How to Connect When It’s The Last Thing You Want To Do.

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As people we have a choice: connect or disconnect.

Some of us have been disconnecting from a very early age because it feels safe. But it leaves us empty.

We may be in control when we’re disconnected, living our lives through our intellect, but we become anxious and unfulfilled. From the outside everything looks ok, but it feels like shit.

To be connected is risky because if you do not have control over your emotional state, the outside environment will have an influence over how you feel. That’s when we distance ourselves or cut off completely, hoping the influence of others will barely be felt.

On the other side is the fear of being alone, which no one really wants deep down inside. Physiologically we’re wired for connection to others. And so, the two competing forces can create a lot of inconsistency in how we show up–both with personal relationships and with complete strangers.

I love talking to strangers whenever possible, asking questions that lead right to getting to know something about them. Don’t confuse this with small talk, however, with which I usually fail. Small talk feels forced, and doesn’t come from an authentic place of curiosity, so it’s more of a disconnect when I engage from that space.

I recently had my old Acura overheat 100 miles from home.

The tow truck driver showed up an hour and a half late. It wasn’t his fault, but my Type A personality took over and I had to keep reminding myself it does no good to get uptight. After getting out of the truck, he reached out to shake my hand. I looked him in the eyes as our hands met and said, “I’m annoyed because I’ve been waiting 90 minutes, and I know it’s not your fault, but I’d rather say it then make it awkward.” He smiled as he lead me to the cab of the truck.

In the past, I may have been a Class A asshole, wanting someone to make me feel better. But I am mindful of my shit now, and it’s important to communicate. Once my car was hooked up, he jumped into the cab and our conversation started.

During the six mile drive to the mechanic, we started talking about cars and car payments. He shared that he was an ex-Marine, and when he got out of the service he couldn’t afford the $250 monthly payment on his car because he had difficulty getting a job. He was 32 years old at the time, and eventually lost his car.

He then became an electrician’s apprentice, but it hurt his back so he couldn’t continue. I was thinking, “WTF, here’s this dude who served our country and he came home to very little opportunity!” I wanted to cry.

He eventually became a tow truck driver. Somehow the conversation moved to discussing cable, family (he has a wife and a small daughter) and the craziness of anger, hatred and over-the-top behavior that is broadcast in the world today. Both of us shared how sad it made us because the connection to humanity is always available. We are all the same inside regardless of the appearance of our bodies, sex, color, choices, job, age or anything we use to define ourselves.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I felt so happy to have met this man. I learned something, as I do every time I connect with someone. If I had stayed pissed off at him for showing up late, which was my first inclination, I would’ve disconnected and missed out on a truly great moment of humanity.

As he unhooked my car and I stood inside doing my paperwork, we waved at each other a few times. He was grinning ear to ear… and so was I.

Connection is everywhere, and it’s always a choice.

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The Mystery Of Synchronicity

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How are you?

Me?

I’ve been in the midst of a growth spurt in my perspective, spirituality and old emotional limitations.

It means hunkering down, as I follow the flow of my energy and pay attention to where I’m to focus intuitively rather than where I would normally spend my time. Meaning, I tend to spend a great deal of my free time with myself–reading, meditating, writing, letting go of blocks (including pain), and working with other people who guide me to see what I cannot see in myself.

The more I stay connected, the more abundant I feel within, and the result is amazing change in all parts of my life. Stories which blow my heart and soul!

Recently I purchased a couple of courses for the purpose of up-leveling my energy in the area of abundance (one topic I struggled with for YEARS!).

The course isn’t something I would recommend, though I share it because of a couple funny, synchronistic surprises that surfaced yesterday.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

When it comes to synchronicity, I look at events and words spoken by others. I stopped searching for signposts in the form of billboards, license plates, discarded trash or anything else which I would try to forcefully derive meaning from.

Sometimes we are looking for excuses to stay where we are and can interpret all sorts of signs in and around us.

In the case of the funny little surprises yesterday, it started when one of the questions in the course wanted me to recognize where synchronicity showed up in my life. Asking if certain number combinations showed up, such as the ones mentioned by the authors as 111. For them personally, this number combo was validation, they were in a place of total alignment in their lives.

