Friday, May 31

Choosing Fear or Choosing to Know?

Fearful, scary, afraid, frightening, terrifying... none of these words or their meanings make me feel good.

Happiness feels good, Fearful feels uncomfortable.
We like feeling good, we don’t like feeling uncomfortable.
We aim to be happy, we don’t seek to be afraid.
Happiness has the power to heal, Fear has the power to make sick. (Ask anyone with anxiety issues)

If ^ this is the case, and it seems to make sense, why do so many of us choose to feel fear?
We never let happiness stop us from doing something, and yet we let fear stop us all the time. Both are feelings. Both are feelings we can choose.
(I’m tempted to exclude people with anxiety issues, but I’m not going to hand out the ‘Get out of jail free’ card, and say I’m not talking to you as well… if you have anxiety issues keep reading, you might find some perspective that resonates somewhere inside you.)

Many of us don’t continually feel fear, we choose to run when it appears, and never deal with anything fearful.

Why would we want to deal with scary/fearful things? We might end up… … um… with… um…. … … What might we end up with if we deal with those scary things?

We might end up learning they aren’t scary?

No, I got it… we might end up feeling uncomfortable…. The thing we felt anyway by feeling afraid in the first place…. So, we might end up right where we started… but this time with the knowledge of: “See, it was a good thing I was afraid and uncomfortable, cause now I can continue to be afraid and uncomfortable… this time with PROOF I should have been feeling it all along!”

So, either…
1. You learn you don’t need to be afraid,
2. You learn you don’t feel any different… but you get to say “I was right”.

The thing is, you are far more likely to experience #1 than you are to experience #2.
Why is that?
Because of the nature of FEAR! Fear is wrong all the damn time! Fear tells you stupid shit, and it’s so convincing!! Fear and the Negative Committee in your head are such great friends, they gang up and stop you from believing anything outside of what they are telling you. They sound legit, they have a loud argument, and frankly, they are much easier to believe than they are to make quiet. So, often we just choose the easy option of believing them so they all high five one another and sit down smiling.

This means NOT being afraid has to be a conscious choice… ACTING on the choice, so you can experience the ‘thing’ not being scary.  The ‘acting on’ has to be a conscious step forward of ignoring the Negative Committee, and choosing to learn for yourself.
Why not learn for yourself what warrants fear and what doesn’t?
Seriously, why not?
I have to throw in:
I totally believe in Me, Myself, and I…. ‘Natalie’ is how I refer to myself all the time, with my friends all finding my use of third-person silly.
I don’t TRY to do it, I just feel like there are many aspects to me. Parts I know well, parts I don’t, smart parts, ignorant parts, funny parts, confused parts, mature parts, immature parts; to just say “Me” or “I” feels so partial.
I tell you this because “the negative committee” is a very real thing to me, a part of me I regularly have to slap in the face and say “shut-up!”

As I offer up this perspective am not saying I don’t feel fear. On the contrary, there is plenty of crap in my life appearing and looking fearful, what I am doing is learning #1 above. I keep choosing to educate myself on whether or not the fearful thing is worthy of fear, and I just keep learning it’s not.

I’m also working on NOT making assumptions, this goes hand in hand with fear because we assume things are fearful. Fear is not based in education, it’s based on assuming scariness, and believing what we assume.
Hence the saying: Don’t believe everything you think.

Life is all about choices, we choose our feelings. (I could write a whole post on that alone.) Why choose fear? Why decide “Oooooh, that’s scary….” and then swim in it?
I can’t think of a good reason........... not one!

Blah, Bleck, Ick, Yuk, Natalie doesn’t want to be feeling uncomfortable. She wants to feel happy.
Removing the uncomfortable feelings by facing fears, so they don’t exist, so I only feel happy… THAT is what I want to swim in.

It doesn’t matter what words you put with: Fearful, scary, afraid, frightening, terrifying.
“I’m frightened of rejection”, “I’m afraid to love again”, “I’m scared to grow up”, “I’m terrified I will fail” ________________and a million more.
If you catch yourself using these words, use that as the mark you need to educate yourself on that particular thing. Don’t assume you know what will happen, don’t choose to swim in discomfort, acknowledge you have a choice, slap or gag the Negative Committee, and learn for yourself what warrants fear and what doesn’t.

