Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why Did That Happen?

This week it’s been announced that Malaysian Airlines flight 370 and its crew and passengers totaling 239 people is considered lost at sea. A commuter train on its way to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago derailed, injuring over 30 people. And, a freak mudslide in Washington state has resulted in over two hundred people missing and feared dead.

Not exactly cheery news. And this wasn’t all that happened either. While we were inundated with the stories above by mass media, there is still fighting in Syria, suicide bombers in the Middle East, and human rights abuses throughout the planet. I’d like to be able to tell you the events noted here are exceptions to the rule, but the fact is horrible things are happening even as we speak. It’s called life. As King Solomon is believed to have said, “Time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all.”

I found it interesting how quickly we stopped hearing about Syria as soon as MH370 went missing. The truth is, we have a very short attention span with news reports unless we have a personal stake in the story. Media constantly scans the events of the day to see what can be sensationalized, thereby making their network the most watched, which, not-so-coincidentally, helps drive up advertising rates. We can ask, What happened? Why? Or, we can ask an even more interesting question:  Why are we putting so much time, effort and energy into dwelling on disasters, crises, pain and suffering?

Now, before one of you writes me an angry email explaining in detail why we should care about others, please let me explain. This obsession with disaster has little to do with lovingly caring for those around us and those we don’t even know. It has to do with diverting our attention from what we could be doing and, instead, focusing on what other’s should be doing...or at least what we think they should be doing.

If you feel so inclined to support people suffering because of political conditions or disasters through your dollars, time or physical efforts by all means do so. Everyone helping even a little translates into a shift, even a small one, in the consciousness of the situation. I am merely suggesting that we focus on what we can do that will have the most impact.

The first thing we must do is keep the highest and best outcome at the forefront of our consciousness. The next thing we can do is to affect positive change wherever we can. I’ve known people who feel quite proud that they send money to a far off country to help those in need, but who are unwilling to offer to buy meal for a homeless person in their own town. I can’t personally contact Bashar al-Assad to discuss what I think would solve the problems in Syria. I can make sure that my interactions with others throughout the day, including my own family, are ones full of love, understanding and compassion.

“Why?” is a question that rarely has a satisfying answer in the moment. Rather, what affects change is asking, “How can I support you?”

Who is waiting for you to support them this week, and from whom are you willing to accept help? Seeking to learn the answer to those questions will keep you busy while the seemingly unanswerable get worked on, Wonderful side effects include less stress and more happiness.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Saturday, March 22, 2014

What Scares the Snot Out of You?

I really wish I could take credit for the title, but I have to attribute it to my friend and colleague, Edwene Gaines. Edwene has to be one of the most authentic persons I know on planet earth. Those of you who know her are already nodding your head.

One of the many things this wise woman has taught me is that if you want to have a fulfilling life you must be authentic. “This is NOT an option!” she would say. If we are looking for a shortcut to our happiness then perhaps that is it:  We MUST be authentic if we are to live happy, fulfilled and prosperous lives. The problem we (I include myself in this equation) is that we are scared spitless of the ramifications of doing so.
What is it that’s scaring the snot out of you? If you think about what you REALLY want to do with your life, want fears come up, what obstacles are you allowing to stop you? Here are a few that come to mind:  What if they don’t like me? What if he leaves me? What if I can’t handle my success? And, my personal favorite (though you’d never hear me say it), What will I complain about?
The question for us all to answer is not about what we will do or experience if we are authentic, follow our dreams and live life full-tilt boogie. What we need to worry about is NOT being authentic. Are you experiencing depression, anxiety, weight issues, financial problems, relationship issues, career-related problems or any other problem you find insurmountable? Much of your distress is probably because you are not allowing yourself to be the magnificent, unique and amazing person you are.
Let that inner you out this week and see what happens. Do it with love, joy and excitement, not arrogance or vindictiveness. We are all awaiting the results!
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Thursday, March 13, 2014

We Can't Whine Our Way to Happiness

We’ve heard it before. Most if not all of us have done it before. What is “it”? It’s whining for what we want. Fill in the blank anyway you choose: I wanna new job. I wanna new boyfriend. I wanna a new/young/slimmer body. Whine, whine, whine! (Be sure to look pathetic while you’re whining – it’s almost required for the full, desperate effect.)

There’s nothing wrong with wanting more out of our lives and embracing change to have it happen. All of those desires above, or ones you might have come up with yourself, are worthwhile goals. The reason whining doesn’t work to affect change in a lasting way is that whining comes from the despair of a victim. To truly have the lives we desire we must come from place of empowerment and confidence.

This requires faith on our part. It also demands that our prayer work is one of acceptance and not petitioning. Madisyn Taylor put it well in her recent article, “As You Believe.” In it she states, “When we ask the universe for something, the unspoken message is that what we want does not exist, and the universe accepts this as truth.”

Understanding that what we are seeking is already ours in Truth is first step to manifesting the change we pursue. Simple, but not always easy. It’s not easy to feel abundant and prosperous if our checking account is overdrawn, our wallet empty and bills are multiplying on our desk. This is where faith and responsibility become our friends.

We must have the faith that our current situation is not the way must live in perpetuity. If our faith is lacking then it’s time to call a trusted spiritual partner or guide to “borrow” some of their faith. By allowing another person to know the Truth about us, to have faith in our potential, we usually find that our burden is lighter.

Taking full responsibility allows us to move out of blame and acting like victim. I firmly accept that I have been completely responsible for every event in my life. In many cases, if not most, the situation was caused by negative or self-deprecating subconscious thoughts I failed to rein in. I must admit that at the time I didn’t necessarily recognize my personal responsibility, but in retrospect I know it to be so.

Empowering ourselves and taking responsibility for the lives we see before us and the body we see in the mirror is a key to freedom. It releases us from the shackles of negative thinking and undesirable results. Join me this week to affirm your faith and achieving your desires through personal responsibility for the outcome.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

"The Glitter and the Glue"

I came upon a delightful book in my travels this week. The author is Kelly Corrigan (http://kellycorrigan.com) and her new work is entitled, Glitter and Glue. The book is based on a comment her mother once made. It seems in their family her father was the glitter and her mother was the glue. I knew I had to blog about that.
What a wonderful metaphor! Then I thought about Mardi Gras this week. Talk about glitter! But have you ever seen Bourbon Street in New Orleans on Ash Wednesday morning? It’s not pretty. It is, however, quite an affront to our olfactory and visual abilities. Glitter can make quite the mess. Even on greeting cards, it’s the glue that holds (most) of the glitter in place for our enjoyment.
Whether it’s greeting cards or fantastic costumes at Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Rio, there’s an awful lot of structure, fasteners, stitching and, of course, glue that allow us to enjoy the sparkle of pageantry and spectacle. The same is true of our lives. We can’t have the freedom to express our personal glitter in life if we don’t have a firm foundation gluing our consciousness to immutable principles.
Perhaps you can join me in noticing when you are the glitter and when you are the glue as you move through the next few days. Let go of “trying” to be yourself and just “be” your authentic self. Don’t know how to do that? Start with eliminating the judgment you hold on your hopes and dreams. Add to that a willingness to give up the desire to please everyone around you and begin to embrace a higher level of self-care than you’ve experienced before now.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,