fear of the spotlight

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right – Henry Ford

There is really no over emphasizing the fact that you are what you think about. If you are the kind that keeps saying to herself, ‘”people like us are not as lucky… ” or  “I know myself, if I try it, it won’t work… ” Oh, it wont work all right. Take a look at your life, and if you are sincere with yourself, you will see that everything you see is exactly as you have expected it to be.  Are you familiar with the phrase, “Didn’t I say so?” or ” what did I say before we got here?” or “I told you we would be asked to leave… ” And truly, you were spotted and bounced at the party like search dogs would sniff out cocaine.

Perhaps that  would serve as a perfect illustration for how our thoughts play out and how our outcomes sniff us out and take hold of us, just like the search dog. When you think you can’t, automatically, every difficulty known to man haunts you down and overwhelms you till you quit. When you think you can, no obstacle is big enough to stop you and each time, opportunity will sniff you out to help you to the next leave. So whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you attract the equivalent.

Its like throwing a soccer ball into the air and expecting a basket ball to drop back into your hands. Nope, that’s not the way it works, you get back what you put in and with cascading effects. The power of thought is so potent that a simple thought can have enormous impact on your life. A thought as simple as “I’m a failure” said with deep emotions of regret and heavy with disappointment, can attract to you a series of life events that shake you so hard, you are at the brink of losing your mind.

On the other hand, a thought as simple as “I’m the best” emotionalized during a very high season of your life will attract to you tons of happy outcomes, happening in sequence as though a door of fortune was opened unto you. Our emotions bear enormous power, they charge our thoughts with the equivalent energy it needs to produce results. They are like the honey to bees, like fireflies to light. Be careful what you think you are, especially at times when you are lowest in spirit. Don’t call to yourself anything you won’t be pleased to live with. Like dumb, stupid, failure, loser.

It is not our feelings that create our thoughts, its our thoughts that create our feelings. If you fell and hit your knee hard against a rough surface and it bled, during the scramble to get your car keys, and be on your way to pick up a check of a hundred thousand (choose your currency), would you suddenly slump and begin to cry “boohoo, I hurt my knee, Look its bleeding. Please don’t speak to me about any stupid check, I’m in a low state right now, my feelings are hurt… ” Of course not, you will spring back  to your feet and race for that check, cash it and bank it, and chances are you would have gone through the entire day before you realized that you hurt your knee when you fell.

Why didn’t you get sad and depressed when you fell? It’s because your thoughts were happy and jubilant thoughts, you’d just won a jack pot. Now imagine the opposite, imagine you get a mail, that you were being queried and that your job was on the line, and that you were needed at an executive meeting to explain yourself, and out of anxiety you race for your keys, and in the process you miss a step and tumble down the stairs and hurt your ankle. What will be your reaction? Easy isn’t it, you will feel a lot of pain, you will swear and curse and of course cry and you will anticipate the worse of the current situation.

You will probably miss the said meeting especially if your car decides not to start and by the time you arrive, limping and looking miserable, it would be too late, the meeting would be over and your boss tells you how your attitude to issues is appalling and that the board has agreed to let you go.

Now these are two very peculiar situations likable to happen to anyone. And you are probably saying to yourself, well, shit happens and either of the two couldn’t have thought otherwise. Maybe yes, maybe not. Let’s look at the second scenario again, say, you hear the news and before reacting, like running to get your car keys and make it early to the meeting, say you take a breath and think of the whole situation for a moment, just a second, to pull yourself together. You say quite simply, “this can only get better” and then proceed to get the keys, even if you eventually fall and hurt your ankle, and your car wouldn’t start, and you make it late, and you lose the job all the same, I can bet that you would be in a better state of mind to face what’s ahead than the one who let fear take the center stage.

Whatever happens to us, at whatever stage in our lives, we have the power to control what we think and what we expect. We are indeed powerful beyond measure, if only we will take the time to gather our power together and begin to harness our thoughts, and like search dogs, order them to bring to us exactly what we want to see in our lives.

Most times however we are lazy and let anything and everything travel through our minds like an unguarded path, haunted every now and then by robbers, and thieves and buglers. Negative thinking is mostly the byproduct of lazy thinking. It doesn’t take anything to think negative, it is the easiest thing to do.

However thinking positive and expecting positive results in our lives, takes discipline to harness its power, with persistence and consistent commitment. If you forget everything you’ve read, remember this, whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.

