September 29, 2010

Random Question Wednesday

Complete the sentence: My life would be easier if ____________________.

This one is easy to answer: My life would be easier if I took pressure off of myself!

I'm very critical of myself. I expect perfection from myself and I am often disappointed that I don't live up to my own expectations! When I look in a mirror all I see are my faults. This is not a good mindset... this is not a good place to be! I know this... then why do I still do it?

Does it say, somewhere, that you should love your neighbors as you love yourself? There are so many people it seems that have poor self-esteem.

I have come miles and miles from where I was years ago. When I was heavy I was full of self loathing. But I would see someone with a few extra pounds on them and I wouldn't hate them, why was I hating me?

I think it may have been my issue with forgiveness. I know I'm not very forgiving with myself. Those same things I was talking about I need to apply to myself.

Although, I have to admit... I'm better some days than others. But I still, too often beat myself up over something trivial.

Any good suggestions on how to get over this?

Could it be what I've always believed? That I am the one responsible for my own happiness, right here, right now!

Hhhhmmmm.....?

September 28, 2010

Shazam!

I love this application on my iPhone!

I found a podcast on iTunes that I love called GrooveCafe. I love the music but don't always know the name of the song playing. All I have to do is grab my phone, press Shazam and most of the time, there is the song name and artist!

I recently found this song. It kind of fits my mood of late.

September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday dad!

Today dad would have been 87. I can't believe it's been over 9 years since he passed away.
When my sister was here she told me several times that I've grown more and more to look like dad. She said I sound like him, walk like him and have some of the same sayings as he did.

Years ago it would have bothered me to hear that... now it makes me proud.

When I was a teenager I wanted to get as far away as I could from my family and I did eventually when I lived for 7 years in Baltimore, MD. I'm glad I repaired my relationship with him. I learned to love and respect him.

Happy birthday dad, I love you and miss you.

September 25, 2010

I am finally beginning to understand...

Forgiveness.

I read the following this week: "Forgiveness is the vehicle for changing our perceptions and letting go of our fears, condemning judgments and grievances.

Forgiveness [is] a process of letting go and overlooking whatever we thought other people may have done to us, or whatever we may think we may have done to them.

When we cherish grievances we allow our minds to be fed by fear....

Forgiveness does not mean assuming a position of superiority and putting up with or tolerating behavior in another person that we do not like. Forgiveness means correcting our misperception that the other person harmed us.

The unforgiving mind is confused, afraid and full of fear."
~Gerald Jampolsky
Love Is Letting Go Of Fear


I have mentioned on the blog before that I have had a difficult time understanding forgiveness, I felt that it would put me in a weak position and make me feel vulnerable and in a state where someone could walk all over me. I see this is a misconception I've had.

I have also publicly villainized my ex, who I called Valdemort. I see that I was putting myself in a superior state and playing the part of the victim; when all I had to do was change my perception, forgive, and just move on with my life. I feel I need to say this publicly: It's time to let it go. I forgive Jeff (Valdemort) I wish him only the best.

No one can hurt me; they may say things and act in a way that I don't like, but if I hold on to the fear, anger and the hurt it only hurts my own soul and my own peace of mind. I need to let it go, have a forgiving heart and I will benefit by having peace of mind. Then I can forgive myself on things that I have done. I have never intentionally tried to hurt anyone and I need to feel some peace of mind about that too.

This is still easier said than done, but I am working on these concepts every day.

I am choosing peace of mind rather than let my hurts from the past be projected as fear into my present and future. I choose to be loving rather than fearful.


September 22, 2010

Happy Mabon!

And Happy Autumnal Equinox!

The second time in the year when the day and night are equal. We should take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark and also give thanks to the waning sunlight.

This is one of the Pagan harvest festivals. Celebrate with a new-made wine or by harvesting apples and grapes. These acts symbolized thankfulness for the life-giving harvest.

Join with me this evening and raise a glass of wine or cider in celebration of the cycles of life!

September 21, 2010

New toy

This is my new purchase.... my new toy from the weekend!!

I love getting outdoors, especially now that the weather is cooler!

