Category Archives: Blog Entry

My three times a week updates about the positive change in my life

My Wishlist

Today I have been working on my Wishlist. Let me start with telling you what I’m listening while working on this. I’m listening to Faithless a live concert, I want to see them together with my love. We listen to their concerts a lot. We live in the Caribbean, that means outdoor living and we have a large porch surrounded by our garden, we love to sit out there and play their music and this is a great concert they gave at Rock Werchter in Belgium:

So I was telling you about my Wishlist. As you may have read in my earlier post (Life is Good) I keep lists of what I want to accomplish every year. I call that one my To Do List. Now I have started working on another type of list, which I call the Wishlist.

Last weekend was my birthday weekend, I turned 29, and I spent it with my love. We went to a villa on the coast the whole weekend. On the morning of my birthday we set out early, to visit a natural reserve. We climbed a mountain, a small one but the first one we ever climbed together. In the afternoon we went to a natural healer where we had an aloe vera skin treatment and a massage together. I will tell you more about that in my next post. But I think my birthday among others has helped me to start thinking about my Wishlist.

You know, I always know what I don’t want. It has always been like that, I knew what I did not want to study, I knew where I did not want to live and so on and so on. Being me, I made lists of those things as well. After reading a beautiful article about finding true love I started to realize I should be able to make beautiful lists with very specific details about what I do want. Instead of making negative lists with everything I do not want. If you have a little bit of time try and read this article, I found it really beautiful and inspiring:

http://www.oprah.com/relationships/How-to-Find-Love-Do-Magic-Lists-Work

So for my Wishlist I have been doing the following: Instead of saying I do not want to have this job anymore, I hate that I have to start at 8 every single day and I don’t have enough vacation days. I banned all those negative thoughts and I have reflected on what I do want and how to formulate the things I do want in positive wishes, please allow me to share a few of my wishes with you:

I want to be self employed in a business I share with my love. I want to work together with my love everyday and create beautiful things. I want to sell to clients that value and respect our work. I want to make great business deals that help us prosper. I want to determine my own hours and my own vacation days. I want to be completely independent.
I want to look stunning in beautiful clothes and I want to learn how to make these clothes because I have a lot of ideas about how I would like to look.

I want to feel fit and healthy, I want to have enough energy to get up every day and have a great day. I want to enjoy every day and have time to relax. I want to sleep with my love every night. I want to breathe naturally and freely. I want my shoulders and neck to be relaxed and loose. I want my skin to be smooth and tight. I want my muscles to be strong and I want my body to be flexible. I want my mind to be clear, focused and positive. I want my body to be healthy and I want to feed my body with healthy food and train it with healthy exercise.

I want to make love every day. I want to laugh every day, I want to enjoy nature every day, I want to learn new things, visit new places, live new experiences, taste new food, I want to get married, meet new friends and old friends, and most of all I want to share everything with my love.

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More Communication

I was convinced, and I still am that my love is my soul mate, my other half. For me this meant that he should be able to understand what I wanted without communicating about it. I think a lot of people are in this habit. I have a small example to explain what I mean. Imagine this. I get home from work, tired and I really do not want to do anything. BUT of course I do not want to appear to be lazy. So when my loves asks me if I would rather just relax for a while he makes dinner I make an encouraging face and tell him “of course not honey I’ll make dinner.” Expecting him to insist that he will make dinner. Too bad for me he replies. “great babe, I’ll finish up some work while you start on dinner.”

For some reason, which I do not completely understand, I really did expect him to insist that he made dinner because:

A. He could tell I was really tired by looking at me
B. He remembered me telling him earlier at lunch how I would was really tired.
C. He can read my mind
D. All of the above

Of course now that I am writing it down it does seem silly even to me, but I do catch myself plenty of times thinking that people (especially the ones I am really close to) can understand me without really talking to them. OK this might have been true for your high school BFF, remember how you could always finish each others sentences? But it turns out it does not work that way in love relationship, well not for me at least. (funny thing it never works that way with your parents either).

