5 Reasons Why Doing it Your Way is the Best Way

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One of the great things about having nostalgic parents is the type of music they listen to.

Both my mother and father loved Frank Sinatra—his songs, his charisma, his mysteriousness. Their record collection consisted of artists such as himself, Vicki Carr, Englebert Humpernick, Tom Jones (am I getting being dated here?)

One of my favorites was Frank Sinatra’s “A Swingin’ Affair!” album. The horns and instrumentals had me dancing as a toddler and I was an immediate fan of his music. As I turned into a teenager however, my Mom began playing one particular song I could not help but recite.

Sinatra’s song “My Way” has spanned the test of time of as one of the most influential songs of the 21st Century. To my Mom, it was a testament to her life as a single working mother in New York City.

When she divorced my Dad in the early 80’s she reminded me of how important it was to do things my way—the only way in which everyone should live. I was only 12 years old at the time, but for whatever reason I understood her point completely.

There were times when I relied on the opinions of others so often that I couldn’t tell if my decisions were based on my own inner guidance or what was said by another. What I found is by removing my self-judgment, not only would the delusional flaws disappear, but what others’ opinions will also have less significance.

Many of us decide to take the “high road” and accommodate others for fear of conflict. Other reasons may be:

  • Our value system.
  • Our desire to be liked by others
  • Our desire to be part of a community
  • Our self-doubt
  • Our mind

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Marcus Aurelius

Here are some lessons (hard ones at that) that might help you understand why your way is the best way.

Do things for yourself in all that you do. Many people make decisions or take action mainly for validation. Only you know yourself well enough to determine whether or not you are on the right path. Without true inner belief others will attempt to dictate your life for you. Ask yourself: is your ego so inflated that your need to recognized as a credible, professional, and successful person has clouded your judgment? Once you release this notion, you will know that there is no wrong or right—only truth.

“Calm down and listen to the little voice inside and have the guts to follow it. Trust yourself and know that if you’re wrong you have the ability to bounce back.” ~ Steve Siebold

Compare yourself with your Self instead of comparing to others. Comparing social stature, outward appearances and other illusions is completely inaccurate. Are you happy with your progress, or is there a fear or worry of rejection? How much time have you spent (or will you spend) looking at the life of others and not yours? The time is now to see how phenomenal your life is.

The victim mentality is an illusion. Playing the victim can only cause needless suffering and loss of power. Instead of playing that silly game, take a moment to accept things as they are. With practice, you can to start to change the way you see the world and have the power to redirect the future the way you want to.

Embrace vulnerability. Being vulnerable can be a beautiful thing despite the way it might feel initially.  Allow yourself to be hurt and embrace discomfort, for this is where the awareness emerges. Trust yourself completely, and be confident that you will continue to rise whenever you fall.

You are not alone in this. You could lose all of your possessions, but there is no way to lose who you are—your true essence. Like G-Eazy says in “Me, Myself & I,” I, got me for life.

These lessons may not be learned overnight, but I have found that by doing things my way made life less dependent on others and therefore helped in my healing process.

How has “doing it your way” helped you in your growth process? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

p.s. – This post is dedicated to my manager, Kenny Luppo who continues to help me see my true essence and let’s me to do it my way. :-)

The Choices You Make

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A few years ago while still living in Florida I had the pleasure of meeting Heather Morehouse—a vibrant and talented woman with an enormous heart and zest for life. As fellow northeasterner we bonded almost instantly.

After learning more about Heather I decided to share her remarkable story of strength and a poem that has further ignited my interest in her life.
heather morehouseHeather Morehouse is a wife, breast cancer survivor and the mother of 29-year-old daughter—a heroine battling Crohns Disease. All of which are a priority to her.

As a young girl in Toledo, Ohio Heather was an avid equestrian until a fall from a young paint stallion she was training ended her riding endeavors.  Since then she has endured chronic pain for the past 16 years.

She worked as an office manager for 20 years, during that time being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In 2013, which was nothing short of miraculous her young dog, Rocky found a lump on her breast.  A week later Heather was diagnosed with breast cancer and rushed to surgery 3 days later to have a mastectomy.

Heather’s battled all of 2014 by receiving chemotherapy and radiation that left her alive but also fighting the side effects of worsening chronic pain.

