Photo by Richard Jaimes on Unsplash Integrity is one of the things that defines us and the kind of life we live. It’s something we sense and feel rather than think. It comes from deep inside us which means that we have to develop the ability to listen to it. In a sense everything we experience in life is about how we view it and sense it. To over simplify we can view things from the perspective of the popular norm, or we can pause and reflect and come from something that is authentic within us. Anything that is a “knee-jerk” response is something not thought through. It’s easier in some ways to just “go with the flow” and go along with a popular sentiment but it also stops of us living a life that feels meaningful for us. If we view life as something we just have to get through and follow to the end, that’s a pretty joy-less life. But, if we view life as an adventure where we get to experience ourselves fully and experience the world fully that requires a whole different approach. Let’s say we chose the adventure view of life. That means we have to develop a strong sense within us of what is appropriate for us and what is not. What enlivens us and what doesn’t. It is a stance that allows us to leave a legacy behind to empower others and it creates a world where the best of what is human is available. I have heard the argument - if everyone did what they wanted there would be chaos and selfishness. But, what has happened when people follow their heart and come from their integrity, they want to do good for others and help create a world that works for everyone. There is deep within every human a desire to help and when we allow ourselves to follow our passion we automatically want to give to others. It’s when we suppress what is in our heart and force ourselves to follow the crowd then we have to extract the goodness that is missing from our life from others. We turn our buried love into hate. We become takers rather than givers. We operate from fear rather than from joy. They are mutually exclusive. We can choose love or fear. Simple as that. But that choice is powerful. It has huge consequences for us and for others. It is our sense of integrity, of what is truly right for us and for others that makes the difference in the kind of world we experience and the kind of world we help create for others. We each have a huge responsibility. True there are 7.5 billion of us. But as each of us stands in our integrity, stands what is best for all, we change the dynamics of the world. It only takes 1% of the population to change it. So, every day you have a new opportunity to help create a world that is the best of what humans can be. A world that is not a “pie in the sky” world, but a real one that brings out the best in each of us. You have the power to help make that happen. Stand in your integrity. Stand in your truth. We need you. My best to you, Dianne J. Shaver, M.A. Accountability Coach www.entrepreneurmindworld.com
I want to talk about stretching. We know to keep In shape we need to stretch our bodies on a pretty consistent basis. But what about our minds? What about our perceptions? What about the way we are living life? We need to stretch in all of the aforementioned on a pretty consistent basis if we’re going to experience the fullness of who we are and of life itself.
Usually, when we get out of our comfort zone we snap right back into it. We’d rather stretch our bodies and experience that discomfort rather than mental and emotional distress of even the slightest sort. Even though we may be bored to death we endure it because it’s what we know. What kind of life does that create for us?
But what if we looked at stretching beyond our comfort zone as expanding our life into new and exciting adventures, finding out more about ourselves and getting out of our rut? We read books, go to movies, watch TV to experience things outside out everyday life. But, what if everyday life was so exciting that we didn’t need distractions? What if we woke up every day looking forward to what was to come during it? What if we were no longer bored or feeling hopeless about things?
Life never stands still. We are either moving forward or backward. It is an illusion to think that we are staying the same. We aren’t. Life is dynamic. We start to atrophy in some way when we aren’t moving forward. Sometimes the movement is very internal as we shift things around in our understanding, but it is movement nonetheless even if it’s not visible to others. In fact, the work has to come from inside out. Before we take a leap we have to have done the internal work so we are no longer stuck in the same place.
I’m not talking about taking big leaps, unless that’s your style. But, I am talking about going beyond where you’ve been on a pretty regular basis. It’s okay to take a small rest in between stretches, but only short ones.
If you want help in that direction, a good coach will get you there. And, there are books that help. And one that I swear by is, “You Are a BadAss, How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness” Jen Sincero. It takes you step by step from awareness of where you are stuck to guiding you in moving out of it. Can’t say enough good about it. It pulls no punches and has great exercises that assist through each stage.