Secondly, and I really do not know why, but the cliche seems to be true, women tend do say the opposite of what they want, especially when talking to their loves. Why do we do that? Do guys do that as well?

I’m sure I did it a lot, I know my friends do it, and yes men always complain about it. After reading this great book on non-violent communication (see my previous post) I discovered that many fights and misunderstandings were created because I was not straightforward about what I wanted.

After analyzing my thoughts and actions I can tell you what I was doing wrong, I was always trying to give the answers which I thought people wanted to hear. Especially with my love. But it turns out it does not work like that in a relationship, because a lot of times I was agreeing to things only to disagree or try to manipulate the situation later on. If I would have been honest about my feelings from the start it would have been easier for both of us. I am a very stubborn person so although I would initially in a vague way agree to something eventually I would try and change everything to have it my way. Needles to say this was a major trouble causer for us and in hindsight I can see how very annoying it must be for others.

So great communication is not only about listening and understanding it is also about being honest and clear about what you want to say. Again it sounds really easy. Please check out the following page, it was created by the person who developed non-violent communication. His ideas and teachings were of great help to me and I hope they will be for you to.

http://www.cnvc.org/

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Feel good, take care of yourself and others!

Yesterday night my love had to work and I was all by myself. We try to spend our nights together and do so most of the time, so for me it was a bit strange to be all by myself the whole evening. But I tried to make the most out of it by treating myself to a nice evening of relaxing and pampering!

But first I went to see my street dogs. We have a lot of dogs at home that live with us, but there are also a few dogs that live in the street that I try to bring food and water every day. They live in an abandoned house not far from where I live. All three are very afraid of people and most of the time they do not come close but yesterday I was able to sit down with them and the largest of the three girls came over for some cuddling time. I was able to take their pictures and when I got home I got in touch with the local animal rescue, they are so overcrowded that they can not take in new dogs but they knew about these three, turns out another lady is feeding them as well.  I hope we will find a solution for them soon.

Helping animals is something I feel very passionate about. I haven’t eaten meat for a very long time because I cannot stand they way animals are treated in the meat industry. Although I am not the kind of person to try and tell people how to live their lives I do recommend everybody to inform yourself about where your food comes from. For those who are not familiar with the food industry the following documentary is a must see:

http://earthlings.com/

I know this documentary will make you feel very sad but I urge everybody to try and watch it, knowing the truth behind matters is a vital step in enabling change!

So back to my relax night, after I got home all sweaty and dirty I started out by organizing a few things around the house, a clean environment helps a lot when you try to clear your mind and relax. I took care of all the animals and plants and made sure everybody was well fed, watered and happy.

Then I took my time to sit down and work on this blog with a nice glass of Proseco… I have added a new post about what blogging means to me to ‘the relax and have fun’ category you can find it here.

Afterwards I took my time to walk and look at all the beautiful stars. There was a meteorite shower these past few days but because of the clouds we could not see it as well as on other places on earth. After walking I took my time to do yoga, outside on the porch with the half moon shining down on me, very peaceful.

By then it was already eleven o’clock, I called my love but he still had a lot of work to finish so I continued with my pamper plan and started running a nice warm bath. I was planning on taking time for face and hair mask and I decided to make the hair mask myself. My hair is really long and it is straight but a little bit curly in the back, but lately my locks almost look like rastas and that is not what I am aiming for. If I try to comb them the break so I felt it is time for kick-ass hair mask or to just cut it all of. This is not the first time I use a home made mask and I have been experimenting with recipes I found online for a few years already. 

This time I used:

One ripe avocado
Aloe gel from one large aloe leave
Two teaspoons of olive oil
One tablespoon of cacao Vaseline 
(this is a first try, I always use Vaseline gel on my nails and hands and it restores them very well so I thought let’s try it for the hair)

I see a lot of recipes on Internet that advise you to put in one raw egg but I have tried doing that and to be honest I do not like it, it makes the mixture very liquid and sticky and it drips all over the place.

