Expectations, Blessing or Not?

Garden

 

Expectations, we all have them, not necessarily a negative thing, is it? well depends.  Depends, depends on what, either you do or you don’t have them?  Either they’re good or they’re bad, work or they don’t?  Well, no, not that simple.

We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests.

Sheryl Sandberg 

Let’s start with expectations of self.  We can be our own worst critics, our harshest taskmasters.   Shouldn’t we have expectations of ourselves, goals?  Yes, but at the same time, what should they be?  We all have innate gifts, talents our creator gave us, and understanding the needs of humanity, understood we could not all be given the same gifts and even within the category of those gifts not at the same level of capacity.  What should we expect from ourselves?  When I taught ESL one of the mottos we gave students was KISS, Keep It Simple Sweetheart.  In the case of personal expectations the best expectation is to discover what your God given talents and gifts are, find constructive opportunities to develop them and use them in your lifetime to your benefit and benefit of the greater society, one where all have the opportunity to develop their talents etc…  Also, give yourself space to stumble and fall, get up again, wiser, stronger than before, with greater faith than before. 

Whatever happens in the world is real, what one thinks should have happened is projection. We suffer more from our fictitious illusion and expectations of reality.

Jacque Fresco

What about others, expectations of others?  Often we go back to what others should have done, over and over.  We put high expectations on others, very specific laundry list on them of what they should do to prove themselves to us etc..  What if we just had the same expectation of them that I spoke of having for ourselves? What if we expected realization of potential and might I add for self, no victimization crap, accepting that yeah life has moments that really frankly are YUK, and UGGHHHH!, cry, scream into the pillow, beat up the pillow, go to the gym and punch the punching bag, exercise, get it out constructively, make changes to life, behavior etc.., be an example to others of expectation on how to handle tough moments. Expect them to learn and move forward, process and move forward with what was learned, keep growing, learning, realizing their full potential, be a better person.  What if that was the basic expectation we had, nothing more, and relayed that clearly, all we expected was develop and live up to your full potential, which I know exists, just have to find it and cultivate it, through thick and thin, be there for them to do so?  Something to contemplate. 

Amen

Why Sing Out Your Stress?

soaring eagle

This is a follow up to the previous article.  We all have stress, rejection so on and so forth at some point.  One reason I love to sing and write is it helps me to navigate the stress of fibromyalgia.  When I came across this article, it resonated and I wanted to share with you.

Top 5 Reasons to Sing Out Your Stress

When people find out that I’m a music therapist, the comments I hear most often are “I wish I could sing!” or “Oh, I love to sing, but I’m not good enough to do it in front of anyone”. Some of these people tell me that, as children, a parent, teacher or someone else told them that they should just mouth the words because they didn’t have a good enough voice.

Singing is our birthright! Singing is a natural and pure expression of how glad we feel to be alive, and the way we show our love of music. Here are my top five reasons to sing out your stress:

1. To connect with your body: We sing with our whole bodies. Because singing is so connected to closely with breath, singing helps us “be in our bodies” and let go of the thinking (or worrying) we do much of the day. Singing can be a joyful activity and can release endorphins (those feel-good chemicals that the body creates).

2. To connect with yourself: Meditative toning, singing along to a favourite song or simply humming to yourself are all ways to tap into your inner landscape and see what’s going on in there.

3. To connect with others: Singing with other people – in meditation, prayer, at a sing-along, at a concert, or even over the telephone or Internet – helps us experience in a very deep way that we are all truly connected.

4. To express your feelings: Many times a singer, songwriter or composer has expressed our feelings in a way we could never have – if there’s a song that expresses what you want or need to say, try singing along (keep in mind that this is just for you and it’s not about “sounding good”).

5. To boost your good feelings: Whatever you focus on, you’ll invite more of into your life. You can choose uplifting, joyful and celebratory songs to sing.

So sing out! Be proud of your own unique voice. Experiment with what works for you – keep a journal of what you notice in your mind and body when you sing specific songs. Then you can choose the right song for the right moment and make use of the power of singing in your own life.

Core Beliefs, What Are They?

Garden Path

If you look at this garden path, it seems to be leading up to a memorial of some kind, or a central monument, something, a centerpiece, well as I looked back on my life I realized that what makes me me is not a church, or a building, membership in any particular one, though community matters and I am sure there is one that reflects who I am and these core beliefs.  I realized for me to be well, I had to get straight what they are and then focus on honoring them very constructively.  What are they?

