Tag Archives: compassion

How do you want to be treated?

How do you want to be treated? - www.yourjoyologist.com

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Can you be kind, even in traffic?

In the past few weeks I have taken notice to my reactions to traffic.

A couple of weeks ago I was headed on a regular hour drive for a business meeting.  Southern California has a lot of traffic and often at not just regular business hour time frames.  But, with this route that I was taking, I rarely hit traffic.  I was not going into Los Angeles, but south of where I am.  The time of day that I was driving was before any commutes home from work would begin.  I was not expecting any traffic.  I don’t even think the possibility of traffic had crossed my mind, actually.

I was about twenty minutes into my drive, zooming down the highway, when I started to see some brake lights come on.  My initial reaction was, “Oh NO! I hope everyone is okay!” For the first time in what seems like an eternity my thoughts about traffic were those of compassion.

I did not go to a “WTF! why is there traffic?!” or a “UGH really SoCal, really you always have to have traffic?” or even a “CRAP, am I going to be late for my meeting?”

It wasn’t because I had left with plenty of time for traffic.  I hadn’t.  I left with only the exact amount of time it takes to get there with out ever slowing down.

I was shocked that for once I was not thinking about myself and how traffic was affecting me.  I was also shocked that I tend to not have this reaction to traffic everyday, when in fact there are often accidents.

The entire time that I inched along on the highway, I could feel my entire body praying for everyone who may have been involved.  When, really I had no evidence that an accident had even happened.  It could have been construction.  It could have been simply that a lot of people were traveling at the same time.  It could have been a number of things.

I never did see any evidence to explain the traffic and after a bit of time I was back to zooming along.  The traffic had passed, but that feeling did not.

This weekend though, I was taking that exact same route south but this time on a Saturday morning around 11:30am.  Again, I thought there would be no traffic on this route. What I had forgotten about was that it was Memorial weekend and that people were traveling for short getaways.  The traffic was like I had never seen going south.  I was pisssssed!

This time the idea of an accident did not pop to mind, when really there very well could have been an accident.  Yes, this was a more expected travel time, so traffic made more sense to me, like traffic makes sense to me when traveling to LA.

To be clear, I do not usually get super agro in traffic.  I accept it.  It is definitely not where I want to be, but I choose to live in Southern California where traffic is more common than no traffic.  I usually plan for traffic and sit tight singing along to my favorite jams or catching up with friends using my car’s hands free function.

But, still I was shocked that in my accepting traffic, I actually never acknowledged that the traffic could be in part because of accidents.  As someone who prides herself on being conscious and being a master space holder of compassion, wow, I shocked myself!  So, now I have new way of being to implement while being in traffic.  My new intention while I am in traffic, regardless of what it is caused by, is to take the time to send love, compassion and unity out into the world.  

For many years now, whenever I am feeling down it inspires me to be even more compassionate to strangers that I happen to share space with.  I remember when I lived in NYC I would just stop on the street and pause to send love out to everyone.  I am able to acknowledge that when I am sad, or lonely, or lost, or hurt: Life still goes on.  For me and for everyone.

 I may have just had a challenging day but I don’t know what anyone else has gone through today. {tweet it!}

The cashier checking me out may be a single mom of 3 kids with a mother who is fighting cancer.  The man who I pass in the grocery aisle may have just lost his wife and baby to a drunk driving accident.  The teen outside may have abusive alcoholic parents.  We never know what the people sharing the same space as us are dealing with.  We all just keep marching along, some with heavier feet and hearts then others.

So, whenever I am out in the world, I make sure to be conscious of this.  J. M. Barrie (creator of Peter Pan), really said it best…didn’t he?

Be Kinder Than Necessary.


So, how about it?  Will you join me in my mission to be kind, to be generous, to be loving, even in traffic?

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How to Forgive. – #tuesdaytip

Forgiveness is not always an easy thing.  In fact, it is rarely an easy thing.

The words, “I forgive you” take courage to say.  Take compassion to say.  But, can also just simply be words.

As are many things in life, forgiveness is easier said, than done and not for a lack of wanting.  We often, want to forgive, but for some reason we just can’t wipe the slate clean.  Saying those three words, “I forgive you” is not casting a magic spell, where we forget what was said, what was done.

A few years back, I realized that I  had unconsciously created my own little forgiveness practice.  I had been hurt by a friend.  In my opinion, she had done some things that were unethical.  She had done something to hurt someone that I cared about, and she lied to cover it up.  I was actually a bit stunned by it all.

I remember asking myself, Who is this person?  I did not know if I could ever trust her again.  I was having a hard time figuring out what version of the truth, was actually the truth, as I had a heard a few different versions from everyone involved and from those not involved.

What had happened really didn’t need to involve me, but it did involve people that my life revolved around in many ways, so as much as I tried to separate myself from the situation, as much as I tried to believe the best in everyone, I definitely had a polluted view of this friend that I could just not get over.

Being that I am a highly compassionate person, one that always wants to see the best in people, and who truly believes that we are all learning as we live, I wanted to forgive her.  Even if she and I never hung out again, even if she didn’t need my forgiveness, I needed to move past it.   I wanted to forgive.   I wanted to move past it.

Not forgiving, hurts us, more than it hurts them. {click to tweet}

When I found myself wanting to talk about this friend and what had happened, I knew that I had to take it straight to her and get clear.  I needed to hear from her, what had happened and why. We had a great, moving, heart to heart but it was still challenging for me to let go of what had happened, and to trust her and her future intentions.  In the following weeks, every time I heard her name or ran into her, I would cringe.  She was and is a beloved friend to many so even if I wanted to avoid her, it wasn’t possible.  I was having a hard time forgiving, especially since forgiving is not forgetting. 

