You’re broken down and tired Of living life on a merry go round And you can’t find the fighter But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out And move mountains We gonna walk it out And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again And I’ll rise up High like the waves I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
When the silence isn’t quiet And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe And I know you feel like dying But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet And move mountains Bring it to its feet And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
All we need, all we need is hope And for that we have each other And for that we have each other And we will rise We will rise We’ll rise, oh, oh We’ll rise
I’ll rise up Rise like the day I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I will rise a thousand times again And we’ll rise up High like the waves We’ll rise up In spite of the ache We’ll rise up And we’ll do it a thousand times again
During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.
We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.
But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.
As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.
“What Happens When A Woman” is a beautiful song-video that communicates what happens when a woman takes power.
The feel of the song suggests that “taking power” isn’t about seizing power from someone or something. Taking power isn’t a reaction or a solution. It is not “Me, Too” or feminism or working toward equal rights. It’s something entirely different.
Taking power is a stand alone. It’s a personal foundation.
Taking power is a groundswell from within us that rises and, if we are aware and willing, it brings the best of ourselves forward to interact with the world. A woman who takes power brings who she is and what she naturally contributes into her day.
What happens when a woman takes power? First, and most importantly, she leads herself with love.
Leading herself with love prepares her to lead her intimate relationship, her family and her business with love as well.
LYRICS (by Alexandra Olsavsky):
What happens when a woman takes power? What happens when she won’t back down? What happens when a woman takes power? What happens when she wears the crown? What happens when she rules her own body? What happens when she sets the beat? What happens she she bows to nobody? What happens when she stands on her own two feet? Woah, we rise above. Woah, we lead with love. Woah, we have won. We are one. We’ve just begun.
My daughter’s dog Baguette treats every dog who shows up in her life as if that dog is there to play. My dog, Jackson, is the opposite. He’s typically aggressive toward other dogs. He’s a rescue, eleven pounds, a long-haired Chihuahua, and thirteen years old. I was never able to find out his history, but I’m sure he has good reasons for what he does. He’s not great with small children, or changes in routine, either.
I had no clue about the root of his
aggressiveness until the day a friend of mine invited me to bring Jackson over
to meet her six small dogs. My friend said she might be able to help him get
along with others and play nice, even late in his life. With her assistance, I
was happy to give Jackson a test, or more accurately, a pup quiz.
My friend is experienced with dogs and wasn’t as concerned about his aggressiveness as I was. She said it was important that no dog be on a leash for this event, that we should allow the dogs to work things out naturally with each other. But just in case the experiment went awry, her husband was poised (water hose in hand) to break up a fight.
After Jackson had acclimated to her yard, she let all six of her dogs out of the house and they ran toward him in a friendly pack, happy tails wagging. Jackson was overwhelmed. He fell completely silent, and his body language spoke volumes. He sat down. He cowered.
My heart went out to him. Until that moment, honestly, I had no idea he was so terrified. That moment taught me about the true nature of aggressiveness, that aggressiveness is fear masquerading as authority or power.
Now, back to Baguette.
Up to this point, my daughter, MacKenzie, and I
had mostly kept our dogs apart because, frankly, it was a lot of work to have
them in the same room. But after that revealing encounter with six small dogs,
I wondered how Jackson might do with another chance with Baguette.
We scheduled a rendezvous at my house in the country, so that Baguette and Jackson had plenty of room to get to know each other better. We introduced them to each other outside, with no leashes. I took a deep breath and figured if anyone could make things turn out happy-go-lucky, Baguette could.
Top dog Baguette was a little surprised about Jackson’s style, but she took him in stride. She played his way. She was faster and much bigger than Jackson, and able to get out of his way easily, or take a flying leap over him if necessary, which she did once. She did whatever it took to play with his lunges, and did so happily and at full tilt. It seemed to Mac and me that Baguette was having great fun, almost as if she found Jackson’s aggressive moves hilariously entertaining! He certainly offered a new game for her. The more Jackson ran after her, barking and upset, the more Baguette invited it. How brilliant!
