The other day I was on the phone with a professional from a trusted company. On the call we were dealing with a problem. These things happen. However, I felt like a steam roller went over me. I was not being listened to…at all. I could not get a syllable in edgewise. Someone at his end screwed up. Each time I tried to speak, he interrupted again with his line of thinking, and…he was scolding me! At this point I felt totally humiliated, shamed and small, with a feeling of not knowing what just happened.Continue reading
After 14 years at my last job I was allowed to work remotely toward the end of my tenure there. First it was two days remote per week. Then after two years, three days remote. This took awhile for me to adjust. I wondered what working totally remotely will look like, thing it would be lonely, boring or stifling.
Four and a half months ago I was laid off that job. Being home for four months, I had a lot of time to make adjustments to being home full time. That’s a lot of alone time for a single gal out in the sticks. There were physical and emotional adjustments being made. And honestly, a whole new landscape eventually showed itself to me. It took time to unfold, but by the end of four months, everything looked and felt different.
During this hiatus from the daily grind I experimented with only getting groceries twice a month. Now I am a lady that needs my fresh veg and so do my barnyard fowl. Sometimes I went to a fancier more upscale grocery in town for things that I couldn’t get elsewhere. I took my time and really enjoyed my trip there even though it was 50 minutes away. I’m a foodie, and a place like that satisfies my craving for something different or exotic now and then. I decided I will go there once a month.
Since I live so far from town, the days I worked on my old job were the days I ran errands. With my new situation I have given much thought to how I’d get those errands done. I started slowing down and looking around. With only a little research much can be done in two small towns 22 minutes south of me, instead of the usual 50 minute trip to Albuquerque.
We make so many assumptions and fall into our daily routines so easily, that we tend to be blind to what is in front of us.
I usually ignored the small towns closer to me. I was so used to whizzing right by on my way to my old job, I paid no mind. When I opened my eyes I found much. There was a place to get my hair cut, my nails done, clothing stores, a UPS office, and lots of restaurants. There’s a great pet store there so I can get items for my dogs. And there is a nice, simple grocery store.
North of me seven minutes there is a medical clinic including dentist, doctors, pharmacy, and x-ray. I had no idea it was there! It is tucked into the heart of a reservation, and serves the general public. There are a lot of other services north of me. Who knew? I had ignored these services for years, making the assumption that I could only go to town for them. Things are shaping up for me to have a smaller carbon footprint. And I’m liking what I’m finding. This is wonderfully eye opening!
The good news is, I started a new job a few days ago through the insight, thoughtfulness, and generosity of a dear friend. We worked together in the past. In this position I would work in a totally remote capacity. Happy dance! As I prepare for this position, I have cleared a lovely space in my home totally devoted to work. A nice chair, a simple desk and a few plants to made that space my own. I am loving it!
It makes so much more sense to me to work from home, having zero commute I’m relaxed and ready for work. Socializing will now be totally when I want to, getting out only when I desire it. Errands are run when needed instead of when my work schedule dictates. On weekends I feel like getting out of the house to explore so meeting a girlfriend to go thrift shopping in Santa Fe is effortless. My dogs are thrilled I’m home more! I have no more guilt about leaving them alone all day. Home life is feeling so much more well rounded, and harmonious. I feel very complete.
Making my living at home suits me perfectly, in a way I never thought possible. That new landscape comes with a new level of unexpected blissful, centered, domestic harmony. The Universe has been supporting me this whole time, in a really big way. Now I can see that and I am deeply grateful.
(Left is Cochise or Goat Cheese, Right is Gypsy Girl.)
Thanks to Julie Krupp who nominated me for this award. Thanks for following my nudge to be nominated. 😉 I really wanted it in order to give it to others who’s blogs I really admire. Thanks again and keep up the incredible writing, Julie!
- Say ‘Thank you’ to the Blogger who nominated you.
- Share 11 facts about yourself.
- Answer the questions the blogger asked you.
- Nominate 11 lucky bloggers and make them happy.
- Ask 11 questions to your nominees.
- Notify your 11 nominees. If you are too bashful to answer personal questions, skip that but do the rest. Keep this going by nominating other folks, so we can help new blogs be discovered.
Since this is the reason for the award, I’m putting them up top.
- HempRen Helping educate the world on Hemp vs. Marijuana
- Let It Go Coach I always enjoy her posts and insights.
- My Dear Kitchen in Helsinki My favorite cooking site, and I love the name!
- W A E L Who’s blog is always inspirational and uplifting.
- I can’t think of more than four.
A friend of mine is like me, a people pleaser. Nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t overdo it. She’s almost at the cusp of learning to care for herself first. I have been gently giving advice, to empower her, yet respecting her choices.
I wrote an earlier post on self care which goes over getting enough sleep, good nutrition, and examples of do’s and don’ts for saying no. This post is shorter and to the point for those who are almost but not quite there in terms of having good boundaries. Situations like the one with my friend help bring things into focus for me. I hope it gives you the knowledge and support you need to say ‘yes’ to yourself first. Everyone will be happier this way. The energy is better for everyone, especially you!
Cardinal Rule—The caregiver needs care first!
In order to care for others, you need to—you must—care for yourself first and foremost! No matter how tough, full, or frantic your schedule seems, you come first. It’s like when you are in the airplane and their safety speech includes “Put your oxygen mask on first, then assist your child.” You make a much better caretaker for others, if you are in tip-top shape. This is especially true of people who take care of others that are sick, elderly, or disabled. You need to be in good shape to properly care for them.
GETTING FEARS AND GUILT OUT OF THE WAY
Fear of Hurting Others
There is a saying: “Disappointing myself is easier than disappointing others.” That’s what an over-the-top people pleaser (who is a doormat) says to themselves. I lived much of my life that way so I’m not trying to shock or insult anyone. I was always seeking love, but like many, I was mistaking acceptance for love. They are not the same thing. Besides, love should come from you, not to you, in order to feel whole.
Urgency is Overrated
It is not an emergency. You do not need to give to every single person who needs a poster, a cake, fixed plumbing, or babysitting. I can assure you, the world will not end. I’m here to tell you whatever you are dealing with, it’s not an emergency. There are hospitals, police, urgent care places, professional plumbers and electricians out there for a true emergency. I find a lot of people who are running around frantically putting out fires—ignoring themselves and their home life—think everything on their list is an absolute emergency. This is not true. They give all kinds of ‘but, but…’ excuses. Take the but, but out of it. You are not the world’s savior. (Read on.)
You’re Not a Superhero
I’m pretty sure if you look behind you, you will not see a cape flying in the non-existent wind. So don’t feel you have to save the day. You cannot possibly save everyone on the planet, so don’t try. Prioritize. Delegate. Let go of the rest.
You’re Not a Doormat
Say no when you need to. Someone else’s lack of planning is not your emergency. Otherwise All those people that depend on you to help them in an emergency think, “Insert-Your-Name will do it!” Because the expectation is you are a pushover and you always say yes. That short and simply is lack of good boundaries on your part, and the other party as well.
You cannot help everyone in the world. It just isn’t possible. (See “You’re Not a Superhero”) So don’t feel guilty for not being able to help somebody. There are only 24 hours in a day, love, and you have to get at least eight hours of sleep, eat well, take care of your home and family life first.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
What’s Your Ripcord Phrase?
Find a phrase that works for you when you’ve had enough. My phrase is “I am on overload” for in-the-moment needs. State it clearly and then immediately take a break, or hang up, whatever the situation calls for. Get a cup of tea, get outside for five minutes. Or use it to tell someone you can’t help them. “No I can’t help you, I’m already on overload.” I find this works for times when I have had it, and I don’t mean when I’m mad. I sincerely mean, I am on overload! Too much going on, at the computer too long, too many fires to put out, brain fog, working on a problem too long, and needing a break. It works wonders!
Find wording that you are comfortable with. You can even say “I need a time out!” and put your hands out in that time out sign language “T” we all know from watching football. Yes, you can use this on co-workers and you should be comfortable enough to tell your boss this as well if you need to. Because, if you are on overload, you are not going to be a good worker, in a good mood, etc. Be kind to yourself and get a good ripcord saying and put it in your pocket for emergencies.
Know What Energizes You
For me it is not sipping a cup of tea. That’s for relaxing. I work from home so a quick break that is energizing is getting away from the computer and getting outside. I might walk the dogs around my property a few times. It only takes about 10 minutes to do that. Or I might kick the ball for them, or do a really quick chore like put away five of those patio bricks I have been meaning to move. If you are in an office, get outside and go around the block, or for a very short walk. You’ll wonder what took you so long to feel so good.
For me, physical exercise in the outdoors does wonders for a quick and refreshing break. I must be physically active and ideally outside. Find out what energizes you. For goodness sake, shut off that phone for five minutes! You will live! No one is going to perish if you don’t answer that chat, nudge, or call.
Your Day Off
Take one day or evening where everyone needs to steer clear of needing you. Spouse and kids included. Sunday 6pm is my time. When my divorce was over and I was building my life from the ground up, I took the entire day of Sunday as my day. I would say, I’d love to come over and do xyz, but it’s Church of Patty day. That phrase, Church of Patty, means they can’t bug me, or expect me to be out and about. I don’t use it as often these days, but it does come in handy. My friends started using this tool for their own self care routine.
Practice Saying No
When you can’t do something, or wish not to, you should be able to kindly but firmly say no. Say it with a big smile on your face and a huge dose of sunshine in your voice, knowing your refusal will be better received by the other party. I learned over the years how to say no. One way to think of it is that every time you say yes to someone else, you say no to yourself and your family. You will feel good about gently but firmly enforcing your boundaries.
Never Make Excuses—Ever
When saying no, don’t say, “Well I have to count the fleas on my dog” or “I have to sort out my socks at home, otherwise I’d love to help you.” Just say, “Gosh I would really love to help you but I do not have the time.” Period. End of sentence. Big smile on your face. Otherwise people will take your excuse and turn it around on you. “Well after you’re done sorting out your socks, I’ll come and pick you up.” They will squeeze their need into your schedule and you won’t even know what hit you.
Volunteering Your Time
Don’t let someone volunteer you because you have skills they need for their organization or hobby. As a graphic artist (or cake baker, or babysitter) people constantly are in need of (poster, cake, babysitter). And they have to have it because it’s an emergency! Refer back to “Urgency is Overrated”. If you are volunteering for something you enjoy like working on a newsletter for for a fun organization, be careful as others will volunteer your time. When people would find out I did graphic design, voila! I’d be volunteered to do acres of time-intensive newsletters, posters, flyers. Every single time.
I joined a weaver’s guild to have fun. I ended up writing stories, designing ads, and working on the entire newsletter, getting them printed, finding advertisers, communicating with the post office, and sorting bulk mailing. That was not what was supposed to happen! Each of those items should have been handled by us a group. Because I could not communicate how much time I wanted to serve, I was saddled with almost a full week of my time each month. I had a full time job on top of it. It was no longer fun. And those were the nicest folks you’d ever want to meet. It was not their fault. It was mine for not being proactive in my own needs and desires.
Think in Terms of Hours
After learning that hard lesson with the weaver’s guild, I got some good advice. Have a number of hours in mind per day/week/month to give back to the world. Communicate that clearly to your hobby organization and stick to it. If it’s something time sensitive like babysitting, or helping with a chore or an event, stick to days/times you are available. “I’d be thrilled to help set up and work at your incredibly huge rummage sale! I am available Saturday from noon to 4pm.” I found this tip to be the most helpful tool in my search for independence and regaining personal power.
Be Proactive—Don’t get boobytrapped!
What are you doing today? What are you doing this weekend? Hey what are you doing right now? Usually when people start out a sentence like that, I can see a request coming in hot and heavy on runway one! It’s a boobytrap. 😉 My mother taught me to say, “Why do you want to know?” Put an “I am busy” in front of that answer. “I have plans for this weekend. Why did you want to know?” Then they can tell you what they need. You have already asserted up front that you don’t have time. If it ends up you do want to help, tell them how long and when you are available. You are in charge of your schedule, not the other person. The scope and length of their event does not set the stage for how much time you offer up. Plus the person asking will have received clear communication from you. Otherwise they will assume you can help all day long with…whatever.
