Category Archives: Self-help

You’re fucking A…

You have a beautiful soul. No matter what filthy mess you’ve gotten yourself into. No matter what financial mess you’ve created. No matter how much you fucked up with your spouse, the kids, the parents…you have a beautiful soul. It’s still in there. So stop beating yourself up and start living from that space instead.

No matter how many hours, days, weeks, or years, you’ve wasted messing yourself and/or your life and/or the people around you up, you can live a good life. Great life. Because you’re fucking A. Your soul is brilliantly beautiful and bloody marvelous. And you know it, don’t you?

We all know it.

Our own self-perception is weird, isn’t it? I keep thinking about what a mess my life is. It doesn’t matter how high up the ladder I climb, how kind people tell me I am, how many people I’ve helped…I keep looking at certain things thinking I’m an effing mess because I should be further along, or so I tell myself. Mess is my word of choice. I’m sure you have your own.

You can just live. This moment is all you have. And it’s your gift from up yonder. Yet, most of us have a measuring stick we are looking to, to check if we’re using this moment as we should. But what we really should is see it as a gift and live it as we want.

Maybe it’s just the other perfectionists and I who have that measuring stick. It’s natural that you know what’s good for your life and bad for your life. If you’re spending this moment robbing someone…well, it’s not going to serve you, or them. But if you are simply sitting there wondering if you achieved enough today, was good enough today, created enough today…then it’s time to shut up and start living instead of worrying. Enjoy yourself for F’s sake. Make use of this godly gift called life.

You know that one person who truly cares for your–the friend who loves you, the lover who treasured you, the child who adores you, the person who can’t wait to work with you again–maybe you should start seeing yourself through their eyes. Instead of thinking you aren’t worthy of their love and appreciation, act as a person who are. Accept that they see greatness in you, start seeing greatness in yourself and start acting as a person who is great.

And now I’m going to stop sulking about feeling behind in schedule and have a dose of I-love-myself-coffee. And possibly an Oreo cookie.

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde

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Filed under achievement, confidence, diary, Musings, perfectionism, self help, Self-confidence, Self-esteem, Self-help, Thoughts

No excuses…

No excuses. I think I’m going to frame this and hang it on the wall.

To all of us, life happens. We all deal with circumstance that’s less than ideal. Sometimes it’s downright horrifying. But don’t use that as an excuse. Instead of being weighed down by it, move beyond it.

If I wake up with the mindset that there are no excuses, I get excited. If I wake up worrying about things, I get depressed.

We can either worry and moan about the things that happen to us, or we can decide on what we want and go for that no matter what. Going for it will keep us motivated and taking action that serves us. Moping, moaning and worrying won’t.

We all have choice to be the best we can be and enjoy all life has to offer. But we also all have areas of our lives that are fucked five ways to Friday. We have the choice to change them for the better. But it’s usually not until we’re at the stage of do or die that we choose to change.

Personally, I am going to do everything in my power to power up my life. And that means no more excuses.

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, self help, Self-help

The logic of not giving a F…

Have you ever listened to someone’s logic and found it completely illogical? I have. Many times. Just enter my mind and you’ll have the most logically proven illogical ideas floating about. 

You see, as humans, we support our own logic based on anecdotal stories, beliefs, opinions, experience…you name it. What seems logical to us, is, in fact, completely and utterly illogical. 

Here, let’s do an example. 

I have two people in my life who don’t like seatbelts. Both claim it’s because they grew up in Africa and they love the freedom of driving without a seatbelt. Plus, they believe when your time is come, your time is come. So why bother with a seatbelt in the first place? 

Let’s imagine these two going bungee jumping. They have a choice between two companies offering bungee jumps. One has a sign reading: 

Bungee Jumps Offered Daily. 5 Out of 100 People Die as Ropes Sometimes Break. 10 Out of 100 Get Injured Due to Bad Quality Ropes.

Bungee Jumps Offered Daily. 100% Secure. No Deaths. No Injuries Caused by Equipment. 

Now, what company do you think they’d choose? 

It’s the same thing as wearing, or not wearing a seatbelt. Every day there are accidents on the road. Every day someone dies, or get injured. If you wear a seatbelt, chances of death and injury are less. If you’re in an accident wearing a seatbelt, you may end up with whiplash. Without it, you may end up with severe brain damage. Your choice. 

Our subjective realities constantly blind us to logic. 

Another favorite of mine: I drive better when I’m drunk. The proof? I’ve only had accidents when sober.

If we drive better when drunk, then science would long ago have proven that our ability to react is much better when drunk. On the contrary, it’s proven the opposite. 

