They Aren’t Going to Like This

Can You Stand Up to Criticism?

Are you feeling more like a leader in life? In my blog two weeks ago I opened a conversation that we ought to have with ourselves:  Am I willing to be a leader? How’s that going for you?

There’s a truly inspirational speaker who I very much enjoy hearing, particularly because he challenges me to be a better, stronger, and more focused leader. Seth Godin is a remarkable author and several books and champion of new ideas. This week I’m sharing a quote from his book, “Tribes – We Need You To Lead Us.”

So the challenge, as you contemplate your next opportunity to be boring or remarkable, is to answer these two questions:  “If I get criticized for this, will I suffer any measurable impact? Will I lose my job, get hit upside the head with a softball bat, or lose important friendships?” If the only side effect of the criticism is that you will feel bad about the criticism, then you have to compare that bad feeling with the benefits you’ll get from actually doing something worth doing.

Leadership, like so many other qualities, begins within our own consciousness. We can’t be leaders in the world, in our communities, or in our families if we can’t lead ourselves. What does that look like?

It means that we must be willing to succeed. Does that sound like a no-brainer? It isn’t. Do you know why people fail at projects, ideas, and even relationships? It isn’t the fear of failure.

It’s the fear of success.

Why would we fear success? We fear success because it’s something that may have eluded us for years. We all know failure. We know what it feels like not to get ahead, to be single when we’d like to find a mate, to have a no-where job, or be unable to balance the checkbook. The enticement of failure is that it’s familiar. Our egos love the familiar because they know how to react from our history.

Change scares the crap out of our ego, even if it’s a good thing! Thomas Troward wrote that principle is not bound by precedent. In other words, just because something’s always worked out one way in the past doesn’t mean it has to be that way in the future. The criticism that Godin wrote about can come from within us as well as from others. It’s up to us to go for it, whatever “it” is, and be willing to accept the good that comes from our success.

Consider this week how you might be allowing actual, perceived, or expected criticism to stop you from leading the life you want. The universe will conspire for our good – but we have to open our consciousness to accept those blessings. Go for it!

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.
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Let It Go

Does It Really Make a Difference?

Have you found yourself watching someone’s mouth move, but not being able to be interested in the nonsense you’re hearing? I do my best to be engaged and concerned when someone is relating a story to me. Really I do! But there are times, and I know you’ve been there, when I just look at the person and say, “And, you’re telling me this because…?”

Sometimes we just need to vent. I get that. My friend, Nancy, and I used to have an agreement that I could call to bitch about anything I wanted for exactly five minutes. No more. She would cut me off at five minutes, done or not. Well, I might not have thought I was done, but Nancy was and that was that.

At some point it behooves us to take a deep breath and say, “Does it really make a difference?” We may be terribly upset about the way someone has treated us. Or perhaps someone has walked away from a commitment she or he has made to us or to our organization. It’s done. It’s over. We can pick up the pieces and get on with our life, or we can whine, scream and moan. Why would we choose the latter?

You see, the simple truth is that some people bless us by coming into our lives and some people bless us by leaving. This works personally, professionally and in our communities or organizations. Ever notice how some people can leave a group or relationship with dignity, class and mutual respect, while other people have to make everyone wrong, create havoc and basically re-define what it means to be a raging drama queen?

We don’t have to be the latter. We also don’t have to be affected by someone who chooses to wear that badge. Know that in the universal scheme of things, all is progressing exactly as it should. It may not look pretty at the moment, but when the dust settles the right people will be involved and the perfect outcome will be assured. By feeding the drama with our crazed upset we are only continuing to strengthen the psychic bond we wish to severe.

Take time this week to let go of the drama of change and embrace the flow of peace in your life. The people that leave us are making room for the people who want to be with us. And so it is!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

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Copyright © 2011, 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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Do You Share Your Drugs?

What’s In Your Medicine Bag?

