BS Files #7: Being Selfish is Baaad

The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there. It’s been a while since we’ve visited the case files, and it’s time, because I keep encountering this one.

Case #7. Being selfish is bad. Bullsh*t!

There are a few versions of this one. You can substitute any other word that sounds similar, such as self-indulgent, self-care, self-concern, self-love. I’d say we could throw in self-confident as well.

This myth begins to rear it’s very ugly head somewhere around middle school for most people, when we learn that being conceited or vain or ego-centric are among the worst things we could possibly be. In order to fit in, we learn to diminish ourselves. We build a whole belief system about how important it is to ignore our own wants and needs if we want to really be a good person. Here’s my big ass assumption – we all want to be a good person.

Many of our beliefs are formed in extremis as we grow up. By that, I mean that we teach ourselves what works by experimenting with extreme pendulum swings, until we find the balance that is true for ourselves. (Think about the things you said to provoke your parents when you came home from college for Thanksgiving!)

We try on extremes to find out what really suits us. And then we update our belief system to match. Oh wait, do we?

Some of us do, many of us don’t. Some of us learn that there is such a thing as healthy self-love, self-confidence and self-care, and it has absolutely nothing to do with egotism, vanity or narcissism.

Once we know that, like everything else in life, self-stuff is a balancing act that’s when we should update our beliefs accordingly. Remember, beliefs are just thoughts that we think a lot, and they shape how we see and experience the world.

But many of us never go back and question whether those beliefs that we developed as a young person are actually true for adults. We beat ourselves up with guilt if we show even the smallest signs of self-love or self consideration. I mean, I want to take care of myself, I just feel so guilty! Guilt is such a great flogger, isn’t it? (ooh, I have my next BS File topic!)

Truth: You are a person. You need love, care, respect and consideration, just like any other person. Sometimes you are the person who needs to do it.

Truth: Taking care of yourself does not make you a bad person. Not taking care of yourself does not make you a good person.

Truth: You’re an adult, and you know it’s all about balance.

Truth: Love is love is love. That includes self-love.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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It’s 2019. Time for a change or two. Are you living a life full of microdrama, guilt (shudder) or confusion? That is all 100% optional. If you don’t believe me, let’s talk. Email me (maggie@talktomaggie.com) or schedule a free mini session with me (here). A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about the noise that’s holding you back and what you can do about it. We can set you up to succeed without struggling! Believing anything else is BS!

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Have a topic for the BS files? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

There is peace in the ksar

This is a special New Years edition of the blog, and is another lesson from my travels to Morocco. This is the third in a series of three about peace. I won’t pretend to say that I won’t talk about peace again, because honestly, that is what my coaching is all about.

We had the privilege of going deep into a ksar and visit a family in their home, because Radounne, our guide, had done his research for his Masters degree in this town. He still had a relationship with this family.

A ksar is a Berber fortified village. The architecture is much like that of the pueblo people here in the southwest –  a maze of connected homes made of thick adobe walls, multiple stories, central courtyards, work space on the rooftops and no indoor plumbing, although they do have electricity.

The people were extremely welcoming and proud of their home.

They had a few important things, such as a silver tea service, some family photos and beautiful hand crafted functional items.

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They really had very little.

They were happy. I believe that they were genuinely happy.

That really struck me, and later, we wondered out loud – as we do – how that could be.

Rad said simply, “They have everything they need.”

Hmmm. I took that in and realized that it is another key to personal peace.

We want and aspire. That’s a good thing, because that is how we grow and create and invent and change.

Sometimes we get “want” and “need” confused. We think we “need” something we don’t yet have, and that thought makes us feel discontent and unhappy (or perhaps guilty or deprived or…). And then we struggle.

That is another conflict that isn’t necessary.

We can remind ourselves that we have everything we truly need today. We can settle into that peaceful thought and build a foundation.

Then, from that foundation of peace we can aspire, challenge, create and achieve – instead of struggle.

So as you set your goals for 2019 or create your New Years resolutions, pay attention to the wording, and watch how it makes a difference. Try playing with the idea that you don’t NEED to do anything. But what you want to do, what you aspire to do, that’s a different thing altogether!

If the idea of changing up how you set your goals intrigues you and you want to talk about it, post something in the comments, send me an email or schedule a free goal setting session with me.

Remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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This is often a time for setting goals for the new year. If you’re interested in tackling a big goal for yourself, and you want to try a different approach, email me (maggie@talktomaggie.com) or schedule a free mini session with me (here). A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about the noise that’s holding you back and what you can do about it. We can set you up to succeed without struggling!