It’s like saying: I have only had accidents after eating peanut butter sandwiches, therefore, peanut butter sandwiches cause accidents. Sure enough, if you believe it, you may start driving more erratically after eating them… But it isn’t the truth. It only become true if you let your mind act on the belief. 

The real truth is, we all have these things we believe to be true because we have stories and beliefs backing them up. And as is the case with drunk driving, some examples are pretty extreme. You’re willing to risk your own and other people’s lives because you believe in your own story. 

Similarly, look at the story about “who you are.” Look at me. As a kid my mom died and I felt she rejected me before she died. Then I had to move classes a few years later due to circumstance and I was put in a class where I got picked on. I went from popular to nerd over night. Then I got a step-mom who emotionally abused me. 

Now, that added up to me thinking there was something wrong with me. I thought that was a logical conclusion. I was rejected, therefore there was something wrong with me. Logical, right?! Is that the truth though? No. It’s not the truth. But I believed it, so I acted on it and my way of dealing with it was hiding away. I became shy. Very shy. Wouldn’t speak unless spoken to. 

Being shy was a protection mechanism. I literally remember thinking I wasn’t going to let them see my real self, therefore they couldn’t reject the real me. If I just disappeared, they couldn’t judge me. And moving forward, I became the person who didn’t speak. Therefore, I became rejected. That meant that I could hold onto the belief that there was something wrong with me.

In short, I was the person believing peanut butter sandwiches cause accidents and therefore driving erratically.  

I also had coping mechanisms. Like reading stories and escaping into another world and I practiced my skills to receive praise, so even if I couldn’t be loved, I could be admired. Fleeing into imaginary worlds and receiving admiration became my drugs. That then fell apart when I didn’t go onto becoming a world famous director straight out of school, but had to work odd jobs. I ended up depressed as hell, reached rock bottom and learned that actually, I didn’t have to achieve anything to love and accept myself, or be loved and accepted. All I had to do was open up. 

That was the first time in years I started to feel like I didn’t have a gaping hole inside myself. The first time since my mother died, I suppose. 

The thing is, not everyone change their story. They just keep doing things to back it up. Keep proving to themselves they’re right. 

I was having an argument with an addict recently. My argument? Get help. Their argument? “I’m not ready, I’m waiting for “my moment,” plus right now I prefer being an addict. It makes me feel good for now. But it’s OK. I’ll be OK in the end. Because I wasn’t born an addict so I won’t die an addict.”

If you have ever been around addicts or read literature on it, you know that addicts use stories to support their addiction. And those stories are controlled by the addiction, not their real selves. Just like my actions used to be controlled by a story I made up about myself, not my real self. I was shy, because I believed in that story. I became rejected because I was shy, which proved my story to be true. I sought to achieve massive things in life to relieve the pain of that story. That was my addiction. And I sacrificed a ton of things for that addiction. 

Usually addicts sacrifice a lot. They give up on doing everything they love or do significantly less of it, they’re neglecting relationships, they stop caring for their own health, they no longer hold themselves to the same moral standards they used to and they either isolate themselves, or surround themselves with people who enable their habit. In short, they’re slowly ruining all areas of their life (sometimes they manage to keep one area decently clean, depending on importance, such as a job that enables them to buy drugs is far more important than friends, for example) and putting the drug of choice in center stage. The drug slowly becomes more important than anything else.

I’ve spoken to people in recovery about this. How the drug is always right. If getting the drug means not seeing your child, then you don’t see your child. If getting the drug means stealing, then you steal. If getting the drug means lying, then you lie. Whatever it takes to get the drug/get high, is justified. It becomes the new logic. Because it’s the only thing that makes them feel good. 

From the outside, it’s lunacy. For them, it’s totally logical. They feel good. They’re fine. Their bodies are shutting down. They’re living in squalor. They’re fine. Because they have their drug. 

Of course, they have moments of clarity, but it’s fine. It’s all fine, because they’re in control. When they want to get well again they will. They can handle it. 

Their logic is completely fucked. And they can’t see it. Because there’s always an excuse, or an argument backing up their story. 

Hopefully, one day they break a hard limit. They do something that make them wake the fuck up. Like you know, the religious person stealing from a church to buy drugs. Or, like me, they hit rock bottom emotionally. The turning point. The place where they know they’ve sunk so low the only way is up. But some people, sadly, never stumble across such a thing.

The thing is, we all have addictions, or if you so like, do things because they’re supported by stories we tell ourselves. Like me hiding away in a corner, which was supported by the story that I had something wrong with me and couldn’t be liked/loved. And by hiding away in a corner, I got reject, which provided my story to be true. But I also had a story that I could be admired for my skills and hard work and, to some degree, my acquired personality. That was my drug — I used work as a coping mechanism. To me achievement was my drug. 

