Sunday, June 29, 2008
When someone gives you the literary high-five, save it. Whether it comes by e-mail, a thank-you card, or letterhead, create that kudos file today and save all those good vibes that come your way.
There will be days when you feel like nothing is going right, like no one appreciates you, as if the world is crashing down on your head. That's when you'll need this file. You'll refer to it for the metaphorical pat on the back we all need from time to time. It'll be the reminder you need to pull you back into reality...Someone does love you. Someone does appreciate you. Someone does know your value. And that someone is not just you.
Why this post today? I just picked up a copy of a book that was given to me by a colleague. I was taking her keynote workshop class, and we cliqued. So she gave me a copy of her book, Outsmart Your Brain! And inside the cover, she wrote, "Jackie, choose to laugh and share...it's your gift." What a great testament from a woman I'd only gotten to know that weekend! It's the few words like those that remind us all of our value. On the days when we've forgotten that--and those days will come, even for the most confident--our kudos file will be something we can turn to for the uplift when we need it.
So dig out all the testaments you've received, hold onto the past thank-yous and any forthcoming ones, save whatever kinds words in print you recieve. Put them all in one file and label it your "Kudos File." From here on out, this will be your reminder of who you are when you're at your very best.
Isn't that something to appreciate?
Saturday, June 28, 2008
"The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world."
Feminist pioneer Susan B. Anthony said that (or some variation) in 1896. I can't recall where I read this quote the first time, but I wrote it down immediately on a sticky note and attached it to my computer. It's been staring back at me for several years now. I like what it says. I like that it works in favor of my message here. So I finally decided to share it with you after doing a search on the internet for more information about the quote and to see what else I could find. It could have led me on a wild goose chase, but I decided to stop when I found another interesting list of bike-related quotes. Visit this site for more enlightening moments.
If you have any bike-related quotes you've come across, please post a comment and share them with the rest of us. And, if you're so inclined, please go to the bottom of this page and sign up for my blog updates.
All my best,
Jackie "The BIKE Lady" Dishner
Friday, June 27, 2008
Who do you call when YOU need nurturing? I'm not talking about self-care. I'm talking about those times when you need more than even you can give yourself. We all feel that way sometimes, don't we? We just need that hug. We just need that shoulder to cry on. We just need that touch that reminds us someone else cares. So, think about it. Who are the people you can run to, call in the middle of the night, or otherwise trust to be there for you. It could be a parent, a friend, a really good friend, another family member (such as a spouse, of course), a distant relative, or anyone else you trust with your vulnerabilities. When you need that special someone in your life, who do you reach out to?
Just something to think about for those times ahead, just so you are reminded that there is someone out there...
Have the weekend you hope it will be.
All my best,
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Speaking of changing things around...as I'm adjusting to being home alone again, I feel the need to make changes in my house. So I'm orchestrating more time to make those changes--some of them involve spring cleaning (I know, I'm way overdue!) and others involve rearranging of furniture and some minor redecorating. If that takes me away from this blog for a bit, don't worry. I'll be checking in here at least three times a week to add a new post.
For now, be patient. Use the time to explore much needed changes you need to take charge of in your own life, and don't forget to find the all-important time for yourself to just "be." When we neglect to take that time for ourselves, we'll pay for that inattention later. Trust me, I know this much is true.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Don't you just love it when those ruts you feel like you're living in finally subside?
That's how I've felt since coming back home last Friday from my visit to the Verde Valley. It's a spiritual world up there, with people involved in the healing arts and so much more. I feel so refreshed since I my return. I met some truly interesting people while there. I even bought this wonderful work of art for near pennies, and ever since I've had it, I've decided to ask the artist if I can buy the rights to use the image for my marketing plan. It's such a lively and active image, and so child-like and fun in design that I'd be so honored if he'd agree. When I find out, I'll post the image here. If that isn't going to be affordable for me, at least I'll have something a graphic designer can work with to create something equally pleasing. I'm very excited about the possibilities here.
Also, my daughter and her husband are moving out of my home and into their own, and we're all thrilled about that. They get a home by themselves; I get mine back. My dog gets her space back. It's all good.