One evening, I saw her across the room and again, felt my body tense up.  I was so over feeling this way!  To move past this discomfort, I simply started to repeat to myself over and over in my head, “I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you.” In less than sixty seconds, I felt all discomfort melt away.  It really was that easy.

Of course, it wasn’t a one time grand fix all.  There were still times that I heard her name, or saw her and those icky feelings came up.  Each time, I would remind myself to recite my forgiveness mantra and like magical forgiveness fairy dust, the simple chant would bring a smile to my face and peace to my heart.

Forgiveness is necessary.  Even if you plan to never speak to the person again.  You must forgive, to heal yourself.  Ignoring it will not heal it.  Do not let the pain, the hurt fester and rust inside of you.  You can forgive.  You need to forgive.

This simple forgiveness practice works wonders on forgiving yourself as well.  It is unfortunately too easy to hold onto guilt, to blame ourselves, to make ourselves wrong, to judge ourselves.

We must continually forgive ourselves.  We must allow ourselves to heal.  We must allow ourselves to grow. {click to tweet}

Often times it is even harder to forgive ourselves, then it is to forgive others.  This is why I advise bringing in the big guns of pen to paper and mirror work.   Again, we just use that simple mantra, “I forgive you.  I forgive you. I forgive you.”

Pen to Paper is exactly as it sounds.  Take your pen to your paper.  It can be a journal, or the back of the receipt, or napkin at a restaurant.  Write your magical forgiveness mantra over and over.  “I forgive you.  I forgive you.  I forgive you.”

 To make it the most powerful, go directly to a mirror and repeat it over and over to yourself while staring at yourself.  “I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you.”  Warning….this may cause tears.  Allow it.  

So, there you have it.  My tried and true, easy, peasy magical forgiveness practice.  I have even pulled this quickie out when someone is simply on my nerves, for whatever reason.  It truly works to take the irritation, the pain, the ickiness away.

Give it on a test drive, and let me know how it goes!  I am sure there is something you are hanging onto that can be forgiven in this very moment.

And if it’s not working…I am here for you to dig deeper.   I want you to heal yourself.


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How to NOT Gossip. – #tuesdaytip

Not gossiping is easier said then done, as are most things in life, but it really IS possible!

Or, perhaps you are reading this and thinking, pssh I am so positive, I DO NOT gossip.  But, let’s be real here.

Gossip happens, catch yourself, stop yourself.
{click to tweet}

Here is how I have implemented stopping the Gossip:

1)  Get Clear. 

When you find yourself venting, complaining, upset with someone, bring it to the person it is about.  Sometimes I will be in a conversation with one friend and hear myself bring up another friend.  Perhaps something she did that confuses me, frustrates me, hurt me, something that I am judging her for.   As soon as I say it out loud.  I say, wow, it looks like I need to talk to them about this.  This A) alerts the person that I am in conversation with that I have caught myself gossiping and do not want to continue. B) Inspires them to do the same the next time they hear themselves gossiping.   C) Works as a transition out of talking about others (gossiping) and into a new topic.

Sometimes we DO need to get clear with the person we have an urge to vent (gossip) about.   Share with them how they have shown up for you.  Be honest, but come from a place of love and a desire to heal.  If you don’t tell them, how will they know? {click to tweet}  Sometimes people really have no clue that they have hurt you, or acted in a way that leaves you thinking badly about them.

Sometimes we simply need to get clear with ourselves.  {click to tweet} Are we reading too much into things?  What really happened?  Did they do something to you?  Did they act maliciously?  Are we just jealous?  Are we just wounded from past experiences? A good way to get clear with yourself is to write all of your feelings out on paper.  Allow yourself to vent to the page and what is at the core of it, will most likely show up.

Get clear.  With them.  With you.

2) Remind yourself that Judging isn’t Loving.
{click to tweet}
Because isn’t that what Gossiping really is? Judging?

3) Think before you speak.  

Consider, what is your intention?  Is it necessary? Is it kind?  Would you want the same done to you/said about you?

4) Don’t allow yourself to be pulled into gossip.

Often times, we end up gossiping because our friends, co-workers, loved ones pull us into it.  We are in a conversation, we are catching up and then before you know it, you have been pulled into gossip.

So, how do you get out?

  • Simply listen, allow them to vent, allow them to be heard and then compassionately point out that it sounds like they have something that they need to clear up with the person they are talking about.
  • State that you are kicking your gossip habit, working on being more loving and accepting, state that you are living by the Judging isn’t Loving rule and change the subject (without judgement).
  • Invite them to join your non-gossiping, non-judging state of love and wellbeing. 
  • Excuse yourself from the conversation.

Tuesday Tips are usually filled with Healthy Living tips, and honestly I truly believe that choosing to NOT Gossip is hugely vital to a healthy lifestyle.  You can exercise, you can drink green juice, eat super foods, use natural wellness techniques, but you must implement a healthy mind as well.  I personally feel that gossip needs to be let go off to truly live with a healthy mind, healthy heart, and a healthy body.

Will you join me on taking greater strides to cut the Gossip?

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The universe has it all worked out.

This past week, I happened to be reunited with people that were around me during my heaviest times of grieving the loss of my father.  These people met me and got to know me at a time of complete vulnerability, of complete loss, of complete love, of complete confusion.

I got the call about my father being found dead, just 6 hours before I was to board a plane to Australia for tour.  It was to be my first trip to Australia and I was incredibly excited.   The phone call was a complete shock.  I had an amazing friendship with my father and I had just spoken to him a few days earlier.  Continue reading

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