Do You Not Like Me?

Does it matter if YOU like ME? Surely, you have wondered about whether another person, perhaps an important person in your life, actually likes you. Maybe this matters because you want something from this person and they may be keeping you guessing regarding their intentions for you. Wow, what a dilemma? You may not have any control over whether this person likes you or even cares about you. What are you to do?

Perhaps, you can start by being nice and you find yourself doing things to please this other person. Or, you may be more generous to buy their positive feelings toward you. Or, you become entertaining, even funny, to win them over. Or, you try other strategies, even being forceful, to get the desired goal you aspire to achieve. If any of these strategies work, or if these attempts do not work, how will you feel about yourself? Some people will feel proud for the effort in spite of the outcome. Some people may feel hurt, angry, demoralized, or depressed when things do not turn out as they expected.

No matter what, is it worth it to try so hard to get this person to like you? Sometimes, it is. Lots of times it may not be worth your effort considering you have to live with yourself and take responsibility for your actions and your expectations. The bottom line is do you like yourself? This is your challenge because no matter what the outside people say or do, you must live in your own life. Most importantly, will you like yourself?

Can you take responsibility for your actions and your expectations? Can you accept yourself with your successes and seeming failures? Can you learn from every experience even if things do not turn out as planned. (Most people learn more from their failures than from their successes, when they take full responsibility.) Besides, expectations always screw things up. At the very best, you expected as much and often do not value your success.

It may not really matter, in the long run, whether another person really likes you and your behavior. It seems most important that you like and accept yourself even if you have flaws or imperfections or weaknesses. You have imperfections so you can learn from these, in spite of these flaws. If you live for external approval then your insecurities will dominate your life and then this becomes your lesson in this life. You can care about how you come across but you can not control the way another person may react. You must live with yourself first and not be a victim to your own expectations.

Start by knowing yourself with your strengths and weaknesses. Learn to accept what you can not change. At some point you find the perfection of who you are and the Divinity that dwells within you. You will remember that you are a perfect part of the whole of the Universal Spirit and you can like yourself and the role you have come here to play. It does not matter if another person bumps up against you and they appear to not like you… Just, love them for the perfect Divine Spirit they are and enjoy the role they are playing even if they appear to not like you… They are a part of your challenge and they can be thanked. It is a part of your spiritual enlightenment. Namaste!

Can you walk the path alone?

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Holiday Survival

Happy Holidays… They are headed our way, ready or not!

I know that for many people this is easier said than done… It is the season for high expectations of happiness, joyful family gatherings, and limitless supplies of good food and cheerful gifts. Most of the time, expectations seem to mess things up! This time of year can make people irritable if not crazy because we expect so much of ourselves and the people around us. Sadness, depression, and anxiety begin to peak at this time of year for many people. Many people are struggling with financial challenges, even homelessness and these people can feel left out of Happiness in the Holidays. Illness and losses of family or friends, even from the past, can make this season difficult traumatic to celebrate. The short days and Winter weather for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere also can take an emotional toll on the Holidaze. There may be changes of schedule, travel, or dietary changes that can make positive, joy filled celebrations a bit difficult at this season of the year.

Consider the Holiday Survival Tips from the article below. This can be found in a more printable form at the Stress Education Center’s website, www.dstress.com, on the “Articles” page.

Please take good care of yourself and have some sympathetic understanding of people you may meet who may be struggling during the Holiday Season.

Holiday Survival tips
10 basic strategies to more gracefully survive holiday stress. Written by L. John Mason, Ph.D., Author of the Bestseller; Guide to Stress Reduction.
Are expectations of happiness in the holidays making you sad? Do you want to be happier and healthier this holiday season? Would you like to enhance your holiday stress management skills?

