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I Don’t Like Work

I love chatting with people to get their perspectives on life. Recently one comment by a colleague surprised me when he said “You shouldn’t use the word work because it will deter and discourage people from trying.” (You shouldn’t….always a winner of a way to start a conversation…not!) When asked why, he replied “I don’t like the word work because work is just too hard.” 
 
It has my gears turning. We all get caught up on words and our individual interpretation of them based on our life experiences. Work for him meant drudgery, oppression, being bossed around, and something to be avoided. I could only imagine how many times he sabotaged his own success by having a mental block about the word work. As a kid when he heard “do your homework” his walls instantly went up. As a budding pianist he was told it will take a lot of hard work and practice so he eventually quit playing. Throughout his adult life, he dreaded five days a week of putting on a suit to go to work or in his mind, the dungeon. For him, work is a dirty word. 
 
Work for me has a very different interpretation. I was raised by two parents whose strong message was no matter what you do, you’ll never be good enough or worthy of my love. Being an optimist I knew this couldn’t be true. There had to be some threshold of where I cleared the highest of bars and won their love, or even their approval, or if neither of those, at least they would stop their ridicule of me. 
 
Work has always been my fighting survival skill and emotional protection to say…maybe I’m not there yet but I’m going to be! A little relentless voice that says…I got a whole bunch of good stuff inside of me just waiting for the right opportunity for it to come jumping out. For me, work is a hope-filled word. 
Work results provided the internal, positive cheering for myself as I overcame exterior, negative brainwashing. 
 
As an athletic kid, I knew how great it felt to stand on the podium. I started gymnastics at age three. With both joy for the sport and a commitment to be the best gymnast I could be, I conditioned, stretched, practiced and dedicated myself. That meant I woke up early and went into the cold, dark Chicago winter mornings to run so I would have extra endurance. I wasn’t a state champion but I saw how my diligent work and big effort paid off by teaching me a life lesson that I have ability to create a better tomorrow than today.
Because I was a forthright kid who often stood up to protect my sisters when my parents were being harsh, I learned speaking truth is more important than suffering silently. I worked at my speaking skills, earning a double major in Communications and I now speak up for other abused, neglected, bullied and poorly treated kids and adults. I won’t ever get my parents love or approval, but it’s a magical feeling to hear how my voice has positively changed someone’s life. My heart overflows when I hear their commitment to work on how they think about themselves, how they allow people to treat them, and how they are going protect themselves and others. Call me a sap but that makes my eyes water every time! For me, that’s love in action. The hard work I do to create awareness on what is Authentic Health so together we can prevent and end all forms of abuse…is well worth it.
 
I don’t like work, I love it!
 
ENLIGHTEN. EMPOWER. END.
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Declaration Beats Achievement

As a country, we celebrate our independence on the day we DECLARED it and not on the day we ACHIEVED it. I find our history intriguing and very telling of the power of unified commitment and uncompromised conviction. It says a lot to me about the spirit of our ancestors and what lies in our own DNA.

The background story is on July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of the Declaration of Independence and the historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson was adopted on July 4th. It wasn’t until seven, hard, cold, costly years later, on September 3, 1783, that we signed the Treaty that gave us our independence from Britain. We were clearly the underdogs and absolutely inferior from a military perspective but there was a driving force uniting individuals, leaders and communities to band together to face their adversity and stand up for what they believed was right.

With every written word in the Declaration of Independence, they let the world know…freedom is our united truth. With every action they took, they demonstrated they would face any risk, overcome any fear and get around any obstacle, in order to achieve their vision of freedom.

Maybe the key to obtaining Authentic Health is backwards to how we normally approach problems. What if we STARTED with celebrating a shared declaration that each person deserves to be healthy and happy. Then with insights and support of our families, communities and co-workers, we buckle down and do the hard, often scary and challenging work it takes to remove the unhealthy words, actions and behaviors so we all can reach our best-self vision.

When we claim our independence from unhealthy and toxic people, we are no longer inter-dependent on them and we are free to have power and control of our lives.

When you make a declaration of freedom from abusive, traumatic, harassing, bullying and other unhealthy behaviors in yourself and others, like our ancestors, you change not only your life but the lives of generations to come…and that’s something to celebrate!

Happy 4th!

Enlighten. Empower. End.