For the last 7 days, there has been a lovely surprise in my inbox.  Uneeka Jay has been sending me love notes.  Well, not just me, hundreds (probably thousands!) of people have been receiving love notes as part of her Love Rewrite, 7 Day Self-Love Challenge.  Each day has contained a message and a challenge about learning to love yourself.  Every one of them has been full of wisdom and plenty to make you stop and think about how you treat yourself.  Having recently moved half way across the country to start a new chapter in my life, ended my engagement and being involved in a long, occasionally frustrating job hunt, boy am I having trouble loving myself sometimes. Her messages came just at the right time.  For that I send her many, many Thanks!

This mornings challenge was simple.  A single word.  Rest.  Rest

Wow, did that really hit home.  I read it.  I read the accompanying message (partially quoted below)  I realized how I had done exactly this to myself and how, unconsciously, it and the need to stop doing it had played a huge part in my decision to uproot my life.  Even more, I saw so many of the wonderful people in my life in this message.  People I care about deeply. People who have been not only my friends, but my mentors, fellow instigators, greatest cheerleaders and kindest critics.  So, in the spirit of Uneeka’s sharing,  I am sharing her message in the hopes that it may speak to them also.

Are you busy?  Always running around? Live by your schedule? Constantly connected to social media?  If so, you may not be demonstrating self-love.  Being busy is a way to avoid dealing with how we feel about our lives and ourselves.  The busier we are the less time we have to truly think about where we are and where we want to go.  Being busy also gives the perception that we are happy and fulfilled when we are really drained.  A true badge of honor is your ability to rest..

Thank you Uneeka.  Your message was what I needed to hear.  Hopefully it is what someone else needs to hear also.  Now I am off to rest, take a long walk and enjoy the sunshine!

Words and the Superbowl

Yes, the Superbowl last night was lackluster and with few exceptions (RadioShack, Budweiser’s Puppy Love, Coca-Cola and Cheerios were my favorites) the ads were meh.  As usual, my Twitter stream was probably the most interesting thing I was watching.  Usually quiet during a sporting event, even my Facebook wall seemed to be actively following both the game and the ads.  Then I started to get disgusted.  Early in the game a ton of memes, tweets and posts started showing up making fun and saying some pretty nasty things about Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

Yes, it is a sporting event and yes, some good natured ribbing and trash talking will happen. The problem for me is that some of the comments were just downright petty, mean and derogatory.  Yes, Peyton and the Broncos had a bad night, a really bad night, but the fact is they got to the Superbowl.  There is a certain amount of respect due to players who work incredibly hard to reach the pinnacle of their profession.  And yet, here we were, we armchair quarterbacks, saying and publicly posting some really nasty stuff because they were having a bad night.

At one point I posted this on Twitter and Facebook

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I got several responses, most of them private, essentially telling me to lighten up, it is just sports, it is just entertainment.

That was when I got really disgusted.  It is not just sports.  It is the example we give our kids.  Coaches teach child athletes sportsmanship.  Or at least they are supposed to. But what about the non-athletes or the kids who are only ok? What message are we sending to them?  That if someone is not good enough or is having an off day, it is ok to make fun of them?

Kids learn what they hear and observe, not always what we say. They learn how to think and behave based on what the adults around them do and say.  Whether it is making fun of Peyton Manning because he is having a bad ballgame or the racist tirades that were happening over the Coca-Cola or Cheerios ads (that is a rant for another day), kids will copy what they see and hear us doing.

We think that our little memes, jokes and comments, whether it is about sports, the color of someones skin, their ethnicity, sexuality, female or male bashing, whatever, are just “harmless entertainment”. We forget that kids are observing and listening and thinking that kind of behavior is acceptable.

We are all guilty of it, myself included, at one point or another.   I just wish we would all start being more conscious of how our words and actions are observed by and reflected in the young people around us.

What are we teaching kids about sportsmanship and life in general? That you make fun of the ones who are not as good or are having an off day or are different?