Week 7: Oh for the Love of Coffee!

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Yep…Week 7 Recap….stay strong and laugh long…

Anchor Drop - a safe harbor to talk about life

This week emotionally was incredibly rough.  Don’t worry, it is OK.  In life you will have weeks like this.  It is through these weeks that you can say, “Catie-girl, this week will come and go and what is most important is that you survived!”  This week is the last week I will be at the salon.  I have chosen to step away from something that I love very much.  I was too stressed trying to balance everything.

So in the course of the last month here is what all has occurred:  I had a break-up with a friend I started dating, I broke-up with Starbucks, I stepped away from the salon and I still feel blah.  My current full-time job is what is allowing my bills to be paid, insurance to be covered, and I do like what I am doing.  I just recognized the stress inevitably was going…

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When one door opens…..

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Rejection.  GASP.  Yes, I have said it.  Rejection.  It seems like such a harsh word, right?  We have all experienced this from one time to another and maybe we see this as a negative.  I dare to challenge you to look at it in a positive light.

When we are rejected in a business proposition, a relationship, a meeting or a date, we might have feelings of insecurity.  We might feel offended, vulnerable…or otherwise hurt.  We shouldn’t be feeling any of the above really!  We should seek peace and solace that there is a GREATER reason that door has shut.  I struggled with this concept for a very long time.  I still struggle with it too.  It’s a human thing.

I think if you realized how many times in a day one could be rejected and how that rejection shapes the post actions of yourself you might just find that things are not as bad as they seem.  Rejection is apart of life after all.

In my experience, when I find a “love interest” that I am into, but their vibes scream otherwise it is hard to accept.  Why don’t they like me?  Why do I ALWAYS do this?  It must be me….why do I am I always doing this?  Well did you ever stop and think–It’s not you, it’s them…I have found this is usually the case.  They are the ones that are going through whatever it is they are and that is OK!  It is OK that they aren’t into you.  Would you really want someone who wasn’t 100% all about you anyways?  My answer is no.

It is our journey.  It is our path as much as it is theirs.  The person doing the rejecting may just not be there yet in his/her journey and it is better to learn to accept and love them regardless.  You don’t just stop being you because you have been rejected–you embrace yourself even more so.  Be you ever more!  Show others that rejection doesn’t own you!  Rejection sometimes provides the motivation to get from where you are to where you want to be!  Allow it to work positively and always keep looking up.  God will always provide something bigger and better if you allow it to happen.

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Love is Silent Listening

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I have found that I am a heavy analyst and a processor.  I like to talk things out.  I like to play detective and try to determine what is the most probable fate for my situation at hand.  I think I probably watched too much CSI and NCIS as a child, but I continue to still analyze and thoughtfully ponder none the less.

Sometimes the most loving action someone can take toward someone who likes to “talk it out” is really take no verbal action at all.  Sometimes all I need to do is spit whatever it is in my mind out with a logical sound ear at my disposal and it is that silence of listening intently to make sense of the babble coming out that is the most loving action a person could give.  Once it is out in the open, much like a puzzle, pieces of the puzzle are able to be placed together one by one and solutions become clear.  There are other ways to draw clarity as well but this is my go-to usually.  If you desire to work on your listening skills, this was a good little article I found, http://stress.about.com/od/relationships/ht/howtolisten.htm.

Other ways to which I find helpful for processing would include journaling, coloring or painting, singing and randomly dancing around like a goose, going on a drive, spending time in silence, praying, or pondering whatever it is bothering me in my heart.  If I can talk it out with someone who is my most immediate relief in drawling clarity usually.  Another set of eyes on the matter is never really a bad idea I suppose as ultimately I am the one making the final decision on the matter at hand.

It is both a blessing and a burden to be an analytic type.  When it comes to situations though, I almost always have to have some sort of closure at hand before I can get them out of this mind of mine.  It is painful when I must hold something in my head and heart for too long before it finally goes.  Patience.  Prayer.  Life is so messy and intertwined sometimes.  I have grown in acceptance with knowing I cannot control or change certain situations and that actualization has helped in letting go and giving it back up in prayer.

I think why I like verbalizing what is going on is because then everything is out in the open. Free as a naked Jay bird!  Truth, honesty, lies, facts, love, hate, gossip, and emotions of all kinds come out and then once released–I can breathe.  The problem here is that by speaking what is in that dear little head of mine, it can be hurtful, overwhelming and more destructive than constructive.

To limit the amount of destruction, I have a few friends who have helped at one time or another just simply listening and giving me their heartfelt advice.  My parents have helped me significantly in this department too.  It can be hard as you want to be considerate of the time to which you ask a friend to help you process things.  They might be sleeping or working or doing something to which they aren’t able to listen right away.  God is always up and always there.  No curfew.  No sleep.  No limit to his time listening to you on account of something “popping up”.  I do my best to process and voice my concerns to God now-a-days.  That has seemingly been the one thing to which has helped me achieve peace.

When there is much overwhelming matters on my mind, I speak directly to God and tell Him all of my worries, stresses, situations, emotions–everything no matter what time it is.  That way nothing is said out of emotion and I can truly reflect.  No harm done to others and God can handle it.  Then, no one gets overwhelmed by my craziness and God already knows what is happening anyways.

Whether I talk it out with friends or God, I have come to the conclusion that love is silent listening.  Love is donating the time to helping a friend process and throw it all out there.  Love is giving support physical, mental, emotionally, spiritually and through prayers.

Just something to ponder….

❤ CatMan

Use your words…I am enough

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You know a realization that I came to the other day?  The english language is one of the most difficult and dynamic of languages with such an extensive array of desired words for any occasion, feeling, or inanimate objects and yet one of the most misunderstood/underused language at that.  With this being said, I feel like we limit ourselves greatly when we choose not to take advantage of learning how to communicate to the fullest ability using a larger vocabulary instead of words that are over used and negative.

Communication is something that is very much-needed to develop solid relationships.  Communicating when you appropriately love someone verse getting angered, sad, or any other emotion you are trying to convey is key to making sure the other clearly understands what you are trying to say.  I feel like a lot of times people in general cannot peg their own emotions; therefore there lies a lot of confusion trying to express their feelings when they cannot properly label it themselves!  Have you ever had that happen to you?  I know it has to me!

My first suggestion, get to know yourself better.  Start separating out what is emotional, physical, mental…start deciding what makes you feel certain ways.  Start identifying the triggers to which set you off (diffuse them), makes you happy (embrace them), makes you calm (learn and seek them), makes you upset (address the root of the nature and act accordingly to fix), and what sets your heart on fire (keep that of which keeps you alive the closest!).  The only way to translate yourself is to literally get to know yourself to the best of your ability.

Once you learn to translate and identify the little idiosyncrasies that your individual self has, you start to bring your awareness and recognize those qualities in others.  You will be able to intelligently make connections with others and inadvertently bond.  You can see your strengths, your weaknesses, your imbalances and where improvement can be made. For me personally, I realized emotionally I was out of balance.   Awareness was key to make that weakness better.

In any given day, have you ever tracked what words you use the most in your vocabulary? Have you ever given it any thought to the implications of these words as they have an effect on your audience?  Are your words predominantly positive or negative?  Do you swear?  Do you belittle people?  Do you try to boost your ego?……all of these questions take honesty.  Figure out why you act the way you do and address the problems.  Work through them.  Working through the problems is hard and takes a great level of honesty. Not everyone is ready to be honest with themselves enough to acknowledge their faults.  It is not a fun feeling dealing with an ego blow…yet when we do face an ego blow, it is one of the most liberating ways to experience freedom and progress!  It is truly a beautiful feeling!!

How you communicate with others will determine how they receive you and perceive you. If you desire a positive perception, act accordingly.  Be kind.  Be loving.  Be yourself unapologetically.  You deserve solid relationships which begin with you.  Do your best always for God and for others.  Remember, you are enough!

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❤ The CatMan

Help! I have been Locked-Up!

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Blogger friends….I am seeking your help!  I am locked-up.  Yes, you read that right.  I am a “Jail Bird”.  I am trying to raise money on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  I am trying to make bail which has been set at $3,000 due in June 5, 2013.  My work, Accu-Label, Inc. is sponsoring my lock-up in hopes to raise money and awareness for Jerry’s Kids.

