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Link Love & Cordelia Around the Web (3/14/14)

2014 March 14
by Cordelia

Weekend LoveEvery Friday, I share my favorite reads from around the blogosphere, plus any extra stuff I’ve written outside this blog.  Enjoy!

 

 

How to stop your mind from talking all the time

We typically spend way more time thinking than we need to — like fifty to a hundred times more — and it creates a default background of stress and preoccupation. It keeps us from enjoying ordinary things, like putting on clothes or crossing parking lots.

These little things constitute the vast majority (like 99+%) of a person’s life, and they can actually be fun and poignant when the mind isn’t constantly talking.

Imagine life getting ninety-some times more enjoyable. That’s what we’re leaving on the table when we leave our attention hanging on an internal dialogue by default. It’s not the world that’s stressful. The outside world is a lot more peaceful than it seems, and this becomes clear whenever you take a break from thinking.

The thinking mind is like a perpetually-running chainsaw that thinks everything is a tree. It will use any excuse to rev up and start shredding something. Its purpose is to solve problems, so it wants everything to be a problem.

Most moments in your life, there’s no real need to do anything but observe. No analysis or figuring is necessary, but the mind really wants to do some anyway.

The thinking mind is a tool, and we can learn to put it down when it’s not needed, which is most of the time. We have an enormous amount to gain by simply thinking less, and that means learning how to put this overused tool down.

~David Cain at Raptitude

 

Finding the little biss(es): this is it.

These are the moments that are worth it. These are the parts and pieces. Happiness isn’t a victory, a destination, or an achievement. It’s not something I’ve won or owned; I’m not sure it’s something I can ever capture. But when I start to look around for it, it shows up in the smallest ways, in the minutiae of moments, in the collection of pieces I often forget.

Life isn’t felt in summation or as some frozen awkward final pose. It isn’t a grade, it isn’t a race, and it isn’t something you can buy. Life is a series of moments, and is experienced as that—a series of simple moments. Change is hard not because ideas are hard to have, but because mastering the little moments is tremendously challenging. It’s inside of the little moments that lies all of our life.

Life is a series of simple moments, one after the other. Life is about finding the bliss in the moment right now.

~Sarah Kathleen Peck at It Starts With

 

Beating the Busy Mindset

The truth is, there will always be more you can do for your business, your career, your life. Especially if you’re a go-getter, you will never arrive at a place where everything is done.

This is difficult for me to come to terms with. I like my email inbox empty, my tasks checked off. I want all the ideas on my whiteboard to be executed, and executed well. When things are unfinished, I feel stressed out, and I work — busily — to complete them.

But life will always be a work in progress. We must choose our priorities, remembering that most of our obligations are actually choices. And when we do, when we realize we can’t do everything and decide instead to do a few things well, busyness will no longer get the front seat. Your true priorities will be up front instead, right where they belong.

~Alexis Grant

 

37 Things That Are “Okay to Do” Even If Other People Tell You They Are Wrong

In the past, there were too many times I reconsidered or decided not to do something just because of what other people said. There were even other times where I got in my own way and convinced myself to not go after something because of my own doubts.

But, you live and learn …

And, one day I realized I was trying so hard to avoid any risk that I wasn’t going after things that I was supposed to be believing in and making happen. Instead, I was keeping myself trapped in an Infinite Loop. I was choosing to let my my uncertainty, doubts, and fears keep me stuck and I convinced myself I was being realistic and playing it safe.

One of the most important lessons I have ever learned is that we aren’t supposed to talk ourselves out of things that feel right just because we have doubts, fears or think that what we want is unlikely. Those doubts and fears are usually the voice of our Chief Negativity Officer and if we allow that voice to determine what we do, we will never get where we are meant to be.

~Sibyl Chavis on The Possibility of Today

 

Cordelia Around the Web

In which I shamelessly promote other posts I’ve written recently.

 

Image:  Fatma .M

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The Case for Slowing the Fuck Down

2014 March 11

lose signBecause I’ve stopped having blog ideas.

Because looking at my bloated Twitter stream makes me want to delete my entire online presence and forget it ever existed.

Because the emails never end.