So, get out of your rut. Get out of your comfort zone and live a life that feels exciting, fulfilling and stretches you beyond what you thought you could have or do. The only limits are the ones you put on yourself. If you doubt that read some of the stories about people who have lost limbs and have gone on to become international speakers and presidents of companies, or skiers who were told after an accident they would never walk again and ended up winning Olympic metals in skiing. Read about people who have done the impossible before you settle for a life that’s ho-hum. Time to stretch! You can do this. You’ve got this. Go for it! My best to you, Dianne Shaver, M.A., Accountability Coach (helping you to stretch) https://www.entrepreneurmindworld.com .html
I’ve never been a political person. I figured it was all a foregone conclusion and it happened at a level I had no interaction with. My first experience was working on the last presidential campaign. What I learned from that was there were people from all over the country who got involved.
This year I’m working on the mid-terms and I now have a whole new view. What I’ve learned is that grassroots politics is just that. It’s “kids” from colleges, people of retirement age, working and stay-at-home moms, business men and women. People of means, people who are marginal. It’s all of us. People like me who are just learning and people who have seen it all and are seasoned, experienced workers.
It is also clear to me now how powerful we are. That was an important lesson at a time when many are feeling un-heard and forgotten and downright powerless. We are anything but powerless, unless we throw up our hands and tell ourselves we are.
Our vote matters more than we know. At times, one or two votes have carried the day. Those votes could be yours. Someone told me of a conversation they had with some 30ish people. They said they wouldn’t vote because they felt the candidates weren’t worthy of their vote. That took me aback. People willingly giving up power is something I don’t understand. If they vote the best that are up for election now and hold those people accountable for how they perform, their voices will be heard and their presence felt. Then they can dig in and find candidates they like better to work for in upcoming elections. That’s how they will get candidates they feel deserve their vote, not by sitting back and observing, but by participating.
This is an “all of us” thing. That’s what a democracy is. It’s “we the people,” whether those in office, at the moment, see it that way or not. We do have power. We can change things. Not by yelling louder than the next person, or bad-mouthing people we don’t agree with. But by persistently working for those we do see as having something to contribute. But standing by our truth and not by some rhetoric. By registering and voting. By taken the power given to us by the Constitution and The Bill of Rights. We are never powerless. People come and go. People in power now will not be there later. Same is true for all who sit in presidential and congressional seats. But WE put them there and we can take them out of there – as long as we exercise the rights given to us and hard-won by our ancestors. Democracy is not something to observe. It’s something that requires participation by everyone.
If we don’t like the way things are going we can change that by learning what candidates are really about. Not their campaign slogans, but their record and how they live their life. And, remember, NO ONE is perfect. No one! That’s not a human quality. But decency, honesty, responsibility, and accountability practiced by an imperfect human is good enough. The people WE vote in, speak for us in our government. And, they will be reminded every election if they don’t perform the way they should, they will be a thing of the past.
So, please take your power. Vote. Make your voice and your desires heard. You have more influence than you realize, but only if you use it.
You deserve a country that works for you, too. Step up and make sure it does. My best to you, Dianne Shaver, M.A. Accountability Coach https://www.entrepreneurmindworld.com.html
Recently a few potential clients said they would have to wait to work on their business since they didn’t have the resources right now. I recognized that position since I’ve also said that in the past. But, what I learned was when I went for it, when I did the thing I couldn’t afford but I knew would move my business forward everything changed. When we commit to what we need to grow, magic seems to happen.
It’s so easy to get stuck in what’s familiar and to keep doing what we’ve always done. But when we do, nothing changes. We all deserve to experience life at its fullest and not to settle for what we’ve always had. I know from first-hand experience, because I have done that. But in that place life doesn’t feel very good. Living is supposed to feel exciting and fulfilling. Not just something we put up with or endure or live out until it’s time to leave it. To do that is missing the mark. We don’t know what we can have until we take a chance. Until we go for it with everything we’ve got. But, until we make the decision we won’t experience the richness of what can be for us.
It’s a question of faith, which means that without hard evidence we make the decision to follow our dream. These two quotes put it so well:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.“ W.H. Murray
“I worked for a menial’s hire Only to learn, dismayed That any wage I asked of Life Life would have willingly paid.” Anonymous
Or, in other words, whatever we settle for is what we will have. If we make the decision to expect only a little, that is what we will experience. If we make the decision to see just how far we can go and decide we want it all, that is what we will have. We set the bar. Most of us set it very low. It all starts with a commitment to ourselves, to our potential and to living out that potential.
