Archive for July, 2010

Outing Charlie Rangel

Either way there are going to be people unhappy with the outcome of the ethics violation findings against Congressman Charles Rangel.  If it turns out there’s no deal, but rather a full trial before the House of Representatives, some will scream it’s a carnival show deliberately created by the obstruction of the four Republican members of the investigative sub-committee.  If, on the other hand, there’s a deal some will scream “foul” and special treatment for the privileged that would not be afforded a more common criminal.

For me, the outcome isn’t the big story.  For me, it’s the long-awaited public airing of the ethical misdeeds and illegal behavior of a sitting member of Congress and, by definition, a representative of the People charged with our trust and well-being.  But as happy as I am at this long-overdue occurrence, I’m not surprised.

You see, I frequently write about the transition we are going through.  Spiritually, it’s referred to as an “ascension process.”  In simpler terms, it’s an expansion of human consciousness encompassing a higher vantage point from which to view our choices. (Did I just say “in simple terms…?”)!

One of the overriding characteristics of an ascension process is that there are no more secrets.  What that means is that behavior that does not support the highest good (read as “deceitful behavior”) will be forced out into the open… or revealed for what it is.

Hence, Charlie Rangel… who for decades has been able to skate by and avoid the consequence of being confronted with his acts.

It would be a wise decision for anyone watching this drama to pay close attention and take heed.  One need not be a public figure or famous to experience the weight of it, either.  Wherever there is deceit in our lives, whether with ourselves or with another… the inevitable outcome will now be revelation.

So like any “outing”… it’s probably best to do it ourselves, first, rather than have someone else choose the time and place.

Human beings, and particularly Americans, are surprisingly compassionate and forgiving of a mea culpa… and equally hardhearted and unforgiving of those who are caught throwing stones while living in glass houses.

Carpe diem.  Make honesty in your life a priority.  Clean up the muddy stuff.  It’s not too late… for you.

Not so Charlie Rangel.

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The Third Alternative for Change

Okay. These are tricky times.  As uncertainty and fear escalate so too do the voices of polarization.  The Left hates the Right and vice versa.  But there is a more subtle polarization going on that I think is of greater importance and the strongest impediment to our successfully coming through this transition.

The other polarization is between those who wish to restore the past and those who wish to transform it.

Going back is never a good idea. The saying that “the only thing good about the good old days is that they’re gone” is true. The past had a time and a place and they are both gone. Likewise, to so fundamentally transform our Nation that it becomes unrecognizable, is to commit grave and irreversible error. To do so would be to “throw the baby out with the bath water” as another saying goes.

We, as a Nation and as human beings, are on an evolutionary journey.  But this journey requires vigilance… for we have been gifted a quality found nowhere else in Nature: Free Will.  And so we are not only known by our choices but, in a very literal sense, we create our reality by them as well.

Today’s choices are the womb wherein tomorrow’s circumstances gestate.

If we can’t go back because the past is no longer and we can’t discard what the best character and minds of the past 5000+ years have been working on perfecting where does that leave us?

In need of open minds that are ready and willing to comprehend the world differently.  To retain the best while jettisoning the worst.  To understand that change and instability are the norm.  To get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  To learn to be fully present, flexible and compassionate.  To be able to let go while being poised to embrace.

Ever the optimist (while fighting a learned pessimism) I am certain we will succeed.  I don’t think it will be easy but I think it can be exhilarating, and yes, with the right perspective and outlook, even enjoyable.  Roller coasters are uncomfortable and a little scary, but fun.And when the ride is over you’re grateful to have survived it and know with certainty that you’re alive. 

It’s how we’re wired.

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The Inevitable: Another Gulf Oil Spill

Being highly intuitive, I have lots of like-minded, or should I say like-spirited, friends.  At the onset of BP’s Gulf Oil crisis one of them said, “There’s another one coming.”  What just reminded me of her prediction is the FOX Breaking News headline as I write this. 

Seems there’s been another spill.

