Be Bold. Be Awesome.

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Have you ever noticed that you don’t know you’re not being something, until you do something that reminds you of who you used to be?

Not clear? Let me try that again.

Earlier today, I made a bold move. Took a bold action. Not necessarily an unusual thing for me to do. Except…after I did it…I suddenly realized I hadn’t felt that feeling that I was feeling in that moment, in a very long time. It doesn’t matter what the thing was that I did. The point is, that in the doing of the thing, I was struck with how long it’s been since I’ve felt that way.

I took a few hits over the past year. Big ones. NFL Superbowl worthy hits. Life started to seem harder…And by harder, I mean…it became easier to call in sick, or stay in bed, or in my pajamas watching Netflix all day. It became easier than allowing another hit. No way could my body take another hit. If I holed up at home, and didn’t put myself out there, in anyway, perhaps the hits would stop.

What’s funny, is that I never stopped preaching the importance of being bold. Of stepping in. Of leaping. Of “going for it”. It just took me until today to realize I haven’t been living it. Whoa. Big. BIG personal integrity issue for me to address. I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I’m someone who lives life on the court, playing the game, doing the things, taking the risks…and yet. I stopped and I didn’t even notice.

I think that’s the saddest realization of all. I stopped and I didn’t even notice. I went from a techni-colour life, back to a black and white one, and didn’t notice. Now, I know I’m not alone in this. We all do it. At different times in life, things happen, and we cocoon into our ‘safe zone’. We all have one. Mine sounds a little bit like “I am never going through that again.” Whatever “that” is…we’ve all been there. We all have made decisions that make us take a few steps back. It’s the act of being human. It’s just what we do.

We get our hearts broken. We lose a parent. We lose our job. We cheat on someone. We wrong someone else, and a list of a thousand other “we” sentences. And then, we shut down. We stop growing. We stop showing up. We stop participating in life. And we don’t even know we are doing it. Not until the moment something shifts. Like the subtle shift that happened for me today.

I have been afraid to put myself out there. To risk looking bad. To risk being hurt. To risk…anything. It was subtle. I took the necessary time I needed to deal with what I needed to deal with. And only today did i see the residual effects. The lingering of the fear. Our unconscious is very powerful, so if our brains are telling us not to take the risk, we won’t, and we tell ourselves it was a “good” decision.

Ever notice, when you have a decision to make, you think about it, and you stew over it, and you convince yourself you’re not ready…and then the opportunity passes you by.  That’s some old thought/experience that’s back there, making the decision for us. In my case, I’ve built a proverbial iron cage around my heart, even though on the outside it looks like my heart is wide open to every single experience, it’s not – It’s locked up tight. I can’t let anyone get in there…every corner, and crevice is sealed tight.

But for what? What am I saving it for? I like to think that I want to be thoroughly used up when I die…and yet…I’m unwilling to unlock the one piece of me that matters the most. The one piece of me that has me be out in the world, doing all the things I am so passionate about.

**side note – I’ve been obsessively listening to this song called “The History of my Heart” from the Nashville Soundtrack. Yes. That’s right. I said Nashville. I can’t get enough of that show. I am obsessed with that show. When I’m not watching that show, I’m thinking about that show. When I’m watching something else, I feel like I’m cheating on that show. Go ahead and judge me. I’m awesome. I can handle it.

Anyway…I’ve been obsessively listening to this song, and while it’s mostly speaking about love lost…It’s also about that no matter where we go, no matter who we are with, no matter what happened…that experience will stay with us. Because it is a part of who we are. Our history. It’s all a part of our history, and always will be.

Which means we are creating our history every single moment, of every single day. As someone said to me this afternoon, “when you’re on your deathbed, you don’t want to wish you had…” There is something to be said for spontaneous moments, and inspiration. If you’re not inspired by your own self…do something about that. Believe me, you’ll walk with a new spring in your step. You’ll feel proud. You’ll walk taller.  You’ll be owning that awesome of yours.

And best of all…you’ll feel more alive. And by you, I actually mean me. I promise.

Rita xo

 

 

Sticks and Stones And Words That Hurt You

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I was recently “cat fished”.

In case that’s a word you’re not familiar with, according to Urban Dictionary, here is the definition: Being deceived over online profiles as the deceiver professed their romantic feelings to his/her victim, but isn’t who they say they are.

It’s a loose description. There’s a whole documentary about it. It happens. Usually to older, unsuspecting people, usually women, but I never would’ve thought that it would happen to me. I spent 2 weeks talking to this guy, he was charming and open and lovely and very handsome, mature etc. All the things you would expect. Now, I’m not an online virgin. It’s not like I don’t know the way of the world…but I got duped by this guy. Turns out, he was just out to get his rocks off without having to leave the house. For all I know, he could be a perverted 80 year old man sitting in a retirement home with a laptop and free WiFi.

It happens. I know it happens. Knowing it happens, doesn’t make it any easier when it does happen. I felt like a chump for a few days. How did I miss that? It wasn’t even as though anything major happened. I woke up 2 weeks into it with a niggling feeling I couldn’t shake. And it turns out I was right. No fireworks. No money lost. Just someone with no regard for another human.

So while my ego took a bit of a hit, do you know what was hit even harder? My heart. Knowing that there is someone in the world, someone who got into MY world, who deceives people for hours a day, every single day. How on earth did someone like that get through? How did I not see it?

