Revive For a Vivid Life

Errors of perception are the very human gaffes that gain momentum and become the solecism of inaccuracy, misbelief, and misjudgment that cause an avalanche of delusion that inundate life.

Errors of Perception are, in other words, deficits of awareness and discernment, that gone unchecked, can lead to devastating results across the landscape of our lives.

One such error was recently corrected. I owned both the adult expression and the impact of my attachment style, holistically, right through the ever-loving radius of my life.

When it happens that I begin to feel emotional discomfort, particularly around ambiguity in certain relationship matters, I then feel a perceived lack of emotional safety.

This triggers anxious-avoidant and anxious-resistant attachment styles. I then experience difficulty regulating my emotions. The negatives reach a level of superfluidity and I’m not just “flooded,” I’m living in an emotional Atlantis. And this leads to catastrophes that are as life-altering as a California mudslide.

I think you get it— overwhelm, swamped, sunk, buried.

I was on my way home, looking at my shoes, and I had an epiphany after work—I’m a boxer after a fight.

It wasn’t about attachment . And it isn’t about a lack of drive and motivation. I’m not uninspired. It has nothing to do with procrastination, poor planning, not being proactive. It isn’t about fear, or anything—except one simple thing:

Being human.

The need is for recovery—as in after a boxing match.

Because like a lot of very human people, I’ve been fighting. I’ve gone the full 12 rounds. I need to recover now, not for work or relationships, but for me and my wellbeing. Because it’s all about having been a whole being in the ring, 12 rounds, never caught cold, bout after bout.

And what I authentically require is a strong recovery strategy, crucial both to my performance in the next bout of life and also to my overall growth. So, as in meditation, where we gently bring ourselves back to the breath, I need to return my focus to the point where I am a human being becoming more human.

There is really nothing outside of me that I need. I have everything I require. That’s how I define vulnerability—the authentic realization that I got this and when I don’t, nothing and no one will make any difference until I recover full awareness and responsiveness.

It can take a professional boxer as long as 3 months to recover after a 12-round fight. I’m looking at my shoes and realizing I’m beat up. My shoes are beat up. My life has gone 12 hard hitting rounds.

I’m not afraid or emotionally blocked or checking out. I’m fatigued and I need a recovery strategy.

I’m taking a cue from Lennox Lewis.

1. Do a long and slow cool down routine that includes stretching the imagination. I don’t need to stretch my abilities or knowledge or anything except creative thought.

2. Relax—for me that means enjoyment and refreshing the mind and spirit in whichever way I see fit.

3. Cook fun and healthy food on my Miami weekends.

4. Rest, sleep, and do or don’t do whatever else I find essential for recovery and healthy functioning.

5. Thinking through my process for myself on my terms and resting so I can be the most woke and most real for who I am today.

6. Disengage from social media—I don’t need any platitudes, motivational memes, inspirational quotes, gurus, perpetual positivity myths.

7. Recognize that to recover I need to do me. Right now I don’t need to be engaged in any external conceptions, convictions, or conclusions. I have my own essence, my own essentials if you will.

8. This is a time to repair and recuperate.

Revive for a vivid life.

There is no way to know what the next bout of life will demand, what it will bring into the ring. It’s all uncertain. And that’s why it’s so important to recover, then prepare, then get strong.

Prolific writer and author, Tove Jansson said, “All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured.”

It’s a statement of resilience, self-trust, and presence. It’s a statement that’s aware of nuance.

It is my statement of recovery

-to surrender to the rhythms of life rather than going round after round.

-to seek comfort in the interconnectedness of life and the deep interconnections within.

-to rest and recover self amidst the cycles of birth, growth, decay, and death.

As Tennyson said:

That which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

This is my recovery—To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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Worry: Small Things & Big Shadows

We attach worry to the future. We don’t worry about the past. We may regret it, but we don’t worry about it. And in the moment, we might feel anxious. So, maybe there’s a good reason why we’ve evolved worry.

We all know somebody who worries full-time. Their worry is sometimes a function of concern, sometimes a function of anxiety. Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow, as the Swedish proverb goes.

I stopped telling my worriers to stop worrying. Know why? Minimizing people’s feeling is unkind. Telling someone to stop feeling how they’re feeling is as thoughtless an act as it is demanding. We do it all the time. We say stuff like “Cheer up!” When we tell a depressed person to cheer up they’ll feel like their experience is an inconvenience to us. That’s just wrong.

Wayne Dyer calls worry a “useless emotion.” Okay, Wayne. Sorry, brah. I’ll just drop it then. Or, Wayne? Maybe your observation is useless. Now before you get too mad at me, lemme ‘splain.

We attach worry to the future. We don’t worry about the past. We may regret it, but we don’t worry about it. And in the moment, we might feel anxious. So, maybe there’s a good reason why we’ve evolved worry. It can spur our ability to map out, plan for, and engage in a thought process about how bad the future might really turn out. As long as you’re planning and thinking and not just reacting, you may be on to something positive.

So, sure, worrying won’t stop the bad things from happening. But it may spur you on to handle them. Worry, act, enjoy the good things. It’s okay. It’s one of those what it is to be human things.

Neuroscientists say that the human brain can’t distinguish between a real event and a vividly imagined one. This has tripped me up when I talk about a piece of writing. If I talk about it, I trick my mind into thinking I’ve already written it. Then it’s difficult, arduous even, to actually get the writing done.

With worry, what happens is that we build up the worst of the emotional habits. No. Not worry itself, but what I like to call “personal superstitions.” Professional worriers make a habit of entertaining an unfounded belief―that they’re not safe unless they worry. It’s superstition. I’ve dealt with a lot of mine and as a result, I worry a lot less.

It has taken the practice of self-awareness and meditation to come to my conclusions:

First, contentment is not insipid nor an uninteresting state of mind, at all.

Second, worry isn’t so stimulating that it deserves a huge chunk of my time.

But for some folks worry is stimulating! And yet, studies show that worriers tend to be intelligent, creative people. It takes imagination to dream up worries.

My way of diminishing worry has been to expand connection with others and not isolate as much as I am inclined to. Nothing like the light of day that engaging with others brings, and then voila! My worries diminish. When I can talk freely about what’s worrying me, I can gain some perspective―that it’s often just a small thing casting a big shadow.

I try not to be the smartest person in the room. My friends tend to be more rational than I, too. Sometimes. So, when I start to express worry, luckily I’m not told to stop. We’re having a conversation and I get to make a more rational choice for myself in the moment. Try that. It may just help those worries subside.

These 7 Life Hacks Will Help You Get Ready for 2017 Like a Boss

Give yourself some credit. You done good. Say goodbye to 2016 with a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

My grandmother was always saying, “Count your blessings.” I just don’t remember hearing her complain. One of my dearest friends, Sandra, always says―at least once a day―“Be grateful.” She is consistently looking for an opportunity to give recognition and share appreciation.

Basically, these positive women were saying the same thing. Express gratitude. And why? Because you count blessings, not ill fortune. Misadventure isn’t for calculation, it’s for edification. It’s for opportunity―not least of all taking the opportunity to look in the mirror.

What you do is you take a good hard look at your successes. You emulate and reproduce success. You learn from failures. You take an inventory and magnify your strengths so you can diminish deficits.

You don’t want to sit too long in a success. You want to take actionable steps and keep moving. You don’t want to sit in a failure either. Wallowing in emotional paralysis is not going to reduce a deficiency. Learning sure will.

Self-help author, Melody Beattie says, ‘Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.’ Wallowing never accomplished that. And yet, I can say in all sincerity, I’m grateful for my many failures.

That’s right. And why? Because being grateful for the failure unlocks it and opens up acceptance. Gratitude in failure unlocks the lesson and unlocks breakthroughs, momentum, and improvement. When we adopt the attitude that failing isn’t stagnation or diminishment, we can make headway and elevate our experience.

It’s part of an equation―it gets a bit algebraic, but don’t freak out―because we’re adding good stuff, embracing impermanence, forgiveness, and the benefits of moving on.

Oh. And look at that! We’re moving on from 2016.

  • What choices are you going to make?
  • In what ways can you set yourself up for growth?
  • What person, place, or thing do you need to let go of?
  • What strength will you expand?
  • Where’s your level of acceptance and non-attachment?
  • What are you gonna do to infuse more gratitude into your life?

These 7 life hacks will help you get ready for 2017 like a boss:

  1. Express your gratitude.
  2. Emulate and reproduce success.
  3. Magnify your strengths.
  4. Take actionable steps to move forward.
  5. Keep learning. If you fail, it’s for edification, not calculation.
  6. Calculation is for counting blessings.
  7. Give space for gratitude to unlock the lesson.

Give yourself some credit. You done good. Say goodbye to 2016 with a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. I’m so anticipating a new life and it comes with not just a clean slate, but with lessons learned. Are you with me?