Reflection

There are often times when I wonder what I would tell a younger version of myself. I think about all the things that would help me have the upper hand, all the beauty tips that would make me prettier, all the food I shouldn’t be eating, all the courage I should fake towards bullies, all the times that I shouldn’t have shut my mouth and more importantly, all the times I should.  

As I think about this question more and more, one word sticks out, more and more.
This one word of advice gives you a powerful key in the world, it gives you the upper hand, educates you, makes you prettier, healthier, stronger, hands you top secret information and enters you into a secret underground world of truth into the minds of others.
What is this magical word?
LISTEN!
Yes, listen. It really is that simple. Think about it, yes especially the ‘mouth almighty’s’ out there, what good does non-stop talking do? What do you learn about others? What help do you give others? What other view can you gain if all that is being heard are YOUR opinions, YOUR beliefs, YOUR point of views or YOUR secret recipes? 
None.  
What friend can seek solace in opening up to you about their troubles and worries if you won’t let them finish a sentence!
What knowledge can you gain against your enemies if you constantly lay out a blueprint to your mind instead?
What can you learn if all you do is repeat what you have learned so far?
What respect can you gain if others feel that their say isn’t important around you?
Listen. Listen and learn.  
Stop interrupting. Stop picking up your phone when someone is talking to you. Stop listening only to wait for your turn to speak. Stop going on and on and on!
Now before I go any further, I would like to admit that I am quite the chatterbox, I always want to give my opinion or help someone with advice from knowledge I have gained. However, I have learnt to listen. I have learnt to activate a switch in my head and send a signal that says ‘shhhhh, just listen, forget what you are bursting to say and REALLY LISTEN.  
If you want people to actually listen to you then you have to give people respect and value what they have to say too.  
I learn a lot about people by listening. I learn who they are in between their words. I learn their strength in between their sorrows, I learn their weaknesses in between their excuses, I learn their compassion in between their fussing. I get to see some extraordinary qualities that I would miss if I did not shut my trap for once and pay attention (N.B. Paying attention is the most important part). I would also miss some ignorant qualities, some qualities that make me realise that that person is not who I held them to be. Most importantly I get to know someone, I get to walk in their shoes and learn their stories. Good or bad I’m grateful that they want to share them with me and I’m grateful that I paid attention and listened to them.
Thanks for listening pride!

Because you are.

How many times have you been driving and you stop to let someone go and they don’t go?  You just sit there waiting for them to appreciate your kindness and they seem oblivious.  So you tut and sigh and perhaps curse and say something along the lines of ‘well I’m not waiting here all day’ or ‘you’ve lost your chance now’ as you drive on irritated with them.

Or perhaps you bump into someone and immediately say sorry, the other person then looks at you and tuts or gives you a dirty look, perhaps even a stern ‘look where you are going next time’, and you instantly get annoyed, maybe even shout after them ‘well if you weren’t standing in the middle of the aisle’ or maybe even something worse?

How many times have you tried to be kind to someone but they are rude back and then you enter in to an argument with that person, you know full well it is their fault because you tried to be the better person?

Perhaps you have tried to be nice and then an argument has escalated and perhaps that person has gone as far as to push you.  To hit you even.  So, you of course hit back.  They started it, you were trying to resolve the issue?

What has happened in all of these circumstances is you have placed expectations on other people to act how you want them to act.  To do as you think they should do.  You have based who you are on their actions and when they haven’t acted as you expected them to you have become defensive and angry.

Now before I go any further I must point out that we are all human and therefore we will all have good days and bad days and sometimes do right and sometimes do wrong, but, if we can understand our behaviour then we can at least learn from it.  If you are a respectful person – or pride yourself to be – then you should be respectful always, not just when someone is respecting you.  You don’t have to tolerate disrespect and you certainly don’t have to match disrespect.  If you are a kind person, be kind always, don’t excuse cruel behaviour by blaming someone else.  Just because someone is cruel to you it doesn’t justify you matching that behaviour.

Be who you want to be, be the person that you think it is right to be.  If you want to be kind then you must be kind when challenged, when pushed, when provoked.  You always have the choice to close your mouth, hold your hands by your side or walk away.

Preaching that you are a type of person and then letting that be determined by someone else’s attitude is not being true to the person you say you are.  The person you want to be.

