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We’re All Weird, Deal With It

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How weird would your life seem to a stranger, if they could live a day in your shoes.

I was at the park a while ago and this was how a conversation went:

Me: “We  homeschool.

Mum at the park: “Oh, just be careful, those homeschoolers can be WEIRD!

That’s funny” I thought to myself, “I was just thinking that you’re pretty weird yourself.”

Seriously, we’re all weird.

Think of all the weird and wacky things you do every day that would seem insane to another person. Do you know the things I’m talking about? You do…

Then, there’s the weird way of thinking. The neuron pathways (the way you think) that formed in my brain, when I was a kid, have a unique pattern, that only I can make sense of. Even when you find your ‘soul mate‘, you’ll find that the person you seem to have the most in common with, also thinks differently than you, in a least a few departments. You think the way they think is ‘weird‘, but to them, it’s their reality.

Every single person is living in his or her own weird little universe, don’t think there’s any such thing as ‘normal‘.

There are 7 billion minds on this planet, meaning there are potentially 7 billion thoughts bubbling up at any given moment. The next moment, another new set of 7 billion thoughts will arise, because that’s how frequently people’s minds race from here to there.

People’s opinions, experiences and situations change all the time. Remember that you are changing too.

If people are ‘weird‘ to the point of doing something illegal, um, yeah, that’s not good, but within the realm of legality, just remember that almost anything can go. So, next time you think someone is weird, don’t judge, put a stranger in your shoes for a day and see how ‘weird‘ we all are.

Trying to Teach a Child vs. Being a Facilitator of Learning

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When I was doing my teaching degree, we learned that ‘gone are the days of blabbing in front of a classroom of students, whose minds are empty vessels‘. The teacher needs to stop spoon-feeding information. We learned that the better roll of a teacher is to step back and let the students take charge of their learning. Facilitating learning, rather than ‘teaching‘, supposedly makes learning more authentic and more meaningful to students. The students are supposed to become more self-motivated and the learning becomes fun and self directed. It sounds awesome, right?

But, I never really ‘got‘ it. Mostly due to the sheer number of students in my classroom, along with having to meet deadlines and deal with behavior, overcrowding, underfunding and disengaged students. I often found myself standing at the front of the classroom, spewing out content. Exactly what they taught us NOT to do. Even now, at my university job, where we teach the value of being a ‘facilitator of learning‘, I find myself ‘teaching‘ way more than ‘facilitating‘. ‘Teaching‘ takes a lot of energy and makes you feel tired. Read the rest of this entry

Stop Thinking Everyone Is Judging You!

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What makes you so sure that people are sitting around thinking about you?

I saw a friend walking out of the grocery store. I was so happy to see her and we stood around to chat for a while. As we said goodbye, she said, “Oh, and please don’t judge me for using plastic shopping bags, I know how bad they are for the environment.” I was like, “REALLY?! Seriously?!” Hey, I know plastic shopping bags are bad, but I forget my re-usable ones all the time. I hadn’t even stopped once to think about the plastic bags in her shopping trolley.

I read a lot of parenting blogs and stuff on Facebook and I’ve found that the one thing people love to post, comment on and share are ‘stop judging me’ posts.

It’s ridiculous though. Think about yourself. Do you judge others? Probably. But, if you could measure the amount of time you spend thinking about your image as opposed to how much time you spend judging others. I bet you would find most of your attention is spent on you.

It’s natural human tendency, and let’s face it! We’re almost always thinking about ourselves. “Oh, what will everyone think of ME?” Most people are not sitting around judging you. No, they’re walking around with just as much self-consciousness and self-doubt as you are (well, I hope after reading this post that you’re not walking around like that anymore).

Other people are sleeping peacefully, while you’re losing sleep over something they ‘might’ be thinking about. You can’t read other people’s minds. Don’t waste the precious moments of your life trying. Also, don’t waste OTHER people’s time by complaining about what you THINK other people are thinking about… Because a lot of times what you think is happening, simply isn’t.

The “stop judging me” posts and gossip get a lot of attention, but people forget that there is a difference between using your judgement and being judgmental. The term ‘ judgement‘ is often abused these days. If you see a person say… slapping a kid. You use your judgment to draw conclusions about why you may not want to do that to your own child and why smacking may harm the physical and emotional well-being of a child. You also may use your judgement to provide solutions or sincere advice to that stressed out parent. That is not being judgmental! That is using your judgement. However, if you assume that any parent who smacks their child is a terrible person and that you are better than them, then you are being judgmental. See the difference?

