Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blowing our Own Horns

Just read this Quote:

Nature doesn't bang any drums when it bursts forth into flower, nor play any dirges when the trees let go of their leaves in the fall

I think that we all need to blow our own horns once in a while, just like the flowers spread their fragrance. But I am never comfortable around those who are always banging their drums.

For most of my life I have felt that I was uncomfortable with this because of something inside of me, some part of me that was not "normal", and that I needed to just get over it. But as people come and go in my life, I have experienced those that live their life as if a megaphone is a standard tool to be used constantly and without reservation. I have tried to work through this, searched myself to find why it does not set well, but just come up empty.

Reading the quote today puts it into perspective for me at a deep level. I think of the flowers that have bloomed in remote parts of the world, that have never been seen by a human. Is their presence any less than the flowers grown by man and delivered to people to be admired as gifts, or the flowers that are photographed, or painted?

No, they are just as remarkable, just as dazzling, just as unique, just as special and one of a kind, just as giving and offering. The only difference is that one just "IS", while the others are promoted.

Promotion brings a manufactured awareness. Promotion can also guide and direct the awareness instead of just letting the awareness come to be as it should naturally.

I am glad for the flowers in my yard, but I am also grateful for all their brothers and sisters around the world that I will never be aware of personally. When I celebrate the flowers in my life, I also celebrate the flowers everywhere.

I like that nature just is and that I get to become aware of it on my own. Could you imagine what it would be like to go for a walk with trees shouting for attention, flowers with neon advertisements, grass arguing with rocks over who covers the ground the best?

Reading all that I have written above I have realized part of what I do not like about those who beat their drums loudly is that they take away my privilege of discovering their talents /uniqueness for myself. They do not allow me to look,see, become aware in my own way, they take that from me.

Guess I am selfish in that way. Gonna go smell my flowers, sit under my sequoia and ponder it again.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Last night I was reading in Janis Abrahans Spring's book "How Can I Forgive You?".

She quoted Robert Emmoms definition of Humility and it really resonated with me at a deep level in which my spirit just had to let out a soothing "ahhhhh" as it sank in.

Here it is:

"Humility is the disposition to view oneself basically equal with any other human being even if there are objective differences in physical beauty, wealth, social skills, intelligence, or other resources. It is the ability to keep one's talents and accomplishments in perspective, to have a sense of self acceptance, an understanding of one's imperfections, and to be free from arrogance and low self esteem."

Just loved it.

I grew up with a different definition of humility. I was taught that humility was to accept who I was. Sounds similar to the above huh? The difference is that I was also taught who I was, and that definition of who I was painted me in a very dim light to put it mildly (please do not pity me,those who did this had only the best of intentions for me, they were not being malicious, they were just misguided themselves) . Therefore, by accepting the definition of who I was, I defined humility as debasing myself, as putting others first always and ignoring myself.

The last few years have been a deprogramming of sorts, a questioning of all those things that I just "accepted" before and never questioned. Humility is a topic that I have not directly tackled. Of course it touches many other areas, so it has been thought about from other angles, but it was good to have this come head on.

emoticon Perfect timing for another new awareness emoticon


Don't get me wrong, I love flowers, and I adore chocolate, the darker the better. But I do not "dig" Valentines day.

Celebrations are great, taking time out to appreciate and show/voice our gratitude of others is necessary imo. The problem I see with Valentines day is the mindlessness acceptance of what one should do, and the comparison that invariably happens, as well as the unrealistic expectations that do arise.

Yes, I will be celebrating Valentines. Yes, I got my Husband something, Yes, I will do something special for my kids. But, I will also use the day to try and nurture healthy attitudes, and challenge my family to go beyond the surface and materialism and to "dig" deep and come up with more for each other and for themselves.

How do you "dig" ?


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So, someone said this phrase today, and I liked it, so I took it:

Selective Forgiveness

I really like this phrase. It makes one really think if one is open enough to do so. Selective.....meaning not a whole, but just a part. Hmmmm, that probably gets the hackles up for some. Only forgive some things??? Be selective??? That does not sound very Christlike does it?

Regardless, I think it is a very wise statement and more accurate than most want to admit and full of TRUTH.

When someone has done something that we need to forgive, it is usually not just one thing they have done. Here is an example. I have a necklace that my parents gave me as a teenager. Now, being in my 40's I do not wear it often, just on special occasions, so it sits in my jewelry box, waiting for when I choose to pull it out.

My daughter wants to wear it to a school function. I tell her no as she is not responsible and I do not desire for the necklace to be lost or broken as it holds deep sentimental value to me as well as containing precious stones and gold . Daughter decides she will wear it, she takes it from my jewelry box without permission, and proceeds to lose it. She does not tell me. Six months later I go to wear the necklace to a family function and it is gone. I ask her if she knows where it is, she lies and says no. I hunt and hunt, finally after some time, her brother tells me that his sister wore it to school X months ago, that is the last time he saw it.

