Friday, August 23, 2013

Random thoughts for the day, not quite every day.


We hand down our legacies to generations beyond us. We are the legacy handed to us. Unless...we change it. Think about that the next time something comes out by impulse. Where did that pulse come from, was it given to you, and do you want  that to pulse right into the next generation? If yes, keep it going. If not, seek out change (read more about changing habits in the blog a few months ago); this takes an intentional effort, based on habits, through repetition, for most. It's worth it; believe me. Make your legacy something new! It's worth fighting for! x

If you want to experience joy, be joyful. If you want to experience love, be loving to others. If you want to experience ugliness, be ugly to others. If you want to see what pureness of heart looks like, ask God to clean up your heart. 
I've seen a light shine from within someone, when I didn't know them. I asked if they were a believer, randomly and upfront. They said yes. I yearn to be have the light that shines in me, so that it can be seen by others. I have a ways to go. Kudos to those two people, random strangers, who showed me it's possible, not by words, but by attitude. That's an amazing thing, so see that light!


Beauty skin deep only lasts a while. Beauty inside the person, the soul, character - that can last forever. What's more important to you? Quality or fluffery (i'm making that word up)? Value the one most that you see most beneficial to others (and your own self-worth), and one of which it's possible you can keep. The other is just a "nice-to-have" temporary extra. A quality among a myriad of human qualities, but a fleeting one at best. (It comes with it's own benefits, but it's own repercussions too. :( That's just my humble opinion.

What someone does wrong isn't necessarily all of who they are; it's what they do wrong. If we encourage what they do right, will it encourage who they are to become???

Is being nice to ones friend really being nice? I think it says more about whether you're really nice, if it isn't in reciprocity.

Have you heard "eat rocks'? Did you know some dogs actually do eat rocks, and when someone says that, they mean to imply the recipient is stupid or wrong? I've found most often that those "go eat rocks" message carriers are often the ones who consume too many rocks themselves. That's why they use the term. :)
(For the sake of funny....see:


They say to 'keep your eye on the prize'. Well, I say "keep one eye on the prize, and have the other stay on the lookout for road bumps along the way".

Why try to be good? That's like trying to swim...from a shark. Probably best to settle on will or won't. Trying won't get you there. Trying is good for when you have a chance to 'try again'.
(It's okay to mess up sometimes, but get back on it, as something you're doing, not 'trying'...)

Ever wonder why people use "have your cake & eat it too"? Of course i can have it and eat it! It's cake. It really should be 'KEEP your cake & eat it too' - since that's what it really means - you can't hold onto a good thing (cherish it) and at the same time use it all up - the best of both...

Ever wonder what your dog thinks when he watches your seems-to-be-habit of searching for his poo & collecting it?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Slap me in the face, or just give me a kiss.

I think it may be kind of American to think shouting out love from the rooftops, displaying it at times, and so on, makes it grow bigger & crazier. 

[Crazy can be fun!] 

Also, I'm partial to the idea that it can be universal for members of a society to be critical of other individuals or groups at times. Yet, one must be careful that one does't product too much criticism, lest one will produce a critical spirit within their self. 

Maybe it's good to be careful that the hand that judges others doesn't come back and judge you conversely by the same standard. (Ex: He's insecure in love or he wouldn't have to display his love. Conversely: He's insecure in himself, in what he thinks or feels, in what others think; otherwise he wouldn't be afraid to show his love.) Usually the balance is found somewhere in the middle. Me personally, I go with how I feel in the moment (if it's positive, otherwise I deliberate & rationalize first) & whatever [reasonable] urge i have to express it; with emotion - as long as there's a time & a place that isn't ghastly inappropriate, why not?

...but I'm typically reserved when it comes to certain things, unless feeling others' pain or when I'm simply elated (I'm not shy when it comes to being amped, encouraging people, loving life, or defending principles!). Then occasionally, I have random displays of affection or elation (happiness, joy, excitement, righteous indignation in someone's defense)... I don't really worry one way or another what anyone thinks. (Showing too much love? So. Showing nothing? So.)

Me personally, I don't prefer to witness over the top negative emotions (or be in involved with them), and while I may think it's cute to be kinda cuddly and cheesy, I don't actually watch others' moments of admiration (but don't let it bother me either). You never know if some outward display is either: for a reason, from the heart, all the time, a rarity...etc. Why hold a firm judgement against it? Just live, & love; take it lightly. 

Sometimes our cultural perspectives affect how we perceive and process meaning for what we see. Sometimes what we see has been precipitated by events in others' lives (death, missed opportunities, previous expressions of another person's preferences) that have cause them to live for today; personally, I prefer to express love or affection before it's too late. 

Sometimes...the most amazing thing comes from doing it different; taking an unusual path in a very usual day. Sometimes, the way to create or experience something new & lovely is to BE someone new and lovely (even for the day), just every so often. To throw caution to the wind, do whatever you wouldn't do usually, and change things up. You never know what might happen; and you might like whatever it is that does.

