Happy Birthday YOU!

I did some DNA testing a while back and got the results.  Fascinating.  Life changing.  Soul affirming, to say the least.   As many of you know, I’ve never had much information about my father.  None actually.  There have also, always been questions about the“biological-ness”  of my mother and well, now some questions have been answered. It’s a good thing.

Carm Bath

My Favorite Childhood Pic

There’s no doubt it’s amazing to find out where your ancestors are from.  But knowing WHO you are, and loving yourself anyways – flaws and brilliance alike – is not something you can find out on a DNA strand.

On this day, this precious day I call my personal holiday, I want to share the best thing I’ve learned during this process. What I’ve always known really:   I am who I am because of all of you.  Those who have touched my life, those that have walked into my world, helped me, hurt me or just those passing by — all of you have helped me be comfortable with the unknowing.  I’ve grown brilliantly regardless of the uncertainties.  My foundation, the building blocks of my life, have always been an incredible love that finds its way through anyways – no matter what.

So for my birthday, I wish for anyone reading this, for even those not reading this, to have a most perfect and beautiful day.  I’d also love World peace.  And while I’m at it, for chocolate cake to be as healthy as broccoli, for exercise to be as easy as watching TV, for belly fat to be the new sexy, and for Donald Trump to not be on any ticket or any TV anywhere — but since I know those are far-fetched and unlikely dreams, I’ll take hoping all my friends, family, loved ones, neighbors, acquaintances  and yes, even all my enemies to have the most brilliant and wonderful day.  That would make this the best birthday ever!

Happy Sweet day to all of you – Don’t mess up my gift now… have a beautiful and  brilliant day no matter what!

While you’re reading this I’m sleeping. It’s my Birthday!

My Baggage is Bigger Than Your Baggage

I’m not a big fan of recapping the prior year and making resolutions in the New Year. The analyzing of the prior year ends up making me reflect on things that went well, but also on things that went “not-so-well” and future resolutions always seems too dreamy to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to have goals, but I think on-going betterment of the self on a daily basis is a better strategy. At least for me.

With that said, I can’t help but share a few fascinating things that I’ve incorporated into my everyday life  that has really put me in a whole new frame of mind.  I’m on a different playing field now and things just feel better.  It didn’t happen overnight, but when I see where I am right now in my life and look back at where I started, I feel like some of these basic choices/tools might be similar to what others have done or are doing – and if you haven’t done them yet, maybe this might help get you started.

Life is Good

Eliminate the “wishy-washy people” out of your life.

This seems like a no brainer when talking about people who physically abuse you, or emotionally hurt you.  But even the subtle people are obvious to me now.  We all know the type: the big talker, the name dropper, the “let’s do lunch” cliché-ism that infests most of Hollywood and Wall Street.  But I’m also talking about the “I’m so busy” people.  The “I’m finding myself” people.  The overly “spiritual” “life coached” folks  — you know, the ones who call themselves “enlightened” but are actually just idiots?  I’ve said this before: truly enlightened people never say they’re enlightened.  People who brag about how Yoga or meditation have changed their “being” and yet, they still treat the waiter or the janitor like they’re below them?  Yeah, I’ve gotten rid of all of these people in my daily life.  Anyone who remotely annoys me on any level, I’ve just stopped. I don’t respond to them, I don’t initiate communication – I just let them be.  They have no effect on me whatsoever.

And here’s the great thing about walking away from people who do not add to your livelihood –when you eliminate people out of your life who cause you more harm than good, new people show up.  And you feel excited by the possibility of a new relationships and new moments.  Now, it may be that these folks don’t work out either, but it’s exciting and new – and for me, I made three great new friends this year.  Surprisingly, I would have never met them had I not walked away from “people” that were not adding to my life’s breath.

Do what feels right to you! 

I always ask people for their opinion. I do. I like to cover all my bases.  It makes me feel in control if I get as much information as possible and then make a decision. That’s not bad thing to do. And it’s why I’m good at my work – whether creatively or in my consulting business.  But, at the end of the day, going with my gut, always prevails.  Always. I don’t care if Stephen Hawking himself tells me I’m wrong about something, I’m going to go with my gut anyways.  Now, you should know the consequences of your actions and be willing to accept them, but when you do this, when you listen to – what I like to call – God’s whisper, some call it an inner voice, a gut feeling – you’re making a choice based on all your experiences, all your knowledge and all your inner knowing of things. There’s something powerful in that.

Now, that doesn’t mean at times it doesn’t work out.  But, the cool thing is, when you listen to your inner voice, your gut, you tend to have no regrets, even if it doesn’t work out.  But, if you went against the grain, went against what you believed, then it’s more likely that whatever choice you made would be regrettable.

