Don’t Take Anything Personally!

Have you ever started a conversation with someone you didn’t know and they respond or react in a negative way?

How about feeling like you haven’t been heard or your thoughts are insignificant after a conversation with a loved one? Perhaps they criticize you, put you down with backhanded compliments or know your vulnerabilities and push that button?

Those types of conversations can be difficult and often times we are left wondering if we have done something wrong.

This is what I’ve learned from my dog: (I love her so much!)

She can walk up to another dog, greet them with an excited, happy smile on her face, and if they don’t like her…she just walks away! She doesn’t think for a second their negative reaction has anything to do with her!

  • She doesn’t leave thinking there is something wrong with her!
  • She doesn’t start to beat herself up over it!
  • She doesn’t start analyzing what just happened and creates negative energy towards herSELF or resentments towards others!

NO! She instantly MOVES ON continuing to ENJOY her day and gets excited the next time she meets another dog.

It’s so simple!

CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MUCH EASIER LIFE WOULD BE IF WE COULD ADOPT THIS WAY OF LIVING?

For some reason we tend to internalize rejection and criticism and immediately put it on ourselves that something must be wrong with us!

As Don Miguel Ruiz states in his book, The Four Agreements:

“Don’t take anything personally!”

He says:

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

NEEDLESS SUFFERING! This makes absolute sense to me and it is proven by my dog. She instinctively understands this concept. When she gets rejected she simply moves on, continues to enjoy her day and as a result she doesn’t suffer!

When we invest in what we’ve been told by others and start to second guess ourselves, we doubt our abilities, talents, opinions and actions.

We start to believe someone else’s story instead of our own.

“DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY!”

This is a life-long lesson; one that must be practised daily, but when I see the absolute JOY my dog has because she doesn’t take anything personally, I witness the wisdom of those words.

HONOUR YOURSELF.

LISTEN TO YOUR OWN VOICE.

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY!

With a smile,

Tina

PS.  Check out my book HERE.  It was recently described as “raw”, “inspiring” and “honest”. Check it out and pass it on…THANK YOU!

Ask And You Shall Receive

Is this true? I know I’ve asked for things in the past and didn’t get it.

“Please let this be the winning lottery ticket.”

“Please let there be a parking space.”

“Please don’t let me get sick this week.”

Not all requests get answered.

I’ve also heard “NO” many times. I now realize that the word NO stands for:

NEW OPPORTUNITY.

Let me explain the GIFT OF ASKING and the GIFT OF NO.

This past weekend I went to a conference in Los Angeles, California.

Saturday was a long day with lots of information squished into my brain. I was tired, hungry and ready for a rest before we had to go to another function later that night.

I have a wee infatuation with firemen. It’s just for FUN; nothing serious…well…maybe I do have a bit of a problem…ok, ok, I love firemen.

Any time I see one, I must stop and get a photo.

It could be mid walk…

…mid run…

Or, mid conference…

As we waited with thousands of others for a taxi cab, I saw a big, bright red fire truck in the distance.

“FIRE TRUCK!!!!!!!”

I shoved my phone into Jody’s hand, bolted down the street, sprinted through the cross walk and weaved through 3 rows of cars in downtown LA on a hot sunny night. I zipped through until I reached the fire truck and ASKED if I could have my photo taken with them.

“Sure!” he said in a friendly manner.

I hopped on the front bumper and waited for Jody to take the photo. Waiting even for a few seconds seems like eternity when you are holding up traffic! I was not going to lose this OPPORTUNITY. I stayed on that front bumper until I knew she had the photo.

Woman, sprinting down the sidewalk, through traffic, sitting on a fire truck bumper in the middle of rush hour in front of thousands of people just coming out of a business conference…yup, I’d say she was nuts! I did not care. I didn’t think about it! All I saw was OPPORTUNITY and I took it! I may be crazy, but crazy got results!

How did I get this OPPORTUNITY?

  1. I recognized it.
  2. I ran for it (literally).
  3. I asked.
  4. I received.

That is how you get an opportunity.  You CREATE IT for yourSELF.

Later that night we went to a pre-organized function. It was busy downtown as there was a basketball game with the Lakers: Lots of people and lots of energy. I LOVED it.

At the end of the night, after hours in high heel shoes (They are fabulous but my feet were starting to hurt), we decided to get a cab. We tried for quite a while but could not get one. We walked to a hotel but still could not get a cab.

I spotted a limo driving by. I asked my friends jokingly:

“Will a limo work?”

“Sure,” they responded, also jokingly.

I waved at the limo driver and ASKED if he had anyone in the back. He didn’t so then I ASKED how much he charged. He wanted to know where we were going. I told him our hotel and he said:

“Hop in. It’s free.”

