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Archive for June, 2008

Chaos: It's Pros and Cons

>   It’s been two weeks since my last blog entry.
    There’s a cute joke about a boy who never spoke a word in his life. Resigned that their son was mute, the parents raised him accordingly. One day at age 11, while eating oatmeal for breakfast, the boy looked up at his parents and said, “The oatmeal’s too cold.”  Astonished, his mother and father embraced him while asking, “Bobby, you can speak! Why haven’t you ever said anything before.” The boy looked at them nonplussed and replied, “Up until now, everything was OK.”
    I wish that my absence from writing these past two weeks was that simple. Or just plain true. But, to the contrary, it was a very challenging two weeks and I simply was too busy living life to write about it. Now that things have fallen into place I can share some perspective about what chaos is and why we need it.
    While most people tend to think of chaos as a bad thing that needs to be addressed, there are actually two types: the Chaos of Change and the Chaos of Stagnation. One is highly desirable while the other just gets in the way of living life. The road to living in the positive state of the Chaos of Change runs smack through the Chaos of Stagnation. Such is the paradox of Life.
    While some of us may spend an hour or a day in the Chaos of Stagnation, most of us spend years…and some of us even an entire lifetime before we realize that the Chaos of Stagnation is a necessary condition created in order to fully move into and appreciate the Chaos of Change.
    It’s the movement out of the former into the latter that’s key.
    The Chaos of Stagnation is what happens when we choose complacency over conviction. When we abdicate responsibility for our own life path and instead of seizing our personal power, relinquish it to external forces..be they events or simply other people. This type of chaos ultimately leads to restlessness, unhappiness, frustration, sadness and, if not addressed, anger.
    To the contrary, the Chaos of Change is a feeling of almost unlimited potentiality. It generates an awareness of movement, engagement and exhilaration that nourishes both inspired thinking and focused action.
    Such was the awareness born of the past two weeks of my Life.
    In Neale Donald Walsh’s most recent book, “Happier Than God” he posits that before we get what it is we ask of the Universe, we always get it’s opposite in order to have gained perspective from which to fully appreciate what it is we had asked for when it finally arrives. Problem is, most of us give up while waiting…complaining that we didn’t ask for what it is we got. Walsh suggests that when you get what it is you don’t want… know that what you do want is surely on it’s way. In the meantime, be grateful for it’s absence, for it’s absence is creating the backdrop for appreciation.
    I can now see that the Chaos of Stagnation in my life was the necessary backdrop for the Chaos of Change now upon me. I have come through the “fire swamp” so to speak (for those of you who are “Princess Bride” aficionados) and now bask in the light of unlimited potentiality known as The Chaos of Change.
    I wish you chaos in your life…yes, even the Chaos of Stagnation…as long as you use it to lead you to that pot of gold at the end of the trail… known as the Chaos of Change.

REMEMBER to click here to download my FREE e-book, “Too Many Secrets.”

    
    
    

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Go Slow, Life Ahead!

