Facing the inner pulls without fear

My sister’s house is quiet. She’s gone the week, dogs are boarded, no workmen tinkering. It’s just me, Berkeley, (my bichon) and a whole lotta space. Well, that’s easily filled up with the beckoning of my mental to do list. You know? The stuff that never leaves and just gets buried deeper in the day to day doings until there’s a moment to really sit down?

Welll, hello, here am I really ‘sitting down’. But, there’s an ache in my heart…this feeling like “ugh…back to my life again” with intimidation of the unknown, some overwhelmedness about all there is to do and some angst over how I’m gonna get it all done. And in the quiet of sitting down to look at these inner yearnings, the pull to run help another is huge.

It’s something I’m an expert at actually. And year after year of taking on ‘other’ –well, while it feeds my sense of purpose and desire for creating community with whomever it is I’m helping, it doesn’t help me fulfil my own yearnings…the stuff I need to do that no one really can help me with–my orphaned dreams.

Of late they’ve been beckoning: adopt me now! I’m only kidding myself as I go from day to day assuming new projects and engaging in that which would help another—that I’m somehow forwarding these orphaned endeavors.

So today, this morning, it’s more than the high ceilings and sprawling square footage that looms large. The finest of quality craftsmanship simply reminds me to scoop up those orphaned dreams and start caring for them with serious intent to parent. ☺ But I’m nervous. Very, actually.

So I’m writing today about how to maintain peace when the angst to ‘get it all done’ weighs as heavily as the fear of the unknown of unchartered waters: the commitment, the time, the next steps, the how to’s.

Pulling at thought much is the actual sculpting. The model’s in view, at least a great sense of it, but the details are blurry, the next steps feel scattered and the destination unmappable.

So here’s what I’m doing to move forward—through—the unknowns and squelch the fear that would further stagnate my efforts.

First, I get still. I find anywhere that’s a nurturing quiet space, close my eyes and shut out all that murmurs in thought. And then, I take a deep breath and begin to climb the mental stairs to that attic storing my innermost yearnings….and open the door, and walk in.

If you don’t know where that storage place is, just still your thoughts and listen. And ask yourself:
What keeps nudging me? What’s my innermost desire? When I honestly strip my ego and self justification from these pulls, what remains?
What are my ultimate desires?

Whatever they are, however many or few they are, after I do this sifting, I listen. I listen to what they’re pulling and nudging. And I write them down.
Listen, look, write down.

This way, I’m giving form to the ideas without which they’ll tend to wander around in thought and seem more huge to address than they really are.
That simple act of creating a symbolic expression for an idea—in this case giving it a word, a phrase or a sentence—births the idea in a tangible way.

So you can do the same thing…Listen to these pulls, strip them of all ego and self justification…see what remains….Look at them and write them down—even if it’s just one thing. Just that 3 step process: hear the idea, look at it, write it down—engages thought in the moment and all murmurings about how the heck am I gonna accomplish this…all that huggabaloo is silenced…at least for a time.

I wrote down 3 things:
a. establish a virtual office/ongoing online presence
b. research the writings of Mary Baker Eddy
c. share those ideas online somehow

The next step in handling my fears of feeling overwhelmed is to jot down a few next steps for accomplishing each one of these goals.
Even if I don’t know.
Maybe it’s to ask for help.
Maybe it’s to ask someone I know who has one what she did to create it.
Maybe it’s to search the web for blogs about it or video tutorials.

Again, listen for the next step, look at it, write it down.
By writing it down or typing it in a word doc, the ideas that were once looming take further shape as you give them a tangible form you can put your arms/eyes around. This mental sculpture transforms your goal from a looming overwhelming idea to now a potential list of next steps you can can manage.

Concurrent to my writing these ideas down, I affirm or meditate this way:
“The divine Mind that is my creator is expressing my individuality uniquely. I know now what I need to be doing and any idea that I should consider or dwell upon I will know. Nothing I am to do can overwhelm me. Any task, next step, or ultimate endeavor I seek to achieve are expressions of my individuality and are coming to thought to be birthed and outwardly expressed. I can trust that I am able to follow through with each task and I can know too that there’s no ugly accuser attacking these efforts and that I do not have to give an ounce of attention to any condemning thought or abusive shunning. That mental cloud only seems to emerge as I move forward and to the degree I stay focused and keep thought on the goal, these opposing influences will cease to have any effect. The divine Mind holds me and all in its grasp and I am safe.”

(for more on this line of spiritual reasoning, see the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, specifically her main work on practical spirituality: Science and Health—the ideas of which I use daily in my moment to moment journey).

