Age Totally Matters

AGE TOTALLY MATTERS

podcast:

*As always, you can enjoy the podcast above, or the light transcript below – thanks for stopping by! *

It’s never too late to start a business, to dream, to write a book, to run a marathon… It’s never too late to start from where you are right now.  I don’t even understand why we think that.

Again, I’m really going to be heavy on this whole idea of our own personal journey and the pathways we choose to walk are just more and more information and more and more education of ourselves, right?  To be our best selves!

And so if at 50 or at 60 or at 70 – if  that’s when you’re ready to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do,  then that’s when you start!

I’m not trying to say age doesn’t matter.  I think it does!  But not a negative way.

I think it matters in a positive way.

I would not be able to do the things I’m doing right now if I didn’t have all of this experience and wisdom and “know how”.

I would never go back to my 20’s just try to do what I’m doing right now. There’s no way!  I just didn’t have all the stuff I needed:  the emotional growth and wisdom and I didn’t have the experience.

So yeah, if you want to start something today, don’t question it. If you were thinking about it that means you’re ready to start doing something. It means you’re in the process.  The fact that you’re questioning it IS part of the process of telling you – YOU SHOULD!

Have a sweet day. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll be back again soon.

Carmen

PS. Yes, yes, I have a podcast — check out the podcast page for more information on how to follow!

Choices and A Thank You

Listen to the Podcast on “Choices” or read the light transcription below.  

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I have never had a problem making a choice and it’s because making a choice isn’t actually the difficult part.  I know it that sounds a little weird but when I explain it, it will make a little bit more sense.

There’s an incident in the book where I’m a little girl and I’m in the grocery store with my mom.  She gets a little ahead of me and she tells me that I can’t have any candy.  I steal a gumball anyway and plop it in my mouth. And as luck would have it, I start choking on that gumball and end up on the floor choking really hard.  People are starting to gather — I can still see my mother’s face even today.   It’s seared in my head – there is this moment where she turns around and realizes that I’m choking and she doesn’t come running over,  she doesn’t rush or whatever,  but she looks at me with that face of disappointment.  In what may have been a few seconds, I can tell by the way she’s looking at me that this was a consequence of a choice I made.

It was probably the first time I understood what consequences were.  And over time I started to realize that making a choice was never really the problem.   You know if you had a choice “A” versus choice “B” and you’re really conflicted as to which one to choose, you will make whatever choice you need to make depending on how you’re feeling that day, what’s going on in your life – things can change the reasons why we make certain choices. Right?  But the one thing that doesn’t change is your ability to understand what the consequences are for either one of those choices.

And so, that’s what I do on a regular basis.  I did that as a kid —  I did that when I was young —  I would see that there would be choice “A” and choice “B” and I would write down in my head or on paper – I would break down what the consequences were for each.  And even if the consequences were more wrong or cons or bad –  but I wanted to make that choice anyway for whatever reason —  I was never surprised by what happened after I made that choice.

So the thing about understanding consequences is it does a few things:  1) it prepares you for the possibility that whatever choice you make, it may become a huge failure.  But in knowing what the possible outcomes may be, you are also not surprised.  Here’s another kind of a side benefit to being able to understand what your consequences are for whatever choices you make:  it takes out a lot of fear.  People always ask me, “Carmen how did you move to California not knowing anybody and on your own and not having any connection…”.  People always ask these questions and I really don’t do anything haphazardly. I’m pretty much a control freak.   Part of having that control is understanding what the consequences are to any choices I make.  And when I have those consequences, and I understand what the possibilities may be on the downside, I can fly!  I can leap with both feet because I will land — I will land regardless and I will pick up the pieces if it fails.  Nine times out of ten it doesn’t fail and it doesn’t fail because I have taken control of the situation by understanding consequences.

I hope that makes some sense.

