Quote of the Day Reflection

Garden.jpg

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

Reflection, Quote for the Day

cropped-slide_337809_3550010_free

 

Positive anything is better than negative nothing.  To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive. Elbert Hubbard, American writer, 1859-1915

As I read these quotes I thought of today’s politicos and even so called activists, academics, the mess we are in all over the place and they hit home.  They are interconnected.  Let’s start with the first one.  Positive action to solve issues is always better than sitting around doing nothing and watching the house burn to the ground, and if lives are at stake, people are trapped in the burning building then there is moral imperative to do something.  Same if you have people trapped under a building, right? Yes and no.  There you have a different scenario.  There is a Brady Bunch Christmas special where Mike Brady is called in by this boss who did not listen to Mike about putting certain safety features and he and two other workers get trapped under building rubble.  Of course the family wants someone to go in and save Mike right away, or a team to go in, but if they do, not knowing just how stable or unstable the beams are the whole thing could come down and kill them all.  How would that be good for anyone including the families of those who die under the total collapse of the building?  Mike who is the architect knows the building finds his own way out to safety, via his own ingenuity.   Action needs to be positive, but it can only be so if there is no political or such ambition behind it, no one side only view behind it, and if it is seen in full view mirror historical, cultural, financial etc.. past, present, future to the great good of present and future generations, including financial health of the greater community, includes nations.  Is that asking for a lot of maturity? heck yeah.  Knowing when to do something, a little, a lot, nothing for now, letting individuals, communities and their own ingenuity take over so they don’t become dependent children, individuals, communities etc…  and really are able to take pride in their ability to map out their own destiny, find talents within they never realized they had, or make use of talents they never got the chance to make use of, is crucial.   For politicians and those in high profile positions, doing nothing, doing little, letting We The People, forcing us to solve our own problems, in community, including within the faith community, through the private sector mainly, with our own ingenuity, not telling us we need to suck up the fact that life is not always sweet as honey, has thorns like roses have thorns, and that government is not your mom and dad, is not responsible for your every care and whim, deal with it, is not a good way to get votes, is it?  It guess it wont go over well with the image of smiling, kissing babies and all that come election day.  So, they say nothing of what needs to be said, which is stop being a nation and society of whiners, complainers, vampires, thugs etc…, grow up!  Instead they do Negative Somethings and keep getting us into more debt, more division and a bigger mess. Families are doing the same, parents with their kids, same thing, couples, in all spheres, faith institutions trying to be hip, modern, politically correct being fools and clowns.  That leads us to the third quote.  OMG, please don’t give our young people any sense of competition, any sense that they are not all geniuses in school, or that anyone of them is any less in aptitude in any way shape or form, oh no!  Save them from any speech that will cause them to be hurt in feelings or any way  shape or form, oh poor babies should they have to suffer a different point of you, the travesty the trauma!  Seriously?  A sterilized world, life where you have no emotions, no constructive emotions, no constructive debates, even passionate ones, vigorous ones, where you never are hurt, never are heartbroken is a world of robots, a world of non humans, of cold, lifeless androids.  Sucks.  On the other hand, being pure anger, rage, emotion, can’t handle the truth about anything, means you are perpetual child, annoying child who at some point everyone will want to smack upside the head a thousand times over, wanting you to get the hell over yourself and grow the hell up!  Also sucks!

Sadly this is the world we are living in and yet I would like to think there is hope for this to turn around and for us to live in a vibrant world where heart and reason meet, congeal, work together, where it is about the big picture of common sense for the greater good long term financially for all, giving free reign of ingenuity to the local community and individuals to be able to solve problems, to present solutions, and for a lot of people with a strong backbone, not a society of whiners, complainers etc…, no need for safe spaces and playdough, or whatever it is called, been a long while since I was a kid.