My life fell apart when I thought I couldn’t be admired. When my drug of choice was removed as I was outside the school system, where I’d always been admired. That’s when I faced my truth. That’s when I realized I could be happy without achievement. 

The thing with any kind of addiction, or coping mechanism, is that it’s us acting on our emotions. Like I feel unloved and believe I can’t be loved which hurts, let’s do something to get admired which feels good. Temporarily. Once the high is over, you’ll end up feeling empty again. Same thing if you use sex as a coping mechanism (a drug) when wanting love. And by doing it, you only prove to yourself that you can’t be loved. That you can only be admired, or only get sex, so you feel even worse. But as you still hold onto the idea you can’t be loved, what are you going to do? Have more of your drug, of course! 

When the emotional brain takes over, we fuck up. We become illogical. We rationalize behavior that’s completely and utterly illogical. 

When we act on our feelings we end up fucking ourselves over five ways to Friday.

If you’re feeling unloved, the logical thing is to deal with the root cause of it and realize it isn’t true, instead of chasing an Oscar (that would be me). That’s why people who win Oscars become depressed — they realize they still don’t feel loved. They’re still empty. All they did was relieve their tension by getting admiration. The real problem is still there. 

If you’re feeling stressed, the logical thing is to deal with the cause of the stress (such as a heavy workload), not watch Netflix (and the next day have an even heavier workload). 

If you’re feeling sad, the logical thing to do is to deal with the cause of your sadness and fill your life with happiness and genuine connection, not have a drink and the next day still have the sadness, plus the reality of having wasted a night drinking. 

When you feel things — impulses to do certain things — it’s a good idea to ask yourself a) is this part of a pattern of mine and if so, has that pattern led to me achieving great things? b) will this really lead to the end result I desire? c) what place am I acting from? Principle or feeling? If it’s principle, you’re acting from a place of integrity — doing the right thing. If it’s feeling, you’re likely trying to resolve your tension, unless the feeling is coming from your heart. If you can’t hear your heart, act from principle. Your heart would tell you to do right by yourself and others. So does principle. 

Another test is this: will this lead to genuine happiness? Will this serve my health? Will this serve my soul? Will this serve other people? Coping mechanisms will make you feel good while destroying your life. Genuinely good things will make you feel good while making your life better.

Will you be held hostage by your own emotions, or will you create the life you’d truly love to live?

In short, sometimes, not giving a fuck about your own emotions is a very good idea. 

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Filed under achievement, addiction, depression, Happiness, Psychology, Self-help, The Mind

The fire within…

It doesn’t interest me what you’ve done wrong. What your sins, or twisted thoughts are. I don’t care if you’ve been to jail, or been involved with a gang. We’ve all made mistakes. All desired the wrong things. All fucked up miserably. At some point, we’ve all failed. Simply because we walked into life backwards somehow. Got the wrong end of the dick stick. Were conditioned to do things that didn’t serve ourselves and others. We were turned sour by life. 

And it doesn’t interest me what drugs you’ve taken to cope with it, or how much sex you’ve had to get through it. I don’t care if you’ve tried killing yourself, or ate till you couldn’t move. I don’t give a damn. So you weren’t given an instruction manual for life. None of us were. We all tried coping in different ways; some more successful than others. 

No, what interests me is what’s inside your soul. What makes you smile, even when no one is watching. What makes your heart come alive with wonder and your eyes widen in amazement. I want to know what turns you on in life; what quickens your heartbeat and sends shivers down your spine. 

I want to know your capacity for loving; how much love you have for your favorite passions and how much love you can give to another human. I want to see your willingness to serve another soul.

I want to know how much you’re willing to sacrifice to do the right thing. But I also want to know you don’t sacrifice so much you’re left wounded. 

I want to see your soul, naked and beautiful. 

I want to hear your heart beating with love. 

I want to know that the passion within you is still there. And I want to see it awaken, like a spark turning into a fire. I want to see you set ablaze. I want to see you burn with the beauty of all that you are. 

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde

P.S. This post was inspired by Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s The Invitation (as seen to the left on this page…while I don’t agree with all of it, most of that poem is brilliant), just as For my lover: an invitation… was.

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Motivation, Self-confidence, Self-esteem, Self-help, self-worth, Soul, Spirituality, Uncategorized

My choice to shine…

I just tried to Google duck recipes, but ended up with dick instead of duck. Just the way to start a Monday morning. Oh, and the toddler got out of bed to pee in the toilet, but peed standing on the floor next to the bed instead. 

Frankly, I’ve had a wonderful morning. These are just little funny events. The sun is shining, Cape Town looks glorious and people have been nice to me this morning. 