Just food for thought. 

{Disclaimer: I'm definitely not saying that severe need in oneself or demands by others for severe expression aren't signs of a problem. I'm simply saying it's okay to mix things up. ;-p }

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Control Anger by Recognizing Triggers

This blog links in from Trick Your Brain , and is one part of what I've called START.
If your goal is to stop resorting to explosive anger, this part of START relates to Triggers, for the habit of explosive anger. Please read blog Trick Your Brain to know more about START. Here I cover one aspect, being Triggers, and tie it to communication.

Maybe the reaction is anger. Responding immediately, or allowing your body's physiological responses to dictate your actions, can lead to serious ramifications. Get to really know your body. What happens right before you explode? Does your body get hot, does your face flush,  your fists ball, jaw clench, voice rise, breathing slow or pause, etc.? What can you recognize right before it comes on, and how can you channel it or express it before it happens? Can you pause, and ask a question, have someone rephrase, seek clarification, walk away, wait to speak until you're calm, postpone the feelings until you have an outlet that can be beneficial...?
Anger doesn't have to be explosive; it can be harnessed and expressed constructively. It's not others making you angry; anger is what happens inside you and is expressed by you, in response to something you don't like or of which you are opposed. Responding in anger is something different from the feeling of anger. Responding in anger is your independent, learned expression of the way you tend to handle anger. Anger is often times a secondary emotion that relates to a primary emotion - anger comes from initial feelings of fear, jealousy, hurt, confusion, frustration, etc. With frequent practice and inflection, it IS possible to identify the base feelings one has, to better equip them to handle these feelings before it turns to anger. Example, your friend or family member tells you something you find hurtful, and you get "angry". What was the real emotion? Hurt. It could also be pride that was involved, and got hurt. You felt "hurt" because they matter to you, their opinion matters, and you probably didn't like how you felt about yourself from the comment (especially if it was true). So, the hurt, not being expressed directly, turns to anger instead, and explosive responses (it's also possible to insert passive aggression here, which we can talk about later, or in a question/response area after the blog, or in email ( feel free to email me here: for lifestyle coaching or simple advice/feedback/constructive criticism or ideas).

To express hurt, children cry. Because we don't feel comfortable crying and this doesn't seem to be a social behavior that is acceptable, strong, beneficial at most times, we get angry. However, crying isn't the only way, and either is explosive anger. Even if angry, we can take a time-out until thinking clearly, or pause and ask a question to make sure the message we received was indeed the message that the other person intended to send. Very often, the intended message wasn't the same as the message that was received. Many times context, schema, common threads from the past, body language, tone, preconceptions, etc. influence how one hears a message. It can help a lot to learn to identify and articulate your initial, primary/base feelings to the other person. This can prevent anger, or channel it, and leave the ball in the court of the sender.

*Your frame of reference that you bring to the table based on connected and preconceived thoughts or patterns of behavior is your own schema. These schemas can impact the way you perceive things that happen that contain commonalities or familiarity to another incident you've experienced (and produce triggers). They create a framework for your world or the world around you that impacts how you synthesize (organize, receive, interpret) information in new circumstances (or repeat incidences).  In other words, people are most likely going to affirm things that fit their schema and re-interpret or assign their own meaning to new things, according to their personal schema. Most often, they are unaware of this, unless they consciously gauge each new knowledge or occurrence from a clean lens (if in addition to their own). Usually, if there are contradictions to our schema, we have a tendency to distort what's happening or why it's happening, to make the explanation or information fit the way we already see things. This is so important to understand when being a sender or receiver of communication, and when feelings arise.

Lastly, with anger for example, to create a new trigger, recognize the physiological responses associated with anger, and build new habits - of breathing, pausing, asking questions... :)

To read more on communication (ties into triggers for anger):

Opening Statements - The psychology of non-verbal Communication
Psychology of Verbal Communication
Communication Effectiveness
Skills You Need: Verbal Communication
Communication 101 For Everyone - Sending & Receiving

(Some of these resources may support my theories, while others just add to them.)

Trick Your Brian: Form a Desirable Habit or Accomplish Your Unrealized Goals

(FIRST initial DRAFT here. Revisions later. Just getting it out here...)

I think I may coin it START.


Set yourself up to succeed on goal at a time. Make them a part of the bigger goal. Make sure they are achievable in smaller spaces of time. When you get to the last one, the bigger one, that you'd like to keep up, you'll already see how far you've come, all that you've done to ensure your goal comes realization, you won't want to scrap the whole lot of these accomplishments! Make it worth it! Once you get there, you should know that you can do it again, and again, and again.
If you want to go back to school, for example, to get a new degree, don't just have this as your next goal. Break it down into smaller steps on the way to getting back to school. What does this goal entail? It's possible you may have to plan for a bigger savings account or nest egg to help you go through school or look into financial programs to aide the endeavor (ie. gov. loans). You may have to plan daycare or the right timeframe (when kids get school-age and won't need childcare arrangements during the day). You might discover a smaller goal would be organizing your time efficiently for all the activities in your life, and freeing up time. Maybe even starting one class first, to see how well you do at juggling time, so that you can have a mini-success to bounce off, before setting yourself up for the bigger, full-time goal. It may be that going back to school even means one class at a time, until you've completed all your classes.


