Eat, Pray and Love

This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the movie Eat, Pray, Love again with some special girlfriends who I love dearly.  I love this movie and it holds a special place in my heart as the book inspired me to follow in Elizabeth Gilbert's footsteps.  I too had just gone through an ugly divorce and was struggling to feel something again and I decided to do something for me, something I had always wanted to do in an effort to somehow learn to forgive myself, to find myself and to feel something - anything but the deadness that had moved into my heart.

So I went to Italy, by myself for 3 weeks and I have to say that place is truly magical to me as well.  The people, the lifestyle, the passion for living and loving is just nothing I had ever come close to experiencing.  I truly believe they have found the secret to life - to live well, to love with all your heart and to treasure your family.  Somehow here in the US, we seem to loose sight of what is so clear to them over there.  I had spent my entire life building a life instead of living my life.  I was constantly at battle with myself over everything.  Always trying to find some imperfect perfection that could never be achieved. Perfection to the Italians is something they use to describe a meal not something they try to measure themselves by.  They don't live their lives trying to control things actual they seem to embrace even the simplest of things and they do it with flair and style.

I learned to surrender, to stop fighting, to stop pushing myself so damn hard.  I FINALLY realized that beating myself up my whole life had got me nowhere.... the only place it had brought me to was some serious unhappiness.  One small decision after another, more unhappiness and yet a little more. Italy showed me that you can find happiness in a strangers smile.  Happiness can be talking to your best friend, happiness can be in an embrace, happiness does not have to be complicated.  Happiness isn't perfect.  Happiness is a mindset.  You get to chose who you are.  You get to chose how you show up.  You get to chose who you love.  You get to chose how you live your live.  This actually reminds me of a quote from the book: "There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."
— Elizabeth Gilbert

So I'm here to tell you first hand, nothing beats living your life full of passion, love and being the person you are.  Stop trying to be someone who you are not, stop trying to be someone who others expect you to be, stop trying to please everyone else, just be the you who you truly are and you will discover that life has some of the most incredible gifts if you are open to accepting them.

Till next time,

Lisa

Expectations - Theirs or Yours?

We all have expectations of how things should be.  We all have expectations of what we want out of life or even out of just today.  But the question than comes up when you let other people influence your expectations - who’s expectations are they theirs or yours?  When you fail to reach another’s expectations does it make it any easier or harder on you?  And then what happens to what you want, to your expectations?  Do they get lost? Pushed aside? Forgotten?  

All too often we get consumed with trying to please other people, that we forget to learn to please ourself.  If you are a people pleaser like me, I have a hard time remembering that I matter, that what I want counts more than another’s.  It took me a long, long time to realize that if I don’t take care of me first - than I won’t be around to take care of anyone else.  And truth is - its a lesson I seem to keep learning.  I have been last on my own list for so long, I was programed to believe that others wants, needs, desires and dreams meant somehow more than mine.  It wasn’t until my life came crumbling down that I realized that I didn’t even know what I wanted, or what was right for me, or what I needed to fill myself up - because I had been pushing aside me for such a long time.   I felt wrong and selfish for even saying that I wanted something more in my life.  But what I have learned through my life is that you can’t make another happy, until you are happy yourself.  You can’t love another, until you learn to love yourself.  And how can you possible do these things if you don’t even know what you really want because you are so use to pushing ”you” aside.  The answer is you can’t.  You have to learn to listen to your own heart, your own head, create your own life, and create your own expectations.  Stop trying to live someone else’s life.  We only get one life, we only get one shot at this and I know I sure as heck was tired of trying to please everyone else and never able to please myself.

Truly, now that I have but myself first, my life has been enriched a million times over because there is so much more of me to give to others and life is now a gift to me every day as opposed to something that I just had to survive and get through.  What do you think?  Are you living your life according to your expectations or another’s?  And how fulfilled are you?  

Till next time,

Lisa

Best in everyone else, worst in me!

Why is that sometimes we can’t see people for who they are-  but who we want them to be?  I have a definite problem with this and struggle with this in my own life.  I have always been the kind of person who sees the best in everyone.   I think my downfall is that I sometimes see so much more than the person does and then I get hurt or disappointed when I believe in someone more than they do.  Oprah has a tremendous quote that I really think I absolutely need to take to heart and that is “people will show you who they are, our job is to believe them”  for me I never do.  I always give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong and you know what they usually do.  And why is that?  Because I never believed what they showed me the first time around.