In light of all Heather has experienced she shares her love of drawing, designing jewelry and writing poems that she finds to be very meaningful as well as personal.  She knows she was given the opportunity to fight these battles for a reason, and strongly believes that you need to take the time to prioritize.  Family and friends will always remain hers.

I feel blessed to share this poem as a reminder that whatever choice you make is truly yours, and what you make of the results is up to you.

“I Choose…”

I choose light over darkness.
I choose acceptance and the world with all its imperfections.
I choose the flowers, trees and creatures that make living all the more miraculous.
I choose to be in a world with all its illnesses and cures. Its ups and downs, its encouragements and its discouragements.
I choose, white, brown, olive and black and all the colors of the rainbow.
I choose the decisions of law even though they are flawed and often less then honorable.
I choose all sizes, short, tall, thin, and large. I choose a world full of diversity.
I choose that one person on my side that gives me a soft place to fall.
I choose one place that allows you to be you.
I choose choice.  A life that encompasses so much in one.
Where or what else could be so perfect in all its imperfections?…I choose LIFE.

~ Heather Morehouse

**p.s. Heather and her work can be found on Facebook. 😉

What Martin Luther King, Jr. Taught Us About Nobility

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About a decade ago I came across a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thich Nhat Hanh, a beloved Zen Master.

At the time I didn’t know much about this Buddhist from Vietnam, but in further research I found that Dr. King believed in Nhat Hanh’s message to the extent of nominating him for a Nobel peace prize.

While many would have nominated Dr. King for a Nobel peace prize (myself included), his selfless act of presenting Hanh to the people of Norway of a leader of peace truly shows King as noble One himself.

Below is the actual letter written from Dr. King to the Nobel Institute. A remarkable testament of nobility, indeed.

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January 25, 1967

The Nobel Institute
Drammesnsveien 19
Oslo, NORWAY

Gentlemen:

As the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 1964, I now have the pleasure of proposing to you the name of Thich Nhat Hanh for that award in 1967.

I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle Buddhist monk from Vietnam.

This would be a notably auspicious year for you to bestow your Prize on the Venerable Nhat Hanh. Here is an apostle of peace and non-violence, cruelly separated from his own people while they are oppressed by a vicious war which has grown to threaten the sanity and security of the entire world.

Because no honor is more respected than the Nobel Peace Prize, conferring the Prize on Nhat Hanh would itself be a most generous act of peace. It would remind all nations that men of good will stand ready to lead warring elements out of an abyss of hatred and destruction. It would re-awaken men to the teaching of beauty and love found in peace. It would help to revive hopes for a new order of justice and harmony.

I know Thich Nhat Hanh, and am privileged to call him my friend. Let me share with you some things I know about him. You will find in this single human being an awesome range of abilities and interests.

He is a holy man, for he is humble and devout. He is a scholar of immense intellectual capacity. The author of ten published volumes, he is also a poet of superb clarity and human compassion. His academic discipline is the Philosophy of Religion, of which he is Professor at Van Hanh, the Buddhist University he helped found in Saigon. He directs the Institute for Social Studies at this University. This amazing man also is editor of Thien My, an influential Buddhist weekly publication. And he is Director of Youth for Social Service, a Vietnamese institution which trains young people for the peaceable rehabilitation of their country.

Thich Nhat Hanh today is virtually homeless and stateless. If he were to return to Vietnam, which he passionately wishes to do, his life would be in great peril. He is the victim of a particularly brutal exile because he proposes to carry his advocacy of peace to his own people. What a tragic commentary this is on the existing situation in Vietnam and those who perpetuate it.

The history of Vietnam is filled with chapters of exploitation by outside powers and corrupted men of wealth, until even now the Vietnamese are harshly ruled, ill-fed, poorly housed, and burdened by all the hardships and terrors of modern warfare.

Thich Nhat Hanh offers a way out of this nightmare, a solution acceptable to rational leaders. He has traveled the world, counseling statesmen, religious leaders, scholars and writers, and enlisting their support. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.

I respectfully recommend to you that you invest his cause with the acknowledged grandeur of the Nobel Peace Prize of 1967. Thich Nhat Hanh would bear this honor with grace and humility.

Sincerely,

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Text courtesy of The Community for Mindful Living