28 October 2010
Greatest Hits: "What I’ve Learned" all rights reserved c Peri Lyons
(Author's note: this is far and away the most popular thing I've ever written. It's gained an unexpected currency: there are life coaches and therapists, friends I sent it to, who give it to their clients. (Will someone please explain to me how to make actual money off that?) At the time, I was just trying to figure some stuff out by writing it down,...
Anyway, I don't always live this list, but it's a good feeling to try. : )
'what i've learned'
running out the door to yoga school, am suddenly consumed with desire to share what i've learned in the last two years of intense change and, well, growth:
1) Appreciate and accept people for who they are. Don't try and change 'em, or want something they can't give. They're giving what they can give. Enjoy it for what it is.
2) Trust your gut. If your head is saying "no, he wouldn't do that" and your gut is saying "but this is definitely what I'm feeling...", trust your gut. If a new job seems perfect but your gut is saying "NOOOOO!!!!", listen. Etc etc. Mostly, what you feel is happening? It's actually happening. Yup.
3) EVERYthing is there to learn from. How did you contribute to a situation in which you seem to be the pure and unadulterated victim? Okay, cop to it and then don't do that anymore. Usually, the bigger the "victim" you feel like, the bigger the lesson there is to learn.-Which doesn't take away from the bloody awful thing you just went through, but it gives it a much more empowering shape.
4) Have a spiritual practice. I don't care if you worship Kermit the Frog, do SOMEthing. Pray, meditate, chant "nam myoho-renge-kyo"...
5) Don't lie. -Just don't. It hurts you and everyone around you, even if you think you're doing it to be "nice." You're not being nice: you're actually being- um, how to put this tactfully- cowardly AND self serving. Being GENUINELY "nice" is respecting other people enough to be honest with them. Not lying seems hard at first, but then your life gets exponentially better. Besides, you will always get caught (if not at the moment, then-trust me-eventually) and you'll wonder why you feel subtextually awful even if you do get away with it at the moment.
6) Don't cheat. If you are with someone and meet someone else, be honest about it, and/or end the other thing first, before acting on a romantic impulse.Otherwise you've doomed both your chance for a real relationship with the new person, and you've also diminished your own greatness, for a time. "It's easy to deceive someone who loves and believes in you" is a rueful observation, NOT an order.
7) Share your strengths, not your weaknesses. No one wants to hear your problems, not really. Maybe for a bit, but NOT all the time. Share your triumphs and joys more.
8) Don't overshare. Especially in a romantic context.
9) Learn to forgive. But don't pretend to forgive before you have. If you're nice to someone when you actually are still hurt, it just muddies the waters. Retreat until you've processed it. Or talk it through. If you can't forgive for a while, dont talk to em. You'll forgive AND forget eventually, then you can reach out. Or? not.
10) Don't make up stuff to torture yourself with. You can't know what's really going on in someone else's head or heart. If your beloved is now with someone else, and you are picturing their life together as one long feast of milk and honey, you may be right--but you are probably not. No one goes dancing down the flower laden path hand in hand singing show tunes together forever. -Unless there are serious drugs involved. -Get on with what makes YOU happy. Guessing about what's going on with HIM/HER, is a waste of time, because? you just can't know. Don't make up stuff to make yourself miserable about.- Besides, everyone turns into a human being (rather than an idealized Other) eventually, in a romantic relationship. She might be gazing at Prince Charming right now and saying "That whole crown thing? Really bugs me."
11) Get some exercise, eat good stuff, don't drink too much. Your mom was right. You'll feel better.
12) Look outward. Reach out to a friend or do some volunteer work. Amazing how good it feels to help.
13) Support your friends. lean on them too --but not too much.
14) Go to every party you're invited to.
15) Say YES. If someone says, for instance, "Do you want to go to East Harlem for the world's most amazing pastrami sandwich?", say yes, not "nooo, it's laaate.' Take reasonable precautions, but say yes to adventures. Fun is good. Pleasure is healing.
16) Keep an open mind. Not so open that things fall out of it, but open enough that you can change your thinking if new evidence presents itself.
17) Fall in love. If it doesn't work out, it hurts, but it's always, always better to love than not to love.
18) People tell you everything you need to know about them on the first date. Listen.
19) Always have fresh flowers and perfume.
20) Tell me what YOU've learned.
Read more: http://www.myspace.com/perilyons/blog?page=3#ixzz13iD6xy9K