The Three Instincts

The Three Instincts

The Three Instincts

August has been a month of inspiration for me.  I was in Edinburgh, Scotland with my man, sister and brother in law for the first part of the month.  In addition to castles, caverns and churches we went to shows at the largest Fringe in the world.  That’s a story in and of itself!  Then home for the second largest Fringe in the world.  At both Fringes I saw good, mediocre and poor shows.  Shows that inspired and shows that made me laugh.

For inspiration, one of the shows I saw here at home was Marathon written and performed by Fringe veteran, TJ Dawe.  TJ has been on a growth and discovery path over the past few years and these themes appear in his shows.  One of the topics he discussed in this show was the three instincts from the Enneagram personality system.

The Three Instincts are:

  • Self Preservation:  This is the instinct to be sure you are safe and taken care of.   This instinct features a great deal of independence and desire for comfort.  It is a gathering of energy.
  • Sexual:  Despite the name, this is not all about sex.  This instinct is about one on one connection and seeking new experiences.  It is a giving/releasing of energy.
  • Social:  This instinct leads to seeking the company of others.  It is a sharing of energy.

Everyone has all three instincts.  We all have one that’s our fallback, the one that makes us feel safest.

  • Self Preservation types are the ones who over pack for trips “just in case”.   They always have water and snacks with them.  Everything about their surroundings is about being sure that there are no surprises and they won’t have to ask for help.
  • Sexual types look for chances to take risks.  They often do things alone or with one other person.  They like to be stimulated and surprised.
  • Social: types love to be around groups.  They will make sure that they go out with lots of friends.  They look for ways to connect with many people at a time.  They feel best surrounded by others.

We also all have one that’s in balance.  It exists in us without running our life.

The third instinct will be our challenge.  It’s the one we have to make an effort to cultivate.  Not sure what it is?  Look at your life and if it’s the one you “brag” about when you do it, that’s your challenge spot.  Proud when you remember your water bottle?  Self Preservation is your challenge.  Pat yourself on the back when you do something new?  Sexual is hard for you.

For me, it’s Social.  When I’m in a social situation I can appear very comfortable as I’ve been working on it for years.  However, I always have anxiety and have to talk myself into going to anything in a group.  Especially if it’ll be mostly strangers.  Then, when I do get myself to go, I make a big deal out of it.  I’ll list it in my successes for the day.  I’ll pat myself on the back.  I may even tell someone else about how amazing I was because I talked to two new people!  Wowzers.

I thought for sometime as to which of the three instincts are my strong point.  Without doing a full analysis based on the Enneagram method, this is what I’ve concluded.

I switch back and forth between Self Preservation and Sexual depending on how I’m feeling about myself.

When I feel lost or unsure of myself, I’m all about Self Preservation.  All I want to do is stay safe.  I’ll worry about the future.  I’ll make sure I have as much safe padding around me as possible so I don’t feel out of control.  I get more introspective and withdraw.

When I’m feeling good about myself and my direction, I’m all about the Sexual instinct.   I put myself out there.  I take risks.  I speak boldly.  I’m creative and out of the box.    Self Preservation still exists (I tend to have water and snacks with me) but it’s more secondary, more in balance.

So, what does this all mean?  Well, to be completely honest, I’m not sure.  I found this concept very interesting and wanted to share it.  I think it’s important to be aware of how we function and what makes us tick, what runs us.  I look forward to learning more and getting more insights on how these manifest in my life.

This information has really helped me see my patterns.  Awareness allows us to be clear about what we need to go forward and what is holding us back.

Knowing that I struggle with the Social instinct (which is really not a surprise) helps me put more attention on building it up.

Knowing that I flip flop between Self Preservation and Sexual helps me be aware of when I’m in my passion and when I’m struggling with direction.  This awareness can help me seek solutions to the latter.

I’d be curious to hear what your thoughts are on the Three Instincts.  What are your strengths and challenges and how does it manifest in your life?

Have a PURRfect day!

Hugs, Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

 

 

 

Princess Craze

princessOn the CBC show Head too Toe yesterday there were some parents talking about keeping their young girls from participating in the princess craze that seems to be running rampant.   The concern of these parents was to keep their daughters from thinking that this is the only way that you can be a girl.  Their solution was to ban it.

