Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category
While I would prefer to avoid the news of the day, co-hosting “Above The Fray” podcast twice a week and writing to this blog requires that I keep up on what’s happening, which includes not only reading news sites and other blog posts but also the comments that accompany them. The comments give insight into what the readers are thinking but also into what the manipulators are orchestrating.
Lately both the news, and the comments that accompany it, have become disturbing for two reasons: extreme intolerance and escalating hate. Both should be an alarm of sorts…warning us that something, or someone, is fueling the flames of conflict and division. We had better be alert to where it will lead and what precipitous actions we may be deliberately manipulated into taking out of fear.
It’s probably safe to say there are very few people who do not sense impending trouble. While no one is certain whether it will be by way of the economy, terror, war or natural disaster… something is definitely brewing. As with the onset of a storm, it’s as visceral as rapidly dropping barometric pressure. We feel it… without knowing what the it is.
“It” has many disguises but only one name: Evil.
In Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, it is taught that Satan is nothing more than doubt. Doubt that God exists. Doubt that God is good. Doubt in the healing, uniting and miraculous power of the Divine. For once you doubt God, your world becomes a breeding ground for evil. In a world of duality, in the absence of “good (read “God”) a space is created in which its opposite “evil” (read Satan”) can occupy.
I’m not saying that simply believing in God is the way to oppose a market crash, ISIL, war or an earthquake. What I am saying is that when you believe in a powerful, loving and engaged force, God, you tend to live more in joy than in fear. So that when a crisis arises, you are in a better mental and emotional state to be pro-active rather than being fearfully re-active.
Now, while I’m not sure how Gandhi did it with the British Empire, I have seen it work.
I once knew an Orthodox Rabbi from New York who was perpetually happy. He had the spirit of a playful child. He commuted two weekends a month by bus from New York to Southern New Jersey to officiate Sabbath ceremonies for a small Jewish community. He usually took a return bus to New York late Saturday night after the Sabbath ended which got him into the City after dark. He would then walk to his apartment several blocks away from the bus station.
One evening, as he began to walk home from the station, a gang of black youths began to follow him. The further he walked the more they gained speed until they caught up and surrounded him. They began to taunt him, making fun of his attire and his beard. True to his spirit, he remained joyful and smiling no matter what they said to him. Finally, one of the gang members pulled out a knife. It was pretty clear what their intentions were. But at that moment, when almost anyone else might have been terrified, the Rabbi began to sing and dance, trying to engage one of the gang members to dance with him! The youths were so incredulous that when one of them said, “This guy is crazy! Let’s get out of here” they all ran.
The Rabbi wasn’t crazy. Nor was he acting. He was living his life as he always did, joyful in his faith in God. The youths, who lived lives absent God, knew only how to have a fearful reaction. Perhaps the story is the microcosm of what Gandhi was able to do in the macrocosm. I’m not certain.
But if trouble is on the horizon, in whatever form, we would be wise to hold fast to belief and trust in the invincibility of faith over doubt, good over evil, and God over the forces that inhabit our world when we fail to remember where we came from, who we are, why we are here and who, precisely, has your back.
There’s so much fear and negativity concerning Ebola that I think it’s time we identify and seize the good in this turn of events. If there were any remaining doubts that the federal government is corrupted and collapsed, it’s beyond question given its shameful response to handling Ebola in the U.S. Remaining doubts can now be buried once and for all. So where does that leave us and how can there possibly be good in the arrival and potential spreading of a pandemic? It leaves us exactly where we need be to restore this Nation to the greatness that is its potential.
No competent governance or viable solutions can be forthcoming from a corrupted, collapsed and bloated federal system. The federal government’s negligence in its response to Hurricane Katrina was the warning bell that many people heard. Too many, however, missed the calling. It was a regional problem and FEMA’s incompetence and misguidance posed no national threat so many chalked it up to a transient error and moved on. Not so with Ebola and the CDC.
