Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Honesty Challenge

Recently I came across this great article written by Jami at Phillyfit magazine. It's something I think deserves to be passed along. It's a good read and something to think about.

Honesty really is such lonely word. In my opinion, "honesty" is the new little black dress,
Which leaves no room for little white lies. It's time to hold up a moral magnifying glass to your conscience. Are you being true to yourself? To others? Could your candor ultimately actually affect your health and happiness? Billy Joel was right - honesty is lonely because hardly anyone gravitates towards it. Has it become the big white elephant in a room of hyperbole and near-truths?

My gripe manifests itself on a few different levels, but basically all of these levels narrow down to one sassy problem. I promise not to bore you with why I think it is important to be honest.
We've all grown up with the "golden rule of conduct" force-fed to us by parents and other authority figures. What I am talking about is this: Perhaps it's time you evaluate how much you really do bring to the table. Or for a lot of us, it might be more a question of how much you choose not to bring.

Let me clarify. I know that deep down inside, you know what I mean. No one wants to leave his or her social comfort zone. Maybe I can push you a bit; and I promise you, if you set your
boundaries in the right place, it really does matter in the big scheme of things. It all matters, but how do you make it all matter to you?

What if you were to go away for a week to attend a magical seminar that taught you how to be 100% true blue; no more shortcomings, no more empty promises to those near and dear?
What if there was a magic pill you could give your partner that made him/her STOP lying, and also sucked the Pinocchio out of you? Jim Carey's "Liar Liar" graciously showed us just what a
nightmare it could be. Right? Well, I kind of like the nightmare. In fact, everyday I make it a practice to challenge myself to make it through a full day of total honesty. I'm not kidding. I know you are probably doubting the truth to that…but don't. Any that know me know it's true. This forces me to start saying what I really think, and not necessarily what one might want to hear. I have made a conscious decision to keep it real. Gosh, do I hone in on that almost every pub page or what? I just realized that!

Now, let's get one thing straight. I'm not talking about blatant rudeness. I'm not an advocate for "mean girls" (or guys) everywhere. We all know that there's a delicate balance that has to be
learned, or acquired. At some point though I say enough with, "Wow, I love that outfit on you!" (when you know darned well it makes your BFF'S butt look like J-Lo's butt on steroids), or "I'll be home in fifteen minutes, honey," (when you know even an hour's time would be a stretch). Now, how about really spending forty-five minutes on the treadmill (rather than twenty!) Stop lying to yourself! What happened to those other twenty-five minutes? Come on! We both know that in most instances, sex isn't a (good enough) workout, especially if bedroom cardio only lasts 120 seconds. (Sorry guys!) It takes a commitment to getting fit.

I challenge all of you to do a "Three-Day Liar's Abstinence." Send those little naughty lies you tell everyone (and tell yourself) packin'. On the fourth day you'll see just how it feels to like yourself for being true. My hunch is, you'll find yourself in the driver's seat of life again (rather than grabbing "shot-gun" and pretending like it's good enough). Find that water hose within yourself to tame those pants-of-fire. You may not even have to reach deep to find it. Our culture has trained us to be good liars. We apologize, we fib, we joke, we gossip, because everyone else
does. Or, does it even make us feel better about ourselves somehow? Are we a society obsessed with liars?

The Fox Network thinks so. That's why they've recently launched "THE MOMENT OF TRUTH," a horrid game show where participants answer twenty-one increasingly personal questions honestly, as determined by a polygraph, to win half-a-million dollars. As the prize amount increases, contestants are challenged to 'fess up to matters they might normally lie about! The touchier questions are especially hard to watch because these everyday people reveal their answers in front of their spouses,relatives and friends, hanging on every word. Jeez, did Satan himself pitch this idea to network execs? Didn't we all get our lie detector ya-ya's out when we met the Fockers? I hate to sound nerdy; but, I think I like to be honest because honestly, it makes

"Challenge Doesn't Build Character, It Reveals It" Honestly, I don't know who quoted this first, but when I first heard it, I scribbled it on a piece of paper and posted it to my 'fridge, then I posted another to my bulletin board and on the mirror,there's even one in the glove department of my car. Genius it is!

If a librarian is really rude to you for returning a very overdue book, are you rude back to her? Or, instead, would you kill her with kindness and tell her how much you enjoyed the book? I bet
you, with your honesty, you end up with a librarian showing you to the next rack of books before it's all said and done. Or how about this: a co-worker is obnoxious, and inappropriate to you in
front of others. Do you start horrible rumors about this individual? Or, do you become proactive instead of reactive and maybe take them out for a cup of coffee to talk things through, try to
discuss what is really at the heart of the personal attacks? It might not work to fix your problems right away...but watch! Go home feeling good that at least you gave it an honest try. I bet you end up with a new friend before month's end. If not, honestly, she wasn't worth it then anyway.

Now I know that all of you have to deal with quirky people and their strange, eccentric ways. It's just now that I'm beginning to realize that it's how you handle each situation that makes or
breaks life! It's the split-second choice that you make to be the bigger person. I talked about this in last month's Pub Page…being the bigger person, I hope you "so get it" when I say
that. I'm not talking about being phony or a push over, trust me. I'm talking about reaching inside yourself to find your core. In a sense- working out your core! How fit is your self-confidence and belief system? A very smart Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: "Women are like teabags. You never know their strength until they're in hot water."

There have been a few times in my life where I have sat down and honestly said to myself, "I just can't believe that person really did that, or said that." I often wonder, does the initiator of these lies ever stop to think how much potential harm they are eventually going to bring? Or, do they even care about their own self pride and respect?

I recall a past romantic relationship where I just knew there was something odd about perpetual cell phone etiquette/behavior. I finally got the courage to call back one of the numbers, only to
hear a woman's voice who was as confused as I was. Helloooo! That was the last *69 he ever got! Later Dude!

Another skeleton in my romantic closet, (the one with the padlock), once told me that he had quit "dipping" (chewing tobacco); I was so worried that he might die young and I was so happy to hear him say those words. So, I became hell bent on trying to get him not only to quit, but to be as healthy as possible. I soon came to realize that I was pushing something that he simply wasn't ready for, and perhaps it wasn't even my business anyway, it was his personal challenge I just needed to support. He had lied to me about it, probably to impress me as he knew it bothered a healthnut like me. Quitting wasn't a desire, nor an option for him. He resulted in lying to me for a year about it. He would sneak in the bathroom and then I'd find the evidence all over the sink. Had no clue what it was at first, I confronted him and it wasn't pretty. I
would have rather he said, "Help me I'm weak." I would have had more respect for him. Total respect actually, for being honest. Lies are band-aids that always fall off over time. The scars are
never pretty.

Admittedly, I recall lying about a few things too (my halo is on a lease). My little white lies over time turned gray like dirty winter snow that lingers way too long. Those black ice mountains grew unsightly and tired. I couldn't look at them anymore. From that point on I really did try to make honesty my best policy. It took me years to be honest with myself, even when I thought I was being true, (with regard to what kind of man I wanted). Actually, it took five years of solitude (thank you Ben and Jerry Fudge Brownie Frozen yogurt) to really learn what I needed, and perhaps, what I deserved.

Several years back, while sitting and sweating on the recumbent bike pedaling away, I made a decision (right there, in the quietness of my own thoughts) to make the commitment to be truthful to myself and everyone else. Forever! Personally speaking, there is something about being able to sleep better at night. You won't find Ambien in my home. So take me up on my challenge, try the


"Three-Day Liar's abstinence" and email me if you're feeling weak. I swear, dieting is way harder than committing to telling the truth. Like pounds, you may lose a few friends, you may gain some too, or you may find that current relationships will intensify. It's scary, but I dare you to try it. You might like what you get out of it in the end. In fact, I recently told someone very close to me that it sort of becomes easy and natural. I'd be too badly disappointed in myself to bother to lie anymore. I don't even have time to think of a good lie, let alone execute one these days (with my little seven-month-old Nannah-pie in the picture.) As for me? Honesty really isn't such a lonely word anymore. If my personal trainer is reading this, I'm sorry, but I can't do one more crunch this week. Yep, Jami Lynn Appenzeller-Yancey flakes out from time to time. Honestly, I'm not perfect.



