Archive for the 'responsibility' Category

I think it was Eckhart Tolle who said, “not everyone is going to like you, not everyone liked Jesus”. Can you imagine that? Jesus was about love and equality and yet, we have people who didn’t care for his message. Why might that be? My guess is people weren’t open to the emotional logic and maturity of Jesus’ teachings. It didn’t feel safe to consider the concept of equality. It threatens the ego (mind) and since we have settled into fear as our most primary of emotions, the concept of domination (over others and nature) has taken a strong hold over humanities psyche and safety always seems to be at the crux of this tactic.
As far as safety is concerned, we’ve been taught to believe it’s mostly a financial game. If I am more important than you (cuz I have money), then I have a reason to get my way over yours. Of course that does play out by believing in a superiority over others mentality. Hence why the money stays within the 1% in this country. All of this of course then aptly justifies (in the minds of these precious few) why I have food when you don’t, have a big house, more money, material ease, personal comforts, get my way…..the list is endless).
What I’ve learned is money has little to do with our emotional success (a feeling of safety and connection to others) and that a sense of peace and wholeness does not come from a high income (isn’t Trump the epitome of proof?). Based on my experience, I feel safest when I have stability and with that a feeling of safety arises. When I feel stable, I feel safe, I can trust more and isn’t that what’s continually being threatened? Personal trust and safety is a COMMODITY and it’s one we’ve naively handed over to our persecutors (Corporations , the 1% not our neighbors) and then blindly believe it’s those whom we’ve given our power to who will save us when in fact they’re using or fears or inability to trust as the very weapons they wield against us (trump, media)?
It’s not about how much we have but rather- Can I depend on what I have to continue? Since that would imply an ability to control all aspects of life, including those I love, my boss, my clients, my friends and traffic (as a few examples) I could be screwed… SO the only way to truly create safety for myself is from within. It’s a courageous act, as it implies trust must already exist (on some level) and self-acceptance must be diligently applied, so we can learn how to accept and trust others. This is the how I keep moving forward-knowing I have the right to ind my mind otherwise I will only see the fear based teachings and I want more of my own power back I want to CHOOSE what I see.

Don’t doubt your power as an individual. Do you know what would happen if each person decided to take one day off (and all on the same day) of not using their credit cards? Do you know what would happen if each person decided just for one day (and all on the same day) to not buy gas? You and I could affect change if we were willing to see ourselves as powerful, as someone who could make a difference and then used our light and creativity to affect change. It doesn’t need to be violent, it is weakness that creates violence. It takes strength, courage and applied thought to make effective life enhancing growth.

Lately I’ve been coming across a sign that reads, “Drive like your kids live here.” Every time I read it, I cringe. I hate it. It makes me mad. What’s meant to promote consciousness, care and concern is really only encouraging a narrow and selfish way of viewing life.

Every time I see one of those signs I want to go up to it with a spray paint can and put an X over the word “your”…thusly it would read, “drive like kids live here”. For me that is reason enough to slow down, to be a tad more cautious, to think, “thanks for the reminder,” children are scampering about here. That sign would then read to me as, “please have that in mind when passing through-at a reasonable speed with alert eyes”. That’s all I need. I don’t need to envision it as MY child that would be killed or hurt. I would care, no matter whose child was injured by my car. Wouldn’t most of us? Do we really believe in a world that is so callous that the only reason someone would drive slower is because it’s his or her flesh and blood being maimed? God, I should hope not. Yes, we see incidents of it happening all over the world, people are being bombed, killed, shot…and children are involved but how can we hope for a more caring and thoughtful world if we proliferate thinking that only directly affects our personal welfare?
We are being taught to not care about anyone else unless they are directly linked to us-blood first and maybe a neighbor second if it’s not too much of a bother.

In my world, I am open to supporting others who can’t support themselves, I am into teaching others new ways of seeing that’s inclusive rather than self-grandising, I am interested in helping for the sake of care and not self promotion, but more importantly I don’t do it for approval or to be a “good person”. I do what I do because it comes from my personal integrity and if we gave permission to ourselves to trust our own hearts, I doubt we’d ever conceive of a sign that in affect says, “care only because your direct bloodline will be affected”.

Righteous anger. This is a phrase I have come across while reading a prolific contributor to our society, Rudolf Steiner. His contributions to mankind (in medicine, farming, education, spiritual development, to name a few) are continuing to blossom nearly a century after his death.

