This last week I came down with the worst cold ever. Don’t worry, this post isn’t about that or what I did to get over it. Instead, once the fog began to clear I started to beat myself up for laying around for over a week and for my lack of any productivity. Rather than practice what I now understand to be self-compassion, I jumped into criticizing myself for too many naps, too much television, and not one bit of exercise. I even berated myself for getting sick in the first place. Now maybe I’m the only one who ever does this, but ever since then I’ve been exploring how and why I tied my personal value (not to mention my health) to such an absurd goal. What I’ve since discovered is that all too often our sense of self-esteem is a big part of the problem.
Last weekend my husband Thom and I attended the Joshua Tree Music Festival. It wasn’t our first. We’ve attended several others in the past, including two of the biggest music festivals in the country—The Coachella and Stagecoach. Why? We’re drawn to the music, the energy, the art and the people watching. While every event is unique, the Joshua Tree Music Festival promotes itself as a family friendly global music festival, so people of all ages and backgrounds attend. But just like with other music festivals, Thom and I sort of stand out—not because we have the best costumes, makeup, tattoos or hair. We stand out because we look pretty much the way we look each and every day. And sometimes accepting yourself just the way you are, takes more courage than trying to be someone else—no matter how cool that someone else might be. [Read more…]
I don’t know any woman who doesn’t care, at least a little bit, about how they look to others. Maybe it exists in our DNA or the way we are raised. Hopefully though, by the time we get to my age we care far less how others judge us, especially our looks. And equally important, hopefully by my age we stop letting the opinions of others make critical life decisions for us. That of course leads to my recent decision to purchase and wear hearing aids. [Read more…]
Those of you who may be new to this blog might be unaware that the “T” in the acronym SMART stands for thankful. I included it precisely because I know without a doubt that the practice of gratitude and thankfulness is essential to a happy, fulfilled and content life. At the same time I am also aware that just about every person I know and every blog I read with a focus on happiness, simple living and minimalism reports that a fundamental concept to the philosophy is appreciating what you have right now (in other words, “gratitude.”) What I find a bit surprising is that even though so many of us admit that it is important, something holds us back from the actual practice of it on a daily basis. Could it be possible that practicing thankfulness every day and making thanks living a habit, is the key to creating both a great minimalist lifestyle and a happy life? [Read more…]
Self–esteem isn’t asserting my right to do whatever I want whenever I want it—it is instead reminding me that I am okay no matter what experience may be occurring in my life at any time!
Like many other women I was raised to be nice, polite and want people to like me. By the time I was old enough to realize that those “other people” didn’t always have my best interests at heart, it was too late. That habit of seeing my self worth reflected by other people was deeply entrenched in how I thought and often how I behaved. And although I’ve made lots of progress during the last 25+ years or so—the truth is I still often take the opinions of others far too personally, and I frequently care too much what others think of me—especially when it has to do with something I hold dear to heart. That’s why when I recently came across a discussion by Deepak Chropra explaining the difference between self-esteem and self-image, I discovered there was a difference. More importantly, knowing that difference matters quite a bit. [Read more…]