Sunday, January 31, 2010

"SAY CHEESE" - JANUARY

THE WONDER-BOY - 118/365

"Oh, it's no big deal...I can do that for you. I'll do it right after I finish painting the house, building a fire pit and hand-waxing the car. And by the way, would you like to come for dinner?"

My Reflection:

Once I get on a roll I like to see just how many things I can do in one day and live to tell about it. I also have fantasies of putting my feet up, clicking on the TV and giving myself a manicure as some kind of reward for accomplishing such an amazing "to-do" list. Strangely enough this never happens. Instead of feeling tired but content, I usually end up feeling wired and unable to stop - kind of like a wind-up bunny with a failed "off" button.

It's a tough lesson, but I'm learning that the "joy of living" doesn't happen at the end of the day after accomplishing a mountain of tasks but rather by finding joy in the task at hand.

Question:
How many things do you try and do in one day?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

THE DONOR - 117/365



















"I've given away almost everything I have...there's not a lot left but go ahead and take my lips too...no one's listening to what I have to say anyway."

My Reflection:

Is it the fault of others when I feel I'm not being heard? Or, have I simply given away too much of my own integrity by not listening to myself?

Question:
How much do you give away?

Friday, January 29, 2010

THE PRETENDER - 116/365

"Who am I? You're guess is as good as mine...I've had this mask on for so long I have no idea who is underneath."

My Reflection:

Sometimes I wear a mask, pretending to be something I'm not - whether it be confident, happy or interested. I may do it to buy some time, be polite or shift my energy from negative to positive.

Whatever the reason may be, I've learned that the opportunity for a mask to dissolve will come more readily when there is conscious awareness that it exists.

Question:
When do you find it necessary to pretend?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

THE INVESTIGATOR - 115/365

"I think you are withholding information and if I'm going to make a judgment about you I need ALL of the information not just some of it. So, that's why I'm not giving up until I know EVERYTHING."

My Reflection:

I'm beginning to understand what people mean when they say they don't want to know so much. It seems the less I know the less tempted I am to judge what someone else should be doing.

I have found that the more I think I know about another person's business, the less I understand about my own.

Question:
Whose business are you in?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

THE WANNA-BE-NOTICED - 114/365

"I try really hard to make a difference but no matter how hard I scream..."LOOK AT ME...LOOK AT WHAT I'M DOING"...no one notices - it's as if I don't exist. Of course I don't scream out loud that would be very embarrassing."

My Reflection:

I often say if I can make a difference my life will have meaning...but sometimes I wonder if I really want to make a difference or I just want to be "noticed" for making a difference? And of course my ego wants it to be a BIG difference.

When I think about it, the opportunity to make a BIG difference doesn't come around that often and can also come with a fair amount of "self-destruction."

But what if I believe that opening a door, smiling at a stranger or giving someone a hug is as important as being recognized for "saving the world?"
In the end, perhaps the smallest actions we take every day are what end up making the biggest difference.

Question:
How are you saving the world?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

THE ENFORCER - 113/365

"Why do you say you'll do things you have no intention of doing? The garbage is overflowing, the counters are dirty, your underwear is on the floor and the toilet seat is guess where? Yes...UP!

It's a good thing I'm around to point out what you're NOT doing otherwise you'd not do it and get away with it."

My Reflection:

Change is complicated. Actions and reactions are ingrained like a grooves in a record and every time that record plays, it follows the same path.

I'm learning that if I really want to change the way I respond, I must first understand "why" it's important - "what" it will mean if I do and what it will mean if I don't. And after I've answered those questions I have to ask myself the most important one...do I still "want" to make the change and if so what would the "benefits" look like?

This sounds complicated and it does require some thought - but I've found that trying to change the grooves on an existing record isn't really possible - the only way to make a change is to cut a new one.

Question:
How do you change your behavior?

Monday, January 25, 2010

THE WISHY-WASHY-ONE - 112/365

"Uhhhhhh....I don't know. It's possible I might want to do that...but maybe not. I don't know. Not sure. Just can't say...maybe yes, maybe no. Hmmmm....let's see. ........Okay...YES...YES...Yes...yes..y....wellllllll...maybe not. Uhhhhhhh...I don't know."