>   I hate to be an “I told you so” but I did. As a matter of fact, I have been saying so for the past 10 years, at least. What it is that I have been saying is that the technology has outpaced our social development and that what we have created runs us..instead of the other way around. So it was no surprise to me that there it was, yesterday, on CNN’s home page. >TimeBanks USA, a nonprofit group
that treats time as money, was created by Edgar S. Cahn, a retired 73-year-old attorney “to put the brakes on people’s high-velocity
lifestyles.”
    It seems there’s a growing awareness that all the technology has so sped up our lifestyles that we are sick of it. More accurately stated, the accelerated  (and I would argue unnatural) pace of things has literally, made us sick.
    In fact, Cahn, the CEO of TimeBanks, says he “came up with the idea in 1980 after suffering a massive heart attack from a frenzied lifestyle that included being a speech writer and founder of a national legal services program and a law school.” And he’s not alone.  The American Medical Association has shown the
negative effects of stress on health. They say stress is a factor
in more than 75 percent of all illness and disease today. And, stress accounts for two-thirds of family doctor visits and half
the deaths to Americans under the age of 65, according to the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    So, why do we resist making the connection between how we live our lives and how healthy we are?
    Just today I was with a friend who has had a chronic cough for two years. The only time she was able to get relief from it, without taking three different prescription drugs, was when she restricted her sugar and wheat intake on the recommendation of a holistic practitioner. But she got bored with the diet and went back to her old eating habits and the drugs. Just recently she saw a new alternative medicine physician and he recommended a vegan diet and told her that in less than a year she would be rid of the cough and off the drugs. Now she’s debating whether or not to follow the diet, knowing the drugs are bad for her liver. When I asked her what she would do if instead, the doctor had told her she had 6 months to live unless she went on a vegan diet and she said, “I’d be on it right away.”  Further, she went on to tell me of a female friend who recently went through a devastating financial crisis as her husband had personally pledged their home as collateral for a business expansion he was certain would pay off and instead collapsed.  The young wife spent a year fighting to save her family home and finally did. Yet she remains in dire financial straights and  has now come down with a muscular disease that prevents her from the most routine tasks. Countless medical doctors and as many tests have provided no clue to an origin or a cure. I wonder if any of them considered stress?
    We live at a frantic pace…out of alignment with Nature and our own bodily rhythms…pretending we don’t know the cause of so much illness and disease. This is not a complicated mystery to solve.  But the solution necessitates that we take a serious look at how we live our lives and how we prioritize our wants and needs.     Further, that we actually do something about what we discover.
    Books and personal accounts abound of people who have cured themselves of allegedly incurable illnesses with such means as laughter, laying down upon the earth, prayer, visualization, “energy” medicine, holistic healers…and a list that goes on and on.
    There are Laws of Nature that, when defied, wreak havoc not as punishment, but rather as an arrow pointing to a sign that says,”Your way isn’t working. Try Mine.” The staggering statistics of stress related illness from we humans trying to live at the pace of the technology we created is exactly that arrow pointing at that very sign.
     I am hopeful, and optimistic, that once awakened form our lethargy, we will seek out our internal rhythms and follow them back to health.
    In the meantime, back off of the technology for awhile. And if you don’t want to read my blog, or anyone else’s, for a week or so, well, that’s just fine with me.
    Here’s to your health.

REMEMBER to click here to download my FREE e-book, “Too Many Secrets.”

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Relationship Paradox

>   Going through divorce is usually a private matter. I can attest to that as a former divorce lawyer. But when you write an inspirational blog, as I do, everything is “grist for the blog mill” so to speak. Having been in Court just days ago for a hearing in my divorce, I thought it important to share my insight with you.
    First, a little background.
    Much of what I have come to know, spiritually, is the result of a lifelong search to find an ever-deepening meaning to existence. Where I find myself at this point in my life along that quest is in the role of “silent witness” to all that happens to me and around me. As a silent witness, I participate in what happens while simultaneously “watching it” as well. Watching it means observing it without judgment, something a participant lacks the objectivity to do.
    So it was that yesterday I found myself both participant in a heated exchange between my husband, myself, our respective lawyers and the Court as well as a silent observer. It was really a remarkable experience for I saw, in that one moment, the irony and paradox of relationships and what gets in the way of their success.
    You see, my husband and I are getting divorced and we still love each other. The struggle for control that we are now engaged in is just a continuation of the struggle we were engaged during the marriage. The realization I had sitting in that Courtroom was that both the struggle and the love are necessary components of oneness…of unity. Where so many relationships go awry is seeing these components as separate. And it’s the perception of separateness that actually creates the separateness and estrangement that leads to divorce.
    Anything that grows creates stress points that are the inevitable result of expansion.  Relationships are no different. As they change, stress points are created that arise in the form of conflict.
    The key to understanding and navigating the paradox of relationships is to know that both the struggle and the love are natural and necessary components of the same process and to also know that you cannot have one without the other. To not get so caught up in winning the battle or trying to control the outcome that you lose sight of the ever-present love. And, of course, to allow them both to flourish.
    It may be too late for my husband and me but perhaps not for you.

REMEMBER to click hereto download my FREE e-book, “Too Many Secrets.”

