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Monday, September 29, 2008

Givers and Takers

ACCEPT the LOVE, SEIZE the GOOD…why is that harder for some than… giving the Love…sharing the good?

There are givers and takers, at first blush one might assume that the more challenging task would be in the giving rather than the receiving. However for many of us taking requires a much greater sacrifice... taking requires a drink of humility and trust that for some is just too bitter.

So we quietly attempt to position ourselves in the seat of benefactor …hoping our acts of generosity will mask our inability to receive, but what we fail to see is that we are denying someone else of that very role. What appears altruistic and selfless is in fact our most selfish act...the giving has become the taking and such the taking the giving.

Is this simply another symptom of a hungry ego, a need to feel grand and powerful? Yes and no, ego feed, no doubt, but for many, much more than the need to feel grand is fear…the fear of losing control…the fear of being let down, first by ourselves that we are not capable of answering our own needs...second by others, by allowing dependency on others we are exposing a vulnerability that is often too great a risk.

Trust and Love …again it spirals back to here…like taking a crowbar to a rusted safe as we slowly pry it open the light begins to enter ...changing nothing inside merely illuminating the space...we must pry open our hearts and allow love and trust to irrigate its chambers. From here we will have the ability (if we choose) to cultivate the seeds of in ourselves and faith in others and begin to engage in relationships of mutual dependence and support where we will permit others to share not only the joys of our successes but also the pain of our failures. Enjoying...perhaps for the first time in a long time a truly healthy relationship.

MAJOR POINT…. PLEASE do not allow this to be misconstrued in an way as to judge those who give… most who give do so with no ulterior motives, their actions are fueled only by a desire to improve the lives of others.

This is dedicated to those of us who believed we had constructed a fail-safe system to insure the safety of our hearts without realizing the most detrimental effect on our hearts is a lack of love.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Perseverance…the key to success or...?

The struggle of the mind to keep itself free from every sort of bondage"
Gardner Murphy

We are taught that perseverance wins the ribbon...and taught rightly so, truly the merits of perseverance are beyond reproach,… but what happens when perseverance becomes the goal….is it possible that we so greatly value perseverance that we turn a blind eye as conditions change and other more viable options appear.

It is said that if a dog spends hours locating and digging for a buried bone and at the very moment his nose discovers its scent and he knows he is minutes away from sinking his teeth into it, someone offers him a different bone… with tail wagging he will happily accept the new bone and walk away from his labors.
Would we...if we have been arduously struggling with a task and as we arrive at the point where we know completion is near …if we are given the option of finishing on our own or being handed the outcome...what would we choose?
For many of us we would choose to finish …in that case have we traded the original goal of a specific outcome for the goal of finishing what we have begun.

That being said perseverance a curse?…a hindrance? ..hardly, the absents of perseverance can guarantee failure at a high rate. Perseverance equates success… isn‘t that the mantra we have practiced, from the beginning we are taught perseverance is a quality found in the most successful, it is the quality we strive to incorporate in all of our challenges. However… is it possible, that cloaked in a cape of perseverance we could be stifling other options…failing to utilize newly acquired information that could positively alter our direction or change our result?

The concern is perseverance for perseverance sake and the self imposed blinders we wear to aid us in keeping our attentions on task, can also prevent us from see other viable options available in achieving our goals... or perhaps even a new ...more suitable goal.

The question to ask is... when a new vision/direction/option comes into play…how do we discern if it is merely a distraction or in fact a truly better alternative?

It is trust …trust, clarity and an open mind …that should guide and govern our productivity and plans. As we, the architect of the plan it is incumbent on us to continuously evaluate the methods and appropriateness of the plan, if we find, thru our diligence, or others, a better way…a different way, we must not be afraid to shift gears…and we certainly should not allow the feeling of failure to dictate our action…for the success of one idea is often borne of the fruits from failure of another.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Embracing the inevitable…when a change occurs that we fear, finding the strength and skill to exercise our power over the effect of the change.

"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."