The other day I could feel myself getting irritated with a man on the train, I was tired and had a headache and I was in the middle of reading a really good book and this man was talking so loudly on the phone.  He was trying to get through to someone presumably talking to a receptionist first.  I looked over at the man and could feel myself wanted to shoot him an irritated look but I stopped myself, I stopped for a moment and thought ‘Rachel, it is your own fault you are wound up with this man, we have been underground for some time and he might need to make this call, stop being so rude’.  This was the telling off I gave myself.  I tried to go back to my book but couldn’t concentrate so decided to wait patiently until the man was off the phone.  A few seconds later I heard him say ‘yes sorry I haven’t been at work my mother passed away this weekend and I’ve taken a few days off but I will be back tomorrow and can sort it then’.  He then had to repeat it several times as the person on the other end of the phone clearly couldn’t hear him, which was perhaps why he was talking loudly in the first place.  Well didn’t I just feel like a prize idiot.  This man is grieving and trying to sort out his work in the meantime and here I am annoyed because I can’t concentrate.  In that moment I was so thankful that I observed my thoughts and took responsibility for my actions.

You never know what someone is going through or why they are acting out.  The angry woman shouting from her car, the man that bumps into you without saying sorry, the miserable cashier, you just don’t know why they are acting that way and by you being nice, or patient or just polite, you may be helping them more than you know.  More than even they know.

So be nice because you are nice.  Be kind because you are kind.  Be respectful because you are respectful.  Just because YOU are those things, be them.

Kindly respecting all of my lovely Pride.

Because it’s the best way to be!

(Photo from anonymous source – Facebook)

The closer you get to all of these the more free and in control you will feel.  Doors will open, lights will shine and you will embrace everything with open arms.  Even if it’s scary, go for it, be you!
Lovin you for you Pride!

Ruthlessly forgiving.

Forgiveness is about you, not the other person. If someone has disrespected you, hurt you, wronged you or treated you in a way that you don’t deserve it is important to be able to forgive them and not hold on to any anger, however, that doesn’t mean they deserve a place in your life. That doesn’t mean you have to allow them your time or company. That is for you to assess yourself. It is not about holding a grudge or being stubborn, it is about you having standards and boundaries. It is about establishing who deserves your time and who doesn’t. You can love someone without being near them or giving them any time at all. If they do not appreciate you for the magnificent being that you are then why are you wasting your time? Why are you using your energy on them instead of someone who will appreciate you. 
You don’t have to go cutting a load of people out of your life but it’s helpful to observe those that are around you and how they treat you, without anger, without resentment, without expectation. Just know what you will and will not tolerate and make no exception! Forgive those who wrong you because they cannot possibly see what is in front of them. But they will, eventually, whether you know it or not…..but that’s none of our business!
Only accepting the best for ourselves Pride!

Build it your way

There is no ‘right way’ or ‘wrong way’ of doing anything.  There is only the  way it feels right or wrong to you.  There is no higher power saying you must get all A*’s on your school exams or you will be a failure.  There is no higher power saying you must eat with your fork in your left hand or you have no manners and there is no higher power saying you must work for someone else all your life, get married and have children before you are able to relax for 20 years.

There is also no higher power saying that any of the above are wrong.  See where I am going?  Everything we see in society has been created by other humans and we then try to fit in to that way to feel established.  But that isn’t a way of establishing yourself, that is a way of establishing someone else’s influence or idea of ‘right’.

Now I am going to give you some advice but please, feel free to dismiss it, because again, it might not be right for you:

DO WHATEVER YOU FEEL TO DO

Follow your heart, follow your dreams.  Don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.  Anything can be done.  There is no rule book.  There is no set way of doing things.  The only real thing we do know is that:

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

Apply yourself freely to what you love and you shall reap reward.

Be kind to others and you will create a kinder world.

Love conquers all.

There is no such thing as failure, only a chance to learn.

All of these things need to be remembered.  You do not have to be earning a certain amount by a certain age to be deemed successful.

You do not have to have a 9-5 job to be taken seriously.

You do not have to meet someone and settle down to be considered loveable

You do not have to love women, or men, or both or for that matter, neither.  You should love who you  love (I must question the woman who fell in love with a tree though, but hey, each to their own).

You can create any life you want and by never forgetting that you are a living example to others and you will help them live a free life true to themselves.  Fear is the only thing stopping us so let’s be brave and be everything we want to be.  We are all headed out of this life the same way, don’t spend it following the herd!

Here’s to living Pride!

Live live live!

Follow your heart.  If it feels right then it is the right path for you to take, don’t worry about the money, don’t worry about what others think and don’t wait for something better, live now.  Don’t miss out on something good because it’s not the way you imagined it, keep your expectations relaxed and your standards high and the world will treat you right! 

Keep going!

(photo from anonymous source – Facebook)

So often success is an image that you buy into, it doesn’t mean you are not close just because somebody else seems like they have made it.  Focus on your own journey and be inspired by others, not put off by them!