At this time I go to daughter, she lies again, I tell her I know and how, and she finally fesses up. I am angry, hurt, sad. I will need to forgive her. But it is not just a blanket forgiveness. I believe that forgiveness should be deliberate and detailed to be the most effective. In the above case, I need to evaluate all the things I need to forgive. My daughter stole, she invaded my privacy, she disrespected my wishes, she lied, she hid, she lost my necklace which means I have to grieve the sentiment of what it meant to me, as well as any value it might have held monetarily.

There could be other facets that I have not even realized as of yet, and will have to work through as I become aware of them. I may be able to forgive some things easier and sooner than others. For me, I can understand why she would lie and why she would hide what she did, so those will probably come first. But the sentiment part will be more difficult for me and my personal value system, that will take more work and time. Also, her attitude once she knows I know the truth will play a factor in this as well. Ultimately I will forgive even if she chooses to keep being obstinate and never apologizes, but if she apologizes quickly with true remorse it will help me move through forgiveness faster.

This is a simple example, which comes out a bit complex. If we can see some complexities in simple situations, then we can imagine even more complexities in deep, wounding offenses all the more and realize that healing/forgiving will not just be one event, but many, a series of forgiving choices before the offense as a whole is properly worked through.

What Forgiveness Is Not
Forgiveness is not forgetting.
Forgiveness is not condoning.
Forgiveness is not absolution.
Forgiveness is not a form of self-sacrifice.
Forgiveness is not a clear-cut, one-time decision.

Forgiveness is a way of reaching out from a bad past and heading out to a more positive future. ~ Marie Balter

What Forgiveness Is
Forgiveness is a by-product of an ongoing healing process.
Forgiveness is an internal process.
Forgiveness is a sign of positive self-esteem.
Forgiveness is letting go of the intense emotions attached to incidents from our past.
Forgiveness is recognizing that we no longer need our grudges and resentments, our hatred and self-pity.
Forgiveness is no longer wanting to punish the people who hurt us.
Forgiveness is accepting that nothing we do to punish them will heal us.
Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds.
Forgiveness is moving on

Monday, August 3, 2009


I am posting this here because I want to have it readily available to read over and over again for myself. I wish this is what was drummed into my head all my growing up years instead of the IC thought of being your brothers keeper, of being judgemental, of looking at others actions through a filter of right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable. Nothing should be filtered with a preset parameter filter system. Each person, each situation, needs to be seen for what it is individually, standing on its own, not compared to anything else.

I grew up with a mom who did this, so I had that example, but then I put in so many hours at a school that taught me to do the opposite, so I have always had this conflict, this feeling of letting others "be" in their journey vs. deciding where others are and if they should be there or not.

On a list I am on the topic of suicide came up. Many different thoughts and ideas about it, many opinions, much compassion, but most of the discussion was about suicide as a whole. I do not think it (or any issue really) can be taken as a whole, each case of suicide has to be taken individually. There are so many factors that play a part that need to be seen and acknowledged. One cannot blanket all suicides and give a judgement call on the issue once and for all.

The below is a thought pattern that I would like to see ingrained in my mind to the point it becomes automatic, and it become the filter through which I evaluate the world going on around me. Starting with this foundation will grant me the ability to really see situations for what they are, and thus help me to be able to make better formed judgements when judgements are called for as well as to let judgements go when they are not needed instead of feeling the need to judge everything and label it and put it in a specific category. Lets be honest, we cannot live a totally judgement free life, but we have taken judgements to the extreem and judge way more than is truly needed.

Accepting The Journeys Of Others

Each of us, in life, walks on the special path that the soul is destined to undertake. Our journeys are very different and we progress at different rates. The pitfalls and blessings we encounter are unique, yet we are all learning and no one form of knowledge is more important than any other. Even so, when we observe others, it can be easy to pass judgement on their decisions and to assume their actions will correspond with what we feel is right. But for every problem, there are a multitude of solutions. Everyone makes mistakes and, while watching others do so can be frustrating, it is important that you accept each person's unique way of doing things. Giving others the freedom to act in the way they feel are best without the fear of harsh judgements honours the capacity for growth that all people possess.

It is helpful to practise accepting others as they are. Never judge the decisions of others based on the path you would have taken because every person lives by different values and experiences. Challenge is a universal concept, but we all deal with difficulties in our own way. Give others the space to fail, but don't harden your heart against their experience. It isn't wise to try and fix people or control situations. You may feel compelled to intervene when difficulties arise, but it is important only to offer guidance when asked unless the person is involved in a truly dangerous situation or cannot act for themselves. Failure to choose the right path or to make enlightened decisions is simply another step on the journey. It is a means to experience and wisdom. Letting go of the need to influence others does not discount offering loving support and it does not mean that you need to stop caring. It does mean stepping back, dissolving judgement, and gracefully allowing others! to live their own destinies.

