Who go better do better


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This random hand painted sign on the bumper of a Nigerian truck made me smile.

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Based on the craziness going on in the world, the 24 hour cycle of bad news that the media pushes out, and just the meanness of the people who have always really been mean, I think that sometimes we forget that expression.

In my world, I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunities that I have had and have had the ability to surround myself with amazing people who choose to go better and do better daily.  I have always tried to model myself after them.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a decent person, but not as decent as the people I have chosen to cling on to as my role models.

The last few years have presented some gigantic personal challenges and emotional set backs.  So many that I sort of lost the inner me that has always been able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and truck the hell on.  The last few months in particular gutted me with sadness, frustration, and anger.

The logical side of my brain is always aware that I have been and continue to be blessed.  But the logical side had recessed so far that the emotional heart and brain took over and started incessantly repeating some of the darkest and most insecure thoughts and emotions that had plagued me as a child and teenager and well into part of my adulthood.

The fact that I knew these thoughts and frustrations were all in my head, did not help me overcome the spiral downward I was feeling and the eventual wall I knew I would hit.  That I had hit before.  I knew where that would eventually lead and that made me even more sad.

Logically, none of the bad feelings were real.  Emotionally they were all too real and really all too terrifying.  Like a clamp on my heart.  Because of what was going on in my head and the lack of control I was feeling with my mind and emotions, I started shutting down.  I started feeling that old, old, old angst that I had promised myself years ago I would never allow to enter my heart again.  I started feeling bad about myself and questioning everything and everyone around me.  I started illogically hating myself and who I was and where I knew I was going.

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About 6 weeks ago I woke up and my logical mind for the first time in awhile felt back in control.  It was clear to me that while I felt rational once again I needed to take immediate action to maintain that visible light at the end of a very dark tunnel.  I knew I had to begin the arduous task of reprogramming my mind to focus on all of the amazing things that have happened in my life and all of of the amazing things that were still going on in the world.

I began to limit the amount of far right and far left wind media I would allow myself to watch.  I found some positive social media sites that dedicated themselves to only presenting good news and happy stories.  Facebook pages like “Good news and Happy Stories Only” and Mike Rowe’s “Returning the Favor“.  I youtube’d funny baby, animal and comedian videos as well as any video that profiled the struggles that other people had overcome and how they overcame odds much greater than I had ever faced.  I spent the first few weeks just sitting on my couch bawling my eyes out during each of these very emotional and wonderful stories.

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Another step I took towards recovering myself was to begin working through my social media and deleting the people and the articles that related to the many things that were bringing me down, had been part of the spiral downward of my confidence and happiness.  I had a tech friend go through my Facebook and delete anything that was causing some weird friend requests and terrible and false news stories to land on my newsfeed.  This did cause some people in my life to disappear that I had not intended.  However, I don’t miss the amount of time I wasted on social media looking at how everyone else’s life appeared so amazing while mine was.. bleh.. and slightly depressing.

I have been focusing on cool facts and documentaries related to historical figures.  Paying attention to why those people were so amazing.  Finding inspirational quotes and just attempting to be a better person who might one day inspire others.

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Everyone has a unique tongue print, just like fingerprints.  Banging your head against a wall burns 150 calories.  It is impossible to lick your elbow (busted).  If you lift a kangaroo’s tail off the ground it can’t hop.  Casu marzu is a Sardinian cheese that contains live maggots. The maggots can jump up to five inches out of cheese while you’re eating it, so it’s a good idea to shield it with your hand to stop them jumping into your eyes.  The average person spends 6 months of their lifetime waiting on a red light to turn green. A single cloud can weight more than 1 million pounds.  During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.  Coca Cola would be green if coloring wasn’t added to it.  You cannot snore and dream at the same time.  In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand. More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.  Most lipstick contains fish scales.  The first American film to show a toilet being flushed on screen was Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.  An epidemic of laughing that lasted almost a year broke out in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in 1962. Several thousand people were affected, across several villages. It forced a school to close. It wasn’t fun, though — other symptoms included crying, fainting, rashes, and pain.  Honey never spoils.  Earth is the only planet not named after a god.  A “jiffy” is the scientific name for 1/100th of a second.