Ok, what if someone really is being judgmental?

So what. Be compassionate towards judgmental people. They are on their journey. I’ve certainly passed judgment on people before, and I wasn’t even aware that I was doing it. If you see a person being judgmental, just know that they’re in the baby phase of whatever it is that they have to learn… sometimes that learning phase lasts forever, but they’re really not aware of being judgmental. I promise. Educate politely, if you feel the need. No need to get all angry about it, because adding your own anger to the issue only makes things worse. Complaining about it feels good at first, but too much complaining brings your energy down, along with everyone else that you’ve complained to.

People’s opinions and feelings change like the weather.

Don’t get angry at those judgmental people. They either don’t know, haven’t lived through your experience or they have forgotten. It’s a waste of your time and energy to even worry about it! And, most of all, remember that everyone is too busy worrying about themselves to spend much time judging you!

Whiteboard Markers That are Refillable, Recyclable and Environmentally Friendly! Auspen

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This is the pack of six with the ink refill cartridges. I can’t find the purple… it’s hiding somewhere in my house.

15% Discount! Offer good for one order per customer. Expires 31 July, 2016

Enter Discount Code GPDHHKQQ88X9

One day at work, I did something I’ve done countless times before. I wrote something on the whiteboard, realized the whiteboard marker was dying, and I chucked the whiteboard marker in the garbage. That whiteboard marker will go to a landfill, where it will sit there for the next 5,000 years…

What a waste…” I thought. I went searching for a solution, and found AusPen. AusPen is an Australian owned small business and they make awesome reusable whiteboard markers.

AusPen estimates that,

…In America alone, there are around 400,000,000 white board markers thrown out by schools, universities and other learning institutions each year?

And, in Australia, where I live, they estimate that the figure is about 40,000,000.

Imagine how many whiteboard markers that is if you add the rest of the world! Now, imagine a mountain of whiteboard markers that’s half a billion markers high?! Every. Year. Yikes!

These are the things about AusPen whiteboard markers that I totally love. I wish every person in every school, university or business had a pack of these. Read the rest of this entry

It Doesn’t Get Easier, Things Only Change

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ThngschangeFour years ago, I was chatting with a colleague about family life. Her husband was a fly in-fly out mine worker. Two weeks home, two weeks away. She admitted that the family was used to the schedule, but that it was still overwhelming for her when he went away.

I stupidly said, “At least your kids are older, so it must be easier.

Her kids were pre-teens and teenagers, you know, ones that could wipe their butts and weren’t asking to be carried every second and weren’t sucking on her boob all day. (That’s the phase of parenting I was going through at the moment with a 2 year old and a baby on the way).

She nicely said, “Actually…

And, went on to describe how things don’t really get easier, they only change.

Now I get it.

Yes, it does get easier in some ways.

They sleep better, need to be carried less, can speak more, etc.

But, the strain and shock of adjusting to a young child, and especially of being a new parent, morphs into something else… Something more mentally demanding. Something requiring more patience. Something more high maintenance and that is more refined.

The days when I thought I couldn’t lift another tiny human being have been replaced discussing how much and what sort of screen time is appropriate.

The days of little sleep, have been replaced with negotiating a million unreasonable and unusual requests.

We used to get by with one little walk outside a day, but now they need much more. Dance lessons, swimming, bike rides, you name it.

The days when I swear I could not wipe another butt, oh yeah.. sorry, I’m still in those days, let’s not go there.

And, over the years, MY needs have changed too!

When they were babies, I knew in my heart, I wanted to be no place but home. Now that they’re older, is this what I really want? How much of myself do I want to put back into the workforce? Is my outside-the-house-work fulfilling enough that it validates being away? And, if I am away, how much of the household and of the kid’s emotions should I be willing to sacrifice to do it? They still need me… but I need myself too.

And, do I really have an excuse to not have dinner on the table or a clean house? After all, I don’t have a baby anymore… so what do I do all day??? Can I justify my lack of ‘domestication‘ now that my kids are older. True, they’re older, but it doesn’t make it easier.

I’m sure one day it will get easier. Like really easier. Like, when they either move out, or turn 25 (arbitrary age, because that’s the age I seemed to sort myself out). But, for now, it’s not. Being a parent is a challenge, no matter how old the kids are!

Special Note: This post is not to leave new mothers feeling hopeless! If you are struggling in the early years, with physical pain, or emotional trauma, things will get better… be sure to seek the help you need.

