Susie Sunshine

Archive for 2008|Yearly archive page

Seeing Life in Black and White

In Motivational, Personal on June 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm

There has been a commercial on t.v. that I has fascinated me. It is where they show the world in black and white and then add only a spot of color. It might be a flower they color or a landscape. Whatever it is shows a remarkable contrast to the black and white background of everything else. The black and white makes the color look so vivid, beautiful, and eye-catching.

As I watch this commercial I see the colors as if for the first time. That made me think about life in general. As we have all the colors on a daily basis, do we really look at them and see them? Or, do we take them for granted? What would the world look like in black and white? I guess if you lived to see the old black and white television shows you would know.

In some ways I like those shows better than the current ones. I can use my imagination to color in the spaces. I can have purple clothes and yellow hair on whom ever I want. I am able to decorate the houses with colors that I like, not what the producer or director of the program wanted. But, what would it be like to have a black and white world, totally devoid of color?

I have tried looking at my surroundings that way. It’s difficult. So I look at the scene before me, close my eyes, and try to picture it in black and white. Now that works! I then color in something. Just one thing, no more. The color I put in stands out big and bold. That color becomes so real to me! It is not obstructed by surrounding colors and getting lost in my vision. It is vibrant.

Isn’t looking at life as cut and dried the same as looking at life as black and white? I mean, people who only see the cut and dried, black and white of a situation miss out on all the hues and colors in between. True life is full of colors the same as true life is not cut and dried or black and white. Unforeseen circumstances force their way into our lives making for interesting life experiences. What would life be like without them? Some people say comforting. Others say boring.

I find that people who lead a black and white life have more problems than those who lead a life with color. They are restricted by the monotony of the same old, same old. Whereas people who live a life with color, find solutions to problems faster and enjoy life so much more. It seems more happens to them. Their life is fuller.

Are you willing to see the world and life as it is meant to be seen? You need to Reboot Your Life™ in order to change from black and white to color. Are you ready?

© 2008, L. Sue Durkin


Be Accountable with a Partner

In Motivational, Personal on May 24, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Have you found yourself putting things off because you either forget or just don’t want to do them? Those are the things that you need to be accountable to someone in order to get them done. In the past year I discovered I do better when I am accountable to someone. That is difficult when you work at home. There is no one (except my husband) who stands over my shoulder to make sure I am doing what I need to do or how I do it. There is no one to rely on for criticism or praise. I must set the standards for myself. And what if I procrastinate? Scary question, indeed!

Work is not the only area that may need to have some sort of accountably to get accomplished. Weight Loss, exercise, watching your anger, handling finances, and so many more things get out of hand if you don’t have someone you can rely on to ‘rein you in.’ Only you know the areas that affect you.

Some of the things we need to do seem to trivial to partner-up. Those are just the things that we need the most help doing! Those are the things we tend to allow to fall by the wayside. In my life I don’t drink enough water and get dehydrated. I also forget to take pills. I have good intentions about other things and then just don’t follow through. Partnering-up with my friend helps me remember because I know that I have to tell her if I did or didn’t do it that day. Yes, I do feel guilty if I have to tell her I didn’t do something. So then I have to work on ridding myself of the guilt. But isn’t it easier to rid yourself of guilt on something simple? That teaches you how to rid yourself of guilt on major issues.

I find that partnering-up with my friend has actually opened a new door for me. I started a partner-up program with a friend of mine on remembering to take pills, drink the right amount of water, and daily exercise. We are accountable to each other everyday via email or phone. I look forward to my mini-jogging. I look forward to seeing if I can beat my water drinking goal. And it really feels good to know when I take my pills on a regular basis. Luckily her issues are the same as mine, so it is even better! However, the issues don’t need to be the same. They just need to be something you put off or forget on a regular basis.

We have done this for a week and it is working well for us. After our week is up we are going to add more goals to our accountability. I think setting a specific time to go to bed and get up would be a good one for me. I also want to change the type of foods I eat in a week. There are more but those will suffice for now. The following week I can add more.

I am sure there are areas in your life where you could Partner-Up and be accountable. So why don’t you grab a friend either on the internet or local and give it a try for a month. See what you accomplish. I would love to hear what this experience brought to your life.

Shifting Weather

In Motivational, Personal, Spirituality on May 18, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Weather was something that was talked about when there was nothing else to talk about.  It has become a major topic of conversation in the past couple of years though. It has come to mean more than rain for crops or sunshine for outside activities. It has become an everyday concern.

Weather patterns have changed so much in recent years that unexpected rain, wind, and heat waves are becoming commonplace rather than surprises. People are saying they can remember when in a specific previous year they had experienced certain changes, but not for such a long period of time. Still, people are not getting the drift of what is happening.

Is it Global Warming? I am not a scientist so I can not say. However, there is something that is causing such unusual weather all over the world: tornadoes out of tornado season, higher magnitude of earthquakes where they weren’t felt before, unseasonably hot/cold, and unseasonably wet/dry.

As The Great Shift continues towards it’s end, these extremes will become even more extreme. Shifting air currents, shifting weather patterns, shifting physical earth changes, and shifting perceptions of these occurrences will take over more and more conversations. Perhaps it will be important to some people what the causes are. Some people won’t care. Some just go with the flow and tolerate what we are hit with: good or bad. Personally, I just try to enjoy whatever weather comes my way, even the tornadoes. I am in a tornado alley.

