Author Archives: Kathy

Talkism

I recently found myself in a state of anxiety, checking news updates and social media obsessively, as I followed several alarming things going on in the world.  I laid in bed that night tense, unable to sleep, desperately seeking a way to calm down, but my thoughts would not abide.

Finally hours later, after shedding some tears, and begging the universe for relief, I fell asleep, and a word popped up in a dream, the word “talkism.”

When I woke up, I thought of the word, and immediately felt relaxed with a clear understanding of what had happened to me.  I realized none of the things I was worried about were actually happening personally to me, and although I cared deeply for what was happening to others, I had been caught up in the escalating talk about everything, and that was harming me, as an extension of the toxic things that were happening.

Webster’s dictionary defines an “ism” as an “abnormal state or condition resulting from excess of a thing,” like alcoholism.  I realized that this can apply to reading and listening to too much talking going on in the world as well.  We become mentally and emotionally sick with too much information, opinions, descriptions, and experiences of others.  More people are sharing their voices in more ways than ever before, vying for our attention, views, likes, and reactions.

Once I saw this clearly, I was able to make some changes to lessen the impact of the voices around me.  I avoided watching or listening to the news for a while, checked social media much less often, and invested time in participating in recreational activities that I enjoy.  I substituted reading or listening to people talk about things, to creating and doing things, and it really worked.  I slept better and worried less.

I believe it is important to be informed on what is going on around us to a certain extent, but it is also important to enjoy our personal lives free from worry about things we have no control over.  We are, in fact, giving others a reason to fight through their challenges, as we offer proof that life can be easier, and enjoyable.

So the next time you feel overwhelmed by events going on in the world around you, stop and take a breath, and plan something to do so that talkism doesn’t get the better of you. It is one way you can actually make the world a better, more joyful place.

 

Share

Using Eagle Energy To Lift Your Spirit

The older I get, the more I realize the power I have to keep myself feeling happy despite what is going on around me. Yes, with seeing alarming stories on the news, feeling the hostility of narcissists around us, combined with the challenges of trying to accomplish everyday tasks, not to mention living in the Covid pandemic, it’s easy to feel frustrated, hurt, not good enough, hopeless, or down right sad. So when our civilized existence isn’t enough, is it possible to find strength, clarity, and happiness from the uncivilized world? I find the answer to be absolutely YES!


Recently, in late afternoon one day, during a moment of quiet reflection, I glanced out the window of my craft room on the second floor of my house in small town Batavia, Ohio, only to see a huge bird flying straight across in front of my window. At first I thought it was a hawk, but noticed its head was white, and realized in a flash that it was an eagle.


I dropped what I was doing, dashed down the stairs, and ran out the back door, finding him sitting on a branch of a large walnut tree in my backyard, where he stood out clearly on the bare winter branch. My heart swelled with joy as I stared at him, taking multiple photos with my phone as others joined me, having spotted him from the road.


He sat there quietly and calmly as he stared in one direction, then turned his head to another direction. After a few minutes, he flew across the street, and sat on a branch in another large tree, and a crowd gathered around. He sat there for a long time, simply and peacefully, looking this way and the other way. We could not believe our eyes! The last time an eagle had been spotted in Batavia several years prior, it made the front page of the local paper. So not only had an eagle come to Batavia again, it came to my tree, flying in front of my window just as I looked up. I felt deeply honored, joyful, and felt this visit from this amazing symbol of strength, courage, truth, power and wisdom, was meant for me. I felt it was a great sign of hope and connection with the universe useful to me if I knew how to use it.


As the days passed, I couldn’t help but think about the eagle, looking for him whenever I walked outside. What did it mean, I wondered? How do I use the gift of his visit?


About a week later I found myself feeling upset about a conversation I had with someone where I left rejected and misunderstood, and fearful and confused on how to communicate further with them in order to resolve the issue. I powered through my yoga routine, and after a minute, I thought about the eagle. I asked myself what the eagle was trying to show me, and realized that as he flies high, the highest flying of all, he was inviting me to view the situation from a new perspective, high above my world, in the big picture of things. His ability to fly so high was a symbol of connection to the highest divine truths of existence, so I should imagine my situation in that way. Doing this, I could see the big picture and realized I was a beloved part of the universe, and therefore the only one rejecting me, was me, and I had the power to change this. As I let go of my negative belief, I was able to think of an honest way to communicate further with the person, and the situation ended in a loving way.


This was my gift from the eagle, my new-found ability to see the big picture, and imagine being loved when I am feeling my most unloved. This is what happens when an unexpected creature crosses our path, giving us a wink and nod that we are being watched and cared for by a power greater than ourselves, saving us from the negativity that we bring upon ourselves.


Strangely I find myself writing less these days, but felt the need to tell this story. Life is full of paradoxes it seems, like the more valuable wisdom we have to share, the calmer and more peaceful we become, accepting life as it is in the big picture, the less we feel the need to talk about it.


Namaste.

Share

Quieting Your Inner Lizard Is Key To Effectively Dealing With Narcissists

There I was searching for a tool in boxes in the dark garden shed when a large green lizard suddenly jumps from one of the boxes, landing on the left side of my face, clinging for dear life. His right eye was directly in front of my left eye, staring into my soul it seemed, as I desperately tried to pull him off. The more I pulled, the more intense his stare, until I finally pried each of his back legs off my face, and he dropped to the ground, and scurried off.

I awoke from this dream convinced this was another delicious message from the all-wise world beyond our own, but what was I to make of it? I remembered reading in life coach Martha Beck’s best selling book, Finding Your Way In A Wild New World, that we all have a lizard self inside us. He rears his ugly head in times of stress and fear, and we act much like a lizard, acting out of basic survival instincts instead of using rational thought. This can lead to problems of course, as acting from primitive emotions naturally leads to fight or flight actions rather than thoughtful effective problem solving.

Since I had recently been experiencing the emotional backlash from the behavior of some narcissists in my life, I took the dream to mean to keep an eye on my inner lizard, and quiet my desire to react in a hostile, primitive way that could escalate conflict between myself and the narcissists.

So if it’s best not to react in a hostile way from the pain and confusion inflicted by narcissists, what is the better way to react? I had already spent many years silently letting them upset me after finding out first hand that fighting them wouldn’t get me anywhere, and I was at the end of my rope where doing nothing was no longer an option.

In an effort to better understand what was happening I needed a clear definition and awareness of what exactly narcissistic behavior was. I had been confused for most of my life when these individuals, who I loved and thought loved me, would suddenly says things or do mean things. Reading books like Dr. Les Carter’s best seller, When Pleasing You Is Killing Me, and listening to his helpful videos on YouTube about narcissists helped me see them and their behavior clearly, and come up with some plans for better dealing with them so they weren’t as disruptive in my life.

What is a narcissist? Narcissists are people who have developed a way of dealing with others where they try to control them to suit their needs above anything else. They do this because early in their childhood they came to believe their needs would not be met unless they came up with plans to manipulate others into getting what they wanted. There are different kinds of narcissists, the ones I most often encounter are either overt or covert narcissists.

An overt narcissist is someone who is outgoing, and openly and loudly talks about themselves, telling how superior they are, often mentioning people of high social status that they are associated with. They are direct and open when criticizing others, and creating a false image of themselves that puts them above others.

A covert narcissist is someone who has the same goals as an overt narcissist, but they are more sneaky about it. They use quiet ways to control others by giving them the silent treatment if someone isn’t doing things in a way that suits them, or they talk badly about someone to others instead of directly to them. They often use people as scapegoats, blaming them for their frustrations with their lives, and turning others against them so they can remain superior, and the blameless victims of their circumstances.

If you recognize that you might have narcissistic tendencies, don’t worry, everyone does. It is normal to want to talk about yourself or want things to go a certain way, but these people have extreme tendencies. They are very difficult to have a reasonable conversation with, where you work out a disagreement or compromise on something, or express anger or confusion. They tend to get extremely angry if you say “no,” for example, to something they want you to do.

Now that you are aware of who the narcissists are in your world, and how they operate, and you are aware that fighting with them, or silently accepting their behavior are not options, you can thoughtfully make plans to put limits and boundaries on your time spent with them. Sometimes you can completely remove yourself from them, but sometimes you can’t, for example if they are co-workers or family members.

The hurt inflicted from the narcissist can be deep, but your job is simply to become aware of the dynamics, and change your interaction with them to protect yourself. For example, communicate by email instead of phone conversations to limit what they say to you, send letters instead of texts, limit your visiting time, take breaks in social gatherings, see what they are trying to do and just listen without engaging, keep the conversation on track by focusing on the goal of the talk or visit, and finally just be yourself by making your own decisions and choices no matter what the narcissist does to try to change you.

It is so easy to react out of pain, and want to strike back, but hold on, give it some thought, pry that lizard off your face, and proceed with dignity. No need to villainize the narcissist, just see them for who they are, say “no” when you want to, set those boundaries, and hold yourself and your actions strong and in check.  In other words, simply carry a strong sense of yourself, a wonderful quality that will help you in every part of your life.

Share