Its kinda crazy I have complete faith in someone else but very little in me?  Why is that?  Why is it that I can see the best in someone else but see only the worst in me?  Why can’t I look beyond myself and give myself the benefit of the doubt?  I guess the answer is because I was waiting for someone else to see my own potential.  I have been waiting my whole life for someone to notice that there is more to me than meets the eye and the truth is no one ever did; but, that was because I became really good at protecting myself.   As someone who not only didn’t like the way I looked on the outside I let it effect the way I felt about the kind of person I was on the inside, so much so that I started to really dislike all of me and no longer only parts of me.  Have you ever done that?  Ever hated the way you looked so much that you made it personal cause that is exactly what I did.  Truth is the person that it hurt the most was definitely myself.  Its hard to let someone in to love you when you hate who you are.  That other person never stands a chance, cause when you think of yourself as less than - you keep others at arms length afraid that they may learn you secret.  So of course they disappoint you but I’ve come to understand that this is your fault not theirs.  If you can’t be honest enough with yourself and who you are -  than how can you possibly be honest, truly honest with another?  In actuality your lying to someone, so the question is then who are you lying to yourself of the person/people that you love?

Being honest with yourself takes courage and strength and may be one of the hardest things you may do but it is truly a lesson we must all learn.  Where you are right now in your life?  Don’t make it better or worse just be honest with yourself and from this place you can move in a path of your own choosing.  I find it utterly ridiculous and quite disheartening that I have had so little faith in myself and have spent so much time protecting myself from people who could hurt me that I’ve missed out on some pretty incredible people as well as myself all of these years.  

So I have adopted a new plan and that is to have faith in myself, to believe in me - quiet the doubts that sometimes seem to consume my head space and also to take people as they show themselves to be.  How about you what are your plans?

Till next time,

Lisa

 

Confidence?

How is it that we can be competent in our lives, we can handle just about anything that life has to throw at us, we can juggle a million things at one time yet we still feel somehow inadequate within ourselves?  How is it that possible when so many people depend on us and look to us for so much yet when the world quiets down around us we are not happy with the person looking back at ourselves in the mirror?  I have to say I use to live here, I use to be Superwoman so to speak for everyone else but myself.  I use to forget to put myself on my own to do list of 50 things in a day.  After some serious life changing events that occurred in my life I have finally learned to rearrange my priorities and have put me on my own to-do list.  This is a hugely important step as I have talked about before, but what I have also come to understand that just by adding myself to a laundry list of things to do that’s not enough - its only a start.  

Its only the start because you have to follow through everyday.  You have to make a conscious decisions everyday to be true to you.  You have to actually retrain your brain that you are important - that what you want is important.  As a natural caregiver it is so easy to sacrifice yourself for others.  Its almost automatic for me to just put love ones before me that this takes some serious focus and some serious time just to figure out what I need today.  I have found that when you just go through the motions of the day, when you get into a routine and you get busy - I never have time for myself.  There just are not enough hours in the day.  I take time.  I take scheduling.  I take planning.  And the truth is somedays you just feel like you do enough of that in your day and that you are exhausted and you just can’t do one more thing.  And I have come to realize that this is BS, seriously.  You make time for what is important in your life.  You can move freaken mountains if we have to.  We all know we have, we have all looked back at days or times in our life where you were like how did I do all that?  The truth is when we get in the zone and time just flies.  So I am here to remind you that its time to get you into your own zone.  Its time to make sure that you plan time for you.  First thing in the morning map out your day or do it the night before and figure out how to squeeze out time for you and/or move things around to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself.  Get up earlier, plan some quiet time, or go to bed a little later whatever it is that works for you.  I can promise you that it is worth it.  You are worth it.  Cause when you make time for you and you get into the habit of making time for you, you will begin to feel differently about yourself.  You will carry yourself differently.  You will handle things differently.   You will be able to actually take care of more things when you have already taken care of you.  You will find yourself in a more positive frame of mind.  You will begin to appreciate things again.  And the coolest thing is you will actually start to feel more confident and more secure within yourself when you make better choices on a consistent basis.  You deserve to walk around every day feeling confident, don’t you think?  Give yourself the gift of confidence, it is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself.  I guarantee you that you will see your life through new eyes when you give yourself this gift and so will others.  So make time for you, every day it is soooooo important and you are more than worth it and its about time to remember that - don’t ya think?

Till next time,

Lisa