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.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Affirmations, Intentions, Actions

My affirmation:  I hold the world in positive energy. I step back, breathe deeply and know that I am a Spiritual Being capable of unconditional love. I stop and change my vibration from negative to positive. I can hold others in healing light and love even when we do not agree. I resolve this conflict within myself by understanding my path and theirs are not in unison at this time. I lift prayers for the common good, loving light for the world I see. I breathe in acceptance and breathe out conflict. I breathe in joy and release sadness. I am encouraged to speak truth and love in all my affairs this day. I envision a world of acceptance of one another and do my part to bring that vision to reality.

I was recently told, "you can't change the world so why do you try"? My wholehearted response is because I believe I can, I believe we all can. The butterfly effect is always working.  When I treat someone with kindness, I have made a difference.  At the end of the day all those small seemingly unnoticed actions count. In reality, no action goes unnoticed, even if I am the only person who is aware of the action. Each step I take, each hello, each smile, each kindness counts for something.

No matter how difficult things might seem at the moment there is always hope and faith. When we stand in love and peace we stand in the change we want to see in our world. Too many times we talk about others actions while we are the perpetrator of the same action. There is one great example of this going on all over the world.  Like his politics or not, the current president can say words of hate or insensitivity, and immediately he is taken to task. I recall most clearly his words against a reporter with physical challenges, those condemning his actions and words used the same type of actions and words to condemn him. While I do not agree with his treatment of people around him, I do not have to belittle him to express my dislike for those actions.  I can in contrast state, I am not in favor of the actions taking by the president. I set the example of disagreement without degrading or belittling. What happens instead is we justify our own bad behavior. By doing so we take the focus off ourselves and lay it solely on the object of our discontent.

How many of us have the same type of actions within the dealings of our families? We give intimidating looks to our children, our partners, the neighbors, the young person behind the counter. We talk about people behind their backs believing what they can't hear me say is okay to say.  I've had participants in behavioral change classes ask me "if they can't hear you then what is the harm"? The harm is to both them and myself.  I have acted against my own conscience and given my integrity away. You see I know I said the words, I know I was unkind, I know better and need to do better even when no one is looking or listening.  It is easy to do the right thing when others eyes and ears are on us, but doing the right thing with no one to witness is important. Doing the right thing then is what builds my character and gives me the strength to act with integrity in all my actions and words. It is the behavior we practice in times of ease that we can call upon in times of trial.

So today I continue my affirmation of peace and practice being the best person I can be. Every day gives me one more chance at being the change I wish to see.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Standing In My Power

This word "power" conjures up many thoughts, ideas, and meanings. Each is relevant to the moment. We say things like "if I had the power", "he/she is power hungry", "they have all the power".  Each of those thoughts is a negative conduit to having and being less powerful.

If I had the power, I would change the world!  Guess what, you do have the power to change the world.  Each of us has this power, unfortunately too many of us are afraid of it.  We stand back and watch others exercising power and shrink where we stand too afraid to try for fear we will not be accepted, or succeed in our efforts. We only fail by not trying at all.  Every word, every motion or lack of either, makes a change in the world.

He/She is so power hungry! When we look at those with "the hunger" for power, our training in the way we think may cause us to make the hunger for power a negative quality.  What if my "hunger for power" were used in a positive manner?  What if within my power hunger the desire was to show others their possibilities of power for themselves? Being hungry for one's own truth is that hunger for power and the hunger to achieve it can be exhilarating and freeing.

They have all the power! Why would I relinquish my own power so easily? This statement immediately removes me from a position of power and places the power in another's hands. When we hide our light, our power, under a bushel and turn away from trying, again we give our power away. When I wonder what other people will think about my choices, about how I see the world, about how I lead my life, walk through my day, I am giving them more power.

Today I choose to stand in the center of my truth and breathe in my power.  I choose not to be afraid of the unknown, to not fear the what if's.  Today I claim my power, today I use my power for good, today I breathe in my power and breathe out love and kindness to help others sustain their power.  When we walk in love and the willingness to allow others to see that love and demonstrate that love even in times of adversity and doubt we are owning the power.  They no longer have the power when the power lives and breathes within me.

I challenge you to seek your power today. Find that which speaks to your heart and share it with the greatest of courage. Reach out to those around you or across the world and let the power of your light be a beacon of hope, a light shining the way, an example of possibility, the truest meaning of power.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Healthy Relationships

We hear it all the time, and we want it for ourselves, this wonderful allusive life of a happily ever after. Otherwise known as a healthy relationship.  Before we get to the healthy part let's  look at relationships in general. There are three types of relationships, Compulsive, Healthy and Apathetic.