I was thinking about this the other day. People being nice. I was feeling a bit sad and angry because of something. Like I’d imagined this perfect day that just wasn’t happening. And instead of making the moment great, I just felt disappointed. Just then I ended up talking to one friend of mine that showed me kindness. Simply by helping me with some car issues. Just hearing his voice I calmed down, because I knew I have people in my life who care about me. 

And it hit me how much kindness matters. Yesterday my business partner went on a rant about how as long as I don’t have a stable boyfriend in my life, he is going to make sure I’m OK with the things that, in his opinion, a man should handle because clearly I have to multitask too much. It was really sweet. 

My kid’s homeschooling teacher this morning asked me how I was doing. Left me a message asking questions. That perked me up as well. Just knowing people care. 

I think it’s important to acknowledge the people in your life who are showing up for you by showing up for them (as mentioned in a previous blog, it doesn’t come natural for me to check in on people, I’m learning to do that) and sometimes, by giving them a gift or something else to show you care. I don’t always take time for this, and sometimes I’m too shy to do it, but I must start doing it. Because it’s who I want to be. 

Also, remember focus. When I was upset I was focusing on something in my life that wasn’t working as I wanted it too. When I spoke to my friend, I started focusing on things in my life that were working, such as beautiful friendships. That shifted my mood.

The thing is, we often get stuck thinking about how to figure out what’s not working. How to solve problems. Or simply reveling in the problems. When we do, we feel like shit. I could have been very upset about the peeing episode this morning. I wasn’t. Because I didn’t waste any time thinking about it. It took three minutes to clean up. Big deal. But when we’re frustrated, or sad, any thing is a big deal. When, on the other hand, we think about what’s working, such as living in gloriously beautiful Cape Town, having amazing people in your life and making more money an hour than some make a week here, we see these small events as funny. OK, I was temporarily frustrated as I didn’t understand the logic of peeing by the bedside, but it didn’t take long to see the humor. 

If there’s a problem, deal with it. Man up to it. Take charge. Don’t get stuck thinking about it. Take action. Any action. Start moving beyond it. If one thing doesn’t work, try another until you find a solution. Just don’t bury yourself in the problem. Everyone goes through shit. It’s how you deal with it that determines if it sinks you or you conquer.

I can write you a long list of problems I have and that Cape Town has, but I live in a city filled with sunshine and star shine, glorious beaches and tall mountains, incredible city scapes and natural wonders, tasty foods and delicious treats, roaring fireplaces and beautiful gardens, laughing people and shining intelligence… I live in paradise. If only I choose to see it that way. It’s my choice. Mine alone. My choice to see the wonders in my life and my city. My choice.  

Funnily, when you start seeing the things in life that shine, you start to shine. You start to sparkle. You become a star in other people’s night sky.

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Filed under Awareness, conscious lifestyle, Conscious Living, diary, Friends, Friendship, friendships, Inspiration, Inspirational, kindness, Mindfulness, Motivation, Musings, relationships, self help, Self-help, The Mind, Uncategorized

Getting naked with Socrates…

I’ve been working on copy related to researching ancient history and wisdom lately. This spurs thoughts. Thoughts and I are like a runaway train — once I get going, I keep moving. Which is why I’m spewing out blogs at an unnatural rate for someone who really doesn’t have much time for blogging. It’s also due to a lot of events, trauma and emotional upheaval in the past couple of months, as well as meetings spurring thought. You can’t always spew your thoughts out at the poor people who instigated them. But I tend to chew over what people say. Particularly if it relates to a problem. And I have to unload somewhere. This is my unloading place. The place where I dump my thoughts. Sometimes unceremoniously, sometimes with a lot of bravado. I like entertainment, after all. Which is why I apply outrageous headlines and a lot of humor from time to time.

So this time it’s about Socrates. He asked questions. I’ve been thinking about that lately as someone told me they don’t like taking direction. Good philosophers, psychologists, coaches and leaders ask questions. They let people reach their own conclusions. Often they may guide them towards answers, rather than asking questions they have no clue where they will lead, but still: they ask questions.

Since I was a kid, I’d analyze people. Whether intuitively, intellectually, or both. Then I’d randomly blurt out my conclusions: often a pain point and its potential solution.

Then I studied acting and directing: I learned to break down scripts so as to figure out the thoughts behind the characters’ actions. From there I learned to break down the characters so as to be able to recreate their pasts that had led to these thoughts.

Through all of this I learned not just to understand others, but to understand myself. I understood the thoughts we think, where they come from and why we think them. Hence, I came to understand why I have the emotions I have. It’s due to my thoughts. However, it did not teach me how to change them. Not really.

While awareness tends to lead to a level of change, it doesn’t change everything. Being aware of a destructive pattern AND why you formed it, isn’t necessarily enough to change it.

