Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How Your Intution Can Keep You Out of Prison

 I just heard this story, and it was too good  not to pass on!

"Shari" is an acquaintance of a few years. I like her and I respect her immensely -- she's got an Ivy League PhD in economics, and does strategic planning for one of the Fortune 1000. She's also spiritual, very perceptive about people -- and a lot of fun. She's got a huge network of friends, colleagues and acquaintances, whom she organizes for picnics and dinner parties.

Apparently it wasn't always this way. When she was much younger, just finishing grad school, she was married to a guy who was several years older than she, had an Ivy MBA, and was quite the wheeler dealer. They even had some business interests in common.

Their relationship deteriorated for a number of reasons, including her discomfort with how he operated in business. She saw him operating "just this side of the law" and her gut became more and more knotted up. One day she realized that she was worried a US Marshall was going to show up and arrest someone. She listened to her gut, and her worry -- and she left, divorcing him soon after.

It's 15 years later -- and she just learned that he's been found guilty of money laundering/RICO, and is awaiting sentencing.

She listened to her intuition -- and it saved her untold amounts of trouble. It just took 15 years for validation. Sometimes you have to wait for that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bless Their Hearts

 I feel like a kid in a monstrously dysfunctional household. It's like this:

Dad (the Republicans) is a violent heroin addict (only the heroin is campaign cash). He will do absolutely anything, including beating up his wife and murdering his own mother, to get his fix.

Mom (the Democrats) is a good-natured addict of the The Shopping Channel. She looks up from shopping every now and then to feed the 8 kids and take them to school, and take both Grandmas to the doctor occasionally. But of course, she needs money to keep up her habit, too, so she'll prostitute herself (for campaign cash) from time to time.

They are both so wrapped up in their addictions that they haven't noticed the house is falling apart -- it needs painting, the gutters are falling off, the electrical service is inadequate to today's needs, even the yard needs mowing. The kids who are older could be put to work fixing the house and tidying the garden, but that would require money for paint and supplies -- and there's only money for heroin.

When Mom tries to ask Dad to help take care of the kids and the house, he smacks her around till she stops, so she's learned to acquiesce quickly and quietly. In fact, she hardly ever asks for anything any more.

The kids (We, the People), meanwhile, are very wrapped up in their lives -- school, the jobs the older ones have, their friends, their games, their TV and iPods. They scream when they want something -- but no one ever listens to them, and they've about given up, too. They wonder why in the world they picked these parents. They thought they were coming into a functional marriage -- and then Mom and Dad got addicted.

Mom wants to put a second mortgage on the house (raise the debt ceiling) so they can get the supplies to fix it up, as well as pay off some bills. Dad says, no, I'm not letting you have any more money until you have that shopping habit under control. But there is, in fact, no reason for this. They can borrow the money, and as long as they spend it on paying bills and fixing up the house, it's a good thing.

If they don't borrow they money, and don't pay their bills, their credit rating will go to hell and even the existing borrowing gets more expensive. Not to mention it then becomes completely impossible to fix up the house, and maybe even take Grandma to the doctor or feed the kids.

What can the kids do? Screaming isn't working -- the addictions roar much louder in Dad's and Mom's ears. The kids are minors and can't leave. The more capable ones can help out (paying taxes, volunteering), but they can't fix Mom's and Dad's addictions.Maybe they can scream louder (call and email Congress and the White House and even show up at your Representative's office)

About all that's left is prayer -- or whatever you want to call it. This is where "bless their hearts" comes in.

I grew up in the Northeast, but I remember hearing the occasional transplanted Southern lady say, "Well, bless her heart", when someone did something egregious. That always puzzled me.

As an adult, I met a transplanted Southerner who explained it to me. "Bless her heart" is a polite way of saying, "Oh, Lord, please help this person to see the light and know the truth, please heal this person -- because she's so screwed up."

So We the People all need to be saying "Bless Their Hearts" about Congress, and maybe even the President right about now. And we need to keep screaming so they hear us when they see the light.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life Lessons from Walking on Water

No, I'm not Jesus, and I don't have access to any anti-gravity technology; all I did was rent a stand up paddleboard (SUP).

A SUP is basically an old longboard with 3 fins instead of one for stabillity. You propel yourself and steer with a paddle -- think Venetian gondolier. It feels a lot like walking on water, because there you are, standing up, moving slowly (or not), on the surface of the water. You have time to relax, to look around, to notice your surroundings -- and you see a lot farther than you do boogie boarding (which is what I usually do), because your eyes are five feet or so higher out of the water. Because I had time to contemplate, I noticed that it's a great metaphor for life:
  • Stay relaxed - Relaxation allows flexibility, allows you to roll with whatever comes your way. If you lock your knees (or any other part of you), it's asking to fall off the board.
  • Keep your eyes on the horizon - If you steer for a point on the horizon, you'll automatically correct for things that are closer in, like the waves, or the kelp forest. It's like holding a vision or a goal, and dealing with whatever comes up along the way. If you look at your feet, splash! If you look way up, splash!
  • Don't look behind you - You can look right or left, but not back. Even if a sound indicates something cool is happening behind you, don't look back, or -- splash! It's the quickest way to become unbalanced. (Satchel Paige said "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." He was right.)
  • Stay centered - Where you stand in relation to the center of the SUP matters A LOT. If you're at all ahead of the center point, the nose goes down and -- splash! If you get too much behind the center point, the heel goes down and -- splash!
  • Pace yourself - You can stand, kneel, sit or lie on a SUP -- and all of them have their place. When you're heading out through breaking waves, you want to be kneeling and paddling in that position. When you're comfortable, or if you want to ride a wave, that's the time to stand. When you're tired, you can sit or lie down. If the waves get rough, you want to lie down and hang on. No position is 'the best'; different positions are more appropriate for different situations.
  • Have a sense of humor - No matter what you do, sometimes a wave will come up out of nowhere and knock you flat on your ass. Splash! That's life -- ya gotta laugh -- it's all you can do.
  • Standing has it's pluses and minuses - To me, standing upright on two legs is one of the essential traits of being human. And now that I can do it on the water, I see that it has pluses and minuses. The plus: you can see more. The minus: the animals are more intimidated, and won't just hang out within 10 feet or so of you -- they stay 15 or 20 feet away. Really, anything, any attitude, any posture, has its pluses and minuses.
  • You can't see everything -- at least not all at the same time - Even though I can see more standing on my SUP than I can down on my boogie board, I'm still limited -- I can't see anything very far under the surface. In the same way, I can't see the energetic processes that support the physical world. (Well, okay, I can see them sometimes, but it takes a lot of focus, which I can't do while I'm dealing with a lot in the physical world, like balancing on my SUP, or a flat tire, or a big audience.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

What to Do on Your Birthday

It's that birthday time of year, at least in my circle of friends and family. In the last 10 days, both my husband and I have had birthdays, along with 6 friends and family members, and a number of acquaintances so big I've lost count.

My family never made a huge deal of birthdays. One year, when I was around 10, my mom got a supermarket apple pie, stuck a candle in it and told me it was my birthday cake. (To her credit, I was so upset she never did that again.)

But I always kind of thought they should be a big deal -- without having a good reason for thinking it. I mean, really, it just marks another trip around the sun for your physical body. So of course I asked my guides, "What is there to celebrate on a birthday?" What they said kind of suprised me:

Birthdays are supposed to be celebrations of incarnation. They are a time to enjoy all the pleasures of the physical world, and to indulge the body: the beauty of nature, good food, good sex, a massage or something else to pamper your body.

For some reason I don't quite get, it's important to do this while the earth is in the same position in relation to the sun that it was in when you were born. The more planets that are in the same relation the better.

And all those wishes of "Happy Birthday"? Those are supposed not only to gladden the day, to help you celebrate incarnation more, but also to impel you to make that next trip around the sun, to give you some extra oomph to do it.

What does Happy Birthday mean to you?