And I'm also starting a new blog, a travel blog. As soon as I get the program running--it's a paid position, and I have a few administrative things to do before beginning--I'll let you know. I'm excited about the possibilities with this as well.
Work is going slow over here, though. So I have some organizational tasks to take care in order to get back on track with that. I also need to buy a laptop--my first ever. So I'm working out my budget to fit that in. When that's in place, I'll probably find myself being much more productive than ever.
What's going on in your life that could use a little change, a little momentum, a little beefing up?
If you're feeling resistance, pay attention to that. It's trying to tell you something. If you're finding it difficult to pay attention, to focus, it just might be time to slow down a bit. Be still. Find your special place. Whether that's on a bike, on a trail, in the pool...make sure you're making time for you to just be. I know. I know it's sometimes hard to make that kind of time. There are so many things on your to-do list. I'm the same way. I'm sure we all are. But it's so important to make time to slow down. During that quiet time, during the stillness, that's when you finally find yourself paying attention, listening, as they say, to that "still, quiet voice." When you give yourself those moments, you're living within your spiritual world, your inner core. That's where the real you resides.
When I find myself ignoring that part of me--and it's the most important part--I forget who I am. I get lost. I lose my way. And that's when life starts feeling like it's "too much."
That's a perspective you can change.
And when you do change that perspective, you'll soon hear yourself say, "Finally!"
The BIKE Lady
Monday, June 16, 2008
My list was a bit skewed, I noticed, as I found myself trying to make my depressed state be about something or someone other than myself. I watched myself writing that I was feeling poorly because of something I had no control over: other people and situations. I had to face facts. I was feeling down because I chose to feel down. Ouch! The truth can hurt, can't it? Well, then. What was I going to do to start feeling good again? I had to ask myself that question because I no longer wanted to stay where I was at. Clearly, it wasn't getting me anywhere.
If you recall my recent posts, they've been alluding to my feelings.
The fact is, I wasn't asking for help when I needed it. I wasn't telling someone who I've missed seeing that I missed seeing him. And I was procrastinating on projects that needed to be done--yesterday. So, I had to face facts. I wasn't upset with anyone or anything. I've been upset with me.
Once I realized that, I could finally get to work making things right, getting the jobs done I needed to do, and otherwise taking care of myself. It is, after all, as I've been telling you, my job to take care of me. Sometimes, though, isn't that a tough job? It is. Yes. But once you realize that it's okay to fret, that sometimes you need to fret, your perspective begins to change. It's that yin and yang of life again.
So I started asking for help. I started doing the jobs around the house that needed to get done. I called a different who was available to go out to breakfast with me. Sometimes, the schedule we get used to changes, and we have to look for something else to fill its place.
Today, I feel much better.
I'll be on the road for a few days again this week, so I won't be posting much, if any. If I'm anywhere near access to the Internet, I'll check in. But otherwise, I'd like you to consider the moments when you've felt depressed or down. What kind of steps have you taken to move yourself out of that state of mind? If you know what it takes to turn that frown upside down, as they say, you'll be better prepared to handle the next time you're not feeling 100 percent. Learn to be aware of what you need to move yourself up from down.
Maybe all you need to do for now is to get that bike out of your garage.
It's worked for me many times.
All my best,
Sunday, June 15, 2008
But it wasn't they who was doing that to me. It wasn't their job to notice. It was mine.
Luckily, I had a friend who helped pick me up from that specatacle, but not until I actually asked for the help. Did I suddenly get wise? No, but I did reach a turning point.
It often takes a turning point--a wake-up call, if you will--before you begin to notice behavior that needs improvement. In times like these, when we choose to avoid our problems in the hope that someone will notice them instead, and pick up the pieces for us, we lose. It won't happen that way. We'll just be left waiting, and feeling more miserable by the minute.
If you've ever experienced moments like this in your life--and I'm asking you to be honest, even if it hurts--it helps if you can recall them and remember what that felt like. If you can do this, it will remind you what doesn't work. It will remind you that self care is about you taking care of you, not waiting for someone else to do it for you. Unless you're an invalid, unless you're in medical need of special care, this is not the direction to take in life if you expect to move forward.
When I stopped caring for myself in the hopes someone else would take over where I left off, I stopped living. I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I'd just chosen not to. I was continuing a cycle that had been taught to me as a young child, yes, that's true. But I wasn't a young child anymore. It was time I grew up.
Thank GOD that I did.
But, you know, I still have moments where I sink into that dark hole, where I find myself neglecting myself again. I can snap out of it now, but back then, I couldn't. Back then, I just dug the hole deeper and deeper. And when no one noticed me, I still kept digging. I had the energy to dig myself in, but not dig myself out.
That was an important lesson for me to learn. As long as I remember that energy can move both ways, negative and positive, I'll remember that I can turn things around. That's what I mean by turning an obstacle into an opportunity. Adversity has the ability to teach you something about yourself. You can either let it take over, or you can take charge.
If you're in a place right now where life just feels like it's not moving forward, and you feel powerless, remember that there is always an opposite effect. You can take back the power. Even if you've stepped so far backwards that you're in debt, that you're relationship is in trouble, that your job is on the line, you can turn that around, at least to the degree that you are able. But you must take that first step.
Just as I rode my bike in those early days, when I felt like I was nothing, I allowed myself to become something again--one mile at a time.
It all amounted to self care. Who was going to care for me when others weren't? I was. I am. I do. Even though I am never alone in this world as long as I have my spiritual leader--and for me that is, indeed, my GOD--there are times when the only person I can rely on is me. I ask you to be prepared to find strength in that. Find strength in the you that is capable, in the you that is worthy, in the you that you know you are.
That's a lot to think about in the week ahead. Please do.
All my best,
Saturday, June 14, 2008
It gives you an idea of where you are at in your level of forgiveness. But what may be more important is that it discusses how forgiveness relates to reconciliation. Just because you can forgive someone of past transgressions against you doesn't mean there will be reconciliation with that person. When someone physically harms you, for instance, it may not be in your best interests to reconcile with that person, to continue the relationship. Forgiveness takes only you; reconciliation, on the other hand, takes two.
I thought that was interesting.
All my best,
Friday, June 13, 2008
“Often we can achieve an even better result when we stumble yet are willing to start over, when we don't give up after a mistake, when something doesn't come easily but we throw ourselves into trying, when we're not afraid to appear less than perfectly polished..."
Such a powerful quote. It's from Sharon Salzberg, an author and meditation expert who practices loving kindness. That's another way to refer to self-compassion. We don't do it enough. Today, I ask you to be willing to start over. Be willing to forgive yourself and others (even if you're not able to do that in person) of the mistakes we make. Be willing to try again. Be willing to be less than perfect. Be willing to let yourself have as many do-overs as it takes. I'm just asking. ~Jackie
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In fact, there have been many days this past year where I've been more than happy to find an excuse not to ride my bike, not to go for that walk, or not to walk my dog even. But the inactivity started to affect me, and my body was feeling it. I could see it was affecting my dog as well. I decided to pay attention.
A week ago, I took a trip to the doctor's office, and it was my doctor who (bless her) reminded me that after 40, gravity starts to take its toll on the human body. Because I'm otherwise healthy, or so I believe (All my blood work hasn't come back from the lab yet.), I'm now "forced" to exercise daily, that is, if I want to remove the excess pounds. I do want that.
For once, I'm okay with feeling "forced" to do something, especially since I'd allowed myself to get caught in the trap of making excuses for why I wasn't exercising on a daily basis (Note: It's so easy to fall back into old habits.). I was only walking or riding on days when I was feeling particularly stressed or just needed to unwind. But I wasn't going out every day. I had become far too involved in my work to make time for much else.
Big mistake for the person whose work involves sitting on her bum for the most of the day in front of a computer screen. That's not exactly an ideal lifestyle choice, is it? It's a funny quirk about life, but if you pay attention to the signs, they'll lead you exactly where you need to go. So it seems this "forced" measure that's been placed upon me is a good thing. It's what I needed to hold myself accountable so I could continue moving forward. Maybe it's what I needed to move. Period. But it's worked. I've been active for at minimum an hour a day, every day, for the past few weeks. I started the week before I went to the doctor's office, because I knew what I needed. I just needed that extra push. As I said, if we pay attention, we know exactly what we need.