Because I’ve owed one girl a blog review since November and still can’t find the time to make it happen.

Because I’ve cancelled with every friend I have at least 5 times in the past couple months.

Because I sometimes long to be back in the 9-5 just so I can have official “off” time.

Because I’ve forgotten what to do with myself when not attacking my to-do list.

Because losing an hour of time to Daylight Savings on Sunday nearly launched me into a meltdown.

Because I don’t think I’ve lived “in the moment” since I was 10.

Because I always feel guilty, inadequate and behind, like no matter what I do or how hard I do it, I will forever have more I should be doing and people I will be letting down.

Because I no longer know which way is up.

Because I got sick for a week and it feels like the rest of my 2014 will be spent trying to catch back up.

Because my body is screaming at me to treat it better.

Because in spite of approaching every minute according to its billable worth, murdering my social life and sanity and passion in the process, we are still in debt, and will continue to be until my husband is approved for disability benefits.

Because I hate approaching every minute by its billable worth.

Because I’m sick of reading everyone else’s thoughts and never allowing myself the space to have any of my own.

Because life is meant to be lived, not bookmarked and hashtagged and spun into a personal traffic-generating PR campaign. (Tweet!)

Because I’m sick of feeling like a brand that needs to be monetized instead of a living, breathing human creature.

Because I used to feel the sunset, and now I just feel tapped out.

Because reading people’s highlights and lowlights on Facebook gives you no idea what’s actually going on in their lives.

Because I’m overwhelmed by trivial data and underwhelmed by the experience of living.

Because I have a stack of 17 books waiting to be read.

Because I treat my clients better than I treat myself.

Because I have officially hit a wall that sheer determination and moxy can’t get me through.

Because it’s time to call it.

Because I’m supposed to be designing this lifestyle, not running madly after it in a forever reactionary state.

CCIQ Is Taking a Turn

For all these reasons above-mentioned, and oh so many more, I am officially announcing my resignation from busy-ness, 24/7 hustle and always being plugged in and ushering in a new, singular purpose for this year and this blog.

It is time to Slow the Fuck Down and remember what it means to be a living, breathing, feeling, dreaming human. The slashing and burning begins now.

This blog is on the way to its next evolution, and it’s going to be Quit-tastic.

Wanna join in? Join the Slow the Fuck Down campaign by tweeting your declaration with the hashtag #SlowTheFDown

 

Image:  thefuturistics

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Link Love & Cordelia Around the Web (2/21/14)

2014 February 21
by Cordelia

Weekend LoveEvery Friday, I share my favorite reads from around the blogosphere, plus any extra stuff I’ve written outside this blog.  Enjoy!

 

 

Why You Don’t Always Need Courage to Close the Deal

There’s been so much negative talk about Millennials lately, angry attacks about how we have these unrealistic dreams that we’ll never reach, spending our lives miserable and wanting more, never appreciating what we have and yet thinking we’re entitled to bountiful gardens with sparkling unicorns. And I will say this as eloquently as possible: Those people who are saying those things? Can politely (yet aggressively) shove it up their derrieres. Because I’ve had big dreams and bigger ambitions, and achieved each and every one. (Except eating Taco Bell on a grassy knoll with Ellen DeGeneres and owning a tiny pot-bellied pig named Mortimer, but there’s still time.)

My tilled garden with the lush grass and rows of perfect flowers? It’s flourishing. And my sparkling unicorn is happy as a motherloving clam. While high expectations can lead to disappointment (and certainly did, for awhile), that little voice that urges you to seek out what you absolutely love, and then do it, means that you genuinely don’t have to settle. My “magic garden” probably looks totally different than yours, and some people might argue that a work-from-home writer position isn’t the Holy Grail. But it’s my Holy Grail, and I can tell you with certainty that finding fulfillment in your career and a job that inspires, excites and IGNITES you is absolutely possible.

~Jessica Manuszak on CareerMeh

 

Hustle is a Dial, Not a Way of Being

Many professions and careers (and managers, unfortunately) make hustling an expectation. Too many companies create expectations that people will work non-stop, jump at an email, and stay up late with very little advance notice; this is hustling as a result of poor planning, not as a result of the ebb and flow of project schedules…

…Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee, a self-directed freelancer, or a consultant, constant hustling isn’t always indicative of a great environment. There is such a thing as too much hustling.

Hustle is a dial. Dial it up, ratchet it back. A mode that you can press to apply a bit more pressure, and ease up when it’s time to rest.

~Sarah Kathleen Peck at It Starts With

 

The Truth About Being Healthy [hint: it doesn’t look like Pinterest]

Once I accepted that the choices that make me feel my best aren’t always the easiest choices or the choices that require the least amount of effort, everything became so much more enjoyable. Life gets better when your goal isn’t to make things as easy as possible all the time.

~Nicole Antoinette at A Life Less Bullshit

 

A Valentine’s Breakup Letter to My Cheap Freelance Client

[Cordelia Note: Yes, I’m sharing this a week late. But it’s still so worth the read.]

I remember when we started our relationship, when you replied to my email saying yes, you wanted to hire me! My heart leapt, and I had butterflies in my chest at the sight of every email you sent me.

But now, things have changed. Instead of feeling happy when I think of you, I have other, less positive emotions. Stress, sadness, and anger run through me at the mere mention of your name…

~Daryl George on Be a Freelance Blogger

 

Cordelia Around the Web

In which I shamelessly promote other posts I’ve written recently.

 

 

Image:  Fatma .M

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Reader Quit: Living My Life the Way Other People Think I Should (by Lauren Root)

2014 February 20

One Life - One Chance basketball netThey Thought…

Hi! I’m a Gemini. We are known for effective communication (we like to talk), practicality and are mutable (very flexible). Essentially, we’re a mix of Yin and Yang. Oh, and we also tend to be indecisive.

I wish I could say that I don’t agree, but for most of my life, I’ve had this “issue.” From deciding what food to order to choosing a career path, I’ve always asked for the opinions of others. Wow, that sounds like I don’t have a mind of my own! In almost everything I’ve done, I’ve always tried to be agreeable and, well, go with the flow.

They Knew…

The most troubling of all of my indecisiveness has centered on my career. Ever since I was in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I enjoyed writing poetry and free verse in my spare time. This passion evolved into a bachelor’s degree in English. But what success can one have with that degree? Perhaps it was shame or uncertainty of feelings for my own success, but I allowed other peoples’ opinions to sway me from my goals.

Now, I can’t blame others for my choices. After all, we are free to make up our own minds, aren’t we? Something has always held me back -– fear. Fear of failing, fear of trying. For so long, I let what others thought about my future sway me away from my own goals. The sad thing is, I thought my dream was just that: a dream, an unattainable goal. That I should have more “serious” goals — whatever that means.

I listened to others’ opinions and even pursued their “suggested” goals, but when these things didn’t work, I felt even worse. Not only did I let myself down, but those people who “saw” this career path for me were saddened.

It just wasn’t my path; it was theirs.

Who I Am…

At the start of 2014, I decided to let this go and quit this trait. To start, I boldly quit something I didn’t enjoy. Most people would frown upon my choice without having a secure backup plan; perhaps it’s why I didn’t shout from the rooftops that I was free. I released myself from a disgruntled boss where nothing was ever good enough. It was my choice, and I feel liberated.

What’s more, I’m also working on quitting worrying about what others think of me. Everyone has an opinion. Some people are going to root for you and be your biggest fan no matter what, and others will just be naysayers. There’s always going to be those who are older, “wiser” and think they know what’s best for you, but they don’t. You’re the only you. At the end of the day, month or year, you’re the one who has be happy with yourself. (Tweet!)

This is why I have to take this leap into the unknown. Yes, it’s scary to not know the entire path. When I tell others, they want to know all the steps I’m taking to get to my goals, but sometimes I can only see the first few steps, and I think that’s okay. It takes guts and hard work to figure out what makes me happy and actually do it, especially against the odds! It has taken me longer than expected to get into this mindset, but I can’t give up now. Since my “break,” I’m writing much more, continue to be published and am taking valuable steps toward my dream career.

Believe in yourself and what you want to do — no matter what others think. Break free from perception and live your own life — you won’t regret it!

