What Did I Just See You Do?

Accountability and Success

How are those New Year’s resolutions of yours coming along? Or, did you (like me) not make any? It usually takes about two weeks (or three weeks max) for New Year’s resolutions to fall by the wayside.

I’m not being Negative Nellie here, but statistically we aren’t stellar at following through on most of the New Year’s resolutions we make. Why is that? Why aren’t we accountable to ourselves for the plans or resolutions we claim to want?

Our success is doomed as soon as we agree to something if we didn’t really want to do it in the first place. This situation often occurs when we agree to something because we feel we have to do it (READ:  Guilt).

To guarantee our success we must be accountable to our decisions to affect change in our life. The critical factor here, however, is that we are discussing our decisions – not our partner’s/spouse’s decision, not our friend’s decision, nor anyone else’s.

What’s right for you to change in your life today to have a life more worth living? What are you willing to commit to today to affect that change? It might very be a New Year’s resolution, or it could be some long-time desire that only you know about.

Do you need additional motivation to follow through? Here’s one great idea:  Do it for you! Do it just because you want to, because you want to see the change more than anything. It doesn’t even matter if you never share it with anyone. The inner satisfaction of following through and being accountable to ourselves can be the most wonderful gifts we can receive.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2018 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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This May Tick You Off

Women of Power

Have you noticed a resurgence of women acting powerfully? It’s not like there hasn’t been a growing stream of upwardly mobile females in the workforce in the past 50 years. But the #metoo movement acknowledging what men have denied for decades if not centuries, growing numbers of allegations of sexual harassment, and apologies by contrite abusers has brought about a whole new level of conversation.

There’s only one problem:  Too many women still think they have to act like men to be powerful. Conversely, too many men think they have to be bullies or assholes “to be real men.”

It’s not unusual. History is full of how the oppressed have overcorrected when they were no longer subjugated. Freed slaves have turned on their former masters, or worse, enslaved others. The poor have revolted against the aristocrats, and then started acting like the class they despised. Gays and lesbians have flaunted their private sex lives to heterosexual society, largely for effect. And, too many women continue to act like men to get ahead.

Studies down over the past five decades have proven the futility of this approach. Yes, today women become CEOs and make lots of money, but that alone doesn’t make them a success. We have evidenced-based, clinical studies documenting an increase in male-patterned baldness, hypertension, and heart disease, to name just a few issues, among women working in executive careers. But, here’s the real kicker:  This way of life doesn’t work for men either!

Are we still playing stereotypes from 1957 that might not have worked for women or men back then anymore than they do today? I feel for women who are objectified in the board room. It’s a damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don’t situation. If a woman shows up in the corporate world dressed to the nines and wearing six-inch heels she’s accused of buying into what men expect (even if that’s what she wants to wear!).

But whether she arrives looking like she just stepped off the runway at a Paris fashion show or in a three-piece Brooks Brothers suit the result is still the same as soon as she asserts her power. She’ll be derided by men for being a ball-busting bitch (that’s a bad thing), yet if a straight man takes control he’s clapped on the back for being a bastard (and that’s supposed to be a good thing!).

Then there’s the woman who decides to be a homemaker, care for children, and support her wife or husband who remains in the workforce outside the home. It’s the opposite end of the spectrum, but comes under just as much criticism.

We can’t talk about women in power without acknowledging ALL the places women make tremendous contributions to our society. And, we can’t discuss women in power without talking about men in power, and why and how that’s different. It’s complicated, but worth the discussion, which ultimately leads to people in power and how we are each individually and uniquely able to express leadership, guidance, and hopefully, compassion.

We are challenged in the 21st century with new and confrontational ideas about gender, gender orientation, and what it means today to be a man or woman. Frankly, I find these discussions to be as exciting as they are challenging.

But let’s not miss the point:

Rather than figuring out why others are or aren’t expressing themselves, let’s be more mindful of who we are. How do you express power in your life? Or, where do you feel disempowered?

If you’d like to join in this discussion, jump over to my blog page by clicking here and make a comment!

P.S. Remember this: A woman of power is dynamic, unique, and a force with which to be reckoned - no matter where she is. Ladies ... please ... show us whatcha got in a way only you can!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

 

Copyright © 2018 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

She Has Risen!

