Friday, July 19, 2019

Division Of Our Country

I was watching a video clip and the speaker made the statement, " Our country is more divided now than it has ever been".  Really?  I concede the country is divided and we have much to mend and heal. The racial divide, gender, sexual orientation, pro-choice, left or right, Christian or not, religion in school the list goes on and on. Yet this still does not reach the level of the aforementioned statement.

Let's talk about the most divided time in our nation's history.  A mere 154 years ago, April 9, 1865, was the end of the Civil War. A war fought within our borders. A battle that took 750,000 lives, that's roughly 504 deaths a day. A clear and a greatly debated subject of who and who was not equal as human beings. The need to support a lifestyle that far too many had grown comfortable with, the idea that color divided and defined who was and who was not worthy.  Not just worthy of possessions and wealth, but of being treated with respect and dignity, to be called "human".  At that time men, women and children deemed slaves were mere property, and their treatment no better than the animals that served their owner. Oft times treatment wasn't a good as that of animals.  Step out of line, not knowing your place could bring punishment of such cruelty it defies comprehension.  Families were separated, people sold and traded like goods to be had.  Their difference measured yet further based on the depth of their skin pigmentation.  The darker their skin the less value they held.

We have the opportunity before us to decide which side of history shall we stand on. In another hundred and fifty-four years, when this time and place is discussed will people speak kindly of the condition of the human race, will the memory of you be one of those who stood and maintained the integrity by standing with the marginalized of today and walking with them in the journey of equality, of justice and of common decency. Will you be remembered as that person who held to their own moral convictions even if it meant standing alone or at least felt like you were. Every day we are watching as people of families are being pulled apart, sanctioned for their desire to live a better life, to seek refuge from tyranny, wanting only to be free and live as every human has the right to.

And while it may feel like "our country is more divided now than it has ever been"  now is the chance to speak up, speak out, march, write the countries leaders, vote for people of good conscience and moral character and assure we do not reach that level of injustice ever again.  Help to give what every human deserves, the right to be treated as a human, live with family and support their family unit.  Be the friend you would want to have, be the neighbor that is dependable, be the light at the end of a very long tunnel and most of all express love and compassion to all you meet. May the darkness that overshadows our nation at this time be released and our light of inclusiveness shine brightly.

Love is always the answer... Namaste

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Poem The Master's Plan

The Master’s Plan
The stars, the moon, the sky high above
Were all made from a gentle hand of love
The rivers the streams where gentle ripples flow
Reflection of the evening’s sun all aglow
The fields and the grasses the wildflowers grow
We've only to listen and we will know
Arise in the morning to the birds while they sing
Their voices in tune with springs gentle rain
A man and a woman were placed here too
The long-ago beginnings of me and of you
Made in the image, but what does that mean
How do you see what’s never been seen
The heart knows the answer it’s simple as can be
Breathe in the Spirit and then share it with me
I Am that I Am the breeze gently whispers
It doesn't matter if I’m a miss or a mister
God knows our hearts and that’s all the matters
Don’t get wrapped up in all of the chatter
With arms wide open and love in our hearts
That’s where real change finds its start.
Mattie Herald ©

Monday, April 22, 2019

Sacrifice - After all I have done for you...

  1. Recently I heard a parent say about her child, "she doesn't know all I have sacrificed for her.
  2. The dictionary defines sacrifice this way:  noun:  An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure, as a verb: Offer to kill as a religious sacrifice.

  1. I have to ask myself, did this mother really offer a "sacrifice" in the name of her daughter? My best guess is no. Yet I have heard people make statements like this one many times when it comes to their children. I don't see providing for and raising children as any type of sacrifice. Any and all we do for our children should be done so in respect, nourishing and an understanding that when bringing a child into the world accepting the fact that I now must care for this tiny human until they are no longer under my care and/or can care for themselves. When they become adults they still need our care and love. We need to be a sounding board, a safe place to bring questions and concerns. And although we may see a situation that needs our advice, we must allow them to live their lives as they see fit. One of the hardest rules to follow, keeping my nose out of my adult child's business unless they ask. There are a couple acceptions to the rule, domestic violence, and child abuse, and we need to educate ourselves in these areas in order to give the best advice. Even then we have to allow our child to make their own choices. When they continue making painful choices, it breaks our hearts, and all we can do it offer our knowledge and support until they are ready to make a change.

