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.

Strength and Empowerment Through Failure

Have you failed at anything? That’s an interesting question. If you’re like the majority of people who get asked that you’re already feeling some kind of emotional reaction.

Guilt, shame, anger, disappointment and denial are just five of the most popular you’ll encounter. The denial response is often found among New Agers and even some New Thought students who believe failure is impossible; or worse, unthinkable!

But here’s the kicker with ignoring or explaining away failure:

We miss the gift in failing.

By ignoring the fact that something didn’t work out the way we planned we gloss over the problems that most need our attention. Our ego will rise up through a dramatic entrance to any situation that even mildly alludes to us being wrong, incapable or inadequate. Guess what? We can be all of these things at times no matter who we are.

Ever watch a toddler learning to walk? She tries. She fails. She tries again. She falls down, probably giggling. Eventually, after many unsuccessful attempts, she stands on her own power and takes her first tentative step. That shows strength and character. Her ego hasn’t developed enough yet to be judge and jury for every minor or major foible she will encounter in growing up.

It’s not solely from the disappointment alone that we learn from our failures. It’s from recognizing what didn’t work and knowing that we have within us the power to do better next time. No matter how badly we screw up we have the assurance that we did the very best we could with the information available to us at the time.

When we have improved information, perhaps from failing at a task or relationship, we are better prepared to make more informed decisions in the future. Knowing that it was our decisions that created the situation with which we are now dealing assures us that we are empowered to change our thinking and enjoy results more to our liking.

And, even if the outcomes we come across appear to have been creating by others, we still have the choice to be at the effect of those situations, or draw upon the power within us to change our experience.

More than one person has said that if we aren’t failing from time-to-time then we’re probably doing very little and taking few chances. Step out now and move forward. If you’d like to be further encouraged by the successes of others who have dealt with failure, click here for a link to a truly inspiring webpage from the University of Kentucky.

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.

When Chaos is Perfection in Motion

Do you ever feel like your life is out of control? You know, the feeling like you’re on a runaway train heading for a sharp turn? Or, feeling everyone around you is a talking head, screaming at you about what you should be doing?

UGH! Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and the photo mug to go with it. It’s not pretty, but my mom has a great saying when it feels like that:

“Life is what’s happening while we’re making plans.”

It happens to most of us. If I’m in the middle of a writing project you do NOT want to see my desk. Same as when I’m cooking. I use every pot in the house and NO one wants to be in the kitchen. Total chaos, or so it appears to the rest of my family. (They seldom complain, however, while they’re eating the meal I’ve prepared!)

A colleague of mine is an executive of a large corporation. Her company is in the midst of a massive re-organization. She knows the changes will eventually result in a better, leaner and more efficient office. But in the meantime, she recently described it to me as,

“Swirling out of chaos into clarity.”

So if it seems the horses are out of the barn and running through the fields of your life right now, consider my friend’s explanation. No, it may not be pretty right now. I get it. Stand your ground, firmly planted in your principles, but calmly wave and gently move like the palm tree in the hurricane.

You WILL get through whatever you’re going through. The light at the end of the tunnel is NOT a freight train. It’s the Light that will shine the answers to you, with grace, ease and perfection. Can I help support you in some issue through the affirmative prayer known as “spiritual mind treatment?” Give it shot by replying to this email with your request. Or, just click here and we’ll set up a time to chat!

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.

Need An 18-Hour Bra?

Finding Consistent, Effective and Loving Support

Remember the Jane Russell commercials for the 18-hour bra from Playtex®? I know; it’s a totally off-the-wall question for a spiritual column, right?

By now you know who you’re dealing with here, so I doubt you’re shocked. My blog is called, “Making Sense of Life” for a reason. We can look at life from the reality of human joy and excitement, as well as from the pain and suffering we sometimes encounter.

Being spiritual beings having a spiritual experience on the human plane of existence means we get to experience the full range of human emotions and sensual understanding. We will have pain at times, often for our own protection.

However, remember this:

Pain is a given.
Suffering is optional.

One of the ways to avoid the agony that accompanies our pain is to seek support. The beauty in the teaching of Ernest Holmes philosophy, The Science of Mind®, is that our healing can come from wherever, whomever and whatever our consciousness allows.

The healing can be the pill; or the affirmative prayer, also called “spiritual mind treatment” by Holmes; or, through the chiropractor, physician, therapist, counselor, etc. We have so many possibilities. It’s up to each of us individually to find what works for us in our current circumstances.

There is an interesting support system that happens in the waters off of Mozambique. Brittle stars, normally a sea bottom dwelling creature related to starfish, attach themselves to drifting jellyfish, living safely among the stinging tentacles of their host. Does the brittle star do this for protection from predators? To glean food not consumed by the jellyfish? For transportation, just hitchin’ a ride? And, why doesn’t the jellyfish eat the brittle star? What’s in it for the jellyfish?

