Tag Archives: kick perfection to the curb

Suffering from depression? This might help…..

*Psst.. Did you know you can highlight any sentence in this post to automatically share it via Twitter or Facebook? Go ahead, give it a try!**

depression_quoteA dear friend, Keisha Gallegos compiled this list of strategies for dealing with depression and we want to share it with the world. Please share if you know someone struggling with depression. We hope it helps. 

First of all, if you are not functioning well or if it takes an inordinate amount of energy to get even the smallest task accomplished- medication. Be evaluated by a psychiatrist. That’s their specialty.

If you don’t like the first one you see, go see a different one. The first medication you try may not work, I had to try several before I got one that worked well.

In my opinion, untreated depression is much worse than possible side affects from medication. Your body can’t heal when you are depressed. That should tell us how debilitating depression is physically.

Later when you are stabilized, you can consider how long staying on medication is right for you. Sometimes it’s for a few months, maybe a few years, possibly for the rest of your life.

Second, therapy.

Deal with the shit you have been repressing your entire life. Take it out, look at it, and feel your feelings. The fear of dealing with it is far worse than actually dealing with it, I promise you.

You don’t have to lay on a couch for 40 years contemplating your belly button- that’s ridiculous. Try a large and regular dose of self compassion.

When you are good and sick of your own story, possibly try coaching. Coaching works because it teaches you good mental health hygiene.

Learn what your triggers are. For me, I don’t watch the news- it’s a distorted view of the world- focusing on the negative and magnifying it to astronomical proportions. Our nervous systems are not made to handle the details of every single heinous atrocity committed on every corner of the globe.

I make sure I eat well and sleep enough. I don’t hang out with people that treat me badly or make me doubt my sanity- even if they are family.

I protect my energy like the queen guards the crown jewels and I infuse my life with positivity.

Put together a box where you put in a note of every single thing you remember that makes you happy. When you are depressed, you can’t remember what makes you feel better so have something readily available. Have a happy playlist. Learn to detach from painful thought patterns that create suffering. Practice random acts of kindness, read good news, cuddle with pets, go for a walk, spend time in the sunshine for vitamin D, make yourself go to gatherings where you feel loved.

Don’t retreat. Keep involving yourself in life.

Do things that feed your spirit.

Most of all, treat depression as the serious disorder that it is. Medicate it if you need to and don’t be ashamed of it. You are not weak or ungrateful.

I’ll never forget when I went on medication and I was doing some self shaming about “needing” it. I asked my sister what people did before anti-depressants, and she said, “They drank, Keisha. Take the meds.”


Guest post by Keisha Gallegos

Counteracting the internal predator…being supportive to self.

70620889.Y2hPFqyeWe all have internal voices that regale us with how many things we do wrong.

This voice seems to take great pleasure in rendering us helpless in the face of challenge.

It happily reminds us about all the things we failed to finish. It shifts and disrupts the ground from under our feet with all the things we can’t do.

If we believe these internal onslaughts, we remain tightly wrapped and bound by our failures instead of being able to open up those failures and glean the lessons in each.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women Who Run with Wolves tells us we can “dismantle the assaults of the natural predator by taking to heart and working with what is truthful in what the predator says and discarding the rest.”

If my internal predator says “you are so wasteful, you have so much fabric and never finish any quilts”…I can calmly tell myself that I have made and finished more that 12 quilts and each child has at least two quilts handmade completely by me.

This example is quite tame. It can happen, however that my internal predator can tell me something like:

“Oh, so you think you are so special and want to end Gender Violence? Well missy….YOU have been yelling at people all your life. You even yelled at someone last week! Who are you to think you can do this?”

I will then have to have the presence of mind to remind myself that I am human and while I still do yell, I am trying to stay calm in situations and to treat others as I want to treat myself.

If I can do these exercises with my OWN internal predator, then I have a fighting chance to speak MY truth in the face of an external predator.  The person who wants to abuse me physically, emotionally or verbally is an example of an external predator, whereas, an internal predator is the negative voice that tries to bring me down.

The external predators can do serious damage to my psyche and if I do not develop the internal muscles against my internal predators then I have very little chance of standing up to external predators.

Estes tells us that we can “dismantle our predator by maintaining our intuitions and instincts and by resisting the predator’s seductions.”

