Thursday Thought: Simplicity

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

brilliant kind judgement
perception
intertwined freedom

trees wrapped wildly
glorious
exhilaration

thunder sings lightning
broken cause
spirit flown beneath

examine at will.

Thursday Thought: Looking Back

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.
—Henry David Thoreau

Sorry, Mr. Thoreau, but I wholeheartedly disagree.

While I do believe in the concept of moving forward and not letting the past hinder forward progress, I also believe it’s important to learn from the past so we know how to handle similar roadblock and avoid repeat mistakes.

I also believe wholeheartedly in the mindset of refraining from the use of “never,” especially when it comes to beliefs on learning and ways to move forward in life.

Never implies a closed mind. Never implies that you’ve already decided that XYZ is a bad idea, and there will never be a reason to look at this idea objectively again.

Even the best laid plans are not finite or 100% guaranteed. There is often much room for give, one way or another (sometimes many different ways), and if we limit ourselves to the closed door of never then we limit ourselves to only what we know right now.

Would you want to live your life with only the knowledge you had of yourself five or ten years ago?

I sure don’t. But ask me again in five years.

Thursday Thought: Change Mindset

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Maya Angelou quote

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
–Maya Angelou

Sometimes it’s important to vent, to get something off your chest, to get it out of your system and make room for something new. But don’t let this venting session turn into a firehose and take over your way of life. When you do this you’re not venting, you’re complaining.

It’s fine to not like something going on in or around your life, be it someone else’s actions/behavior/energy or your own. It’s fine to express that. What’s not okay is expressing it over and over without doing anything about it. All you’re doing is putting negative energy into the room and not replacing it with anything positive.

Here’s what I try and do:

  • Create awareness around the fact that I don’t like it
    I hate the word “hate” … hey, I’m actually using the word I don’t like quite often.
  • Engage in mindfulness around what it is you don’t like about it.
    I’m using “hate” as a blanket comment to vent, but all I’m doing is complaining. Notice how often I’m doing that and think about how I can express myself differently.
  • Take action inspired by what you find in the previous two.
    When I find myself using the word “hate” I’m really saying I want something to change. Make a conscious effort to replace “I hate when…” with “I’d really like it if…”. And when it’s possible, make it happen

It’s not always possible to change that thing you don’t like (although it’s often more possible than we choose to believe; it just means making some decisions that might be hard to make).

So when you can’t make a physical change (or at least not right away) what you can change is your attitude.

Find something to like about the space you’re in or where you’re headed. You always have a choice to make a change.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
–Reinhold Niebuhr

Thursday Thought: Kindness

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Be kind.
—Thought leaders everywhere

I’ve seen so much hate and fear and vitriol throughout this election cycle. These lashings out stem from the deep pain we feel on the inside and wanting to appear strong and fierce and steadfast on the outside.

Sometimes the pain we feel over our own situation or how we fear the situation will change in the future clouds our vision of reality.

If we can take a deep breath (or ten) and come from a place of kindness rather than fear, we can make better decisions for ourselves, our children, our elderly.

No one else on this planet is in any true position to tell you what your opinion is, nor take it away from you. And still, there’s room for listening.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to
entertain a thought without accepting it
.”

—Aristotle

Listening doesn’t require taking on the ideas being heard, only that you’re not already formulating your response to the first five words you’re hearing.

And kindness doesn’t mean giving in. I believe there’s kindness in doing the right thing gently. You’re still doing the right thing (for you), and doing so without the fear, the hate, the vitriol.

No matter what happens between now and November, nor ever after, we will still be here with each other.

We must find a way forward, and that way must be kindness.

Thursday Thought: Do what you can

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Start where you are. Use what you can. Do what you can.
—Arthur Ashe

 

In an effort to broaden my own horizons and also minimize some of the communication gap between myself and some members of my community, I’m learning a new language. Two of them, actually.

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to learn a new language and in the past I’ve given up because I just couldn’t (wouldn’t) spend the time I felt I needed to spend on learning. And then when I didn’t get any more fluent, I allowed my interest to fade and eventually quit.

So when I downloaded Duolingo and started learning a week or so again, I felt like I should have retained more. Why couldn’t I skip the basics and just pick up where I left off? Well, because I’m not there anymore.

start-use-do-arthur-ashe

Start where you are.

It’s easy to want to start from where you can see the finish line. Have faith that the line is there, that it’s reachable, and that you will reach it. And if that doesn’t get you going, just take the first step. You can’t be somewhere you’re not, so you might as well move forward from where you are. Every damn day.

Use what you can.

You may not have all the fancy tools someone else has to get to the proverbial finish line, but you do have tools. Your wit. Your character. Your work ethic. Your sense of humor. Your faith. Your creativity. When you feel yourself boxed in and don’t have a hammer to bust down the walls, get creative and use what you can instead of getting hung up on what you can’t.

Do what you can.

You may not have the time or the resources to do all the things you feel like you need to in order to get to your finish line, but remember that work ethic and creativity of yours? Use it to focus on what you can do, and then go all Nike on yourself and just do it. And when a roadblock happens, take a deep breath and get back on the road when you can.

 

I’m applying Arthur Ashe’s ideas about how to create change in my resolve to learn at least one of the languages I’m studying right now, but these can be applied to really any change you’re getting started on in your own life.

Don’t get caught up in the bullshit excuses your gremlins use to try and keep you small. Just start where you are, use what you can, and do what you can. Change will come if you let it.

Thursday Thought: Fear

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

America the brave still fears what we don’t know
—Macklemore

Fear is sometimes a great motivator for staying put. For being cautious and not moving forward. For waiting out the unknown in the hopes it will soon become known.

Under these circumstances, fear is keeping us small. Keeping us from moving forward. Keeping us inside our comfort zone, in which there is little room or opportunity for growth.

But what if fear motivates us to act? When the choices we make come from a place of fear, they cannot come from a place of hope or love or value. They come from a place of the unknown.

Fear often directs us from a place of needing to feel protected. When we’re feeling like we need to protect ourselves, we are more likely to lash out, to harm, to behave in a way that is not in alignment with our hopes, our values, or the love we have for ourselves and others.

This isn’t to say that we ought to shun our fears. They are trying to tell us something important. What’s necessary is to listen to those fears for what’s really being said. And then to make choices based in rational thought rather than reactive fear.

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
—Nelson Mandela

 

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