Getting my hands dirty. Working with my entire being – mind, body, and heart by creating something that stirs excitement and that brings hope to others, that’s what I crave. I like helping people build their lives and find out how they can change and grow in ways they didn’t think they could. There’s nothing better.
Years ago when I was in the Christian movement I wanted to be a part of the millennial generation because I believed they were the generation changing the world. Crazy huh? I assumed it was all about a God thing. Not so. It’s about people, working together, with different attitudes, methods, and backgrounds, all coming together to end suffering in the world. One subject matters, we all must care for our fellow man.
As I struggled to form words to begin this post, a CNN notification just popped up to tell me that—as the world reels from the terror attack on Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which killed at least 50 people and injured at least 50 more making it the “deadliest mass shooting in US history”—police in Los Angeles have in custody a person who was armed to the teeth and headed to a Pride celebration in the LA area. So far, the events seem to be unrelated in the strictest sense—i.e., these men likely did not know one another or coordinate in any way—but any attack, or any attempted or planned attack, on a gathering place for LGBTQ people during Pride week can certainly be said to have at least a couple of things in common.
It’s May 2016, and we say hello to Red Pill politics. You might not be familiar with this version of the Red Pill. Red vs. Blue has been splashed across the media in The Matrix, in the policy with the Republicans and the Democrats, and then there is the one I’m talking about, the angry men. I mentioned it in a post from 2014 – The Thing You Didn’t Say.
Be the man
Is your wife too loud-mouthed? Here take this pill and read this book we can fix your marriage because it’s your god given right to be in charge. I’m idealistic, and it shows like an episode of the Brady Bunch. Because I believe families can be a unit, caring for each other. And if dad is in charge, he is there to protect his family. Well, I know that’s just bat-shit crazy.
The Red Pill movement contains more than just one aspect. There are get-rich-quick schemes, pick-up artists sneaky tricks, and even how to keep your dates at arms length while still having all the boys-will-be-boys fun. There’s too much to include in this blog, but check out some of the links below.
Redpillers define themselves as opponents to progressives. They seek to roll back the achievements of “cultural Marxists”, “Social Justice Warriors”, “political correctness” and “radical feminists”, justifying ruthless tactics as a necessary response to these perceived excesses. – Boing Boing JAY ALLEN / 11 AM WED, JAN 28 2015
Strategic Play – Put the woman in her place
So Trump has accused Hillary Clinton of using the Woman card? I’ll use it. Men have been using their cards for centuries. They’ve used it to start wars, claim land rights, even dictating women’s clothing. Didn’t women just battle over the right to vote? Was that a woman card or a man card? And then there’s education, reproductive choices, where to live, who we can marry, and I could continue. You think this has ended in our modern times? Nope. I listened to a story on This American Life, by Ira Glass. A young woman spoke about how when she was seven she lost the right to choose how her body functioned sexually. Yes, it was all about religion, but it doesn’t matter. I won’t go into the entire story because it’s sensitive and revealing, but you’re free to listen to it here 586: Who Do We Think We Are? or below. You can’t play the woman card when you’re seven.
Sugar and Spice
Donald Trump wants to shame women. Sit down and be pretty. He wants women to keep their mouths closed and their opinions to themselves. It’s not going to happen. I will not be ashamed. I will not sit down. I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter, but I’m a woman also. My first choice is Bernie, but I won’t stay home on election day. You shouldn’t either.
They need to know that desire is a mess, and that everyone suffers from its mess. –
By Wednesday of last week, I’d started feeling the creaking stiffness set in that came from sitting at an office desk for too long. I grabbed the bottle of Ibuprofen from my drawer, poured out a couple of pills into my hand and tossed them into my mouth. I grabbed my water bottle with my other hand and poured it into my hand. What? I sighed at my silly mistake. I now had a wet lap. At least no one else had seen my mental lapse.
