Today’s revelation. 

I’m a professional at taking things to heart. I have always known I am a little sensitive, but I don’t think I realized the scope of this habit. Friends and family, please stop laughing. 

Twice today I’ve noticed myself anxious, irritated, disappointed, angry or sad, and thankfully stopped , reflected, (and done some EFT ) and realized this shit has nothing to do with me!
It’s not about me, it’s not directed at me, and the level to which it impacts me – basically revolves around how personally I take it. 

I am floored at how long it’s it taken me to come to this, and worse than that- I know it will probably take a few more times before it sticks! this reminds me of Marianne Williamsons story in a return to love when she speaks about her and a friend discussing dating and how personally she takes things “tell me honestly- how could I have done it differently?” I asked and I was shown. ❤️

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Technology: the Death of Human Communication

Part of me, is squirming and severely opposed to writing this. Me. Facebook enthusiast, text junkie, Whatsapp experimenter…  I’ve been a passionate “insta-” addict since the cute little “UH OH” of ICQ, and now, here I sit, committing mutiny against my longtime companion.  But, it’s time. It’s time to discuss.  Our language, social skills, emotional maturity, and privacy is disappearing:  being connected is creating massive disconnection.

At the most basic level, our short forms, slang, acronyms and “emojis” are slowly making us next to illiterate.  There was a time when it was frowned upon to use such language in writing, and now, you’re the idiot if you can’t understand it. Punctuation has become somehow extinct, or at least considered highly unnecessary in most cases, which only leads to more challenge in the next level of problem:  misunderstanding of tone, meaning and intention.  An example at most simplistic level: recently I got a reply to a text where I had told someone I was upset.  The message, simply, said “Sorry.” I stared at my phone and found myself wondering… is that sincere? is is sarcastic?  But did I call and ask?  Hell no: what is this 1990? Seeking clarification by using a device to actually talk, now somehow has become weird…or at least less convenient.

Even before someone has the chance to “misread your tone” – another challenge is we have only our willpower to rely on to keep us from communicating in the heat of the moment.  Pre instant messaging, communication methods actually forced a brief time out from conversation or interaction.  Someone said something you didn’t like at dinner? Chances are, you had AT LEAST the drive home to percolate, if not a few days to cool off, think it through and approach things rationally.

Under the same situation today, (provided you heard anything that was said at dinner by putting your phone down), you have the freedom and convenience to unload your rage full force on anyone you want, before leaving the driveway!  Your new opponent can then respond with equal rage, and so on.  Easily pulled into a war, from which it then becomes difficult to “get out of the trenches” because not replying also somehow implies disrespect. During this time when judgment is compromised, some might also seek support by venting feelings in a public forum, where at least a fraction of your thousand closest friends will validate your tantrum and in some cases; lash out at each other regarding opinions.  Alternatively, you could post a vague, passive-aggressive status update, while gaining sympathy and also  awarding you the high potential of offending someone else, accidentally, and unknowingly.

All this… with the convenient option of “screenshot capability” wherein anyone is free to snap, prologue, edit, censor and share at their leisure so that any other number of people can perceive, judge, translate, infer, personalize, over-react, be offended, and respond however appropriately or inappropriately.

I’m not suggesting a techno-ban.  I still love sharing photos and jokes with friends and family, and the convenient of texting, but we need to get a handle and put forth an effort on not letting convenience trump actual communication.

 

After-word….

My own “baby steps” as of lately:  1) If a message doesn’t feel “right” (tone, timing etc) I either seek clarification, or, I don’t reply immediately. 2) Taking more phone “time outs” to try and be more present with people, pets, experiences etc.  3) Journaling, or blogging opposed to texting and status-updating.

 

Power questions

I’m working on getting this writing thing at least “regular” if it’s not perfect: know you can skip it, and read the “funny stuff” – I recommend my archives.  In the meantime, I’m currently working on PEACE and POSITIVE and just WRITING something.  For a few days, I’ve been doing the Hawaiin prayer/practice “Ho’oponopono, I understand I’m being REIKI’d from afar, and, doing my regular EFT and meditations. (Stay tuned for a post on Ho’oponopono and how I think this practice is similar to a course in miracles, at least as discussed in Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return To Love.

