self-respect2

Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.

 

Self-respect is the courage to be yourself in any circumstances. Independently of how others think of you. You can simply face the inconvenience of not fitting in.

Indeed, self-respect has nothing to do with the approval of others. It has nothing to do with reputation, achievements or recognition, either. It is a moral trait of Self that Self can only cultivate.

***

Life is hugely a learning journey and it helps to see yourself as a process that develops along or with it. Self-respect originates from knowing and liking the Self that unfolds in this learning.

If you have self-respect you have a kind of toughness and a moral discipline. You know your intrinsic value not because it has been acclaimed loudly, but because you can put your life in perspective, even when your exploration leads through a dark valley.

You train yourself to be resilient in any circumstances. You have the guts to be the norm and you have the guts to be a deviation from it.  It is ingrained in your consciousness.

***

Our grandparents knew everything about self-respect. They were raised in discipline that required them to do things they did not necessarily like or want to do. Things had to be done with diligence and obedience. And they were.

Doubts had to be kept away. Adversity was a daily encounter. There was a purpose of goals higher than their Selves.

***

Hardships shape character. Adversity makes us awake and active. It calls us to invent novel solutions.

Trials test patience and elicit talents which could have remained undiscovered, otherwise. They mold, groom and prune the sense of intrinsic worth, so much related to self-respect.

Learning to live a life of discipline and a delayed gratification is a way to build your self-respect. You are able to make a sacrifice of the immediate comforts for the sake of  higher goals or possible (yet unsure) future rewards. By doing this repetitively, you learn to discriminate between what is important and what is spurious.

People with self respect make mistakes and face the consequences of their decisions. Without self pity or complaining. They can even live and die unappreciated and disregarded, knowing that for themselves they reached for the highest goal.

***

If you have your self-respect, you have everything. The ability to discriminate, to love in freedom, without putting chains of dependency on others, and to remain indifferent, if necessary.

If you lack in self-respect, you are locked inside yourself, unsure of your decisions and moves, incapable of true partnerships. In the extreme case, you are merely doing things to please others, unable to set borders and limits. In search for approval, yet so empty inside.

***

Luckily …

Self-respect is a habit of mind, which can be developed and exercised. It starts from self retrospection, finding a place of reconciliation within. This is your haven, a place of authentic appreciation.

***

If there is one thing you can change it is daring to be yourself without the need of approval.

Step by step take responsibility for your life. Your thoughts, words and disciplined actions.

Enjoy spending time with yourself only. Appreciate your own presence. Observe your thoughts.

Become consciously grateful for your life.

And …

Stop being bothered by the opinions or comments of others. It is their view.
Stop looking at others for approval. No external prize will fully satisfy you.
Stop feeling intimidated by authority.  They are there to your service.

Stand up. Do ask questions to learn.
Accept errors and mistakes on your journey.
Be strong.

Above all …

Enjoy your journey.

***

In a society where many teenagers and adults lack the meaning of life, self respect has been vanishing too. Perhaps it is high time to discipline our minds to do things which we don’t particularly like to do. So that we can gain a perspective on whom we are becoming.

 

There is a time

There is a time.
There is a season.
There is a rhythm.

Every rhythm is a repetition of patterns. (While we often think these are cyclical, in fact, the cyclical repetitions evolve along spirals.)

The simplest one involves two extremes, say “in” and “out”, action and rest or “up” and “down”, and the middle point or the center.  

You take the breath in. You pause. You breath out.
You plant the seeds. You wait. You reap out.
You learn. You practise. You apply.
You work. You flow. You rest.

It is the space, the break, the moment when you pause, when things begin to happen. It is of crucial importance. Sometimes, the crossing of this middle point is barely noticeable, while other times it lasts infinitely long. As it seems.

The “in” is the active receiving or taking in. It is often the most difficult, time consuming stage, because it involves intent, gathering of the data, hard work and conscious effort.

The middle point is a spark that ignites the necessary processes of assimilation and transformation. The progress is hardly observable at this stage.

The “out” is the generous giving away or giving back. It is only a release, after the things have been assimilated, digested, understood or worked out.

When you have a time (a week, a month, a year or a decade) that feels unproductive, with lack of progress and motivation, filled with missed opportunities, rejected projects or failed accomplishments, remember that there are also times when things happen with grace. There are times you fly and there are times you walk.

It is pointless to keep forcing a day to arrive when the night is long and deep.
It is ineffective to take action for the sake of doing something when the right solution is being worked out.
It is immature to leave for a journey when you are not packed yet.

You can’t make an adult from a small child, neither collect the fruits from the seeds. The forced solution will not hold.  Instead, you need to understand the stage you are in, appreciate it and blend in.

Relax.

It is okey to wait for the right time.

Because …

There is a season.
There is a rhythm.
There is a tide.

Wait for your tide. It is coming soon.

 ***

The image above shows a beautiful quilt by Inge Duin. See more of her works on  www.ingeduin.nl.

 

 

***

This is my journey
and that one is yours.

The destination is important
yet the journey even more.

***

I am – We become.
I observe – We are.
I learn – We observe.
I discover – We learn.
I understand – We discover.
I become – We understand.
My better Self – Our conscious life.

***

No silence without words.
No freedom without structure.
No music without soul.

No growth without acceptance.
No expansion without limits.
No love without choice.

***

You are well equipped
to travel your path.

Be present in this moment.

This is all you need 
to follow it
with all your heart.

***

Accept what is
and what is not.

Test the limits, 
and the other side.

Choose to love
God, yourself and others.

***

Yes.
It is really that simple.

***

My path is my alone.
Chosen
to travel it with joy.

***

Your path is your alone.
Chosen
to travel it with joy.

***

Neither is worse or better.
Just different.

***

 

It has been a year since I started blogging, so it is a good moment to cherish my first year online. I say to myself “Congratulations, Ela! You have made it.” There are many who give up blogging after a few months.

Even though it was hard to continue, I did not have the idea to give up. Why? First, because I have cultivated a vision bigger than myself and, secondly, because I have been stubborn to stick to the ideas and make them work.

So, the moral is this: A powerful vision helps you to go through difficulties.

It was a year of profound learning about blogging and entrepreneurship. I truly enjoyed it. I have spent lots of time on reading, watching videos, experimenting and testing the tips and ideas. I have also read blogs of other successful bloggers and watched their undertakings.  It was a hard work behind the scenes, but I am happy with the little results I had. And I am ready to learn much more.

So, the moral is this: Appreciating of whom you have become opens you for learning and change.

The first decision I made about blogging was to write long or/and meaningful posts instead of the suggested short ones (300-400 words). Obviously, I can only do it once or twice a week because writing such posts takes a lot of dedicated effort.

Such an approach is actually against the advised strategy of posting frequency which is 3 x a week, and ideally, (multiple times) every day. My goal, however, is to write meaningful posts and quality articles for conscious people and not for web crawlers (although they need to be taken into the account as well). I want to write in order to help myself and others grow, hence I will continue with this practice.

So, the moral is this: Follow your heart desire but account for other factors as well.

Learnt from blogging

If you are curious what I have learnt from the blogging journey, here are some points.

1. Blogging is a great tool for personal growth.

Why?

Because of the commitment you make with yourself to write and deliver. Writing is about thinking, planning, discipline and action. Delivery depends on learning everything behind the scenes and producing the results.

2. Blogging is an art.

Why?

Because it involves the skills of mastery. And we talk about a few skills at least. Apart from the obvious crafting with words and inspirational writing, there is much more about the presentation, touch and feel, choice of keywords or long-tail keywords, selection of images, SEO (search engine optimization) and so on.

Words can hurt, discourage and kill the spirit. But words can also give hope, encourage and inspire for change. The right use is what makes a difference. The inspirational or action-provoking writing is what makes it art.

3. Content is the king, but marketing is the queen. And they are happy together 🙂

Why?

Because even the best ideas and practices are useless if nobody learns about them and practises them.

4. Writing is a real work.

It may not  feel like that to an outsider. But writing is an act of creation. This creation is a product such as a post, an article or a book.

Writing original posts takes a lot of time.

Why?

Because of the process that is necessary for the development of the ideas. It is an enjoyable process but it takes time. It takes lots of thinking. It takes lots of writing. And it takes lots of editing.

The hard part is to prune the tree of all ideas, half-baked ideas or weak ideas, and stories into a single seed of inspiration. This seed is then planted on various soils of experiences where creativity is called to work. Then multiple views are inspected and some of them are combined into a particular view. Finally, a (more or less) coherent story is created.

Any post you read in 2-5min often takes days of thinking and hours of writing. Perhaps it gets faster with experience. And speed typing 😉

Writing quality posts is a good exercise for personal growth.

Why?

Because you need to collect own ideas and experiences, reflect on them and organize them in a new, creative way. By doing so you will see new patterns that will help you to develop a deeper understanding. And such an understanding will ultimately lead to a new testing.

Writing valuable posts is hard.

Why?

Because the judgement is in the eye of the reader.Even if I write about the ideas that have been tested by me and others, there is no guarantee your will find them inspirational or useful.

5. It is busier behind the scenes.

Why?

Because blogging is also about maintaining the chosen content management system (such as WordPress or Drupal) and self-promotion. The first includes updating content, formatting text, improving articles and correction errors, plugins, backups and so on. The latter includes research behind the keyword selection, creating inner links, taking care of back-links, working on SEO and so on.

For every post, there is on average 2-3h of additional work, not even mentioning the beautifying of the theme, installation of new plugins, updates and many other tasks. There are many hours of work behind many successful blogs. Something that I have not realized before.

6. Generating traffic (=getting readers) is hard.

Why?

There are two reasons. First, because there is a lot of confusion how the organic search works. Google and other search engines change their algorithms all the time. There are numerous strategies and approaches suggested and it is extremely difficult to choose the good ones. Why? Because you need to follow them for a few months to judge the results. Multiple strategies are used at the same time, some perhaps counter-effect each other, so it is usually difficult to point which approach made the greatest difference. Many bring little results.

Secondly, self-promotion is necessary in one form or the other. And it is not easy to act upon this.

7. Spam is there. Deal with it.

Why?

Because clutter is an inherent challenge in life.

In the beginning there was virtually no spam. I started to get spam messages or comments after the first two months. Until the end of January, I have looked at every single message marked as spam by my spam detector. It grew from 30-50 spam messages a week to 50-100 a day. So I stopped this practice.

For the last few weeks I have been under attack, it seems, and I may close the Comments sections. I now receive about 2000-3000 spam messages daily. In addition, about 20000 -25000 (yes, 20 thousands) messages are blocked from considering it even a spam.

It took me quite some hours to find a proper detector and deal with the spam in my mailboxes. Yet, I take the challenge with a smile. Clutter is something we need to learn to deal with.

8. Vision is the key.

Why?

Because without vision I would not have made through the first year.

I received very little feedback about the value of my efforts – only a few people expressed their opinions. I got more criticism than applaud, I must say, but I don’t mind criticism at all. Still, I prefer to learn what works than what doesn’t.

And, by the way, if you find some articles valuable I will appreciate if you let me know what was particularly useful. Many thanks!

Growing the seeds

This year is essential for growing the seeds I have planted so far. I want to see them grow beautifully so that they can provide great value and help both me and you to change. My goal is to create a platform for personal growth: practical tools and systems, learnings and courses, people and experiences. I want to create my own valuable products.

I hope you will stick around.

And if you want to start blogging, but are hesitative, I want to encourage you to go for it. You will experience an enormous growth. No doubt about it.