But I also have a weight gain limit that I imposed upon myself after seeing the excellent results I had while riding my bike through the early months of my divorce back in 2003. I'd lost 40 pounds in less than three months! It was a crazy amount of weight loss, but I needed it. I was overweight then and on my way to worse physical ailments. Fortunately, my body was drawn to what it needed then, too. That bike of mine. Sitting in the garage. Just waiting for me to hop on. I paid attention then, and it became my lifesaver. I'm paying attention again, only now I can be my own lifesaver. I transferred that physical bike into a mental one, and it's always there, waiting, to remind me of what I need to do. It reminds me to pay attention. When I do, I can find or see exactly what I need to reach a goal, to set a limit, and then move forward. It reminds me who is responsible for me.
Those are the two best gifts my bike riding experience gave me--the ability to pay attention and that lesson in responsibility. I've mentioned this before, I believe, but now that I know what it feels like when I'm taking the best care of myself, which includes exercising regularly, I'm easily reminded when I'm not. It can't be hidden. I feel it. I can't dismiss that anymore. Not now that I'm aware. And I don't want to return to me that was. The new me is better. She's healthier. She's smarter. She's more in tune with what works and what doesn't. Since realizing the impact my mental BIKE has on my life, my lifestyle, my perspective on life, and everything else in between, it's easier to realize when I'm not doing my best. That, in turn, makes it easier to correct myself.
It's a lot of work, I must admit, taking charge of a life in this way. I'm always focused on making sure I'm doing my best, always considering ways my life can be lived better, always wanting to move forward and to stop any backward movement before it goes too far. That is a lot to pay attention to, but we only get one time here on this earth to live in this body. It's worth the hard work it takes to give it your best shot.
And if gravity tries to take over, it's worth it to tame it as best as you can.
That's what I'm doing.
How about you?
All my best,
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
According to the local news article on the Seattle NBC-TV news affiliate, K5 (King5.com), the hospital's program provides locker rooms, a bike pass, commuting bonus and a free emergency cab ride if ever needed. Some employees are calling the program hard to resist.
The goal is to get 10 percent of their employees biking to work by 2009. If they sign a pledge to ride at least two times a week, employees can even get a free bike. So far, six percent participate. The hospital hopes to give away 100 bicycles this year.
My response to that is sign me up! What a great idea to encourage employees to not only take care of themselves but also the planet on which they live--not to mention help save the hospital the $40,000 it costs to build each additional parking space. More will be needed as the hospital expands, unless they can find additional ways to get employees to commute. The bike program is just one of them. Instead of paying $50 a month to park at the campus, the hospital's bike loaning plan pays employees $50 a month not to park there.
Do you know of any other programs like this? If so, post a comment and tell us about it.
All my best,
Saturday, June 7, 2008
I just read on a lawyer's blog that comedian Robin Williams and his wife will work towards a collaborative divorce in order to end their marriage as amicably as possible.
It's a good idea. A collaborative divorce, as I understand it, is one in which the couple works together with a team to dissolve their union. At its best, such a divorce brings in the lawyers for both parties, mental health professionals and financial advisors, along with the couple, to find the best resolution for the two parties involved. Mediators can also be called in as needed. I attempted to use this approach during my divorce but couldn't deal with my husband at the time. I just didn't trust him. So my collaborative divorce involved only me and my team, on my side. We did use a mediator, however, and that really worked very well. In the end, however, we wound up splitting assets 50/50, which makes you wonder why you can't just do that without legal aid at all and save thousands of dollars. But because I didn't trust my then-husband, the communication was limited. And I wasn't going to be without legal help, which is what he wanted. That didn't make sense to me. Besides, even when you think you can divorce amicably without an attorney or with only one representing both parties, divorce is a very emotional matter. I think it's always best, if you can afford it, to have your team by your side. If you can go about it collaboratively, all the better.