I wanted to share that because it’s come up a lot and it’s going to be part of my talk and conversation I’m having at a speaking event in 2019.  But I hope that helps.  I hope it gives people something to think about.  Again, if you have any questions or you want to leave comments, thank you so much…

I wanted to say something else now that I’m back podcasting. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has bought my book, CANELA.  I have not done any publicity whatsoever except to share it with my friends on facebook and a couple of posts I’ve put here on my blog.  I am shocked by how many people have read the book and how many people have sent me emails and questions and praise… I’m so grateful for that.  It really kind of touches me, everyone’s perspective and everyone’s ideas.  It’s been a little bit overwhelming.  I was surprised by how much people are understanding this book and are connecting to it. And as much as I write down all my consequences, I wasn’t prepared for, well, all the love. That’s what I’ll say. It’s been a beautiful thing.

If you have an idea for a book, or you always wanted to write a book or you’re thinking of writing a book, I really encourage you to do it.  It really has been life changing for me. Now that it’s done and it’s out there, it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Please, keep writing, keep creating.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it always.

I’ll be back again soon. Have a sweet day.

Carmen

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Music – “Prelude No. 23” by Chris Zabriskie

 

Stop Giving Stupid A Platform

 

The new skill to master:

Learning NOT to respond to people who don’t deserve a platform. 

Everyone talks about “fake news” – specifically trying to figure out  what is legitimate and what isn’t.  Another way to fight the possibility of misinformation is to just STOP responding to all of it in a knee jerk way.  ALL. THE. TIME.  Take a breath. Think. Verify. React, if need be.

Here’s the new skill you have to master:  Just because you’ve read something outrageous on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere else doesn’t mean you HAVE to respond to it.  Maybe the new norm should be:  if it sounds outrageous, makes your blood boil, or causes you to gasp, then you need to just assume it’s written to make you feel all those feelings and it should be considered an AUTO BOT until otherwise verified.

Another skill to develop is to do what reporters have done in the past:  find three different legit sources before taking anything seriously and worthy of your precious time.  Whenever I read something on social media, I look for three other sources to validate that information.  And friends or other “friends of friends” don’t count as LEGIT sources!   Even your smartest and best friends fall into this trap – especially those who tend to get all their news from Facebook.  They never question what they read because it’s streaming on their newsfeed.  Wow!

Find three legit sources that you KNOW are reputable.  Whether it be print or television or online – but find three good SOLID sources who have a track record and bookmark them on your devices.  That way, anytime you hear something stunning, you can check easily if this story has surfaced through legit sources.  And “FACEBOOK” and “TWITTER” cannot BE your sources! These are platforms that deliver all types of  information – ANY INFORMATION – they are NOT NEWS SOURCES!!  Please understand the difference.

Stop wasting your time.  Social media is a part of our lives. And it’s an incredible medium that provides such good and wonderful possibilities. But understanding what to react too, what to be bothered with, and how to use your time wisely, is another skill that we just have to learn.  It’s a tough thing for sure – it’s hard to walk away from a headline or tweet that burns through your very core – but once you stop the knee jerk reaction to responding to everything – it gets easier to notice the obvious BOTS and nonsense stories.

And that’s another thing:  this knee jerk reaction to everything needs to stop.  When did everyone become so sensitive? When did everything become so damn important?  And seriously, when did everyone become an expert at everything?  We need to stop reacting emotionally to every story or thought and stop thinking we need to share it in 140 characters or less – not only is it a waste of our time, but 9 times out of 10, it’s also just not our place.  I hate to be so cliché, but yes, everyone has an opinion and opinions are like assholes… or something like that.  Simply, you can have an opinion, but sometimes its appropriate to keep it to yourself!

Let’s stop feeding into the very thing that is making the internet a very dangerous medium.  Instead, let’s start teaching ourselves and our children to investigate, scrutinize, and develop critical thinking skills to use this amazing vehicle in the best way possible.

Let’s stop giving STUPID a platform.

 

A Note to UNDER ARMOUR’s PR Folk

  • I wrote  this on a Facebook comment section of Under Armour’s advertising of a sports bra that the brilliant Misty Copeland was wearing.  It’s in response to another person telling me that Kevin Plank (CEO of Under Armour) really wasn’t saying all that much….  here’s my response.