· Thank someone in your family for being honest.
· Take criticism from a supervisor/boss well and try not to retort or be defensive.
Maybe you do need some improvement. We all do.
· Tell your parents or a loved one about a mistake you made in the past.
· Tell the truth when you've done something wrong - don't wait too long.
· Express your real feelings without anger, without blaming others, without
exaggerating, and without hurting the feelings of someone else.
· Turn in something that is lost and encourage others to do the same.
· Admit a mistake or error in judgment you have made and apologize to anyone
it might have affected.
· Be truthful with your friends and thank them for being truthful with you.
· When you ask someone to be honest with you, don't get angry with them if
their honesty isn't what you wanted to hear.
· Look yourself in the mirror at the end of the night and ask,"Am I being honest
with myself emotionally, physically, etc?"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What is love?


Photobucket

I read an article about love today which I found so true. I agree with what was written because personally I think as a society we have gotten away from the real meaning of love. We seem to think if everythings not perfect then its not love but that's not the meaning of love. Love isn't about perfection in fact the truest, most real love is found only when we can see the imperfection in another and love them in spite of it.

Love is not about finding this perfect person that society and hollywood likes to make us believe exists. Essentially love has nothing to do with looks, money, what one does for a living, where they live,what car they drive, what they own, etc, or any of that other superficial stuff that people list when describing their perfect person. Think about it all that stuff can change instantly, looks fade or can change because of unforeseen events, no ones health is guaranteed, people lose their job and money everyday,accidents happen,etc so if we constantly base love on those things what happens when they change?

I don't believe in love at first sight because I don't believe anyone can possibly know someone well enough to have such a knowingness about another. I think its more lust at first sight which most people mistake for love. Love isn't something that just develops overnight. Its not something you jump into just because you feel a little sexual attraction or the person gives you the butterflies. Real love takes time to form, to grow, it requires spending time with another,really getting to know someone. Going through good times and bad times together. And I'm not saying that love doesn't involve attraction to another because it does but often times the attraction can't be explained. Its usually an attraction on many levels as opposed to just looks if that makes sense.

And at the heart of most great relationships is a deep friendship, a best friend because without that its like trying to build a house on sand. When love is real it doesn't fade away, can't be divorced away, or broken up with. It grows stronger with time. Love can last a lifetime but its up to us to do the work and nurturing required to create such a lifetime relationship. Personally I'm tired of hearing how high the divorce rate is and about people giving up on relationships because they got a little tough, or required a little work. Romance fades if you don't nurture it, if you don't make time for someone or spend quality time together.

Being that I'm in the middle of working on something at the moment, I don't have time to comment any further but I've copied some of the excerpts from the article below in bold.

Love is not easy. Love is not supposed to be all picnics and heart shaped brownies. There are times when it's down right draining and difficult. But it's those times that help you appreciate what you have. Just because you might fight or disagree doesn't mean you are not good together. And, for the love of God, don't ever fool yourself into believing gooey, fortune-cookie inspired drivel like "Love means never having to say you're sorry."


No one has ever loved meAs deeply as you.
No one has truly shown me.
What love could be like until now:
Not pretty or safe or easy.
But more than I ever knew.
Love within reason -That isn't love.
And I've learned that from you.


I think people think that love should fit some cookie cutter, fiction-inspired mold. Great dates, fun conversations, great sex, lots of laughs. That's not love. That's romance. What sustains a relationship is sometimes the hard stuff. The bad times. Because the harder you work for something, the more you realize how much it means to you. The more you value it.

"Okay! I get it! It's hard work. I'm ready!"Really? Are you ready? Are you ready to turn your whole life over to someone else? Are you ready to put your dreams aside to make room for someone else's? Are you ready to shelve that idea of "perfection" and re-define it? Are you ready to let go of your preconceived notions of what you believe to be your perfect person? Are you ready to tell someone how you really feel without worrying if they're going to leave you? Are you ready to fight and disagree and worry about someone other than yourself?

This idea that love should be "fun" is the exact reason why so many people are single. There's a lot of people out there confusing "romance" with "love." They're getting caught up in the courtship aspect and not prepared for the commitment part. Commitment isn't just about fidelity. It's also about stamina. No, not that kind of stamina. I'm talking about longevity.I've brought these examples up so many times, and I'll do it again. My Dad used to carry my Mom from room to room so that she could see us open presents of Christmas Day. He slept on a cot in our porch so he could be near her at night. He didn't withdraw, he didn't run, he didn't detach when she got sick or changed. He didn't quit because it stopped being "fun."

My sister laid next to her husband while he took his last breath. Do you have any idea what kind of commitment that takes? To sit there and watch your lover literally die in front of your eyes? That's love. It wasn't pretty or safe or easy. It can be painful and ugly. You want love? Be ready to get your hands dirty. Be ready to get bruised and a little battered. Stop expecting it to be that fairy tale you read about as a child.

Amen I could not have said it any better myself. And I might add to that, that if you want real love give up the notion that theres some perfect person out there waiting for you because no ones perfect. Give up the mental lists in your head of whose ideal for you, give up any deal breakers you might hold in your mind, give up the physical images you think your ideal person must have, give up all your expectations, let it all go. Clear your mind and heart be open to what life brings your way and has to offer you. Love could very well be right next to you if you just open your heart and mind to it! And don't forget like anything else love takes nurturing and work to make it grow,to make it strong, to make it happy, and to make it last!





Wednesday, January 2, 2008

12 Laws of Karma

KARMA

THE GREAT LAW
As you sow, so shall you reap. This is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect. Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us. If what we want is happiness, peace, friendship, love...then we should BE happy, peaceful, loving, a friend. Negative energy sent out to others will come back to you 10 fold.

THE LAW OF CREATION
Life doesn't just HAPPEN, it requires our participation. We are one with the Universe both inside and out. Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state. BE and DO yourself what you want to have in your life
.

THE LAW OF HUMILITY
What you refuse to accept, will continue for you. If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence
.

THE LAW OF GROWTH
Wherever you go, there you are. For us to GROW in Spirit it is WE who must change and not the people, places or things around us. The only given we have in our lives is OURSELVES,and that is the only factor we have control over. When we change who and what we are within our heart, our life changes too.


THE LAW OF RESPONSIBILITY
Whenever there is something wrong, there is something wrong in me. We mirror what surrounds us and what surrounds us mirrors us: we must take responsibility for what is in our life.


THE LAW OF CONNECTION
Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected. Each step leads to the next step and so forth and so on. Someone must do the initial work to get a job done. Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance-they were both needed to accomplish the task. Past, Present, Future...they are all connected.

THE LAW OF FOCUS
You can't think of two things at the same time. You should climb up a ladder on step at a time. When you lose your focus you let in insecurities and anger.

THE LAW OF GIVING AND HOSPITALITY
If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate that truth. Here is where we put what we SAY that we have learned into

PRACTICE.THE LAW OF HERE AND NOW
Looking back to examine what was prevents us from being totally in the HERE AND NOW. Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams...Prevent us from having new ones.

THE LAW OF CHANGE
History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.

THE LAW OF PATIENCE AND REWARD
All Rewards require initial toil. Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil. True joy follows doing what we're suppose to be doing,and waiting for the reward to come in it's own time.

THE LAW OF SIGNIFICANCE AND INSPIRATION
You get back from something whatever you've put into it. The value of something is a direct result ofthe energy and intent that is put into it. Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole. Lack luster contributions have no impact on the whole or work to diminish it.
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