Love and embrace your baggage!  

Lately I’ve been listening to people talk about “baggage”.  Life coaches, therapists and gurus tell you all the time that you need to get rid of your “baggage” or deal with your “baggage”.  It always seems so negative.  I’ve always seen my baggage as evidence of the journey I’ve been on.  I wouldn’t trust anyone who didn’t have baggage, because it would mean they hadn’t lived.  They haven’t travelled on this journey called life. The only people who shouldn’t have baggage of any real dimension, are children.  7 year olds.

Baggage, or, my past, is what has brought me to this point in time.  Getting rid of it would mean, getting rid of the good stuff too – and why would I do that?  This idea that our past is some horrible linkage to a time that we should forget in order to live in the present, is a falsehood. Just because people say it all the time doesn’t make it true.  First of all, getting rid of your baggage is impossible to do.  We all have memories.  We all have past experiences. And those memories, those experiences, good and bad, are what make up most of what we are in this moment. Embrace it.  Own it.  Love who you are because of it all.

Now being 30 years old and living like you’re a 12 year old because you’re stuck in the past and still want your mommy – that’s a whole other thing.  That’s not what I’m taking about – and that would most likely require a doctor’s help.  Someone dealing with trauma of any sort, should always get professional help.  But let’s be clear, this is not about baggage – now we’re talking about mental health.  Please when in doubt, consult a professional doctor and understand the difference.

Love yourself unconditionally! 

This is a hard one.  It sounds like an easy one, but truly loving yourself is hard because we’re not used to thinking this way.  We find it so easy to say to ourselves, “Uggh, you’re so stupid.” When we do something wrong.  Or “Oh, you look so fat!” – when we don’t like an outfit that we’ve tried on. We’re always so mean to ourselves.   When was the last time you looked in the mirror and told yourself that you loved yourself completely and without any reservations or conditions at all?  Could you even read that sentence without snickering a bit or giggling?     

This was the most transformative thing that I’ve done in the past year.  Really embracing my own brilliance and not feeling weird about it, bad about it, or giggling about it. Knowing that I have such gifts and talents and accepting that I have faults and make mistakes and that THAT is okay and part of the human journey has been freeing!  It has completely changed how I interact with others and more importantly, how I view my purpose on the planet.

So, those four things:  Eliminate wishy-washy people,  Do what feels right, Embrace your baggage,  Love yourself unconditionally – those  very specific four things have been life changing for me.  This past year has been an amazing revelation and unfolding of a very wonderful, very exciting life.  I can only imagine that a lot of it had to do with learning to incorporate each one of these aspects into my daily life fully.  It didn’t happen overnight and there were struggles along the way, but I have to say, I’m so glad I’m finally here!

And thank you to all of you, who helped walk me through.

Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, Happy Hanuka, Happy Kwanza – and Season Greetings to any others I may have missed.

Peace, love and all that good stuff!

Carm.

We All Fit Somewhere – Journal Entry 10.22.15

Enjoy listening to my journal entry from today, or just read it below — either way, thank you for stopping by! 


Baseball CarmenWhen I think of my life I feel so disappointed.  Stuck. Unfulfilled.  I see a lot of loss. Sadness.  I remember the good and that I had moments of joy, but what resonates with me is mostly the loss, the heartache, the unfulfilled dreams.

And here’s the strange part:

I feel like all of that may be a good thing.  I mean, I wish I had already accomplished my goals, but I think if life is completely satisfying and all your goals have been met, then maybe you’re closer to death than you realize?  So, it’s a good thing. Or it can be?  My frustration is that it feels like it’s taking forever for me to accomplish some basic things, that’s all.  But, I also realize, that my journey is something I need to embrace.  I’m choosing to embrace it. All of it.

For what it’s worth, I never thought I’d make it this far. My past says I shouldn’t have gotten this far. I should have been dead by my early teens.  Simply, I know I should’ve been a statistic.  And honestly, with all the obstacles along the way, I’m surprised I’m here too.  Grateful.  But completely-totally surprised.

I used to think death would be a welcomed relief.  I felt so alone, so daunting in my struggles, so helpless.  But the truth is I also love this life. I do.  No matter what I’ve been through as a kid, no matter what I go through now as an adult, I find myself in a place of joy – loving this life.  No. Matter. What.  And I started to wonder, why?