Amen

Fibro Once Again, Bump In the Road

a dark room

Sometimes fibromyalgia can be compared to being in a dark room.  You make plans, want to, but then at the same time, the fibromyalgia is so unpredictable.  Add to that the fact that now my 93 year old mom is starting to forget, leave the gas on, and adding more stress, something not good for anyone with fibro. Today I missed out on a day of heritage celebration because of the fibro messing with my memory in a sense.

I have set my cell phone alarm to go for doctor appointment before, since the alarm on the dresser clock doesn’t work any number of times.  However, I was worried after mom again left the stove on and I then went in to get something and saw she had, and the shift in weather, made for a horrible night, so I set the alarm settings on my phone, but never saved them, so the alarm this morning never went off.  If mom wakes up and she knows I have plans she will wake me if I have had a good night’s sleep, my blood pressure was high, sugar was off, arthritis pain acted up or just knows I really want to be there, but she had not slept well, , so she didn’t wake up either.  I could get very discouraged, get all down and depressed, which wont help at all.  Instead, I am blogging, listening to music that uplifts me, inspires me and I am planning on my activities for tomorrow, including a class in Music Appreciation at my coop, in the community room.  This is not the first time that because of Fibromyalgia I have had to either do last minute cancelations or stuff like this has happened and it likely won’t be the last.  What matters here is how I respond to these moments, these “crisis” moments, and if I choose to see them as crisis.  Another example, I will do all I can to help a church I feel strongly about saving to thrive, but if after all has been tried it still folds, I can’t have a pity party for the church, what I can do is figure out how to make my faith life stronger and make the faith stronger.  I can honor my heritage daily in different ways and it’s up to me to find constructive ways to do so.  Life and fibromyalgia will throw curveballs and yet it’s not the curveballs that are the issue, it’s how I respond, that is the issue.

Amen

32 Words That Can Change Your Life

32 Words That Can Change Your Life

By: Carina MacInnes

We all have ways of testing opportunities that enter our lives. Some of us just dive right in based on feeling, others walk straight into what they know is right by a gut feeling or intuition. And if it’s not gut feelings or emotions that are the tests of opportunities, it is the logical mind persuading us to ignore those feelings and emotions and test it with our reality of reason.

Most of us do not have a predetermined strategy for testing opportunities, or even more generally to test the actions we take and the choices we make in our lives.

There is an easier way to determine if our choices we make and the opportunities we receive ‘pass the test’. This simple 32 word statement of business ethics was first created in the 1930s and used to turn around a failing company. These four questions were applied by each employee to each and to every minute detail of the company’s workings. This little list of four questions from Rotary International, a humanitarian business organization, is the most widely printed, translated and reproduced piece of business ethics today:

“Of the things we say, think or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

If we built businesses and our lives based on these very simple 4 questions we would be coming from a place completely the opposite of the competitive mind and the lack mentality. As you can see, these questions prompt you to choose what is true, fair, and good, making choices that can build friendships and goodwill. It helps us to see how the choices we make can be beneficial to all concerned.

Because of our societal influences, we most often are inclined to make choices and act based on a competitive mind. This comes from the perspective of lack, scarcity, and ultimately greed.

Any opportunity based on the model of competition and lack will simply not pass the test. Competition promotes strife. It embodies winning one spot, taking it away from all the other people who want it. It misleads people to believing there is only one chance for success, when in reality there is plenty for all.

The competitive model encourages people to rely on a source outside of themselves to give them what they need. This denies the power of their own ability to create what they want. This narrow focus shows they are choosing to ignore the possibility of creating this opportunity in their own lives, instead of trying to win the spot from millions of others.

This simple testing technique takes us completely out of the competitive mind of greed, scarcity and lack. It turns our thoughts and choices toward the positive, realizing there are opportunities we can take that can provide increase for all concerned.