You have to be willing to face yourself and the pain that comes with that to create change, but while that may help you let go of some things, it doesn’t change everything. Until you face something, you keep it bottled up. That means it’s still there. People are scared of facing pain, but by suppressing it they actually cause so much more pain, because they don’t let it go.

I always imagine this as a house: if something bad happens you let in a storm wind. You can try and contain that wind in one room by locking it in. Preferably far away from you, so maybe in the basement. But the wind is still rattling around in there. If you open the door to the basement and then to the garden, you’ll face the wind, you’ll feel its destructive force, but then it is released. It’s gone.

On the flip side of the coin, some people get stuck and revel in their own past/pain and, thus, also get stuck in it.

The thing is, releasing pain isn’t always enough. Because it’s usually attached to a coping mechanism that causes havoc. For example, when I get stressed I read, or binge watch netflix to escape from my own thoughts, but when I wake up the next day I have even more stress because instead of dealing with my to-do list, I was lost in a story.

If I’d taken ten minutes to meditate, or go for a walk, to deal with my stress and then tackled the to-do list, I’d been much further along and had LESS stress the next day.

In other words, you have to replace a dysfunctioning pattern with a functioning one. Let’s say someone overeats. They face the pain that is causing them to choose unhealthy and too much food to numb their pain. They’re willing to let go of their pain. But if they have no idea of what healthy foods are, or how to eat healthily (such as eating before your blood sugar tanks), they may very well not function properly anyway.

Plus, even if you let go of pain, stress, or whatever else is causing you inner turmoil, you’ll always face it again. And either you’ll relapse into the dysfunctional pattern to relieve your anguish, or you’ll use another one.

As Russell Brand said in his book Recovery: someone told him heroin saved his life. It was his coping mechanism. But it was a coping mechanism that was killing him, as well as destroying his social life, finances and work. Dealing with whatever made him use heroin in the first place AND finding better coping mechanisms led to him becoming clean. And as he also said: if a heroin addict can do it, so can you. That gave me hope. Because we all have unhealthy patterns, be it around finances, eating, drinking, work, exercise, relationships, or whatever else it may be.

My point though, is that my sterile approach in the past of serving people uncomfortable truths doesn’t work, beyond a possible wakeup call. You have to direct them towards something else. And love is the bridge to that.

Alan Kazdin, of the Yale Parenting Center, has, through studies around the world, come to the conclusion that punishment does little to facilitate change. Disregarding bad behavior, or giving someone a small consequence, while paying a lot of attention to and encouraging good behavior, leads to the biggest changes in a child. He even does things like workshopping tantrums. If a child throws severe tantrums, hitting adults, etc. he workshops the child through tantrums where it doesn’t hit, then praises that. He replaces one behavior with another and the bridge is love and encouragement from the parent. Once you’ve locked down having a “normal” tantrum, you can move onto having less of a tantrum, no tantrum and doing really well.

You replace one dysfunctional coping mechanism with a less dysfunctional coping mechanism until you can get to a great coping mechanism. One that actually helps you face the real problem. Such as how to handle distress.

Positive reenforcement has been used with great results on addicts, as well as in the workplace. It makes sense. When people resent you, they’re not very willing to do something that pleases you. The more you nag, punish and degrade, the less they will be willing to do what you want them to do. Also, the more you look down on them and punish them, the more you encourage their self-hatred and destructive patterns.

Actions have consequences. That needs to be shown. But giving attention to negative behavior and punishing it does not change the behavior.

Knowing this doesn’t always mean you can implement it. I failed in my own home. I raise a child on the autism spectrum who has PDA. He’s violent. He’s abusive. I was at the point where I was spending money I didn’t have to have nannies 24/7 as it wasn’t possible to be alone with him. And I was furious with myself because I reacted to his behavior, but imagine waking up to a child who is verbally and physically abusive 50% of the time and you never know when you’ll be hit next. And I didn’t have a controlled environment. He started attaching the neighbors children, his siblings, the dogs, the furniture and me.

When my child’s anxiety kicks in, and it’s been high lately, he tries to control his environment with violence. This is a destructive coping mechanism. PDA lends itself to this kind of aggressive behavior, but he was further raised in a house with his biological family where there was domestic violence and so his behavior is on another level.

I’ve now had to temporarily place him with his grandmother and a number of other people living in that household, and put professionals in place on top of the psychologists to try to help him to the point where it’s possible to have him at home again. This isn’t ideal, but neither I, nor his siblings, could live in fear anymore. Understanding and therefore loving someone doesn’t mean you can handle their abuse, or control your own emotions when subjected to it. And I’ve been all over looking for help from social services, schools, therapists…the list goes on. I wanted a controlled environment for him where Kazdin’s methods could be implemented but I can’t find one. And I’m out of money for having nannies 24/7 and even with that in place the situation was horrible. When I had a stomach bug and fever last weekend the toddler concerned asked me if his brother had “broken my head,” because of the violence. He had already moved to his grandmother at this point, but that alone was a horrifying thing to hear a toddler say.