Giving others the freedom to blossom in their own journeys gives you the freedom to take more notice of your own. You may not condone the actions you see taking place, but your reactions will be more loving by letting them be. And you will be able to focus on just being yourself, confident that the path you take is as right, valid, and special as any other.<http://www.dailyom. com/>

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Either/or Both/And

So, someone asked: "What do I follow, my emotions (heart) or my convictions (intellect)?" And the first thing that pops into my mind is this struggle we have with either/or. It touches all aspects of our life, for example I am either a SAHM or a working mom, I am either healthy or not, I am either an emotional person or an intellectual, I am either male or female, I am either Christian or Pagan, Democrat or Republican.

We spend the majority of our life as a society in this either/or thought pattern. "I" have spent the majority of my life in this thought pattern. BUT I have also struggled in this because I was born with a brain that sees all the angles, all the pros and cons to both sides, for the EITHER and for the OR. Because of this I had a hard time choosing an EITHER, or and OR. I can see the positive and negative for the EITHER and the positive and negative for the OR, oh the dilemma this can cause. I see what I could miss out on by picking one over the other, but I also know in our society that I just cannot have both, I must choose, we all must choose, it is thus deemed so we can know where people stand, so we can have direction and purpose, so we can group ourselves together for a common purpose the purpose of the EITHER or the OR. The Either/OR defines us, it is a way of identification and expression of who we are, but it also limits us.

I have come to the conclusion that Either/OR is not the final say on being and choice. The limitations that the EITHER/OR imposes are shattered if you begin to see the world as BOTH/AND.

I can be both a Democrat, (liking some of the democratic stances, admiring some of their causes, while not limiting myself to being stuck with the issues I do not agree with) and a Republican (embracing their values and causes that serve me and my conscious while not being grouped into thought patterns that do not sit with who I am). I can be a health nut who exercises, does cleanses, monitors my eating, meditates, while also indulging in not so healthy things such as smoking, or birthday cake, or martinis. I do not have to be either healthy or not healthy, I can blend the two to have a balance that works for me.

Back to the original question, emotions or convictions? Why pick one over the other, what would you gain by picking emotions, well lets see. If you pick emotions, you will feel good about getting your feelings out, you will feel satisfied by the constant expression of those emotions, you would be true to yourself, you would be operating at your gut level which is the closest to the core of who you are. You would live without doubts of others wondering what you feel about subjects because it would be out there all the time, no guesswork (at least from your perspective). These are all good things, but could there be negative to following only emotions? Well, yes, there are. Our emotions are fickle and ever changing, to follow them solely would be to live a life of constant upheaval and uncertainty for yourself but even more so for those around you. Emotions are also fleeting, so an angry emotion expressed one day may only be 1% of your true feelings on a certain subject, but some might misconstrue it to be more because anger is felt more deeply by others than other emotions, so you would be running the risk of being seen for just the anger part of your feelings on a subject. Emotions are abstract, they are not concrete, they cannot be tied down and forced to stay the same, there is not certainty and surety.

If you pick only your intellect to follow, you will get the benefit of clear thinking, of continuity, of certainty. You will have direction because your intellect will help you see the path to follow and show you the steps to take along the way to stay on the path, it is safe, it is known, it is more secure. You will depend on your education and experience to set the foundation for what to do and how to do it. You will have less questions and be able to forge on ahead with less uncertainty. There is comfort in having a clear direction to follow. BUT, following the intellect only can be very stifling and can also put you down a path your heart does not want to be on. You can find yourself in a life that is slowly suffocating who you really are, and in some cases betraying who you are. It is a life of facts based on external factors vs a life based on your core of who you are regardless of the external world you are residing in.

To force one to pick between the emotion and the intellect is to limit oneself, to in essence make one a slave to the choice. Why cannot it be BOTH/AND? I say that it "HAS" to be both/and, in order for life to be full and completely experienced. Why not utilize your emotions to tune into your gut feelings on the subject to find out what your core being really wants/needs in the situation and then run that through the intellect to analyze the pros and cons and figure out the path that will be most beneficial to you and allow you to keep on the path of growth than limiting yourself, ultimately shutting down growth. Or, do it the opposite if that works best for you, run the situation through your intellect first and then see how you feel about it and go back and forth until both your intellect and emotion are on the same page and can both be comfortable with the choice of action to be made.

