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A collection of 40 essays.
Upbeat and motivational.
A variety of topics.
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Articles about Personal Development
There is a loneliness that comes with personal growth. It’s not from a needy place,
but from a realization that as we evolve, we often end up leaving dysfunctional friends
and relatives behind. It can be frightening and a bit unnerving to actually take
those steps down the path less traveled. Until we find new like-
These articles discuss the stuff that is a bit more personal in nature unlike the
other areas that cover how we get along with others or how we get along with the
heavens. These articles have more to do with how we get along with ourselves. Personal
growth and self-
If you like these articles, check out our free weekly newsletter, Looking Up Newsletter.
Click on the article titles to read more...
I am finished with being a grown up. I want to play more. I want to eat ice-
I suppose it’s the nature of the thing that you would feel that you are alone and
that nobody else is going through what you are going through. You have worked on
yourself, healing, changing, growing, and becoming more enlightened as to the way
the game of life is played. The result is that you really don’t feel like playing
anymore. No, you aren’t suicidal, but rather you just want to be left alone. You
see the world as superficial and fake. You see the people you love self-
Yesterday was the last day of ‘Who Cares?’ for my oldest child. Today is his first
day of high school. From now on, his choices will have a long-
It’s more then just a bad hair day. Truth is, you don’t even care how your hair looks because everything that can go wrong is going wrong. It’s not like you created the problems yourself and are having to fix your own mess. That is easy enough to deal with. No, this is about those days when nobody takes you seriously, every light turns red when you are on a tight schedule as it is, and your spouse is in one of their darker moods. You drop your lunch in your lap and there is no way you can sneak back home to freshen up, the tax man just chose you for his next audit, and your sister calls to say she has a lump in her breast and is terrified to go in for a check up. Your boss tells you that you are doing an awesome job and deserve the pay raise you have asked for, but the company can’t afford to give it to you…. and you love your job too much to quit. You cannot seem to get through the red tape of a bureaucracy that holds some sort of power over your ability to succeed at your dreams. The computer system goes down at work and you cannot finalize a very lucrative time sensitive deal that you were trying to close. No matter what you do, everything around you just seems to be going wrong and you are continually finding doors slammed in your face, brick walls in your path, and glass ceilings above you. How do you cope? How do you get out of the crazy maze that has you feeling trapped, alone, and helpless?
So it’s time for a change. You’ve taken that hard look in the mirror and you’ve decided that who you are is not who you want to be. Or perhaps you’re standing at a fork in the road and where you’d like to go requires that you make some changes. Maybe you’re just really bored with your life as you’ve been in that same old rut for so long that you just want to scream if you spend another day doing the same amazingly boring things all over again. The reasons for change are as varied as the people making the decision to do so. The only thing you have to remember is that the change must come from you, not from someone else. And it can’t be a gift to someone else, it won’t work. Ultimately, recreating ourselves is a very personal choice and a very personal decision that others really can’t help us with.
What does it mean to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? It means that
your spirit is bigger than your body. It means that no matter how perfect your life
is in this moment, that soon a small voice will begin to haunt you asking, "Is this
it? Is there nothing more?" It is not that you feel entitled or that you are selfish
and gluttonous. It is the fact that your body is incapable of maintaining a state
of contentment no matter how much your mind might think that you are being illogical.
Your body is stir-
Ten days after my daughter turns 18, my mother will turn 60. And two days after
that, I will be 43. Neither my mother, nor my daughter ever thinks about things
like personal growth and self-
I was about ten and a half years old when we celebrated the Bi-
My oldest boy is fifteen and was a real jerk about a month ago. He had gotten pretty full of himself and acted like he was too cool for the rest of the family. Pretty typical teenager behavior, but I didn't like it. I had gotten to the end of my patience with him and laid into him about how lousy it felt to be treated that way. We ended up in a huge fight. He argued that he wasn't acting any different than normal and that I was just choosing to see things negatively. So, I laid out numerous examples of his selfish "me me me" behaviors without stopping to take a second breath. He hates it when I go off like that, but once he was ready to really talk, I came down off of my soapbox. He was close to tears. Apparently, I'd hit a nerve. He confessed that his closest friends at school had been trying to tell him the same thing recently and he wasn't hearing them. Now he suddenly knew what it was they had been trying to say. He felt awful and began to make immediate changes in his behaviors towards others. He really hated the idea that he was hurting anyone's feelings by being cold and uncaring.
