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Thursday, January 29, 2009

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.

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

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Power of our Assumptions

My friend Robyn sent me this story this morning...

A Violinist in the Metro
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes went by and a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3-year-old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on. In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100. This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context? One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Peace..we long for our hearts and in our world...why does it allude us?

Is our longing for it, that what keeps it at bay?

Is the absents of peace the multiplier that allows our experiences to be transformed into negative thoughts and feelings thus pushing us deeper and deeper into the dark abyss of our minds as we replay the events of such, on our inner screen...over and over again.

What if peace were in our grasps…this very moment? Would we commit to it? Or have we become so accustom to dancing on the rim of despair that the thought of achieving inner peace itself frightens us. The thought of change, transformation…commitment even when we have glimpsed the abundance of rewards can paralyze us.

So how do we shake off our self imposed shackles and succeed in filling our hearts and lives with peace? By conscious choice, with practice and by trusting ourselves that we are not only capable of obtaining and sustaining peace, but that we are worthy of that peace.

Daily Exercise: Starting with three (3) minutes…Sitting in quiet, acknowledge that you alone have control of your thoughts, your mind and your heart…then for the time allotted allow only thoughts of love and acceptance (for self and others) to circulate in your mind…when thoughts of fear or anger appear just redirect your mind. This takes practice but as we continue to practice it will become easier to transcend the negatives and access the bliss and peace in our hearts.