Category Archives: Inspired by people

Inner Mean Girl Cleanse – Giving up Gossip

Gossip, wow!  This is going to be as hard for me as giving up chocolate.  I have known that I gossip, I also did realize how damaging it was.  So, shame on me for not stopping long before now.

Facebook and Twitter are wonderful medias, but they are also fodder for gossips. As much as I love facebook, I have gotten tired of reading statuses that are geared towards bragging and gossiping.  In fact, the term friends for facebook is funny, I think many people use facebook to see how their high school friends and enemies turned out.  It is a secret way of seeing their lives without having to deal with seeing them in person.  FACEBOOK STALKING!  Is this good?  I would even guess that the numbers of attendees to high school or college reunions has dropped for each generation.  The new generation, social media savvy, get their fuel from stalking rather than waiting 10 years for a reunion.

As I spent more time trying to discover my motivations, I realized one main thing about myself.  It is my way of making me feel better about myself.  Sad, huh?!  What is wrong with me that I need to compare myself to others?  I never tried to gossip to hurt others (well maybe a few times I did).  My gossip was more to have something interesting to say to make people want to listen to me.  In most cases, I don’t think I am interesting enough for others to want to listen.

In some further evaluation, I have found the reasons why gossiping became so mainstream for me.  I am a generational gossip, it was passed down from my mother and her mother etc.  It became a norm.

My mom, as beautiful a person as she is, suffers from low self esteem.  In an effort to battle this, she would gossip about others in an effort to bring them down to a level that she feels better about herself.  One of the most shocking things for me was when I heard her say, “I don’t have to know the truth about someone.  I can make it up!”  In her mind this creation becomes the reality for her.  Bless her soul, she was extremely protective of her children.  If one of our friends hurt us, she would find all their faults to criticize them and explain to us why we were better off without them.  I can see that she dealt with a lot of pain and rejection in her life.  The gossip was her survival mechanism.  She is able to put herself back up on her pedestal, by placing others where she can feel comfortable with them.

Now, with that said, I should have learned from this.  I fell victim to this gossip many times.  My family felt rejected by me as I grew and started to develop my own life.  In response to the rejection, they started gossiping about me when I wasn’t around.  My sister’s jealousy and competitiveness has destroyed our relationship.  She would run to my mom with gossip about something she overheard me saying, by using this information she was able to feed my mom’s sickness.  She in turn would be my mom’s favorite.

I hate that I learned to gossip as the only way to connect with others.  I thought if I could have some good gossip, people would want to be my friend.  I know that I have hurt a lot of people with this and I WANT to stop. I am a mom of a two year old little girl and leading by example is my job.

I know in a lot of ways, I have seen and even contributed in gossip to alienate someone.  I have seem my mother and sister unite in their anger towards the same subject.  The gossip about this subject is the glue in the relationship and if one deviates from this anger they are excluded.  I think the fear of being gossiped about is the motivation to continue.  I have heard and even thought the same way, “I am going to hurt them before they get a chance to hurt me.”  I have learned better ways to handle this.  Unfortunately, the hardest part for me to let go of is gossiping about my family.  Many years of hurt and anger, lead me to gossiping about them.  It is my response to knowing they are talking about me.  My pride gets in the way.

One my other weaknesses is when I see a beautiful woman, I have a hard time being around them.  I want ways to find cracks in their armor to make me feel better about myself.  Sad!  Why does beauty have to be a driver for gossip?  I think competition for men’s attention and the media fuels this feeling.  How many times have you heard someone say, “She must be anorexic, no one is that skinny and healthy.” or  my favorite is the pictures of beautiful celebrities in magazines trying to show off their imperfections.  What does an ounce of fat have to do with their ability to act?

In order to combat this part of my gossiping, I stopped caring what others thought of me.  I am taking the power away from those who are gossiping about me.  I know they are going to and I know gossip is real, so I choose not to worry about the things I can not change.  Live and let live has been my motto.  Stop judging others is the key to ending the gossip for me.

I am so excited about this series, Inner Mean Girl Cleanse.  I want to shut her up for good.  It is time to nurture the woman I am inside – Loving, nurturing, loyal, and beautiful!  I want to be an authentic friend.  I do care about others and don’t want to hurt anyone.


The Road Less Traveled

In looking back at my life a poem by Robert Frost popped into my head, “The Road Not Taken”.  I am by no means a literature buff or can even recite poems.  In fact, I thought the name of the poem was “The Road Less Traveled”.  Robert Frost is probably rolling over in his grave right now.

I first read this poem in high school and I guess it resonated with me.  They say that the great writers talk to your soul, well I guess this one did.  (Apologies to my English teacher, I don’t remember anything else.)