Courage

Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere

“I am two women: one wants to have all the joy, passion and adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be a slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can be planned and achieved. I’m a housewife and a prostitute, both of us living in the same body and doing battle with each other.”
― Paulo Coelho

I bet this is the all time conflict of womanhood. The eternal conflict between the woman, who she craves to be, and society with its agenda against what she would rather truly become. The millennia long fight between what is expected from a woman, especially if she would earn the title ‘good woman’. And I think the greatest battle would remain the conflict within the woman herself. The conflict that says, where do I fall, good or bad?

Women somehow always have a superior opinion to things, to life in general. We have a deeper sense of knowing, our intuition has the better part of us, our eyes burrow beyond the surface, our words provide wisdom, guidance and misdirection all at the same time. We are powerful beyond measure. Yet the moment we lose our power to do as we please, to choose the life we would rather live, to cage our desires and our longings, then perhaps, that would be the day we cease to be truly woman. We become simply, human beings, existing for the mere sakes of having breath.

“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”
― Mae West

First women have been marginalized, then abused and sold into all kinds of slavery. Women become victims of themselves, victims of their sexuality, victims of their needs, victims of their prefrences. I’m not sure what Mae west meant when she wrote this line, but it gets me thinking of Mary and Rahab. Mary was a virgin when she was betrothed to Joseph while Rahab on the other hand, had been the King’s courtesan. One followed the master for the most part of her narrated history, the other quite superlatively, went everywhere from Jericho to exotic neighboring cities of her time. It gets me wondering, is a good girl immune to misdeeds and is a bad girl incapable of doing right? Where does one draw the line?

A woman will then choose to be who she decides to be while she lets society decide what she would be called and then choose whether to be intrigued or influenced. Many times, a young teenager is addressed with the sweetest names until she is found to be in possession of a love letter in her from some guy. On that fateful day she becomes the bad girl and her mother’s daughter. Of course, this was the case perhaps in my own days; I’m talking about over three decades now. Fast forward to the new millennium — with our fashion craze, and multimedia mania and the voracious monster called the internet — where do you begin to tag who is good or bad. Perhaps we will stretch the preferences to, not so bad, bad enough, partially good, okay, above average. What’s your take? I mean the difference isn’t so clear any longer. There are tons and tons of grey shades everywhere.

“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.”
― Madonna

When you are mediocre, you are cool, no offense taken. However, if you were a housewife, who stood her ground on all grounds, did what she pleased and went where she wanted, and had a partner who adored you, and supported your home grown business, trust me, you would become a snare to one too many. My point is, you don’t have to be a Madonna to be tagged, you only need to be driven, be ambitious, be committed to a cause, be single-minded and of course be a woman.

Many women struggle, not necessarily because they have been literally caged, but because they are afraid of being called names. They fear human opinion over the fear of extinction. They choose the imprisonment of their true desires over the fear of having lived a stale, tasteless and meaningless life. They would rather not have lived than to do so and then be given a name. What do they do? They choose the cliche and the stereotype over originality. Instead of paying the price, they skip the details of their lives and simply conform.

“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it.

But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief,

that is a fate more terrible than dying.” ― Jeanne d’Arc

If being tagged means more to you than being who you would rather truly be, then perhaps you should decide what you would rather be known as and act accordingly. If heaven for you means living a quiet simple, not-asking-for-too-much kind of life, then by all means be a good girl. If you want to go everywhere, see the world, take your chances, leap off a cliff and fly, then according to Mae West, be prepared for the backlash – hear the scourging whoosh through the air! However, if you would rather be like me, who wants to go to heaven and without a doubt go everywhere as well, then welcome on board. Simply put, I would rather be happy than dignified. So what does that make me, good cop or bad cop?

Of course everything you have read is just my opinion and the opinion of a gazillion other women who have lived in different civilizations but suffered the same prejudices. So perhaps the purpose of this post, is so you can find out for yourself, your own meaning of womanhood and choose how you want to play your cards, make your own rules and however that turns out for you, be free. You only live once.

“No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.”
― Margaret Sanger

It’s obvious isn’t it, that whenever the world has something to say about a woman, it is always about and invariably related to our sexuality. It is always about us being sexual beings and the more skilled you become at glossing over that reality and filling out your curves and numbing your power, the world would become a better and a safer place for all. Like I said, it’s only just my opinion…and that of a gazillion other women in medieval times….