The CDC’s criminal negligence in allowing a nurse who treated the Dallas man who died of the disease, to board a flight knowing she had a fever and thereby put 127 people at risk is inexcusable and actionable. The expenditures by the CDC over the past few years of public funds allocated to the CDC to study and prevent disease have been criminally negligent. Studies of monkey poop, innovative condoms and national bike trails not to mention “mood rooms” and flat screen televisions took fiscal precedent over laboratory needs and pandemic preparedness.
Any and all actions that will begin to turn the country around, provide safety and preserve individual liberties must now come first from ourselves, then from our communities, and finally from the States. This is the good news. Ebola’s arrival, and the subsequent failure of the federal government to act competently or responsibly in response, is like the moment in The Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal the great and powerful Oz as nothing more than the deceptive illusion of mechanical bells and whistles operated by an all too fallible human.
The federal government has been broken for quite some time. Long before Barack Obama took office. He too, has been a gift…for his total inability to lead and govern has made it possible for the curtain to finally reveal the deception and the illusion. He is the Wizard and his Administration’s bells and whistles are out of steam.
So, now it’s up to us…you and me. It’s our turn, and our time, to reject the politics of deception and division and take back personal responsibility for our lives. To gather in our resources at the most local levels and organize realistic, effective and positive solutions to immediate concerns. It’s time to demand of our Governors that they take full responsibility for their state’s well-being by bypassing the constraints, and intimidation, of the federal government and do what is necessary to protect and defend the safety of their citizens.
If we are finally ready to do the heavy lifting, we can turn the fear of Ebola into the blessing of Ebola, and, like Dorothy, leave the illusion behind and go home to all that is good and real…and true.
I tried to commit suicide at age 24 and came frighteningly close to succeeding…if success is ever the right word to use in such situations. As such, I have a lot to say about Robin Williams, not because I knew him but because I know exactly how he was thinking and feeling when he made the decision to try.
I would first say to those who would second guess his motives, his financial situation or his degree of “selfishness” as I have heard it referred to: DON’T… unless, of course, you’ve been to the point of consciously, albeit irrationally, trying to die by your own hand.
It’s not about the money, it’s not about the fame, it’s not about the lack or excess of anything other than feeling. It’s about feeling too much in a world that does not have enough love or compassion. It’s about living a lie and becoming the comic, the drama queen, the rebel, the alcoholic, or the workaholic in order to harden you sufficiently to withstand all the insensitivity, separation and denial.
I’m not a big proponent of medicating depression. In fact, I was coming off of anti-depressants when I used those same pills to try to kill myself. And, while one of the first thoughts I recall having upon surviving the attempt was what hell I had put my family through, it never entered my mind at the moment I made the decision. You see, when the pain gets bad enough and the fog gets thick enough, the realization that you have finally figured out a way to stop the suffering seems like a relief and that single realization takes precedent over anything resembling rational thought.
When a person tries to commit suicide, they don’t really want to die. They’ve just misplaced hope. Hope that things can and will change. Hope that the pain will ease. Hope that the fog will lift. Hope that they will ever feel joy again. Hope that on balance, life is actually worth living through all its trials and tribulations. Hope that tomorrow, or even an hour from now, it will be possible to give and receive love again. Which is why everyone, not just people who are depressed, should sit up and pay attention to what Robin Williams was driven to do.
We are living in a world overwhelming us with so much negativity that we are losing hope. You see it in the growing apathy. Apathy unchecked leads to hopelessness. Where is the outrage and help for innocents beheaded or buried alive? Where is the outrage, and help, for the Iraqi’s stranded on a mountain top? Where is the outrage and help for children being used as sex slaves and pawns in a political game? Where is the outrage for female genital mutilation as a “religious” practice? Where is the outrage for corrupt, lying, greedy politicians who prosper at our expense and our decline? Where is the outrage at what’s happening on our border? Where is the outrage at what we do to animals every minute of every day in the name of science? Where is the outrage at the manipulation of our economy for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many?