Thank you for your information.  However, I’m quite concerned with any business that vocalizes their opinion during such a turbulent time in our country so much so, that their own spokespeople (Misty, The Rock and Steph Curry for example) find it necessary to come out and set the record straight, sort of speak.

Here’s the thing:  I don’t want my country to fail – no matter who’s in office.  I’m not sure any SANE American wants that.  So, if any administration finds the need to reach out to people in business to get answers, to give help or advice, then so be it. I know other organization like Amazon, Tesla and others have met with the Administration trying to assist in the next steps…  I get all of that.  Unfortunately, like UBER, you guys (UA) stepped in it and you stepped in it “bigly”.

You don’t get a pass from me because this is the business you’re in.  You should know better.  And yes, I’m so disappointed. I do love Misty Copeland and she was one of the first reasons I made the change from Nike to UA.  And just yesterday, I bought NIKE shorts online — I haven’t bought from NIKE in a long time but I’m getting ready for a Tough Mudder in March so I bought two pair.  Honestly, I didn’t even flinch at where I was going to purchase my new items… I just did it.

When you guys “step in it” it does something to the subconscious.  And surely, I’m not a supporter of this NIKEadministration.  But as professionals in this field, you guys should know better.  Maybe the same thing happened with Obama – people got upset with organizations that supported him, I have no idea.  Regardless, just like Uber, you have some mending to do from a PR point of view.  Of course Uber went all out and wrote a letter to its customers, and when I got rid of the APP on my phone, I got a letter from Uber asking me to reconsider and to give them one more shot – then, I was asked to just read a little more information on what the organization is doing to help others, to clear the air.  I linked over and saw a more detailed outline of what they were doing to be on-board with what is MORALLY right – and yes, not lose me to Lyft (I’m not completely clueless that, at the end of the day this is capitalism after all and business is business – I’m fine with that, as long as you have a moral compass as a human being, as a company).

Am I using Uber nowadays?  Not just yet, because I haven’t needed to.  But, I put the app back on my phone and I certainly will next time I need a ride.  I give Uber credit for acknowledging the issue and realizing they probably could have done better initially.  They didn’t deny the mistake.  Or make it sounds like it was just some little thing.

If Under Armour wants my business in the future, it needs to stay out of politics.  Period. Full Stop.  If it chooses to assist OUR COUNTRY in helping any administration, it needs to do so, understanding the ramifications of all of their verbage, and acting accordingly.  I would think this is PR 101.

Somewhere Between Rich and Poor

It’s raining.  It’s been raining for a while actually.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful, but sad bitmoji1646363289nonetheless. There’s a grey-ness to it all, a coldness. And yet, I welcome it. Somehow I see it as tears from heaven, if you believe in that kind of thing…

I work for this organization that does amazing things in the world. And it has the potential to do so much more. I’ve known this organization for years and although it never has paid very much, I’ve always loved the work.  My feeling is, if at the end of the day, you’re going to have to do something for a living, especially if it’s not your innate passion – like being a dancer, actor, writer or a painter — then you want to work with people who are at least doing some good in the world, right?  That should be an easy compromise.   And for me, if I’m not working as an artist on a given day and being paid for it, then being part of this organization is the blessing – to do work that helps someone else…to make a real difference in the world. Easy choice.

I think that’s why I ultimately left my job at a once cool start-up company many years ago. I loved the people, but at the end of the day – I hated that I was pouring my heart and soul into what was basically selling products.  Don’t get me wrong, there was much artistry to what these creative people were doing, but for me, it didn’t make sense.  Especially when things started going south with the partners – the owners — why would I ever want to dedicate my talent, sweat and tears to selling products?  When the time came for me to walk away – it actually wasn’t that hard to do.  Financially it killed me, but I just quit.  And it was the right thing to do. No regrets.

This time, things are so different.  This organization that I have the privilege of working for now is actually changing people’s lives. It makes a difference in the world.  And even though there are a lot of the problems happening, again, with the “owners”, it seems to still be worthy of all my efforts – my sweat and my tears – maybe even more so. Every time a delicate painful issue arises, I feel even more compelled to do the very best I can to make sure we continue to do the good work.  It seems odd to me, because you’d think I’d just want to quit and move on… but no. It makes me even more committed to stay, to figure it out, to help in any way I can.  It’s odd, and I guess I’m just trying to understand why…

I’ve worked for so many people – so many wealthy individuals – and for the most part, wealthy people are not any different from poor people.  They’ve all got problems.  I’m 100% positive I would never trade my life for any of the wealthy people I’ve ever known.  Not one.

See, the problems of rich people are just as real.  Surely, poor people – in this generalized example – tend to have an over-arching problem of never having enough money to do anything. And everything they try to do is usually about trying to pay a bill. It’s a horrible cycle. Living paycheck to paycheck.  Rich people don’t get that. Even poor people that become rich, forget that – because it’s an easy thing to forget. And the thing about poor people is, when you get that extra money from a bonus, or an unexpected financial gift that lets you pay up your bills on-time or ahead of schedule, ohhhhhhh, that feeling is priceless, right?  I mean, there is a cleanliness to it that is hard to explain.  A burden jumps off your shoulders that you didn’t even realize was sitting there.  Rich people don’t get that because the sheer aspect of financial security makes it difficult to comprehend.  If you hadn’t had to think about how your rent or mortgage is going to be paid, then you can’t feel that burden. If you don’t have to save money to buy a pair of jeans, then you don’t know the inner negotiating and anxiety that comes with having to choose between paying your gas bill or fudging it for the month and spending that money at Target instead simply because you’ve worn your one pair of jeans so much that they’re falling apart in the crotch.

But the rich – their burden seems worse to me.   Again, I’m totally generalizing here  –  but the rich walk around in constant thought that someone is trying to screw them over.  Rich people never seem to feel completely settled.  Trust is a coveted process and never fully practiced or embraced because they believe everyone has to prove themselves first – over and over again. Everything is about THEM. Their vulnerability, their money, their lives, their self-preservation. They are always the first to scream that they are NOT about their money at all. And they always claim NOT to be THAT rich.  Cracks me up.  But sadly they always think  someone wants something from them.  There’s a fear of some entity that’s going to try and steal from them.  It’s sad.  They’re not positive of who their friends are. They think its other rich people who “understand” them – but nine times out of ten, their friends are just as skittish about trust and friendship as they are.  So the rich pay therapists, and massage therapists, and psychics, and go on ridiculous shopping sprees and visit all sorts of doctors, spas, etc., — all because of feeling unsettled. It’s a different kind of anxiety than the poor feel, but anxiety nonetheless.  The rich, in my experience,  try to feel better by hiring lawyers and doctors who will tell them that they are fine – and the more they cost, the better because, well, if the “BEST” are telling you what you need to hear, then it must be right.   And look, I’m not even saying that all these doctors and lawyers are being abusive and sucking money from these people – truth is, a lot of these people are so fragile, they need to hear some sort of comfort, some information from somewhere…  And this tends to be one place where rich people get that from. It’s a vicious circle.

Poor people don’t have that luxury – to go find some professional to walk them through something.  Poor people can’t go to a doctor on a whim because they’re feeling bad and need someone to talk too, because the co-payment alone may be $90 and not in their budget for the month. That’s grocery money. So, poor people have to trust their friends, their family,  their co-workers,  right off the bat.  And in order to trust people, you have to get good at reading people, at intuition. At understanding who is screwing you over for money, and who is actually doing the work and deserving of your hard-earned pennies.  You don’t have money to waste, so the minute you realize you are being snowed, you walk away and find someone else.

Surely money gives you choices – but from my experience, sometimes having all that choice, leaves you less inclined to be wise.  It reminds me of going to a restaurant like the Cheesecake Factory whose menu is so large that it’s just too much to deal with. Most times I hate going there, unless I’m going just for some actual cheesecake.  But sometimes, when you have all that choice, it’s hard to be wise and choose accordingly.  I think of Michael Jackson too – he had so much money, so many choices – – and with all those choices he became unwise. Purchasing items that seemed ridiculous, just because he could.  I loved Michael Jackson’s music and performance – don’t get me wrong.  He was brilliant. But, clearly he chose badly. And in a lot of ways, I get it. It makes complete sense to me.

Please know, I’m not saying it’s better to be poor.  But what I am saying is that it’s not better to be rich either.  Now, I can’t claim to have ever been rich. But, I’ve had more money than I’ve ever needed at one point in my life – and I tell people all the time, it was the worst time in my life. Not because I had so much money, but because I was so unhappy. I was living a life that wasn’t authentically me.  Now, it wouldn’t have mattered if I was making $10 an hour or $1M a year, it was clearly the wrong job, the wrong place and the wrong time – and had little to do with money. But, for the purposes of this discussion, I remember what it was like not to have to question buying a new pair of jeans that cost $400. Yes, I said, $400.  I still own the Jimmy Choo shoes I bought back then – my Jimmy Choo boots cost $1000 and were fitted precisely to fit me and only me.  There was a freedom in having the bills paid and never having to worry about how the mortgage was going to be paid that month and every month after that. But with that kind of money also came something I never expected:  the insecurity of why people were being nice to me, or questioning why I was getting such incredible service… I specifically remember getting on a plane and being treated like I was a Queen.  The overwhelming kindness and people willing to jump at anything I may have said… of course, I was flying First Class.  The comfort was one thing – you paid for that, but the way people treated you just because you had money… that’s why rich folk get confused.  Truth is, people – good decent people, especially flight attendants – will treat everyone that way.  With Kindness.  And in coach you do get that sometimes…. Not the comfort, but yes, the best flight attendants are the best for a reason. But imagine, being treated that way ALL. THE. TIME. Every day.  It no longer is special, it becomes your new normal.  And “normal” gets old real fast. Basically, you realize people are kissing your ass, not because they are kind good people, but only because you have money and they HAVE to be nice to you. Yeah, it’s like that…and you can easily see why you’d start questioning everyone’s motives, right?

But rich people get that treatment – all the time.  Even when they don’t deserve it. They can bitch and moan and people servicing them will still treat them like the kings and queens they believe themselves to be.  Again, poor people don’t get that privilege. We are grateful when we meet other kind souls who work for a living and treat us like kings and queens, but we also understand when that same flight attendant is having a bad day and is just going through the motions – because we get that they’re working just trying to make a living too… and yet, at some point, no matter how bad their day is, they still have to go up to first class and keep on shining.

I guess all this to say, I’m grateful.  My dream of course, is to make enough money as an artist/creative entity every day and be able to live a comfortable and fulfilling life by telling stories, sharing Carmenisms and changing the world all on my own. But, in the meantime, I’m okay. Happy really. I would never want to have so much money again at the expense of my sanity, and I certainly never want to hate what I do for a living.  So, all and all, I’m okay. Maybe more than okay. This too shall pass…

It stopped raining.  But there’s a heavy tint of lingering grey – it may rain again.  I hope so. For now, everything is so quiet, so still. I have to admit, I love it.

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*The term “poor” here is simply defined as those living paycheck to paycheck. There is no doubt that “poor” in relative terms can and does mean something quite different in our world and this author knows the difference.

*Image used/created on App Bitmoji

Love of the Human Spirit

Enjoy the audio below and/or read the blog post below. Happy sweet day!

 

I love the human spirit. I do.

I love how even when the worst of who we are falls upon us, I love that the best of who we are always follows.

I love how we teach. How we learn. Beach Playing

I love that my life touches yours, and that your life affects mine. That something you do can change my life, and my life can change yours, hopefully for the better.

I love everything about the human journey.  I have faith in our possibilities, in all that we can accomplish.

I love that we push the boundaries, in everything we do.

I love that when we know better, we do better, most times.

