Sunday, July 28, 2019

In A Quandary?

Many of us are these days. What is a  "quandary" anyway? The dictionary says, "Quandary - a state of perplexity or uncertainty, especially as to what to do, dilemma."

Being uncertain as to what to do about something is an uncomfortable place to be. It keeps many people off balance, anxious, fearful. The more threatening the situation, the more uncomfortable or fearful we become.

That seems to be the climate these days. Anxiety is everywhere and people are unable to feel at peace. This is a very stressful state of being. So what can we do about it?.

It is important to be able to recognize what we can or can't change. We often feel we are helpless to change anything about the situation. But is that reality? You have the power to do what you can, no matter how small, and to accept what you can't change. That means, if you do everything you can to change the situation, you can change how you think and feel about the situation.

The Alcoholics Anonymous prayer is, "Help me change what I can and accept what I can't change. And give me the wisdom to know the difference." I think that last part is the most important. We often feel that if we can't make a big change in the situation we aren't changing it at all. We fail to see that there are small but important ways to approach the situation the can create change.

For instance, if your boss is a hot-head who yells at you, you may not be able to please him to change his behavior. But you can react to it differently. Your reaction can possibly change how he reacts. When you get angry or defensive, it feeds his anger. And it become a totally reactionary interchange.

But if you thank him for pointing out how you can do better, he might be less likely to escalate. People react to other's behavior. And how they react affects the the other's reaction. When you feed the anger, it grows stronger. Interrupting it can sometimes stop it in it's tracks!

And if you can't get a better reaction from him, you can always quit! I know that sounds extreme, but how much does the boss' behavior upset you? Can you let it go, or do you carry it around with you.

So one thing you can do is work on letting go of the fear or anger it triggers in you. We can change how WE feel, even if we can't change what he feels. Leave that job or stay is your choice. And each choice has a consequence. So figure out how much you are willing to accept.

If the boss' behavior interferes with the production of the organization, you may need to go to your boss' boss or a union representative to get help with the problem. But your expectations about the resolution may not be what results. So be ready to decide how much it is worth to you to stay if the behavior doesn't change.

There are many dilemmas we face. Not all of them related to our jobs. The same thing applies to personal, employment, and political situations. You have power. And every choice has consequences. When you choose a choice you also choose the consequences, whatever they are.

Identify your personal power and never feel powerless.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Why Forgive?

A dictionary definition: "Forgive" - to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) 
forgive one's enemies.
The Nature of Forgiveness
Most psychologists recommend mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us and moving on from the past, instead of allowing bitterness and anger to perturb our emotional well-being.
It is critical to remember that forgiveness doesn’t automatically mean a reconciliation. We don’t have to return to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone who has hurt us.
Although burying the hatchet usually brings peace to the soul, there may be some exceptions to that advice, such as a case of sexual abuse. Sometimes a victim becomes more empowered when they give themselves permission not to forgive.
Equally, and perhaps more important, is learning to acknowledge your missteps and forgive yourself. Self-forgiveness is often the first step toward a more loving and positive relationship with yourself, and therefore with others.(Psychology Today-
Bitterness and anger eat at our souls, disturbing any inner peace. What does it cost to stay angry and bitter? It turns us into negative people whose negative thinking eventually colors everything in our lives. You probably people like that.  They are not mentally healthy individuals.

Some won't forgive because they think that it means they most return to the same relationship or accept the same hurtful behaviors from some one who did the hurting. That is so wrong. It is poor self-care to allow someone to continue treating you badly. Do not accept that behavior from others, or even from yourself. Letting go of bitterness or anger is freeing yourself from that negative attachment.

Self forgiveness may be the hardest part, if you have been blaming yourself for other people's behavior. When you can let go of that self-blame you can be more yourself. You can find inner peace from forgiving.

Let it go. Let go of the anger and free yourself to be the best you possible.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Stay Calm in the Chaos

Image by Karin Henseler from Pixabay 

Chaos may be out of your control. And it is definitely stressful if you get caught up in it. That stress can cause many health problems and take energy that would be better spent on something else. 

So we need to practice calm in the midst of it. It is important to stay grounded so you don't get carried away. What works for you to help you be calm?

For many people, just being in natures is grounding. A walk or a park bench near trees and water can help you get centered and grounded, letting the chaos flow past you. 

Or for you it might be meditation or prayer that grounds you and helps you let go of the chaos for a few minutes. Spending time practicing gratitude can be really healing. Giving thanks for what you have is grounding.

Or, if you are a runner, running for that runner's high can restore your balance. Shutting your mind off of the chaos and letting yourself be with the flow can be restorative.

Taking five minutes out of your day to get centered and restored will increase your productivity. I remember when I was working that I'd take five minutes in my office with the lights off and my chair tilted back was an important part of my day, even if I had to do it on my lunch break. Since I don't smoke I counted it as my smoke break!

There was even a time when I had an office with window walls I'd shut myself in the restroom for a few minutes just to lower the stress of the environment.

There are lots of ways you can remain calm in the chaos. Even Taylor Swift values calming down!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Where Is Your Chaos?

The dictionary defines chaos as complete disorder and confusion. I described my last week as chaos. But by definition is wasn't. I guess it just felt that way. The disorder and confusion weren't total. There were lots of scheduled things that were changed and the schedule sometimes seemed confusing. But we were able to flex our time to match the new schedule.

It was a week of family visits and holiday activities. We didn't have our own schedule but went with the family flow. I guess the lack of control of the schedule must have felt like chaos. But that was fine for that week.

I look at my desk and it looks like chaos. Yet I kind of know where everything is, at least at the moment. There are times, however, when I lose minutes looking for something because I've just let the paper pile up.

Sometimes my brain is in chaos, especially when I'm trying to go to sleep. Thoughts and  memories keep intruding on one another. Often it keeps me from going to sleep. I think it is fascinating how our brains work. After 77 years, there are lots of memories, some whole and some in pieces, in there. And sometimes they intrude when I'm trying to clear my mind for sleep. How does my brain decide what to bring to the surface?

I have a craft room that is pretty chaotic at the moment. I was laid up with sciatica for a couple of months and couldn't go to the basement to work any crafts in it. Stuff got piled on all the surfaces and even piled on the floor. I keep putting off going to clear it off. But I'll have to do it soon, because I can't do any crafting until I do.

So where is your chaos? There were days when I was working that seemed chaotic.
That is probably because I wasn't in control of how everything was done and often not informed of the changing rules or policies. That was plenty stressful. What I like most about retirement is that I mostly control what I do and when. 

How about you? How do you handle chaos? Can you find calm in the middle of it? How does it affect you? Share your ideas.