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,

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,
wide-eyed and wild-eyed,
brimming with gratitude,
hearts wide open.
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

Tanah Lot by JasonParis

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,

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)


* 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,

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,

Don’t Let Your Beautiful Heart Go To Waste

 GLYHG2W Pic 2
Don’t let your beautiful heart go to waste.
All too often we believe
the strength found in hardships
are the bricks we pick up along the way,
the scarring that’s left.
We use those bricks to build walls
and our scars harden our hearts against
the pain this world will inevitably bring
until we convince ourselves
we will never again feel the utter hopelessness
of being broken by those that love us the most.
Don’t let your love go to waste.
All too often we believe that
the lessons learned of tragedy
are to keep desperate hold of our hearts.
As if our love is but a small flame
that might be snuffed out at anytime.
Desperate that no one should ever hurt us again
we set out traps
and design rigged tests
that would decide
once and for all
the worthiness a person.
Your heart will break,
let it.
“They” are right,
pain is inevitable,
because we have made it the only learning tool worth a damn.
Pain is inevitable
because we carry our bricks and scars
from one relationship to the next
and are hands are so full
and are hearts are so hard
that we leave no room to carry the lessons
with us.
And so we continue on in spirals
with self-victimizing cries of “What went wrong?”
Running from pain only beckons more pain
and the only way out is through.
So push.
Remember, you’ve been here before
and know that the light of the end of the tunnel
IS indeed you.
Your love and light are always replenishing.
Don’t waste your beautiful heart,
your love,
your light,
on the bittersweet of regret,
and sleepless nights analyzing,
and silent, desperate wishes without work.