Where is Olivia Pope When You Need Her?

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My October 2014 article for the Capital City Hues newspaper.

My theme for 2014 was and still is is “manifest”.  I selected this attribute with the intention of manifesting lots of health, wealth and love. However, to-date 2014 has bought two maybe three personal scandals into my life.  I could not, still can not believe the twists and turns involved in my life and these stories.  One is out right fiction and the other two are unique personal situations that only exhibit very few facts or truths and hindsight reveals that yes I could have handled these situations better.

My initial reaction was shock that rumors and scandals were circulating about me and disbelief that people, who I thought I knew well, believed and repeated these stories. Emotionally, each event felt like a gut punch to my self-confidence, increasing my self-doubt, depression. I have also experienced sadness, fear, anger and so on.  My behaviors included leaving my job and move to another state with just what would fit in my car.  The move provided deep insights and understanding into the statement “where ever you go, there you are”.  As if that were not enough, I  moved back to Madison.  I will not go into a lot of detail, but needless to say this was not my intention for 2014.

I was experiencing what is called the “dark night of the soul”, an experience that is apparently cleansing and that must occur before I can live within the NOW of my life. This soul event is when you go through your daily life being fully aware of what you are doing wrong, aware of your fear, aware of your anger, aware of your pain. To truly see yourself and to find true self insight you must be aware of what you are thinking, what you are saying, what you are doing and WHY. Why are you thinking that? Why are you saying that? Why are you doing that?”

We like to give the appearance that our communities are made up of perfect people who live scandal free and undamaged lives. However, my friends, if we’re honest, our communities are actually filled with people who’ve had to deal with difficult situations that have threatened their very livelihood, reputation, dignity, and respect. Whether it is the scandal of a divorce, tax evasion, home foreclosure, bankruptcy, employment termination, unwed pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, or some general failure in life, most of us will face situations in our private and public lives that require us to know how to handle our scandal.

Nearly everyone has something in his or her past that they wish wasn’t there,  I am taking a play from what I think Scandal’s Olivia Pope would do to handle a scandal:

At first I was surprised, even shocked that I found myself that center of  a controversy.  I did not think I was “all of that” or a worthy topic of conversation.  After taking a long look at my situation, I decided that many famous, noteworthy people had scandals including: many Presidents, entertainers, business people, even Oprah.  I have determined that I am good company and I have decided to let these public challenges to my reputation kick start my life and career vs. letting it kick my but.

We certainly create our own realities, there is no one else you can blame. It was no one else’s fault. No one and nothing did it to you. You created your reality.  We emerge from this dark taking full responsibility for our lives. And why is that important? Because, as far as I’m aware, not until we acknowledge full responsibility for everything that happened to us are we ready to live in a time in which all our false beliefs of victimization are coming up to be released.

Grow Thick Skin.  The only way to deal with that kind of ankle-biting is to learn not to care.  Affirmations have become more important than ever for deflecting any negative thoughts.

Create a response strategy.  One of the best ways to deal with a bad situation is to be prepared with a personal and thoughtful response. There’s no shame in making mistakes. It’s what you do after the mistake that matters. Businesses that project an image of integrity and honesty are usually businesses consumers want to support.”

Own your mistakes. Be honest, polite and helpful. If you are in the wrong, own up to your mistakes and be forthright about how you are working to correct them.

Don’t get defensive. Respond to others in a meaningful and positive way. Let them know that they have been heard, and react personally. There are always ways to turn a negative into a positive — it’s all in how you approach it.”

Don’t take it personally.  Remain strong and do not over react  in the media or in person while trying to defend yourself or your company. As hard as it is, just let it go, see if there is something you can improve and look ahead. News is quick and it too shall pass. People have shorter memories in regards to your business than you do of your own.

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Why Didn’t I Get What I Asked For?

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Have you ever really, REALLY wanted something? … you wished, vision boarded, focused your intention on it, used affirmations and you pray knowing that all things are possible for God. .. but for what ever reason, it just didn’t happen.  Sometimes God says “no” to our most heartfelt requests. Have you discovered this to be true in your own life? I certainly have. When I had no job, no money and everything was overdue .  When my husband was diagnosed with cancer. 

Perhaps you think that God is just not listening? The way I understand it God’s ears are always attentive to His children’s prayers. Perhaps the times we think God isn’t listening to our prayers are the times we may not be getting the answer we think we should. Or perhaps, we think God is not listening because we’re being taught nowadays that a good God cannot say “NO” to our precocious prayer requests. 

We often think we know what is best for us.     Continue reading Why Didn’t I Get What I Asked For?

10 Things HAPPY People Do

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You probably know people who always seem happy. They greet the day with a smile on their face. They see the bright side of any situation. They believe that people are inherently good.

I have struggled with depression and anxiety and have had a hard time learning to be optimistic and happy. I looked at other people and wondered how they did it. How could they be happy, with seemingly no effort whatsoever? I thought they must have had perfect lives–so unlike mine. How could I possibly be happy when all these things kept happening to me?

Later I learned that being happy takes work, but the work is worth it. I also learned that positive thinking doesn’t mean you’ll have endless cheer or optimism, but rather that you’ve shifted your behavior and your perspective.

Happiness research has become a popular area of psychology in the last 20 years, and today positive psychology is among the most popular classes at Harvard University. Experts agree that there are several things happy people have in common. These aren’t inherent traits that you were either born with or not. They are habits that you can begin to integrate into your life. 

Here are 10 of the over 50 habits of happy people, gleaned from experts and experience.

  1. Exercise

2.    Believe they can be happy

3.    Happy people are grateful

4.     Believe in themselves

5.     Watch less television.

6.     They are optimistic

7.     Don’t sweat the small stuff

8.     Never stop learning

9.      Live in the present

10.    Say nice things about other people

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5 Things to Stop Expecting from Other People

 

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People rarely behave exactly the way you want them to.  Hope for the best, but expect less.

1.   Stop expecting others to agree with you.

2.   Stop expecting that they will change quickly

3.   Stop expecting others to know what you are thinking.

4.   Stop expecting others to need and like you.

5.   Stop expecting them to fit your idea of who they are.

From http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/09/29/7-things-you-should-stop-expecting-from-others/

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Art, Design & Attitude

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