So February 25, 2015 is Anti-Bullying day. The day marks an initiative to end bullying in our society. It originally came about back in 2007 when two Nova Scotia high school students took a stand against bullying in their school. A fellow classmate had been harassed on the first day of school for wearing a pink shirt. This led the boys to distribute pink shirts to all the boys in their school and the bullies never brought up the issue again. I love it! I say….be the change folks. If you are not on the side of kindness then you are participating in the continuation of the behaviour. Bullying happens in all kinds of ways in our society. The acceptance in our culture of both self-depreciation and criticism of others is epidemic and,I believe, has lead to an increase in mental illnesses. If you are worried that your child is being bullied or is a bully then Barbara Coloroso wrote a book called “The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander”. And we’re not just talking about children here. There is lots of bullying that goes on in the workplace that is brushed off as ‘politics’. If you are bullying others then you need to give yourself rules to rein in your behaviour and look for ways to ‘do good’ and nurture empathy for the other person’s perspective. If you find yourself being bullied then you need to believe that you deserve better treatment and speak up. This, of course, is massively simplified. It is very complex when the issue is systemic. Look at the whole Jian Gomeshi situation. He benefitted the company so much that reports of his mistreatment of co-workers went unaddressed. Bullying comes with a sense of entitlement, an intolerance towards the other person and a justification to treat the other person without respect. As a culture we will know that we have succeeded in ending bullying in our society when we see our indigenous peoples, women, children, seniors and people with disabilities treated with kindness and respect.
RMR: Rick's Rant - Bullying - It Gets Better
Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
“Ya never know what cha gonna get” I can still hear Tom Hanks’ drawl in my mind as he says it!! Or remember the Bertie Bott’s every flavoured jellybean from Harry Potter? Ron Weasley would always end up with the vomit or phlegm flavoured ones!! Life really is like that. We get brainwashed by the media that we will all live in monster homes, nuclear families, have upwardly mobile jobs and go on lots of holidays. The truth is…….life isn’t fair and difficult things that we were not expecting….. happen. When they do we can get caught up in negative thinking and obsessing. Amma says it’s like being in a supermarket. When you go to the supermarket, you don’t think about the things you don’t want to get….you just look for the things you do want. We need to pay attention to our thoughts and take charge of our minds. We don’t get angry that the grocery store has things we don’t want in it. Sometimes our minds are gravitating towards things that we cannot control or that make us angry. What is more helpful is to focus on what we have control of or find a positive learning that we can get out of the situation. That way we are back in charge of our lives and feeling empowered. That’s what I want for all of us.
So as I get older, I’m noticing more and more how people handle the hardships of aging and being in the ‘fall’ and ‘winter’ of this ride called life and not the ‘spring’ and the ‘summer’. I’m finding out first hand that the car gets rusty and there are more aches and pains no matter who you are. We all find out that friends and family die with much more frequency and that how well we’ve practiced the skills of resiliency regarding our physical, mental and emotional health prior to this season of our lives REALLY makes a difference at this point. We can all give examples of people we know who don’t exercise or eat well and how we see their emotional and mental states deteriorate more rapidly as a result when they age. The whole mind, body, spirit connection is so apparent and obvious as we age. Which brings me to my mother-in-law, Joan. Joan is 92. She has had a hip replacement, has chronic back pain and shoulder pain and uses a walker to get around. And while she will admit that the pain is difficult to bear, she chooses to focus on gratitude and appreciations. The Christmas she turned 90 the family bought her a cell phone. She texts daily to people all over the world to let them know that she’s thinking about them and to find out what is going on in their lives. I want to be 90, filled with gratitude and willing to learn new things. The reality is….if we don’t use it, we lose it. Whether it be our minds, our bodies or our spirit. Find new things to think about, new ways to move and new passions to pursue. The ride will be what you make it. Have fun and enjoy!
Bob Dylan, Forever Young
We are a busy, busy culture. We are not like the Mexicans who ‘siesta’ in the afternoons. Nor are we like the Parisiennes who linger over meals. We are a fast food, twittering, road rage, busy group of people. Now sometimes that can be fun. There’s nothing like the feeling of exhilaration of riding a roller coaster, but if that is the sum total of your life, will it still be that much fun??? It’s a very personal choice how you spend your time here in your life. Here is Steven Covey’s “Time Management Matrix” for you to use as a guide if you want to become more conscious and choiceful about it. Enjoy your day!
