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The Evil Eye

Monday, February 09, 2009

Many years ago when I was traveling in Turkey, I encountered a good luck charm I had never seen before: It was a blue and white sphere shaped to look like an eyeball, and everybody had one. A Turkish friend told me that it was the "evil eye." I came to understand that it was not actually the evil eye, but rather a form of protection from the Evil Eye. The Evil Eye is a bad intent that can do you harm, especially if someone sees your goodness or your good fortune and, out of envy, wishes you harm. When my son was born, several Turkish friends sent me evil eye charms attached to fancy gold pieces to pin to my new baby's clothes to protect him from the Evil Eye.

I can't say that that little charm actually offers real protection, for my son has grown up with his own share of the the world's troubles. What I do know for sure is that it is a universal fear that something bad will happen if we relish in our own good fortune or achievements.

One irritating quality of my otherwise perfect best friend is that she always downplays anything good that she does or any good luck that comes to her. It is definitely an example of not owning her goodness out of fear that others will seek to destroy what they see. How often do we sabotage our own success and fail to celebrate our own strengths because we are afraid of attracting the attention of the Evil Eye?

Have you ever made a good grade on a test and hidden that A from your friends who didn't do as well? Have you ever had a tremendously successful week losing weight but kept mum because your spark buddy struggled and didn't lose an ounce? This quality of hiding one's light to protect the feelings of others has an admirable intent, but maybe it diminishes all of us by making our goals look unachievable and rewarding misery or failure. We tend to believe it's an effective way to keep the Evil Eye at bay.

Marianne Williamson has a very valid point about the value of owning our good: "As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

This philosophy also implies the responsibility of allowing ourselves to be liberated by others' success, rather than resenting their achievement or using their success to reinforce our fears about ourselves. Just as my success can help another person see that they are capable of the same, another's good fortune or achievement can pave the way for me.

Wouldn't it be something if all our little sparks could join together and shine so bright that no evil eye would ever have a chance?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHILEPALM 2/13/2009 1:00PM

    You are quite a wordcrafter! And GREAT topic... made me think too, I am guilty of that! Downplaying so as to not make anyone else feel "less" than...and I needed to see it in this perspective...that in actuality I am perpetuating the "sacrificing victim" I am working so hard to dig out!

We're on track and we'll all do it helpng each other together...thanks for helping me today!

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BILL60 2/10/2009 7:22PM

    Ms Rosie:
Great blog. You're quite a composer of words.


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MRSHONEYCOMB 2/10/2009 10:39AM

    I think sharing you success helps to motivate others to want to succeed also...........


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CUDDY521 2/10/2009 12:13AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUSANLUSAN 2/9/2009 7:57PM

    They don't say fear is the great mind killer for naught. I loved this blog entry of yours. Fear is one of my favorite subjects. And it is a big subject too. Like its cousins pain and guilt, there are two kinds -- good and bad.

Good fear is very immediate. It is what allows us to rush into the street after witnessing a terrible accident and, without thinking, summon the super human strength to lift a vehicle off that child without it even being our own child!

Dread of the evil eye is really anxiety, a bad form of fear and it saps us of our power to have, do and be all that we would. It really is a matter of choosing to not worry until given something concrete.

When we hide our light from others, it cheats them of the opportunity to be gracious and appreciative of us. What does that make us .... if we think of our friends has having such a limited capacity for those lovely attributes?

You made a most excellent point here about that. Thank you!

Comment edited on: 2/9/2009 8:02:49 PM

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FRUITYFUL 2/9/2009 6:41PM

    Rosie, I love the way you write. This really hit home for me. I do hide my successes to protect others from feeling down. After reading this, I realize that it's not only hurting me, but those I'm supposedly trying to protect. I have been inspired by other people's success and failures, so why wouldn't someone be inspired by mine? Great blog today. It really made me think.

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The Best Makeup

Monday, February 02, 2009

"Joy is the best make-up."

Anne Lamott

When I was younger, I rarely wore makeup. It wasn't because I didn't need it; it was because I thought, "What's the use?" I was so overweight that it seemed to me like an exercise in futility to try to look better by drawing, sprinking, spreading, patting all kinds of lotions, potions, creams, and chemicals on my face.

When I lost a bunch of weight, I realized with delight that a tad of color here or a swipe of concealer there could make a huge difference in how I perceived myself in the world. It's great that women, in particular, have the option of putting on their best face to "greet their public."