In sum:
Dig deep and listen for those innermost pulls.
Look at them. Write them down.

Doesn’t matter if they are biggies like: get married, have a baby, start a soup kitchen, produce a film–or if the goal is a bit simpler: join a health club, visit the Caribbean, volunteer at a shelter.

Just write those orphaned ideas down. They deserve your focus.
Write them down. Just do that. And then give yourself permission to ponder a few next steps…even on the ones that seem out of your reach.
And for today, just sit with the fact that you gave breath to the idea and to some next steps for it. What matters is that you seized the inner pull, listened and looked at it, gave it expression, and have made a promise to yourself to keep listening, keep nurturing the idea, and keep pushing yourself to ponder some next steps.

Eddy writes: “Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer, and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and deeds.” (Eddy, Science and Health, chapter 1: Prayer).

If you wanna chat more about any of this, my twitter handle is @tresha, my email: evolveserenity@gmail.com, or you can leave a comment right here on the blog.

Thanks for readin’…be well, Tre ~

Sifting my way toward stillness through lotsa boxes :)

This morning, while seeking stillness, I started sorting again–laundry, dirty dishes, books, notes, piles of papers that wound up in my purse–all the while defending how I function better when surrounded by order.

I pause while sorting and realize I’m sorting someone else’s stuff….my sister’s. (I’ve just helped her complete a move). And there’s this tug at my heart: “What about you Tre? When ya gonna sort your ‘stuff’ ?”

I know that voice. It comes as a little girl sometimes….gently, softly….It comes when I’m mentally running around taking care of a loved one’s needs if I’ve neglected–to some degree–my own daily creatings (writings, meditations, exercising–the stuff that I’ve learned I enjoy doing day to day).

Awareness I’ve neglected my own needs arises, followed by a conflict within. I value helping others and don’t wanna give that up. But I also know I yearn to find balance while doing so, so that I can help while still honoring my creative life practice. So when that tug comes– ‘Tre, what about me?” I know it’s time to regroup and devote thought to my creative doings.

I’m known for dropping my work and hopping the next plane to get to whomever’s asked for my help. I value that flexibility. I value my commitment to growing my relationships. I value my awareness that true love doesn’t come all neat and tidy in a boxed up package you give on a holiday. Real love means being there, making time to be there….even when it’s messy, even when it tries every last ounce of your patience or tests your emotions.

But what I’m learning too is that in really loving and supporting, I gotta drop my agenda of the expected outcome. And I need to better respect the pace and processing of the one I’m helping.
I’ve recognized what I tend to do instead is start orchestrating how I think the project should result. And if it’s not going in that direction, then I start to verbally impose my own sense of right structure and ordered life. And I expect who I’m helping to agree with me 100% and carve out their situation as I would expect, because afterall, my way’s the right way right? Hugely kidding here. Hear the ego?

So if I’m really honest with myself: while agreeing to help is unconditional love, imposing my will on the process or outcome is not. And worse, neglecting my daily needs isn’t loving myself either. But here’s my weakness: Often I don’t know how to say no when that no would translate into ‘yes’ to myself and my own needs.

I am convinced that none of us have to give up our own needs in order to help another…be it family, friend, or anyone who needs help. If there is a need and the yearning within calls to give, you make it happen. It’s the most natural inclination any of us have because it comes from within. That yearning to give, bless, love, support—it’s our spirituality yearning to be our wholeness, all the time.

So it’s more than natural to act on that impulse.

But essential to carve out while agreeing to help, is an awareness of balance. I’ve found I must ask myself to define what I’m gonna need to feel not only are my efforts productive, but so too am I not neglecting myself in the process. I don’t know many women who feel they’ve found a good balance of this. In fact, many I know would agree they always put their own needs aside and feel they neglect themselves.

I’m still trying to figure out how to do this. But figuring this out is vital. It will prevent the ‘I’m outa here’ attitude that crops up when I feel maxxed out.

Because in my anxiousness to fix the problem, I’m also impatient to see the solution and stick around until I do. ☺

Not to be vague: my current scenario involves helping my sister transition from a large home to a smaller one and now that she’s all moved in, we’re surrounded by boxes that still need sifting through, objects that need to be pitched or placed, and my organizational mode doesn’t really rest til the process is completed how I think it ought to be.

But that’s where the test comes in: did I come out to help in order to complete the project to my liking? Or am I here to support how my sister needs the project to be completed. In her eyes, my work here’s done. Technically we’re all moved in. But that bugger in me that is insisting on really completing the project: Ie no boxes, no piles, all in it’s place, well, that may well be my own needs imposing themselves and willing me to orchestrate the outcome.

