Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Is Excusing the Same As Forgiveness?

When explaining what 'excusing' is, I have referred to it as 'instant forgiveness'. Excuse is actually a synonym for the word forgive. But, I don't think they're identical. They're very similar - but not equal.

The act of excusing, and the act of forgiving are similar in that the person who forgives, or the person who excuses, is the one who benefits the most – most directly.

To use an old expression, both excusing and forgiving help get whatever someone else did "off your chest". Both 'lift' an internal, emotional burden. More realistically, I think either act helps get it 'off our minds' – out of our thoughts and consciousness.

But, I think there is an important difference.

When someone does something 'wrong' in our eyes, it's our interpretation of wrongness based on our past conditioning, and our beliefs.

For simplicity, let's use the name Joe in this example.
When the forgiver forgives, he's thinking or saying Joe did something wrong, but he's going to 'let Joe off the hook', or 'pardon' Joe even though Joe was wrong, and is wrong. With forgiveness the wrongdoer (Joe) is still wrong. The judgment is still there.

I think excusing is different. It's at a different level, a deeper level. To me, excusing is more thorough. It's more complete.

My belief is that excusing 'erases' the wrong. It literally takes away the wrong, the judgment of wrong, the thought of wrong.

Think about it this way: When we 'excuse' Joe by saying or thinking, "Joe's not wrong, he's average" we are actually saying "He is NOT wrong". The judgment actually becomes non-judgment. The judgment is wiped out, eliminated. In a sense, it's vanished. It's gone. Plus, any hurt or discomfort that was there for what Joe did or did not do is moved out.

Picture writing the words "Joe is wrong" on a whiteboard or a blackboard. That's the statement, the judgment, the belief, the thought. If you take an eraser and wipe off the words "Joe is wrong" the words are gone, the board is clean again. The words have disappeared.

By saying/thinking "Joe is not wrong, he's average" – the statement "Joe is wrong" or "Joe is bad" goes away --- completely.

Here's another way to think about how excusing works:
You've got a white kitchen towel with a brown coffee stain on it. You can wet the towel and pour some household chlorine bleach on it. The bleach neutralizes, eliminates, removes the brown stain. It's gone.

That's what I believe excusing does. The conscious act of excusing clears out and cleans out, it deletes -- it totally gets rid of the judgment, the accusation, the blame, the hard feelings, the hurt, the pain, the burden, the internal irritation, the inner upset that sometimes turns into outer upset.

Excusing is not just a technique to use on 'them' – when we're thinking other people, or some thing out there is 'wrong'. It's just as important to use "I'm not wrong, I'm average" to cancel out self-blame, the self-criticism, the fault-finding, the negative thoughts and judgments about ourselves that create shame, lack of confidence and low self-worth.

Call it excusing, call it forgiveness –- it doesn't really matter. What does matter is getting rid of the 'he's wrong/she's wrong/I'm wrong/that's just not right' thinking that weighs us down, keep us from feeling good and being      At Ease & In Control.

© 2013 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What are YOU looking for??

Perception: "What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
     ~ Sir John Lubbock

Look for the bad, the negative,
what you think/consider/judge to be wrong – and you'll find it.

Look for the good, the positive, what you think/consider/judge to be right – and you'll find it.

Believe me, looking for and finding goodness in this wonderful world we live in definitely brings us more Peace, Love and Joy ! !

Plus, finding goodness throughout the day is one of the ways to bring more joy, more pleasure, more happiness to your life.

That's something we all want, and something -- with a little effort
--  we all can achieve.

© 2012 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Can vs. I Will

I Can vs. I Will

I can    is a good start.
           It's positive. It's moving towards a goal.

I can    means I've decided that I'm able to.
I can    can also mean even though I'm able to
           maybe I will, maybe I won't.

I will    is stronger than I can.
I will    is what really gets us moving.
I will    means I am choosing to. 
I will    means I am determined to.
I will    means I will do what I've decided to do.
I will    means as far as I'm concerned, it's a done deal.

I will    is a FIRM decision.

A firm decision doesn't just steady us,
it literally boosts our mental and physical energy
to DO what we choose to accomplish.

Don't believe it?
Try it, and see for yourself.
Prove to yourself it works.

© 2012 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved

Monday, August 20, 2012

Just Because It's There

Doesn't Mean we HAVE to
.....Read it
.......Watch it
............Listen to it

Recently I read an article entitled "American anxiety: Why we're such a nervous nation".

Why ARE we a nervous nation? One huge reason is because most people are obsessed with 'knowing' everything the media presents to us.

Does reading or listening to all the grisly details of a multitude of murders really pleasant?
NO-it's making you more stressed.

Is watching videos of gruesome accidents and crime scenes complete with dead bodies covered with tarps a peaceful scene? NO-it's one more thing that's making you more stressed.

Does watching clip after clip of interviews associated with mass murder attacks make you more relaxed?
NO-it's another thing that's making you more stressed.

Does watching America's Most Wanted week after week, month after month, year after year make you feel safe, sound and secure?
NO-it makes you afraid, fearful, distrustful and anxious.

Is it heartwarming to watch the devastation, damage and destruction from tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, wild-fires, tsunamis and floods?

The truth is: A steady diet of terrible events does affect us. It creates nervous tension and mental strain.

I'm not bashing the news or the people who produce it. Journalists have their jobs: To report the news. And they have the choice of what they think constitutes the news.

We also have our jobs.
We have the choice of what information we consume. Choice.
It's called being selective. It's called being smart!

There's a condition which causes this 'Need To Know'. It's called: Afraid of NOT Being Informed. Along with that goes: "What will people think about me if I don't know?"

If a colleague, friend or co-worker brings up a news item you haven't seen, or chose not to delve into – what's wrong with simply saying: "I saw the headline, and didn't read about it"?

What's more important: their opinion of you, or your overall sense of well-being?

Personally, I'd rather be less informed and less stressed than over-informed, tense, weary and negative -- thinking my life, our country and the entire world are filled with gloom, doom, tragedy, disaster and chaos!

Would you rather be known for being totally knowledgeable and well-versed? Or being At Ease & In Control? The choice is yours.

Maybe there is something to that old saying: Ignorance is bliss.

© 2012 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Motionless Sitting…

It’s another GRAND mental fitness tool for reducing and overcoming any anxiety, from just plain jitters, to social anxiety symptoms, all the way up to panic attacks.

The purpose of Motionless Sitting is to learn to control our muscles and muscular impulses – which are common when we’re nervous. Those fidgety -type impulses: wiggling around in a chair, flapping our hands around when we talk, wagging a foot up and down when our legs are crossed, tapping one foot on the floor, thumping on something with our fingertips, repeatedly rubbing the back of the neck, etc.

Sitting still is an art which can be ‘learned’. And it’s called motionless sitting, because it’s done in a sitting position – not lying down in a prone position. Why? Because when we’re out in public – at church, at work, getting a haircut, out for a meal, on a bus, an airplane, and lots of other places we’re doing what we’re doing while we’re sitting down, not lying down.
And we want to train our muscles to be still and calm while we’re sitting up. Pure and simple motionless sitting teaches us how we can be calm, collected and poised when were out in public.

Is motionless sitting the same as relaxing? Slightly. It could be considered that. But, the way I learned it was that if the body does fall into a relaxed state -- that’s a pleasant side-effect. And I do know from personal experience, from the beginning you may not get into that state. In fact, from the very beginning, sitting still can be more uncomfortable than giving in to those nervous twitches. But don’t let that last comment of mine dissuade you from using this formula. Those repetitive actions which may seem like unconscious movements are only a habit, a habit that CAN be changed. Like anything else, it takes practice. Sometimes, lots of practice.

Another important point: If we say the purpose or intent is ‘to relax’. and from the beginning when you start using this motionless method and you don’t feel relaxed – it’s so easy to get discouraged, give up and decide ‘it doesn’t work!!’ Or, ‘that doesn’t work for ME’, or ‘I CAN’T do it!’