So I put all my ingredients in my Magic Bullet blender: http://www.buythebullet.com/



I am not one to promote products but I am really very happy with this blender, it very well priced and it really does what it tells you. And besides making great hair masks it will make great smoothies as well as sauces and it grinds cheese, amazing!

So after blending everything into a smooth mix it looked like a smooth green pudding. I put it on my dry hair (I had washed my hair the day before and not used any styling products) and then went to my wonderful bath. Before getting in I cleaned my face and applied my Burt’s Bees facial mask. I do make a point out of trying to buy beauty products that are not tested on animals and I am more then willing to pay extra for that. I do realize Burt’s is now part of the Clorox company (and they do test on animals) but it is the only animal test free product I have been able to find here and I am convinced that I will send out a message as a consumer by putting my money into non-animal tested products and I know it will help companies realize that this is important for consumers. I believe that although it is a small voice as a consumer you have a choice and that is your voice!

I would love to find non-animal tested cleaning products as well and I will continue to look for them. You can always do better and aim even higher and that is what I will do!

My love sometimes says, “Maybe your best is not good enough”. In the past I would take this as an offense but now I finally start to realize what he means.  That my best could be better and that is right we can do better, better for ourselves by taking good care of ourselves and eating healthy food. We can do better by others by showing more empathy and we can do better by our planet by being conscience consumers and trying to help in any small way we can.  Think about it and think about what you can do better for yourself, for others and for out wonderful planet.

Mucho love and a big hug!

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Life with People

Dear all, good morning and a great day to everybody! My week started out fantastic. We had a very relaxed Sunday. I got up at 6.30 (in the morning!) which is not very common for me on Sundays, but I was full of energy and happiness. I took the dogs out for an early morning walk. Then I made a great healthy all grain pancake breakfast and I spent almost 4 hours taking care of my love. He really needed to relax but he was so wired from everything he had to do that he was finding it hard to enjoy his day off.

For me the ultimate way to help somebody relax is by using massage and reflexology techniques. I love touching my love’s body so for me it is a very pleasant experience as well. Really anyone can give massages and use reflexology, I found that it is a really special experience for you and your love to discover all these great instruments of wellness together. Start by reading about the techniques you want to use, get nice smelling massage oil and a quiet place to start practicing. Make sure you and the receiver are comfortable, not too cold, not too warm, you can set the ambience by lowering the lights and lighting a bit of incense. For me personally I prefer for my love and me to be naked while massaging I feel it enhances you connection (another great advantage of massaging each other in stead of going to a salon). So yes massaging and reflexology are all about connection, close your eyes and let your hands feel his or her body, when you first start, do not press to hard and check regularly with the receiver how it feels.  I have received quite a few massages so what I do while massaging is I try to imagine how the moves I make feel on the receivers body, I really try to imagine the sensations he is feeling and that way become mentally and spiritually closer to each other. Of course the other great advantage of giving your love a massage is that it will probably set the scene for other very nice couples activities… making love is one of the best ways to relax so my advice is to really enjoy and relax together, learn to understand each others bodies and reach a fantastic climax together.

If you want to catch up on your massage or reflexology techniques I found these really interesting websites and videos to tell you more:

http://www.how-to-do-reflexology.com/

Referring this account back to the theme of this blog, how to create change in your life. Well I found out that it is inevitable to share your life with people. My dream when I was little was to live on a deserted island with only animals, no people; I have always felt people were ruining this planet, killing each other, killing animals, killing mother earth I didn’t want anything to do with people.

Well then you grow up and you start to realize there are some people that are OK and there are a few that you love and in the end you have to deal with people to live your life, the good ones and the bad ones. As I tried to explain before I started this blog about my quest to make positive changes in my life. During our therapy sessions I discovered that it is really hard for me to show empathy towards people.

