Moving past emotions

10 thoughts on asking for help

8461114451_ae837e12f1_z1.  You don’t need to know what is wrong.  If you have a feel that something is, that is all you need to start.

2.  You don’t need to have a solution.  That is what the help is for.

3.  Help is not for other people.  It is for everybody.  It is for you.

4.  Help is not weakness.

5.  Asking for help is a sign of strength.

6.  Being afraid or uncomfortable before, during and possibly after asking for help is normal.

7.  Being brave is not without an element of fear.  Being brave is acting despite of that fear.  Be brave

8.  Crying is not for girls.

9.  Asking for help will make life better in the long run.  Trust in that.

10.  If you don’t ask for help, what is the alternative?

I hope that helps.

Our self imposed limits

ElderlyA beautiful, powerful reminder by Susan Sontag:

A lot of our ideas about what we can do at different ages and what age means are so arbitrary — as arbitrary as sexual stereotypes. I think that the young-old polarization and the male-female polarization are perhaps the two leading stereotypes that imprison people. The values associated with youth and with masculinity are considered to be the human norms, and anything else is taken to be at least less worthwhile or inferior. Old people have a terrific sense of inferiority. They’re embarrassed to be old. What you can do when you’re young and what you can do when you’re old is as arbitrary and without much basis as what you can do if you’re a woman or what you can do if you’re a man.

 

4 steps on how to be true to yourself

1882317616_9f2d324636_zThis is challenging.  No doubt at all.  

But, it is possible. Personally, in the past few years, I’ve found myself in may situations where I do feel like it would not only be easier, but necessary to sacrifice what I want.  In some cases, I did and overall the results were poor.  

Sacrifice is an essential part of being a good human being, but it is the extent of the sacrifice you make that you have to keep in check.  You can’t give yourself away and here is how not to:

  1. Be honest.  
    1. To yourself–If it feels like you are getting pulled in a direction that you are uncomfortable with, vocalize to yourself what feels hard and why.  Answer the question “What is it that I want?”  This act of labelling what it is that you want quickly strips away all the bullshit.
    2. To others-Don’t underestimate other people’s ability to empathize.  Tell them when you are struggling. You’ll may  surprised at how human and understanding other people can be.  
  2. Educate rather than isolate–When other people question what it is that you are doing, don’t see it as a challenge or disapproval (even if it is).  Use it as a time to educate them on what it is that you are doing and why.  Remember that you have had a lot more time with your thoughts and idea than they have, so they need time to get up to acclimate.  It may feel that you need to cut them off or isolate them from your lives, but what if you just took more time and patience with them while still nurturing your bond? 
  3. You can’t be wrong–If you are acting from a place of honesty and being true to what it is that you want, you cannot fail.  Your truth and ideas are essential to who you are and can’t be ignored.  Trust this deep inner honesty and truth.  It won’t steer you wrong.  Believe this.  
  4. Focus on the direction rather than the destination-It is much more important that you are letting your honesty and truths move you in the right direction rather than arriving at what you see as the destination.  Being on the path of your truth is much more valuable than being at the destination of a lie.  

And when all else fails and/or it gets confusing, see point #1.  It is never wrong.  

How to move past the hopelessness

Acknowledging how you feel

HopelessI’ve often found myself with a very heavy sense of hopelessness.  In some cases, feeling a very powerful sensation of not having a way out and I need to be very proactive in keeping this emotion in balance.  If I’m not careful, I can easily jump to many worse case scenarios that can overpower my current thoughts and cripple me into inaction.  At that point, I’m not going anywhere and moving more into my true self is halted.

Therefore, I work very hard with myself and clients to find bright spots.  Bright spots is a term coined by the Heath brothers in the book Switch.  Simply put, it is noticing what exists in your life when you feel things are working, and then replicating it in all areas of your life.  So for example, if I feel good at the end of the day, I often ask myself “What was different about today?” Or if I had a good conversation with somebody that really challenges my patience, I reflect up on what made this encounter special.  It is finding those mindsets, attitudes, situations and feelings deep from within and applying them to all areas of your life.

How to start

  • You have to be honest.  Gentle and kind, but honest.  A true moment of honesty produces very moving results.  
  • If you feel nothing is working, then find the areas of your life that are the least uncomfortable and analyze them.  They might not ideal, but they are more so than others, so deconstruct what it is that allows you to feel better about these areas.
  • If your life has a real range of sensations and feelings, then target those true bright spots.  Put them under a magnifying glass and see why they are so special to you.
  • Start to feel areas of your body as you think.  Notice where your emotions settle into your body and how the body changes depending on your emotional state.
  • Spend more time alone or at least quiet.
  • Take away judgement.  Think “no thought deserves a gold metal or a reprimand”.
  • Be gentle as you apply the bright spots to the dark ones.
  • Go slow.  Change is slow but the process can very be enjoyable if you give yourself a reasonable timeframe.
  • Keep at it.
  • Keep at it.
  • Keep at it.
  • Be frequent with your reflections and don’t shy away from it when it is uncomfortable.  That is where the really good stuff is; where all the learning happens.  You can learn more about yourself in a  few minutes reflecting on the challenging issues than a life time on the easy ones.
  • Be emotional.  Let yourself cry (even if your a guy.  Especially if you are a guy).
  • Look at your language.  How do you label events in your life?  How do you talk to yourself?  Others?
  • Get support.  Other people can listen, offer support and insight.  A change in perspective can jump you in an instant to a completely new way of thinking.

We are not alone in sharing a sense of hopelessness.  It is a very valuable emotion.

However, like all emotions, it needs to pass and not become a lifestyle.  Start the work and uncover the learnings that hopelessness has offered you and enrich your life with it’s teachings.