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

Only Takes One Person To Snuff It Out

a dark room

Situations can present such great potential and start out that way, and seem like a great place where lots can get accomplished and talents flourish, everyone grow and the institution flourish. You go in with lots of enthusiasm and hope, lots of light, lots of joy.  What happens?

What happens is you run into a wall, run into lack of fluid communication, coordinated effort, lack of coordinated planning, run into one person who doesn’t communicate, doesn’t think long range planning, strategic planning, very strategic planning, with creativity as just a small part of the mix and overall plan.  You run into a wall, someone who can’t see how to plant both the forrest and the trees.  You find yourself in situations that are tricky, frustrating send your blood pressure up, your spirits down and you find the joy sucked out of it all.  You don’t care about the projects, you may even start to not care about the organization itself, which is the saddest part if that happens.  You hate to throw the baby out with the bath water because other people there, you enjoy their company, but there is a certain respect, lack fluid communication etc… that makes things draining in interacting with a particular person there and so you face a dilemma. If it’s a paid p

You can have an all out confrontation with the person, dependent on the circumstances of the situation, project etc…,and clear the air in a calm, adult, rational way.  Explain the situation and what you need to see happen for you to continue collaborating etc…If you feel they are too set in their ways, too stubborn, too whatever, won’t listen, or just don’t care what you say and will keep being uncommunicative etc…, there is no point to even bother talking to them, if you truly feel that, and if talking to anyone else in the organization is not an option, if it’s not where you are stuck and have the option to walk away, then that may be your best option if you are going to be continually aggravated etc… and your health suffer because of their inability to collaborate, communicate fluidly, etc…. Be prayerful about it, and then decide once and for all how to proceed, stick with it.

 

Respond or React, What Do I Do?

Christ Consciousness

I find myself in  a situation where I had to react, felt I had to react and perhaps push a bit to try to know what was happening, prior to that with the Holy Spirit giving me a vision of what was needed I felt the need to react, to do all I could to follow the Holy Spirit and share that vision and save the institution, one that represents my culture, heritage through the faith heritage.  

In that I got too caught up, stressed myself and I forgot to stay centered in my Christ Consciousness and core faith journey.  Not that I don’t care what happens to the church, I do.  I want to see it saved and thriving, to be a thriving example of a traditionalist Roman Catholic church, and yes I know this Pope hates traditionalists and Conservatives, but I hope this parish I had hoped I could help flourish does get to that point.  I also realize that I have to accept the persons there as they are, but accepting them as they are does not mean I have work with them.  It does not mean I have to be part of that faith institution.  I can wish it well, pray for it, but I have to respond in a way that is healthy for me, and I have to respond in Christ Consciousness, meaning what would Christ tell me to do, in what way would Christ respond or indicate to me to respond?  I can’t change the people I would be trying to collaborate with, that I have to accept.   Standing in Christ consciousness, could I collaborate with certain people, having the sense and vision I have been given for the church, respond to that person, who they are, how they manage things etc.. without getting stressed to where my fibromyalgia constantly flares up?  Can I work with certain individuals without getting reactive, to where I stress myself out because things are not very well planned ahead of time?  That is the million dollar question I need to answer.  

Amen

“Good Works” Trap Gotta Watch For

a dark room

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” the saying goes and Martin Luther understood that finally, and I am seeing it in the Church, in society at large.  How cam “good works” be a trap, something that backfires?  