Freedom in Darkness

As the days grow shorter, and the nights longer, have you found yourself a bit darker emotionally? Granted, given the world stage, it’s quite easy to slip into feeling morose after the initial anger fades on the issue or bizarre Tweet-of-the-Day.

Yes, many believe we are in dark times – politically, meteorologically, and astrologically. Yet that’s not a bad thing. Our conditions – planet wide or personal – simply “are.” We make them bad or good depending on our personal judgment. We often think of darkness as a negative. Another way of looking at it is that it is very freeing. How?

Darkness never overtakes light. The light can be extinguished, but it cannot be made subservient to the darkness. Conversely, take the smallest candle into a darkened room and the obscurity starts to fade.

Today is the winter solstice, which is why you’re receiving this blog today instead of Friday. It’s the time when it is the darkest on our part of the planet and the time when the daylight hours get longer and the nighttime hours get shorter. Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all festivals of light – life becoming brighter as we exit the darkness on our way to the birth of spring and new creation.

This past year has been full of events we wish had never happened. That’s a statement most people will agree with regardless of race, gender, gender orientation, religion (or lack thereof), age, or political affiliation. No one is happy about the massacre in Las Vegas; no one is rejoicing at the loss of life and property from the Thomas fire in southern California. I won’t take the time to list so many more events and tragedies we of which we are all-too-well aware.

But from this darkness we derive the strength like bring light where there is none. We are no longer willing to put up with injustice, terror, and inequality. We are willing to individually and collectively do whatever it takes to return sanity to our families, our communities, our nations, and our planet.

That doesn’t start with bitching about the government or what “they” are doing.

It begins with each of us – taking personal responsibility to make planet Earth a better place to live.

As we come out of the darkness I hope you will take time to find what is important in your life, enjoy it, cherish it, and celebrate it. Chances are, it's not going to be your computer, your mobile device, your car or anything else that’s material.

May your holidays and the new calendar year be filled with love, joy and prosperity!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

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I Demand Justice!

Revenge v. Justice

Haven’t you ever wanted to see someone who’d hurt you “get what they deserve?” Most of us have. Grandma Esther used to say, “Every dog has its day.” Rest assured she wanted to be there to watch it happen, if not personally take part in the act.

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. - Confucius

Grandma wanted revenge, not justice. There is a big difference between the two. Revenge satisfies our ego. We get to be right. We are there to observe the punishment. We get to feel vindicated, justified, and may feel like we’ve turned the tables on the person who we allowed to victimize us. But it will never give us what justice does:

In his new documentary series on The National Geographic Channel, actor Morgan Freeman examines how peoples all over the world deal with the results of war, and how peace is possible. In one episode, he sits across from a Tutsi woman whose family was killed by the Hutu people during the genocide in Rwanda.

Next to her sits the man who was part of the Hutu militia. The man was personally responsible for killing those family members. Over two years of communication has resulted in these two people from different tribes becoming friends through the help of a local bishop in the area. They are part of an “ambitious reconciliation program.” The man who murdered her husband, brother-in-law, and two children now helps her with her farm to provide income for her family, making amends for his actions.

We are more aware today more than ever before of the injustice in the world. This is so because of 24-hour-a-day news coverage, the Internet, and our smart phones. Because of the information we receive it can become extremely easy to react to events and reports, often without a full understanding of the complete picture. We want to stop the violence, but we frequently lack any knowledge of why such horrible events are happening in the first place. We can become so fixated on the solution that we ignore why the problem exists.

Revenge is easy. Justice takes time. We must gain knowledge; we seek to understand; we can then act in wise ways to correct the problem; and, we begin the healing process.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” is a phrase attributed to Pashto origins, shows up in the Italian culture, and even said to be of Klingon origin in Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan. Regardless of the actual source it dooms us to a cold, heartless, and unsatisfying life, instead of warming us to a brighter future.

In the television series, Revenge, a “double infinity” symbol was used emphasis unending love – in a sense, “double forever.” That same symbol reminds me every day that revenge, not justice, continues the cycle of hate, anger, and lack of forgiveness.

Is there someone in your life upon whom you are seeking revenge? Are you investing your time, treasures, and talents in the pursuit of getting back at another? Seek this week to heal those thoughts. Determine to forgive, so that the psychic bindings holding you to that person or situation are severed for all time.

We have within us the power to change. It’s a quality which we are born with, but often fail to use. We are only victims of the past if we chose to be so.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

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Just Who Do You Think YOU Are?

