On Being Selfish

Waking up

Enjoy the Podcast or the Written Word (transcribed below)

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I woke up this morning with all of this energy. I’m baffled by why sometimes I wake up ready to take on the world and sometimes I can barely pour my cup of coffee without falling back asleep.

But, I did all these emails today. And one of the things that was amazing was someone sent me an email and in the email was this great quote by Kahlil Gibran (who I absolutely love. He wrote The Prophet).

Here’s the quote:

“One day you will ask me which is more important, my life or yours?  I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.”

I love this quote because it talks about, to me, the validity of being selfish.  That when you’re being selfish, when you take care of yourself, you’re taking care of yourself in order to be able to be completely whole so that you can help other people.

I just thought that was a great, awesome email to get today.

Anyway, I’ll be back again soon.  Hope you’re having a great sweet day. And thanks for stopping by!

Carmen

*Music by Chris Zabriskie, Prelude No. 23, Licensed by Creative Commons 

How To Criticize or Tell Someone A Truth

Enjoy the Podcast or the Written Word (transcribed)

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Most people, when hearing something critical do the very normal thing of becoming defensive.  It doesn’t matter how gently you tell someone something — when you’re pointing out that something is wrong, our natural instinct as humans is to defend ourselves.

I got an email from this wonderful person on my LinkedIn page the other day and she was criticizing a picture that I had posted and my first thought was to explain it:  Why I liked the picture so much, that it was a picture that was taken in between two posed pictures by the photographer – I was coming up with all these defensive explanations even though I didn’t need to.

So, knowing this, that none of us like to be told that we did something wrong, or to be criticized, I started thinking about how we speak to each other.  How we can do a better job of finding the right tone and the right way to help people.  And that’s the first key.

This persons email on LinkedIn, was all about me.  It wasn’t about her being right –  she wasn’t trying to be righteous or trying to be better than me.  She was genuinely coming from a place of trying to help me be the best possible ME I could be.  And I think that’s the first important thing to understand when you go to tell someone the truth or when you go to criticize someone:  make sure that the reason why you’re doing it is because you’re trying to help someone else and that it’s not about you at all.

The next thing to remember is to always put yourself in that persons shoes.  How do you best take criticism?   Think about that.  We’re all naturally defensive.  So when you have to hear something that you don’t want to hear, how would it best be relayed to you?  Probably from a very nurturing point of view?  Loving point of view? A kind point of view?  So always put yourself in that persons shoes first.

The other thing that I think is important is tone.  Tone, whether written, or texting or verbally, is extremely important.  If you are in attack mode, that’s how someone’s going to take it. They are going to be even more defensive.  But if you come to it from a place of concern, of kindliness, lovingness, you can hear that in someone’s tone, people tend to take things much easier when you have the right soothing or comforting tone. It’s definitely a skill.  But once you master it, it becomes so much easier to tell people the truth.

Another trick that I use – and I will call it a trick – maybe a strategy is a better way to say it – if I need to tell someone a truth, I always try to first tell them something complimentary.   But it has to be genuine and authentic.  It’s kind of a way to ease yourself into telling someone the truth.  I’ll give you a frivolous example:

I had a friend come over the other night and we were going out and she was dressed very provocatively.  And the shirt she was wearing was just not working for her.  She was going for sexy, but it was definitely coming across more like slutty.  She asked me what I thought of her outfit and I told her the truth. I said, “You know what?  I love what you’re going for – I love the skirt, the shoes are awesome.  But I’m not sure the blouse is the best because it’s taking away from those fabulous legs of yours…”  And she understood.  She got it.  And so she changed the shirt.  The point is, always find a complimentary way to ease yourself into the truth telling.  And it should be authentic and it should be genuine.  And I really did believe her shoes were amazing and she does have the best legs ever!

So the next time you’re in a position of needing to tell someone the truth, make sure you’re coming to it from a place that’s about them and not about you.  Come to it from a nurturing, loving, kind place to help them be the best possible person they can be.  And it’s never about you being right.  Or about you winning.  And if you do that, you’ll always strike the right tone.

By the way, I did change my picture on My LinkedIn Page because of this woman’s email.  She was right.  And I was able to take her criticism and make a better decision.

I hope this helps.  Thank you again for stopping by.  I hope to be back real soon.

In the meantime, have a sweet day!

Carmen

*Music by Chris Zabriskie, Prelude No. 23, Licensed by Creative Commons 

Where I’ve Been – Imaginatary

Enjoy the Podcast or the Written Word (transcribed):

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Kid Imaginatary ME

When I was a little girl I used to sit in this corner of our apartment. It was kinda the kitty- corner to the kitchen. And I was real little. My mom was alive back then so I was probably about 6 or 7. And I would sit in this one space and I would create these universes.  I pretended to be able to walk into another parallel universe bending time and space and I would play in those other places – like they were always so magnificent too!  And I remember thinking I was pretty “genius-like”.  And sometimes the adults in the house would come by and shake me because I guess I’d be zoning out. But they’d be asking me, “Are you okay?” and “What are you doing?”

And I would just be imagining.  I would just be creating.

And I yearn for that now.

It wasn’t a way to escape. My life was fine, it was pretty normal.  Before my mom died, life was me being a little girl.  Very simple.  And there was this freedom and encouragement to be by your-self imagining the world.