Have you ever heard of Malidoma Patrice Somé, PhD? He’s an initiated elder in the indigenous Dargara tradition in his village in Dano, Burkina Faso, West Africa. I had the honor of experiencing a personal healing and intuitive session with Malidoma when I was studying to be a licensed practitioner of the philosophies I’ve practiced and taught for over 30 years.

Besides being an elder in his village, Dr. Somé holds three Master’s degrees and two Doctorates from the Sorbonne and Brandeis University. He expressed to me, with uproarious laughter, how silly how thought Westerners were because we all take the same medicines. “Your headache is not my headache. How can we take the same aspirin for different problems?” he asked with a confused look on his face.

Malidoma explained to me that each time he leaves his village he packs a medicine bag of what he feels he’ll need on his journey to balance his physical, emotional, spiritual and mental bodies. His beliefs are not mere superstitions of an ancient culture. They are scientific facts.

According to a recent program on BBC News, researchers at Oxford University are studying how the effectiveness of prescription drugs appear to be affected by the patient’s DNA. Other cutting edge research in DNA are proving that our focused thoughts are capable of changing our DNA, thereby not passing on undesirable characteristics to our offspring.

While I carry a number of aids for my physical health on my travels, there is one thing I never have to pack. I always have it with me. That support is the use of affirmative prayer, what Ernest Holmes developed as “spiritual mind treatment.” By changing our thoughts the rest of our life falls into place.

Later in the summer I’ll be producing two webinars on the use of spiritual mind treatment, or “treatment” as it’s called more commonly in the New Thought movement. The first webinar will be an introduction (or review) for people new to the practice. The second will be an in-depth look at how to insure our treatments are effective. Look soon for the upcoming announcements on those events.

Beginning on Saturday, July 1, my daily “vlog”readings will return to Facebook Live. Through an agreement with Creative Thinking E-Magzine, I’ll be reading the treatments of ministers and practitioners throughout the New Thought movement, along with their quotes for the day and an affirmation. I hope this new service will provide a boost for your day and a focus for your vision. Be sure to check out Creative Thinking for yourself!

In the meantime, what could you use treatment for today? Request one by responding to this email. Or, schedule a free support call with me. Have an amazing weekend and know that you are supported in all that you think, say and do!

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 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.

What Do You MEAN You’re Satisfied?

Have you ever questioned your happiness? I did recently. I found my life so very settled in one special moment; I felt an overwhelming sense of contentment. Then my analytical mind took over and I wondered, Am I experiencing complacency? Why am I satisfied? Don’t I want more?

Isn’t it somewhat pathetic when we ruin an amazing experience by questioning it? I realized, in that moment of contentment, that I was experiencing what it was like to stop and to appreciate my accomplishments and blessings. In a world that admires accomplishment, we can forget to enjoy the goals we reach.

Peaceful place

We are bombarded with the idea of “more is better.” Stores want us to believe we don’t have enough of whatever it is they want to sell us. We are encouraged to buy yet another pair of jeans, a different car, or a larger home.

The advertising industry is counting on us wanting more. We are assured over and over again that if we buy this widget or get that thingamajig we will be happy. But when is enough ever “enough?”

It’s definitely possible. However, when we learn that we are in control, that we are directing our lives, it may not be quite that easy to accept. Why? Because we understand that we have the power to make the changes we desire in our lives. Change is necessary to reach our goals; we are encouraged to remember we don’t have to be stuck in anything. It’s then that we might think that being content is a sign of complacency, if only because “this was great, but could it be BETTER?”

While that’s not necessarily true, it does bring us back to the question of is enough ever really enough. Madisyn Taylor recently wrote about the topic and said this:

If we do not have the ability to be happy with the blessings we have in the here and now, nothing can make us happy in the future.

It’s by appreciating our blessings that we can move forward in life. Just because we are aware that we can create a life worth living doesn’t mean we have to feel compelled to be working at it all the time. In fact, it’s only by stepping aside and allowing Spirit do Its job that things get done. If we don’t celebrate our wins, rejoice in our accomplishments, and appreciate our blessings we will find reaching a goal rather bland.