This morning I stumbled upon a website called tiny Buddha that suggested that the questions and things we say to ourselves in the morning, can shape our day.  While I logically “know” this, I often wake up emotional, feeling stressed out, or dreadful about the day.  The article suggests we should consciously ask ourselves empowering questions.   http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-wake-up-every-morning-on-top-of-the-world

What do I have to look forward to today?

My morning mocha! Talk to friends and family, my mom coming back from out of town. Seeing my horses.  **PAY DAY!!!

What is perfect about my life?

I have no debt!   My family, including all the pets are all healthy and happy.

What could make today awesome!?

A day off, a windfall, news of an extra long weekend, a raise, a cool property for sale, free food, an exciting career or education opportunity, an unexpected phone call.

I thought I’d share some of my answers with you, along with asking for your feedback! Do you have any other questions you ask? What practices do you do to help you stay peaceful and centered ?

 

 

My Fave holiday!!!

WOOOO It’s halloween weekend! one of my faves.  I’m still putting last minute costume touches on, as the truth is; its been kind of a rough couple of weeks.  However, my costume will be dawned.. probably three times this year.  I’m also seeking new ideas for my pumpkins (check out my facebook album https://www.facebook.com/courtney.silverthorn.5/media_set?set=a.10150442767784970.1073741843.508369969&type=3)

I can’t wait to bust out my creative genius… and hope all of you are having a spook-tacular halloween weekend.

Cheers.

Skimming my past…

So many people commend my writing, from bosses who appreciate the detailed, objective, -court worthy- reports, to friends who’ve stopped here or giggled at my Facebook updates.  Yet I struggle at times, to write, arguing with myself about what to write about, believing;  ” I’m not a writer!”

Yet, here I sit, having organized my storage spaces… Looking at five full journals from  past years; knowing there are more secrets in more books, hidden in another box.  So… maybe, in fact, I AM a writer?? Maybe, staying present and looking back, will offer me some future topics?  Maybe, I must embrace a Tucker Max mentality instead of trying to censor it all… In truth, my friends are right: you don’t need reality TV if you let me swing by once a week… my life is entertaining.  Sometimes hilarious, sometimes depressing, but mine, and never dull.

I’m approaching a five year anniversary; of calling off my engagement and moving out of “his” house.  At a glance, I’m hard on myself and critical about what I have and haven’t “achieved”while he, has a now-one-year-old with the girl we assumed was the “rebound.”

Tonight, I read entries from a journal from the year after I left:

December 4, 2012

As I flip through this journal it occurs to me – perhaps I should burn it!  I’m writing because I feel unbalanced; lonely, yet don’t want to be around anyone, restless, yet don’t want to do anything. I feel I don’t spent much time in the “present moment.”- I’m distracted by phone, computer, and TV.  Regretting the past, worried about the future.

Why am I so consumed by peoples views and opinions? Why am I so in need of validation? Why do I hold on to people who appear to have no purpose, or worse, who hurt me? Where are my goals and ambitions?

_________________________________________________________________

Well, I didn’t burn the journal.  Maybe I should have! I feel a lot of these same feelings today about needing validation from other people and I’m working on letting it go- an experience last week drove home the point that you can’t change someone’s opinion, and it says much more about them then it does about you. In my journal, I went on to find and list the positives, which I will repeat and continue right now:

