Thursday, November 27, 2014

Time Management When You Have Too Much To Do & Limited Space

With all the new exciting things that have been happening in my life, all the notes I made for myself kept getting lost in the bottom of piles of... well... everything. I write things down everywhere because I forget things as quickly as I think of them and I want to have a notation I can go back to. Too many thoughts become information overload. Too many pieces of paper with notes on them becomes paper overload. I had hoped having a cell phone I could enter appointments and reminders into would be helpful, but alas, I forgot to write a lunch date down on my paper calendar which I had put in my phone and forgot all about it until they called to say "where are you?" (I amazed myself by getting dressed in five minutes.) Also, I began to get frustrated as evening would approach and I'd realize I had forgotten to do something that I really wanted to do (like make a phone call during business hours). Days fly by quickly and with the help of my smart phone, email, and Facebook, hours disappear. Does this sound like you?

After reading someone else's blog post about using different colored 3 x 3 inch sticky notes to organize their activities with their busy families, I bought a package of these multi-colored mini-sticky things. I made two pages of sticky notes on the blue pieces of paper I keep with my paper calendar. One for current asap things I need to do and the one behind it that can wait. Sometimes I take a sticky and stick on my calendar page on the date/time I hope to accomplish the task. By doing this, I only allow myself one thing to do at a time. If I can't get it done, I can move the note to another time slot. But otherwise, I just leave it all on the blue sheets of paper. Lavender for music related things, yellow for people I want to call, pink for phone calls I have to make. Green the tasks I volunteered to do so they are 'work' related (money is green so I relate green with work). Pink is related to writing (blog posts and books). Drats. This is work, too. Can I get paid in Pink? Blue is for things I hope to do SOON. The bright orange one is to remind me to find the long detailed to do list I typed up several months ago but can't remember what I typed it in (gmail or Word) or where I put the print out I made just in case I forgot where I typed it. :-/ I've been trying to be kind to myself by taking one little sticky note at a time to accomplish the one little task at a time and then experience the sense of accomplishment when I can wrinkle the itty bitty piece of paper up and throw it in the trash... unless it is for a task I do on a weekly or monthly basis in which case I can stick it on the paper behind the top one for when I need it again, which is what I like most about the sticky notes.

Now here's the thing. I don't know if I am normal or not when it comes to making lists that I promptly forget about, whether having a racing mind is an issue I need to be concerned about, or whether I am experiencing early signs of (I won't say the word so I won't convince myself I have it). Maybe the reason I chose bookkeeping for my line of work all those years ago is because it is very intensely focused and organized. There was income and there were expenses. Each type of each of these had their own columns and pages (back when bookkeeping was done with pen and ink on ledger sheets). Mmmm... I wonder if my attempt at organizing my life with little colored sticky notes is an attempt to departmentalize tasks in a similar way.

How about you? Have you found an organization tool that works for you? Do you like my idea? Please leave comments below. And, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Two Things I Learned About Love

Don't fall in love too fast: I have been reading about false attractions and why men disappear. When we first meet an interesting person, our brains respond to magnetic attraction by releasing chemicals that blind us to reality. Here I thought after all these years that I was stupid for falling for so many wrong guys, but now at least I know I have a normal brain. Your brain lies to you about everything once the love chemicals are triggered, so it is essential that you wait for the euphoria to subside before you decide whether the person you are with is a keeper. For men, this euphoria usually lasts for about 90 days. Suddenly it wears off and he can't remember why he was so attracted to you so he disappears. It is best not to respond to chemistry and take your clothes off for at least 90 days until the chemicals return to normal. I also learned that it is important for you to become the best person you can be on your own (self-love) and have an interesting fulfilling life outside of relationships so you don't become needy or boring, and that a man will respect a woman more if she takes care of herself. It is impossible for a man to provide a woman with everything she needs so if he thinks he can't give you what you need, he will withdraw or disappear. I also learned to make a man prove he is worthy of being your boyfriend before you decide he is. And compliment him on all the things he does right vs. complain about what he does wrong (you're supposed to do this with your children, too). I even learned that by hanging on a guy's every text and waiting for him to call and cancelling plans with friends to meet up with him, you actually energetically repel him. Do as many pleasurable things as you can for yourself (dance, sing, and party) and don't hang on whether he will text or call. And do everything in your power NOT to fantasize about the possibility of him being your Prince just after you meet him. I laugh at this one because I used to do this all the time.

Nerds & Free Spirits: I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class where I learned about Nerds & Free Spirits, and how opposites have notoriously attracted each other. The Nerd keeps track of every penny spent and budgets money, while the Free Spirit has no concept of money and as long as there are checks in the checkbook or credit line on a credit card will spend on whatever they decide to spend it on. In relationships and marriages this often proves disastrous. I know for sure my Mom was a Nerd and my father was a Free Spirit. Money was a major source of stress in my family as my father was always buying new things that we could not afford. And I am a Nerd and most of my relationships have been with Free Spirits. At least now I understand why they did what they did without a clue of the consequence. The good news is that if you have survived in one of these relationships for this long, you can still learn to work together and compromise by taking Dave's course together.