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Don’t you think that some of the great people in the world took this less traveled path?  You hear people say, “She is a trend setter.” We tend to flock towards these people who are agents of change.  We want them to show us the way.  It takes a lot of courage to be this kind of person.  You are always making the way for others to follow, but you don’t know as you head down this road where it will end.  No footsteps to tread in, no map, and no previous experiences to learn from.  Some of the people I admire are: Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and then efforts to free others; Susan B. Anthony in her fight for women’s rights and sufferage;  Mohandas Ghandi in his nonviolent approach to civil disobedience that freed India and set an example for the world;  Martin Luther King a human rights icon.

There are so many people in this world that have achieved greatness by taking the road less traveled.  Society promotes that we follow the rules, listen to our elders, fit in with a group, or just be a follower.  Too many times, modern education grades us on how well we follow directions.  Your scores are compared with those ahead of you.  I think parents even gauge their children’s successes based on their own or those of their siblings.  Shouldn’t we be teaching them to find their own strengths.  Guide them to use those strengths to accomplish anything they want.  Encourage them to think for themselves and to ask “why?”

I think I was born with some sort of quirk that made me buck the system, defy the rules, and set my own path.  I can remember my mother once saying, “You seem to always run into the doors before opening them.”  For some reason, I have to know the motivation behind rules that have set.  If I agree with the motivations, I can follow the rule.  If not, I set my own path.  I have this innate ability to want to do things differently than they were done before.

In my parenting, I am trying to encourage my child to have this courage to expand her horizons, take risks, and be courageous.  Due to her condition, having different ways to accomplish the same end goal is going to be key.  Current teaching methods might cause her frustration and inability to move forward.  My role will be to come up with ways to use her strengths to overcome her weaknesses.  Who knows what her future holds?  I hope she is an agent of change and  always challenges herself to take the road less traveled.

I am telling you this, not because I am a leader or role model by any means.  My hopes are that it will encourage you to take that first step down your road less traveled.  It won’t be easy.  There are always bumps in the road, but with each step you will become more and more able to circumvent and handle those bumps.

“When you develop yourself to the point where your belief in yourself is so strong that you know you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, your future will be unlimited.” – Brian Tracy

What challenges do you face?  Who do you admire as an agent of change?  Do you have an experience with taking the road less traveled?

What Is In Your Way?

Do you find it interesting how many times you get some great creative inspirations, but you never manage to start (or finish) them?  I probably have over 100 half done creative projects and a million more ideas that I never started.  When I ask myself why or try to get motivated to complete them, I find a million reasons not to.

Reasons pile up and serve as anchors to our dreams.  It is hard to try new things and find your niche without trying.  I have said and heard so many of the following excuses:

1.  I don’t have time for anything new.  2.  No one would like my projects.  3.  I am too old.  4.  I don’t know how to get started.  5.  I am not good at that.  6.  I don’t have anyone to do it with me.

I have seen many articles that talk about why we have trouble staying motivated -1.  Fear of failure.  2.  Afraid to take risks.  3.  Attention seeking – ever notice how much people like to complain about their lives, very few talk about the successes.  4.  Negative attitudes  5.  Perfectionism

One of my biggest roadblocks is seeing my project not turning out the way I had planned, so I abandon it.  In the beginning, I research, plan, ask around, and try to figure out what to do with my finished product.  Most times, I can reason that I will try to sell it, gift it, or use it.  But for some odd reason, I never feel proud enough of my work to wear it.  Although I love it when my daughter wears it, she looks so cute and can make anything look better.  But truthfully, why don’t I have the pride and confidence in my work.

Recently I have been having fun writing blog posts, but that again goes back to being afraid that no one is interested.  So, when I sit down to write I have a hard time staying motivated.  Worrying about what others think is a huge inspiration killer.  Starting a new blog is scary and hard.  You don’t know what will become of it and you don’t know what to do with it.  From many of the blogs that I read, I have seen a main theme – all of them started out at just a personal journal, a place for release, and even to keep family members involved in their lives.  The funny part is that they all agree, their blogs became so much more than their original intentions.  Staying with it and just enjoying the journey of writing, meeting others, and sharing experiences are the examples these people have used on how to succeed.

I love to create, but I don’t finish much.  I am so afraid (even crippled) by perfectionism.  Enjoying the creating should be my goal.  Liking my end product is my responsibility, maybe then I won’t care so much what others think.

But, back to my original thought – we all let things get in the way of our dreams.  WHY?  What does it take to overcome these obstacles?  What would our lives be like if we were able to stay inspired and reach our goals?  I get so down when I see all my unfinished projects.  Isn’t it better to be proud that I finished them?

This site had some good advice to share on staying motivated….

Inspired by people – American troops and their families

Let me just start by saying “Thank you to all the men and women of the military!  And….  thank you to their families!”

I am not a military brat, not married to a man in the armed forces, don’t have friends in the military…….  So when I write this, please remember I am a civilian in every sense of the word.

I don’t have first hand knowledge of the sacrifices.  I am not very politically involved with anything (in fact I don’t know whether I am a democrat or a republican).  I wouldn’t even say I am that great of a citizen.  I don’t give back like I should.