Finally, in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, be brave, be exciting, be imaginative, life is an adventure. You can never go wrong handling the reins of your life as such. You can be heaven bound, and be Dora the explorer at the same time. Be who you know how best to be, if there is any fire in your bones, if there is any emptiness, for as long as you’ve got breathe, you will find what you seek somewhere within or in-between. We always do. Live life to the fullest, trust your gut, follow your heart, and leave the brandishers to roast in their own furnace and the one without a fault, is free to cast the first stone.

“Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure.

You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively;

unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Seeking good

LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE

How does a girl know if she is living her best life? Easy, check with your conscience. Check with your gut feeling. Check with your sweet spot. That place where, when you have done simply amazing stuff, you feel a tingly in the bottom of your stomach. A faint rumbling that whispers to you, “Wow, I am gorgeous. I was fab back there.”

Half the time we are day dreaming about how our tomorrow is going to be great, oooh we are going to be absolutely fabulous. Then when occasion calls for us to show up and be the best we can be, we sabotage our golden opportunity. By the way, every opportunity, and any opportunity at all that requires you bringing your energy to the scene to perform or to observe, is a golden opportunity.

Time is our greatest resource. Therefore, any occasion that demands your time is a golden opportunity. So, question, what have you been doing with your golden opportunities? I’m thinking  about mine in the corner of my mind and I must confess, not so good either.

Are you familiar with the phrase, “I’m not in the mood…” It is a second rate status that leaves us being second rate versions of ourselves. What does that statement mean anyway? Let’s take an instance: You happen to be at a gathering where the compere has just, unfortunately, cancelled on the celebrant. Your friend says to you, “Oh goodie, you are here! You can do this, it is your forte…” What do you say in response, “I’m not in the mood, because blablabla…”

You dampen the moment with excuses and sourness. Your friend gives you the break you need because you asked for it and someone else takes the spotlight. Then the inevitable happens. Your stomach sinks to the bottom of your belly. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have just let down your inner Mojo. You haven’t lived up to expectation!

That is probably the best definition of what it means to live your best life. Live, not to, but beyond expectation. Go the extra mile. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying live up to the expectations of people rather live up to the expectation of your highest potential.

Live your best life
Only you know deep down what your capabilities are, but most times we are crippled by fear and anxiety, and other people’s opinion. We let the fear of failure drown us in the sea of the unknown, the sea of uncertainties. Then we allow the many voices of other people’s opinion drive our inner voice to the background, crushed against a brick wall.

Each time we reject a golden opportunity, we shortchange our radiance in the world. We throw a blanket over our luminescence, and instead of shining, we are dingy. The more golden opportunities we giveaway, the less we believe we were created to shimmer and to gleam and the more we become comfortable with grim, drab and shabbiness.

Act your best life at all times. Give the best that only you is capable of giving and be that gift with gratitude and with graciousness. Fulfill your time here on earth by filling your cup at all times with the best wine pressed from the best grapes in your vineyard.

Make up your mind to be the first rate version of yourself everyday, make it a lifelong mantra and your life will always swing back with more strength and more zeal and drive than you’ve ever imagined possible.

Arrive at every event, every place, every moment with the intention to serve your best juice and you will be amazed how many of us have shown up with empty vessels waiting to be served and refreshed with your sensational offering.

Red wine

WHEN COMING… PLEASE BRING YOU ALONG

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are – Confucius

If you’re going to attend the baby shower, don’t go there if you’re going to leave your spirit and soul in your up-side-down closet. Your friends can see you at the event, with your morphed smiles and monologues but your mind is at home, rummaging the overturned closet your body left behind. If you have decided to spend the weekend at your best friend’s so you can let your hair down and get some sleep, take time off from the crazy 9 to 5 routine, then do just that. Don’t be there in body while your mind is busy running through the folders on your computer, the one you left at your office desk Friday before! Stay in the present moment. You may be wondering what that means. It means simply, don’t be in one place in body whilst your mind goes on a cross-country cruise fixing all the issues you left behind at home, at the office, with the kids, with your ex etc. Do not live perpetually in the past and do not permanently daydream about the future. If that’s your reality then where have you stashed your today, at the Laundromat? You may have heard it said before; the mind exists in the present moment. You bring what is needed to every circumstance and situation of your life. You can either choose to bring light, and brighten the shadows cast by your past or you can escape your current reality by refusing to participate in what is here this moment and now. You can choose to engage in piecing the puzzle together and to find answers or you can give excuses why you can’t. You can choose to be present or absent. It’s up to you.

