Archive for September 2013

CHECKLIST FOR INTELLIGENT OPTIMISTS   8 comments

 

  • No matter what happens, you’re not a victim. It’s up to you to determine your response.
  • Embrace your life’s purpose. Make your own unique contribution that turns your environment into a better place and fulfills you.
  • Make the reality your reality.
  • Don’t be distracted by the overwhelmingly negative news around you. Instead, read The Intelligent Optimist.
  • Don’t look back too often. Keep yourself open to today’s new opportunities.
  • Listen to your friends and loved ones, but don’t become dependent on what others think of you.
  • Be grateful for everything life has given you and for every step forward you can take.
  • Make sure you laugh often. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

 

Page 77, The Intelligent Optimist, vol 11, Issue 3, May/June 2013

 

I hope these bullet points stir up stories for yourselves and to share here with the rest of us.

I’ve been relying lately on the “Don’t be distracted by the negative news…” point. I remember taking a journalism course in High School where I learned that good, happy events rarely make news.That’s even more true today when news is mostly done in sound bites where bad news seems to fit easily. The good tends to be on-going, not fitting  into one or two sentences.

The suggestion made by the Intelligent Optimist to read itself is more than just marketing. It’s one place to retreat and focus on the positive changes occurring in the world that sometimes seems overwhelmingly dangerous and destructive.

So, I’ve been listening to music more and watching TV news less – giving my brain a break.

 

 

 

FERTILIZER IN MY SHOES   6 comments

I have permission to share the following with you.  I love the way this client finds ways to summarize her experiences. Telling me she has fertilizer in her shoes, she sent me the following e-mail rejoicing in the growth she is experiencing. I have, of course, modified it some to protect her identity.

I love that she has ceased fearing that dangerous word “power.” Too often people see power as “power over” rather than inner power experienced.

Dear Mona,

 For the first time in my life, I feel the stirrings of empowerment –a very nice feeling!   I’ve always had mixed emotions about the term empowerment. From a [very conservative] background, in which a woman is constantly taught to be submissive, to a mother who preached humility for woman and berated women with careers, to observing some women in business who lost all femininity and became very unpleasant pseudo men in the name of empowerment.

 For me, being empowered is being pleasant, not a pleaser. It means having a personal plan and the guts to stick with the plan, as well as the guts to re-evaluate and change the plan if necessary. It’s doing the right thing, but not if the cost of doing the right thing violates my personal code of ethics. It’s making amends when needed, but also standing up for myself. It’s holding on, but also knowing when to let go….

 And it’s still a work in progress…..for the rest of my life!

Thank you for listening!

I’d be so happy to hear comments from you who have had the aha experience of discovering the powerful meaning of “power.”

By the way, the header is a photo from our June trip to Santa Fe. No wonder Georgia O’Keefe loved to paint those beautiful colors.

 

 

 

WAITING FOR THE FEVER TO BREAK   6 comments

Remember the old movies where the family gathered around the person in crisis, suffering high fever and approaching death? Usually there was a happy ending when the fever “broke” and the patient recovered.

Crisis: I’ve lived through so many in my lifetime. Oh, I’m not referring to pneumonia, or even personal crises. I’m referring to national and international crises. Like waiting in the New Haven, Connecticut railroad station for my boyfriend to meet me. My thoughts? We’ll never get married. I’ll never get to graduate school. We’ll all die when the atomic bomb drops on us. No, the 1950s were not a calm, peaceful time.

Korea: My boyfriend (a different one) sent letters home as he served in the “action” that never was officially a war. Always, at least once in a letter, he’d say, “Christ, we’ll all be killed.” It was a kind of mantra, I think, to ward off death.

The Cuban missile crisis. Now I had children for whose safety I feared. Sleepless nights of worry, even though I knew my worry had no power to stop “it.” – whatever “it” might turn out to be.

The 60s – Oh, the 60s. Now I look back and see the amazing changes that have happened – and the ones that haven’t. This could be a whole long blog all by itself recounting the changes in women’s lives, for example. (A subject on which I have more authority to speak than on racial changes.) Women lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, mail carriers, news reporters, commercial pilots, fire-fighters. police officers, – even chiefs of police. Women still earning less than men for jobs of equal value —  not as far behind as they used to be. But I’ll save all that for another time.

The Iraq thing: Definitely kept me awake, watching powerless as that terrible period developed leaving behind an aftermath for which decades will find us paying the price.

OK. You get the idea. Now, of course, we are in another crisis. No – make that plural — crises. Technical advances changing the way we make a living – or don’t. “Global Weirding” and the related rejection of science. The rush to violence and the growing reactions against it.

I feel like I’m living in a maelstrom. And I feel like I’ve felt like this before. And I know that while I’m/we’re in it, we’re too close to see the effect it’s having on our evolution as a people, a nation, and a world. Even as a universe.

So, what’s this all about? I have learned to wait and see. Do what I can. Act as I believe is right and moral – knowing that some people  think I’ve “got” it, and others believe I’m way off the mark – and that none of us individually has much power to stem the tide. But watching in awe as public opinion is making itself known. Ten years from now, maybe less, where we are heading will make sense in retrospect.

Someday the fever will break. The patient won’t die, but things will never be the same as they were. Change will happen, maybe for the better in the long run. And maybe more quickly than we expect. Just look at what’s happened to gay marriage. Maybe even our current rush to violence will “break” as more peaceful solutions prevail.

In the meantime, I’ll listen to music sometimes, instead of watching the daily din of news which will, of course, be bad, because the good stuff doesn’t make news. I’ll assume I and my world will be around long enough for “Mrs. Job” to find a new home and a new name, and even begin to make some money again.

And I’ll read the good news in my two favorite “positive-focusing” magazines: YES   and ODE And wait for the day when the news media will be presenting some good news in spite of themselves.

 

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