While I understand the desire to teach their girls that they don’t have to wait for Prince Charming to save them, that they are strong and capable of anything, I feel that their approach is misguided.  Banning one point of view does not help confirm another.

How is this any different from banning your boys from playing with dolls?  Or banning girls from playing in the dirt?   Or from telling your girl she’s pretty and your boy he’s smart?  Or from dressing your boys in blue and your girls in pink?  Or from telling them that girls are good at some things and boys another?

The key is not taking away one thing hoping they will gravitate to another, it’s about teaching them balance.

Playing princess is not inherently a bad thing – whether it’s your girl or your boy.  It’s one of many ways that children explore who they are and what is possible in their lives.  It doesn’t mean they’re going to want to “be a princess” when they grow up.  Unless, of course, they get the message that that’s the best option along with the dresses and shoes.

One story I loved in the show yesterday was the woman who was looking through a book on Princess Di with her daughter.  In that book she saw pictures of her in jeans and body armor and in various situations.  This was a moment to let her daughter know that being a princess isn’t all about pretty dresses and living in a castle.  It’s about helping people, about love and caring, about taking responsibility and being strong – just like everyone else in the world.

It feels to me that the need to blur the lines between gender has gone too far.  There is nothing wrong with being female or male or a little of both.

Another story I recently heard on CBC gave a little more hope.  It was about a young boy in Edmonton who started life as a girl.  He knew from a very young age that this just wasn’t right.  He confided in his little sister who then told their parents.  They talked to their daughter about her need to be treated as and eventually be a boy and realized that it was real.  Now this 13 year old is living as a boy.  He won’t be able to get his gender reassigned for some time, but in the meantime, he is treated as a he.  His friends accept him, his family accepts him, his school is behind him.

Gender is fluid and solid at the same time.  It’s important at a young age to be able to explore.  It’s important for parents not to freak if their children waver from what they think their gender means and simply let them be who they are in that moment.

When I was young I wanted to be a boy.  There were many reasons for this including that my parents divorced when I was young and as the oldest I felt I needed to be strong and, for me in the early 70′s, that meant being more boy-like.  I always wanted to be the dad when playing house.  I would put a ball in my pajamas to see what it would be like to be a boy.  I never felt I wanted to be a boy, just more like the boys.  It passed.  It took me a long time, though, to really accept that I could be as strong as I felt I was and needed to be as a woman.

The important thing is to teach our children – and accept ourselves – that anything is possible no matter what genitals are attached to our body.  Whether we are dressed as princesses or bikers.  Whether we decide to be nurses or rocket scientists.  Celebrate the individuality we are all born with.

I just got back from Edinburgh and while there, I checked out some shows at their giant Fringe Festival.  The show No Belles  was the one I enjoyed most.  It was 3 women telling stories about women, well known and less known, who excelled in science.  It was a well structured show that really touched my heart.  Despite all odds – no pay, sickness, lack of respect and more – these women went ahead and made a difference.

If your little girl is into princesses right now, it will pass.  Tell her stories, let her wear pretty dresses, let her watch the Disney movies and, at the same time, give her other options and tell her stories of women who made their own way and made a difference in the world.

Allow yourself and your children to express who they are, to look into options and ideas, to follow their dreams and just be.  Even the princess craze is OK.

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

Taming of the Shrew

Freewill Players presents Taming of the Shrew

Freewill Players presents Taming of the Shrew

I love Shakespeare.  He tells the most amazing stories that transcend time and space.  I have seen some of my favorites live or in movies several times.  I acted in Shakespeare in theatre school.  I’ve read a number of the plays and sonnets and have the necessary Shakespearean dictionaries for deeper understanding.

One of the shows I’ve never seen is Taming of the Shrew.  I have seen the musical adaptation Kiss Me Kate a few times and sung the song I Hate Men in performance or auditions many times.  But the Bard’s actual words, I had never seen performed in full.

When I found out our local company Freewill Players had decided to do Shrew for this year’s production, there was no doubt, I HAD to go.  I go to the Freewill shows pretty much every year.  They always do a stellar job of putting the plays in fun locations (not just Shakespeare garb) and giving them little twists with music or characterization.  The performers are supremely talented at making the language understandable to all and are always entertaining.

