Posts tagged change

"The Fly In The Kitchen Window" When the going gets tough, the tough get going!


They say that the definition of insanity…is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results. Hmm… Perhaps…I AM a little bit insane, because I am very GOOD at doing the same thing over and over again. I was born in the Chinese year of the Ox. Go figure!

Then again…I do believe insanity runs in our Louisiana family line…I’ve heard of my great grandfather’s irrational temper and ugly nature…I’ve witnessed my brother’s often, un-realistic approach to getting what he wants in life…I’ve been the target of my mother’s narcissistic nature of, “I love you…I hate you…I love you!”….and of course, I acknowledge my own bull-dog nature of not wanting to let go of something once I’ve latched onto it.

How DO we know when good ‘ol perseverance has turned into stupidity? As I sit pondering this thought while sipping my morning coffee…I silently contemplate the nasty black fly throwing itself at the kitchen window over and over again in its’ desperate attempt to escape to the flowers and trees outside. Feeling a twinge of embarrassment, as I am reminded of the hundreds of times when I performed the same mindless ritual…I grab up the fly swatter and SMACK! One less thoughtless moron in the world!

As I head to the counter top to get a paper towel to clean up the evidence of destruction, a couple of thoughts leap into my head… “What WAS I thinking all those years?” “Especially when the KISS theory (keep it simple, stupid!) is easily the best way to keep perseverance from turning into stupidity.” Of course…it took ME about 40 years to finally learn that! “MORAN!” I exclaim to myself as I wipe the window clean once again

Perhaps it’s because I’m a woman that I constantly want to complicate things. It’s not good enough for me to know that I need to put water in the horse tank. I need to know how much water was in there yesterday, and if it was close to being empty…why did my boyfriend not notice this and fill it up when he fed the horses last night. And just why IS the hose lying out across the lawn in the hot sun…baking itself to a shorter life-span? And surely…there must be an easier way to get the hay droppings out of the surface of the water…I mean…why can’t horses drink without slobbering and dropping their feed all over the place!!!

Ahhh….there are times I would give much to have the mind of a man. They don’t stop and ponder all of these issues. They either see the tank is empty and fill it up…or they never notice it at all! How simple! And much less stressful than what goes on in MY mind.

No wonder some men are absolute masters at the kiss. That’s their secret to blocking out our multitude of thought waves and getting us women to stop thinking for a few minutes. Fortunately…I finally learned to use the KISS to my advantage also. Not that I can do it all the time…but when I can, dang, it sure beats banging my head against the kitchen window!

KISS…aka… “Keep it simple, stupid!”…Has been my censoring device for several years now. When I begin to realize that I’m not making the progress that I should be making, I now take a step back and take another look at what I’m doing. Is there an easier way? Is there a more effective way? Do I need to do EVERY LITTLE THING I’m doing RIGHT NOW?

“Hmm…perhaps, I can break the problem down to it’s simplest form…and build up from there. Kind of like…if I need water in the horse tank…just go get the hose and turn the water on…instead of spending needless wasted energy fuming and analyzing things that are not pertinent to the immediate problem!”

Of course…since I absolutely seem to LOVE fuming and analyzing needless things and I’ve spent the majority of my life doing just that…I’ve really had to work hard at re-wiring my brain to force myself to KISS instead of shit bricks. Ahh…welcome to my world of the ‘ox!’

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INTERNAL POWER BEGINS WITH A POSITIVE MIND-SET!


I find that when we seek to improve upon our sense of self…we often turn automatically to the external tools of making us feel better…getting our hair done at the beauty salon, going to lift weights at the gym, taking that cool Harley out for a ride, buying/cooking/eating delicious and satisfying foods, and sometimes in my case…going shopping. Hey…she who dies with the most shoes, wins! Right? Aghh! (buzzer sound). Wrong!

Now if only my ‘natural’ instinct was to work from the ‘inside-out,’ life would become much easier. My life would be filled with much more peace, power and happiness. But then, I’m the Chinese ‘Ox.’ I often put my shoulder into that ‘yoke,’ and choose to do things the hard way. Fortunately, since I am aware of my shortcoming…I now to work at changing my life-long pattern of behaviors so that I can achieve higher levels of love, satisfaction, and sense of ‘self.’

It’s my personal experience and feeling, that everything we want and desire is out there in the universe waiting for us to tap it on the shoulder and say, ‘Come here.’ It’s my personal belief, that ‘God’ wants all the best for us. So then…why do we not walk on that bed of roses, if what we want is so very possible? I believe it’s a negative behavior pattern learned from years and years of using ‘external’ power to try and satisfy our internal needs. Question is….how can we change this and tap into the riches of the world that awaits us?

I have discovered that a positive mind-set is the first step we can take to help ourselves.

“Nothing will ever change without movement!” I’m sure you’ve heard that quote. And it’s so true. Believe me I know. Because I did NOTHING the first 25 years of my life to change that which I needed to change! I ran from anger, confrontation, sorrow, and rejection. Heck…I even ran from opportunity because I was afraid I might fail! I refused to ‘step-up’ and take my place in this world, because I was too afraid to take a risk…too afraid to accept a challenge. I was too afraid to even hope. It wasn’t until I reached an emotional crises in life, that I finally began to realize that ‘this’ was no way to live! And so it was…that I discovered that ‘change’ begins with the power of the mind.

In High School, I was pretty much considered a ‘loner.’ I was tall and thin to the point of bony. I was extremely introverted and spent the majority of my free time in the library with my nose buried in a book. And on the special holidays that many kids would get carnations or cards in their lockers…I would often send myself a couple, just to make it look like I had some friends too.