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Heartfelt Compassion

>   Six months, ago while driving in my car, I saw a cat in the middle of the road that had obviously been recently struck by a passing car. I made a U-turn, put my emergency flashers on, gently picked up the body, and walked to the nearest house to try and find its owner. The house I knocked on happened to be it’s home. It turned out that the cat had gotten out of the house without it’s owner’s realizing it. Sadly, it was dead.
    Yesterday CNN and other news agencies reported that a 78-year-old Hartford, Connecticut man was struck by two passing cars who were ‘chasing’ each other. Neither driver stopped. As the man lay critically injured in the street, a video camera memorialized passersby on foot and in their cars observing the man but making no effort to assist him…not even calling 911. They just looked and went on their way.
    I set forth both instances not because I want to praise my actions and condemn theirs, but rather to simply explain why I did what I did.
    In my reality, we are all connected. “All” means not only humans, but every living thing regardless of it’s position on the evolutionary chain. Believing this in my heart, as I do, I could no more fail to assist any living person or thing in need than I would fail to get myself assistance if I were injured.  There is simply no distinction between the two. In fact, it is the making of distinction that creates so much apathy and indifference in the world.
    What happened in Hartford, …the apathy, indifference and just plain callousness of the witnesses and bystanders…may have multiple origins. It may be as I have stated above, or it may be the result of so much excessive violence through various forms of media to which we are all exposed that has hardened our hearts, or it may have been fright that the man (who is Hispanic) is an illegal alien and no one wanted to create more trouble…or yet some other reason I have not thought of.
    Regardless of what the origin of the lack of action and the withholding of assistance, it is a troublesome warning light that went off in Hartford. It says more about us than perhaps we want to know. It says we lack compassion, are disconnected from our humanity, and have lost sight of how interconnected and interdependent in relation to one another we are. I say “we” because I am that man who was left to die and I am each of those people who failed to act, just as I was that cat.
    Perhaps that’s a perspective we could all benefit from.

REMEMBER to click here to download my FREE e-book, “Too Many Secrets.”


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Obama and Clinton on Truth

>   I tend to think of the whole political landscape as a sort of hologram where what is actually going on at any given point in time depends on where you’re standing. Which is why in trying to write an inspirational blog I often stay away from the topic. But two political events in the past week offer such clear insight into the need for honesty that I can’t resist going there.
    First, there was Hillary Clinton’s decision to bypass campaigning in Michigan and Florida because those states had decided to move up their primary election day against the wishes of the Democratic National Committee. So while she bypassed campaigning in those states, she deliberately kept her name on the ballot in order to later demand the inclusion of those votes when she was trailing behind Barack Obama in accumulating delegate votes. Which is exactly what she has done.
    So Ms. Clinton was more about the appearance of truthfulness rather than truthfulness itself.
    But in order for her lack of ethics to not stand alone, Barack Obama provides us with another example of how “what I say only means what I say as long as I want it to and then it means something else.”
    In April, Mr. Obama said, in a much praised speech given at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, that he could “no more abandon Reverend Wright than I could abandon the black community.” One month later, he has not only abandoned Reverend Wright, he has now also abandoned the entire Trinity Church of Christ at which he and his wife attended and prayed for the past 20 years.
    The hate speech and bigotry spewed from the pulpit of Trinity Church which was previously acceptable to Mr. Obama and his wife, and from which they refused to disavow themselves, is now suddenly unacceptable. It’s so unacceptable that they are walking away as fast and as completely as they can.
    So what’s true?
    I think only one thing is absolutely certain relative to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and that is political expediency.  They will both say whatever they have to, and do whatever they must, to reach their goal. The end justifies the means.
    Now we cannot change how they choose to live their lives or shape their characters. But we are none-the-less left with two choices we must make.
    The first is whether or not to vote for someone who exemplifies blatant dishonesty. This is not an easy question to answer, especially if you don’t want to vote for John McCain. And I have no easy answer for this one.
    The second choice we have is more clear cut and under our control.
    If we are so offended by manipulation of the truth by others to achieve their desired goals, then we must be diligent in behaving otherwise in our own lives.  Although it isn’t always the office of the Presidency of the United States that is at stake, whatever the matter and whatever the stake, we must come from a place of truthfulness. It all begins with us.
    I believe we get the leaders we deserve. So, if we are not scrupulous in being honest in our own dealings, we cannot expect to see reflected in our leaders otherwise.
    Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama present us with a choice that is much more important to the future than who is the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2008.  They present us with the opportunity to turn within and elevate our own behavior and commitment to what is true and what is good and what is in the best interest of our highest selves.
    Let’s thank them both for such an obvious display of what not to choose.

REMEMBER to click here to download my FREE e-book, “Too Many Secrets.”

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About the Blog
gold post it

It's so easy to find bad news that generates fear and anxiety that I've made it my mission to see the positive side of what goes on around us. So, whether it's global, national, local, or personal… Gold Post It is where you can come to get a higher and more inspiring perspective on life.