Here It Comes – Will You Survive?

I appreciate that you read my blog and take an interest in my work. I don’t want to waste your time. That’s why you didn’t get a blog from me this morning.

You see, I don’t write unless I have something meaningful to say. That may sound totally obvious, but if you read some of the stuff that’s out there on the Internet you may have asked yourself, “What’s the point of this?” That’s a true measure of someone writing because they have to, not because they have anything substantial to convey to the world. I don’t do that. So, no blog this morning.

But, there had to be one this evening.

Here it comes – will you survive? I’m not talking about the blog. I’m talking about the first person to declare candidacy for the 2016 United States Presidential Campaign. Like it or not, today, the race has officially begun.FightingParties

It doesn’t matter whether the person belongs to your party or not. If you thought the mud was slinging before today, you’re in for a surprise. It’s only going to get worse. Why? Because that’s the nature of politics in America, particularly for a presidential race.

But this isn’t about politics. This is about how all the accusations, out-and-out lies, innuendos and family arguments can affect our peace of mind and self-respect.

This is an amazing time for our spiritual consciousness! We can get in the mud, roll around and then wonder why we’re dirty. OR – now HERE’S a thought! – we can see all the deceptive ads and news reports as simply white noise. We don’t have to let differing viewpoints and political ideologies drive a wedge between us and the people we love or work with.

Yes, the race has begun. Will you survive? We have freedom of choice, but not of consequence. Becoming worked up about issues over which we have no control is our choice. But, when we are agitated, when our blood pressure skyrockets and we find ourselves fighting with loved ones, we have no business bitching about those things because they are the consequence of our actions.

No amusing story this week. Sorry, but the period we have begun today ain’t that funny if we follow the crowd. Instead, be the foundation of sensibility, the bastion of reason and the keeper of Truth. In other words, realize that this, too, shall pass.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

The Southern Belle Primer

Why do you care what other people think of you? As a recovering people-pleaser I’ve been asked that question a lot. The first thought that comes to mind is the admonition from my mother that I must always wear clean underwear. That way the paramedics and nurses won’t think less of me if I’m in a car accident.

Someone reading this just smiled because his/her mother told them the same thing. I mean, “Huh?” If my underwear isn’t clean the hospital staff will not treat me? Really?

Many of us were taught to live our lives giving great regard to how we would appear to others. I remember being in a training class with a woman from the south. She was constantly telling us that various parts of her life simply must happen as planned and in a specified order. There was no compromise in these instances for her. If presented with options she would often decline; her mother simply wouldn’t hear of it, she said. I asked her, quite off the cuff, if she had a manual for all these rules.

To my surprise she brightened and said, “Oh, yes! Momma Steel_Magnolias_33462_Mediumgave me The Southern Belle Primer as soon as I had my comin’ out!” I, of course, thought she was pulling my leg. The next day she brought it in! Every chapter was chocked full of the right kind of silverware and china one must have; how to select a party planner; what one should and should not wear, as well as when and where; and, the importance of knowing who your “people” are.

Most of us didn’t grow up with a manual like this, but I’m guessing almost everyone can point to the un-written rules of their own family. I was outspoken as a child – no surprise there – and was told numerous times that a young boy or young man shouldn’t be talking about certain subjects. I couldn’t figure out why, but apparently my intention to be informative and logical only branded me as a precocious smart-ass.

It was Terry Cole-Whittaker who wrote about how we allow the opinions of others to affect our lives in, What You Think of Me Is None of My Business. The application of that statement, however, can be a challenge at best.

We don’t have to be outrageous, rebellious or totally out of synch with the rest of our community to be ourselves. But we are each individual, precious beings expressing Spirit in our own unique way. Each of us have a special gift to give to the world. When we allow societal or familial rules, many outdated for our twenty-first century, to become the only guide to our major decisions and lives we deprive our planet of who we are.

This week be you. Not because you want to stand out, or feel special, or for any other reason other than being determined to express your truth spirit. We await your entrance!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Communication

Do you ever get mired in a situation or conversation and then wondered how the heck you got there? I’m involved in a couple of organizations. I’ve served on many boards in the past few decades. One thing continues to be the same:  Miscommunication causes major issues that should never have been an issue in the first place.

The last time I was involved in a union contract negotiation setting I saw close friends divided on those kinds of issues. One person hears that this person’s best friend’s daughter’s boyfriend who plays racquetball with the guy in charge of supplying cups to the caterer who services the aircraft ABSOLUTELY knows that his workgroup is getting something our workgroup isn’t.

Nuclear-implosion on social media takes off at supersonic speed and we obviously need better negotiators. Seriously? I mean, how many times have you seenunhealthy-relationship a whole thread of discussion on some issue that divides friends and colleagues, only to find out after the damage is done that it was a satirical news item from “The Onion” or some other media?

It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about organizations or our personal relationships. The best way to get to the bottom of a question or concern is to go to the source. Otherwise the only discussion is pure speculation at best or gossip at worst.

Another factor that figures in on situations like this is unresolved issues from the past or old hurts we’ve not allowed to heal. If we hear something that in any way relates to the past pain, we can experience a wave of justification for that past act overlaying the current issue.

In the case of politics, the public will often believe anything they hear that’s derogatory about the candidate they oppose regardless of whether or not the report is based in fact. Likewise, those people who are supporting the same candidate likely disbelieve anything that would sully the representation of their chosen one.

In my mind this all boils down to just how much drama we want in our lives. Do we want to react in high-bustle righteous indignation, or find out if there is even an issue? The choice is ours, of course, but I’ll vote for the loving sit-down conversation over a testy email or text message.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Can You Say “No?”

How skilled are you in saying “No” to a request or opportunity? I have to admit this is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life. Perhaps you, too, have had those occasions in which you wanted to say “No,” but found “Yes” stumbling off your tongue.

We can, in fact, even do this with a smile and demeanor that conveys the notion that we’re excited about it when it’s the last thing on earth we want to do. Can we say “people pleaser?”

Interestingly enough, two of my go-to sources for growing my ministry have recently covered this issue. Jeff Walker, author of “Launch,” put out a video last week that discusses how to let go of clients and others in our lives that are not supporting our vision. And, Michael Hyatt, author of “Platform,” spoke directly to the topic of saying “No” in a recent episode of his popular podcast. (As a side point, if you want to grow any business, you need to be getting info from both of these guys on a regular basis – they are phenomenal in their approaches. Sign for their email list and receive valuable free eBooks!)

Why are we so afraid to say “No?” A big part for me is being unwilling in the past to decline a request for fear that I would disappoint the person. It’s hard to say “No” to mom, or to that friend that’s always there for you.

Personally, I love hearing “No” from someone in response to my request. Why? Because if the person says “Yes” and they really don’t want to do what I’m asking, just how well do you think that’s going to turn out? When someone tells me “No,” I thank them! What “No” does in that case is free up the energy to have the perfect person, someone who really wants to support me, step into that role. And, because the other person is not out of integrity, it actually shores up your relationship, not tear it down.

It’s just as important to be willing to say “No” to ourselves. If we plan out tomorrow the night before and stick to that schedule for the most part (unforeseen circumstances can and do come up) will be less likely to get distracted by social media or web surfing. Pre-planning will also allow us the freedom to look logistically if everything we want to accomplish is really doable!

Before you answer “Yes” next time – either to another person or yourself – take a deep breath first. Reach deep within your gut and ask, “Is this something I really want to do?” You’ll know how to answer in an instant!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry