Archive | April, 2012

Never too Late…

30 Apr

I find it amazing that we measure what we do in life in time blocks – justifying our inaction by how much time the action might take.  “I can’t go to school – it will take four years,” is a popular lament amongst high school graduates eager to make their fortune.  Parents, however, lament how a year off before entering college is folly that will keep their kid from ever returning to full time study.

The truth is that no matter what we do (or do not do) in life, time ticks on…. four years will go by no matter if the student goes to college or works.

The fact that time marches on regardless of and in spite of our plans, hesitations, and need to “get ready” for the right time to act ‘should be’ impetus enough to get us moving.  There will never be a better time (for anything) than the present because it is the only guarantee in life. We cannot change the past (it’s gone) or the future (we have no control over what WILL happen), but we do have the present!

It is never too late to do anything as long as you start whatever it is you want to do, now!  It is never too late to return to school, to renew contact with old friends, to contact a lost love, to get a new job, to make amends, to act!  While certain physical dreams (such as being an Olympic figure skater at age 50) may be physically impossible, it is never too late to scale back a dream and make headway (i.e., take up figure skating now.) More typically we invent the artificial obstacles to prevent our own success and keep ourselves from trying something new (which can be scary!)

What better time than today to consider taking a small step towards a big dream – even if the dream started decades ago?

What do you have in your dream chest that deserves to be started today?  What’s stopping you?  Remember if it is something that might take you 5 years – the time will go by regardless so why not move in the direction of your dreams?  If you do not, in five years you will be in exactly the same place as you are today – just five years behind on your dream.

It truly is never too late if you just take one small step – today. What do YOU want to start while it is never too late – today?

Carol

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Celebrities among us…

23 Apr

This past weekend I attended a “wrap party” for a local film festival where a smattering of celebrities graced the event and gained local entourage and special treatment.  It must be life as normal for the celebrities who hailed from Hollywood, New York and elsewhere, but for local Florida residents, it was a chance to rub shoulders with some more rich and famous.

I came to be at this event by assisting with coordination and on site logistics and I greeted guests as they arrived at the event.  I am not one to fawn over celebrities (or even recognize less famous ones) so it was interesting to watch others who did. I believe that everyone, no matter their rank or whether they are  peers, strangers, or celebrities, deserve the same level of respect and courtesy (unless they violate that right).  But, this is not a universal stance.

I found it interesting to watch as various actors arrived with large entourage (who walked dutifully behind them) and who expected (and received) special treatment.  It seemed a bit excessive to see “herds” of ten or more being led into the event. (Sheep came to mind…)

At one point, a group of four drunken baseball fans showed up without passes and expected to waltz off the street and be admitted  as if the party was theirs. Without credentials or passes, they grudgingly left.  Two returned later after befriending an actor smoking on the sidewalk, and felt justified in waltzing in as his new best friends.

Who (and what) makes a Celebrity?

In the field of acting or sports – normal human beings are raised to icon-status with outrageous salaries and fame.  From relative obscurity they are catapulted into fame and fortune – with often more luck than stellar ability, and their meteoric rise often falls equally fast. Yet, their claim to fame (for however long) lies with what our society values and holds in high esteem entertainment as a chosen career, over and above professions or occupations that make a difference to others.   We seldom see doctors, health care workers or teachers (whose impact can be far greater than entertainment value) elevated to any sort of “special” status.

Everyday celebrities…

If one stopped to view life as a series of adventures and survival experiences, more of us and the people in our lives would become celebrities, and that might be good.  In my books, everyone who succeeds through life (through the good, the bad, and the ugly) deserves the same respect, honorable treatment, courtesy, love, and decency that award to celebrity.  We ought to be celebrating (and “celebritizing”) everyone when they succeed in life.

Celebrities are all around us – take a look at all the parents, caregivers, workers, friends and colleagues who choose to make a difference, yet whose lives are normal, everyday, and without fanfare.  Would it not make sense to spread the celebrity status around (and maybe gratitude?)

What do you think?  Can you think of someone you know who might deserve a bit of celebrity status today?

Have a good week.

Carol

THE ABUNDANCE MENTALITY DEBUNKED

13 Apr

THE ABUNDANCE MENTALITY DEBUNKED.