I used to look at the clock at exactly 10:13, my birth date, but its been a long time since I noticed… along with 11:11 or any other number combinations.

I sat there scratching my head and thinking about possibilities. There was the sleeping homeless guy I left a bottle of water for and wondered if he got it when he woke up. I asked my higher power for confirmation, which I received, in a way, which raised the hair on my neck, because it was pretty cool.

I notice when I don’t force things, everything I need shows up in a timely manner… but could I say anything else about synchronicity right now? Hmmm.

I happened to be driving on the freeway yesterday and noticed a Uhaul (I’m in the midst of house hunting), and an illustration on the side of it stated “Baffin Islands”…I thought to myself, that’s weird!

I’ve been reading The Science of Getting Rich over and over for the past six months. On those pages (which I read earlier in the day) was a reference to Baffin Bay, which I had never heard of prior to reading this book. I felt that moment of yes, I’m on the right path, headed in the right direction and will be moving where I want (um… not to Greenland, which is where Baffin Bay is located).

I could be stretching, but this was so in my consciousness that intuitively I knew it was a sign.

Later that night, as I was driving home from a friend’s home, I happened to look down at my dashboard and realized the humor of the Universe. My Acura (the first car I’ve paid off and held onto without trading it in) hit the mileage 111,111. Yup! It was the numbers in the coursework assignment, which the authors loved… times two! Not sure of the meaning for myself, except knowing where I am and what I’m doing are exactly where I am supposed to be now.

So…synchronicity. It’s the meaning you give it. Sometimes it is an unmistakable, in-your-face sign and other times it is only a subtle confirmation that you’re headed where you want to go. Now and in the future.

Do you ever look at the clock when it’s your birthday, or see other numbers appear over and over again? Do you assign meaning to it, or just shrug it off as a coincidence? Please share in the comments!

 

We’re All Shades Of Grey.

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All of us can be hypocritical, tell untruths, hurt other people and basically fail when it comes to doing the right thing (whatever that is).

And honestly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it, as long as you accept yourself and your intentions in the process. I’ve struggled just like anyone else with doing things I didn’t want to do, but when I still needed to be accepted by others (before myself), I went along with it. Didn’t want to disappoint.

Until I realized every time I went against myself it wasn’t pretty. I could be downright weird when all I wanted to do was escape from circumstances. I could act like a complete ass. And yet NOW I accept it when I find myself stuck where I don’t want to be, or I just say “NO” to the invitation.

I hiked with friends this last weekend and found myself not wanting to make friends with strangers, or even have much conversation with my own peeps. I hiked a majority of the trail alone.

I’m not a good group person most of the time. I can be when I feel connected, and sometimes I absolutely love it! I love it when I relate or in some way connect with others (not small talk–my eyes glaze over and I think of knitting scarves for mice or something). But when I don’t and I’m disconnected, there’s a yellow tape with the word ‘CAUTION’ across my forehead.

Having self-awareness helps; I recognize when I’m out of sorts and instead of berating myself, like the old days, I accept myself.

We’re All Hypocrites and it’s OK

This is where most of us struggle: Self-acceptance of our odd parts. The things we feel weird about or how we don’t quite fit. We may hide those traits or disappear from situations where it’s too difficult to be anything other than… weird.

Thankfully my friend who I hiked with knows this about me and didn’t take it personally (I also share my feelings with her so there’s no doubt–it’s ME). Does it make me crazy, hypocritical or end up hurting other people? Perhaps.

We as human beings are hypocrites and it’s okay, because our feelings change.

The determination of always, never or ever should be stricken from our language. We can say yes to something 20 times in a row and then say no to it the 21st time. We can dislike something 5 minutes ago, and something changes in us and now we love it! We feel one way, then it changes… so what?

Surround yourself with other hypocrites–people who own their thousand shades of grey–and accept it. Just freakin’ accept that you’re weird, awesome, unaware or whatever. Or berate the crap out of yourself for all the ways you’re imperfect. Just be prepared to never really grow or be all of who you truly are. That’s where it counts. How you feel about YOU matters.

