Tag Archives: behavior

Cleaning Out The Fridge

Cleaning out the fridge…

Last Sunday on Coffee Chat I started to talk to you about how thoughts and habits that no longer serve you can be just as toxic as relationships and behaviors that no longer serve you. The issue is that toxic thought is harder to see, it is not as obvious as the other stuff. Thought patterns that no longer serve you are usually hidden deep beneath the surface and we think so many thoughts in a day, who has time to do a forensic assessment of every thought?

Yet thoughts become patterns and when we do not clean out the stuff that is not working, we can’t truly manifest NEW good that will stick around.

My best analogy for this is your refrigerator — if you have hidden rotting food in the back of your refrigerator or in the drawers and you don’t clean it out then the fresh food that you put in will become contaminated. The rotting food will literally poison the fresh food.

It is like this with your thoughts, habits, relationships, behaviors etc— if you don’t clean out the old stuff that isn’t working then it will contaminate the new good that you are trying to bring into your life.

Getting rid of toxic thought patterns and behaviors is hard—suffering the consequences of not getting rid of them is harder. Pick your hard.

Personally, I would rather choose what to work on than to let it choose me—life is meant for learning— continuing to work on yourself is progress and no matter what progress is a good thing.

Most people stop working on themselves, or they never start and that is how they end up stuck in lives that they don’t LOVE.

Let’s NOT be those people—let’s be the people that keep reinventing ourselves in better versions— we are a lifelong project, time to embrace that concept.

Join us on Sunday’s Coffee Chat to talk about creating NEW habits that serve the life you want.

XO, Noelle

Pay Attention

Pay attention….I was talking to one of my bff’s yesterday, she called me to process her most recent breakup with a man that she had been dating for a few months.  In the course of our discussion we realized that there were some ‘red flags’ early on that she dismissed as well as some on-going red flags that she didn’t give enough attention to.  IF she had paid close attention from the start she may have saved them both time and energy as she would have admitted to herself that they were not well matched.

The conversation with her warranted me doing a blog post about PAYING ATTENTION…you will ALWAYS be warned when you are around someone that isn’t good for you—whether it is a relationship or a friendship or a work association…if you are paying attention and looking at the facts in front of your face you will see the things you need to see.  Sadly, most of us look through rose-colored glasses and dismiss important information in the name of wanting to create relationship.  

It is important to keep in mind that nothing is more draining than a relationship that is toxic to you,relationships that contribute to you are life-giving,the toxic ones are energy stealers.

When evaluating someone to determine whether or not they are someone that you want in your world pay attention to a few important things:

  • Watch what they DO—actions people watch actions
  • See how they behave in public, how they treat clerks and waitstaff and other people standing in line etc
  • Listen to what they talk about—do they constantly complain, are they whiners, do they speak from a victim mentality
  • Look at their lives and what has happened to them, more importantly what KEEPS happening to them??? Do they have a long string of unwelcome events, are they always broke?  Always blaming someone else? Always having ‘bad luck’?
  • Trust but VERIFY—- verify what you are told, check facts, check story details, make sure everything adds up
  • Watch their habits—look for consistency…do they always oversleep, are they lazy, do they return calls and texts in a timely fashion, are they thoughtful, do they help, do they look to contribute or are they ‘takers’
  • Look at how they present themselves to the world…are they clean, neat or messy and disheveled — is their car clean or is it a dumpster with wheels?

All of these things will tell you a lot about someone’s character and they don’t even have to say a word. People will mostly tell you what they think you want to hear, you have to look for what is being communicated without words.

Pay attention to the ‘red flags’ you see and tailor your behavior accordingly —it will save you a lot of time and energy.

See you next week.

XO, Noelle

Beware The Men Or Women Behaving Badly

Beware The Men or Women Behaving Badly

You can’t fix a Psychopath.

You can’t fix a Sociopath.

You can’t fix a Narcissist.

But you can fix yourself.

-K. Masters

 

Let me start this by saying that I am not a doctor. Nothing I am about to say has anything to do with actual clinical diagnoses. I can only tell my story (and of course just my side) and let you decide for yourself and gain whatever insight you can.

I dated this guy. We will call him S. He was someone from my past who I needed to date in order to either live happily ever after with or move on from. I could not seriously consider dating someone else having the “what if” question always swirling around in my brain. I knew it would not be fair to that other person. I fancied S as the love of my life, the one who got away. And supposedly he felt the same way.

