Let go of Trying to be Perfect

I am so glad I stopped trying to be perfect. Working so hard attempting to be something that was impossible to attain was a drag.  It was depressing to stumble and fall and then beat myself up for thinking I should have done better. Or that I was stupid or not trying hard enough. 

One day I had enough with being a perfectionist and then a funny thing happened.  When I stopped worrying about making mistakes I stopped making as many mistakes.  Instead of being nervous that I would mess up I was able to focus on whatever I was doing so I actually did my best.    

I am not perfect and don’t plan to ever be. But that does not mean I let my behavior slide. No, I work very hard to be the best me possible.  I carefully watch what I say, what I think, my actions, and how I treat myself, other people and all life. And if I mess up I do my best to learn from the mistake. 

Yes, I am happier and create my life better now. And, since I stopped trying to be perfect I no longer expect other people to be perfect either. Boy has that helped strengthen all of my relationships. Especially the one I have with me.

You Can Only Control Yourself

Today a man I do not know apparently slandered me to a neighbor.  The man supposedly told my neighbor that I said bad things about her to him.  She was upset but she also knows me well enough to not automatically believe what the man claimed I said. So she wrote an email to confront me about it.  I calmly replied that she was right in that I did not say anything about her and that the man either made it up or he had me confused with someone else. 

I did not let her email or his words upset me for even one moment. Why, because I was completely innocent.  I have only spoken to the man once and our exchange was not only witnessed by another person but was completely friendly. 

We cannot control what other people say, think or even make up about us. The only control we have is to be our best self and if someone does slander us we have faith that the people who really know us will stand up for us against those who do not.

Forgiveness is Freedom

Someone I thought was a friend betrayed me. My ego tells me “How in the world could they do that to me. They should have known better.” My heart tells me, “If they truly were connected to their emotions to feel what it is like to be on the receiving end of their behavior they would have not done what they did.”

If I choose to listen to my ego I will suffer under the idea they should have done better, that there is no excuse for their behavior.  My ego will hold onto the idea they can go back and make what they did wrong, right. My ego will keep me angry, blaming, judgmental and distant. If I choose to listen to my ego I will throw them out of my life for making a mistake.

If I choose to listen to my heart then I will release the stress that comes from holding onto resentment and anger. My heart knows they cannot go back and make it right. My heart is willing to accept their apology and give them another chance. My heart will carefully watch their behavior. If I choose to listen to my heart I will move on without dragging the pain and disappointment along with me.

Even though my ego tells me that they do not deserve to be forgiven it is my wise heart that reminds me no one is perfect. I want peace and to not feel bad so, I choose to listen to my heart.

Be a Person of Impeccable Character

Today someone wrote asking if I truly walk my talk. It is a valid question and one I appreciate being asked.

To me authentically walking our talk is the greatest accomplishment we can achieve. I cannot imagine a greater goal than being a person of impeccable character.  I have felt this way all of my life because I have been abused or know of people who have been taken advantage of and even sexually violated by people who are considered  teachers, mentors, guides, leaders, etc. Some of the guilty are famous. Sometimes they fall from grace and other times they continue to lead a double life.

Deceiving someone who has faith that you are a good person will never make sense to the higher wisdom of my heart. In fact, I find it self-centered and heart-breaking. To me someone in a position of influence who spreads messages of positivity and wisdom and then abuses others is not worthy of the position with which they have been entrusted. I decided long ago there is no price for which I will betray myself or others.

Regardless what success we achieve as measured by the outside world, remaining in solid alignment with the values of our heart is the loftiest goal. Being respected as people who do walk their talk is worth more than all the money and fame in the world. To me that is true success.

Refuse to Live in Fear

As we see headlines and newscasts about heightened alerts for terrorism worldwide join me in refusing to live in fear. Let’s refuse to be intimidated by the unconscious who want us to be afraid of them.  I am not afraid and I refuse to be bullied by anyone. I refused to be sucked into fear-based media hysteria. I refuse to side with those who continue to believe fighting fire with fire is the way to put out the flames.

Every messenger of peace tells us we must choose a higher way of being than that of the ignorant, disillusioned, and unconscious. With all my heart I believe millions of us throughout the world are beginning to wake up and appreciate that conflict and violence is not the answer.  We are beginning to appreciate that it is impossible for hate to survive heart-light. Let’s lead with our heart and shine brightly in the truth that we are the strong ones by refusing to live in fear. You and I choose to be the peace we want to see. By doing so we will change the world.

Healing is a Journey

Healing is not a “reach one goal” then quit process.  There are layers to taking our power back. 

On my journey of overcoming abuse, judgment and mistreatment I quit biting my finger nails. I quit smoking. I kicked the habit of gossiping, being sarcastic and tearing other people down. I overcame co-dependency. I stopped using foul language. I reclaimed my body. I became financially accountable. I became responsible for my every thought, word and action. I taught myself to stay patiently present in the now. I put ego aside to lead with my heart. I learned to love and respect myself. I learned to set healthy boundaries and forgive.  These are a few of the goals I reached and I am far from finished. 

Part of the fun of this journey, at least for me, is seeing how much more I can discover about myself that needs work.  I believe I am alive to continue to become better, not for anyone other than myself.  That means I do not ever think I’ve achieved enough. It means I continue to intentionally look for and peel away another layer of “not my best” so I get closer to the goal of being whole.

What You Give Out Comes Back to You

I enjoy helping others. I receive immense joy from being of service.  And while I do not think about what I am going to get in return, one of the most satisfying and powerful lessons I’ve learned is that the behavior I put out (positive and negative) does come back to me. Having had enough of the negative I now get up each day determined to put out as much good behavior as possible because every act of caring and kindness it is like putting a karmic “I owe you,” into a positive-energy piggy bank. 

It never fails that when we need a boost or helping hand the loving Divine essence removes one, or two, or three of the karmic “I owe you’s,” and a needed door opens, or a friend offers support, or an unexpected but much needed check arrives. While we get the most satisfaction from remaining focused on helping simply for the joy we receive, there is a great sense of peace, security, and awe when the universe affirms the law of attraction and shakes loose a karmic coin from our positive-energy piggy bank of love.

Life is Sacred in Every Form

When I was young I remember going to the zoo. I would visit the great ape house and sit for a long time in front of a beautiful silver back gorilla. He was all alone in a concrete cell with a tire on a rope, a large ball, and a tiny window way up high. Every time I visited he seemed to be sitting in the same position, never looking around, as if he had been stuffed. But I could see his chest moving up and down as he breathed. 

I wanted more than anything for him to look up so I could let him know he was not alone, that someone cared. He never did and to this day, so many years later, I still remember thinking what it must have felt like to be locked in a cell alone instead of being free to be the magnificent creature he was born to be. I felt his pain and wanted to take it away. Seeing myself in him and him in me is why I have a deep appreciation and respect for all that is alive. 

We are life as all other animals are life. It is spiritually responsible to protect, nurture, respect, and treat all life with compassion and kindness.

Dream Big Then Have Faith

Yesterday my partner and I went to Barnes and Nobel’s bookstore at the Grove here in Los Angeles.  We stood in front of the Self-help section for a long time looking at the different books. We watched people pick through the selves. For a brief moment my heart sank as I tried to wrap my mind around, ‘How people will find my little book among the 100s of others? Why in the world would Barnes and Nobel want to put my picture on a big banner announcing an upcoming book signing?’ A split second after I felt those twinges of fear and doubt I felt peaceful and calm. I remembered the truth that I am not in control. 

You see the only part of this process I was ever in control of was writing. For almost two years I sat down each day and put my heart on paper. But it was not me that got the big named endorsements.  Yes I wrote to them asking for their support but it was the power I call God that touched the heart of those ‘famous’ people. I did not know how to get a publisher. I just knew I wanted to go the traditional publishing route. So God led me to the right publisher. 

It is so easy to look back and see all the doors that are opening to help create the huge dream I have. I feel at peace when I remember that the only power I have is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. My job is to do the work and continue to have faith in that immense power who works on my behalf. There was never any reason for fear because no matter how many books are on the self my little book will be found by those who are meant to find it. 

You are not alone in the dreams you have for yourself.  Your job is to dream BIG, do the hard work, and don’t give up. Then the magnificent, creative and loving power will align with your heart and open every door that you need opened. It will also close those that need closing. Your job is to have faith in the process. You don’t have to know how your dream will come true. You just have to believe with all your heart that it will.

My Crow Friend

There is a crow on our street with a missing wing. It was hit by a car and its wing was torn off. It has been in the neighborhood for about four months unable to fly. Animal control cannot catch it. While it seems to be doing okay on its own I do offer a helping hand. 

Twice a day I look for it and we do the same dance. I go down with bits of crow-healthy food, deposit them on the ground. It runs away then returns to gobble up what I have left. 

I feel blessed to have established a relationship with my new crow friend. It is life as I am life. I respect and honor its right to live. I think it appreciates me too.