In this approach, you don’t need to feel relaxed to be successful – you just have to sit still. If you’re a rookie, start small. Sit still for 3 minutes. Then up it to 5 minutes. Remember - the purpose is to ‘command’ your muscles to be still, unmoving, at rest. If somewhere along the line you do feel yourself relaxing – that’s a bonus.

Motionless Sitting:
..... another way of teaching yourself to be At Ease & In Control.

P.S. A similar muscle control technique can be used as a ‘fall asleep tool’ at night too – and I’ll write about that in a future entry.

© 2012 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Here & NOW

So much ‘out there’ talks about ‘Being in the NOW’.

In my wellness process I was taught to handle each triviality as it comes along. I took that advice seriously.

‘Now’ is when the symptoms are happening.
So, ‘Now’ is when we have to practice.
NOW – not later.

Why? Because the longer we put off changing our thoughts – the longer we’re going to suffer. That may be ‘suffering’ a little distress: a bit of tension, some racing thoughts. Let’s call it a ‘little unrest’.
Or, when we put off changing our thoughts “Here & Now” the discomfort can (and usually does) get stronger and more uncomfortable. And, sooner or later that discomfort can grow and grow and grow all the way into feeling unbearable.

Practice tips for putting it into the Here & Now:
MY temper IS causing MY tension and MY tension is causing MY symptoms
(then get to work at neutralizing, eliminating or dissolving your temper)

Feeling confused??
MY temper blocks IS blocking MY insight
(then get to work at neutralizing, eliminating or dissolving your temper – which will clear your mind and allow different thoughts (the insight) to turn up.

If you’re using the mental fitness tool of moving your muscles to overcome fatigue, tiredness, weariness or anxiety, anxiousness, tenseness, just plain laziness, etc., bring yourself into the Here & Now by using this thought:
MY muscles ARE re-educating MY brain that there is no danger.
Or: RIGHT NOW, MY muscles ARE re-educating MY brain that there is no danger.

To talk it up, is to work it up
Me talking this up – is ME working ME up.
Me typing this up - is ME working ME up.
Me texting this up – is ME working ME up.

And sometimes it’s just plain: To think it up is to work it up.
Right now, me thinking about how wrong or bad this is (or was), is ME working me up.

Bottom Line: We need to begin our practicing as soon as we feel discomfort (mental or physical) – when it’s Here & Now.

© 2012 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Personalize It

In my opinion, personalizing practice increases self-responsibility.
How? When I add the word MY, I make it mine – I own it. I’m responsible for it. It holds me more accountable for what I’m thinking, and how I’m feeling.

Temper causes tension, tension causes symptoms
Better: MY temper causes MY tension, MY tension causes MY symptoms

Temper blocks insight
MY temper blocks MY insight

Anger is intellectual blindness to the other person's point of view
MY anger is MY intellectual blindness to the other person's point of view

This is trivial, a triviality
This is a triviality compared to MY mental health

Nothing is more important than mental health
Nothing is more important than MY mental health

Self-appointed expectations lead to self-induced frustrations
MY self-appointed expectations lead to MY self-induced frustrations

Humor is our best friend, temper our worst enemy
MY Humor is MY best friend, MY temper is MY worst enemy

This is trivial, a triviality
This is a triviality compared to MY mental health

Comfort is a want and not a need
MY comfort is a want and not a need

Excessive sense of responsibility
MY excessive sense of responsibility

Features and gestures speak
MY features and MY gestures speak

An insincere gesture of friendliness is more beneficial than a sincere gesture of hostility
MY insincere gesture of friendliness is more beneficial than MY sincere gesture of hostility

Knowledge teaches you what to do, but practice shows you how to do it.
MY knowledge teaches me what to do, but MY practice shows me how to do it

Endorse for effort not the outcome
I endorse for MY effort not the outcome

Muscles re-educate the brain that there is no danger
MY muscles re-educate MY brain that there is no danger

Nervous fear is the fear of discomfort
MY nervous fear is MY fear of MY discomfort

‘Making it mine’ moves the mental fitness tool from the realm of being simply a general statement, and reminds me of the fact that if I want to feel better, it’s MY thoughts I need to change. Because? No one else can do it for me.

© 2012 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved