Category Archives: leadership

red tent revival returns 17-21 May

Shakespeare mug

Today I heard a woman named Kristin Sweeting Morelli say something that rocked my world.

“Shame can only live in darkness.”

She said it in the context of people — of women in particular — keeping to themselves the things they were most ashamed of about themselves and their experiences, whether they were at fault or not.

Shame doesn’t belong only to the miscreants, the cheaters, the liars, the politicians. Everyone carries shame about something in their lives, and in our world today, women feel shame surrounding so much.

Shame for being fat. For being old. For being educated. For being a stay-at-home mom. For having children — for not having children. Being divorced. Staying in a relationship that’s bad for you. Being successful. Not having a job.

And, pretty much universally, women are shamed about that which makes them fundamentally who and what they are: feminine beings who come into this world as highly sensitive and sensual creatures.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 19.23.04

It isn’t until women are able to feel safe in their communities (whether these communities are friends, family, a partner, or an organization) that they can begin to shed that shame. Safety is the foundation of vulnerability — which is one of the most powerful forms of connection and healing there is.

I’ve been part of Kristin’s special tribe of women since its inception in late 2013. I’ve witnessed the unfolding of countless women into something so sacred and beautiful that I’m struggling coming up with the words right now.

As an invitation to catch a glimpse of what this tribe is about, Kristin hosts an immersive, radiant online festival celebrating what it means to be a woman . . . what is the Potent Feminine, and how to access her. Because every woman has it, inside. But in a culture of to do lists, multi-tasking, carting children around from activity to activity, business, eating junk, and generally feeling like we must be Superwoman, most of us have lost touch with her. We’ve settled for toxic relationships and environments and neglected our own self-care, wearing this as a badge of honor.

How many of you reading this would actually take me seriously if I asked you to take a 15-minute break between your workday (or watching your kids) for yourself to just get in your body and dance?

I feel like so many of you just rolled your eyes and muttered your own version of, “Yeah right. After I cross off A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H . . . from my list, maybe I might get around to it.” Like any other modern-day woman, there are times I feel like this too.

Let me tell you about Kristin. She was a self-made multi-millionaire by the age of 30. Do you think she might know something about that go-go-go lifestyle?

She has also overcome a number of physical and emotional trials that I won’t get into right now — challenges that no human being should ever have to face, let alone as a child. The fact that she has been able to rise above these challenges and shed the shame that came with them is for me a shining light of hope for the rest of the world.

So about this online festival. It’s called the Red Tent Revival, and this is how it works: each night, for five days, Kristin livestreams an hour of dance. Dance, for me, has played a significant role in my own freedom as a woman and as a young stroke survivor who was once paralyzed on a half of my body: After the stroke, I stopped dancing for about eight years. When I started again, I felt like I had liberated myself from a prison of my own making.

This time it runs from 17-21 May at 8pm Eastern.

What kind of dance do we do in the Red Tent? Every installment is slightly different, but I had the privilege of joining Kristin in Boulder this March to attend the Revival in person, so this particular iteration of the festival is especially sacred to my heart. (She is rebroadcasting it because back in March she was going through some really intense personal issues.) The first day, we kicked off with some drumming and allowing our bodies to respond to the beats.

Day 2: CONSCIOUS BURLESQUE

Photography by Kat Bartell at Eye of the Kat Boudoir Photography

Photography by Kat Bartell at Eye of the Kat Boudoir Photography

We started off with burlesque, led by Mad Ame Merci, a beautiful soul who teaches Conscious Burlesque.

Conscious Burlesque is not just about stripping off your clothes and teasing the audience. I’m a frequent audience member at various cabarets and burlesque shows here in the city, but Conscious Burlesque is a different art form.

Mad Ame Merci performed a gorgeous piece she created to show us the sad unfolding of a stifling relationship she had gone through, and it sent chills through me (through all of us). I loved the contrast of the ugly (smearing her lipstick off as she pulled off her gloves, for example) against the beautiful choreography. It was raw; it was real — it felt to me like the tragic love story so many of us have lived.

Day 3: SENSUAL DANCE

My first experience with sensual dance under Kristin’s guidance was on my first day in her tribe. I was so moved as she led us to consciously choose parts of our bodies to love. It started simply: begin with a part of your body you find easy to love, like your hair or your smile . . . but then gradually moved to loving the parts that are more difficult.

