self reflection

Good Friday

I'm not a religious person. I attended 13 years of Catholic School and I do well in the Bible category on Jeopardy, but I haven't voluntarily attended a mass in decades. Well, actually I'm not sure I have ever chosen to just go to mass. It's always been someone else's idea and I've been dragged along. 

Things have shifted for me spiritually in the last few years though. While, I know I'm not a Catholic, the story of Jesus and the themes of human suffering and redemption have started to bear a new weight to me.

In 2005, I went to Italy on vacation and of course, the Vatican was on the agenda. At the time, I was pretty indifferent about the experience but I left feeling overwhelmed with emotion for the sacrifice and talent displayed everywhere you look. The beauty and the lifetime achievements of these masterpieces was molecule changing.

So today, on Good Friday, I honor the beautiful things that can come from horrible situations for they are truly the threads that tie the past and present and every human being together.  



Run this town

I am a bit reluctant to tackle this topic in an off-the-cuff blog entry this morning, but it's on my mind so I am going for it. So, it turns out that I am a bit an egomaniac. Well, that maybe a bit extreme but I recently had an interaction within a group where I had an obvious personality conflict with the facilitator. I have been feeling a little a little bad about the interaction and starting talking to friends about how I was clearly right but the facilitator was unwilling to compromise on their point of view...and isn't that bad? Aren't I right? Can't you see my point here? He/she is so damn stubborn! 

Whoa, the dose of truth that came back to me was a little painful to hear. Apparently, it was not the time, nor the place, nor the approach to express myself in this manner and I was overwhelming rude. Ouchy, I am a jerk!

The most pointed question and the hardest to answer was, "why did you think it was your place to say something?" The truth is, I always think it's my place to say something. I am a saya somethinger. If you want an opinion, I got one. If you want advice, I'll give you some. If you want coaching, you came to the right place because I'm a professional! 

BUT the reality is not everyone is asking for my thoughts and I'm offering them up anyway. I have been doing this unconsciously and while I feel like my intentions are mostly set in positive places; it is an obnoxious habit that I need to work on. And oh boy, obnoxious habits that you see in yourself can really swirl up a shame tornado.

I don't really have a resolution here or a way to wrap up this post with a pretty observation or a nod to all new wonderful colors of the world I see now. Growing and being conscious of egocentric behaviors is hard work. I can't lie about that but I know for sure that it's work that improves relationships and removes a lot of different heartache and uncertainty in your life. It's the work that I keep doing it.  

Writing into the void

Today marks my 30th day straight of blogging every single day. This is a pretty huge feat for me because I have never been great at building positive habits. Bad habits, I've got down pat, but ones that can actually help grow me as a person have been a struggle.

So what have I learned so far? Well, since literally no one seems to be reading these, it's pretty easy. Obviously, I have been obsessed with the election and the state of the world both here and in my real life. Thankfully, I've been coping better now. I really recognize how the unconscious human ego is driving all of this conflict. We think we're all such special snowflakes but our mammal behavior is actually so typical. We fight. We try to control. We make others the enemy and allow fear to drive our aggression. It's boring and gross. I want to do better. 

I know I've been writing about this a lot, but again, this is pretty much a personal journal at this point. Eckhart Tolle shows us whenever we are engaged in a heightened emotional drama that involves something that isn't happening in the present moment (like our hair is on fire), we are allowing the ego to drag us into a story that we have told ourselves. It's one of the most basic human characteristics we have, and yet, it's the one that so few can recognize in themselves. 

I've been doing a lot of studying lately. Through my writings here and my personal journalling, I am recognizing what the structure of my egoic dysfunction is. I am always positioning situations where I can be "morally" right (which is subjective) and when I fail to win my argument or when I am proven wrong, I tell myself that i am morally wrong. I internalize the story of how I was wrong and let that be my punishment to why I can't be happy.

It's fucked up. I get it but if you're being honest, you've got a story your telling yourself too. The answer or the solution (which is also subjective) is to begin to recognize that is what is happening so you can be aware of it when it does. That recognition - that consciousness - is the answer we're all seeking. It's hard as hell but so far, it's been worth it. 

I can't stop talking about the election

I woke up today thinking about the state of our country again. I have never been politically engaged and even less so in the last few years. Frankly, I am so SICK of thinking and hearing myself talk about this fucking election. Will I ever go back to being the person I was before? 

Of course, there is a huge part of me that knows that I can never go back and doesn't want to. The reason I am obsessed is because the molecules of my existence are shifting. I am reacting powerfully because my core values are being stepped on. Independence and inherent goodness being two of them. I am finally seeing how difficult it is to be a minority in this country and it frightens me. The emblazoned bigotry is crushing.

A new day

So one of the greatest things about blogging every day is that moment when you decide what you want to write about. I have been thinking and talking about a lot of things these last two days. I could share some apocalyptic visions of what America's future police state will look like or share some of my ideas on how to organize a revolution. I have LOTS of those ideas but I'm choosing to say something different today. 

My friend counseled me yesterday on the rage I'm feeling towards my fellow countrymen that selected Donald Trump to be a US President. She said, "Let it go. You voted. You actively participated in our democracy, now you have to let it go. It is done." 

Well that didn't really sit that well with me at first but I've been mulling it over ever since. She is right. I love my country and I participated in a way that makes me proud. I am incredibly disappointed but allowing myself to be deflated and angry about circumstances outside of my control gives my power away. I refuse to do that. My power for connection and desire to change lives for the better forces me to do that.

I choose to lead with love.

I'm heading back into the world today after a day of hibernation. I've disconnected my social media accounts for a spell because I recognize I need to work on me and focus on the things I can control. Leadership begins within and this is a time for strong leadership with ethical values. United we stand. Divided we fall.