 

Lauren RootLauren Root is a freelance writer with publications in The Jewish Times of Baltimore. She has a master’s degree in teaching and enjoys writing poetry. In her spare time, she blogs on all things food and is an origami enthusiast. Visit her Twitter @RootieFoodie for some food finds!

 

 

Interested in submitting a Reader Quit of your own?  Check out how here.

 

Image: Lydia

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By the Way, I’m Bipolar

2014 February 17
by Cordelia

170A recent comment on this old post of mine made me realize I haven’t discussed my craziness on here for a while, and new readers might not even know the story.

The reason for this is simple: I am much, much better now, and on a daily basis, I totally forget that I am bipolar. I take my crazy meds, I keep an eye on my moods in case anything starts to get into the warning zone, but for the most part, I hardly even think about it anymore. Being in control of my life, my health and my time has erased any remnants of badness that still plagued me.

I’m not “cured”; I will never be cured. Every now and then, I’ll still flare up. But I also finally feel like I’m not “dealing” with my BP on a daily basis. It’s a program that runs in the background, like my lactose intolerance, and as long as I treat it properly, I only remember it’s there when I pop my pills in the morning.

The reason for this post is also simple. Since I rarely talk about my BP on this blog, I thought it was time to bring it back up as a quick public service reminder of a couple things:

1. Crazy People Are Perfectly Normal

This blog is not a blog about my craziness, because my craziness doesn’t define me. Of all the things that are going on in my life, I’d say it has the least to do with who I am and what I’m up to.

That’s not to downplay how serious BP is, or to make it sound like it’s been all rainbows and unicorns for me. It hasn’t. It’s just to point out that there’s nothing inherently untouchable about being crazy. Society treats it like a scary foreign object, but it’s not, if we’re willing to talk about it.

Us crazies aren’t all that much different from you. Everyone is dealing with something. This just happens to be our “something.” It doesn’t make us weaker. It doesn’t make us a hazard. You don’t have to treat us with kid gloves or worry about us breaking at a moment’s notice.

Society’s ideas of craziness are, sadly, extreme: Sylvia Plath, head in the oven. Charlie Sheen, ranting about winning and tiger blood. Being crazy does not mean you become like this – and thinking it does is why so many people are ashamed or embarrassed to admit what they’re going through.

It doesn’t have to be isolating. It doesn’t have to be a skeleton in the closet. Craziness is an illness. It’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about, and it shouldn’t carry anymore of a stigma than admitting you’re diabetic or have a peanut allergy. That’s the main reason I decide to come out about my own BP years ago, and why I thought it was time for a reminder – because I wanted people to realize we’re actually shockingly average. We’re just people, dealing with things. You don’t need to treat us any differently for that.

2. It Can Be Better

My college years were a living hell. My life after graduation wasn’t much better. For years, I loathed myself and the world I’d destroyed around me. I can’t think of that period without my stomach plummeting, because it was a dark, dark place I am so grateful I got out of.

But now? Now, things are better. And that is such an important thing to acknowledge.

Because when I was first diagnosed, I thought it was an end-of-life sentence. With only Sylvia Plath imagery in my head, I thought being BP meant I was doomed to descend into madness, never to live a “normal” life or know whether my emotions were mine or my condition’s. That’s part of the reason I waited so long to get help; I knew something was wrong, but I thought claiming my craziness would end any chances I had for a happy existence. I wanted to pretend it wasn’t true, because I had a horrible picture in my head of what it would mean if it were.

I was mercifully, ridiculously wrong. A mental illness diagnosis doesn’t have to be a be-all and end-all. Modern medicine is amazing, and there are so many ways to regulate and counterbalance these things that a “normal” life is totally possible. Your illness doesn’t have to define you. In fact, accepting it and addressing it strips it of its power. It becomes something you can handle instead of something that controls your world.

There is another side, and it’s possible get there. If you’re keeping your struggles to yourself, get help. If you haven’t found the right mix of meds and counseling yet, stick with it. You can defeat this thing, and you don’t have to go it alone.

I may not write about this subject again for months or even years. Because I don’t think I need to. That simple statement, in and of itself, speaks volumes.

 

Image:  Chelsea Gomez

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