Being Human: 21 Ways to Master the Art

Being Human: 21 Ways to Master the Art

Being human is an art and living bravely is one of the best ways to master it. Living bold, brave and fearless doesn’t always end as predicted, but what is predictable is that the potential for full flight is so much more likely when courage leads behaviour, than when fear does. There may be the occasional two steps back, but even with two steps back, those who live bravely will still be ahead of where they would have been otherwise.

But wait. Before temptation wins out and sees us racing off on the backs of wild horses to fulfil a dream or two, there’s something else – being brave and being sensible are a beautiful duo, and must be allowed to tag. There are times to be conservative – times to hold tight and hold back. In fact, sometimes saying ‘no’ is the bravest thing in the world. What’s important is basing the decision sensibility, rather than fear. 

Living brave allows for full expansion and full engagement. The beautiful thing about living brave – it’s in all of us. Within every person is the means to reach his or her full potential. Sometimes it gets lost, sometimes trapped under the rubble of life, but it’s always there. We humans are remarkable like that. Here are some things to know master the art of being human:

  1. Feel the feelings. All of Them.

    There is no feeling that ‘shouldn’t’ be felt, but there are some that shouldn’t be acted on. Being able to fully engage with feelings, means that even if you choose to give something else to the world (a smile instead of a slap) at least you are being honest with yourself and more able to give yourself what you need. Feelings are just a sign of an unmet need. Listen to them and acknowledge them – they’ve got a good reason for being.

  2. Don’t compare yourself. Just don’t.

    Don’t compare yourself. Your own wisdom and experience will have uniquely shaped you for wherever you need to be and wherever you are heading.  Be grateful for what you have – even the lumps. You never know the person you might be without it.|

  3. Act as though everything is geared in your favour.

    People are drawn to happy, hopeful, optimistic people and opportunity is drawn to the same. Act as though you know it’s on its way – and it will be.

  4. Take time to be in the present moment.

    Focussing on the past or future is the fast way to an uneasy mind. Be mindful of the present.

  5. Put yourself first.

    Not in a selfish way, but in a self-loving way. When you have attended to your own needs,  there will be more of you to share with others – if you want to. It’s not easy to cultivate relationships and connectedness if you’re feeling drained, taken for granted ( by you). Constantly sacrificing your own needs will eventually take it toll.

  6. Be generous.

    And know when to stop. Give when it’s appreciated. Stop when it’s not. It’s really that simple. Give with a full heart and a generous spirit. Give without expectating of receiving, but if there comes a point where that giving is taking too much from you, then stop. Giving when it’s appreciated or acknowledged is one thing. Giving because someone feels entitled to it is another.

  7. You don’t need people to like you.

    Some won’t. And that’s okay. You weren’t put here to win everyone’s approval. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them or something wrong with you. It just means that you don’t combine well together. Don’t put too much weight on what other people think of you. It’s usually more about them. 

  8. See the opportunity in failure and the protection in a rejection.

    Take the lesson and sit tight for the opportunity to use it to grow to something extraordinary. The opportunity will come. Make sure you’re ready when it does.

  9. Celebrate diversity.

    Celebrate the differences in people you meet and look for what they know that you don’t. There isn’t a single person on the planet we can’t learn from. Even if it’s how not to be.

  10. Realise the power you have.

    You have a profound capacity to shape your own destiny.  If the path to the left isn’t working, try the one to the right. Trust your capacity to cope with what tests you.

  11. Full living comes with a price.

    We can protect ourselves from pain but shutting down the risk of hurt or disappointment also involves shutting down the good that could come from that risk. When a need isn’t met, wisdom and experience will be delivered in its place. Would be excellent if there was another way to gat that wisdom and experience, but generally, there isn’t.

  12. Being vulnerable is okay. Actually it’s so much better than okay.

    One of the best things about being human is being close to other ones. By its very nature, intimacy involves a certain amount of vulnerability. There is such abundance in being fully present with someone, provided of course, that we have chosen that someone wisely. Sometimes it will get messy, and that’s okay. People will disappoint. And you will disappoint people. It’s all part of being human.

  13. The more you live brave, the more you live brave.

    The more you do things that scare you, the more confidence you’ll get to take on bigger challenges and make bigger changes and bigger strides forward. Be open to everything and everyone, unless of course they they prove they don’t deserve you.

  14. Sometimes you feel scared.

    Living on the edge of your capabilities can be terrifying. But so too is living life as though it is a thing of eggshell fragility. The experiences and the decisions you make, and the  and experiences don’t need to be huge – they just need to be uncomfortable enough and unfamiliar enough to set you up against your limits – just enough to expand them. 

  15. Listen to your intuition.

    Somewhere in each of us are a lifetime of memories, wisdom and experiences. They don’t disappear, they stay and become the collective wisdom that informs our intuition – that voice and those feelings that whisper,  just loud enough to get our attention. Listen to it. 

  16. Love honestly, openly and abundantly.

    And make no apologies for it. Relationships never fall apart because people are too emotionally generous. They fall apart because at least one person keeps the warmth, appreciation and love safely stored away where no-one can touch it. It might be safe. But it’s useless.  

  17. There’s no shame in failing. Nope. None.

    Shame is one of the most debilitating emotions. It’s so powerful that even the fear of shame – regardless of whether or not it’s real or perceived – is enough to keep courage sidelined. There is no learning where there is no failure.

  18. Let go of what you can’t change. Fight hard for what you can.

    Every need we have is legitimate and valid, but the ways we try to meet them might not be. Be ready to let go of people or behaviours that constantly drain you or leave you feeling compromised. This will make room for a more effective way to meet your needs.  Know the difference between hanging on to something worth hanging on to  and and hanging on to something that was gone long ago. If it’s important to you, be fearless in the chase. If it’s important to you, it’s important. You don’t need to explain it, apologise for it or minimise it. Fullstop.

  19. You won’t have to have it all figured out.

    Always look for what you can learn and the possibilities will start to open up.  Seek  to grow wiser, stronger, better. Acknowledging that you don’t know everything, or that you sometimes need help, is key to expanding.

  20. Leave room for the unexpected.

    It’s where the best things happen.

  21. ‘N’..N.. ‘No’.

     ‘No’. It’s a small word that tends to stick to the tongue tooo It’s about self respect and healthy boundaries. The more you are able to say ‘no’ to the things that don’t work for you, the more you are able to say ‘yes’ to the ones that do.

 

 

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During adolescence, our teens are more likely to pay attention to the positives of a situation over the negatives. This can be a great thing. The courage that comes from this will help them try new things, explore their independence, and learn the things they need to learn to be happy, healthy adults. But it can also land them in bucketloads of trouble. 

Here’s the thing. Our teens don’t want to do the wrong thing and they don’t want to go behind our backs, but they also don’t want to be controlled by us, or have any sense that we might be stifling their way towards independence. The cold truth of it all is that if they want something badly enough, and if they feel as though we are intruding or that we are making arbitrary decisions just because we can, or that we don’t get how important something is to them, they have the will, the smarts and the means to do it with or without or approval. 

So what do we do? Of course we don’t want to say ‘yes’ to everything, so our job becomes one of influence over control. To keep them as safe as we can, rather than saying ‘no’ (which they might ignore anyway) we want to engage their prefrontal cortex (thinking brain) so they can be more considered in their decision making. 

Our teens are very capable of making good decisions, but because the rational, logical, thinking prefrontal cortex won’t be fully online until their 20s (closer to 30 in boys), we need to wake it up and bring it to the decision party whenever we can. 

Do this by first softening the landing:
‘I can see how important this is for you. You really want to be with your friends. I absolutely get that.’
Then, gently bring that thinking brain to the table:
‘It sounds as though there’s so much to love in this for you. I don’t want to get in your way but I need to know you’ve thought about the risks and planned for them. What are some things that could go wrong?’
Then, we really make the prefrontal cortex kick up a gear by engaging its problem solving capacities:
‘What’s the plan if that happens.’
Remember, during adolescence we switch from managers to consultants. Assume a leadership presence, but in a way that is warm, loving, and collaborative.♥️
Big feelings and big behaviour are a call for us to come closer. They won’t always feel like that, but they are. Not ‘closer’ in an intrusive ‘I need you to stop this’ way, but closer in a ‘I’ve got you, I can handle all of you’ kind of way - no judgement, no need for you to be different - I’m just going to make space for this feeling to find its way through. 

Our kids and teens are no different to us. When we have feelings that fill us to overloaded, the last thing we need is someone telling us that it’s not the way to behave, or to calm down, or that we’re unbearable when we’re like this. Nup. What we need, and what they need, is a safe place to find our out breath, to let the energy connected to that feeling move through us and out of us so we can rest. 
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But how? First, don’t take big feelings personally. They aren’t a reflection on you, your parenting, or your child. Big feelings have wisdom contained in them about what’s needed more, or less, or what feels intolerable right now. Sometimes it might be as basic as a sleep or food. Maybe more power, influence, independence, or connection with you. Maybe there’s too much stress and it’s hitting their ceiling and ricocheting off their edges. Like all wisdom, it doesn’t always find a gentle way through. That’s okay, that will come. Our kids can’t learn to manage big feelings, or respect the wisdom embodied in those big feelings if they don’t have experience with big feelings. 
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We also need to make sure we are responding to them in the moment, not a fear or an inherited ‘should’ of our own. These are the messages we swallowed whole at some point - ‘happy kids should never get sad or angry’, ‘kids should always behave,’ ‘I should be able to protect my kids from feeling bad,’ ‘big feelings are bad feelings’, ‘bad behaviour means bad kids, which means bad parents.’ All these shoulds are feisty show ponies that assume more ‘rightness’ than they deserve. They are usually historic, and when we really examine them, they’re also irrelevant.
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Finally, try not to let the symptoms of big feelings disrupt the connection. Then, when calm comes, we will have the influence we need for the conversations that matter.
"Be patient. We don’t know what we want to do or who we want to be. That feels really bad sometimes. Just keep reminding us that it’s okay that we don’t have it all figured out yet, and maybe remind yourself sometimes too."
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 #parentingteens #neurodevelopment #positiveparenting #parenting #neuronurtured #braindevelopment #adolescence  #neurodevelopment #parentingteens
Would you be more likely to take advice from someone who listened to you first, or someone who insisted they knew best and worked hard to convince you? Our teens are just like us. If we want them to consider our advice and be open to our influence, making sure they feel heard is so important. Being right doesn't count for much at all if we aren't being heard.
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Hear what they think, what they want, why they think they're right, and why it’s important to them. Sometimes we'll want to change our mind, and sometimes we'll want to stand firm. When they feel fully heard, it’s more likely that they’ll be able to trust that our decisions or advice are given fully informed and with all of their needs considered. And we all need that.
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 #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #neuronurtured #childdevelopment #adolescence 
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"We’re pretty sure that when you say no to something it’s because you don’t understand why it’s so important to us. Of course you’ll need to say 'no' sometimes, and if you do, let us know that you understand the importance of whatever it is we’re asking for. It will make your ‘no’ much easier to accept. We need to know that you get it. Listen to what we have to say and ask questions to understand, not to prove us wrong. We’re not trying to control you or manipulate you. Some things might not seem important to you but if we’re asking, they’re really important to us.❤️" 
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#neurodevelopment #neuronurtured #childdevelopment #parenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparenting

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