It’s Time To Be Yourself

Do you get criticized by others for thinking and acting “outside the box?” I wouldn’t be surprised. I certainly do. And, like attracts like!

I remember years ago being just about ready to walk out the door when my roommate asked, “You’re not going out in THAT, are you?” (Okay, granted, it was the 80s and I wouldn’t be caught DEAD wearing that today if I still had it, which I don’t, but I digress…) I gave him a blank stare. That’s always a good comeback when someone asks a stupid question.

He followed his original query with, “What makes you think you can wear that?” My answer, again with a blank stare was, “Because I can!” Admittedly, I “may” have had a slight bit of attitude in the delivery, and I “suspect” I may have raised at least one eyebrow when responding, since at his height he’d never have been able to pull off and over-sized, turquoise shirt with tails and a metallic vest. (I warned you. I was the 80s …)

Levity aside, you’ll probably admit that the opinions of others may have very well stopped you from doing what you wanted to do at some point. You might not have even suspected a particular person, but were afraid of some kind of reprisal or criticism about your appearance, conduct, or idea.

There are lots of reasons why we let people stop us from doing things. We think we’re too old, or too young; not good enough; untrained; inexperienced; or, playing out of our league. But each of us has a particular gift in the way we live life and express ourselves. Abraham Maslov is quoted as saying:

No great deed, private or public, has ever been undertaken in a bliss of certainty.

If we wait around to live our lives until we have everyone’s approval the only thing being said will be, “S/He looks so natural lying there in that beautiful coffin.”

It’s time to up the ante on being you. We don’t have to be outrageous for the sake of being outrageous. In fact, sometimes being ourselves may mean that we are calm when others are excited. Give us and the entire world the pleasure of seeing you for the unique and magnificent expression of Spirit in human form. We need you … just as you are!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Are You Responsible for the World?

Saving the World by Saving Ourselves

Do you sometimes feeling responsible for solving problems, issues, or conditions that have little or nothing to do with you? If so, you’re not alone.

Global news has made us far more aware of concerning and often tragic situations that deserve considering. But do they all merit our personal action? No.

We can’t do everything and we can’t make everything better for all people. Yes, there are those who preach you can have anything you desire and do everything you want. In fact, they are correct, except that one very significant and important factor is missing in that equation:

We don’t get something for nothing.

We may debate and disagree on whether or not we can have everything we want. But we can, perhaps, agree on this one thing:  It’s nearly impossible to have everything we want simultaneously. A woman can’t be pregnant and not pregnant. A man can’t be married and single at the same time, though Lord knows enough of us try … ahem.

To have what we want means we must make choices. It isn’t a Divine Being above refusing to grant our wishes that stops us from getting what we want. Rather, it’s that we aren’t willing to make the choices necessary to have our desires, wants, and even needs fulfilled.

So how do we achieve true happiness and do our part to make the world a better place to live? I the words of Joseph Campbell, who said:

We’re not on our journey to save the world, but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.

Is it time to be what the world or your friends and family might call “a little selfish” in your decisions and actions? I know so many people who tell me they want to write or be life coaches. Yet they don’t ever write or their lives don’t reflect they are practicing what they claim to want to teach to others.

Starting right this minute, embrace a newly-found desire to take care of yourself. Be the very best version of you in a vital, exciting, vibrant, and outstanding way that you’ve never before experienced. In doing so, you’ll start saving the world in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. Live your life with the magnificence that only you can to re-vitalize the entire planet!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

What Are We Doing to Affect Change?

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Have you notice how many requests you’re getting for donations or financial aid via email and letters to your home? Two major hurricanes, wild fires, worldwide poverty, and human rights violations are only a few of the reasons. So what can we do?

Whether we say that “actions speak louder than words” or “what you appear to be is so loud it drowns out what you’re saying,” the meaning is the same. If we want to affectively talk the talk we also have to walk the walk.

Part of this situation is the difference between recognition and acknowledgment. Understanding the difference is crucial not only in responding to the need of others, but it also applies to affecting change in our own lives.

We have Eugene Holden to thank for this differentiation. In his article, “Surrender to Your Greatest Good in Five Steps,” published in the April 2016 issue of Guide for Spiritual Living:  Science of Mind® magazine, he makes the distinction in this way:

Recognition and acknowledgement are not the same. For example, I can recognize someone across the room and not acknowledge them.

