Thursday, October 20, 2016

Our "anger and resentment" movies...

Too many years of my life, simmering beneath the surface, was a feeling of anger and resentment. And 'oh do I have good reason to be angry and resentful'. I maintained a shelf full of "reason" movies to replay any time I needed them. And then I was ready to add new ones to the collection just in case the ones I had were not enough.
Then I realized while I was playing my horror movies, a whole world full of exactly the opposite stories was passing me by. Yes, I experienced a lot of great things too, but I wasted a lot time replaying pain that could have been over. While I was replaying that pain - hanging onto it - I was missing opportunities to experience and actually do more good things. Wallowing in my anger meant disconnecting. Some great connections were lost - maybe forever.
Hanging onto anger and resentment makes us more critical of others and more forgiving of ourselves. We use our reason movies for justification. Then we use the same script over and over again. We watch for new opportunities to create the same storyline over and over again. We build this whole collection on the shelf to further justify our anger and resentment. Rerun - replay - recreate....
There are very painful things that happen in our lives. There are things we should not accept. But if it is really that bad, don't replay the movie. Let it go. If we don't replay the "reason" movie, over time the reason - the anger and resentment - grows much smaller.
As I see people who are clearly angry and resentful, the question I ask myself now is 'what pain are they holding onto and replaying?'. Usually it's not directly related to their expression of anger. There's more. That's especially true if the level of their anger seems disproportional to the infraction they appear to be so angry about. There's more and that more is so very personal to them. I understand that. I've been there. Sometimes it's a struggle not to collect new "reason" movies. But I want a more connected life. I want to create a new kind of movie to replay when I want or need. I want the kind of movie that's PG rated and makes me smile. We have that kind of power in our lives. It's our personal movie collection.
What are you collecting and replaying? How's that working for you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A personal political objective

Often I've pondered the notion of not mixing religion, politics and personal with public and business. Gnawing at the back of my mind is Gloria Steinem's statement, "the personal is political". Those four words are so very profound.
Religion, politics, business and personal are so very intertwined because behind them all are people. There is a very real and personal connection to every religious, political and business decision because there is a person behind and opposed to every religious, political and business decision. While it may seem plausible to separate them into nice, neat categories, it is not possible. There will always be quite personal effects and quite personal connections. If we fail to recognize that we fail them all - Religion, politics, business and personal.
The answer is not to keep them separate. The answer is to align them all. We cannot love the world and pray for peace on Sunday morning and vote for war on Monday. We can't personally believe in exclusion and promote our business as inclusive. We have to align our inner selves with our public selves. If we don't, we are only fooling ourselves. People know. They may not be able to put a finger on the problem, but they can smell a fraud. Sadly, we have been led to believe that we should maintain this "separation". That's a fraud.
If we have our religion, politics, business and personal lives headed in the right direction, there is no need for separation. If they all align around love, kindness, compassion and truth, there will be no need for separation. Speak truth in the spirit of love, kindness and compassion and you will prosper. It's personal. It's political. It's your business. AND it's very spiritual. Be spiritual in all you do. Oddly, you will be politically correct and spiritually correct at the same time.
That's my personal political objective.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The importance of roots....

At the end of the day - after the election - one candidate will win and one will lose. Think about the people you know on either side of the equation. Not the candidates - the people you actually know. Think about the family member you've known and with whom you share decades of memories. Think about the neighbor - the business owner - the fellow members of clubs and organizations or the ones you wish would do more and contribute more to the causes you support. These are the people you will see on the street after the election. These are the people who can help you. These are the people who could support your causes.
The person you are fervently supporting probably doesn't even know your name. When your child is sick or your dog is lost, they won't be praying for their safety. When your fundraising campaign is underway, they won't know or care. They don't care about the milestones in your life. They don't know or care that your child or grand child took their first steps or just got married. They don't know or care that you just had a difficult health care crisis. They didn't know your aunt or uncle or grand parents. They don't know or care that your basement is flooded.
Yes, elections matter but what matters more are relationships. Relationships are precious and deserve respectful tending. We need to respect and care for one another. We need to understand the value of that respect and careful tending. When we elevate our hero worship above our respect and careful tending of those relationships closest to us, we are destroying something very precious. There is a reason trees grow roots. The roots ground the tree and provide the needed nutrients to sustain and grow. Don't loose your connection to roots! Cut your roots and your tree grows weaker.