My Reflection:

What is so hard about making a decision or taking a stand? Is it really THAT important to be right? I guess the answer is "yes"...why would I want to be wrong?

On the other hand, why not just accept that there are consequences to EVERY decision and what may seem like a bad consequence for today, might possibly transform into something good tomorrow?

Perhaps the best decisions are the ones made with the highest intention and the least expectation - that way, no matter what happens I'll know I made the decision with integrity.

Question:
How do you make decisions?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

THE MODIFIER - 111/365
















"What do you mean this isn't what you thought it would be? It's exactly what we talked about...EXACTLY...with just a few minor changes - so now it's just a "different exact" that's all."

My Reflection:

Agreements can break for a variety of reasons - as life unfolds, circumstances change or things happen to alter the feasibility of an original plan. Many times, the change can actually be for the better - leaving both parties satisfied with a more favorable outcome.

The problem isn't necessarily with the change but with the lack of communication about the change which can leave mistrust in its wake. I'm learning that when there's an "agreement there's also a "partnership" and for each partner satisfaction may not necessarily take place with a successful "outcome" but rather rather "how" the outcome is achieved.

Question:
How do you "modify" your agreements?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

THE FAKER - 110/365

"I'm not faking I'm just pretending...there's a difference. If I was "faking", the truth would be something other than what I'm portraying but "pretending" means I'm just making up my own truth - that way I get to change it if I want to and "pretend" something else."

My Reflection:

I'm amazed how easy it can be to shift my reality depending on what I believe to be true. The key word is "believe" because without belief I'm either faking or pretending or hoping or wishing which means I haven't yet convinced myself. Is "faking it" kind of like trying on the new reality until it really IS reality? Or...is it just a disingenuous way of presenting myself to the world?

I don't have the answer to these questions but I do know that when I "fake it" to cover up what I believe versus what I intend my belief to be in the future, I end up burying the belief deeper into my consciousness.

Perhaps in order to change my belief I must simply hold what is "true" for today, while taking actions that will create a different one for tomorrow.

Question:
How do you change your reality?

Friday, January 22, 2010

THE HIND-SIGHTER - 109/365

"I saw that one coming...I tried to tell you but you wouldn't listen...if you had listened to me we wouldn't be in this mess. The hand writing was on the wall...plain as day for all to see....everyone but YOU obviously."

My Reflection:

Like everyone else, I try and figure out the future and then plan my actions accordingly. The problem is, the future has a mind of it's own and doesn't always see eye to eye with the present.

I'm learning that depending on how I view them, I have the power to make all outcomes eventually favorable. And that perhaps the ability to transform my future by making peace with the present, is a much greater gift than making accurate predictions.

Question:
How accurate is your "hindsight?"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

THE WAIT...ER - 108/365

"I'm waiting...I'm waiting to see what YOU do...then I'll figure out what I'M going to do. What I do will depend on what you do first because if I go then you don't go in the direction I'm going I won't know where to go next. So...I'm just going to wait."

My Reflection:

Taking care of my own needs will sometimes require I head off in a direction that may or may not be right for others. It can be scary to move on and not know if anyone is going to follow. And if I'm feeling particularly insecure, I may even accuse others of facing the wrong way.

But if I'm being honest, I'll admit that while we all have an inner compass, "true north" can be different for everyone and that as we stand in the landscape of our own lives, there's a possibility we may simply be facing a different direction.

Question:
What direction are you facing and what are you "waiting" for?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

THE CRITIC - 107/365

"I think you should be happier - you're just not happy enough in my opinion. You don't take care of yourself either - you let people take advantage of you and tell you what to do. You should be stronger...just tell people to mind their own business."

My Reflection:

Lives are complicated and there are rarely easy solutions to problem situations. It's easy to look at another person's life and think I have the answer but I'm not walking in their shoes...I don't feel what they feel and I don't see all of the prior history that goes into creating their current reality. So, how can I presume to have enough accurate information to make an accurate assessment? I can't.

I'm learning that unless a situation involves me, the only things I should critique are hotels, restaurants and movies.

