Imagine If You Were Free

Why?

Because today I have seen that I am not. I am run by my rules, standards, and worries. Here are the 3 out of 4 plaguing me right now:

  • Getting It Right: I stopped recording videos because I got “advice on how to do them” I KNEW I couldn’t get it right, so………Fucked up Conclusion: Why bother doing them at all?
  • Keeping People Happy: I’ve tried to accommodate them, listen to them longer than I want to, do things I don’t want to do, and basically try to please them any way I can, sacrificing my own happiness in the process, AND, …….guess what? They are not happy anyway……..Fucked Up Conclusion: Why waste my time if they are going to be mad anyway? Fuck ’em as my Dad used to say.
  • Be Nice: I told my neighbor’s visitor not to park in my parking spot. He hadn’t realized he was in my spot so I felt REALLY MEAN. I spent the night numbing myself with two hard seltzers and chips because I felt like “that mean bitch” I’ve tried to avoid being. Fucked Up Conclusion: It doesn’t matter whether I speak up or not – I’m going to judge myself either way so it’s a lose-lose situation.
  • Don’t Act Crazy: There was a strange man following me last night. The hairs on my arms were standing up. I almost didn’t call 911 because I was afraid they would think I was paranoid, crazy and worrying about nothing. The policeman came, and while he was talking to me got another call about the same guy. He was harrassing people in their cars down the road. “Your instincts were good,” he said. Not Fucked Up Conclusion: When you feel danger, ACT. I’m glad I did.

Let’s see if I can use my accesses to freedom:

  • sharing – that’s what I’m doing
  • saying what I don’t think I should say – I don’t think I should be telling you all this
  • not resisting my experience – I am definitely resisting how I feel

That’s a big one. I’m pretending everything is fine. It’s not. I’m afraid if I make a mistake, people will leave. I don’t feel nice. I don’t like people mad at me. I miss my Dad. I wish I could help my mom. I don’t like when people are upset because of me. I don’t MEAN to hurt them.

I pretend I don’t care, but I do.

I’m going to just BE how I am. And it’s fine. I don’t have to be another way. I’m just going to be me – AS I AM. Mistakes and all. I will follow my heart, instead of my mind.

Wow!! What a concept.

Imagine if YOU could be free. Imagine if you could be however you are, right now, free to follow your heart instead of your mind. How would your life be?

I wonder…………………………………….

Have a great day.

“Your Instincts Were Right”

I went to my mom’s house tonight for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. We ate dinner and then my son called. He had been reffing in New Jersey and was with his dad. It was already 8:00. They were an hour away.

“Please don’t invite his dad to come over,” I asked my mother. “It’s late. Let’s see Jesse another night.”

She didn’t listen. She begged them to come like she always does. So they were on their way.

I decided to go home. I told my son that I loved him but that I wasn’t going to stay.

Feeling bad, I called him when I got in my car. I said it was too difficult in that house for me. The caregiver and my mother were always at odds and I couldn’t take it. I burst into a good heaving cry. I could barely see the road through my tears, but it felt good to let my sadness and frustration come out.

I said goodbye when I got home. I got out of my car and started walking to my cottage. Almost at the path that leads to my door, I heard someone behind me. A guy was walking down the path towards me. He was mumbling incoherently, sort of at me. There was no one else around. I got a really creepy feeling but I had already turned towards my house.

“Shit, he’ll know where I live,” I thought. I hurried down the path. “What could I do?”

“Honey, let me in,” I said to the empty house. I knocked on the door, pretending I was being let in. I wanted him to think there was someone here with me. I closed the door and and looked back out through the blinds. He was still standing at the end of my path. The hair on my arms was standing up.

I called my son and told him what happened.

“Call the police,” he said. Normally I would feel funny, but this time I did it. While I was telling the operator what happened, the call dropped.

Surprisingly, my house phone rang a minute later. It was the woman from 911. She asked me a bunch of questions.

“Should I go outside and see if he’s there?” I asked.

“No. Absolutely not. Stay inside. We will send an officer out.”

I felt strange, so I called my son and kept him on the phone until someone knocked. I peered out the blinds making sure it was the policeman.

He asked me what happened and I told the story again. His beeper rang.

“It’s another complaint,” he said. “We think it’s your guy. He’s down by the sea wall harassing people in cars. Your instincts were right.”

Normally I don’t trust my instincts. I think I’m just paranoid, overly fearful or worrying needlessly.

But I just finished “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell. He talks about how we err on the side of thinking people are good, and don’t trust our instincts. That we are “not accurate ” at judging people. We trust the psychopaths because they are smooth talkers, and the innocent nervous people we think are guilty. It was very interesting.

I also heard a segment on Oprah that said that most people want to be “good and nice” instead of trusting themselves when their gut says danger. They are afraid to get the bad guys mad and get into trouble because of it.