WOW! WHAT A GIFT! We got to ride downtown LA in a limo FOR FREE!

How?

I ASKED!!! It really was as simple as that.

Because we were rejected by all those cabs saying NO to us, we found a NEW OPPORTUNITY by ASKING and as a result we got to ride in a limo for FREE!

So, what are YOU going to ask for?  What NO are you going to turn into a NEW OPPORTUNITY?

Thanks LA, I had a blast!

With a smile,

Tina

The Gift of Friendship

Friendships are sometimes the difference between living your life, and LOVING your life.

I have been blessed with some lasting, loving and supportive friendships. The kind where I don’t see them every day but there is an unspoken understanding that if either of us needed something, we can call. We get into adventures, make our own fun and laugh until our stomachs hurt. We don’t allow the other person to stay down too long, we fight for each other when we can’t fight for ourselves and listen when we need to be heard.

“Your friend is your needs answered.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

Two weeks ago I was having a rough couple of days. My friends told me what I needed to hear:

Tina, you are too proud.

Tina, you are a trail blazer, taking adversity and creating opportunity.

Tina, you are a shining star; no one can put that out.

Tina, you are an editor, writer, singer, teacher, athlete, motivator, visionary, nurturer, amazing friend-sister-daughter-aunt and you have an emotional IQ that is off the charts. You are beautiful, funny, playful, energetic and talented.

WOW. Friends step in and tell you what you need to hear when you can’t find the words (or energy) to say it to yourSELF.

Sometimes, they point out things you don’t recognize. I am too proud to ask for help because I want to make it on my own and prove I can do it but often times we need to EMBRACE each other to fulfill our bigger goals.

We have to allow others to GIVE and we have to RECEIVE with GRACE and GRATITUDE.

My former teacher, mentor and dear friend reminded me I can ask for help and it’s ok. I won’t be judged or criticized but rather supported and validated.

Asking for help is a positive exchange of energy. It’s only our negative attachment to the act of asking that can taint the request.

She also showed me that I have taken adversity and changed it into OPPORTUNITY and I shall do so, again.

The other quotes are from this dear friend. She is one of those people who would open her home, give me the shirt off her back and share all her knowledge and resources to help me out. Last week she ran with me and allowed me to cry, vent and process what was bothering me. Once I emptied my tank of the negative, she filled me up with positive messages, and helped me see another side to things. She pointed out my strengths and pushed me to keep going towards what I believe in. She defines “The Gift Of Friendship”.

Friends ask how you are doing, then LISTEN for the answer.

Friends tell you when you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe or you’re in a relationship that stinks.

Supportive friendships aren’t based on convenience. The best of friends show up when it’s inconvenient.

Friends are LOVE in ACTION.

CELEBRATE YOUR FRIENDSHIPS. TELL YOUR FRIENDS HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU AND HOW MUCH THEY ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE.

Such sweet blessings…

With a smile,

Tina

 

Lift The Shame – Heal The Pain

 

I’m so tired, exhausted and yet I don’t fall asleep easily and don’t feel rested when I get up.

The thought of going to work right now seems overwhelming. I want to sit on the couch, watch TV, go to bed and sleep.

It’s frustrating. I feel like a waste of a life.

So why do I bother? If I really feel like I’m wasting my life, not reaching my potential, and have such enormous pain, why do I keep waking up every day to go through it again? Why invest another day, another week, month or year on NOTHING.

If I really get to my core – my heart, my spirit and my instinct, I WANT TO LIVE!

I want to believe, truly understand on a cellular level that I am worthy of a good life.

That is the voice of depression and anxiety. That is the voice of someone who suffered in silence, screamed and suffocated in silence but no longer remains silent.

That was MY JOURNAL ENTRY just a few short years ago when I was in a highly toxic relationship, not exercising, self medicating and feeling very depressed and anxious. I wasn’t thinking about the people in my life who loved me because I was consumed with pain. ALTHOUGH I WAS IN A DARK PLACE, I COULD RECOGNIZE THAT I DID NOT WANT TO DIE. I WANTED TO LIVE FREE OF THE INNER PAIN. This is an extremely important fact to understand.

 

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association the signs of DEPRESSION are:

  • feeling worthless, helpless or hopeless,
  • sleeping more or less than usual,
  • eating more or less than usual,
  • having difficulty concentrating or making decisions,
  • loss of interest in taking part in activities,
  • decreased sex drive,
  • avoiding other people, (isolation)
  • overwhelming feelings of sadness or grief,
  • feeling unreasonably guilty,
  • loss of energy, feeling very tired,
  • thoughts of death or suicide.