I went to Shrew last night.  I’m so happy I made sure to get there despite a busy week ahead (we leave for Scotland next Friday).  The show was probably one of the best I’ve seen this company do.  It was uproariously funny.  Every character was spot on and well rounded no matter how small.  And, despite having to be inside this year due to issues with the usual outdoor venue, it felt fresh and airy just like being outside.  Plus, they made fun of the change of venue.  It was truly one of the best times I’ve had in the theatre – and I’ve had many!

Before the show began, there was a panel discussion.  This is a difficult show to do, especially to a modern audience, because it’s seen as misogynistic and anti-feminist.

For those who may not know, the central story is about Kate – the shrew – who is not a pleasant person.  She’s downright mean to everyone, especially men.   She’s also very clever and willful.  Along comes Petruchio who is equally as headstrong and clever.  He decides to make her his wife and “tame” her.  Thus the name of the show.  At the end of the show Kate has an infamous monologue about how a wife should behave.  This speech is the source of most of the ire against this show.

It’s understandable.  She talks about how the man is the ruler over the woman.  How she must obey.  How women are weak.  Yikes!  Feminist sensibility (whether you call yourself one or not) starts to fire and get the hackles up.

What I loved about this production is how it showed that Kate and Petruchio do love each other.  They have both been hurt in life and have their guard up.  Kate, especially, has no one in her corner.  Everyone sees her as a nasty shrew unworthy of love and care, even her father.  Her sister hates her.  It’s no wonder she wants to keep everyone away from her heart.  Yet, these two kindred spirits, when they find each other and open their hearts, become very sweet and loving.

This is a difficult show to swallow and yet, when you look deeper, it’s actually very true to life.  Remove some of the offensive language, some of the old ideas and you see some very true mirrors of relationships.

  • There are two other couples in this story.  Lucentcio and Bianca (Kate’s sister) are attracted for superficial reasons.  Horstensio, being spurned by Bianca, takes the first woman to come along who shows an interest.  It is obvious that neither of these couples have a deep love.  How many times have you been in a relationship (or know someone who has) like either of these?   And how did they turn out?  Likely not well.
  • Hortensio’s wife fixed him with withering looks and rolling eyes when she didn’t get her way.  I have performed this behavior many times and have seen women do the same with their partners.  When we feel like we’re not being heard or feel like we need to assert ourselves, sometimes in comes out in this kind of behavior.  It doesn’t serve anyone.  It just makes us look petty.
  • In our modern world, men and women are supposed to be equal.  We really aren’t quite there, but that’s another discussion.  Due to that we women don’t want to appear weak.  We want to open our own doors.  We want to be as strong as a man.  Women are strong.  We are intelligent.  We are so many things.  However, come on, let’s admit it, we are not as physically strong as men (except for the rare few who really work at it).  Men love to feel needed.  Why can’t we just let them help?  It certainly doesn’t make us any less worthwhile.   If your man knows you can change a tire but you still ask for his help, it makes him feel good.  And that, in the end, is good for both of the people in a relationship.
  • The secret to a relationship is respecting each other.  It’s not about one being above the other.  It’s not about one being master and one being slave.  It’s not about one being strong and the other being weak.  It’s not about one being right and the other being wrong.  Why do we hold so hard to being right?  Ask yourself – would you rather be right or happy?  If it’s the latter, let go of the need to be in control and come to a place of peace with those you love.

Back to Kate’s speech.  At the end she says “And place your hands below your husband’s foot,In token of which duty, if he please,My hand is ready, may it do him ease.”
In the show, Kate bends down to the floor and puts her hand out as she looks up at Petruchio.  He has been such a loud and brash man throughout the show, it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to step on her hand.  Instead, he gets down on the floor, looking at her with soft love in his eyes and kisses her hand.

This was the most beautiful metaphor for a relationship I’ve seen.  When two people truly love and respect each other it’s not about ruler and ruled, controller and controlled.  It’s about equality.  Wherever one is, the other will be there too.  When one is down, the other will take the journey along with them and help them along the road to the light.  When one is euphoric, the other will celebrate with them.  No matter where the road leads, it is traveled together.

It’s worth an evening of laughs as well as a little enlightenment to check out the Taming of the Shrew whether you read it or go see this production or another.  Look deeper than the surface and, just like in a relationship, you may discover something profound.

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

I Might Have to Change My Name!

Staffordshire terrier and catI love laughter.  It lightens the heaviness that sometimes comes with living.  It’s great for the soul.  It’s also good for your health and your skin.

Recently I was listening to a comedian who compared women to dogs and men to cats.  What!  If this is true, I might have to change my name!

It was an very funny piece.  I can’t really do it justice, so go ahead and listen to Jodi Miller explain why men are cats and women are dogs.

Can you see her point?  The aloof cat expecting to be fed and looking out the window at nothing?  Yep, that’s a man.  The dog eager to please, wanting company, cleaning up after everyone.  Yep, that’s a woman.

A little more clinical, but just as funny is this explanation between men’s and women’s brains and how they work.  You could still use the word cat and dog to explain them as well!  Check out a Tale of Two Brains.

I can totally see that comparison.  However, the reason I call myself – and all women – Bad Kitties still stands.

Just in case you’ve forgotten, this is why:

Cats are all individuals.   They all have their own unique personality.  We bring them into our home and expect them to behave in a certain way so when they scratch the furniture or eat the plants we yell at them “bad cat!”   They will stop what they’re doing – until your back is turned.

Cats are always true to who they are.

We, like cats, are born perfect and beautiful with our own unique personality.  We are also born into a society that expects us to behave in a certain way.  Wanting to be loved and accepted, we take those parts of ourselves that we are told are “wrong” or “bad” and put them into little boxes with tight lids.  We take those boxes into the sub-sub basement of ourselves and put them behind a 12″ steel door with 14 padlocks and pretend it doesn’t exist.

We then go through our lives wondering why we have lost our passion, keep making bad decisions, set aside our dreams and, in general, can’t seem to be happy.

Being a Bad Kitty is about grabbing a blowtorch, heading down to that sub-sub basement and cutting off all those padlocks.  After flipping open the door, take out the little boxes, flip open the lids and take back those parts of yourself that you’ve been hiding.

When that happens you become a Bad Kitty:

B eautiful (as you are; no changes required)

A uthentic (you are amazing just as you are; no changes required)

D ivine (honoring your spirit, your passion, yourself)

K ompletely (no compromise)

I ndividual (beautiful in your uniqueness)

T otally (every bit of you adds up to something fabulous)

T rue (constant, unaffected by the standards of others)

Y ou (yes, YOU are a Bad Kitty!)

Whether you feel more like a dog or a cat, you deserve to live your life as a Bad Kitty, given the definition above.  So find ways to be true to you.  Love yourself in all your crazy fabulousness.  Take care of the body you’ve been given.  Honor your dreams and goals.  Stand up for you!

Because you, yes YOU are a Bad Kitty.  Be Beautiful, Be YOU!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

 

Lessons from Queen

Queen - They Rocked Me!

Queen – They Rocked Me!

Last night I had an amazing experience.  I went to the Queen with Adam Lambert concert.  And I learned some lessons from Queen.

I’ve been a big fan of Queen for a long time.  Let me define “long time.”

I grew up in a fairly sheltered musical environment.  When I was very young my sister and I listened to the radio and our mom’s records.  A lot of Neil Diamond and oldies.  When I got a little older, we were fundamental Protestant church goers so only listened to “Christian” music such as Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith.  Even Christian rock was frowned upon.  We did rebel a little on that but only listened to our Petra records on the sly.

We heard songs on the radio and at school but didn’t have any “secular” music in our home.  There were plenty of songs that I liked that were “satanic” but I didn’t really know band names or details of the music, just that I enjoyed the beat and knew the lyrics.

It wasn’t until I was much older – late 20′s and on – that I started to put together who performed some of my favorite songs.  Three of the bands that I realized were my favorites were AC/DC (which I saw a few years ago and LOVED), Eagles (which I’ve never seen) and, of course, Queen.

When I heard Queen was coming – with Adam Lambert attempting to fill Freddie Mercury’s shoes – I wanted to go.  When might another chance like this come along?  Having seen Adam Lambert on Glee, I was fairly certain he could do a decent – if not better than decent – job.

