Shattered Relations

I think most of us can name at least one person throughout our lifetime who we’ve struggled to maintain peaceful relations with. For some of us it may be our parents, our siblings, cousins, close friends or work colleagues. For part of my life, I’ve struggled to maintain peaceful relations with one family member.  Most of the time we’ve been good but ever so often something happens that strains the relationship. I remember discussing the issue with a close friend who addressed it from an astrological perspective. He said that because of our individual signs, it was difficult to get along most of the time. We have shattered relations for reasons deeper than what we initially think. We are incarnated in this lifetime accepting that we will endure struggles in the relationship with this person. The spiritual side of us understands the deeper purpose in this while the physical side of us will only see the issues and the drama. An article on http://www.mindbodygreen.com explained why our relationships lead to spiritual growth. The author mentioned her relationship with her father and how it was pretty miserable. She thought he was opinionated, judgmental and stubborn but all of the things that infuriated her about her father were all the traits in herself that she didn’t want to own at that time. Once she recognized and healed the most judgmental parts of herself, his judgments either went away or no longer bothered her. Now her interactions with him are lighter, sweeter and much more authentic. Her father — and more specifically, her relationship with him, and its evolution — taught her that the things that bother us the most in others are actually the traits in us that we’re not ready to acknowledge and heal within ourselves.

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Burnout

Since I started working in the city of Port-of-Spain in my country from May 2014, I’ve been pushing my body. From my mom and my aunt being in hospital, to lecturing 5PM-9PM three to five days a week in addition to my 8AM-4PM job, to focusing on my business as well as trying to make time for friends, family, spirituality, health, fitness and even love, a lot has been going on and I can officially say that I’m exhausted. I started to notice that I’m forgetting simple things, my mood isn’t as great as I would like it to be and my motivation for things I know I’m passionate about is dwindling. For the month of February, arriving at the office before 8AM was no longer a priority, I decided that a bit more sleep was necessary. It’s not something I’m proud of but it was something that was necessary. According to Wikipedia, Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Burnout has been assumed to result from chronic occupational stress (e.g., work overload). Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North have theorized that the burnout process can be divided into 12 phases, which are not necessarily followed sequentially.

  • A compulsion to prove oneself
  • Working harder
  • Neglecting one’s own needs
  • Displacement of conflicts (the person does not realize the root cause of the distress)
  • Revision of values (friends or hobbies are completely dismissed)
  • Denial of emerging problems (cynicism and aggression become apparent)
  • Withdrawal (reducing social contacts to a minimum, becoming walled off; alcohol or other substance abuse may occur)
  • Behavioural changes become obvious to others
  • Inner emptiness
  • Depression
  • Burnout syndrome

When my classes end at 9AM, I would usually be home by 10PM. I’ll spend at least an hour preparing for the next day, which takes me to 11PM, then bed time will be between 11PM and midnight. I’ve even pushed my waking time to 5AM to guarantee 5 hours sleep as I know I can function on this bit of sleep for a few days, but this does not always happen. I enjoy my lecturing immensely, so it’s something I will always work into my schedule even though the classes end at 9PM. I have some ideas for making changes to my work schedule for the May to August semester to ensure I get more rest, so until then I’ll try my best to find little ways to curb the burnout I’m currently experiencing.

How can I …?

Have you ever been faced with a problem and stress at the thought of how to deal with the situation and get past it? I noticed last year that I developed a little habit when dealing with some issues in my life. Sometimes I’ll just think about it and say “I’ll figure it out somehow”. This usually followed by some solution to the problem eventually surfacing in the future. I marvelled at this and I try to use this approach as much as possible. If you’ve ever read Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, one of the key lessons mentioned in the book is… Saying “I can’t afford it” shuts down your brain. Asking “How can I afford it?” opens up your brain and triggers your financial genius to come up with a creative solution. Always asking yourself how, opens up the brain to keep working to find a solution. It may be our natural tendency to become frustrated by situations that feel hopeless but by simply asking “How can I solve the problem?” allows us to be receptive to the Universe and figure out ways to solve the problem. According to Jim Rohn, to solve any problem, three questions to ask yourself are: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? There are many approaches to problem solving but for me, simply asking myself “How can I …?” or saying “I’ll figure it out” has been quite beneficial in helping me find solutions.