I love the simple things too.  The smile.  The eyes that say “hi”.  The slight head nudge of acknowledgement. Oh, and when we dance. . .

I love the fist bumps. The high fives. Shaking someone’s hand for the first time.

I love the laughing, yeah, even the crying. Hey sometimes, things are bad.  And it’s hard.  And even in those moments, mostly in those moments, I dig deeper and find faith and believe even more in the magic of the human spirit.

I don’t know where this came from, this love of humanity.  But there it is.  I believe we are here to love and be loved.  Everything somehow falls under that.  Just Love.

I love all that we are, all that we have become and all that we can be.

I love the human spirit. I really do.

Jealousy Is A Thing

Jealousy.

Everyone denies they’re jealous.  Ever notice that?  “I’m not jealous. Me? No. I Frustrated 1could care less about her…”.  Or maybe it’s the shrugging of the shoulders in contempt or finding a way to belittle someone like, “…yeah, but I bet she can’t add 2 + 2…”.

When that feeling of jealously strikes us we tend to deny it’s even there.  Ever wonder why?

Somewhere along the line we learned that it was a bad thing to be jealous. That to be jealous, envious of another person’s advantages – whatever they may be – was a terrible thing.  It makes us look bad to ever be seen as being jealous.  So we deny it.

Here’s the thing: Being jealous is a natural part of who we are.  Like fear, it’s not something that we ever see coming, until we encounter it. When fear arrives, it’s because our inner selves detect something scary, something that we perceive might hurt us.  Our first reaction is to be afraid.  But denying we’re afraid, denying fear, doesn’t make the fear any less real or any less there.

Jealously works the same way.

When jealousy shows up, it’s never because we’re looking  for it, it just presents itself. And our first reaction is to try and deny it.  We try to push it away. Again, it doesn’t make the jealousy any less real or any less there, but it does throw most people into a strange place where their inability to deal with jealousy makes them lash out in ways that are counter-productive and most times, says more about who they are, than the people they’re hating on.

Let me share a recent example:

I was at a restaurant a couple of months ago at around lunch time. It was pretty empty patron-wise and the waitress was chit chatting with me about a movie she had just seen. About 10 minutes into my lunch, a couple walked in, early 30s maybe and absolutely stunning.  There was no doubt in my mind they were professional models  — and if they weren’t, they should have been! Now, to put this in perspective,  I live in a town where everyone is “beautiful” – that town being Hollywood – and these two stood out.  So  “drop-dead gorgeous”  is not a term I’m using loosely…  

The waitress, upon seeing them, said to me under her breath, “Great. Jerks.” I assumed she knew them and had some history with them. So I proceeded to eat my lunch but couldn’t help listening and watching what was happening… 

The waitress’s demeanor had completely changed. She wasn’t being kind to them. She was harsh and cold.  She seemed to throw down the water and plates of food in-front of them. She made no eye contact whatsoever  – she seemed annoyed to deal with them. I kept thinking, ‘wow, these people must have really pissed her off’ – and so, when she returned to the counter where I had been sitting I asked her, “How do you know them?” and she replied, “I don’t know them. I would never know people like that. Those are not my kind of people.”  She must have seen my confused expression because she proceeded and said, “You know the type:  they’re probably actors on some fucking show, or dumb models —  they don’t ever have to work for a living because mommy and daddy pay for everything. I mean, look at them, you can just tell they’re spoiled assholes.”  

Clearly, that experience told me more about the waitress than it did about the lovely people who had just come in for a bite to eat.  After that, I was no longer interested in talking to the waitress.  My impression of her had changed and the point is: when we don’t deal with jealousy, most times it makes US look ugly. It brings out the worst in who we are.  And without even knowing it, you turn people off.

So how do you learn not to be jealous?  You can’t.  And anyone who tells you they never get jealous is lying.  It’s just like fear.  You can’t stop being afraid, but you can learn to deal with fear when it shows itself.  And like anything else you work on, feeling afraid or being jealous becomes less of an obstacle over time.