For me, this was my left arm — at the time, I was still holding grudges against the left side of my body for betraying me after the stroke.

It was like the first day I started writing my memoir. A barrier had been lifted, and the tears began to flow. Forgiveness and love began to replace the resentment and disconnect that once existed between me and my body.

Attend the Red Tent Revival here.

Day 4: BELLYDANCE

Photography by Art of Seduction Chicago

Photography by Art of Seduction Chicago

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found myself mesmerized by Shakira music videos. It’s less about the music to me and all about her movements. In my early 20s I vowed to one day move like Shakira, and while I’m not there (like, at all), experimenting with bellydance is always a fun ride. The isolations and the undulations make me feel so sensuous.

Kristin brought Sadie Marquardt, one of the bellydance global community’s most prominent figures, to guide us in some basic bellydancing movements. She was incredible!

In the spirit of full disclosure, though, I have to admit bellydancing has always been a bit of a challenge for me (especially in the presence of others) because it exposes the part of my body that I’ve spent a lifetime trying to cover up. (Shame lives in darkness, right?)

But Kristin created an environment in which every body type, any kind of belly — reminding us that women’s bellies have life-sustaining qualities and that that’s where our power lives — is wonderful and accepted.

Hearing this made me feel safer in the presence of my own self-judgment, even when I was participating in the Red Tent from the privacy of my own home.

Day 5: SAMBA

Samba is a sort of street dance they do in Brazil. My favorite part is the costumes: full plumes of giant feathers, feathers, feathers! As a student of ballroom dance, I have had quite limited exposure to samba personally, since it’s a slightly different animal altogether.

On the final day of the Revival, Sadie returns fully covered in beads and feathers. It’s fabulous — and then we learn a basic routine. (It’s a cardio workout!)

THE INTERVIEWS

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 19.24.23

After the live dancing sessions each night, two virtual “stages” will open up: the Aphrodite stage and the Kali stage, each containing an exclusive RTR interview for you to watch and learn from for the next 24 hours. These interviews are the meat of the Revival because it begins our “coursework” into the Potent Feminine.

Back when I was going through a dark, painful breakup, I helped myself through it by learning from relationship experts. In that journey, I always resonated with a lady named Alison Armstrong. To my delight, Kristin invited Alison into the Tent with her brilliant work on The Queen’s Code. This groundbreaking work has shattered what I — and most other modern-day women for that matter! — have always believed served us in the world. . . . Through Alison’s Queen’s Code work, we have learned a completely new, counterintuitive way of operating with (and not against) the men in our lives. With Alison’s insights on the strengths and weaknesses of both masculine and feminine energies, we have learned how to empower ourselves as well as men in the world at large. No longer do we as women need to put men down in order to feel safe — and I believe this is the newest chapter of feminism.

Within the Red Tent Revival, Alison was gracious enough to share a four-part series on how to be the queen of your own life. The final day was especially powerful, as she and Kristin took us through a sacred ceremony to end the war between the sexes for good. It was epic.

Besides Alison, Kristin invited other cutting-edge experts to discuss their areas of expertise: Sheila Kelley, the phenomenal creator of S Factor, who demystifies the Erotic Creature within every woman. (As an aside, please take a look at her TED talk, which I adore.)

There’s Dr. Debra Wickman, a gynecologist who specializes in reconnecting women with their own anatomy and shedding light on the years of darkness we women often have with our lady parts. For me, this was absolutely amazing and sacred.

It was then in her interview with Laura Silva (daughter of the man who brought us The Silva Method), Kristin said, “Shame can only live in darkness.” I believe this to be the fundamental belief under everything we do in the Red Tent Revival and the Pleasure Tribe — to bring the thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, unconscious patterns we brought with us out into the light so they no longer live in darkness and can finally heal.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 19.28.07

OWN THE REVIVAL/JOIN THE RED SISTERHOOD

Throughout the Red Tent Revival, you will have access to not only the dance sessions and the interviews, but you’ll have the chance to enter Kristin’s “WOOHOO” contests, and you’ll receive some exclusive Secrets of the Red Tent.

own it

If you decide the material you’ve seen in the Red Tent is valuable and you want to keep it forever, you will have the chance to own the Revival and all its videos as well as some divine bonus content Kristin made especially for us. You can also choose to join me and my sisters in the Pleasure Tribe and the RED Sisterhood — it’s a yummy community of beautiful connection, exploration, and celebration. I’ve been part of the Pleasure Tribe for 18 months and counting, and I would never go back.