Years ago I had been on some off road bike trails in Dallas, they're part of an organization called DORBA; Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association. One of the trails is in a nature preserve just a couple of miles from where I live. I didn't get even a half hour into the ride when I leaned down to change the shock absorber setting and the knob that adjusted it had fallen off! gggggrrrrrr!! Oh well... I kept riding. Then not 15 minutes later I went over a root and heard a loud hissing..... And the front tire went flat! GGGGGRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I walked back to my vehicle cursing under my breath and drove it back up to the store where I got it. Tire was fixed but the knoby thingy wasn't in stock... and could be about 2 weeks to get in! There goes that "cool new bike" thing I wanted to feel.... GGGGRRRRR!!

Oh well... I got up early Sunday morning and headed down to some more extreme trails I had heard about. The first one we went on kicked my ass!!! I thought I was in good shape, but I got winded trying to make it up the last hill. And the pedal scraped up and bruised my calf. Wha wha wha... I know. I'm being a cry baby.

Last night I rode around my neighborhood... on some nice paved streets! At least I'm not in the gym running on what feels like a big hamster wheel!

During the week I won't do any serious trails. And maybe I'll learn better on the Nature Preserve near my home before I go to the big boy trails again! LOL

September 20, 2010

SLAP!

I was recently called on the carpet for not being true to my word... and it stung!

I don't like it when my faults are brought up, but sometimes I need to know. I know the occasional "kick in the pants" is never fun... I feel hurt and embarrassed for days! I loose my appetite and just want to crawl into a hole, but that's not good for me either.

I have posted my beliefs on this blog, some of those things I recently haven't lived up to. Do I need to remember to add the phrase "I always try..." to any of my statements? I know I have to be more aware of what I say and how it's said!

How does one learn to take criticism better? How do I not beat myself up over it too?

Any words of advice is appreciated!

September 19, 2010

September 18, 2010

Prayer time...

A friend sent this to me in an email this week, he said he thought of me when he saw it. It made me laugh!


My 13 year old niece recently asked me about my " religious view" status on Facebook. She wanted to know what exactly I believed in. We talked for a while and I assured her that I wasn't trying to convert her or anyone else to being a Pagan (unlike Mormons who are always out to convert people to their beliefs). She then called me back a few days later to tell me that a new friend of hers at school was also a Pagan.

I appreciate her being open to hearing about someones different beliefs. I hope this will help her make better decisions in life about respecting the differences we all have. Now if only adults had that much respect and openness....

September 16, 2010

What is your motivation?

For my birthday Jimmas a friend gave me a book that I'm really enjoying! (Thanks again Brian!) It's called Pagan Visions for a Substantial Future. It is a collection of writings from several authors. I am really enjoying it. The first chapter was very meaningful for me because I have thought about this subject for a long time: "What ethics do we live by? What is our motivation?"

I was raised Mormon and as most people raised in an organized religion, I was raised with a sense of duty to please God. And also a fear of displeasing God, of hellfire and damnation.

Other's are motivated a lot by fear; fear of losing their job, the family, their security or many other things.

There are a ton of people motivated by greed! Always out trying to get more toys, more money, more things, more... more... more!

When someone is being threatened they most likely will be motivated to survive, almost an animal instinct.

The first chapter in the book is exactly what I believe. That I am motivated by honor. Being true to what I believe; to what I say; how I act; how I interact with others and how I live and act in the world and nature.

It rings true to me and my core beliefs.

This is not easy. It takes work and time. And honoring myself!

I'm not there yet... I'm working on it. But it's where I want to be.

Anyhoo....


Y'all may be hearing more of my thoughts on this book.

September 15, 2010

Random Question Wednesday

It's been a while since I did one of these... so here goes:

What were you called when you were younger? How do you feel about it?

When I was very small I was called Jimmy. In school there was another Jimmy in my class so the teacher asked what I wanted to be called, Jim or James. I said James. When I was in my 20s I felt James was too formal and I've gone by Jim ever since. It's weird to connect with old class mates on Facebook and to hear them still call me as James. I was a whole other person back then.

But that's all superficial. A named I was called when I was younger was "gay". It was said with disgust, loathing and kids were just being the typical bully. But it affected me and how I grew up. I already had low self-esteem issues and this just added to it. I was just trying to fit in and cope the best I could. I would go to church with my family, I would do my best in school, I had a girlfriend in junior high and high school... so why was I picked on?

A lot has been said about kids being bullies. A lot has come up lately about kids being teased and picked on for being gay. I hope attitudes change. I hope society changes. I hope organized religions change so that someone can be themselves without fear of being picked on! Or even worse, a victim of hate crimes.

It takes one person at a time to change. It takes us all to stand up to society to tell them that this behavior is not OK.