I love bubble baths, nice towels, making a good run, snowmobiles, the lake,and shooting a good game of pool.  I love my family, all my fur kids, and my horses.  In five years, I’ve rebuilt many old friendships,  and made new ones.  I upgraded my truck, got my motorcycle licence (and bought, then upgraded my bike.) I did freelance work as a cleaner, painter, karaoke DJ, and chicken and dairy farmer. I dated three – er- two and a half musicians. I hit on a pilot  (Both of these, a whole other post!) I learned to operate a backhoe, drive a tractor and “unload on the fly.”  I started a new career as a receptionist, moved to editor, and refreshed my French skills. I started a blog. I took a writing course.  I got back into fitness and lost twenty pounds.  I discovered a new rum, and new wine; and gained back ten!   I traveled to 3 different countries, and became a “familiar” at a bar in Bucerias Mexico: I wrote a story about it that I submitted for publishing. In a big rig, I visited eleven states in five days including Nashville Tennessee where I danced on the bar at Coyote Ugly. I became briefly addicted to Zelda, Twilight Princess.  I rode the horse I brought into the world, and trained: at a rodeo, in a parade, and on a girls weekend away trail-riding. I moved two horses 7 times in four years: which lead me back to some of my favourite people and a place that always felt like home.  I found relationships that renewed my hopeless romantic side, and, also had some heartbreak: I survived.   I  witnessed most of our “couple” friends endure divorce, and break-ups.  I hoped for new sparks between friends who were old flames; when it didn’t work, I watched each of them marry someone else… and considered that maybe things DO work out how they’re meant to eventually; and you learn and grow along the way.

I’ve crammed a whole other lifetime, and a whole other me into the last five years.  I’m making plans and goals for the future, but still staying present… writing… and skimming my past.

Journey in meditation

Journey in meditation

Several weeks ago, I decided to try this “meditating thing.”  I started with “a beginners mind.” I googled various forms of meditation, and eventually just committed to doing 2 minutes a day to start. I set a timer on my phone, and focused on my breath, counting 1 on the in breath and 2 on the out, up to ten, then started again. At first, my mind continued to race, and complain, and think, and try to list all the things I should be doing. I felt angry, frustrated, tense, and actually at times, an urge to cry… Little voices screamed in my head “this is so stupid!” “I don’t have time for this! Overall, it seems my brain, was much like a three year old child that never had a bedtime; when told it it was time to get quiet and just power down, for the first few days, it threw a fit and tried everything to keep bouncing! I read some more. “Be gentle with yourself. Guide your mind back to your breath, and just be patient and persistent.”

Almost immediately, I noted that during my workday I was slightly less reactive. Only slightly, but this was a big deal for me having spent years in the grips of depression, anxiety and potentially one of the most defensive people I know. One evening I went to the grocery store: normally a ‘get in and get out’ kind of girl generally easily annoyed by people, I surprised myself by the relaxed state I was in, and the fact I actually made eye contact and smiled at a couple of people. Just shy of two weeks in, and at this point doing still less than 10 minute sessions (occasionally split into mini meditations of two minutes throughout the day) I went to a crowded restaurant. The service was slow, I was really hungry, and it was loud: a situation that normally, would have caused and justified frowns, complaints and snappiness, I found I was totally at peace. On my way back from the restroom, an elderly gentleman was walking in front of me at a snails pace, and while I’m ashamed to admit it, this also normally would have been an irritation: on this night though, I had patience and compassion and thought “that’s someone’s grandpa. I send him love.”

The fifth week after starting this journey, some quite profound things began to shift. I had a performance evaluation with a superior that I have had a great deal of tension and past issues with. The meeting started as others had, but the self talk in my head was completely different; it said “despite what is being said, you’re a good person, good at your job, and at the end of this meeting, one way or another you will be ok.” Somehow, as if miraculously, the entire energy in the room shifted; an hour and a half later, the entire relationship felt different and I left the meeting feeling like this was the most positive interaction we had ever had.

I visited with my grandmother, who I had not spoken to for several months due to several personal and family disputes; we had a good visit, during which she began to steer the conversation to other family members she had issues with. In the past, this was grounds to get angry, defensive, protective, and my reaction would have either ended the visit, or turned into total conflict. This time however, I calmly, yet firmly drew a boundary: “we’re not going there. Its in the past, it doesn’t concern me, and it doesn’t matter.” In the days that followed, I received a message from another family member who I had not spoken to in almost two years. This to, now felt different and lead to an hour conversation. These little changes continued when another long-lost friend who I had had a falling out with almost five years prior, also “requested” my friendship on Facebook and we began interacting and joking as if not a day had past.

