The destructive power of self-pity….and the abundance that is waiting for you, when you stop the pity party
As a mom, public humiliation is a near daily occurrence. Especially when you have a drama queen for a daughter.
“Let’s get out of the water, and hang out at the play structure!” I say.
We’re at the beach. And Clara is unimpressed with the suggestion. My son, Liam, is all about it though. So we slowly make our way to the shore.
I help towel Liam off, and look over to see Clara flopping around on the ground….her wet body getting caked in dry sand. She then looks at me in disgust, as if I made her do it.
She’s deliberately making a bad situation worse. And she is pitying herself. haaarrrrd.
Why does she do it?
Partly, it’s attention. But also, it’s a power play. She feels a lack of control. And the best way she knows how to deal with it, is to invite excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness to the party. Because then? Then! Someone might see how forlorn she is….and hand her what she truly wants.
Oh the injustice! Surely, someone will come to her rescue.
The pattern of self-pity
I know this pattern well. Not only because Clara uses it all the time (cue the B-roll footage of the Fruit-Loops vs Cheerios meltdown at the grocery store)…but because I too have used this strategy.
And what I’ve come to realize? Is that self-pity is THE most destructive mindset on the planet.
It is the equivalent of locking the door to your own success. Your own happiness. Your own peace.
Because it takes away all sense of ownership to those things. And worse? It places all the power for change, outside of your control.
Woe-is-me = Woah-is-me
A broken heart? It takes time to heal. But what makes a bad situation even worse, is slipping into “woe-is-me” for the long-haul.
Lately, my theme song is “It’s Raining Men.” Why? Because ’80s disco is highly underrated. Hallelujah, amen!
But also. Because I recently stopped feeling sorry for myself, after being told….. “we had our time, Linds.”
I stopped holding space for the idea that I was shattered….beat up….on the losing side of the battle. Instead? I started to believe that I was worthy of love.
I crave it. I want it. And I’ve set my own thermostat to “looking for casual fun.” Which in turn….attracts casual fun.
And Jesus. That’s all it is. You want abundance? Look for it. Stop closing your eyes. Stop busying yourself with rolling in the sand.
I pity the fool….who throws a pity a party for way too long
This same thing? Has happened with money.
For a long time, I was living from paycheque to paycheque. Buying the discount fruit (only a bit of mold). Drinking the bargain wine (just plug your nose). And getting by with the same underwear I wore in my college years (see “lack of men” discussion above. This may have been a contributing factor).
I’ve been desperate to move into my own apartment….living with my parents apres-divorce (also a likely contributing factor to the same “lack of men” problem above). And although I’ve been teetering on making that happen? It wasn’t until I realized I was pitying myself (look at me, struggling entrepreneur!)….that I could turn my mindset around.
How the fuck did I do that?
When waffling over moving into an apartment (“I don’t know if I can quite afford it”), my best friend gave me the advice…. “you can manifest that shit, Linds.”
I put down the deposit.
And low and behold, in the coming weeks, my income increased. Like….substantially.
I knew I had to make shit happen. But also? I adjusted my internal thermostat (yet again!)….to “looking for money.” Which in turn….attracts money.
You want it? Look for it
My god. This lesson? Has been huge for me.
And yet? It seems too simple.
Can it really be as easy as…..you want it, look for it?
I think it is.
The mind is a powerful thing. Hell, I once heard a story about a guy who thought himself to death, after being locked in a freezer. The freezer was broken (it was room temperature), and yet, the guy convinced himself he was freezing to death. And did.
It’s not a matter of straining really really hard. Wanting something desperately. With every fibre of your being.
It’s also not a matter of tantrum-ing with all your might. And hoping someone will right your wrong.
It’s more like….getting out of your own way.
It’s more like….orienting your mind.
It’s more like…..bringing awareness to the thing you truly want, and ditching the sense of lack that goes along with it.
Create aTinder profile….for you life
I almost liken it to creating a Tinder profile for your life. It takes balls to admit you want something, because shit….if you fail, and don’t get that thing? Zero hits? There’s all kinds of disappointment. And your ego? Ya. Pissed right off.
There’s something extremely vulnerable about admitting “want.” Because in the wrong hands, it could be interpreted as “not good enough.”
(Side note? There is a disproportionate number of “hunters” on Tinder. Or at least, a disproportionate number of men holding trophy carcasses…..which is SUCH a turn-off. And would be, even if I wasn’t a vegetarian).
But if you don’t WANT it….if you don’t LOOK for it….you’ll never get it.
Put it out there!
Looking for: a job I love!
Looking for: a hot bod when naked!
Looking for: a meditation app that doesn’t put me to sleep!
You want it? Stop pretending you’re a special snowflake. Like life is “sooooo haaarrrrd for me….but, like, especially me. Poor me. I’m not getting my way!”
