Keeping It Real

serenity
serenity (Photo credit: dragonflaiii)

So I was watching the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) this morning and there were all these fascinating episodes that dealt with “self.” Like, how we treat the self, how outside events impact the self and so much stuff I went out and bought a book by one of the people Oprah was interviewing.  “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer.  The book is to liberate us from a contained self-image.

Based solely on the interview, the information I gathered from the show and snippets of the book I scanned, I have hope that this book will break me through my final barrier… me.

I have always tried to keep it real.  I’ve tried to remain grounded in all I do, say or feel along with trying to be there for anyone who crosses my life path. But there are these things, these feelings, that get in the way on a consistent basis.  And when I let my head get the best of me, I am no longer keeping it real per say, but getting sucked into a myopic array of disillusionment which takes me back to that dark room of self-loathing.

Yeah, pretty messed up stuff.  The more messed up part of all this crap is that I project this putrid bile onto other human beings.  Instead of just being in a moment or looking at things for what they are, I tend to read deeper into whatever is going on and then I project my thoughts, insecurities and the like others.

This leads to:

  • self-doubt
  • self-loathing
  • insecurity
  • feeling less than
  • depression
  • self-sabotage
  • resentment

That is a pretty hefty list of awful feelings, ideals and all around yuckiness.

Lately, I have been way up in my head.  This is a tough place for me when I am trying to live a life of peace.  My head is not peaceful.  It is constantly chattering, whispering and telling me rotten things.  I believe these things.  I give my thoughts weight and that is when the horrible list above comes into play.  I used to drink and drug to get rid of these thoughts and feelings.  Drinking and drugging is not an option for me.

This is why I bought the book.  My thoughts (and yours) are so automatic, I never question them.  You’ve heard the saying, “I think, therefore I am.” UGH!!! How awful is that? I certainly do not want to be what I think!  My twelve-step program helps ( a lot!) but lately I just feel like I need an added tool.

As I go through this book (highlighting sentences and paragraphs like I always do) I will be updating my blog with what I have learned and if any of it is making sense.  It made sense on Oprah’s show, therefore, I am sure it will make sense.

Also, I signed up for 21 Day Meditation Challenge.  It is free and looks like a lot of fun.  Check it out!

How do you battle your demons?

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Think, Think, Think During the Holidays (and Everyday)

Photo: barreralawfirm.com
Photo: barreralawfirm.com

While drunk driving and drug related traffic accidents are down in the last couple years, they are still too high.  According to statistics on MADD, 9, 878 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2011. 

I am not here to talk about statistics and percentages.  We can read stats on websites and billboards all day long, but realistically, they are just numbers and numbers do not hit home nor the heart.

I am here to talk about common freaking sense.

When we put chemicals into our body, even cold medicine, it alters our state of consciousness and our senses become warped.  We might think we are driving “perfectly fine” after just a couple of drinks, one hit of marijuana, or a couple of pills, but the truth is the effects of any drug effect us.

You may or may not have a drinking problem. Chances are if you or someone you know thinks it is okay to drive while intoxicated, there most likely is an issue with drinking that goes deeper than just being selfish and without regard for others. 

Here are some tips for partying (without injuring yourself or others) during the holiday season:

  • Have a designated driver.  This works.
  • KNOW your limit.
  • The switch off.  Drink water between every drink and for God’s sake EAT SOMETHING.  Still: DO NOT DRIVE.  This method is good for helping you or someone not turning into a belligerent drunk.
  • Keep an eye on friends or people you are with.  If someone is drinking too much, make sure you take their keys (with our without them knowing it). They might get angry with you, but an angry friend is better than a dead friend.
  • Make sure you don’t have to drive.  Plan a ride ahead or have money for a cab.

If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, go over to aa.org and get some information on how to get help and how to find a meeting. 

Have a fun and safe holiday season!

A – Z Challenge ~ C is for Caution

Caution.  It means be careful, warning, danger and other things. But in the midst of life, sometimes caution can be a death sentence that leads to a mundane existence filled with the same boring pork chops and applesauce every Thursday night along with Sunday night bowling.  Hey, bowling is great.  Pork chops are great.  But… wouldn’t Bowling for Pork Chops be even better?

Exactly.

There have been times I have played on the safe side of the fence.  Okay, most of my life (unless I was drunk or high) I played on the safe side of the fence.  I took risks, but they were extremely calculated risks with a high percentage success rate.  I mean, one thing I hate is to fail or be wrong.  So it makes sense that caution was something I exercised often.

Caution can be a death sentence.  It can be that thing that suffocates you.  You’ll wake up in thirty years, roll out of bed and look in the mirror and ask yourself, “why?” And you’ll pepper your soul with “shoulda, woulda, coulda’s.”

If we don’t take chances, we don’t know what can happen!  Sure, we’ll always know that our food will taste good because we order the same thing, or that we’ll make it to work on time because we always take the same route (boring!). We can always be sure we’ll be entertained because we watch that movie we love every time.

Calculated risks are a way to step out of our comfort zone and grow as an individual.  Do you remember the last time you took a calculated risk?  Maybe you took a deep breath and asked for a raise (which I did last week – it paid off!) or maybe you decided to wear a different color sweater than that gray one you always wear.

Whatever it is, step outside your comfort zone and take a calculated risk.  You will grow in ways you won’t begin to believe.