This holiday season will be stress filled. World economic swings and terrorism have created conditions that have changed our holiday celebrations. Attitudes towards travel, being with family, celebration in the face of fear and sadness, will make this year’s holiday season different than in years past. Adjustments will help to create new ways of participating in the holiday events. These can be both positive and negative. Consider new traditions in self-care. Search for community support that will open your heart to the joys that are possible in this season. Remember the things that are the most stressful are the things that you care the most about, but have the least control over. World events, the economy, the way people respond, and our families (and children) are major stressors that we wish we could control, but often cannot.

1. Schedule Time for Self-Care! Regular exercise and time for stress management are a must. Find what techniques work best for you, and use these tools. This is non-negotiable time devoted for your health and well being.

2. Eat Well Moderation is the key. Do not use alcohol or drugs for stress management. Do not “over” celebrate. Avoid fast foods.

3. Avoid Caffeine Minimize the impact of caffeine on your life.

4. Plan the Holiday… Set some limits. Do not over spend your financial and emotional resources.

5. Control Your Expectations of: Happiness, Joy, Sadness, and Loneliness

6. Be Nice to Others Give compliments and smile. Around negative, anxious, or rude people, take a breath and remember that you do not need to get pulled into other people’s holiday misery or their craziness.

7. Reach Out for Support Talk with “stable” friends or family, or clergy, or mental health counselors.

8. Humor Helps… Have Fun Laugh daily, if possible.

9. Stay in the Present! Mentally and emotionally, do not be consumed by things that happened in the past or fear events in the future. Enjoy the people you are with and make the very best of the situation that you are in.

10. Find the True Spirit of the Holidays Share “the Spirit” of this holiday with those people who you love or care about. Give love and support to the people of the world. Volunteer or go out of your way to be thoughtful and kind. A smile or a hug can go a long way. Sometimes it is just listening… Show others that they have value and that you are aware of their special qualities.
Even learn to let others give to you!

Beauty from the Inside Out

Why do people strive to be “Beautiful?” Everyone has a different definition of what beauty is but the main goal of beauty, or working to be beautiful, is to be attractive to a targeted group of people. Attractiveness can take many forms and an understanding of the desires of the target group can assist you in becoming the most attractive and beautiful person you can be.

In Western culture, beauty can be based on desirable physical attributes. Since primitive humans emerged from the other early species, attractiveness was based on physical attributes that could help ensure the survival of the family. Being strong, a good worker, or a good hunter/gatherer were desirable characteristics and attractive in helping to find the best “mates.” These positive characteristics could be passed along to the next generation with the greater possibility of family survival. In the recent past, physical attributes like height, strength, speed, body types, and financial stability (wealth) have become features to identify for attractiveness. Fashion trends often help people to accentuate their best attributes. Make-up and hair styling has added to the ways in which people will present themselves to be most attractive, to their targeted group.

People engage in body altering behaviors to create increased levels of attractiveness. Weight-loss programs, fitness programs, body art, and cosmetic surgical procedures have become fashionable in attempts to alter natural appearance and become more desirable. In the primitive, “survival of the fittest” mentality, people chase their dream of being someone they were not born to be and often find it leads to a lack of self-esteem and lowered feeling of self-worth.

Beauty often comes from feelings of self-confidence. Some of the most “attractive” people you encounter will not meet the standards that are created by the media. Many very attractive people are not tall, blond, blue-eyed, physically well endowed, and sun tanned Gods or Goddesses. In fact, the most “movie ready” actors or models are often some of the most unsuccessful in finding real life happiness and life satisfaction. (Look at the tabloids who ridicule celebrities for every transgression that our celebrities are unlucky enough to find themselves within.) We often fantasize being like our celebrity idols until we see their lives fall apart due the strain of their celebrity and them getting hauled into court for their misbehaviors.

