#218 Release Guilt

When we accept responsibility for the damaged feelings of another and the damaged feelings are because ‘of something we purposefully did’ then guilt is what keeps us in check but far too many of us accept guilt when it is not OURS to own.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#218

Release Guilt

This is one of those tips that is far deeper than can be addressed in a mere few paragraphs but I’ll introduce the idea of releasing the guilt that doesn’t belong to you as something that will increase your overall sense of well-being.

Defined

By definition, guilt is the result “of having committed a specific or implied offense” and/or “make (someone) feel guilty” and while I could talk for several minutes about the semantic of “making someone feel”… guilt is an appropriate emotion when we INTENTIONALLY offend someone or commit an offense.

Damaged feelings

It’s fair to feel bad when someone we care about is hurting and if an accidental behavior on my part generated the emotional harm then I am deeply sorry but do not hold ‘guilt’ once I apologize. Accidents happen. When we accept responsibility for the damaged feelings of another and the damaged feelings are because ‘of something we purposefully did’ then guilt is what keeps us in check but far too many of us accept guilt when it is not OURS to own.

Releasing

Too many people fail to communicate expectations and then charge us with having committed an offense – imparting feelings of guilt. If we don’t know we are supposed to meet a standard – or expectation – and we offend someone we need not ‘own’ feelings of guilt.  We need to learn to release feelings of guilt when they are erroneously associated with behaviors that are unintentional, with unexpressed expectations, untruths, or unreasonable demands.

  • Your friend says “you never go out with me.” and you feel guilty because he’s feeling bad… but that statement is probably untrue. Release the guilt.
  • Your sister say “you didn’t get me a birthday present?” and you feel guilty because she is disappointed… you feel guilty but it was an uncommunicated expectation. Release the guilt.
  • You can’t remember where you put your husband’s car keys and now he’s late for work. He’s mad and you feel guilty. It was an accident; release the guilt.
  • You don’t accept an invitation to a bachelorette party in Vegas because your budget simply cannot handle the extra expense. Someone suggests you aren’t a good friend and you feel guilty. It is an unreasonable demand; release the guilt.

Visualization

Use visualization techniques to release guilt… imagine writing it on a chalkboard and then erasing it. Imagine writing it on a paper and then tearing it to shreds. Imagine it is contained in a ball and throw it in the ocean. Imagine it as a word in your hand and watch it evaporate or disintegrate. No matter what image you conjure or what technique you employ, the secret to improving your overall sense of happiness is to…

Release guilt.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#219 Drive a Road You’ve Never Driven

It seems as if we rarely take time to wander. We are so often in a hurry to get from point A to point B that we fail to discover variations in our routes.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#219

Drive a road you’ve never driven

Untapped curiosity

How many times have you wondered where a road leads? Perhaps it’s a road you pass every day on your way to work, or one close by home that you’ve never had the need to drive. If you’ve lived in the same place for a very long time it’s plausible that you know all the local routes and yet personally, there are still spots I’ve not discovered after 25 years of living in the same location.

Wander

It seems as if we rarely take time to wander. We are so often in a hurry to get from point A to point B that we fail to discover variations in our routes. We develop habits that apply to our driving so much that even that becomes a rote behavior. Consequently, we deny ourselves opportunities to experience our home regions completely.

Great finds

I recently found a great little farm stand that is new to me after driving a ‘new’ road that was always a ‘wonder where that leads’ street. There are times I ‘think’ I know where a road leads but discovered other things there that I didn’t know existed. There’s a road by my home that is one way to get to a nearby town but I typically go there a different way. Recently I took the ‘near my home’ route and found two trailheads to a walking trail that I’ve always been curious about.

There’s an experience of delight with each resounding “oh… that’s where that is…” sentiment when you…

Drive a road you’ve never driven.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#220 Make Ice Cream

What wouldn’t taste good if it is mostly heavy cream, sugar, and half & half?? We don’t want to calculate the calories in this recipe of course – just grab a spoonful and enjoy.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#220

Make Ice cream

I know it’s super easy to reach into your freezer or stop by your local ice cream store but there’s something about making your own ice cream on a hot summer evening that evokes pleasure in a way that the other options cannot.

DIY Satisfaction

Sometimes, it’s the experience of ‘doing it yourself’ that adds to the fun and satisfaction we enjoy during and after an activity. The sense of accomplishment increases our confidence and overall esteem but perhaps more importantly, we become empowered.

Tools

Of course, an ice cream ‘maker’ is one of the easiest ways to complete this task – most of them come with recipe books for unending motivation but for a simple vanilla flavor, making ice cream at home is super easy with a few basic supplies. You need large zip lock plastic bags, coarse salt, and some arm muscle.

Recipe

I am recommending this recipe from The Stay at Home Chef blog because it worked well and tasted great! It took a little longer than the suggested 5 minutes to get the consistency that I preferred but it only meant a better arm workout (shaking is super important). What wouldn’t taste good if it is mostly heavy cream, sugar, and half & half?? We don’t want to calculate the calories in this recipe of course – just grab a spoonful and enjoy.

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half and half

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 gallon sized resealable plastic bags

2 cups ice cubes

½ cup salt

Instructions

Pour cream, half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract into a gallon sized resealable plastic bag. Seal well. Squish it around to combine until sugar is dissolved.

Place ice cubes and salt into another gallon sized resealable plastic bag.

Place the bag with the ice cream mixture into the bag with the ice. Seal the larger bag.

Shake until mixture freezes, about 5 to 7 minutes.

 

The next time you need a little inspiration to liven up a hot summer day, remember to pull out this recipe and …

Make homemade ice cream.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#221 Plan a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Allow the anticipation to build as you imagine yourself in a new vacation spot. It will be new and exciting…

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#221

Plan a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Are you someone who goes to the same beach town each year? Do you have a timeshare that you visit every vacation? Do you have a mountain cabin, lake house, or beach bungalow that is your home away from home? Does that mean that you rarely see other parts of the country or of the world?? Perhaps it’s time for you to explore a little and schedule a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Ready for change

What type of landscape attracts you? What city have you always dreamed of visiting? Is there a place of solitude that has been tugging at your interest? If you weren’t tied to your family’s choice, where would you go? Are you bored to tears at the lake, looking for more nightlife than the crickets and fireflies offer or are you fed up with the traffic and city lights?

Where to go

Take a look at your calendar and a good hard look at a map… what part of the world is calling you? Maybe it’s just around the corner and is easily attainable. For destinations halfway around the world, it may take a bit more planning and saving but with dedication to the goal – still attainable. If you can’t decide then write down the top five and draw from a jar or close your eyes and point. If all else fails, try the old fashioned dart throw. After a destination is decided upon, investigate and plan. Take a look at all your options and put together a budget.

Pleasurable anticipation

Allow the anticipation to build as you imagine yourself in a new vacation spot. It will be new and exciting… perhaps a bit strange if you’ve been used to a particular location but discovering new things is responsible for pleasure more often than  not. A fresh location to experience rest and relaxation may be just the thing you need this year so go ahead and…

Plan a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#222 Let Something Go

Visualizing this process of elimination, destruction, and emptying of the things we ‘hold onto’ is a powerful way to let go of unwanted thoughts, memories, and pains.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#222 Let something Go

What kind of excess baggage are you holding on to? What are you trying to manage and/or control that isn’t within your realm of change? What do you continue to think about that has been over and done for a while now?

One Story

Pick one of the things you thought about as you read the above questions and write it down. Write down as many details of this thing you want to let go of as you can think of. The goal here is to imagine or remember it clearly – but from a distance; with limited emotion as if it is a story that belongs to someone else.

Destroy the story

Once the story is complete, take the paper in your hands and crumble it up, tear it into pieces, or burn it (safely of course). Embed the action of destroying this story into your mind – taking time to be very present and mindful of the paper’s destruction. Imagine that the story is evaporating, fading into fog, and becoming blurred.