He wrote, “For the spiritual scientist, anger is also the harbinger of something quite different. Life shows us that a person who is unable to flare up with anger at injustice or folly will never develop true kindness and love. Equally, a person who educates himself through noble anger will have a heart abounding in love, and through love he will do good. Love and kindness are the obverse of noble anger. Anger that is overcome and purified will be transformed into the love that is its counterpart. A loving hand is seldom one that has never been clenched in response to injustice or folly. Anger and love are complementary”
Hear, hear, I feel vindicated. I have been given permission to accept myself and beyond that presented an understanding that feels in alignment to my truth. I have so often felt shame for my reactions to situations-either through a very uncomfortable silence which is then followed by the “moving right along” shift in conversation or through a direct hit, “wow you have anger issues”. Our culture has made it as challenging for a woman who expresses anger, as it has for a man who expresses fear. The judgments thrown our way are so prolific that many of us have learned to cut out the middleman and just slam ourselves (usually quite mercilessly) and through the use of culturally taught condemnation have cornered our esteem somewhere in a dank basement.
Non-Violent Communication training (NVC), the process created by Marshall Rosenberg, was another place where I learned another level of self-acceptance for what has been called my, “not so lady-like” expression. It was through his gracious approach to viewing individuals, that I understood that anger is akin to a warning light in a car. A successful approach to this “warning signal” would be to consider something’s happening, what’s needed to help the car feel (run) better? We never say the car has issues and simply leave it at that, usually we tend to its warning signal and apply the necessary care needed to help it run smoothly. Yet with people were prone to treat them with much less care.
So often my warning light starts to flash (maybe the first blush of anger starts to rise) when I feel alone and really want understanding. Through the use of NVC I learn how to take care of that need and nip anger in the bud, as in those cases it’s usually not so much a righteous anger as it might be a long winded rant. Nonetheless, it’s a process that lends itself to understanding and not flogging.
Dr. Mario Martinez, the founder of the Biocognitive Science Institute, encourages righteous anger as a pathway for individuals with disease or illness towards health and well-being. I appreciate him taking a stand for anger. Personally I could use the advocate, but I have wondered if what he’s encouraging is simply the expression of the ego and not really righteous anger? Am I moving steadily towards enlightenment or just spewing hell fire? Could I claim noble anger as my companion or was I just having a hissy fit?
I used to say, I’m not angry, I’m passionate, I applied that rationale as a means of protection from men who labeled me “crazy” and as a defense from women who liked to think they were better than me because they weren’t like me-they kept their emotions in line. And in fact this play on words was a strategy I was enacting in attempts to forgive myself for “acting out”, It didn’t work because I unknowingly bought into that masculine taught value (which is purported as the “right” approach to our emotional existence) and was attempting to deny the existence of anger by calling it something much more beautiful, la pasión. That approach is not that far off from Steiner’s conceit but there is a lot digging one has to undergo in order for that transformation from noble anger to loving-kindness to actually come forth. One has to identify what type of anger one is participating in the first place.
Thusly, I have often felt alone and embarrassed for my moments of anger and found myself buying so heavily into the social construction that being emotional was bad that I often found myself apologizing for my very existence (the shadow of the feminine energetic). Through Steiner and Rosenberg’s heartfelt insights (the positive feminine energies) I have learned a balanced approach to my emotions, where denying them isn’t prescribed. I may curtail them to gain insight and self -awareness, but I do not deny them to gain others favor. Fortunately for me as I age, growth has occurred through my diligent pursuit of wanting to being an authentically caring person (healthy, true, honest, empowered/empowering). I have come to a richer understanding of my emotional life and it’s purposefulness.
My saving grace has come through learning the difference between indignation and righteousness, high minded vs. disgruntled anger. There are numerous examples of disgruntled, ego based (fear driven) organizations and persons who believe they are doing the “right” thing while causing harm to others on the behalf of their beliefs. Disgruntled indeed!
One way I have learned to identify this ego motivated anger within me is was if I wanted someone to feeeeel my pain. My fuel is then most likely indignant anger and therefore all actions taken from that stance will only perpetuate pain and suffering rather than create long term solutions that heal.
So if one considers Steiner’s words, “When a person educates himself through noble anger he will abound in love”, then it must follow that the obverse to ego based anger is thoughtfulness and if this is so, the motivation for taking action is derived from an entirely different energetic.
Thoughtfulness doesn’t mean being kind, it means taking the time for introspection and rumination. It means applied focus and concentration. Towards what end is up to you. The clearest formula I have found suitable for distinction is: Separation thinking (ego/indignant anger) vs. solution-oriented healing (noble/high minded righteous anger).
Is the mind creating more problems by harboring us against them thinking or is it searching for answers, which could bring harmonious outcomes? Complaining for the sake of relief or ridicule is the ego’s mechanism for steering you directly away from love, which is the highest mind available. Feeling moved to make a difference though means of supportive and creative processes transforms indignation and personal anger into is the healing expression of love in action. This is why Steiner included in his above statement that, “Anger that is overcome and purified will be transformed into the love that is its counterpart”. It takes willingness on our part to go beyond personal suffering and, like the NVC mascot, the giraffe, see above the situation. By having the fortitude to approach anger for the gift that it is, rather than something to be shunned, we can curtail its negative effects on others as well as ourselves and use it as a serviceable vehicle of transformation.

