Think Like U or The Other Person?

Life and Liberty, God Bless America

The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.

When you are going into a meeting to negotiate anything, to present a plan, anything like that, what is key to that?  Most of us might think “telling them what I want and need, so I can get what I want and need”  Yeah, that is part of it.  The first thing you need to do is get into their head.  Huh? I bet your thinking to yourself.

If you don’t get into their head even from a common sense point of view, you will be up stream with no paddle, looking quite the fool.  For example next week I am going to be speaking to the Monsignor and the Music Director of our church, the Cathedral which is who we merged with in 2015, so a number of things have to be approved by them, including any liturgical music and bible study program and such.  I put something together and sent it to them yesterday so they would have time to look it over, and I pointed out it is a springboard for us to use, to work from.  When I wrote this I placed myself in their place and thought what are the key questions they are going to be thinking and most often the questions an entity is thinking are;

  1. How is this getting funded, and without burdening us?
  2. . Where is the talent, human resource etc… going to come from?
  3. How is all this going to get managed?

I made sure to address all of this as best I could in the plan.  I also had to think like a Monsignor, like a Church Music Director, like someone running church operations.  From their perspective, what is a church’s priority?  Long term devout Catholic members, multiple generations of members, evangelization of the faith, The priority of the projects etc… has to come based on that, so since I have a Cantor ready to go and possibly a pianist/organist as well, that should be the first thing funded, and with having an origination ready to provide us with talent for choir and our monthly concert series, work withy us, provided we do things with solid planning, it will make sense to start with the cantor, pianist, then the other stuff.  That is what I am proposing in my plan.  What of the sponsors?  Again, from their point of view what do you have ready for us to invest in? The cantor and pianist/organist are ready to go.  When you are looking to get funded etc…, yes you should do what you dream of doing and the plan etc… needs to reflect that, but you also need to get into their head and think from their point of view and address any questions, concerns they are going to have, do your best to anticipate them, and address them in your plan or at any meeting ahead of time.  Be not afraid, pursue your dreams, and try to see from the other side of the meeting table what you need to address from their point of view ahead of time and find a way to address it that you will be okay with, that wont compromise your and your partner/colleague’s dream, vision.  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.

Amen

Seeing It Through

Life and Liberty, God Bless America

The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.

 

Life is a rose with thorns, it is never just the rose, and we must accept the thorns as we embrace the rose at times.  It does not mean that we must allow the thorns to piece us or that we must necessarily bleed to where we lose sight of the rose, the beauty of the rose.

Sometimes the Lord will call us to something, to a vocation, a calling, a project a path, something that will be a beautiful rose with so much potential, so much potential for growth and faith development, but have thorns and we can get deflated, we can get discouraged.  Some might even see that others seem more apt to move thing along, to know what to do with the situation etc…, have a better grasp of things, feel they can’t do this, while other person seems to feel easy breezy know exactly what needs to be done and how, the whole enchilada.  The Lord may have you in a situation where you see clearly what has to be done etc.., the other person/s don’t and it’s frustrating, so you lose sight of the rose, see only the thorns that pierce your heart with frustration and anxiety.  That has been the case with me and a current endeavor the Lord has given me, a gift, a rose, beautiful rose with so much potential to blood into a full garden of roses.  I can’t see that garden bloom if I walk away, if I have no firm staying power, so I have to stay, nurture the garden of roses.  Even if there are thorns, I have to shield myself with the Golden Armor of God, with Prayer, Meditation, Faith and move forward.  I can not give up, can not walk away, have to see this through for myself, for the church, for this great gift and opportunity that God has given me.  There are some really great people I am seeing coming to the church wanting to work with us and teaming up with them, great stuff can happen, and I would hate to lose that opportunity because of a thorn or two, because of others not getting it, not getting what’s needed for the church to thrive and succeed.  I would really hate to see that happen. I will pray, meditate, work around all thorns, obstacles etc…. and thank the Lord every day for this gift, opportunity to use my gifts for his glory and for the faith community and my heritage.