Marine research scientists are unsure of the answers to these questions. What we can learn from this example is that what’s happening in this interspecies support relationship is obviously working for the ones involved. We don’t have to understand it for it to work for them.

In our lives we might need more support at times than others. It’s up to us individually to determine what that support will be. And, just like the brittle star, no one has to understand what works for us.

At times we might have to call in the 18-hour bra support, while other times a sports bra, the latest from Victoria Secret® or we might just decide to run through life nipples to the wind! (To my few male readers, substitute jockstrap, cup, briefs, boxers or commando – didn’t want you to think I forgot you!)

Do you feel the need for support to move you through and beyond something you’re going through? Reach out to someone or some practice that you know works for you. Get the help you need to move through the dark tunnels to the light of Truth and beauty that awaits you!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

P.S. If you need a review of Jane’s commercial, here’s the link.

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 Find it Difficult to Make Decisions?

Do You Need to Have it Your Way?

Do you find yourself faced with too many choices? It’s definitely a “first world” problem. People in third world countries search for clean water on a daily basis. Meanwhile, we’re stumped at our grocery store trying to decide which of the 20 different types flavoring we want in our bottled water.

A great thing about realizing we are empowered in life is the power to choose. The downside of that is that we may be confused about what to choose. We know we can manifest that which we desire; but exactly what it is that we want?

There is a rule of thumb when focusing on a goal or using affirmative prayer:  Be specific. Yet part of the joy in seeing our desires come into our life is watching how those things occur.

Being specific in our desires doesn’t mean we have to control the process. We can continue to be precise and detailed, but then turn it over to universal intelligence for the work necessary and the guidance needed. We don’t have to design detailed ways for things to happen. If fact, putting too many parameters on the way we expect our desires to come about can slow down or even stop the process.

If we truly believe in a power greater than us that we can use, then we would do well to balance our pragmatic desires with some good, old-fashioned trust. There are numerous examples in my own life and the life of others that I can think of where the outcome came about through completely unexpected means.

It’s not that the outcome was unexpected – there’s not much point in praying about something if we don’t expect it to happen! Rather it was the way in which it happened. By trusting in the process we open ourselves up to personal fulfillment as well as unique and amazing ways to be supported.

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.

Marines Don’t Do That

Are there things you just “don’t do?” In 2013, Michael Wheeler wrote an article entitled “Marines Don’t Do That:  Mastering the Split-Second Decision.” In it, he quoted retired Marine Major David Dixon who said Marines are taught the concept of “Marines don’t do that” during their training.

It got me to thinking about how I live my own life and what I simply “don’t do.” I’m usually the one who speaks up and makes at least a few people uncomfortable if someone is telling an inappropriate joke or being discriminatory. I have no tolerance for it. I used to. I used to be afraid to speak up for fear someone might start attacking me, or making fun of me for not “being one of the boys.”

Now I’m glad I’m not one of those boys. Becoming comfortable with my sexual orientation as well as my belief in New Thought teachings – neither of which are universally accepted – has positioned me to speak out. It comes from a foundation of confidence and security, not from one of reaction, indignation or anger. Admittedly, I still feel some of those things when I witness gross injustices, but I’m not out to prove anything to anyone.

What guides your life course and your interactions with others on a daily basis? Do you allow discrimination or injustices to go on in front of you? How we deal with what we consider inappropriate behavior here in America is vastly different than in other countries, including our neighbors directly north of us. But regardless of local customs, how will we act (not react) in an unfair situation the next time it happens?

It might not be a situation of sticking up for someone else. It might be having the opportunity to disregard our own personal ethics, for example tossing our cigarette out the window, accepting more change than is due us, or ignoring someone who is differently-abled than we.

If we are truly the person we want others to believe we are, will we stand up for righteous and fair treatment of others? Or, will we remain silent while those less able to speak up are put down, embarrassed, ill-treated, injured, or killed? Will we practice what we preach to preserve our planet, or will we make excuses because we are too busy to go the extra mile?

Those aren’t easy questions to read or to contemplate. I would, however, suggest to you that they are ones we should all entertain. When faced with the hard questions of life no person of integrity turns a blind eye to the situation.

We just don’t do that.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2013, 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

Eavesdropping is So Enlightening

We live in a small town. The main post office is quite neighborly, with many of the patrons chatting back and forth while waiting in line. The line one day this week was quite long. I was able to pass the time listening to what other people were saying. Oh stop gasping, for heaven’s sake – it’s not like they were trying to be private!