How do you hone your instincts when the world is ready to tell you that what you feel is false and that your instincts are stupid?

The only answer is that YOU must believe in YOU!

You have to be courageous enough to know that you have deep understandings about life.

You can sit in prayer or mediation and recall times in your life when you did listen to your instincts and were happy because you did.

Like any skill, listening to your instincts is a muscle you must build up.

You must have patience, and practice on little things.

For example, if someone asks you to do something, instead of answering from your head, take a few minutes to notice the way your body is reacting to the request.

Do you feel happy and joyful, or heavy and dark when you think of the request?

Only you will be able to read the signs that your body give you.

Then, you have to be courageous enough to follow your natural instincts.

This may mean that you have to say NO to things you used to say YES to.

I know someone who recently told her boyfriend that she would no longer take part in orgy sex. She was very scared to do it and felt he would leave her if she refused. Whenever she had done it in the past, she felt dirty and less worthy but he always told her that she was the prettiest one in the room. She so badly wanted to hold on to him, she continued with behaviors that left her feeling empty and nauseous.

When she finally decided to stop the orgy sex, she delivered her decision and he promptly left her. He found someone who would do exactly what he told her to do.

It took her a while to recover but now she is happy that she found the courage to end that part of her life.

She had to get used to a new normal. A life without big lavish parties…but now she has her life and her body and self worth.

When you decide to counteract the internal predator it will mean that you must get used to a new normal.

Give yourself time to craft the new way.

Give yourself a pat on the back every time you kick the internal predator to the curb.
Love and light,

Hanging on to the buoys

image via newsdayWhen I was 49, I decided to learn to swim and to participate in an Olympic Distance Triathlon.
Yes, you read that right…learn to swim!
Even though I had grown up on an island, what I used to do in the ocean was not swimming. It was simply not drowning.

So on the day of the triathlon, I looked out over the lake at Disney World and I counted the buoys that marked the swim course.

The idea is to swim as close to the buoys as possible and use them as a guide to swim the distance of one mile.

My strategy was VERY different.

Since I had only learned to swim properly six months prior, I could not swim one mile in a single go.
I had practiced “buoy to buoy” so to speak.
I had also heard that swimmers were so eager to finish first that they kicked you in the face, kicked off your goggles and pretty much ignored that you we also trying to finish a race.

I remember the night before I left for Disney World I had a neighbor who had done many triathlons and I asked him for advice.
He said, with a smile, “So when’s the Tri?”
I smiled right back and said, “In two days.”
He shot up from his relaxed seated position and said, “WHAT?”
He seemed to think I had waited too long to ask for help.
So I asked him for just one piece of advice.
He said, “Be careful of the other swimmers. Wear two swim caps and sandwich your goggles between them, you may hold on to them longer. Swim away from the buoys and this will lessen the chance that you’ll get kicked in the face.”
I said, “Ok, see you in a week.”
He looked at me like I had lost my mind.
Well, I took his advice and I wore two caps, I sandwiched my goggles and I swam WAY away from the buoys (even as an amateur I know that this may have doubled my swim distance).

I was NOT kicked in the face.

I added my own bits of advice.
I swam buoy to buoy!
The WHOLE way!
Want to know what else I did?
I imagined that a childhood friend was standing on each of those buoys and they were TAUNTING me like they usually did.
I imagined them saying things like, “Indrani, you’ll never make it to the next buoy!”
I imagined myself cursing them and saying, “Watch me!”
I did this for about seven buoys.
The last two buoys were different.
All of a sudden all of my childhood tormentors were piled together on the last remaining buoys and they were screaming things like,
“You GO!”
“Don’t you DARE give up!”
“We BELIEVE in you!”
I even caught myself laughing out loud as I clung to the final buoy.

At that buoy, a young man in a canoe, came up and asked if I was tired and asked if I needed to hold onto his life float.
I told him I was tired and I was worried that I was swimming in zigzags so I was really using more energy than I needed to use.
He told me that if he saw me zigzagging he would slap the water with his paddle, I would hear it and look up and see how to correct my course.
He then said, “Ma’am, please don’t give up. All of us out here on the lake want you to finish. We are all rooting for you.”
I laughed at him and said, “I am from Trinidad, I turned 50 two days ago, I learned to swim six months ago and I am like the Jamaican Bobsled Team… I will never give up!”
He laughed and said, “Ok, see you on the beach.”

