Category Archives: Answer me this

Whoooooo are we? Who who! Who who?

We often ponder the question “Who Am I?” But for the first time the larger question was posed to me:

If the question were asked by someone from outer space — WHO ARE WE? Who are we humans, we citizens of planet Earth?

The conversation was with my Canadian friend Helene Tremblay. Helene has spent decades to answer it; indeed, arriving at the answer and sharing it with others is her life’s work.  Through her books and speaking engagements, she shares her experiences living with typical families all over the world (116 countries so far!). She says on Human Space in an article titled Showing Humanity to Youmanity:

People come to life on our planet and die without knowing their own human story. People die not knowing where the earth was in the universe, not knowing where they were on the planet and with whom they had shared their time on earth From this fact, I gave myself the mission of presenting Humanity to Humanity.

I’m curious what you think. Who are we?

What measures will you use, what factors will you include as you mull over your answer? Family? Wealth? Language? Culture? Creativity? Destruction? Commonalities? Differences? Our reach? Our basest nature? Theology? Cosmology? Love ?War? Fear? Consciousness?

Here is a brief video of one of Helene’s presentations that may get your juices flowing.

This is part of my Answer me this series where I just wonder and invite you to do so with me.

 

 

Suit yourself

Do you feel like:

  • your physical self  is prepared for the activities you ask it to take part in?
  • your mental self is prepared for the tasks you ask it to accomplish?
  • your emotional self is prepared for the life you ask it to lead?

I was thinking about this the other day as I contemplated how well-suited my body is for, say, yoga, but how poorly suited it is for running a marathon. Or laying bricks. Or rock-climbing or riding motocross or house-painting. It’s not just that I lack the skills, which can be learned, it’s that I lack required physical attributes like cardiovascular endurance, sturdy hands, a low center of gravity, a strong shoulder girdle.

My brain does well at multi-tasking here on the computer (tabs open simultaneously for email, Facebook, Reader and other shiny things, as well as my work). But I’m not sure I would easily adapt to focusing on a classroom of second graders like I did at one time.

I’m quite effective at self-regulating my emotions at my work-at-home job. But I don’t know how I would do, emotionally, if I were thrown back into a highly political environment with lots of drama.

These points beg the question about cause and effect. Do I fit my life or does my life fit me? Do I have a yoga body because I practice yoga, or do I practice yoga because I have a yoga body?

I do not have brick-laying hands. For that and many other reasons I don’t lay bricks. But if I were, for some reason, called to lay bricks (sold into slavery in Egypt, perhaps?) I would probably develop bricklayer’s callouses and bricklayer’s muscles, my body adapting to what was asked of it. If I took up house painting, I would probably develop muscles that would enable me to raise my painting arm above my body for longer than I can now (which isn’t long).

And If I again entered a political environment, would I find ways to keep my adrenal glands from constantly squirting their fight-or-flight juice?

So I ask you a couple of questions.

  • If your answers above questions were Yes, what tips do you have for suiting your expectations for your selves with to abilities you have? How have you done that for your body, brain/mind and spirit?
  • If your answers above were No, what could you do within your power to bring together your expectations and your abilities? To better suit the life you ask your self to lead?

P.S. My husband wants me to take up golf and/or tennis with him. I’m a little scared and I’m trying to figure out why. I don’t see myself as a golfer or tennis player, but maybe that’s just because I’ve never played either game. Which can easily be remedied, right?

This is part of my Answer me this series where I just wonder and invite you to do so with me.

Image: Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Duel: Self-improvement vs self-acceptance

Now that 2012 New Years resolutions are either newly adopted habits or roadkill in the rearview, I’ve been thinking about the lengths we go — or should go — to better ourselves.

Like many, I am also often faced with small (or large) changes I’d like to make in myself.

  • The small: Shall I color my hair? Whiten my teeth?  Firm up my belly?
  • There’s the more intensive/expensive/invasive –shall I have spider veins on my legs removed?  Some of my girlfriends are talking about having “work done” — shall I  consider that?
  • Shifting from physical traits, should I aim to be a more attentive mom? A better homemaker?

Or, in each case, would be be better to accept What Is? Do I simply sabotage myself when I see parts of me that are half-empty when they could very well be half-full, good enough? Is it a duel or a dual?

When dealing with something you don’t like about yourself, what percentage of your efforts should go into changing it and what percentage should go into accepting it?

Are there different scenarios that have different rules? For example, a personality trait vs a physical trait? Easy to fix vs difficult to fix?

What is a healthy way to approach this dilemma?

How do you know whether you should change What Is or learn to like What Is?

Note: This is part of my Answer me this series and, as such, I am not actually looking for advice  (I’m way too skeered for plastic surgery). Rather, I’m wondering about the decision-making process you use in your own self-improvement/acceptance duality.