One day on Facebook I saw a post – a friend couldn’t use her Queen ticket.  TADA!  I was on my way.

Lesson:  The universe listens when you put out your desires.

People often ask me how I can do things like concerts, plays, and so on alone.  My philosophy is that I’d rather go alone to something than miss out because I can’t find anyone to go with.  Granted, someone may have come with me, and if I had waited to find someone, I might have missed out on the chance.

Lesson: Jump on opportunities that arise!

The show was 2 hours of magic.

Two original members – Roger Taylor and Brian May were so incredible!  They are certainly getting up there but watching them was a revelation.  There are a lot of good – even great – musicians out there, young and old.  The thing about these guys was not only how amazingly fast their fingers and arms move, it was about skill and finesse.  One of my least favorite parts of rock concerts is the drum and guitar extended solos.  They usually turn into a mass of noise as the players wank off showing how fast they can go.  After a 5 minute guitar solo by Brian, I was still mesmerized at not only the speed of some parts but the musicality overall.  40 years after their first hits, these guys are masters of their craft.

Lesson: When you have the talent and passion, age is not a factor.

Adam Lambert had big shoes to fill.  Freddie Mercury is a legend.  Even though I never had the opportunity to see him live, his reputation certainly precedes him.  Adam didn’t try to imitate or overshadow Freddie.  He was the perfect mix of respect and individuality.  His 5 costume changes and respectful pauses as video of Freddie played during Bohemian Rhapsody showed the right amount of bluster and reverence.

Lesson: Change can be good.

To close the show, they did their biggest hits, of course – Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are the Champions/We Will Rock you.  During Bohemian Rhapsody, Adam took a break while video of Freddie played on the big round screen.  During the middle section they played part of a music video.  The whole show was so beautifully produced and this part was truly magical.  It brought me to tears.  We Are The Champions was virtually a religious experience with everyone standing and swaying with their hands in the air.  I was moved by the whole night.  The talent, the music, the joy, the respect, the awe of the entire experience.

Lesson:  Beauty comes in many forms.

This concert will be a highlight of my live performance experiences whether it be theatre, music or other.  Queen lives up to their name.  They reign supreme!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

 

Seven Secrets of Sexy

What are the Seven Secrets of Sexy?

What are the Seven Secrets of Sexy?

Sexy.  What a loaded word.  When you hear it what do you see in your mind?  A slender woman in a bikini on a beach with her back slightly arched and one leg bent?  A man with his jeans down around his hips, shirt off with a coy smile and defined six pack?  A larger woman owning her body working her positive attitude?  A balding man listening to you intently as you talk about your bad day?  A woman dressed in a form hugging dress and 4″ stillettos?  A tall man in jeans that cup his butt?  An older woman who owns her wrinkles?  A small man with a large personality?

What is sexy?  Let’s start by talking about what it is not:

  • It is NOT how you dress.  A slit up to your hip or down to your belly button can be sexy and so can a high neck and long skirt – it just depends who is wearing it.
  • It is NOT how you look.  Short, tall, slim, heavy, light, dark, fit, fluffy, scars, smooth skinned, however you happen to look – no matter how far from the media ideal – you can be sexy.
  • It is NOT sexual.  Sexy really has very little to do with sex.  It is about who you are.

Sexy is about what draws people to you.  It is an aura you carry with you.  It is a way of being that portrays your best self in every situation.

There are Seven Secrets of Sexy.  If you have, or can cultivate, these seven things, you are sexy.  The more you have, the sexier you are.