Relationship Advice from A Great Spiritual Guru

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation, is celibate… yet people ask him ALL the time for relationship advice. In many public talks, I’ve heard him give the following pieces of advice for couples. Of course, these are my words, not his verbatim, but this is the gist of what he’s always said.

Advice for a woman: Never step on the ego of a man. Yes, he may be acting incompetent, but don’t EVER let him know it. If you make a man feel like he’s not important, he becomes miserable. Always try to make him feel he’s doing a great job. If he is doing something really stupid, don’t ever tell him he’s hopeless. Instead, tell him in some other way to point “Oh, you do such a good job, just nobody sees it.” This point is REALLY hard for women. Yes, I know, believe me. Us women are the first ones to jump down a man’s throat when he’s not doing well at something. So, tame it ladies. Make your man feel special. He will blossom more that way. And, even if he doesn’t blossom, at least he will feel important in your eyes.

Advice for a man: Never squash the emotions of a woman. Don’t blow off her feelings. If she asks to go for a massage, to get her hair done, or to go for a silent meditation retreat because she feels like she needs to be taken care of, give her your credit card. For real. I’ve heard him say that. And, the times when my husband has supported me to do whatever I need to in order to take care of my emotional needs (could be physical to support the emotional) I really appreciate it and I become a much better wife.

Your relationship should be like railroad tracks. The tracks are not focused on each other. They run continuously, in the same direction. Work towards a common goal. If the focus in the relationship becomes too much on each other, then the relationship is doomed. Like, if the railroad tracks cross, you get a train wreck. I’ve experienced this with a relationship, where all we did was focus on each other, and man, that relationship was terrible! Did not last!

When The Parenting Labels Suck You In

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I had never really heard of attachment parenting until after my second was born. My first was already 2 1/2. Someone who knew my parenting style said, “Hey, have you heard of the attachment parenting Facebook page?” I was like, “Um… what’s attachment parenting?

I googled ‘attachment parenting‘ just to see what I was getting myself into and hey! Guess what!? I DO attachment parenting! How cool! There was a bullet point list of all the things attachment parents did and I matched every one of those dot points. Here, there’s was this whole group of parents doing the same things as me and I never even knew! I joined the group. I ‘became‘ an attachment parent… even though I had already been one for years. Read the rest of this entry

Democratic Parenting: The Beautiful Middle Path of Meeting The Whole Family’s Needs

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I recently read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about how overly permissive parents are raising terrorizing, entitled, narcissistic entitled teenagers and young adults. The article waves a finger at permissive parenting, but does not offer any solutions towards raising nurtured and skillfully guided children. Upon reading such an article, one might think that parents should go hard on the route of discipline and control…

The Problem with Conventional Discipline, Authoritarian (Dictator) Parenting

Punishment, strict rules, sticker charts, rewards, time outs, threats, etc. are what more authoritarian style parents use in order to elicit desirable behavior in their children.

  • Authoritarian parenting trains a child to obey, but is that what you really want? Swiss sociologist, Alice Miller, studied the early childhoods of Nazis high in power, and she found they all came from very strict, authoritarian households. As children, they were trained to follow orders. It sounds good to get immediate compliance from a child… but there are long term repercussions. Questioning morality, pushing limits, and standing up for fairness is a quality in our children that we want to encourage, in order to make our society a better place to live in.
  • Authoritarian parenting leaves children feeling powerless. How do you feel when you feel powerless? It’s awful, isn’t it? It makes you desperate. It makes you go on seeking attention where you shouldn’t have to. That’s why kids who are raised with punishment as a repercussion for ‘bad‘ behavior, often go on repeating their offenses.
  • Loving communication and open dialogue between a parent and the child becomes severed. Discipline appears to work when a child is younger, but often starts failing as the child grows up. Think you can send a teenager to time out? Even the fear of a threat won’t stop the child from acting out. The child keeps desperately looking for ways to connect (in ways that appear to be bad behavior). Or, the child starts hiding things from the parents to keep from getting into trouble. Children who are raised with punishment as a consequence, most likely, will stop confiding in the parents and start lying as they grow older. The lack of trust and inability to safely communicate is something that these children can carry with them when they become adults.
  • Authoritarian parenting is exhausting for the parent. As a school teacher, I often have to resort to a more authoritarian approach, and it really sucks the life out of you. You can’t just let one thing slide one day and not the next. Authoritarian parenting is an enormous amount of work for a parent, with little guaruntee that you are going to get a positive result.