Instead, consider celebrating your wins. If you find a dime on the sidewalk, rejoice in that additional prosperity, instead of thinking, “Well, it’s only a dime. It could have been a quarter.” If you want a different home, de-clutter and clean up the one you have and then bask in the beauty you’ve brought forward.

The more we criticize the more we’ll find to complain about. If we celebrate our accomplishments we’ll bring our consciousness to a higher level that will make complacency impossible. Would you be willing to find contentment in your life this week?

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.

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Is It Time to Quit?

Are you a quitter? “Of course not!” you might exclaim as if being classified as a quitter is worse than being a murderer. In some ways, you’d be right.

We are taught never quit, never give up. It’s drilled into our heads that quitters are losers. However, recent studies indicate that quitting a job, a relationship, a project or any number of other things might be one of the more healthy actions we can take.

Economist tells us that there is a point where we must cut our losses and move on; we have to sell the stock or take the loss on the investment. To get out of an investment is hard enough; relationships – another area hard to quit – can be even more problematic.

As Ennis says to Jack in the film Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you.” We decide we need the guy to provide for us since we haven’t worked in decades. We determine that she’s only violent when she drinks and she’s always remorseful. After all, those partners have “so much potential.”

The problem with sticking with anything after its expiration date is that we only make ourselves sick, miserable and feeling like a victim. If only jobs and relationships had a “sell by” or “discard by” date like our milk products and other perishable food items do.

We wouldn’t drink curdled, tainted milk or think twice about tossing moldy leftovers found in the refrigerator. Yet we continue to stick it out in life situations hoping, without any logic and historical perspective to the contrary, that s/he/they will change or this time our horse will win.

Quitting a losing battle by moving to a job we love or leaving a relationship that is abusive or has a “past due to discard” date is empowering, energizing and freeing for everyone concerned. If you think you have something like this in your own life at this time please take the time to put your thoughts down on paper. List all the positive aspects of your situation, as well as the more negative circumstances. How does this list balance out?

Take this into prayer and meditation over the next two or three weeks. It’s seldom wise to make a snap decision on affairs of the heart or when we are feeling like making a change will brand us a quitter. But change is the only constant in the universe. Nothing stays the same.

Give quitting a chance. Realize that leaving what no longer serves us signals to the universe that we are willing to live dynamically and in new ways. In doing so, we bless ourselves and all those around us.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

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.

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.

#Resist

Have you seen the hashtag, #Resist? I’ve been using it, but today a colleague of mine brought up an interesting question.

We are both part of a group of individuals who believe in being for something, as opposed to being against anything. How, he queried, can we “resist” if our focus is on being a positive force for good by acting, not reacting?

It was an interesting question, one that I contemplated for a moment or two. I found it most jarring at first, because I felt like my use up until now was suddenly suspect to criticism I thought just might be warranted. (That’s a great place to be, BTW, no matter how uncomfortable!)

Here’s what #Resist means for me:

I’m not resisting a person, place, ideology or thing. I don’t believe in being a doormat. But I’m not going to waste time trying to teach a pig to sing; it doesn’t work and annoys the pig. Here’s what I’m resisting:

  • I resist thinking I’m clueless. I’m dedicated to challenging myself to lead, instead of being led all the time, and frequently by persons, organizations and ideologies which are far less qualified to determine my good than I am.
  • I resist being afraid. I will not succumb to worrying about what could happen. I will be focused upon what is happening and what I can do about it.
  • I resist thinking that I don’t make a difference. Even if I never know how my actions affect others I know that by acting instead of reacting I move from victim consciousness to empowerment.
  • I resist the temptation to take on more than I can handle, and acknowledge with joy the things I can do.
  • I resist blaming others instead of taking responsibility for being the force of change.

It’s a growing list for me. I’m glad I got challenged because it’s helped me to re-enforce my commitment to excellence and in my purpose. We all have a choice to make about how to respond to adversity and conflict. How we choose to do so will make all the difference in our lives and health … and for our planet.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.