I imagine that things would’ve remained pretty bleak for me throughout High School, if I hadn’t of discovered, that I had a real talent and opportunity to be successful in the track and field event of the high jump. Discovering that I was actually ‘good’ at something began to transform my soul…and with the emotional support of my new Foster parents, I began to train and compete. It didn’t take long before my self-esteem and self-confidence began to grow. Soon I was interacting with other students and participating in after-school activities. I had found a tiny star within myself and I was learning how to make it shine.

By my senior year in high school, I was a different woman. I had fallen in love, and had a fiancé. I had a good job, and I had started dressing nice and taking care of myself. Because of the high jump, I had received a scholarship offer and a training sponsorship with a top Stanford University coach. By the time I graduated High School, I moved out to live with my fiancé, and started taking college prep classes at the local Jr. College. I felt ready to take on the world.

But then, everything turned upside down once again as I was suddenly hit with the emotional whip-lash of being pulled into interacting with my mother (who was recovering from yet another suicide attempt…which she had done in the effort to pull me back into her life), and then I was hit with the news that my grandfather had just hung himself.

To try and keep my sanity, I shut myself off from my emotions, and retreated into the safety of my day-dreams and the sanctuary of hard training. And as I trained with that top coach, I began to day-dream of what it would be like to go to the Olympics and win an Olympic Gold medal. Deep down inside…I just knew that if I could win an Olympic Gold Medal, then I would really ‘BE’ someone. Then I would truly be happy. But just as the going got tough, I let my old fear of failure get the best of me. I couldn’t bear the thought of what would happen if I tried my best, and discovered that, once again, I wasn’t good enough.

It was just like that old saying…that the higher up the ladder you climb, the further you have to fall. And I had fallen so many times before, that I had become deathly afraid of the pain I would feel when I hit the ground. So one day, when I was frustrated and discouraged, I gave up. I just turned and walked away from my dream. I never even said good-by or thank you to my coach. I was too afraid to face his reaction.

Only something unusual happened that day. For the very first time, after spending years running away from any pressure or conflict, I realized what a coward I was being. Hey…I had the talent, and for the first time, I had someone supporting me. It was ‘possible’ that I would’ve been able to make my dream come true. But, now…I would never know. Because I had just given up without even trying! That thought settled in my brain and began to haunt my heart…as the rest of my world began to fall apart.

On the surface, I presented my survivalist ‘game-face’ that everything was just fine. But stressed out with inner turmoil, and emotionally shut-down, my relationship with my fiancé quickly deteriorated and fell apart. I was on my own once again.

To hide from my disappointment and anxiety, I quit college, buried myself in work and began training in the Martial Arts. To everyone else, my life seemed just fine. But deep inside, I was falling apart at the seams. I didn’t return phone calls, or follow through on things. I avoided any and all emotional connections. I didn’t even go to visit my grandmother whose health was failing…even though I knew it was the last chance to see her. I was going through life like a zombie…keeping myself busy, and trying not to think about anything, or feel anything. It felt like I was all alone in the ocean, slowly sinking in a rickety boat full of tiny little holes. I knew that I needed to rescue myself before it was too late…but I didn’t know how.

Just when I was about to capsize, my salvation arrived with my newly found talent in the full-contact fighting sport of Taekwondo. I had been training in the Martial Arts for about five years at this time, and had just started competing in sparring matches. Placing second in my first National competition in 1986, I discovered that this sport was to be introduced in the upcoming ‘88’ Olympics in Seoul, Korea. The revelation, that here was my second chance to make my Olympic dream come true, hit me square between the eyes.

At that moment, it became startling clear to me that I could not just walk away again. I’d been given a second chance, and by God, I’d make the most of it! I was tired of running away from everything. I knew that I needed to draw the line and make a stand. So I swore to myself, that this time, no matter what, I would take this dream and make it come true. And if I failed…well at least I would know that it wasn’t because I didn’t give it 100% effort. I would know that, for once in my life, I did not let my fears get the best of me! Like a drowning person clinging to a life-raft, I made the determination to save myself by clinging to my long standing dream of Olympic Gold.

So at the age of 25, I took the little glimpse of hope that my newly found talent gave me…I told myself, “Be not afraid!” and I took one tiny step towards my dream.

(Dana’s Olympic gold medal win. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44gy17PKDnk )

Ok….so ‘that’ was quite a few years ago. Yet that one step changed my life, because it taught me that good things ARE possible. We just need to know this, so that we can begin to BELIEVE it to be possible. Well through the years, I have taken that one step with courage to make my dreams come true. First with the Olympics (in the full-contact fighting sport of Taekwondo), then with my dream of becoming a top Stuntwoman in Hollywood, and now, with my dream of becoming a great motivational speaker. Sure, I know that I may never reach the heights I aim for. But I DO know that it IS possible. So when I stumble and fall, I pick myself up, brush off the dirt, re-set my mind, and reach out to claim my happiness from the universe.

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‘INTERACTIVITY’ is the word that explains my day. INTERACTIVITY is the beginning of Success and Happiness.

It’s been a REALLY hard lesson for me to learn, yet as much as I have fought this, I have found, that we are not alone.

Social networks…sad, but true…are one thing, that has helped to teach me the POWER of ‘interactivity.’
There are times that we NEED to reach out and ‘touch’ someone.
The truth, is that we DESIRE to know that we are not alone in this world.
The action of interacting with others has proven to me, that the wonderful thing about ‘connecting’ with others, is that it has truly given me additional power to make my dreams come true.
The power of interacting has given me happiness in ways which I could have never calculated or predicted. It is a power that is both ‘given’ and ‘gained’ What could be more wonderful than that!

How can the power of interactivity help YOU….and YOUR business? Believe me…there are 101 different ways!

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