Tonight I listened to myself. I’m proud, albeit a little shaken.

It’s been an emotional night. After seeing my mom, it’s sometimes difficult to see that she’s not the same as she was. And to know it’s not going to get better. It makes me miss my Dad. I feel like if he was still here, it wouldn’t be so hard.

I remember standing next to my dad at temple all those years. We would recite Yizkor, the prayer for the deceased. I felt bad that he had to say the prayer because his parents were dead. I knew intellectually that one day I would be the one saying the prayer, but I didn’t REALLY think that day would ever come. I expected my dad to be next to me at temple forever. It was OUR night. As he got older, I loved holding his hand when he needed help walking into the temple. It made me feel really close to him.

I know that death is part of life, but on the holidays, I miss him the most, especially reciting that prayer.

Hey Dad, it’s been a really strange year. This year we said the prayer to our computer.

But the policeman said I did good tonight. Are you proud of me?

I love you.

I Didn’t Invite You to My Pity Party

Yesterday I was going to write and invite you to my Pity Party.

But I decided to just go it alone. I was in a bit of an awful state.

I just decided to feel sorry for myself even though I really should have been able to get over whatever was bothering me. I should have been “perky and peppy” instead, laughing and smiling, and being wonderful. But I wasn’t. I was growling and sulking.

It’s been a rough couple of days:

  • My daughter moved back in with me on Sunday. Starting early Monday, we fought over everything, made everything wrong, and were mean and miserable to each other.
  • I couldn’t figure out how to talk to her without both of us hissing and spewing hatred, resentment and blame. It wasn’t fun.
  • Today, when she was out and I could clear my head, I sent her a text complimenting her and then telling her that I can’t count on her to do what she says. This causes me resentment, makes ME look like the ass hole for continually having to ask her, and misery.
  • She came home and we talked. She first blamed me for why she doesn’t do what she says and I just listened, saying ok and anything else? When there was nothing left for her to spew, I helped her create a structure for keeping her word. I gave her a book where she could write down what she promises people she will do, and then schedule those tasks into her day. It took about 5 minutes. She was grateful.
  • Now, we are friends again and laughing and getting along. It’s a miracle.

The second thing:

  • I was going to hire a company to help me go after my dream. I talked to my Financial Planner. and he asked me a lot of questions about why I was spending this money. I didn’t have the answers. I got upset, decided I was stupid for doing it, it wouldn’t work anyway, and I was an idiot for wasting the money.
  • Instead I would save the money, waddle along in life without purpose, and avoid taking any risks.
  • I invalidated everything I’ve ever done, felt sorry for myself, and was resigned that “this is as good as it’s ever going to get.” La-dee, la-dee, la. Poor me. I’ll survive, it’s ok. Dumb idea. Boo Hoo.
  • I wallowed some more.
  • Today I got a text. One of the guys I was going to work with asked me to talk to him.
  • “Why? What does he want? Probably his money,” I thought with cynicism.
  • “I’m not giving in,” I thought. “I’ll just listen. I won’t say a word.”
  • I listened. Then he asked me a question about what I wanted. It was hard to answer but I finally did. “It’s a lot of money,” I said afterwards.
  • “You are paying for two guys to work for you for 4 months to make you successful. That’s what you’re paying for,” he said.
  • “What does successful mean to you?” I asked.
  • “Oh, OK,” I said. The resignation lifted off my chest. I paid the invoice on my phone.
  • And guess what? I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I felt alive again and on a mission.
  • It was another miracle.

Those were the two big things I resolved today.

So I’m sorry I can’t invite you to my Pity Party. Next time, I’ll invite you before it ends.

Have a great day.

Where Do YOU Quit?

I quit all the time.

I hate to admit it, but I do.

I quit when:

  • someone doesn’t act like I want them to
  • someone doesn’t like what I want them to
  • someone says something I don’t like
  • someone says something I take personally
  • things don’t happen as fast as I want
  • things don’t happen the way I want

Let’s see. Is there anything else? Probably, but I think you get the point.

I also quit relationships.

If someone criticizes me, makes me wrong, embarasses me, etc. they become DEAD TO ME. I am DONE. ADIOS, MUCHACHO.

It’s not like I say it, I just do it. I no longer feel affinity for them. I put them in the REJECT pile unknowingly and put an invisible barrier in between us.

With projects, for example, selling my book or making sales appointments, when I don’t get the results I expect, my excitement and belief disappears. I either forget I ever started, or continue with resigned resistance.

What if, INSTEAD, I could “be” with whatever someone said or did, or with whatever happens, with no loss of affinity or enthusiasm?

Honestly, I can’t imagine what life would be like. But I’d certainly like to see what happens living life THAT WAY. I’m going to take that on.

How about for you? Where do you quit? What could happen in your life if you didn’t?

What’s the Deal with Anxiety?

It seems to me, and please, I don’t mean to offend anybody, that we use words like anxiety, depression, and PTSD like they are a “Thing.” And, if we have have one of those THINGS, we don’t have to be responsible for our lives. Again, it’s just MY OPINION and an observation I’ve made. Here are a few situations that had me start wondering about this:

SITUATION 1: “I can’t continue working in sales with you because I have anxiety and depression,” a young girl told me recently.

“What can I say to that?” I asked myself. She stumped me. “Wel, OK, you better take care of yourself then. I’d hate for you to be anxious or depressed. Sorry it’s not working out.”

SITUATION 2: “What meds are you on?” a college intern asked another college intern. They had just started working with me and I had taken them out to lunch. My mouth stayed open as they proceeded to have a lively discuss about their PTSD, anxiety, and the different medications they were on.

I was stunned. Is this the norm now? Were these isolated cases?

SITUATION 3: “I can’t go out of my house because of my anxiety,” another new agent told me. “I am agoraphic.”

“Another one?” I asked myself. He lives with his mother and eventually quit working with me, too. He went back to his job bagging groceries at the local grocery store.

Maybe it’s sales and how hard it is. I don’t know.

Needless to say, I decided to experiment with myself to see what kind of ANXIETY I might have.

Like fear, I first identified body sensations that I associate with “having anxiety:”

  • tight chest
  • racing heart beat
  • difficulty breathing
  • racing thoughts

When these happen, especially when I get into bed at night, I COULD CALL IT ANXIETY. I could call a doctor, get medication, and have a REALLY good excuse for why I can’t do anything. OR, I could say I have body sensations. Which do YOU think gives me more power? (Sorry for the sarcasm, I can’t help it).

Next I started doing a meditation called “Managing Anxiety,” offered on my Headspace app. It taught me a technique called “noting,” where I identify whether something is a feeling or a thought. The second week we added a description of pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. For example:

  • leg cramp – unpleasant feeling
  • “something is wrong” – unpleasant thought
  • tightness in chest – unpleasant feeling
  • “I’m grateful for my pillow” – pleasant thought
  • “I can’t have what I want” – unpleasant thought

And on and on……what I found was that instead of lying awake with my body sensations and disturbing thoughts as “real,” I could separate myself from them and just observe them. And the miracle was that I would drift off to sleep instead of staying awake for hours. That was amazing.

What could have been debilitating anxiety, powerlessness, sleeplessness, and exhaustion, simply disappeared after a ten minute exercise. I now have techniques I can use when I have those body sensations. They are working for me.

I’m not trying to invalidate or make light of real mental illness, a real need for medication, or medical conditions that require medical help. But I AM wondering if we medicate symptoms that could be handled by communication, sharing, dialogue, and simple techniques. I don’t have the answer, I’m just in an inquiry about it.

I’m not sure if my techniques will work for others, but I do find them freeing. By not resisting my body sensations, I can observe them, regain my power, and develop a plan for CREATING my life instead of being VICTIM to it.

If this is helpful, please share it with others and let me know.

Thanks for listening.

Playing with Crazy

My quote of the week is: “Ever Feel Crazy? What if thats a good thing?”

This week I am looking at “my crazy” instead of being afraid of it. Since then, I’ve seen a few other things that I am afraid that I am, too:

  • being sensitive
  • being annoying
  • being crazy
  • bothering people
  • not doing enough
  • not getting it right
  • asking for help

Let’s just take those for now. Because I am afraid of them, I actually make it worse.

“Am I annoying?” I asked Sam, I guy I was friends with a long time ago.

When you ask that you are?” he said.

Oh. Interesting. I wasn’t annoying until I asked if I was.

And with the crazy – I’m fine until I get afraid of it.

I published my book. I was told that the average person who self-publishes sells 250 books.

“That’s embarrassing,” I thought. “I’m going to be a BEST SELLER.”

But when I added up my sales and saw that I’ve only sold 118, I decided I was CRAZY.

“How could you even THINK you could do this? You are SO STUPID!!! WHAT AN IDIOT!” I kept telling myself.

I stopped promoting my book, thinking that if I stopped talking about it, people would forget I did it, and not realize how CRAZY I AM.

I focussed on the crazy and forgot about the accomplishment.

It was my dream to publish a book. And, it took me 7 years. But I did it. I didn’t stop.

What if crazy hadn’t stopped me promoting it? What if I had kept going all those times I started other really great projects? Where would I be now?

Well, there’s nothing I can do about the past. All I can do going forward is take on CRAZY. CRAZY will be my great, new friend. Me and CRAZY are going to do some wonderful things together.

Hope you join us for the ride.

Thanks for listening.

Is Crazy Good?

My quote of the week:

I am inquiring into this for a whole week. I’ve always tried to hide my “crazy,” afraid it’s been true.

What if that’s a wonderful part of me? And, since today I am being sensitive, what if THAT is also a good part of me?

I’ve made peace with my negativity and decided to use it for good with “getting real with Hilary.” I develop techniques for getting free.

What can I do with crazy or sensitive?

Good question:

What if my “Crazy” ideas are really good ones? What if I was free to just pursue them, without needing to backtrack, hide, and pretend I don’t care? What if people’s comments or not understanding what I am doing didn’t matter? What if I could just go forward, unstoppably?

I think life would be really fun.

And what about the sensitive piece? I’ve always blamed myself for being upset.

What if these people are just nasty? What if they are bitches or ass holes and I’m thinking I should be fine with their nastiness? What if that’s my cue for saying ADIOS, MOTHER FUCKER? What if I SHOULD be sensitive because that’s a cue for not being around MEAN people OR, checking it out as in the tips last week before I get offended and hurt.

Either way, I will take sensitivity as a gift, along with my craziness. Compassion for myself is a new thing.

Thank you for listening.

More Techniques For When You’re Feeling Bad

The quote of the week has had me find more and more techniques I can use for when I’m feeling a little stuck.

It’s not like I am destitute, crying, and a mess.

It’s just that my happiness has gone down a notch because I’m stuck on a comment or event.

I use the techniques to get myself back to free so I can create a powerful life instead of spending my time:

  • nitpicking what other people said or did
  • badmouthing the person
  • justifying myself
  • getting agreement from others about how “wrong and bad” the other person is
  • trying to make myself feel better despite the perceived insult
  • telling myself I will never talk to that person again

It’s kind of a negative way to spend my time. But it’s automatic, and unless I catch it and use one of my techniques, it’s just what I’m doing.

By using the techniques, I can get myself out of the negative swirl and go back to being create and powerful.

I don’t know if anyone else does what I do, but it works for me.

I am using my God given negativity to hopefully help other people get unstuck.

You can find the tips in my instagram posts or my videos. Enjoy!!!

Hope this works!!!
Here are my tips on Instagram. Not that it helps you see them. I’m learning, folks!!!!

Overwhelm? OK I Know What to Do

OK – I’m in overwhelm. I’ve taken on a lot and all I can think is:

“SOMETHING IS WRONG AND IT’S MY FAULT”

I am going to spend some time making a list of everything I need to do and schedule it. I’m sure once I get it onto paper, I will calm down.

Left in my head, it’s just a mush of panic and anxiety and non-action.

Sometimes, for me, the trick to getting things done is to stop and get present. Breathe. Make a list. Get out my calendar. Schedule things. Take some things off. Move them to next week.

A lot has been happening and I can have compassion for myself. OK, I’m breathing and making this list:

  • I have new agents at work that I need to be in contact with, know what they are doing, and make sure they are on track for success – schedule time with each one
  • I have old agents who are out of communication and I need to get them into the new virtual reality
  • My interns are going to college and will stop helping with my social media – I can schedule when I will do posts, do the designs, email them to me, and post – I need a block of time to be calm for this
  • I’m living at my mom’s – enough said – AND, I will be moving back after Sept 1 – I’m actually worried that I will miss her – isn’t that a miracle
  • My kids – they are actually fine
  • My blogs, videos and posts – I can do them when I can breathe and have time as I said before – If I don’t have the block of time, I schedule them for when I can focus calmly
  • My newsletter – I can work on that over the weekend
  • My new blueprint – nothing to do until next Tuesday
  • My volunteering – make sure each person is scheduled and in my calendar
  • My inquiry session – I am going to work on that today with the design team
  • My planning calls – I do them Thursdays, I can work on them the half hour before.
  • My business – schedule time in to make my own account calls

OK, it is all doable. I am putting pressure on myself instead of having compassion that I am up to new and big things. I’d rather have it this way than bored.

Wow – what a difference a blog can make.

Thanks for listening and have a great day.

How to Stop Feeling Bad

I used a technique yesterday called “checking it out.” You can watch the video to find out how. It’s simple and very effective.

I used a technique called checking it out

If you get upset by a comment or something that someone does, you can ask them “what did you mean by that?”

It’s a simple, yet very effective way to stop feeling bad.

I’ve never had anyone tell me anything even CLOSE to what I thought they meant.

I’m trying to think of an example without incriminating anyone, and I can’t right now.

If I do, I’ll add to this. Gotta get to work.

Thanks for listening.

PS There’s an interview on WICC600 from yesterday that I did with Ann Karrick. It was really fun and talked about feeling our feelings.