Open the door to abundance
If this past month has taught me anything, it’s that we all have the power to reach for what we want. And if you’re waiting for someone to hand it to you? You’re only gonna end up with sand in your bathing suit.
I am slowly learning how to stop making a bad situation, worse.
And good god. I have never felt more blessed. More lucky. More abundant. More laid. More rich. And more happy.
The kitchen table is covered in play-doh. There are rolling pins, crimpers, cutters, slicers, dicers…..and every imaginable Disney princess, lined up in a row.
Clara and I have spent the last hour creating play-doh gowns for each of the princesses. “This one is just fabulous,” she says, pointing at Cinderella’s squashy pink and purple polka-dotted frock.
I love watching my daughter, in her element, creating with absolute whimsical freedom. There are no rules. And mistakes are simply happy accidents.
It’s been a rough week. My entire family was knocked down with a virus from hell. But amidst the fevered haze of endless episodes of Peppa Pig, and repeated read-through’s of Richard Scary’s What Do People Do All Day? there were moments of quiet bliss.
Rarely do we spend that much time together. Especially outside of the whole rush-rush-rush, come on guys, we need to go.
I was on the verge of exhaustion before I was knocked to my knees with mandatory bedrest. And what I realized, was that I actually needed that time in order to catch my breath. I needed to pause, so that I could reignite my go-get-em.
Sometimes when you’re in the thick of it, you lose sight of where it is you’re actually going. You put your head down, and you do the work. But, every now and then, you’re forced to stop.
And within those chapter breaks, you realize…..man….here I am, trying so hard to get ‘er done, when really, I should simply be enjoying the journey.
And oddly enough, this is something that Taylor Swift helped remind me of.
2 am coughing attacks occasionally led to some mandatory Netflix-ing. And one of the documentaries that kept me company this past week, was Miss Americana.
Now, I’m not the biggest Taylor fan in the world. Blank Space is on my Fuck You Feisty Spotify playlist (cozied up to a whole lotta Rihanna and Dua Lipa). But something I never realized about her, is that she is a true creator of her own work. She is a storyteller, which I admire, and she writes every single one of her own songs.
Watching her in action, stringing together beautiful poetry with different beats and rhythms, was like watching pure magic. It was incredibly inspiring, and it gave me a whole new perspective on her music.
After seriously contemplating getting bangs (Jesus, that girl knows how to rock some serious fringe), I started to think about moments in my own life, when I’m in-the-zone like that.
When am I most alive? When am I making magic?
When I am in pursuit of a goal that lights my soul on fire.
And I think that’s true for all of us.
We become who were are meant to be….when we are in pursuit of something. When we have a goal or a challenge in front of us….it makes us come alive.
And so, if you are feeling burnt out…..or uninspired…..or stuck in a rut…..I would like to throw this out there. You are likely feeling that way, because you have lost the fiery, energetic, passionate pursuit of your own goals.
You have lost the joy of simply creating.
We are all creators at heart. And if you are not working towards some kind of dream, you are doing yourself a disservice.
To feel alive with creation, is at the very core of our beings. Our souls long to be artists. And in this day and age, when so much of our day is bogged down with passive consumption of knowledge and information…..it is more important than ever to pause, and reflect about how you are making your own dreams a reality.
Maybe even before pneumonia makes you take that pause.
How are you building, designing, inventing, and composing? And more importantly…..how are you celebrating the experience of it all?
For me, today was the day I started to feel….not so horribly sick. And so I decided to crank my Badass Women playlist, while driving down the highway, wearing a brand new pair of rose gold aviators. I tapped into my feminine energy, and just let myself feel pure joy over the many opportunities I have to create, in my life.
Even if one of those things is the most gorgeous Sleeping Beauty shift dress, you’ve ever seen.
I close the front-door with a heavy thud. I feel the cold air hit my lungs. I shiver. Hard.
It is pitch black.
And as I turn the key to start the car, the engine whines. The wipers loudly scrape the front windshield, covered in frost.
I put the car into drive, with a sigh. My heart, heavy.
I'm so tired. I just want to crawl into bed.
And no matter how many times I drive this drive, I feel the sharp pang of sadness as I pull away. Every single time.
I'm leaving my kiddos for the night.
I have a 30-minute drive ahead of me.
And I'm headed to my parents' place. A make-shift home that has so graciously been offered to me, in the midst of my divorce.
I've made this same drive every day, for a year. Kids at home with daddy. Me, all too familiar with the words that come out of my own mouth: "see you in the morning, my darlings."
The pain of this drive cuts deep. And with the reappearance of winter, like an evil-twin back from the dead (fist bumps to you, Days of Our Lives!), I cringe at it all.
But guys, this pain? It is the very reason I am digging so deep right now. I am working my ass off, building my own business, pouring everything I have into bringing value to those I serve, in new and exciting ways.
Because I am SO SICK of the 30-minute highway trek that leaves me chilled to the bone. And I am SO SICK of being a 36 year old woman, a mom, who is struggling to find her footing.
And when you think about it, some of the most successful people in the world have risen to the top, from a place of pain. Oprah Winfrey. JK Rowling. Ralph Lauren.
These all-stars are like emotional Judo Masters.....swinging their own pain of poverty and desolation, right over their shoulders with pure momentum.
And so while I am am incredibly positive and happy person.....I also know the value of harnessing my own negative emotions, and using them to my advantage.
And so I ask you. Where are you numbing your pain with the social painkillers of our time?: TV. Drugs. Alcohol. The weekend. A vacation.
In what area of your life are you looking the other way, and pretending your pain doesn't exist?
One of the most common culprits? Our health.
Are you frustrated with your health? How winded you get after climbing a flight of stairs?
Good (well....not good....but stay with me here). Feel that pain. And use the frustration to propel you into action.
Are you envious of Patty in accounting who rocks a sleeveless dress (or Kelly Ripa's sexy-as-fuck pipes, while we're on the subject)?
Good. Reverse engineer that shit. Ask Patty what she did to get to where she is. And DO THAT.
Are you feeling desperation over your low self-esteem, poor body-image, and mediocre sex life?
Good. Because you can propel that kind of raging-bull pain, right over you.
If you're willing to grab a hold of it.
Fall in love with frustration. Befriend your negative emotions. And make the pain of staying the same, worse than the pain of changing, through the simple act of staring it right in the face. Head on.
Falling short of your goals? Extrapolate your life into the far future.
If you keep living the same way, what will your life look like 5.....10......20 years down the road? Does what you see scare you?
Good, get to work.
"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right." -- Henry Ford
The other day, I was chillin' in the backyard with my daughter, and she was in a horrible mood. The kind of mood that leaves her flopping on the ground, with every ounce of 4-year old drama. She was pretending to visit the grocery store, but the wagon she was pulling kept toppling over. Oh the injustice! I tried to console her, inviting her to try again. At which point she wailed, "but the grocery store is closed now!" Being a pretend grocery store, it was only closed because she decided it was closed. But at one point or another, she chose to believe that the entire world was against her.
As much as I hate to admit it, I am no stranger to this same frame of mind. The lens through which I see the world can be tipped towards “woe-is-me” at the drop of a hat. Particularly when I’m hungry. Or tired. Or there isn’t any chocolate in the house. Or my hair has gone from cute to complete disaster.
And then all of a sudden. Just like that. The entire world. My worst enemy.
Mindset can absolutely change the course of your life. And today, I'm gonna dig into 3 super simple mindset shifts you can make in order to maximize your fitness game. Here we go.
COMMUNITY VS. COMPETITION
For me, community is the #1 thing....the backbone, if you will.....of fitness. It can be such a lonely road if you're relying only on yourself. And an even lonelier road if you’re taking on a "me vs. them" mindset.
Don't get me wrong. Competition can be a really good thing. But it's gotta have the right backdrop. If competition is based on negative comparison (My God! Look at her pipes! I can't workout next to her....I'll look like a weakling!), it can only hurt you. Having a community mindset, however, will help you see that there are mentors all around you. People who are so willing to encourage you, and support you, and lift you up.
REWARD VS. PUNISHMENT
All too often, working out it seen as punishment. Punishment for something we ate. Punishment for something we did. And punishment for having a good fuckin' time. Ever have a Netflix and taco night.....only to feel extreme guilt, even before the credits roll?
This punishment mindset is the exact opposite of healthy. It’s the kind of thinking that turns fitness into penance. It turns sweat into past-due taxes. In which case, you're only ever playing catch-up. And feeling like shit for indulging in life.
Working out is one of the best ways to love yourself. And guys, by honouring our bodies with movement, we show gratitude for this incredible vehicle we’ve been given. By working out, we are gifting our future selves with the health to live out our dreams and desires. And what better gift can there be, than that?!
I GET TO WORKOUT VS. I HAVE TO WORKOUT
How many times have we taken our health for granted? How many times have we sprained our ankle, or injured our back, or gotten the stomach flu, only to realize that we had it pretty good....back in the day......last week.....when we could run a mile with ease. Don't wait for the wake-up call in order to value your health. If you have the ability to work up a sweat, you've got it made!
My dad is the perfect example of someone who views fitness as an incredible opportunity. And because of that, he is one of my biggest idols. He's currently living with cancer, and yet he goes to the gym every day. His mindset? "I am so grateful to be able to wake up in the morning, go the gym, and feel alive." Working out is a privilege. And we should be so lucky.
There you have it! 3 simple mindset shifts that will help you take your fitness game to the next level! I encourage you to implement these shifts in little ways each day....and soon, you will find yourself thinking with powerful positivity! Cheers to new mindsets and new accomplishments!