7 Year Itch

December 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm (Uncategorized)

We were never married, but its time I leave you, Texas.  It’s been one heck of a journey.  The past 7 years have taught me more than I could have imagined.  This is where I found out I could accomplish anything if I could survive driving on the highway.  I learned all about what I like and dislike about myself and others.  I took chances, fell down, got back up, and fell down again.  I lost my way, found a new path, and meandered through the many cultural cities this state has to offer.   I found friends for life, got my heart broken, and cried for being happy and sad.  This time in Texas taught me about being alone and how great it feels to be in the presence of the ones I truly love.  This is where I met my husband and I thank God for the journey, as hard as it was, to meet him.  I grew thicker skin and a twang that I hope to hold onto.  

 As I say goodbye, I know that without you, I would not be where I am today.     The end of anything is bittersweet as one travels onward to exciting things, but also leaves a trail of memories that only I can hold in my heart.  There are some things I will miss, and some things I will soon forget.  Allow me to share some of those things

I will miss….

Warm nights

The city lights, especially reunion tower (where my husband proposed🙂 )

Living in walking distance to the library, grocery store, and CVS

Watching football games at 10 Grill

The culture in Dallas

The shopping (or more like window shopping)

White Rock Lake

Sunsets that take your breath away

Rooftop pool and barbequing

All our friends in Dallas

 

 I won’t miss….

The drivers!  Especially those who make up their own rules

Getting cornered in the elevators by dogs

Waking up every morning to honking of horns

Getting hit up for money every time I go for a walk

The lack of natural beauty

Texas pride (its all cute at first, but it gets really old fast!)

Highway system and the 2 second turnaround to enter the highway

Feeling rushed all the time

Being surrounded by cement and concrete

Air pollution and the many headaches because of it

Fearing for my life anytime I cross the street

Fearing for my life anytime I enter the highway

The realization that it is not Colorado

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Day 1, Book 1: Siddhartha

September 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm (Uncategorized)

Siddhartha is a brave illustration of an author disclosing vulnerability in a character.  I can appreciate the length of this short novel and how it is structured to speak many more pages than the author writes. 

The character Siddhartha is much like many of us, striving to find the answer to acheiving peace.  We all seem to be going somewhere in life.  We all seem to have some goals and whether we are conscious of them or not, certain behaviors drive us to do the things we do.  Siddhartha dedicated his life to finding peace, knowing that he would not find the answer from teachings, he sought peace at his own pace.  He experienced life in his own time frame and allowed himself to move on when he knew he was ready.  He thought, waited, and fasted to find this peace that was only found once he stopped looking. 

“Siddhartha” is a powerful reminder we can search our whole lives for something and may never find it.  It reminds me that you have to let go of something to realize if it really belongs to you.  It also reminds me that if you don’t go through the ups and downs of life, you have not gone through life as we are meant to. 

Favorite quote from the book:

“Widsom is not communicable.  The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish.  Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.  One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it. “___Hermann Hesse

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Vote in this week’s Poll!

June 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm (Uncategorized)

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Applying the game of Basketball to Life.

June 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm (Life Decisions, Professional Sports, relationships, Self Growth, Wisdom)

According to the Webster’s Dictionary, the word “basketball” is a noun. It is defined as “a usually indoor court game between two teams of usually five players each who score by tossing an inflated ball through a raised goal; also : the ball used in this game.” Playing basketball is a metaphor. It is a lesson for life wrapped into a four quarter game. At the end of the game, one team wins, but with the lessons of basketball applied to life, you can benefit from the game off the court as well.

The art of follow through:

One of the most distinctive characteristics of  basketball players is their shot.  The motion  involved in making a perfect “swish” is an art.  The motion of shooting can take you so far, but the follow through is the most crucial part of getting the ball in the basket.  Much like life, going through the motions can get you so far.  You may get lucky and make the shot, but if you follow through, your chances increase significantly.  This concept can be applied to many things: finding a job, marriage, friendships, etc.  The follow through is what takes you from guessing to being confident the shot or chance will go in.