Because you know what happens then?
You get all those benefits of Happy.

Thursday, May 23


I've just discovered a band and song I can't stop playing.
I'm such a wordie... often a song or lyric resonates with me, but my conscious mind doesn't always immediately know why.
I've listened to this song countless times, and I have just decided to grab the lyrics and follow.... I'm in awe.
For me, there are so many hidden meanings in this song. I'm impressed to the hilt and will admit it is to-date one of my favorite songs of all-time.

Would you believe that in my exploring of this band online, I learned they will be playing near me this coming Sunday... I bought tickets faster than I can eat a peanut butter cup....
I will update this post after the concert. And I will warn you now, I might be overly giddy in my writing.

The band is Savoir Adore. The song is Dreamers

Won’t you come here?  You know the way, it’s the one you made. 
Built it in the sky, all that’s in your eye, now,
Not the same.  Watch it tumble down, falling all around.
Can you stand watching it undo all that’s made of you?

You can stay where you are.  I will wake you.  I will wake you in the morning.
You can stay where you are, so don’t you worry.  Don’t you worry - keep on sleeping.

Now you see: what you thought was yours could never be had.
Take a look around, try to understand, that,
It’s a game that you’ll never hold onto very long.
Where we are isn’t just a place where everything remains.

You can stay where you are.  I will wake you.  I will wake you in the morning.
You can stay where you are, so don’t you worry.  Don’t you worry - keep on sleeping.

Not the same.  Watch it tumble down, falling all around.
Can you stand watching it undo all that’s made of you?

Savoir Adore update
The Concert…
E-ticket said doors open at 9.
I’m a real organized person, I don’t like missing anything, so my friend and I arrived at 8:30. My whole day centered around this concert, so there was no reason to be late.

Knowing the venue (Urban Lounge) was 21 and older, I kinda hoped we could go in and maybe get a coffee on arrival. Since it was Sunday, coffee shops were closed! I know I was being an optimist in my hope I could get a coffee from the bar and sit with it while we waited for the concert to start, but I don’t drink alcohol, and coffee was what I fancied.

Parking right in front of the door, we got out and spoke to a guy changing the words on the marquee outside, he said they weren’t open yet, and suggested a place around the corner for a coffee. He said don’t worry about coming back at 9, leave it a little later.

Tuesday, May 21

My Inner-G Energy (Inner-God)

Do not read if you have a God outlined with perfect solid black lines. This post is for people who like to keep an open mind, and enjoy new perspective.

I grew up being told who God is, what he expects of me, what he wants me to do/not do, and the many conditions I needed to know/be in order to ‘return’ to him. I was even told not to call “him” God, but instead “Heavenly Father”. I was also told this is a circular journey of returning somewhere, not a never-ending one, where I keep moving forward.

We all at some point decide either to stick with who we were told God is, OR we come to a new conclusion, redefining “God”. I’m also referencing all the entities being worshiped, in all religions, not just the ones referred to by the three letter word: God.

I bet you think this post is going to be long…  Ha… It totally could be, but honestly, I find this subject a rather sacred one, so telling you who my God is -is not the point.
The point is to offer up some perspective.

I had a ‘What If’ thought.
What if:
Every person had a different God. What if my God had different values than your God, what if my God were a trillion years older than your God, what if “worshiping” is a low priority to my God, but not to yours.
What if all our Gods were created by the universe,
the universe created our planet,
and the universe gave our Gods permission to create us for this planet.
What if your God wants to sit back and let you believe there is no God?
What if this planet is a big ol’ science fair and one of the God’s is going to win a blue ribbon in the end?

Yes, I’m getting silly, (perspective can be like that) but, what if MY GOD is not YOUR GOD? Seriously….
Each of us could have a God that is solely our own. This is why I say Inner-G.

IF that were the case… there would be no point what-so-ever in telling anyone about your “religion”. In gathering together to enjoy the collective ego of “We have the truth”.
No point arguing over scripture, no judging people for not “following” rules. No religious arrogance, no guarantees, no collecting money from people to further the agenda’s religions have.