Here’s how I overcame one aspect of fear:

I used to be afraid of heights and flying.  So much so, that it would take a lot for me to get on a plane. Even when I’d go hiking, I would stay away from looking at the scenery if we were too high up, because the knowledge that I had hiked that far away from “solid” ground would make me feel nauseous.  It became a problem – because, I do love to hike. So, although I had decided to deal with my fear of flying by avoiding planes all altogether, it was now keeping me from experiencing another part of life.  Now I wasn’t enjoying hiking as much – something had to change.  I decided that the way I was dealing with my fear – by denying it and avoiding it, was not working.  It was keeping me from being the best person I could be.  So, I talked to a few people and someone suggested I go skydiving.  I was completely fearful of the thought, but after some time passed, I knew in my gut I had to do it.  I decided to confront fear head on.  Here’s a quick clip of that fun life-changing event:

Going skydiving changed me.  I’m not saying all of my fear has completely gone away, but it doesn’t stop me from being my best self.   I handle all fear in my life differently now.  It’s the same with Jealousy.

How do you become your best self when you are confronted with Jealousy? Well, I don’t have a cool movie clip to show you that, but here’s how I deal with it on a regular basis and it works brilliantly for me.  Maybe, it can help you too.

First, you have to admit you get jealous.  It seems so simple, but if you don’t admit it, then you avoid tackling it and instead do things to avoid it.

Secondly, when confronted with a moment of jealousy, admit it out-loud.  I like to say, if you see something that makes you jealous, say something!  So, more often than not, when I see a beautiful woman working her magic in some fabulous dress, I’ll let her know, “Wow, that’s a great dress!” And I say it authentically and with sincerity  and EVERY time that person reacts with joy and appreciation.  And jealousy evaporates and becomes something else. I’ve made it into a compliment, instead of holding it inside.

Three, think about why you got jealous in that moment and use it as a tool to improve yourself.  More times than not, we’re jealous because we don’t have something the other person’s got.  Rarely, is it a dress I’m jealous of, generally it’s the woman’s self-confidence and the way she holds herself – and usually I’m thinking, I didn’t work out the past day or so.  Or, maybe know subconsciously that my eating habits had faltered that week and I wasn’t really working my own magic… see what I’m saying?

Here’s the thing:  there are enough moments in life when we get all frustrated and tied up in knots about things. Letting jealousy of another person’s advantages take up too much time in your head.  It makes you defensive when there is no need to be.  And it’s just a wasteful use of energy. The way I see it, jealousy can actually be a good thing,  if you use the moment to understand why you feel the way you do and then use that information to  improve upon who you are and who you can be!

Well, that’s how I do it anyways…

Happy sweet day!

xxoo.

Carm.

 

 

 

 

Can You List Ten Things You Like About Yourself?

Ten Things I LikeI was watching a show on CNN about addiction when one of the people being interviewed mentioned she had been struggling for days working on an exercise that could help her in her recovery.  The exercise she was struggling with was listing ten things she liked about herself.

I didn’t think much about it.  But later in the day, I wondered, can I do that? List ten things I like about myself?  And I added another caveat;  can I do it as quickly as I could write ten things I hate about myself? Because I’ll be honest, I could spit out 20 things in 20 seconds of all the things I hate about myself pretty easily…  sad but true!

So, I tried it.  I sat down, with the timer on my cell and listed ten things that I liked about myself. I stayed away from physical attributes (only list one if you must)  and then, when I was done, I went back and listed why I liked or loved these things about myself.

I have to tell you – a very interesting little learning moment for me.  And, it was…well, enlightening to say that least, and kind of fun.

Carmen’s List 

  • I love that I have great instincts. I’m hardly ever wrong when I go with my gut. This has to do with people or moments.  Most people I read within 30 seconds and I’m rarely wrong about them and although moments may surprise me or scare me, I’m never so thrown I can’t function.
  • I love that I’m extremely logical. I bring logic to a lot of things I do – whether it’s in explaining something, building something, creating something. I enjoy learning the order in the chaos of things. The patterns.  It intrigues me and really is the best way I function.
  • I love that I like to learn. With that comes the fact that once I learn something I don’t forget it if I care about it. Nine times out of ten, if I learned it, I care about it. But being a sponge for anything new is another great quality I love about myself.
  • I love that I don’t talk about what I don’t know. Rarely will anyone ever catch me discussing something I know nothing about. I love this about myself because I notice how many people constantly talk about something they don’t know.  It happens most often with movies.  People will trash a movie and if you ask them if they’d seen it, they’ll say “no”.  If it were just movies, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but people do it with politics, economics, worldly events, family issues, medical issues… hey, here’s a free bit of wisdom:  An easy way to seem like you’re really smart, is to admit when you don’t know something.  Seriously!  I’m not any smarter than anyone else, but I don’t talk about what I don’t know. Period. And when I don’t know something, I ask something.  Easy.
  • I love that I am able to sit with anyone of any race, age, color, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, celebrity, politician, Republican, Democrat, friend of foe… and fit right in. I am comfortable around people and have an innate ability to understand them, talk to them. There is something very “chameleon” about it. But not in a negative way. It’s not that I change who I am EVER.  But, that who I am is malleable to the circumstance.  I know myself so well, that I can find a way to connect with anyone.  It has to do with empathy. Finding a way to connect with another soul on the planet.
  • I love that I’m a very optimistic person. It’s not blind optimism, but it’s always being able to find the light in a dark circumstance. When things are bad, I find myself living in hope. Finding that source that will lead me to the next step.  Truly optimistic.
  • I love that I held onto my “Latina-ness” even though I lost my mom at such an early age and had to force myself to learn more of what it means to be Latina on my own. I know that’s a weird one, because I am Latina, but knowing my back story and how easily it would have been not to learn Spanish, not to understand and fit in with my mother’s culture, would have been an easy thing for this American to do.  And sadly, so many of us lose our culture along the way  – but what makes America so beautiful is the mix that everyone brings to the table. If I had been born to Scottish parents and lost them at a young age, I would have done the same thing.  Clearly it was my way of holding onto a piece of my past, my mom, but it also has other benefits as well.
  • Physically, without a doubt, I love my skin color. “..you were kissed by the sun…” my mother used to tell me.  And I remember that phrase after the all these years.  And even though my hands are older, I have some wrinkles showing, some cellulite here and there, some changes in tone and elasticity… I still see all the beauty that is my cinnamon colored skin.  Sometimes I do feel bad about it.  I mean, honestly, I was born with it, it’s not like I did anything to have it, but I have to acknowledge it just the same.  Loving who WE are, skin color and all, clearly is and was an important part of my strength growing up.
  • I love that I’m still a kid most days. This may seem strange or may seem like I’m in denial of some sort, but I’m not. I think one of the worst things I hear from people who are older than me is this “giving up” sentiment. Like somehow turning 40 was Hogwarts Teethe end of life as they knew it.  I’ve had people say to me, “We’re different now, we’re so much older now” and “It’s for the new generation.”  WTF?  Hello!  I’m in my 40’s, I’m not dead!  Jeez! I hope if I’m blessed to live till I’m 90+ that I’m still walking around workin’ my magic and still dreaming of all the new possibilities!  And I think that’s the essence of being like a kid most days. I don’t mean not keeping to your responsibilities, but I mean, keeping in a state of awe, freshness and aliveness. Again, it goes to being a very optimistic person.  Being kid-like really just means always living in the moment, in the right here and right now and having the energy to play in it!
  • I love that I love people. I do. Even when the worst of us seems to burst through more painfully than I feel need be, I still love that eventually the human spirit figures it out.  I love all types of humans — even the ones I don’t understand.  Individually, I may hate a few – and I do, and yes, I use the word “hate” purposely. But as a collective, as a species, I am fascinated by how we all function.  Wow, I’ve never admitted that out loud (or on paper), but it is true. I love that I love people and always look for the best in us, even when we are showing the worst of who we are.

Hmm… that was kinda fun.  And interesting.

Have a sweet day!

Carmen