A good defense is the best offense:

Scoring points in basketball is essential to winning the game.  The points on the board at the end of the game don’t necessarily reflect the effort of the defense, however.  In life, I believe offense is the intervention and defense is the prevention.  Once you are behind or already in trouble, you need something immediately to get you back on track in order to stay in the game.  A good defense can prevent getting in the rough spot to begin with.  Both offense and defense are important in the game.  A team or person’s offense may provides the tangible evidence (points) of winning, but defense is the secret weapon.

When in doubt, box out:

There is only so much we can control in life.  When the shot goes up in basketball, you have two choices:  you can box out or you can bail out.  The chances of gaining control are significantly higher if you choose to box out than if you choose to bail out.  Boxing out in basketball is preventing your opponent from getting what you want.  Boxing out in life is covering yourself and doing what you can to increase your chances of success, thus leading to what you want.  Bailing out in basketball is allowing the opponent to step over you and get what you are going for.  If you choose not to box out, you choose to let someone else take what could be yours.

There is no “I” in team.

As much as some try to make basketball and life an individual sport, the truth is neither can or ever will be about one person.  Have you ever worked for a company where they didn’t mention the importance of teamwork?  Have you ever seen a basketball game where one person controls the ball the entire time?  If you have experienced either of these scenarios, I assume you may have been confused or frustrated.  One person by him or herself cannot both accomplish and succeed in basketball or life.  The art of communication needs to be practiced every single day in every single relationship.  It is just as valuable as having a follow through on your shot.  Teamwork is the essence of getting tasks accomplished and points on the board. Period.

Remember to take the time out:

Life can get pretty crazy and quite overwhelming at times.  The clock is running and taking time out of the game might seem scary.  Some feel losing momentum could occur from stopping.  Time outs are there and if you don’t use them, you may lose them.  In basketball, we know how many timeouts are available; in life we have to create them.  It is so important to take advantage of the time outs whether you think you need them or not.  Taking time to breathe and step away from the momentum may seem risky, but it also may be just what you need to accelerate your adrenaline to that extra gear.

Basketball has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I haven’t played on a team since about 8 years ago, but I recently reflected on the importance the game itslef has had in my life. Even when I am not participating in the sport on the court, I am living the lessons I learned through the game.  It makes me wonder if basketball teams should practice off the court more often.  Something to think about….

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Choosing to react is your right…

May 19, 2010 at 9:46 pm (Life Decisions, Uncategorized, Wisdom)

Thank you to my dad for introducing me to this principle by Steven Covey. Life is all about choices and Steven Covey illustrates this so beautifully! Enjoy!

**********************************************************************************

The 90/10 Principle

Author : Stephen Covey ( Management Guru)

Have you read this before? Discover the 90/10 Principle. It will change your life

(at least the way you react to situations). What is this principle?

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean?

We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.

How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light., but you can control your reaction. Don’t let people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

Let’s use an example. You are eating breakfast with your family. Your

daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just what happened. What happens when the next will be determined by how you react.You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for

knocking the cup over.

She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave

immediately for work.

You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and

throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your

spouse and daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?

A) Did the coffee cause it?

B) Did your daughter cause it?

C) Did the policeman cause it?

D) Did you cause it?

The answer is ” D”.

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened.

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, “It’s ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time”. Grabbing a towel you rush

upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.

Notice the difference? Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both

ended different.

Why? Because of how you REACTED. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle. If someone says something negative about you, don’t be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don’t have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound on the steering wheel? A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off)

Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive? Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it.

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job. The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse. Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it.

The 90-10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply this principle.

The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache. We all must understand and apply the 90/10 principle.

It CAN change your life!!!