She’s not inclined to have a similar outcome. Not yet anyway. She wants to take some time, get used to the new surroundings and feel her way.
In the bigger scheme of things, this is small stuff: boxes or no boxes, disarray or order, feeling finished or feeling unfinished.

And if I let myself get pulled into that focus, well, it could be completely frustrating. I like order, things in their place, a finished look. She doesn’t need that. She likes it. But she’s not gonna stay up all night to ensure it (and I’ve ridiculously been found cleaning at 4am if I’ve just returned from a trip and need to reestablish the order of my surroundings).

No one’s right or wrong here. But what remains my goal is this question: Tre, how are you gonna love yourself enough to honor your own needs but at the same time respect your sisters’ and not impose your will?

That voice of the little girl ‘what about me’ is my writing voice. It comes as the nudge when it’s been a few days since I posted or a few more days since I’ve commented on blogs or written in my journal. So today, thought by thought, I’m honoring my sister’s unique way and respecting her desire to emerge gently into this new setting. And I’m respecting my own need to order my thoughts, unpack and organize and place all the ideas into some kind of work that I’ve been ‘storing’ while helping her move and sort. And in so doing, my hope is that I’ll refrain from judging the seeming disarray, enjoy that we continue to share some incredible one to one moments we’ve not had since highschool, and be grateful that our lives can overlap this way right now. It’s really a joy.

In Mary Baker Eddy’s main work, Science and Health, she writes: “Whatever blesses one blesses all.’ And while it’s sometimes hard to find how someone else’s struggle or pain (in this case a transition) can hold a blessing for you, indeed I’m seeing much growth in my own self absorbed tendencies. In dropping my own agenda and coming to support a loved one, I’ve had to flex my all too often rigidity and firmness. I’ve had to go with the flow and deal sometimes. But all the while, the true motive of love and support remain.

And so I remind that little girl voice ‘what about me?” in helping this situation I am caring for her. She’s not neglected. She’s being directly addressed through my nurturing care of others. And as I’m leaving my willful ways aside, she’s even getting to play amidst the socalled disarray of boxes.

Steady on…

Steady On…it’s the name of a fave song of Shawn Colvin’s.

It’s also of late what I keep reminding myself to do…amidst helping out a relative and feeling at times more than ready to be done or at other times wondering why I always say yes to people when they need help.

Hear the ego? 🙂

Today I’m remembering that moment to moment and thought by thought, there’s value in the steady on…in the remembering why you are doing what you’re doing….in recalling your motive and standing by that in spite of tough circumstances or situations you wish were different.

In the end what matters most is the being present in the moment ….being present means you don’t think about what else you could be doing or what could be more beneficial to you and your life right now. Such thinking leads to second guessing your original decision to help a friend or loved one. Staying in the moment, in the right now, helps you thwart off all pulls to think some place would be better when you’ve committed to supporting a loved one through a tough time and helping him/her transition

So how do you stay ‘steady on?’ How do you thwart off all the pulls that say you should be doing something else or oughta be somewhere else, especially when you are feeling you’ve made a worthwhile commitment?

For me ‘steady on’ is remembering that no matter how tough the human condition, the substance of your initial motive–the unselved love and unconditional support that inspired your initial resolve–grounds and sustains. Nothing–no thought or feeling–can usurp the original intent and cause feelings of second guessing of motives. But when these come, and they seem to flood thought often in the midst of striving to do something unselved, you can trust that these thoughts are simply coming as distractors. Whatever impelled the honest, pure, unconditionally loving initial intent cannot do a 180 and make anyone feel their efforts are a waste of time or somehow postponing one’s own personal growth.

And this is important.

Sometimes we may have the best of intentions but half way amidst the doing good, we start to think that maybe this was a mistake. Or maybe we feel undervalued, insignificant or worse that sense of ‘why bother doing this?”

Try as ever once you’ve committed to helping a loved one or a friend, whether for an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year, to stay grounded in the original intent and motive. Your own life can not be somehow put on hold or stagnated because you’ve opted to give of yourself this way.

In her best selling work about practical spirituality, Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy writes “The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.” I love this. I appreciate remembering this.

If honest and pure, unconditional and unselved, there’s no way you will somehow be wasting your moments.

Steady on…thought by thought.

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If you wanna chat about any of the ideas above, leave a comment or email me at evolveserenity@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading…be well, Tre ~

Open to Love’s agenda

How fluid and flexible is your life’s agenda?
How open are you to responding to the call that comes for help?