Accepting Our Shades of Grey

Wanting to live a black and white existence from the inside out is not possible, and if you stay focused on it, you never move off the dime. You never get to really rock the journey or be who you are. I did it for years and it sucks!

If you want to feel good about being weird, hypocritical, going against the flow, making mistakes and not doing the right thing, here are a few pointers to start:

  1. Forget the voices in your head from other people who want something from you. Whether it’s to act a certain way or show up when you don’t want to be present. It’s time to put your feelings first and do what FEELS GOOD to you. Take baby steps ’til you can jump!
  2. Become playful with life. When you play, there’s a level of self-acceptance that happens for being your weird self. It happens naturally so pay attention  and apply it when you’re not playing.
  3. Review expectations. Do your expectations work for you? Who do they belong to? If you like them, keep them. If they are a way of getting validation, trash ’em. If you use them to judge yourself or others, please just stop. Let the inner critic grow to be an inner cheerleader!
  4. The right thing to do? It’s not what you learned as a kid; it’s what actually feeds you. Start paying attention to your gut. Don’t go against it and see what happens. Become a hypocrite, change your beliefs, show yourself a damn good time, even if you choose to sit in a dark room by yourself.

In what ways are you a hypocrite? What actions or feelings do you own one minute, and then change because of situation or state of mind? Name your ‘weirdness’ in the comments. Chances are you’re in good company.

 

What if….

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The Law of Attraction is a big topic of conversation.

Thinking, believing and acting within a certain “boundary,” which is supposedly unlimited in abundance will bring you just what you always wanted.

The “boundary,” I describe is trying to limit your thoughts and beliefs to a positive space.

And so, people wrestle those demons to the ground. Those pesky ones, which mentally and emotionally get in the way of Nirvana. Except Nirvana doesn’t show up on time or ever. And the Law of Attraction is bemoaned.

What if, we look at a bigger picture.

What if, we’ve narrowed our focus too much, believing this is the only way we will have lives which satisfy us, with all the goodies we ever dreamed?

In looking at the big picture, one word looms large.

INCONSISTENCY.

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Bob down the street practiced his daily mantra about believing he is the King of Ireland and surprise, he remained, just Bob down the street.

And what about Joyce, she is several different “holics” numbing her way through life, and she just happened to buy a lotto ticket, which won her the jackpot!

One worked at the Law of Attraction, the other just got lucky, or so it seems.

What works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another.

We seem to want a cure-all, one-size fits all formula, but wait! I’m an individual, so the one-size fits all must be unique for me.

There is no cure-all for being human and the lack of control we experience in external factors.

I believe in the “What If Scenario.” I’m always curious as the answers remain unknown to the key; let’s imagine different things are true and say…

“WHAT IF?”

If we’re all connected like a finely woven fabric, wouldn’t it make sense that there are many other factors involved in things, people and opportunities coming to us? Wouldn’t there be a timing (not a time on the calendar or the clock) involved as to when something lands in our environment?

I SAY, “WHAT IF THAT IS TRUE?”

What if, no matter what your mindset or belief system is, it has no impact on what comes your way? What if, we believe we have free will, but everything is pre-destined? What if, we decided before we were born the lessons, the experiences and the people we would encounter in this life? And what if what I am saying is true, because if we are all really connected than everything we say and do effects someone, somewhere at some time. Something like the Butterfly Effect.

“What you should do with such information,” if it’s true?

Work on your belief system, your joy, your desires, your light, your dark and everything in between. What is meant by work on, is not really work. It’s simple, it’s to accept all parts of you, as is, to know your desires and find your passion.

When you do that, it stops mattering so much if you attract something or someone in a timely manner or at all, because you are living in your “zone.”

Our belief system can give us anxiety and cause us much angst, if we don’t shine a light on our own truth.

What if, when it is illuminated and we see our frailties, inconsistencies, hairballs, and everything that we have trouble accepting as part of the whole, attracting things to cure it ceases to be on the agenda.