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Protected: How Not to Get a Job: A Sattire of finding employment

March 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm (humor, job search, Uncategorized)

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Micheal Jordan and Tiger Woods Theory

February 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm (Life Decisions, Media, Moral Decisions, Professional Sports)

Let me first start off by first saying I am not defending either of these athletes for the mistakes they have made throughout their sports career.  Tiger Woods and Micheal Jordan have very close similarities.  What is ironic is that they did not cheat (that we know of) within the means of the sport they have been crowned as “king of’, but rather their behaviors outside of the “playing field.”  Both have left many fans and loved ones hurt, confused, enraged by their behavior.  Both were at the top of their sport when their secret was revealed.  Both tried to conceal it as long as possible.  Both made a big mistake morally and have had to face the media and their business partners.  Both scrutinized, but Tiger Woods has been getting more torture than Micheal Jordan.  I have been contemplating this and it has got me thinking which is why I have written down a theory:

Two men who remain the best in their sport and set the bar extremely high for young and old athletes.  Their performance in the sport was close to flawless, yet their personal life is what everyone seems to pick at and judge.  But, Micheal Jordan is still Micheal Jordan and his reputation (for the most part) was not even close to being as jeopardized as Tiger’s is.  Tiger Woods has become a mockery.  Tiger Woods is no longer a great athlete, but a pathetic husband, role model, father.  Micheal Jordan cheated with money, illegally gambled and admitted to having an addiction problem, and has been speculated to have several extramarital affairs.   Somehow those things did not replace “Micheal Jordan” for who he is as an athlete.  These two very similar individuals have been treated so differently by the public.

Tiger is one, but Micheal was part of many.  The reprocussions of taking Micheal Jordan out of the game was much higher than taking Tiger out of the PGA.  When allegations first started of Micheal’s gambling in 1992, much was at stake for the NBA.  Here is the star of an already 2 time champion leading a team hotter than ever.  If the media made a big deal about Micheal Jordans alleged gambling, the NBA, especially the Chicago Bulls would have been disasterous.   Could you imagine putting Micheal Jordan under the microscope then as we are to Tiger Woods?  Force Jordan to scrutiny that would alienate him and affect his game?  They wouldn’t dare do such a thing that could ruin the reputation for the both the NBA and the $10 million revenue he brought in the NBA.  So it was kept very low key.  Jordan was suspended shortly while the investigation continued, but he was cleared to play just in time for their 3 peat.  Micheal Jordan was protected in every sense of the word to avoid scrutiny being put against him.  He was part of the whole picture not just one man.  Had Micheal Jordan been a one man show, he would have faced what Tiger Woods is facing now.

Tiger Woods is one man and he is being put in the hot seat because he is responsible for his success and his success only.  The PGA is getting plenty of money for the broadcasts and stories floating about his affairs.  They don’t need Tiger to be doing well to earn the money.  They just need him to be in public.  I believe Tiger was paid a lot of money to make that apology.  Did we ever see Micheal Jordan make a public apology?  Of course not, he was protected to avoid the image of the NBA being destroyed.   He walked away just in time to stop the investigations (which is still a contraversy).  Cheating on your spouse is wrong.  Excessive gambling is wrong.  Gambling illegally based on the laws of an association is a serious offense.  Micheal Jordan didn’t publicly apologize because he didn’t have to in order to keep his reputation.  Tiger Woods apologized to try and rectify a reputation that is already gone.  He has been revealed so harshly, there is no chance for him to be a role model.  He is the victim of media exploitation and its over for him.

I think its time to let Tiger be.  Why does the public need to forgive someone who dug his own grave?  If anyone places his or her faith so deeply in an athlete and feels devastated about the disappointment, I think that says something for who our idols are.  No one is perfect and celebrities are constantly put in the spotlight.  Everything they do is evaluated.  We know now that every mistake they make will be disclosed through the media.  We can choose to listen and be affected by it or we can choose to accept that people mess up royally and the ones that are deeply affected aren’t watching the apology on tv.  They are living it everyday.  How about we stop getting mad at Tiger for something he did to himself and move on with our lives?

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Pets or Humans: Who gives more in a relationship?