I’m not saying I went from being miss anxious and snappy to being a saint, but definitely some noticeable improvements a significant portion of the time. I guess when you finally get that toddler to rest… he’s refreshed and in a better mood the rest of the day!

I’ve been slacking!

Alright! theres no excuse I’ve been slacking. Here I am making a quick post just to see if anyone else is still out there, following me in my little corner.  I’ve added a page about EFT that anyone currently going through some “stuff” may want to check out and connect with me for a a free session.  (WHY NOT!?)

I’ve been participating, listening, tapping along and writing about the Tapping World Summit 2016 and loving it!!  My favourite topic so far has been healing past relationships pain! the funny part is, I somehow randomly ended up tapping on some “old relationship stuff” on my own, on the exact same day this was featured; before I knew what the topic was!!!  VERY COOL.  VERY INTUITIVE.

Thats the universe one step ahead of me!

Here is a card for all my facebook and blog friends for today, HAPPY LEAP YEAR

Trust anfeb29d follow your passion in your love life and career. Playing it safe can lead to staleness and depression. It’s safe to take risks and follow your hearts desire!!

I know this one is ringing true for me right now as I’m exploring my own direction with career and personal goals – and trying to stay a little more “zen” to take better care of my emotions and well being.

Does this card resonate with anyone ?

 

Rosebuds and kisses make for sweet adventures

Attitude is the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure. ~Unknown.  Many times on the road as a child with my mother, she would pull off to the nearest convenience store and return with scribbled directions, and a box of Rosebuds:  the difference between being lost and “on an adventure!” We have continued sharing such adventures through the years, one comedy of errors particularly memorable: Nuevo Vallarta, 2013.

In a whirlwind of dramas among friends, Mom and I found ourselves banished from our original accommodations with only days to secure a hotel, and a pesky issue of me on a return flight the day before hers, but with a $450 rescheduling fee, we would make do.

To further challenge my blissful vacation, the morning of departure I awoke to the flu gods mocking me.  Armed with Pepto, prayers, and popsicles, I crawled to the car, and barely survived the flight.  Fortunately, a day and a nap made all the difference and things started to improve.  My determination to enjoy my vacation despite dilemmas found me in the hotel lobby carefully sipping a cosmopolitan planning the week.

It was then I met Alberto; our cute, charming Mexican tour rep, with an amazing, sexy smile.  He asked to take me out on my last night, but when I went secure plans, I had missed him.  Disappointed, I made the best of it at the disco with mom, and Tequila.  When we returned late and found a note on the door, my heart sank; it was from Alberto saying he would pick me up at nine.  I felt awful.

The next morning, after solemnly packing, I tried to find my tanned skin prince, without success.  On route to the lobby, the foot broke off my suitcase turning it into an awkward, unstable mess to drag home; the perfect metaphor for my own emotions.  In the cab, I sniffled, and wiped my tears.  “Why are you crying Senorita?” The driver asked.  I sobbed: “Because I don’t want to leave yet.”  “So, stay!”

Upon arrival at the airport, I limped my wounded baggage through the glass doors, across the polished floor, and bid adios to Mexico.  Like a new kindergartner, I put on my brave face and took a breath; and then it was lost once more.  There, running down the escalator, was the amazing, sexy smile that I thought I’d never see again.  He reached the foyer and swept me in a hug, and a Hollywood worthy, kiss of a lifetime!  For that moment, all was well with the world.

Armed with the strength of a proper goodbye, I presented my documents at the check in counter.  I asked once more about changing my flight, determined to bend reality with persistence.  Agents spoke to each other in Spanish, and something seemed wrong. I was almost sure I was about to be wrongly detained in a Mexican prison -which seemed a fitting end to this flawed fiesta- When the clerk finally explained to me: bad weather in Texas; my connection was cancelled. Shock rolled through my body, and I struggled to stop the grin from erupting as the reality hit me.  “So I’m delayed and it’s your fault!”  I was quickly booked on a flight the following day, and presented with travel vouchers and cab fare for the “inconvenience.”