Say it With Sweetness
Any sort of ‘no’ said with a big smile on your face and sunshine in your voice usually goes over well with the other party. Say it with pure love in your heart. I don’t mean be sarcastic. Be truly sweet. Come from a place of love. Put honey on every word. 🙂 Otherwise believe me people will figure out that after you were done sorting out your socks at home you can come and help them set up tables for the cotillion ball that will only take you a few hours! You know that will turn into an all day event.
Choose a Role Model
Think of someone you know and admire, whether it’s a family member or a friend or someone in the public eye. Use them as a role model and ask yourself “What would that person say in this situation?” When I need strength, I think of Katherine Hepburn’s strength and confidence, with a bit of Julia Child thrown in for good humor. If it’s something straight forward, I might channel the cold but unarguable logic of Mr. Spock. “We are 2.5 light years away.” “I can help you for 2.5 hours this week.” Get it? Role models can inspire, and you can dial them up in a second.
Head and Heart Balance
Spend time in your heart, and try and get enough heart time in your day. This gets you out of your head and will be like a breath of fresh air in your day. It does wonders for dispelling exhaustion and brain fuzz. I have found sweeping the floor for a few minutes is relaxing and heart centered. The activity is calming, and it helps to have a neutral task that takes you out of your head and puts you in your heart. Washing a few items in the sink is also gently relaxing but good for that neutral heart space that helps you to switch tasks or focus. It’s time for a good brain break too and helps get rid of brain fog from being on overload. I find for me being non-verbal helps.
If you are at work, get up out of your chair, walk around, get a glass of water, cup of coffee, or empty the break room dishwasher. All by yourself without asking for credit. 😉 If you can get outside for even a few minutes to walk, or people watch, do it! You’ll feel so good about yourself, and it is a great way to be more heart centered and less in your head. Getting out of your head will lead to much more balanced days, less exhaustion, more energy, and better quality Spiritual juju.
The Advice Given Here
My advice is gained from years living on planet earth, trying to get it right. It is not to get you to say no to everything someone asks of you. It is to give you insights into behaviors you can change to better protect your time, and give you tools of empowerment. If you have that Ripcord phrase, are prepared to sweetly decline a request, watch for boobytraps, never use excuses, take some time for yourself, realize you can’t help everyone, know what energizes you, have heart centered time, all without guilt, you are on your way to being a healthy caregiver for yourself, and others. And this wisdom only took me 61 years to acquire! (insert belly laugh here.)
Comments are welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, ❤ Patty
Always wanted to make homemade soup? I do it all the time. Helen Daley, my mother, taught me well, early on. Read, and enjoy!
I joke with people that I’ve been making soup since I was a zygote. I’m not even sure what a zygote is, but I make consistently good home made soup every time. After learning to scramble eggs, and make all day spaghetti sauce at an early age, I learned to make soup. All three of my brothers can make good soup, and we learned it all from our Mom. My mother always had a huge pot of soup on the back burner of her stove, even in the heat of Summer.
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My latest work on my PattyCakes Blog.
As a foodie, my problems are often solved with some form of food or cooking. I don’t like the mess of mixing psyllium with water and then chugging it down. Why not bake it into foods? I read up on the internet and found hundreds of recipes using psyllium, so I was excited to give my idea a try.
I call this recipe Dreamsicle bread. It has old mashed bananas, orange flavored sweetened Metamucil, white chocolate and butterscotch chips, and coconut flakes. You could add applesauce to it to make it more moist. It tends to be a bit stiffer than banana bread because the psyllium tends to suck up a lot of the moisture as soon as you add it and mix it in. That’s part of its charm. Despite its medicinal use, this quick bread is delish!
Ingredients. At left the frozen hunk of mushy banana. Thaw and…
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My recent post on finding my purpose was about discovering something key to my life. I mean something BIG. A while back, a counselor I was seeing told me that my search and craving for my One Thing to do was just wanting to be recognized. And she urged me to settle, and just be happy exploring life. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that advice, except…
Had I not followed that ongoing urge, that niggling feeling that it was not okay to just let that sit, I never would have come to the realization of what my life’s path is. That’s really huge. I’d have been less of a person. Life would have been less rich, less full, and much less rewarding.