I went to a Marianne Williamson fundraiser this past weekend. I left feeling awful. I had the notion to bring up a question and when I did my whole body began to shake and I felt fearful. It was shocking to me, because I had never considered myself shy or fearful to speak up in these type of situations. Yet, there I was, wobbly while sitting in my seat.

Eventually I decided to do it, the timing seemed right, Alanis Morissette just brought up being angry. It was my cue in. I asked if there was a way to take anger and make it righteous from the standpoint of bringing thought into it and then apply a new approach to it-taking the energy it provides and directing others into a way of thinking that doesn’t include the word, “evil”, as Marianne had used earlier in the day. Can there be a way to be angry and transmute that anger into a different conversation?

I will give you the very abbreviated version of her response. I was made into a “mambe-pambe spiritual person who wants people to like me”.
Woah…How crazy is that? SO FAR from who I am…its absurd.

Had she an ounce of GRACE or of that LOVE (words she so often likes to throw around) she would have simply addressed the question not come after me.

All she needed to say was that the word evil is the word she feels most comfortable using based on all the atrocities on our planet and that she just couldn’t describe it any other way.
Logical enough but instead I was met with all the grace of a sumo wrestler taking a yoga class. I wonder what triggered her so much that she felt the need to rip me down? Where in her is that anger still fueled by her own “evil” feelings that allows her to justify treating others like doormats?

I would have gladly supported her quest to congress (Waxman’s district/ 33rd) had I been allowed some understanding that didn’t include nailing me to a cross. I’m not the one running for public office, I am not expected to ferret out the tough questions (as she would be expected to do) but I guess she was just priming me for my own life in public!
I can’t support her. Not because I am hurt, I am clear enough to know what’s mine to process and what’s hers….but because she isn’t the person she claims to be, but I already guessed that…which is why she spit back a response towards me rather than offer a thoughtful return to love (this is one of her book titles) based reply.

Clearly disappointed in the experience but will continue believing that someone like Marshall Rosenberg or Eckhart Tolle may one day have more influence in the world than evil or the fragile ego of Marianne Williamson. Who I’m sure would love to bludgeon me at this point.

This is an article I wrote when season 5 came to an end, knowing it’s an experience that happens in life all too often.

So many of us were raised in hostile or what felt as cold households simply because our parents or guardians were doing to us what was taught to them. To be punitive under the false belief that this is how love looks.  When in fact, loving and controlling are in opposite corners. Giving unwarranted commentary, which usually amounts to nothing more than personal opinion ( judgment) usually leaves a child feeling wrong, bad or stupid rather than understood and loved. Leaving the actual feeling of care as a foreign ideal. Hence,  most people are incapable of receiving  even the smallest of compliments.  Receiving authentic care is a frightening proposition, so much so, many of us haven’t the capacity to consider extending a caring attitude let alone take loving action.

Love  is what Don Draper wanted to express, control is what he demonstrated. Here are the results.

Watching Mad Men and how Don Draper who, motivated by Lane’s need for financial security, went guns blazing into Roger’s office. He demanded they go after the big dogs and win their business. He returned to his “take no prisoners” style of pitching clients and essentially told them,  were the agency for you and you’re idiots to settle for anyone else. Leaving them all a bit dumb struck. What he said was definitive and undoubtedly caused them to wonder, was he right? Strength of conviction, a courageous act and many of us lack that courage.

Sadly, Lane proved that he was definitely in the later category of men. Courage was no longer something he could muster or fake. Don hadn’t expressed this care for Lane out loud, instead Lane experienced a logical rational and a Don that, had to “go by the books”. As Lane wept uncontrollably, Don sat stone faced believing that Lane could start again, as he had. What Don didn’t realize was that Lane feeling bullied by life (deftly revealed by his father’s swift caning across Lane’s skull and his wife’s “you’ll do what I want” style of expressing her “care”) and emotionally vulnerable, defeat clung to his heart. Lane hanged himself in the office.

Of course the pain for all of us watching was knowing that Don was in fact a caring gentle man underneath the veneer of cool and composed.