If I asked you who your God is, would you tell me immediately what you’ve been told all your life? OR would you like to take a couple weeks to familiarize yourself with who your Inner-G might be… how your God feels to your heart, and what happiness your God wants to share with you. I think getting to know YOUR GOD could actually take quite some time because first you need to learn to quiet all the years of noise telling you who your God is. That alone could take a while. Then, figuring out what feels positive/accurate/nice/comfortable about your Inner-G.

And yes, it sounds like I might be saying you DECIDE who your Inner-G is, cause maybe that’s true too!!

(I love Maybe’s and What IF’s)

I see my prayers get answered… I think the God assigned to me is proactive, which means I’m not an atheist. I also feel no need to assign a gender to my God, nor a son or a ghost… And I refuse to say “Heavenly Father” ever again. Basically I feel quite happy to say I know very little about my God other than IT wants me to learn and grow, It wants me to be happy/friendly/loving, often insisting I figure out stuff on my own, and when I ask for help; IT hears me.

I don’t think for a second that we mortals could possibly figure out who God is, what “he” wants, “his” plan, “his” agenda, “his” history, or current state. Just letting my mind explore what “God” might know, I feel that we haven’t ability to comprehend the enormity of any God. Which is kind of to say again: I am forced to decide who my God is.
I’ve decided my God wants me to enjoy this planet, explore, look at the sky, photograph flowers, laugh with friends… My god whispers to me, reminding me to see the positive things in life, to see the beauty in the people who cross my path.
And when I “pray”, I start with: “Dear Natalie’s God…”

Thursday, May 16

Different Realities, and only worrying about YOURS.

A thought came to me today as I pondered the way someone recently talked to me as though their reality pertained to mine. (I’m avoiding using a gender)
We were conversing about their life, and the statements “they” were making were overly blanketed, as though their blanket of beliefs had bearing on all people. They then started talking about things I should do the same as them, and saying how I too would feel wonderful like they do, if I did these things. These were 'things' that don’t appeal to me…

And then it dawned on me, “The reality you are living, is not my reality. Nor is mine yours.”

Lets look at taste. 
The things I like and enjoy dictate my experiences. If one night I go to an Ellie Goulding concert, and have an amazing time (cause I love her music), then the following night a friend wants me to go see Megadeath with them… I’m going to decline knowing I don’t like their music. I say to my friend that I don’t like heavy metal, I want to pass, but my friend insists I will love Megadeath and says I will find the music so much better than Ellie Goulding.

Oh? My tastes will change because of your tastes?

What if:
We grow up in different states
My parents are nice
Your parents are mean
My birthday was celebrated
Your birthday was unimportant
My favorite sport is running
Your favorite sport is swimming
My favorite food is Italian
Your favorite food is Chinese
My favorite book is A New Earth
Your favorite book is Twilight
I was the popular kid in school
You were bullied

You get my point. My life and my reality will be dictated by WHO I am. Who I am is dictated by my experiences. Experiences are dictated in huge part by tastes, so NO two people are the same, no two have the same reality.

Does this mean we shouldn’t listen to anyone different from ourselves, no, but it does mean we shouldn’t try to force what we like and are and do onto others, because of our own reality. Their reality is not yours!

We need to watch the way we speak and think as it pertains to others lives. My priorities are not yours, your hang ups are not mine.

You needn’t worry about trying to convince anyone their life needs to be anything different unless they come to you asking for ideas on making changes. Unless that happens, projecting your reality onto them, just makes them not want to tell you about their reality.

And anyone feeling like they can’t share their reality with you will mean you have successfully communicated to them you don’t respect their differences.
That’s sad.
Be who you want to be, and let others also!

Thursday, May 9

Relationship Dynamics

I've been thinking about the fascinating elements two people create/bring/have when they come together. This is what I refer to as a 'Dynamic', which is a less boring word for relationship, but also means more than that.

By two people, I don't just mean a "couple" like two people in love, I mean ANY relationship with ANYone. The dynamic you have with your mom, is not the dynamic you have with your best friend, which is a different dynamic from the co-worker who sits closest to you, or the old high school friend that just called.

I find it fascinating that I don't change, but the dynamic I feel in each relationship does. This seems an obvious statement to make in some ways because no two people are the same, so of course the outcome of each relationship will differ. BUT, what isn't so obvious is the underlying elements of each dynamic. I am always looking at how a relationship feels. Not in terms of words, but in terms of comfort, ease, fluidity, and ultimately, (it sounds strange to say) Benefit.

