CARMENISMS: Off My Game Update – Distractions

The Gist:

After the week of the horrible “interview”, I got another chance, another shot — and it turned out brilliantly!  Remember that we’re all human.  Sometimes we make mistakes, but it happens, and the trick is figuring out, once you fall, how to get back up!  Also be careful of distractions.  You may think you need to lay in bed for days because you’re depressed, but the truth is, that’s just avoiding the work you need to be doing.  Find your way back into the game!

Good Links: 

Whitney Houston  – I Want To Dance With Somebody 

Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun

The Recognition: 

Shot with a Canon PowerShot S110 Digital Camera



Carmenisms: Happiness Bandaids?


The Gist:

*Force yourself to smile

*Put on some music

*Hang out with happy kids


The Links:

What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong


Happy, Pharrell Williams


Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole


The Recognition:

Fabian at Equi, for asking the question

Lil’Julie for always making me enjoy the day

Shot with a Canon PowerShot S110 Digital Camera




Keep going…


It’s grey.



No matter how hard you try to see clearly, it’s hazy at best, a dimness from above that borders on complete darkness.

If you look to the right side, there’s just a wall.  You can’t go anywhere.  You try to look to your left, thinking there might be a possibility if you change what you’ve been doing and nope; the wall is there too.

All you can do is sit where you are, in the greyness that is.  Maybe you can move slightly forward or slightly back, but the only way to go — no matter how beaten up and bruised you may feel – is up.  Following the hazy dimness, not matter how doubtful it may seem. But your energy is shot.  You’re tired of trying.  Numbness rules.

No, I don’t know what you’re exactly going through, but I’ve been there before.  I call it “The Hole”.

And when you’re “in it” you feel like you can’t get out.  You feel like there’s no possibility at all – and certainly no one could possibly understand.  The Hole is always deep, and the walls aren’t easy to climb, and no words of wisdom will help.  You wish someone could help. You pray.  You ask the Universe to guide you, you ask God to save you.  You live in there for days, weeks maybe even months, trying desperately to muster up an ounce of hope to start the climb out once more.

But you’re right.  I can’t help you.  If I could, you know I would.  All I can tell you is — my journey has seen its share of The Hole.  I fall into it all the time.  I think it’s part of what life’s all about.  Ebbs and flows.  Not that we have to always be in The Hole per se, but that the learning moment is in understanding to maneuver around them to begin with, or to figure out more quickly how to get out of them once we step into them all over again.

And it doesn’t matter how you get IN The Hole either.  Yes, it could be someone else’s fault, yes, it could be your own.  The point is, how do you get out of it now?  How do you avoid it in the future?  Or my latest triumph: learning NOT to dig yourself in deeper?

One of my favorite quotes is by Winston Churchill.  You know this – I’ve shared it with you many times.  But every time I fall into The Hole, I recite this to myself no matter how deep I fall:

“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” 

I need you to keep going.

Bad Habit

We get so much negativity thrown at us all day long.  Just turn on your TV and you’ll see constant reminders of all that’s wrong in the world.  Someone is telling you what needs to be fixed or what you should do before something bad happens.  And it doesn’t matter what time of day it is either – even if you’re watching “happy” television like on TVLAND, the commercials remind you of those horrid wrinkles that certainly make you look old (and old is bad remember), that flab on your stomach must go!  And obviously there’s an enormous problem with men and erectile dysfunction. Not to mention you need medication for anything and everything.  You’re not eating right. You don’t have the right work-out machine; you have to watch this show or that because if you don’t, surely you’ll be missing out on something.  My favorite;  all those $19.99 do-dads that are going to make your life easier, because the frying pan I was cooking my eggs with was fine, till I saw their pan that cooked them “instantly” and without the burden of having to flip them!  OYVEY!  We’re constantly being bombarded with what we’re lacking and what we don’t have.  We never have enough, we never are enough.  We can always be better than we actually are if only…

Negativity is everywhere.  People talk on their cell phones complaining about something as you stand in line at the grocery store.  You log onto Facebook or Twitter and people’s status’ can depress you – even amongst those attempting to totally inspire (ever notice that one comment always shows up to start the negativity flowing?)!  Don’t get me started on the newspaper, radio, etc.

Negativity is part of our lives.  And it seems that most people take this all in like a sponge and have no idea that they’re becoming negative miserable souls themselves.   Then there are those that are “positive” all the time.  But it’s that fake positive.  They’re the ones burning “incense” and not noticing how bad it smells, hitting yoga as if it were a religion, smoking a joint as a cure to everything and swearing by “meditation” as the answer.  They’re one step away from looney, eating granola and living without access to radio, television and such. Their mantra is denial.  Nothing’s wrong with the world, it’s just “my” bad energy. Blah blah blah.  I’m not sure that’s the answer either. Plus, I hate yoga, incense and granola.

I’m not sure why negativity seems so rampant to me nowadays.  Maybe it’s a side effect of technology and this enormous amount of information that constantly bombards us that has made us more negative as a people, but something’s changed.  We’re more on edge, more unappreciative, definitely more defensive – everything is a battle.

We’ve got to take a step back.  Remind ourselves of the good – especially in the midst of the bad.  Work on being positive.  Find joy – not just in sports and grand gestures, but find happiness in the little things, in the everyday things and harp on that for the rest of the day instead.  Stop reacting to all the negativity, stop absorbing the bad stuff and instead repel harmful negative vibes and create moments of positivity.

I assure you:  Life is brilliant!  Yes, it may be short and at times it may be difficult, but it’s far more amazing than we ever realize until it’s too late.  It may have its downsides but all in all, waking up every day even if you have an illness, a financial hardship, you’re without a home, hungry, jobless, in a family dispute, away from your loved one, living in your car, suffering mentally or physically in pain – every day you wake up is still amazingly brilliant.  And do you know why?  Because the mere act of waking up every day poses yet another possibility. A chance that something will happen – that something can happen.  That’s the light I always grasp onto.  It could be as small as watching the sunrise or finding $1 when you do laundry.  An old friend could get in touch and remind you of a funny moment from back in the day, or you could win a few bucks in the lottery.  A piece of music can make you smile or someone could tell you they love you, or miss you, or need you.  A smile from a stranger while you’re walking down the street could be the light you need to change your day.  And possibility then becomes more tangible. You could watch a great movie, read a funny book or feel good because someone said your hair looks great.  It doesn’t matter what it is or how small the feeling of joy is, hold onto that feeling for as long as you can!  Ever notice how if someone cuts you off while you’re driving, you’re pissed for the rest of your drive AND you have talk about it to every person you encounter, post it on Facebook and make it the most important part of your day?  Why not learn to let go of that, and instead harp on the fact that your friend called you today and told you that they missed you or needed you – or that someone was nice enough to let you cut in-front of them as you made your way to the off ramp?  Why don’t we let that smile, or that joy saturate our whole day instead?   Post THAT on Facebook and make someone else smile.

Negativity has become a habit.  We need to stop.

I’ve learned that throughout my life things were easier to get through because I was always able to see the positive even if the negative was monumental and daunting. Choosing to embrace possibility over negativity inevitably makes you a more positive person. It’s hard to always do, but what I’ve learned is like with any skill, the more you do it, the easier it gets.  And now, it’s just habit for me to see the glimmer instead of the doom no matter what the circumstance.  Don’t get me wrong, I still get sad sometimes too, but I tend to jump out of it quickly and dismiss negativity more readily.

Cliché or not, it’s time to stop and smell the roses –  and to make that the most important part of your day.

Be well.

Video Bloggin’ It – Embrace Hell

Don’t you hate when you’re feeling down about life and someone comes along and tells you that you should be grateful?

Oh, they mean well for sure, but it’s probably the last thing I want to hear.

The truth is, I believe that being grateful is something we should BE every single day regardless of how we feel. Gratefulness shouldn’t be something we only grasp onto for dear life just when we’re struggling and in pain.

When you’re feeling badly, I think it’s actually okay to just feel bad.  It’s part of the human condition.  Sometimes we feel bad, sometimes we feel good.  It’s just the way it is.

The real problem comes when we deny that we’re feeling badly. Some people, when depressed, sad, or angry cover up those feelings by eating or drinking, doing drugs  or by creating “happy” thoughts or focusing on someone or something else – never truly dealing with what ails them.  That’s called DENIAL.  It’s also a LIE.  And lying to one-self usually always leads to all sorts of other problems.

When we lie to ourselves about how we’re feeling, no matter what the feeling, we inevitably end up hurting ourselves and others.  We end up destroying relationships, definitely destroying trust, and always deteriorating our own lives, whether we realize it or not.

Lying to oneself should never be an option.

So, if you’re feeling down, if you’re sad, depressed and angry, embrace it.  Deal with it.  No, I’m not a doctor but this is what works for me.  If you embrace the truth of how you’re feeling, then you can at least deal with it.  Now, for some people depending on the circumstance, that might mean getting professional help and that’s perfectly okay to!  Never be embarrassed for getting help.  Be proud of yourself for knowing what you don’t know and having the courage to understand it!   For others, just accepting that you’re having a tough time might be the first step in getting through it.

Winston Churchill has this great quote – it’s one of my favorites:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

When you’re in “hell” don’t deny that you’re there.  Accept it, deal with it, and find a way out.  If you keep denying the truth, then all you do is continue to walk around in circles, staying right where you’ve always been:  in your own personal “hell”.

When I’m depressed or sad or whatever negative “ism” I might be in, I accept it and then give myself a time limit to deal with it. That may be 5 minutes to cry or sulk, or sometimes, it can be two days, it just depends,  but I don’t deny it , I don’t lie to myself about it, and I don’t let it fester.  And once I’m done “feeling” badly, I find a way out of “hell”.  Maybe that means picking up the phone and calling a friend or going out for a walk to just get a little change of pace, but the point is I start finding a way to move through it.  Ironically, knowing that I’m trying to get myself out of it, always makes me feel a little better.

Never deny, always be truthful to yourself, and find a way to get passed it.

By the way, this is harder.  Working through hell is hard.  It’s always much easier to sit and fester and stay in what we know – even if it is painful.  So, I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am saying, it’s worth it.  Because once you find yourself out of your own personal hell, there really is something on the other side.

Here’s the video blog I made for Michael …sorta same info, a little different flavor!

Peace, love and all that good stuff!