Quote

Finding Passion – Part 1 1/2

Here’s a piece of a larger series that everyone should read

thezombieshuffle

passion7

In part 1 I discussed the loss of passion in relationships, and how I believe it is the leading contributor to affairs, divorce, and unhappy relationships (or at least relationships that are less happy than they could be). Loss of passion is somewhat inevitable in long term relationships, but that doesn’t have to be the case, and there are ways to try and rebuild it when it’s diminished or gone.

I was planning on talking about “ways to rebuild” in part 2, but as I started writing I realized there was something important to cover first about loss of passion. So I’m going to cheat a bit here. Instead of part 2, I now present you with Part 1 1/2!!!

Team Building

Relationships are like small groups, or teams, and in the mid 60’s a guy by the name of Bruce Tuckman came up with a theory on the stages…

View original post 2,066 more words

New York Diaries Part 2

image

Before embarking on my New York trip I had every intention to write each day. To find things in my surroundings and use it as a prompt to write. Here I am, going into my second week of being back from New York, and I’ve only managed to write once. It seems much hasn’t really changed, now I’m back home, I’ve fallen back into my work mode. Taking the time away was great, and I can’t say that I’m feeling like I shouldn’t have gone, now I’m ready to go again! The past few weeks have been a blur, there have been so many things to write about, but I just never sat down to put it down into a coherent string of thoughts. Since I had written a Part 1, I thought it a good idea to write part 2 now.

Movies like “When Harry Met Sally” speak to my inner Romantic, I’ve mentioned previously that I have aimage vivid imagination, and sometimes play things out in my head first. While it was exciting being up on the Empire State, it was very Cold, and time to reflect was short. It did get me thinking though, Movies tend to only give you a glimpse of things. Life itself is inherently hard, and you actually have to WORK to get what you want. The days of thinking that I’ll meet that woman, and we’ll instantly lock eyes, have a great conversation, start dating and get married are over. I’m no longer that naive into thinking it happens like in the movies. What I’m not saying is that I’m giving up on Dating or finding Love. While it does get lonely being single sometimes, and it would be nice to share things with someone, like my hike today. What I’d rather not be is in a relationship and feeling lonely, or not connected to my partner. For me that is not living. Which I think is interesting, because ALL relationships have to work hard to keep “The Spark” going. It’s nothing like the movies. The good news is that I believe I’ve gained a few more tools to help me foster better relationships.

For the New Year coming up, I’m going to work on enjoying my life more, last year it was about being intentional. In a way I’m not quite sure I’ve accomplished what I thought I would have, but it’s ok, I’m still learning. This hear I want to spend more time travelling, and I feel that I’m in a better place to afford it now. New York reminded me that I still have a bit of the traveling bug in me, and I’d like to spend more time exploring that. New York also reminded me that while I love my family, I also value my independence, and I really love living out here in California. Big cities like New York have much to offer, however I want to be close to nature too, not the concrete jungle a real jungle. It is great to look out my window and see mountains and trees, and the fog coming over the hills. It’s even great breathing in the salty ocean air from time to time. I can live in a big city, but I need to get away and be surrounded by nature at times. I think that’s what I love the most about the Bay Area.

I’m learning to Love myself more deeply, and I came across something interesting a few days ago. I heard a TEDtalk by Susan Cain: The Power of IntrovertsI’ve known for some time now that I’m not a real Introvert, I show many Extroverted qualities at times, but my dominant personality is more Introverted. I like to think of Introverted and Extroverted as where you draw your energy from, instead of whether you like to be more social, or by yourself. In her talk Susan Cain echoed this same way of looking at the two, but she added something I had never heard before. In her research she found that Introverts tend to be more creative, because the quiet time gives them the space to think of ways to improve things they’re passionate about. She also talked about learning to embrace your personality, and not feel guilty for who you are, especially introverts. It’s the quiet times that we use to not just replenish ourselves, but to solve problems. I’ve lamented before about being an Extroverted Introvert, I guess the term is Ambivert. While this new explanation strokes my ego a bit, it does help shed light on why I crave quiet time so much. I’m in a stage right now where I want to spend more time alone, than being around others. Susan Cain’s finding helps me feel a little less guilty when I don’t want to spend my free time with others. While I’m learning to love myself, it’s a good start to appreciate the quiet times I spend with myself.

