Assassination Tango credits with Geraldine Rojas and Pablo Veron

This is a great dance. It takes place during the credits of “Assassination Tango” with Robert Duvall. This scene is with Geraldine Rojas and Pablo Veron. I saw this film pretty early on in my Tango education. I recommend it. It has some great Milonga scenes. Seeing Paublo Veron doing the secadas behind him reminds me of when I first started attempting them. I nailed my partner in the shin with my hard heel of my shoe. As a tip, I would recommend trying these in socks first. The one step where he reaches in with his left foot and flicks her leg around him was one I must have watched a hundred time until I figured out how to do it. It’s tricky when all you can see is someone’s feet.

Houses falling into the ocean in Ocean Isle, NC

Condemned house in Ocean Isle, NC.
Condemned house in Ocean Isle, NC.

I went down to the beach Father’s Day weekend to visit….. you guessed it my father (and mother as well of course :) ). While I was down there we drove around to see some sites and they showed me where the houses in Ocean Isle, NC are getting claimed by the ocean. There were a lot for sale so if you want a great deal on a house….hehe. Anyway, what’s interesting is that while the ocean is taking the sand from one part of the island it’s depositing more sand to another part of the island. This is a cool concept…buy some land and every year…you get more for free! This picture was taken during very low tide. So low that you could see the oyster shells in the canals(I guess that’s what they’re called???). This was a pretty good message than you can’t really mess with Mother Nature.

It was a great trip though. I got to hang out with my family, but tried to stay in as much as possible. It was HOT!!!

NC Budget Cuts for Community Support

I’m not someone that talks a lot of politics so don’t worry that this blog will do that. This post will be short because I just wanted to list a few resources. After people have contacted there representatives, the budget cuts don’t look as bad as they first were. For example they aren’t going to totally cut Community Support by the end of this month as first mentioned. They will begin phasing it out the first year to completely phase it out the second year. This can be found here on item 122 on page 63. An item two lines down caught my eye as well. Cutting level III and IV funds is significant as well.

Earlier today I watched a video that is located on the lower left hand side of http://www.ncleg.net/. This video is interesting because it’s a public hearing that takes place with many representatives on stage and there are people in the audience that speak for 2 minutes each. They also have ten satellite community college campuses that have speakers. You get a pretty good cross section of people speaking about the proposed cuts. Many teachers speak at this and there are some big cuts for teachers as well. The first part of the video is interesting as well because it shows where them money comes in and where it is spent in simple pie chart views.

I was just looking through the site and found the Senate Bill 202, 6th Edition Engrossed, as passed by North Carolina House of Representatives June 13, 2009 (39 amendments engrossed). Not being an expert in politics (by a long shot) I’ll assume this is the most recent edition.

Hope this helps give some more information from my previous post on Community Support. Thanks!

Self Esteem Lesson

In the mental health field over the years I see and hear a lot of people’s concerns about self esteem. Of course my self esteem wasn’t always the greatest either. While speaking to some folks today about anger management, the topic of self esteem arose. This little lesson popped up in my mind that I’ll share.

Don’t accept second class behavior

Probably around 2004 I heard Eben Pagan say something like, “Don’t accept second class behavior from yourself or anyone else.” This is not an exact quote but close. This quote hit me like a ton of bricks or equally dense material. I had been too much of a “people pleaser” and it was not only was it not helping me, it was hurting me. Don’t get me wrong I truly enjoy helping other but people pleasing can be damaging. After thinking about this quote I realized that it was hurting my self esteem and allowing people to prey on my desire to help people.

Examples of second class behavior

There are many times when we may be a little nicer than we need to be and people take advantage of this. Sometimes they may not do it maliciously but just out of habit. People canceling on plans and not informing you, being late all the time to appointments, not calling when they say, etc… are all examples of second class behavior. The example that comes to mind for me was on a Friday night I was supposed to go out with this girl and she was going to call around 9 and we’d go out. Well 9pm comes and goes. I call and get no answer. Turns out that she didn’t call that night and since I didn’t really find out to late, it limited my plans that night. I live in a small town where they pretty much roll up the sidewalks at 9-10pm.

How should you react to this behavior?

So I thought about what happened that night and how I should handle it. Should I get angry and start arguing or yelling? What would that accomplish? Say I was right, how would that make her feel? Dale Carnegie discusses how no one wins an argument in “How to win friends and influence people.” Should I call and leave mean messages on her voicemail? Again, what would that accomplish? Should I cut contact until she calls me? Well in this case, she called the next day. I would imagine in this case that the person thinks A) I’ll pretend this didn’t happen and he’ll just accept it the way other people do or B) He’ll be mad and he’ll just have to get over it (I’m sure there were many others too…but for simplicity sake J ).

Use the quote

What I did was use the quote from Eben. I stated, “Look, I don’t accept second class behavior from myself or anyone else. I would rather never talk to you again than to accept this type of behavior.” Knowing me, I was probably wordier, but hopefully you get the idea. This worked well for a few reasons I believe.  It shows a firm stance on your rules for yourself and others. It is very difficult to argue because you state that you don’t accept these rules from yourself either. How do you argue this? They can’t argue what you accept. You do or you do not. I threw the second sentence in there from my study of sales. It is a strong negotiation tactic to be able to walk away from the deal. This reminds me of another Eben phrase, “there is no downside.” In this case for me there was no downside. If that was an indication of how I would be treated, then it was not worth my time and effort.

What will the other person say or do?

Some people may be worried about how the other person will react to this. I was lucky in this case because I was at the point where it didn’t matter. If they wanted to treat me in a first class way then that was cool, if not then, “bye!”  Instead of worrying about how they may react, write down some possible reactions. What is the worst that could happen? We already discussed that this would be a hard thing to argue because it’s what you accept from yourself and others. If you’ve accepted a lot of second class behavior in the past and have decided to change, let people know it. If it’s long time friend or family member try this. “I’ve decided to make some changes in my life and I will no longer accept second class behavior from myself or others.” The thing is with this that you MUST live your side of the statement as well. If you say you’ll call someone at 1:30pm then their phone needs to be ringing at 1:30pm (preferably with you on the other end).

Role Play

Don’t worry; you don’t have to dress up like a police officer or a French maid for this part. In mental health I’ve learned how well role playing can help practice a skill before you have to use it in “the real world.” If you are worried about how this may play out on a conversation with a friend, coworker, associate, or member of the opposite sex, meet with someone you feel comfortable around and try it out. If you have fears write them down ahead of time. This can be what you consider to be the worse case scenario. You get you’re friend to be you and give them a script of what you’ll say. You bring up you’re worse case scenario if you feel like it. You could try your side out as well.

Ready for prime time

When you say this a few times you’ll feel more comfortable with it and realize that it is firm and direct but not mean. It just sets up the frame of which you operate. Another example to think of is this. If you have kids (or have seen kids or were a kid) you have noticed that there may be one parent that gives in a little more than the other. This will be the one that the kids ask first for candy or money. Well the one parent set up that frame that they don’t take much off the kids and that they are the authority in the house. Some homes it’s the mother some it’s the father, but it was set up pretty early on usually. I encourage you to try this and notice that it sets up the frame of what you accept and what you don’t. It should help boost you’re self esteem and get you treated with respect. Best of luck to you!

NINJA Tour reminds me of positive thinking

Last night (6/12/09) I went to the NINJA tour with some friends. For those that aren’t familiar with that, it’s Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction. It was a great show! Oddly enough, it was my first time seeing NIN. It seems “Head like a hole” was one of the first songs I heard by them back in school. I was in a band in college (back when my hair was down to my waist) that played the song “Wish” by NIN.

So what in the world does this have to do with personal development? Well, that’s a good question. Since it is music I started listening to a long time ago, it made me ponder some things from a long time ago. It also helped me realize how far I’ve come. It seems I focused more on negative thoughts and views back then. It wasn’t on purpose, just a combination of young angst, depression, etc… Of course even today I’ll get hit by a long series of events (which is a sign of growth, single events used to bring me down for days) that will bring me down. However, I can get out of that state much quicker with coping skills learned over the years. It seems that everyone has negative thoughts and that is normal but identifying and changing your negative beliefs can help reduce the number of negative thoughts as well as viewing the world as a place of scarcity.

An example of one of these beliefs is thinking of business people as people that are using poor people to make them money and not thinking about them. Am I saying that all business people are ethical humanitarians? No, of course not, BUT not all of them are like that by a long shot. This theme is heard in lyrics, seen on television, and on movies. The big bad business man…out to rule the world. Well after I graduate college, I became very interested in business and started reading and listening to information on business and business owners. As an art major through college, I noticed that there were many artists that remained very poor their entire lives but there were a few that made a good living, such as Monet (which oddly enough sounds like saying money with a French accent). So I started reading articles on Monet to see what made him different than say, Van Gogh.

If you’ve studied Internet Marketing, you’ve heard about launches. Jeff Walker is known for Product Launch Formula and Monet did something very similar (minus the use of the internet of course). He would get let a lot of wealthy art buyers know that he was working on a series of paintings and would have an event at his house where he showed the work and sold it. He already had a name for himself then though.

Well, back to what I was talking about. I studied business owners and found out interesting things. A lot of libraries in this country were built with help of Andrew Carnegie. A more recent fact is that the computers in the library in my own small town were donated by Bill Gates. The more I read, the more I learned about good things business people did for the world.

Many people would state that this is only looking at one side of the coin. Before people leave me negative comments, I realize that a lot of pollution, etc… has come from business as well. So what’s the difference? One is looking at the positive side of things, and the other is viewing the negatives. Buddha said, “What we think, we become.” Think about that, if you only think about negative things certain businesses are doing, then that’s what’s on your mind. It also brings up an exercise I’ve heard and since used as an example. Look around in the room your in right now. Look for all the red things in the room (if you don’t see anything red then look for all the blue things in the room). Here’s where the example doesn’t work in print. The next step you close your eyes (see what I mean…how do you read the next sentence…or this one for that matterJ). Name 3 green items in the room. It’s an example to show that you find what you’re looking for. Another example I use is “Where’s Waldo.” Do you find the guy that’s in the plain blue shirt in another part of the drawing? No you find Waldo. If you’re looking for all the bad stuff in life, then that’s what you’ll find.

Please understand I’m not saying ignore all the bad things and life and pretend that they’re not there. That is not helping the world either. If you are just sitting around doing nothing but being concerned about your own well being and complaining about “the man” holding you down then what are you doing about it? In college being a musician I was exposed to many people and one thing that used to get on my nerves was people sitting around doing drugs complaining about stuff. What did that accomplish? What are you doing to add value in the world? What did you do today or this week to make the lives of other better? What did you do to help the world? Last night at the concert, we were leaving and my friend was on crutches behind me so I turned around and stated, “Watch out for this mud puddle” then pointed at it. Then I hear a splash. One lady right behind us falls right into it. Her stoned friend just semi-looked at her and was going on and on about the leaves or something. Ok I won’t talk anymore about that because that could turn into about a 50 page rant for me.

So to wrap up, the concert was great! When you’re viewing the world, don’t forget to look at the positive side. Yes, I make jokes about “the man,” you know “whitey” but it’s just to pick around. I no longer sit around thinking only about all the bad things business people are doing to the world. Realize that some people do good things, some people do bad things. Be one of the people that do good things!