Monday, October 10, 2016

"Locker room banter"

Most of my career was spent working in male dominated spaces - the military and then 21 years in the mining industry. In earlier blogs I've written about those experiences. In the late 70's, women were far outnumbered in broadcasting. I was the second woman assigned to AFRTS in Greenland and the station manager was quick to let me know the "broad" in broadcasting did not stand for women. As he then put it, he "was stuck with me."
I never stopped encountering men who had similar sentiment. That manager, and others like him, actively sought to prove themselves right. They provide half the information required to do the job right and then revel in how successful they were in undermining the process. These are the "locker room banter" guys. These are the guys who take the men in the office on fishing trips, to sporting events, on hunting trips, golfing or have them over for poker nights. They share the "inside" information. They provide chosen ones (mostly men) with the fast track, the high profile assignments and wink or nod to overlook bad behavior. They are a "man's man".
Through the years I've worked with some great guys. Those years of experience helped me learn who I could trust at 3 am in the most deserted locations. The "locker room banter" guys were not in that category. If a person brags that they would or did do something denigrating, believe me - they would or did do something denigrating! Don't leave a child or a defenseless person with that person!!!
The guys I learned to trust would be called wimps by these "locker room banter" guys. They don't share the same predatory behavior. They don't need to put anyone down to feel better about themselves. They respect themselves and those around them - including women. I refuse to believe that "nice guys finish last". They are my heroes and always will be! Every woman should be saying the same thing in my mind. We will never be treated with respect until we set that bar. If we don't believe we are worthy of something better, we'll never have something better.
"Locker room banter" is a HUGE RED FLAG. READ IT for what it really is and what it really means.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

If we offend and dismiss others...

Every minute, every day - we have a choice. Each time we decide to share something, to do something, to ignore something, to act on something - we create an energy that carries forward. Those choices matter. Those decisions make a difference.
Those choices, those decisions, and those actions becomes seeds and they grow in the same manner of energy in which we plant them. Those seeds are our Karma. They color us. They cloud us. That color or cloud becomes a collector of the same type of energy. We reap what we sew.
If we offend others, we will likewise be offended. If we dismiss others, we will likewise be dismissed. If we are outraged and angered, we will likewise be the recipients of outrage and anger. This is the law. It is the law of God. It is the law of attraction. It is quantum physics.
It is extraordinarily simple but extraordinarily complex in discipline. For my own practice I'm trying very hard to focus on the rule "do unto others"... As I find myself critical of someone else, I think of what they could say to me. As I find myself wanting to question another person's judgement, I think about how they may question mine.
Then I focus on my garden -planting my seeds - creating the karma, the color, the cloud I most desire surrounding me. I think of the law. I plan the energy and the harvest that is most desired. I will support those most likely to share the same energy and seek similar results.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

If you "light your hair on fire"....

There are many varieties of ways to tackle a problem. One that's been gaining a great deal of attention and momentum is the "light your hair on fire" or "let's destroy everything" approach. That's the approach that's popular when everything appears far too overwhelming to comprehend and deal with rationally. Just set it ablaze and destroy the whole thing.
The reasoning appears to be that total destruction is far better than working with what exists. Results may be immediate - huge impact - but then what? There's no vision beyond the destruction. There's no thought of what happens after the fire burns out. There's simply no rational reasoning behind the so called plan. After the blaze - after the exhilaration of the annihilation is over, what's left?
Critical thinking has evaporated. We've become a nation that's hungry to consume fast talk, reality TV, sensationalism that feeds a thirst for blood. We love blame and demonization. We elevate those who have gladiator qualities. We crave a knock out punch - a dramatic crash - a bone crushing collision of bodies. Our measure of success is encased in instant gratification. We want a magic pill, an energy rush, a winning lottery ticket. And if a problem seems too large - level the whole neighborhood around it.
Our problem is that we think in terms of days, months and years instead of decades and generations. "Rome was not built in a day" and it was not destroyed in a day either. Our national fiber is unraveling due to short sighted, "light your hair on fire", destructive thinking. We need to measure everything we do in terms of the outcome 10 years and twenty years from now.
Let's start asking for a 10 year plan. Let's start asking how this decision, today, will play out for the next 20 years. Let's stop thinking so small. Let's stop the destruction mindset and start building something.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Love can make all the difference....

There are wonderful people - bless them all - who will make every effort to save a dog or a cat without questioning for a moment if it's a good dog or a good cat. Without question or reservation about whether or not they may be bitten or scratched, they will intervene.
These people will stop by the roadside if they see a wandering furry one. They will selflessly spend endless day seeking a lost one. They forgive furry fear or aggression because they see a wounded soul. Experience, or perhaps simple belief in something more, have convinced them that their furry friends deserve a chance. Love can make all the difference.
They are right. Love can make in the difference.
Our furry friends who have learned to be fearful or aggressive, became so in the exactly the same way humans do. We can learn a great deal from that understanding. Love can make all the difference.
Wonderful people - bless them all - will make every effort to make a difference. If you can love a furry one regardless of risk of fear or aggression, how about one without fur?
Some are lost and wandering. Some are fearful and aggressive. It likely become that way in just the same manner. Love can make all the difference.