For the past 3 to 6 weeks I have been doing what I can to get back to that space of pure imagination and creativity.  And you know, it’s not as easy as I wish it were because as an adult we have all these other things that we bring to the table, right?  Is it going to be a good enough creation? Is it going to be cost effective? Will people like it? All of a sudden there’s all this other stuffage that comes with being imaginative. And so, for the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve kinda just been being quiet. And trying to put my life in such a way that I can be that little girl playing by herself imagining a different universe in the kitty-corner of the kitchen.

I’ve also been doing what I can to eliminate circumstances in my life that don’t allow me to easily create. And so that’s also been part of what I’ve been doing.  Walking away from certain people or certain positions, or certain areas of my life that I don’t think are conducive to the kind of joy and creativity I want in my life every day, so, we’ll see…

But I’m back today. And if any of you have any other ideas or suggestions on how to stay in that beautiful, creative, imaginatary – did I just make up a word? Imaginatary?  – space,  (I’m gonna say that I just made up a word, but basically I just misspoke, but it’s all good!) I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Thanks.  Have a sweet day!

Carmen

*Music by Chris Zabriskie, Prelude No. 23, Licensed by Creative Commons 

Get The “Fudge” Back Up!!!

Success in anything isn’t all about talent. It’s not even all about networking. Certainly it’s not about luck since I don’t believe in any form of luck – good or bad.

The formula for success is an intangible formula to calculate. All the “gurus” always have some answer in “three easy steps” and always for “$249” or something like that – eeh, pahleeze don’t believe the hype!   The formula is different for everyone – no one has the answer for your journey except YOU!

But the one thing that I am sure of, without a doubt, is that success is all about perseverance.  And what does that exactly mean?  It means that every time you fail, every time you fall, every time you get kicked, every time you see no hope, you find a way to get back up and try again.  Dust yourself off or don’t dust yourself off, but get the fudge back up and try again.  Never let anything stop the path you’re on.  It’s your journey. Your dream.  Your life.   Make sure you notice the signs along the way, because you’ll learn something valuable. Pay attention so you don’t accidentally veer off course or go the wrong way, but never give up.  Never ever give up.  And always know, yes, you have it in you to succeed.  We all do.  It’s the beauty of the human spirit.  We’re always trying to know more, do more, be more….  It’s who we are.  And that means, YOU too!

So… No excuses!  Figure it out and keep on keepin’ on!

Freezing in NH! "Persevering" to get my booty back to Cali!

Freezing in NH! “Persevering” to get my booty back to Cali!

Genius: Benedict Cumberbatch

There’s so much “stuff”  going on right now with the death of Eric Garner, the Torture Report, etc. that I just wanted something positive to share. So here goes some happiness I’ve been enjoying lately!  I hope you find some joy in it too!  (transcription below video if you prefer)

(Video Loosely Transcribed)

I admit I’m a newcomer to the Benedict Cumberbatch fan club band wagon.

About a year ago, a friend of mine had told me that I should be watching Sherlock on the BBC and I kinda just put it on my “TO WATCH” list.

About a month ago I was home sick and decided to watch one episode – of course, I binge watched the whole thing.  And I couldn’t figure out where I knew this man from.  I couldn’t figure out why he seemed so familiar.  And eventually I realized he played Kahn in Star Trek.  If someone had just mentioned that fact, being that I’m a little bit of a Sci-Fi geek, I would have totally made the connection and I would have watched Sherlock right away just based on that:  Kahn from Star Trek!!!!  Hello!!!!

In all seriousness, I am shocked by this man.  And I know there are a lot of people who are in love with him because they think he’s so good looking – women and men alike – and I get it.  But what makes him more fascinating to me is his talent.  And I’m not telling anybody anything new.  However, the reason I’m doing a video-post about him is because I never use this word loosely and I have to use it to describe this man.

I think he’s a genius.  Yup, I said it.  A Genius!

I remember watching Michael Jordan in the Chicago Bulls back in the day.  And I remember everyone feeling like we had never seen something like this before.  Being in complete awe of someone’s ability – and not just their ability, but their humility while doing it.  Right?  It’s not just about the talent, but it’s about how they portray themselves when they’re not doing what they’re so naturally gifted at.

Of course, I’m now binge watching all things Benedict Cumberbatch (he’s been in so much by the way, like, 12 Years A Slave, August: Osage County, etc. just go click on his IMDB page and I’m sure you’ve seen him in two or three things you just didn’t know it).  He’s seamless.  I keep watching interviews and listening to him. And it’s not just his talent that fascinates me, it’s his ability to understand his talent and where he is IN IT that makes it so amazing.  And it’s not that he doesn’t care about fame, but he seems more concerned with how fame is going to affect his ability to portray the characters he needs portray.

Simply, I find him amazing.  And if you don’t know who he is, or you haven’t watched anything he’s been in or you think he’s some teen fad, I’m telling you right now check out his current movie:  The Imitation Game.  It’s out right now.  Fascinating. I’ve posted the trailer below.

I think we are in the midst of a genius.  So take the opportunity to enjoy it while you can.  It just doesn’t happen all that often.  Cheers!