#Google -> Define: empathy -> The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

This is one thing I had to work on because it was really threatening the relationship with my love, one of the only people I really love to be with.

So to be honest I really had to teach myself to be more emphatically towards others, actually to change my mindset to not to think about myself in the first place. Weird thing is that I have always had seas of empathy towards animals but when dealing with people I would always go into a defense mode instead of a understand mode.

In my previous blogs I have told you about me trying to improve my communication skills by learning more about non-violent communication and being a better listener. Listening and understanding others is really important if you try to have empathy for the other. So besides improving my communication skills I also try just to be nicer in general. I have always been nice during short exchanges like with a teller at the shop, I am really a pleasant customer. But that is not what I mean. I try to be nicer to people around me by doing things for them without expecting anything is return.

If you are like me, not used to this, it something you have to think about, for example, last week I had to get some groceries for the office and while in the shop I saw some doughnuts, I was thinking, sweet a doughnut, just what I wanted. Then I thought, wait a minute; maybe the guys in the office would like a doughnut as well. Now in the past this thought would not have occurred to me, I would have just bought and eaten a doughnut myself without anyone knowing what they missed out on. But this time I bought 4 doughnuts, one for me and three for the colleagues and I waited until I got back to the office and hand them out before eating (I didn’t even protest when the chocolate sprinkled doughnut which I wanted was taken by someone else). It turned out one of our colleagues had left for the day so we had one doughnut extra, my first thought was, yummy one extra for me, and then I thought, no you can divide it in three and share this one as well, and so I did. And it felt really good!

It all sounds so simple but if you are not used to this mindset it is something you have to think about, but over time it will be more something you just do instead of something you have to tell yourself to do. Here, my example about Sunday comes in, I could have thought ‘what a great day for me to spent doing the stuff I want to do for myself’, but in stead, with no prior self-instructions, I felt that my love was really stressed and I wanted to do something to help him feel better and enjoy our Sunday together.

In conclusion I still believe there are a lot of evil people in the world and all the empathy in the universe will not help me understand how people can abuse and kill other human and non-human beings. I have been disappointed and betrayed by people whom I trusted. Looking back I realize these things have happened for a reason I was able to see these peoples true nature, to remove them from my life and now my life is better without them. It was a sort of cleansing that needed to happen, so if some one betrays you do not think about revenge and grief, be happy you found out who they really were before they did greater damage. And most importantly do not be afraid to give your trust to others, do not let one bad experience ruin your life.

Trying to be emphatically towards others will make your life happier, because you will receive back what you give. Just start out on a small scale and think about it, think about the people you feel deserve your empathy most and start by showing it to them, you will find these small steps will change your mindset and without trying you will start to be more emphatically towards all around you.

I’ll be back later with some great stuff about loosing weight, feeling good and being healthy in the “have fun and relax’ category of this site.

Love Life Peace!

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Life is Good

Good morning world, it’s another wonderful day on planet earth, at my location the sky is blue the sun is shining and its Friday! I’m listening to a great reggae artist I just recently discovered called Alborosie, on YouTube you can find a great gig which he gave at Rototom Sunsplash Festival in Spain (going there is definitely on the ToDoList, I’ll get back to that later on).

Yes, I am feeling very good about a lot of things. There is always so much stuff to get you down, on a global scale and in your personal life but I try to focus on the positive. I have been trying to tell you more about the small changes I have been trying to make in my life to create positive change.  Positive change in my attitude, in my relationship, in my energy level, in the way I feel about myself.

I earlier posts I have told you about what I have discovered about my own communication skills and how they would get in the way of my happiness. Today I want to tell you more about practical steps I have been taken to feel better. I love the Internet, I use it to look up anything I am interested in and for me the Internet is a great source of knowledge and inspiration.