So, what do you think, is life EITHER/OR or is it BOTH/AND?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Change vs Growth

We are a culture dedicated to change. I smoke, I need to CHANGE and stop smoking, I am overweight, I need to CHANGE and lose weight, I don't have friends, I need to CHANGE and become a person who attracts friends, I do not have a significant other, I need to CHANGE my hair, my nails, my clothes, etc. to attract suitors, I need to work non stop to buy clothes and expensive cars to impress others and I am going bankrupt, I talk like a sailor, I need to CHANGE that, and on and on.

All this focus on what is perceived as negative and how to CHANGE it into what is perceived as a positive. All this judgement of what is negative and what is positive by our self and those all around us.

Look at babies. Sure a 30 year old man who still needs his diaper changed, sucks a pacifier, and does not walk on his own (even though he could) is a very distasteful thought. But for a baby, it is only natural.

Everyone starts off doing all these "negative" things, but they do not stay there, they move on, they GROW and the changes come naturally. No forced change, no striving, no feeling guilty, (unless of course we as parents think they are not growing fast enough and convey this to them).

Babies do not think "oh, gee, I am not walking fast enough, I must skip this crawling stage and get on to walking, how pathetic I am." Babies grow automatically, it is what we are designed to do, without having to force it. Certainly babies can get distracted and side tracked from their own growth. Well meaning parents can interfere, other pursuits can take the time needed for growth, and so on, but left to their own, babies grow into children, children keep growing, and eventually become adults.

The thing I see is that the natural pattern of growth gets stopped along the way and a non-natural, fabricated growth gets foisted upon children and their natural growth gets derailed, or slowed down. Children are taught when to learn things, they are told if they learn fast enough or not. They are told what they can learn and what they have to "wait" to learn. This is the beginning of turning growth into CHANGE. The longer the natural pattern of growth is derailed, is not allowed to be, the more difficult it is to get back into that pattern. We stop allowing growth to guide us and begin to guide ourselves, but we are not grown enough to do so. We delude ourselves into thinking we know what is best for us (or more accurately we think we know what is best for others, but call it us), where we need to CHANGE, and we begin to focus on that, taking all energy and focus off of natural growth, and then all hell breaks loose.

One day we wake up with all these forced CHOICES we must make daily to live a positive productive life and contributor to society. Life becomes a big jumble of "musts" and "must nots", "shoulds" and "should nots", "can" and "cannots". We spend energy focused on these CHANGES/CHOICES that our lives become consumed by them, engulfed by them, we lose who we are.

Imagine one day waking up, after a lifetime of natural growth and progression, no shoulds, no time lines, no standards, no charts and percentiles to measure up to, just your own personal growth allowed to flourish and direct itself. You would not have to focus on all those CHOICES. Sure you may smoke now, but if you continue your growth, eventually you will grow out of your need to smoke instead of having to force a CHANGE. Sure you may be overweight now, but you will begin to exercise and eat more healthy when you are ready and it will be fun and not a chore or a burden because your growth will put you in the right frame of mind when you get there. (I can hear people murmuring saying "but you could die from these things before you grow through them, you must CHANGE in order to not lose your life", but I think that is just judgemental alarmist thinking, cause I think if we allowed our natural growth to never be stunted or derailed then we would grow at a natural pace that would be faster than the CHOICE/CHANGE method).

The focus we have as a culture on change needs to stop. We need to get back to reality, and work with the natural order of life. Change is necessary, but change does not have to be such work, change will happen all on its own if we allow and focus on growth instead and allow it to move at its own pace. So, what CHANGES do you need to make in your life? How about not focusing on those changes but focusing and pouring your energy into your own personal growth and see how that effects those areas you feel need to change. See if you want to keep harming your body by smoking and eating poorly once you have grown to realize how special you are and how wonderful your body is, not just to say it but to really feel it, to KNOW it. See if you want to keep spending money and getting deeper into debt, to buy the latest fashions, and the fastest car to attract others to you once you grow and realize that the person you are inside is who people are really attracted to, and that person is way more valuable and important than the clothes you wear and the car you drive (not that you cannot enjoy nice clothes and cars, but you do not NEED them to have people love you).

What a concept huh? What a less harried, less judgemental, less forced way of being.

It sounds great, but I can also hear the murmur of "How do I get back to my natural growth? I have been in CHANGE/CHOICE mode for so long I have forgotten my natural progression." Yep, this is true and a very valid thought. I think the answer/response to this is as varied as we are varied, there is no one size fits all solution. We need to take the time to search our self, to find that small still voice inside again and be able to hear it without drowning it out with all the shoulds/oughts/musts. Some of us will do this by spending time alone in thought, some will exercise to get back there, some will spend time in nature, some will read, some will go to groups, some will seek counsel, some will journal, some will meditate/pray, some will try all of these things until one of them clicks for them and they hear the voice again. Some of us are closer to our natural growth than others and it will come easier and faster, but do not give up, it is there and once you feel it, all the searching will have been worth it, it is the pearl of great price to be sure.