Amen

Won’t Apologize For Being Tough Cookie

soaring eagle

I realize I can be a lot like a hurricane, a tropical storm, a strong wind, all those things, and I can be a tough cookie when working on any project, can really be a tough one.  To those who take life as easy breezy, whatever so what it happens when it happens, want to fly by the seat of my pants, don’t see any reason for planning way ahead, weather any storm as it comes, I can be a handful.  I can be in your face, hawk flying over you, hovering all that. Should I apologize, hmmm…

Some might think I should, but I won’t.  I won’t apologize for being me, for being a tough cookie who has learned that flying by the seat of your pants is a bad way to do businesses and makes you look like a fool.  People will walk away if you don’t have your act together, so now I want to make sure that in any venture I engage in I have my act together, and that everyone I am dealing with has their act together.  This week when I meet with a particular artist, and arts director, I want to make sure that I have all the elements together for this meeting.  I don’t want anything left to chance.  I want to make sure that we have a clear path laid out before us of direction for the organization.  I don’t want her to think we don’t have our act together.  I don’t want what I have deemed another “Eugenia Moment”.  I don’t want to have anyone back out, or cancel or anything like that because we are not fully prepared.  Am I a hovering hawk, tenacious in wanting answers ASAP, and all that stuff?  Hell yeah, you bet!  Do I apologize for it?  Hell NO!! I expect people to have it together, and myself to have it together, for all the pieces to be in place before meetings, before doing any event, before anything.  Flying by the seat of my pants may have been cute years and years, ions ago, now it wouldn’t be cute, it would be foolish and make me look foolish and incompetent and I refuse to do that to myself.  I refuse to work that way, to be put in that position, so I can be a handful, but I make no apologies for that, never will. 

Amen!

Echoes of Path Not Taken

Garden Path

As I work with the church, as I realize I am on the right path as an artist and minister, as I connect with these artists I see echoes, the path not taken.  Why was that path not taken?  As I said in a previous post, this year my birthday has been a somber one and unlike ones in the past three years, I din’t really have any smiles or anything like that, just lots of somber reflection.  I guess over 50 will do that to you.  Why was the path of artist and minister combined not taken?

Baggage and fear at the root of it.  How?  I carried baggage from childhood with me into my young adult years and up until a few years ago.  It was a heavy load and it created also fear, fear that I wouldn’t be perfect enough, get things perfectly right on the one hand, but so anxious to do that I didn’t really listen to the Holy Spirit as I should have for my own life.  My intuitive side was great when it came to other people, dreams of foreknowledge about friends and family, discernment for them, all great, but for me, for my own life, the baggage, thus the fear, and thus not such great decisions were the result.  If I had been able to let go of the baggage, the fear from that, and discern, I probably, even without any support from the family for my artistic bent, or from mom, I could have done the following.  I could have joined a church choir, stuff like that and with that compensation, since college paid for private voice and acting lessons, since music is also in a way theatre.  I could have built a career as an indie artist and songwriter.  I had so many negative voices from that baggage and also some negative external ones, which I allowed to interfere.  The arts has its’ pitfalls, no doubt, so a strong faith life, a strong boundaries spiritual and faith life, as well as community of like minded people of strong faith etc… are the way to keep you grounded.  You also have to really let go of baggage, fears and pre-conceived notions of fame, fortune, success all of that and do it for the love of the arts.  You also have to have a life and other interests outside of that, again to keep you grounded.  

This birthday, my life has had echoes, echoes of could have, should have, wish I had done.  I can’t change what was, but I can change what is and what will be, this is my opportunity to help this parish thrive, and also to put down the echoes.  I also need to find ways to earn my daily bread with these gifts and then those echoes will be further put aside and dissolved.  Life has been quite a journey and I don’t want anymore echoes unless they are of my having realized my full potential in this area and come into union with my truest soulmate, the man who is my truest soulmate at all levels including creatively.  Now, I need to totally trust The Lord, not the voices of a negative nature.  Don’t get me wrong if people see a pattern that is not healthy for you, even in terms of the projects you are doing not being right in line with the Lord, or not succeeding and requiring an overhaul of some kind, that’s different.  I am talking about those voices that chip away at your confidence, self esteem, that do not value your talents in full or at all, may even mock them.  Those voices you need to drown out with the Holy Spirit’s voice and solid scripture, prayer, poetry, music that will uplift etc…  May all listen to and fully precisely discern it and our path early on in life, that is my wish for all.  I look forward to great work at Most Precious Blood and also in ways that will earn me my daily bread in spades as they say.

Amen

 

Frustrated Collaboration, Balloon Deflated?

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The Journey That is Life.

You can see clearly what great potential things have for being a star spangled banner so to speak.  You are doing everything possible to make it happen, it’s your heart and soul, you can see all the potential.  You are really excited about the possibilities. Yeah, right? 

Well, then you are hit with collaboration, with coordinating, with meshing your focus etc.. with that of others, and if the others are like flitter flutter butterflies then you end up with what could seem like a burst ballon, a deflated raft or balloon.   When the ballon gets deflated because though you are focused, doing everything possible to make something a star spangled banner so to speak but the coordinating is not coordinating as it should, that aspect is not gelling, what do you do?  You hope, pray that your able to make it all work in spite of the coordinating etc.. not gelling on the other end, but a part of you, small part, as much of an optimist as you are that thinks if we can’t coordinate, collaborate and gel with synergy and timing, quickly and efficiently, this whole thing may never happen, may never see the light of day of success.  What if this is your calling, this path, what do you do?  Contingency plan.  You always have a contingency plan.  A contingency plan does not mean you are giving up on that project, that great vision for whatever, vocation wise, career wise, creatively.  However, it does mean you understand that what you are working on, as much as you are working on success, if you can’t coordinate with the other parties, rather they can’t coordinate etc… with you in synergy, then it may not see success, not for lack of effort etc… on your part.  

I truly hope and pray that the work I am doing at Most Precious Blood Church and my efforts at coordination efforts will bring it to success, thriving, prosperity, the Italian Catholic heritage preserved.  I hope it is an anchor for conservative traditional Catholicism and values for many generations to come.  As I do my best to coordinate with others, a small part of me is concerned.  What is the contingency plan, something akin to meet up for Catholic Artists.  I am not giving up on MPB, on that dream of it being a star spangled banner of faith and culture, but life has taught me to have a contingency plan.  The artist circle would be the alternative to raise funds and more for this parish and other parishes, organizations, uniting catholic artists to come together in the arts, particularly with A Capella and Improv skills.  I will do that after Labor Day, get moving on that.  May I have excellent coordinating partners and artists on my team, that is my prayer. One could be reactive, just give up be all angry etc.., but that is not what God expects of us, doesn’t expect us to be quitters at the first sign of glitches, or people that are tough to coordinate etc… with.  He expects us to be creative, proactive and figure out how to work through that, and as I said have a solid contingency plan.  If you always give up when there are difficult people etc.., trust me on this, you don’t get far.

Amen

Clarity on People and Path

Life and Liberty, God Bless America

The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.

As a new year begins, since one’s birthday really begins the New Year, I find myself quite clear what type of people I want in my life, including as a life partner and my vocational path.

In terms of friendship I want those who will share my conservative values, I would like to have friendship with those who love traditional conservative Catholicism, all that it encompasses, who would seek activities regularly connected to church,  Catholic culture and the arts, often in connection to faith and church.  I hope to have the good Lord bring forth into my life those who live in and love the city, in and with very close distance to Manhattan as I really am a City girl, not a country girl, unless it’s a  day or weekend trip, and someone is taking me out there with the car and back home, the drive is not a long one at all, or it’s a , very convenient train ride, like when I used to go to Long Island.  I would love to have friends with whom I can do great artistic and faith collaborative work with and also share social activity with, as here described.    I would even be open to home movie and then dine and chat about the movie or program kind of thing and if I had my own space, place I would even host that kind of thing.    In terms of a special someone to share my life with, not any different, it would be someone who really does encompass gallantry, some old fashioned gallantry, so if you get invited to someplace, they pick you up, take you home, see to it you get to where you are going and back home safe.  They look out for, same with any male friends, they do it out of gallantry, respect.  These are the type of people I am going to be meditating on attracting to my life, into my life and that I be this kind of person also.    I hope to in my life and in general be able to reject the sin, but love and have empathy for the sinner, understanding the difference and also the difference between empathy and sympathy.

As for my vocational path. no doubt on that.  The path for me is music and ministry, so far it is with the church and voluntary, which is fine, don’t mind.   I also need to earn my daily braad as the saying goes, so now comes the putting this all together outside of the church, activities separate from that to earn my daily bread and hopefully I can collaborate with others starting this Fall to make that happen.  It is what I want to do with the rest of my life.  

Amen

 

Protocol, Preparation Critical, Why?

Life and Liberty, God Bless America

The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.

See that light, that beacon, that lighthouse, that’s the Protocol and Preparation Lighthouse of life, vocation, relationships and faith.  For all the free spirits out there, those who chafe at the mere thought of protocol as I use to and really wanted to always wing it in life, and be a free spirit, now that I have actually grown up, realizing free spirit still needs some kind of boundaries, but why?  The inner child is throwing as does the inner child in all of us the preverbal tantrum jumping up and down and screaming “why why why!”  As one whose greatest strength is to be an improvisational speaker, poet, songwriter-singer, right there on the spot, free spirit, go with the flow, with the moment, don’t plan or worry so much seems like a really awesome thing, live in the moment.  I pretty much did that most of my life, lost in the maze of figuring out my way out of the confusion and crap borne out of my childhood, my parents’ tug of war and mess with me in the middle, and my mom’s bitterness about the divorce, my dad’s family, all that jazz.   It didn’t work out well for me, not even as an artist.  Recently in my capacity as Music Associate and Coordinator for Most Precious Blood in organizing a benefit concert my colleague and I had a meeting with a group that was supposed to perform for us, as a service to the community, however, there was not enough preparation, not for lack of trying for the event and the meeting.  The first impression made on the person who came for the meeting was not a good one and they backed out, but we have managed to secure other talent and I will be meeting with them this week, so all is not lost.  However what it did teach me is what life has been teaching me and that is that while you can be a free spirit within your artistic framework and your work to an extent, there still has to be protocol, coordination, excellent preparation in other respects.  Let me address that.

When you are dealing with others, if for example you say you are going to be meeting and for whatever reason that meeting then is not going to take place, you communicate that to that person.  If you do tell someone you are going to have a meeting with them you hold yourself to that, you keep your word, you don’t then suddenly change your mind and just not show up or not have the meeting with them after you said you would.  Common courtesy, common protocol, common sense and manners.  When you are going to meet with someone, be sure you know their background if it’s a professional meeting, that you have looked over what they have send ahead of time, make the time.  Have that info with you or take highlight notes with you and be able to access the full files if necessary..  Be very well prepared, as first impressions will make or break you, your team and your organization.  If you are organizing an event, for friggin goodness sakes, do not put your team or colleagues in a position of having to rush through planning, plan all events at least 8-12 weeks in advance, including promotion and ticket sales, if not 12-16 weeks. Lots of good planning, coordination and communication, you and your team, no exceptions or excuses.  Be sure you communicate and if you say you are going to meet for a meeting an introduction etc.. and you can’t or there is a change, you let people know, you have that courtesy.  Common courtesy protocol.  This is also true for any relationship.  If you give your word, keep it, barring a medical or other emergency, keep it.  This is why being a busy bee butterfly is problematic, quite problematic and being someone who can’t say no who feels they always have to say yes, can’t turn anyone down can be problematic.  Who and what to say yes to has to be carefully determined, schedules carefully worked out, one can’t say yes to everything and everyone or one will end up breaking one’s word to everyone or a number of people.  This is one reason I have withdrawn from most of my meet up groups and even Israel support groups because I know I want to dedicate my time to the church, Hadassah and the Petrosino lodge, so what is the point of trying to commit myself to a whole bunch of other things if my heart is with these groups, these people?  I will end up having to break my word, back out of things when their schedule conflicts with events at the church, Hadassah and Petrosino, so what is the point?  The artist and minister who always rebelled against protocol, wanted to be a purely free spirit know realizes there is not such thing and that protocol, coordinating, planning are essential to life, though we can within the framework of our vocation be free spirits in some way and that is a good thing.

Amen