I invite you to use these questions to test your actions and opportunities in your life. If you are seeking opportunity, these questions may help you see things in a different way. In doing this, perhaps you might find an opportunity in your life which truly allows you to benefit the world, while at the same time reaching whatever your dreams, goals, and desires

Reflection for Today, Attitude, Intent

soaring eagle

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. ~ Thomas Jefferson, American former president from 1801 to 1809

Attitude and intent, what’s the big deal, you have a dream, a goal, see an injustice, what you think is one, a need you think needs met in society etc…, you just go full speed bull in a china shop and do whatever it takes to make it happen, right?  Be the hero, right?  Not so fast, buddy, not so fast.  A goal, even righting what you perceive as a wrong can be disastrous, have a disastrous end.  The attitude and intent of what you do has to be with integrity and nobility, with a sense of reason, objectivity, if we are talking on a larger scale in some cases historical and overall life context.  An article in Forbes recently explained that attitude is more important than one’s IQ.  Huh? That’s right attitude matters more than a person’s IQ, interesting huh.  Why?  A person with a growth mindset, a mindset of willingness to learn, of inquiry is more likely to meet with success in life, then one without that willingness.  Attitude also is important in terms of being able to accept and manage failure, if you can’t, God help you, you are dead in the water.  Attitude is important in life.  You should have clear sense of values and all that, but you also have to be willing to learn, to grow, to accept failure as part of life’s learning process, if you do fall down and have to get up again.   Goals are set in life with intent of reaching a destination, but often we can go through life without intent, ships just roaming through the seas, drifting and that also has an effect on others who have no clue what we stand for, who we are really.  We may have a sense, but we leave others confused, and even in just our day to day lives, in our speaking etc… what is our intent?  Do we know?  Do we have any idea what we are achieving? Most likely we give no thought to that.

I am realizing in my own life how much of an impact my fibromyalgia and my not so healthy co-dependent relationship with my mom has had on my attitude, not in a good way.  I am also realizing I have been left with impatience and fatigue, overall impatience and fatigue with life, human stupidity etc…, you name it I have impatience for it.  I also realize that intent is something that I never really thought about in terms of my artistic life etc…, and it is only now that I have really come to a place of intent, the intent being to help people find their place of spiritual and creative potential, and figure out how to best fulfill it, hopefully with that undo some of the damage done by this “modern, and liberal progressive” malarky.  As for my own self, I am going to be seeking community, community close to home, in and through my coop,  faith community, connecting to my culture through the Casa Italiana at NYU, and perhaps a meet up group I create.  I have some work to do in terms of my own self as regards the toll these two things have taken on my attitude and intent, but half of the battle is knowing, so I am well set to make changes. 

Amen

Articulating Feelings, Why So Hard?

slide_337809_3550010_free
The Journey That is Life.

Some can articulate what they are thinking and feeling quite easily, openly, no problem, particularly through the arts, through blogging, even in conversation.  Others, like there a wall and they might joke around a lot and all that, but any real exchange of feelings etc…, any deep connecting, forget it and so any substantial collaboration or significant friendship of deep spiritual nature, not happening, not because you may not want that or think it wouldn’t be great.  Why the difficulty for some with heart to heart open communication, connection etc..?  I wondered and did some research and I came across an article.  There are ten core reasons.

Not everyone finds expressing their feelings easy or having it come naturally. While the stereotype is that men have the hardest time expressing their emotions, everyone at one time or another in their life may find it difficult to say how they feel.

Learning why you have trouble expressing your feelings can go a long way into changing that behavior. Saying how you feel is something you can learn how to do, just as readily as you can learn how to fix a faucet or mend a button on a shirt. Here are ten common reasons why people find it difficult to express their emotions to someone else.

1. Conflict Phobia

You are afraid of angry feelings or conflicts with people. You may believe that people with good relationships should not engage in verbal “fights” or intense arguments. In addition, you may believe that disclosing your thoughts and feelings to those you care about would result in their rejection of you. This is sometimes referred to as the “ostrich phenomenon” — burying your head in the sand instead of addressing relationship problems.

2. Emotional Perfectionism

You believe that you should not have feelings such as anger, jealousy, depression, or anxiety. You think you should always be rational and in control of your emotions. You are afraid of being exposed as weak and vulnerable. You believe that people will belittle or reject you if they know how you really feel.