We get brain-washed. We are told over and over again that we have to settle. That success and living the dream is for the few. We watch them on TV or read about them and then envy them, never realizing that could be us too, in our own version of success. So, we end up both admiring and resenting those who have gone for it instead of trying it for ourselves.
Those who “make it” aren’t any smarter or more gifted than you. They don’t have any magic other than the fact that, somehow, they found it in themselves to make a resolution to find out just how far they could go and how much they could have. That’s the only difference between you and them. Nothing more. It’s like we’re in a prison but all the time, there was really no door, no bars, nothing to confine us, but us.
I used to get angry when someone said things like that to me. I thought, “Oh, ya! Easy for you to say!” But they were right. When I decided to go for what I wanted and to do what I had to do to get there, I was rewarded by having what I wanted. And, I did it over and over again. There is no limit to how much we can have and what we can experience.
So, what’ holds you back? What have you been telling yourself? What have you used to stop yourself? And, the big question – Are you going to continue to do it, or will you allow yourself to go for it?
You can do it and have it. Whatever “it” is for you. And, I can help you get there. My best to you, Dianne, Accountability Coach https://www.entrepreneurmindworld.com
With everything that’s going on we all need some time away from the headlines. Doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you are on. In order to find the best in people instead of the worst, I’m trying to be more kind and to notice the kindness of others. After consciously doing that for awhile I am finding that people are, generally, much nicer than the current political goings on would have us think.
These are small things, but they make a huge difference for me. The other day I pulled up outside my bank and parked. A very large truck parked next to me fairly close but not dangerously so. The man hopped out of it and came over to me and apologized for parking so near me. He explained that it happened because he was trying to get out of the way of traffic and he had to scoot in or cause an accident. I smiled at him and nodded, went into the bank and did what I needed to do and left. But something made me go back. The truck man was in line so I waited until he was through. As he was leaving I walked up to him and told him how much I appreciated his apology. I told him with all of the rancor going on it was a great thing. He smiled and said, “thank you.” That small interaction made me feel very good and it seemed to do the same for him. I’m sure I wouldn’t want to know his politics, but it really didn’t matter. We were two human beings watching out for one another and being kind.
Another “small” incident happened the other day in one of my favorite stores, Dollar Tree, it has everything you could ever want in certain categories, plus the cashiers are always nice. This day I had two items and was getting in line but realized that a woman had started to go there ahead of me. I stepped back. She smiled and looked at what I had in my hands. “You go first”, she said. “You only have two items.” I thanked her and I did. I found the divider that goes between orders and put it on the counter so she could begin to unload her cart. She thanked me and we chatted. After I was cashed out, I thanked her again for her courtesy and consideration and she told me to “have a blessed day,” one of my very favorite expressions. We both smiled and it made each of our days so much better.
These are small even minute things but they made each of us involved experience a more gentle world. It doesn’t take much to do that. It’s small things. And, like everyone else I have to be aware and think in order to do them. But it does illustrate how little it takes to make a big difference. Life is really made up of these small moments. The little things that add up and make it better. All it takes is awareness and willingness.
So, I’m going to do more of it because while it helps others it also makes me feel a lot better about the world and humanity, in general. I invite us to do the small things every day that make life easier and give us hope that it is possible to have a world that works for all of us We are all united in our humanity. We can do this together. My best to you, Dianne, Accountability Coach
As humans, we are always learning, growing, changing our assumptions, going in new directions, amending our beliefs. If we’re not doing those things, we are going backwards since it’s impossible to stand still. Life is dynamic, it never stays in one place. Think about the people you see as role models. Do they keep doing the same thing over and over again? No. They find new ways to express their creativity and business savvy. That’s why we look up to them. They take chances, they go for it. We all have the ability to do that too. We often feel they are special and we’re not. Not true. The only difference between us and our role models is they take chances fully knowing there are no guarantees. They have as much chance of failing as succeeding. Why do they do one and not the other? They believe in themselves and often in something that will see them through whatever it is. They know, somehow, they will make it or they will learn how to do better whatever they are focused on. For them, no matter what happens they win. They will succeed this time or they will learn from it and succeed next time.