I’ve had hell with the situation at home and I’ve felt ashamed about it too. I was caught in a catch 22 where we I couldn’t give up on the child, nor expose myself or his siblings to abuse. Plus not having the finances to, you know, ship Alan Kazdin over. In the end myself, his nannies and psychologist worked out a plan forward. I do think it’s important to talk about these things. Because what I experienced at home with a child, some experience with an adult.

This kind of coping mechanism (trying to control your environment using violence) is different from coping mechanisms to deal with inner pain from past trauma, current emotional stress, etc. in that it is a form of manipulation. This person isn’t just trying to handle their inner distress, but the distress they feel relating to people. Other coping mechanisms related to controlling relationships might be anger, extreme helplessness, crying hysterically, bullying, hiding away, pleasing, or threats to leave or stop loving someone. None is healthy. Expressing how you feel and learning to also see past your emotions, is a lot healthier. For example, my child fears not being loved to the point where he can’t handle any attention given to any other child. But he is loved. His emotions, based on his interpretations of past and present experiences, are telling him he isn’t though. And he acts on those emotions. They aren’t real, but he thinks they are. He’s created a world where he thinks he’s unloved and does anything to prove it to be true. 

Till this day I still have a hard time not telling people what their thoughts are, why they’re acting the way they’re doing, and to sort their shit out. Or what their patterns and coping mechanisms are and to sort their shit out. But it doesn’t work beyond the initial wakeup call. For some that might be enough, just as being thrown in a prison cell may be enough to wake someone up. But as Socrates discovered so long ago, you often get further by asking questions than spelling things out. And as Kazdin discovered, behavior isn’t changed by telling someone what’s wrong, but by showing them what’s right. By encouraging them and making them feel good doing the right thing. This, in turn, will help them love themselves, which I think, really, is the cornerstone of great behavioral patterns. Because once you love yourself, you act in ways that serve you and others. 

Speaking of which: most forms of depression spring from an obsession with self; an obsession with some dysfunctional, or painful part of self. Once we stop thinking about ourselves and only focus on serving others, we forget to be depressed, because we aren’t obsessing about what we should achieve, or what others think about us. We’re too busy helping someone else. That’s another way, I suppose, of changing behavior. 

For that matter, this blog is a coping mechanism for me to deal with my thoughts and emotions and I think it’s distracted me enough from work this week. It’s starting to move towards being dysfunctional. 

On that note my darlings, it’s time to stop writing. 

Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926735953727/

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Filed under addiction, addictions, autism, autism spectrum, Behavior, drug addiction, Parenting, pathological demand avoidance disorder, pda, positive reenforcement, Psychology, Self-confidence, Self-esteem, Self-help, self-worth, Uncategorized

The art of shutting the f*** up!!!

Do you ever hear a voice inside your head giving a running commentary on your life, analyzing things one way, or another? I do. All the time.

I love to analyze things. As the 16 Personalities test stated: “You’re the kind of person who’d love nothing more than spending an evening with a bottle of wine and some friends, debating how to solve the European immigration crisis.”

Funnily, I’d done a lot of thinking around how to solve the European immigration crisis. Not because I’m involved in politics — I always find it more useful to do what you can than spend time debating what the politicians are doing — but because it’s been bogging me. And I’ve been irritated with, well, the politicians’ inaptitude and the public’s attitude. The problem isn’t immigration. The problem is how immigration is handled.

Anyway, before I hand you my opinions and you waste your time thinking about a problem that most likely isn’t yours to solve, my point is that I like solving problems. In fact, I like it so much that I do it constantly.

Usually I’m busy working out a) how things are working b) how things may work in the future c) what to do to improve how things are working/will work in the future d) how to problem shoot any existing problems and potential future problems.

I love this side of myself. It enables me to come up with fantastic concepts. It enables me to come up with plots for movies. It enables me to break down a text and restructure it. It enables me to come up with fifteen different revenue streams for any business. And it obviously means I can solve a lot of problems — any kind of problem presented to me is like giving me a bone that I will chew endlessly, coming up with a wide array of scenarios and solutions.

I enjoy all of this. A lot. But it also means that starting a business with just one income stream is confusing, because I’ve already thought of fifteen and don’t know where to start. Doing anything straightforward is confusing, because in my mind, I’ve already thought of a much bigger and better structure. If I’ve figured out how to build a castle, but I have to start with just the one tower, I become dismayed as it won’t work optimally. All the functions won’t be there.

