Courage

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Moving Forward or Sliding Back?

Today this phrase has been repeating in my head, if you are not moving forward you are sliding backward. There is no such thing as being “idle”.  We are either growing or deteriorating, maybe that’s a strong word, but it is true.  I am not saying we have to be at a full run all the time, but if there is no effort towards growth then old habits and behaviors creep back into our lives.  What I focus on gets stronger.  If I focus on the negative that grows and gains power over me.  If I focus on positive things and improving that grows and changes me.

I got comfortable after I moved to Fort Worth.  I have a great job, a 5 mile commute, a very nice apartment with quiet neighbors.  I love being at home and feeling at peace.  Well there is a very short distance between relaxing & being peaceful and hiding out & being lazy.   While at work I was growing and gaining respect, and my spirit was finally calming from its frantic pace, my health and physical condition was deteriorating.  Sometimes I feel like there are three sides to me, characterized by me at these various ages:

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Super Hero

There is the confident, business woman who feels like a super hero. I can do anything I set my mind to and feel absolutely competent.  As my boss and I say, we are “Ridiculously Awesome!”

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Brenda the Brave

 

 

 

 

 

Then there is creative, silly, funny and flirty Brenda, who has survived what life has thrown at her and still smiles.  She is a strong woman who is compassionate and loving with a bright spirit.  She is adventurous and loves to try new things and is always ready to grow and improve. This is Brenda the Brave.

 

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Viking Brenda

Finally there is the little girl who is terrified, but goes along with change, only after she is done fighting it.  She is very self-critical, and remembers every time she has been hurt.  She is always comparing herself to others.  It is amazing how much self-loathing can come from such a cute little girl.  Viking Brenda (I couldn’t find a picture of me with my arms crossed)

Trying to keep these three sides all moving forward is like trying to stop the tide from rolling in and out.  I feel like Super Hero and Brenda the Brave is the main part of the ocean ebbing and flowing and then there’s Viking Brenda running up the shore and then relaxing back.  (attack and retreat)  Honestly, I have improved over the past 5 years, but Viking Brenda is sneaky.

The question is how do you calm a raging child, so she doesn’t drag you back into the hole you just crawled out of?  I have struggled with taking these actions, but in 2014 I learned a technique of “Self Therapy”, which was highly effective for treating trauma (PTSD).  Basically, when my feelings would rage in some way I had to sit with myself and figure out “who” it was coming from, it was usually Viking Brenda freaking out.  It was always fear based.  I would spend time talking to my little Viking and let her know that I am not in danger and Brenda the Brave can handle the situation.  I would talk to her with love, kindness and compassion.  Now, what I needed to do on-going which I have slacked off on is spending time talking to her with love and compassion through meditation every day.  I feel kind of silly, but that is how the negative tape in my head gets changed.

So my efforts in this area ebb and flow, but I decided, in October, that I was going to jump in with both feet and go on a retreat and concentrate on what I want out of life and create a map of how to get there.  It’s okay to ask for help!  So in May I will be attending the Matthew Hussey Retreat in Florida.

I am so excited and I know that it is going to help me pull all the areas of my life together and get us heading in the same direction.  My “Core Confidence” is the key to this phase of my transformation.

Until then I am practicing things I have learned through other resources and taking these gradual steps to keep from sliding backward.

Action, Action, Action!   Thrive  by Arianna Huffington is a great book for the “A” personalities out there.

Resources to this post:
Get the Guy. By Matthew Hussey
Power of Vulnerability by Brene’ Brown
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Thrive by Arianna Huffington

Self Therapy by Jay Easley

 

 

Brenda’s Pets

I figured my first story for Passion in Action would be one of my own. I have many passions and animals are one of them.

In 2003 I had come to the end of my rope with my present career, accounting.  I am very good at it and I enjoy parts of it, but I had become disenchanted with the corporate world.  I expect that the people in power are going to do the “right” thing and had found again and again at company after company, this is not always the case.  I had quit a job, without notice or another job, due to this ethical conundrum.  This resulted in a stretch of unemployment, which due to God’s grace I had friends and family to help me through it.  I just wanted out of that field.  Initially without thinking things through, I tried selling cars. HA! Good-bye frying pan, hello fire, which lasted two weeks.  Next, brilliant idea, waitressing!!  Again, bad idea!  I lasted less than a week in that experiment.  I finally decided that I would go back to accounting.  I got a job right away.  I found a room to rent and started back on that path, praying all the way.  After a year and a half in a sweatshop atmosphere, I quit and decided I would do accounting only as a temp employee while I found my passion.

My running partner growing up
My running partner growing up

So here we are in 2005, I’m doing temp work for Match.com and in the evening I am working on finding my path.

  1. I made a list of everything I love I had a hard time to start, but it come down to two things: Animals and Helping Others.
  2. Next I listed everything I could do to possibly support myself in those two areas, with no real start-up costs?  I know what you’re thinking, good luck lady.  I thought about it and I am everyone’s go to girl for pet sitting, but I wasn’t charging for my time.
  3. I did some research and found an organization called Pet Sitters International (PSI). They have a certification program, group insurance rates for pet sitter insurance, all the forms and business tools needed and a way of marketing.  JACKPOT!!  Only $200 at the time to get started.
  4. I designed my own website…not an easy task, but I got some clients that way. Most of my clients were my friends and referrals from my friends.  I used Google advertising and set a budget for what I could afford each week.  I got a few clients that way.
  5. Obstacles for me were that I could really only do morning and evening visits, overnight stays, or midday near my work. I pulled in probably a good $5,000 the first year this way.  I thought by 2007 I could hire on some sitters to expand my area.  I tried it and found that I didn’t have that level of trust and after only a few jobs I said back to just me.
  6. I decided that I may not be able to support myself with this I did have a nice side income and I got to hang with some great dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. I also learned how to give insulin shots to cats, which came in handy when one of my own cats was diagnosed with diabetes.

After the economy crashed fewer people we willing to pay for pet sitting and it is a taxing job. I decided to set the business aside until retirement.  My pets have kept me very busy and I am so glad I followed through with my dream.  I learned so much about running a business and people in general.

My tip to anyone who has a dream they just can’t seem to make time for, MAKE TIME!!  You always have time for what is important.  How much time do you waste just doing nothing of value and call it relaxing.  I had to face this this year 2016, that I do tons of stuff but much of it is just a form of procrastination from doing the hard work related to what I REALLY want in my life.  I have to do the hard work and stop hiding in being “busy”.    TAKE THE ACTION!!

I have a list of 13 people I know who made the time and have pursued and are still pursuing their passions.  They have many successes even while having children, aging parents who need care, medical ailments and the list goes on.  There is nothing that can’t be done if you WANT it and LOVE it!!  GO!! DO IT!!  TAKE ACTION!!

Mr. Boots
Mr. Boots
Miss Maggie
Miss Maggie