#122 Go To a High School Play

We’re telling our local school boards and elected officials that being a well-rounded student is more than grades and sports.

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.

#122

Go to a high school play

I suspect that the timing of this post may be apropos as the first half of most high school’s academic year is more than half way past. There’s a good chance that a high school in your community is – right now – preparing for its first theatrical production of the year.

I was a ‘drama geek’ in high school as were several of my children and what I know for sure is that everyone involved in these productions – no matter how elaborate it may or may not be – works their fanny off and gives great heart to the project.

The community support of these endeavors is paramount to the performers on stage and the hardworking teams that keep them there. This is where young stars are born and others confirm their lack of passion for the commitment necessary to build careers. It’s where self-esteem is cemented and friendships are fostered. It’s where confidence is built and where for a few minutes, getting lost in fantasy is healthy.

These high school kids may not be seasoned actors, they may not have acutely tuned voices, or the best comedic timing but they have heart. Their courage, spunk, and energy is generally undeniable.

Making the effort to fill the auditorium of these local high school productions makes the statement that not only are ‘they’ important, but support of the Arts is also a priority. We’re telling our local school boards and elected officials that being a well-rounded student is more than grades and sports. We both proactive and passively encouraging.

If you don’t have a high school student, gathering information about the productions in your community are only a phone call or a web visit away. Take some time to find out what productions are scheduled this year and put it on your calendar. It makes a great night out and it’s usually very affordable. Do yourself – and your community – a favor and…

Go to a High School Play

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

#134 Believe in Yourself

When we say “I can’t” – most of the time we are saying that we don’t want to do the work required in order to become successful.

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.

#134

Believe in Yourself

As a therapist, I see lots of people who are challenged with this ability. When our self-esteem is damaged or underdeveloped, it can be quite difficult to have faith in your ability to achieve success. I’d like to suggest that success is relative and that the only person whose opinion matters – is yours!

Self-Doubt

Our self-doubt is often a seed that was planted in childhood either by parents, peers, or society. I’ve heard children make the comment “I’m trying” and an adult in the vicinity says “no you’re not” or “not hard enough” which, is hard to reconcile if you feel as if you’ve given it all you know to give. Unfortunately, these patterns often continue into adulthood and become hard held beliefs that are challenging to reframe.

We Know

We, as individuals, intrinsically know if we have given it our all or not. We KNOW, regardless of what others comment – even as children, we know. What we have to do is believe that if we think we’ve given it everything there is to give – it was ENOUGH, regardless of whether or not it met an outside standard. If we gave it our all… there wasn’t any more to give and we need to learn to simply believe that as a fact.

Fear

When we don’t have an established belief in our ability to succeed, we become afraid of trying because our culture promotes a fear of failure. One thing is for sure – if you don’t try – you will not succeed so the first rule is to TRY. The second rule of thumb is to assess your willingness to work for the success you want. When we say “I can’t” – most of the time we are saying that we don’t want to do the work required in order to become successful.

Almost anyone with dexterity can learn to play the piano – this fact is illustrated by all of the young people who perform at recitals all over the world. It’s only those who diligently work at their craft that become proficient however. Somewhere along the line, those people believed in themselves.

Mantra

It’s the ‘Little Engine That Could’ mantra… “I think I can, I think I can…” that makes the difference and becomes an overall mental health – healthy perspective. If you don’t already, make an effort to grow your esteem and learn to …

Believe in yourself.

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

#200 Spend a Day in Service (a spin)

Quite simply… when you give your time and talent, you receive satisfaction, gratification, and appreciation ten-fold.

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.

#200

Spend a day in Service (a spin)

What does it mean to you to ‘spend a day in service’? Martin Luther King called for Americans to spend a day in service by “providing solutions to our nation’s most pressing solutions” and for most of us that means volunteering. But what if we spent a ‘day in service’ to our significant other, to our parents, or to our best friend or a neighbor?

How might our relationships benefit if we spent a day in service to them?

What would that look like?

It’s as simple as one thought… “what can I do to make your day better?” It’s a question that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘waiting on someone’ or ‘spoiling’. It’s more focused on the literal definition of “performing duties or services”. It may mean completing that project that’s been on the back burner forever. It may mean practicing batting or pitching for hours on end. Or going through years of photo albums to help organize them. It might be cleaning your Mom’s carpets or repainting Dad’s office. It may mean spending the day taking your home bound great aunt to the lake for the day or teaching your grandmother the intricacies of her new iPhone.  You might consider a small remodel job or simply doing the chores that no one likes to do. It’s essentially making an effort to engage in any and all activities that helps the person you are serving. It’s complete focus on a to-do list – improving the environment of the person you’re serving.

Benefits

Quite simply… when you give your time and talent, you receive satisfaction, gratification, and appreciation ten-fold. It improves your self-esteem, your confidence, and your overall life satisfaction. Depression rates fall when people spend time giving of themselves. One common characteristic of people who have lived long lives is that they volunteered regularly.

Different perspective

I’ve written about volunteering and community service. I’m aware of the countless loving hours many of us spend in service to organizations, religious communities, and social causes that are meaningful and yet this suggestion takes a different spin on those activities. Pick a day – any day that would otherwise be ordinary (i.e., not a birthday or anniversary) and commit to helping someone you have a relationship with in any way that they might find helpful. I’m sure the relationship will be enhanced significantly because you took the time to …

Spend a day in service.

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

 

Such Diffidence

I backed away and threw on my invisibility cloak, walked back to my room and spent my night alone.