There was a time when the blustery breezes of my area kept me from going outside. I just hated being blown off the porch. Then I realized what I was missing by not being in the nature I so love. I learned how to stand my ground. I learned how to walk. I learned how to listen. I learned how to feel.

Then the torrential rains made me head for the house. Again, my life was disrupted until I saw the disruption of those displaced by tornadoes, earthquakes, and other weather tragedies. I started to embrace the rain. I actually went out and got wet, even in a downpour. As the rain beat my body it felt as though I was being cleansed, both inside and out.

The heat would keep me from walking, the only exercise I attempted. Then I decided that it was keeping me from enjoying the sunshine and seeing the flowers. So I started to walk and pace myself. Maybe I didn’t get the exercise I should have gotten. I did get the enjoyment of God’s Earth, My Earth.

Yes, the weather is changing. Yes, some people see it as doom and gloom. I see it as a new way to appreciate what we have. I see it as learning experiences for all of us. Perhaps we are to change the way we live. Perhaps not. Again, it is all a matter of perception. For me, I look forward to the shifting of the earth. It tells me it is alive, therefore I am alive. It tells me that no matter what happens that life goes on. It will always go on no matter what I think or feel.

Life goes on. We must learn to deal with it. The Great Shift is just that: moving on. I’m moving on. Are you?

Tool for Communicating: Common Ground

In Motivational, Personal, Spirituality on February 20, 2008 at 12:27 pm

I saw the following quote today and it brought something to my mind.

“I hope that you at this moment will think of yourself as a human being rather than as an American, Asian, European, African, or member of any particular country. These loyalties are secondary. If you and I find common ground as human beings, we will communicate on a basic level.”

Insight From the Dalai Lama: 2007 Calendar, Copyright © 2006

Just recently the movie “Miracles” with Kurt Russell was on t.v.  We had seen it before on a rental dvd.  It impressed me then.  It impressed me the last time as well.  I believe the Dalai Lama quote fits it to a T.

In the movie each hockey player announced that he was from a particular college every time he was asked where he was from.  Eventually each player announced he was from the USA.  The reason behind this was they were all playing for the USA team even though they were from different colleges, different areas of the country,  and different backgrounds. In order to be team players and win, they needed to realize they were all from the same place and playing on the same team, together.

I believe that is what the Dalai Lama was saying in the above quote.  We all need to realize we are on the same earth no matter where.  We are all from the same source no matter our background.  We all need to work together to win in communicating.

I would love to know your thoughts on this as well.

Complaints or Facts: A Fine Line?

In Motivational, Personal, Spirituality on February 19, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Recently I got involved in a group that is intending to be complaint free for 21 days. This was all well and good until someone in the group had to give a reason for not visiting a friend in the hospital. What was needed to be said to the patient was actual facts. Would those facts be mis-construed as complaining? Is there a fine line between facts and complaints?

The facts were:

1. The friend was in a hospital 10 miles away.
2. The car only had 3 gallons of gas in it.
3. The gas needed to be used to go 3 miles to the patient’s home twice a day to feed her animals.
4. There was NO cash at all on hand.
5. The check book was overdrawn.

These were five complaints just ripe for the taking. Any one of them could be used for days as complaints. But they were facts not complaints, weren’t they?

Let me get this straight in my head. People complain about facts, as well as non-facts. So when is talking about facts complaining? The fine line now appears. Could it be your intention?

I have heard people say, “I don’t mean to complain, but….” However, that is their intention whether consciously or sub-consciously. If they weren’t complaining then why add a preface to their statement? Why does their statement sound as though they were complaining?

Stating facts is cut and dry with no vested interest in the outcome. Complaining is stating those same facts in an emotional way to elicit sympathy: somewhat like martyr sympathy. (See Chapter 5 in my book Life is Like Making Chocolate Chip Cookies on 3 Types of Sympathy.) Your tone of voice, your body language, and your choice of words all convey the facts as complaining or as just facts.

Listen to the people around you who are talking. Can you discern if they are complaining or just speaking facts? Does it seem everyone is complaining? Perhaps human beings have been domesticated to only hear the complaining or to assume it is complaining. Have we become a society of complainers? Or, a society that has accepted complaining as commonplace? Are you a fact-giver or a complainer?

On the receiving end a complaint can be treated as just that: a complaint. It can also be treated as just facts. How do you respond to the fact-given/complainer? Do you encourage the complainer to just state the facts without the drama? Do you encourage those who state facts to elaborate and get a little bit more emotional?

Many times people complain because sub-consciously they believe it is expected in today’s society. Some people think if they don’t complain and if they only state the facts other people will think they are complaining anyway. So there the fine line appears again. Now we are into assuming.

Using the five statements given at the beginning of this article, speak each one out loud as you would say them to someone else. Take the positive of stating them as a fact. See how it sounds. How did it feel?

Then speak those same five statements as if you were complaining. How did it sound? How did it feel?

Now find someone to speak those five statements to you as in the above exercise. How did it feel as the receiver when confronted with facts versus complaining?

It has been said it takes 21 days to form a habit. So for the next 21 days don’t complain. State what you have to say as fact without all the emotional baggage. In that 21-day period if you should complain even once, you need to start over from day one. Remember 21 days to form a habit: good or bad.

Start forming a good habit today. Be free of complaints. Accept life as it is and enjoy it!