The fast paced world gives us less time to think, so we compensate by adding shortcuts. We acronym, do serving sizes, micro manage, compartmentalize, over-compensate, map things out, program, and function key every part of our lives until we wonder if we are alive. Is this how we end up with water in our hands instead of our mouth? There’s a video I watched that talks about the difference between machines and living things. In it the announcer explained, you can disassemble and reassemble a machine, and it will still work. If you took apart your family pet, then tried to reassemble the parts it would no longer be living. Of course, we know this, right? We can care for ourselves, but we are families and neighbors also. I think someone needs to invent a personal pause button. It would be better than a time machine.
April is the month for Camp NaNoWriMo, which in case you didn’t know, the month for catching up on writing for some of us. I’m using it as an excuse for what I’ve been thinking about for some time. I have some writing projects to complete so I’ll be quiet on this site for awhile. So even though I’ll still be working for a living, part of me will be writing in my virtual cabin at CampNaNoWriMo. #BeJealous My Secret – not a copyright infringement #NaNoWriMo
Train wreck. Can’t stop watching. Addicted. Yelling. Screaming. Ugly names. Why do I keep watching? But here I am. Even though I despise the narcissism, I view the TV in fascination. I’m into the fight. I’m annoyed by the name calling. I yell at the television just like my grandmother. She argued with her favorite show, The Young and The Restless. This time, it’s me, and I’m watching the presidential debates. Grandma would be proud.
Shake It Off
Here’s what I know, we all slip. We say stupid stuff. At times, we can be downright rude, mean, and abusive. Kick the dog even. It doesn’t mean we are a complete waste of oxygen. Let’s get our shit together. I’m a good judge of character, but the flash, the mania machine, can sometimes blind me. That’s why we set up and teach guidelines we call enduring principles. Coming to an agreement on what these principles are has been the biggest difficulty. The wall of Mexico is the least of our worries.
Speaking at the Hubert Humphrey Building dedication in Washington, D.C. on November 1, 1977, former U.S. Vice President (1965-69) Hubert Humphrey spoke about the treatment of the weakest members of society as a reflection of a government:
“the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
There are surviving principles in life. We know of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Everyone brings up the subject of the right to bear arms. Is that an eternal principle? I’m not certain. I do like to bare my arms and my legs in the summertime, though, just FYI. That’s a joke. I feel strongly about the freedom of speech and the rights of all people of society to have access to education. Principles? You tell me.
I was going to name this, The Tim Ferriss Delusion, but do you know who he is? I wasn’t sure. There was a moment when I the envied people like Tim Ferriss. Those who make book writing and mega-blogging look easy. They are the gods and goddesses of the internet. There’s also another side. Well, I got perspective. And I used my smarts. People, don’t buy into the grand delusions and oversized egos of the overnight success stories. They will brainwash you and sell you the ocean. The truth can come out if you’ll let it. Oh…that was easy?
I stumbled across a podcast where one of my favorite bloggers gets rather harsh on air with the host. Penelope Trunk Calls Bullshit On Me. Yeah, that’s the title. She tells him he needs to define his goal. In my words, not hers, he is under the Tim Ferriss delusion.
We must structure a life that’s comfortable for us. Make it workable. What’s most important? It’s easy to let small things fill up space. I can waste more time trying to decide which picture to post at the top of each weekly blog entry than it takes to write the blog. That’s ridiculous. Rarely does it matter.
“The road to hell is paved by perfectionists working with grains of sand. Uh-oh… Missed a spot.” Sarah Ban Breathnach – Simple Abundance
If You Want It:
Write down your goals. Know what you want from the beginning. Let your family know. Tell your friends. Don’t be ashamed or hide it, unless they are going to sabotage you. Get help and support if you need it. When I was in my last writing sprint, http://nanowrimo.org/ helped me hit my goal. It was the crunch and the ideas of other people that helped.
Limit your resources. We use the elimination diet to find what’s causing our food allergies. In the same way, we can use a media elimination to find what’s disturbing our peace and equanimity. Whether it’s the news or social media, start dropping them.
