Shadow Boxing

liam_shadowboxer

Do you ever find yourself having a fight with someone who is not in the room?  Someone says or does something that doesn’t sit well with you or one particular person has always rubbed you the wrong way.  You start thinking of scenarios where can tell them exactly what you think.  This is an invisible fight or what I call “shadow boxing.”

The problem with shadow boxing is that your body does not realize that it is not real.  So your heart rate increases, your body starts producing adrenaline, and your breathing will quicken as though you are actually in a real argument with someone.  This is a huge waste of time!  Even if you have the opportunity to tell that person where to go and how fast, they will never follow the script that you’ve created in your head and you will feel unsatisfied.  You are getting upset and worked up for a moment that may never happen.  And guess what?  That person probably doesn’t even know that you’re upset.  They are sleeping at night, while you are all twisted up inside!

If this person is causing you great distress, it is time to confront them with your feelings.  Use “I” messages to take the pressure off and the accusation out of your voice (especially if this is a business relationship).  Phrases like, “I feel like I’m not being understood when we talk,” comes off much differently than, “You don’t listen!”   

On the other hand if you truly dislike this person and they are not important in your life or to your survival, forget them all together and do your best to avoid them.  And stop giving insignificant people so much power in your life.

Advertisements

Releasing the Angel Quote by Quote

michelangelo_angelwithcandlestick

Today’s post was inspired by Michelangelo, RuPaul, Oprah, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Woody Allen, Rainer Maria Rilke, my grandmother, my husband, and my high school music teacher.   

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”                  -Michelangelo

On the road to achieving our dreams we can often feel trapped.  We can feel trapped by our bodies, our circumstances, or our minds. There will come a time when we must free ourselves from our encasements and release our “angels.”    There several ways to start freeing the angel; the following seem to be the most important yet most difficult. Here we go!

“If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” -RuPaul

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”                                          -Theodore Roosevelt

Total Self-love and Self Acceptance
You’ve got to get into an honest conversation with yourself. Acknowledge that you haven’t always been kind and loving to yourself; perhaps you’ve unintentionally sabotaged some of your efforts.   Be gentle and kind to yourself; replace negative thoughts with loving words and actions.  This is easier said than done and takes a lot of practice, but it crucial to achieving personal peace and satisfaction. A large part of self-love is completely accepting all of yourself. You may not be where you want (or who you want) to be, but you are at the perfect place to start making the changes that move you closer to your goal. There is nothing wrong with you and you are extremely capable!  My high school music teacher, Mary Lear, gave me an excellent exercise in self-love and acceptance.  Imagine yourself as an adult talking to yourself as a child (meaning there are two of you in the “room”). Say all the wonderful things that you would say to sooth an upset child. Hug yourself and tell the “child you” how much you love him/ her. I did this exercise while meditating and my child self actually spoke first. She hugged me told me that she loved me, was proud of me, and that I had never let her down as I thought I had. It was powerful!! Another exercise to try is to look in the mirror and say out loud, “I love you!” I still have trouble with this one, but it’s a work in progress!

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” -Woody Allen

“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something!”     -Thomas Edison

Risk-taking
This is always difficult, because our ego can get in be way. We don’t want to look stupid. We don’t want to fail. But really what happens if you fail or look stupid? Nothing! The world keeps spinning, the sun keeps shining, and you’re still here. If you feel at the end of your rope it might be time to let go and take a leap. God/Universe (which ever you prefer) will catch you! You must believe the Universe is conspiring for your good, not your defeat.  Learn to trust yourself and your decisions.   Again this is difficult, but you can do this in baby steps to start. Try a new food or an activity that you’ve always wondered about. If you don’t like it quit and try something else – that’s it.

“Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.  Do not seek answers, which cannot be given to you, because you would not be able to live them.  And the point is to live everything.  Live the questions.” -Rainer Maria Rilke

“I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” -Oprah Winfrey

“This too shall pass.” -Velma Jean Philpot and Middle Eastern Proverb

Patience and Perseverance
Our modern society does not do well with delayed gratification,  but it’s not going to happen over night. You are not going to lose 3 dress sizes in one week, you are not  going to have your million dollar idea on Monday and make that million by Tuesday, and you are not going to win the Nobel Peace prize in the next three hours!  It will take time.  It may take several attempts or several years.  That’s ok! Just know that with each small step you are moving towards great things!   It might be cliché, but enjoy the journey.  There will be so much that is out of your hands and you will have to make peace with that.   Learn to laugh at the struggle, because as my husband says, it’s only temporary.   Know that it will pass and that this is a mere chapter in your life, not the whole story.  Pray, breathe, and do it again!

One Old School Idea

School house

 

As children we are told “One thing at a time,” “Put one foot in front of the other,” “Baby steps!” Adults told us these things so we would not become distracted; they instructed us that focusing solely on the task at hand would allow us to do it well and therefore be successful. However, as adults, we receive the opposite message. We are told that we must be able to spin 18 plates at once in order to be an accomplished human being.  We must constantly multi-task. We must be “a jack of all trades, master of none!” When did this become a good thing?

Remember when you learned to tie your shoes for the first time? It took effort, focus and time, but when you finally did it you felt like a big kid who could conquer anything! And I’m willing to bet that while learning to tie your shoes, you were not simultaneously learning to read or count numbers. It would behoove us slow down and handle one issue, problem, task, person at a time just like when we were children.

4 Ways to Thwart Multi-tasking

1. Schedule: School works well because one block of time is scheduled for one subject and that is all that you need focus on in that time. In fact we got in trouble if we dared discuss our English project in Math class, right? Even if you don’t put it on the calendar, block off time for whatever it is that you wish to accomplish and limit/eliminated distractions.

2. Prioritize: Accept that you cannot do everything at once.  This does not make you a failure! You can still do nearly everything that you want, but you must prioritize. Decide what is most important to you and apply it to the schedule accordingly.

3. Edit: Get rid of a few things. Be honest there are some tasks that you have taken on so other people will like you. Whether it’s personal or professional, it’s OK to say no and expect others to do their job.

4. Pay full attention: When you are working on your task or talking to other humans give your full attention. There is nothing worse than someone who is trying to answer a question while they are watching TV or checking their email. And you cannot read that book or learn that lesson while you are texting. Respect your task or person at hand enough to give them not only your time, but your full attention. It really does make all the difference.