If a mini session isn’t vibing with you right now, but you still want more, you can check out more blogs on my new website www.maggiehuffman.com

How I had an amazing vacation in Morocco

I went to Morocco in November. It was the best trip I have ever taken in my life. There are many reasons, and I’m going to share a few. In fact, I think I’ll take the whole month of December to share my lessons from Morocco, and a few photos, too, because they are just so beautiful.

This month is all about how I took a different approach and how it played out. If you want to play with that concept for yourself, schedule a mini-session with me, and we’ll talk about it. (It’s free. And fun. And awesome.)

First, why did I have such a great trip? Because I made up my mind that I would. I kept telling myself that this was an amazing experience. You all know the power of making up your mind in advance – and this is just more evidence. Here’s how it played out for me. If some little thing went “wrong” or seemed different than I planned, I just let it be part of the experience. No complaining allowed. Do you have any idea how good it feels to just not allow yourself to complain? I hope you do. I cannot recommend it enough – it is so freeing.

Second, I was surrounded by wonderful people, and I kept reminding myself – and telling them!

Third, the trip itself was amazing. Well planned, highly immersive, jam packed – it was so much more than I expected.

Fourth, I went in with an open mind. Lots more on this later.

Finally (at least for this blog), I was all in. I wasn’t multi-tasking. I didn’t try to fit in work stuff, or coach training stuff, or rehearsing or any of the other things that I normally try to do on vacation. I was fully present. Not only did I get more out of the trip, I also connected more deeply with the people I was with.

With all of that, how could I not have an amazing trip? Hey, here’s a hint…there might be some ideas here that we could repurpose!

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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If you’re interested in tackling a big goal for yourself, and you want to try a different approach, email me (maggie@talktomaggie.com) or schedule a free mini session with me (here). A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about the noise that’s holding you back and what you can do about it. What do you have to lose? Literally!

So you made a mistake

You made a mistake and covered it up before it was discovered.

You snapped at your kid today and you feel guilty.

Your annual performance rating wasn’t want you wanted.

You didn’t do as well on a test as you know you could do.

The tech geek at Best Buy talked to you as if you were stupid.

Your kids aren’t perfect.

You found new wrinkles around your eyes.

Your house is a mess.

Your boss doesn’t like you.

You took a nap instead of working out.

You didn’t get that project done.

You burned the soufflé.

You ate two cookies at work.

You don’t feel like hearing her tell you about her problems today.

You are weigh x pounds more than you would like.

None of that has anything to do with your value as a human being.

All of that garbage has nothing to do with your worth as a person.

You are not broken. You do not need fixing. You are human. Perfectly imperfect.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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If you’re interested in tackling a big goal for yourself, and you want to try a different approach, email me (maggie@talktomaggie.com) or schedule a free mini session with me (here). A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about the noise that’s holding you back and what you can do about it. What do you have to lose? Literally!

BS Files #6: You have to hate where you are to make a change

The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there. Here is October’s case.

Case #6. You have to hate where you are to make a change. Bullsh*t!

There are lots of versions of this one, and it’s related to the rock-bottom myth: that you have to hit rock bottom before you can make a positive change.

This myth is based on the belief that we are lazy, complacent creatures who will never strive to do better or more unless we are forced to change because we are so miserable. It’s based on the ideas that we will always try to get away with the minimum possible effort, that we don’t really have our best interests at heart, that we can’t choose what’s good for ourselves or the world unless we are forced into make the right choice.

That’s all a bit bleak House, isn’t it. Not to mention bullshit.

Yes, you can make amazing, life altering changes from rock bottom. I’ve done it. You probably have, too. That’s a wonderful, beautiful, miraculous thing. Mysterious, even.

We think there is some mysterious thing that has to happen to create the motivation we need to change. We usually think this has to be something bad, and we call it rock bottom.

Truth: Motivation isn’t the key. We think it is, but it isn’t. Choice is the key.

Truth: Choice comes before motivation. Said another way, motivation follows choice. When you make a choice, once you decide something, you create the feeling of motivation inside yourself. Think about it. When you can’t decide (“oh, I don’t know, I don’t know”) how motivated do you feel? Not very; probably just the opposite – unempowered. But once you’ve made a decision, really made the decision, how much motivation do you have? All the motivation you need.