I ask myself these questions pretty regularly.
I strive not to get too ‘staccato’ in my thinking or my actions.
I yearn to be ‘ready’ for the call that comes for help.

And, I used to think I was ready. I used to think I would respond at a given moment’s notice–especially if the call for help came from a family member or another loved one….

And then my sister called me to help her with a move….more of a transition to a new beginning, actually.

And while my initial yes quickly followed with flight arrangements and me traveling to another city, I felt some resistance brewing in my heart.

You see, I’ve been a bit willing to jump at the opportunity to help others and while it’s my nature to say yes to such offers, I’ve been pretty mobile the better part of the last year.

Yet more recently, I resolved to live in an area I adore.
And I am so thrilled with this tropical oasis that– rather ridiculously– I’ve resisted leaving, even to go pay a visit to my dad or mom who each live only a wee few hours’ drive north.

And yet…the latest request wasn’t a permanent change kinda thing. It was simply an offer to come help this transition.

So for a few days now, I’ve been sifting through why I still am resisting being here a bit…I know I’m helping and that feels honest and tender and true….

Last night I considered this feeling.
I’m not causing it.
I want to be here. I want to support my sister this way. I know how much it means to her to have my help but more to the point, I can’t imagine not supporting her transition right now. To me, family is about being there for one another, no matter how tough or ugly or painful it means, no matter how much time it takes. You endure together.

So rather than sift through why I was uncomfortable, I started mentally listing the reasons I’m grateful to be here with her right now:

Sharing lives….hearts…conversations…and hugs….moments where one welcomes another ‘in’…and lives intermingle, exchanging thoughts, feelings, wishes, regrets, fears, sorrows, hopes, dreams…

Days become building blocks of partnered new beginnings.

Check lists of to do’s turn into moments of holding hands and supporting one another.

Defending the spiritual fact of oneness to divine Love … how this spiritual fact comforts and heals any feeling of neglect, unworthiness, or loneliness.

These are just a few of the things inwardly I’ve been valuing about helping my sister at this time….

So why that pit of emptiness, fear within, and something unsettled in my heart?

Well, time and again I’ve seen this pattern: there’s often a pull to push you off track and make you feel a disconnect of some kind.

It’s not a force or a power you create. It’s this belief that you or anyone could become separate from the divine Love that basis your/our being…for a moment…or for an indefinite amount of time.

Whatever regrets….whatever fears….whatever criticizes..whatever upsets…whatever disturbs…whatever unsettles…..any and all of these suggestions in thought, even though they come guised as your own or cloaked in the costume of ‘I feel’ these are simply mental attempts to separate you from a fluid constant perpetual feeling of serenity and peace….of oneness and truth.

And in short, these beliefs do not have to rule the minute, hour, morning or day. They can be resisted and thwarted off by bathing yourself in the reality of your spiritual identity and oneness with the divine.

Knowing this, I knew that the wonkiness I have been feeling about being here has nothing to do with my being here and everything to do with the fact that wherever we are, there will be occasions to fight off that feeling of separateness to divine Love.

So for the past several mornings, as I’ve awoken, I’ve prayed deeply and earnestly to establish my relationship to the divine. I know that there is and always remains this all presence of Love governing, ruling each moment and that I can know and feel at every moment what this agenda is….

Anything that suggests disconnect is not my own thought and is not apart of divine Love’s agenda for me or for anyone, ever.

I know that I can be alert to it’s tendencies and resist entirely its attempt to misinfluence me or persuade me to feel alone or separate or removed from work I should be doing.

I know that my real work is to perpetuate this feeling of oneness and to stand for it and prove it day in and day out. And I know I can be patient even though those wonky feelings were there because I know I didn’t cause them and don’t have to be influenced by them either. My days and moments can be filled with joy and appreciation that I’m here, now, helping another life.

Praying and defending like this has really helped.

Together we’ve been able to sift through a lot of her unwanted stuff and ready up for this estate sale she’s having this weekend.

What’s cool? This morning I felt like I can’t imagine not being here to help with this, to partner our lives, our nows for these days.

I’m sure there will still be more work to do….mentally and otherwise. But my gratitude remains sure, as does my conviction that none of us are ever separate from Love’s agenda and can –at any moment—silence the pull to draw us down.

More than helping my sister’s transition, I’m beginning to see I’m really defending that none of us can ever move out of Love’s care. We simply transition to new and deeper views of the constancy of that permanent relationship!

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Gimme a holler if you wanna chat further about any of this stuff.
And thanks for reading / sharing this post.

Be well, Tre ☺

Undisturbed by f.e.a.r. (false evidence appearing real)

Ask yourself: no holds barred, what would it take to move forward in spite of collective opinion that declares you’ll fail?

To me, it would take, and does take, the determination and courage to mentally carve out what are your innermost desires, chart out some kind of path to follow that forwards your pursuit of them, and then press on.

In spite of collective opinion.

David Cook’s winning of American Idol is a fresh example of the value of doing so.

In spite of even the judges’ opinions on the night of the finals, he triumphed and won.

I’m thrilled for him. Beyond just loving rock and appreciating the uniqueness of his talents as a singer and guitar player, his win is a symbol for me in my current day to day and moment to moment o press on….

I’m not going for a win on American Idol.

I’m going for moment to moment sculpting my thought, carving enduring serenity, a life of consistent joy and peace, love and fulfillment.

But even though I know these goals embody the hunk of marble that is our true life’s substance, we gotta chisel thought to really reflect their depth and to reflect it consistently. Against opinion that often laughs at the attempt, says it’s not doable, or sways you to think any effort thereto is pointless.

In Science and Health’s 14th chapter Recapitulation, which formed the basis of her early instruction on the Science of Being Mary Baker Eddy taught at the college she founded–the Massachussetts Metaphysical College, she defines the nature of substance as “that which is incapable of discord and decay” (p. 468).

Her entire answer is here:

“Answer.–Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are substance, as the Scriptures use this word in Hebrews: “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance. The spiritual universe, including individual man, is a compound idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit. ” (p. 468)

I’ve come to see time and again that anything causing fear or intimidation is usually based on false evidence seeming or appearing real…and you can think of f.e.a.r abbreviated that way. Minimally, much that scares or intimidates, much that wants to thwart your innocence or stunt your progress is fear based and not ever that of substance.

The way to work through it thought by thought is to refuse to be misinfluenced by such suggestions. This is all they will ever be. Simply suggestions. Even if coming from a respected friend or relative. Even if coming from an admired celebrity. Even if coming from a judge on American Idol (because clearly that opinion was proved wrong).

Check thought hourly, moment by moment. See if what’s stopping you from pursuing your innermost desire is fear. If so, don’t be impressed. Press on. You owe this to yourself.

Imagine a world of each one of us living our authentic selves, undisturbed by public opinion or our own fear.

Imagine living your own life being consistently true to your inner core.

Now pause…and realize you can stop imagining… just go live this….thought by thought.

Get in touch if you wanna chat about how (email: evolveserenity@gmail.com or 305.394.1070).

Be well…

Grace, forgiveness, compassion endure….

Hey to all….

I’m writing a bit more to add to the former lengthy post….

Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com has added her 2cents on her experience being interviewed on the Today Show.

Kudos to Heather. She comments with poise, grace, and compassion…and albeit down right honesty. She tells all her readers that even before going live Kathy Lee Gifford expressed relatability on being criticized by viewers for speaking about her family on air. So prior to any live footage, the two were united in common ground: they know the value of sharing personal stories with viewers/readers. And they know the costs. But do it anyway.

Heather compassionately handles the retelling of then what happened on air.

She also goes a step further.

She invites others to interview bloggers to try to wrap their arms around why this endeavor is as successful for some as it is..what the validity is among blogging communities. In short she invites broadcast media to have another chance.

I applaud this response. She doesn’t offer any sense of hurt, torn ego or anger and resentment.

She treats this issue well and professionally.

Why do I write about it thus?

Because my own maturing sense of grace yearns to treat people this same way. I could list 100’s of times when my motives have been called into question, when my style is bawked or condemned. And regrettably, I can not boast having taken the higher ground 50% of the time.

Surely I’m learning to. But the ego gets in there, self justifies and basically says ‘well to heck w/ them. if they don’t get it, so be it. i don’t have time for this’ and moves on.

Hello.

Where is the humanity in that?

Now in fairness, I haven’t maintained that disposition for a few years probably more. But I’m still well aware of when my feelings have been hurt, when I’ve felt wrongly accused, criticized and even fired for misjudgements of my character or misinterpretations of my motives.

In the long run, I’ve learned and am learning still it is ALWAYS better to respond with grace, poise, and compassion. Forgiveness needs to come as well and will.

At one point in my journey I was offered a job I had to move cross country for. I was promised a great salary with benefits. Come to find out a few months into that scenario, the reality was the job was never really budgeted for and before 90 days was up I was given my notice.

Crushed, bewildered, frantic, and furious, I was angry…very. I became resentful and dug myself into a great big pit of despair for far too long to admit. I’d trusted, really felt it was a good fit and then whammo! Ousted before I had even acclimated to this new area.