Like many teenagers, my children think it would be cool to be on television and in the movies. Therefore, they both like to try out for roles as extras in commercials and various films when the opportunity shows itself. When we still lived in Oregon, my son tried out for a background role in a commercial promoting the Portland Trailblazers. As I sat in the waiting room waiting for him to finish his interview, I was amazed to see an elderly woman come bouncing into the office wearing the most outrageous costume. She was easily 70 years old. However, she had the energy of a 20 year old. She wore a flamboyant red hat and a crazy purple outfit. She had attached purple feather boas around the base of her blouse and around the cuffs of her pants and sleeves. She was like some kind of cartoon character right out of Tune Town.
There is a Native American belief that before we are born, we choose our parents. It actually ties in pretty nicely with the reincarnation idea that we prearrange certain circumstances before each life so as to learn different lessons. Either way, our parents teach us so much more than they ever mean to. Through their choices, circumstances, faults, talents and ability to show their love and support, they mold us. If life is a rat race, then our folks determine what we come out of the starting blocks with.
From the time I bought my first car, I have had a love of driving. In my next life, I want to be a racecar driver. I thought I might get to it this time, but doesn’t look like it. Whenever I am experiencing dramas or stress in my life, I have always found peace and answers to the questions that plague me while I drive. I find night driving to be especially therapeutic. I can remember driving around for hours playing Lionel Richie’s Stuck On You over and over again one dark winter night while trying to get over breaking up with my college sweetheart. Other times, my spirit guides would talk with me answering my questions about life and what direction I ought to go in next. Driving is great therapy.
The subject of positive self-
A few years ago, I was talking to a friend of mine on the telephone. He had just experienced a big success in his career and wanted to brag. We had a great time cheering and laughing over his big moment. Then as we were wrapping up our phone call, he apologized for gloating to me. I blew it off telling him, “Don’t apologize! Real friends are people that you can cry with during the bad times and gloat with during the good times. Everyone else expects you to be politically correct in your behaviors.” What’s the point of having friends if you can’t be yourself around them?
Years ago, an elderly gentleman friend of mine gave me a piece of advice. He said
that true personal freedom comes from having the resources that create the ability
to tell someone to ‘go to hell’ metaphorically. He said that everyone regardless
of race, gender, or income level should have a nest egg stashed away with at least
When I was ten years old, America celebrated it’s 200th Birthday. I told myself
that I wanted to live to be at least 111 years old so that I could see the tri-
What is the difference between self-
As this year comes to an end, I find myself contemplating ‘New Year’s Resolutions.’
Not the actual resolutions that I will make, but the concept that we actually deem
this the day to make resolutions. I guess I have three times each year that I make
‘New Year’s Resolutions’ -
Finding Passion Series
We have been told that the things we don’t like in our children are the same things we don’t like in ourselves. We are told that we project our own flaws and issues onto our perceived enemies in an attempt to work them out within ourselves. We stereotype people according to who they hang out with. Birds of a feather flock together. We’re attracted to people like ourselves, with the same flaws.
In order to find the right direction for ourselves, we have to do some soul searching. What is it I want to accomplish? Why? What kind of person do I want to become? Is it so weird to be in our thirties or forties and ask ourselves, “So, what do I want to be when I grow up?” What would make us jump out of bed excited and motivated to get the day started? Before getting into these big questions, we need to find out the roots behind our decisions. What motivates us to choose what we choose?
Why is it that some goals have a fire and a passion behind them that creates an almost
Religious teachings say that we have to forgive each other. Turn the other cheek. From our earliest childhood memories, our parents were telling us that we have to forgive our siblings when they hurt us or break our things. Forgive and forget. To hold a grudge will get you shunned and even ridiculed by others in society, “Ah just get over it. They said they were sorry.” We get this huge guilt complex dumped on us from all directions. We are expected to forgive everyone no matter what they do and no matter what their motivation was for doing it. Often, people aren’t even sorry that they have caused us pain and sorrow, yet we still have to offer up our forgiveness anyway. To refuse to forgive someone is often considered a greater sin then whatever the original crime was. But what about big stuff like infidelity, murder, kidnapping, and rape? What about the crimes of one society against another, like slavery, genocide, or destroying all of the art and history books of the losing team in a war? How do you forgive the really bad stuff and what if deep down in your most private heart you really don’t forgive them? Then what?