One of the great tools I have discovered is a research program by a Dutch university; it’s a questionnaire that helps you assess you happiness. It is a free tool that helps you discover which things in your life make you happy and which make you unhappy. You can find more information about it on this page:

http://www.gelukswijzer.nl/happinessindicator/gw/

This tool helped me to think about the things that really make me happy and relaxed. I made a list of what makes me happy and it inspires me to try and spend more time doing what makes me happy. It was by doing this and really focusing on what makes my happy I discovered that it is really satisfying for me to spent time in the garden, I love to plant plants and flowers and grow vegetables and fruit. And now that I know this makes me happy it seems my mind wants to spent more time thinking about this and out of the blue I get great ideas for my garden and all kind’s of great garden improvements which I can easily realize.

I support the theory of the law of attraction. I’m pretty sure most people know what I am talking about, thanks to movies like the Secret. The basic idea is everything is made of energy, you, me, our thoughts; everything is made out of energy. Energy attracts energy. This means that positive energy attracts positive energy and negative energy attracts negative energy. Sounds simple right. I know I say this a lot, but really it is simple, the difficult thing is to understand it and trying to enable it in your own life.

It is not magic, it is not like when you get mail and there is a bill inside and you put all your thoughts into thinking that is a check inside the mail and abracadabra the bill turns into a check. But having a positive mindset and thinking about getting checks in stead of bills might help assure that the next mail will hold a check inside, while if you keep on thinking this is just the first of many bills to come, many bills is what you will get.

So making up your mind about what makes you happy and focusing on that in a positive way will help you attract the things that make you happy. It will start small, with one positive that happens in your life, this positive happening leads to you being happy and you giving out more positive energy and this will lead to more positive happenings.

It worked for me and it will work for you. Let me tell you about my own situation. Just a two months ago my love and I found ourselves in an acute financial crisis, three of his clients decided not to pay their invoices all at the same time and our bills were piling up to the point that they almost cut of our water and electric. We had so many assets but it was impossible to turn them into money in such a short notice. The car we wanted to sell broke down and every time we fixed one thing some other part of the car broke down.  We had a house on the market and the realtor had called that there were serious buyers, he was already drawing up the documents when they found out they could not get financing. We were totally stressed out and full of negative energy until we said, enough!

We sat down, watched the secret together, analyzed our complete situation, made a step by step plan and we asked for help. We got the help we asked for, and started working hard to accomplish everything we had planned. And little by little the situation started to turn around, the car that for no apparent reason did not want to start anymore out of the blue with no repairs done started again and was sold, the people who wanted to buy the house and who were turned down for financing called that another bank did want to finance them. It felt like this little positive wave had rolled into our lives and it just keep on growing bigger and bigger with positive happenings.

I believe it is not just by thinking that you can make things happen, of course you have to work for it and try and make things happen with a positive attitude. I have known about the law of attraction for a few years but as my example can demonstrate everybody can have a downturn, it is the way you handle it that makes all the difference.

So, accept for dealing with the here and now situations of your life, like solving an immediate financial crisis, I try to use the law of attraction as well to focus on large or long term things I want to accomplish in my life. One example of this is that every start of the year I make a ToDoList with things I want to learn or experience that year and every time I do something that’s on my list I mark it and it fills me with happiness. Going to Rototom Sunsplash Festival is on my list, although I’m won’t be able to go there this year I am sure it will happened next year or the year after so I do not worry if in one year I do not complete my list, the items I did not do just move on to the next year.

I feel there are two things, which are really important for you to be conscious about when you want the law attraction to work for you. The first thing is that you have to be honest, be honest to yourself about what you want.
Being honest to yourself is not easy, ask yourself, what is it I really want? There are so many things that you think you want because other people have them and it makes them happy but that does not mean these things will make you happy. So try and really think about what it is you really want and what will make you ahppy and be honest to yourself about it!