Chinese Proverb

When we fail to embrace inevitable changes we are abandoning all our inner resources … our creativity, our ingenuity, our strength…those that would allow us the power to craft the outcome of the changes on our lives. When we are faced with a change/pending change that we would never have wished for…but ones we have no control can be major ones…natural disaster…economic downturn…death or illness…or minor ones, changes at work…changes in your community...maybe you were in car accident and although you are OK your new car is damaged ….if we expend the majority of our mental energies lamenting why or how did this/ could this happen to us, we are compounding the situation… we are allowing the situation to own us…to leave us stuck in the weeds.

The challenge for us is to refocus our thoughts, accept the inescapable reality of the situation, while still acknowledging our feelings… be them displeasure, disbelief, sadness or regret…then take control of the situation and decide our next step. From a clear vantage point, we need to see with clarity and honesty all the factors involved, how bad is it?…how does this affect our lives daily/long term? … where does it leave us? That information will allow us to decide what are our options are…this can be the true look without predetermined judgment at our options …why they won’t/can’t work …to take the blame, the regret and the disappointment out of the equation… to see the possibilities with an open mind and heart, and then with a steady hand and firm grip take the helm and chart your course…

Although we may wield little or no control over exterior changes that challenge us….how we choose to respond both in our inner thoughts and with our actions is entirely our decision…”We are the Masters of our Fate…We are the Captains of our souls”

Monday, September 1, 2008

Change..we cry out for change…yet what do we resist more?

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. ~Pauline R. Kezer

We cry out for change…yet what do we resist more? How is it that innately we are such creatures of conformity yet our instinct is to be agents of change…how do we manage the two…how do we empower ourselves to make the needed and desired changes. There are many kinds of changes...but for the most part they fall into two categories…the ones we desire and implement and the ones that affect our external life yet we have no control over. For now we will focus on change that we desire…change that we hope will enrich our lives.

What are the changes we want to our own lives…our relationships…our communities? What are we willing to do in order to enact that change? Do we believe that the identified change will warrant the time/energies taken to achieve the change? How will we go about it? What are the tools needed to support the endeavor? What is our game plan? When at first of blush of things not working out as we had planned will we have the will to persevere? It is in the answers to these questions that we will find the basis for implementing our changes.

As daunting as a plan of change can be…it is also most invigorating…it is reminder that we hold the keys to our destiny...that we can achieve our desires.
They say Spring is the time of renewal, a time of new growth, of change…I however believe that fall is the true season of new beginnings…of fresh starts. Perhaps as the air thins and the light sharpens, vistas previously blurred by the summer sun’s haze, are now easily with in our view and with such clarity, contrast and brilliance. For many of us fall brings that same precision and depth of sight inward…to how we see ourselves, to see how far we can go, to see the plans and projects we previously abandoned and neglected as we embraced the allure of summer and life outside, we see again with renewed energy and zest.

If we take that clarity of vision and like a child on the first day of a new school year, think mainly of the new opportunities, yes, last year was important, its lessons provided the foundation on which we continue to build,…it is from here that we begin anew.
As a child September was a time of fresh new notebooks, razor sharp pencils and books that still hold the smell of the ink. It still is …our lives are like those new notebooks…the notebook itself, it’s cover and binding ... is the current structure or framework of our life, but the blank pages …our future…ours to create and enhance. The pencils…the tools we will need to ensure success. The books are our access to knowledge, self knowledge, acquired knowledge and yet to be acquired knowledge, and our willingness to open them.

Like a new student full of hope and energy, look at the situation you are choosing to change, look with clarity and honesty and form the list of the changes you wish to make, then arm yourself with the proper tools… a road map, clearly highlighting both your starting point as well as your desire destination… your itinerary, when and how you will be implementing the needed steps…a clear understanding of the importance of the change, a firm belief that you are capable of achieving it, a vision of your life when the change has taken place, and access to any and all knowledge you have that will aid you in your success.

So as fall arrives, and the stores are stocked with shiny bright new school supplies…shinny new hope, hope that this will be the year…the year I get all my homework done...the year I make the A team….the year I pay attention in class…that this will be a great year….LET THIS BE YOUR YEAR…your season of CHANGE…Change that YOU design!!!
Good Luck…Suzi