  • Authenticity:  People who are truly themselves are always sexy.  It’s a hard quality to quantify as it’s more a feeling.  We can always tell when someone is being true.  Sometimes people can fool us for a short time, but eventually the cracks begin to show when someone isn’t fully authentic.  Cultivate your own truth.  Live by your own values.  Know what is important to you.  When you honor yourself, it shows and others are drawn to it because it’s a rare and super-sexy quality.
  • Confidence:  Confidence and authenticity go hand in hand.  When you really know yourself, you are automatically confident.  Confidence allows you to speak your truth.  It gives you the strength to ask for what you want and need without reservation.  Confidence shines through in how you dress, how you carry yourself, how you speak, how you treat others.  True confidence is admired – and totally sexy.
  • Positive Attitude: Negative people are not sexy.  They give off a vibe that makes others uncomfortable and unhappy.  A positive attitude, on the other hand, lifts others up.  People love to be around those who make them feel good.  Feeling good and loving life is definitely sexy.
  • Kind/Loving:  Treating others with respect and love comes from all of the above.  When we are authentic, confident and positive we are more patient with others.  In our busy society it’s easy to forget that other people have feelings.  That there is often a good reason for what they do – if we just took the time to find out.  That everyone needs to be treated with kindness.  Live by the Golden Rule and you will definitely be sexy.
  • Playful: Loving life creates a sense of play.  Playfulness is an attitude and a way of life.  An easy laugh, a funny comment, a sense of joy are all playful.  So is running toward the swings at the playground you pass on your evening walk.  When you are willing to play physically, emotionally and in conversation your sexy side is obvious to the world.
  • Fearless:  When we are fearful, we play small.  That is not sexy.  The fearless take risks.  They push themselves personally, professionally and physically.  They play big.  They don’t hide from a challenge.  You don’t have to be a secret agent to be sexy.  Just take a risk or two.
  • Sensual:   We’ve spoken about sensuality many times in this blog.  Simply re-stated, be in touch with your senses.  Whether it’s truly tasting your food, smelling the flowers, enjoying the feel of the fabric on your skin, appreciating a beautiful view. listening to your favorite music or using all your senses during sex – sensuality is a key to being sexy.  It makes life so much more enjoyable and keeps you present in your life.  Yep, that’s sexy.

It’s time to stand out.  It’s time to own what makes YOU sexy.  Use these Seven Secrets of Sexy and discover YOUR sexy side.  You deserve it and the world needs to see more of these qualities of sexy.

Have a PURRfect – and super sexy – day!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

Power of Introverts

Power of Introverts

Power of Introverts

I’ve posted on here several times about introverts.  Since I am one, I have a special interest in understanding what that means and helping others understand it.

More than once as a child comments have been made about how quiet I can be.  I remember one guy saying as I sat quietly in the back while everyone else chatted and fooled around, “y’know it kind of scares me when someone is that quiet.  You never know what’s going on in their brain.”  Still waters run deep, my friend.

I have learned over the years to be more “extroverted” so I get less comments about my quietness – and adults tend to be more “polite” and not say anything.  The fact is, I still tend to be the person who sits back and observes.  I can stand out due to confidence level, my size, my bright clothes, jewelry and pink hair.  I like to draw focus.  And still, at my core, I am more reflective.  I am an introvert.

My niece recently graduated High School.  My sisters, mom and I went to her grad.  At the family BBQ the next day, the difference in my family of the introverts and extroverts were apparent.  My mom, who has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was worried about getting through the day because of her energy level.  She’s also an extrovert.  We ended up being the last ones to leave as she was having such a great time chatting with everyone.  I, the introvert, on the other hand, was exhausted!

Society is hard on introverts.  Extroverts get more promotions, more attention, more respect.  We are expected to work mainly in groups in school and work.  The quiet are looked at askance like we have some sort of problem or social disease.

Introverts have made incredible contributions to society.  Ghandi, Elenor Roosevelt, Steve Wozniak (Apple) and so many more are/were introverts.

Susan Cain, writer of Quiet – The Power of Introverts said, “the best talker does not necessarily have the best ideas.”  I love that!

Everyone has some introvert and extrovert in them.  Most lean more one way or the other.  For example, I love to play and have fun.  It does have to be on my terms and sometimes it takes me a little time to warm up.  When I’m ready to go, though, look out!  I can be the driving force and the life of the party.  I love to speak and act and perform.  From the stage, everyone thinks I’m an extrovert.  That is my element.  When I get off the stage, I will generally be quieter.  When I’m done performing, I usually need alone time.  I would say I’m probably about 60/40 introvert/extrovert.

If you are mostly an introvert, enjoy your quiet time.  Respect your deep thoughts and ideas.  Go out and enjoy the company of others on your terms. Love and enjoy the extroverts in your life and allow them to teach you how to come out of yourself.

If you are mostly an extrovert, enjoy your group activities.  Be social, have fun.  Take time to stop and reflect from time to time as well.  Love and enjoy the introverts in your life and allow them to teach you to be quiet.

