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

Poem For You

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

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Planning For “Twilight” Years, Morbid?

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The Journey That is Life.

Life and youth are not forever and so as I near that point of age 55, and my mom 93, her health starts to take twists and turns, I find myself thinking about what happens when she is gone.  For any number of reasons I remain single and so there are kids ore grandkids, thus my planning is exclusively down to me and my finances etc…

In doing so that means I have to face up to some stuff, some truths.  I have to face up to financial truths good and not so good.  I have to face up to any sadness about time and opportunity wasted in my life, not so great choices, how my life baggage and fibromyalgia isolated me, so now there are no circle of friends nearby.  With this journey of organizing my twilight years as they say, comes facing a few truths that I may not like, may make me sad, but running away won’t solve anything or change what is.  I can only face things as they are and work on thing in the here and now for a better tomorrow.  How do I do that?  There are a few things I can do.  I can continue working on what I am doing improving my finances, and at the same time doing what I love which is writing and the arts.  Do I wish I had realizing my path and vocation sooner, done much better with my finances? Do I wish the fibromyalgia had been figured out sooner and I could have focused on being an artist, life coach/minister a lot sooner in my life?  Yes, of course, but that didn’t happen and so all I can do is work on the here and now for the future to be a good one.  I pray for the wisdom, creativity etc… to stay the course at all times.  I also have started looking into 55 plus communities and I thought about it and did I want to stay in the City, in NY and I thought, yes I do want to stay in NY, but maybe not the City, maybe in my twilight years go somewhere close to the city, still NY, but where you have fresher air.  I have a list of affordable places and I can start touring them once I reach 55 and this way when my mom passes, I can be ready.  Planning for the twilight years is not a bad thing and facing truths can be a bit sad etc.. but maturity is a bout doing just that. 

Amen

Goals Matter, Why?

Garden

You see this photo, I like it, one of my favorite images that i have downloaded. The reason is it shows steps surrounded by lush green, nature.   Steps are equivalent to goals, so sometimes if you want to get to a great site, sacred site or historical something, you have to climb a number of steps.  Life is kind of like that and the steps you need are goals, those matter, but why and what should you keep in mind when setting goals, well I know I have touched on this before, but I came across this article and wanted to share it with you.

Setting Goals: Your only recipe for success

Goals are like signposts. As long as you can see these signposts, then you know you are heading in the right direction. When you set goals, you eliminate the possibility veering off the track and derailing into failure. When a train veers of the rails, the entire locomotive is derailed. Looking at the rails, one does not see anything special in them; just a solid mass of steel. But that simple mass of steel ensures that the train remains on course and that everyone on board reaches their destination safely and on time.

Goals are like rails. Without them, our claim to success will never find expression in reality. Just as a train must stay on the rails to complete the journey, our dreams, our ambitions, and our desires must find expression in goals that are clear, realistic and timely.

When we have well articulated and clearly defined goals, the journey towards success becomes lighter, even less tiring. This is because goals help us to (i) stay focused (ii) be realistic in our expectations (iii) gauge our progress (iv) avoid being overwhelmed (v) re-evaluate and redefine our strategy to ensure conformity and consistency with our objectives.

Stay focused
John Maxwell says “obstacles are the things you see when you take your eyes off the goal”. How true! Every time you take your eyes away from the goal at hand, you will surely wander off into troubled waters. If you get to a point in your success journey where you can’t see your goal, you are definitely headed into failure territory.

Goals constantly remind us that there are tasks that need to be done, and within a particular time frame, for us to make progress. Without goals reminding us of where we are and what we are supposed to do to get where we ought to be, we will only be working hard and achieving nothing. Hard work, as Maxwell says, “is the accumulation of easy tasks you did not do when you should have”. The easy routine tasks that we sometimes ignore feeds into our success. Failure to perform these tasks will translate into failure.

Goals must be realistic
Goals must be firmly established upon unflinching reality. If you want to go to New York and you only have ten dollars, it would be foolhardy to start packing for your journey. The reality is that boarding a plane to New York from Nairobi costs more than 10 dollars! But you say, “I have faith in God”? Well, faith is not foolish, neither is it an emotion. No amount of goose bumps or frenzied hysteria will take you to New York on ten dollars. Be real or you will miss the deal.

