People Consciousness. What is that?

People Consciousness, a subject I am very passionate about.

What is people consciousness? One’s attitude towards other people.

I find it disheartening that there are many people who don’t exercise tolerance and understanding towards others. We tend to forget that what we experience by way of behavior or attitude from others, isn’t about us. It isn’t about YOU, it is about them.

Daily we work with people we think we know well. We see our neighbors and think we know what is happening in their lives but in reality we really don’t. We all live a life of different circumstances. Some people simply have the ability to live a healthy, happy life despite their reality. Their world might be turned upside down due disease and sickness, financial hardship or a multitude of other circumstances. But you wouldn’t know it by their outward appearance. (Never judge a book by its cover). It isn’t that they are faking their happiness or ignoring their problems, they have just become skilled at focusing on the positives and exercising gratitude for all that is right in their life. This practice, believe it or not, takes the sting out of what is or has, gone wrong.

However, there are some that haven’t mastered that ability just yet. Most people that I encounter lack coping skills, effective ways of dealing with adversity. Sadly, I find that children today are the one’s most lacking in this area. It is becoming more prevalent in our society with school shootings, and people wanting to hurt others because they hurt. I don’t think society puts enough emphasis on developing a healthy people consciousness. Therefore I believe it has to start with us, as individuals. I repeatedly reiterate to my son that when someone treats him badly it isn’t about him, it is about the other person and what is going on in their life. Maybe they are having a bad day because they didn’t get enough sleep and they are tired or maybe something else is going on and they don’t know how to deal with it so they are angry and he happens to be the person they choose to vent on.

So when you encounter those individuals that seem to be a bit unpleasant, practice a little bit of tolerance and understanding for their situation. They are projecting their own unhappiness onto other people because they don’t know how to handle it themselves. Don’t retaliate with force or ugly words (two wrongs don’t make a right). Consider for a minute what might be going on behind the scenes in their lives, have some compassion. I think most people would be surprised, if not shocked, at what battles other people were fighting.

My goal for teaching my son tolerance and understanding for other people’s behavior is, he will grow up to be a kindhearted and well-rounded human being. We are our children’s guiding light so be mindful of what you are projecting out into the world and how you react to others.

In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher. – The Dalai Lama

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Equality… Can’t we all just get along?

I would like to think that as a country we are progressing toward true equality for everyone. However, recent media events surrounding gay rights say otherwise. Sadly, there are some people, just hell bent on sticking to old antiquated ways of thinking.

News flash… the world is changing and isn’t going to stop because groups of people aren’t willing to change with it. Get on board and accept the inevitable or suffer miserably trying to beat something that is much bigger than you are.

The thing is, a heart doesn’t know the difference between a male and female. It doesn’t know the color of one’s skin or his or her race or origin. It only knows LOVE, unconditional and abundant LOVE and it recognizes itself in other people be it man or woman. Instead of preaching hate and judgment, we should be encouraging people to love and accept each other just the way they are. There are wars raging around the world because individuals refuse to consider that not everyone is like them. It is a major setback for mankind.

Our goal should be progressing as a human race not backsliding to an uneducated, hypocritical, holier than thou point of view. We are all created equally. We all have the right to live in a way that we choose provided it doesn’t hurt or maim anyone. We have the right to love who and how we choose despite what anyone says.  We have the right as human beings to live beside one another in harmony and peace.

Stop the ignorance and look beyond what you physically see in other people. You will find a human being, a soul with a heart that desires the same things in life everyone is searching for… Peace, love, happiness and the freedom to choose!

What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains. ~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire, 1947

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Parenting 101: Doing the best we can…

As a parent we do the best we can with what the knowledge and know-how we have. It is what I honestly believe about my parents and the way I was raised. Before I had a child, I vowed that I would be everything my parents weren’t for me. Not to say that they were bad parents, they simply did the best they could and I wanted to do better. I am by no means a perfect parent but I do strive to be the best parent to my son that I can possibly be. Our beliefs, values and upbringing influence the way we raise our children. When coaching other parents I share this thought, if you want your child to have a better childhood/adulthood than you did, break the cycle of your own childhood and seek to find different ways of loving and communicating with them. It is through change that we grow and becoming better. Not everyone’s life is lollipops and butterflies growing up. But we all have a choice when it comes to the way we raise our own children. Challenging life experiences has given me the knowledge and ability to take on the absolute best, most important and sometimes stressful job on the planet, being a parent.

Lesson 1:  Don’t rush to parenthood. It will get here soon enough. There is no set time to have a family. Live your life and enjoy growing as a person. Learn what makes you happy, what you feel strongly about, what you won’t settle for and what you will compromise on. These key things will help you navigate your life in a positive forward motion.

