The Delivery of Changing the World

photo: Come Together by h.koppdelaney ~ flickr creative commons

photo: Come together by h.koppdelaney ~ flickr creative commons

We can have a great message or important insight to share with the world but our delivery of the message is important if we want to be heard. Yes, there are some people who are at the level of making changes that other people want them to when they are shamed, guilted, nagged, ridiculed and so on. If the message is so brilliant and right, isn’t it enough to walk the talk and use words of compassion, clarity, respect and insight?

This week I’ve been noticing folks who have good points to make but their delivery is one of anger, scorn, blame and using the word “should”. There’s that saying–I’m not sure who it’s attributed to–that “they won’t remember what you said or did; they’ll remember how you made them feel”.

When I’ve wanted someone to change, I’ve learned that making them wrong and putting them on the defensive hasn’t worked so well. In blogs, when the writer has an observation or opinion, it can be readable and interesting if they’re hip, snarky, scornful and such. They can simply be expressing themselves about their pet peeves or whatever, but disrespecting others and then pointing out what they “should” be doing in a one-size-fits-all, I-have-the-answer way…..really? Is that working these days like it used to?

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Observations About Giving Up

There are a lot of things I don’t know. Sometimes I’m amazed that I got to be this age without learning some basic things–things that seem like trivia to me–that other people take for granted as fact.

Today I’m writing about something I do know and I don’t really care anymore who believes it or not.

I am very empathetic, which is I can feel what it’s like to be something or someone. People who are not wired this way don’t have a clue. Also I’m very observant and very interested in the creative expression of others. In the particular genius of others.

So, I notice amazing, amazing people with talent and they are seemingly not recognized and supported. Brilliant blog posts. Moving pieces of art. Singers on the street corners of my city. You know what I’m talking about. They are reaching for the stars, putting their hearts out there and they have drive, passion and the willingness to work hard.

Often what comes back is apathy….like they are creating in a world full of zombies.

Anyway, then I feel their bewilderment and bitterness. Cliches come to mind. “Leap and the net will appear.” “Do what you love and the money will follow.” “Build it and they will come.”

But this is the part that I know and I’m not going to attempt to convince anyone. Everyone else is responsible for their own journey.

Our world is changing rapidly into a new one. It really matters what choices we make and how we travel in attitude and energy and all that. Things are not as they appear and everyone needs to navigate according to what they feel is best.

It is totally worth it not to give up now. Well, perhaps one needs to quit doing something and begin something else. But keeping calm and carrying on? Nurturing our dreams and talents? Expressing our gifts? Having some faith?

It is so worth it. It sucks sometimes, things look unfair and I have really crappy days. No way do I want to give up. I don’t want to look back on this time and feel that I wasted it in whining and pouting.

And that’s why I keep rocking whatever I’ve got in the moment. And I’m thrilled when my fellow humans keep putting it out there even if it appears no one is paying attention. There is more attention on what we’re doing than we realize.

Clarity

My life, as life is for many other people, is reorganizing organically into some model I never imagined decades ago. Of course some of it’s by design, some experimentation, some reaction and then there’s the blindsiding stuff.

Many times it’s darkest before the dawn and other cliches. My filtering has not been my strongest asset and priorities end up being different than I think they are going to be. Everyone’s on a different part of the spectrum on this one.

Clarity is so important in living a successful life when things aren’t cut out for you any longer. Using myself as an example–I have many interests and it’s my health that is the most important focus for me. The art, writing (and obscure, energetic talent that has been more of a curse than a blessing until I gain some skills) are important for me to develop. They get worked in after the health thing that is on my plate right now, even though I don’t always accept it as cool and worthy.

I realized today that it’s my mindset I need to work with first for the biggest bang for my energy, time and effort and developing my skill set is secondary at this point. This is very useful for me to know as I go about my day and something I didn’t see clearly a few days ago. It used to be that I was overwhelmed with demands and reacting so these are things I’m learning now while my life is unstructured.

I’ve been dealing with my blog by writing about things like ice cream and television shows and birds because this has all been swirling around me in a confusing way. Now I feel all is right again and I make a point of moving through the panic phases as quickly as I can.

There continues to be events and situations in the world that moves other people into fresh panic as well as the underlying anxiety. That’s why I often find it a relief that some people are doing very well. On some level we are all one and we really need a balance of some people having ease to offset the truly crappy times that other people are going through.