Now that I've learned about these two dynamics of love, I no longer beat myself up for all the relationships including marriages that didn't work out. I just didn't know any better. They didn't either. It was more than just growing up in a dysfunctional family environment with parents who didn't know any better. Regardless who your relationships are with (friends, siblings, partners), there is always something new to learn about connecting at a deeper level. First, become aware. Then make a choice. Based on all that I've been reading about EVERYTHING, there is always something else to learn.

What are the most important things you've learned about love? Did this article give you ideas on how you might improve your relationships? How has this post inspired you? Please post your comments below.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What's in a Label?

Whenever I felt that there was something wrong with me, I wanted a label for it to feel validated. I accumulated a lot of labels (mostly with abbreviated letters) such as “PMS” for Premenstrual Syndrome, “EBV” for Epstein Barr Virus, “CFS” for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, “FMS” for Fibromyalgia, “ABS” for Adrenal Burnout Syndrome, & “PTSD” for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Maybe someone was onto something that by saying the entire words it would have too much of a negative effect on a person. Some of the labels I acquired were too complex to be abbreviated such as “Spondylolisthesis” and “Osteoporosis”. There is currently no abbreviation for High Cholesterol or Mitral Valve Prolapse.

Every body part has been labeled. Every function of our bodies has been labeled. Did you ever stop to think about how perfectly our bodies were formed? That each cell in our bodies has their own intelligence? That individual groups of cells form organs? That all these organs form our human body? That our bodies are not solid? How many times did you read that our bodies were something like 80% water? And that our bodies express themselves physically just like they express themselves emotionally? And that the adverse labels we get for our symptoms has a negative psychological affect? This was a huge wake-up call for me.

According to the holistic doctors I started to go to, most of the symptoms which I got labels for were secondary to energetic and organ imbalances in my body. The goal in Holistic medicine is to treat the CAUSE vs. the symptoms. Menopause? How about hormone imbalances that affect my mind, emotions, and my ability to cope. I started on a grand experiment after being told that all the ‘afflictions’ I had been labeled with were merely symptoms of underlying nutritional needs, eating foods that did not harmonize with my body, and energy imbalances. Just by strengthening my body’s ability to handle STRESS, and learning to replace the old dysfunctional psychological tapes with empowering ones, a lot of symptoms would go away. Didn’t I write about this in ‘Appearances’?

Then I let challenging events in my life pull the rug out from under me every time because I had not learned how to balance and empower my inner spirit. And while I type this, how better to explain it than the repetitive accidents I kept having… beginning with the fall off the stool in Delano when Dennis up and left, followed by all the accidents I kept having on the farm and at Silvia’s house.

I had tried many different avenues in the pursuit of optimum health, including Ayurvedic, Chinese Medicine, and nutrition in combination with Kinesiology. Each one of these avenues were focused on balancing physical in-balances which still kept me focused on what was wrong that I needed to make right. What DIDN’T work was the conventional medicine route that found labels for the symptoms of every different ailment I was dealing with and getting medications for each of them. And then I realized that the Holistic approach was doing practically the same thing… for me, anyway.

What I really needed to do was get on a regular exercise program, meditate, do Reiki on myself, eat wholesome foods, drink more water, and visualize the cells of my body as happy colorful orbs floating freely through space; and TRUST my body to heal itself. And while I was doing all of this, get some real true-grit psychological counseling to change the emotional/mental dysfunctional patterns I felt were imprisoning me (yes, Bo Lozoff’s ‘We’re All Doing Time’).

But do you know there is a detriment in doing that, too? There are labels for those of us who don’t seem to fit into the mainstream of society. We so want desperately to belong somewhere that when we don’t fit in, we look for a reason why. One example is Aspergers (which runs in my family) and the chain of reactions that comes with it. I believed I was unlovable because my father, who displayed Asperger personality traits, couldn’t love. We figured this out when my nephew was diagnosed with this genetic “abnormal” trait and we were able to link it back to my father and his relatives. Perhaps in this case, the label was a cure, because my nephew got some awesome therapy and counseling. Then there is ‘bi-polar’, a term used to describe people who are moody or alternate between being super energetic and exhausted. I think I was a blend of both.

Do you have any idea how many afflictions a person can end up with because of the simple belief that they are unlovable? Add to that how many failed relationships they participate in, like I did. Ultimately I have to give myself credit (something Wayne told me to do) for enduring all that I’ve endured and trust that I am much stronger than I ever thought I was. I’m still here. I survived.

Now the biggest challenge of my life is not physical. It is EMOTIONAL/SPIRITUAL. Unless I learn to love myself the way God loves me, my cells will not feel loved and I will not be able to fully heal. And because I have a stubborn streak in pursuit of perfectionism, I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO DO THIS AND I WANT SOMEONE TO SHOW ME HOW, and because patience is not one of my virtues, I want someone to show me NOW!


From page 198 of "Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain"

What are some of the labels you have acquired in your life? Are you willing to release them? Click on the "comments" below and share some of yours.