I say benefit, not because of selfishness... not what a person can take from another... no, what I mean is the benefit of happiness you receive from certain people.  In contrast to the LACK of happiness you have with others. And not just happiness, but your ability to learn from them, to become a better person because they are in your life, and REALLY (the whole reason I'm writing this -->) your ability to like yourself more when you are with them. This is not to say you don't already like yourself, because it's possible, the more you already like yourself, the more you will when you meet someone with such a connecting/cohesive dynamic to you.

Knowing or acknowledging the benefit of liking yourself more, is important... it should tell you who to spend time with and who to avoid.  Occasionally you meet a person where the dynamic you have with them is SO different, and SO refreshing, they not only change how you see yourself, they manage to change how you see many things.

THIS is the Dynamic that has inspired this post. In the last few months I've had a few people enter and leave my life, and the dynamic I felt with them was positive, helpful, loving, happy, inspiring, and all-round Beautiful. There might be no better word for it than Beautiful.

When someone who creates this beneficial dynamic -leaves, (not that they always will) sometimes it's only then that you realize the huge effect they had. Stand back and allow yourself to see and feel that benefit. I saw the benefit while I was enjoying the beauty, but WOW I'm seeing so much continued benefit even after the loss. Such an amazing dynamic effects so many areas of your life.

I choose to concentrate on the continued benefit, NOT the loss. I still crave the benefit of liking myself more, (In the actual exchange with that person), I crave the learning, I crave the laughing, I crave the inspiring beauty already mentioned, but despite the cravings, I continue to benefit.

Sunday, May 5

Expert vs. Experience

Or, Education vs. Practice.
Or, Demanding Respect vs. Warranted Respect

There are a few words that don’t resonate with me lately. The current one I have a hang-up with is EXPERT.

It’s a word that I’ve ignored all my life, it never stood out, never commanded attention, and for it to suddenly rear its head as something I need to have an opinion about, is rather odd. I think I accepted it as a REAL thing for a long time, but in recent years I question so much, and I no longer hand over cred (when told to) so quickly. Basically, I no longer believe in the word the way I used to.

Life is about learning, we start learning from the minute we are born, and we never stop until our brain or body give out. If this whole life is spent learning, and we are so capable of learning, why do we have the word Expert?

Can anyone ever really be an Expert?
With so much ‘online education’ happening through ‘sharing’ my illusions of our wonderful world have been falling apart. With that, I have come to the realization that nobody knows everything about anything.

I speak about the vast majority of people. If somebody out there does know everything about something, they do not nullify this post, they just aren’t included in what I speak of. :D

Each of us reaches a point in our life where the saying “The more I learn, the less I know” becomes true. For some, it’s when they are young, for others when they are old, but I hope that each of us at some point totally gets that learning is endless

What makes an Expert? Lots of things yes, but the general consensus is that an expert of ______ has spent much time studying said subject they are an expert on. That study time turns into a piece of paper equating proof the time has been put in, and that paper hands over the Title: Expert.

What about experience? If a person does not go to school to be told how to do something, or does not receive a piece of paper equating to proof, are they an Expert? If time is spent on practice, on actual hands-on effort, are they an Expert?

What if someone gets really good at their job, the handiwork, the communication, the whatever, if they did not go to school to be so amazing at it, are they an Expert?
Let’s say you answered yes.
Does this being an expert at whatever mean that people will want to listen to this person speak? Will it make people want to give respect to the person? Does ALL “expertise” equate to respect?
Let’s say you answered no.
We seem to have this invisible rule that “Experts” also have letters following their name; most commonly P, h, and D.
I want to throw out the question: If there are NO experts, OR anyone COULD BE an expert, does the HOW matter?

I suggest that we all consider far more Respect should be dished out among us… whether or not the word Expert exists, whether or not anyone IS an expert.
Many people have not put in the Classical Education (paper) time, instead they’ve put in the Learning (actual effort) time.
THESE people, the ones who know so much through hard work outside of a classroom, are the ones I speak of. Whether or not they fall under the typical definition of “Expert”, they should definitely have the Respect of one.

Lets be less labeling/defining,
and more