Goals are yardsticks
Like yardsticks, goals help us gauge or measure our progress, or lack of it. Without goals constantly reminding us where we are and what we should be doing to get where we ought to be, we will be running wild. No amount of sticking our head deep into the sand will help us achieve success. We must stick it out to the end by daily attaining the goals we have set for ourselves. This can only be done if today’s tasks are ‘done’ today!

To post pone to tomorrow today’s task will only mean one thing: a clog up tasks. The result is that we end up breaking our backs trying to accomplish both yesterday’s and today’s tasks; resulting in sloppy and unfinished tasks.

Goals help us avoid overwhelm
To de-stress our lives, we need to learn how to work smart by finishing our daily tasks on schedule.

This is important if we are to avoid being overwhelmed by tasks carried over from yesterday.

One of the leading causes of burnout and depression is the failure to tackle simple tasks on time. As tasks pile up one after another, we end up having to work overtime and sometimes overnight; pushing our body to limits it was not designed to go. To avoid overwhelm, learn to decongest your life by doing what must be done today, today! However if you want to work hard and up stressing yourself, go ahead and let the tasks accumulate.

Goals help us re-strategize
Finally we need to re-evaluate and redefine our strategy to ensure conformity with our objectives. Strategies help us achieve our goals faster. However, some of the strategies we use are sometimes rendered obsolete by the passage of time. When this happens, it is important to redefine or tweak them a little.

Strategies must always remain relevant and in line with the desired goals. When they become irrelevant or obsolete, they should be discarded and new ones invented.

Strategies help us save time by crowding out irrelevant tasks; those that only take up our time but which do not feed into in to our goals. Strategies also help us to concentrate on priority tasks; those that are crucial to the attainment of our goals.

Quote of the Day Reflection

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There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.
Bryan H. McGill

Do you have to like everyone you love? Do you have to approve of every action taken by those you love? Wait are these trick questions?  No, they are not.  Loving people does not mean you are going to like or love everything about them, or how they live their lives necessarily.  You may not always be thrilled in the aftermath how you lived your own life, may have moments you don’t like yourself much.  Can you love on a broad human scale to forgive, even if you voice your distaste etc…, hopefully and please non-violently?  You can’t really forgive if you don’t have genuine love for the person, or a general Agape love that is taught in spiritual communities.  Does that mean you have to associate with them, especially if they show a pattern of negative behavior, show they are incapable of true relationship etc…, even true friendship?  No, you don’t.  Forgiving is as much about you and your own journey, loving yourself enough to release the harmful poison that bitterness and lack of forgiving bring to your heart, body, spirit, soul and life.  What about in cases of a tragedy, don’t we want justice?  Yes, but you won’t get justice if you are do blinded by anger and rage that you can’t let justice take its’ course and trust that whether in this life or the after, it will come, in God’s time, not yours, NOT yours.  Justice is not the same as enraged immediate revenge, which could result in an even greater tragedy and error. Without forgiveness there can be no discernment of any truth, that includes forgiving one’s self for errors, missing the mark as scripture says.  Not to say we shouldn’t strive to be better persons and cultivate discernment, right moral, ethical etc… judgement even in how we live our lives, we should, for our sake, the sake of nations, communities and greater society, future generations.  Forgiveness does not mean you have to be a part of someone’s life, have a relationship, or if you do approve of how they are conducting their lives, it means you can mutually agree to disagree and express how you feel without fear one to the other, if you have a really together life with solid boundaries, moral and ethical boundaries etc..who knows you can be a great example for change and transformation. 

Amen

Fight or Flight, Which Will It Be?

Baptism of Fire

As I look at my life, relationship with my mom, her’s with my dad, his with his family, all sorts of things, including a certain situation I am working through where I see collaboration as being much more a spiritual, emotional etc.. full force deep connection in order for the professional to thrive, the other person not seeing it that way or fearing that deep few, but deep connections situation, this article caught my eye and so I thought I would share it with you.  There are times when after you have done all you can to make something work, flight is the only option.

Fight or Flight in Relationship Conflict

The fight or flight response is a natural response to danger. Our bodies are created to fight or flee when danger is upon us, such as being attacked by a mountain lion. When faced with this kind of danger, the stress hormones pour into our body, causing some blood to leave our brains and organs and go into our arms and legs. This is vital to us if we are actually being attacked by a mountain lion or a mugger. The problem is that this same response occurs when we become afraid in other situations, such as conflict with a partner.

When in conflict with a partner, we need to have the full capacity of our minds to deal rationally and lovingly with the situation. Yet the moment we become afraid, some of the blood leaves our brain, we cannot think as well, and we automatically go into fight or flight. That is when partners tend to fight or withdraw, neither of which leads to conflict resolution.

Obviously, fighting or fleeing is not the best way of dealing with conflict. Yet when fears are triggered – fears of losing the other through rejection or abandonment, or of losing yourself and being controlled by your partner – the stress response is automatically activated and you find yourself fighting or shutting down. Now matter how much you tell yourself that next time you will respond differently, the moment fear is activated you automatically attack, defend, yell, blame, or shut down through compliance or withdrawal.

What can you do about this?

There are two solutions to this dilemma.

The moment there is tense energy between you and your partner, it is best for both of you to walk away from the conflict for at least 15 minutes. During this time, you can calm down and do some inner work. As the stress response leaves your body, you can think better. This allows you to open to learning about your end of the conflict. Once you are clear about what you are doing that is causing the problem and what you need to do differently, you can reconnect with your partner and talk it out. Sometimes there is not even anything to talk out because the conflict was about the fight or flight rather than about a specific issue. More often than not, it is the stress response itself that is the issue. When you take the time to calm down, you might be able to apologize for your anger, blame, defensiveness or withdrawal, and the conflict is over.

The second solution is a longer-term solution. This is about doing enough inner work, such as the Inner Bonding process that we teach, so that your fears of rejection, abandonment, and engulfment gradually diminish. The more you learn to value yourself rather than expect your partner to define your worth and lovability, the less fear you have of rejection. The more you learn to take loving care of your own feelings and needs, the less dependent you are upon your partner. When your fear of rejection diminishes, so does your fear of engulfment. People give themselves up and allow themselves to be controlled and consumed by their partner as a way of avoiding rejection. When rejection is no longer so frightening, you will find that your fear of being controlled diminishes.

The less fear you have, the less you will be triggered into the stress response of fight or flight. The more secure you feel within due to learning to value yourself and learning to take loving care of yourself, the less fear you will feel in the face of conflict. This is when you stop being so reactive and are able to remain open and caring in the face of conflict.

There is no point in continuing a conflict when one or both of you are coming from fear. Continuing a conflict when the fight or flight response is activated will only erode your relationship. Until you can stay open-hearted in a conflict, it is best to continue to follow through on the first solution – taking a time-out until you feel open-hearted.Fight or

When Fear Keeps One From Connecting

misty sky

Often the Holy Spirit will enlighten me through dreams, and this morning I had one that gave me insight into why a collaboration might not work, no matter how much I might or would ever want it to.

For creative and such collaboration to really work, especially long term and in the spiritual realm, there needs to be a real connection, real opening up on all levels, even a deep connection and thread of friendship, exploration of things etc… as a team.  If even one of the team has a wall, is too scared to make any deep connection, fully open up, engage in really getting to know the other, there is not a totally joint and coordinated effort on all fronts, on all levels, then it will be hard to really have that collaboration, work.  This morning I had a dream that showed me the crux of why collaboration may not succeed, much as it pains me.  It is draining to try to build a connection when the other person has a wall you can as an empath etc.. see and feel, fear of connecting you can sense, emotions they won’t allow themselves to ever acknowledge in life.  At this point I have to pray and ask the archangel Michael and Raphael to help me with this, them to pave the way to a shift or something else.  I think that they have a big heart and with a deep connection made, exploring our culture together as a team and fundraising as a team, it could be great, but that has to all be mutually sought.  I don’t see that happening and so collaboration will be uneven and haphazzard, and with some success, but without a real and deep connection, real opening up in deep and healthy friendship, not sure how far the collaboration can go and how productive it will be.  I will invoke the assistance of the archangels, we shall see. 

Amen