Grown Habits

I remember being younger, more specifically in my late teens and early twenties and complaining about things older folks did. Why couldn’t they just change their ways or do things differently. As I’m in my thirties now, I’m starting to realise that as we age, we develop habits that we’re sometimes not even aware of. Also changing some of those habits could be quite a challenge, especially if we’ve been doing them for quite some time. I recently started dating someone and it’s been interesting how he’s been able to highlight aspects of my personality that I’ve never noticed. Some of these qualities I’m actually quite ashamed of and know that I need to work on and some are just simple little quirks. I complained about things my parents or elders did when I was younger and as I’m older now, I’m starting to realise that changing some of those habits is not always the easiest thing to do as you’ve become comfortable with your way of living. This is a gentle reminder for me to not judge others as it’s very easy for me to end up in the same predicament I once judged someone harshly for. Having someone analyse you when you think you’ve been doing so many things the right way, when in fact you haven’t, is a real eye-opener. I’m enjoying my time with my new guy so far and I’m thankful for his openness and honesty and I hope it’s something that will be well reciprocated by him when I need to highlight some of his quirks.

The Way We Disagree

I recently watched a young couple on the University campus involved in a small disagreement and it reminded me of something I said was very important to me years ago. I am very fortunate that two of my best relationships were with people I considered my best friends and it was really easy to deal with misunderstandings as we knew each other pretty well before deciding to be in a relationship. This isn’t necessarily the case most times. I remember dating someone a few years ago who loved dragging out conflict over a few days. I’ve always had a philosophy that I should not go to bed angry with my partner but it’s tough when someone else does not share that philosophy. You have one person in the situation who wants to clean up the mess immediately and another who enjoys the fight. I’m not trying to label either as right or wrong but it made me realise the importance of understanding how someone deals with conflict before totally committing myself to them. For another person, that approach of extending the conflict would suit them perfectly but for someone like me who prefers to deal with the issue immediately, it may not work so well. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves which is more important…The Desire to Make it Work or The Desire to Win. Usually “The Desire to Win” indicates a greater involvement of the ego and in some cases that person may feel the need to punish his or her partner by withdrawing love or being disrespectful. In relationships there will always be disagreements but “how” we handle those conflicts is what is most important. Conflict can be seen as an opportunity for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust and you can feel comfortable knowing your relationship can withstand challenges.

“The purpose of disagreement is not victory or defeat, it is progress”…Teal Swan

100 Posts

Yesterday I made my 100th post on “nekellecelestine.com” and I’m truly thankful that I made it to such a great milestone. After my post last week about noticing my intersections, this is definitely an accomplishment worth taking notice of. Many years ago I contemplated starting a blog but wondered what could I possibly share with the world and would anyone even care. At that time in my life, I was not quite sure of myself and I lacked the confidence I have now. Being able to share my personal stories and events has helped me to be more honest with myself. I have accepted so many of my flaws and I willingly put them out there. Some of the content I produce I’ve always thought about but I was never comfortable enough to share it with anyone for fear of being ridiculed. As I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser, I realised that always being concerned with what others think can send you crazy, fussing about right or wrong is futile and that it is indeed a beautiful thing when we can all look at the same thing and have different perspectives on it, even if your perspective on that thing changes within a year. I am truly thankful that I’m able to share my thoughts, experiences and lessons learned and I look forward to producing more and even greater content in the future. Thank you.

Notice your intersections

Last night on my way home from work, I stopped at a traffic light for a brief moment. Shortly after, a guy on a motorcycle pulled up alongside me. As I watched him wait, I remembered that time in my life when I desperately wanted a motorcycle, I was so carefree and sometimes reckless, that excitement was my main motivation for a lot of choices. As the light changed, I watched him speed off into the night, or so I thought. I eventually met up with him at the next intersection. As I watched him wait for the light to change, I couldn’t help but wonder what was all the speed about. Despite the fact that I calmly drove to the next intersection and he rode his motorcycle so quickly I lost sight of him for a while, we both ended up at the same junction. I have felt over the past year or so that I’ve had to keep pressing forward with such vigour, persistence and immense focus, going from one goal to the next and I’m slowly starting to realise that it’s ok to calmly pursue my goals. It’s as if I’m telling the Universe I know I’ll be there eventually or I know I’m going to accomplish my goal one day, so there’s no need to rush. Sometimes in life we think we need to be moving so quickly to accomplish the things we want. We keep moving from intersection to intersection, accomplishment to accomplishment, only focused on getting to the next point, that we hardly take time to notice what’s at each intersection or milestone. This is actually a form of ingratitude, which is not in harmony with Universal laws and can eventually lead to sadness despite how much one has accomplished. Take time to notice your intersections, your milestones, your accomplishments and be grateful for each step. Gratitude is the key to happiness and one cornerstone to accomplishing more in life.