 

An interesting and insightful viewpoint on the Secret and the Abundance Mentality… what do you think?

 

The Universe answers (in its own way…)

13 Apr

 

This is an update to the post I did last week hoping for a miracle for my son and daughter-in-law and their young family.  Here is an excerpt from the original post:

I believe in miracles and I need one for my son and daughter-in-law and their young family now… for the past 18 months, they have been living in a dilapidated three bedroom, 100 year old house in South St Petersburg, FL, and working with the landlord to fix it up.  … <but code enforcement prevailed…>

Here’s the rub – their out of town landlord sent them an eviction notice to vacate their home in 30 days and since they received the notice on March 16, they have been desperately seeking a house to rent   The problem is that with the glut of foreclosures and the scams (Nigerians are even involved in the rental property market and on Craigslist!!!) – the competition for scant rental properties is fierce.  They are reliable renters, solid upstanding citizens, who love their two children, and they can’t find a place to rent!  When they go to see a property, there are eight other couples lined up with impeccable credit scores and cash in hand.  Here’s where we need a miracle from the universe – this weekend:  their landlord have bulldozers on the property on Monday morning … New mothers and new families need to be able to take care of their children, not stressing out and competing for every new rental listing that comes up, and having an uncaring landlord calling them <daily> with eviction threats to ruin their credit.

The good news is that on Friday afternoon after I posted this, a property that they had seen in Bradenton phoned to say they could rent it! All weekend was spent moving them into their new surroundings. The new place is cute, eclectic, and in a great school district, so I am happy to say it all worked out. There was ultimate stress on Friday afternoon, the 11th hour so to speak, and I am relieved that they are now unpacking and settling in.

The Universe answers in its own way…

When I woke up today, I felt a bit deflated that the universe hadn’t answered the way I envisioned – I hoped that a new, lovely, out of this world property would emerge that they could move into on short notice.  And that didn’t happen.

But, then I paused to reflect – it DID answer!  I realized that the way the Universe (or God) answers our pleas is never the way we could have imagined.  Here’s how it answered (and I am grateful!):

– The place they were waiting to hear from (not their first choice and not in their first budget) is perfect for them – and the landlord did call in time for them to move in without having to move into a hotel temporarily. The new place is perfect – a good location, good school district, walking distance to various sites.

– We had portable units delivered last week for their items and worked all week to fill them up.  This is where we took action rather than waiting for the universe to deliver a delay to the eviction. Laws of attraction imply that you simply need to wish for results, while a new book Leveraging the Universe tells us that we need to do our part to set things up so the universe can hit our home runs! The storage facility worked with us to move the PODs on short notice on Saturday.

– Everything worked well:  the truck driver (for the PODs) accommodated us by coming back two hours later on Saturday afternoon when we weren’t yet done loading; we secured an enclosed truck to move my son’s plants (he is an arborist), and nothing got damaged. The universe worked with us to deliver a good solution.

The universe delivered me a bonus by letting me know (through the emails that others sent to me) that I am not totally alone in the world, and that my problems, however mundane, matter.  I had friends from other parts of the country (and in other countries) share the post with their networks.  Ultimately, there were no new properties or opportunities, but the support gave me a much needed emotional boost!

The Universe/ God is real…

I grew up with a fear ridden, you must be in a state of grace at all times, over-the-top hell and brimstone, staunch organized religious environment that relied (and still does) on guilt mongering, shame, and threats of eternal damnation to keep the fold herded.

I do not believe that there is a chosen religion (and a fraction of the world who are believers) who have a reserved place in heaven.  (Everyone, no matter their creed or beliefs has goodness, and no matter the “badge” of religion they wear, has equal opportunity in my books. I also believe that our souls are eternal (this life may be temporary, but I believe that our souls endure).  Moreover I believe that the universe/God is loving, giving, and available to us without limitation, in a way that others disappoint.

I believe in the Law of Abundance where whatever we dream can be ours, and I believe in the power of the Royal We (me, myself and I) to the exclusion of anyone else.  And why am I even bothering to tell you this (you might do as others before and use it against me!) – solely because this is MY TRUTH – and that matters.