Susan Cain has a Ted Talk that includes a lot of what I’m talking about here.  Take 20 minutes and enjoy her insights.

Have a PURRfect day!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

Women of Distinction

Women of Distinction

Women of Distinction

Every year the YWCA holds an award ceremony for Women of Distinction.  Every year I hear about the winners and the wonderful gala the YWCA put on the celebrate and wonder how they decide on who is part of these awards.

This year, I found out  My friend Heidi called me up a few months ago and asked if she could nominate me.  WHAT?  Was my first response.  In the Business and Entrepreneur category.  Double WHAAAT???

As we talked, and over the next several weeks while we put together my nomination package and even up until today, I’m fighting a combination of flattered and touched contrasted by feeling completely unworthy.

Regular readers will know that I’ve been floundering lately as to where my business is going, what I want to do with it, whether I should even continue.  As much as I am so touched that Heidi feels the work I do is worthy of an award, I look at the other women who are and have been nominated with their success in the business arena and wonder, how can I even compare?

Like so many things in life, it’s so easy to compare myself to others.  Thankfully, I know I’m not alone in this.  I don’t think I’ve met anyone who doesn’t compare themselves.  We compare our bodies, our love lives, our career success, our happiness, our diets, our homes, our cars, our creativity level, our time management, our organizational skills, our cooking, our debt, our dreams – you name it, someone somewhere – maybe you – is comparing to someone else.

As I’ve been going through the process of this nomination and my crazy brain, I’ve been reminded of a few things:

  • no one is perfect, everyone struggles
  • no matter how successful someone appears in one area of their lives, they are concerned about another
  • there is always room to grow, no matter where you are
  • our old tapes and negative talk are our own worst enemy
  • sometimes it’s important to see ourselves through the eyes of others who see our successes whereas we tend to see our “failures”

As the awards for Women of Distinction approach, I am concentrating on remembering the good I have done, the people I have touched, the lives I know I’ve changed. No matter how I may be feeling about myself on any given day, that fact doesn’t change.  I have testimonials to remind me of people I’ve helped.  My brain tries to keep me safe by bringing up fears and doubts.  Thankfully, the truth is beyond what I feel or think when I’m feeling small.

I embrace my nomination.  I may not win, and that doesn’t matter.  Being nominated is a thrill.  Having people call me to tell me they are coming out to celebrate with me is so amazing.   Knowing that no matter what I’m feeling, others believe in me is touching and uplifting.

Please, when you feel that things aren’t going your way, that you aren’t where you should be, that you are failing more than succeeding, please do what I am working on doing:

  • look to the past and recognize how far you’ve come
  • look to those who love and support you to give you perspective
  • celebrate your path and where you are on the road – even if you can’t see too far ahead

It’s so important to celebrate all women (and men) – and yourself – and their journey, no matter how far along it we are.

If you would like to celebrate the 52 women nominated in eight categories for Women of Distinction, get your ticket for the gala on May 29,  It would be so lovely to see you there!

Have a PURRfect day!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

 

Because I’m Happy

Because I'm Happy

Because I’m Happy

Happiness.  It’s something we all strive for.  It’s something that often seems elusive.  And yet, it really isn’t rocket science.  Like anything else in our life, it’s a choice.

“Happiness is not the ideal of reason, but of imagination.” Immanuel Kant

Keeping it simple, you get to decide.  Am I happy or not?  A lot of books have been written on the subject.  Here’s an amazon search if you feel the need to dig deeper into the subject.

People talk about all the things that they would be happy if they could have/do/be.

“I’d be happy if I had a better relationship.”

“If I had the job I really want, I’d be happy.”

“Living in a different city would make me happy.”

“If my family was like that, I’d be happy.”

“More money would make me happy.”

And so it goes on and on and on.  I have news for you – life is short.   Why not be happy NOW.  Why not choose to be happy?  Why not see all the wonderful things you have rather than focusing on what you don’t?

I love Pharrell Williams theme from Despicable Me 2 – especially when you add in the minions - Because I’m Happy.

To quote the chorus – “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.  Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.  Clap along  if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.”

In the spirit of being happy, even as the weather is dreary outside my window, here’s a small list of what makes me happy.