"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why." ~ Eddie Cantor
So I went to see the movie this week called 'Advanced Style'. It was a wonderful empowering documentary of women over 60 who refused to go into the 'invisible' box now that they weren't young. Some were elegant, some were eccentric but the one thing they all were was very authentically themselves. Recently I had a client, Laurie S, who redefined her perspective on her aging body. She said "It's like spaghetti when it's cooked. It used to be skinny and stiff and when you add a little love and water.... it relaxes. Besides, she said, it's good when it's old!!" I love that! As we age, what we have to pass on to the younger generation is the wisdom that we are intrinsically okay when we are being authentically ourselves......no matter what our age!!!!
Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you - all of the expectations, all of the beliefs - and becoming who you are.
~ Rachael Naomi Remen
Well it is the darkest, coldest time of year. Lots of people get seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Sad that it's not warmer and brighter quite frankly! If that happens to you then you might want to try heading out to the Butterfly sanctuary on Kossuth Rd just outside of Breslau. It's beautiful and warm!
Happy New Year! Whatever your aspirations are for this coming year I wish you resilience, hope and joy. Here are some songs that I have downloaded onto a CD for people to use to inspire them into thinking positively if what life has brought them has been more difficult. It is a variety of genres. I recommend that you find your own list of songs to inspire you because nothing beats internal inspiration of your spirit re: healing or getting that 'happy feeling'. However, if you don't want to do the work or don't have the equipment or skills to do that then you might like some of these songs:
(I'm particularly proud of my stepson Bensen for writing and performing this one!)
(I love how Taylor goofs around with how things 'should' be in this one!)
Play these over and over until that is all you hear in your head. Best ear worm ever!!! And if you have suggestions of songs you know that can be added to this list then I wanna hear from you! Happy listening!
It’s New Year’s Eve and that’s the perfect time to break up with perfection!!! Those of you that know me well know that I am the first one to take myself off a pedestal if people want to put me there. However, lurking in the recesses’ of my mind are still shards of the perfection monster waiting to pounce when my guard is down. This year I’m not pressuring myself to write a new blog post every week. I will reduce, recycle, and reuse ones from last year, and give myself a break. Breaking up with perfection means asking yourself what is true for you and having an authentic ‘yes’ and an authentic ‘no’. Go ahead…..break up with perfection too! Come up with your own standards. Perfectionism is just an ol’ meanie anyway! Here is a great article by Huffington Post on how to ‘Break up with Perfection’.
Happy Hanukwanzaamas! Well....that should cover about everyone and whatever you may celebrate! Mostly what I want though is NOT to be politically correct....just for each of you to get the message that I'm thinking about you and wishing good things for you. Whatever you are doing during this season and whoever you are with.... and especially if you are alone.....I hope you are letting love pour into your heart and back out into the world again. You deserve it and that is all that really matters.
I don’t know about you but I love to play board games. Well…..depending upon who I’m playing with I guess!!!! That’s where the ‘Game of Life’ comes in. All we can do in life is focus on what we have control of. If I’m playing a board game with someone who HAS to WIN, or who cheats, or breaks the rules, then I can speak up, or not play, or use humour, or whatever. However, when I have looked at the pros and cons to all of the strategies and I have decided that the other person is probably going to continue to behave in ways that I don’t like no matter what I do or say then I will play an internal ‘reality check game’. This can work really well at this time of year. Here’s how it goes……. Write down all the things that you think will happen when you are going to see someone you find difficult, or go to an event that is less than appealing. Create a point system for each of the items you’ve written down. Now make a list of treats for yourself that you get to buy as a reward for predicting this accurately, and managing yourself under these circumstances. Every time something happens that you’ve predicted would happen then give yourself points, and pick your reward when you get home at the end of the evening. It creates a very different emotional response internally when you can say to yourself “Yes! That’s on my list!!!” when something annoying happens, instead of focusing on the thing you don’t have control of. So now you get to be rewarded for that critical comment, or enduring your relative’s drunken debauchery. Enjoy!!!