Question:
Who's your worst critic?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

THE BEWILDERED - 106/365

"If you don't mind, I'd like to hide behind you for a while. You can be me...no one will know the difference...really. When they ask you a question just tell them you don't know....or you're confused or you're not sure...that's what I do and it works every time."

My Reflection:

Sometimes life throws a curve ball - one I'm not expecting and in that moment the world I'm living in isn't quite the same. While certain things are familiar, my responses to them are different and that leaves me feeling a little unsure of myself.

That's when I feel like hiding - not exposing myself to the unfamiliar territory. But isn't that just what I need to do in order to become familiar with the new terrain?

I'm learning that with every "curve ball" comes an opportunity to become a more conscious human being and when I hide, I'm letting that opportunity go by.
Perhaps I simply need to remember that only after the unfamiliar has been welcomed will it present the gift it came to give.

Question:
How do you handle "curve balls?"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

THE SNEAK - 105/365


"Nothing is going on...nothing is happening. Well, okay... maybe something did happen but I didn't tell MYSELF it was happening so if I didn't tell myself then it as far as I'm concerned it didn't happen."

My Reflection:

To fool myself is the worst kind of betrayal and yet that's what I do when I try and pretend something isn't bothering me. It's like trying to pretend I don't have a headache when my head is pounding or that the fire detector battery isn't beeping. I start out pretending not to notice, then I notice but pretend not to care but in the end, I always end up admitting the truth to myself so I have no idea why I don't just do it in the first place.

Perhaps learning to be true to myself comes from finding the courage to acknowledge the feelings I'm pretending not to have.

Question:
What do you try and keep from yourself?

THE WANDERER - 104/365


Where am I now? I'm neither here nor there - I'm somewhere in-between. I guess you could say I'm on my way somewhere...but I'm not exactly sure where that might be. I guess I'll know when I get there...........or will I?"

My Reflection:

Striving to achieve something in my life is not a bad idea unless it gets in the way of enjoying my life as it currently is. If I'm always striving to get "somewhere," I miss the opportunity to feel the peacefulness of the present.

Perhaps I need to stop wandering around looking for adventure and instead seek the joy of NOW.

Question:
Where are you?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

THE ZOO-KEEPER - 103/365

"Why do I have to take care of EVERYBODY - can't they just take care of themselves for a change? They're always yelling and screaming about something - it's just a zoo around here.... I'm getting a headache."

My Reflection:

Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than discord between other people. But trying to be the one managing that, can feel like trying to get the monkeys and tigers in the zoo to play together in the same cage.

I'm wondering if some people just aren't meant to get along. And when I try and "fix things" between them, all I end up doing is taking away the opportunity for them to learn something about themselves and come to a better conclusion than I could ever bring about.

Perhaps I need to learn to be with my own "discomfort" before trying to manage the "harmony" I think someone else should be experiencing.

Question:
How do you keep the peace?

Friday, January 15, 2010

THE TIME-THIEF - 102/365

"I specialize in stealing "time" - I like to think it's an art but really it's not that difficult. I just hang around people who think they have plenty of it and leave it unattended. They never suspect me of stealing it - they just think they never had enough of it in the first place."

My Reflection:

"Time" is an illusion - the MORE I think I have, the less I use it wisely. On the other hand, the LESS I think I have, the more I worry about HOW I'm going to use it. It's a mess.

Maybe "time" isn't something to "think" of after all but rather to be "aware" of when it's slipping away.

Question:
How much "time" do you think you have?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

THE PHANTOM - 101/365

"I'm an illusion...you think you see me but you don't. You just WANT to see me so you do. Now, if you didn't want to see me you might see me anyway depending on whether or not I WANTED you to see me.

I know, I know...it's complicated - but what do you expect from an illusion?"

My Reflection:

If I want to believe something is true, whether it be positive or negative, I'll always find the evidence I need to support my belief.

I know I have the power to shift my reality by shifting my focus but trying to force that shift doesn't seem to work - I only end up in an endless, positive/negative loop.

Perhaps in order to create the "optimum" reality - I simply need to look less for evidence to support my beliefs and instead ask myself WHICH "reality" I would like to see.

Question:
What's your reality?


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

THE DAUNTED - 100/365

"If you ask me...365 heads are a long way to go. I'm only number 100...just imagine trying to come up with 265 more. Just the thought of it makes me nauseated."

My Reflection:

I've learned that the only thing that can make me feel overwhelmed is my own mind. If I let it get away with thinking only of "outcomes," I'll never find the courage to do anything because it will give me every possible reason for failure.

The purpose of this project has been to NOT THINK but to simply "create" - to NOT JUDGE but to simply "observe."

Have I been successful? Not all of the time. But learning to trust my creative process takes practice and a willingness to fail - be discouraged - and DO IT ANYWAY.

Thanks for YOUR encouragement along the way!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

THE ENCOURAGER - 99/365

"ABSOLUTELY, I definitely think you should go for it...dive in....jump in with both feet...put your heart into it...give it your all....knock yourself out....and don't worry...I'll be right here to pick up the pieces when it doesn't work and you fall apart."

My Reflection:

Just like most people, I like feeling needed. Not TOO needed but just enough to feel like I've done some good or have been a part of someone's success.

I've learned, however, that I don't have the answer to whether or not something will succeed or fail. And isn't it known that today's failure can actually be the key ingredient for tomorrow's success?

So, perhaps I should remind myself of the importance and need to encourage the attempt - not necessarily the outcome.

Question:
How do you give "encouragement?"

Monday, January 11, 2010

THE IMMPOSTER - 98/365

"I am who you think I am not. I'm not who you think I am.

I am who I think I am but not who I'd like to be."

My Reflection:

I've been trying to get to "know myself" for years and every time I think I've figured myself out, I do something that surprises me and makes me realize that I am endless possibilities depending on the circumstances.

So, perhaps to "know myself" simply requires a sense of humor and a willingness to "accept myself" whomever that "self" may be.

Question:
Who are YOU?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

THE PRAISE SINGER - 97/365

"I'll make you a deal...I'll sing your praises if you sing mine. I'm a really good "praise singer" too...in fact there's no one better.

What do you mean you don't need to sing mine because I'm already doing it?"

My Reflection:

Receiving praise can make me feel good AND uncomfortable all at the same time. I tell myself I don't need it but when I don't get it I wonder where it is. And then, when I receive it should I give it back?

Perhaps I'll feel more settled when I learn that "praise" is simply "appreciation" that needs to be graciously received or honestly given.

Question:
How do you deal with "praise?"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

THE CRINGER - 96/365













"Oh please, don't make me look....PLEASE? I just don't want to witness this - you can "tell" me about it later but I don't want to "see" it. On second thought, don't even tell me about it."

My Reflection:

Sometimes I don't want to see or hear about things I think I may not be able to control. If I'm powerless to help then why feel the pain or anger the situation evokes?

Perhaps in some situations, the "courage" to open my eyes to "see" and my ears to "listen" is the only "doing" that is required.

Question:
What makes you "cringe?"

Friday, January 8, 2010

THE CHEATER - 95/365
















"My eyes are closed...I can't see a thing...promise. No, really - I'm not looking...I wouldn't do that...I swear!"

My Reflection:

While I'm not a "cheater," I suppose there are times when I cheat myself. "Oops...where did the time go...just can't make it to the gym today."

While this isn't going to kill me, the fact that I'm pretending I don't know any better eats away at the fabric of my integrity leaving me with a sense of uneasiness and mistrust.

Perhaps the next time I try and fool myself or let "time slip away", I'll remember that to build "trust" requires a willingness to tell the "truth" and that one can't exist without the other.

Question:
How do you "cheat" yourself?


Thursday, January 7, 2010

THE MINIMIZER - 94/365


"Ohhhhhh...I'm FINE...really I am...no need to worry about me...no need at all. Yes, it's true I may never walk again but I'm feeling much better and I'm sure that any day now the little toes growing on the bottom of my feet are going to just fall off and I'll be as good as new."

My Reflection:

Sometimes I like to think that something will just go away if I pretend it's not bothering me. Like thinking the music has stopped playing because I inserted earplugs or that the elephant has left the room because I put a bag over my head.

But I'm learning that when I ignore my feelings, to get my attention, the music plays louder and the elephant becomes destructive. Perhaps the key to living in "peace" is to simply allow my feelings to become "music to my ears."