Secondly you have to be grateful for what you already have, try everyday to take a little bit of time and think about everything in your life that makes you happy, these do not need to be material things, it can be friendship, love, the weather, just anything that makes you happy in your life right now and turn these happy feelings into gratefulness. Try and share these feelings of happiness and gratefulness with the universe.

Personally I have always felt this was difficult because what is the universe? How to share something with the universe? But nowadays I just take a moment when I am outside and just stop close my eyes, I smile and feel the sun and the wind on my skin, breathe in deeply and I think about all the great stuff in my life which I am grateful for and when I breath out I imagine all these happy and grateful feelings being carried into the world with my out flowing breath.

I found a little wikihow page that has a little resume of what is explained in the movie the secret: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Law-of-Attraction

Of course this is a good start and once you have started you just try whichever way of working with the law of attraction feels good for you. Keep the positive energy flowing and keep the love growing

Ill try and write a small article about green smoothies for the “relax and have fun” category of this blog, this afternoon, if not Ill be back on Monday. Thanks for being here and letting me share with you, have a great weekend everybody and enjoy!

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Crap

Sometimes some days just start out wrong and it seems like everything is going, well what other way to say it then, crap, everything is crap.

Getting into work this morning there are loads of requests for my boss but he is not in yet and I have no idea when he will be there. When he finally gets there I find out that he took the rental car, which he had to hand in on Friday, and he kept it over the weekend. This means any hassle with the rental company is now my problem.

As soon as he gets in the phone starts ringing with angry customers who claim I said I would call them on Friday and I didn’t. I never made any such promise.

And then the cherry on top is that I have been trying to call my love all morning because he told me he had to get up early, so I raced home just before my boss arrived because I was afraid he was sleeping and he would miss an important job meeting but no the Prince is laying in bed urging me not to make so much noise because he was just waking up. Turns out his appointment was cancelled. Ohw yes and I hurt my big toe yesterday, severed half my toenail, blood and all… I said it Crap!

I was not going to write about any of this today; I had other plans for my blog. To write about my great weekend or my new plan about eating less chocolate.  But no today I have to write all this down to try and maybe get it out of my system. I’m still at a point where I think I should have stayed in bed. And it is Monday, I still have a whole week ahead and I am not looking forward to it.

So what now?

I don’t want to be in my current “everything is crap and the whole week will suck” mood.

How to get myself in a happier mood?

I started out with drinking one large glass of water, it may just be mental but I try and imagine the cool water cool down my anger and try and feel it flowing trough my whole body and cool me down.

Then I started out with the simple but urgent things I had to do for my job, It does not help my mood but once they are done I do feel a little bit more at ease.

I made a cup of ginger infusion for myself, I’m not sure it will improve my mood but my “better diet plan” for this week did include drinking ginger everyday so I will try and do that however bad I feel.

Then I sat down at my desk, started writing all this down while listening to one of my favorite heavy metal songs. There was a period in my life when all I would listen was heavy metal. I haven’t touched that playlist for a long while but today is a special day. Normally I listen to reggae, classic rock, techno or drum n bass. But as I said today a little bit of heavy metal will definitely pump my spirits. Its weird but I guess everybody has their own type of music for certain moods. It’s good to know what type of music makes you feel in what way. Here is my grumpy mood playlist:

Children of Bodom – Bodom After Midnight
(this is a band from the Far North, I’m guessing Finland, I particularly like this song, Im not sure about the lyrics but I just feel all my anger releasing when i listen)
Sepultura – Ratamahatta
(Sepultura, it’s a classic, from Brasil, I love this song, in Portuguese with its typical Brasilian drum beats, great video as well)
Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark
(Iron Maiden, the classic of classic metal, always a mood improver)

Finally I will start with my 5-HTP capsules again. I stumbled upon them a few months ago; my love had them in his cabinet. He never used them. I read that they would help with sleep and at that time it would always take me a while to fall asleep so I tried them and was quite happy about it. I take them on and of, one week yes two weeks not. They help me sleep and they improve my mood.