Most of us want guarantees. The other thing I’ve seen happen with people I’ve interviewed as potential clients who want to wait until: they have enough money, enough time, etc. Clearly these are folks who are not committed to success or even believe they can achieve it. But, until we reach that stage nothing much can happen. I usually won’t accept them as clients because they are not seeing something so basic – It’s our commitment to our dream, the willingness to find a way even when there doesn’t seem to be one and the going for it against all odds that makes things happen. If we want something enough and have the daring to go for it, Life will give us resources from unexpected places and doors open that we were sure were closed.
We don’t know exactly how it will play out. But….we dig in and learn whatever it is we need to learn and do whatever we can to move forward and then we do it all over again. For our whole life. There is no end to learning, no end to going for it to make our dreams come true. And, no end to the support from unexpected places and unexpected gifts.
How boring it would be if we knew it all and had everything in place before we did anything. Then what? First of all, we would be the only ones because everyone around us would be learning and growing and having the thrill of taking a chance and seeing it all come together. Secondly, what would we do? Growing into new understandings, learning new skills and trusting ourselves and Life is exciting! It gives us things that stretch us and help us see how much more we can do. We really are limitless. If you don’t think so, think of the stories you’ve heard or read about people with what should be crippling disabilities who have become business moguls or heroes of a movement because they refused to think, whatever the obstacle, that it was meant to stop them. They are not different from you and me. It’s only their thoughts that are different. They think they can do it and often we don’t think we can. So, now you have it…the only thing that stops us is how we think. If you think you can learn to do what you need to do, you will. If you think you can accomplish something you can. If you think you can overcome an obstacle you do. You get to decide how you will live your life. Will you admit to yourself you don’t know and be willing to find out? Will you stretch beyond what you can do now to something new? Will you go for something you really want even if you don’t know how it will turn out? If you do all of those things you have already won and Life will support you.
Photo by Dane Deaner for Unsplash Those of us who live in and near the Charleston area of South Carolina feel very blessed and exceedingly lucky. Those in North Carolina and northern parts of SC have gotten the brunt of Hurricane Florence. If there is any bright spot at all in this, it is that volunteers from Texas and other states went to North Carolina to help. It’s that old thing of humans helping humans in disasters.
An official update after the storm had hit, began with a a man, whose name I did not catch, talking about how humans help one another in crisis. He went further to say that there is within us the need, desire and ability to help others. He offered a prayer that we would do that more and more as we get in touch with that impulse that is in most humans.
It struck me as extraordinary that he began his update in that manner. It said to me that there is a dawning awareness that our species is not living up to its potential the way we are capable of. That we need to be more in touch with the plight of our neighbors, friends and even strangers who need our help.
In fact, the meteorologist said - we have to help one another and that should take precedence above race, religion, politics and other things we use to divide us. This came during a public announcement which was amazing to me and stressed how deep this awareness runs. One day I hope we do not need a disaster to get in touch with the impulse to help one another. And, that the desire to help transcends any and all excuses we have been using to divide us.
We all live on this relatively small blue and green planet. It’s what we’ve got. What we do to it and on it rests on the shoulders of all of us. We have some choices to make and make them sooner than later. How do you really want to spend your circumscribed time on this Earth?
I have read documented accounts and have actually spoken with people who have “died” and come back. Universally, they have said they felt great love and some said joy. So…if we are all going and it’s not so bad once we do, what is all this struggle about? It’s so easy to get busy and focused on so many other things we forget we are human and so is everyone we meet. We are each fallible, vulnerable and mortal. Knowing that we all share those qualities should make us more compassionate and accepting of one another. Now is a good time to put that awareness into practice in our daily life.
I am learning and growing just like you. We can all do this together. My best to you, Dianne, Accountability Coach www.entrepreneurmindworld.com/accountability-coaching
There’s always another chance. Another opportunity. Another time. You will never run out of possibilities. Life is generous. The one thing we must do is to stop thinking we know the best outcome for something. We might think we do, but we may miss seeing the bigger picture. As humans we often do that. We tend to look at things from a smaller perspective and from a place of emotional attachment to an outcome. When we can surrender to the wisdom of life and allow things to unfold in the best way, everything turns out much better.