Here are some of the comments I overheard:

  • “I’m doing good. It beats the alternative!”
  • “It just keeps getting worse and worse. Floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes. What’s next?”
  • “You oughta know by now I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.”
  • “She needs to put a smile on her face, that one does.”
  • “It don’t matter. Nothing does.”

Each of these folks believed what they were saying. They came in all colors, ages, socioeconomic status and educational levels. The majority of the other comments showed a range of despair, resignation or fear.

The expressions accompanying the words resulted in frowns, slumped shoulders and sighs. Rather than judge what these folks should be doing to change their thinking, I chose to think about what negative self-talk I had engaged in that morning.

I am my own worst critic. I am particular about many things, often fighting my anal-retentive or dogmatic tendencies about certain tasks, and must remind myself daily that no matter how hard I try I will simply never please everyone. Putting myself down, however, doesn’t help the situation.

Would you be willing today to take just one hour and listen to what is going on inside your head? Ask yourself if that is what you want to believe. Think about what the reaction would be from a good friend if you talked that way to them.

Hopefully your thoughts are filled with encouragement, praise and support. If not, consider what it would take to lovingly guide yourself back onto the path you wish to travel!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

Are You Your Labels?

Do you like to be labeled? Try asking that question to five people and you’ll find that most if not all will assume the term label to which you may be alluding will be derogatory. I’m not sure why, but it’s a fun experiment.

While we may not like to be labeled we are often guilty of labeling others. Have you noticed that when we meet someone new it’s not uncommon to find the questions steered in very basic directions:  Are you married? What do you do for a living? What kind of a car do you drive? Where did you go to school? And on it goes. We get that information, pigpen-hole the person through classifications (labels) and create our judgment of the person.

(I apologize to my foreign readers – you’re probably saying to yourself, “That’s SO typically American!” And though I have just as much evidence as you that it is so, it’s also another form of labeling. This is another example of how labeling is critical, not complimentary.)

On the other side of this discussion are the labels we stick on ourselves and then refuse with tenacity to peel off when they are old and tired. The unhappily married couple must face the truth of their relationship once the kids leave home. The corporate executive or factory worker is forced to reassess her place in life when she is laid off. Who are we without our spouse, our careers, or our homes?

James Baldwin is quoted as saying, “I have become afflicted with so many labels that I have become invisible unto myself.” Would you be willing today to make a list of the labels you have for yourself? Do they serve you? Is this the way you want to be known or remembered?

The other Baldwin quote in the graphic above is our guide. Perhaps today is the day we can ask ourselves, Am I my labels? Once we answer that question we will discover whether or not our labels enhance who we are, or obscure us to the point of being invisible unto ourselves.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

Food Pictures, Anyone?

Are you craving non-political, non-outrageous social media postings? You’re not alone. The past couple of weeks have been exhausting!

One of my co-workers posted this the other day:  “I've done a lot of unfollowing lately. Please bring back the posts of what you are having for dinner.” I get what she’s saying:  I want a simpler time, a happier time, a more carefree and “normal” life.

Okay, news flash. That ain’t happening anytime soon, so fasten your seatbelts ‘cause we’re in for a bumpy ride. For better or worse what we see before us is our current “normal.” Personally I’m not willing to perpetuate that if I can help it.

I remembered four questions to ask ourselves before we post that juicy tidbit. You know, the one that bitch-slaps our current most hated and despised individual, which could be Kellyanne Conley for some of you and Sen. Elizabeth Warren for others.

These suggestions are called “The Work,” and come from Byron Katie in her book, “I Need Your Love – I That True?" For any possible posting (and also for any problem or situation in your life), ask:

  1. Is it true? – Or is it just supporting our biases, prejudice and unresolved hatred for someone or another ideology.
  2. Can I absolutely know that it’s true? – That means vet before we post, not just because what we’re reading agrees with our own beliefs.
  3. How do I react when I think that thought? – In other words, how do we react internally to question #2? Do we get defensive? If we do then we just might be defending our own ignorance and refusal to see the truth.
  4. Who would I be without that thought? – Does posting this idea or report benefit us personally and make the world a better place? Or, to put it another way, are we informing others from truthful information (to the best of our knowledge) to encourage them to take positive action for change; or, are we just gossiping about shit which means we’d rather bitch about others than actually do something that makes a difference?

We’ll probably still post things we haven’t checked out thoroughly, or wish we hadn’t stirred up a hornet’s nest. But taking these four very simple, but important, questions into mind in posting – as well as in our lives in general – just might allow us to sleep a bit sounder at night. Believe me; the people who are making the news would be delighted to know they’ve interrupted your slumber. Don’t give them that power.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.