If punishment worked, our prisons would be empty, nobody would commit any crimes because the fear of going to jail should be so great that it would stop anyone from committing a crime…

The Problem with Permissive Parenting 

Permissive parenting means that you are almost always setting aside your own needs to meet the wants and needs of the child. I’ve dipped into extremely permissive parenting, and I can tell you that it wasn’t fun.  I found myself feeling very insecure, questioning my every action and my needs became neglected. I watched as my kids became confused in my moments of allowing them to do anything they wanted. It’s one thing to open our boundaries and stop being so over-controlling of our children’s activities, but there needs to be some common sense and reasonable limits in place.

  • Permissive parenting can be dangerous and can make others feel very uncomfortable. My 3 year old loves to go really far out in the ocean, even when it’s rough. I have to tell her “No” sometimes because if I let her go as far as she wanted, I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on her big sister, who likes to hang back in the shallows. Social norms are often bent past the ‘pushing it‘ boundary when parents are overly permissive. You can see people around get very uncomfortable and are not sure if they need to step in and interfere.
  • Permissive parenting can leave you feeling burnt out and neglected. It will start off with a little voice crying, “What about me?!” You try to rationalize the little voice as you overcoming your own limitations, but then, that little voice may turn into exhaustion, desperation, depression, anger and even violence. Permissive parenting leaves your needs being unmet.
  • Permissive parenting leaves a child feeling unheard. The other day at IKEA, I was on shopping rampage. I wanted to buy something ridiculous and my husband looked me in the eye and said, “Kate, that’s too much, it’s not a good idea.” I felt sad for a moment, but he was right. I was so happy later, that he said “No.” He was really listening to ME and what was looking out for what was best for us and our family. The same goes for our children. We don’t have to be mean about it, but we should pull in the reigns when things get unreasonable because a child’s request might not reflect his or her true need.
  • Permissive Parenting does not truly meet the child’s needs. Sometimes it’s the loving limit that is what the child needs in the moment. Some days, my 5 year old will ask for 5 different things in one minute! I look her in the eye, get down on her level and say “No” (nicely) and she cries. That release of emotions and connection, was exactly what she needed in that moment. Something was bothering her much more than needing those ‘things‘. If I had been in permissive mode, I would have tried to make her happy by giving her each one of those things, but I wouldn’t have been meeting her emotional need to express her emotions and connect.

Democratic Parenting, the beautiful middle path (sometimes known as Authoritative parenting)

Democratic parenting is when you do your best to accommodate everyone’s wants and needs. I first heard of the term when I was reading one of Aletha Solter’s books on parenting. Although, the idea is nothing radicle, I felt that it so deeply resonated within me and I had finally found something that made perfect sense.

  • Democratic parenting is fun and fair. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it goes my way. Life is too fun to get stuck in strict rules and rigid routines. We all get a chance. Today, we have to walk past the ice cream shop, because I’m tired and have a headache. But, it doesn’t mean that tomorrow we can’t stop and get an ice cream. It’s never ok to cross a busy street without holding my hand, but if it’s a very quiet street, then yes, please go for it, just check with me first. It’s never ok to hit a person, but it’s ok to get angry, go punch the pillow.
  • Democratic parenting is dynamic. My needs change on a day to day basis and so do my children’s. Some days they eat like horses, other days not. Some days we really need rest and order, and some days we can go out and be all crazy. Some days we can play and mess the house up into oblivion. Other days, we need to spend time cleaning and being tidy. Some nights we hurry up to bed, other nights, we stay up late and read books, giggle and tell stories. But, if a set bed time makes everyone’s life easier, then so be it. Some days we have to do what daddy wants because it’s his day off from work and. Other days, we can do whatever you want to do. Some days, when the ocean is calm, the little one can go out really far. Some days, I can see that you’re self regulating your use of screens very well, but other days, I can see that you’re using screens as a distraction to some unpleasant emotions. Let’s deal with the emotions and put away the screens please. Life is ever changing and so are our needs. Let’s let common sense prevail.
  • The Consistency in democratic parenting is that we are aware and always listen. Kids and adults like consistency. But, we don’t have to get stuck in the same routine, rigid rules, actions, and rules every day. The consistency can be that I will do my best to listen to you. I hear that your needs are changing on a day to day basis, because my needs are changing too. The rules stay roughly the same, but we can be flexible too.
  • Democratic parenting and loving limits. If I have to say “No“, I ask myself these questions first.
    Are my child’s request reasonable?
    Are my expectations fair?
    Am I doing my best to eventually meet everyone’s needs?
  • Keep Your Decision AND accept the emotional response. If you do have to say “No” and your child protests about it, it’s ok to be firm in your answer, but be soft in your actions. My girls love buying frilly dresses. If they’re cheap, and we haven’t bought one in a while, I say ‘yes‘. But, if it’s unreasonably priced or we’ve accumulated too many, I just say ‘no‘. They cry. I say, “I know you’re upset, but we can’t buy that dress.” You can say no AND accept their reaction to your decision.

