Thursday, November 6, 2014

Whispering Opportunity

Knock.  Knock Knock.  KNOCK KNOC KNOCK!      We all know the great saying “opportunity knocking”; for the longest time I was convinced I was either at the grocery store or in the shower when that all too elusive sound arrived.    This past week, I learned a very interesting lesson. Sometimes opportunity doesn’t knock – it whispers.  And if you’re not careful and not true to yourself, you might miss it. 

This last weekend was the closing weekend at the Haunted House at which I volunteer ( – if you didn’t go this year, I expect to see you there next season); it was also our annual cast party, at which you never really know what you’re going to find.  To say it was interesting would be an understatement.  Even more interesting are the things I learned (both about myself and others).  Sorry, kittens... I won’t be getting into specifics about all the debauchery I found myself in, but I will share with you what I learned about our good friend, Opportunity.   

In the spirit of full honesty, I nearly didn’t attend the cast party.  I hadn’t been feeling all that well throughout that day, and I wasn’t really “up” for trying to play nice with everyone (we all know I have a problem with playing nice).   It’s not that I don’t like the people I haunt with – they are a second family to me, some of my best friends, and a group of people that know things about me that would make my “normal” friends cringe.  Yet, they still love and accept me for whom and what I am (even if I am a freak – PS this is not a bad thing).  It’s simply the social scene takes a lot of effort on my part.  As people friendly as I may seem, I’m not always an overly social being; especially around people I don’t know well.  Couple that with the way I had been feeling over the past several months, and I pictured myself holed up in one of the multitude of hiding spaces in the house, listening to my music and hiding from everyone.    

I decided, however, to give it a go; mostly because I had been reminded by someone that if you don’t take a chance once in a while, nothing will ever change.  And we all know I needed a change.  

My biggest lesson of the weekend?  If you continue to wait for Opportunity to knock you’ll find yourself constantly in the house baking cookies and never out experiencing life.   That’s because Opportunity doesn’t always knock, sometimes it whispers... and expects you to be still and listen carefully.  Sometimes Opportunity expects you to just BE YOURSELF, do what you usually do and allow that to draw others to you.  Sometimes Opportunity demands you to be bold and see what happens.   Opportunity did all of those things for me, and has left me with my head spinning a little (no, not physically) and looking forward to my next social outing. 

So, enough about me; I’ve been way too selfish lately with the whole ‘whoa is me’ thing.  Let’s talk about YOU and how these little lessons can benefit you.   

Lesson 1:  Listen Carefully

Opportunity doesn’t usually just scream your name, bang on your door and get your attention.  The problem is, many times that’s exactly what we are expecting.   We live our lives, stuck in our ruts and wondering when things are going to change.  All the while, Opportunity is whispering in our ear to “check out that new restaurant”  “accept the invite” or “just go dancing”.   That small, nearly inaudible voice that we ignore because we don’t like EVERYONE that will be at the party, or we don’t like eating alone, or a million other reasons, refuses to scream.  That little voice, when listened to, will provide us the chances we’ve been searching for all along.

So take a breath, listen to what it’s saying and seriously consider the possibilities.  When you do, new and interesting people appear in your life.  Things happen. Life blossoms and provides you something to finally smile about.  Trust me on this, I’m nearly an expert.    


Lesson 2:  Find and BE Yourself

Easier said than done, I know.  The hardest part of the lesson is realizing that WHO are you is acceptable and to accept it as a truth.  There are many, many different people in this world, and we are all valuable, loveable, acceptable beings.  Just because we don’t fit comfortably into a social standard, something “normal” or other such label we deem acceptable doesn’t mean that we aren’t a wonderful person with incredible things to offer in the right situation.  Self reflection, self admiration and self acceptance are the keys – very difficult keys, but keys nonetheless. 

Now that you know WHO you are, BE that person.   Be true to yourself, covering up what you are simply because it makes another person uncomfortable is only going to make you miserable.   The hard part is finding the right person or people that accept you and allow you to be that person.  When you find them, don’t let them go; keep them in your life and embrace the blessing.  Trust me, it IS a blessing.   Yes, there will always be times where you  have to morph yourself a bit to fit into a social situation or group, but don’t let that change who you are; be true to yourself and find a way to let yourself be YOU. 

When you know who you are, and you truly are THAT person, the Opportunities will be less difficult to  hear.  Opportunity isn’t going to knock if it knows the address is incorrect.   


Lesson 3:  Be Bold

Try new things, go places, talk to new people, and make new friends.  Play a game with a group of people you don’t know well.  Learn about others.  Learn about yourself and put your new interests into action. 

The only way to attract the right people in your life is to be bold about who you are.  When you do that, people that are interested in the same things that share similar beliefs, or those who were simply not sure if you’d ‘click’, suddenly start talking to you.   It’s a wonderful thing, and will certainly bring about new Opportunities for you.


Lesson 4:  Create Your Own Opportunity

When all else fails, or you can’t seem to put any of the above lessons into play, create your own Opportunity. After all, we are the masters of our own happiness; so it’s time for you to take control of that happiness.    Will it always go exactly as you planned?  Nope.   Will you potentially find yourself disappointed or hurt, yes.  But I promise you this, dear reader, it will be substantially less than if you don’t follow what makes you happy. 


So, I think that’s it for now; that’s all I have for you.   Remember, Opportunity doesn’t grab you by the collar and force you to pay attention, it’s subtle, quiet, and always right there for you to grab.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Plight of the People Pleaser

Before we get started, beloved reader, I know... I know.  It’s been forever; but to be entirely honest with you (something I always strive to be) I haven’t been in the proper frame of mind for blogging. To me, my blog should be about inspiration, education, and entertainment.  I haven’t been feeling any of those lately – thus the lack of noise from this site.   My outlook really hasn't changed much, but I thought maybe writing will change my mindset; or at least the things I write about will help change YOUR life. Alright, onto the good stuff.  
Hi, my name is Trinity, and I’m a People Pleaser.   Admit it, you did the “Hi Trinity” thing in your head; cookies are available in the back of the room.  Looking back, I realize I've been a People Pleasure all of my adult life; potentially starting in High School.  I won’t blame any specific event or person for this behavioral pattern, it was simply something I have become.   I am, in no way, saying that being a People Pleaser is a bad thing; it does, however, have the potential to be overwhelming a bit detrimental to someone if they don’t keep an eye on the situation. 
People Pleasers face unique challenges to their own happiness if they aren't cautious about what’s happening around them.  I, personally, have found myself struggling with all of the challenges listed here to varying degrees, which has landed me in my little unhappy slice of paradise.  

Lack of Balance
People Pleasers (I so desperately want to call them PPs ..but I just can’t bring myself to do it!) can get so wrapped up in ensuring the happiness of others in their lives that they lose balance.  No, I don’t mean they fall to the ground unexpectedly, although that’s been known to happen to me from time to time J.   We (yes, I’m including myself since I am already identified as a Pleaser) lose a sense of balance in our lives. We live to please and serve others, and forget that making ourselves happy is just as important.  This lack of balance leads to a lot of different things (see the next few points) including finding ourselves with little “alone” time, or zero time to do simple things in life, like laundry or house cleaning.   We find our schedules filled with “go here, do this”; and – at least in my personal experience – less than 10% of the things on the schedule are there because I want to do it for myself.   I know I’m not the only Pleaser that experiences this lack of balance; but I’ll be honest with you - I have no idea yet how to fix it. 

Busy, Busy Days
Who says there are only 24 hours in a day?  When you’re a Pleaser – you’re on the go constantly; making sure that everything is addressed; you often find a sense of time-warping.  If only there were a TARDIS and a sexy-smart Doctor to help us along!!   We find ourselves eating off the kitchen counter before bed, simply because there wasn't enough time to cook the dinner we had planned.  We find laundry piled up in the bedroom because there’s no way we can do laundry at 3am and still function the next day.  We have a ‘to be watched’ list in our DVR players dozens of lines long because we don’t have a day ‘off’ to just sit around and watch TV.   Of course, (at least in my case) this all explains why my house usually looks like a war zone.  And stresses me out to no end. 

Time for “Me”
Me time...I think I remember seeing that on a Lifetime Movie preview once; heheh.  The Me Time concept ties very nicely to the Busy, Busy Days.  From my personal perspective, I have not had a full day to myself (without work or other obligations) in over three months. No, I’m not exaggerating.  The opportunity simply does not present itself.  Not that I haven’t had wonderful times with people I care for, or days full of fun and laughter.  But we all need time to ourselves to stop from losing who we are.   There are several “reasons” for this that I will not elaborate on; but on top of the list is simple.  I feel an overwhelming sense of obligation when someone asks me to do something.  Saying No isn’t always an option or an ultimate outcome for a Pleaser.   We can’t stand disappointing someone simply because we want to have some time to ourselves; we do not see that as an acceptable reason.   Moreover, the more we try to please others, the harder it becomes to say no - -simply because they know we’ll give in if they ask enough.   
What would I do with me time?  OH THE LIST!!!   I won’t bore you with it, but know that it’s extensive and full of average, everyday things.   Things I simply haven’t had the chance to do, and it’s my “dream day” if I ever have one. 

Lack of Personal Joy
I've been avoiding this particular point for a while now; not just from a writing perspective, but from a personal perspective.  Pleasers rarely have an opportunity to experience their own, personal, joy. We gain joy from ensuring the people in our lives are happy; and we often do that to our own detriment. Don’t get me wrong – we have fun, we laugh, we love and we enjoy things.  However, the things we would do to make ourselves happy are not the things that would make the people in our lives happy (at least not at the time we need them) so we put them aside, and hope to get to them at another time.   The issue becomes when the time runs out, the Pleaser finds himself in a sad and sometimes empty place; and it’s a well that’s difficult to dig out of at times.

So, where do we go from here?   I’m not quite sure myself, lovely reader.  I know I’ve identified part of my unhappiness, but I’m not quite sure the resolution at this time… though I would love to hear your thoughts on it.   If you have a Pleaser in your life (they will usually not come right out and identify themselves as one, so watch for the patterns we discussed) talk to them about it (if they are open to that!).  Maybe together you can find a solution that makes everyone happy.
Remember, joy is a wonderful thing to behold…and worth pursuing. 

Much love to each of you