Staying True to U

How often do we say or hear some version of “I gotta be me”, “I need to rediscover the real me”, or “That’s just not me”. When we say or hear these phrases, I always wonder, have you actually taken the time to learn who you are truly? The answer is typically an emphatic no. So how can we be true ourselves, when we don’t know who we are really?

We create so many layers of stories about   ourselves and define ourselves by memories that may or may not be accurate. If this is the self we are being true toward, we might as well remove the word true or truth from our statement. Seriously, there is no honesty in sticking to a version of oneself that has not been intentionally/purposefully tested and defined. Without the hard internal work of learning and creating who we are and who we want to be, you are not “yourself”. What we do is double down on the stories we’ve created for and about ourselves. Stories so powerful without them we are lost.

For those who truly wish to know oneself, the path is arduous and winding. Yet, there is no greater joy than being free to be the you that is happy and doing the work you are best suited for in this stay on Earth. 

If you want to walk this path, there are many pieces of advise available. I will share with you my thoughts (from my experiences) on how to start; since starting is always the hardest and most frightening stage.

First and foremost, starting in and of itself is scary, however the real battle is in completing and moving through the initial stage. This stage requires us to identify who we think we are at that moment in our lives. You will need to lay bare all stories you tell yourself, and all the ways you view and interact with the world. I know, I hear you right now, Fuck That Shit. 

Here’s the good news, you don’t do this overnight and you definitely don’t do this alone. This is a process that requires support, input, conversation and multiple iterations. The goal isn’t to emotionally destroy or torture oneself. Its to clearly define where you are in life and how you define this. Once you know these “facts”, you can test these “truths” and see how they line up with step 2, defining who you want to be or wish you could become. 

Good luck, be strong and I hope you develop into a U that you can stay true to. 

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Using Your Voice

Over the last few days I physically lost the ability to use my voice. Some sort of virus and trying to make myself heard while coaching hockey combined to where I couldn’t actually create sound without pain. Everyone I know thought this was very amusing and it must’ve been extraordinarily hard for me to not talk for a few days. 

While I did miss conversing and talking, the silence for myself was actually very nice. Being forced to slow down how I communicate and look for simpler ways to express myself, was amazing! This experience has truly driven home the message that communication is about so many different aspects. It’s not just about what I say, it’s about how I say it, the environment I see it in, who I see it too, my demeanor, and the words I choose.

Coming back into my voice today, I now have two new goals to work on in my life.

The first is to make sure I take that extra pause and really think about the message I’m trying to communicate and how I communicate it. I know this will be hard for me, and I will fail a lot at the beginning, but in the long run it will be better for how I interact with everyone around me.

The second stems from the first. Only by expressing ourselves can we truly make a difference in our own lives. Before we can ever help others or make a difference in their lives, we have to learn to use our own voice for ourselves. I do not mean simply speaking up, or talking to others. I mean understanding who you are and expressing this in what, where, when, how and why you choose to speak up. To speak up on behalf of others, you need to have a very clear understanding and confidence in who you are and what you believe then. Otherwise when the inevitable pain comes, you will be unprepared to sustain your voice.

Stand Up and Stay True

Due to our turbulent times, I needed to take a month off from expressing myself publicly. I found my writing far too sharp and angry. I am now ready to share my voice again. 

I have taken a quote from a famous movie and changed it to make it more inclusive. We must all fear evil. But, there is a specific kind of evil we should fear most…the indifference of good people.

We cannot be indifferent and assume someone else will stand up. We cannot think, this too shall pass. Make sure your voice is heard, make sure you are expressing your dissatisfaction with the direction the country is heading. Because I can guarantee you those who like what is occurring, will continue to make their voices heard.

When we oppose the hateful and hurtful behavior, and language, of the current administration, we must avoid falling into a very specific trap. It is paramount that we remember those we are in opposition to are still human beings. Many times these are people we have relationships with, or would have relationships with if it wasn’t for our political differences. Dehumanizing someone because we disagree with them, even if we disagree 100%, does nothing to help our argument and in fact puts us on the same level as many of those we oppose.
I, you, we can engage in contentious conversation and stand in opposition to those who would take our country back and disenfranchise so many Americans. Even if they are not willing to accept our humanity, we cannot treat them with equal disrespect. We will win this struggle for the hearts and minds of America over the long run only if we stand up and have our voice heard while staying true to our ideals.

When you are overcoming the indifference of good people, and the anger of those we oppose, never forgetour  shared humanity.

Why We Care

I’ve been contemplating why we care so deeply when we lose famous people. Why is it someone that we’ve never met, and probably never would have, has impacted us so greatly we genuinely grieve when they’re lost to us as a person?

Listening to music from some of those we lost this year, many songs struck me as pertinent. So many in fact, they should be an MTV or VH1 channel. These songs each individually express how I feel, yet do not encompass all my emotions. As these multitude of emotions freely flowed, I witnessed a pattern. I think i see why I care. In case this matches your feelings of hurt and loss, I thought I’d share. 

Losing someone who touched me, whose artistry resonated with my very sense of self, feels like I’ve lost part of me. And I have, I’ve lost friends, family, relationships, youth, naïvety, TIME. Knowing these amazing public figures, many of whom literally defined stages or moments of our life, are gone means we can’t have those moments back. 

This is hard. 

I don’t want to be reminded of all I’ve lost, all that’s been, all that I can’t have back. Yet…

As I go down memory lane I find myself smiling more than grieving. Remembering the good times and the losses with a sense of renewed vigor. I’ve had a pretty good run and am so touched that I was open to the sweet touch of genius shared with us all. 

Grieve, remember and move on to the enjoy your next moment, the next artist who comes into our lives. I think Prince’s Pop Life is the right way to sign off. 

 

Inturge

Where Intuition and Urges meet.

There is a plethora of science that looks at how are biases impact our “intuition”. We also know that gut feelings can be powerful and detrimental if not heeded.

So what is occurring? The science effectively shows that “intuition” is the  subconscious sharing a plethora of experience and data on a given situation more quicky than the cognitive mind can (or wants to) process.

We also know that many times this data is trash, as our biases interefere with seeing situations for what they really are. When we have no valid data or only bad  experiences with a certain situation or group of people, we don’t really have a reason for “intuition” to be valid.

So how do we learn to see when our “intuition” is helping not hurting? By looking at inturge in our life. 

Do you, or can you even, slow down and see when a gut feeling is actually an urge? What is the difference even?

How often do you shop, eat, interact, make daily life decisions based on your gut? If this is common I would argue you are following your inturge’s! Those feelings may be little more than satisfying our emotional or physical drives, rather than a voice guiding us into better choices. 

Slow down! Think on, is this decision really making my day better! Or is it simply I’m on autopilot?! Make the choice every day to feed better data and experiences to your wonderful mind! It won’t be long until your “intuition” is making for a better set of choices and outcomes. 

The Balance

Met a truly interesting person that does not use Facebook, never used a dating app, and per their own words “lives in a bubble”. I really enjoyed hearing how their life, sans kids, is unstructured, and they don’t worry about the news or the world or even time. I truly strive to attain that mindset for even one hour a week!!!

As talked more, my conversation partner admitted it can actually be problematic to check out so thoroughly, so often. That they end up not accomplishing necessary life tasks and miss out on connecting with their fellow human beings.

I was left contemplating balance since that discussion, specifically balance in all parts of our lives. I believe one of the most important reasons to stay open to new experiences is that it provides new data. Data that helps us recognize when we have become to stuck in our ways and out of balance. 

When we are out of balance is when we are most likely to shy away from the new and unknown. Yet, that is when we need it the most.

I wonder if it would help if we ask our friends to keep us on our toes? Or schedule random events we can’t cancel? Or is it just good old mindful self-awareness and honesty that makes some open and some closed to the new? 

The Darkness

Just finished reading the Tale of Despereaux with my children. I was struck (who can avoid it with the point being bludgeoned over the head of the dear reader) by the necessity of the story. How often do we have our own struggle for with darkness so starkly revealed? Is this not why we are so crazy for Star Wars and Super Heroes (among other reasons)?

We know that negativity, bad memories, negative experiences, fear and hate to be more powerful in our brains. Yet, science also teaches us that positivity and happiness are more powerful. This is why tools like taking in the good and holding on to our good experiences just a few seconds longer, are life changers.

Today I saw a woman who literally, spent her whole shopping trip berating her child and the people shopping with her. Making everything out to be their fault and just making the experience an overall painful time for anyone near them. The cherry on top of her hateful day, was cursing at an employee who came over to help with a scanning problem. This woman is a prime example of someone who deserves our empathy, but who also clearly need to desperately work on her struggle with the darkness inside.

The employee she yelled and cursed at, appears to fall on the other side of this line of human interaction. After being cursed at, she not only continued to go about her job, she did it with a smile on her face.

So dear reader, I ask you, which of these human beings would you rather be on any given day? And if the answer is the latter, what are you doing about it? Are you working to keep the darkness that exists at bay? To not allow new darkness and hate inside? And to try and replace all that negativity with strong memories of love, happiness and good?


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