Monday, July 28, 2014

Criticism is Good

One of the greatest lessons in life I've ever learned is this:
It takes being criticised to realize how critical you are of others.

The next time someone does something that offends you, ask yourself this, "Have I ever done that to someone?" (In some variation of the action)

The next time someone says something that offends you, ask yourself this, "Have I ever said that to someone before?" (In some variation of the remark)

If you answered No to either question, then repeat steps 1 and 2 until you are no longer in denial. The truth is we all say and do thoughtless things now and then. It is part of what makes us human. The interesting part is how we expect others to never upset us. We are quick to judge and slow to forgive. In reality, we probably say something hurtful the same day we are hurt by someone else. Learning to recognize the criticism being done to you is actually largely helpful in learning to recognize how critical you are of other people. Even if the critical thoughts remain unvoiced in your head. They were probably accurately expressed through a facial expression. The point was made before you noticed what you were doing. Welcome to human error.

Once you've reached this point and can proudly say you have admitted to the universal fault of criticism, it is time to learn how to apologize. This is another one of my favorite life lessons. ALWAYS SAY YOU'RE SORRY, even if you think you've done nothing wrong. In this case, you know you did something wrong. It was accidental (I hope)  and now you want to make amends.

You are going to suscept yourself to embarrassment and possible retaliation.
Do it. Say you're sorry.

The beautiful thing is, every day more people are learning these two life lessons. More and more often, you will apologize and be apologized to. The circle of forgiveness is implemented and longer lasting friendships are made. Yes, occasionally you will encounter that one person who has been too deeply hurt by whatever it is you've done and they will refuse your efforts. In addition, you may feel at times that you are said victim. Friendships will be broken. This is okay for now. You are still in the learning stages.

I challenge you to recognize when people are striving to make amends with you, and for you yourself to offer apologies to those you may have upset. Hint* this requires total self-awareness and no pride. The hardest thing to overcome is your belief in whatever you said was justly verbalized. Or, the person deserved whatever critical action you took. While in some cases you will be right, this is neither mature nor beneficial to society.

Remember that list of people Karma missed? Throw it away. You are on someone's list too, somewhere, in someplace.

You can't live in denial of the fact that you say and do stupid things. That bubble is burst. But lucky for you, so does the rest of mankind. Be part of the elite. The crowd that steps up and makes choices to better themselves and their friendships. Humble yourself. Accept the pain of failure. And improve tomorrow.

Want to REALLY be the bigger person?  Warmly receive any apology that comes your way. Remember how hard it was for you to suck it up and say sorry? That person just went through that daunting process, they felt humiliated and guilty, and they CARE. Be a peach. Forgive.

See? Criticism ain't all that bad.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Best Advice I've Ever Been Given

1. Wisdom is knowing much, but saying little.
(Am I already breaking this rule?)
This phrase has changed my life. One of my greatest flaws is saying things that later come back to bite me in the butt. I never intentionally do this. Okay, once...maybe twice a year. But the rest of the time I have no idea I'm saying something uncouth, insensitive, or ignorant until it "comes back to bit me in the butt". When I first heard this, piece of advice, I was like Whoa. And from then on it clicked. It doesn't matter if I think I'm right. I don't have to join every argument. Nor do people really care about my uninvited opinion. I don't have to voice every insignificant thought that comes into my mind. I don't even have to stand up for myself if I don't want to. Sharing isn't always caring. And caring is sometimes letting people figure stuff out for themselves.

2. Gifts is part of your budget. GENIUS. Why didn't I learn this years ago? How many times have I said I couldn't go somewhere or contribute or purchase a gift because I didn't have the money? When I heard this piece of advice I changed my outlook on gifts. The art of giving can change other people's lives as much as your own. Even a small gift. Lets be real, I'm not giving out iPods for Christmas. But Incorporating gifts into my budget has not been all that hard of a sacrifice. It actually blesses my life when I give to others.

3. Service is life changing. Period. When I began these ARP meetings, I'm sure people I used to party with looked at me like I was crazy. None of them "have a problem" by the way. No addicts do, right? Well I shouldn't have to explain that alcoholism runs in my family and so does other addictive behaviors. I know where my life would be if I hadn't made some critical choices a year ago. I'd have had a lot more friends and been a lot more miserable. I chose the path less taken. And I've never been happier. Why should I then be criticized for wanting to stay as far away from these activities as possible? Better yet, why wouldn't I want to help and serve people who are desperate for help? Volunteering my time has been so rewarding. Serving others is the best way to see the good in everyone, including yourself. It takes you out of the rat race.

4. Write. I've been a writer for a decade, and just began blogging recently. But keeping a journal of any kind is truly liberating.

5. Never believe anything someone says about something they've never honestly studied. (This pertains to people as well)

These are my greatest advice tips. What are yours?

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hilarious: 50 honest motherhood priority shifts

I'll be honest. I was one of those high-heel-wearing, freshly laundered, stylish-haired, toe nails painted, whole foods buying, mid-twenty something females a little over a year ago...... hey, I am a cosmetologist. Still am! But last March, my world went topsy turvy in that  most cataclysmic sort of way. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter.

As I documented my pregnancy, my delivery, and those first few delirious weeks at home, I started to witness some changes in the sparkly lifestyle I had just spent twenty-six proud years cultivating. So, as I sit sprawled on my couch, nursing my little one, I decided to capture just a few more of these note worthy adjustments and share them all with you. Women and uteruses around the globe, feel free to agree. Laughs welcome. Mommy dribbles encouraged. (the mothers out there get that one) I can be lewd and blunt, so enjoy at your own discretion.

Priorities from pre baby life to post baby.

Here we go.

  1. I don't need a bra today.          1. Crap. I need a bra every day.
  2. I wont wear a bra today.          2. Dang it. None of my bras fit!
  3. Fine, I'll just go braless anyway. 3. Breastmilk everywhere.
  4. Lets drop $35 on a fancy pedicure and pick up highly over-priced frozen yogurt on our fabulous girls day out!            4. Babe! I need some darn nursing pads for this darn nursing bra! 
  5. I just slept till like noon.        5. Is it 12:00 as in noon or 12:00 as in midnight?? Its all the same.
  6. Remember that pedicure we just got last week? Lets get another one!    6. Praise heaven, the baby is finally asleep. I'll clip these raptor claws taking over my toenails.
  7. I want the Cheesecake Factory.      7. Did I eat this week?
  8.  I'll have the Lobster special.           8. Graham crackers? Really? That's the only thing in my pantry? Eating all of them....
  9. I work out seven, maybe eight, days a week.      9. I just spent thirty minutes trying to poop. Does that count?
  10. Flatulents ? Gross.                         10. I toot all day. It's out of control.
  11. I can drive while singing to the radio, texting, checking Facebook, and applying mascara at the same time.                                        11. Multitasking? I just breastfeed and rocked the baby back to sleep while going number two. Nailed it.
  12. Ew. Did someone just toot?             12. Honestly, it could've been a toot or a burp.
  13. I need my hair colored. Its been like three weeks.        13. Holy cow the baby is sleeping ...I think I should shower.....
  14. Febreeze in the air.                          14. Febreeze in my armpits.
  15. These three pound dumbbells give me a killer workout.        15. Twenty pound carseat, eleven pound baby, fifteen pound diaper bag, cellphone, keys, wallet, liter of water, and sixteen extra pounds on my bod... Need me to carry that?
  16. French fries? Heck no, those are empty calories.          16. I need an extra order of French fries.
  17. Don't tell me how to live my life!                17. Don't tell me how to raise my daughter!
  18. Say that to my face!             18. Say whatever you want to me, but If you hurt her, I will kill you. And you only have fourteen seconds to hide.
  19. I couldn't spend one night in jail!           19. Jail? I'd survive. Ive been through labor.
  20. That hurt my feelings.                    20. Seriously, fourteen seconds,
  21. Is she gossiping about me?            21. Thirteen.
  22. Who does she think she is? Next time I see her I'm gonna tell her that her teeth are too small and her car is ghetto...I need a pedicure.             22. Twelve.
  23. Who brings a baby to the grocery?        23. Are you ready for this, little baby? Mamas gotta eat too and I've been surviving on lentils for three weeks...I apologize in advance to all other grocery shoppers.
  24. Will someone hush that screaming baby? I'm trying to peruse the dairy aisle in peace.          24.       (Staring at my baby and speaking in a condescending voice) Anything you can do, I can do better.  Initiate screaming contest!!
  25. It's quiet in my house. I'm bored.           25. Holy cow, don't your lungs ever hurt? Aren't you ever tired? Are you even human?
  26. I once won a beauty contest.      27. Pushing a stroller is beauty, right?.
  27. I gained a pound!              28. I lost seventeen pounds in one month.
  28. And squat! And squat! And squat!             29. I have knee fat.
  29. 13$ on one Starbucks.           29. 13$ on one bag of diapers.
  30. Puke? Ew.             30. Slept in a pile of baby puke, wearing a puke soaked shirt, with a puke dread lock in my hair.
  31. I'm having a bad hair day.               32. Day 5 Rocking that puke dread lock.
  32. I need to shave and get a tan.           32. My hairy legs make me look tan, right?  
  33. Sweat? Ew.             33. I have boob sweat.
  34. I can hold it.               34. Sir, I will go right now, all over you and your gas station, public restroom or not.
  35. Geez my parents have called 6 times today.               35. Why aren't my parents answering their phone???
  36. Dr? No I haven't been in years.            36. I need the on call pediatrician immediately.
  37.  I look hawt in this bikini!          37. Ya, I'm wearing this mui mui. Get over it.
  38. Size zero.         38. Pretty sure my butt is hanging out over my belt loops but you can't tell because my baggy mom shirt.
  39. Fresh.       39. Frumpy.
  40. Babe, let's have sex.          40. Ugh, Didn't we have sex last week??
  41. I'm not in the mood.        41. The baby is asleep, dang it! Lets go, now! 
  42. I need to whiten my teeth.           42. Did I brush my teeth today?
  43. Nobody understands!        43. All you other moms get it. I have so much support.
  44. I have 15 text messages. I must be popular.            44. I haven't seen my cell since yesterday. 
  45. I want a Lamborghini some day.         45. Does it get me from point A to point B? We are solid.
  46. I need a couple hundred in savings.          46. I need a couple grand in yesterday.
  47. 60 pairs of high heels.       47. Where are my flattest shoes possible?
  48. I love my life.             48. I never knew what love was before you.
  49. I need to get out and hit the town, feel alive!             48. There's nothing I'd rather do, then hold you in my arms, kiss your head, and pass out like a hot mess at 8:00pm for the rest of my life.
  50. My family is annoying.          50. Family is EVERYTHING.

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