Structure your time to put the extra projects you want to get done early in the day. I’ve been getting up at 5:00 A.M. to do my book editing. Silly? Well, it’s either then or wait until I come home in the evening. I tried doing that, and other obligations kept limiting my time. It was a hit and miss. I found I was sporting a ‘tude. Angry at the world is not a good look for me.
Nothing happens by mere thought alone. Sorry to all of The Secret lovers. Even Stephen King took a job. But he purposely chose one where he could write while he worked also. He was intentional. He had a goal. If you have time, I recommend listening to the podcast I mentioned above. Yes, it’s harsh. But there are some gold nuggets in there.
There are two different emotions I have when I feel I am losing my power. One is anger, the other is fear. How I choose to act is up to me. I can lash out at everyone else or I can learn to get a better grip of my life.
Neurolinguistics – Retraining
What is Neurolinguistics? I think Salim Ismail may have said it best when he explained,
You have your body which is your hardware, and then you have the external world, right? At an early age you develop the software operating system to interact between the hardware and the external world. And that operating system is formed in the first seven years… So that early education inputs did you get bullied. How did you respond? How do you navigate playground dynamics?….. You kind of form this operating system. Then we become adults and we run out of applications on this operating system. Career, love life, money, sports, money and the applications start crashing. And we blame the appliication. We never go back to rewrite the operating system. And so, in the newer world we live in today, infinitely more complex, global information based, we need to rewrite our operating system. –The Unmistakeable Creative with Salim Ismail
Some of us never update that software. It’s like never retraining for a new job. For most of us, our training at best wasn’t any official practice. We grew up. Got by. Most of our lives looked like JedClampett who moved to Beverly Hills. And we feel that way too. Out of place and out of sorts. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Is there a skill you seem to be missing? Money management. Parenting. Organization. Boundaries. Relationships. Or it’s possible you don’t know what’s wrong. Find a mentor or a helper. There are many motivating and helpful life coaches and teachers now. I know, these things cost money. Yes, they do. So does stress. Worry makes you sick. If you want to live longer and live healthier, find a way. Invest in an hour or more of their time. An emergency room visit will cost you much more.
Buy a book, audio or paperback. Take a class in money management. If you’re having difficulty with your teenager, don’t think you have to do the parenting thing on your own. Learn. You wouldn’t go skiing down a double black diamond mountain path without either some experience or a lot of stupidity, would you? Certainly not blindfolded. Life is not any different. There are also other avenues that are available. Some have tried hypnosis. There are many therapies, besides talk. I went to a yoga therapist who did work with the body and mind relationship.
Getting things done in a chaotic environment is sometimes difficult for me. Noise distractions. Here is a site that offers help Focus @ will. Purely used for mental focusing for a task at hand. Not a retraining program, but a temporary helper. They have a trial offer.
It’s not the leaps, sometimes we need the gentle nudges. We need to learn and relearn.
I just finished reading the book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, by Amy Cuddy. I’d watched her TED talk previously and I was impressed. Her book is every bit as inspiring. My friend had told me about a recent episode on Grey’s Anatomy that demonstrated the Wonder Woman power pose in their show even, which I’ve put at the bottom of the blog. Wow, does this stuff permeate through our society or what?
Closing the Door
When I’m feeling overwhelmed and needing to find my strength, I close my eyes and picture an emptied space in a room. I mentally push everything away from me, leaving only a void. Emptiness. I can breathe. Think. I become still. I find that space inside of me. That’s my space. No one can enter but me. This is one of my coping strategies. Amy has others.
An incredible lesson I’ve learned over the last few years is, I can’t control my downstairs neighbor or my co-worker who wears too much perfume. But I can take actions to protect myself. I do empower myself. I protect my interest. When things get chaotic, such as overtime at work or if I’m not feeling well, I know I have to take care of my health. I take a day off. I turn off my phone. I tell people no. I ask for help. I negotiate with my boss. I talk with my coworkers if something is bothering me. We’re all human and we need to work together. Remember, you have rights too. Use them. Ask for what you want without a guilty residue.