Anytime something like that happens, whether it’s to me directly, or whether it’s something that happens to another, I feel it. There is nothing awesome about deceiving someone…whether it’s to deliberately cat fish someone, or whether it’s to lie or steal from them. What’s the purpose? To hurt another? Is that how you win?

I just watched a video of one of our weather reporters in Vancouver, on one of the major news networks, get attacked via an anonymous letter because she’s pregnant and the viewers think they have a right to write in and tell her what they think of the clothes she’s wearing and how they think she looks in them. They feel she should be wearing “more appropriate” maternity attire and use words that no one has the right to say to another.  Course if they were well known fashion designers they would’ve signed their names to the letters they sent.  That’s just not nice.

I read that Kathy Griffin is leaving some talk/fashion show she was one of the hosts of because she could no longer perpetuate the culture of bullying celebrities based on how they look or what they wear. While I’m not a huge fan of Kathy Griffin, I applaud her reasons for leaving the show.

And then, just a few minutes ago, I read this post about Monica Lewinsky and her TEDtalk. I saw Monica’s talk on another platform shortly before her TEDtalk in Vancouver. I was excited for her. She had an opportunity to finally face the public and share what her life has been like since she was the first person publicly shamed via the internet.  At 24, what Monica went through, no one should ever have to go through, no matter how old. She isn’t responsible for the state of affairs in America or any other country. She just did what she did when she was 24. Aren’t there things you did in your 20s you cringe thinking about now that you’re older and you know better?

I bet none of those shenanigans ended up on the internet. So this post I just read…Made me cry. Why? Because people can be so hurtful and mean. Social media has made it easier, and quite frankly, acceptable for the most part to be mean to someone online.  Teenagers are killing themselves because of cyber bullying. That is not okay.

When did we stop being awesome to each other? When did it become “normal” to be anything less than kind? Considerate? Aware of another person’s feelings?  I am always mortified by the comments left on photos/posts/youtube videos. When did things become so personal? When did it become okay to hurt someone’s feelings knowingly? Intentionally?

I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t have a solution. It breaks my heart every single day to see things like this go on. Monica Lewinsky is ever so brave for taking what happened to her, for turning her shame into something positive. Something that could potentially make a difference in the world. And yet, people still want to bring her down?

Don’t you think there’s enough of that going on in the world right now?  How about we just stop doing it? How about we go back to lifting each other up, rather than doing whatever we can to tear each other down?

Isn’t that the world you want to live in? One where your kids get to grow up knowing they are awesome? One where you get to tell your friends how awesome they are just because they are. One where you know there isn’t anything that you can’t do because you have people who have your back? A world where you get to wake up every day knowing feeling awesome because you were awesome to another?

Doesn’t THAT sound like a much better world to live in?

So can we please just stop with the mean, hurtful, horrible things and return ourselves back to loving each other?

“We talk a lot about our right to freedom of speech, but we need to talk more about our responsibility to freedom of speech.” ~ Monica Lewinsky

Rita xo

Don’t Forget To Be Awesome

Yesterday, I got a call from a friend who wanted some “advice” on how to maintain his schedule, especially in regards to his workouts. He is committed to sleeping for 8 hours, and  working out in the morning. Often he wakes up tired and doesn’t want to work out, and rather than managing his schedule the night before to ensure he gets his 8 hours AND still gets up in the morning to work out he stays in bed.  Imagine how crazy making that must be!  He wanted to know how I manage to go and work out AND be so excited about it.

There’s no easy answer to this. Exercise sucks. For most of us. I don’t really know anyone who loves getting up when it’s cold and dark and raining or God forbid – snowing, to get out of a nice cozy warm bed, and go do what you said you would do. But here’s the thing. If you said you would do something, and then you don’t do it, something happens.

For the most part, I like to think of the world, and the people in it, as kind and generous. We may not always be that for ourselves, and sometimes, we may not even be that to each other, but that’s how I like to view the world. We make promises to each other, and we do what we can to keep them. And sometimes, we are unable to keep them and then we apologize which is never bad. But what about those promises that we make to ourselves?  What about those?  You know the ones.

I’ll work out starting tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’m not going to eat out.

Tomorrow, I”m going to join the gym.

Tomorrow night I’m going to make sure I get 8 hours of sleep.

Tomorrow, I’m going to respond to that email.

Tomorrow.

And then, tomorrow happens, and we stay up too late, and wake up tired, so we can’t go work out, and after work we’re too tired from all the food we ate that we shouldn’t have eaten, that we just want to go home and have a nap, so maybe, I’ll wait until tomorrow to join the gym.  One more day isn’t going to kill me.

But what if it does?  What if the words you say to yourself are equally as valuable as the words and promises you say to another?  Why is it easier for us to disappoint ourselves but we try and avoid that with others?

Why do your words not matter to you?

Something starts to happen inside when we stop honouring our own promises to ourselves. We start to doubt ourselves.  We start to relate to ourselves as someone who is unreliable. We start to convince others that we can’t be relied upon. People start to stop believing us when we promise something. We take on some kind of fitness challenge, and secretly, others are thinking in the back of their minds “Yah..sure.” We start to see ourselves in a lesser light.

We stop being awesome.

All because we said something and then we didn’t do it.

We start to tolerate it, more and more, until we stop making promises. Until we can’t bring ourselves to take on another challenge, because even we know we won’t do it.

When deep down, all we really want is to be awesome.

Our words are what make us awesome. Who we be in the world, is all based on our words. We speak it. We be it. We are awesome.

So please.  Don’t forget to be awesome.

It’s what makes the experience of life exceptional.

go be awesome

Rita