I have been told getting current statistics is difficult because it’s an expensive and complicated process with many variables to consider, making accurate numbers near impossible. In addition, because there are the issues of STIGMA attached to mental illness, people don’t speak up.

One thing we can be certain: mental illness, such as but not limited to, depression and anxiety affects ALL of us. If you don’t suffer personally, you are affected by someone who is suffering.

DEPRESSION DOES NOT CARE ABOUT RACE, RELIGION, CAREER OR SOCIAL STATUS.

 

By recognizing and understanding that mental and emotional wellness affects EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE PLANET, we help others realize they do not have to suffer in silence. May 7th – 13th is Mental Health Week.

It is a time to raise awareness, speak up and speak out.

STOP THE STIGMA AND GIVE THOSE WHO SUFFER, A VOICE.

 

Depression, anxiety or any other mental disorder/illness is not something you just ‘power’ through. It’s not a weakness, or a fault. It is a highly complex issue with varying components that needs to be treated!

 WE NEED TO LIFT THE SHAME TO HEAL THE PAIN.

WE NEED TO STOP THE STIGMA.

WE NEED TO LET PEOPLE KNOW IT IS SAFE TO TALK AND TO GET HELP.

It is not to be judged, criticized or labeled but rather to be UNDERSTOOD.

I want you to understand there is HOPE. I know depression and anxiety inside and out because I’ve been inside and out of it. I also know by giving mySELF another chance in that darkest hour, I found JOY, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING. My mental and emotional health is a PRIORITY. I can still have tough days, but nothing compared to that journal entry above.

  THERE IS HOPE.

  HERE ARE SOME GOOD RESOURCES

Canadian Mental Health Association: http://www.cmha.ca/

Teen and young adult support: http://www.mindcheck.ca/

A new resource through BC Children’s Hospital: http://www.keltymentalhealth.ca/

 

If you can relate to my journal entry, please contact your doctor immediately. Talk to a psychiatrist or counsellor and share with a trusted family member or friend. Do not hide in shame. GET HELP.

Talk until someone listens.

Life is valuable.

YOU ARE VALUABLE. YOU ARE PRECIOUS. YOU ARE LOVED.

From my heart to yours,

Tina

PS.  Thank you for reading and sharing this blog to raise awareness and understanding. For more reading on depression, anxiety and toxic relationships click on the side panel under the ‘categories’ or any highlighted word you found in this blog.

 

When You Pray, Move Your Feet

When you pray, move your feet

I love that African proverb but what does it mean to pray?

For me, it involves your thoughts, intention and energy. Ultimately, it is YOUR communication and connection to what YOU believe in.

The definition of prayer is:

A devout petition to or spiritual communion with God or an object of worship.

“Spiritual communion”…I like that particular phrase.

I don’t think of God, spirit, universal energy or whatever you want to call it as being outside of mySELF. I think of it as being heard inside

It’s my INSTINCT, CONNECTION to SELF and that quiet, calm, loving voice that whispers WISDOM in my ear. It’s the PEACE, GRATITUDE and JOY I feel when I know I am CONNECTED.

The beautiful paradox of when we connect to SELF is that we connect to others.

When you pray, move your feet.

JOGGING connects me to a wisdom I wouldn’t otherwise feel connected to and helps me process my emotions, thoughts and patterns. I have fought DEPRESSION and ANXIETY by using JOGGING as a key component to my HAPPINESS.

If that isn’t answering my prayers, I don’t know what is!

…Even when I stop mid jog…and weep…my tears are a form of prayer…

I believe honouring yourSELF, listening to yourSELF and respecting yourSELF is a form of prayer because the core essence of who you are is LOVE, WISDOM and a powerful ENERGY beyond our comprehension.

When you pray, move your feet.

In my mind, the purpose of prayer is to gain clarity, strength, comfort, hope, wisdom, connection, love, happiness, gratitude and insight. JOGGING gives me that GIFT.

When you pray, move your feet.

Try going for a walk or jog this weekend. Connect with that loving wisdom and powerful energy. Focus on praying as you are moving. Focus on the intention behind your words. Pray and then listen. Connect to yourSELF and connect to that which you believe in.

I believe in YOU.

I believe in LOVE.

I believe in listening to your INSTINCT and caring for yourSELF.

I believe in SHARING our collective consciousness and EMBRACING one another.

I believe in HUGS and the healing power of TOUCH.

I believe in the power of POSITIVE energy, POSITIVE thoughts, POSITIVE ACTIONS and a LOVING heart.

I BELIEVE IN PRAYER.

When you pray, move your feet.

Blessings to you this weekend. See you on Tuesday!

With a smile,

Tina

PS. If you want to keep connected over the weekend, check out my Facebook page or send me a message! I would love hearing from you.