The Universal Moral Laws/Noahoide Laws =  1. One God,  2.Respect the creator one God (do so even when nothing seems to make sense around you and you are ticked off at him for how he allows things or manages things), 3. Respect life (doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to defend self, family, community property, nation if attacked, you do), 4. Respect the institution of marriage. (one man and one woman as instituted by God, don’t mess with that dimwitted humanity!), 5. Respect the rights and property of others and honest in all your business dealings. 6. Respect G‑d’s creatures (life is precious, so respect it, never take a life in cold blood, and never out of vengeance),maintain justice.  7. Justice is G‑d’s business, but we are given the charge to lay down necessary laws and enforce them

Christ, Anointing and Prayer – I believe Christ was begotten, not made and that he had a very special anointing, to give a very particular example of sacrifice for others in away that others were not for a particular purpose, that he did not come to abolish the Nohaite Laws, but rather to reinforce them for Jew and Gentile, bring all together under the Nohaite laws.  I believe that prayer whether a Mass or reading of scripture and prayer from the heart, wither way is pleasing to the Creator, one creator of all things.

Metaphysics and the branch of metaphysics in various forms can be very informative and helpful in spiritual and personal development

Prayer and the Arts – The arts is the greatest form of prayer there is, when it is sacred and beautifully presented and from the heart.  

Charity and Welfare – If we truly want to bring welfare then let’s bring all of the above and let’s help people to help themselves to prosper in all ways, on all levels including financially discovering and focusing their gifts.

I realize now that I need to create a life that focuses on these things, and activities that will allow me to work in a group setting, perhaps a a c0working space, rent that monthly and have that sense of community, but still focus on the arts and doing workshops online, things of that nature, maybe there even create a spiritual meditation circle.  I need to do what I need to do to honor this core of who I am and live it on a day to day basis.

The Slice or The Pie?

pie chart

It finally dawned on me, where the clash came from.  The pie or the pieces of the pie?  Huh, what the heck?  What am I talking about? Perspective.

I am approaching something from not only the aspect of keeping my word, but also having taught for over ten years the point of the whole pie, no matter what role you play in any organization, group, project, you look at the whole.  Though the ESL Lab TA’s were not the classroom teachers, we still had to teach the lesson plans given and at times we were asked our opinion, and when we taught after, we had to give holistic feedback to the classroom instructor.  If we thought there was anything outside of the academics that needed addressing, we made our voices heard on that, yours truly every time without fail, and firmly, to where the supervisors would tell the instructors in regards having me as TA for their class, just don’t mess with her babies, with what she cares about, she is fierce in fighting for and protecting that.  I was and in the sense of the whole picture, even in my advice to them, never to look at anything piecemeal, to always look at everything from the entire pie approach, even as they focused on their individual assignments.  I always told them to look at how this was going to benefit them in the long run years ahead and their children, everyone in their lives long term, never think only of now, of today, of this one class, how things tie together.  For our advanced ESL classes we paired up with other departments to teach things in broader context, as we realized nothing is ever in isolation and we were not the only ones responsible for teaching ESL, the other departments were also responsible in assisting in this and we also had to take responsibility for expanding their horizons.  

As I reflected last night on things, on recent events with a colleague I realized what was going on was the Pie and the Pieces.  He is one who does not look at things long range,  or from a holistic perspective in regards to his role in the parish.  He feels that things ought to be dealt with one piece at a time, worry about that piece then move on to the next piece then the next piece of the Pie Chart, keep doing that, no connection to the whole pie, no responsibility for the whole pie the baking of it, keeping it warm or cool or anything, just the Pieces of the Pie.  I on the other hand am looking at the whole Pie, how do we bake a whole pie, pay for the cost of the whole pie, then the pieces fall into place and how is our pie connected to the major baker, our mother Basilica and how do we cooperate and collaborate with them to grow.  For my colleague my pie approach, looking at the whole and being willing to do so, and put that forward is a bit overwhelming since Pieces of a Pie are a lot easier to work with at any one time than a Whole Pie, as some see it.  However, others that are to collaborate with the organization, project etc…often get frustrated if the approach taken is Piecemeal and only Piecemeal, if things are not coordinated among all related entities and for the long range, so while I understand that some, like my colleague prefer to work according to the Piecemeal approach, if one is asked to present a Whole Pie in order to save the organization, project etc.. and if those who are to collaborate also would require attention to the Whole Pie as well as the Pieces of the Pie, to dismiss that and ignore that is highly dismissive to everyone involved.  Holistic, long term shows seriousness and maturity, and when asked to move forward with that approach and not to do so, it says to those in authority who make that suggestion, screw you, could be viewed that way.  I will leave it to my colleague to take a piecemeal approach, though it has not worked so far, and will assist as best I can.  At the same time I will keep my word to put forth a holistic plan and pray for that to be a positive tool to be used for the organization to move forward for the long haul and to thrive.

Amen

Today, Like a Sudden Right Hook.

lightening

When our Monsignor said we needed a Pastoral Plan, I agreed because it made sense, perfect sense, so I got right on it, whatever the church needs in order to be saved, to be a church once again, we need to fight for tooth and nail.  We can’t do that unless we have a plan, a solid pastoral plan, so that is what I created, put together.  I send it to my colleague, thinking he wanted to make the church a glorious church of renown for the Italian American and Traditionalist communities.

