Monday, August 22, 2016

Door Number 7

Like my grandmother, the number 7 has often cropped up in my life. Five of the eight numbers in my driver's license are 7's. It could only be better if 7 of the eight were 7's. Maybe because of Grandma, I've always watched for and felt good about that number.
When I bought my house, I noted that the 3 digits added up to 7. For 21 years I've walked through door number 7 every workday. Now at 21 years (3x7), it seems the right time to stop walking through that door each day. As those days come to an end I think of so many things that happened behind door number 7.
Twenty-one years ago, I was often the first woman to have ever entered many underground coal mines. I lugged a camera that weighed 10 times what gear today weighs. Many of the mines didn't even have a women's rest room at the portal. And even in my own company, when I showed up to tape management sessions I often saw no other woman or only one other woman (the HR Director) in the room.
Through door number 7, somehow I persevered. When mine personnel kidded me that it was unlucky to take a woman underground, I was mindful to show them I was not an unlucky type. I carried as much as they did, worked as hard and was extremely mindful of safety. I'd like to believe I earned their respect and helped pave the way for the next woman.
Through door number 7, I proved myself time and time again. But I know it is something any woman my age, who has worked in areas where women have not traditionally worked, has had to do. Once an entire room full of equipment was shipped to me and I had to figure out how to get it set up and functional. Then, once it was functional, I had to demonstrate to senior management that I knew how to use it because another senior manager was not happy that it was shipped to me. She said I could not possibly know how to use it.
Through door number 7, I was tested and forged. I have often been tempered by fire in these 21 years. It's time to step out of the fire and shine my own light. I am thankful for all that I have learned though years of walking through that door. I have met many good people. I have worked with great talent. And yes, I have often felt tested. I am ready to shine instead of burn.
Let's see what 7 brings me.

Monday, August 15, 2016

In front of ME....

I can identify with and confess to feeling the need for retribution - even retaliation - for perceived wrongdoing. But in my soul, spiritually, I know that is a weakness. Without a doubt, retaliation and retribution are destructive forces that never lead to long term good. Jesus and Buddha taught about this very issue and quite likely every other religious leader did as well.
Often we mortals believe that we know and can identify evil in others. But others know we do not see the evil in ourselves. We cannot see the full context of the other person but we use our full context to excuse ourselves.
We have to learn to trust to universal power - the ultimate power - to take care of others. We have to take responsibility for and change the evil within ourselves. We need to stop assuming that we fully understand what we cannot understand and will never understand. Our foremost and ultimate responsibility lies right in front of us - ME.
Is this impacting ME where I stand? Can I help this person in front of ME? What will the long term consequences be for me - for them - for these people - in front of ME?
If we - if you - if I - can do that - WE can change the tide. It's right in front of us.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The American Way

A favorite song says "when there's big problems to be solved, let's get everyone involved. God's counting on me. God's counting on you."
If we want to make our country better, we need to unite around efforts to involve everyone in problem solving. At all levels of our society, we need to encourage and facilitate involvement by the broadest population. That example needs to begin with our leadership - in Washington and in our state legislatures.
We need our leaders to say "we won't always agree but we will agree to work together to discover the best possible solutions." Viewing things from varied perspectives can be a good thing. If we learn to listen to one another and carefully examine facts, it can help us avoid pitfalls. It can help us create better solutions.
More often than not, even locally, our leaders have taken a position that is focused on poking someone in the eye if they have a differing perspective. Instead of examining facts and sharing pertinent information, our leaders turn their backs to one another. More important than finding solutions is assuring the other guy looks bad. The rising anger and polarization are creating a virtual civil war throughout this nation.
Instead of southern and northern states, now there are red and blue states. Many of our citizens are putting on uniforms with an elephant or a donkey and filling their hearts and minds with outright hatred of the opposing uniform. Communities are divided. Families are divided. Civilized discourse is gone.
If one side is loosing ground, the effort grows into attempts to silence the other side, block any progress, even shut down the government. Lost are efforts to actually solve problems. The focus is the war.
President Lincoln said "A house divided cannot stand." This nation will crumble under the weight of this division. We need to shed the uniforms and start focusing on a United States of America again embracing our full diversity and encouraging full participation for problem solving at all levels.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

It's time to create.