February 9, 2010 at 9:22 pm (Uncategorized)

I couldn’t help but write a blog regarding this article I read today: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/oukoe_uk_poll_pets_valentines_life.

If you don’t feel like reading the whole article, let me just sum it up in one sentence.  According to this study of 23,000 people around the world, an average of 20% of those people would rather spend Valentine’s Day with their pet rather than their partner.  Mind you, there is a lot to be considered when looking at this percentage, but I can’t help but think about how this percentage parallels human relationships today.

I am trying to wrap my mind around this concept.  People in relationships would rather spend time with their pets on the most romantic day of the year??? We seem to be disconnecting from each other on a personal level.  Some think it is due to internet social networking; others may say they are “too busy.”  Whatever the reasons are, the reality is that a hand shake is not as solid as oak anymore ,and your closest friend may not even be a human being.  We spend more time with our on screen friends (tv) then our real life friends.  We order more carry out, text instead of having a conversation, and now screen our calls to avoid confrontation.   What is happening to our human relationships?  

  The best I can come up with is that perhaps animals are easier to trust than humans.  Trust is the most difficult thing to measure when evaluating human relationships.  Whether or not you can trust someone is based on so many different factors and varies with each person.   Trusting another person is one of the  most, if not the most, critical components of a healthy relationship.  But because it is so hard to measure and so hard to detect, I can’t help but wonder that people are starting to trust in things that are impossible to measure.  Trusting a pet is a lot easier than to trust a human being.  Pets are trained to not hurt you physically.  Verbally and emotionally they can’t hurt you because they are not able to talk or verbalize feelings.  Since we can’t communicate with animals (the same as with humans) about our emotions, it is not possible to measure our emotional trusting level with animals.  So, when it comes to relationships with animals, if we don’t like a certain behavior, we can train them to treat us how we want to be treated.  Do pets give the unconditional love for their owners that no person can attain? 

I am curious to know who would choose their pet over their significant other this valentine’s day and why?

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What I have learned….

January 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm (Uncategorized)

I have recently been reflecting upon the last 18 months of my life.  Two big things have happened in the past 18 months.  1. I got married and 2. I have been on a sabbatical from my career. I say a sabbatical from my career, but that may be an optimistic term considering I am not sure if it even launched before taking the “sabbatical.”  What is more truthful is probably that I took a step back in the professional world, and  I chose to examine what my passion includes both as a career and personally.  It seems like I may have planned to have these two events occur simultaneously, but consciously, I didn’t see it coming.

In the past 18 months, I have struggled with the fact that I took a break from the counseling field.  I didn’t give up, but I did not give in to my urgency to get my professional license and get on with my career.  It was so tempting to ignore my burnout and keep working toward something that was starting to feel superficial.  I am unable to do things if my heart is not in it.  Actually, I can do things when my heart is not in it, but there is no fulfillment for me.  When something is an inconvenience, I know I am no good to it.   If I am no good and I don’t have something to offer, than I am no good to anyone.  I think that is the hardest thing to remember in life.  We want to help and reach out to others, but we must take care of ourselves in order to be able to help.  Otherwise, we are the blind leading the blind.

Either way I look at this past 18 months, I am reassured of several things that I would like to take a moment to reflect on:

I have learned….

1.  I am much more available emotionally when I am not working as a counselor.

2. I do not want to work with people or populations that aren’t willing or desire to make changes in their life.

3.  I am physically and emotionally incapable of rescuing everyone I come in contact with.

4.  I am capable of having a lot of patience and working with people who are struggling deeply; however,  I don’t have much left of myself after.

5. That even if counseling is not my career, the skills I learned are going to be invaluable as a parent.  ( I have my hubby to thank for helping me realize that one).

6.  When I am transition, I am a mess and routine and consistency is the only tangible resource that will ground me.

7. I don’t have to be perfect or have it all together to be a counselor.  I am easier to relate to if I am understanding the confusion a client is going through.