Today, I got sucker punched, when I was asked why I cared about what the church needed, why I cared about what the Monsignor needed from us.  Then came the clear rejection of any intention of working any any such plan.   It was beyond comprehension to me that one would not realize how crucial it is for the survival of a church to bring back the sacraments, Mass on a regular basis, a full time vicar so on and so forth.  It boggles my mind that anyone would not realize that though the arts have a place in the church, the church is not an arts center, it is a place for the Sacraments and evangelizing, not for the showcasing of artists, unless you tie that in with fundraising for social services and other things such as structural improvements for the church.   It really struck me, hit my heart and soul in a way that I am not sure I can describe.  I asked at the meeting recently with the Monsignor what was needed for the church to thrive, to be saved, and I was given an answer, but when I shared it with my colleague I got a response that seemed to me like a “screw that, I am going to do what pleases me for the church, focus on the activities I want to do for the church, and screw what is needed or the Monsignor says we need, screw that”  If I am wrong, if I read it wrong , God forgive me, but if I didn’t, I thought well what do I do with this.? I do do care, and I gave my word that a pastoral plan would be presented.   I know my colleague is a good man, but his focus is not on the big picture, not on the whole pie, rather on slices of the pie.  That does not help the church, we have to first look at the whole pie, how to create a whole pie that will appeal and sell, then the individual slices within that pie.  I also wanted to make sure that the people, key people at that meeting knew I had done my part, had presented the plan, made it clear the necessity of that plan, that things must be interconnected.  I had to take again matters into my own hands, not to hurt my colleague, as I don’t want to do that, but to make sure that they knew I had kept my word and done what I had said I would do.  In my communication to my colleague I let him know that I assumed he would communicate to the Monsignor that I had submitted a rough draft of the plan, but he had rejected it and had no interest in pursuing such a thing.  I also let him know I would be notifying key people on my end of of that as well, along with other information I needed to relay to them about a meeting being postponed.  

It pained me that my passion for wanting to restore this church to a liturgical glory with a permanent vicar, and more, and the assessment of the Monsignor were not shared by my colleague, that he could not understand my caring.  I have great passion for saving this church, for bringing it to liturgical glory, making it a center of conservative liturgy, Mass regularly and so much more.  I had hoped my colleague would be on board to that, to reaching out to campuses in tandem with the Societies that are with us, to evangelization efforts through our church Missa Cantanta monthly that I have in mind, all part of the pastoral plan.  It hurts that this person does not have this passion and desire to bring full liturgy and so much more to this church, vespers perhaps.  I refuse to give up, refuse to give up on a Pastoral Plan, getting sponsors, bringing this church to full glory of liturgy!  

Amen

Conservative Is Now Criminal?

a dark room

We have entered dark dark dark days when our society glorifies in academia all things Alynsky, Chavez, Fidel Castro, Lenin, Stalin, Woodstock Free Love and Promiscuity, the LGBT lifestyle, along those lines of Philosophy, Worldview, Atheism, BLM, and determined that if you vote along the opposite of that, hold opposite truth, you are evil, a criminal in essence and if you live in NY, our very own governor has said there’s no room for you and CNN has said you are a racist. 

In their eyes I am a racist, but in my eyes I am a Conservative Catholic, authentic Conservative NON wonky, not warped Social Justice, authentic Conservative Catholic Christian.  Imperfect, fallen as we are all of humanity, but authentic Conservative Catholic Christian who would love to overhaul the entire Disability system, all of it, to truly reflect our being a Capitalist Constitutional Democratic Republic.  For some warped reason the Left has convinced the nation and our young people, so has academia that Conservative means racist, that Constitutional Originalist and Federalist Papers, Federalist Republic First Principles Capitalist Founders Worldview and Vision for the nation as such is racist, everything is racist, bigoted, and everything is painful and traumatic, poor snowflakes, even journalists have breakdowns on air on election night, this the point of pathetic we have gotten to.  What does Conservative represent, truly?  In the classical sense, it is really connected to the Judeo-Christian principle of Free Will.  It is the sense that God gave us free will, will to choose good or evil, and there are consequences to that. It is the sense that the government is not a nanny, a jailer, parent for life, just like a parent is not a parent for life, in that they must not micromanage your life if you are to truly become strong, resilient and self managing in your own life.  They must not nanny you to death, smother you to death, cradle you to death or you will not be strong, self sufficient and resilient.  They must not be too co-dependent on you, nor make you too dependent on them, same with spouses, not good.  Government is here only to be a steward of our rights and borders, to ensure that the Bill of Rights, the provisions of the Constitution, according to the Federalist Papers and a Capitalist Republic, based on the principles of morals and ethics put forth in the writings by the founders for a Godly people are safeguarded tot he best of its’ abilities, understanding of principles of natural law and transcendent moral order. It was understood that true conservative principles and liberalism in any classic sense could only happen in this way: securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government and ensuring the branches never overlap and the courts never become places for activism by any group or persons, ever!  Because the Left has pushed boundaries so far this has not been the case and so Conservatives have been forced to push back in courts right alongside them in terms of using the courts for activism, not by choice, but being pushed along that route by the ACLU and other Left Wing groups, and even the Obama administration that went after the Little Sisters of the Poor.  We need to understand what truly Liberal and Conservative are, and realize they are not criminal nor intolerant, but they do have a sense of natural law, natural moral law and order ingrained in them, national borders and laws that are not to be violated etc…

