Sunday, 29 April 2012

Perception Is Projection

Do you ever find that how you think you come across to others vs. how you actually come across differs so much so that it startles you?

I was talking to someone that I met at a work function and we have subsequently kept in contact. He told me that when he met me, he thought I was an 'angry woman'! I was a little perturbed, especially if that is how I come across in an initial meeting. He could not be specific about what I actually did or said (which did not help), but I do recollect not being in a good mood that day.

Admittedly I do have some frustrations, but don't we all at times? Nevertheless I would not like to think I demonstrate an attitude of anger...  I subsequently asked Honey if I am an angry woman, he said 'sometimes'. That's why I love him, he is so diplomatic and says and does the right things. However I guess it means I am an angry woman right now.

I continued to talk to this new found associate on the topic and expressed my astonishment at being perceived that way, as I would not describe myself in that manner.  He went on to say ' may think you are hiding your anger, but Perception Is Projection'.

I guess what he is saying is, how I am perceived is due to what I am projecting outwardly. Thus the frustrations I feel, are in actual fact visible to all. The underlying reason may not be understood, but the true sentiment is likely to be more noticeable than I realise. Our demeanour speaks loudly and is outing us!

How much do you feel you are hiding but it is really clear for all to see?  So many times we go about and someone asks if everything is alright.  We say everything is fine but it is clearly obvious that is not the truth. It is because we cannot actually hide it. Others can choose to ignore it and often that is what takes place, but our inner emotions cannot always be hidden as much as we think they can. So what can we do about it?  Choose to feel differently!

I was instantly bothered when I realised the notion that 'Perception is Projection', as I thought if it is obvious that I am not feeling great and I project that for strangers to notice, then how am I being towards KC? Honey already said I have an angry woman attitude (at times) so how does my son perceive me?  That is when I decided that I needed to make a choice to relax and let patience prevail.

I do not have to start to reflect as to why I am 'angry', I already know. My underlying anger is intrinsically linked to my lack of patience. The last thing I want is for my child to withdraw and not want to interact with me. Avoid approaching me, speaking to me, and needing me as I have an angry approach. I love that he chooses to stay with me rather than go for a walk with friends sometimes. I adore that he wants us to go swimming together, read together, dance together. I hope that we can share such precious moments for as long as possible.

Being angry is a choice. I know as there are times an incident can happen and given the circumstances we react completely differently to that same incident. I have lost something and become extremely annoyed by it, and on occasion lost something else of more value and said to myself it will turn up (and it did). However where one occasion ruined my afternoon as I became annoyed by the episode, the other occasion saw me forgetting about the item until it appeared!

We all have trials and tribulations, we all are able to cope with different occurrences in a different way depending in how things are going for us. We all are also able to choose how we react. Whatever we do it is good to remember that we cannot really hide the negative or positive vibes we feel deep inside. Regardless of how we try, we will project it outwardly and whether we are projecting negativity or positivity, that is exactly, how we are perceived.


Monday, 23 April 2012

It's OK To Not Be OK!

It it has been almost 2 months since I last blogged.  I was about to switch off my computer. I clicked on a button as all applications were not shutting down and my blog appeared.  I was somewhat startled and thought - it's a sign.  So here I am.   I'm back!

And where have I been?  I have just been... 
I have been consumed in my own world and not made time to get into the Blogosphere!  

I have been focusing on my Business and getting it launched this year (watch this space).  The intricacies of suppliers, websites, stock, distribution channels, import and export taxes,  branding, marketing, negotiating. A phenomenal amount of things to organise and there seems to be more and more each day.  It is both exciting and daunting.  I have become less of a procrastinator as a result though which is good.

While focusing on Business steps.  I have also been overwhelmed with Motherhood.  Trying to get KC into a good International School, dealing with his wants and needs ensuring he is learning to read, write and do maths.  Honing in on his Social skills and appropriate behaviour (he has a thing for burping out loud after every drink while making a tune out of it - not funny while eating in a restaurant).  Spending quality time with him so he feels the love.  Being a fun Mama to be around despite my own personal woes. Yes some of you may say this is nothing more than a lot of other Single Parents who are working full-time while also trying to run a Business have to deal with, but we all have our own tolerance levels and I have to admit mine have been low. 

Then there is  my day job where I have been coming to terms with the fact that I do not feel much love for the industry I have worked in for the past 14 years.

All-in-all I have been exhausted!  Continually feeling like I cannot cope due to the above, made me feel pretty low.  No tell a lie  - very low.  I went through a two week lull that I could not snap out of.   It was a process of months feeling overwhelmed (as I have written about previously), culminating in me temporarily shutting down and doing only what I deemed as necessary.  It was awful!  So, that's where I have been.

Fortunately I have a great support system.  I shudder to think of you out there that are completely alone.  If you are alone write to me, do not go through the down times in solitude!  Without my support system, my 2 week lull could well have evolved into full blown depression.  

Nevertheless, I truly am blessed...My Mother showed me love and made me realise that I have a lot going on and it was normal to find it testing.  Honey also lent a listening ear, jokes and hugs.  We often share notes and discuss how finding it tough as Single parents comes with the territory.  For Business stresses my Business Partner has been a dime a dozen and we are working it through together.  My Sisters also have served to provide laughter and love to make things a little more lighthearted.

Eventually I came out on the better side of my lull and realised, that it is OK.  It really is OK to be overwhelmed, tired, fed-up and admit you cannot cope right now.  It is normal to find times trying and difficult.  It is through being aware and mindful, allowing oneself to be whatever you feel without self recrimination that enables the weight of stress to be lifted.

Why I was struggling so intensely was I was upset with myself for finding it difficult.  I was reprimanding myself and wanting to be stronger.  Upon accepting that in order to maintain an equilibrium there will be times when it is overwhelming it was suddenly OK.  I could deal with it.  Funny huh?

I must also add: It hasn't all been doom and gloom.  I am a self preservationist and so I have ensured that despite challenges I push myself to have fun, as laughter and fun for me really is medicinal.  One of the things I did was go to a Jazz Festival in another country with someone I had never met before.  Being the Music fiend that I am, it was one of the best weekends I have had in years!  We saw Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau amongst others.  Here is an excerpt...

I guess what I am trying to convey is don't be so hard on yourself.   I have to keep reminding myself that we can choose to have fun and not take it all so seriously. 

Allow yourself to take the good with the bad and when you are not OK and it is damn awful, that's OK.  It really is OK To Not Be OK.

You can also click here as a gentle reminder if you forget: (click the button on the screen).