Intensity without substance. Sometimes called the "big bang theory" Mr. and Mrs. Perfect meet and bang go the emotions, the brain shuts off, we get involved in a relationship that probably won’t work. We love all the excitement and how wonderful the relationship makes us feel.  It isn't the relationship that is good, it is the excitement that feels good. The relationship takes back seat and focus is placed on the feeling.  The excitement keeps us going while the world around us is falling apart.  The very thought of the other person can make our head spin and our heart pound. These reactions are all based on the feeling of the moment, and not the substance to sustain a relationship. I'm not saying we shouldn't be excited, but it shouldn't be the most important part of the relationship.

When the relationship takes a nose dive and it will, we either literally fight our way through or walk away while telling ourselves and anyone who will listen, how we knew it wasn't going to work and that we didn't love them anyway. We are in a daze left wondering what the hell happened, why did this person change so much?  The fact is they didn't change, nor did we, each of us went back to being who we really are to start with.  We stopped trying to impress, thinking we got what we wanted and there is no more need in "being on our best behavior". After all, they got into this relationship with me. Too many times when we first meet someone we "put our best foot forward", why you ask, that's easy, trying to impress them, trying to get them to like us. "If I can get them to just like me then the change in me is worth it." The difficulty is, I can only be someone I'm not for a limited amount of time.  We not only make ourselves miserable but those around us miserable as well. So we cut our losses and try the next relationship without doing anything to look within ourselves to see why our relationships keep falling apart.

Both partners seek to avoid pain. The couple tries to get along with minimal involvement, not wanting to rock the boat.  Not wanting to have to participate in understanding the other, or supporting the other.  We are able to trick ourselves into believing we have a relationship so we must be "normal, like other couples".  We live an existence, not a life. We seek only to remain as conflict-free as possible, with no desire to grow closer or stronger together.

It is amazing to me how people in this category ever get together at all. Think of the effort one must put forth to live in the same space and yet not disturb their lives or the life of the other person. The daily existence sounds exhausting. Lives that are very regimented and mundane which doesn't lead to a happy ever after either. 

Find middle ground
Contains mutual respect
Normal ups and downs
Moments of closeness and separateness
Built on honesty and trust that other will do what is best for the couple
Happiness is the median

Both partners are invested in getting to know the other person.  Willing to explore the possibilities and negotiate their needs and wants so the relationship is equitable. There is a willingness to understand to allow give and take so there is as little disparity as possible.  Each person respects the other's needs and considers them when making choices. While happiness is the mutual state of affairs, we will have ups and downs and will find healthy ways to work through them. We maintain the understanding, your mood doesn't have to dictate my mood and vise-versa. I can maintain empathy with other without having to be in the same emotional state. Healthy relationships understand and practice this.

Healthy relationships don't keep score nor do they have room for bringing up the past to hurt the other while in dispute of a topic.  There is honest communication and openness which contains space for both views.  Intimacy is more than sex. Intimacy considers the other.  We may have intimacy with sex but we also may have sex without intimacy, it's called a one night stand or friends with benefits. The intimacy in healthy relationships is an understanding we have a safe place to fall, a place where our fears, worries, past experiences may be shared without out fear of retaliation due to the knowledge of the other's deepest thoughts, deeds, fears, and past.

As we move forward, let us consider what it is we want for ourselves and those we bring into our lives. If we want good healthy relationships we have to let go of the way we use to be in relationships. As with any recovery program, we first must identify the problem, correct the way we do things and work to not go back to old habits, remembering we can't get good at someone we don't practice.

Healthy relationships contain communication, caring, and commitment. Too often we confuse caring with curiosity. We think we care when what we really want, is to know the other person better. Communication is key, how can I possibly get to know anyone without communicating. If we aren't talking we aren't communicating. If we aren't communicating we aren't learning, if we aren't learning, we aren't growing. When we talk to people long enough, they will tell us a lot about themselves, we need to listen with an open mind, and not be focused on the "awesome sex, great looks, charm, whatever it is that attracted us to them to start with. 

Caring comes once we have spent time and gotten to know this person and they know us, we can then move on to commitment or we may choose to simply move on after finding the glue to hold us together doesn't exist. Commitment comes in pieces, yes I will date you, yes I will have sex with you, yes I will move in with you, yes I will buy a house with you, yes I will marry you. We don't lose who we are in this process, in fact, we should grow stronger. We protect ourselves while allowing other to get close to us.

Good luck and wishing all a healthy future.