Enough

Seth Godin had a great post this morning about Thanksgiving and the tendency to overeat. He wondered why we stuff ourselves full when eating enough is infinitely better. Enough feels good. Full doesn’t. Full, while uncomfortable, also has other deliterious consequences. Weight gain is one. The feeling of full doesn’t last so overeating just causes you to gain weight.

Why does the natural man seem to have an insatiable appetite? True freedom and happiness comes from being content. Learning to recognize that we have had enough and that we have sufficient for our needs really is the recipe for a happy life.

I’ve had occassion lately to contemplate enough versus stuffed. It’s tempting to overeat just because you can. But stepping back and realizing that eating more than you need really doesn’t have any benefit, and actually makes you feel worse off than before, helps remind me that I already have everything I need. I don’t like feeling full. I like feeling enough. I’ve always had sufficient for my needs. God and the universe have made sure of that. Why worry that this will ever change. God, and the universe, will continue to provide and supply.

Powerless

You never realize how much you rely on something till it’s taken away. That’s how things are rolling today. I woke up and the power was out. I wondered if it was just my bedroom and figured I would just need to go and flip a breaker switch. But it only took me a second to realize we were powerless and the entire house was out.

Being without power is crummy. I cannot do the things I want to do. For instance, I need to charge my Garmin before my walk with Sharee. I went to plug it in and was reminded that I was powerless. I went to make my breakfast and realized that I cannot cook my oatmeal because I don’t have power. I can’t even do my yoga routine because I’m without internet.

I think being powerless is tolerable only when you know the condition will end. We were informed that a drunk driver hit a powerline on 2nd North and that we should have power restored tomorrow. That’s longer than I’d like to be without power, but imagine if you had to live without power for an interminable amount of time. I think powerlessness would have one of two effects. It would either completely demoralize you, or you could find alternate ways of getting by, thereby creating your own power and no longer relying on the power others supplied.

Hmmm, that last line made me realize we are never truly powerless. We give away our power when we come to rely on others for it, but no one can take away our heart, will, and mind. We get to tell ourselves our own story. I can think today that I am without power or I can choose to focus on everything I can still do because of my own power.

I’m still able to sit here and compose my thoughts. Sure, I’ll have to wait to publish them online till the power is restored or until I figure out some other kind of workaround. Hold on, I just now thought of one. I can hotspot myself and publish this post. If I really wanted to boil my oats, I can go downstairs and dig up my camp stove. I’m not hungry enough yet to do that. I guess what this morning has reminded me is that I’m never really powerless. And that I’m grateful for modern conveniences. I need to never solely rely on other people’s power. I must cultivate my own so I can always power myself.

Cold Hard Facts

Well, today just ain’t been pretty! I’ve been digging through my partner’s inbox trying to get up to speed on the half of the business he oversees and my head is a hurtin’ and my tummy is a turnin’ at what I’m a finding. We’ve got ourselves a toy business that barely turns a profit. In fact, once I figure in all the expenses, it’s a major loser. It has been sucking the profits out of my marketing company and that just isn’t cool, but them are the cold, hard facts I’m a facing.

The good news is that we have a ton of inventory. I’m hopeful that we can sell it all over the next few months–esp. during Christmas. The bad news is, Christmas is still 5 months away and the storage fees for our goods are NOT cheap. When I think about what this all means it makes me want to cry. But I’m not gonna cry because I trust that the universe already has what we need in store and in fact, that it is already on its way. God is good like that. Plus, we do great work, and we have created some most excellent products. We’ll have a lovely Christmas, and then I will decide whether or not to keep the toy business. I can sell it, or heck, with the way I’m feeling today, I may just simply give it away! haha

The cold, hard facts are never fun to face, but tackling them head on feels quite empowering.  I’ve been so slammed consulting and selling that I left this part of the business to others. Not a wise move Mrs. CEO. So, lesson learned, and now it’s time to get this train back on track.

It will be a good challenge for me to try to come out ahead of the game because right now we are super cash poor and inventory rich. I’m not okay with that. Like it makes me super sick. Alas, I’m not going to worry about it yet. Instead, I’m off to dream about a more profitable future because the cold, hard facts are: It can only go up from here!

Resist vs. Replace | Puppy Parables

Here’s another puppy parable for all you animal lovers. I’m sure you’ve heard the truism “That which we resist, persists.” Not sure who originally said it and don’t care to google it because I’ve heard it expressed in various ways so that is how I know it is a true principle.

Anyhow, this morning my puppy was chewing on the edge of my leather sofa and I kept grabbing his mouth and telling him, “No,” but the minute I removed my hand or diverted my attention, he went right back to chewing on the sofa. After about 5 times of me telling him no and trying to resist his efforts to chew up my chair, I remembered the maxim, “That which we resist, persists!”

That statement reminded me of a recent devotional one of my favorite spiritual gurus gave. Pastor Rick Warren talked about temptation and how hard and ineffective it is to resist temptation. He instead taught the powerful principle of “replacing” instead of “resisting.” In application, it looks like this: Say you are trying to break your smoking addiction. Every time you are tempted to smoke you resist the temptation. White knuckling and willpower will only get you so far for so long before you cave because let’s face it, white knuckling it is extremely exhausting. Eventually you will get tired of resisting the incessant waves of temptation and you’ll give in.