But it's burdensome too. Some days I'm so pressed for time, I think to myself, "Today I'm definitely going without makeup; I did it for years, and I can do it now!" Then as I'm walking out the door, I notice in the mirror my cheeks look a little pale, and I dab on some blush. Then I think my eyes need a little mascara to balance the cheeks. Then maybe I should cover up my red nose a little so I won't look like Rudolf. The next thing I know, I've done it again...

Now don't get the wrong impression--I don't wear a lot of makeup or even take a lot of time compared to many people. But I have somehow developed the burden of thinking I need to wear some, or I don't feel presentable. My friends from high school and my mother, were she alive, would all be surprised at this evolution.

Yet I do agree with Anne Lamott that "Joy is the best makeup." The truth is, it's hard to maintain the kind of joy that puts color in your cheeks and a sparkle in your eyes, imparting the glow of self confidence we all yearn for and the world expects.

If I could find a way to capture joy, it would save me a lot of time in my morning routine!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARTLESS 3/14/2009 6:27PM

    Great post! For me, make-up is one of the few "creative" outlets I have time for these days. And it makes me feel pampered. Sometimes when I'm feeling down, I'll get out my big box of random make-up and play with different color combinations. Sure beats pigging out on sweets. :)

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BETTSI 2/5/2009 12:38PM

    Joy may be the best makeup, but joy combined WITH makeup just has to be outstanding! Hi Sweetie!

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BILL60 2/2/2009 6:42PM

    Perhaps I should try a little make up. On second thought, perhaps not. A Green Beret with make up just wouldn't cut it. Hang tough, my friend.

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KALISWALKER 2/2/2009 5:29PM

    Wearing a little makeup is part of taking of yourself.


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CUDDY521 2/2/2009 3:45PM

    So True emoticon

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

If my mind were as creative with problem solving as it is with coming up with excuses, I'd be set.

I remember some of the excuses I used to use for not exercising: people would make fun of how I looked, my feet hurt, it's too hot/too cold, I don't have anyone to work out with, etc., etc., etc.

I'm pretty good now about exercise, and I can recognize when I'm just making an excuse, rather than making a valid point.

But lately I realize I still have some remnants of my old, excuse-driven self that affect my daily life. My biggest excuses these days are that I'm afraid I might look stupid, I'm too old, I don't know enough, I might fail...

These sound familiar even though I am applying them to school (particularly to the clinical part of my school program), instead of exercise or losing weight.

I have a lot of patience for other people not being perfect, taking a long time to learn something, looking stupid as a novice, or even failing. But I have no patience for myself. A part of me wants to give up before I start in order to avoid the discomfort.

This attitude is not serving me well, and I am frustrated with myself. In many areas, I have great confidence and feel I have something significant to contribute. How is it that in this particular area, I allow myself to shrink away from the very experiences that I need to develop confidence?

The good thing here is that I blame no one but myself. My teachers and clinical supervisors are excellent and supportive. I take full responsibility for the choices that I am making to perpetuate my problem.

Ironically, I receive positive evaluations from those who supervise me. Inside, I dismiss their comments because I am ridiculously committed to my self-perception of incompetence.

How would my world be different if I felt just as competent as anyone else? I would have to leave my tiny shelter of being "just a learner," "not as experienced," "too old," "incapable."

Claiming one's competence requires accepting the responsibility that comes with confidence. Other people will depend on me and my skills. My mistakes or inattentiveness can have a major effect on others. My demeanor can affect the attitudes of those around me. When other students see my confidence, they know they can do it too. When patients see my confidence, they believe the doctor will get credible results from my work and be able to help them. When my supervisors see my confidence, they will know that I have something worthwhile to contribute and consider me for job openings.

I have every reason to give up my death-grip on my excuses and start believing in myself.

Today I commit to "fake it 'til I make it" because underneath my excuses, I really do know I have what it takes.
emoticonI CAN DO IT!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CUDDY521 1/28/2009 4:36AM

    You have taught us all, any thing is possible!!
All my best emoticonCuddy

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SUSANLUSAN 1/24/2009 5:46PM

    You figured out what can still plague any of us in any arena of our choice. Freedom is really taking responsibility for being so incredibly magnificent, imperfections and all.

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MRSHONEYCOMB 1/24/2009 12:42PM

    You can and you will do it! emoticon

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BUGMAMA42 1/23/2009 9:26AM

    I had/have issues with this same thing, as I'm sure a LOT of us Sparkers do. A trick I learned to try to overcome it might help you out too. Give YOURSELF an evaluation the next time you hear a negative criticism in your head. For example, when I would hear, "You can't take on that project! You'll never make the deadline!" I would turn around and ask myself, "When is the last time you missed a deadline?" I would realize that I had NEVER missed an important deadline. That being the case I then reasoned that I am a deadline-driven person and that if I haven't missed an important one yet, then........ the odds of my missing this new one were pretty darn slim. And then I would let go of the negativism and "fear" of failure and "Voila!", it became even easier to meet my deadline because I wasn't fighting myself.

There are oh so very many pieces in this puzzle we are putting together, but one by one we all seem to be getting closer to a really pretty picture!

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CRUISEHAPPE 1/22/2009 2:15PM

    I think your tape is playing in my head....sounds like me!!
I know that we know...deep down inside we are worth it.
Worth learning, worth the positive reviews, comments and feedbacks.
Worthy of every last experience in life!!!
Go for it my friend.....You have inspired many of us....
Learning is it not?

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OCSHORDY 1/22/2009 1:54PM

    This journey we are on is full of surprises, no matter how much we accomplish, there is always a new challenge coming our way. The beautiful thing is that we can draw strength from our previous successes and persevere. You are a living example of determination, courage, strength and the motivation to achieve. Hang in there and continue to speak and have a positive outlook on everything that pertains to you and everything around you.

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BILL60 1/22/2009 7:33AM

    I think that you've convinced many of us that "YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES". Hang tough, my friend.


Comment edited on: 1/22/2009 7:34:47 AM

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I'm LATE, I'm LATE for a Very Important Date

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Relaxation is the best strategy when you don't have time for it."

--Sydney Harris

Do you remember in "The Little Engine that Could" there is big old steam engine that just can't get up the hill? The tired old steamer cries, "I need to rest my weary wheels." I, too, wish I could rest my weary wheels.

But it's a new day, full of the busy-ness, pressures, and commitments of life. I am just this side of being overwhelmed. I am going to suck it up one more day and move forward with a positive attitude. But the truth is, I would like to step off the merry-go-round, regroup, even get some exercise, take a nap, go to an upbeat movie (are there any out there?), escape.

I still don't have my Christmas decorations taken down (Is it socially unacceptable to have your wreath on the door come Valentine's Day?), thank you notes completed, phone calls returned, tires rotated, teeth cleaned...

Oops--it's 5:45 a.m.! Gotta go! Jump in the shower, pull on the scrubs, grab my books-pen-notebook-reading glasses-cell phone-salad for lunch-clinical forms-exercise clothes--appointment calendar-phone numbers for calls to return--lipstick--positive attitude--and get a move on! Ready. Set. ACTION!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTELKLEIN 1/19/2009 11:20PM

    Thank you for the Easter basket!!! LOL!

Love your "I'm late, I'm late ..... " ... Sometimes your life is running you instead of vice versa!!! Good thing i know how to sit quietly on my ass sometimes!!!

Or, as Clay Aiken, said once to an excited fan on the radio with him "Breathe for me honey!"

1 2 3 .... b r e a t h e !!!

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NEEDPEOPLE 1/17/2009 1:12AM

    I feel your pain! Welcome to the world of living. All we can do is our best and do it one step at a time and what we don't get done today well, that is what tomorrow's are for.


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CHRISTELKLEIN 1/16/2009 9:23PM

    LOL ... one year i didn't take down Christmas decorations until Easter!!! The things you can get away with when you're single!!

Thanks for leaving a comment on my web page!! I was very excited to fit into my Jamaica togs. I've lost about 30 pounds since i bought them in September .... still have 105 to go!!!



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KERRIJANE123 1/14/2009 11:45AM

    woo hoo. Your blog reads like a call to action, or a call to cease action? anyway, I spend a great deal of my life on "just this side of overwhelmed" and try to keep the good attitude. I can't imagine I'd cope at all if I had a bad attitude. ( actually I know from personal experience that I would definitely not cope). Thanks for putting words to how many of us feel.

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Oprah, You've Got Balls!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I know Oprah is a smart cookie and that she carefully considered the consequences of baring her soul on national television. But I couldn't help feeling protective of her because she was opening herself up to a host of criticism.

And I was right.

I've read posts in the SP message boards putting her down because she is "still complaining about her weight when she has the advantage of personal chefs, trainers, etc." It's true. She does have access to resources that are beyond the reach of many, but you can't pay someone to take away weight issues or do exercise for you.