The obvious question is “What’s going on?” How can there be so much crisis and bad news day after day?  How much stress can people take?  And why are things as they are?

For me the answer is fairly clear since I have a habit of frequently looking at Nature to clear up the unknown.  In reply to these very valid questions I look at how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.  Its a process of transformation… and a difficult and deadly one at that.  There are stages to such transformation.  As one aspect (or form) disintegrates and ceases to exist, another more graceful and less dense emerges.  Such is the stuff of Life… evolving.

Einstein taught us that matter is neither created nor destroyed, only redistributed.  That’s what a butterfly is…a redistributed caterpillar. Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that for the caterpillar, its the end of the road, so to speak.  But all roads end when you’re in the physical world.  All those roads that led to Rome did also.  The only road that does not end is the one that traverses the cycle of life. 

That road transcends what is in a continuous journey of self-discovery.

My heart aches for all the destruction that accompanies transformation just as my Soul simultaneously delights in the potential expansion of consciousness and quality of life present in the same evolutionary moment.

The chrysalis, that stage of caterpillar transformation, where the adult structures of the butterfly are formed while the larval structures are broken down, must be stressful and can’t be all that much fun.  Neither is all that we are going through.  But as with the larval breakdown, we too are in a breakdown phase of our more infantile or adolescent development as sentient beings… inevitably to emerge as the butterfly…more adult, more graceful, more Light.


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In Defense of Mel Gibson…sort of

Allow me to preface this by saying that as a woman and former divorce lawyer of 13 years I, in no way, condone domestic violence nor do I think that what Mel Gibson has been tape recorded saying is in any way acceptable.  In fact, he has said things that are deeply disturbing if not legally actionable.

However, how and why we choose a partner is always complex. While it is true that verbal abuse and physical threats are never to be sanctioned, what is often overheard by others not directly involved can be but a partial insight and oftentimes misleading.

The choice for two people to be together, for better or worse so to speak, is a mutual choice.  Hopefully, that choice is made out of want rather than need.  But this is not always the case.  In fact, most people come together seeking to fill a lack or void in themselves in the hope that the presence and love from the other will fill it. This is rarely a conscious intention.  And while its never a good way to find a significant other… it’s a very common and human one.

I speak from experience.

When my marriage began to wither, I became at first frustrated by, and later angry at, my spouse’s emotionally detached behavior.  There was a subtle pattern of emotional manipulation that at times drove me to the brink… although I recognized it only in hindsight.  We stayed together. He manipulated me in a very passive/aggressive way as my frustration and anger mounted.  Ultimately, I yelled a lot and said things I’d retract today if I could.

Listening to the Gibson tapes, I was struck by two things.  First, and most obvious, his rage.  But secondly her calm.  I hear myself in him.  I hear my former husband in her.  After all, what is she even doing having these conversations with him?  Why, after prior encounters with his rage, is she still hot-tubbing with him and sleeping in the same bed?  Why is she so calm knowing it escalates and infuriates his anger? What does that do for her?

I hear him saying (however crudely) that he wants certain things from her.  I also hear her saying (admittedly between the lines) “I am trying to love you but you need help.”

This is a co-dependent, enabling and very destructive relationship at best.  But it’s too easy to get caught up in the blame-game and condemn the loudest voice. 

Both these people need help.  Both need to get to the root of their own personal demons and they definitely need to be apart in order to do that internal work . Something drew them together and that something was powerful.

Now it’s about the constructive and wise use of that power.

I don’t believe in fairy tales.  However, when human beings are willing to go the extra mile and do the tough work, miracles are possible as are happy endings.  I have no idea what that looks like in this matter but I wish them both well and send them both healing.

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The Capacity of Small Minds

Recently I met someone in a social situation.  We talked at length about a wide spectrum of topics and had much to share.  It was an interesting and enjoyable experience.  When I suggested that he might enjoy reading some of my blog entries my suggestion was enthusiastically received.