This is only a problem when my mind doesn’t have perimeters. If I’m told up front to create a tower, then that’s where my focus is. That’s why I liked school: there were set tasks to complete. If I don’t have any perimeters, my mind will build a castle, an adjoining farm and before you know it: a village too!

It’s also a problem because I spend a lot of time in the future, instead of enjoying the moment. Sometimes I come up with so many different scenarios for how something can go, I don’t even test the waters, because one of the scenarios disagreed with me. Or, if I’m in a situation, I’m either coming up with ways to improve things, or planning ahead for what’s next. Just being, without having to know what’s next, or how to make things better, is a rather difficult thing for me. I’m always chasing a better tomorrow. Or coming up with some strategy or another to maintain what I’ve already obtained.

It can also become incredibly self-destructive when you’re constantly seeking betterment if you don’t feel you’re good enough as is. Seeking betterment is great, constnatly upping the bar so you never feel satisfied with yourself, or circumstance, is not.

As with everything in life, there are two sides to it — the yin and the yang; darkness and light; good and evil.

I am writing about this as I’ve been frustrated with my mind for getting tangled up in future scenarios (and freaking out about some of them as I can’t possibly predict whether things will go one way or another and thus wanting to walk away from things, or control them by enforcing structures), trying to fix problems that aren’t mine to fix and being unable to just enjoy the moment. My head is constantly figuring things out, even when things aren’t supposed to be figured out. When you’re just supposed to sit back and enjoy the moment. My mind is so far ahead I can’t get a grip of what I’m currently doing. I also get frustrated with other people if they can’t keep up with the speed of my mind. At other times, I feel embarrassed because I’m too intense (though my best friend claims my creative energy is addictive as you get infused with it…until I overwhelm myself and get lost amongst my projects and crash, that is).

The lesson? As my principal, Sam Kogan, said about the mind: “It takes control over you, until you take control over it.” And in this instance, one of my greatest strengths becomes my biggest weakness if I don’t take control over it.

A two-sided coin. Aren’t we all? But we can all better ourselves…sometimes by not trying to better ourselves…

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Filed under Awareness, diary, Mindfulness, personal growth, Self-help, Spirituality, The Mind, Thoughts

I got lucky…

So, as the uncrowned queen of innuendo I should really play around with this getting lucky thing, right?! Right.

Well, I got lucky. But let’s skip the innuendo for a while. I got lucky, because I was out driving with my baby girl and my car stopped. I called my insurance and the car was towed to the nearest overnight place to be taken to the dealer in the morning and my girl and I were taken home. This was the day before the car was going in for repairs. And, of course, the dealership took a week before they were even able to look at it, because they were busy. My neighbor’s car had a flat wheel that for some reason took days to fix and my nanny’s car needed repairs, so we were all stranded and ubering about on a week when we were running the houses on a generator and in constant need of petrol. Naturally, the dealership charged an hourly rate twice that of any normal mechanic as well.

It sounds pretty bad, but let me tell you — I got lucky.

I met a guy where my car stopped. A guy with bright blue eyes, a few missing teeth and a desire to help us. He was homeless, crashing at a nearby shelter. Told me he was a mechanic, but he couldn’t work because he had a brain tumor that caused epilepsy. His wife was pregnant. He was trying to collect money for the shelter for the two of them for that night.

I have no idea if his story was true. All I know is that he was a guy with bright blue eyes and a few missing teeth. But during a couple of days when everything seemed to be going wrong — from having no electricity, to the nanny being off and the car breaking down, he helped me realize how lucky I was.

I was alive. My baby girl was alive. The car stopped, but we didn’t crash. I had insurance. Sure, I was tired and I was worried about finances as it had been a rough week, but I was alive, I have an hourly salary most people can only dream of and all I needed was time (and electricity) to work again. There had been some hickups with the boy I’m raising and the visa and…I was worried. I was really worried some days. But did I need to worry? Or did I need to focus on what was working and creating more of that?

Life is a perspective you’re living day-to-day. Today I woke up alive, getting cuddles from the toddler in the family. The neighbor took two kids to school; the other is staying with his nanny close to his school. I had homemade apple and pear crumble. I drank coffee. I worked. I got compliments from clients. I cleaned — getting one step closer to actualy sorting this place out. I’m alive. And I have a pretty epic life.

So, before I start cracking some joke about getting lucky, I’m just gonna focus on being lucky.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

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Ego: a knight in shining armor…

I’m a writer and director. That means I’ve learned how to entertain an audience and pack a punch. That’s why when I blog I often frame things up. So as to make a regular insight/life lesson more interesting I use humor and (humorous) sexual metaphors to make it entertaining. I get the point across in an entertaining way, basically. The sex and humor are add ons though: they have nothing to do with my life. It just makes it funnier to process my thoughts that way.