  1. As a parent my life changes, my priorities and needs for myself may have to change in exchange for the needs of my child. This isn't a sacrifice, this is being a responsible and loving parent. I make these changes willingly and without feelings of loss. The only feeling and action is the unconditional love for my children.  This doesn't mean I approve of all their choices and the way they may have chosen to live. It simply means I stay in my space and assure them I am always available and love them. Being a parent isn't easy at times nor rewarding for that matter, however, we do what is expected and do so willingly and lovingly to best of our ability.  Telling a child, " you don't know the sacrifices I made so you could have", is shaming to the child, causing them to question and debt themselves and their worthiness. In order to raise confident and able humans, we first must recognize being a parent is never a sacrifice, but a privilege and honor.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Women Who Stand With Trump

I saw a posting that stated, they must like being grabbed by the pu*y, in reference to women seen with and speaking up for the president. I don't believe this is the case. I do believe they believe what they have been taught to believe. The majority of the women, I have noticed, seems to be older and white, not all, but certainly a majority. They have little to no personal power, they have been taught they are to submit to the males in their lives, and that doing otherwise will bring them harm or place them without means to care for themselves, and or somehow lesser for not having a male in their life. I can see it even in those women in positions of power who are yet not really speaking their own truth.  They go with the flow and make no waves in order to remain in the perceived position. I further believe they feel standing where they are at this moment is a sense of safety, falsely so, but safety still.

My personal experience and the work I have done for the past two decades with  Nonviolent Alternatives give me evidence of my previous statements. I believe that we gain nothing by calling them names and standing against them. We must find the way to open their eyes and minds to the understanding of being equal as possible and taking a stand against such predators is the true safety they seek as our numbers of a supportive sisterhood grow.

They are a product of the way our culture has taught women we are somehow each others enemy. From an early age, girls have been taught that we cannot trust one another, we are dependent upon men to tell us how to live, dress, talk, walk, and in general how we show up in our world.  Looking back at the history of social behavior of girls, they pair off in the have's and have-not, in the pretty or not, in the smart or not. Over the past few years we have started making changes, however, we still have far to go. It was made abundantly clear by the last presidential election, we aren't as progressive as we thought we were, which is maddening, and our disbelief is just now really settling in. It showed us that the very prejudice we thought we had so greatly changed, was silently waiting for a leader and the candidate they needed showed up and convinced them they were right and that we had been hurting them by our desire to find equality in all areas. They are somehow now the victim and those perceived wrongs.

So the next time you see a woman who appears supportive of the restrictive rules of women, reach out, start a conversation of real substance, share your ideas and thoughts in a safe manner, no name calling, not accusations, no judgment. Let's provide that real safety we as women need. Let us learn to trust one another and lean on one another, and stand together in the spirit of safety, progress, equality as we navigate the further together. Let us provide a safe place for all of us including like-minded males wishing to join us in our pursuit or justice, fairness, and equality for all. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

We Make Our Own Chaos

 I recently had someone tell me how they felt like their life is overwhelming. I know we all feel this way from time to time. When I get there I step back to take a look at what is going on and make the needed adjustments to correct the situation. So I did that for this person.  I watched for just one day and could see very clearly they were making their own chaos...

In this place of confusion, we are very overwhelmed and exhausted. I mentally made a checklist of all the things this person was telling me about their life and how out of control they felted from it all. Standing "outside" their life it was easy to see why this person was experiencing these feelings and emotions. I tried to extend some suggestions of change, however, the response was "you just don't understand, my life is just crazy right now".  This person also told me that someone else told them their priorities were wrong.

The truth is I do understand, once we are in the middle of this emotional hurricane existence, it becomes very difficult to see and make the needed adjustments.  What their friend was trying to say in the statement about priorities was really saying take a look at your life and hit the reset button. When we live in chaos we experience extreme emotions and when others try to assist us, we can perceive this to be them meddling in our life, which is exactly what my friend thought was going on. When someone suggests we take a look at our priorities, it doesn't say I am wrong, it only says I am not seeing things clearly because I have allowed the external life to take over my internal feelings and emotions. When this happens "I can only see the chaos and forget I still can take control".

How we view our world is the world we build for ourselves. Next time you feel like the world is spinning around you, your life is out of control, step back take a look, prioritize and resume.  It is the act of getting my emotions intact that allows me to once more take control of my life. It doesn't mean the events of my daily living aren't important or even wrong, it is how they affect my behavior and feelings that I need to change.  We all have those parts of our lives that we sometimes just wish they didn't exist, but they do and we have to deal with them, we simply do not have to allow them to hijack our lives and take control of us.

So let us all step back, take a took, hit the restart button and start over any time we need to as many time a day that we might need to...

Wishing you all peace and less chaos,

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Preparing For The Future

I was watching a video as a couple who had just met were answering questions for each other about themselves.  The young lady had found the questions on the internet, printed them out prior to their meeting, suggesting it might be an icebreaker. The young man was willing to participate. Some of the questions were minorly superficial, while others were more of a deeper inquiry. One question, in particular, caught my attention. The question was "If you had a crystal ball which could answer any question what would you want the know?"

