Monthly Archives: March 2012

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

Saw this on Facebook. It sounds so much like what I preach every day that I thought I’d post it here. If everyone did all of this, I’d probably be out of a job! 🙂

Here is a list of 15 things, which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier, and much more happier. We are holding on to so many things that are causing us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering, and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy, we cling on to them, but not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. So here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us can’t stand the idea of being wrong, wanting to always be right, even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for them and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the “urgent” need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that even make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you, situations, events, people, etc., whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street, and just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or what you don’t have; for what you feel or what you don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self defeating self talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their horrible, negative, polluted, repetitive and self defeating self talk? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you, especially if it’s negative and self defeating.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or can not do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you in place, to keep you stuck. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things, people, situations, events, that make you unhappy, sad, blues, depressed, and so on. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad, miserable, depressed, mad, angry, etc. , unless you allow it too. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it, you attitude. Doesn’t that make you feel a lot better now? More powerful and in control?

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events, people that are different than you. We are all different but we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved, we all want to be understood… We all want something, and that something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, just so you can make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements on your life and also of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change, don’t resist it.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people, events that you don’t understand as being WEIRD and try opening your mind, little by little. You know, minds only work if open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exit, you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into places.

“The only fear you should fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them away. Tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use, and instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses, excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard, so hard, especially when the past looks so much better than the present moment and the futures looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all that you have, all that you had and all that you will ever have. The past you are now longing for, the past that you are now dreaming about, was ignored by you when it was present, so stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life.Life is a journey, not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, and it still is, but it’s not something that is impossible. You get better and better at it in time, by practicing… The moment you detach yourself from all things, and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them, because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another ( attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less. Where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things, without even trying too. Such a precious thing. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government, the media, etc. think is best for them, and they ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives, they forget what makes them happy, they forget what they want, what they need… and eventually, they forget about themselves, they forget who they are. You have one life, this life, the only life, live it, own it, and don’t let other people’s good opinion distract you from your path.

Making a Difference

A lesson for us all!

Making a Difference!

‎”The Starfish Story” (Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley) Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “I made a difference to that one!”
(Posted on Facebook by the Anti-Bullying Coalition)

Sometimes the bully is not a child but an adult. Sometimes the bully does not understand the harm they cause a target who suffers in silence. Today, an incredibly courageous Mother told her son’s story… and people listened! This Mother’s grace under pressure and her compassion for another human being, while overwhelmed with anger and frustration, was nothing short of astonishing. Today a school listened. Today bullying ended for a boy. Today we made a difference. Together we can ♥

Present Moment Reminder

Eckhart Tolle Present Moment Reminder:

You all know the saying which is very true: What you resist persists. And I’m sure many of you have already found that out in your life. And then suddenly when you let go of resistance you let go of an attachment to something: I need this to happen in order to be happy; I don’t want what is, I want something else. To be okay with what is, which is the simplicity of this moment, is the beginning of true change.

Community

Last week I posted a blog about the impending grand opening of the LikeMe Lighthouse here in Kansas City that I’ve been blessed to be involved in to a small degree. As I write this we are coming to the end of the amazing three-day weekend event. When I tried the gather my thoughts to decide what to write about it, I kept coming back to the feeling I got when I met a young transgender man in the process of becoming who he really is. He said to me, “this is the most ‘out’ I’ve ever been. The atmosphere here is so welcoming and comfortable”.

THAT is what the Lighthouse is about! Our hope is that it provides that home for people who have never felt at home before. So rather than write a blog myself, I’m going to use the words of our founder, Chely Wright. Following is an article she wrote that was published in Huffington Post. It says it all. (Love you Chely).

The LikeMe Lighthouse: A New Beacon of Hope for Kansas City’s LGBT Residents

I’m at 27,000 feet, flying high to Kansas City, the city where I was born, for the grand opening of a brand new center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people called the LikeMe Lighthouse. Although it was a small group of us who had the initial idea for the Lighthouse, it didn’t take long for others’ enthusiasm to be ignited. After more than a year of very focused and dedicated planning by our LikeMe National Board, the Kansas City volunteer force heard the rally cry, and under the guidance of our Director of Operations, Charlene Daniels, the efforts of the local LGBT community and straight allies have been enormous. Kansas City has a robust LGBT community, and it is our mission that the LikeMe Lighthouse will serve the entire Kansas City area. In addition to having a beautiful library, reading room, and computer lab, the Lighthouse will offer information referral to LGBT resources in the area, connect and support other local organizations, provide workshops and meeting spaces, and, most importantly, promote a renewed sense of community.

Community.

I want to talk about what that word means to me in this context and why, in my opinion, it’s so important that Kansas City and other towns like it have a brick-and-mortar LGBT center.

It wasn’t until I came out, in May 2010, that I found my community. I moved from Kansas to Tennessee in 1989 to chase my country music dreams and went on to live in Nashville for nearly 20 years prior to my move to New York City in 2008. I put a lot of thought into relocating my life, locking the doors of my beautiful home in Tennessee and driving with a U-Haul trailer behind my SUV with just enough furniture for a small apartment in Manhattan. My reasons for taking such a drastic step were many: I needed to finish writing my memoir; I wanted to further steel myself for my impending, very public coming out process; and most of all, I was in search of my community. Almost immediately following my coming out to the world, I began to understand what importance community could hold in a person’s life. I was still relatively new to NYC, but I was making friends — real friends — with whom I could be honest, and I was easily appreciating that there were other people in the world “LikeMe.” I was becoming closer to people at a much quicker pace than during my time in Tennessee. I’m not saying that my friends in Nashville were the cause of my stunted relationships with people — they weren’t — and I’m not suggesting that I only want to be friends with people who are just like me — no, that’s not it at all. My point is that I was not truly connecting with my friends and flourishing in Nashville because I was deep in the closet; I was closed-off and isolated.