I love people and I their moments of pure kindness.  I love their thoughtfulness.  I love that no matter how bad a day can get, you can find a silver lining even in the worst of moments.  I love that the that essence of good, always outwits even the most evil of situations.  It does.  Good does trump bad. All the time. It may not happen as fast as I’d like, or as clearly as I’d like, but at the end of the day, goodness does always win. I see it.

And I love who I am. I know – its so weird.  But inspite of it all, I always have.   My body changes, my fears grow, my pain is deeper, my frustration – lengthy and yet, at the end of the day, I am so good!  I know I’m smart – even if it’s just street smart and not book smart, it matters so much to be intelligent this way.   And I love that I care.  I care so much about the world and about others. And as much as I feel pain deeper, I feel joy extraordinarily!   My frustration is because I know I’m not being the BEST me I can be – and when that happens, when I’m being my ultimate best, I know I can help another person.  I can change the world when I’m at my full potential.  And not being at my full potential scares me.

I turned out amazingly brilliant.  Of this I’m sure.  Normally I wouldn’t toot my own horn, but I need to do this. I need to remind myself of how great I am.  And that ultimately I’m doing okay.

I love this life.  And although I’m not great at puzzles or figuring out formulas, I know I fit somewhere in this maze.  More importantly, I know we all do.  We all fit somewhere.  And even though we all have these goals that sometimes feel so daunting and so unreachable – the fact is that life may just be all about the process of walking through.  Always searching for the light even in the loneliest of moments, even in the most extraordinary moment of pain –  finding the light must be the thing. It’s my only constant.

It may be cliché, but I truly believe that getting knocked down is normal, but finding your way back up is courageous.  There’s no doubt that I feel knocked down more days than I feel courageous, but  once you get up after falling – it doesn’t get easier, but you do get sort of used to it.  So I’m starting to view my “failures” my “knocked down” moments as “just another day” and I don’t dig the hole deeper – I just let it be what it is.

And then I get back up.  I brush it off, and I get back up.

So here’s the glorious part of what I know for sure:  Getting up, gives me more moments of SHINE.  Getting back up and brushing it off makes me feel like “it” didn’t win.  And like the lottery, you can’t win if you’re not playing – so getting back up, makes me feel like I’m back in the game.  And damn it, if I’m not going to win eventually.

The Trick to Being Smart

Enjoy the Podcast or the Transcription Below:

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I wanted to talk to you today about being smart.

I actually had a couple of experiences in the past few days that I realized how easy it is for people to come across looking so stupid because they don’t know this little trick.  I’ve been doing this tiny trick since I was a little kid.  And I am shocked by how easy it is AND how horrible it is that people don’t know this simple thing.

Let me give you the two examples.

One was in the national media with the republican nominee for President, Ben Carson, who thought it was wise to share his thoughts on what you should do if confronted by a gunman in a classroom.  Now I don’t care how you spin this, he’s basically blaming the victim.  The fact of the matter is no one knows how they would react, especially as young teenagers or young adults who were mostly in that classroom – not having any idea that someone was about to confront them with gunfire.

So that’s one example.

The second example I wanted to share was a personal one. I have this friend who constantly feels the need to share medical advice even though she has no actual experience or education in the medical field whatsoever.  So, if you just say you have a headache, all of a sudden we’re going down this rabbit hole of medical information that she’s clearly gotten from WebMD and whatever crazy show she’s watching on television.  She just ends up looking like an idiot.  And yesterday I kinda confronted her on it and so it made me think about doing this blog post.

Here’s the trick to appearing smart:

First of all, realizing that there is nobody on the planet – not Einstein when he was alive or even someone like Stephen Hawking – who knows everything about everything. Nobody does.  Admitting that you don’t know or have to have an answer to everything is the first step. It’s okay not to know everything.  And since I was a little kid, I’ve never spoken about things I know nothing about.

If I don’t know something that someone’s talking about, I will actually say to them; “You know what, I don’t know anything about that subject.”  Or I can’t give an opinion because I don’t know enough about it.  What this does is allows people to understand that you have some humility and that you’re not trying to be a bragging person, but it also allows you to be an expert in the things you are an expert about (or think you’re an expert about).   And it also frees you from always having to have an answer.

Anyways, I just wanted to share that.  I’m sure a lot of you know the kind of people I’m talking about who are constantly talking about things they know nothing about. And the irony is, they think they’re being smart, they think they have one up on you, but you know they’re actually very stupid – because even things that they’re saying, make no sense whatsoever.  It reminds me of an In Living Color skit that I had to post here.  And it just made me laugh so I had to share it.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by again.  I hope you’re having a great day, definitely have a sweet day and I hope to be back again real soon.

Music by Chris Zabriskie, Prelude No. 23