What have you done NOW?



Just wondering…

Most of us spend a lot of time alone in our heads. Sometimes we talk to ourselves. Sometimes it isn’t so much words in our head, as images, smells, sounds, and ideas swirling around. We run through checklists of things we need to remember. We rehash arguments or incidents in our head. Whether we’re in the shower, driving, waiting in the elevator, or running on the treadmill, we often have plenty of time to be thinking. But what are we thinking about?

For me, most of the time I’m thinking about things I have to do. Another good percentage of the time, I’m sitting in the pool of the past and thinking about things that have already gone by. It’s all well and good to make sure you’re on top of your lists, and it’s fantastic to reminisce… but what about enjoying what’s happening right now? Also, what about not worrying so much about repeating that list to myself 4 times, or trying to stick to good memories, rather than reliving the bad ones?

Altogether too often I find myself whirling around inside this habit. Once in a while, I remember to experience my food as I chew it; I actually feel the softness of the dog’s fur as I pet him; I stop thinking about something terrible that happened a few months ago and force myself into a happy memory. Sometimes I even remember to just let go altogether and play some music and just bop.

What do you do in your head? And have you ever thought about the thinking habits you’ve formed and which ones might need a tune up?

Non-judgement day

I read this awesome article 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy, and it’s gotten me thinking about a lot of things. The latest topic on my mind has been judgement. I’ve been noticing my own judgements more, and it makes me feel awful inside when it happens.

We all do it. “She looks awful in that shirt,” “I’d NEVER do what he just did!,” “He smells bad, he should try showering more often,” and so many others. Often, we are judging people or situations without even realizing it. We even judge ourselves on a constant basis. Not only that – but we’re often worried about other people judging us, and what they are thinking about us. Why do we do that? Because WE are constantly judging, and our own thoughts and behaviours are projected BY US onto others; Hence we constantly believe that others are judging us.. because we are constantly judging!!!

It’s not easy to become more conscious of your own judgements. Lately, I’ve been trying harder to think about all the stuff going on in my head, the words that cross my lips, and my reactions to things and people. Judgement often happens automatically without us even realizing. Our brains are so used to it, it just *happens*

I’m hoping that by being aware of my judgements, that I’ll be able to start cutting them away. Judgement is essentially the practice of putting myself above others, and that’s not how I want to be. That’s not who I want to be. I’m guessing that other things will soon fall in stride – like a lot less stress, less heartache, less worry, and the reduction of negativity in general.

I’m hoping that this practice will help me* on my path of things I’d like to give up to be happy:

  1. Give up your need to always be right.
  2. Give up your need for control*
  3. Give up on blame*
  4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk*
  5. Give up your limiting beliefs.
  6. Give up complaining*
  7. Give up the luxury of criticism*
  8. Give up your need to impress others*
  9. Give up your resistance to change.
  10. Give up labels*
  11. Give up on your fears.
  12. Give up your excuses*
  13. Give up the past.
  14. Give up attachment.
  15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations*

A-ha moments that make you feel silly

Did you ever have an a-ha moment that you thought that if you shared it with your friends they’d laugh at you? Well, I have those a-ha moments a LOT, and I almost always end up telling someone. At least someone gets a chuckle out of my special-ness 😉

With common phrases or terms, I often accept them as they are without thinking through their meaning or origin. I just assume that’s a phrase or name someone made up for something and it stuck. Let me give you an example to help clarify the situation.

I had an a-ha moment this morning about something that is probably common-sense to 99% of the population.  I was listening to the radio on the way to work, and in a commercial one of the male voices said something about being in his birthday suit. For some reason – today of all days – my brain clicked into gear and focused in on that phrase. To most people, it’s common sense. But here’s the process my brain went through:

Why is it called Birthday Suit? Ahh.. because it’s the “suit” that you are wearing on the day of your birth! Huh, I never thought about it that way! THAT’S why they call it a Birthday Suit!

It’s ok, I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.

Image: Couirtesy of FOX

Done? Cool 🙂 Yes, I have these moments from time to time. I’m 32 and JUST realized the meaning behind the phrase “birthday suit.” All this time I had just thought it was a funny joke about naked people on their birthday.

I guess this just reinforces the fact that we are constantly learning. At least I am. I’m constantly realizing things about life, the universe, and everything in ways that I hadn’t thought of before. My brain is forever picking apart the meanings of things (at its own pace, clearly…)

Have you had any similar a-ha moments? SHARE!

The jumbo sized parmesan

Often in life, we find ourselves on auto -pilot. We get into routines and we often turn our mind off when going through actions or making decisions. It happens… But sometimes, we need to remember that little voice that tells us not to buy the Jumbo sized Parmesan, because we don’t really need it.

What’s this about Parmesan? I was thinking about my little voice – the conscious one that helps me make better decisions, and remembering one time when I was grocery shopping. I was wandering the aisles… picked up some supplies for making pasta and salad, and remembered I needed some Parmesan cheese. I ambled to the Parmesan section, and saw that a Jumbo Family Sized 1KG pack of Parmesan was on sale for only $7.99! Auto pilot kicked in, figuring the sale was a great idea, and I popped the mega-Parm into my cart. Then, the little voice spoke up: “Do you really need 1KG of Parmesan?” I thought to myself No, I don’t. A short, in-my-head conversation ensued regarding the fantastic value of the 1KG mega-Parm vs. paying almost $5 for less than 1/4 the size. Ultimately, the voice won. Why? Because it’s the voice of reason!

What does a 1KG pack of Parmesan have to do with real life? Well, we often have this voice of reason silenced in real life. Ive been practicing clicking off the auto-pilot button, and taking time to listen to this voice. It’s amazing what taking 5-10 extra seconds to make a decision can do for you. From Parmesan to bigger life decisions, it really pays off to take one step back from things before you just say yes and drop the mega-Parm into your cart, or buy that sweater you like but don’t need, or agree to helping a friend re-paint their entire house for free…

Making good decisions in life is not as difficult as we think. We’re just so used to being on auto-pilot that we often don’t take that extra time (often simply a few seconds) to really evaluate what we want and what we need, and then act appropriately. It’s just a matter of correctly evaluating the problem and taking time to come up with solutions – and then choosing one that works best and is not necessarily just the easiest. Life is so busy, it becomes easier just to make the auto-pilot decisions. I find myself in more knots when I have not taken the time to think about my decisions and actions. Obviously, for me it’s a work in progress, and probably always will be. But the key is awareness!

The morning commute is fruitful

I had a sort of epiphany this morning. Actually, it was a direction I hadn’t thought of in terms of a subject. That’s one reason why I enjoy having  a longer commute to work, I often have the time to mull things over – and interesting things come to light!

So this morning’s epiphany had to do with Karma. I have always been thinking in one direction with Karma – which is that Karma happens to you as a result of you not being as compassionate a person as you could be. But I think Karma has another point as well. How did I arrive at this epiphany, you ask? (this little bit may help explain things better)

As I was driving, someone came up behind me rather quickly. I was stopped so kind of worried a little, as I watched them in my rear-view mirror, that they might hit me. I had a mini-dream in my head about what would happen if they did hit me, the damage that would be done to both cars, and injuries to the drivers. Not only that, but this accident would cause a traffic dilemma for hundreds of people and affect the days of all of them, not just us involved in the accident.

After my mini-dream, it got me to thinking. In that situation most people sit there thinking “why me?” People always wonder what they have done to deserve these bad things to be happening to them. Well, that was just it. That was my epiphany. Karma is also a way of the universe kicking you in the butt and saying “don’t forget compassion, don’t forget to love, don’t forget to be a good person.” It’s not always about things you have done in your past coming back to haunt you. I think maybe it’s a kind of pay it forward message from the universe, saying “Be a better human being.”

This is easier said than done, but understanding that this is part of the message is a step in the right direction!

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