New York Diaries Part 1

image

You probably won’t know this about me, but I lived in New York for a bit. While my family lives there, I don’t call myself a New Yorker, I only lived there for 2 years. In contrast I’ve been in California for almost 15 years now, by all accounts I’m Californian. But there is something about New York that seems to draw you in, it’s a magnificent place of diverse night-life, people, cuisine, art and so much more, and we haven’t even talked about it’s history.

For those that haven’t been to New York it would probably be a bit overwhelming, so much to see and not enough time. I promised myself that I would take some time to write while I’m here, lets face it there’s a million things to inspire writing here. Before I tell you more about my Trip so far, I’d like to share something else with you. I took some time during my flight and lay-over to read a few chapters from “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.

…A twenty-minute walk that I do  is better than a four-mile run that I don’t do. The imperfect book that gets published is better than the perfect book that never leaves my computer.

I’ve been in a bit of a mental funk lately, not feeling motivated to write, socialize, and be around others. When it comes to writing, sometimes I feel like a bit of a perfectionist. Instead of just writing, I tend to not write unless I think it’s perfect. I think it was great for me to learn this lesson from Brene Brown before my trip, in a way it got me out of my perfectionist state. What I got from Brene’s book was to not always strive for perfection, sure there are times when something should be perfect, but is perfection right for every aspect of life? In another lesson Brene points out that perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. If you look at Painters, sure there are some boundaries, but artists have the liberty to operate outside of borders.

So what does any of this have to do with my imageNew York trip? I think it was great for me to change my attitude before coming back to New York. There’s so much inspiration here, and I needed to be in the right mood to soak it all up. New York is an interesting place. As I started saying in the beginning there’s so much exciting things here, yet as I looked around, I noticed that everyone seemed to have a bleak and down trodden look. Perhaps it’s because I was on the Subway, or perhaps it’s because it was 30 degrees outside. By the way if you’ve never riden the New York city subway, you should try it at least once before you die, of course you might also die there too. As I rode the subway I couldn’t help but think that there was so much that the City had to offer, yet I was wondering how many of those people took time to appreciate the beauty that’s right outside. Even though we’re in a closed cramped space, everyone really seemed like they were in their own bubble. This all had me asking a similar question of my own life. What things am I missing out on in life that I could be enjoying? Am I going through my life not appreciating the beauty that’s right around the corner?

So what’s the lesson? Life can be inherently hard, sometimes work, life and responsibilities get us out of focus. While life is un-folding around us, beauty is also right there. If there’s one thing I want you to remember is this, take time to enjoy the beauty around you, and we’ll all be a little happier today.

Ahh! If only I can do it all over again!

Hindsight

I think one of my best qualities is that I can be a bit of a Romantic, sorry but I don’t mean in the ‘give flowers’ or  ‘writing love ballads’ or even ‘saying sweet nothings into your ear’ kinda way. Well it’s not that I don’t like doing those things. I’m talking about the thing many of us do, we look to the future or back at the past, and we see things through those wonderful rose colored glasses. Where you said the right words, and got exactly the outcome you were looking for. You saw that cute girl/guy, came up with a witty comment, and now you have a date set for a few days. Of course reality looks a lot different, the witty thing got you blank stares, and worse yet, you don’t have a date set for next week. I’m talking about that kind of romanticizing. While it could be as a result of Movies, or Society, or my upbringing, or a whole range of things. I think it’s just another part of my personality, and it can me used for good or bad. Growing up back in Georgetown, and not the Brownstones of Washington DC, but in Guyana (please refrain from thinking I’m talking about Guinea in the continent of Africa). It was common for me to pass the day at the window at the front of our house looking out at the world beyond. This lead to not only my love of Airplanes, but my ability to look to the future, and imagine it in all it’s glory and potential. My imagination was my virtual playground, sometimes I wonder if I should have been an artist, but then again I was never good at using colors anyway. Today my life doesn’t look anything as I had imagined, I barely recognize myself. Sometimes I wonder if I’m watching a movie, and think that I’m going to wake up at any moment.