A more positive alternative for most people is to find a positive way to become attractive. To do this, we must look inside, find our very best attributes, enhance these, and then find ways to display these attributes in the very best ways possible. Attractiveness may be your intelligence, your compassion, your positive energy, your skill of empathy, your ability to communicate, your softness, or your sense of humor. (Though from personal experience, I found that my sense of humor was often used as a defense mechanism when I was feeling vulnerable.) The happiest and most successful people I know are the people who allow their beauty to come from the inside out. The most emotionally healthy people are, by their nature, some of the most attractive people I actually know. Fantasizing about beautiful people is OK but in the long run not as satisfying as having healthy attractive people in your life.

We often settle for something, or someone, less than healthy as we search for attractive partners. When we are young, physical attraction and seductive fashions seem to be desirable traps that we must negotiate. It might be better to understand your deepest needs and requirements in a partner than to “settle” for the first person who gives you a positive response or the first person who meets your physical gratifications.

Beautiful people have to work to maintain their health and self-esteem. They will make time and put their resources into self-care by exercising, eating correctly, getting sleep, and practicing regular stress management. They will often create balance in their lives by including expressions of their creativity, having time for positive, nurturing relationships, and spending time in honoring their spiritual pursuits.

People who have addictions and need to block their own relationships with their own history or past traumas, are often struggling to find the beauty within. The addictions can include: alcohol, drugs, medications, food, sex, smoking, spending/hoarding, gambling, and adrenaline sports or activities. These addictions block the pain or anxiety but do not allow for the inner beauty and self-confidence to shine.

A secret to finding your beauty often involves breaking free from a cultural picture of success and beauty. Find your own definition of a healthy compatible partner. Find your own inner strengths and beauties and demonstrate these. Master self-awareness and self-care. Self-awareness entails knowing and understanding both your strengths and your flaws so well that you can accept any weaknesses as your lessons and then find new ways to live where you will not be a victim to any of these imperfections. Finding self-love and acceptance, which may require support and assistance, will be a useful process that can lead to your long term success and happiness. Getting trapped in other people’s expectations or their visions of beauty may lead down a path of unhappiness.

Please take good care of yourself. Thank you for your time and consideration.

If you require life coaching to assist you in developing your self-awareness and self-care, consider coaching from the Stress Education Center available at www.dstress.com

Expectations Screw Things Up

Having expectations of other people’s performance can often lead to disappointment. Even a “sure thing,” when it comes true, can be a bit disappointing because you expected the outcome. Controlling your expectations is easier said than done, but worth the effort. I know people who celebrate their birthdays by basking in their unfulfilled expectations of what they anticipated from the people around themselves. The drama includes every manor of disappointment. Sometimes they did not get a card, or call, or present, or big enough present, or a large enough party, or…. the list can be endless…

Since we can not control what other people do, we can open ourselves for shattered expectations if we expect an outcome and the other person does not do what we might expect.

Have you ever had your expectation met and feel that it was not as satisfying as it could have been because you felt that you knew (or expected) the outcome? This turns a positive into a slightly negative experience. There may be times that you can recall when you did not expect an outcome and feel surprised and pleased by even a simple gesture, like getting flowers delivered “out of the blue.” Many people get disappointed when they travel or attend a performance where they knew exactly what was to be seen/heard and this experience did not surpass their expectations.

The interactions with people are the most difficult when you have expectations. For example, you thought you did well at the interview (or client meeting) and you find out you did not get the job (or order) that you expected you’d get. When you expect a certain recognition and it does not manifest in as grand a way as you would have liked, it often takes away from the celebration.

Expectations that are not met are stressful. We already have enough external stressors so why do we need more internally driven stressors? The lack of control over the actions, or inactions, of others is a traditionally strong stressor. Learning to control your expectations is not easy, however, breaking away from self-victimizing yourself can be a very important skill to develop. Also, appreciation of love and life is generally easier, and healthier, when expectations are not planted. Please consider living in the moment, without memories of the past or fears of the unknown future. Celebrate every moment of life for the experience you are receiving, even the difficult lessons we must bump up against. Visualize success in your activities but minimize your expectations… A difficult balancing act to achieve.