Monday, September 30

Face it, You’re Unique!

Something occurred to me recently…
I don’t know anyone in this world that knows all the exact same people as me.
The only people who have the same genes (my two sisters) are the most like me, and even still they know totally different people from me.

This means the two most likely candidates  for thinking the way I do, feeling the way I do, and learning the way I do, are STILL different from me.

This sounds stupid and obvious I realize, but…
If each of us are influenced by the people we meet, the teachers we have, and the lives we lead, it is statistically impossible for anyone on this planet to be just like you.

There are countless factors in who you are; current job, past job, co-workers old and new, childhood friends, current friends, college classes, volunteering, family members, countries visited, lovers lost.

Then sometimes we do this comparison thing. We say to ourselves when watching others, “If that were me, I would ________”. Or we speak to friends and we say “You should _______”. Almost forgetting we are all influenced by totally different people, experiences, family, and more.

It seems easy to judge someone, we have our own lives and experiences to go by, and so a conclusion is easily drawn FOR them. Totally forgetting, they are NOT you. YOU are not them.

We should remember when we are quick to see a person and have an opinion, they have lived a different life from you, one you couldn't guess, and one you couldn't know with all their many factors. We don’t know what their today has been like, or what their struggles of yesterday were.

We are influenced endlessly, by endless sources, I challenge you to pay attention and judge less, acknowledging you DON’T know what people live through to influence who they become. And be secure in your differences too! You ARE unique, You ARE different

... it's a great thing!

Saturday, September 28

Ho Jo Mojo

Last night I sat with a friend of mine in a local fast food Mexican restaurant chatting over French fries covered in guacamole, fresh refried beans, and pico de gallo. (a favorite dish I’m pretty sure they only make when I come in asking for it.)

It was late, we probably shouldn't have been eating, but I find that food with a friend in a booth is the yummiest food around. (So few foods taste their best when eaten alone.)

This friend and I have known one another for about 24 years, so when we get together, it’s not uncommon for us to be laughing one minute, crying the next, and all the while ‘putting the world to right’… which would be far more accurate to say, ‘putting ourselves to right’. This friend and I share the desire for growth and both know that the most growing happens by facing the painful aspects of ourselves in life.

In this vein, we had just finished the laughing and crying when she suddenly got all excited, and said…. “You need to hear this song! I know you know it, but it’s so old, we've forgotten all about it, and it’s SUCH an awesome song. Listen to the lyrics!”
She got on her phone, pulled it up, and set the phone face down on a stack of napkins so the speaker faced upward from the center of the table. Howard Jones started playing.

No one is to blame.
“You can look at the menu but you just can't eat
You can feel the cushions but you can't have a seat
You can dip your foot in the pool but you can't have a swim
You can feel the punishment but you can't commit the sin

And you want her and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can build a mansion but you just can't live in it
You're the fastest runner but you're not allowed to win
Some break the rules and live to count the cost
The insecurity is the thing that won't get lost

And you want her and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can see the summit but you can't reach it
It's the last piece of the puzzle but you just can't make it fit
Doctor says you're cured but you still feel the pain
Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain

And you want her and she wants you”

She then turned to me and said, “I’m always looking for someone to blame for my pain, as if that would make it somehow better, or less, or ok. And you know what? No one is to blame! My pain is my pain, and blaming anyone doesn't get me anywhere that helps.”

She and I have been discussing a book I lent her called “A New Earth”, and since the ideas in this book have been in her attention lately, she has been noticing many aspects of our ego’s are all about blame and reasons, instead of acceptance and “I don’t mind”.

We both agree “I don’t mind” is very difficult, but we also both agree that finding that space would be so much easier to live in.

After my filling meal with her, I came home and ended up on the phone with another lovely friend. When I brought up Ho Jo, we got in a discussion about how his lyrics were all very open minded and we began googling numerous Ho Jo songs.

I feel tempted to say Howard Jones was ahead of his time, but I really only have my perspective to say that… He was ahead of MY time, and all these years later, with the song lyrics long since memorized, I’m actually listening to the words, and realizing, his songs need to be listened to again.