Would I really had done it differently!

I’m sure that this isn’t an isolated problem in my wild imagination, but something that most people recognize in themselves. I find myself thinking those famous words, “if only I had a chance to do it all again!” I found myself thinking about where I am today, and as if on que, I asked “what would I had done differently?” But that’s the joke isn’t it, that’s the fallacy we often find ourselves believing don’t we? The truth is that at the time, whether it turned out to be a good or a bad decision; I made the decision that was best at that time. Meaning that with all the information I had in front of me at the time, I made a calculated decision, and I went with it. So to say that if I could go back in time I would do it any differently, well that’s just a lie I’m telling myself. Even if I was to wake up tomorrow and be 10 years younger, would I know then what I knew today?

It’s idiotic to think that I some how decided to make a bad decision in the past, which led me here. When in reality I made a decision at the time based on all the facts. Now that I’m in the future, I can look back and see the product of my decision.

Am I doomed to repeat past mistakes!

My active imagination also works overtime, I find that I compare myself to other’s all the time. Sometimes it’s not even an active thought, but something that seems to have a mind of it’s own. I’ve mentioned in many posts that I’m not where I’d like to be. Meaning that @ 34 yrs old/young, I didn’t imagine I’d still be un-married, no children, no career to speak of. Then again I always did things at a different pace. With each day I’m growing and learning, while I do look back, experience is showing me that I’m making the best decisions I can. Looking back now I can say that I felt strong emotions about not taking the step I took. So I can say with certainty that I made the right decision, the truth is today I’m older and wiser. Given the same choices today, I know that I would do things differently, but that’s today. No use romanticizing about the past or the future, in the future I’ll know more than I did today, so those decisions will be different too. I can say that my life today is different than it was 1 year ago. I’m learning to forgive myself for past mistakes. While they serve as a reminder, and a testament to by growth, my past is just that. I’m thankful that I have the gumption to learn from my mistakes, and that I can stop myself from romanticizing too much about the past, to learn to be grateful for these moments I have.

Asking WHY isn’t the right question

I was not planning on including this section, but after reading a few posts, and reflecting from the Church sermon from this weekend. This section seems to add a few more layers. Thank you SingleStrides for your post that also coincided with what I was writing, and is a good segue to a conclusion. Tragedy, pain, and heartbreak are not isolated to some people, but it’s a shared experience we ALL have. Sometimes things happen and we ask WHY? I think it’s interesting that even though we as humans have a limited understanding, we try to explain away everything to just one finite answer. The problem is that sometimes there are so many treads and outcomes that results in something bad happening. I’ve learnt from my personal experience and those around me, that sometimes when we experience pain, it’s not always a direct result of our actions. What I have come to understand in my moments of reflection is that although I experienced pain, what came out of it made me stronger. In cases where I experienced personal pain or heartbreak, I was able to either connect better to my faith and core values, or I was put on the right path if I was off. Of course I recognize that this simplified explanation is exactly what I was talking about earlier, trying to make simple the complicated. Now what I’m not saying is “EVERYTHING happens for a reason.” Sometimes terrible thing happen and there is no explanation, why did someone have to die, why is there so much violence, hunger, etc in the world. Instead of focusing on the why, I’ve learnt through my experiences that focusing on whether a particular event is an opportunity for growth, is a better focus for my attention. An opportunity to increase in my faith, live closer to my Ethical Compass, or become a better version of myself. In some of those instances my prayers were answered, it’s just that I didn’t like the answer. I’ve also learnt that despite my own desires, I’m Exactly where I need to be. Of course there could have been so many other versions to my story, but today I’m here, and so are you. If you’re reading this and it resonates with you, then we’re both in the right place. It’s not really beneficial for me to question whether I’m where I should be. If I’m too busy asking questions, I’m not living, I’m not experiencing my full potential.