Open Hands

As you dispose of the paper (or ash) – do so with great intention and acknowledgement that the story is now gone. As you move the paper into a trash receptacle and drop it… see your open – empty – hand. Fingers open, holding nothing.

Visualization

Visualizing this process of elimination, destruction, and emptying of the things we ‘hold onto’ is a powerful way to let go of unwanted thoughts, memories, and pains. Once the activity is completed, you can replace the unwanted memory with the memory of eliminating it. Your mind will ‘remember’ that you’ve destroyed this undesirable thought. It may be necessary to remind yourself that you’ve gone through this process and make the connection by observing your open hands.

This technique can be very powerful for those times when you make the decision that it is time to…

Let something go.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#223 Ban Electronics from one Room

In order to experience one of the primary benefits of being a family – we have to actually talk to one another, engage in eye contact, and offer our exclusive attention to one another.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#223

Ban electronics from one room in your home.

This suggestion will improve your family and interpersonal life… guaranteed! Easily for the last ten years, electronics of all types have infiltrated the most elementary moments in our lives and disrupted our ability to feel connected even in our own living rooms.

Disconnected

As a psychotherapist, I am frequently hearing how disconnected people feel from others in their home because someone they love – and desire attention from – is consumed with activity on their phone. It doesn’t matter if it is gaming, social media, or news… the fact that it is accessible from the palm of our hand seems to create a temptation for constant access no matter where we are or what is happening. How many of us try to watch television AND play on or watch something else simultaneously on our phone?  

Belonging

In order to experience one of the primary benefits of being a family – we have to actually talk to one another, engage in eye contact, and offer our exclusive attention to one another. It’s the oldest method of establishing belonging that is known. Any distraction can negatively impact this process; leaving people floundering for a sense of communion.

The Solution

There’s a quick and easy fix for this problem! Ban electronics (phones, ipads, laptops, etc…) from just ONE room in your home – ideally, the room you most often ‘gather’ in. It’s a simple rule that isn’t really any different than taking your shoes off at the front door… something implemented and enforced will eventually become habit and second nature. Before you know it, everyone in the room will be engaged in a shared conversation, focused on the movie, or concentrating on the game and experiencing a strong sense of belonging once you…

Ban electronics from one room in your home.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#224 Go to an Art Museum

It’s a place to step outside of yourself, to imagine another human being with a brush, pallet knife, or chisel in their hand …

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#224

Go to an art museum

Very few of us are actually patrons of art. It seems as though if we aren’t creators or investors, our interest in art is fleeting or sporadic at best. If we live in a major metropolitan environment, it is likely that we were introduced to great art via a school trip where we were perhaps more interested in the time away from history and calculus than in the masterpieces displayed in the gallery.

Intrigue

I went to a gallery once on Rodeo Drive just for kicks but fell in love with the work they were featuring that week. I pretended to be able to afford the $10,000 price tag so that I could learn more about the artist’s technique. I think there’s a part of my psyche that wants to cover my walls in abstract creations full of color and light but my pocketbook doesn’t match my intrigue.

Refuge

And that’s the value of Art Museums… they are buildings full of walls that display a variety of talent; from old masters to new savants. On those days when you need a little inspiration or a pick-me-up, a museum offers refuge in the form of a bench in front of some form of art. It’s a place to step outside of yourself, to imagine another human being with a brush, pallet knife, or chisel in their hand – creating their own vision that became the piece you view. Somehow, it puts one’s own life in perspective via an unusual channel.

Give a little, Get a lot

Many museums are free to enter or only charge a small fee. Frequently they offer reduced entry fees for special professional affiliations (i.e., military, teachers, etc.) and most often for just a little more, will offer annual membership. It’s satisfying to know that your entrance payment keeps these national treasures safe, clean, and in good repair – our history depicted in paint, pen, and stone. Whether it’s curiosity, solace, or inspiration you seek – it’s possible you’ll find it if you…

Go to an Art Museum.

I love hearing your thoghts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.