Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration


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Wednesday Wisdom: Moooove, get out the way!

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Remember the Ludacris song? I’ll pause as you sing it in your head… I know I am.
So back on topic. The longer I live and observe my behavior (and others’ behavior) the more I believe that we are the only ones in our own way. No one or thing holds us back from the vision we have of our life more than we do. The irony is, the thing we say we want the most are the things that we fear the most. So we put of hurdles up or keep moving the bar of success so we’ll never achieve it.
I’ve seen this in my life and I see this and others lives. As I write my children’s mystery book, I’ll tell myself that the book has to be a best seller so that means I am stressed as I write and creativity goes out the window. I’ll tell myself that I need a state of the art dance studio (in my basement!!) in order to teach which means I’ll pass on great learning experiences because I am looking for the perfect situation/opportunity.
Making your goals too big or creating an undue pressure through unrealistic expectations will frustrate you to the point where you’ll give up.
So take baby steps. Take on experiences that you think are silly or scary, but keep moving towards the thing you fear. I believe we intuitively know what we are sent here to do and the longer we aren’t doing what we were put here to do, the more miserable we will be.
So…. Get out of your own way!
A.G.
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Wednesday Wisdom: Get ‘Yo Sit Together

 

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(Yes I think the title is too cute, don’t you?) So I’ll keep this one simple. This post is an encouragement to myself and to you all to meditate. Sitting still for a few minutes, like only 2, really does make a difference and there are all sorts of studies to support the hype. From positively changing the structure of the brain, to improved focus and concentration, to decreasing social anxiety, just do it!  This does not replace prayer for me, I do that too,  but I find that can be a lot of me talking (or complaining) and very little listening. However, when I sit still and listen to my breathing, or just say thank you, I can hear my directions for the day. I have found that it’s not about getting “it all” done, but about choosing the “right” things to do in order to move you closer to your goals. Meditation helps me to avoid busy work or comparison-itis and allows me to stay closer to what I want and need to get done for the day.

Myths about Meditation

Source: Psychology today

Having an empty mind—nope, in fact, when you start meditating, you’ll find it’s quite the opposite

Sitting in lotus position—nope, you can sit on the couch (just don’t lie down, you’ll fall asleep)

Sitting for an hour a day—nope, small doses work just fine, (see here and  here)

Chanting in a language I don’t understand—nope, not unless that floats your boat

Buddhist, Hindu or religiousnope, not unless you make it so

***Weird—what’s so weird about sitting and breathing? Besides, US congressmen, NFL football leagues and the US Marine Corps are doing it, how weird can it be?

 

Getting my “sit” together,

A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Quit the fight club

 

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I’ve heard for many years that I am hard on myself.  So when I heard from my coach from my leadership conference a few weeks ago in San Diego,  that  she observed that I am very hard on myself, I wasn’t surprised. More recently a former boss talked about the P word, perfectionism, and how I have very high standards.
So this past Sunday was a blessing. I actually caught myself in the act of telling myself off.  It was morning, my husband was out of town, and everywhere I looked around the house I was reminded that I did not accomplish the tasks I set out to do the prior week.  (even typing it now, I see how that was an exaggeration, I had done laundry every morning, and I made some phone calls about teaching dance) But I knew I was farting around with some other paperwork, both work and nonwork related, that I needed to do in order to move some things forward.
That morning, dirty dishes were in the sink, papers from my daughter’s school were all over the table, and I remembered how crappy I ate the day before… As I was telling myself off in my head about all the things that have piled up that were easy to do and that I should’ve done, but didn’t do,  I finally stopped to listen to myself chew myself out. I usually don’t listen because it happens so effortlessly, but I noticed my shoulders were getting tight, my back was hurting, and my breath was shallow. I listened to myself fuss  about not having edited pages in my mystery book manuscript, not having done the homework for a masterclass  I am taking, and being irritated I had not done my physical therapy exercises over the last few days.  Just on and on and on and on and on.
As I was cooking breakfast, I was listening to Gabrielle Bernstein’s book  The Universe Has Your Back, I realized what I was doing.  This was the moment where I was berating myself and getting ready to go into another work week with high hopes but inevitably there would be little to show for it because I would be exhausted from beating myself up. I took a few deep breaths and forgave myself for  the “laziness” of last week. I repeated it again and took another deep breath. Amazingly I felt better and then I started to knock out some paperwork and then I emptied the dishwasher. Such small things , but those things build your confidence that you can accomplish what you set out to do.
For the rest of today, it’s Sunday as I write this, I’m packing up my stuff and going to Panera to work on my manusript when my husband gets home. Oh! and he and my daughter can work on her homework, yeah that was another thing I didn’t do yesterday. Hmm… how did I forget that my daughter and I went painting  and had a great time! For some reason that doesn’t register as a win in my mind, I still think about all the things I didn’t do.
So I tell you this just to say try to catch yourself in the act of telling yourself off. Then stop immediately, forgive yourself and I promise it will change your mood. You will begin  slowly but surely knock out easy tasks to get your confidence back. Those micro wins help you feel like you can conquer the world.
Also, remember those who are struggling in Tx and the surrounding states right now. It should put things in our lives in perspective.
A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: You ain’t crazy!