New Song
"I’ve been waiting for so long
To come here now and sing this song
Don’t be fooled by what you see
Don’t be fooled by what you hear

This is a song to all of my friends
They take the challenge to their heart
Challenging preconceived ideas
Saying goodbye to long standing fears

Don’t crack up, bend your, brain see both sides
Throw off your mental chains

Don’t crack up, bend your, brain see both sides
Throw off your mental chains

I don’t wanna be hip and cool
I don’t wanna play by the rules
Not under the thumb of the cynical few
Or laden down by the doom crew

Don’t crack up, bend your brain, see both sides
Throw off your mental chains

Don’t crack up, bend your brain, see both sides
Throw off your mental chains

I've been waiting for so long
To come here now and sing this song
Don’t be fooled by what you see
Don’t be fooled by what you hear

This is a song to all of my friends
They take the challenge to their heart
Challenging preconceived ideas
Saying goodbye to long standing fears

Don’t crack up, bend your brain, see both sides
Throw off your mental chains"

Wednesday, September 18

Outside

This is a great word, (outside) it is used for so many things that benefit me and bring me happiness.
Here I sit outside; there is a breeze, birds are chirping, sun is shining on the side of my face, and the few hairs blowing in front of my eyes are like constant reminders I am alive and I get to enjoy the beauty of life.

This is a time of year when the discomfort of summer heat has subsided, and the appearance of rain has me wanting to snatch those moments of perfect temperature and enjoy them while they are here. Winter comes too fast, and I get cold easily, so this is like those precious moments in a sunset when the colors are their brightest, but last for only about a minute. You have to be present and watch it for the few moments it’s there… appreciating the real beauty, even if it is fleeting. (Sometimes even taking pictures of that fleeting beauty stops me from getting to enjoy it ‘for real’.)
Which is why being outside with the breeze and birdsong is so great, I can’t capture it, I can ONLY enjoy it.


The shadow of the tree near me keeps moving in the breeze, and as the sun changes position in the sky, it requires me to keep changing where I’m at if I want to maintain this perfect sunshine and temp.

Many of us have experienced what we call doing something “Outside the box”. By taking your mind out of the still air ‘inside’ and into the breeze, you open up an opportunity to see something new, feel something new, and hear something new. The people who never want anything new are not the people I write my blog for, so I’m going to go ahead and assume you enjoy new, and thinking outside the box has been a fun experience for you too. If I’ve lived numerous lives, the life I’m living this time is one of perspective. Having an open mind, going “outside” and considering that there is endless land to explore, endless terrain; (green, lush, desolate, dry), and I need never box myself in. (religious/political beliefs could easily go here as examples)

I am also experiencing ‘outside’ in a different mental sense. Lately I have been noticing that I have been an observer of my own life. Living inside and outside of me at the same time. Which possibly makes no sense, but it’s what I’m feeling, and in experiencing that, I feel a little fascinated by this kind of learning. If nothing else I’m analyzing, and even just doing that helps me learn.

There is no turning back. I’m going to remain outside as often as possible. I need my hair to blow across my face continually telling me I’m alive, I need to consider possibilities that don’t exist ‘inside’. And I want to observe while living.

Monday, September 16

Obsessing, Dwelling & Worrying

“I need to stop obsessing”
“Why do I keep dwelling on this?”
Are you like me and you’ve asked yourself these questions?

Most often what we obsess/dwell/worry over are things we don’t like and can’t change.
There must be some part of us that hopes all the uncomfortable mental time we put towards it will make a difference in some way.

And yet, it doesn’t. 

What ends up making a difference for me, is realizing that I need to STOP the obsessing/dwelling/worrying, and see it differently. When I finally get sick of being uncomfortable, and I change my thoughts, it’s then I’m able to “fix” the situation.