5-HTP is a chemical compound that is naturally produced in your body. It makes serotonin, an important hormone for regulating your mood. 5-HTP is also available as a natural dietary supplement, for use as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid. I buy it in capsules in my local health shop, its made from the seeds of a African plant (Griffonia simplicifolia). Dr. Oz can explain it a lot better: http://blog.doctoroz.com/is-this-right-for-you/5-htp-is-this-right-for-you

So I’m trough my playlist, I wrote down everything that bothered me and what I will do about it, and finished my tea so in conclusion I can tell you that I do actually feel better, less agitated and I’m sure I will kick ass this week.

Now that that is settled I will tell you about what I want to do this week. My love and I have a lot of stuff we have to organize, work wise and home wise and planning wise. So I will try and get everything organized and make a week planning.

For my own account I feel I have overdone it on the chocolate last week, I got a lot of zits to tell for it. And all this while I only ate dark chocolate! So this week I will try to eat less sugar and candy. I will drink a cup of ginger infusion everyday. There is so much food that is good for you (and so much more that is bad for you). But Ginger is really good for you, I really feel it helps cleanse my body.  So that is Ginger infusion for the daytime and a nice red bush infusion before bed. And as mentioned I will try and keep the chocolate and coffee to a low level this week.

I’m switching to a little bit of nice relax summer music

Hace Calor – Los Rodriguez
(it’s a really funny song, the Spanish sesame street made a version of it as well, hace calor means, it’s hot, it’s about summer and love, happy times)
Fito y Fitipaldis – La casa por el tejado
(another great Spanish song, it’s about life and love)

Ready to kick-ass! Not everything is perfect and nothing ever goes as planned, but I’m feeling up to the challenge. Have a great week everybody, Ill be back on Wednesday.

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Do not take it personally

One of the best discoveries I have made during my journey to change some of my own ways was this:

To not take it personally.

It sounds really easy, and it should be. But it is not. I have always known I am crap at communication, however it took me a really long time to realize that this was problem.

While at work I always try to think before I speak, I never take things personally and I never had any kind of issue with anyone. I guess this was because I would disassociate myself and as soon as I got into work I would step into my “office role”.

In my personal life, especially in my relationship this was different story. I felt that my home, the place I shared with my love was the only place in the world where I could be myself all the time, and for me that meant that I had to be able to do what I wanted at any time and everybody else had to deal with that. If anyone would try and talk to me about do things differently I would feel attacked and I would enter defense mode. Not a pretty place to be.

So after a few therapy sessions, our therapist and my love where able to inform me that I was not always right and that I could be a real mean pain in the ass. I kind of knew that already but I thought it was my right to defend myself. The thing is if someone loves you, you should try and accept that they are not trying to attack you. Probably they are just trying to talk about something that they would like you to do or change.

Feeling inspired by this knew realization that my attitude and my communication skills where the problem I decided to do some research. I got a flyer from my therapist about how to communicate without fighting and I Googled a few of the things she mentioned. I found this great book “non-violent communication” by Marshal Rosenberg. Basically it teaches you that you should try to listen with empathy while communication with others, for one part (I will get back later to the other part of you communicating clearly). It is not easy to apply this all day every day in everyday life because you have a lot of stuff that is embedded in your mind and it takes a lot of practice to change your ways but it does really improve everything if you try.

Actually I still have a long way ahead of me and I think I have to re-read the book a few times but for me the most practical point I got for this book is to not take stuff personally. For example, last Thursday got home from work. I was kind of on an edge with my love because he had been working late and I had seen little of him. I was tired but I still had to water the plants and after that I wanted to make dinner and try and have some quality time together. So while I was doing chores in the garden my love comes out of the office. He asks me “where are the red scissors? I know you used them this weekend.” I replied “I’m not sure, I will look for it as soon as I’m done here.” He said: “No forget about it, I already know where they are. But you always do this, you always use stuff I need and then just leave it laying around. I told you so many times already but you keep doing this.” (The book teaches you that using always and other generalizations in discussions is really not a good way of communicating, but I did not point that out at that moment)

So I reply: “ I’m sorry, you know I was busy in the garden this weekend and I used the scissors, I’m glad you found it and I’m sorry I left it laying around. I’ll try and take better care next time. Where did I leave it then?”

