Ditch The Tarzan Persona

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There is a social stigma that comes with allowing ourselves to ask for help once we are grown up. When we were kids, we asked for help all the time. Help me tie my shoe, I can’t find my backpack, can you explain this math problem? But somewhere in between paying for rent, landing a job, having a kid and buying a car we forget we can ask for help if we need it. We somehow believe we are less than if we don’t know what the hell we are doing. And this needs to change if we are going to be great at doing adult.

We are adults, and yet we think that somehow being an adult means we know exactly what we are doing all of the time and have the solution to every problem we encounter. The truth is, we are new to adulthood – we are experiencing a new adult day everyday. Why would we know what to do today, if we’ve never been to today before?

Sure we learn on the way and we discover what works and what doesn’t work, and at some point I guess the “there are no excuses because you’re an adult” line should figuratively work- BUT it doesn’t. What if we stumble and feel lost? Shouldn’t there be room for improving our lives with someone else? Again, I am going to blame Disney for creating this messed up way of looking at life. They put a strong tan boy in the jungle without parents who became a freaken animal loving survival genius, and we assume we can do the same? Thank you Disney for screwing us up once again. I mean, must we always imagine we live like Tarzan, alone in the jungle? We are not Tarzan!

What if we can’t figure out how to make a living? What if we get lost in our marriage and can’t figure out how to husband or wife? What if we suck at dating? What if our parenting skills stink and we realize our kids are out of control because we are stumbling in the dark?  Again- WE ARE NOT TARZAN!

What if we just asked someone who might be getting it right, or who might know a bit more or who might be a compassionate ear that will listen and somehow make us feel less alone with some added perspective we could really use to improve? What if?

In my opinion the number one reason adults don’t ask for help falls into one word- SHAME.

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I mean, does he look like he’s having fun?

Somehow in the adult syndrome, we morph into fear that has us believing to ask for help means we must admit we are failures, so we avoid it at ALL costs. We are ashamed of our inadequacies and we believe that allowing someone else into our world, will only have them pointing out our shameful incompetency more. This makes spilling feel impossible.

Here’s a little secret I’m going to let every adult in on. I know this secret, because A) I’m a woman, and I know everything and B) I actually speak to so many people on an everyday basis, that while I have not built charts or spent my time as a professional researcher, I am going to take a leap and self proclaim myself an expert because – again, I’m a woman –

Here’s the secret-

EVERY ADULT FEELS INADEQUATE at one point in time or another.

 

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Everyone except for him- I mean look at that putz- relax he’s a cartoon

Asking someone to help us through a tough time is not failing. The only failure is in staying put in our own head that does not allow us to take that leap we might need to step out of our own shit.

My dad used to say, “If you stand in your own shit, you’re gonna get smelly.”

The only way to step out of our own selves is to allow someone else’s perspective in. The clue in asking for help is in the search. For one cannot ask anyone for help. When I am in a shit storm, I don’t turn to the first person who walks into Starbucks to unload. I have what I call my “Team”. They are usually a phone call or text away. (ya you know who you are).

They are the ones that know my imperfections and actually love me because of them. They are just as imperfect as I am, which is probably why I feel so safe with them. (This does not apply to paid experts I have used in the past-  they are perfect- which is why I have to pay them to listen to my crap.)  But the friends and family I call when I need a lift  are improvising adulthood just as I am and they know that if at anytime they stumble, I am there to catch them as well with absolutely no judgment. Finding my team has taken a few years, and I need a team, because I have a lot of different issues I work through. I don’t use the entire team for every issue. Obviously- I mean does Google bring their HR problems to their production team? NO. They have divisions that handle each unique set of topics.

The truth is, we don’t live on an island and we cannot navigate life alone. I mean we can, but it is usually not very effective. When we reach out for help, when we let someone know we need a shoulder to cry on, we can use their advice or perspective, and we can allow our journey to be shared with someone else making our experiences in life far richer and less isolating. When you are on a dark road with only one light, it helps if there is a second person carrying another lamp to widen the view.

Shame is the weapon we use to protect our shallow selves. It does not insulate us from harm, it ignites it. Shame does not defend us from growth, it prevents it. It is the fortress that keeps us from living a full life.

Thelma & Louise exercise for the day: Ask someone you trust for help. Leave the fortress and take a leap. Ditch the Tarzan persona and get a spray tan instead.

Now Get Real Or Go Home!

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Get Lost

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This was me before I got lost. Notice how clueless I look.

The only way to expel fear is to recognize you are not alone.

A few years ago I spent a day in France. I was excited to tour this beautiful romantic city, even if for just a few hours. My friend, Rochel and I landed super early and planned more than we could fit in, but because we are super human- we managed to see pretty much everything important in just 8 short hours.

In between hitting the Eiffel Tower, sipping an espresso in a cafe (of course one must get to France and experience that) downing a baguette, and hitting up the Jewish quarter in the 3rd and 4th arrondissement we ended up splitting up for what was supposed to be a short period of time. Within several minutes, every building and street began to look exactly the same to me, and I got lost.

This has happened to me before. I tend to pay attention to detail, which causes my imagination to wander, which eventually causes me to lose direction. Like the time I was 14 and had wandered off in Fresno while I was on a student getaway weekend and ended up walking the streets of Northern California until five in the morning.  Why they never set up a search party for me, still pisses me off. I guess the teacher in charge figured he’d have one less annoying mean-ager to make a warm soggy tuna sandwich for on the bus ride home.

It happens.

Okay it only happens to me.

But the time I got lost in France was different then getting lost in Fresno.  I was in a different country and unable to understand the language. AND MY PHONE DIED. (not that I had a phone in Fresno either, it was shabbat and also they didn’t have phones back then.)

Here’s what happens when you literally get lost.

You Panic. (check)

You Fear being Kidnapped. (check)

You wonder what it will be like to be trapped forever and what new name people will start calling you.  (Oh is that only me?)

Then You pray.

It was in that moment in prayer, while I wandered the streets of France, knowing my flight was to take off in 2 hours, and that I might miss it, and that my friend was probably panicking, that I realized no matter how alone I felt in that moment, I was actually not alone at all.  I had a guide and all I needed to do was ask him- “God, what direction should I head towards?”

So I was all, “Hey God, I could use a compass, right about now.” So God sent me into this adorable cafe where they spoke enough broken english and understood enough sign language to allow me to charge my phone and BAM- I was back on track.  I stayed with it and found my solution, but solutions don’t come in panic mode. Solutions don’t happen during fearsome episodes. Solutions only come once we surrender. I had to surrender if I was going to catch my flight, find my friend, and not end up as a sex slave. Hello “Taken” thank you for ruining trips to Europe for me forever.

Fear happens when we are not looking, but is conquered when we finally see.

That day it became clear to me that no matter where I go, I am not alone.  I have a Higher Power calling the shots. And I realized that Facebook is great for finding French Jews named Eli who got my friend, Rochel and I to the plane on time. Thank God for him, cause I clearly couldn’t find my way to a train if I was staring right at it.

Now you see why I need a tour guide wherever I go. I wonder if God has an app for that.

 

 

 

A lesson from a Scholar (Not Yoda)

A few years ago, I was privileged to produce a wonderful series called “The Search” where I explored the meaning of life with different celebrities, actors, big thinkers and even fellow filmmakers. One day my executive producer called and said he booked me an interview to learn about the meaning of life from one of North America’s most respected and popular poet-philosophers, Noah benShea. Noah is also known for being a scholar, theologian, long range thinker, executive advisor, speaker, and International Best-Selling author. 

Obviously I was about to get a lesson only few are privileged to experience on the meaning of life. It was by far my most memorable experience.

 

 

Once again, to give my readers an impactful experience on the wisdom of living courageously and on battling fear, we are privileged to have Noah benShea contribute to “Thelma & Louise.” If anyone knows a thing or two about kicking fear in the face, it’s definitely Noah!

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T&L: With the ever growing fear based society we live in, i.e., Terrorism, mass shootings, Isis etc..what is one practical thing we can do to combat fear based living and that will transform our society to an inspired one?

Noah benShea:  “PUT YOUR FAITH AND NOT YOUR FEARS IN CHARGE”

 

“Imagine,” said Jacob, “that your life is a wagon, and everything you know about yourself and everything that is yours, is in this wagon.

“Now to pull this wagon, you have been given a team of 10 horses.

“But because all of us have much more fear than faith, let us say that 9 of these horses are horses of fear and only one of them is a horse of faith.

“If you put any of the horses of fear at the front of your wagon, they will give you all the excuses you ever give yourself, or others have ever given you, for why you can’t do something. And the wagon isn’t going anywhere.

“But if you put the one horse of faith at the front of the team, the horses of fear will follow.

“Your fears will be a source of strength to your faith if you put your faith and not your fears in charge.” (Noah benShea, JACOB’S CHILDREN)  

T&L: Do you think fear is learned?

Noah benShea: Fear serves us in many ways. But what serves us can also enslave us. We do not have to learn to be afraid. Neither do we have to learn to be courageous. What we have to learn is when to put one rather than the other at our service. And to do this, learn this: Courage is not the absence of fear but how we struggle with our fears.

T&L: There are so many courageous people that surprise us. Here on Thelma & Louise, we often highlight their heroic approach to life. What is one thing you think makes someone courageous?

Noah benShea:   “WAGE FAITH”

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

“If you are anxious, you are living in the future.

“Do not wage war in the now to achieve outcomes out of your control.

“Instead, wage faith.

“And if you say, ‘yes but this takes courage,’ the answer is you are right.

“Now go and do the work.”  (Noah benShea, JACOB’S CHILDREN)  

 

T&L: How do you think fear is manifested? How is courage manifested?

Noah benShea: Almost every act in life is a transactional agreement, a quid pro quo, I give you this; you give me that. Fear is an insecurity based currency. Courage is a faith based currency. It all depends on what you are shopping for in your life, and what you have to pay for it.”

T&L: Who is the most courageous person you have come across, why?

Noah benShea: The most courageous person in my life…were two people – my mother and father. Against all odds and circumstances they were born into… they triumphed.  But in this way. Instead of a life of complaint and anger, they chose to give love, offer hope, and promise better for their children. They chose to be courageous and seed courage in their children. They chose to be loving and nurture loving. They put their faith in an ethical life and raised their three sons in a land where kindness was king.

True words to live by. Now go and Kick the Ass outta fear. We pass the throne over to you, the readers.

– Thank you Yoda…I mean Noah.

Happy Weekend to all!

 

*Noah also uses his insight to help many people on a spiritual journey and aid in their recovery to addiction. To learn more about his work head over to Heroes in Recovery– A place where incredible people are facing their fears and overcoming adversity every day.