While I understand the radical KKK is not something anyone wants to be associated with, that is not representative of Conservatives, not of authentic Conservatism, nor is modern liberal progressive representative of true Liberalism or the LGBT community of the Civil Rights Movement, or MLK, nor is Planned Parenthood or abortion, none of it is.  Those who try to say otherwise are deceivers, despicable and are commuting the crime.  Those who are authentic Conservatives, authentic Conservative Catholic, authentic Liberal, Kudos and don’t allow the intolerant so called progressives to beat you down, or intimidate you, stand strong and stand tall.

Amen

Confederate Etc…Stay? Heck Yeah!

Life and Liberty, God Bless America
The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.

I have more than one family tree.  My tree consists of four grandparents and my parents were cousins.  My grandfather was on dad’s side though he was a model citizen here in the USA, was not so in the old country of Italy, oh no. His daughter, my aunt, many swore was Satan’s child, vindictive bitch sad to say.  Her brothers, not model citizens, except for my dad who couldn’t hurt a fly, break a law even if you twisted his arm, but RIP, was a bit of a wuss, never quite stood up to his kin, his sister, a bit too much of a mamma’s boy.  My mom’s dad, a bit of a temper on him, no saint, my mom’s brothers and sisters, all good souls, and her mom, and mom’s mom, model’s of charity and goodness. The family tree is not perfect, got some real blemishes I could tear up dad’s photos that I have in my wallet, could tear up all photos of me as a kid with Dad’s family, but I refuse.  I don’t have to like that there are all these blemishes, all these stains.  I can hate all of that, hate what any of them did in their life, and that’s fine, but what I must never do is erase evidence of their existence in my history, in my life because then I create a lie, a false life, a false narrative.  I won’t do that.  My mom was very much hurt by my dad leaving and by them in different ways, so she had done her best to erase them, pretend they never existed and I respect her right to do that, but she has also never been able to forgive, and it has hurt her, this inability to accept them as part of history, our history, this inability to forgive.  How does this influence my view on Confederate and Holocaust symbols etc…? It does so 100%.  

History must be told, preserved good bad and ugly, visibly so and conveyed from a human emotional and also purely factual intellectual point combined.  It must not be eradicated, wiped off the map pretending it never happened, it did.  What counts is that we stick to the facts, even within the emotional context of it all, and we learn greatly from it, that we come to a point of unity rather than greater division.  Tearing down history because one group is offended by it is not unifying at all, and they should understand that and find a way to come to terms with that history, still keeping its’ existence visible to all as a lesson in time.  Also, a good point was made in this article http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450500/destroying-confederate-statues-whats-end-point-washington-monument , the point being where does it end? Mike Huckabee brought out a good point about well if abortion clinic offend Christians, can we just go destroy them?  What if Conservatives feel offended by Roosevelt as the author of the New Deal and Progressivism?  Can we just to tear his statues down? Atheists hate God, Christ, Christianity, religion, so can they demand all faith symbols, all churches with crosses be torn down because crosses offend them?  Can Muslims make similar demands and start tearing stuff down?  This opens up the door to anarchy and it violates our Constitution.  Erasing history is not something the Feds or even state officials have the right or authority to do.  As much as I might not be thrilled with everyone in my family, their background, I don’t have the right to erase them from my family history or tree because like or not they are the family God gave me.  Does that mean I have to speak to them, hang out with them, be buddy buddy, no.  However, I don’t get to erase them from history, my history, not how it works, not how life works, or how history works.  Hitler, Tito, Stalin etc.. they did horrific things, but we must never forget them, those events and the horror of Communism, Socialism etc…, those symbols must be visible to all always and forever.  The same goes for our Confederacy and history of slavery, not pretty but it is our history, part of our fabric and must never be erased or buried, ever.  If it offends, sorry, tough, get therapy, create a successful life, show you are not a bitter, chip on your shoulder snowflake big baby!!! Don’t try to escape by erasing anything from history, or the public square!

Amen