Thinking that Oprah's weight problems are easy to solve because of her resources may be a subtle excuse for not handling one's own food/weight issues. How many people say, "If I had a personal trainer and a personal chef, I would be totally fit!"?

I may not be able to afford a chef or trainer, but I realize I have access to resources that many others do not. For one thing, I have an incredible support system through SP as well as the luxury of others in my life who encourage me to be healthy. I have two legs and the ability to do many different kinds of exercise. I have enough money to buy vegetables and other healthy food (even if I have to plan and prepare my own meals!) I have the desire and the emotional capacity to visualize a goal and the perseverence to reach it. In spite of my personal hardships, I do, indeed, have many advantages.

I'm not sure what motivates Oprah to bare her soul while she is in the midst of struggling. I am comfortable talking about having weighed 280 pounds in the past, but I never in a million years would have revealed that at the time. In those days, I definitely would not have admitted to my inability to change my relationship with food or to control my weight--even though it was quite obvious to anyone who saw me.

So I'm putting my money on Oprah's success. It takes a lot of courage to face the demons of obesity and eating disorders in private. And it REALLY takes balls to do it in front of the whole world.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAYJAY44 1/17/2009 10:18PM

    I couldn't have said it better! Oprah is just like us when it comes to her struggles with weight. I love her for speaking out about it. I think she will inspire a lot of us to finally face the problem, stop making excuses and do it for the love of ourselves!! emoticon

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NEEDPEOPLE 1/17/2009 1:09AM

    I completely agree with your words! Just because some people have money does not mean they are not human with real human struggles. I giver her Sooooo much credit and find her inspiring! Oprah is my hero!


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WRTRUCK 1/16/2009 3:34PM

  I agree about it being as difficult for her as for anyone - However, I don't agree with the comment that if you "can't control your weight you can't control yourself!" I am glad she is losing the weight that she wants to to get back to her healthier self - I wish her all the luck in the world! emoticon

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CRAZYKEWL 1/11/2009 3:43PM

    Im so glad you said it!!!!! I completley agree with every written word :) emoticon

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CRUISEHAPPE 1/10/2009 9:44AM

    You are so right Rosie.....
Our weight issue is so much more that having access to trainers and chefs.....
we are the only ones that can change ourselves and it starts on the inside......we all know the old can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.........

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SUSANLUSAN 1/10/2009 8:28AM

    Spot on! Those who judge her miss a part of the big picture, an essential bit that has the very message you targeted -- that with all the advantages in the world one could dream up -- it is still a singular and challenging journey. I used to be one of those "if only I had a chef, trainer blah blah blah" folks. Then one day I became a SparkPeople and everything has started to change and work, thanks to you all. I'll have more helpings of that instead of what's in our refrigerator, thanks!

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BILLYGOAT71 1/9/2009 8:00AM

    I completely agree! .... The fact that O still struggles despite all her resources highlights how difficult losing weight can be!... Thanks for the post! Katie

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ARIMANDA 1/8/2009 1:54PM

    I very much agree. It has to be hard to always be the one in the fishbowl.

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SHAY4HIM 1/7/2009 9:08PM

    Well said! :o)

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KALISWALKER 1/7/2009 5:34PM

    Being in the spotlight all the time and dealing with weight issues must be so difficult and lonely. May she'd like to join SP


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KERRIJANE123 1/7/2009 5:18PM

    I couldn't agree more. She even said........".all the money, fame and fortune means nothing if you can't control yourself. " Bravo to Oprah for telling the truth!

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AQUAGIRL08 1/7/2009 4:04PM

    I agree! She has really opened herself up for all to see and that's a really difficult thing to do!
I think she does it to help others. I feel protective of her too.

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ECO_GIRL 1/7/2009 3:53PM

    I agree also! Maybe I can't identify with a personal chef or personal trainer.....but I DO identify with being busy 24/7 with a job/school/home and rarely having time for yourself. That takes a toll on your body and Kudos to Oprah for letting it all out there. I think so many people can relate on some level.

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CHEWIEKIKI 1/7/2009 3:50PM

    So many people forget about how she works 14+ hour days and runs how many companies??? She has something like 5 full-time jobs that the rest of us couldn't begin to tackle. I'd need comfort food and rest vs. exercise too!

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MRSHONEYCOMB 1/7/2009 3:49PM

    I agree! =)

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