The bugging you thing….that is there for a reason. It’s a clue that you still have some exploring to do, and that’s your intuition talking to you. It’s saying
“Hey don’t give up! You’re not giving up that easily, are you? Nope. You have more work to do. Come on, off your duff, let’s get at it. Trust me! You’ll feel better for it. You might find something you didn’t even know was out there! Come on! Let’s go.”— Your Intuition
I would suggest anything that keeps bugging you, even (and especially) in a small niggling or prodding way, should be followed up on. Keep working on it, turning it over in your mind, exploring what’s up. I guarantee you will be happier than just settling for something just so you can move on. It doesn’t have to be a big search, just follow up all those tendrils that find you.
I always am rewarded for my explorations in life. I guarantee you will be happier when you uncover whatever it is that you were meant to discover.
Comments are welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, ❤ Patty
Over the years I have felt keen frustration of not knowing my purpose and wanting my path to show up in one obvious form. I have always expected to have ‘my path’ open up before me and be clear. When I get to thinking that way I want to conk myself on the bean for being silly. Things don’t work that way. When has something worked out perfectly to plan in an orderly fashion? Doesn’t it happen more like…you have an idea of a goal, you start heading for it, and your path is interrupted a thousand ways? Then you end up totally somewhere else, but you are happy, and you didn’t see the outcome you were headed for, but you love it nonetheless?
The hanging out the shingle thing. I have talked about it before. It’s such a brainwashed thing that everyone who is successful—I know that’s a loaded word—has a website, teaches, gives classes, and gives back in a public way. I feel jealous that some people have that One Thing they do well and make a living at it. I envy carpenters, electricians and car mechanics! They have a trade, are of great service to the public, and always will be. If any young person asks me what they should do with their life, I suggest learning a trade for starters.
For years I tried many different things. I strove to do Tarot readings and teach it to others. I’ve done Tarot for almost 30 years. I’m a great second banana offering support to others. I also occasionally work with hot glass. I can clean out hoarder houses, I love to clean, sort, and organize anything! I’ve done websites and graphic design. I could teach women how to use power tools and empower themselves not to depend on anyone to fix things. I tried my hand at the wild world of rodeo photography. I wanted to teach people how to avoid drama, or recognize and use their intuition. I’ve delved into doing readings, Reiki, and other energy work. I love all of them. I especially love the road of discovery. However, each of these roads fizzled out as my One Thing to do that had meaning.
My search for my One Thing was making me nuts. I felt I had to find that niche and I could not find it, because I have so many things I could do. I could never zero in on what to do for the greater good. That’s when the target you are trying to hit moves endlessly and you can never hit the bullseye. My search has been frustrating until recently when I discovered, rather organically, my role and purpose. With my new realization it doesn’t matter how many things I pursue, or how many things I am good at. Those are just ways to give to the greater good.
It happened one day when I was helping a friend with a project of hers. The answer dawned on me slowly. It gently popped into my head and just sat there like a tea bag in a cup of hot water. Slowly and naturally, if you let it sit awhile, you will have tea! I came to the realization that being second banana is my talent, my purpose, my path. This realization flowed into recognizing my other talents. My troika. There wasn’t just one. Talent number two is, I am also a fantastic organizer. I swear I was born that way. I can easily see where things should be, love the process of sorting and organizing, and I can see how a process should be designed so things flow smoothly. Natural born talent number three is fantastic intuition. Paired with a very rich store of visual visions, lucid dreams, daily psychic hits, and am great at interpreting their meanings. That part of life flows richly for me. Interpreting the visuals and messages was work. But the ability is there naturally flowing. Always has been.