We only have this life to life right now, all we can do is our Best. If you approach each day giving it ALL that you’re capable of that day, no one can hold that against you. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to share the same space with people who are out there living their lives. To those who don’t take no for an answer and let others define you. To my fellow bloggers, you’re an inspiration to me each day. To my friend S. yes you do inspire me, and I’m writing this because you kept nagging, pushing me to keep writing.

If you’re willing to Listen, Life is willing to Teach you

Last week a friend of mine wasn’t feeling so chipper, so I wanted to do something nice for her. We agreed to meet up at the end of the week, when both our schedules seemed to align. So the day came, and I wasn’t sure of exactly when we’ were meeting. You know how it is, you text someone, then when they respond it’s about something else. Before you know it you’re chatting, and important details get forgotten. Eventually I didn’t end up meeting my friend, we were definitely not on the same page about the timing. At first I was upset, because lately it seems our timing is always off, someone is always unclear about when we’re supposed to meet.

Sometimes it’s not always about ME!

While a communication faux-pas would be a great topic to write about, it’s not the focal point of what I learnt from that experience. I started by saying I wanted to do something nice for my friend, but at some point I made it about me. In my mind I was going into it with my own agenda. It had been some time since I’d seen her, and there were questions I had, and wanted to ask. So when we weren’t able to meet, I was upset, because I was feeling “why does this keep happening to ME?” While the timing was off, my friend no longer felt like being social, so this worked in her favor. So that brings me back to my central question. If it was supposed to be about her, about how to help improve her mood, how did it become about me? You see Life had a way of interjecting here, and I’m thankful for that. Had I met with my friend, the evening would have been about getting my questions answered, instead of listening to what she had to say. Of course men this is a critical lesson for you, sometimes a Woman just needs you to listen, sometimes it’s not about solving a problem. Sometimes she needs to FEEL like she’s been heard, and that you care about what she’s experiencing.

Your light shines through no matter what

As luck would have it, life wasn’t done giving me lessons this weekend. I’ve shared from time to time about my faith, it’s a central part of who I am, my guiding light. I’ve never liked those people who stand on their soap boxes and preach about what a sinner you are, it always seemed so judgmental and boastful. So when it comes to my faith, I take a different approach, if you ask me why I have certain views, I’ll tell you about how my faith has molded that view. I’m not comfortable in pointing out all of your flaws, because the reality is that I’m struggling to live my life a certain way everyday, and I do have my flaws and secrets. I mentioned in a few previous posts that I constantly doubt myself, I doubt my purpose and my influence on others to live a positive life. My roommate came to me last night because he felt that he needed to share something with me. Generally I’m the one sharing positive things, and inspiring others, so it’s a bit weird receiving it. What he had to say was that he can feel that I’m a positive person who has the ability to lead others in living a similar life. He wanted me to know that I’ve been a good influence, and that he can see my light shining through. I thought this was interesting, because as I said earlier, I haven’t been feeling so confident about myself lately. What this showed me though is that my values and beliefs that are at my core are strong. Despite how I may feel on the inside, on the outside I can can still influence and encourage others to live a positive life. As I think about that, it’s important to glean this key out from everything I’ve said:

“when you embrace who you are, others will see THAT, despite how you may feel about yourself.”

So what you ask? What’s the WIFM (what’s in it for me).

  1. If you’re doing something for someone else, make sure it’s about them. Sure you’ll feel good and get a benefit from helping your friend. However if it becomes too much about your needs, then you’re not serving your friend well. Try to be more about ‘what your friend would like have done to them’ (platinum rule) rather than ‘what would I like have done to me’ (golden rule).
  2. Despite how you may feel on the outside, what’s in your heart is what others actually see. So the good news is that others will see the real you, the bad news is that others will see the real you. Your light will always shine through especially when it’s dark.

I’d love to get some feedback, no seriously I’m asking for it! How will what I said change the way you interact with others. Are there any strategies you’d like to share on how you overcome this obstacle?