I’ll address what you may be wondering . . . I am part of Kristin’s Impact Posse, which means I’ve volunteered to help spread the word about her work. The Revival is completely free, but if you opt to make a purchase, I do get a commission.

Back in March, I committed to helping raise funds for one of my R.E.D. Sister’s Red Mastery journeys, so if I do make any commission from this promotion of the RTR, half of it will go to my friend’s fundraiser. I believe in Kristin’s R.E.D. movement with every cell in my body (R.E.D. stands for “Radiant, Erotic, Divine.”) — so my question for you is, will you have the courage to discover your inner R.E.D. goddess?

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you in the Red Tent!

Pamela Hsieh signature

what reinvention means to me (or, refueling my purpose)

Confession: I started writing this post today originally with a completely different intention. I’m familiar with the practice of letting my words carry me somewhere I never thought I’d go in the moment — welcome to writing and the art of conversation — so I surrendered to it. I promise this post has a point, so please be patient and let it unfold.

fleur de lisAfter my junior year in Florence, I decided to change my major to Italian (that way, the culture classes I’d taken wouldn’t have been for nothing — this was an attempt to speed my degree along, though we obviously know that didn’t work). And then I declared myself pre-med, which was ironic considering the fact that my dad had been trying to coerce me into becoming an MD since I was six and I was always all, “I wanna be an artist! An author! A teacher!”

No. This time, I wanted to become a doctor because I’d been overcome with gratitude for the doctors I’d had at the University of Chicago Hospitals, who had saved my life and my spirit when I’d been hospitalized for the stroke. The staff I met there was so genuinely heart-centered, so beautiful in their service that I loved them all and thought of them often. I felt that if I could touch a single person in my life in the way they had touched mine, it would make my time on Earth worthwhile.

Anyway, I toiled about being an Italian major and pre-med, not knowing if that was going to be okay. So naturally, I added creative writing to the mix.

I’d been writing since I was 10. The first “book” I ever wrote (and I’d do nearly anything to find my one and only first edition copy!) was, for lack of a better term, fan fiction. My favorite book growing up was Roald Dahl’s Matilda, to which I wrote my own sequel . . . illustrated — wait for it — in the style of original Matilda illustrator Quentin Blake. (Seriously, if I ever find it, I will have it coated in something to preserve it forever.)

from http://www.the-platform.org.uk

from http://www.the-platform.org.uk — man, this makes me nostalgic!

And ever since, I’d written story after story. It was a self-imposed discipline. My first completed original work was a novel called All That and A Cup of Milk, which I wrote at 16 and “self-published” in a binder covered in magazine cutouts of models I’d used as representations of my characters. (I was 16. ’Nuff said.)

This was my bliss. I used to come home every day after school, and like clockwork, would type away at the computer (you think I type fast now with my one superhand! I believe I even have video footage of me writing at the giant box that was my old-school desktop back in the day) working away at my stories. But . . .

To this day, I haven’t completed another book. Something anti-magical occurred during undergrad. My writing degree required what I fondly call half an English major’s worth of literature classes. (Ironically, I’d spent a few years as a kid believing I wanted to become an English teacher. HA!)

When I first learned how to read as a child, all I did was read. I used to go to the bathroom reading. I recently dragged myself to the eye doctor — one of my least favorite things to do — because I carry a hefty -10.5 contact lens prescription. This was the first year the eye doc had ever told me one of my eyes had stabilized and not gotten worse since my last visit.

Anyway. I’ve been nearsighted since I was six, and I’m sure all the 100,000s of hours I’ve spent with my little nose in a book was a heavy contributor.

When I was a creative writing major, I pretty much quit reading for pleasure. (The U of I might revoke my hard-earned degree for this.) I would come home from the school bookstores at the beginning of each semester with a stack of books as tall and thick as I was.

Meanwhile, all my scientist and numbersy friends/roommates would be all, “Why don’t you ever study?”

Italian came easy to me. After a year of forcing Florentine shopkeepers and residents to talk to my Eastern face in Italian, I had done the impossible: I’d returned to the States not only proficient, but fluent, in the language.

Because of this, I had pretty much placed out of any language courses U of I could have offered for my major, and all that was left was cultural courses. I may have been a wizard at rolling my Rs and conjugating verbs in any tense, but history is a different beast to me.