Continued from Going to the Mountain

“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are
not.” ~Denis Waitley

The experience seeing one’s self, intrinsically knowing it is ‘you’, but not because you look like what you do in the mirror, but because there is a sense of familiarity that only comes from seeing your reflection, is surreal. There was no doubt in my mind that I was experiencing this vision in the first person. I sensed that the hands I was looking at were mine even though they were smaller and denser than the ones I was used to seeing. I was dark skinned, the color my mother would turn after a summer by the pool, a rich brown color. I was standing in the sand, outside, and the air was warm. I was wearing something rough in fiber but I couldn’t really identify what it was. There were small round buildings in the background with thatched looking roofs. In the distance, I could see a tall, dark-haired man and he was walking toward me. Again, I felt a sense of recognition, a realization that the large hunk walking toward me was my husband, my mate. He didn’t get close enough for me to look in his eyes but I knew that he protected me, that he loved me. I felt it. And then it was over.

In a group, large-scale regression you don’t get much more than short blips before the hypnotherapist is bringing everyone back to current time, to reality. There isn’t an opportunity to investigate the memory, only to experience it. It was the second time I had been regressed and I was absolutely amazed at the explicit cognizance it evoked. The vision in my mind was as genuinely real as the memory of what I had for dinner the night before. And yet, there was a part of me that was skeptical; a small part of my psyche that wondered about its validity. I stayed true to my self-promise that I remain open to all possibilities and allowed the doubting thought to pass by.

Dr. Weiss taught us that it wasn’t necessarily important whether or not our memories related to literal events, but to be open to what the memories were representative of… what insight they offered about our life here, now. Since we simply cannot prove their authenticity – or lack thereof – it is important to contemplate their relevance. I considered the short recollection I experienced and what was most dominant in that memory was how at peace I was. There was an overwhelming sentiment of comfort and of being loved. Why did that matter to me now? I couldn’t help but wonder and it set the stage for the rest of my week-long foray into regression work.

As I allude to in one of my very early posts Sand Castles, I grew up with relatively low self-esteem. It was masked by my need to please and my theatrical character, the one that believed it much safer to be in the world as someone else… pretending to embody the girl detective character Trixie Belden, the teen heroine of my favorite series of books when I was young. It was a huge oxymoron – I put myself ‘out there’ as confident and outgoing but inside my own mind, I was – always – fearful of judgment, of not being accepted, or more concisely… of being rejected. If I was the one to rule the room, then I could determine who I had eye contact with, who I paid attention to and when I should leave, and under what conditions. If I wasn’t ‘in charge’ or the focal point, then it was possible to be diminished or to be rebuked and that was my biggest fear. If I was leading the conversation or presenting, it appeared as if I could command the room but if I was just there – just present – then my preference was to blend in and go unnoticed. In that way, I could observe and find a safety net; perhaps a corner or a like-minded person, or a connection with the person in command. It is the one thing that most people truly don’t understand, believe, or know about me as I’ve spent fifty years now attempting to hide that insecurity. I am a wallflower inside. This feature about me was validated years ago by an Astrologist; my birth (sun) sign is a Leo (describes my ego) but my moon sign is Cancer (how I feel inside) and my rising sign is Libra (how others see me).  If you have any interest or knowledge in Astrology, and you know me – this will make sense.

With this information, it won’t come as a surprise that the minute we were released for lunch, I bolted out of the auditorium for the safety of open space and anonymity. I kept my eyes down and walked quickly whenever people were around although I do always smile and say hello when I occasionally meet someone’s eyes. The family style dining room was daring me to break through my shy – or avoidant – shell. I made my way quietly through the buffet line with Vegan options (way before I even knew what a Vegan was) searching futilely for something fried and greasy as I also quickly scanned the room for the least populated table. I was cornered into eating healthy or starve. And just so I’m clear… if the choice was tofu or starve… I would meditate through the hunger.

People were nice and I am not ignorant or rude, so if someone sat next to me or if someone was already at the table, then I would at least say hello. I, of course, would be happy to answer questions and keep a conversation going but I wasn’t going to be the originator. It just wasn’t in me and as soon as I finished eating, I’d smile, encourage them to enjoy the day, and leave to find a bench in the sun where I could daydream or read. If only they had served wine with meals…

The rest of that first day was Dr. Weiss taking volunteers and demonstrating full blown regressions. We watched two or three experiences that were completely debriefed afterward and I was almost spellbound. It was captivating and immensely interesting and I just wanted to know more and more. One of the volunteers was a guy that had sat next to me all day. I discovered that he was there for the second time, having attended a year ago. He was a therapist with an interest in using regression therapy in his practice. He seemed like a nice guy, tall and attractive, but wearing a gold wedding band. Oh well. After his demonstration, I was anxious to ask him a few questions but as soon as we broke, he was bombarded by other people. I was just one of a dozen who wanted to know more. Instead of standing my ground and listening as the ‘group’ formed, I backed away and threw on my invisibility cloak, walked back to my room and spent my night alone.

I reflected all evening on how absurd it was for me to be there, in the company of so many kindred spirits and not take full advantage of their curiosities and knowledge. I woke up Monday morning – my birthday – resolved to do something about this quirky ‘shyness’ that I was embodying. I began to be annoyed by it. With renewed commitment, I attended breakfast and asked to sit at a full table with only one open seat. “Is this seat taken?” I asked as I pulled out a chair… it seemed that everyone was involved in conversation intently enough that I was barely noticed. Ok, “it’s ok”, I said to myself. I looked up and kept a smile on my face attempting to make eye contact with people close enough in which to spark a conversation but no one else turned or acknowledged my presence. This wasn’t going to be easy.