Instead of looking for a category I fit in, or a job to do, I should have looked to my natural talents. For Clarity:
Talent is something you are born with, while skills are learned. One of my skills is making homemade soup. I was not born knowing how, I had to learn. Neither skill nor talent is better than the other, but it helps to know the difference.— Patty Daley
My talents have been with me all my life, operating in the background, under my radar. They were such a natural part of me I ignored them. I was blind and could not see, as the saying goes. I thought my purpose had to be described as a job title: Mechanic, artist, electrician, RN, teacher, what have you. Nope. That line of thinking didn’t help me at all. Because I didn’t consider the use of my talents as my purpose and my path, I ended up searching in all the wrong places and made myself crazy.
To discover I’d been on my path all along was a revelation. Like Dorothy and those Ruby Slippers. For a long time my purpose and path were hidden from my own eyes. I have already made my path, my thing I love to do. I’ve done it all my life! I’m still doing it! Had I just looked at myself differently I could have seen it. The ‘shingle’ I hang out is not a visible one. I now think of my purpose and path as a way to be, not a goal with website, logo, and client list. I had struggled with this for years, and it evaporated in a moment of clarity. Yippee Yahoo! (Crazy Happy Dance time!)
Knowing your natural talents is gold! This is to be acknowledged, celebrated, realized, internalized, and is its own reward! Look to your natural talents and let them be your guide. Then it doesn’t matter what you do, that can take any form. Learn to recognize your talents and push them to serve yourself and others. Look for ways you have already been doing this and give yourself a pat on the back. Do a happy dance. You are your own path! 😉
Comments are welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, ❤ Patty
A good friend and were I talking about our dreams, how they come and go, each one almost coming to fruition and then fizzling out, disintegrating, and being out of reach. This can be disheartening and frustrating. The path seems to be right in front of you, only to disappear. The talk we had about having many things in life we each tried to bring to fruition that all seemed to fail, brought me to a new understanding.
My friend and I are older, in our 60s, and feel that our usable span of life is short at this point. Time is shrinking. The body ages faster than we desire, and we move slower, think slower, and have a totally different footprint than we did even ten years ago. My 50s were vibrant! My 60s are slower, silkier. We have less resources, and yet we have time to manifest our dreams now, more than in any other decade of our lives.
Maybe what we are doing in trying different approaches and constantly pushing forward, is not so much learning about the world around us. It is more like learning to find the way around ourselves.
If we think we know the answer to what our goal is, it’s possible we are wrong about what the outcome will be, or how to get there. Or both. We may not see where the path itself is leading because we can’t see beyond where we are. If you feel you have lost your original vision for success, don’t be disheartened. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
It’s hard to see those stepping stones when we are looking for what we think the answer is. You may even think there is no place to step because you can’t see it. You have to have faith that each step is there. You might be put off by a difficult part of the process and give up. I’ve done that a thousand times. Keep in mind a perceived failure can be another stepping stone to eventually finding ourselves working on our dream. It’s not actually the end. Relying on your intuition is big. It will help guide you and connects you to Spirit.
I think of it as an almost hidden path to success. As if the path were underwater or goes around the corner here and there, changing form constantly, full of pitfalls and successes. Kind of like a kids dotted-line treasure map.
You go through the river with killer fish, through the swamp, over the mountains, into a jungle, through the forest, avoid the snake, and into a dark cave. Finally you come out of the cave and find yourself living your dream—when you least expect it! You think, how did I get here from where I was on that strange convoluted path?
My friend is now living her dream, making it a reality. It happened through a lot of perseverance and hard work even though it seemed to be sidetracked many times by the outside world. The character Dory from the movie Finding Nemo has some great advice for all of us.
“When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming.”—DORY
We could not see the outcome from where we were on the path. It lay just around the corner. Our feet were on the right path all along. We didn’t recognize it as a ‘waking world’ path to success. That’s because it’s below our radar, working all the time. It happens in the background, with the conscious mind not aware of it at all.
That’s how success can come from behind and be a total, wonderful surprise once things start magically working for you! The magic is really all your past efforts and experience coming to fruition where you finally see results. It might have all come together in a way you could not envision.
So maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t have it all planned out perfectly. That’s because Spirit hears our request and has better ideas for us on how to get there. The work we did on the way to success—the supposed failed attempts—was work we needed to do. Even if the experiences seemed to not be connected, they are! We just could not see it from where we were.
Just keep swimming.
Comments are welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, ❤ Patty