Whether you like a green juice or you want to do a victory stance wearing the colors of your home country, it doesn’t matter. You don’t even need colors. Strike a pose such as Amy suggests. Hold that pose for at least two minutes. Try it. You’ll be amazed. Remain OPEN. Calm. Relaxed. Empowered. Alive.
Check out my book, Get Your Life Back Now, if you want to know more of what I have to say on the subject of self-empowerment.
Next week I’ll to talk about Nudges and Retraining our minds. I hope you have a great week!
Once upon a time, there were kings who wore bold crowns and royal robes that draped their bodies, dragging behind them as they walked the halls of their castles. You knew them by their clothing. They commanded armies of men, hundreds or thousand strong, ready to go war, freely spilling their blood. Uniforms carefully delineated with certain colors and styles. Everyone in their place. Genghis Khan anyone?
Crowns, Hats, & Applause
We still have crowns, hats, and applause to show us where we stand in the line of royalty. Just look around and it’s usually not too difficult to tell. The difference now is you now decide if you care enough to listen. There’s a falseness to most applause. The cheer is meant to herd you in the direction that pleases someone else. It doesn’t take me to the top of the mountain that I’m trying to climb. So boo or cheer all you want. I’m not a rebel in black or cute little girl in pink either. Check out I’m Not Good. Just a person with a vision.
Life is a series of false horizons
“But Life in general is just a series of false horizons and you never really feel like you got it all under control…. specially when you’re in an uncertain entrepreneurial career…. you really just don’t know what’s next….”Ed Helms – Off Camera
Are you feeling lost in your life? Remember your purpose. Even if it’s just a small step, start going in that direction again. I once heard a writer say, he didn’t mind if he hadn’t made it to the big times yet, as long as each choice he made brought him in closer to his goal.
There are plenty of posters and travel blogs promising bliss and restoration. Smooth, polished rocks, cascading waterfalls, and green plush grass are there for you. Rest and Restore. Leave your worries behind. Well, I chuckle. Life’s just not that convenient. Worries are like clingy little babies. They want to be fed, and they want only you. To remove them takes some conscious choice. Mindfulness.
Mad Max Highway
I drive the same short stretch of highway connections every day. People like me are jamming this interchange, just leaving work and wanting to go home as quickly as possible. Tired. Cranky. Maybe short on patience. Twice this week I’ve had the same thing happen. Two different people cut me off when there was an opening for me to enter a lane. Once it was my lane and the fellow thought I wasn’t quick enough I’m guessing, he passed me. The nerve! Both episodes I reacted poorly by speeding ahead, glaring or yelling. Something inside me quickened, warning me. Bad responses. Not that I might harm someone, but what if another, a third party, was injured. Was I willing to continue this same path? As I realized I wasn’t mindful or grateful, I noticed a large tire in the middle of the highway. Would I have hit it?
Allowing Stupid to Be Stupid
Last week I mentioned in Mindless Searching clicking through one book after another. I realized after twenty minutes had passed that I was not interested in any of the books I was looking at. I was in a trance. Mindfulness doesn’t happen by accident. It’s something I have to do. Pay attention. Watch the road. Stay calm. Let the anger go. Allow the stupid to be stupid and not even the score, because life isn’t fair.
Serendipity and Irony
I’m a passionate person, which is why I’m not good at just letting things slide. Some things can be planned, but there are a lot of stuff that just happen that are so much better if they happen on their own. For instance, the lemonade that I drank in Mexico. I couldn’t have planned that and made it taste any sweeter. And the memory of that day couldn’t bring me any more joy if I’d planned it.
When a moment happens and the events come together it seems perfect, as if you’d planned it, serendipitous. Athletes call it the flow or the zone. They’ve planned for it by practicing, maybe even visualizing. Who knows, that could be what happens to us when our lives have real things that fall into place. Ironic isn’t it?
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