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I started getting back into my art.

I began to put more effort into my Spanish studies by reading some well-known fairytales.  Nice break from stressful adult Spanish learning.  Also, reading these stories guaranteed successful comprehension.

I started walking places more and eating healthier again.  I cut back on coffee and started drinking herbal teas and even did a few cleanses.  Using the model of positive energy balance.  While I had been living in Korea, I had taken some Reiki classes that dealt with energy healing.  I made myself go back to treating myself and focusing on my chakra practice that I had stopped doing.

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I contacted  The Distant Healing Network  and put in a request for positive energy and love to be sent my way.

Finally, the hardest thing for me to do was to reach out to a counselor to express my concerns about myself.  I requested any type of help that could be provided short of going on medication.  I allowed myself to accept that I was going through a depressive period that very well could be related to hormonal changes due to my age.  (Menopause is real and so is depression).

I slowly began to feel consistently better and better able to focus on the good things in my life and the people that build me up rather than make me feel bad about myself. To realize that I deserve more than how some people have treated me in my life and how even I do not always treat myself right.

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I started writing in my “Starting Today” Journal which is a journal of intention and change.  Every day I write one sentence or a page on things I will start doing today.  One of the things that I have started doing is seeking out stories, movies, and people that will motivate me to be a person who go better to do better.  Every day I do this, I really believe I will be better.  Thanks for reading.

Things to read to go better to do better.

Happier.com – Humans of New York, Amy Poehler Smart Girls, Deepak Chopra, Sweet Green, etc.

Prsuit (@Prsuti)

Prsuit is an Instagram account that posts inspirational quotes as well as links to their articles each day. This Instagram account is dedicated to giving knowledge and inspiration to their followers—not to trying to sell them on a product. If you want an account that is all about giving you the tools you need for success, follow this account.

Achieve the Impossible (@achievetheimpossible)

Achieve the Impossible Instagram account focuses purely on motivational quotes to keep you striving for the goal of your business or life. This Instagram feed is filled with feel-good phrases that will fill you with positive energy.

Zig Ziglar (@thezigziglar)

Zig Ziglar’s Instagram account is made to fuel your motivation with quotes that will be sure to brighten up and boost your day. This account is all about feeling positive with exactly what you are doing in life, right now.

Circles Of Inspiration by Anna Pereira Founder of Thewellnessuniverse.com; Lean in circles; 10 People you’ve never heard of who changed the world

x0xo

We can do better

[Intro]
We can do better
Oh yeah, we can do better

[Verse 1]
I know it hurt bad, your mom left your dad
When you were a little girl
You think I’m gonna leave ’cause history repeats
We’ve seen it around the world
Oh, all that we’re told is this will get old
We’ll cheat and we’ll both get hurt
Against all the odds we’ll pray to the gods
That this love works

[Pre-Chorus]
When all we see is bad blood and mistakes
All we hear are sad songs ’bout heartbreaks
And no matter how long it takes
We’re not gonna give up

[Chorus]
We can do better (ha)
Oh, we can do better
And nothing lasts forever (ha)
We can do better

[Verse 2]
Things can get rough, we might drink too much
And say things we shouldn’t say
Forgive and forget ‘fore we go to bed
And we’re gonna be okay
Some people pretend it’s not gonna end
And end up then walk away
But that isn’t me, I’m not gonna leave
I’m here to stay

[Pre-Chorus]
When all we see is bad blood and mistakes
All we hear are sad songs ’bout heartbreaks
And no matter how long it takes
We’re not gonna give up

[Chorus]
We can do better (ha)
Oh, we can do better
And nothing lasts forever (ha)
We can do better

[Bridge]
I’m not worried ’cause the thing is
We can do better
I know you and I are different
We can do better
I don’t wanna overthink it
We can do better
I know you and I are different
We can do better

[Pre-Chorus]
When all we see is bad blood and mistakes
All we hear are sad songs ’bout heartbreaks
And no matter how long it takes
We’re not gonna give up

[Chorus]
We can do better (ha)
We can do better
And nothing lasts forever (ha)
We can do better

[Outro]
We can do better

 

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I could not have expressed it better..