This is Dante.

This is Dante.

And then there was Dante. I spent a semester reading and studying his entire Divine Comedy (that’s three canticas — not just Inferno, but also Purgatorio and Paradiso). Let’s not forget that as a writing major I also had to dive deep into Shakespeare . . . If you escaped the education system with only an overview of Romeo & Juliet, know that for a writing or literature major, that sounds like graduating from high school with only a proficient knowledge of basic arithmetic.

And then there was Nabokov. Who to this day I still can’t say I fully understand, other than appreciate his genius.

So pretty much, “studying” for me was reading. All the time. And besides the stories I had to write for my actual writing classes, I quit writing for fun as well, after a terrible blowout that had gotten me in trouble with a roommate I had as a sophomore.

The period of pre-med lasted only a couple years at most. Physics took over my life so much that I even found references to Newtonian laws in my writing(!), and I had no social life. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am naturally an extravert, despite the fact that I have consciously chosen a very solitary pastime as my favorite vessel for carrying my voice to the masses.

Pre-med made a total nerd out of me, and it soon became apparent that I’d been trying to mold myself around subjects that I merely found interesting, but wasn’t passionate enough about to shape a career out of. (Is anyone surprised that the Italian-CW major wasn’t dedicated enough to chemistry and molecular biology to pass the MCATs?)

I think what really drove that home was the semester I was lucky enough to get kicked out of a writing class (more on that later) and then into an independent study in the creative writing department with one of its chairs. Prof. Madonick (or “Mike,” as he insisted I call him) inspired me to start my memoir.

When I wrote the first several pages of this memoir, I found five years’ worth of pent-up emotions release for the first time. Things I didn’t even know I’d been processing came out of my fingertips and onto my screen. I could barely see the words as the vision of them blurred through the tears. There were so many tears. They created a waterfall.

I was 19 years old when the stroke happened — so I was pretty much just a punk kid in the world believing I was invincible and capable of anything I could dream up. (Heck, I’m 31 today and still believe I’m capable of anything I can dream up.) But when I was 19, I both knew a lot and nothing about myself. Any self-exploration had been only at the surface level, and it wouldn’t be until I graduated that I really leapt into the vortex of personal development and self-study, because that was when I decided to give entrepreneurship a shot.

So the memoir really helped me process a lot of what I’d been feeling and experiencing underneath the façade of “everything’s just fine, and I’m just like everyone else, just a bit more gimpy.”

It had been precisely that façade that had kept me denying a lot of my own feelings. Things weren’t “just fine,” and I certainly wasn’t just like everyone else. “A bit more gimpy” looked like regular accidents and spills, anger and resentment, and an inability to do what I wanted to do how I wanted to do it.

(Hey — wearing heels is as worthy a desire as it is to not want to drool on someone while kissing them.)

The memoir had become so game-changing for me that I decided the world needed it.

I’ll say this again: The world needed it.

And I believe this is why my memoir has been incomplete since I began it in 2008. Who was I to dare provide the world with something it needed?

Two years later, I created Rehab Revolution, so that I could get a head start on creating a community of people who needed my voice. Since then, a small number of young stroke survivors have indeed reached out to me to thank me for what I’ve done for them. They truly warm my heart — and if any of them are reading this today, please know that you guys are why I write.

Four years ago, I sent myself to the UW-Madison’s Writers’ Institute conference for the first time, and I experienced a misplaced sense of shame.

Shame that I was willing to put money on the line, invest the dollars into myself as a writer, but not willing to finish my manuscript before I came.

There were what felt like hundreds of writers there, of all kinds, backgrounds, and genres, most of them there preparing to pitch their manuscripts to agents and editors who had traveled there to pick up new authors, and there I was, reeling.

What? There were people there who could potentially propel my little 34-page-and-counting Word document into an actual, tangible book? I — the twentysomething stylish girl with a limp — could actually launch this dream of becoming a full-fledged author at this conference?! “Next year,” I told myself. “Next year I’ll have it ready.”

“Next year” came around and I said the same thing. And again, and again.

In retrospect, I don’t blame myself for freezing. I had no idea what I was getting into going to this conference in the first place, so that first year was a learning experience. I discovered that the conference, rather than focusing solely on the craft, taught the side of writing I’d never learned as a writing major — it taught the business side of writing.