I just spent one and half hours listening to my coach yelling at me, telling me off and lecturing me on my poor communication skills. Apparently trying to make things entertaining, giving people a way out, softening a blow, cracking jokes, etc. isn’t a good idea when being vulnerable in real life.

Let me give you an example.

I meet Richard Branson. We chat. We get to know each other over a couple of weeks. I have a business idea I’d love to chat to him about, but I don’t want to make him think I’m only friends with him for the sake of business. So I tell him I’d love to have a chat about a business idea, but I say it in a round about sort of way and also make it clear that whether or not he wants to have a look at my business, it’s OK. In fact, if it would be of any inconvenience to him, then maybe he should’t look at it at all.

Apparently this isn’t clear communication. Instead of being vulnerable and speaking from my heart, sharing that I have this precious idea I’d love to speak to him about, I’ve muddled up the communication and sent a signal to him that he should opt not to speak to me about it. Because my ego couldn’t stand being rejected by Richard Branson.

Also, just as apparently, I do this everywhere in my life, though I’m fairly certain I’d say just that to Richard Branson.

I always say you have to step out of your comfort zone and “break” your ego. Because your ego is trying to shield your heart by acting knight in shining armor, but in actual fact what you want in your life are things that are a reflection of your heart. Your ego’s way of protecting you is only harming you.

Why do I have to be so clever about these things? Because now I have to stick by my own word and go break my ego, instead of punching my coach. Sigh. Double sigh.

So this is your favorite ego maniac. Over and out.

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727237174/ 

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Fulfilling your needs…

The first step to fulfilling someone’s needs is figuring out what they are. I’m fairly sure most us are pretty keen to do so when we meet someone we like. Why? Becuse we’ve got at least 5,000 hormones telling us that the person in front of us is the answer to our happiness. Getting his/her jeans off is just part of it…

The hilarious thing is, we don’t have 5,000 hormones activated when it comes to fulfilling our own needs. We want to be happy and when we hit on something that makes us happy, we tend to do it again. However, in this maze called life we often get lost and confused and end up utterly miserable from time to time. The things we don’t love tend to have as much hold on us as the things we love; the things which make us happy.

Last week, I went on a happiness mission. I’ve been miserable for three years about the situation I’ve found myself stuck in with my life; the visa-career-adopt kids situation (a long story for a rainy day). As I am Miss Solutions and used to finding a road out, this feeling of being stuck did not suit me. In fact, it did a number on my head, becasue I was stuck feeling stuck and on the brink of a breakdown from exhaustion from the situation with the kids. While I still couldn’t find an immediate road out, I decided this year to take charge of what I can take charge of and enjoy the now as much as possible.

As the story goes I really kicked some butt in the beginning of the year, but when I had visa setback no. 303 all the nightmares, fears, feeling like living life in limbo, etc. came back. I was still doing better than the past two years, but I had ups and downs and after visa setback no. 304 a few weeks ago the demons inside my head were doing a dance.

This week I decided that whenever my thoughts go down the wrong path, I need to stop and do something which takes me away from any slippery slope I’m going down (see this blog). I need my strength, or I’ll never get to the point where I can sign those adoption papers. Happiness is part of that strength. Frankly, I also just need to be happy because I’m a human being who deserves it, like everyone else.

Secondly, I realized that while I can’t overhaul my entire life, because I am stuck in a visa-career-adoption situation, I can still do what I love. Maybe it won’t be my fulltime career, maybe it won’t pay me, but I can do it. No more excuses that I don’t have the funds to do it, I don’t have the time to do it, or I have to travel so much it’s not worth trying to do something because I soon have to leave anyway. No more excuses.

I am currently busy doing an inventory of what I feel I need to be happy, from mental stimulation (intellectual challenges), to spending time in nature. Then I’m finding ways of fulfilling those needs. Every single one of them.

In the past I tried turning every need into a business, or some gigantic thing or another. Like in my teens when I had hell because I couldn’t decide whether to become a doctor or a filmmaker. In between those two I also contemplated at least ten other careers. Today I was making my housemate soup and brewing some herbs as she’s sick. I like looking after people, I enjoy herbal medicine and health in general. That doesn’t mean I have to be a doctor to fulfill this particular need, or interest of mine.

I always used to feel torn between the many things I love in life and, as a result, miserable. I wanted to be a doctor, a filmmaker and an entrepreneur. One without the other seemed unfulfilling, but maybe it doesn’t have to be. Maybe it’s, in fact, quite possible to fulfill our every need…just not in the way we always expect to.

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926725265016/ 

Happiness is…road trips with my best friend!

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Filed under adventures in life, Personal Development, Self-help, Thoughts, Uncategorized