 

Get involved. You don’t want to look back on your life and realize that you successfully managed to stay out of it. – Robert Brault

 

Say you are sitting down on a bench in the park and watching this chain of events happen, one surreal event after another. A few hours later, what seemed like a few hours have actually been days and weeks and years. Then you realize, what a long walk in the park that was and all those events you sat watching gloomily and tiredly had actually been your life. Scary isn’t? Wouldn’t you be in such a frantic frenzy to find out at the end of your life that you successfully managed to stay out it? Have you ever heard the frequent saying, “You don’t want to wake up one day and realize…” Well that is what happens when you elude the nitty-gritty of your existence; when you are present in body but absent in thought. When you simply let things be and tell yourself, “Somehow, it all works out…” well… it certainly does work out, but what essentially happens is that, you are left out of the game and you never have the full detail of how you spent your generous amount of days. Your life is lived in fragments and shards. You become a sad sorely has-been.

Bring you

It would be really sad as much as scary to suddenly realize that everything you have done and everywhere you have been to wasn’t exactly done consciously, that you were perpetually influenced by someone or something or by the trends. What’s worse is if you can’t even remember why you did those things or why you chose to go to those places. You are completely oblivious to the reasons why you have been such and such a person. You have become the forgetful one among your peers. Never truly listening. Never truly there. You are here but always somewhere else at the same time. No one moment is entirely good enough for you. No one moment is entirely real. If you can relate to this, then it is time you begin to ask the real questions. Everyday when you wake up, try saying to yourself, “This is where I am right now in my life, and this is what I am going to make of it. I am going to be happy being here because I know I can and will make the best out of it. Although I may be here now, it is not where I hope to be, but I will be here anyway because it is only by being here fully that I can find the strength to get there timely and adequately.” It sounds like blabbing but if you give it a try it is sure better  than daydreaming your way through life, and it sure beats sulking away in regret of the mistakes of your past. Richard Templar said in ” The Rules of Life”: The past should be a doorway where you go through for only a few minutes not a room where you reside! Same goes to saying your fantasies should energize you to work towards achieving your dreams, not the other part of your bipolar residence. So the next time you are off to an event or thing, remember to take ‘you’ along. Spirit, soul, and body.

 

Up to a point, a man’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him. Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, “This I am today; that I will be tomorrow.” ~Louis L’Amour

 

There comes a time when YOU, not me, not your mum or your aunt or your boyfriend but you have to come to that place where you grab the clay of your life out of the hands of whoever’s got it and become the potter of your life. Only you can shape it into what you wish, what you want and what you desire. Going to college or university isn’t going to do that for you. Neither are all the fine things in this world. Some of us got it backwards. We have the cart before the horse and we wonder why our life is torn in different directions. We do everything and anything but take responsibility for our actions and what we are becoming as a result. Its time to wake up! Stop being the on looker, or the apprentice, in the workshop that is meant to be your own life; it’s time to resume the prestigious duty of being the potter of your life. Take responsibility. Face your demons. Make those changes. Be fully engaged in the nuances of your days, a day at a time. Choose to bring the bubbly, vibrant energy you need into your everyday. Enjoy the richness of every moment, celebrate your little victories and see how gorgeous and encouraging it all turns out in the end.

Puppets

Be the puppeteer of your life

Look at it this way; you are either the puppet or the puppeteer. If you are the puppet, then who, or what is puppeteering your life? That’s something to think about.

Don’t pass on the lamp, the genie and your three wishes!!!