Destiny knew that she had a great calling to fulfill. She had agreed to take on a spiritual assignment that would bring love and joy to her little corner of the world. However, her inner critic was loud and persistent. She did not believe that she was capable of accomplishing that which she was meant to do. Even after years of spiritual lessons and tutoring from the angels themselves, she still did not believe in herself. It wasn’t that she did not want to do it. Her inner critic always convinced her that she wasn’t ready quite yet. Years were passing by and she was still waiting to become worthy of her own special place in the world.
It was not all that long ago that people rarely gave themselves permission to do anything for themselves. They stayed in bad marriages because the church and their communities would ostracize them for seeking a divorce. They set aside their personal dreams to toil away at the family business. Men would hear such things as, “Your father was a doctor, his father was a doctor, so you will be a doctor too.” Women would silently suffer through all sorts of abuse rather than shame their families by speaking out against those who would do such things. Men and women would work hard, sacrifice much, and never do anything to shame the family honor. They were not very happy, but they had things mapped out for them and the rules were clear.
Have you ever noticed a change that needed to happen at work that would make things
run smoother, would result in more customer satisfaction, would create more profit,
or would simply improve employee moral without negatively affecting productivity?
Did your manager shut you down and completely ignore your suggestions? Have you
ever had a vision for how your local community or state could make some positive
changes to clean up the environment, ease traffic congestion, keep the teenagers
out of trouble, or help the homeless only to have the local politicians and officials
bury your ideas in red tape and governmental double-
Everyone makes a mistake at some point in their life. Most of us make the majority
of our mistakes when we are young. Teenagers and twenty-
So many of us feel like we just don’t fit in. I remember reading in the first pages of the first chapter of my first psychology class that most people have some form of a mental health challenge, disorder, problem, or imbalance. They were not saying that everyone is completely nuts, but that it is normal to be abnormal! I have forever been touched by the deep irony of that concept. It is no wonder that so many of us hear that far off faint sound of a different drummer? Some of us give in and march to that different drummer and some do everything they can to quiet the sound so that they can keep time marching with the masses. Why do we want so badly to fit in with each other?
The cream rises to the top. That means that it separates itself from the milk. Perhaps that is what the New Age Movement is really all about. We tell ourselves that it’s lonely at the top. Yes, it is. Maybe we have to figure out how to maintain ourselves as cream, but also stay whipped up within the milk? I am picturing some sort of luscious desert all decadent and wonderful… like hot cocoa with the marshmallows stirred in rather than just floating on top. But then the marshmallow is no longer a unique wonderful treat; it has been broken down into the masses and lost its integrity. It is a different lesson that comes into play after you have experienced a decent bit of enlightenment and growth.
My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD years ago. It has been a journey to say the least. My youngest is just starting kindergarten and shows much worse signs than his older brother did at the same age. And so, we get to do this one more time.
Are feelings and attitudes the same thing or different? Does one cause the other to happen? Which one has more power over how we respond? Does the person experiencing them have any choice in the matter? What if they are in conflict?
One summer, I was visiting with my sister and her family. They live in a different state than us so it is always a major event to travel for an extended visit. They always put us up for the week and do their best to make sure everyone has a great time. My sister’s oldest child is a beautiful young girl who was about to start high school that fall. I’ll call her Pixie because she shares my love of fairies. The first day I was there, Pixie told me that my sister has started comparing the two of us. Apparently, whenever she’s angry at Pixie for misbehaving, my sister says, “You’re just like your aunt Skye!” Since Pixie hasn’t seen very much of me over the years, she was naturally curious to find out what that means to be just like me. From what I understand, my sister basically told her that we were both really stubborn and won’t back down in a fight and that we both always have to march to our own drummer. My sister loves both of us so we were not too worried about that. But Pixie wanted advice from me about what I would do if I were in her shoes getting in trouble for the things she gets into trouble for.