That simple example hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks when I first read it. I ended up stopping, re-reading it, thinking about it, and re-reading it again. The effect has stuck with me for some time.

How often do we recognize a situation and not acknowledge it? We see the homeless person, but we refuse to make eye contact. We notice yet another email from a non-profit organization and may delete it without even a glance. We see the clutter in our home, the way our clothes need updating, or recognize all-too-well that the reflection in the mirror is not what we desire to see.

Yet we are not really acknowledging it. Why won’t we acknowledge it?

Because acknowledgment means that acting may, and most likely is, required of us as a result of our acknowledgment. In other words, we don’t want to deal with it. So while we recognize it, we don’t take it to the next step of acknowledgment. Why?

Fear that we can’t handle it; anger that we’ll have to deal with it eventually whether we want to or not; or, perhaps we don’t want to take action at all, but feel guilty about that.

One word:  DRAMA!

I’m seeing how this discussion could easily become a series of blogs, but for now let’s close on this idea. How about starting to be aware of the next time we recognize something in our path that shows up. Will we acknowledge it and deal with it? Or, put it aside … again?

As with all things, the choice is ours.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

So You Want Stability?

Fantastically Temporary

Have you noticed how quickly attitudes, concerns, and outcomes are changing? At my “day job” in the aviation industry, nothing seems to stay the same. I’ve been involved in that line of work one way or another for over four decades and it’s always been that way.

Not all people want a fluid lifestyle. I was raised to think that one did this and that happened, whatever this and that were at the time. I came to find out that’s not how life works. As my mother says, “Life is what happens while you’re making plans.”

In truth, nothing is forever. Sure, we may like to think that we have stability in the material world, but it’s a fallacy. Scripture tells us that “time and unforeseen occurrences befall us all.” In other words, Shit Happens. Does this mean that we can’t rely on anything.

Not at all! There are universal laws that never change; the basic one is the Law of Cause and Effect. What we want to happen is more likely to happen if we are convinced it will; or, at least if we are moving in that general direction instead of figuring out how we’ll fail. Knowing this means that we must be mindful of what we are doing and what signals our actions are giving to others.

Recently Timber Hawkeye of Buddhist Boot Camp, wrote this in his newsletter:

We tend to either get obsessively passionate about something or disturbingly negligent, yet only in the middle can we joyfully live our lives by accepting everything as it truly is:  fantastically temporary.

“Disturbingly negligent” and “fantastically temporary” – how awesome are both of those terms! This moment, as you read these words, will never come again. What you read at the beginning is already in the past. The end of the message is in the future. We can only live in the now. How are you enjoying each “now” throughout your day?

I expect you will live a long and joyous life, but that’s not guaranteed for any of us. I’m sure you know someone, or know of someone, who died too soon, too young, or too tragically. Our fragile lives can be snuffed out in an instant.

That is why it’s so crucial to live life to the fullest and in the moment. It’s not to worry about the future, or feel like we can’t rely on anything. In fact, we can enjoy greater assurance of our success by knowing that we are the power behind the life we live. What life do you want to live?

Let me help you create a life worth living, or break through a barrier with which you are dealing with right now. Just click the link below to make an appointment for a free, 30-minute support call!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Memorials and Monuments

Are we destroying history?

Monuments and statues symbolizing the Confederacy are being removed from public view in the United States at an increasing rate. Doesn’t this deprive our citizens of the memory of people who deserve to be remembered?

No.

Those protesting the removal of these monuments and statues have confused a monument with a memorial.

Slavery and racism is not something to be celebrated. The monuments and statues in question glorify the murders, persecution and racism committed upon blacks and other non-white, non-Christian, non-heterosexual groups. They are monuments to racism, hatred and, ironically so, un-Christian acts by those who would claim to be followers of Jesus.

There is no glory is their acts. There is no reason to celebrate they they did.

As Rashid Robinson from Color of Change wrote on August 13, 2017, “White supremacists killed someone in Charlottesville yesterday. Friday night they marched through Charlottesville and the University of Virginia grounds, carrying torches that evoked a history of violent racial terrorism intended to intimidate a community that had recently renamed Robert E. Lee Park to Emancipation Park. It is past time that we nationally stop the veneration of people who committed treason in the name of slavery!”

White supremacists want to (literally) “white-wash” our history. Educators from this camp wish to rename slaves as “servants,” pretending the horrors of the slave trade never existed. The same has been done to the Native American indigenous populations for the past two hundred years, venerating whites while vilifying the conquered peoples who resided here before the European invasion. Recent immigrants and citizens of the United States, particularly in Hispanic or Muslim communities, continue to be objects of hatred by this same type of people.

American could well look to Germany as an example of how to remember history. Yes, there are Neo-Nazi groups in that country who continue to protest the remembrance of the Holocaust. But the country uses their memorials as a teaching tool to education the new generations of their past, vowing to never again engage as a nation in such deplorable actions.

Americans should do the same.

I belong to an organization with a desire to help foster “A World That Works For Everyone.” Sadly, one of my own colleagues, who apparently doesn’t agree with the organization promoting this, publicly taunted another colleague about recent white supremacist actions. “This is what you get in ‘A World That Works For Everyone,’” he wrote.

No. It is not.

It is what you get when groups and individuals promote a testosterone-driven, “I have to be right (literally) and you have to be wrong,” attitude. A world that works for everyone means that everyone in the world would never do anything that would harm others. It would mean that we would be willing to accept the truth and the facts, not continue to harbor prejudice, bigotry and hatred because it suits our own beliefs.

We are not there yet, but we are moving closer every day! This is NOT the time to be cowering in the shadows. People throughout the world are bombarded with bad news from both reputable and non-reputable media sources. But, there are also thousands of great stories out there of hope, love, compassion and cooperation. Promote these. Post these!

Hatred, racism, prejudice and bigotry are not inherent. They are taught, usually by religions or governments, or in so many cases, a collusion of the two. Muslims and Hindus lived together in peace in many places in India, until the British Empire created modern-day India and Pakistan. The “Dark Ages” were produced by a union of State and Church – the land barons provided safety in this life; the Church in the next life – which produced a very rich State and Church, and poverty for all others.

These are exciting and amazing times in which we live. Never before have we as a species been faced globally by a life-threatening situation that we can do something about. This is the time to stand up for peace, for cooperation, for love, and for understanding. It is the time to support leaders who can move us forward into a better world.

It is NOT time to sit around bitching, moaning, and complaining about what “they” should or shouldn’t be doing. And, there is one leader we need to support without fail in this effort for world peace. Who is that?

Look in the mirror. It’s up to you.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Do You Talk to Yourself … a Lot?

Are You Spending or Investing?

Do you spend or invest? We do both, of course, but you’re probably thinking about money, right?

This blog has nothing to do with currency, bank accounts, retirement funds, or a stock portfolio.

What then? I’m glad you asked!

It’s about the way you talk to yourself.

Huh?

Yep. We’re going to get down and dirty and find out all the lies you’ve been telling yourself. Or, rather, you’re going to figure it out and be thankful you did. Why? Because you’re going to find out doing so is a major key to your success and having a life worth living.

Neville tells us we “… are totally unaware of [our] inner talking and therefore see [ourselves] not as the cause but the victim of circumstance. … Right inner speech … is the greatness of the arts.”

My friend, Natasha, and I both posted on social media about the “board meetings” we have in our heads, usually while driving back-and-forth to work. Speaking for myself, these conversations that often develop into full-blown, knock-down, drag-out fights can move from my brain to my mouth with me missing the fact that I’m now using my “outloud” voice instead of having a private consult in my own little noggin.

Every third night a committee holds a meeting in my head.

James Lee

Seriously? Are THESE the jokers in your head that you're letting stop you from having a life worth living?

This is what Neville calls spending our time. In this case it’s similar with money. When we spend the cash it’s gone. We hopefully received goods or services in return for our currency, but those goods are eventually used up or the services completed.

On the other hand, instead of spending time worrying about the past, hating the present and fearing the future (all the spending of time and energy), what would it be like if we thought about where we wanted to be instead of where we were, are, or afraid we might end up?

Ah! We’d be investing in our time in a future we want, instead of one we fear. “Alter your inner speech, and your perceptual world changes,” Neville admonishes us.

I challenge you to take charge of the board meeting in your head today. Almost all those other voices are your ego in disguise. While our egos are well-meaning, they are notorious for keeping the status quo. It’s time to exercise your control as board president and CEO of your life.

YOU are in charge of your future, with all its potential for greatness and success. YOU have the power within you to change your thinking. In doing so, you’ll be investing your time in future that will prove your life has changed for the better!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.