Dancing Queen

If it’s your turn to dance

Get up and swirl, glide and show us the samba

Let your voice be heard

If it’s your turn to sing

Open your mouth and let out the best melody you can summon

Our speeches come alive

When it’s your turn to speak

Be gracious and share your wisdom, take us down memory lane

When it’s your turn to show up

Be your best self and embrace us with the warmth of your presence

Dare

Watching you dance has loosened the rigidity of my limbs

Now I can sway, gyrate and tango

Listening to your mellifluous voice has awakened the music in me

Now I belt out the most harmonious rhythms

When I heard your speech, my heart suddenly shone with light

Now I can find my way through this darkened tunnel

I am blessed by the richness you bring each time you are here

Now I make certain I bring my magic touch to every moment

Let your light shine

When you let yourself shine with all its brightness and luster

You give others the permission to shine as well

Flying geese

When you unhinge yourself from your limiting beliefs

You spread your wings, and as you fly you attract a flock of geese* in your wake

Flowing stream

When you shake of the urge to stay numb and cold

You melt into a vibrant stream gushing with life and effervescence

When you find the light within and allow it flood your being

You realize that you not only light your path, you light your world

Love is sharing and receiving

Don’t pass on a rare occasion in order to hide your quirkiness

It is the doorway that enables another to accept her peculiarity

Don’t pass on the gift that is meant for you to have and cherish

It is perhaps the last key in the bunch, the one that eventually unlocks the door

Love and Affection

Don’t pass up the moment for love and affection

It may be your window to discovering the treasures you embosom

Don’t pass on the lamp, the genie and your three wishes

It is your opportunity to uncoil, and with deep breathe, air your dreams, wishes and desires

Free

*Dr. Robert McNeish, a teacher from Baltimore, MD wrote: ‘when one goose flaps its wings, it creates ‘uplift’ for the birds that follow…’

Strut Like A Peacock

Okay I actually mean that in a good way. I’m not saying be ostentatious, rather be self-assuring and assertive. Strut your turf. That’s what girls do; we swagger, we sashay.

 

Whereas the average individuals often have not the slightest idea, what they are, what they want or their own opinions, self-actualizing individuals have superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions. — Abraham Maslow

 

So what is it you really, truly want? Are your core activities in alignment with your deepest desires? Do you know why you indulge those routines day in day out? Can you truly describe the life you would rather have? If you did, would it in anyway look like the one you’re now stuck with or forced to tolerate?

 

You’ve got to have your antennas straightened and sharpened with heightened frequencies of your identity and capabilities as the girl of the moment. You cannot afford to slack. Slackers are average. And we already agreed that average isn’t an option. You can be your best self but first you must discover who she is, what she wants and where she wants to be. Then you must be her ambassador, be her forerunner. Be the go-between. Be the intermediary between your amazing self and the world at large. Be bold. Be proud. Be assertive. Strut your stuff. Walk the room, be a shinning vision of light. Allow the world the privilege and honor of enjoying your essence as you walk these paths. Overcome the temptation to cower behind the crowd and join the flock to no-man’s-land. Stop waiting for an invitation to do the very thing that only you could possibly contribute to humanity.

 

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment. — Tao Tzu

 

We mostly take pride in predicting the world and the people around us. We like to lead conversations about tough subjects and political crises. We enjoy showing off our knowledge about mundane issues and everything else around us but once the spotlight swings our way for us to say something about ourselves, our wishes and our dreams, rather than seizing the moment to shine, we freak out and dampen it with excuses and denial. Instead of swanking, you duck. Instead of being the star of the Opera, you recline into the back seats of the theatre. Instead of brightening up the moment with the story of your milestones, you submerge it in gloom and toss the golden opportunity to another. You pass on the lamp, the genie and your three wishes. You slam the door shut on your benefactor. You are quick to embrace insignificance. You grasp tightly the delusion that says, you must never let your voice be heard, never let yourself be noticed, never embrace the spotlight when it’s your turn. You must hide, because you don’t belong in that circle. You don’t belong in that circle where you too can raise your head, smile and glide, and boldly claim your spot in the world. You cower. You recoil. You fade into the backdrop.

 

“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” ~Confucius

 

What then can one do to live dynamically and not monotonously? How will a girl find her way out of the maze or make sense of the mess she’s in. How can she possibly be aglow, it’s a dark cloud all around her. She can begin by first choosing to be happy no matter what. She can choose to laugh at her mistakes and pick herself up again. She can choose to realize that who she is, is the doorway to wonders never before known, never before heard and never before seen. She can choose to love herself. Celebrate her victories. Sing her praises. Let her hair down. Dance for joy. Laugh with abandon. She can choose to love herself. Love conquers all.

 

Love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself & be good to yourself because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things. – A wise one

Strut your stuff...

Strut your stuff…