“Do Something, Even If It’s Wrong!”

Living By Default

Have you ever found yourself nearly paralyzed with indecision because you couldn’t figure out what to do? It’s possible to have this happen when we become so overwhelmed with possibilities, or the domino effect of a choice that we – in hindsight – realize wasn’t a wise move.

My Grandma Esther used to say, “Do something, Terry, even if it’s wrong!” It was her way of expressing frustration with my indecisiveness as a child. (Over 20 “Estherisms” are discussed in detail in my new book, “From the Trailer Park to the Pulpit” – look for it soon!) Looking back over my life I can see how I missed out on opportunities because I lacked the confidence to depend on my own intuition.

We are the best source of council when we must make a decision. True, having wise counselors, be they trained professionals or trusted friend can be invaluable. Most of the time we know exactly what must be done, though we are afraid of the fallout. Those results can range from the mild disapproval of friends to societal outrage at our actions.

I heard Marie Forleo say one time that when we don’t make decisions we’re “living by default.” There are a number of problems with living this way, but here are two reasons why some people live by default for most of their lives. First, they don’t want to take responsibility if things go south. Second, if things do go south they get to blame someone. That’s living in fear or blame.

What a positively yucky (for lack of a better, more academic word) way to live one’s life!

This concept was once stated as, “Not choosing is choosing.” By not making our own decisions we are choosing to allow others to do so. It’s like the person who says they don’t care which restaurant at which to have dinner, but then complains about the choice someone else makes. Ridiculous, not to speak of annoying.

And yet, haven’t we all done that at one time or another? Perhaps today you’ll make the decision to no longer “live by default.” Even if our decisions don’t pan out the way we expect them to, we have the knowledge that we can choose again. A mistake, a missed opportunity, or whatever we want to call it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.

It means we can choose again. And this time, when we do choose, we’ll be making decisions with the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to see our situation through to a more desirable conclusion.

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.

Isn’t It About Time?

When Will You Start Living the Life You Want?

How’s life? Are you having a good day? Was this past week what you wanted it to be? And, how’s next week shaping up?

For far too many people, Monday through Friday is the penance they pay to have a weekend. The Wednesday “Hump Day” gets them halfway through, Thursday is anticipatory, and eventually “Thank God, It’s Friday!” arrives.

Drinkers drink away the weekend and weekend warriors try to do too much all at once, barely remembering even the good times. Parents, most of whom both work a regular job in addition to caring for a home and family, must juggle precious little time between unfinished errands, chores, kids (if they have any), and each other.

“Yeah,” some might say, “But that’s life! All my friends have the same thing.” Fine. If that’s what they want, but do you? When Monday rolls around are you excited about getting back to your career? If not, wouldn’t you love to?

If we aren’t enjoying our lives to the fullest then it might be we’re not really living. It may look like we’re living, but in actuality all we’re doing is going through the motions of living.

Here’s what I think living looks like:

  • Having a career or job that’s the mission allowing us to fulfill our vision;
  • Trusting that our body is healthy, strong, and vital;
  • Being in the company of loving, like-minded people, and perhaps in unique relationships that are joyful; and,
  • Seeing that our finances are secure, bills are paid, and there’s always plenty of money to share, spend, and save.

This might also be the definition of prosperity. It’s close to what a New Thought leader used to say. I’m paraphrasing, but it was something to the effect that prosperity was the ability to go where we want to go, do what we want to do, with people we want to be with, and in the style in which we’d like to do it.

Now THAT’S living! We don’t have to be the people followed around by the paparazzi, or have billions in the bank to pay for expensive cars and homes. All we have to do is trust in the Source of our good. Never question the channel of that good coming to you abundant amounts.

Are you willing to up-the-ante on your life today? Decide what you want and go for it. There is no time for indecision. Dr. Raymond Charles Barker told us that:

Indecision is actually the individual’s decision to fail.

Let go of indecision right now. Embrace a more powerful you and decide to be happy, healthy, and abundant. If you need help doing that, click on the link below!

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.

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.

Schläger Schmläger

Refuse to Compare Yourself to Others

How much do you compare yourself to others? If you’re anything like me, probably more than you would like to admit.

Why do we use precious energy to put our lives side-to-side with someone else? What’s behind this very common need we have to relate our accomplishments to that of our friends? Who really cares if someone else’s business or projects get bigger accolades and profits than ours if we happy with who we are and what we’re doing?

And yet, we do. At some point almost all of us feel less than, inferior to friends, or people we consider more successful than us. Much of this nonsense is just that:  Nonsense. Being more concerned about what other people are doing instead of focusing on our own goals is fueled by advertisers and marketers whose job it is to make is feel we or our businesses lack something. Of course, the product they’re hawking is exactly what we need. In fact, we MUST have it!

“But WAIT! There’s MORE!”

“Act NOW! This offer will NEVER be repeated!”

“Don’t miss out!”

“Don’t be the LAST person you know to take advantage of this VITAL opportunity!”

Advertiser and shysters love exclamation points.

Nonsense. That’s all it is. Nonsense. One of my favorite guides, Marie Forleo (@MarieForleo) calls this “Compareschläger.” This potent action is like the intoxicating liqueur, Goldschläger, a Swiss cinnamon schnapps, with very thin, yet visible flakes of gold floating in it.

Forleo says, “Compareschlägering is when we compare ourselves or our work with others and their work.” Like its alcoholic counterpart, it’s lethal – as anyone can testify who’s had too many shots can testify based on the way they felt the next day.

Compareschläger, like Goldschläger, is expense. We are spending time on something we can do little if anything about, instead of investing time in bettering ourselves or honing our business decisions. Like those little gold flakes, the promises of success or veneer of the public display of affluence are tempting and sparkly. It doesn’t mean they are desirable or that we need them.

Do not allow yourself to be sidetracked with comparing your success, your looks, your house, your relationship, your job/career, or anything else to others. If you admire someone, ask them to mentor you. If your idea of happiness seems evident in the lives of others, figure out what you can do to receive those blessings, instead of lamenting your apparent lack in the shadow of what others already enjoy.

To achieve contentment and peace in our life we must decide what it is we want, work toward that, and avoid the comparison game. A great question we can ask is, “How much closer to my goals and the life I want will I be if I spent as much time visualizing the good, instead of wailing about how s/he has what I lack?”

The answer is that we’d be a lot closer to that happiness and be relating far less to this piece.

Visualize and work toward what you want! It’s yours to receive!

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.

I’m Surprised At You!

Are You True to Yourself?

Do you ever find who you are, who you really are, conflicts with what others think you should be?

It was Terry Cole Whittaker who wrote, “What you think of me is none of my business.”

Many of us know this to be true. Few of us are willing to admit just how many times we’ve failed at applying those simple words. Perhaps one of the reasons this happens is we are more concerned with what others think about us than we are about seeking to be ourselves.

One blogger recently wrote that our health, relationships, careers and financial status is reflected in the lives of our five closest friends. While this may or may not be true for each of us, I found it enlightening to consider. The tipping point for me is that if I have to change who I am to be around the people with whom I want to associate there is something wrong.

It comes back to that adage to walk the talk, not just talk the talk. Years ago I worked at a prayer ministry. At the end of the shift we’d tally up the issues we’d been asked to pray for by the callers. Inevitably, the largest numbers turned out to be for an issue we ourselves were having difficulty with at the time. It’s an eye opener to be giving counsel to others on a topic we are fussing about – one of those “SNAP OUTTA IT!” moments.

Is it time to re-think how you live? Are you willing to step back from your life and reflect on whether or not what you see supports you in the ways you need to be supported? It can be scary – what if we start being who we are and our friends run away?

Truth be told, our “friends” won’t. And, if there is a vacuum of any kind, the universe will fill it with what we need, not what we settled for. The universe abhors a vacuum and you are a magnificent child of the Divine. You don’t have to settle for anything less than what you know you deserve.

The question is, What is it that you know you deserve? Got it? Now go accept it!

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.

Listen up, Buttercup!

Do You REALLY Listen?

“YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME!” How many times in your life has someone screamed that at you? I’ve been on the receiving end of that frustrating communication. And, speaking solely for myself, I have to say that almost without fail when those words were thrust in my general direction I most certainly WAS listening.

The problem was that I didn’t want to hear what was being said. I can listen to a garbage truck outside picking up our weekly refuse. However, it’s not exactly the sound I want to have whilst doing my daily meditations.

The response to the accusation above is usually something along the line of, “And, YOU are not listening to ME!”

Of course, we aren’t talking about listening, are we? We’re often trying to get one of two points across to the other person. The first possibility is that our idea of the other person listening is that they agree with us, tell us we’re right, and then beg our forgiveness. The second is that while we are listening, we aren’t “listening aright.” Instead of listening to understand, we’re listening to be understood.

Here’s what I mean by that. Have you been in a conversation with someone and you can tell beyond any doubt that s/he doesn’t believe a word of what you’re saying? This fact is verified as soon as you take even a small breath or dare to pause. Immediately the other person will begin telling you all the reasons you’re wrong, why they are right, thus proving they are more interested in preaching than discussing.

As soon as we seek to understand, rather than trying to be understood, we open a completely unexplored avenue toward peace with one another.

Okay, enough about “them.” What about “us?” In the midst of a much divided world, with the polarities of human thinking at such opposite ends of the spectrum, what we do with regard to communication is probably more vital than ever before. We can find peace and mutual aid by seeking to understand the viewpoints of people whose philosophies or ideologies are diametrically opposed to our own.

In spite of how wrong we might think someone is, they have a right to their opinion and belief. If that person is a stranger on a street corner we pass once in our life it doesn’t much matter. It’s a completely different scenario if the individual with whom we clash is the one in our bed. And, of course, there are all the people in between.

Just for today, would you be willing to engage others in new and open ways to understand them? This suggestion should never be undertaken in cases of someone attempting physical or psychological harm to us, but hopefully that’s not your experience of life. The payoff by seeking to understand is that the other person senses the shift in our consciousness, an openness to communicate, and will thereby be far more willing to entertain our point of view as well.

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.