Today I am grateful for the weekend that passed.  I am grateful for the answers from the universe to provide a way forward. I am grateful that universe provided results are always more than I can do myself.

Wishing you a great week!

Carol

 

Judgment or admonishment, excuse me either way…

13 Apr

Do you ever feel like you just want to be accepted — or left alone?  There are times when I get tired of having others reject, correct, chide, or otherwise disrespect me, that I wonder if it is worth meeting new people.  Is this what life is like for anyone else?

I make an effort to tolerate others “ad nauseum” (it just doesn’t make sense to get upset over little things in life), but it is not reciprocal.  Sometimes it is hard to keep up the good fight (being tolerant), when others seen to tolerate nothing (and then insist on telling me.)

I try to follow the motto “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” – and yet most people disagree.  I often am told off if I glance in the wrong direction (according to them.)  If you are a reader of my past posts, you might sense my growing frustration with how there is so much judgment and so little acceptance in the world today.

This week it started with a Facebook post…

I shared a quote (picture at left) on my Facebook wall and in turn, several friends shared it on their wall.  Different people commented – most agreeing with the sentiment – except for one who wrote:

” I understand the wrong of being judgmental. But to never judge doesn’t ring true does it? Quoting from “http://www.tldm.org/News6/judging.htm” Those without convictions proclaim a mistaken notion of tolerance: But ‘tolerance’ can be a genuinely harmful force when it becomes a euphemism for moral exhaustion and a rigid or indifferent neutrality in response to every great moral issue—when, in G.K. Chesterton’s phrase, it becomes the virtue of people who do not believe in anything.”

Holy Schmoley!

It always surprises me how religious zealots will cite scripture to justify why they deserve to confront (and judge) others about their choices.  While such people spout words of acceptance (“God loves everyone…”), they are typically intolerant of anyone who does not share their beliefs.

When religion and righteousness enter the conversation, logic often seems to exit. We end up with bullying behavior from adults under the guise of “I am compelled to save you (from your own misguided way of thinking)… because I know better than you what is right!”

Argh – I hate that!   It is like saying “I accept everyone for who they are, but I simply will not tolerate anyone who is not as righteous as me!”  (It reminds me of a notepad I saw once depicting a crotchety an old woman ranting “There’s nothing I hate more than intolerance!”)

You have a right to your opinion, as long as you agree with me…

I realized that what bothered me about the comment was that it felt too familiar. My parents use guilt and scripture as rationale for their non-accepting, strongly worded opinions, and incessant chiding (verbal spanking). It makes no difference to them that I am a good person with high morals and values, it only matters if I follow their edicts.

You might think, after decades of guilt mongering, I would have figured it out.  I COULD be loved and accepted if I could just fit into the first communion dress I wore as a child. It will never happen, and I am happy and healthy loving myself.

Today, I live thousands of miles away, yet my father continues to send me (dis)missive emails.

You might recognize the pattern of the email:  “Dear Carol, How are you?  I hope you know how much you are hurting (or how much suffering you are causing to) <insert family member name here> by <insert unrelated behavior here>.  You know that God would want you to <insert their recommended behavior change here> because He says <insert convenient bible passage here>.”

Fight or flight (or fright?)

I have learned to ignore such rhetoric until it escalates with follow-ups.  At some point, I end up confronted with the primal “fight or flight” response, and neither renders a good outcome.  Fight means a showdown of religious righteousness that I am unwilling to wage (it is a no win).  Flight ends up being a chase where I am eventually caught to further face guilt-laced “gentle correction” to save me from the fires of hell.  Why so much judgment when there is so  much goodness to accept?

Judgment or admonishment – who needs it?  Please excuse me either way…  I am living a good life, and no matter how much judgment you heap on me, I’ll still tolerate you.  What do you think?

Have a good week!

Carol

Unknown Unknowns…

10 Apr

The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don’t know
We don’t know.

–Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

It is said that the known knowns (what we know we know) and the known unknowns (what we know we do not know) are a mere 3-5% of what we could know if we discovered even a few of our unknown unknowns (what we have no idea about that we cannot even imagine we do not know).  Similar to the iceberg above, there is an amazing world beneath the surface of those first two categories.

