Don't kid yourself. It doesn't matter who you vote for.
If you don't vote for yourself...nothing in your life is going to change. As inspiring as Barack Obama is, he can't make you happy. It doesn't matter what a blogger, author, or even Oprah herself tells you. Not one of them can change your life. Only you have that power. Why? Only you are the world's leading expert in you. No one else knows what makes you thrive or shrivel. Only you have the power to vote (decide and act) to do more of what works.
This isn't a theory. I have the honor to witness this in my coaching programs on a very regular basis. Loren Faye "voted" for herself. She made the choice to leave her corporate job and start her own PR company. In under a year she had doubled her income, and had more time to take care of her health. Loren went from couch potato to marathon runner.
Did You Vote?
Last week's post was an invitation to take a mini vote for yourself. Taking a few minutes to listen to your body may have given you a taste of the power you have to unplug from work, make a positive decision and then take an action. It turns out that Arianna Huffington and I aren't the only ones working ourselves into a delirium. Television producers, entrepreneurs and care givers commented about the toll work took on them. Grammy winner and creative dynamo, Allee Willis (The Color Purple, Friends, and Boogie Wonderland) emailed me to tell me that she had worked herself into a bout of vertigo. Her new anthem, Editing Is Cool, was written about that experience. Hopefully, you can take 15 minutes to check yourself before you wreck yourself. (Take time to HALT and listen to the language of your body to see if you were Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.) If you didn't do it last week, do it now!
You Are the Mayor of You
The moment you decide to take dominion over what happens to you internally (regardless of the gunk and funk that can go on during a day) you step into your rightful place as the Mayor of You-ville. The instant you take office you step up to the podium of your self-esteem and personal power. Hey, when I say personal power I'm not talking about strutting through your life like a bad reality TV show diva. I'm talking about simply claiming the capacity that is already yours.
Think about what it means to be the Mayor of You-ville. You are able to speak up and set clear, healthy boundaries. (Even at work. Even with your kids. Even with your in-laws.) You are able to keep your cool with that creep from accounting. You are able to ask for what you want because what the heck, you're the mayor. Take a moment and drink it in. Connect with what being in charge of you feels like inside your skin. Most people feel a sense of expansiveness or serenity. What about you?
Let's face it. You are and have always been the Mayor of You-ville anyway. You just may have abdicated--like the rest of us. The moment you take office as The Boss, things can begin to change. The moment you stop pretending that someone else has snatched the remote control of your life, that's the moment your life transforms. How? You start choosing your attitudes and your actions.
You've Already Been Elected...Why Not Take Office?
Even when you love someone more than life itself you can't breathe their air or digest their food. We aren't wired that way. No one but you can digest the tuna melt sandwich you had for lunch. So too, no one but you can choose your attitude. The moment you grok that it's you, only you, who can grant yourself authentic power, that's when you wake up. You stop being an innocent bystander in your own life and start becoming the co-creator of your days.
Thumbs Up from the Science Club
Researchers from all over the world have the data to back up your being the Mayor of You. Study after study shows that one of the biggest causes of stress and depression is feeling out of control. People get stressed when they look at a difficult situation and tell themselves it is outside their influence. That feeling of powerlessness directly impacts your body. Scientists at the University of Kentucky discovered that stress may even make the brain age more quickly. And who needs that? Mounds of research shows that the stress of believing you don't have control leads to a lowered immune system, sleep disorders, and higher blood pressure. When you claim your rightful position as Mayor of your own town, you take back your life. That's a giant stress buster.
How to Vote For Yourself
1. Center Yourself.
Take in a deep breath. Let it out. Now, breathe in the good. Exhale the lousy. Do this three times as you begin to feel more centered.
2. Ask for the Greatest Good.
As Mayor, take a moment and claim your office. Good leaders aren't selfish or short-sighted. They know that You-ville, Me-ville, and Us-ville are interconnected. Each time you make a choice as Mayor, invite yourself to a look for what is for the highest good of all concerned.
3. Set Your Intention...and Vote!
Set your intention to empower yourself. What would it feel like to be in charge of your life? What is something you can do in 15 minutes just for you?
Take a nap? Take a walk? Give a friend a call? Wouldn't your world be a better place? You bet!