We are taught to control things which doesn’t always work for the best. I am not suggesting that we sit around and do nothing or just throw up our hands. What I am suggesting is that we take the steps we know we should and then watch as things unfold and see what that suggests we do next. That way we are working in concert with the Universe. We become partners. When we watch people doing that we think of them as lucky because things always seem to turn out for them. But, what is really happening is they are paying attention and are not so attached to a particular outcome that they miss the real opportunity.
Usually, we have a scenario for how what we want should happen. We see it step by step to the final unfolding. We are focused on how it should all play out. I worked with a client recently who was so sure she knew the steps her business would take that she could not hear any analysis or next steps that did not fit with her fixed vision. She is missing some key places she should be paying attention to. Her will is very strong and she may be able to sustain things for a while but eventually she is going to have to focus on the places she is now overlooking or her business will stall until she does.
There’s another aspect of not seeing possibilities and not paying attention to what would be the better next step because of insistence that we know best. It’s exhausting! When we don’t partner with the Universe everything rests solely on our shoulders. We can’t trust other people who might be sent to us as helpers. The Universe is very efficient and will use the best way to assist us, be it another person, a book, a phone call or things that seem to just come out of the blue. There is a wisdom greater than our human perspective and it lives inside of us which means we have to shift out of our limited view and open to a broader understanding to see it.
But if we miss it, there will be another time. And yet another and another until we run out of our time here on earth. Our job is to pay attention and to stop thinking we’ve got the only solution. To open up to other ways of seeing things and entertaining other ideas. It’s all there for us – the next opportunity to see and understand more fully. And there will be another one right behind it if we miss it.
Trust yourself, trust the Universe and look for your next chance. My best to you, Dianne, Accountability Coach
Have faith- Faith in life, faith in yourself. Sometimes it’s all we’ve got. And, in truth, that’s enough. When things look bleak remember that, if we look back, everything always works out. I’m reminded of a line from the movie, “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” - “Everything always works out in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
Look back on your life. Remember times when you were in a tight spot. You were scared. Maybe you felt hopeless. But, you’re still here. still moving forward. I think, sometimes, that “life” sends us difficult things so we can see how powerful we really are. Then we learn over and over again, as we need to, that we can do it! Whatever “it” is, we have it within us to do whatever we need to do.
An extreme example, and a powerful reminder – Sen. John McCain, the man who went through five years as a prisoner of war. He was tortured over and over again, yet when he was offered his freedom, he refused because the other prisoners were not being released. Although his injuries precluded his continuing his naval career, it didn’t stop him from entering a life in politics and in serving in Congress for many years. He was a force of nature as many described him at his memorial service this week. A man of character, of integrity, an unusual person. A reminder, especially now, that having faith and a moral compass are important and can see us through almost anything. Most of us will never be called on to go through what he did, but we have our own variation. That’s what life is. None of us know why, it just is. So, we need to acknowledge it and get on with the business of living the best way we can. Of finding that strength with us and a faith that keeps us going. I’m not talking about religious faith, especially, but faith in ourselves, in life, whatever that is for you. We each have our own version of it.
Life is messy, unexpected, better and worse than we can have imagined. It tests us and we survive it all. What a great thing to look back over our life when we reach the end and see the grand pattern of it. Even though we don’t know the why of it, we will see it. Until then, we have to proceed on blind faith. Maybe that’s what faith is, not knowing. We each have it in us to do whatever it is we have to do, every time we’re called on. We just need to remember.
Find the faith and strength in yourself whenever you need it. My best to you, Dianne
Success & Inspiration brought to you by Accountability Coach, Dianne J. Shaver, helping clients with analysis, support, workable goals, systems to make it easier and structures to see it through every month. www.entrepreneurmindworld.com/accountabiity-coach.
I had an entirely different blog planned for today.It all changed when I heard about the mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida.We are hearing about this way too often.It got me thinking.It’s clear we have a government that is not acting.So, good news, bad news its up to us.What’s good about it is, it makes individuals take more responsibility and it makes us act together for a greater good.