However, if you want to kick a bad habit, rather than resist the temptation (in this example the urge to smoke), you can distract yourself from the temptation or urge by replacing resistance with a positive behavior such as going for a walk, chewing a piece of gum, calling a friend, etc. Replacement works far better than resistance for “that which we resist, persists.” On the other hand, that which we replace, fades away.

So instead of resisting Thor’s attempts to chew up the chair, I simply picked up his bone and put it in his mouth. Sure enough, he went to town chewing up his rawhide bone and I was able to go back to reading my book, uninterrupted by the need to resist his bad behavior.

So the next time you find yourself struggling with a problem, look at the issue and see if their is something you are resisting that simply needs replacing. Remind yourself of the truism “that which we resist, persists,” and go to work finding a replacement instead. And for more puppy parables, click here, and here.

Namaste

So as discussed previously in my post Reading People, I decided to ask my massage therapist about some of her life mantras. She replied, “Namaste.”

I’ve heard that phrase in yoga, but had no idea what it meant. I thought it had something to do with sealing your practice, but figured this must not be what made it a life mantra for someone else.  So I asked, “What does Namaste even mean?” And that is when she shared this with me:

Typically “Namaste” is used as a greeting. The person saying “Namaste” places their open palms together in front of their heart as they bow to the other person.

I asked Julia why this phrase meant so much to her, and she taught me about what she learned in massage therapy school. As students they were instructed not to judge others by their outward appearance. They were taught, instead, the importance of focusing on their client’s inner being and innate goodness. They learned about the power of touch and how judging others would limit their ability to connect with and facilitate healing in those they sought to serve.

To her, Namaste serves as a powerful reminder of her innate goodness, the innate beauty and goodness of others, and the importance of loving, not judging others. Our conversation reminded me of one of my favorite Mother Teresa truisms:

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

I also firmly believe that when we judge others we limit our ability to learn from them. This is a tragedy for there is so much wisdom to be gleaned from the life experiences of others (as discussed in Reading People). We cannot afford to close off connection through casting judgement. We must love.

For love truly is the universal solvent. It connects all. It heals all. It empowers all. For Charity never faileth (Moroni 7:46 and 1 Cor. 13:8).

Namaste.

Reading People

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I love learning and how I sometimes prefer books to people because I feel like I learn so much when I’m reading and studying. But then I had this “Aha” moment where I realized what I value most from experts, gurus, thought leaders, mentors, etc. is their ability to synthesize their life experience into digestible and instructional sound bites. So what if I used verbal cues to elicit sound bites from every day people I meet. I meant isn’t life experience what teaches us most? Imagine what I could learn from everyone I meet if I simply start asking any number of the following questions:

What are some of your favorite words to live by?

What truisms have you come to know through personal experience?

What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier?

What thoughts or ideas help you through hard times?

What are some of your secrets to success?

What brings you the greatest enjoyment or pleasure in life?

What are some of your greatest failures? What did you learn from them?

Do you have any life mantras?

What do you want your legacy to be?

How do you define success?

What do you feel makes for a successful marriage or relationships?

How do you want to be remembered?

Is there anything you try to do each and every day?

Do you have any regrets?

This is just a small start of some of the questions I’d love to ask every person I meet. I’m going to start tonight by asking my massage therapist some of these questions during my massage.

Can you imagine how much more I will learn by reading people in addition to reading and studying books? Not everyone can or will write a book, but everyone will happily respond to any number of the aforementioned questions. Wouldn’t it be fun to keep a blog of people’s answers to these questions? Would be super fun to snap a picture of the person and put it next to their post. Compiling them all into a book called “Words of Wisdom” would be epic too–haha and now look what I’ve done. I’ve come full circle from reading books to reading people so that I can compile what I learn into a book that others can read!

Will be interesting to see if I end up prefering reading people over reading books!

The Parable of the Microphone Cord

I like parables. Or maybe I should say I enjoy finding life lessons out of everyday experiences.

Today in Gospel Doctrine we were trying to create a suitable arrangement for teaching in the chapel. Having to hold a microphone while I teach really cramps my style as I am not allowed to talk with my hands nor handle my scriptures in a comfortable manner. The Sunday School president found me a podium with a built in microphone and so we quickly tried swapping it out in front of the entire class.

Unfortunately, my microphone cord was all tangled up, so I did what most of us do when cords get tangled. I gave a tug on each side of the knot hoping these opposing forces would quickly and easily unravel the jumble.

The knot, however, was stubborn. So what did I do next? I did what most of us would’ve done. I pulled harder, and then again harder. And that’s when it hit me.

How problems in life can be a lot like this microphone cord. We get ourselves into a tangle and when tugging just a bit doesn’t do the trick, we think pulling harder is the solution. And sometimes it’s rather humorous how long we will sit and just try pulling harder when it’s apparent to everyone that the only way the knot is going to get undone is if one stops pulling harder and does the hard work that needs doing.

The only way I was going to get that microphone knot untangled was to unplug it and unravel it manually.

It was fun for me to think out loud in front of the class as I wove the chord in and out, over and under, slowly untangling the entanglement. Getting to the root of the problem is always more effective than hacking at the branches. The microphone chord powerfully reminded us all of this truth today.