sexta-feira, 15 de março de 2013

The 95% Rule

A while back I was talking to a friend about life in general and especially about one of the biggest mistakes I tend to repeat time and again: give myself entirely to something, to a friend, to a cause, to work, in general to everything that makes part of my life.
I always see the glass half empty, I tend not to test fate by saying all is good and splendid just in case fate decides to step in and change the course of things. I am happy in so many things but not so happy in many others. But one thing I always do, paying so many times a very high price for it: I always give myself and dedicate myself 100%. To whatever, whoever, whenever. As long as I feel it is something I need to do, I just do it. In this process I tend to forget about myself a lot.
So I was talking to my good friend T, saying I was feeling quite exhausted and not able to give my ususal 100 % that people around me are used too and that that was making me feel bad.
So she explained me her rule: The 95% rule. And this is one of the truest things I have ever heard, one that truly makes sense and for which I am so grateful to her. It goes like this:
"It is not healthy to try to give more than 95% of yourself.  You need to hold back the last 5% to maintain sanity.  There are times in life when 100% is required ( for me these tend to be when a family member is ill)  and you can give 100% but only for a short spurt of time.  Giving 100% for a long period of time leaves me empty and I tend to get grumpy, sad or angry. I have learned it is not selfish to reserve the last 5%.  It is what makes me better able to give the rest of me happily and without a grudge toward those I am serving".
I have been pondering on this testimony for a month and this is really true! It does apply to me and probably to a lot of people. I have also discovered that a small part of me dissappears when I give 100% for a long time to something.
I become a layered person and to reach within and find the real me takes time and effort from others and from myself. I get a lot grumpier (like the dwarf in Snow White) but I also get unhappy. And when you become unhappy you are less able to give happiness to others, to enjoy life to see what is beautiful around you! So I tend to stay more reserved and inside my shell.
I thank T for what she shared with me. I have learned and pondered a lot about it and I am quite sure that from now on I will keep that 5% to myself!
And it starts now because I am writting way past midnight while listening to this song that I just love! Doesn't it make you feel better? For me it even makes me feel a tiny bit beautiful!

terça-feira, 5 de março de 2013

I was here!

While making my research today about the various movemnets of paying it forward and about the organization random acts of kindness I came across this amazing video from Beyonce at United Nations World Humanitarian day.
I have been hearing it every 5 minutes. It's amazing. Not just the video itself but again, listen to the words: "I was here, I have lived, I have loved". Isn't that what we all deserve and hope for? To live, to love and be loved in return.
Have you paid it forward today? Have you given, loved with no demand of return? Have you shouted to the world how a stranger or a friend made a difference in your day today? No?
Well, I have....this is it! Thank you all for your generous words of kindness and support, spoken or left unsaid. I was here!

segunda-feira, 4 de março de 2013

Circles in Life

I have waited a whole year to write this post.
A whole year passed since the day my heart and the heart of so many of my loved ones turned black. What was a day of celeberation, in a split of a second, in a few words, in the words left unsaid made us feel how life can be so tremendously unfair. I will never forget that day, I will never forget the tears, I will never forget the silence. The days that followed, the achiness, the feeling of impotency was tremendous. The malicious ink in the newspapers that rain and time ended up fading away.
But today, exactly a year today, a circle has passed, a page has been turned. Because you see, I believe that there is a Circle of Life but more than that that, there are circles inside our life. Have you ever watched Lion King? No? So just watch this small bit but most of all listen...
If you played close attention the song goes "Since the day we arrive in this planet..." and so it is. Since the day we are born we begin to make our path, we give steps into what we are to become. The greatness of that outcome can be as private or as public as the role we choose to play forces us to be.
Inside our circle of life, other circles take place. Smaller or bigger we never know. Good and bad, triumph and defeat, health and sickness, we all experience moments when we are at our best and moments that we are not. But if we learn and accept that these are things that we have to go thru and overcome, things that we most face as life experiences, as education and growth, then whatever happens next, we will for sure become stronger.
We, as a country are normally calm and easy tempered. We tend not to say too much, or party too much. We are normally bland. We often let things pass, we don't protest a lot and we also hardly ever praise.
When we do show emotion and when that emotion becomes news is in the lines of "man screams Messi at Ronaldo when he arrives in Guimarães". Why? Why is our memory so short? Why do we forget the greatness and the good things achieved by that man? (just an example that really shocked me)
In the same way we hardly ever put in writing when we are mistreated. Why do we never complaint? Why are we ashamed of claiming what is ours by right? Why do we let things go by, unsaid, unwritten. We give way and space for unfairness to win in this world. We do have the right to fairness, we do have the right to be treated politely, we do have the right to be heard, we do have the right to the truth.
But at the same time we hardly ever praise! The small things mostly. Like the generosity of the grocery man that carries our bags to the car when we are pregnant, like the stranger on the street that helps you with the baby stroller up the stairs or the smile of the receptionist at the airport that helps with the bags and the children (private joke, sorry!). These small acts of kindness stay so many times unsaid, unspoken, unthanked for.
So here is my challenge: do you have a facebook page? Do you use it? Well then, every time you are the subject of one of these acts of kindness, when you are touched by some strangers generosity, when you see the example of someone that deserves praise, no matter how big or small, post about it. If you can find an image to illustrate it then use it because images do speak more than a thousand words.
Today, I dedicate this post to a great man. And stealing a sentence just placed in my facebook page by my cousin Luís (thank you): " leaders are those who embrace the possibility of failure as a necessary first step towards building a great career".  I praise the courage, the nerve, the tears, the suffering, the pain, the belief, the hard work, the struggle and the continuous search of this great Leader who I have the honor to call Brother.
Today a new circle begins for him and no matter what, when and how the outcome will be, for me and for a lot of people he is already a winner. Why? Because there isn't much space in this world for second chances, for new beginings, for new circles to take place. And he dared to do it.
I do not know who Tommy B is but the viedo he made still makes me shiever. Hope he makes a new one when the season is over. A one of praise for the hard work done, no matter what the outcome will be. Because you don't always get to to win but you should always get the right to prove you can still do it better!
Parabéns meu querido!

(please click to follow the link. Don't know why but you tube just wasn't loading!)

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