The young man answered, "I'd like to know how long it would be before I died, you know so you could look ahead and plan to live your life." 

How many of us walk through our day unaware of people, places and things around us;  unaware of the way we interact with family, friends, or strangers. How many of us aren't paying attention?  We say things like when I get a better job, when a get more time, more money, more... then I will...

How different would our lives be if we examined today, thought about living an authentic life today? What does it mean to live authenticly? It means showing up, looking today in the eye and standing your ground. Too often we stand back and let today and too many opportunities pass us by. We give ourselves all sorts of reasons why and giving justifications for not stepping forward. At the end of the day, we reflect on what might have been and lament on the losses. If only I had said hello to the cute guy in the store if only I had given my opinion on a new way to get that big project done at the office. If only I had told my family how much I loved them and how much they mean to me.

We don't need an expiration date from a crystal ball to live the life we want, we only have to step up today.  If we want more, if we have opinions we need to speak our minds and reach for more. We stand in the shadows in fear. We fear what others will think or say, we stand in fear of rejections, or not being good enough. The truth is we are good enough, we do have value, we have the skills and ability to live right now if we only step forward and live the way we want to live.  This doesn't mean we won't have disappointments, we will, however, the disappointments are a part of living fully. The rewards far outway the potential of failures.

So reach out, take a chance, go for the brass ring, because, in reality, the future is right now, we all have an expiration date.  Blessings to all and here's to living an authentic life! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

You Keep Buying Corn Flakes

For today I see conflict as growth, disagreement as learning. Today I affirm my strength in my faith that love is the answer and hope is the light which will lead me to a higher plain. I reach out and extend a hand to those in pain and need. Today I shall speak a message of good no matter what others may say or do. When one light shines in the night it draws more light and the darkness is cleared away and I can once more see. We must remember to keep walking towards the edge of the light, with each new step more light is there.

There have been moments in my life when I wasn't sure if I could continue. I can recall standing in the shower tears in my eyes and wishing it would all just go away.  All the pain, all the turmoil, all the uncertainty.  My faith was weak, I didn't feel loved, and love seemed a distant island in the abyss of nowhere. I was sure no one cared and if there was a God why was I so miserable?

Those days those thoughts are far and away in the shadowy mist of remembrance. I think about them from time to time and wonder how I ever got that low.  What I didn't realize at the time was there were many who loved and cared about me, I just couldn't see them for living in this veil of self-pity and despair. There were very real problems in my life, but instead of seeking help and understand there is nothing we can't overcome when we set our minds to it, I continued to live in that dark unhealthy place.

After years of self-defeat and blaming others for my life circumstances,  I met someone who became a friend, and confidant who was smart enough and bold enough to say to me, "stop buying corn flakes"...

Being very puzzled by his statement I asked him, "exactly what do you mean?"  His response was this:  It's like walking down the aisle in the grocery, your really tired of corn flacks every morning and you've written on your list to change the cereal. Find something different, something more to your liking. When you get to the cereal aisle you're prepared to find a new cereal, a cereal really different, but you're walking and walking, and you see this eye-catching new colorful box standing on the self in front of you. The packaging looks great and without paying attention to the contents, you put the brightly colored box in your cart and off you go. You're home now, you put your purchases away, and the next morning you are all prepared for this new treat. You're even thinking, oh I didn't even look to see what the cereal was, oh well anything will be better than corn flakes. You reach into the cabinet, pull the box off the self, you put your bowl on the table, get the milk out of the refrigerator, you are so excited for that first taste of something new.  As you begin to pour the contents into the bowl the reality hits you.  It's just cornflakes again, the box looked new, and you didn't look to see what the cereal was, and in your haste, for new and better you didn't do enough looking or paying attention to the contents. As you sit there, disappointment sets in and as you dip your spoon in the bowl you think to yourself, oh well this will have to do, corn flakes are better than nothing." 

This simple analogy was a shock to my system as he spoke to me, he was able to get me to see more in the brief moment than all the searching I had done heretofore, looking for the answer out there in the unknown and in someone else, when it was right in front of me all the time. Only I could change my outcomes, only I had the power to improve my circumstances, only I could make me happy, only I could stop buying "corn flakes"!

How many of us have to spend a lifetime buying corn flakes wishing they were rice crispies? When we take control of our lives, stop accepting the same answers over and over again expecting a different outcome, which is the definition of insanity, we will find that which sustains us.  When we turn inwardly and see ourselves and the possibilities that live within us, we can begin to see the world around us differently.  We can find better solutions and answers that will take us in a completely different direction. When we look inside we can see the love that lives there, this love is the love that really matters the most.  When I love myself my world changes. Those things I desire are waiting out there for me, and with a different sense of self-worth, I stop accepting what I don't want.

Blessings to all this day, enjoy some rice crispies, you deserve them.