Executive Performance Review

I have recently been reading about the power of the mind and how to utilise your thoughts. It’s always good to read and learn fresh tools and information when trying to grow or work towards something. One thing I have been reading about in particular is about faith in our own subconscious and it really stood out to me so I thought perhaps it would be a message that others also needed to hear.

I truly believe our thoughts shape our world and our intuition guides us. Every time I have followed my intuition something valuable has happened and every time I have been the master of my thoughts I have been productive or had a good experience. I also believe that knowing what you want and focusing on it helps bring it closer to you. You don’t need to stress about the how’s or the what if’s, just have a clear goal and an open mind and the path will be laid before you. The goal just has to be clear, not necessarily specific. If you don’t know what you want to do then focus on success and happiness. Or perhaps you do know what you are here on earth to do, perhaps you dream of saving lives, so focus on that stethoscope around your neck and the feeling of saving lives. Whatever it is, focus on the feeling you desire from it.

When we have a goal in mind and we spend our time worrying about how it will happen or the obstacles in our way we are not giving room to the powers of our subconscious and the connection to the universe. Of course we still have to be pro-active and take steps towards the things that we want but it is important not to force the way.

Back to my reading, so I was reading about the idea of being a ‘good executive’. A good executive delegates tasks to their team and trusts that they will be done on time and to a high standard. A bad executive delegates tasks to their team and then stands over each person telling them how it should be done.

It is the same with your thoughts. If you have asked for something then you should trust your subconscious to create opportunities manifest for you and be alert for when they arrive. If you constantly question it’s work with: ‘Will I ever make it?’ ‘It’s too hard!’ ‘How will I ever get the things I want?’ Then you are standing over the shoulder of the powers that are helping you. Learn to have faith in the universe/god/the creator – whoever or whatever you believe to be a higher power and instead turn your attention on ways forward. Shine your shoes in preparation to walk through many new doors, clean your glasses in preparation of reading and studying, open your eyes to be able to see and smile at more people. The world is on your side, if you think that way.

Don’t lose that faith. You will be tested for patience, patience is a very important quality, it shows you have faith in what is coming, so if you are an impatient person be prepared to have that tested until you learn patience and unwavering faith.

Speak to like-minded people and avoid negativity, if the people around you believe that the world is hard and nobody ever lives the life they dream of then stay clear of them, or at least learn to tune them out. Send them well wishes and pray for them to believe in themselves. Then let those comments pass.

So this week we can all step into the role of Executive Director of our own minds and lets trust this magnificent team in our heads to deliver!

Happy Monday Pride!

Do it how you want it!

(photo from anonymous source – Facebook)

Pretend you are the person that you want to be, that you dream of being.  The only thing stopping you being that person is you acting differently.  Stop watching other people, stop worrying about them watching you.  Watch yourself and enjoy the view!

Keep to your word

How many times have you said one of the following:

  • I am going to eat healthy
  • I am going to exercise today
  • I am going to stop smoking
  • I am going to clear out this room in the house
  • I am going to chase my dreams tomorrow

How many times have you found a reason not to stick to the thing you have promised yourself?

How many times is it for one of the following reasons:

  • I’m too busy
  • I’m too tired
  • I can just do it tomorrow
  • I had to help one of my friends
  • I need to wait until I’m in the right frame of mind
  • It won’t make a difference
  • I don’t really want to change

You are the only person that can control your world and each time you make an excuse as to why you aren’t going to do something that YOU want to do you are holding yourself back. There is a simple way to fix this and the formula is below:

Decide to do something – Do It – If it feels hard – Still do it – If you feel tired – Just do it anyway – I you feel like giving up – Don’t.

You have to stand strong. Imagine you are telling off a child who is about to draw on the wall the conversation might go something like this:

you: Don’t you even think about drawing on that wall.

Child: (Goes to draw on wall).

You: I’m warning you, don’t draw on that wall.

Child: (Looks at wall thinking about what to do).

You: If you draw on that wall you won’t be allowed any treats.

Child: (Still goes to draw on wall)

You: (Take crayons off of child and send them to the naughty step).

Imagine the child is the part of your mind trying to give in to the easy option, the one saying ‘it can all start tomorrow, don’t worry about today’. You have to activate your ‘parent’ voice. Don’t let that child draw on the wall – Don’t let yourself de-commit to your self promises. You won’t gain ANYTHING from doing so. But you will gain SO much from standing strong and doing the things that you say you are going to do. It will start to become a habit that you are motivated and you will find it easier and easier to stick to your goals.

Be that person. Just be it. No saying ‘yeh but’, no lame excuses, no dramatic reasons why you can’t. Just. Do. It.

Separating the winners, Pride, oh won’t you climb with me!