It's not alway easy being a dreamer and idealist. There always seems to be something more, something bigger, a more perfect something, that is "out there" somewhere. Deep within lies an itch to find whatever it might be.
In early years, that sense of something more and more perfect, left me feeling like I was actually from some other planet and was somehow misplaced. It seemed I didn't belong where I was while others seemed to be quite comfortable with their place and their surroundings. And while I've discovered that there are many who feel displaced, I'm often reminded that I may indeed be from another planet.
But what I have learned is that, wherever my desire for a perfect place may have derived, my option is not to wonder endlessly seeking but to be constantly creating that dream and that ideal in every way I can. It's not up to anyone else.
It's not our mission to fight against what exists and makes us uncomfortable. Our mission - everyone's mission - is to create something better. The most perfect creations are those that do no harm, that lift everyone to a greater place, and change the course toward something better. Those efforts are free of fear. Those efforts are based in love and compassion.
This day, I recognize where I do not belong. I can swim there against the tide, or I can create something better. I choose to create. I see something else. In that place, my space, the dream and the ideal are mine. There I can create something more. It can be small or it can be big. No fear. It's time to create.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What's ruling you?

What's ruling you?
Fear, anger and resentment are spirit killers. They make our spirit sick and weak. And yet, the magnetism of fear and anger appear to generate energy within us. They can come with an adrenaline rush that seems to be an energizer - motivating us to do something. "Wake up", "Rise up", "Get mad"..... The Waking is focused toward a path of destruction. The rising is one of destruction. The train is on a path of derailment. The derailment is resentment.
Fear and anger are motivators for destruction. When others will not share our fear and our anger, resentment grows. Fear and anger are destroyers. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing but resentment can grow where fear and anger fester.
If you are a spiritual person from any perspective, protect your spirit from fear and anger. These things will always derail you from creating what you truly desire. Is there anyone who would say they truly wish to be fearful and angry? Then why give fear and anger any of your time? Turn away from it. Put your energy toward creating what you DO want. You are the creative force in your life. You have the potential to connect to and with the creative force that always was and always will be.
"Fear not" (someone once said).

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lower Standards for white people?

During this most unusual political cycle, I've mused about a few things.
For example, what would the reaction be if Donald Trump's words were coming out of President Obama's mouth?
What if it was Barack Obama who said, "I could walk down 5th avenue and shoot somebody and they'd still love me"?
Or if he said, "I've said if Sasha(Ivanka) weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."
What would the reaction be if President Obama said a former POW was not a hero because he was captured?
Who would be outraged if President Obama mocked a disabled journalist or made disparaging remarks about a woman's looks?
Any rational person would be outraged.
I guess some people lower their standards for white men.
And it appears that an Obama's words coming out of a white woman's mouth are viewed by some people as being superior as well.
What are your standards?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Those horrible things and horrible people...

It's unsettling to note how much time we spend talking about what shouldn't be, what we don't want, what shouldn't have happened and how horrible other people are or were. Sometimes we hold onto those hatreds for years, decades and keep them boiling over and over again.
How much time do you spend focused on what's wrong and who's wrong?
When that becomes a driving force in our life, several things happen. We're giving that wrong person or thing a great deal of our energy and we're not putting that energy into positive things we could be doing. There's a great deal of depth in the saying "Be the change you want to see".
When we are pushing against someone or something, there's generally equal or more force pushing back. It's highly unlikely that we'll make any progress and quite likely we'll waste a lot of time and energy. Often, we've simply stirred a pot of negative energy all the way around.
Once when I was in that mode, someone said simply "dis-engage". I soon realized I was dragging a huge suitcase full of hostility and anger that was achieving nothing but creation of more hostility and anger.
"Be the change you want to see." Shake the dust off your shoes and move on. Do something positive with that energy that actually helps someone. You'll soon see that the person most helped is you.
Anger and hostility weaken the spirit and sicken the soul. Heal yourself and heal the world.