I know. I know. You are tired. You are overwhelmed. You feel powerless. You are dancing as fast as you can dance. So was Robin Williams. That’s the cautionary tale he bequeaths us.
His most important message and he brought us many through his seemingly endless creativity, is that having to feel less, or dying, is not the answer. The message of immediate importance is for each one of us to finally embark upon creating a world where kindness, cooperation, compassion and love are the norm not the aberration.
A world where feeling too much will only get you more joy.
Steve Clark (my co-host on Above The Fray Podcast) and I post independently of one another. I get to read his blogs the same way you do which is when they’re published. Yesterday, when I read his post titled “We’re All Drug Addicts” I knew I had to write my own thoughts on a topic about which I have first-hand knowledge. In fact, when Heath Ledger overdosed, I was contacted by several media outlets to weigh in on the subjects of addiction, suicide and drug overdose. (A fully developed interview of me following Ledger’s death can be listened to here.)
Anti-depressants are proven to lead to and/or increase incidents of suicidal thinking. In my twenties I battled depression and anxiety. A physician put me on anti-depressants and tranquilizers to combat the condition. When I realized I was addicted to the medications I decided to stop taking them. Shortly thereafter, I tried to commit suicide and came very close to succeeding. It was a turning point in my life as it awakened me to the realization that I had to either do it again and succeed or begin to live my life differently. I choose the latter.
It is now decades later and I live a joyful and rewarding life. In no small part it’s due to a different addiction. I mediate daily. Your reaction may be “Well, that’s stretching it a bit since mediation is hardly an addiction.”
But it is.
I need to meditate every day. I’m at a loss when I don’t get my “fix” of that meditative state. Without those feelings of peace, joy, calm and clarity that I receive from meditation I feel tense, discontent, frazzled and off my game. So you see, I am addicted. But I’ve also consciously chosen my addiction because it enhances rather than diminishes the quality of my life.
The point is that it may just be human nature to be addicted. Some choose alcohol, drugs, pornography, chocolate, gambling, serial adultery, masturbation, twitter, clothes shopping…whatever. Regardless, we humans have Free Will and so get to choose that to which we are addicted.
For me, the contrast is no contest. On drugs, I was sedated, slow of thought and harming vital organs with unnecessary and toxic side effects. On meditation, I am sharp of mind, peaceful of spirit, accepting of life and creative of soul.
So to paraphrase Steve, if we’re all addicted remember: You get to choose to what.
I’ve had an “aha” moment. This isn’t a conspiracy theory although it may read like one. Oftentimes, a new and innovative way of looking at the status quo, that calls into question an established view or pattern, can be misinterpreted as conspiratorial. Let’s not go there. Keep an open mind as you read on and you may have an “aha” moment of your own.
In his latest book “Focus” Daniel Goleman states:
“Survival in the wild, some neuroscientists argue, may have depended at crucial moments on a rapidly shifting attention and swift action, without hesitation to think what to do. What we now diagnose as Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) may reflect a natural variation in focusing styles that had an advantage in evolution–and so continue to be dispersed in our gene pool.”
Goleman’s words gave me that “aha” moment.
We are living in a time when political, economic and social systems are breaking down all around us. Its certainly reasonable to posit that all the resulting chaos raises a “warning/danger” response in the primal area of our brains. Accordingly, we are hard wired to respond to threats to our well being and/or our very existence exactly as Goleman and his neuroscientsists observed… “with rapidly shifting attention and swift action, without hesitation to think what to do.” Also known as A.D.D.
Here’s where you’ll have to suspend your tendency to conclude conspiracy.
Approximately 7.5% of school aged children in the United States have been diagnosed with A.D.D. Unmedicated, they are also (to use Darwin’s phrase) the “fittest” for this phase of conscious evolution we must now navigate. I suddenly understood why the “powers that be” want to medicate A.D.D. A narrowly focused population that cannot think expansively, change focus rapidly, or multitask with ease is more readily controlled that one that can. These A.D.D individuals are the seers and the innovators of our day. It is they who will be the ones to usher in new ways of doing things in this age of breakdowns
If you have A.D.D, or know someone who does, perhaps you might want to pay more attention to the wanderings of that rapid mind….and less attention to what “the experts” say about medication.
All our futures may depend on it.
In the book African Genesis the author puts forth the concept of “Blessed Anger.” Blessed Anger is what an animal in the wild exhibits when the minimal amount of space it needs to survive is encroached upon. Animals have an instinct to “stake out” conceptually where that line of safety is in relation to their location. If another animal approaches, there will be no action taken unless the approaching animal crosses that invisible line. Should that occur, the resting animal will go on offense and attack the incoming foe.
I think its reasonable to assume that such Blessed Anger would be exhibited, and justifiable, by any parent in regard to their child. Anyone who has ever had a child knows the instinctive, protective feeling of rising to meet any person or force that poses a threat to your child’s safety and well being. With that in mind, meet Joe Pelletier.
Joe Pelletier has today been charged with Contempt of Court for violating a gag Order imposed by a judge in Massachusetts. Mr. Pelletier is, in fact, in violation of that Order. He knowingly and willfully chose to speak out publicly about the kidnapping and medical malpractice that his teenage daughter, Justina, is now the victim of as perpetuated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
Mr. Pelletier’s decision to violate that Order was made in an effort to save his daughter’s life. Justina suffers from mitochondrial disease, a medical condition diagnosed by Tufts Hospital in Connecticut and for which treating physicians there performed abdominal surgery, where, among other procedures, an elimination tube was inserted in her torso. Yet subsequently and without basis, Boston Children’s Hospital has found that Justina has no medical conditions but rather a psychiatric condition whereby she imagines all of her symptoms, one of which is continual pain. Therefore, the hospital has denied her ALL medical treatment and forces her to attend psychiatric sessions. Further, with Justina now in a wheelchair as her physical condition deteriorates, Boston Children’s Hospital has transferred her to a facility that houses only non-medical, short-term recovering psychiatric and drug rehab patients.
As a former lawyer who practiced Family Law for 13 years and had my share of custody cases involving the state and agenicies such as DCF, I can assure you that the abuses perpetrated by both the Courts and state child protective service agencies can far exceed the conditions from which the child has been removed under the legal standard of “in the best interest of the child.”
Justina Pelletier is my child and your child. She is everyone’s child. And this is every parent’s nightmare. Justina is running out of time. The Pelletier family is mentally, physically and emotionally devastated. They have been financially ruined.
We are the reserves and the reinforcements. Each person reading this must choose one of the below listed methods to be heard and immediately do something about it. Every minute you hesitate is another minute you now know the Pelletier family is suffering. Ever minute you hesitate Justina Pelletier is deteriorating and denied medical attention.
You now have knowing. You now have personal responsibility. We are all connected. You have the right to Blessed Anger.
Allow it to move you.
Governor Duval Patrick
Phone: 617.725.4005 (out of state)
888.870.7770 (in state)
Olga Roche, DCF Commissioner / email: email@example.com
Martha Coakley, Massachusetts Attorney General
Phone: (617) 727-2200
Boston Children’s Hospital
“Lone Survivor” opened in theaters this past weekend to become the second highest grossing movie ever in the month of January. It’s both a war film and a profoundly moving account of ethics, determination and sheer courage in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Yet, the most important message of the movie (and the book upon which the screenplay is based) occurs off screen.
“It went bad for us over there, but that was our job. That’s what we did. We didn’t complain about it. We never gave up. We never felt like we were losing…until we were actually dead.”
What first caught my attention about Mr. Luttrell’s response was his use of the words “we” and “our.” His choice of pronouns may not seem all that extraordinary…after all, these four men trained and performed as a unit. However, it’s the last half of the last sentence that riveted me.