  • My cat sleeping and purring on my lap
  • Spring
  • Getting a surprise phone call from my niece
  • Finding something I love that I thought was lost
  • My dog jumping all over with her own happiness when I come home
  • Hearing a song I love that I haven’t heard in a long time
  • Trying something new and enjoying it
  • Smiles
  • A baby’s laugh
  • Good chocolate
  • Coming across a movie I love by chance on TV
  • Getting a kiss from my partner after a long day apart (it always seems like a long time apart)
  • Making a discovery that inspires me
  • A great smell – bread, turkey, cut grass, oranges, flowers
  • Rainbows
  • First snow
  • Going on a new adventure
  • A great book
  • Theatre
  • A surprise that makes me laugh

That’s only 20 things.  I could keep going.  How about you?  It’s time for you to make your because I’m happy list.

When you get overwhelmed or feel sad, look at your list.  I have no doubt that at least one things will either be present or easy to find in the moment to make you smile.  Hold onto that feeling when times get hard or even when you’re feeling a little down for whatever reason.

Do SOMETHING that makes you happy, even if seems silly.  Happiness is worth a little effort.  It doesn’t take much.  And it’s so much more fun that wallowing!

Because I’m happy – and choose to be – clap along and have  PURRfect day!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

Did Curiosity Kill the Cat?

Bad Kitties are Curious

Bad Kitties are Curious

We’ve all heard the expression – Curiosity Killed the Cat.  My question is, DID curiosity kill the cat?

We take so many things at face value without really looking more closely at them.  Expressions.  Standards to live by.  How we do our jobs.  Without even knowing it, many of us live by that expression.  We aren’t curious.  We don’t ask questions.  We don’t look for the “why” the “how” of what is around us.

My good friend Barbilee and I have been doing a book study of The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell together since the start of the year.  This week’s chapter was on curiosity.  The book discusses how important it is to be curious in order to grow, to reach our potential, and, simply, to enjoy our lives to the fullest.

In the chapter, there is an anecdote of a little girl who keeps peppering her mother with questions.  Whether you have kids or not, I’m sure you’ve experienced the curious 3 year old who makes you crazy – and maybe feel a little stupid – with all their questions.  Finally the mom says “Stop asking so many question.  Curiosity killed the cat?”  After a moment the little girl asks, “So what did the cat want to know?”

As I was reading the chapter I wondered, was I ever that curious?  In my memory I’ve never been much of a question-asker.  I spent my whole time in school afraid to ask questions.  I would sit stuck on something until, thankfully, someone else got stuck and asked the question I needed the answer to.  I never seemed to have any questions in job interviews – other than the all important pay.

Thanks to my conversation with Barbilee, I realized that there’s more to curiosity than questions.  Certainly questions are important.  How can I make this better.  How does this work.  Why is this not working and how can I make it better?  However, even without necessarily asking those questions, I do seek answers.

Where am I curious?

  • I love to try new things.  I’m usually one of the first to jump in when there’s a chance to do something new.
  • I look for solutions to problems whether they be personal, professional or emotional.
  • I love to learn about people.  I admit I’m often at a loss for what questions to ask, however when I’m really present with someone I see beyond their words and learn a lot.
  • I like to grow.  One of my fears is being stagnant.  I want to keep expanding and discovering.
  • I have an inherent need to learn.  If I’m not learning something concrete – even if it makes me uncomfortable at the start – I feel a lack of purpose.

After having this conversation and thinking more about curiosity, I realize that it’s not curiosity that kills the cat – or The Bad Kitty – it’s lack of curiosity.  Did curiosity kill the cat?  Certainly not! Lack of curiosity kills.  If you’re not growing, you’re dyeing.  It’s a fact of life.

In what ways are you curious in your life?  How can you develop your curiosity?

My intentions are:

  • take a class in something that interests me that I don’t have an obvious aptitude for.  I tend to shy away from things that I don’t think I’ll be good at.  And I’ve been surprised many times in my life by hidden attributes.  I’m thinking, perhaps, martial arts.
  • ask more questions.  Observe people who are great askers and learn from them.  Ask questions – even if I’m afraid it might make me look stupid.

I hope you will be a curious Kitty with me.

Have a PURRfect day!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com