The sun smiled on the road back; palm trees applauded my victory, the broken suitcase carried itself! As we rolled up to the hotel lobby, I barely waited for the taxi to stop before leaping onto the curb.  There, in the archway stood Alberto – shocked and ecstatic to see me!  The whole story, finding my mom and evening plans unfolded in the next ten minutes, through euphoric smiles and happy hugs.  While dozens frowned in Texas, three beamed in Mexico for one, perfectly cancelled flight.

Any or all of these obstacles could have been a trip disaster, but thanks to attitude, they became the blunders we triumphed over for a uniquely memorable vacation; the places we paused to get our Rosebuds.

 

 

*Submitted October 2015- for possible publication to Travellers Tales.

Booooo To Man BUNS!

Man Buns. Not the kind routinely slapped for a “good game.”- I’ll spare you any further “puns about buns” and get right to the point: we need to talk about this “Man-bun” phenomenon.  It’s become a running joke with my friends and I after noticing the amount of these currently taking the world by storm recently… then of course, the included meme that found its way to my facebook shortly after.  IMG_5005

I looked further into this, trying to gain some insight and there is an entire history of man-buns at buzzfeed.com. It seems to have started with Buddha’s “topknot” and developed…George Harrison, Samarai Futeba on Saturday Night Live, Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show where it apparently originated from the planet “transsexual” – There’s an interesting take on your “new do.”  I may take some flack for this… but I’m just going to say it:

I HATE. THE. MAN-BUN.

Frankly- just because you put the word “man” in front of it: does not make it masculine, or cool; a guy wearing a bun to the bar, is about as sexy as ME wearing one; sure, it looks like I’m not trying too hard, but there are a ton of other styles that would be so much more attractive.  Dear Hipsters… You’re not David Beckham.  You’re not trend-setting, and the accompanying shaggy beard just makes you look homeless.

I can imagine the arguments now: “But Courtney, the man-bun has taken Hollywood by storm.” Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Hemsworth, Jake Gellenhaal: they can do whatever they want. If you’ve made that much money, and have been voted in the top ten sexiest men alive ever – wear your hair in braided pigtails if you want to, that doesn’t make it cool and something everyone should do.  And, for the record, I still prefer all of these men sans man-bun!

In summary, unless you’re so beautiful and athletic that no one notices your hair, or, actually a samurai, just say no to the bun. Buns should be reserved for Grandma, little girls at their ballet recital and me trying not to get my hair wet in the pool.

What Makes a Good Date?

Recently, I bragged about a great date I had been on, and told him, that even if we didn’t “click” and end up “dating” he still got an “A” for the “best executed date I had been on in YEARS.”  So… What made this date so great?

He insisted on picking me up.  When he arrived, he parked, and walked up to get me.  After asking me a few preference questions, he chose the restaurant.  He held the door, told me I look nice, and asked me questions about myself.  He joked with me.  He paid for dinner.  We then went out to meet some of his friends (which I had previously agreed to.) He introduced me to them, and chatted with everyone- while still interacting with me.  He dropped me off, suggested we do it again, and, he texted the next day.

I thought I may have been so blown away because I have been relatively removed and mostly un-enthused about the dating world for a while.  But when I told my girlfriend, she responded: “I like him already. Finally, a guy who gets it! Mama taught him well.”

Neither of us are really what I would call “old fashioned girls” either. So why were we both so impressed by this? Is this “old-fashioned”? We’re in a world that thanks to social media and dating sites we assume we’ve made dating or… mating so convenient, yet ask anyone who has spent much time in that forum and they will tell you it’s anything but.  Where people tend to peruse MATCH and POF like catalogue shopping, swiping left and right based on nothing more than a photo; we’ve become arrogant, judgmental, possibly even entitled.

For me, this guy earned a great deal of respect; by demonstrating that for me and my time.  He showed up fully and made me feel like regardless of outcome; I was worth some effort.

Ladies: How does a guy impress you? What makes a good date? What do you do to be a good date?

Gentlemen: Do you put forth this kind of effort? Why or why not?

Do you treat someone differently if you have previously met them or have mutual friends than you do if you met someone on a dating site? Comment…