If you are interested in making a donation, I have posted my personal page below:  https://secure2.convio.net/mda/site/Donation2?df_id=1650&FR_ID=5364&PROXY_ID=1786544&1650.donation=form1&PROXY_TYPE=20&JServSessionIdr004=jv0w9oud62.app207b.

I have always felt a deep tie with getting involved and helping others.  It is something that is important to me as well as to the person on the receiving end.  I would like to ask you to consider donating or at least reading more about the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  They really are a great organization doing wonderful things for the community.

Thank you for your consideration and love you all for your blog support!!  You are what keep me motivated, inspired, and going in positive directions!  For that I am forever thankful!

❤ The CatMan

True Humility

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So, in this poking and probing of the meaning of LOVE, I have come to understand actually in order to love you must be selfless.  This doesn’t mean to forget or not take care of yourself as much as it is to develop your gifts and talents for use. Not for your OWN use, but in that of such a way to make a difference in other’s lives.  This to a certain extent requires all prideful emotions and notions to be set aside.

First, we must recognize our pride in the many forms it takes and manifests in our very core.  Once we are able to define and acknowledge where these prideful actions occur or reside, it is only then to which we can begin to cut ties and learn how to live out humility.

Pride can be seen most apparently through self-flattery and vanity.  I am most definitely a victim of this.  I look and what I see is a glorified person.  I shouldn’t be desiring others to see me; however I should be desiring others to see God’s reflection and likeness through my body.  You see as humans we are the vehicle for delivering God’s messages, healing hand, compassion and actually embracing all of these wonderful emotions feelings in witnessing to the very Truth to which he has provided us.  This sounds way easier than it really is.

As humans, due to sin, we really make a mess out of our lives.  We are damaged, hurt, and sometimes we wallow in our misery.  When we wallow, we are just sitting hurt and doing no good for ourselves and others.  I was taught to let that go.  Let as much negative emotions go.  They only weigh you down.  A good friend brought something to my attention in regards to feeling sad or hurt.   He suggested redirecting our hurt into making someone else’s day brighter.  He also suggested always trying to see the good in others no matter what.  How many times a day do we sit there talking badly, gossiping, or commenting on how someone is doing a task or living their life?  That is not fair of us to do that as now we are judging them.  We do not know their circumstance.  In fact, we should be trying to see the good that is in them and setting an example.  This can be hard when this person is someone we don’t get along with well.  We are called to love them anyways.  Love our enemies, love our friends, family and strangers all alike.

It takes true humility to love.  It takes true and genuine humility to make strides forward and it takes a tremendous amount of courage to stand for the Truth as God proclaims it to be.  Once we are able to take our ego out of the picture, see that we are just the vessel to which God works and realize that is the only such way to discover a deeper love.

Letting go of my pride and hurt is hard at this point.  I am really pouring my energy into it so I can do myself and others a favor.  I know it is something I need to do.  The past is finally the past in my mind, soul, and body.  Here is to a new page in this chapter of discovering what it is to really love!  🙂

Here is a good resource for anyone seeking more information on humility.  I like the way it is broken out.  http://www.chastitysf.com/4humility.htm

Bring your awareness up to the plate and do something nice for someone else today!

❤ CatMan

Low Self-Esteem can kiss me REAR!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk

Have you ever dealt with self-esteem issues?  Have you ever seen a friend struggling with them?  It is an awful plague of self against self!  It is where we are crippled and cannot see what other’s see.  Perception of ourselves is maybe not consistent with how others view us.  Above I posted a link to a very positive campaign.  I too wanted to point out that this is not and shouldn’t be directed at just women….men too have issues with this.

I got into a discussion this morning with a former classmate of mine regarding this campaign.  He was annoyed at the fact that Dove was pushing this beauty is “superficial” and inadvertently selling Dove’s products to uninformed consumers.  I think what he is really getting at is that people are ignorant to the fact that beauty is found on the inside of our bodies not our products.  Products are meant to enhance our self image.  Take it from someone who is going into the beauty industry, you have to help people feel good from all facades!

Part of my mission going into Cosmetology is not to push unrealistic image changes but to help all of my clients see their self-worth.  Yes, make them look better than what they came in looking like, and help them to understand that their perception of self is an important and not just surface deep.  Yet if we are not fully confident or satisfied in ourselves, how on earth will we succeed?

We must first look and recognize what goodness and gifts we possess.  We have to start somewhere.  A lot of people cannot deal directly with their inside first.  We have to start first with outward appearance as majority of our issues come from how other’s view us.  We are so cruel to ourselves. How we view ourselves is one of the main veins of why our self-esteem is the way it is as well as how much we acknowledge our God-given gifts and talents.  If we don’t know and appreciate what gifts we possess how can we use them to help boost the self-esteem?  Oh wait a tick……..how if we don’t love and appreciate yourself then how can you love and appreciate anyone else??

I have a friends who have made me do little self-esteem activities to which got me where I am today.  I would go through post-it-notes and post around my house all the positive qualities that I possessed.  I started first with appearance.  That is all I could see as I was really in bad shape.  Then started turning my focus to what was good on my inside.  They got me to see exactly what they see. It was a long road to seeing how badly I had been beating myself up.  It was really bad but once my friends helped shed some light, I came around to appreciate myself for who God made me.  I am forever grateful for them.

Today, I am dedicating my positive flow to self-esteem awareness and helping others see just how wonderful they are.  Look for the good in others, you never know what an impact you have!!!

Hugs and Kisses (and do yourself a favor and give yourself a big hug for me!)
❤ CatMan

Love and Inspiration: Return to Normal?

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“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”
Bruce Lee 

Today, I am going to use this as a morning inspiration. This artist took trash and created a beautiful piece of art. Now I realize the connotation of the matter as it could be taken as negatively as the subject, but I think he did a phenomenal job. From trash it became this beautiful piece. Kind of cool that he is thinking outside the box!! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/celeb-news/lindsay-lohan-portrait-total-trash-180907351.html

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.  Don’t be afraid to try something different and make it your own.  Be not afraid of the repercussions of being different.  Venture into the great unknown and fall in love with your life.  Lately, I have been lacking inspiration.  I have felt in a funk, but different then usual.  I am so blessed because my friends have been there for me when I have needed them most.  Mostly all old and longstanding cherished friends.  Oh how I love them all so.

“Surrounding myself with all my positive friends is the best medicine that no doctor can prescribe.”   Nishan Panwar

There is a lot going on right now in life and a lot is on my plate.  I will be relieved when school is done (6 months and counting), and Wedding is done.  AND life might go back to some normalcy.  Who am I kidding!  My life is far from normal.  I am forever thankful for that is fact!

❤ CatMan

Road Less Traveled by…Little Victories!

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As stolen by ET's FB page.....

A lot of my current life right now revolves around learning how to be strong and accepting that not everyone is going to understand what you are doing in life.  It is hard when you know in your heart what you are set out to accomplish is not a very accepted idea….let alone have a positive response right off the bat.  Everyone is a critic.  Everyone thinks that they are the expert and they have this idea of where things ought to be.  No one takes in to consideration the other end of it: vision.

When I say vision, I mean let’s think big.  Thinking past our own feet.  Dare to dream and dare to do!  That is exactly my thoughts anyways…It has taken me 3 years of screaming to get our “professional” or work image cleaned up…or developed…and it is finally to the point where my boss/owner/dad said “Do it!”  So here I walk on a road less traveled by and venture into the great unknown…marketing and branding land!  What is so different about now?  This is a team!  Even though the support is not exactly there right now, I will get creative in approach and attitude.  We will see just how good the little CatMan is at the power of persuasion.  Let’s see just how beneficial this will be!  I have high aspirations…

I know you all can feel my excitement and energy clear across the blogosphere!  Well grab some of the energy and create little victories of your own!  I got one little victory today…and I am jumping up and down with pride!!!  So no more of this “You can’t” bit….because you see, “I can!  I am CatMan….THE CatMan…and you can hear my roar, can’t you?”   (happy dance)