It can, can lead to first of all an ego trip, love of the spotlight, look at me how great I am, what I do, and according to the dictates of my own moral codes etc…  That is a real danger and it happens, can easily happen.  There is also the danger of works becoming the focus of faith, rather than the spiritual life, and being productive to society, a productive member of society and helping others to do so as well, creative a society of victims, of dependency, of snowflakes, of intolerants where not views are accepted other than their own, not even allowed to be expressed, something we see happening with the Liberal Left unwilling to allow any expression of Conservatism.  It puts the emphasis on us, what we do, on us as the centerpiece, rather than us as simply conduits for the great gifts, talents and opportunities given by the creator, and especially with our honoring the boundaries set forth by him, his teachings in sacred scripture, even basics such as the Noahide Laws, Ten Commandments for code of behavior, artistic expression to reach hearts and souls.  There is so much that we are given if we have the proper environment, particularly, free market environment, that when we focus on good works for our salvation, thinking we can earn through good works, prayers and indulgences any of our salvation, we make ourselves and others God.  We are created in the image of God, with intelligence, reasoning, the capacity to create to an extent, feel, govern, all of that, but we are not God.  We also can see how good works can go awry in the Social Justice and Liberation Theology sphere as has done with the Church, Catholic and other denominations, defending law breaking, illegal immigration, and things that clearly go contrary to scripture, the Pope creating confusion with his encyclicals,.  The fight for reproductive rights, right to kill the unborn in and  outside of the womb once fully formed.  Churches who support this will argue they are simply fighting for the poor, all kinds of justifications.  Society is on a warpath with anything that is love of faith, God, country, flag, Federalism, Constitution in any originalist form, anything like this, conservative scripture viewpoint, and that includes the church, but it is done in the name of social justice, civil rights.  They consider it “good works”.  Good intentions, but it is sending the society to hell in a breadbasket, into chaos, confusion, nothing good, including the rise of fascism in Europe due to the good intentions of open borders and lack of clear national identity, so what would be even from perhaps a spiritual point “good”?  Why should you do it if not for salvation of your friggin soul?

Good works would actually probably be teaching people to have enough self esteem and self worth as creations of God, redeemed by what Christ chose to do for humanity, in their talents that they seek to create a truly capitalist, federalist republic in their nation, create strong communities that solve their own problems through collaboration with each other and the free market, allow for love of family, God, Country etc.., even Conservative ideas and worldview.  It would be teaching people to be empowered and helping them to be empowered, never dependent, always empowered, connected to the divine, a strong spiritual life, that could mean just gathering with people in the community to pray, meditate, read poetry together, spiritual poetry.  It’s perhaps encouraging people in their gifts, talents, skills, providing mentorship from a young age and every opportunity locally in community, not via government or bureaucratic non profits, just local entities, churches, synagogues, cafe, condo, coop community rooms that put on shows with residents to showcase their talents.  If there is a need for social welfare, don’t have it be government, make government take as little money as possible and let the community entities locally figure out how to help people with dignity and to quickly transition and get back on track as necessary.  Want good works, keep it local, start local, keep it communal, and do it not for salvation or anything like that, do it because it’s the right thing to do, no other reason.  Also balance that with law and order must be the order of the day and must be honored at the local, state and national level and must not be violated but respected.  

When attempting “good works” meditate a bit and pray because remember “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”

Amen

What Do You Do With…?

Holy Ghost

As I was realizing that the Festival of San Gennaro was right around the corner and I had done all I could to coordinate things,  all I could, to get things moving as quickly and efficiently as possible, but was not getting as far as I should, things not moving as they should suddenly I was taken back in time.  

I was reminded of the movie The Sound of Music and when she is walking down the aisle to get married, the nuns start singing “What do you do with a problem like Maria?”  The song goes on to say that there’s many a thing you ought to tell her, many of thing she out to know, implied that she just doesn’t get stuff she ought to get.  Again it asks what to do with a problem like Maria.  The nuns had to acknowledge that you can’t really do much.  There are those who will never be focused, never be like a laser beam with their ideas, quick to action when action is what is needed.  There are maybe lots like Maria out there, who ought to get it, from how to treat friends and colleagues etc.., to how to be timely in their actions, reactions, have a sense of things, but don’t.  Often as a result projects that we may have been really hopeful about, had lots of enthusiasm about in the beginning, that can get crushed when you feel you are dealing with a Maria, male or female, that type of situation, person.  This birthday could have been one with a few smiles for me, but frustration from feeling like a lone ranger in getting things off the ground, moving etc.. take away the smiles this birthday.  Add on top of that the fibromyalgia acting up, and my frustration with this Pope, the “social justice, PC” confusion he has created, other factors and not feeling very smiley.  I realize also that I view Catholicism really more as a culture aspect, an aspect of heritage.  My true Christian soul is perhaps more in line, tune with let’s say the Neighborhood Church of the West Village, that Protestant, Congregational type of Christianity, a strong sense of the church being the one to foster the arts.   I guess my conflict or so called conflict, which I thought was about Jesus and who he was is more of one within my framework of faith as a Christian, in terms of “Is my soul Catholic or Anglican Conservative.  That is really what I need to explore and I intend to, but how?

I think that seeing how I would feel, fit into someplace like the NCGV and still respect my heritage, including the Catholic faith, but really see where I feel truly authentic and myself, where I feel I can fully embrace the theology.  The exploration really is about my Christianity, what does that mean to me, how do I identify myself, in terms of being Christian.  This is going to be interesting, but necessary.   As for my role as Arts Associate at MPB church, let’s see how that goes, if we can get organized for the arts program.  Not holding my breath on that, not totally.  I hope the church survives and thrives, really do.  There has to be a lot more of everyone being proactive, efficient and organized, moving at a solid fast pace to accomplish what is to be accomplished.  We shall see, only time can tell.  One thing I do know is that the ballon of hope for great collaboration etc…has been somewhat deflated.  Who knows it might just turn around right?

Amen

Why We Hold On, Even When Drowning

Letting Go Never Easy, But Necessary

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We all have dreams and we have such high hopes for them to come true, maybe a childhood dream that we have always had.  Understandable, what nourishes.

Suddenly seems you have that chance, that opportunity to make it all a reality, and you pour heart and soul into it, sweat blood and tears to make it happen, to make it work, yet it doesn’t.  What’s going on and what do you do?  Could be that what you are offering is not what people want, are looking for, need.    Could be that the concept in general is fine, just the content is not what people want or need.  Could be God rejects what you are doing and won’t allow it to move forward for whatever reason.  Could be your motivation is not in line with what God thinks it should be. These are just some of the things that come to mind as to why projects, dreams don’t move forward, don’t bring forth fruit.  Why do we hold on to them even though they are not bearing fruit? Dreams are like our children.  The thought of letting them go, die etc… pains us, is hard to fathom, hard to do, as the song says “breaking up is hard to do” that goes for us and our dreams.  No one wants to walk away from their dream, their dream project that they implemented.  There is also pride, especially when everyone is telling you you’re spinning your wheels.  You don’t want to give in because well, human nature. You don’t want to give them that satisfaction of folding up your tent, paramount to admitting to all the nay sayers that they were accurate in their assessments.  You prefer to keep going even when deep down you might know this is not working, not what people are responding to, want or need.  You might not do anything to move on the things that are going to be embraced, might drag your feet on those. If anyone decided to go right ahead and make all that other stuff happen, not wanting to fiddle faddle, to dawdle, get a move on the things that will work, you might get darn right offended dammit that you are not being supported as you feel you ought to be.  That may not be the case at all, but you might perceive it that way.  Again, dreams are like children and you don’t want to let them go or lose them.  

What do you do with these dreams, these dreams when they come up smack against reality?  Well, you could just ignore reality,  cross your arms, ignore all all input, feel negative about the persons giving the input because they care,  see the writing on the wall as they say, follow only that dream you have, nothing else.  You could do that, to the very end, no matter what the fiscal etc.. consequences.  I myself, been there, done that, not a big fan.  You could adjust the plan to what The Holy Spirit gives you after much meditation and prayer, so it fits God’s will not yours, not easy for us humans to do, pride you see, remember we were tempted by the serpent who said we could be God like to have all knowledge.   You could just accept that the dream needs to be let of and mourn like you would for anything else that you love and you had to release, had to let go of, though it pained you.  Different people will respond differently when faced with reality of the dream not rendering fruit, once implemented.

What of those around them who may not agree with the dream being continued even as it is clearly not rendering fruit? What of those around them who are in any way affected by the financial ramifications, let’s say a musician who is paying the band out of pocket because the gigs for the past year have not produced any revenue though they have heavily invested in promotions etc..? What of his family?  What of friends who care and it hurts them to see him do this and to see all that effort?  What of the band members, those who have heart anyway, how do they feel?  If they have heart, they see no fruit being born of this, and the manager of the band, or if the manager is paying out of pocket for several months, if the band member have a heart, they have to be thinking, no, this is not right.  What do they do? Does the lead singer tell the manager, this can’t go on and risk being seen as the one who burst the manager’s bubble if the manager put the whole band together, launched the dream? If the band members tell the lead singer, will they be seen as the ones who destroyed the dream, burst the bubble, hated?  Will friendships be ruined because the caring won’t be seen, just the bubble bursting?  Tough thing when you have to let go of the dream, and even tougher when you are the one bringing reality home to the dreamer because you risk them potentially hating you for bursting the bubble of this dream.  If you care, and you consider yourself a true friend, then you need to be as honest as you can, with love and kindness, maybe using questions, a parable, like Jesus and those in the Bible did.  If in the end you are thrown out of the kingdom, disliked, at least you know you spoke from the heart.  If you are the dreamer, well only you can decide up to what point you can stay in the dream before it’s time to wake up to reality, even if that reality is not one you like.

This is what the Holy Spirit promoted me to write for my blog today.

Amen

 

Supportive Yet Protective, Tricky?

Letting Go Never Easy, But Necessary

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You care, you want to be supportive, but you also feel protective of the person, the entity perhaps you are a member of and those you interact with within the entity.  You want to be supportive, but you may also have a protective side, especially if you are an empath and intuitive etc… by nature who sees with the spirit guided by what the Spirit gives you.

When one of persons there is spinning their wheels to perhaps exhaustion trying to make an idea work that you know is not meant to be, sense they might be stuck in the past even with their personal life, and you sense this very clearly or even see any of this unfold right before your eyes, it’s tricky.  If you simply tear down their dream, then you risk their resenting you for being a downer and all that.  If on the other hand you play pollyanna and all is well, just smile and pretend all is bright and beautiful, you are not being much of a true friend. You are on a scale trying to keep the scale from tipping either where you are too harsh and totally make them feel crushed and like you have no faith in them, which you might, just not in a particular idea or project, or where you present a pollyanna unrealistic this is going to be great, all working out peachy, keep spinning your wheels, no biggie.  Neither will serve anyone well.  What do you do? For one if you are dealing with a professional situation, do your homework, so if you are going to give advice, you are giving it based on solid research and feedback maybe even that others have given on what has been going on.  When you present any advice, even to a friend make it clear you support their dreams, their efforts to achieve a goal, but you are concerned about the spinning of their wheels, how that energy could be focused elsewhere.  Anything regarding a personal nature, not moving on, returning to the past, maybe find a song that talks about leaving the past in the past and why it should stay there if they are artistically inclined. Letting them know you understand nostalgia can be powerful, but there is a reason people are not part of our lives, why we are apart, not truly connected anymore to others, best to move forward, not back, especially if that connection etc.. was toxic in any way.

We might know in our heart, spirit and soul that what the Holy Spirit has given us is what ought to be, a vision after God’s own heart that should be implemented, but others may not see that same vision, and may be spinning their wheels, banging their heads against the wall doing stuff that is not workable and not part of God’s great commission or even remotely part of his plan for the group, the person, the organization, but if we are going to get that vision across we can’t do it with the scale out of balance in either direction.  Meditate, research, meditate on Scripture, and mediate some more.  You will know how to approach things, even if not everyone will appreciate your efforts to do things right, the heavens will.   Hope this helps in your journey through life and relationships.

Amen