There’s no need to go extreme in either direction of parenting. You can do your best to meet everyone’s needs. You can say “No“, yet still be loving and fair. We don’t have to give up our own needs for the sake of our children. We also don’t have to be so strict and rigid that we suck all the love out of life. Have fun. Relax. Listen to your needs, and to the needs of your family.

I highly recommend reading Aletha Solter’s book called ‘Attachment Play‘ for gentle and fun ideas on how to get children to cooperate.

 

 

What Your Nose Tells You About Your Brain… And It’s So Cool!

It's really hard to take a serious picture of your nose...

It’s really hard to take a serious picture of your nose…

Stand still or sit down.

Put you finger under one nostril like I’m doing in the picture, breath in and breath out. Put your finger under your other nostril, breath in and breath out again.

Which one was more clear, or less blocked?

If your left nostril was more clear, don’t bother reading this post (joking, just read it anyway).

If your right nostril is more clear, then you’re in luck. When your right nostril is more clear, the left side of your brain, which is the academic/logic part of the mind, is functioning better at that moment. So, comprehending this post will probably be much easier. Your metabolism and digestion is also working faster.

If your left nostril is more clear, the right side of your brain is functioning better. The right side of your brain is the more creative and artistic part of the brain. Ever noticed how sometimes, no matter how many times you read a block of text, the information just doesn’t seem to be sinking in? It’s probably because the left nostril/right side of the brain was dominant at that moment.

If both are completely equal and stay that way for a while, then maybe you’re an enlightened yogi, because it’s very rare.

There are certain activities that are better to do, depending on the nostril that is dominant.

Activities You Should Do If Your Right Nostril is Dominant

  • Read/write
  • Study
  • Giving speeches/talking in public/teaching
  • Sign important documents
  • Eat (or at least after you eat the right should be more clear to indicate good digestion)
  • Exercise, be active

Activities You Should Do If Your Left Nostril is Dominant

  • Listen to Music
  • Meditate
  • Being with friends and relax
  • Do leisure activities and do creative hobbies

But, what if you need your right nostril clear, so you can think? 

Let’s say you HAVE to pay attention at a lecture or meeting or something and the information is going in one ear and out the other. There are a few things that can help.

Casually lean to the LEFT to clear your RIGHT nostril, so you can pay attention better. Nobody will even notice what you’re doing. Like this:

I know, I know, it looks like I'm leaning over to fart... People, I know you can do it better than me in real life.

I know, I know, it looks like I’m leaning over to fart… People, I know you can do it better than me in real life because I can win awards for being most un-photogenic.

If you really don’t care what people think, you can actually stick your hand under your left armpit, there are certain energy points there that help clear the right nostril. Looks like this, minus the silly posed look on your face.

Nothing going on here, folks.

Nothing going on here, folks. I’m just terrible at having photos taken of myself.

If you’ve just eaten a big meal, you want to make sure your right nostril is more clear for better digestion. If your right isn’t clear, just after eating, you can also lean to the left or even recline or lay down on your left side to help the digestion thing start to happen. Sometimes you can actually feel the shift, like this big lump moving from one side of your sinuses to the other. Gross. Cool.

Some people have ‘chronic’ nostril dominance

The nostril that is more clear, should shift every couple hours or so. But, sometimes, you’ll find that it doesn’t and one tends to be more dominant throughout the day. To make it extremely simplified, if our nostrils don’t balance regularly, that’s an indicator that there’s some sort of imbalance in our systems. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help (important stuff people!).

If Your Right Nostril Seems to Be More Dominant, you may find your body and mind are overactive or your may have trouble sleeping. To help:

  • Fall asleep on your RIGHT side when you go to bed.
  • Do alternate nostril breathing, a breathing technique which balances the brain, releases stress and tension and impression on the mind, for about 5 minutes, twice a day. Here’s a link from the Art of Living Foundation on how to do it and the benefits and the video is below.

