Be careful where you get your information. A lot of people who talk about success aren't very successful. A lot of people who teach about business aren't very accomplished at business. There must be a million social media "experts" who haven't accomplished anything with social media. Too many people out there are giving other people bad information; some call that the blind leading the blind, and it can not only be immoral, but it can even be dangerous. If someone is telling you how to be good to yourself — it is reasonable to have a close look at them and see if they are good to themselves. People who talk a lot about compassion often have no compassion for themselves. They want to help everyone when their life is a wreck. They go from one failed "uplifting" enterprise to another, but the wheels are falling-off their car, their body is out of whack and their finances are out of order, yet somehow, there they are, "advising people." They want to help everyone when they can't even help themselves. What they really need to do is take care of their own business. The last thing any of us need is ill advice from someone fully out of control in their own life. So before you take that advice that is being offered, take a good look at who is delivering it. Carefully study their energy, their lifestyle, their health and their relationships, and if they are living the life they talk — then, and only then should you listen.
One of the ways to love yourself is to make an effort to find good information for yourself. Whether it is love, finances, goal reaching or our personal struggles — good advice can save us untold pain and suffering. One of the biggest problems people have in life is seldom getting any really good advice from qualified people. Too often, even as children, we receive poor or even no advice for living life. We are also not taught how to pick good mentors. As powerful as a mentor or role model can be, they can be equally destructive if they are themselves misinformed. The lesson here is to learn how to pick and choose your advice from people who have demonstrated they know how to make their type of advice actually work in the real world. If you want better relationships — take advice from those who have good relationships. If you want more money, take financial advice from those who have been successful financially and who also share your values. If you want to be healthy, then learn from those who have been able to cultivate and maintain good health in their own lives. If someone has failed over and over, of course you can listen and learn from their lessons, but they only have half of the story. The best lessons in success come from successful people, who more often than not have both failed and succeeded. A person who has both failed and succeeded likely has the whole story and can help you with the steps to move forward. You can listen and learn from everyone, but just as there are different levels of advice, there are different levels of listening. Sure, you can learn from someone who has fallen and messed-up, but you can learn even more from someone who has gotten back up and recovered. Find good mentors, advisors and role models for yourself and listen and learn from them. You will be amazed how your life can change with useful information in your brain.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
There is a perception that speaking up for boundaries is somehow introducing conflict into a situation, or at very least, escalating it in an unkind way, like, everything was fine until you spoke up for your needs and now you made it weird. But not speaking up is not making the situation better, it’s just giving the other person more license to operate and communicating that you are okay with the behavior. There is no prize for being the world’s most stoic and accommodating person. A friendship that cannot survive a the momentary discomfort of you standing up for your needs is not actually a friendship worth holding onto. Nobody loves being told that they are screwing up, obviously, but if you don’t have the ability to ever take any negative feedback along the lines of “Hey, could you not do that one thing anymore, thanks?” from a friend, YOU are the problem. When told that they are stepping on someone’s foot, good mature people will apologize and get off the foot and not perpetuate a FEELINGSDUMP about their need to really stand on feet sometimes. Communicating “Hey, that’s where my boundary is, thanks” IS KINDNESS. It is giving the other person the tools they need to be in a good relationship with you. —Jennifer Peepas
Friday, March 27, 2015
They don’t teach you how to hurt. How to truly hurt, to truly feel every inch of your body on fire and be at peace with it. To see your grandfather or your brother grieving in front of you, to see your mother throw herself into the plot and beg for the world to take her too. They don’t teach you how to hold someone who is delicate and lost, who just needs to feel the sincerity within your cells against their aching skin. They don’t teach you how to cry with your best friend, how to compassionately be there for another human being because you were once there as well. No, they don’t teach you how to love. How to truly love, how to selflessly commit to someone else, how to give your heart to another human being and trust that their palms won’t crush your gift. They don’t teach you how to love yourself, how to build a temple within your ribcage that doesn’t wax and wane with validation, that doesn’t turn to ruins in the midst of your confusion. They don’t teach you how to stand alone, in pure confidence, in ruthless certainty of your matchless heart. They don’t teach you resistance, resilience. They don’t teach you how to make ends meet, how to get up each and every solitary day as a single mother or a struggling twenty something when all you want to do is sleep. They don’t teach you how to live with your demons, with your disappointments, they don’t teach you how to figure out who you used to be before you allowed for your flaws to define you. They don’t teach you how to push, how to truly push back at life when it closes in on you, how to remind yourself of white-hot light in the midst of a sapphire dark spell. They don’t teach you how to survive. See, if math were a life lesson we would learn how to count the number of times we’ve been let down. We would learn to subtract all of our pride, leaving us with understanding, leaving us with a will to persist. If geography were that of existence, we would take fieldtrips to the redwoods and breathe in their beauty, we would learn about how the universe is mapped out within our veins, how the Milky Way and Cassiopeia are dancing within our brains. If art were a life lecture, we would take a magnifying glass to the cracks within our bodies, and we would see just how whole we are in spite of them, just how artistic our own wounds can be, like famed Renaissance mosaics, like chipped one hundred year old paintings. No, they don’t teach you what it takes to be human, what it takes to be real. For the reality of life thrives in our experiences of it. The marrow within our bones is made up of practice; it is made up of the memories that defined us, the moments that surprised us, that hurt us, that challenged us. We are walking, breathing lessons, our cities are our institutes, our peers are our professors, our mistakes are our tutors. Make sure you are constantly educating yourself; make sure you are constantly learning.