“…until we were dead.”
Marcus Luttrell returns to us to do much more than write a book or make a movie. He returns to us to personify the living manifestation of the unifying principle of Oneness. Four men died on that mountain in Afghanistan, not three. You know that through Mr. Luttrell’s statement. His experience was that “we were dead.” However, four men crawled off that mountain as well and have survived to tell their story through Mr. Luttrell.
Yes, it is a story of war and its ravages as well as of courage, compassion and endurance in the face of overwhelming odds. But above all else, it is a story of our connectedness to one another. What happens to one of us happens to all of us. Until we own that reality, we will continue to tear one another apart both in and out of war.
The solutions we seek to the world’s challenges are not political, they are of the heart. True unity is no better expressed or understood than in the manner that Mr. Luttrell speaks of his/their experience, his/their bond and, most tellingly, his/their deaths. Four men went to Afghanistan and all four have returned to speak to us with one voice.
If Marcus Luttrell still questions why he made it back, my prayer is that he wonders no longer. Every morning that he awakens his three friends awaken as well. It is the highest form of resurrection and it is his purpose to exemplify this reality for the rest of us. I, for one, am eternally grateful to him for the integrity and commitment he brings to the calling. May the Nation, and the world, be awake enough to seize this profound moment to finally understand what divinity in action is all about.
There is only One of Us
Listen to Carole discuss Marcus Lutrell in an excerpt from her radio show “An Hour of Inspirational Gold” on BlogTalk Radio.
Note: click on the gray play button below
Suicide crosses all economic and sociological boundaries. No one is immune by nature of their family ties nor is anyone to blame. In fact, suicide knows no boundaries. This painful fact is most recently evidenced by the suicide death of Matthew Warren, the youngest son of Pastor Rick Warren, mega-church founder and author of the best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life.”
It seems almost a cruel irony that a man who inspired so many to find purpose and meaning in their own lives must now tragically face an inability to gift that same purpose to his own child. This tragedy is not a failing on the part of Pastor Warren. It is the sad but very real outcome of an individual’s inability to find hope and meaning in the midst of suffering.
I know. I tried to commit suicide at age 24 and have spent decades since building a rich, full and meaningful life. However, since that fateful day, I have periodically been challenged with those same thoughts that caused me to choose attempted suicide all those years ago.
The difference in how I have since dealt with those thoughts is by learning to override them through an understanding that the only constant is change. Therefore, no matter how bleak the present moment may seem, I know that I can trust in the fact that it will pass and change will come. I also developed an ever-growing sense of self-worth by facing, and overcoming, life challenges…starting small and working my way up to ever-increasing accomplishments.
I have read that Matthew Warren was described as “an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many.” How I empathize.
We live in a fast-paced, often-times alienated-from-one-another world due to technological advancements and misplaced values. The more sensitive, caring and perceptive one is of the pain of others, the more challenging it can be to exist under such circumstances. It seems the most gifted, the most artistic, the most remarkable individuals in human history have suffered the greatest emotional turmoil. Perhaps this is the price of truly understanding and feeling our connectedness to one another. I do not yet have this answer.
What I do know is that hope and trust in the ability to survive and prosper are tied to experiences of competency. The more often an individual is able to experience autonomy combined with accomplishment the more likely they are to be able to emotionally and intellectually weather the storms of clouded thinking that see suffering as permanent and suicide as an option.
To schedule Carole Gold to speak to your group, organization or school on attempted suicide and effective ways to overcome negative thinking click here.
I don’t know why he did it. No one does. It was a tragic and senseless act by a troubled soul. I wept as did the Nation and as we each try to find some fact, some new information that could perhaps bring something resembling meaning to the chaos I am certain of one thing.
Hatred and further polarization are inappropriate and destructive responses. Whether media personalities or politicians… family members, friends or co-workers…“coming at each other” over gun control is to wildly miss the point. Only a world that has lost its moral and value-based compass could have strayed as far from Truth and harmony as we have strayed.