Truth: You can choose to make a change for the better from anywhere. It is always available to you, even if you love where you are, more is always available. (I borrowed that from my friend Wendy Yost.) You can choose to become more fit, even if you are already healthy. You can choose to take a new job, even if you have a wonderful one. You can choose to paint, even if you love to sing (and keep singing). I could really get lost in the possibilities here – but you can choose your own.

Rock bottom, misery, struggle – those are all scarcity and desperation – not motivation. They aren’t necessary to choose something better. It’s magic that we can choose better from that place at all, which just proves that better is available from anywhere.

Case closed.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace. A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about what’s holding you back and what you can do about it. What do you have to lose? Literally!

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Have a topic for the BS files? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

Keep it simple, s*@*!

Remember how I always say that words matter? Words matter. What you say matters. How you say it matters.

Especially when we are talking to ourselves, because we talk to ourselves a lot! Have you ever stopped to listen and pay attention to what you say to yourself?

If you haven’t made the effort to talk nicely to yourself, the chances are pretty good that you are mean, very critical and judgmental. You would never talk that way to someone else – especially not someone you loved. But we get away with saying horrible shit to ourselves all the time.

Actually, we don’t really get away with it, we just take it.

This week, I’d like you to try something. Pay attention to what kind of things you say to yourself. Your self-talk. Be curious about it. Don’t go judging yourself if you find out that you really have an inner bully. Just observe.

Look at your motivation. I know you aren’t saying these things just to be mean. It’s learned behavior. Once upon a time, your brain learned that it needed to nag you and criticize and maybe even berate you if you were ever going to get better (we were all teenagers once, after all!) But how’s that working for you now? How does it feel? Okay, let’s change it.

Let’s try the KISS method. Keep it Simple Sweetheart.

I bet you’ve heard that last S stand for Stupid or even Shithead. But you don’t talk to yourself like that this week. Maybe never again.

When you catch the negative self-talk, stop. Translate into what you really want to say. Find the simplest, most loving way to say it.

Here’s an example:

“Get your lazy ass up and do the dishes, you slob. You’re such a terrible housekeeper.”

Could translate to:

“It’s time to do the dishes, sweetheart. You love how a clean kitchen feels.”

Don’t forget the term of endearment. That’s gonna feel super awkward, because you aren’t used to talking to yourself that way. Get used to it. It feels great. Oh, by the way, it is waaaaay more effective at getting yourself to do the things you want. You’ll see.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace. A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about what’s holding you back and what you can do about it. What do you have to lose? Literally!

Procrastination – what am I waiting for?

I had a request for some wisdom on procrastination. I’m finally getting around to it… just kidding. I write my blog in advance, so it’s just seems like it’s delayed in getting to print.

So what is procrastination?

The dictionary definition is the action of delaying or postponing something. Huh. That’s interesting. Procrastination is an action. Not doing something is doing something.

The urban dictionary definition is even better – “I’ll put up a definition later” or “what most people call planning.”

Procrastination obviously has a bad rap.

Sometimes it’s deserved. Like when we are stalling just because we aren’t disciplined enough to do what needs to be done, or just plain avoiding something.

But not always. Actually, I think we sometimes call things procrastination that aren’t procrastination…they’re more like letting dough rise, or red wine age in a bottle or tomatoes ripen on the vine.

We get so caught up in schedules and productivity and speed. We believe that multitasking is good, and we forget that sometimes there is a sequence that we just have to let things unfold.

Maybe we need to be different in order to be ready. Maybe something else needs to fall into place, or needs time to get to us. Sometimes we are waiting for the world to be ready. Sometimes we are thinking and processing at a subconscious level. All of these things are like ripening on the vine.

There’s nothing wrong with productivity – I’m all for it, and I’m a hugely productive person. But ripening is a form of productivity!

How do we know the difference between ripening and procrastinating?

I think the answer is in our inner wisdom, and that we have to rely on our gut or our intuition to tell us.

If you’re not as in tune to your intuition as you’d like to be, then you can use your emotions as indicators.

If you think you might be procrastinating, ask the question “is now the right time?” and see what kind of answer or emotions you get. Notice I didn’t say to ask “should I do this now?” or “what will happen if I don’t do it now?” – those are the wrong questions to ask.

“Should I…” will often take you into the land of other people’s expectations and timelines and usually leave you stranded in a pile of guilt. “What will happen if..” sends your brain on a mission to look for primarily unpleasant consequences.

There’s lots of evidence of “divine” timing – so many times when the exact right thing that is needed to complete a task or a project just shows up. That’s evidence of unfolding.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace. A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about what’s holding you back and what you can do about it. What do you have to lose? Literally!