit and I’m not alone. 
In the past I’d cast my happiness to the side because my faculties were all screwed up. Those new age-y tenets (that I warped to mean whatever was self-serving at the time) rang in my head: I should be gracious. I should be patient. I should be filled with gratitude. There are so many people that have less than this little. Don’t even get me started there – misuse of self help can drum up some major guilt and why the hell should anyone ever feel guilty for wanting something more?
 
Rationalizing away unhappiness seems to be the norm. We do it to ourselves, we tell other people to do it – as if unhappiness, no matter how small, isn’t a legitimate reason for change. It’s ironic, society has created this obsession with happiness, but unhappiness is still quickly pushed to the side. The things that make you unhappy are just as important to peg down as the things that make you happy. Left unchecked it breeds malaise and apathy and a ceaseless restlessness, but we guffaw at someone making a decision based simply on unhappiness. After all, if ain’t broke don’t fix it. No, no, no, in this world we need reasons for everything and “I’m just not feeling it.” isn’t good enough.
Aphrodite Released by Alice Popkorn
Aphrodite Released by Alice Popkorn
 
Things don’t have to crash and burn in order for you to know they need to end. Develop a strong intuition and self-awareness – you’ll know when it’s time.
 
Be gracious and kind. Be patient. Be compassionate. Be present. Be grateful, but don’t ever settle. Feeling like something isn’t right is enough of a reason. Unhappiness is enough of a reason. The world has enough people hand their power over little by little in this way. The world has enough people that are slugged down into apathy.
 
 
This isn’t about forever seeking out a new best thing.
It isn’t about diving in head first without thinking.
It isn’t about giving up during tough times.
It isn’t about fixing what’s broken – it may not be.
It isn’t about losing the beauty in what you have now.
 
 
This is about awareness and acceptance.
It’s about letting go of patterns that breed stagnancy.
It’s about intuitively knowing it’s just not right.
It’s about saying yes to yourself.
It’s about soldiering on, but changing course.
It’s about release.

“You don’t need a vacation when there’s nothing to escape from.” Thank you, Mr. AZ

“It amazes me that most people spend more time planning next summer’s vacation than they do planning the rest of their lives.”
Patricia Fripp

I do it too – spend so much time talking the fantastical things that I want to do that I miss out on everyday opportunities to that are equally fantastical. I’ve made leaps and bounds in this department. If all miracles are equal in abundance and greatness then all opportunities for awesome be equal abundance in greatness, at least this is how it works in my mind.

I have a dream adventure – I’ve planned it out, I talk about it, I even Pinned it out once upon a time. I know exactly how much time and money I would have to put towards it – it isn’t in the cards this month unless I win the lottery or receive a mysterious large sum of money I’m sure you’ve thought about it too.

happy_dude

” You don’t need a vacation when there’s nothing to escape from.”
Jason Mraz

I’m a gushing fan of designing your own perfection (perfect hour, morning, afternoon, or whole damn day) because I truly believe that happiness should be is at your fingertips whenever you choose to grasp it.

What do you have planned for yourself tomorrow? Or next month? Or next year? What would your life look like if you took the same sense of control and clarity you get planning out a vacation and applied that to planning out your life? You are a co-author of your own life and it is proven that people who feel they have a sense of control over their life are generally happier.

Awareness is key. Are your experiences reinforcing a sense of helplessness or empowerment? Does your day-to-day routine lift you up or hold you suspended in air? Everyone has an end game, somewhere they want to be, are your choices leading you closer to or further from where you want to be?

You were not brought here suffer, you learn it somewhere along the way. We all do. There is every chance for joy wherever you look if only you’d open your gorgeous eyes. There is every reason to smile. There is every reason to shimmy.

There will be crappy days, days that seem to go on for months. There will be broken hearts, bloody noses, and deaths. Everyday can’t be the best day of your life, but the hard things feel so much more crippling when you don’t feel control over your consciousness.

Two If’s:

If you could do one thing right now to practice control over your life no matter how small (any action is a quantum leap) what would it be?

If you’re not in control of your life, then who are you giving the reigns to?

How About Select Few *Effs Given Instead of #NFG

One day I’ll squeeze a couple of cute kiddos out into this world and I have to believe that I’m doing my part now to make sure the world they come into is filled with as much love and compassion as possible. I dance, flow, create, pray, believe – whatever I can to add more light into this world.

I want them to know that complete strangers can honestly, deeply care about them. I want them know that miracles are not only possible, but regularly occurring. I want them to know that when they need it the most they will find the love and support to keep going on no matter what. I want them to know that apathy is an ugly thing and the most beautiful thing you can be is compassionate and lit up.

 

Street art on Trafalgar Square, London by Farrukh

Street art on Trafalgar Square, London by Farrukh

 

I fancy myself a honey badger in a lot of ways and I actually love what the #NFG movement could mean (aka how I perceive it)

#NFG:

* Doubts (undaunted, never stop just because of fear)
* Glass Ceilings (born to break barriers down)
* Drama (energy sucking)
* Haters (no time)
* Guilty Pleasures (mindless television and pasta!)

But I’ve noticed that it further creates a culture of apathy.

This world needs more people who give 0 f*cks like it needs more people who give their bleeding hearts so freely that they have nothing left to give when it counts. Neither extreme serves the self or the world. Not caring has become the magical solution to all uncomfortable situations. There is no pain if you don’t put yourself out there, no broken hearts if you tuck your compassion inside.

“Everyone wants a magical solution but no one wants to believe in magic.”
Once Upon A Time

The answer is little more than common sense and good dose of easier said than done-ness: some self-responsibility, a little love, and a lot of trusting your gut (because you’re wiser than you think when you really tune in). That magic pill comes down to learning when to put yourself out there; it may not be magic in and of itself, but the bliss of ease and an uncluttered life can feel pretty magical.

Unfortunately it takes a lot of listening and we are an instant gratification society. I want solace now, happiness now, love now, peace NOW! Somewhere along the way the words “worthy” and “deserving” enveloped a sense of selfishness and sloth. We want to feel happy and peaceful and loved, but we want it now, by any means, and damn it we want it without work. By all means, if happiness is readily available to you (and it is) then reach out and grab it, but what we are entitled to are the opportunities that allow feel such and with opportunity there is work. Of course, when you start to embrace the work opportunities to be happy (or loved or peaceful) become more readily available because you see them in every little thing.

As long as you’re alive you will inevitably care and unless you’ve reached some ultimate state of enlightenment (go you!) then at least once in your life you will place your love into someone or something that only serves to teach you a lesson. Don’t let heart-break rob you of your softness or steal your compassion.

You’re not a buffet – your f*cks, energy, time, or love shouldn’t be open feeding for the masses. All of those bits of you are so precious, be careful whom you pay them to. And that should be the real point – not 0 f*cks, select few f*cks.

How will you be more responsible with your heart?

Loving You Always,
Me

Baptism By Rain and Salt-Washed Eyes

“Happy is Hermia, wheresoe’er she lies;

for she hath blessed and attractive eyes. 

How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears-

if so, my eyes are oft’ner washed than hers.”

(Shakespeare, 2.2.96-100)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is utter bliss for me and I adore the above words of Shakespeare, but methinks it wrong.

“The soul would have no rainbows if the eyes had no tears.”
(North American Proverb)

That’s it. Feel whatever you need to feel, and if you’re swept up in some cathartic weeping then by all means salt wash those beautiful peepers. Let your soul open up like the skies, but make room for the rainbow my love.
I think about these things as I’m walking through the rain; my thoughts are lit up, but silent. The self-conscious whips itself up into a frenzy with laser focus. My neighbors think I’ve lost my ever-loving mind I’m sure, but I don’t dance and sing in the rain for the audience.
Few things call to me quite like a rainstorm; I love singing out lout and splashing about in the infinitesimal flooding at the bottom of the cul-de-sac. This is ecstatic joy and physical message to my inner-child, “Don’t ever stop coming out to play.”
But it’s something else – this is healing and catharsis. This is simultaneous permission to an open full-body weeping without any tears of my own and an unbridled celebration of everything. Let the things I believed I lost and held onto too hard run right off of me and let gratitude permeate my skin until I’m full and my fingertips are well-wrinkled. In the rain I can feel a pouring out of all those heart breaking things onto the pavement and they’re just swept away and neutralized.
Rainy days are best enjoyed on a sunny day, I lust after these afternoon thunderstorms – the presence of all elements is electrifying. It touches me in a way no person ever could – so intimate, silent, and all-knowing that just being part of the process shifts me. If a shift in perspective should offer rebirth then I’m often baptized by rain. I ask nothing of the rain and it asks nothing of me, this means everything in a world that always seems to be demanding more.
Go ahead and shake it in that rainstorm.
Love Always,
Me