Community.

It was like magic for me to suddenly be out and to know that there was a place to go. The Center, as New York City’s LGBT center is called, is one of the finest and most historic LGBT centers in the nation, boasting decades of service. The executive director of the Center, Glennda Testone (who, by the way, has been a mentor to the LikeMe Board in our strategic planning for the Lighthouse), can rattle off scores of programs and events going on at the Center on any given day, but she’ll also pause to look you in the eye to tell you that one of the most important things about the Center is that it is there. “People know we’re here,” she says. “They know where to find us. They know they’re not alone.”

Community.

Human beings are not designed to be alone. None of God’s creatures are. I could cite some interesting statistic about the lifespan and physical and emotional health of lab rats that are isolated, and the data would be dismal. Well, I guess that all depends on how you feel about rats and their entitlement to happiness, but you get the point. It’s unnatural to be separated from the pack.

Think about it. When a kid in school has misbehaved and is sent out into the hallway, it’s not because the hallway is such a horrible place. The purpose is to create distance between the child and the other students. That’s the punishment.

Another way to illustrate how powerful the tool of isolation can be is to put it in these terms: what do our prison systems do to effectively administer the worst possible punishment to an inmate who’s negatively acted out? That’s right: solitary confinement. Isolation is the punishment.

Community is the cure.

It is my deepest hope that the LikeMe Lighthouse will stand tall, illuminating hope in every direction for all who have a need, whether it’s one of the many great, local LGBT advocacy groups already in existence wanting to hold its monthly meeting there, or the not-quite-out 19-year-old from a small town like the one I grew up in, Wellsville, Kan., or maybe, hopefully, the parents of the 14-year-old who sat his folks down the night before and nervously said, “Mom, Dad… I think I might be gay. There’s this place called the LikeMe Lighthouse on Main Street, and they’ve got a library with books for parents of gay kids.”

Community.

I’m so lucky and honored to be a part of Kansas City’s LikeMe Lighthouse. It really is a dream come true.

Inclusiveness

As we near the grand opening of the LikeMe Lighthouse, an LGBT Community Center in downtown Kansas City (next weekend), I’m exhilerated about the possibilities that lie ahead. I sit on the local Advisory Board of the Lighthouse, as Chair of the Mental Health Committee, so we’ve been busy getting everything ready. I’ll write more in the next couple of weeks about the Lighthouse. For now, I’m reposting a blog I wrote about a year and a half ago. The Lighthouse is the brainchild of Chely Wright (mentioned in the blog).

Tolerance vs Inclusiveness:

I’ve seen & heard the word “tolerance” thrown around alot this week. I’m not very fond of that word when used in the context of tolerating other people. If I need to tolerate something or someone, it implies that somehow I’m “better than” and just allowing that person or thing to exist in my awareness. So I prefer the word “inclusiveness” since it implies that we are all equals in our worth as humans and are a part of the same universe. No one is left out.

Our friend Chely Wright has been all over the national (& international) news this week. If you don’t know who she is (up to this week, there were a lot of folks who didn’t), she’s a Country Music Artist who has just come out of the closet as a lesbian – apparently the first to ever do so).

I’ve known Chely since she was 5 or 6 when we moved to Wellsville, KS where she grew up. My husband was her elementary principal and my kids went to school with her. Back then, I didn’t know she was struggling with this issue, but in recent years, have guessed – athough I had no idea to what depths it was taking her emotionally. She didn’t tell anyone and she became very good at hiding what she was going through. Those of you who know me at all know I’m fond of the 12 Step saying, “We’re only as sick as our secrets”. Secrets just exacerbate our shame and shame is the lowest emotional energy.

Chely is a shining example of a role model for inclusiveness. I had nothing to do with who she is today, but I’m so impressed and proud of her and how she has lived her life up to this point. She is not only extremely talented as a song writer and singer, she is compassionate, loving, inclusive, intelligent and articulate. She’s beautiful inside and out. I know what she is going through now is a relief after a lot of suffering and I don’t want to minimize anything she’s experienced. But I do believe there is a higher purpose to what she’s endured that has already shown up in her life – and it will be experienced by many for years to come.

I’ve been given several opportunities to help others come to terms with her announcement and how they feel about it. What I’ve said is this: Being gay is not a choice. She can’t change that about herself any easier than she can change being white or female. If you get the opportunity to read Chely’s memior, Like Me, you’ll see that she tried to change it. She tried to pray it away. From the first page you’ll understand no one would choose to go through that! It’s her truth. And that truth is going to help so many others find their own way.

On a much smaller scale than Chely is experiencing, I’ve experienced how my life has opened up once I’ve connected with and honored my own truth – in a multitude of issues. There’s a freedom that is indescribable when I just surrender to what I know is right for me. And it enhances not only my own life, but the lives of everyone I come into contact with because I’m so much more open and honest with them – allowing each of us to just be who we are.

I hope others will find this freedom to be who they are. Otherwise what’s the point of our being here? Imagine how dull life would be if we were all exactly alike!!