Eckhart Tolle suggests we say to ourselves: “I don’t mind” when we encounter an uncomfortable situation/thought. I personally struggle with NOT minding, and find it just a tiny bit easier to say to myself “I don’t know”, because for some reason allowing myself to consider maybe knowing in the future is a little bit like not minding. It’s like letting myself temporarily not mind, when not minding at all isn’t what I want to do.

If we can be conscious in the tried and tested knowledge that the obsessing/dwelling/worrying doesn’t bring us greatness/happiness/joy; can we stop doing it? Or even just stop doing it sooner?

I would like to suggest we can.


I’m also going to go a bit hippy-fide here, and bring up being present. If I’m able to stop myself and be present, saying:
“Hey, Natalie… What are you doing worrying about something you couldn’t possibly change by feeling worry?”
Or, “Hey, Natalie… Are you wasting effort dwelling on something you have no control over?”
Then I’m able to be present with an honest answer.

The thing is, I can’t answer these questions with anything that sounds sensible, because I know full well that no uncomfortable feelings will fix anything.
If I choose to see things uncomfortably, if I swim in that… I really had better not complain about what I’m choosing.

I am however, the type of person who wants to be complaining about anything that doesn’t feel great.
So…
I’m going to choose to be present, I’m going to choose to not obsess/dwell/worry, and I’m going to accept “I don’t know” -more often.

Tuesday, September 10

Being Understanding when I don’t Understand.

The concept of understanding, or more accurately NOT understanding something does not by default mean there is a ‘lack’ that should be fixed. To NOT understand is perfectly acceptable, and in numerous instances is best kept that way.

There are many things in this world that I will never understand, will not try to understand, and know it’s most healthy for me to not understand. (Like much of the awfulness in the world.)

Being understanding on the other hand is something I aim to be. I do not have to understand something to BE understanding.

I believe we all have a life to live that is partially our doing, and partially done to us. We have to deal with the cards we’ve been given, and we have to choose how we move forward.

That being the case, I believe each person deals with life differently and has every right to make their own choices. (We need to be true to ourselves.)

So… If someone I know is making choices that I personally would NOT make for my life, I don’t have to understand their choices, or agree with their choices. If they are dealing with something I cannot relate to, I did not experience myself, and I will not experience myself, I can be understanding for them if they need my friendship.


I aim to be understanding in many instances, I don’t aim to understand many things.
(And I plan to keep it that way.)

Wednesday, September 4

Casting Pearls

I think we all need to acknowledge our pearls. Those things we hold dear to our heart, the ideas we have that don’t gel with mainstream thinking, and the things that others might call you “weird” over.

I’ve had a few friends that I’ve found very easy to communicate with, and through conversation, they have referred to themselves as “weird”. Weird?

Why should individuality, that isn’t even so unique make people see themselves as weird?
Society is why. So much of what we are taught in school, what we see in the movies, in commercials, get told in church; all keep us feeling that individuality and thinking for yourself -is unacceptable. It sets you apart form others. It makes you “weird”.

Total Crap, Bull Honkey, Rubbish, Lies!

For some people, they listen to this put down, their self esteem lessens because of it, and they feel they don’t belong or fit in, that they are “different” because of not being just like everybody else.

When you encounter people like this, you should literally or metaphorically say “shhhhhhh, I’m not going to hear you.” Don't let it in.

I want to shout from the rooftops: Different and Weird mean you are Beautiful. You have a mind many of us want to know, want to enjoy, and don’t allow yourself to hear negative comments and labels.

Instead realize you have Pearls! Your uniqueness-es are your pearls, don’t cast them to be seen by just anyone, because there are Swine out there… Keep them close, choose carefully, and know that people who want you to be just like them are NOT the people you should be listening to.

People who accept we are all different, that we all get to live our own lives, they are the ones to associate with.

If anyone tries to push you, whether it be with their views, or with their put-downs, walk away, don’t show your pearls, and silence their words in your mind with “shhhhh”.

Be YOU… love you… enjoy you, and don’t need anyone to agree with you.
You’re beautiful, and so are your pearls.