If Your Left Nostril Seems to Be More Dominant, you may find that your digestion is sluggish, you often feel ‘spacey‘, have trouble making decisions. To help:

  • Fall asleep on your LEFT side when you go to bed.
  • Do alternate nostril breathing, a breathing technique which balances the brain, releases stress and tension and impression on the mind, for about 5 minutes. Here’s a link from the Art of Living Foundation on how to do it and the benefits and the video is below.

How to Do Alternate Nostril Breathing

Twelve years ago, I was at a public talk by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and he had us all put our finger under our noses to check which nostril was dominant. I found that part of the talk fascinating and I’ve been paying attention to my nostrils ever since. I’ve been practicing about 14 years of yoga and meditation and observing the breath as well as been involved with teaching and learning in a classroom environment. From countless experiences, I’ve found that it’s very VERY interesting to put a little awareness into your snout!

If you have time, watch this video on the mind, by brain researcher, Jill Taylor, it is AMAZING. It ties in with the side of the nose that is dominant (even though she doesn’t talk about the nostril dominance thing specifically).

Staying Happy, When Everyone Else is Doing it ‘Better’

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The truth is that they’re not doing it better. They’re doing it different. A day after David Bowie’s death, the radio played a snippet of one of his interviews. Bowie talked about how his most successful albums were his least favorite to create. He only made them because he thought that was what everyone wanted. Those albums WERE what the fans wanted, but it didn’t make David Bowie feel satisfied.

As a blogger, I used to get this feeling of needing to write something that would be huge, that everyone would want to read. I’ve only been writing for a few years, so the whole writing thing was new to me. Somewhere along the line, I had almost 2 million people so far, read my articles! Two million reads seems pretty awesome to the non-writer me of a few years ago. Yet, somewhere out there, in the land of blog writers (and that land is vast), I see that somebody is always getting more likes, views and shares on their posts. There’s always somebody out there who is writing stuff that’s funnier, more well researched, more sappy, sweary, is juicy, more articulate, or somehow appeals to the greater public more than my writing does.

And, what if I tried to write like those people? Would it get me more attention? Yes. Believe me, I’ve tried it. It worked! I got lots of attention and I knew exactly who I would submit these attention grabbing articles to. But, it wasn’t me. It didn’t match the core values that I hold so dear to myself.

Thinking that everyone is doing it better than you applies to ALL areas of our lives. Our jobs, our choice of partner, number of children, house, car, what we do in our spare time, hobbies, etc. We’re all doing the best we can, but we think that others are doing it better. In reality, we don’t want ANY of these things… we just want to be happy, right?

Social media is the worst for smearing ‘I have a perfect life‘ phoniness all over the place. Don’t believe it when it looks like ‘everyone‘ is doing it better. In fact, I just took a trip to America and it was awful. I was really sick almost the whole time and had major culture shock (even though I am American). Yet, when people asked about my trip, they said, “It looked like you had a fantastic time in America, tell me all about it!” I had been posting a bunch of smiley pictures with national icons in the background and people perceived this perfect little family holiday. Wrong. You can’t judge what is going on from internet-space.

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Looks like a nice picture, right? WRONG! I was so sick, I felt like I could fall on my face. The deception on social media is real!

Honestly, my mind can get really swept away with jealously when I see someone doing it ‘better than me‘. If I can catch myself, I avoid falling into a wallowing pit of ‘poor me‘, by remembering that you can’t take it with you. Everything that brings you joy on this earth can also bring you pain. Money, fame, cars, big houses, clothes, your looks, fancy stuff, number of children, happy marriages, and so on… can be taken away at any moment. Artists, celebrities and politicians are always in trouble. They always dream of being popular, but once they gain the popularity, they get stressed from trying to keep at the top. Just because someone has everything you want, remember that what they have is temporary and if you gained those things, your possession of those things would also be temporary.

So, again, nobody is doing it ‘better‘, they’re just doing it different. If you have something to learn from someone, then take what you need and move on, with no regrets. There are certainly times when we need influence, advice, feedback or direction from someone who has more experience. But don’t sell yourself out. The actions you choose in order to match someone else’s success, will never feel authentic.

We did have some really good times, but I was still SICK! You can't tell, can you?

We did have some really good times, but I was still SICK! You can’t tell, can you?

Success is different to everyone. Some people measure success in attention, money and items. Others measure success in happiness and the ability to positively impact society. Find out what your goals are. What is YOUR vision and why is it important that you do the things you want to do. And, unless someone’s going to pay you millions of dollars for doing something you’re not crazy about (or you’re David Bowie), then stick to your big vision. Drop the feverishness that everything has to be perfect. Accept. Accept. And be happy.