Beware the Whisperer

A few years ago I was living in Chicago on my own for the first time- no parents, no roommates, no boyfriend.  I loved it, but I was in the habit of feeling alienated and annoyed with my life.  (Notice I say “in the habit.”)  One night before I drifted off to sleep, I heard a whisper in my head that said, “I just want to be left alone.”  I realized that I had this thought all the time.  Not only did I think this, I said this phrase probably several times a day and had for a few years.  You see, while I did love being on my own, I was lonely and really wanted a boyfriend and more friends.  It occurred to me that I was alone, because I was putting it out into the Universe several times a day that I wanted to be alone.  Have you done something like this?

The Whisperer is hard to catch, because it is a repetitive thought that you may have had for years.  It often gets crowed in with other thoughts of your day, so you may not even notice that the Whisperer is there. The best time to actually hear it is right before you fall asleep or just as you wake up.  I heard mine this morning say, “I feel like crap.”  I haven’t slept as much as I like, but I certainly don’t feel like crap; I instantly told myself, “I feel good.”  Not a total truth, but a better investment of thought.  I can always get more sleep to feel better, but I knew I would have a terrible day if I let that thought permeate me.   Again, it occurred to me that I’ve been saying this phrase for the last couple weeks.  I’ve been saying this to myself through out the day, to my mother when I talk to her on the phone and to my husband when he asks how I’m doing.  I often suffer from insomnia, which doesn’t leave me in peak condition, but giving power to such a negative thought is certainly not helping matters.

When you catch the Whisperer, draw your sword and lop its head off with the direct opposite thought! It says you’re worthless, you say you’re valuable.  It says you’re depressed, you say you’re full of joy.  It says you’re fat, you say you are fit and healthy.  Be warned the Whisperer’s “head” tends to grow back, so you will need to be vigilant in your opposite message.  Say it over and over again if you must. Your counter points don’t have to be true in the moment, but they will become the truth the more you say them. You may even need to seek a professional’s help to catch all that the Whisperer is saying to you so that you can best combat it.

Finally, if you are having trouble finding the right words to fight the Whisperer, just take a page out of Stuart Smalley’s book…

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SOMETHING TO PONDER: by George Carlin

Sometimes I find that someone else can better sum up my feelings on a topic or on life in general.  My friend Dr. Matthew Russell recently posted this on Facebook and I wanted to share it, because I so whole heartly agree with the sentiment.

SOMETHING TO PONDER: by George Carlin

George Carlin’s wife died early in 2008 and George followed her, dying in July 2008. It is ironic George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – could write something so very eloquent and so very appropriate. An observation by George Carlin:

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.”

Thank you George for getting it right once again.

Aside

Take 10!

At some time or another, we have heard someone say , “Take 10!” when we have been working hard on something.  We know that phrase to mean to take a break. Usually, ten minutes gives you time to get a drink of water, take a few deep breaths, chat with a friend, and/or clear your mind.   That ten minute break releases you from the responsibilities at the time.  There is magic in 10 minutes of time.  While it can help you relax, ten minutes can also get you closer to your goals.

When we want to reach a goal it’s easy to think that we have to spend every waking moment in its pursuit.  That may work at first, but it can become overwhelming in scope and actual execution, especially when you have other responsibilities and commitments.  So take 10.  Give your goal ten minutes of time.  This will not only make the goal seem easier, but it may increase your results.

For example: If you wish write a novel and you are spending 3 hours a day pounding on the keyboard, yet your work is uninspired and ends up in the trash, take 10.  Set a timer and give yourself ten minutes to work on a scene or character. This will focus your work like a laser!  You will have to be clear and concise.  Later you can put your ten minute sessions together and see what you’ve created.  Your work may have changed for the better.  Or let’s say you are trying to exercise more.  Many exercise DVDs start with 45 minute videos.  You may not have that sort of time or trying to do 45 minutes at the beginning may be too daunting causing you to quit exercising.  Take 10!  Do ten minutes of the video, find a DVD that is split into ten minute segments or just go for a  ten minute walk.  It takes the pressure off to know that you only have to exercise for ten minutes.  You may even find that at the end of ten minutes you wish to exercise a bit longer.  Or when learning something new, like playing the piano.  Practicing for ten minutes a day sounds a lot less intimidating than practicing 1 whole hour once a week.

Achieving our goals doesn’t have to be all about getting from A-Z.  It really is more about the sum of its parts and every little piece counts.  So, what could you take 10 on?