Then Baguette did an amazing thing. She began to imitate Jackson. When he barked, she barked right back as if to say, “Oh, so that’s how you like it!” If Jackson ran after her, she’d run away, and then turn around and chase him right back. This caught him off guard at first, because he didn’t interpret it as playful, and it threw him into a little more fear. Usually, his fear propelled him to run after her again, which is exactly what she was after. Essentially, Baguette welcomed whatever Jackson did and turned it into play.
Jackson wore himself out expressing his fear. It
required a great deal of energy to run, bark, defend, and pursue. Eventually,
he slowed down. When Jackson rested, Baguette hunkered down in a playful way
about ten feet away from him, gazed at him, and waited. She gave him time to
catch his breath. But after a bit, he didn’t come after her, so she barked a
happy invitation. When that didn’t rouse him, she went directly to him,
smelled him, and poked him gently with her paw to encourage him to go after her
and continue the game.
Baguette is clearly a four-legged Aikido Master. She never resisted him—she welcomed Jackson’s actions and turned all of it into fun. She received him right where he was, inviting him to do more of the very thing he was already doing. She didn’t overpower him, manage him, reprimand him or growl. She bounded about as if Jackson was the most delightful and interesting friend she’d ever met.
Eventually, her play and his fear turned into
play on both sides. We noticed Jackson’s tail wagging happily as he barked.
Jackson was tired and happy after it was over, as if his fear had been drawn
out of him like a long ribbon. He seemed lighter and less concerned, more
relaxed and confident. We thought he seemed quite pleased with himself about
how things turned out.
We could all learn a little from Baguette, don’t
you think? And from Jackson as well.
We could apply Baguette’s built-in brilliance to our own lives. We could learn how to be authentically playful, for instance, instead of aggressive, impatient, flippant, or even hateful, with partners and ex-partners. I watched the practically impossible happen with Jackson and he’s a better dog since Baguette ran circles around his fear as if his fear was un-seeable and therefore Jackson’s fear mattered not at all to her. She could only decode his actions as reason to express herself fully—to play in a light-hearted way.
Around Baguette, maybe Jackson’s fear
transformed. Maybe it lifted. Maybe it emptied out of him or some kind of magic
alchemy occurred. Who knows? But what I saw, heard and felt was the wonder of
how she decoded his actions: he was playing with her. And so, eventually, he
played. Gradually, he matched her interpretation of him. Jackson was able to
experience being with her in a happier state than he had been accustomed to
around another dog.
Baguette played with Jackson in a way that demonstrated he was friendship-worthy, and that their time together could be enjoyable. She decoded his actions in a way that blessed them both. And by the way, what a good and fortunate thing to have a friend who can’t see your fear, or see your actions as a problem. What a wonderful thing to have a friend who knows how to play, even when you’re afraid. How full of grace is the moment when a friend knows how to include everything and love anyway.
It seems to be a growing fad these days to call someone a narcissist, or declare they are toxic.
Political name-calling is similar—we assign politicians and voters to categories, and brush them off as if they are unintelligent, inferior, or even worthless.
By labeling others, we miss their humanity. We gloss over their struggle, their best effort at dealing with life. We dismiss them.
We do to them what we believe they are doing to others.
Look past a label, and in the soft light of day, there stands a person like you or like me, coping as best they can. At the end of the day, no friend, parent, or lover making conscious choices intends to be mean, or to ignore, or to embellish. There is always more to the story.
If we label others, then for sure we label ourselves. We trap ourselves into believing we are less than. Or not enough. Or we don’t give ourselves the time and forgiveness to work through our “stuff.” Maybe, if we stopped accusing others of narcissism, we could forgive ourselves for those moments when we were narrow-minded, inconsiderate, or afraid.
When it comes to labels, nobody wins.
So, my dear people, I suggest we peer a little deeper into ourselves to investigate a need to separate ourselves from others by tacking them with a label filled with disdain or scorn.
It is my wish that you view this video and take it to heart.