How to pitch. Practice your pitching. Writing a query letter. Networking.

If you remember my networking posts from 2013, that was my first year learning to network. And the first Writers’ Institute I attended was in 2012. #forshame

I remember finding myself seated next to an agent (who was looking for memoirs to sign! *facepalm*) at the (ahem) networking lunch and spiraling out of control in my head.

Ohmygodit’sanagentlookingformemoirsIshouldreallytalktohim.

I told myself that this was the Universe’s way of handing me what I wanted on a silver platter, and that if I passed it up, it would not happen again.

I forced myself to start a conversation with him . . . right as the lunch started wrapping.

He was gracious enough to indulge me for several minutes, and he even gave me a little feedback and advice before he had to run off for someone’s pitch.

I remember something he said was along the lines of not rushing my memoir, that it would take as long as it had to take. This encouraged me.

I kept repeating the “Next year I’ll have it ready” and even signing myself up for non-traditional participation in NaNoWriMo a couple of times, but I found myself somehow blocked.

Next month, I’ll be going to my fourth Writers’ Institute conference. My manuscript still sits at 34 measly pages (though to be fair, they are single-spaced). I honestly thought I’d written more.

But the truth is, that’s only because of my blog. To this day, I’ve published 209 (210 if you count this one, which I am posting there too) articles — most of them completely original content by me or by my guest writers — and while I am so happy to know that my posts are helping a small number of readers, it’s both a blessing and a curse.

It’s a curse because it fools me into believing I’ve made more progress on my book than I actually have, but it’s a blessing also because it’s deepened my resource of exploration into what my memoir could include.

On a slight aside, I totally believe in Divine Messages. What these are are repetitive whispers from the Universe, gently guiding me to what I need to embrace right now. These whispers often crescendo into outright declarations spoken by actual people I see in my day-to-day existence, and then if I’m not receptive (I’ve grown to become very receptive — the Divine always knows what I need), I have to learn the hard way why I should’ve listened in the first place.

I’ve been consistently reading Mastin Kipp’s Growing Into Grace and religiously following author Danielle LaPorte online these days, and both of these leaders (who run majorly successful businesses in spiritual and personal development work) have been through and come out on top of some major upheaval that makes my current “I’m starting my life over at 31! What to do?!” sound like major #firstworldwhining.

Mastin started out his brand, The Daily Love, with nothing but a Twitter account and an e-mail list of friends and family. Danielle got out of a humbling, bad business deal with nothing but her blog and 60 followers.

That the two of them now are spiritually fulfilled and serving the world in the ways they know best is so inspiring to me. They’re both graduates of Marie Forleo’s famous B-School, which I FINALLY signed up for this year after standing at the sidelines like a wannabe for five years.

(I did enter the scholarship contest again for the last time — once you’re a B-Schooler, you’re forever a B-schooler. Here’s my video entry.)

When I first began rebooting myself and my business, I started networking again like it was my job. (I mean . . . it totally is.) A virtual assistant that I’d met a year or two ago at a different networking group, Mary, started talking to me about my book and began supporting me in a significant way. I told her that if I didn’t finish my book now, I was never going to do it. Rather than just “being excited” or giving me verbal encouragement and then forgetting about me, she’s been nudging me and keeping me accountable to my commitment to get my memoir out there.

Have I written anything yet? Well . . . this counts, doesn’t it?

Seriously. I’ve learned that sometimes pushing through resistance just makes the resistance stronger. The fact that I’ve had my memoir actively on my mind this month and that it is sitting open on my laptop right now are already big steps if you consider my manuscript’s distinct absence from my radar for the past few years.

Here’s a screenshot of a Facebook status I posted two weeks ago. (Mary suggested I post it.)

Facebook accountability status

I also promised Anthony that I’d make a super honest effort this week to work on my memoir. He kind of thinks I should save the time, energy, and money this year, sit out the conference, and buy myself another year.

But I know better. Enter more Divine Messages: Yesterday, I came across a blog post by one of my favorite friends and leaders, success coach Kris Britton. It’s about having the courage to go “all in.” (Funny sidenote . . . she actually featured me in this post!!)

(I think the whispers are getting louder.)

B-School starts on 9 March, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to start. (The conference is on the 27th.) The year 2015 may have begun nearly three months ago, but I can feel it in my soul — this is the best year yet. I feel the culmination of everything I’ve ever done and everything that’s ever happened for me bubbling up in this moment.