Dear readers, I finished dead LAST! But I finished.

Love and light,


Are you an approval junkie?

thumbs-up via successfulworkplaceApproval junkies MUST have people give them a constant supply of their drug of choice…APPROVAL.
“The most sensitive of approval junkies are reluctant to take any action that might be in their own best interest because they’d risk incurring anyone’s disdain.”

How do you handle disapproval?
Do you crater?
Do you feel like you cannot breathe?
Do you feel like your world is falling apart?

Can you ask a good, TRUSTED friend to tell you what you tend to do when people are likely to disapprove of you?

A good friend of mine finally had the nerve to stand up to her cheating husband. He accused her of being frigid and cold and not at all sexy, so that’s why he had to have affairs. After a few years of hearing these words and often believing them, one day she said, “So why would you even want to stay in this marriage if I am all of those things?” He was shocked. She asked for a divorce and told him to leave the apartment. He dragged his feet for almost 8 months and she KNEW that he was not even looking for a new place to stay.

One day when he was at work, she traded apartments with the neighbor across the hall and when he came home and used his key he found himself in someone else’s home and his clothes were in garbage bags at the bottom of the stairs. He was shocked.

That is how she managed to escape the tyranny of a lousy marriage.

He knew all of her hot buttons and he pushed them regularly. Further, he was a financial contributor and she needed his help. When she finally woke up, she had to get out.

She is happily married today and we both laugh at the experience.

What MUST you finally accept about yourself to avoid the hot buttons being activated?

One of the things that I had to accept about myself was that I have a loud voice and I speak my mind.

So now when people accuse me of speaking up or talking out of turn, it no longer hurts my feelings and I say… YEP, that’s who I am and I love myself!
What do you LOVE about yourself?


Love and light,


Deep down, we all want to run around naked…


We cover our bodies to hide our imperfections.feet_earthing via wakeup-world.com

We use make-up to cover our blemishes.

There are so many products out there to cover up our flaws.

But regardless of what we look like on the outside, deep down don’t you just want to run around naked? Naked in that you do not have to cover up who you really are?  Don’t you wish you could let your flaws….the mole, the freckles, your imperfect smile, just be out there for everyone to see?  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to show our open wounds, our vulnerabilities, the scars from the miles traveled?  Imagine the freedom to be trusting enough to allow others see the tears on our face, the awkward jig we do around the room when we are happy and to hear us sing out of tune when our hearts are full of joy.

We have become obsessed with covering up our bodies, our emotions and our thoughts.
I say quit your grinnin’ and drop your linen!

Expose your body, your feelings, your soul….if not to others, then to yourself.
You’ll be amazed.

At the masquerade….


For me, a masquerade conjures images of the Victorian elite with masks hovering over their eyes.  Or The Phantom of the Opera, whose true physical self is partiallymask via cathyberggren.com covered by a mask of white….and those at Mardi Gras wearing colorful masks which allow them get away with all sorts of mischief behind a veil of secrecy.

But do we need to wear something on our face to hide our true selves?  Do we need sequins, and face paint to hide our pain, or our looks, or to protect ourselves from the judgment of others as we actually try to be our true self?

I look at the masks I wear to create the illusion of what I want people to see and sometimes I wonder who that illusion is for?  Is it really for them or me?

I am not sure what is scarier….to drop the mask and have people see me for what I am or for me to see myself, perhaps for the first time, as I truly am.

Either takes courage.

Can you pull the mask from your eyes?

What will people miss about you?

What will people miss about you?

I invite you to make a complete list of all you do for others.

Do you sometimes feel useless?
Feel like your work has no use in the world?

Make an in-depth list and be sure to put things like:

Picking up socks
Cleaning toilets
Buying extra toilet paper

Yes, it can be funny what your jobs actually are and how crucial those jobs are to the smooth running of your world.

After you make a list, take a look at it. Are you pleased with the way the list looks?
No? Then change it.
Put things on the list that you want to do.
Find ways to make those things happen.

We have very short windows of opportunity….make today’s window count.


Love and light,


Enough already, stop falling down!

Imagine this…

A toddler gets the courage to take a few steps and falls. Mom and Dad
clap with outstretched arms and help her up.
She’s quite befuddled as to how she got up in the first place and now
how she got down.
She accepts the help that comes with a provision of hugs and kisses
and the perfect family continues to play this game until she becomes
utterly exhausted.

Tucked safely in her crib, Mom and Dad begin to strategize about
tomorrow’s walking lessons.
“We’ll walk behind her and not let her fall”
“We’ll install handles all over the house so she will always have a
way to stand up straight.”
They continue with their plans and they remember fondly how the baby
next door, just walked effortlessly in one day.

They are pleased with themselves and go to bed.
A few weeks later, baby is still struggling and keeps toppling, but seems
to be enjoying the process of standing up and falling down.

They change up the game plan but nothing seems to be working. This is
taking much longer than is convenient for them.

One day, they both look at each other in exasperation and as baby holds
out his hand for help they say,
” Enough already, stand up!”

Are you appalled?

I was cringing as I was creating this, it is so awful!
What awful parents!
Call CPS!

But wait a minute…
Don’t we do exactly this to ourselves as we are learning new behaviors?

We try to stand up for ourselves and say “NO! I will not accept that anymore”.

The other person fights back and makes us feel bad and we give up.
We give up because it is too painful to keep trying the new behavior and                                                                                                  fall on our face then try to find the strength to start all over again.

We look at ourselves in the mirror and yell at our reflection. We berate
the small person inside that keeps trying to make a happier life for
the “mature” person staring back at us.

I give you permission to treat yourself as a tender toddler and keep trying.
Do you have mean friends who keep putting you down and trying to
influence you to give up?

Say this to them:

Enough already with the negativity! If you cannot support my growth
then we have to renegotiate this relationship.

Have fun falling down and getting back up. Practice makes better. Let’s kick
perfection to the curb. Have fun with your missteps.


Love & light,


Step closer for a better view.

Homeless Sweet Homeless 2 by Pandaphobia

I have seen homeless people at a distance. 
But I took a step closer and this is what I saw.
I did not see dirty people
I saw people who looked their best.

I did not see uncaring
I saw people asking about one another.

I did not see solitude
I saw kinship. 

I did not see withdrawal
I saw openness.

I did not see disconnection.
I saw bonding.

I did not see isolation.
I saw communicating.

I did not see self-pity.
I saw self-regard.

I did not see unmotivation
I saw determination

I did not see dumbness
I saw intelligence

I did not see fear
I saw courage.

I did not see aggression.
I saw friendliness.

I did not see disregard.
I saw appreciation.

I did not see scowling faces.
I saw smiles.

What I saw? Human beings just like me.

Do you have the courage to take a step closer to someone or something to get a better view?

If you build it… Will they really come?


What if you build something, or create something or plan something and
people say they will attend. Yes, they are sure that they will come.

So you invest time, money, energy, etc, and you are pumped, and you
are energized and you are ready.

The day has finally arrived, with all the planning, all the reminders. You get into your car and drive to the venue. You check all the
systems that need to be checked. You wait and wait and wait. The time of performance is here, the music starts and you realize that
only a handful of people have shown up. You keep calm and carry on all the while wondering how could it be that it all fell apart?

This, dear friend, is what happened on 12/18/2011.

I had been asked by several people to plan a Christmas flash mob. So I did.
I kept asking people are you sure that you are coming. I could still cancel, if there was no interest. But, I was constantly reminded that
there was interest.

How does it feel to put time and love and attention into something that fizzles at the last moment?

Here’s what NOT to do!

Do Not Take It Personally!
It has nothing to do with you. It has to do with every individual who did not show. I am sure that they all wanted to be there, but life happens, and in their lives things happened that kept them away.

Was I sad?
YES, I was sad!

Was I confused?
YES, I was confused.

Did I wonder if I had somehow screwed up?
YES, I thought that I had screwed up.

How could I have screwed up?
Did I not do enough reminders on FB?
Was the planning lacking?

I do not have answers to any of those questions.
I only know that I tried my best.
At the end of the day, that is all any of us can do.
Do our best.
If it’s not good enough for anyone, well that’s just too bad.

Easy to say, harder to believe.
I encourage you this holiday, to just do YOUR best.

Happiness, joy and peace this the holiday season of 2011
Love and light