Once in a while, we gain a glimpse of things we had no idea was even possible in our existence – and it can be exciting to discover these things.  What I find amazing is that the things I do not know that I do not know may be things that others may find obvious or might at least be on their radar that they know nothing about.  How much bigger could your and my world be if we caught more glimpses of positive unknown unknowns in our world.

Yet, so many people, especially politicians and leaders purport to know all there is to know about the world, and a few will even offer to find out things that they know they do not know.  On the other hand, there are those whose minds are closed and not open, and they prefer not to even consider that there are ideas beyond those already on their radar.  The concept of unknown unknowns does not even enter their realm of reality.  Do you know people like this?

When our minds are open (like umbrellas) we are able to embrace new ideas and listen actively. The more we know, the more we discover we don’t know, and suddenly the world can become interesting, no matter how old you may be!

How much excitement and happiness are in the world that we haven’t yet discovered is even there to discover?

So many things to learn to learn, and so little time.  (Just when we thought the world was getting smaller…  I don’t know about you, but knowing there is so much of life yet to discover, makes me happy to be alive.

Enjoy your day!

No man is an island or is s/he?

9 Apr
A weekly newsletter I receive opened with the following quote today:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the mainJohn Donne 1572-1631.
The writer, John Chappelear, continued “To me, Donne’s well-remembered phrase means I am but a part of the greater whole. It reminds me, I do not live alone, I do not work alone and I do not succeed alone.”
I thought about this analogy in the context of how life literally ebbs and flows, is constantly changing, and moves us between states (physically, emotionally, and mentally) all the time.
So much of life is an “inside job” based on what we feel, think, perceive, and see through our six senses (intuition being the sixth).  If we are fortunate enough to have built up a teflon exterior we can pretty much sail through life unscathed regardless of any storms or obstacles that land in our way, or how others treat us.
Island Living can be a Luxury…
The concept of “no man is an island” being a negative construct is an interesting one.  I meet more and more people who may not be literal islands, but their life is one of remoteness – and most of them, like me, are in mid-life.
If we take the analogy one step further, earth is made up of seven continents (is that right?, my geography classes were long ago so I could be wrong) and thousands of islands.  While most people live on the main continents and many move freely between them, there are thousands (maybe even millions) who live on islands – some in very secluded areas, who survive, thrive, and are valuable contributors to the world.
Sometimes I feel like I am one of them, partly by choice, partly by circumstance.  Read on…
Just as life relocates us across continents (states of being – successful, in transition, moving forward or back, happy/sad/grieving/excited/etc.), I believe it sometimes also can move us to a remote island where we are the sole occupant, just to see if we can handle being alone.
The Treadmill can be Temporary
After a lifetime spent figuratively living on a crowded continent where alone time was rare (growing up with four siblings, then raising a young family, supporting a husband who was constantly in school, supporting siblings and parents who needed emotional support, working full-time, and meeting the needs of friends), I find that I am now living on a remote island – and I am getting used to it.
I am not sure if I want to be on this island forever, but I am finding that “island living” is not as bad as city dwellers might think.
Even though I work alone and spend a lot of time alone (my children are now grown, I am divorced, and I will no longer tolerate energy vampires as friends), it is high quality time in the company of the Royal We (me, myself and I).  While it can be isolating, and even lonely at times, it is also refreshing.  I never had the luxury of time in the past to really get to know the Royal We, and I have to tell you, I really am learning to love their company!
Contact with the “mainland”
Through the internet, I stay in contact with a global community of friends (who have never lived in the same country as me), and do most of my client work remotely.  Sometimes I even miss the energy vampires and toxic friends who treated me poorly in the past (and yes, I tolerated it), but it is getting easier and easier when I can look out my window (literally) and see dolphins frolicking in the bay outside.
Life is never fair, never perfect, never exactly as we would plan for ourselves, but” man” can be an island in and of himself at times, for a duration.  That does not have to be “bad”.
I believe if we changed our collective attitude about independence and self-reliance, we might become a more tolerant society.  If
more people took time to disconnect, withdraw, take a retreat from life to get to know the real, wonderful s/he, we would collectively discover that the “Royal We” are pretty darn good just the way we are.
What do you think?
Have a great week!
Carol
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