My advice today then is this: If you are going through a divorce now, or know someone who is, and if you can afford to hire a team, I recommend doing so. Find a divorce lawyer who will represent your best interests--one who you connect with. Find a therapist who will meet with you weekly, and take calls in between. And hire a financial advisor, preferably one your lawyer recommends, because that means they will probably work well together. Each of these professionals understands what you're going through on a different level, and they know all those levels intertwine. If you have a good team in place, they will help move you forward. But even if your team doesn't understand this approach, and you have to work with each one individually, you'll still be better armed with the counsel you need. Plus, you'll feel better protected in all aspects of your future: your mental well-being, your financial stability, and all the legalities involved. That means, if nothing else, collaborate you.
You're worth it.
All my best,
Friday, June 6, 2008
So today, I'm going through my e-mails, catching up from my absence, and there's a message from the acquisitions editor I'm working with on this project. She says the publisher would like me to consider doing a Fall '09 book, instead of the Spring '09 schedule I've been working on. And I'm thinking right away, "YES!" I would love to have more time to do the background work before getting to the writing part. In fact, as I've been working on the first chapter, I could see there was lots more detail I'd need in the remaining chapters. So I'm very pleased with this request. I immediately responded. And so the new deadline is set. I don't turn in the manuscript and photos till first quarter 2009. I'm so glad! I'm so glad! I'm so glad!
I was in serious need of more time, more time to work on the book itself, and more time to work on the sales aspect, more time to cultivate relationships with potential book buyers, and more time to find work that pays--so I can survive the book writing process. It's very time-consuming.
My message today then is: If you ever have a need, don't hestitate to wish for it. Sometimes wishing works like magic.
Ah! The power of your thoughts. Who knew?
All my best,
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
There's a reason I'm posting this today. I had a phone conversation with my boyfriend yesterday and said something that upset him. I did the same thing the other day with my daughter. Both were mad enough at me and used the silent treatment to show me just how mad they were feeling.
But I just thought I was speaking my mind. What's the big deal?
The big deal is that what I said hurt their feelings. My daughter was able to discuss this with me the next day. She took what I said as an attack. I listened to her, was sorry I hurt her feelings, and was able to apologize. I was convicted. I felt the guilt and then let go of it. We can both move on. No hard feelings.
But my boyfriend, on the other hand, isn't quite that open. He just shuts down. Then we get no where. If he's mad, I'd rather he just say so. Instead, he just doesn't talk. Or he goes passive-aggressive on me. It's maddening. And sometimes, like this time, I feel guilty for overstepping my bounds.
In any case, normally, he calls me first thing in the morning. We go have coffee or breakfast together. This morning, however, he must still be mad. And I think he's punishing me--at least, that's how it feels--because he hasn't called. I'd call him myself, but I'm leaving town and have things to do before I go. I've decided I've felt enough guilt for what I said (Remember, we're just practicing here, and I'm just trying to understand his behavior.) and now need to focus on my work.
So I guess my point in posting this today is to ask you: how do you deal with the guilt you sometimes feel because of the relationships you have with other people?
Are you able to feel it? Do you try to understand why it's there? Are you able to express it to yourself and others? If not, do you obsess over it till you can? How hard is it for you to let guilt go?
No need to answer here unless you'd like. But these questions are part of the process to look at your inner motivations. So if you would find it helpful to write down your thoughts, I encourage that. It's important to know why you behave the way that you do, why you say the things that you do, so that you can determine if you're acting appropriately or could use some adjustment.
I have some things to think about myself...and maybe some adjustments to make.
FYI: I'll be off-blog while I'm traveling again. I'll be back to post on Thursday.
See you then!
Sunday, June 1, 2008
I'll try to connect with you this week to begin setting up our one-on-one sessions and to discuss the process and how much time you can spend with me, and vice versa. I'm in the midst of a book project that will limit my time in these next two months, so it may be slow going at first. And if you can wait till mid-August, all the better. But if you will, please post a comment with your contact information. Otherwise, for those of you who know how to reach me direct, please do.
I look forward to hearing from you!