This Is About Body Love, Apologies, and Compliments Without Comparisons

Part I: I’m Nixing Apologies For Rocking Cutoffs
It has long been a tenant of mine not to throw “I’m sorry” around mindlessly, but sometimes it comes out between the lines that are verbally expressed. Silent apologies are apologies still and everyone can hear the subtext.

A couple of things I know beyond a shadow of a doubt:
  • Body blues get to us all from time to time.
  • It truly is a journey to fully, wholly, unconditionally love your body.
And yet somehow I still feel like a hypocrite for poking at my lower belly or not-so-secretly staring at my jiggling thighs in the mirror while I’m out dancing and then coming here to wave that Love Yourself banner. Madness. Not really sure when I thought I superseded the human experience that sometimes includes a little picking at your own insecurities. Alas I am human and sometimes, though certainly not all of the time, I get disheartened at my fleshiness and it’s in those moments that I go into hyperdrive trying to lay out my body issues before someone else can. “I know! I totally need to do something about this.” Apologies come in many forms, sometimes that looks like pulling my shirt down a little lower to hide my “pooch”.
Make no mistake about it I love my curvy body, but I have moments and sometimes days that I spend in total mneh – usually after my ego sparks a compulsive need for comparison of my body against figures that are more “desirable” than mine (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean inner-critic). I’m a thick girl with a luscious hourglass shape. Seriously, what’s not to love? I love to wear crop tops, bikinis, and daisy duke cutoffs – clothing reserved for thinner gals, but the truth is no one in my adult life has ever told me that I was too fat for something except the silent (and yet not so silent) giant “they” of society and my insecure inner-critic. Jerks.
All this wasted energy making sure my hips stay tucked in my jeans just-so (heavens forbid I get a muffin top!) and worrying that maybe I shouldn’t be wearing horizontal stripes even though I love them(!) makes it difficult to do the things I love to do. The fun gets sucked out of dancing when I’m staring down at my legs and belly to make sure they’re tamed Hiking (hell, walking and jogging in general) is horrible and sweaty in the summer months when I decide that I can’t wear shorts because the sunshine will highlight my cellulite. For what? No one really cares that much and even that little bit of time I spend worrying about any of this is best used in other avenues.
#sorrynotsorryaboutmybody
bodylovepost070314
Part II: Compliments Without the Comparisons
Comparison is an ugly thing that I can go on a days long tirade over: the people’s favorite pastime. We surround ourselves with images and ideas of how the world should be, but when we’re constantly shoulded all over then we all feel like shit. Tabloids pick apart the lives of our idols and we just lap it up because we want them to be perfect and flawed all at the same time; we’d like to uphold them as superheros, but then we feel insecure because their jobs are to emulate a certain look/lifestyle/skill/whatever that we feel we can never quite reach so instead of striving for our best we jump at any tiny bit of tragic, messy human experience we can find and put it up for the world to see.
Sometimes comparison is masked. I love to give compliments. LOVE to verbally adore people. But I’ve noticed that sometimes when I give a compliment to someone I feel (for whatever reason) necessary to lower myself in the process. Again I say, madness.
I thought I was crazy, but it just isn’t me; I listen to people around me, because I’m an avid people watcher and eavesdropper, and this is a sad trend akin to a shift of power. I’ll be honest, I don’t know why it can be difficult to raise someone up without being sheepish about my own self; I can only suppose the ego doesn’t help with its psychotic need to bring order to whom or what is the best.
What I do know is that this is complete bullshit. It’s called SHARING the love. There’s really no good reason that we can’t maintain our high vibration while lifting someone else. So go ahead and tell your friends how ravishing, intelligent, interesting, and all around awesome they are – and then do the same for yourself. In the end we’re all made up of the same stuff and the only person you can best is yourself rendering comparison moot and needlessly damaging.
Remember that the next time you find yourself apologizing for your anything OR the next time you follow-up a compliment with comparison and I’ll try to do the same.
Loving You Always,
Me