I reached out to him when I was very angry with my ex-husband, about a month before my divorce was final. S had been divorced twice and I felt that he had probably gone through the deep anger I was feeling. So one night, a couple of glasses of wine in, I texted him. I had not spoken to him in a long time. I remember he had called me in March (I did not answer or return the call) and I was reaching out in December. He texted me back and was supportive and kind, if not somewhat standoffish.

He did not remain standoffish for long. Soon we were texting regularly. That lasted for probably a month and then we started talking on the phone. That lasted for another month until my divorce was final. Then we made plans to see each other. He lived within driving distance, but not every day driving distance. One thing to point out is that I am and have always been close to his family. Over the years, I have tried to avoid being at his parents’ when he was there, but our paths crossed a few times. So, my children know his mom and sister and nephews, though they had never met him.

I will admit that I liked the distance a little. I had been single less than a year and a half. I was still finding my bearings. I was still establishing a routine with my kids, and my daughter was going through issues with her father, so I was trying to be her rock. My ex and I share 50/50 custody, so that proved to be difficult at times. But S turned into my rock, the person I turned to when I needed someone. And he liked it that way. He needed to be needed. In fact, in the beginning, he would lament that I was too independent. I remember him pouting when I told him it was important to me to be able to stand on my own without a man. I know now that he did not like that because independence hinders control. The distance was not a positive to me because I was trying to date anyone else, I was not. In fact, we broke up in April and I have not had another boyfriend.

Besides the distance, my job required me to travel for work quite a bit. Often on the weeks I did not have the kids, I was on the road. At first, that was fine. He liked my schedule and flexibility, but soon he wanted me to stay in my hotel room in the evenings. He did not want me to go out with coworkers for dinner or drinks. He was particularly leery of one of my male coworkers who had been a good friend of mine for a long time. The truth of the matter for me is that if I wanted to be with someone else, I would have been. I wanted to be with only him. But he got in my head. I tried to be respectful of his wishes. I isolated myself even more than I already did naturally. And I should not have. The more I gave in, the less it was enough. I told him I would stop speaking to my friend, and unless it was work related, I did. I really jeopardized my friendship, but this man was supposed to be the one, so I thought I was protecting my relationship. I wanted him to be comfortable.

I ignored red flags, or explained them away:

  1. Every woman he has ever been with was at fault somehow for their breakup. And there were some nasty breakups in there.
  2. He projected his behavior onto me. Because he would cheat, he accused me of doing it.
  3. He had a drug problem. But that was not his fault either.
  4. He was very charming, very charming. But he could turn ice cold.
  5. And when he did turn ice cold it was always somehow my fault.
  6. When I was with him, I found myself vying for his time. I always went to him.
  7. He was very sexually depraved.
  8. He was intensely focused on his looks and attention from others.
  9. He was loved by acquaintances, and avoided by those closest to him.

The funny thing is that he eventually broke up with me. But he didn’t end it cleanly. He wanted me to chase after him. He accused me of cheating on him with the friend I had cut out of my life. He told me to find evidence that I didn’t or it was over. He called me names, belittled me, screamed and yelled, and made me feel very small. Outwardly, I did not run to him, but I texted him. I wrote him letters, and I took his calls. I let him keep me on the hook, when in reality I did nothing to deserve that.

He eventually killed my feelings for him when I lost my job. I reached out to him, I missed having a rock, and he chose that time to tell me he was seeing someone new. It was designed to kick me while I was down, but if you asked him if it was, he would turn that around to his somehow being the victim.

This is the part where I may lose you, but bear with me. A couple of months after we broke up, I watched that Netflix movie about Ted Bundy, you know the one with that cutie Zac Efron. It was so eerie watching it. So many of the behaviors S exhibited I saw staring back at me on the screen. At that point I reached out to one of his ex-wives and learned some very disturbing things. I will not write them here, but suffice it to say the reason for that is because they are very very serious allegations. However, she gave me details that I know to be true. And I know them to be true, because he exhibited the same behaviors with me.

Let me tell you what I had to do to fix me, as the quote suggests.

  1. I had to block all avenues of communication.
  2. I had to remind myself daily of the bad things, and maybe more than daily.
  3. I had to seek counseling.
  4. I had to remember who I was, not who he said I was.
  5. I had to remember what I deserved.
  6. I had to take my power back.
  7. And lastly, I had to remember that I was not alone. I read somewhere that 1 in 10 people have a personality disorder as classified by the quote at the beginning. That is significant.

Be careful, be confident. Do not let someone get inside your head unless you know they have your best interest at heart.

Stronger Than Yesterday,

Alice

Who Is Your Idol?

When growing up, each of us have these moments where we admire certain people, an idol. We will have these “role models” that usually represent something important for us.

Over the years, these role models always end up changing.