There are two courses of action that come from this kind of prevailing violence
1) get your guns and barricade yourself, or 2) Be aware of your neighbors and when someone needs help get together with others and help.Most shooters are isolated and feel alone and persecuted. But if neighbors notice someone who is isolating and can offer help, support and caring there can be a very different outcome.We are a very isolated culture.We each are focused on our family or ourselves.We don’t ask for help.We don’t offer help for the most part.
We are the only country in the free world that has this problem.
Dr. Gary Slutkin, a medical doctor who worked on disease epidemics in India, Africa and other countries came up with the brilliant analysis that violence is this country is also an epidemic and can be effectively treated just as medical epidemics can.He has successfully used this model in some neighborhoods in Chicago, New York, New Orleans. Info on the Cure Violence model: “The Cure Violence Health Model uses epidemic control method to reduce violence. We train carefully selected members of the community — trusted insiders — to anticipate where violence may occur and intervene before it erupts. And we engage the entire community to change behavior and norms.
Just as we have now discovered that it is more effective and cost saving to treat drug addiction as a health issue than to punish it, it likewise makes more sense to prevent events, provide treatment for people at high risk, and change social norms. Like all potentially harmful behaviors – drug addiction, smoking, eating too much, exercising too little, risky sexual behavior and other behaviors – violent behavior can be understood, diagnosed, and treated through a health lens. Essential Elements
The Cure Violence Health Model adapts methods used to stop the transmission of some of the most deadly diseases, including AIDS, cholera, and tuberculosis. These disease control methods work by 1) interrupting transmission of the disease, 2) reducing the risk of the highest risk, and 3) changing community norms.
Implementation The Cure Violence Health Model has been successfully replicated dozens of times around the world – in places like New York City, Chicago, and New Orleans as well as San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Cape Town, South Africa; and Juarez, Mexico. And even in some smaller cities – like Yonkers, NY. If you are in a community with serious violence, you should consider the Cure Violence Health Model.
Who Should Implement the Cure Violence Health Model? Any community that has a problem with violence should consider implementing the Cure Violence Health Model. In order to start implementing the Cure Violence health model, someone from the community needs to step up and champion the cause. This can be anyone from the community – a health department, an elected official, a pastor, a community organization or even a concerned citizen.
Path to implementing Cure Violence health approach:
Assess violence problem and community
Engage communities leaders
Identify appropriate community partners
Identify appropriate hospital response partners
Re-examine the data
Hire and train credible workers
Implement program with technical assistance
The Cure Violence Health Model has been implemented in cities everywhere. In big cities such as New York City, Chicago, Baltimore, San Antonio and New Orleans. In smaller cities like Kansas City, Syracuse and Albany. And all over the world – from San Pedro Sula, Honduras to Cape Town, South Africa.
In order for the model to be effective, the program must be implemented correctly. The Cure Violence organization can help to ensure fidelity to the model through our technical assistance and training program. If you are interested in implementing the Cure Violence Health Model in your community, please participate in one of our monthly webinars for new communities. Implementing the Cure Violence model: Trained credible messengers detect potentially violent events and interrupt. them to prevent violence. Formulate and regularly update (daily, weekly, and quarterly) a strategic plan of action for gathering information and assessing its accuracy and use.
Identify situations that are likely to result in violent acts, such as a prior shooting, group conflict, territory dispute, formation of new group, major arrest, anniversaries, release of key individual from incarceration, and ongoing conflicts.
Respond to shooting victims at partner hospitals by approaching the injured patient, as well as their family and friends, who may be planning to retaliate on their behalf.
Peacefully mediate conflicts using training in techniques such as creating cognitive dissonance, derailing, changing the thinking, changing the decision, providing information, buying time, and negotiating compromise.
So the remaining questions is:
How can we implement this approach in our community to keep everyone safe. We are all connected.If one is not safe none of us are.
With sadness for this latest violence and for what has happened in our schools.