It’s about so much more than guns. That is precisely what we will try to avoid. We will try and tie it all up in a political package aimed at curbing assault weapons rather than accepting personal responsibility for how we have abdicated doing what is right when confronted with the opportunity to do what is expedient.
We have shunned putting forth the time to be parents to instead turn the children over to be influenced by technology. We have avoided living lives that establish standards that would then give us the right to demand the same of our elected leaders. We have failed to provide decent facilities and care for the mentally ill. We have determined the success of our personal lives by our incomes rather than our degree of inner peace, and that of the Nation by its Moody’s credit rating rather than its citizens proliferation of compassion. We have neglected to revere life in all its forms thus destroying at will that which is inconvenient or burdensome. We have lost the patience to allow our lives to unfold in harmony with natural rhythms and, by so doing, misplaced conscience as we took what we wanted when we wanted it without regard for consequence. We belittle and mock our own inner connection to the Divine while falling prostrate at the feet of material false idols.
There is no President, no legislation, and no committee to see about all the ways in which we have erred and rebelliously refused to self-correct. For in the end, this is what it has come down to. Self-correction. For if we do not use this moment, this tragedy, this waste of human life to stop the hatred, name calling and polarization… to awaken to our Oneness… then it will be too late to Self-correct.
We will have moved beyond any remedy conceivable by our limited capacities and inflated egos to turn the tide of self-destruction. If that should happen, the correction will come from a place outside of our understanding and may God have mercy on us.
Awaken now. Stop the separation now. Take responsibility now. Feel your humanity now. There is only One of Us.
What I do to you I do to myself. What I think of you I think of myself. What I wish for you I bring upon myself.
This is law and it is incontrovertible.
I live in two worlds…the physical and the metaphysical. We all do to some extent. The physical world is what we can see, hear, smell, touch and sometime prove with objective means. It is a world evaluated and acted upon by our Conscious Mind. The metaphysical world is less easily defined but no less real. It is comprised of the branch of philosophy that treats the underlying theoretical principles of a subject. It studies the relation of universals to particulars, and the teleological doctrine of causation. Its scope is broad enough to include the theologian, the philosopher, the mystic, and the fortune teller.
Some people, like myself, acknowledge and live in both of these worlds in a more or less balanced degree. It wasn’t always so for me but I have worked deliberately, and at times accidentally, to achieve that balance…that harmony.
Others, such as Nikolai Tesla physicist and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of alternating current (AC) electrical supply system said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”
So what is our resistance to that beginning? What is our fear around opening up to the unknown? Again, Tesla leads us in the direction of the answer. “If the genius of invention was to reveal tomorrow the secret of immortality, of eternal beauty and youth, for which all humanity is aching, the same inexorable agents which prevent a mass from changing suddenly its velocity would likewise resist the force of the new knowledge until time gradually modifies human thought.”
We are living in a time when such “genius of invention” is opening up new ways of perceiving the physical and the non-physical, relating to one another and healing the body. We are being gifted the opportunity to open the heart frequency to receive more enlightened information than the mind frequency has the capacity to receive. But remember what Tesla said about the resistance “mass” puts up to “sudden changes in its velocity.” We humans are mass and as such, are not immune to the natural actions and reactions of matter. However, the Universal Laws of Change and Movement that affect all matter also subject us to that “gradual wearing down” of resistance Tesla identified.
Nature is The Answer because it holds all the answers. I live by the same desire that drove Tesla when he said, “The desire that guides me in all I do is the desire to harness the forces of nature to the service of mankind.”
Dogs cannot see color but colors exists to all who can see them. There are worlds around and within us operating under the same Universal Laws that apply to the reality science studies and relentlessly pursues. If you want to know those worlds, if you want to see where others cannot, relinquish the grasp your mind has on the physical world and open your heart to those worlds that are beyond its grasp.