10 Ways to Practice Positive Rebellion
By Lisa Marie Selow
Hay House, Inc. Author of A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide
When you think of rebellion, do images of leather jackets, motorcycles, illegal drugs, or even violence come to mind? Maybe you think of rebel without a cause, someone who is on the path of self-destruction?
What if rebellion could be a positive thing? What if you used it in personal development to write your own rules for living? These are the ideas I explore in my book, A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide (published by Hay House, Inc., November 26, 2012). The book is a self-help book for brave, misfit women (or for those who aspire to be).
My book facilitates readers in writing their own guide, since no book or person can really tell you how to live your life. Part of this journey is clearing away the limiting beliefs women tend to inherit. I playfully describe this process as, “shifting the shit.” I provide tools and exercises developed from working with clients (mostly female) in my life coaching practice. These ignite readers to get off the couch and take action to create her heart’s desires. By creating a happier, more peaceful life, you are in a better place to help others and the planet as a rebel with a cause.
The following are some methods to practice positive rebellion in your own life:
1. Reject the mass media’s version of reality. The popular media often brings messages of materialism, violence, competition, greed, chaos, and doom. Rebel against this very, one-sided, limited view of the world. Don’t buy into it! Instead, focus on what is right in your own life. Trust me, so much of your life is good. If you’re reading this, chances are, you at least have computer access. I’ll bet that you also have a roof over your head, clothing, food, clean
water, and at least one person who loves you.
2. Be happy now. Don’t delay your happiness until you have the right body, job, romantic partner, house, or car. If you base your happiness on external conditions, it’s a sure way to disempower yourself. Material things wear out and conditions and people are changing. True, lasting, happiness comes from within. Happiness is a choice. Choosing happiness is the ultimate form of positive rebellion. You can choose to be happy, even if those around you are angry, depressed, negative, or whiny. Be so happy that even outer conditions such as a struggling economy or job market can’t affect your happiness.
3. Let go of your childhood pain. Don’t hold onto old hurts. Liberate yourself by forgiving your parents and caretakers. Rebel against your own resentment, anger, sadness, or frustration. Forgiveness does not mean that you condone others’ unloving behaviors. It’s releasing the negative associations in your mind and heart, so that you can feel lighter and more peaceful. You don’t even have to directly forgive the person. Just let go in your mind. It’s a process, so you forgiveness may not happen overnight.
4. Stop trying so hard to please everyone. Women especially are socialized to take care of everyone else’s needs. I describe my own journey of letting of my inner good girl and June Cleaver. It’s important to set some boundaries with love. In my book, I have readers make a list of their personal and professional needs, along with making an action plan to get these needs met. Something seemingly simple as asserting the need to have 10-15 minutes of quiet time can cause some people to have anxiety. Taking care of yourself is not selfish, but it may take some time for loved ones to adapt. Be rebellious and do it anyway, before stress affects your physical body. It’s okay to say, “I’d love to help you, but not at this time.”
5. Shift your “crap-itude.” Crap-itude is a term I use in my book to describe having a crappy attitude. Having a positive mental attitude and happiness are closely related. If you focus on what is wrong in your own life and in the world, happiness will elude you. Rebel against your inner crap. Some days, you may even have to fake it until you make it. Reject the negativity of the past in your mind, ditch your inner critics, and stop worrying about the future.
6. Be seen and be heard. Sometimes women (and men) grew up with someone giving them the limiting belief that they should “be seen and not heard.” At times, well-meaning authority figures try to quiet or even silence children. Yet, the world needs you to speak up and express yourself. There are causes of all sizes and varieties that need your help. If you don’t express yourself, others miss out on your creativity, brilliance, and wisdom. Rebel against the tendency to silence your inner truth. (Of course, share it with love and respect.)
7. Don’t do-it-yourself. In my book, I have a saying, “DIY is a lie.” Sure, you can do some things on your own. You can record your band’s demo in your basement, remodel your kitchen, or knit baby clothes on your own. Sometimes though, you need help. Maybe you nee to get some support for a health condition or addiction? Maybe you are trying to write a book, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps, you feel clueless about what to do when you grow up? It’s time to get some help! Hire a professional such as a life coach, counselor, or physician. Talk to a mentor. Check out your community’s resources. Also, find your tribe, whether it’s online or in-person groups. Successful people have teams. They cooperate, not compete. Reject the traditional rebel stereotype of being a loner and a rebel.
8. Live your purpose right now. Instead of wondering what your life purpose is or having angst about not living it, take charge! Think of your top three favorite activities or hobbies. Look for clues about your life purpose. Sometimes, your life purpose varies from your job. You don’t have to necessarily be paid doing something for it to count as your life purpose. Maybe you rock out on a drum kit on nights and weekends, but your day job is cleaning houses? You might be a professional, such as a dentist, who teaches yoga on the side. You don’t have to wait until your day job and life purpose are perfectly aligned. (Of course, don’t quit your day job. Please, make sure you can pay your bills.) Again, be a positive rebel by not delaying your happiness until you create some outer condition in your life.
9. Drop out of the School of Hard Knocks. In my book, I write about the path of the modern mystic. The modern mystic learns his or her lessons through daily life. Often, relationships are the most influential teachers. You quickly learn about your wounds or buttons, with conflicts causing you to grow. If that weren’t enough, there are some advanced classes such as Divorce 101, Bankruptcy 101, Cancer 201, or Unemployment 401. Through it all, you learn about how to be more compassionate, even if it’s just towards yourself. The form of your lessons might seem to vary from what others experience. Chances are though, others have had similar experiences. Maybe your suffering is not that unique? Even though it is hard work, you can choose to end your pain and sorrow. Again, rebel by choosing to be happy, instead.
10. Have a spiritual practice. Whether it’s the religion of your childhood or a path of your own choosing, find a way to connect with your version of god. Some call “god” different names such as the universe, source, Buddha, or the divine. Don’t get caught up in the labels. Discover what feels good to you. Maybe you meditate, do yoga, pray, chant, walk on fire, talk to angels, or go to church. The important thing is to live what you practice. Your spiritual life is not a separate part of your life. Go outside your four walls and practice those things that religions and spiritual paths teach such as love and compassion. Give those to yourself and others. Increasing your own inner peace and happiness helps you to uplift others. Instead of seeing the world as a hostile, unfriendly place, try viewing it as a place that just needs healing and love. (I risk sounding like a 1960s hippie with that prior sentence, but my inner positive rebel just doesn’t care.)
The previous ideas are to get you started. Create your own practices of positive rebellion. Observe if your life improves over time. Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!
Lisa Marie Selow has a life mission of liberating as many people as possible. She is a rocker chick, life coach, motivational speaker, modern mystic, and women’s empowerment expert. Her specialty is helping you to get out of your comfort zone and gain courage to live your best life possible. She is the Hay House author of the book, A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide, a self-help book for brave, misfit women (or those who desire to be), which helps the reader write her own guide for living life on her terms. Lisa has been involved in the healing arts since 1998 in various roles such as massage therapist, energy worker, intuitive consultant, and most recently, as a life coach. She has studied both formally and informally with many top spiritual and personal development teachers for more than 20 years. Lisa lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband, JT and a few, electric guitars and some very friendly, outdoor squirrels. You can find out more about her at her website:
Used with permission (c) 2012 Lisa Marie Selow.
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