As we grow, we have different interests, and different ideas about who we want to be. These role models almost always begin to become more of a temporary thing once these ideas start to change.

When you think back to your first memories as a little kid, the one person you probably longed to meet was someone like Elmo or Barney. Now, of course, your whole idea about who you want to admire most likely does not involve a puppet, or a singing dinosaur (but to each their own).

The thing about Elmo and Barney was that they were pretty amazing examples to follow. They represented kindness, joy, and how to show your love and friendship towards other people. If you sit and think about who your role models are today, what do they really represent?

Most of the time, we follow the examples of well known celebrities who really shouldn’t be influencing the lives of younger people. Pretty much everything they represent only has the ability to affect a child in a negative way. They encourage certain ideas that someone growing up and discovering who they are should not be following.

Taking all of this into consideration, we need to realize who the people we admire are, and whether they actually have wise words to say. People, and young teens in particular, should question who they consider their “idols”. “How have you changed as a person after beginning to follow the example of your idol?” “Is this going to affect you positively or negatively?”

And finally, “Is your idol the kind of person you want to become?”

-Dani

It’s Over..But It’s Not

You think it will be over…but it’s not.

“You can’t buy a book bag but you can buy a $52 steak?”

Unfortunately, this is a typical question that occurs to me after I hang up from another wasted phone call.

Getting out isn’t something that you just do. It takes planning and replanning, then planning some more. It takes an ability to think like your abuser, anticipating reprehensible actions and successfully countering them-emotionally, physically, spiritually, and legally.

Leaving is dangerous…sometimes for years, because the danger can, and typically does, morph from physical to mental, emotional, financial…you get the idea.

I’m coming up on 13 years of building this soft, sensitive, productive human in the face of a storm that does not know how to exit. Abuse morphs. Control is sought on whatever level an abuser can find. Money is all there is left for him. My support system has neutralized that.

Let me be uber-specific:

My loved ones housed and fed my child and I for 5 years. If not for them, I would not have been able to get out of an abusive marriage, finish school, and get a job. My parents have filled every physical and financial gap I’ve had from then until right now. We are blessed that we have men (and women, but that’s another topic) in our lives that stand up when called upon. They have presented themselves as rock solid father figures and protectors-something my child deserves.

My best friend was home base when I ran. The safe shelter she gave my baby and I for those first 2 months can never be repaid….have you ever had to hide from an abuser? It pisses you off and makes you want to fight, but you can’t because you’re living for your child and every move you make, or don’t make, affects their life.

When the day arrived, another friend was there with her expertise and to help with the heavy lifting when I went back for whatever I could get-which wasn’t much. Have you ever had to sneak into your own home to take back some of your premarital belongings and leave a list of everything you “took?” Ever play by the rules only to get burned in the end? Maddening, isn’t it?

One of my favorite people on this planet paid tuition when I didn’t have it. They also stepped forward and coached teams and showed love to a child that was not their own. Those people are God’s soldiers and their above-and-beyond actions never go unnoticed by me.

Never.

Jesus Christ Himself has kept me out of jail by not letting me follow through on everything that man deserves. My friends have balanced and supported me emotionally enough to keep me between the lines when bordering on a breakdown.

All parties above have one thing in common; a love for me and my daughter. They share a basic understanding of the importance of doing right by a child and setting them up for success.

It takes a village. In a never ending hurricane, it takes a scrappy one, and I am thankful for mine. I am a survivor raising a warrior. Because of her, I will not fail.

Mental health matters.
Josie

Social Media-Does It Affect You?

Let’s talk about social media today and how it can drag you down, and affect your well being and mental state, especially if you’re a single parent. Especially if YOU let it!

On the other hand social media can also inspire and motivate you, it just depends on what you are focusing on…

I personally found myself joining social media when my children became of that networking age and I said “If you do-I do” ~ only so that I could monitor their online presence. That was almost TEN years ago!

We all know that It’s really exciting to feel that connection to old friends and family members that live far away. It’s also great to enjoy sharing pictures and road trip photos, fun events, and even a simple shopping when someone posts things like  “Oh I bought a new sweater” or “Look at me in my new dress!”

As single parent THAT can really really can bring you down, especially when you know that you can’t afford those luxuries and you’re scraping just to put food on the table also wondering where your gonna get that extra  $50 to cover the electric bill that’s due in 4 days. Gotta love living that week to week life–you know the one right? When bringing your kids out to McDonald’s for the dollar value menu actually is a luxury!

People that have never lived it DON’T understand it and it’s all well and good when they want to sympathize with you and they want to give you that pat on the shoulder and say “you’re doing a great job”  and “look how beautiful your kids are” and “your kids are so well-mannered” and “you’re such a strong person!”  and sometimes those comments are helpful, however a lot of times these people have not walked through what I walked through.

They  just don’t get  it ~ the everyday exhaustion of doing everything yourself, like having to get up every night in the middle of the night and tend to your child and there’s nobody to turn to and say “can you help the baby?”  It’s so draining to say the least especially when you have to get up in the middle of the night and tend to your crying child who is all stuffed up with a nose full of boogers and you’re so exhausted and you have that deadline tomorrow and also that 8 a.m. meeting with your boss and you have to present the financials to the board of directors at a noon luncheon!  Oh boy! STRESS.

I do know those days.

You just do it, and take it one day at a time. You get up, have faith, be blessed, and be happy for what you do have -the roof over your head- the food on the table- your health – the job- the knowledge and the strength–YOU  just keep doing it– because you know you’re doing good for your children that YOU’RE raising, ALONE.

No one EXPECTS to be a single mother. Sadly, sometimes it HAS to happen for the safety and well-being of the Mother and children.

I lived those days and nights. It is hard. It is draining. It is exhausting. But  it is what it is- for your life- in the here and now, for today. You’ve just got to do it. Find the strength to face the day and keep on hoping that your positivity and gratitude shines through and lets your kids see your powerful work ethic.

YES, we do live in a material world, we do, but, you know it is changing,  this Millennial generation is ALL about Tiny houses and downsizing and clearing your clutter and de-cluttering your life and all these mantras, affirmations and positivity~ you know- be the dream,- live, laugh, and love. Do what you love, and it’s never too late to be what you might have been~ and it’s true! It’s  all true!

AS  I embrace my 50th year-  I’ve lived it- I’ve learned it- I can’t say I’ve loved it— but I’m looking at  my daughter who’s in her early 20s and she’s blossoming and turning into a determined,  independent young lady. My son is starting his sophmore year at a technical school with clear goals and a career path.  I sit back and I look at them and I think DAMN! I did that. I DID THAT! On my own, 20 plus years of my life, the struggles, and the hardships, sleepless nights  and you know the non-support and all challenges and so forth, but: little by little I chipped away at school and educating myself to enrich my career to make a better life for my kids and myself. I finally earned my Bachelor’s Degree at age 47. Never say NEVER.

Yes I am over 50 now and beginning to get forgetful and it is frustrating! So I just laugh at it and continue to say I CAN DO THIS, I’ll handle it~ keep your faith! That’s the most important thing. Keep plugging away, day by day and DON’T let those people out there in cyberville bring YOU down. Take it all in, set your goals, and watch yourself move forward and upward. YOU are women, YOU are strong. When you’re feeling “less than”  GO HUG YOUR KIDS! That certainly has got to make you feel better!

KDAWSON 3/17/18  revised 10/16/18

Kill Them With Kindness

About a month ago Noelle asked me to help with content on the blog-and if you remember I stated that I was terrified! I am not a strong writer, and rather think my life is dull most days. In order to inspire me on topics and subjects I started the 30 day writing challenge and asked you to join me.

Today- we are asked to write about something we feel strongly about. I am highly opinionated so for once my writing assignment is a struggle to narrow down 🙂 Generally, I have difficulties deciding on where or what-not this time!

With all that being said one thing is for certain that I do not waiver on and that is kindness. It’s free, it’s simple, and it means more than most can possibly imagine. We have taught our children to be kind to EVERYONE. Even more so to the ones who are not kind to you. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to chase them down and put up with their selfish and cruel behavior. But it does mean “kill them with kindness”, when meeting them in the hallway, street, playground. A simple “Hello” goes a long ways. I have lost many opportunities to be kind to someone only to find later that on that particular day they needed the kindness more than they quite possibly needed air. I do not believe people are purposely cruel and mean. I believe something has led them to become that. And if kindness can help just a bit-I can do that!

 

Love to All-Kim

What Will You Change?

Okay, so those things that you really, really want…what are YOU willing to do to get them?  Who are you willing to become?  What are you willing to give up?  What are you willing to change and where are you willing to go the extra mile to achieve the desired result?

In order to produce miracles of change, you must give them a place to rest.  This means that you must make some type of forward motion toward the results you want.  Once you do that the Universe itself will empower you to move mountains.  Most people sit around waiting for miracles to drop out of the sky instead of taking direct action to create them.

Direct action requires responsibility, discipline, integrity and commitment on your part.  When looking to create miracles or a shift in circumstances, everything has to be in alignment.  If you are intending to produce a major result you clean up your side of the street so to speak… do things like keep your word, stop complaining, look to help other people, see how you can challenge yourself, be disciplined, and be committed to the result you want to see NO MATTER WHAT.

Sometimes your shifts of behavior will be simple adjustments and sometimes they will be far more difficult.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am a HUGE coffee drinker and every morning I pour myself a cup of coffee in this very large mug and every morning it ends up getting cold and I end up pouring half of it out—this morning I saw in my cabinet what I considered to be a very small and useless coffee cup, however it occurred to me that if I used the smaller cup I could avoid throwing half my coffee away because it was cold….so I did something different and used the smaller cup—imagine my surprise when I actually drank what was in the cup and didn’t pour any out.  In that moment it dawned on me that maybe making changes in our behavior for a different result was just that simple…perhaps the solution sits right in front of us every morning….

 

Building A Strong Foundation Through Wisdom

I have been pondering two words over the past couple days…foundation and wisdom.  Webster’s New World defines Foundation as ‘the base on which something rests’…this leads me to consider how many of us, myself included, live our lives resting on a solid foundation.  When you build a structure it has to start with a solid and strong foundation, if it doesn’t the structure won’t hold up.  In order to have a successful life you must also start with a solid and strong foundation, otherwise you will have nothing to ground you when the going gets tough…and there are times when the going will get tough.

What makes a solid and strong foundation?  Is it integrity, a belief in God, ethics, treating others as you want to be treated, a forgiving heart, an open mind, perseverance, willpower or a combination of all these and more?  I say a combination of the aforementioned and more…a solid and strong foundation comes from a belief that you have power in your own life and that you have the ability to change even the direst of circumstances as long as you can keep your wits about you.  If you are a constant reaction in the middle of your life you will be incessantly pinging off the walls and in essence will be powerless to change anything.  Change can only come from being able to choose your response to a person or situation and this ability is born from having a strong foundation.

If I come from a place of understanding that my life is based on principle and based upon something more than my own pathetic self-concerns then I am able to hold myself in place when life hits me with something unexpected.  I am able to observe what is happening and then wisely choose my reaction.  If I come from a place of uncertainty, then when life throws a curve ball I have no choice but to scramble and react, react, react.

As far as my life experience shows being a complete reaction has never solved anything, it usually just brings more trouble.

Seems like it would be prudent for us all to give a little thought to what kind of a foundation we have created for ourselves and then to consider if we wake up every morning resting on that foundation…or do we wake up every morning and base our day on the reactions of the moment?

Wisdom is defined by Webster’s as ‘the power of judging rightly’…my definition of wisdom is something like ‘the conclusions you finally arrive at after life has knocked you around enough’…

Wisdom is something that comes over time and thankfully it is something that keeps expanding as we get older.  Wisdom is when it finally dawns on you that when you keep behaving the same way and doing the same things, you will get the same result.   The opposite of wisdom is insanity which Albert Einstein defines this way, “the definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

How many times have we followed the same path over and over again expecting to end up at a different place?  How many of us mirror that mouse running down the same path and still finding no cheese, yet we keep running with the same anticipation and zeal and then we are distraught when the outcome doesn’t change.  Funny thing is– we KNOW better… on some level we all know better, yet we let our inner wisdom sit it out while we continue to behave like fools.

Let’s be interested in exercising our wisdom muscle, it is almost a new year and it seems like a good time to clear out behavioral insanity…what will you change today? xoxo

 

Leave Crazy to the Crazies

It’s funny really when you find yourself reacting to someone else’s childish and foolish behavior…you know what they are trying to do…get your attention…they can’t get your attention like an adult, by actually conversing…so they start acting out…because of course, any attention for these types of dysfunctional people is a win.
So they act out and you find yourself, much to your horror, reacting to them. Instead of doing what needs to be done and ignoring them. People like this DO NOT deserve our attention, their communication skills are sub-par and instead of having effective communication that works they fall into passive-aggressive, narcissistic behavior patterns. People like this are flawed at such a deep level that they don’t even see that they are like  hamsters running on a wheel to nowhere….FAST.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So us thinking that these people will behave differently is just as pitiful as what they are doing in the first place. When people SHOW you who they are, BELIEVE them.
Leave the crazy to the crazy people, grab your toys and exit the building…do not react to people like this—respond to them by ignoring their attempts to engage you and move on. People like this will only steal your energy and keep you from doing what you need to do…if someone wants to be in your life, let them ask. If you need to chase they don’t deserve to be on your radar.
You are worth so much more than that. The people that belong with you will make themselves known and it won’t be a circus, it will be peaceful. So stop reacting and everything else will take care of itself.