Well, what I’m attempting to get at here is that sometimes it feels like the struggle will never end but in a little while things become more clear and then there is an order of a higher level to work with. If you were in the same room with me you could probably hear the wheels in my head creaking and grinding, with steam coming off my skull as I learn these new things. For some reason, what people TELL me is often not accurate for my situation–or maybe the timing is off. It sneaks up on me while I’m puttering.

I’ve committed to blogging everyday which makes my posts all over the place through these cycles I suppose.

Radiation E-Mails

The e-mails with offers to deal with radiation have been hitting my inbox the last few days. Taking responsibility for my health, I subscribe to several really good newsletters and the usual sharing of my address goes on. I tend to delete rather than unsubscribe and eventually the ones I don’t read begin going to my spam account.

I guess I can’t really blame a company for wanting to make money. I’m a bit concerned about people making needless choices out of panic and am aware that more harm than good can be done by taking pills needlessly.

It’s my understanding that at this great distance from Japan (and the gulf streams will surely spread this all over the world several times) that it’s important to have enough iodine in the body. I already take in iodine from the sea kelp and other sea vegetables that help me get minerals from food sources. Also, I’m aware that eating large quantities of raw kale, brussel sprouts and cabbages inhibit iodine intake in the body.

Well yuck–large quantities of raw kale, etc.?

It’s kind of dangerous to mess with this stuff when one doesn’t know their individual levels of iodine. And it looks weird to me that people smoke, drive while on their cells and drink pop and don’t get enough sleep and are panicking over some radiation.

My internet protection just popped up saying it’s aware of an upsurge of scammers using the Japan tragedy and to only donate to known trusted organizations. Maybe I’ll just stay offline much of the weekend, send compassionate energy to Japan and take good care of myself.

No Autopilot For Me

Japan has permeated my world and I’m not even reading beyond the headlines. Still considering what I posted yesterday, I can’t imagine living life on autopilot these days.
I’ll write it again. As I move through my day, I consider these things:
Being fully present in the moment as though it were my last day on earth.
Making responsible choices for the future as though I’ll be here for decades more and that my decisions impact the rest of humanity.
And what I didn’t mention yesterday–I believe when this life is over, we still exist and that we participate in a life review. With clear eyes, we review our life from a different perspective. That’s why I check in with my sense of values and integrity even when no other human is watching. When there’s a sense of painful unfairness where I seem to have no power, the life review idea gives me purpose and courage.
Any meaning in life is usually what we bring.
Works for me.

Bouncing Back

Today I got about three times what I usually accomplish. My brain was working well and I got financial records done.
I also had more energy and less pain and got a lot of housework done. With that, I went a bit too far by rotating my mattress. It was heavy and my apartment is small and I nearly broke things wrestling with it. Next time I’ll move things first and plan on spending half a day just to be safe.
It seems like a good move for me to avoid the news right now. I intend to take care of my life as I can. In my fifth decade and am not used to the tragedies of life.
Feeling is better than being numb though.

Oh Really?

One of the most important things for me to remember as I navigate my life is not to compare myself with others.

I just read an an online piece about a survey that showed how Facebook made the grass seem greener in other people’s lives. All the photos of fabulous times friends are having and their numerous successes can make one feel like a loser. I know it does me and anything I might have to post on Facebook seems lame. So I don’t. It’s understandable that people would want to present themselves in the best light possible and most of us don’t really want to share our dark nights of the soul in our blogs. But it’s easy to forget that our glamorous, confident friends have doubts and awkward moments.

In this age of rampant self-promotion, how can we be sure what’s presented is true? I remember in the 80’s when I worked at a job with mostly men. In that workplace during that time, they were allowed to say almost anything no matter how uncomfortable it made me. I tuned them out but was aware that there was a lot of sexual bragging going on, which I didn’t believe to be true at all. Then in other circles I was in, people would share the glorious tales of their spiritual experiences, which made my subtle moments of divine connection seem pale in comparison.

Two of the stars of the mind/body and new age community have admitted to their burn out and exhaustion while they were accomplishing amazing things in the public eye. Joan Borysenko, a stress expert has written about her own burn-out in her latest book, Fried. It’s very informative about the stages and signs that are about so much more than just depression. Debbie Ford of “Shadow” fame has had to choose priorities after her serious bout with pneumonia and shares that she was exhausted most of the years she was out there as a leading voice. She’s now had to disconnect from many of the obligations and often accessible communications with everyone she was available to before.

I’ve learned the hard way that it calls for sense and awareness of reality when determining just what I can reasonably do and whether or not it’s worth the cost. Sure, I have goals but at age 56 I very much want to enjoy my remaining years, not hyperventilate myself to the same success it looks like other people are achieving. And when I tune in to someone, I want to pay attention to their authentic self, not an image they’re promoting. It’s so refreshing to have someone connect with me for just a moment or so—and they’re not selling some thing or some agenda.

When Other People Grow

Relationships are constantly changing, people grow and it isn’t all in Grace, all the time.
When people are behaving dysfunctionally and we call them out, they aren’t going to change simply because we know what they’re up to. First they must have an awareness and then they must want to change and this is all a process.
We all know what it’s like when the dynamics of a relationship change–adjustments have to be made.
What surprises me is when someone I’ve looked up to and consider an expert, one who handles everything in an awesome and cool way, ups their game and the usual prickly, uncomfortable, awkward energy is broadcast just as it is from us lesser mortals. Especially when they don’t achieve instant mastery of the new growth they are incorporating.
People striving really hard and striding forward at a brisk pace–well, I try to stay out of their way. People becoming more assertive and empowered can be quite unpleasant to be around and while supporting them in theory, I like to back away and give them space and dodge whatever might be flying around. I tend to walk on eggshells around them and watch to see if it takes.
When I make these kinds of evolving changes, I am somewhat sneaky about it, rather apologetic and hope I don’t make too many waves. The amusing thing is that it often isn’t noticed in the outside world very much. I also need to be careful that I don’t judge myself for not having the awareness sooner and feel embarrassed that others were aware of my previous shortcomings. Of course, these other people aren’t paying that much attention–they have their own stuff to pay attention to.
I’m not totally clear about what my point is here. I am an empath and can feel how it feels when other people make these changes (when I’m not careful) and I’m noticing it more lately. It’s distracting and it takes work on my part to come up with an appropriate response.
One thing I’m not, is fast on my feet when it comes to verbal communication. Not being on the same wavelength as many folks, it often takes longer for me to process what they’re saying and how it jives with what they’re energetically broadcasting. As a conflict-avoider I certainly don’t want to push any buttons.
So back to the recent encounter with a professional who apparently has made a great leap as far as goals go–the person who prompted this reflection–I am reminding myself that it’s all about them and not so much about me.
It’s confusing, almost like dealing with someone who’s possessed, to have new territory and rules when you haven’t gotten the memo, to find oneself in a new landscape when you don’t have a map. When a business stays open during remodeling, there are usually “pardon our progress” signs. Heck, I often (as an over-explainer) verbally tell people “please excuse my mess”. Not so with many folks.
This person is someone I’m paying and it seems to be like “figure it out yourself– hop to it!”
One of the major breakdowns for me when hiring professionals to assist me with managing my life (and yes, I mean Doctors and anyone–I give all due respect, but I am in charge of my life and they work for me) besides running out of money, is when it becomes about their timetable and pacing and reputation regarding my progression or lack thereof.
It isn’t about them. It’s about me.
The clarity about this latest instance isn’t here yet. I want to move my focus to what is within my own power to do and change instead of having this hangover my day.
Not being a mind-reader, I’ll live with the mystery and unknown of how this is going to turn out and just take care of my part in it. Which now seems to be the above-mentioned giving space and using care with my response.
It could be that people are way more resilient than I give them credit for. I just prefer civility and kindness and patience in a real and not surface, phony way.

Entertaining My Subconscious

Several times I’ve run across information about the subconscious not being able to tell the difference between seeing violence in life and seeing it in a film. The images one sees are said to be imprinted on your subconscious forever. I tend to believe that but like so many other things in life we have to make choices. We’re here to live life not practice as much avoidance as we can.
I barely watched television from 1970 to 2005. I was doing other things. All those shows that are part of people’s history like Friends and Seinfeld and Cheers and Lost—don’t know much about them. That added to my weirdness factor in the eyes of my peers and co-workers back in the day. Fashion trends, slang and cultural references–I had few clues.
Then when my life changed drastically and I had more time on my hands and not much energy to do things, I began watching television shows. Mostly through Netflix which helped me survive a bleak winter. Now I much prefer watching marathons or a whole season at a time instead of waiting for an episode of something.
It was quite a shock when began watching television again. My goodness, it had changed. As an empath who picks up things as though they were my own energy when they certainly are not, I was careful about what I exposed myself to at first.
One thing that fascinated me in the beginning was how sophisticated some of the writing was, as though the viewer had some degree of intelligence. Not everything obvious had to be laboriously pointed out. I said some writing. Of course there are many lame, stupid shows.
And it wasn’t as though I’d never seen any television during those years. It would be on in the background at someone’s house but I never could get drawn into it. The noise bothered me.
There was a writer I liked who was on Oprah one time and a friend invited me over to watch the show. I was disappointed and horrified at the pacing of it and how Oprah would interrupt and not let the guy talk. Everything seemed so on-the-surface and, of course, that must be normal. No one is going to watch an in-depth, intimate conversation about ideas. Except for me and maybe a few other weird people I’ve never met. It made me want to jump out of my skin. And that’s almost nothing compared to The View.
When I was ill and lonely a few years ago and missed humanity (in theory), I subscribed to Netflix shows and later watched television on the internet with the caution of knowing the images would be in my subconscious forever. (Although I believe everything can eventually be healed.)
And I ended up deliberately choosing shows that could be considered gross or violent or graphic like Burn Notice and Bones over shows where smart-ass, snarky, hip people stabbed each other in the back, displayed rudeness, lack of compassion and made fun of each other’s big butts and weak chins. Seriously. I would rather watch Fiona and Sam blow up a building that watch some office worker make a cutting, harsh remark to a co-worker.
Even though some of those shows can be graphic, I like the dialogue and the relationships–people caring about each other and having each other’s backs. Yes, I know it’s not real but if I’m going to be having something in my subconscious as though it were real, I don’t want it to be stupid, mean, everyday people. Anyway, it’s boring to watch and cheap. I’d rather see compassionate, friendly people (like me).
Except now that I’m having this adrenaline thing going on, I need to avoid that kind of suspense and excitement in my viewing.
I enjoy the character, Dr. House, but as someone who has had health issues that show is traumatizing. Half of it I spend cringing and closing my eyes. Don’t tell anyone but I can’t stand to watch someone put eyedrops in. I have to look away when someone is applying mascara too.
And yet there are people walking around with the sensitivity of a post and I guess I wouldn’t trade who I am for that.

Farms

My blog has a tag about farming and it isn’t totally random. I have a farm and I consider myself more of a land steward than land owner.
My farm is over one thousand miles away from where I live and I can transport myself there to the ideal of it. The reality is that I am unable and unwilling to tolerate living in the country where it’s humid and there are so many more bugs and snakes and there’s so much more pollen.
When I was a child I spent a lot of time roaming around outdoors. I had chores but no structure. It wasn’t the sort of life where there were piano lessons and all those scheduled things kids do now. Many of the few books available to read were enjoyed sitting in trees or up in the hayloft of the barn.
It was very difficult adjusting to being away at college. After so much space and isolation, the chaos and intense bombardment of other people’s emotions and thoughts were overwhelming. I thought I was a freak and it wouldn’t be until decades later that I would learn I am an empath and that there are techniques I can use to turn down the volume on what other people are going through and tune in to the fact that I really do exist and that I have a home frequency.
One of the things I chose in an attempt to cope was to smoke cigarettes. I smoked a lot–from two to four packs a day. It took up most of any discretionary income I had.
Cigarettes are considered physically addicting. The odd thing was I could forget about them when I got out of the city. I wasn’t even in a city; it was a town. But when I would accompany someone to visit their family on a farm and we spent time outdoors, I had no desire for cigarettes.
The summer after my freshman year was the last one I spent on our farm. I had worried about my need for smoking (I had to hide it from my folks) but I didn’t even finish the packs I brought with me. The first day back at school in the fall, I smoked two packs. They were harsh and nasty.
It wasn’t just being back with my family, as some suggested. When I went camping for any length of time, I didn’t want to smoke.
When I finally quit, it was very hard to deal with the crowded feeling and waves of other people’s anger, envy and fear. And their boring, numbing focus on objective reality only. This was way stronger than any physical addiction I had.
Oh yes, this started out to be about farming. My farm and my interest in it. Maybe I’ll blog about that tomorrow.
In the meantime who I am now, is someone who must live in the city. I would like to go to the country more often but am unable to do so alone and am unwilling to put up with other people’s lack of patience and understanding. That’s O.K.
What I love now is the proximity to art and coffee shops and bookstores and movies all within a few blocks from me.
For my own peace of mind, I don’t have a car. That used to be considered weird but now people seem to have gotten it that lots of things other folks do is none of their business. Really, no matter what other crap is going on in the world today many people have learned how to mind their own business. Even though there are plenty of obnoxious, opinionated people who think they know what’s best for others.
Anyway, I love my farm and am interested in organic, sustainable farming. Now, I’m a city girl too. I enjoyed writing this and am satisfied with it. If asked what my point is, I’d have to guess. I was thinking about how farming is something I’m interested in enough to write about and I am thoughtful about my relationship to nature?

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