Lesson 2:  Be mindful of every single interaction you have with your child. I know this is tough in our society today. We are all so busy trying to get through the day that sometimes we don’t stop to be present. I look at it as a time to breathe and slow down.

Lesson 3:  Always be present when they need you. (Refer to Lesson #2) They need to feel secure and have a sense of stability. This is probably one of the most important things I can express to parents. Our job (which we chose) is to protect and nurture our children so they can thrive.

Lesson 4:  Teach them coping skills. I can’t impress upon this lesson enough. It is an absolute necessity. Life is tough, especially for a child. They don’t understand the ways of the world. But when a teaching moment arises, use it as an opportunity to educate them. Help them navigate the world around them. You’ll be glad you did.

Lesson 5:  Teach them respect, consideration and humility. People will treat them as they treat others. Ultimately we attract the kind of people that we are similar to. If you want your child to be a leader, teach him to lead through kindness and understanding, not arrogance.

Lesson 6:  Teach them compassion. There simply isn’t enough of it in the world. As Whitney Houston said, children are our future. If you want to live in a world that is tolerant of what is different, teach your child to love everyone equally.

Lesson 7:  Let their imagination run wild. Creative minds make great future problem solvers. Children don’t think outside the box, because according to them, there is no box. They don’t even know what that means. Let them dream, create wonderful stories even if you know that it may never happen. To a child anything is possible.

Lesson 8:  Always listen to them. They could teach you something new and just for a moment you can escape to their world and see the beauty they see.  I have been on some wild and crazy child adventures and wouldn’t trade them for the world.  For some parents it may be the only childhood they experience, relish in it.

Lesson 9:  Let them try new things even if you don’t agree. And PRAY about it! I do. I have a pretty strong faith but my son can unravel my nerves in an instant with some of his stunts. Instead of telling him no, I educate him about the importance of being careful and then let him decide whether it is worth it. Thankfully, the worse case has been scraped knees and shins.

Lesson 10:  Value them and their opinions. They may be little but they are important and they matter too. I often pose questions to my son about various things just to get his input on it. It doesn’t mean I am going to run out and do what an 8 year old suggests, but I do listen to his thoughts and collectively we come up with a solution to the question.

Lesson 11:  Refrain from speaking harshly to them. This is a toughie, I know. But when the urge comes, take a step back and breathe. I have to bite my tongue sometimes especially when I feel the stress of life creeping in. In moments when I want to unleash my every thought, I stop and become silent. I put myself in a 30 second time out so I can regroup.

Lesson 12:  Absolutely NO name-calling. This can kill a child’s self-esteem faster than anything else. When people would ask my son if he was being a good boy, I would reply back that he is always a good boy. Children have rough days; they little people with emotions and are going to experience challenges like the rest of us. It doesn’t make them bad kids. A child reared to believe they are bad, will never believe he can be anything other than just that.

Lesson 13:  Be the person you want your child to model. They learn how to function in society by how they see us interact in it. The way we treat people, greet people and socialize in general with others is how our children will learn how to navigate the world. 

Being the mother of a child is the most rewarding job I could have. The joy that my son brings me is bar none. When I look at him I see the world through a new, fresh pair of eyes in all its wonder and amazement. He is a brilliant child by my standards and I pray that he will grow up to be emotionally balance, mental strong, physically healthy and spiritually fulfilled. At the end of the day, I just want him to be the best version of himself, to never stop growing, to always be amazed by new and different things and above all, to be HAPPY!

If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings. – Brian Tracy

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I’m baaaaaaaack! :)

I took a little hiatus from writing due to the holidays, New Years and the chaos that follows the end of a year and the beginning of a new one.

Okay, not really. For all of you out there who didn’t know… Life is challenging and can wear a sister out! Anyone who disagrees, raise your hand. That’s what I thought. Even coaches need coaching to get unstuck. I am thankful that I have my family and friends to keep me moving forward.

With their support, I have resolved to continue blogging and putting my thoughts out there. My intent is to positively inspire others to take a different look at the world. With that being said, below is my newest blog. I was inspired to write it after spending 6 months homeschooling my 8 year old. What an adventure that was! (see Parenting 101: Doing the best we can…)

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FEAR! What is good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again, ya’ll!

We all have heard the phrases, “Fear Everything And Run” or “Face Everything And Rise.”

The problem (and it is a problem) with the first example is, no matter how far or how fast you run, the FEAR will always follow you.

The challenge (for some, a terrifying challenge) with the second is, unfortunately people are unwilling to face their FEARs. They are more comfortable with knowing what they can’t do, as opposed to, exploring what they CAN do.

Did you know that when we are born there are only two things we innately fear?  One is the fear of falling and the other is the fear of loud noises.  Other than these two things, all other fears are impressed upon us from our environment, society and our own imagination. Fear is nothing more than a negative belief in something unknown. When I found this out, it changed my world. In some strange way I felt so much peace.