With all of that being said, I want to step out of my little tiny view of the world and realize how I came to enjoy all of these freedoms.  Also to remember who still protects my freedoms.  We are very lucky to have such a strong military and the financial backing to support it.  But we are also lucky to have people who are willing to dedicate their lives to protecting our country.

I can’t say there are too many things in my life that I would risk my life to protect – except my family.  The way I see it, as a civilian, these men and women of the armed forces are risking their lives to protect their family – the country!  We are lucky to be a part of this strong family.

I am not here to say that our country is supreme, better than all others, blah blah blah – I am just thankful for what we have.  Other countries are just as lucky, but some sadly are not.

I wouldn’t consider myself worldly by any means – but I do appreciate some of the things that most people do not have.  I don’t have to go home at night seeing armed guards everywhere, I don’t wake in the middle of the night to bombs exploding nearby, I don’t sit down to dinner only to have the electricity go out for some man created reason, I don’t worry whether or not I will see my family when I come home or whether or not my home is still standing, I don’t sit among my impoverished neighbors wondering if I will ever eat again, I don’t worry about persecution, I don’t worry about the government taking my money, I know that our judicial system will do its best to protect my rights, …….

Now I am sure that I have a very naive way of seeing things, but that is just fine with me.  I enjoy my freedom, rights, and personal gains afforded me in this country.  I am married to a man from Peru.  Growing up in Peru was a very different experience for him.  He loves country, don’t misunderstand, but he came to America for some of the freedoms I just mentioned.  He has had some of the worries I mentioned above – electricity turned off in protest, bombs exploding during the night, alarms going off, armed guards everywhere, no trust in the judicial system, money being taken, mugged by the extremely poor in desparation…….  Things that I can’t even fathom.  One the most important things for him and his family was to always kiss goodbye and tell their family they loved them – because they didn’t know if they would see them again.

As a civilian, I will admit most of my knowledge has come from watching “Army Wives”.  That’s right I admitted it!  Love the show!  I know it is dramatized and embellised a little for TV, but the real point is still there.  The sacrifices are real and they demonstrate the real feelings of the families left behind when their soldiers are off to war.  The mothers, fathers, children, spouses, and family members of these soldiers and of the soldiers give up so much for their job, duty, and country.  This should not be overlooked.  Some of these families never know if they will see their soldier again, when they go off to war.  The fathers and mothers who miss out on so much time with their children as they grow.  I can’t imagine, as a child, how it would feel to watch your mother/father go off for 6 months or more at a time.

THANK YOU! I am inspired by these families and soldiers, who are willing to sacrifice so much for honor, duty, and country!

I think Lee Greenwood says it best in one of my favorite songs of all time – “God Bless the USA!”

“If tomorrow all the things were gone I worked for all my life and I had to start again with just my children and my wife.  I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today, cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

I am proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free. And, I won’t forget the men who died to give that right to me.  I proudly stand up next to you and defend her still today.  Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land.  God Bless the USA!”

What does it mean to be a mom……

I have been a mom for almost two years now, a newbie.  Many years I have watched and learned from those that I admire and those that I never want to be.

Some of the common traits that I have seen in inspirational moms –

  1. Patient, calm, and never seem to be flustered.
  2. Attentive and listen to their children.  If the children are young and impetuous, I have notice they calmly ask their children to wait their turn.  Love it and hope I can do it!
  3. Loyal to their families.
  4. Playful.  You see them smiling and enjoying spending time with their children.
  5. Watchful, not smothering.  I notice they set boundaries and let their children test them only to meet a consistent and firm response to remind them.
  6. Supportive.  Help and share in their children’s dreams.  They don’t criticize only show ways to reach their goals.
  7. Eat dinner together.  Share stories of the day.
  8. Creative.  Practice and invent crafts to do with their children.  Perfection is left at the door, because everything created together is perfect.
  9. Don’t criticize.  Life is hard enough, no need to bring up the shortcomings of their children.  Teach them to use their strengths to investigate ways to handle difficulties.
  10. Hold hands with their children.
  11. Love on their children unconditionally.  Demonstrate this love often and with abandon.  Hugging, kissing, and saying “I love you!” often.
  12. Their children are the light in their eyes!  You are almost blinded by the light they emit when they talk about their children.
  13. Proud.  Proud to be their mother, proud of their child, and proud of their families.
  14. Talk about their children often.  They aren’t as accessory or obligation, they are a gift to be appreciated always.
  15. Problem solvers.  There isn’t one thing they won’t do to help their children with anything.  They will find the resources to help them with any struggles they may face.
  16. Security. No matter what happens they are a secure place for their children to return.
  17. Understanding.  They realize that many factors affect their children’s behaviors.  They understand the source of the reactions.  Handle the source and not the child.

I am not saying these mothers don’t have bad days.   We all have them.  The sum of all the good days is greater than the few bad days.  Your children will always remember the good times as long as the bad days are treated as fleeting.  I want to be all this for my daughter and more.

Life as I choose to live it….

I wrote this article awhile back and wanted to share it here  —- click here to read it…..