The question of courage came up in conversation. There is the kind of courage displayed going into a burning building to rescue someone. Or, what it takes to go into battle. Or, the extraordinary strength and courage a mother displays keeping a child safe. The less dramatic kind it takes to get up in front of a crowd and give a talk. Or stand up to a boss or even a friend. They all demonstrate the kind of courage we display occasionally. But there is another kind of courage. The kind that we display every day as we go about our jobs, tasks and projects. The courage we display as we face our fears. And, we all have them. Some are buried deeper than others but they are present. It’s existential courage. The courage to be human.
Seen from that perspective, just showing each day is an act of faith that we will be successful and safe. Enduring courage is following our dreams and living from integrity. And, most importantly, following our heart. Those are the things that endure. Fame, wealth, celebrity is nothing if we don’t do the above. We are at a strange time in our culture when the pursuit of wealth is seen as success. Caring about and for the good of the many, seeing the larger picture are not as important in this time period.
I recently saw an English film, Hampstead, about a man, Daniel, who built a shack on a plot of overgrown land in a fashionable suburb. He lived there for 17 years and grew his own food, fished, created his own electricity, recycled everything. All is well until a developer wants the land to build hi rise apartments. He sends eviction notices to Daniel, who ignores them. The case comes to trial. Since Daniel has never paid taxes, owned a car, etc., he is unable to prove he has lived that long on the land, which would provide him with squatter’s rights. Until the man who helped him build the shack shows up with a paper from the hospital he went to when he drove a nail into his hand. The paper explains what he was treated for and the date, plus the place he was when the accident occurred. The judge gives the land worth over a million dollars to Daniel, who then gives it to someone who builds a place to house the homeless.
People looked down on Daniel for not owning anything. Yet, he was that very special person who lived from integrity, followed his heart and took responsibility for his impact on the planet. It’s a strange world when those qualities are not the ones looked upon as admirable.
The questions for all of us- do we have the courage to live a life of integrity or do we follow the rules set by a culture that is often closed hearted? What do we value? Why?
For all of us there are times when we don’t feel courageous. But trust it’s there when you need it.
The many disguises of fear can fool even the wiliest of us. Its arguments can seem so logical and it can pass itself off as something totally unrelated so we don’t even suspect. Some of its more creative guises can be feeling too tired to go out or to finish a task. When the truth is we are afraid of going to wherever it is we’re supposed to go and being with whomever we would be with if we did. Or, the work we need to do seems more than we can handle at the time and we don’t feel confident, so we pass it off as being too tired.
One of the trickiest ways it hides itself is when we interact with others. We can judge a person as being insensitive, aggressive, uncaring. When the truth is, we are so scared we are hiding our true feelings or we don’t dare stand up for ourselves for fear of being judged or offending someone so they think badly of us.
Fear can make itself felt when we don’t trust others. Especially, if we put that on a class of people. Logically, we know that we cannot judge a whole race, nation or organization by the conduct or beliefs of one or a few of its members. It just doesn’t make any sense. Yet, that’s exactly what seems to be going on so often. We project some fear onto a faceless group.
At times, if we side with others, especially a large group, we don’t feel so alone and we can hide our fear within that group. Being human there is an existential loneliness and that comes with our mortal condition. As we mature, we just accept it and learn to relate to a larger source than us, called God, the Universe, Universal Intelligence, etc. It’s known by many names but it is something all humans connect to in some way. The more we are connected to it, in whatever way we understand it, the more calm and centered we can become. However, again, being human, we forget and can go into our fear if we are not alert. It happens to the best and wisest of us. No one is immune to fear.
A quick way to find out if you are under the spell of your particular fears, is checking how you feel. If you are upset, angry, confused or hiding out, you are under the sway of fear. At those moments, the best we can do is breathe, try to find something that feels good such as getting out in nature, exercising, watching an uplifting movie, listening to music. Those things help us remember who we really are. For, while we are human we also have the spark of the divine within us. We are both things in this complex situation called human being. We are more than how we perceive ourselves when captivated by fear. Just remembering that can shift us back into our true self.
So, be on the lookout for your fears. Don’t be impressed by them and know in truth, there is nothing they can do to you. They cannot harm you. And, you can snap out of them with just a bit of effort and they will be gone. Remember: It’s only fear
You are more powerful than your fear would have you think. Don’t be fooled. My best to you, Dianne, Accountability Coach