Realistically, our happiness cannot rely on what we attract, it relies on how we feel, see and live with ourselves. The thinking, feeling and acting we worry so much about in what we attract, shouldn’t be our focus.

What if, letting go of what repetitive thoughts and beliefs make our inner world full of suffering and punishment, perhaps, is the only way to our inner peace. Acceptance stops the punishment.

The thinking, feeling and taking action, should come from our joy, our truth, our darkness, our happiness and stand for who we are–wholly.

What if, when we exist in this place of just “being, participating and accepting,” all sorts of doors open up without forcing them.

What if, the more we go into our deepest nature, our most contented space of self-realization and that all is well, it doesn’t matter if anything is predestined or we have free will, we’re living from a place of connection. Connected to life.

 

 

How much does my Big Toe, know?

My big toe, knows as much as the rest of me. Honestly, just liked that statement as my blog post title today.

This is about relationships.

The funny thing about the word “good” in relationship to oneself is the other word: subjective.

It is my perception, which distinguishes something as good or bad. And sometimes there is a grey area where I cannot tell the difference.  It comes from my conditioning, my core beliefs.

In relationships, I have found myself staying too long (rarely) or not long enough (more often than not); there is still no clear answer for me when enough is enough or if I still don’t know the true meaning of love. 

I have experienced a lot of pain in a current relationship and at the same time, I have received such reward in knowing and learning to love him and myself. I can’t say I am the same person I was three years ago that I am now. I am now educated with the meaning of the word openhearted and the many ways I have closed my heart in the past.

This person loves me very much, he tells me I have an amazing open heart (as you know from my posts—that has been something that didn’t come easily for me) and that I am the love of his life. He is learning to love himself too. He gets stuck in the past emotionally, afraid to truly move forward into a two feet in, amazing relationship. I know it would be amazing, because in between the painful moments it is amazing. Can’t really think of a way we are not connected. Thank you Universe for the very over the top synchronicity, weird commonalities and intuitive connection, truly wonder sometimes if the Universe is a comedian in disguise?

I have walked away a few times; I am the one who has chosen it with the thought of it being permanent. He never has seen it as permanent, because he is always the one to reach out to me.

I crave normal, but what is normal? It is a subjective answer. I possessed my own ideas; I realize now, most of what I thought defines “normal” is a fantasy. Where did I find that picture perfect fairy tale postcard, hmmm?

It has been a fight, as I have watched from the sidelines this man battle himself to unwillingly stay living in a painful emotional prison against his GROWING desire to find the courage and will to move toward a life of love and fulfillment. Sometimes I think he needs a referee for himself.

Nothing I do or say will vary it or him. None of us have DIRECT impact upon making another human being change. You can NEVER tell a person what “they” need to do for themselves. Even if you are chomping at the bit and are frustrated by watching another, forget it. None of us listen and make the changes we are told will bring true happiness, because we stand in our own way. Not until we are ready to take flight do we find our own wings.

I recognize in my relationship how lucky, fortunate, blessed I am with the ease of our communication and how we understand and know each other…. and how fun it is, we laugh a lot!

I have yet to meet anyone on this planet who I share what we share in the multitude of connections on several levels. But, is it enough?

He wants me in his life, but we have not really jumped that fence too far into the lives of each other. Wanting and doing are two different things.

Most people like to tell others to move on when it is less than perfect; I often wonder what they move on to when they do? I have listened in the past to advice and followed it, only to have found I threw down the gauntlet and vacated the relationship prematurely. And thus, I carried that baggage forward too. If I would have stayed and worked through til the very end when I was emotionally at a point of knowing rather than premature numbness, I may have made healthier relationship decisions with each subsequent one.

Which is why I always tell my clients to see it through all the way until the end, until you are done with it or married…don’t throw in the towel too soon.

He has a large cave he inhabits, because it’s where he can hear himself and not the voices. The voice he believes is me, actually is “the ghost of females past.”  He assumes I will not understand if he has to disappoint me or that he’ll be lectured. He is getting pretty savvy at knowing when I express my feelings it is not a lecture. And the cave is not an issue, as long as I am aware that is where he has gone.