Best wishes,

Ela

***

first_step

The journey begins with a first step

“How am I to start my first post?”, I asked myself, elaborate Ela.

Starting a blog felt like a huge task to take on. “Am I capable of writing?”, I wondered. “Can I provide value to others?”  “Hmmm… Perhaps a bit.”, I concluded.  So, I spent some time thinking. I slept it over.

The following day I did more thinking and waited for an answer. And I slept it over. Then I did …and waited … Did … and … waited… Yes, you guessed it. … and waited. But there was no englihted answer.

“What will I do?”, I asked myself somewhat impatiently this time. “What will I do?” “What will I do?” I kept asking and asking. And then I suddenly got it. “This year is a year of producing results”, I reminded myself. I was referring to an agreement  I made with myself. So, “Simply sit down and write a post!”, I spoke in bravura staccato. In my mind, of course.

And you know what?  Surprisingly, I’ve discovered that words are coming…

Ideas, ideas, ideas

If you are anything like me, you don’t suffer from the lack of ideas. On the contrary, you have too many of them. Too many interests. Too many ideas. And perhaps too many criteria.

Obviously, being an idea generator has its great advantages too. Don’t take me wrong. You can easily provide advice in any circumstances and on any problem at hand. And you can provide all valuable advice to yourself, free of charge.  Imagine that.

But, you may get easily stuck endlessly pondering which idea to choose. I have a world-class specialization in this subject. What about you?

Of course, even the best ideas are nothing without execution. Don’t we all know that?

The situation is more complex, however. If you are anything like me, you are not only elaborate and ambitious, but also perfectionist. So, you postpone taking action until all/most important pieces of the puzzle are in place. And, ah, don’t forget, each piece needs to be thoroughly worked out.  So, it is a huge step to start my first post before I have all the knowledge on domains, hosting, WordPress, proper English, blogging, etc. Moreover, starting my post with “This is my first post and I will be writing about XYZ” or “Hurray, my blog is officially launched” seems too plain for my intricate  mind. “I want to make an impact”, I say to myself. “How can I possibly achieve that?”

The first step

The interesting point, however, is that it doesn’t matter how you start. You are going to have an interesting journey, as long as you keep going and learning how to apply the insights into methods and better-ize yourself along the path. No doubt about it. Obviously, it matters to some extent what your first post is about, but not much in a large scope of posts and years to come. The frame of reference makes all the difference.

From a local perspective, the first step matters because you decide which path to go and how to set the speed. You choose a direction of your journey and your initial emotional conditions. If it is an easy, interesting or fulfilling step, you will be excited and motivated to continue. If it is a difficult or painful step, you can sabotage yourself from taking the next one. So, your initial conditions do matter. It makes sense to choose them wisely.

From a global perspective, however, the first step doesn’t matter because your vision matters instead. As long as you are educating yourself, putting that knowledge back at work and making progress, your journey will be successful. I bet you will learn a lot from your first 20 or 100 posts. You will learn a lot from your first 20 or 100 days of the journey. And you will learn a lot from your first 20 or 100 years of life.

Embracing newbieness

Although being a newbie is not appreciated in our world of experts, there is something greatly joyful about this. Imagine, you are officially allowed to make all the mistakes and nobody expects you to have the know-how. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

Just know you can embrace this newbie stage with joy, exploration and fun. Even if you don’t know everything, you can decide to start somewhere and take one step at a time.

  • Even if your first step is not a good one, you can adjust and make the next one better.
  • Even if you make visible mistakes, you can correct them and let others learn from them.
  • Even if you discover you are going in a wrong direction, you can always stop, turn back and start in a new direction. And for sure you will make a speedy progress then.

Learning is fun!

Give yourself permission to make mistakes, be perfectly imperfect and enjoy the learning phase.

Your first step matters. Your first step doesn’t matter.

The choice is yours.

***

Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.

***