Posted in Uncategorized

To Turn the Tables

You may be wondering what this blog is about when you initially come across the title.  My hope is that you find yourself super inspired and are able to relate it to your experience in life. The inspiration to this topic is born out of my own frustration of expectations that don’t play out the way you…. Ahh…. well…expected. The subject of expectations could take us on a worldwide tour in some cases, especially once you have lived long enough to experience let downs.

What am I talking about here?

Alright so here goes my best effort to explain. One of my biggest frustrations in life has been expectations gone wrong! As humans we do have expectations of certain people in our lives. Countless times I have found myself feeling disappointed when it seemed that someone I looked up to did not share the same idea.  It may initially be going somewhere within the interaction yet the tendency is that it generally falls short  and one realises that the other party was not on the same page or they may have had a different agenda.  These expectations may be as simple as someone walking past and saying “hello”. It may extend a little further with a generous minute of conversation with them. If by chance that precious minute extends to a genuine conversation whereby you sense that the other party is truly interested in knowing you, then that turns into a bonus!

Life is busy! No doubt I may have unintentionally walked past someone and failed to acknowledge them. It does take effort to step out of your comfort zone and talk with someone you may never have had a conversation with. Let’s face it we do all like our comfort zones, right? However,

We all crave connection.

So where does ‘turning the tables’ come into this conversation? Having heard this reference spoken of in conversation, I decided to look it up for a clearer understanding of what it means:  Turning the tables as cited in: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/turn+the+tables

“To change a situation so that someone’s position is the opposite of what it was”

In my case I made a decision to do the opposite of what I had been doing. To challenge myself to another level of thinking and perspective! Rather than having expectations on others I decided a while ago to turn the tables! My heart told me that if I felt the same disappointment in a social situation or with a particular person then there had to be others who felt the same. This moved me into a zone of “others” rather than “self”. As the saying goes, you “put yourself in another person’s shoes” so to speak. It gives you an inside story to how you can meet the needs of others. With intention I decided that it was time to do my best to offer others that which I had been seeking for myself.  This change in perspective has opened up a whole new world for me.

 It has been such a revelation to realise that in fact others experience the same let downs that I have.

It is so much more rewarding when you decide to be to others what you would have always wanted for yourself! When we are hang up on waiting for what we are expecting to receive from others we can become sorely disappointed. In the disappointment we tend to do the same to those people in our circle. We can be so focused on people that are unreachable that we end up doing the same to people who may want to connect with us. It is quite the cycle.

The truth is humans do disappointment! We all fall short on many occasions, whether it is intentional or not.

My guess is most of us crave the same things, we all desire true connections with genuinely interested persons. In some instances we do lose our focus and perhaps fall into the trap of idolising another person at the expense of not seeing who may be there waiting in our circle.

As I made the choice to ‘turn the tables’ of this disappointing cycle of let downs it has opened my eyes and heart to those around me. To those that do want to have a conversation. It has helped me to connect with others better. It has allowed me to fill in the gaps of another person’s life and in turn it has filled in mine.

It’s all about perspective! When we ‘turn the tables’ off our own interest onto others it gives back to you everything that you thought you were missing out on. In other words it becomes a WIN WIN situation for everyone involved.

Let’s turn those tables and start winning, excuse the pun but Winners are Grinners!!!!

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Once Upon a Time I lived as The Queen of Quit

The Queen of quit used to be my name. I love the title as it describes me so well at various times of my life. I lived as a Queen in charge over a kingdom full of excuses.

My life revolved around mastering the art of quitting by using these excuses!

You could say that my mastery of learning to quit began at school when I was very young. I did not have the ability to speak the English language. This meant that when I started going to school I was unable to communicate with other kids or with the teachers. It was a very difficult time for me. Obviously young school aged kids would have wondered what was wrong with me at my lack of talking. I suppose they tried to get something out of me by teasing me? The location of the school was in a convenient place only a small walk across a field from home. There were several occasions in which I decided that being at school was just too hard so I escaped and ran to my safe haven! School scared me on most days as I was confronted by kids that I could not understand, however, I knew when they were making fun of me. My mum was met with much resistance from me on those days when she walked me back to school.

Eventually I picked up on the language and was able to manage better at school, however I still hated school. School made me feel uncomfortable. I would have preferred to just stay at home where it felt safer. School requires you to participate in activities such as sport or musicals. Occasionally one would be asked to stand up in front of the class and talk. Anything that required me to come out of hiding put me on edge. Anxiety and worry was my middle name. I feared being singled out and having the possibility of being made fun of again. This ensured that my choice in activities was always very limited and safe.

In the midst of the hiding I longed and ached to live freely. Like most kids I had dreams about what I wanted to be when I grew up. These dreams shifted between being a famous roller skater to a dancer.  I loved dancing in the backyard of our family home. Looking back on those days perhaps those dreams shared a common theme. A theme of expressing oneself freely!

Once I moved into adulthood the art of quitting continued. It surprises me to this day how I didn’t get sacked from job positions when I consider how many days off I took! If I woke up in the wrong mood or felt unable to go to work then I would call in sick. Living by my feelings was also another hindrance.

Then I got married! There is probably hundreds of blogs I could write about marriage. Marrying someone guarantees change, especially when the person you marry is of an opposite personality to yourself. Not only is my husband the complete opposite of me, he too had a lot of emotional baggage. Our marriage was a war zone for the first year. We clashed so much. If ever there was an opportunity to quit it would have been then. However, something in both of us kept us going and we have been walking and working through issues for years.

Having a baby began to change the lack of discipline that I had. A bad mood was no longer an excuse as there was no option but to get up and look after the baby.  Babies tend to get your attention and they most certainly will not quit until you meet their need. Please note that I am not saying to go and have babies to solve a discipline problem 🙂 it just so happens that getting married and having children began to move me into action. All in all I have had five amazing children.

Resistance in life is familiar to me. If it wasn’t the resistance that I felt about myself then it was the resistance of circumstances that have tried me to the maximum. There are too many stories to share on this particular blog to give you an understanding of some of the trials that life has bought my way. Let’s just say having walked through those trials has made me a stronger person. My circumstances may not be as ideal as I would have hoped for yet persistence has taken over where quitting used to live.

Quitting always sounds like a good option when faced with resistance. The trouble is when you quit you are giving up on the future that is waiting for you. Your future purpose may take longer than you expect yet it will happen at the right time. It has taken me years to grow and become determined to resist the urge to quit.

Never would I have dreamed that it could be possible for me to undertake studying for a bachelor in psychology. My grades in school were very average and in some subjects below average. University was not even a consideration! Having completed 9 units out of 24 with good grades has changed my perspective. Sometimes you need to succeed in something so that you can turn your thinking from failure to success. What is the worst that can happen if something doesn’t go to plan? If you never give it a shot you have no idea what you are capable of!

We are not always met with success however it is only in hardship we grow the most. Your character is built during the hard times. It is that character that will keep you grounded when the good times arrive.

I had a name change and now live as  the  Queen of Persistence!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized

Be Beautiful

No doubt many of you have heard the saying “beauty is more than skin deep”.  So what does beauty look like beyond the skin that covers us all?

For those of you that have read my earlier blog posts you would be familiar with my journey of struggling with low self-esteem. In my struggle I was always consumed with how I looked and how others viewed me. If my hair did not look perfect it would ruin my whole entire day!!! Not Kidding!!! There was no peace in my heart only anguish and pain.

The truth is the average female is never going to compete with a photo shopped super model on a magazine cover.

As an audience we are presented with the magazine cover while having no clue  to the many hours of hard work it took for that one perfect shot!

The movies, magazines and t.v. portray “The Beautiful Woman” as someone who is physically attractive.  They are equipped with the perfect teeth, hair, figure, clothes and lifestyle. “The Beautiful Woman” is depicted as someone that walks into a room causing chaos amongst a mesmerised crowd gazing at this amazing flawless female specimen. Imagine for a moment if thought bubbles were visible displaying individual’s thoughts as this beautiful woman walked into the room. The thoughts could read something like this:

“Who is that incredibly good looking woman?”

 “Oh I hope my husband isn’t looking at her, if he does, he is going to cop it when we get home”

“Oops I better not look too long or everyone else will notice that I am looking”

“There goes my effort at looking good tonight”

 

In a scenario such as the one I have described, the focus tends to be on the looks of that beautiful woman. Is anyone interested in wanting to know about her as a person? As in whom she really is on the inside? Her journey in life the struggles and triumphs!

Most people would get stuck at that point and not know how to go beyond those amazing looks to get to know her as a person. After all, this beautiful woman is a human just like everyone else.

What about if someone in the crowd decided they were going to approach this beautiful woman to get to know her? A brave person decides to have a conversation and they find out that while she is stunning in the looks department there is something about her attitude that is ugly suddenly shifting the focus off the looks to her as a person.  The ugliness takes over at that point! She still has the good looks however the brave person realises that she is not someone they want to associate with.

On the other hand imagine this beautiful woman having a beautiful heart!

A beautiful heart goes a long way. As females we can get so consumed with trying to look good on the outside forgetting about how we present ourselves as a person.  We make choices every day about how we are going to react in situations. We can be self-centred or others focused. We can be stingy or generous with our money and time. We can be rude or polite. We can ignore how our behaviour may affect others or we can choose to think before we speak or act. We can be unforgiving and resentful or we can choose to forgive anyway!

A person will always be remembered for how they make others feel not so much about how good looking they were. As you grow older your looks change year after year. Now that I am older and travelling through this midlife season in life I am noticing that it is more important to keep my heart right. Midlife can be such a challenging season so it is worth investing into “being beautiful” earlier rather than later.

In no way am I saying to ignore your looks and just let it all go! I am saying to “Be Beautiful” as a person. When faced with situations think about how you will respond?

People will want to hang around you when you are “being a beautiful” person.

True and lasting beauty starts and continues from the inside out!

Posted in Uncategorized

Please turn that noise off !!

The Merriam Webster dictionary has three simple definitions for the word Noise.

  1. A loud or unpleasant sound.
  2. A sound that someone or something makes.
  3. Unwanted electronic signals that harm the quality of something (such as a radio, or television broadcast or a digital photograph).

When you read the full definition of the word noise the Merriam Webster dictionary emphasises noise as being unpleasant and unwanted.

Normally we don’t pay much attention to sounds. Turn a sound into something unpleasant or loud however, will guarantee a response.  Noise can be a huge distraction as much as it can send our imagination wild.

An imagination gone wild moment comes to mind for my sister and me. One day we had decided that we would sleep under a cubby house that we had built. The cubby house was a single bed with a mattress. We covered it over with bed sheets and slide under the bed. There was not much room to move around as you can imagine and instead of looking up to see stars we saw metal springs from the bed frame. These metal springs were very close to us. Our determination and excitement kept us under that small space until we actually fell asleep. All of a sudden we woke up to noise that was coming from the front porch located right next to the bedroom window. The first thought was that a burglar was trying to get in. All I can remember was a sudden surge of panic under that bed! In our distress we got our mums attention and our hair stuck in the springs. Our mum walked in on our dilemma after hearing a lot of noise and asked what was going on? After telling her what we heard she went on to say it was just the weekly soft drink delivery.  We immediately relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the day. Noise has a way of telling a story when we are not expecting it to turn up especially at night in the dark.

How about those precious moments when you need total quietness and suddenly a loud noise interrupts everything you are doing? All you can think about is the noise. That happened to me last year as I was studying for an exam. With a house full of adult children and an eight year old it is not easy to find places that are quiet at home. On that particular morning I had tried every room with an effort to find a quite space. So I caved in and went upstairs to our bedroom which I usually avoid in summer as it gets too hot. However I was desperate to get more study done. I am not kidding as soon as I put all my equipment down on the floor and began reading notes a massive noise started outside my window. That usually NEVER happens! Why now I thought? It was impossible to study quietly when all I could hear was the sounds of machinery cutting down big trees over the road.

Noise can be very disruptive. How about the noise we have in our thoughts on certain days or in certain situations? It is interesting to note that the third definition for noise is: Unwanted electronic signals that harm the quality of something. When I was younger I had too many of those unwanted signals going on in my thought life. There is nothing more frustrating than having a desire to do something with your life and all you get are distractions! Harmful signals that keep coming into your thoughts causing interference. As a young person I considered those thoughts normal. They became so familiar to me that I really didn’t know any different. Yet they were very disruptive in every single area of my life. These thoughts were attached to something deeper. Once I began dealing with hurtful situations the less frequent they became. That has allowed me to have more quality in my life and my relationships. Hurtful situations can happen anytime. I find that even after all these years of resolving issues new ones turn up. I then have a choice whether I want to deal with them or ignore them. While it is important to deal with past hurts we must not forget to deal with current ones. Hurts turn into noise which become both distracting and interfering. Let’s do a heart tune up and get a pleasant sound happening once again.

Posted in Uncategorized

Taking Short Cuts

When I think about short cuts the first thought that comes to mind are those moments when you are running late and need to be somewhere right now. You might be stuck in traffic that is gridlocked so in panic mode your brain switches into speed dial analysing all possible short cuts available in your current location. If by chance a short cut is possible your day is saved! You just bypassed every other commuter and were able to get to your appointment saving you the embarrassment of being late.

In life we find ourselves having to wait in many instances. We wait in queues until it is our turn. We might be waiting for the bus, a friend, or news about a job application. Mums to be wait nine long months before they get to see their baby. Waiting equals time! Our modern world has found ways to save time. You only need to think about the time saved with micro waves, clothes dryers, hair dryers, internet banking and shopping just to name a few time savers. Much of what we do today can be done from home saving time with home deliveries to doctor’s visits. We love saving time that way we can get more done. It sounds quite logical and reasonable why not save time when you can.

There are however areas of life that require patience which equals time. As humans we are not so good at waiting when it requires longer time. So we may become impatient and start looking for those short cuts. We might be unwilling to wait for our marriage to get better so we give up too quickly and take a short cut into another relationship before we have even given our marriage a chance at surviving. Perhaps we don’t have the patience to give ourselves time to heal after a broken heart and start a new relationship with all of the old hurts still attached. Or we may take short cuts by blaming other people for all the pain we feel yet fail to take time to recognise that we are hurting ourselves by not dealing with issues of the heart such as forgiveness, resentment, anger, disappointment, shame or guilt.

When it comes to broken body parts we are quite accepting that it is going to take time to heal. If you break an arm for example a doctor will plaster it up to restrict movement giving ample time for healing. You may feel annoyed at the inconvenience it causes yet you are aware that it needs to be done in order to have full use of your arm again.

In my life time I have had many temptations to take a short cut out when my marriage was struggling with issues. It seems that those temptations usually always appear when you are vulnerable to them. Thankfully in our case both of us were willing to sort through the hard stuff to get to a much better place which took plenty of time. In relationships you need to take time to communicate, forgive, be real and honest, talk about those tough topics, listen, give, understand and not quit on each other at the first sign of trouble.

Modern day has been very inventive in saving us time let’s however recognise those areas in our lives that need time without the short cuts. Let’s not get impatient with others or ourselves, after all relationships are valuable just as much as you are valuable.  A broken arm reaps the benefits of time inside plaster similarly your life and relationships will reap benefits when you allow more time to consider the real issues and begin working on them. If an arm were to remain broken imagine the pain and problems you would endure! Why do we do that to ourselves and others?   Don’t live broken forever as that is time lost. Gain more precious time by taking less short cuts and being courageous enough to face those issues of the heart.