“Don’t mistake clarity for crazy.”

 

My hubby is super laid-back but he dropped that one-liner the other day that completely changed my day and stopped me from questioning myself.

So I’m being a little vulnerable here, but sometimes I get a very clear picture/vision/understanding of my purpose/calling–what I’m supposed to do in the future.  I am a visionary and dreamer, so that’s par for the course.

One particular day, I saw some things that were slightly different from what I had been envisioning for myself, but way better than what I had dreamt for myself.  I was brought to tears clearly seeing a possible future. I just became so overwhelmed with the clarity of the vision but instead of enjoying it I told myself I was crazy. So later that day,  I told my husband that I clearly saw some of my dreams manifesting even better than I originally imagined, and although I really really wanted to believe it, I just thought I was crazy and making stuff up as an escape.

After listening to me ramble for a little bit he turned and said “You’re not crazy, don’t confuse clarity with crazy.” Then he dropped the mic and left the room, while I stood there staring in awe.
I couldn’t believe how profound that was and how true it is.
Don’t start to feel like you’re crazy when you start to see the amazing things ahead.
Accept them and say yes!
Grateful my vision is clearing up,
A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Letter to myself

 

 

Hey guys. I took a short break because I was in San Diego. (loved La Jolla, although I kept calling it La Holla)

I attended a leadership conference for work and few weeks before the conference started I had to write a letter to myself– about what I wish I knew when I first started leading people. The letter was given to me at the training, and I had completely forgotten what I wrote. But when I re-read my letter, I loved it.  I had gotten through a tough time at work a few weeks before the conference, so that was my frame of mind when I wrote it. I thought I’d share in hopes it would help someone.

 

Dear A.G.,

I want you to continue to trust yourself. There will be many people who try to tell you who you are, but all they can offer is what they see through their experiences and lens. Listen, but don’t internalize. 

Don’t be so concerned about how people perceive you, and don’t try so hard to manipulate how you are perceived. You cannot control what others think of you no matter how hard you try.

Learn not to take people’s bad behavior personally. People cannot give what they do not have. This means meet people where they are and if I disagree with their leadership style, find the courage to give them feedback. Don’t always take the path of least resistance.

Surround yourself with supportive people and mentors. Don’t isolate yourself when times get hard. Lean in to life and lean on people for support.

Quicker is not always better, continue to take your time with work and people, it always pays off.

Continue to take time every morning to breathe and start the day from a calm place. Remember you are not auditioning for your job. You know what you are doing and if you don’t, people and ideas will come across your path to help you.

Lastly, learn to effectively deal with conflict, especially with those in authority. If others do not want to be persuaded, learn to move on and don’t feel like you failed. Continue to have integrity and trust all things will work out for your good.

 

A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Christmas Starts in July!

For many many years I got away with a last minute approach to Christmas. Although I love to be prepared and stuff, I was the girl who would do most of her Christmas shopping December 23rd-24th and come up with fabulous gifts!! (at least no one told me otherwise).

But now that I’m an adult (I do forget that sometimes…) being a procrastinator during the holidays makes doing adult things like sending Christmas cards, getting gifts for others, you know–being thoughtful, a source of stress.

So last year, we barely made the requested dress code for my daughter’s holiday play (I didn’t read the cover letter sent home) and I forgot to give the teachers cards with their gifts. Gifts weren’t wrapped until Christmas Eve, and…sigh you get it! Part of me says, just let it go Ms. Perfectionist, but there is another part of me that knows it’s about better planning.

We are stressed from back to school (which is August in Georgia–yuck!) through Halloween and through the New Year–but since we always manage to get through it. But do we do anything different the next year to make it easier?

My solution and my resolution for this year is to start thinking about and planning for Christmas in July. Yes July!

I’ve always had the mindset that Christmas shopping should be done year round, so I have a gift drawer but it’s kind random–I need to step it up a bit. There are always last minute things creep up in the holiday season (unexpected house guests, needing last minute gifts for people you just met, or parties you’ve been invited to).

So the solution to an easier holiday season is to do what you can do early. No one will know if you write your holiday cards in July (just don’t send them!!). No one would know if you took Christmas pics in July ( I’m more diligent about exercise in the summer, no holiday weight yet…hmmm that may be a great idea!!) just don’t send them. I can see my family traveling to some photography studio in Christmas sweaters in this heat to have our pictures taken? (well maybe we change into the Christmas garb at the studio…)

Christmas in July

 

Admittedly, July is almost over, but writing this has reminded me that the second half of the year goes quickly, so I am going to start planning. We are hosting Christmas this year so I can start working on and testing the menu. I can schedule for our pictures to be taken and start writing the list for gifts.  What can you start doing now?

I’m starting to wonder if this is where the term Christmas in July came from…

Hmmm…

Well safe travels to everyone traveling. I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.

Best,

A. G.