I’ll be posting on my progress and anything else that comes up as I go. March will be a busy month of more reinvention, more exploration, more leaps and dives into the unknown.

The Universe will give you everything you want — and more — as long as you show that you are committed.

Thank you for reading this and allowing me to speak to you the way I know best. I love each and every one of you — even if you disagree with me and/or think I’m off my rocker. :)

Questions or comments? Leave a message below!

Pamela Hsieh signature

[repost] 13 things mentally strong people don’t do

Howdy, everyone! My personal trainer posted this Lifehack.org article to Facebook today, and I thought it appropriate to share. :)

dumbbell-weights

Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change

Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.

4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control

You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone

Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks

They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past

Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.

9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success

Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.

10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure

Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.

11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time

Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can behappy alone.

12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything

Mentally strong people don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits.

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

if you’re not moving forward, you’re going backward

A lot of times, it takes hitting rock bottom for someone to decide that change needs to be made in his life. This is many times the case for addicts or people with drastic lifestyle “maladies” like being completely irresponsible or unreliable, or even in the case of toxic relationships.

I have a friend who says that he in a way respects people who aren’t ambitious, who aren’t hungry for improvement or who don’t push themselves to reach for their goals or dreams (or even have any to begin with). I of course responded with a dubious, “Uhh . . . why?”

“Because,” he told me, “they aren’t in constant battle with themselves stressing out about what they don’t have yet.”

Fair enough. But as someone who has been driven to transform for the better for at the very least the last decade, I had to call B.S.

First of all — do you remember that very basic principle in physics that states that if you aren’t going forward, you’re going backward? Smartasses like to retort, “No, if you’re not moving forward, you’re just staying still.”

Here’s a mini physics lesson for ya. Picture a train that’s going west at 1mph. Why it’s crawling so slowly is beyond me, but just humor me. For the sake of illustration, let’s say you for whatever reason need to go east. If you started running at 3mph eastward, you’d be going forward toward your target, with the train going against you trying to carry you west.

I swear I know how to draw, but I just don't care to slave away for hours at depicting an actual train.

I swear I know how to draw, but I just don’t care to slave away for hours at depicting an actual train.

Now, I don’t remember the formulas of relative speed and whatnot, and that’s neither here nor there. (You would actually end up going east at a speed of 2mph to the casual observer not on the train, if you actually care. The numbers I’m using here are not impressive. Told you it was a mini lesson.)

But the point is, if you decide to cool it and kick up your feet and sit still on that train, even if it feels like you’re staying still, you’re really going backwards from where you want to be.

Life is very much the same way, with plenty of factors trying to pull us backwards: resistance from others and of course, resistance from ourselves, time, etc.

It’s really hard to keep pushing forward all the time, and that’s why sometimes we just need to unplug and relax for a bit. But what’s important is always taking steps in the right direction, and consistently applying that effort.

In a way, I’m thankful for the fact that half my body was wiped out (neurologically) when I was only 19. What this means is that at least for half of my physical body, steady application is all the more important. If I don’t work out for a couple days, sure, that’s all right, but I can never quit entirely. Any neurological gains I’ve made will drop back considerably, and I’ll be “re-gimpified.” (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read my bio. I apologize for the stupid pop-ups, which I’m going to ask Google/Blogger to help me remove.)

This is nature’s way of kicking me in the butt and telling me, hey, you should be taking care of your body anyway, but in case you forget, you’ll the consequences will come at a far higher price than you’re willing to pay.

So believe me, I know that if I’m not doing anything, I’m just going backwards.

I have a lot more to say on the topic and will carry on addressing it for the rest of this week. I just didn’t want you to think that I’d disappeared forever — far from it. I spent last week completely screwing up my sleep cycle (long story), and I’m back with a vengeance! Not only am I committing to restoring a healthy circadian rhythm this week, but I’m also “turning pro” and forcing myself to do my blogging whether I feel like it or not. (Quick aside — regarding my paring down Facebook — that has been fairly successful, although I do have to admit I’ve been Instagramming like an insane iPhone owner with too much power these days.)

You win some, you lose some, I guess. 😛

PS. Since I’m embarrassed of the caliber of my previous drawing, let me show you what I did on Draw Something with just my finger on an iPhone screen.

Of course, she got it instantly :)

Of course, she got it instantly :)

To moving forward,

signature