3. Fear of Disapproval and Rejection

You are so terrified by rejection and ending up alone that you would rather swallow your feelings and put up with some abuse than take the chance of making anyone mad at you. You feel an excessive need to please people and to meet what you perceive to be their expectations. You are afraid that people would not like you if you expressed your thoughts and feelings.

4. Passive-Aggressive Behavior

You pout and hold your hurt or angry feelings inside instead of disclosing what you feel. You give others the silent treatment, which is inappropriate, and a common strategy to elicit feelings of guilt (on their part).

5. Hopelessness

You are convinced that your relationship cannot improve no matter what you do. You may feel that you have already tried everything and nothing works. You may believe that your spouse (or partner) is just too stubborn and insensitive to be able to change. These positions represent a self-fulfilling prophecy–once you give up, an established position of hopelessness supports your predicted outcome.

6. Low Self-Esteem

You believe that you are not entitled to express your feelings or to ask others for what you want. You think you should always please other people and meet their expectations.

7. Spontaneity

You believe that you have the right to say what you think and feel when you are upset. (Generally, feelings are best expressed during a calm and structured or semi-structured exchange.) Structuring your communication does not result in a perception that you are “faking” or attempting to inappropriately manipulate others.

8. Mind Reading

You believe that others should know how you feel and what you need (although you have not disclosed what you need). The position that individuals close to you can “divine” what you need provides an excuse to engage in non-disclosure, and thereafter, to feel resentful because people do not appear to care about your needs.

9. Martyrdom

You are afraid to admit that you are angry, hurt, or resentful because you do not want to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing that her or his behavior is unacceptable. Taking pride in controlling your emotions and experiencing hurt or resentment does not support clear and functional communication.

10. Need to Solve Problems

When you have a conflict with an individual (i.e., your needs are not being met), avoiding the associated issues is not a functional solution. Disclosing your feelings and being willing to listen without judgment to the other is constructive.

Reference:

Burns, D.D. (1989). The feeling good handbook. New York: William Morrow.

Quote and Reflection

Garden

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ~ Mark Twain

Makes sense right? Yeah, but a lot of the time human nature doesn’t get what is common sense or if we do, other stuff gets in the way.  Some of it is legitimate logistical concern, such as how to finance the idea etc…, so it’s not that we don’t have the motivation at times, there are legitimate logistical and tactical issues that have to be taken care of.  However, there is a big lesson I have learned from being where I am at 50 something.

Dreaming is great, planning is great, setting goals is great, but then what? It’s fine to have a dream, a plan and goals, we should, I applaud that.  However, often what happens is we create a plan, then we get so overwhelmed by the plan in front of us etc…and what is required to bring it to fruition we freeze, we find excuses why it can’t be done.  What changed from years of not doing what I am doing to doing it? For one, we now have great technology that means I can do a lot of stuff at home and it doesn’t cost a whole bunch of money.  There are services such as Fiverr and others like it where I can have my sites promoted etc… and again not have it cost an arm and a leg as the saying goes.   I also realized that setting reasonable goals say six weeks at a time, even for eight weeks at a time makes things less stressful.  In addition how I handle what happens positive or negative, presumably negative at that moment, will make a huge difference to the big picture, so if I can stay calm and ride out any storm, see the good in it, the lesson in it, not a loss.  The important thing is realizing that with today’s platforms and technologies, if I can dream it, I can make it happen, somehow I can make it happen and I can do it ethically, with integrity and not a lot of money or even getting into any kind of debt.  Mark Twain is quite right in his advice, especially these days.  As for those out there paid activists, destroying property etc…, get a life, get a constructive life, make a positive impact not with paid violence and such, use today’s technology, educate yourself on the Constitution, history and founding of this nation, even study Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, do something constructive to change society.  There is so much potential with the arts to make a difference, with education, doing so with fact, truth, objectivity, so get out there do it. 

Amen