If you have an undesirable habit you'd like to break (like smoking, cussing, procrastinating, getting angry prematurely, other substance abuse, gossiping [girls!] etc.), and yet all the good intentions can't get you there, it may be best to analyze what happens right before the undesirable habit/reflex you'd like to break. Usually there are warning signs or triggers that are associated with the adverse reaction or proaction.
For example, if you're a gossiper, maybe the first thing you do is get excited or a thrill when you hear a story about someone, or maybe you think something negative. Maybe it would help to begin practicing, immediately following some story you've heard second-hand, saying something kind about the person. Maybe it's walking away, or saying nothing.
Maybe the vice is smoking. Is it reasonable to expect yourself, merely on willpower or intention alone, to eradicate a chemical dependence or addiction? It can be very beneficial to identify triggers that signal your body to smoke, and replace these triggers with those positive triggers you can associate with smoking. So, if walking into a bar, or drinking, gets you hankering for a cigarette, try smelling fragrant oils or possibly a dirty rag. Do this every time in place of the cigarette smoking. Or try reflecting on what life will be like smelling good, and being active, and breathing nice air (both yourself and your partner) after a nice cruise on the ocean. Picture the place you want to be, and how you want to feel, every time you think, "I want to smoke." Create a new trigger, in the place of the usual time or location you want to smoke. After a few weeks, it can also forge an association to this urge. Maybe you'll even pick up a new-found hobby on the way, like meditating or taking a walk when you used to smoke.
Lastly, if certain work breaks inhibit your self-control, create a new place for breaks, that are smoke-free.

Maybe the reaction is anger. If so, here's more about how anger can be connected to a trigger. If controlling anger is your goal, read here: Control Anger by Recognizing Triggers

Advance (Planning).

Do things in advance! Planning for success enables you to succeed. If you want to get better at working out in the morning, for example, set your clothes out the night before so they're right there for you to see when you wakeup. If your work group goes out a lot after work, then you will have to consider this and make a time slot that you will realistically be able to fit in a workout. This may mean working out in the morning before work, taking workout gear to work and running home, working out before you go to dinner, or eating light so that you can workout on your way home.


The key to successful learning and implementation is repetition. The same way one forms a habit they want to break, they can form a habit they want to keep. Practice and repeat. Do it again, and again, until it becomes second nature.


If you tend to do better with encouragement, or you like to be held accountable, tell your closest friends. Hearing words of encouragement can help you when you're low. However, some people tend to satisfy part of the urge and satiate their own drive, by hearing these words of praise. If that tends to be you, wait until you accomplish something to start telling everyone about your goal. Make sure it happens in order to feel better about it, rather than getting the fix (of self-praise, others' praise, emotional satisfaction) without actually putting forth the effort or putting in the work.
If you're someone who actually follows-through and does better when you tell others, it's most likely because that created expectation or accountability. In that case, have friends hold you accountable, ask questions, or challenge you.

Most of all, Tell Yourself! Tell yourself why you want it, why it's important, what you'll feel like when you accomplish the goal, and how to do it. Tell yourself by reading out what you have committed to, after you've written it down. Tell yourself by saying it out loud. Tell yourself by giving yourself reminders on your phone, post-it-notes, etc. Tell yourself by creating mini-successes to achieve along the way, and think up some reward that you can receive, and thus tell yourself you've gone part way.

Telling others how you did it, what you learned, and how they can do it! Knowledge is power, and it feels good to enable others, and see them succeed! A world full of satisfied, successful, happy people would look a lot better than a world with a lot of people without knowledge or tools!

You can even tell your creator, the desires of your heart. Telling in itself can be asking, for help and open doors along the way.

Additional Tips:

Don't give up! If it isn't realistic, revise!
Give it time!
Be positive! (You should always spend more time on what's right in life than what's wrong. Yet, it's very important to analyze what's going wrong or what we can improve, but then focus on the how - the positive direction.)
Involve others!
Pass it on! Let others hear encouraging words or information, that may better them the way it has you. Additionally, passing it on and seeing someone else succeed can often encourage our own selves to succeed.

My After-thoughts: 

(I really hope it's taken in stride, and as it is intended; in humility and earnest. I don't want this to be a message that's perceived with..."duh", "she thinks she knows", "she thinks it's easy"...I want it to be one that's responded to with, "she cares", she's not quite there, but I can take something from this", "she likes helping", "speaks from experience", "helpful", "I think I want to know more"...

with best intentions,


P.S. An interesting blog about happiness can be found here: 10-scientifically-proven-ways-to-make-yourself-happier