Honesty is where I operate from in my own life.  That is hard for many people to do, including me (and him), but I have found it to be the only way I am free of anxiety and extra baggage.

In relationships, people toss labels at others, stating actions or emotions as a diagnosis they believe to be true for the individual, when in reality it doesn’t tell the whole story. I am NOT one for labels. We live an overly-labeled society. We think that makes it safe and easy, we can either hide behind a label or judge someone with a label. It doesn’t resonate with me, because we as people all have unique characteristics.

Feelings are simple, yet complicated. You can’t pull it from someone and have it feel genuine, at the same time you have to be aware of what you need and are your needs met?

Long ago, I was very impatient needing immediate gratification and slowly, I learned to value things that take a long time to grow solidly. I can appreciate that, but when you feel that the garden you have is overgrown; it needs pruning or weeding. Time to take the gardening shears and trim it back.

Ultimatums work for some when the garden of our relationship is unwieldy. I personally like “genuine” respect of what is in the heart of the other rather than willfully state my demands as my way or re-planting the whole garden We all need to be motivated, but forcing it isn’t the way to where I want to live on the middle way/road/path (thank you Buddha).

Trying to keep it simple. And when we invite others to our garden party we run the risk of uprooting some of our more stable vegetation.

People will judge and decide that something is wrong with you or him. People will tout what “good” is and that is something that only the people in a relationship can decide…what is good? What do you sacrifice for good? Or what is important for you to decide something is good? I believe it is different for each person, it depends on what you want…. and what you are willing to give up or let go.

Interaction

Today Facebook changed its user interface once again. Why? Who knows, most people are not adjusting to the change without making comments, myself included. The past few days I have been working on social media, trying to gain more followers for the 3 Twitter accounts I manage at this time. I have never really put out so much effort in finding people who will follow you back; when I started using Twitter almost 4 years ago…it was more organic. People followed you when you followed them, now it seems some are convinced there is value in a one-way conversation.

I am looking for interaction on-line. Whether it is my blog I am posting here, words on Facebook or an exchange of ideas on Twitter or professional relationships on Linkedin; I am looking for connection. Maybe I am going about in the wrong way? Some days I come back to a secret hope. It is secret, because it is not “all” the time I feel this way, but I miss the days when you talked in person, on the phone (before voice mail) and there was freedom–not tethered to technology at all times.

Now on the other hand, I know technology is great, because you can take a short cut in communication to people who in the past, may have fallen off your radar screen. You may get lucky and find new people who you have personal or professional commonalities with, possibly establishing new relationships and creating a foundation for lifelong friendships. It speeds everything up, but what is lost in the “speed”? And what about all the conversations on-line, are we all wanting/needing to be heard? The majority of 140 characters on Twitter appears to be a form of drowning each other out and I wonder, is anyone really listening? One of the most beautiful things in life is to listen and be heard; I am not sure if it ever resonates as deeply as when it is off-line, in person, hand in hand or eye to eye.

I know there are pros and cons for everything; technology or covered wagons, outhouses or indoor plumbing, washboards or wash machine, tv or nature. I guess, it depends on the mood. I have a growing weariness with the amount of energy it takes to maintain all of the technology, frankly there are times when a 12 mile hike up in the local mountains is less strenuous.

Aside from technology, I do spend a good amount of time offline, away from the drone of the computer or my phone, sometimes I like to leave it all at home and go about my day. It is a form of freedom from the “wired” handcuffs I wear most of the time, willingly.

I do love to write. I have been writing different genres for years. I look forward to putting the blog together. I am hoping it stays interesting and relevant to those who read it regularly. I welcome others to submit stories for me to post–anything that is applicable to being human falls under the topics I like to cover.

I plan to release my book when it is complete the old-fashioned way (published) and hope to meet people face to face to talk about it. Thankfully (as I said, my “secret” wish is not always prudent) there will also be an online aspect to the promotion of the book, which I hope will allow me to engage with people in a “real” way.

Please feel free to comment on my posts, share with me links and ideas to things that interest you. I enjoy interacting, connecting with people and learning what makes others tick. Please email me at Tracy@13degreez.com