Two days later I receive the following e-mail (to the best of my recollection as I deleted it upon reading it):

“If you think Glenn Beck is a prophet, as you wrote, then I have nothing further to say to you and we have nothing in common. I met him several years ago and he is a money-hungry phony.How anyone can listen to him is beyond me.”

Now this is a highly educated man who owns his own publishing company that publishes a sports magazine in the Philadelphia area.  So it started me thinking about three things: education, small minds and hate.

1.       My thoughts about education are neither unique nor startling.  The amount of years one spends obtaining a formal education correlates to neither common sense nor wisdom.  It correlates to one’s capacity to regurgitate what is being fed, and in the best of cases, to sprinkle that with some creative thinking of one’s own to hopefully generate some modicum of internally-sourced and outside-the-box thinking.  I make this statement absent jealously or resentment since I am one of those educated people, having spent 19 years in formal education on the way to obtaining a Juris Doctor in law.

All those years made me educated, in a specific way, not necessarily wise or open-minded. That requires education of a different sort.

2.       Small minds abound, even among the educated.  Take my acquaintance above.  His reaction is proof that the capacity to ingest and digest factual knowledge is not a reliable indicator of a mind capable of expansive or inclusive thinking.  To do that, one has to possess qualities not taught in school such as compassion, understanding and wisdom.

3.       As for hate… I’ve come to believe it’s the emotion of choice for fearful, unwise, small minded individuals.

Which brings me back to my acquaintance.

He was quick to condemn both Glenn Beck and me for…well… actually… I’m not quite sure for what exactly and I doubt he is either.  However, the irony is that after receiving his inexplicable e-mail I Googled his name.  What I learned was that not too long ago he was indicted and convicted of failing to report income as well as some dubious ethical behavior while working in city government.  At least he had the benefit of representation and a trial before anyone judged and condemned him… and, oh yes, sentenced him to 6 months house arrest wearing a secure ankle bracelet.

So much for education, small minds and hate.

If you read my blog regularly you’d know that I like to close with some pithy comment but, quite frankly, I can’t top the paragraph that precedes this one. Truth may or may not be stranger than fiction but, in this case, its certainly more enjoyable.

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Navigating Change

As a Spiritual Coach I’m hearing a great deal lately about people not knowing what to do about, or how to handle, all the change and uncertainty that’s in the air. Because I consider myself an expert on facing change (>read that as LOTS of life experience dealing with the unexpected) I’m pretty comfortable giving out advice on how to effectively get through the unknown.

Its simple, really.  Well, simple to understand, anyway.

The secret, and its really no secret at all, is that anytime we are asked to move from where we are comfortable to someplace unknown, fear comes up.  Now some people will say they don’t experience fear. To that I would reply that there are gradations of fear ranging all the way from a mild discomfort to being completely immobilized.  No matter where you fall along that continuum, at either extreme or someplace in between, the remedy is the same.

Patience in the process.
Trust in the Source.
Release of the outcome.

We live in such an accelerated world that we’ve forgotten what it is to wait.  I mean really wait.  Not wait for a seemingly snail’s paced fax to be sent and arrive because, say, e-mail is down.  I mean really wait.  As in lovingly wait for Nature… or God… or Life to take Its course.  Not only don’t we know how to wait, we don’t even realize that the act of waiting…particularly done in annoyance or frustration… is an impediment to living fully in the present.

That’s where Trust comes into play.  If you can accept that change is inevitable… which it is… and trust that all change is for the highest good… which it is… then there’s no need for impatience.  Because things will unfold as they are intended and. while that’s completing itself. you can go about fully engaged in everything that’s in your life at the moment without care or concern for the outcome.

With patience in the process, trust in the highest good, and absent care or concern for the outcome there is no need or place for fear.

As I said. Simple to understand. Challenging to live.  But since I’ve done it many times, so that its become second nature so to speak, I can tell you with certainty it works.

Give it a try.  It sure beats the alternative.

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