Beyond Paisley paid an amazing tribute to one of my favorite actors in her recent blog post, “I’m Still Processing The Death of Robin Williams.”  I feel exactly how she expressed her feelings but I do not think I could have said it better than she therefore I would like to share her post.  Thanks for expressing this so eloquently…

I’M STILL PROCESSING THE DEATH OF ROBIN WILLIAMS

The news this week, it was shocking. Shocking. Robin Williams. Dead at 63. I grew up on a steady diet of Robin Williams. I remember when he, bizarrely, showed up on Happy Days and had an epic thumb battle with The Fonz.

And I watched Mork & Mindy almost greedily every week, because–particularly in first two seasons–there was nothing quite so aggressively funny on TV.

My mom even got me a pair of rainbow suspenders, which I wore until the clips gave out and just stopped gripping. (And I’d think they were secure and would go out and then a clip would slide up until it reached the end of my waistband. Once it did, it would indeed fly, be free, right into my face. Oh, embarrassment on the playground fer sure.)

Like so many others out there, I loved Robin Williams for his energy and razor-sharp wit, his lightning-fast ability to find the joke, to make anything (a basket of eggs? Really?) hilarious. And I loved him for his ability to handle dramatic roles, too, bringing human complexity and an astonishing depth of emotion to a character that, in the hands of a different performer, could easily end up being too one-dimensional. I’m looking at you, Dead Poet’s Society.

He was brilliant. He was admired. And now he’s gone. If he’d died of a heart attack or was killed in a car accident…we have mental scripts in place to cope. But Robin Williams took his own life. He’d always been open about his long-standing struggles with depression, and also with substance abuse, so it was no secret that he had some malignant, tenacious demons. But still. In a society that views “success” as the answer–which he had, at least outwardly–Robin Williams’s suicide is inconceivable.

The commentary surrounding his death has been interesting. I have, for the most part, stayed away from anyone who’s completely vitriolic; I don’t need to read articles written by socially stunted hatemongers to know they exist.  But the one statement that I can’t stay away from, which I’ve seen expressed in various media outlets and have heard from people I know and love, is that his act was selfish. And I recognized myself in that statement; ten years ago I might have said the same thing. I have since moved past it, realizing that depression is far more pernicious and illogical and lying and thieving than those of us who aren’t depressed can understand. Still, I get why it’s part of the public patois about suicide. I just don’t think it’s right or fair. We’re never inside anyone else’s head. We don’t know what’s happening anywhere else except in our own noggins…and even then, if you find me someone who’s legitimately got it all together, I will pass out in shock. Mental illness is so dreadfully misunderstood. As a society, we need to bring the same sensibility to the treatment of depression that we bring to, say, the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Both can cripple. Both can kill. But you don’t tell an RA sufferer to “get over it”.

When I was a little kid–maybe 9 or 10 years old–I was at the beach and got caught in an undertow. I was pulled out in the waves, and slammed back on the beach, and pulled out, and slammed back. Over. And over. And over. I didn’t see a way out, there was no way to break the cycle of being sucked out into the water, and slammed back to the shore. Finally, something solid loomed up in front of me and in desperation I grabbed it; I remember breaking the grip of the waves, and how the waves felt resistant to my release. Luckily, the solid thing turned out to be the feet of a man doing surf fishing. It could have been a shark, it could have been an electrical box that was on fire, it could have been Jason Voorhees in full machete-and-hockey mask regalia. The point is, I didn’t care at that moment what I grabbed, so long as it got me out of the crazy cycle I was trapped in.

While I don’t claim that that’s what was going on in Robin Williams’s head, I will say that for that split second, for that one miniscule moment in time, I understood what it’s like to not care any more about what the exit looks like. Desperation isn’t selfish. It’s just desperate. We tend not to revisit these moments, since they’re usually unpleasant and force us to contemplate our own mortality. But I’d make the bet that if everyone took a good, long look at his or her past, we could all find at least one moment where logic and presence failed and desperation took over.

That’s a spot from which compassion can grow. I challenge everyone to find it.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline