Losing “Everything”

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Ellen DeGeneres decided to come out of the closet in 1997. She was at the top of her game at the time, starring in her popular “The Ellen Show.”

Why did she take the risk? Because she felt it was important -and healthier – than living in fear or denial of who she really was. The “secret” made her feel as if she was wrong and she knew she was right.

So she came out as the real Ellen and then had her character come out on the show.

What happened?

She lost her show. No one would call her. She got no gigs.

Three years.

For three years, she was stripped of all the external factors of identity: no career or the benefits that come with it. Not only that, some of her previous fans berated her and judged her. Christian groups picketed her studio and mentioned God while acting very un-Christian. Studios wouldn’t touch her.

You realize who you really are when you don’t have anything. – Ellen

And then “Finding Dory” came along. Ellen also got her own new talk show. She’s immensely popular all over again. Only now, she has no secrets.

Does she regret coming out?

NOT AT ALL.

“It’s the best -because I’m free.

I’m completely able to be exactly who I am.”*

 

*http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/TV/2011/10/04/DeGeneres-doesnt-regret-coming-out-as-gay/74651317701340/

 

Wishes

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When I was very young (maybe five years old),  my mother made rings out of dandelions. She’d pluck the weed and create a knot with the stem and, smiling, put the ring on my finger. I felt special and lucky. Within hours, the dandelion wilted, the yellow flowers tinged with brown. It was my first lesson of impermanence.

We were poor and a part of me knew it, but mostly, I was blissfully ignorant. I reveled in the smell of burning wood in the Iowa autumn. I loved the dandelion rings my mother made and I loved watching “The Muppets” on TV. All of this was (relatively) free. I thought everyone had a father who came home exhausted and discouraged. I thought everyone shared one bathroom in their family. I thought everyone fought over money.

I’m a lot older now and I have learned this: wishing for “stuff” always leads to disappointment. Nothing you can buy will deliver anywhere near the satisfaction of smelling burning wood on a Midwest autumn evening, or watching the “Muppets” on a chilly Halloween night or wearing a dandelion ring your mother makes just for you.

Nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angels Do Exist

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Today, I attended a professional conference because someone believes in me and submitted my name. I felt fortunate all day.

While I was leaving the parking lot, one of the attendees knocked on my window.

“You have a flat tire. Do you want me to help you?”

I wish I could have waved him away, but I’ve never changed one.

“Yes, please. Oh thank you,” I was embarassed.

He took the tire off after much struggling.

Another attendee (who was fortunate enough to park right next to me), offered his assistance, as well.

Long story short, I made it to Discount Tire. They gave me a loaner while my new tire makes its way to me by Monday.

I was able to call my friend for help. She picked my daughters up from school and deposited them in time to the optometrist.

Angels. All four: the mentor, the two samaritans and my friend.

There is negativity in the air, no doubt. But there are good people everywhere. If those two gentlemen had not helped me, someone would have come by. I know it.We all have friends who will come to our aid in times of need.

Let’s be grateful. There are more good people than not.

 

 

 

 

Holiday Gratitude

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I am grateful for the opportunity to blog and have readers who provide feedback. I’m thankful for the WordPress community and for the wonderful blog posts I’ve read the past few years. Befriending fellow writers from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and Australia has been a phenomenal experience.

Here’s to a healthy 2017 with lots of presence.

 

 

 

Melancholy or Merriment?

 

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Yesterday’s blog was about being fierce and how to get there. Today’s post is about the opposite: sadness and lethargy.

2016 was a difficult and painful year for many people I know. The holidays can sometimes lead to funk, not cheer. According to Psychology Today, the anticipation of merriment might lead to pensive gloominess or even depression. We drink too much, eat too much and sleep too little. Some signs of the holiday blues include: “Headaches, insomnia, uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, intestinal problems, and unnecessary conflict with family and friends.” (Psychology Today)

How to beat it?

The article cites 10 tips. I’ll give them to you in a nutshell:

  1. Be reasonable with your schedule.
  2. Organize your time.
  3. Declare an amnesty with your friends and family.
  4. Manage your expectations. Holidays won’t be for you as an adult what they were when you were a child!
  5. Volunteer to help others in need.
  6. Alcohol is a depressant. Drink in moderation.
  7. Take breaks – especially physical ones, like exercise or just walking.
  8. Think half-full, not half-empty. The choice is yours!
  9. Take breaks – exercise, walk around the neighborhood. Get moving!
  10. Choose to see the glass half-full, not half-empty. You do have a choice.

 

 

 

 

7 Benefits to Gratitude

 

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Practicing gratitude improves your life in a multitude of ways.  According to Amy Morin, a psychological business writer for Forbes.com, reflecting on all that you have to be grateful for benefits you in the following ways:

  1. Opens the door to more relationships.
  2. Improves your physical health (fewer aches and pains)!
  3. Improves your psychological health (reduces your emotional toxins)!
  4. Enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
  5. Helps you sleep better.
  6. Improves your self-esteem.
  7. Increases mental strength.

 

Reflecting on gratitude is a form of living in presence.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.