I know a brilliant designer, Nar Bustamante. His work makes the world more beautiful in so many ways, but that didn’t matter to him on this particular day.
Recently, he posted on social media, “I don’t understand war. When I see children hurt, bleed, confused, helpless, innocent, my soul feels deep pain. All the greatness I surround myself with seems insignificant. I love people. I still think this world is awesome…” He went on to express his disgust that we don’t acknowledge and address this suffering. It was obvious his soul was very raw. There’s truth in his words, and we often wonder, what can we do, individually, to make a difference. Continue reading »
It feels like a boxing match, a cage-fight – though I’ve never been to either. Maybe it’s worse than that.
After a year and a half of sustained attack, brutal defamation, taking up camps – the U.S. Election is over.
It always amazes me that people are so uncomfortable with ambiguity. We all know, we don’t have true control over change, but uncertainty can really unravel some personality types – others are lucky enough to find some comfort in it. Nothing, no matter how good or bad, stays the same.
Right before the election, a friend gave me a book. “Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change” by Pema Chodron. It’s a simple volume, though richly written and takes a deep dive into encouraging the reader to settle into the deep, unknown abyss. Between the book and my fuzzy blue blankie – I found a decent measure of comfort. I heartily recommend this book to my readers, here, not only for healing and moving on together – but as wisdom to draw on whenever life serves up uncertainty.
There are only 3 commitments, Chodron asks from us:
Committing to Not Cause Harm
Committing to Take Care of One Another
Committing to Embrace the World Just as It Is
The book creates a roadmap for successfully committing to each these goals. On a personal level, each commitment seems quite achievable. Together, I suspect it would create a significant shift in the way we think, behave and accept one another.
We can see our world and lives all from our own unique perspectives. The world can be a train wreck and human beings will easily take up camps. But, aren’t you exhausted? Isn’t that not working? It’s done. Let’s create now.
Let’s work on ourselves, each individual person to be an example – an approachable, inclusive, listening example – because you cannot influence anyone more than you can yourself. (click to Tweet).
By the way, I’m offering these Complaint Free World bands. You wear it and it reminds you not to complain without offering solution. Mine has kept me positive for over 5 days – so, it’s working. I have a limited supply to share with you. Let me know if you’d like one. If you keep the band on the same wrist for 3 weeks, you have successfully completed the challenge! Stop complaining – well – that would be a good start. 🙂
I hope I’ll be able to write some witty repartee for you next week. This week has been rather quiet and my muse has been resting. I’m ready to focus on possibilities again because-
Possibilities are the embers of hope – the kindling for the fires of our lives; they ignite potential and meaning. (click to Tweet)
Let’s start a fire,
Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates her own Well Lived Life by drinking in the beauty around her, following her passion, respecting others and doing her best to own her own dookie.
When I work with groups in my corporate gigs, I teach soft skills in leadership and communication. I teach conflict resolution and how to give productive, well accepted feedback that doesn’t escalate to conflict. But…
Emotions are running high lately in our society. We do have conflict.
Some people are refusing to accept our reality. Some people are upset and reeling. Some people are stunned and surprised. But, is anyone really listening?
When I teach communication classes I tell the participants how important it is to get agreement with stakeholders before proceeding to next steps. Here is the key:
If the agreement comes too easily, you probably have a problem. Yep, read that one again….
Easy agreement often means the other person hasn’t been actively participating in the conversation. They have no stake in what you say and they have no ideas to add. Do you really think they’ll follow you and your idea to fruition? I’ll give you this – sometimes, you’ll get 100% agreement immediately. That isn’t always a good sign either, because it could indicate Groupthink – a very poor decision making condition. Know this – Silence is NOT consent.
This is a repost from a previous post – which is pretty much what a repost is. Finding this one was helpful to me today – maybe it’ll be helpful to you, too.
Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ C.G. Jung
Many creative types tend to be introspective. According to Merriam Webster introspection can be understood this way:
In-tro-spec-tion (n.) a reflective looking inward : an examination of one’s own thoughts and feelings.
Introspection is interesting, it can become rather obsessive and addictive. I’m introspective by nature…and when not being introspective, I’m extrospective – examining the world outside me. So, while watching y’all I’ve noticed, introspection can be like quicksand. People get in, but have a great challenge trying to get out. Continue reading »
Ever notice how when you get all caught up in the world you’re in tangles and dreadful and unhappy?
I think I speak for a lot of us in the U.S. when I say this election has taken a toll on our personal relationships, our faith in our country and any semblance of inner peace we once had. It lead me to this:
This Unholy Mess
This unholy mess Where good women and men set aside their virtues to follow unproven false gods. This unholy mess When the decent abandon their identities and souls to take up verbal arms against one another. For what? Two depraved power-mongers who closely hold secrets and lies and plans we know nothing of. They’ve amassed hoards of innocents, whose only sin is the thirst for brighter lives and fuller bellies. Innocents who gladly abandon their own essence to follow them into the darkness. They stockpile believers with false narratives, then they call them votes. The price – soul for an uncertain future. The most egregious of trades.
Unholy messes don’t only happen during election times. Our lives are filled with challenges, conflict, inner-turmoil and, hopefully, a dash of introspection. After writing this poem I wondered what went wrong. Continue reading »
Each time I enter a fellow artist’s creative space, I feel honored for the privilege of being there. Studios seem to hold concentrated energy – the very vibrations the artist, the ones he or she uses to create their work.
As I wrote poetry at the river this week, I realized the importance of the space where we create. It doesn’t have to be a high rent studio, certainly we know this because the creative energy flows through us…but there is a definite exchange…a way we use inspiration…it’s like the air we breathe.