Shortly thereafter I learned that even had the job been approved, my qualifications would not have measured up. Okay. Humbling to learn but okay.

Still, I fumed over this for a long, long while. It got personal. I spent way too much time being angry at a few people and myself as well. I felt so stupid, naive, and clammed up on my sense of trusting humanity. For a while I felt used, exploited and taken advantage of.

Lemme tell ya where those negative emotions got me. NOWHERE. Absolutely nowhere.

Anger and hatred, bitterness and resentment never get you anywhere. And sure, you can kid yourself that you’re gonna lock all that emotion up and put it into a mental trunck and never again open it, or that you’ll just not think about that stuff anymore and never trust THOSE people again.

Try it. You are kidding yourself if you can simultaneously maintain a sense of peace.

In fact, during the aftermath, a few months into the saga while I was volunteering in a few different capacities, still fuming inwardly from my rejection, I broke out with a heinous fever and was in bed for days. It was the dead of winter. And I had a dog to take care of. Fortunately my neighbors helped me. But at that point, I knew I couldn’t just stew on my anger.

I needed healing.

And in my life for healing I turn to prayer based on the ideas in Science and Health. Day in and day ou,t I prayed like I do whenever I am treating myself. And day by day the fever broke a bit. But it would zip back up to really uncomfortable levels.

Well, during this time, a few people came to mind who I’d locked up in the trunk of “You are justified to despise these individuals.” UGH! I can’t stand admitting I even felt this way. But I did.

YET, divine Love was doing its work….was striving to embrace me with innocence and bathe me in goodness and was having a tough time doing so because my sense of ego and will were just right up there justifying these feelings.

Wasn’t gonna cut it. You can’t strive to be the emanation of divine Love while also harboring anger and resentment and loathing anyone or anything.

Aware of this, I started to walk down that path of forgiveness. I didn’t want to. I ADMIT IT.

Self justification was all over this effort screaming “What are ya kiddin’ me? You have every right to loathe this person for what he/she did to you. They don’t deserve forgiveness.’

OH REALLY?

Think again.

For the next 24 hours, I thought about shifting my perspective and aiming to see spiritually each of these individuals I’d dumped into that mental trunk. Bit by bit I took my thoughts of each one and considered each of them as a child of God. And I asked myself over and over “Tre, how is divine Love seeing its expression as this person? Tre, is divine Love seeing an example of manhood or womanhood that it created that can harm another?”

In fact, the heinous things people do are moments of hiccups of behavior, attitude, being. They are not the true nature of that person. No one wake up and bounds outa bed to take advantage of someone. NO ONE DOES. If they do this, it’s because of a pattern of behavior. But it’s changeable and it’s not their true nature and substance.

As a spiritual seeker and person who practices the Science of Being as explained in Eddy’s Science and Health, I’ve vowed to take up all that opposes the true nature of someone and advocate for his or her true individuality. So nothing was different in my view of these people that had wronged me.

I needed to flush out all the ill will and anger I felt. I needed to stop thinking of them as heinous people and mean people and worthless people and no good people. I needed to see them purely, wholely spiritually.

Would my doing this inevitably change their outward dispositions and actions? Not necessarily. But it WOULD heal my wrong sense of them.

And this is key to healing.

It is not mine or yours to ensure that someone change their ways and be a poised, graceful, honest, fair, just, compassionate individual. It is our duty to insist that such is their true nature, regardless if we’re shown this behavior or not.

In my case, as I let go of all the hatred, as I sought to find each aspect of good that each one of these people manifested, my fever broke. It took a bit…but it did finally break and I was able to join up with some family and spend a normal (somewhat) holiday with them. I say somewhat b/c in my family nothing is ever quite normal. 🙂

Anyhoo, I could write more and more about how Iprayed, about how iIhealed my loathing toward these folks…And I probably will. For now my point: harboring resentment, hatred, or anger toward anyone, no matter how justified, will never get you where you need to go in your own journey. In fact, harboring this muckety muck will slow you down tremendously.

So no matter what, get into that thought of yours and start weeding out all the muck all the huggabaloo and all the icky stuff. You can do it. You deserve to do it. And what’s more, humanity deserves nothing less.

Enjoy your journey. Shoot me an email or gimme a call if you want some help with any of this or just wanna chat about it.

Be well….Tre 😉 evolveserenity@gmail.com; 305/394.1070 (At&t unlimited mins)

Criticize and condemn or COOPERATE and have COMPASSION?…We can do better….

