Monthly Archives: February 2012

Where Is Your Agency?

27 February 2012, by A. Cedilla

Quick, what comes to mind when you hear the word “agency”?

Alphabet soup? FBI, CIA, MI-6, NSA, NCIS…the cloak-and-dagger definition is a no-brainer, what with all the spy films out there, but looking up the word itself can give you two definitions:

  • One defines an agency as an organization responsible for and serving a specific function. For example, the Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — also know as the ATF — deals with “the unlawful use, manufacture, and possession of firearms and explosives; acts of arson and bombings; and illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products.” You may have heard of it being referenced a lot on CSI: Miami. The IRS is also an agency, and you know what it handles, right?
  • The other definition of agency puts it as ‘having the faculty to move in and influence the world.”

It’s the second definition that we’re talking about here. Continue reading Where Is Your Agency?

How To Gain Strength From Actively Studying Your Mistakes

21 February 2012, by A. Cedilla

It’s quite hard to get out of the mindset that mistakes are bad, bad things, isn’t it?

Making mistakes seems to be a sign of being less — that you aren’t as smart as you should be, or could’ve been, that you just weren’t good enough. That if you had just tried harder, thought a little bit faster, predicted the future a bit more accurately, this would all have been avoided. The carrot of supposedly attainable perfection is held permanently beyond your reach, and you snipe yourself into a sad mess because you just–couldn’t–reach–it.

Seeing that our educational system trains us to follow the rules as part of the socialization process, it’s almost unthinkable to flout the unspoken one that mistakes “are something to be avoided,” — but then, we often learn more from the mistakes we’ve made than many of our successes. If you live a life geared towards avoiding mistakes, how much will you actually learn? For that matter, how much will you actually live?
Continue reading How To Gain Strength From Actively Studying Your Mistakes

How Much Are You Part of The Problem?

13 February 2012, by A. Cedilla

Here’s what I want to you to come away with:

  • Examine the chronic issues in your life and look at the part you play in them, as well as how your way of dealing (denial, stone-walling, abdication, no-response etc.) affects you.
  • Examine how long you are willing to deal with the effects of your actions. How far will you tolerate the strain?
  • Make the decision to change things, or let them stay the same.
  • Recognize the ways to protect yourself and recognize how far your powers go.

How much do you figure you factor into some of the problems that you are facing?
Think about it. Look at your life right now. I’m willing to hazard a guess that while you may be enjoying a stable environment –and good for you!– you still have some issues hiding behind closed doors, ones that often keep you up at night. And as with childhood monsters in the closet, you have to turn the lights on to confront these issues, even if today some of the situations they lead to may be ones of your own making.

Part of what we’re talking about now are boundaries – knowing which issues are yours, and which ones aren’t. We also need to include recognizing our limits.

  • Now you may think “boundaries” and “limits” are the same thing, but for the sake of clarity, let’s spell it out. In this context, boundaries protect you, and limits show you where your influence ends.
  • It’s important to have both of these things; Without one, you let people run over you, and without the other you can run yourself into the ground.

Then we need to throw in responsibility. How much accountability do you assume for your actions, or the results of your non-action that rebound on you? Continue reading How Much Are You Part of The Problem?

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Your Hands Dirty This Year

07 February 2012, by A. Cedilla

How do you get your hands dirty?
Setting illegal activities aside, manual labor is usually the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to dirty hands, right?

Just ask Mike Rowe. Mucking out stalls, taking out the trash, scraping crud off things…getting dirty means getting sweaty, and implies getting smelly as well. The good kind of getting dirty means you’re working at something so hard, and in such an involved way, you can’t help but get it all over you, you’re so into it.

What happens when you get your hands dirty?
You will have the undeniable proof of your labor showing on your body, or smeared on your skin, and aching in your muscles. The dust and grit from the work, plus the sweat that came from doing it and the fine muscle-trembling that comes from lactic acid making itself felt. Getting your hands dirty is a whole-body experience, come to think of it. The experience of getting dirty is intimately tied into full-body involvement.

Think of the ‘war-wounds’ you’ve sported in the past over projects you just threw yourself into, even if it was just battling clutter. Even if it was just spring-cleaning. The dings and scratches. The odd bumps and bruising. Barking your knuckles on rough surfaces. Owies and boo-boos. Dust in your eyes, and grit in tender places. And even if the work doesn’t involve the icky stuff, or is more of mental heavy-lifting, if it leaves you all wrung out, it still qualifies.

The aftermath of getting fully involved is also something everyone experiences, whether they’re children conking out after riotous, romping play, or adults after putting in a full day at the job. They end up tired after staying up late having fun –or finishing the project. After a day well-spent, you crash after the clean-up, satisfied that at least for now, you made the best use of your time.

Why avoid getting your hands dirty?
Because it’s icky, that’s why! Continue reading Don’t Be Afraid To Get Your Hands Dirty This Year