If You Have To Say It...

Aloha! I am on vacation writing from Maui!!  I am in search of reliable wi-fi that isn't in a McDonald's (where I am currently, can you believe it?).  I am vacationing solo, which I truly enjoy.  I get to do what I want when I want without negotiation!  That means writing, writing and more writing... oh, and some exploring.  I am not really a beach person and I don't do touristy things.  I like meditating and reading and breathing when I get some time away...  so this trip is heaven to me!  Thank you for coming along with me, I hope you enjoy!!

I was thinking about confidence recently because I have heard people talk about themselves using that word.  It is funny to me because we are all confident in some ways and not in others.  We embody all of it.  I understood, though, that there was more going on when someone feels the need to put themselves under that one header however.  I feel that confidence isn't announced. It's not put on a name tag and handed out. Being confident is like being sexy, when you have to announce it you are probably not the embodiment of it.  Most of the qualities that you may hear from people as they describe themselves are actually desires instead of realities.  They are hoping that by saying so they've made it so. That's not necessarily how it works in actuality. You may begin to behave with more confidence once you begin framing your thoughts with the idea that you are a confident person but it doesn't mean you are confident once you say it aloud.

I remember rowing in college. I was big and strong. I ate whatever I wanted (that was vegetarian). At some point in my junior and senior years I wanted to be leaner. We did strength training for crew as a regular practice but I wanted more. My friend's and I spent plenty of time looking in the mirror flexing during our weight lifting sessions. I ate better and ran more.  We were super focused on our bodies and the definition that we were getting as our muscles grew stronger.  Flash forward two to three years. I begin training to make the US National team which required me to work out 3 hours in the morning (5-8am) and a couple of hours in the evening, when my schedule allowed.  I remember that I was no longer flexing though I would be asked to by strangers. I was no longer interested in showing my strength off.  I barely looked in the mirror outside of watching my rowing form during indoor training.  I was stronger than I'd ever been at that time yet getting buff wasn't the focus anymore. It just was what it was.  I have heard others describe me at that time and that was great… what mattered to me was that I was in my body and in the moment and happy.  I wasn't concerned with how I looked or if others perceived me in one way or another.

Becoming confident is similar I believe.  You don't actually notice it when it happens.  You certainly don't feel driven to announce it.  You don't prove you have it by saying so or by talking about how wonderful you are. When you're strong you're strong. No announcement is needed because its obvious to everyone. When you're sexy you're sexy. It's better and more the case if you never say it about yourself.  Telling others you're sexy is decidedly unsexy.  And if you have to announce that you are funny you have fallen flat.

The next time you or someone you know needs to exclaim that they have this or that quality send them love and understand where they actually are: on their way, just not there yet.



Permission To Help

Hiya, Today, I got pissed.  During my father's 'Open House' (poets, writers, artists, dancers, philosophers and more come together every Sunday to share their gifts) a poet, about to share, spoke of her rheumatoid arthritis.  Someone asked her if she had ever tried Reiki.  She mentioned having tried everything, except Reiki… then I asked her how her diet was.  She said it was ok.  I asked her if she had tried cutting out dairy, as it is inflammatory.  She told me that butter and parmesan were too good to give up, even if cutting out inflammatory foods would help, she would be too stressed to stop cooking with butter and that was why she wouldn't go that route.  I told her that her excuses were hers and that when she was ready she had all the information that she needed to make a change.  When she asked for help she would get it.  After the exchange I realized she hadn't really asked for help, directly.  She had only suggested input but was apparently not ready to receive help.

Because the way that I have most consistently needed help in my life is the area that I have had the most shame around (money) I have had a hard time asking for it.  I have, in general, been someone who didn't ask for help.  Even when I was young, I struggled in silence.  I broke my finger at the age of 10 or 11 and never told anyone.  It took over a year to heal and still, no one knew.  I have gotten so sick with asthma (where I thought I was dying) and refused to tell anyone.  For many years I have felt like I needed to do things for myself, if possible, so I did.  My choices to go it alone were reinforced because things always 'worked out' in some way or another.  Yes, I struggled (often) but I also succeeded and because of that I kept doing what I was doing.

I know of many people who are stuck and feel like they need to figure it all out for themselves.  Often it is in an area that there are deep feelings of shame around or an addiction is present (or both).  Do you know someone who you want to offer assistance to but you feel like it would be rejected or insulting for them?  I am sure there are people in my world that have wanted to help me in some way but couldn't because I never gave them permission.  Before you can help you have to be asked.  Before you can receive it you have to ask for it.

I grew tired of struggling.  I grew tired of being always on my own and knew that there had to be a different way.  However, It wasn't until I understood that one had to give permission to others to offer help that help began to come.  In all honesty, I am still unlearning my years of 'going it alone' and learning how to ask for help.  My default is that of doing it all by myself, so I have to constantly remind myself that life is sometimes easier when I allow others to assist.  I also know that it is a gift to receive someone's offering and for a long time I hadn't allowed others to honor me with their help.

I know that 'Butter & Parmesan' Poet will figure it out one day, and that is the day that she is ready to receive the help that is just waiting to be given to her.  I know that I am still figuring it out as well.

What are you working on?  Could you use some help in an area you have yet to ask for it in?  Look back on your life... where could you have made it easier if you had been open to assistance?