Most women I interact with will admit they’ve experienced competition moreso than cooperation, have felt the sting of criticism more than the warmth of compassion, and run around with far more condemnations murmuring in their minds than compliments.

This post takes a peek at something that occurred last week in the blogoshere and on national television that has me asking this question:

What more can we do so that we feel honored by ourselves and each other? So that we know the bliss of cooperation, the beauty of compliments, and the glory of compassion—from ourselves and from one another?

First I wanna offer how I became intertwined in the discussion thread about a missed opportunity when several successful bloggers who are mothers were interviewed and then aired on MSNBC’s Today Show.

Next I wanna offer my perspective on the whole shebang.

Finally I’ll offer the example of Mary Baker Eddy that pulls me up from my bootstraps day in/day out for the achievements she mastered more than a century ago.

First the background.

Daily I read from several blogs and comment on them.
Last week, I became intertwined in a pretty large discussion over the blogosphere:

First, I read this post from a site i read regularly, bitchphd.com.
—a statement of support defending the nature of content a lot of mothers blog about.
I liked what I read and did what I typically do, I commented and moved on to read other posts in my RSS Feed Reader (I use NetNewsWire for blogs and NewsFire for news feeds).

But I didn’t get too far. Her piece made me really pause and think about the value of the contributions of moms or any blogger, about the validity of self expression, about how women writers are surely helping pave the way for women globally to experience more freedoms. I could go on and on.

The point here: I started percolating my own perspective on what I’d read…typical of anyone who is actively blogging and commenting. I wondered what I could offer–if anything new–to the discussion.

So rather than move on to my next feeds, I googled who she referenced—Heather Armstrong—and her blog ‘Dooce.com” and read this piece she offers to celebrate an anniversary of writing about her daughter.
I was moved and felt a connection with a life…a mother’s…and a daughter’s. And was just about to send a comment when my good friend blogger –Elizabeth at table4Five.com — instant messaged me about something and I asked her if she knew of this blog.

Not only did she know of it, she told me further of her own perspective on the interview of several mom bloggers including Heather and that I should watch the video about it and tune into the discussion threads (this means basically see who’s saying what on blogs about a common topic).

She gave me a link to a piece about the whole interview experience by one of the mom’s interviewed—a woman named Mir who blogs regularly at WouldaCouldaShoulda.
So I read Mir’s piece on blogher.com.
And I read the comments Mir refers to in her piece.
And then I even googled and read the excerpts of all the other women bloggers who were interviewed:
Jill Asher at svmoms.com and motherhooduncensored.com.

So you get the gist…how reading one blog and talking about it with another blogger sends you all over the blogosphere to find others who are discussing a similar topic.

And with this Today Show interview, it was clear: most bloggers I read all felt the interview dropped the ball….bigtime.

And so I began thinking further. Like why was any of this bothering me too?

On one level I felt compassion—kudos to any and all that spend so much of their lives offering their perspective of what’s working for them and then blog about it. And more kudos to the honest portrayal of lives. It builds connection and community and brings us all that much closer.

On another level I felt anger. How in the world is it possible that women in broadcast media can fail to emphasize the goods of the women bloggers in a nationally televised interview? Why were the substance of their efforts relegated to simply inquiries about privacy issues and other negative slants?

But I know me. Anger doesn’t get me anywhere.

So I thought about a favorite author—Mary Baker Eddy–whose every endeavor it seems was in taking a stand for authentic communication that mattered. She spent the better part of 40 years editing one text, Science and Health and because of her life achievements was dubbed by the National Association of Women Writers as among women “whose words have changed the world.”

And because she was so intensely aware of the need for objective reporting in the media, she didn’t just contribute articles to a local newspaper. She created one, an international daily in fact, the Christian Science Monitor—at a time when she felt objective reporting was vital to leaven the quality of content in the media. And to this day the Monitor still lives and breathes her original intent for it’s purpose “to injure no man and to bless all mankind.”

Okay…so here I was feeling compassion about the women who blog, a bit of miff-dom toward the interviewers, and then I’m reminded of Eddy’s example…

And so it made me pause and think and pray.

It’s not enough to just dwell—to me—on what was missing from the interview. That’s been discussed enough. And you can surely read about it doing your own google searches.

What I wish to offer is my perspective on lessons I’ve discerned in thinking and rethinking all of these conversations through.

All of these discussion threads make me ask the questions:
Why wasn’t there a greater celebration of achievements?
And more to the point: what am I doing with my own life to honor examples of success I come in touch with?

To me, the real learning I’m doing in sifting through all this stuff is asking those questions.

As a new blogger, I would have loved to ask these women about their successes and more. I would have asked them what started them blogging, what keeps them going, and how they would define the impact of their blogging on their own lives and on the lives of their readers. Heck, I may have even asked how their blogging is –to them—helping to evolve human rights as they further the right of each one of us to take a stand for our voices.

But it wasn’t long ago when I might have been a bit jealous of their achievements or worse, a bit more dumping on myself that I haven’t gotten further along in my own writings.

Think about it. When you see someone who is successful–whether in appearance, in their career, in their health/physique, in their relationships, what is your first thought?

Do you judge them negatively? Are you suspicious, critical, or apathetic? Do you inwardly cave and wonder what the heck is wrong with you? Or do you acknowledge achievements and applaud their efforts?

I would like to think we each and all celebrate one another’s successes.

We should!!!!

We share a commonness with all others that each one of us is on a journey. And someone’s successes — in whatever way– should be encouragement to each one of us that breaking through limitations is possible, doable, and proveable…on any scale, in any circumstance.

As I’m honest with myself, while I know this is my goal, it is not all the time where my thoughts first go.
Me being completely honest, when I see a woman—be it a mom, a peer, a woman senior to me….in whatever capacity that person is successful….I tend to wonder first things like: “How did she get there? What is she doing right?” Part suspicion, part genuine, sometimes jealousy, often my inner wonder. But I’m a far cry from fully embracing and honoring. I need to do better. I want to do better.

Sometimes I think I know. I say to myself: “Well she’s mastered thought by thought living and maintains peace and can hear her goals and not the muck of self condemnation, carves out a path for herself and just goes nuts. You could be there but aren’t b/c you’re too caught up in feeling incapable yourself. ”

Other times I just pause and think “I wanna be more like that” ( a type of criticism) or “how come I’m not there yet?” (a type of complaining) or worse, dumping on myself (a type of condemnation).

My point here: until we can look out at anyone’s successes and objectively celebrate their victories, we may fall into the trap of criticism, complaining or condemnation (which may have been what happened to those who interviewed the bloggers).

So for me…as I’m thinking broadly about this topic–how to celebrate one another’s successes–how to learn from them and more how to celebrate my own and honestly assess what needs improving, I’m remembering this simple but oh so vitally important commandment: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.’

Why?

Well, think about it. If you are striving to see yourself spiritually, as inherently good, than why would you settle for anything less when viewing ‘your neighbor’ even if that person is someone you’ve never met…even if that person is succeeding at his/her endeavor that you may not understand at all, why would you NOT ‘love him/her’ or rather see that individual wholely and purely?

We all have weaknesses. We all have those choices we made that we wished we hadn’t. We can all craft a laundry list of things we wanna be doing better. And everyone who’s achieved success in whatever way also has a laundry list that to him/her he/she could be doing better.

So why then–when we see someone who’s successful in whatever way–can’t we sit back and honor and celebrate it, compliment it, and even ask where/when appropriate for some help and guidance along the way?

What was lost from that interview can be found in our day to day: Each one of us can value the successes of another individual we admire while also honoring our own. We can learn from one another, honestly and gently self assess, and push ourselves to grow.

None of those mommy bloggers got where they are by believing that they would fail. None of them achieved readerships by writing about boring content and gossip. All of them got where they are because they were true to their innermost desire to give voice to their hearts. And they’ve helped several bloggers along the way.

And in the long run those examples are what to me will move society forward: people who succeed who are willing to cooperatively share what they’ve learned, compassionately offer help, and compliment others’ successes along the way.

All of us can right now think of 2 or 3 people who inspire us…and we can pick up the phone and / or shoot them an email and just ASK: hey, what’s making this work so well for you?

My friend Elizabeth at table4five.com has taught me so much about blogging. So have a bunch of writers I know over at spirit-on-the-job-dot-com (spotj.com) and still others at blogher.com. But I know I haven’t told them enough. Note to self: tell them!!!

To me it’s that simple. And what’s more, that person will know and feel that their efforts are appreciated.

Mary Baker Eddy writes this: “The good in human affection must have ascendency over the evil and the spiritual over the animal, or happiness will never be won. The attainment of this celestial condition would improve our progeny, diminish crime, and give higher aims to ambition.” (Science and Health, p. 61:4).

Cooperation, compliments, and compassion go such a long way. To me, those are the real lessons to learn from and live by.

What do you think?

Leave your comments or shoot me an email at evolveserenity@gmail.com. Be well and enjoy your journey thought by thought…..they matter much! Tre ~