He: “I’m not going to tell you, you should just realize you always do this and it is really annoying. I never loose stuff and I always know where I leave everything but you always leave everything just laying around and never remember where you leave stuff and I always have to find everything you misplace.”

In the past this would have resulted in a few hours (or days) of fight. This time I just told myself: do not take it personally. Do not take it personally. Do not take it personally!  It is really hard, because as soon as someone addresses you all the time about stuff you do you kind of get the feeling they are trying to attack you and make you feel lousy. Well they are not, at least not trying to make you feel lousy, they just need you to change something and they are really bad at trying to convey this message.

So I was calm and listened, when he was done venting just told him again I was sorry, and he went back to work. Then I took my daily walk and breathed to calm myself down even more, repeating it is not personal. After a few minutes of walking and breathing I just had to laugh about my silliness with scissors and his silliness not wanting to tell me where they were.

Later that night my patience was tested again. It was during dinner, I was really hungry and eating quite fast. My love hates this; he chews eternally on every bite. I have always been a fast eater and when I am starving I just really want to and need to eat. So we sat down toasted our drinks and whished each other bon appetite.  I dig in and after three bites I say, hmm it’s really good. What do you think? And I keep on eating. He just keeps looking at me, I just feel he stopped eating and he keeps staring at me, I did not realize it at first because I was focused on eating but I just felt his eyes on me for a long while. So then I look at him and he has the most disapproving face in the world and tells me, do you have to eat like that? Why can’t you ever behave normally? Still being a bit sensible about the scissors episode I was at the verge of throwing down my plate leaving the table and walking away in tears. My appetite was gone and I was boiling inside. I put down my plate and took my glass of water and just drank and drank and drank and with each sip I thought to myself. It’s not personal. It’s not personal. It’s not personal!

After finishing the whole glass I breathed deeply and apologize. I took my plate and started eating a little bit slower. We had a nice conversation and I guess he realized he had been a bit of an ass because he tried to be really nice after this.

I still feel like my love can be a complete ass sometimes but by not taking it personally I have avoided so may conflicts, it saves so much energy and you feel so much more at ease.

Sometimes it is hard because it seems people just want to hurt you but if you try to understand why people say the things they say you will learn to understand what drives them to say these things, what they actually need you to do or change.

You get hurt all the time, and the people who you love can hurt you the most. The worst thing my love ever said to me was during a fight. I bought him a gift for his birthday. A piece of art, I really loved, I thought it was the most beautiful thing we seen together so I wanted to give it to him. During one fight he said that I am selfish that even the gift I gave him for his birthday he believed I actually bought it for myself. It still makes me sad to think about these things and I’m not sure if he meant that or just said it to hurt me but I try to not take it personally and search for what he really needs from me when he sais these things. I guess in that instance he wanted me to pay more attention to our relationship instead of spending so much time with things I felt where necessary. Actually at that moment the things I was putting al my attention towards where also things which I felt I was doing for our relationship. So you see while you think your partner (or anyone for that matter) understands you and the efforts you are making he or she can feel the complete opposite way and think that you are being selfish. Improving communication and not getting upset will solve these problems a lot faster then fighting over who is right and who is wrong.

Not everything in life has to be a fight, even when you think you are being attacked or hurt or treated unfairly, sometimes you just have to let go and remind yourself to not take it not personal. It was one of the hardest lessons I have ever learnt but it has resolved so many frustrations and brought so much peace to my life and I am really grateful for that.

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