Dons cascade into the abyss of adultery  is no doubt fueled by his guilt and shame. So while he is carrying the gene of shame, while quietly motivated by those very things we’d hope a hero would concern himself, he takes steps that will surely destroy him once again.

Don was the only man at the company, who didn’t want Joan to lie down for the Jaguar business. The man who understood that his marriage to Betty ended, partially due to his behaviors and denying his wife personal choice, cares about connection. There are countless examples of Don being the caring but silent and therefore misunderstood hero. Yes, he may regain his status  in the material world, but his heart bleeds with care and loneliness.  He’s a softy under it all. If only our world would value that care, Lane and Don’s stepbrother may still be alive. As Don see’s it, if he were a “good” person, then these tragedies could have been avoided. How do I surmise this? The visions he sees of his dead brother are one clue but he also leak his truth in every misstep and new folly he creates. In every silent crusade to assist the underdog he undergoes. If only he was able to talk, to share his heart, his concerns, his care, if only men were valued for their whole being rather than for the machismo masks they’re forced to conform. Don might be able to save himself from the lies about himself before it’s too late.

 

it’s truly important for each of us to learn the value of self care, as others will drain us without a second thought, as were all so needing and desiring of support, answers, etc. We each have to remember the importance of developing faith and trust, not from some airy fairy concept of a God out there somewhere but from a deeper wisdom that lays within us telling us this is so: that ultimately, no matter what the physical circumstances of our life may be, we are able to experience love. It is up to each of us to make this so. that love is a beingness and we can exist in that being through much concerted effort and that effort, that decisiveness, must come from our chosen focus. It’s work and we must be willing to partake!

What does it mean to be “empowered”? It assumes a sense of feeling powerful, yeah? How does a powerful person act in the world?
If you truly believed you had power, what would you do with it? The connotation would be the ability to affect change, correct?

What changes would you implement in this moment if you could in your personal life?

It’s our actions that create our feelings of being powerful but it’s our thoughts that often determine whether or not were going to take powerful actions.

Shall I go to the gym today? You “should” right? Why? You’ll feel better about yourself afterward. Why wouldn’t it just be a given than that you’d go? Because you’re not necessarily comfortable with that kind of power. (Why the mind talks you out of taking care of yourself in new ways) Feeling good in and of itself states a sense of empowerment. When we feel good, we often make decisions and statements that are more uplifting and supportive not only of ourselves but to anyone that comes into our environment. We affect the small immediate world around us positively. We are influencing from that place. Sounds pretty great right? So, again, why don’t we do it?
Many of us don’t believe we have the right to feel just that good about ourselves. We feel much more comfortable and understanding of feelings that equate to stable. Stable as in grounded in reality.

The only way to shift from feeling grounded and comfortable in what you’re already living is to slowly make the changes you desire in your lives. This empowerment process cannot be an overnight commitment to 5 days a week at the gym, juicing daily and seeing everything positively. It can’t maintain itself, have you noticed? It’s expecting too much of oneself. It’s taking a huge leap into the void of the unknown to such a degree that back sliding back into the known is the only viable option for your emotional self.

Desired larger changes will happen on our behalf without us having to “make” them happen. The readiness of our spirit to take a leap is often not determined by our minds and often comes about quite unexpectedly. Spontaneous decisions are just that and cannot be pre-determined. They just come about, but you can encourage such changes through everyday smaller choices that support the feeling of empowerment.

Not getting upset about something that would normally upset you or not letting it upset you for the normal length of time is one such miniscule step that while seemingly unimportant in the big picture is the only way your personal big picture can shift (ever so quietly) into the desired outcome of a fulfilling life. The saying goes: insanity doing the same thing every day expecting different results. The changes one makes to achieve personal self-acceptance can be begun through doing one thing different, it’s been said before, yes. Yet the only way that one thing different leads to more empowering, self- caring and accepting behaviors is by taking notice of these small changes. By saying to yourself, okay, I did that differently, this is a good thing, you’re teaching the emotional body (as it were, that part of self) in baby steps. This is more than taking in a compliment. Yes, that is an important part of realizing your worth, but this ability to take note for self, to acknowledge who you are and the changes you’re making by you, is what’s most valuable. Why? Because other people will always be in flux and just as enslaved to their internal worlds as are you. The changes in their minds and behaviors are based on their personal issues, moods and experiences. Personal empowerment is exactly that, comes from the “personal”, from the self and it cannot then be taken away due to an outside source. If it comes to you, through you and you beckon to honor self, it cannot be released by another’s thoughts or feelings. That is empowerment, which is power; in it’s most powerful sense of fulfillment.