8.  Being in front of people and speaking fuels my energy more than anything else.  I crave to teach and witness growth in individuals.

9.  Absence does and has made the heart grow fonder for working in the helping field.  I am just not ready quite yet to dive back  in…..I think baby steps would be a better option for me.

10.  I cannot change someone’s reality for them; I can only do things in our short time together that will hopefully give them a new perspective on their reality.

11.  Counseling others can be a passion, but doesn’t have to be a career in order to fulfill its purpose.

12.  If you don’t make an effort to stay connected to something, you will lose touch with it by nature.  The effort is either there or isn’t…there is no need to force it.

13.  Someone needs to really, really, really want to change in order for any change to occur.  As a counselor, I am there as a cheerleader for the change they decide they want.  They have to decide to want it or else it will not last.

14.  Personally, I want to be a good wife and a good mother.  I want to be there for the people I love when they are hurting.  I want to achieve a level of awareness that will not distract me from those things.  If I become too involved in my career, then I am failing personally.

15.  I can be a crisis counselor, do it well, and even enjoy it.  I can’t be one and accomplish the things above.

16.  A career is not defining me like I once thought it would.  I enjoy working and being useful, but i am starting to appreciate more the simple tasks in a work day that allow energy for my most valuable time outside of work.

17.  I may never feel completely right about where I am professionally or personally, but as long as I have the desire to keep searching, I know I will be okay.


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Is it going to change anything?

December 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm (Uncategorized)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/technology/07distracted-side.html

People want justice.  I totally get that.  I know that for me, justice is one of the most desired outcomes for me if something is not going in a fair direction.  At the end of the day, I want justification that what happened was diverted to the person or situation at fault.  When someone is abused, it is only once justice is served that the person can begin to heal after the violence has occurred.   Without justice, we feel we are in limbo and can’t move forward.  I question whether Jennifer Smith is trying to seek justice by suing Sprint Nextel or if she is just trying to find anything to help her heal from the death of her mother.  But my question is that even if Sprint was responsible for the man who was talking on his phone when he wrecked his car, is it really going to change anything?

I can’t even imagine the pain and agony one must feel when someone they love is taken from them.  I am sure nothing in the world can take away that feeling of emptiness.  I am sure Jennifer Smith is doing everything she can to mourn the loss of her mother, but suing Sprint, in my opinion is not going to make her feel better.

Aside from the tragedy this woman experienced, there is a topic that has become very familiar lately.  People are suing big corporations, big companies, or anyone off the street just because they can.  I believe Sprint is not at fault for the death of Jennifer Smith’s mother for the following reasons:

1.  It is not illegal to drive and operate a cell phone (unless it is the state of New York and/or you are in a school zone); this incidence occurred in Oklahoma City

2.  Even if you could argue that talking on a cell phone and driving is dangerous, the cell phone company itself is not in charge of enforcing that–the federal officials are.

3.  A cell phone company cannot ensure that each person that buys a cell phone will not do something that is legal.  That would be like McDonalds being responsible for people who choose to eat and drive and then get in a wreck.

4.  The gentleman who was at fault in the car accident already has plead and will be indicted for the offense of vehicular homicide.

5.  Although Sprint issued the phone to this man, Sprint did not manufacture it; Samsung did.

6.  If all cell phone companies were responsible for traffic accidents then they would ALL be out of business.

I could go on and on, but my main point here is that even if this woman wins the lawsuit, it is not going to change a thing.  Sprint will fork out the money, the woman will collect, cell phones will continue getting people in accidents, and the unfortunate thing is this woman’s mother will still be dead.  The loss of money or gain of it will not change a thing.

Our system needs to change in order for something effective to occur.  It does NOT make sense to me why it is legal to drive and talk on the cell phone.  If a +b=c, then driving + cell phones =disaster.  Its something we can predict yet New York is the only state that recognizes how important it is.  If we want a big change, then we need to take BIG steps.  Suing people is becoming old news and is more a hassle than anything.  Money comes and money goes, but a big change can last forever!

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