Fear is an illusion that leads to needless worry.  How many times have you worried about something that never became an issue?  Worry is wasted energy.  So much of what plagues us in our minds, day to day, is self-made.  It isn’t authentic, it is a theory we let ourselves believe and thus dominate our way of being. It is a like a picture show that we star in, in our own minds.  We produce it, direct it and become it. Personally, I could have won awards for my drama, I’m talking OSCAR’s!

Sadly, there are millions of people around the world living fear-based lives.  It is one of the most debilitating ways to exist.

What we believe about ourselves and our capabilities makes us who we are and what we can accomplish… Fearful thoughts limit our abilities.

If you fear you are not good enough, you never will be. Not because you can’t be, but because you are not willing to squash that little voice inside your head (FEAR) that tells you, you can’t.

If you fear that you are not worthy, you will never achieve the kind of success you desire, whether it be financial, emotional, physical or mental. This statement may sound harsh, but sadly, is is true.

Fear keeps individuals from living their full potential as human beings and children of the Universe. We are all born with special gifts and talents that we are supposed to share with the world. However, we allow outside factors to influence our mindset. The way we are raised and the beliefs imposed upon us by those who shape our self image, as well as societies ideals, have in some capacity diminished the light in our hearts and replaced it with the idea of inadequacy and doubt.

Fear leads people to make choices that don’t benefit their life or that of those around them. They second guess their decisions or don’t make decisions at all because they don’t trust themselves or others.

If individuals were to put that same (worry) energy into focusing on the positive aspects of their life they would find that their whole world would change.  FOR THE BETTER!

I learned a long time ago that I could overcome fear.  In the past, I feared so many things that I believed that if I could control everything and everyone, I would be okay. Let me tell you from first hand experience, it doesn’t work and it is friggin’ exhausting on so many levels.

So how do you make the change?

The next time something negative starts to grow in your mind, mentally tell yourself, “not today, not now.”  Instead, change your thought process and think of something or someone that makes you happy.  When you start to replace fearful thoughts with positive and optimistic thoughts, the world around you becomes brighter and happier.  It doesn’t mean that you won’t EVER have a negative thought, but it gives you a way to combat the problem before it jumps on the bandwagon and rides into town. The more you practice positive mindfulness, the less impact fear will have on you.

There is an instant lightness and sense of peace that comes with the realization that what we fear the most begins as a thought in our mind.  The mind is a powerful tool.  Take back your power and use it to your benefit. Create the fearless, fulfilling life you have always wanted.

“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” — Dorothy Thompson

 

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Public Speaking… It is all in the planning!

Pubic speaking, ready or not.  I don’t think most lay people wake up and think I’ll do some public speaking today.  I believe if asked, most people in the general population would try to avoid it like the plague.  They would rather have a root canal without Novocain than subject themselves to nerves, sweaty palms and a racing heartbeat.  Ok, that may be a little dramatic, but my guess is public speakers at one time, felt this way.

So like every other student, I had to take Communications 101 in college. I feared it so much that I waited until my last semester of my senior year before having no choice but to take it so I could graduate with my degree.

After expressing my anxiety to my family, the best pieces of advice I received came from two of my greatest supporters, my husband and my sister. My husband knowing that I love to talk to anyone who will give me a minute of their time suggested that I take this approach, “think of your speech as a conversation with friends and imagine you are with a group of them and you are sharing ideas that you feel are important. It is a simple conversation.” This idea of a friendly conversation completely resonated with me. It made complete sense. The idea was so simple. Ironically, in my job at the time, my desk was positioned in such a way that everyone congregated around it to discuss work issues. These speeches would be no different than any other day at the office.

The next best piece of advice I received was from my sister.  She said, “prepare, prepare, prepare and practice, practice, practice.” She had given briefs on many occasions to 3-star Army Generals and Lieutenant Colonels. So needless to say, I wanted to know her strategy for public speaking. She said that I should study and internalize the content of the subject of the speech, become the expert, and prepare so well that I could present my speech without notes. These two simple, but completely relevant pieces of information would increase my confidence and reduce my nerves.

I used these bits of advice while taking my class and although it didn’t calm every nerve, it sure did help me to deal with the stress of presenting every week to a group of people.

Sometimes when we are faced with challenges that stem from fear we over complicate things. And when stress enters the picture we can’t see the situation for what it really is, just a conversation.  Our thinking becomes clouded and our minds run in a hundred different directions. It is ironic how these basic steps can take you from being a completed petrified to a pretty good, if not skilled, public speaker. By the end of the class I had come to realize that I really enjoyed public speaking. As with any interest, the more we practice the more we become skilled, confident and capable of completing the task at hand.

“Practice does not make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi

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