Question:
How do you deal with the elephant in the room?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

THE SHY GUY - 93/365


"I'm going to hang out here for a while until I think it's safe - once I think it's safe enough I might put my big toe in to test it out - if it passes the "toe-test" then I might wade in..........I said MIGHT."

My Reflection:

I'm always looking for ways to increase the size of my comfort zone which I have to admit isn't very big. I've learned over the years that if I'm going to give something a try I have to dive into the water...no "toe-testing" for me - that only ends up scaring me to death.

It's usually the fear of failure that keeps me in my zone of comfort. So, I have to ask myself questions like..."what's the worst that can happen...or do you think you'll die if this doesn't work out?" Die of embarrassment maybe but isn't that what getting out of my comfort zone is all about? To feel less than perfect - to feel uncomfortable - to feel embarrassed ....and to DO IT ANYWAY.

Perhaps my comfort zone expands to the degree I am willing to feel "human."

Question:
How do you push beyond your comfort zone?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

THE WANNA-B 92/365


"I wanna be famous. I wanna be RICH and famous. I wanna be liked. I wanna be ENVIED and liked. I wanna be HAPPY and I can only be happy if I'm rich, famous, envied and liked."

My Reflection:

There are times when I catch myself in a "wanna-b" state but I have found that unrealistic goals are a set-up for fear, failure and unhappiness. To achieve anything worthwhile requires dedication, motivation and a hunger to learn that outweighs the potential for failure.

Question:
What do you "wanna-b?"

Monday, January 4, 2010

THE FRIENDLY GHOST - 91/365















"Don't be scared, I'm here to help...honest I am. Sometimes, a person has to be PUSHED a little and that's what I'm going to provide for you...a little "push" - okay maybe a BIG push but you'll feel grateful once you've gotten over the shock."

My Reflection:

Day to day life routines can become so comfortable that the thought of doing something different is a little scary. But I'm starting to learn that life isn't so much about being "comfortable" as it is about learning to be comfortable with "change." If I fear change then, of course, I avoid making changes and if I stop making changes - I stop living.

For me, THE FRIENDLY GHOST is a good reminder that if I want the tapestry of my life to be filled with richness and color - I must find the courage to weave "change" into the fabric.

Question:
How do you embrace change?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

THE DO-GOODER - 90/365

"I'll be glad to mow your lawn tomorrow - right now I'm helping my aunt clean out her closets - after that I'm picking up a friend at the airport and taking her on an all night city tour."

My Reflection:

I've asked myself how people who are constantly "doing" for others ever find time to "do" for themselves?

And then I remember how good it can feel when I put another first and it makes me wonder if "time" simply expands to the degree it is graciously "given" to someone else.

Question:
How do you "share" your time?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

THE STORYTELLER - 89/365


"A wild cougar was terrorizing the neighborhood - overturning garbage cans, killing pets and leaving gifts of fertilizer on our lawns. No one knew what to do so I took matters into my own hands. Wearing this disguise, I hid behind a tree and waited for just the right moment to scare the beast. You can't even imagine how frightened he was when I jumped out and yelled..........."BOO."

My Reflection:

Sometimes I wish I had more exciting stories to tell like killing a wild boar in Africa or climbing the highest peak in the Himalayas. But the truth is, the longer I'm around, the more I realize that it's often the little things that I find most meaningful. A loving conversation, a laugh-out-loud moment with friends or just some quiet time to myself.

Perhaps in the end, the most "interesting" life isn't the one filled with the most "dramatic" events but rather the one filled with the most "meaningful" moments.

Question:
What "meaningful" stories fill your life?

Friday, January 1, 2010

THE INSTIGATOR - 88/365


"I thought she was your friend - I mean if she's your friend why didn't she ask you to join her book group? Do you think you might have done something to make her mad and this is her way of punishing you? I was just wondering."

My Reflection:

I've always placed a lot of value in the ability to ask questions but asking without access to a direct answer can lead me astray. That's when I find myself asking the same question over and over - each time trying on a different response.

If I'm being honest, I'll admit that I do this "looping process" when I'm not ready to face what I might learn and that questions are best asked when I'm willing to hear the answer.

Question:
How do you seek the answers to your questions?