I’m WAY Beyond Pissed Off

Where Is Our Focus?

My blog this week is a day early. It needs to be.

First, if the title of this blog shocks or offends you then you really don’t know me, and perhaps shouldn’t if you’re in high-bustled, righteous indignation that the minister has a mouth on him. It really is that simple. Either people get that I swear sometimes or they don’t. I’m not everyone’s coach, author, minister, counselor or best friend. If you want pat affirmations, unicorns spreading rainbows across the sky and bunnies, they’re out there for you all over the place. Blessings on that journey!

Second, I’m just starting to feel better after ten days of battling an E. Coli virus, three days of which were in hospital, so I really don’t have any patience for anyone challenging me with my language. I’m 62 years old and don’t need another lecture on, “But ministers don’t swear.” Yes, some of us do. So do priests, rabbis and imams. I’ve picked up some of my best profanity from spiritual guides.

Third, yes, I’m totally pissed off that the United States of America once again is the butt of the world’s jokes and I know many of you are as well, both here in the States and abroad. If we weren’t a laughing stock of the planet before today’s latest edict from Washington, DC, we certainly are now.

Well. I feel better.

Best one gets all that out, instead of keeping it in, as my grandmother would have said. I mean if you don’t let it go you’ll get a pimple, or high blood pressure, or a stroke or something else. Not a good idea.

So how the heck do we find ANY good in the actions of June 1, 2017? Here’s how. Decades ago the founder of the Science of Mind® philosophy, Ernest Holmes, wrote this:

We all look forward to the day when science and religion shall walk hand in hand through the visible to the invisible. Science knows nothing of opinion, but recognizes a government of law whose principles are universal. Yet any scientist who refuses to accept intangible values has no adequate basis for the values which he has already discovered. Revelation must keep faith with reason, and religion with law — while intuition is ever spreading its wings for greater flights — and science must justify faith in the invisible.

The day that Holmes predicted occurred in a big way when The Parliament of the World’s Relgions – the Global Interfaith Movement – spoke in favor of science and common sense against an action of ignorance, intolerance and planetary disaster. The Parliament first met, if you are not aware, in Chicago in 1893. It’s the closest thing planet Earth has to a “spiritual United Nations.”

In its letter, The Parliament stands with science and the Paris Climate Agreement, a pact signed by 195 nations and formally ratified by 147 nations. (To read the full copy of The Parliament’s letter, click here.) THIS is the action upon which we must focus our attention, and NOT on the seemingly endless strokes of a pen from a desk once used by truly great men to further the principles of the most powerful nation in the world.

Nothing we hear on the news should surprise us. Most of the controversial reports we hear are nothing more than the actions of a man who is doing exactly what he promised he’d do, regardless of whether or not those actions are prudent, kind, legal, moral or ethical. We must not give these feats of grandiosity and overcompensation any of our energy.

We must focus on what we can do to make our planet a better place by working locally for the changes we know must occur to insure safety, security and prosperity for all people. We can take actions that are right with our own consciousness and pursuit of peace. I invite you, if you so desire, to join me and many others around the globe who pray without ceasing for all world leaders (yes, ALL of them) to lead with justice, honor and dignity.

None of this means we turn a blind eye, thinking saying a few affirmations will save the day. The universe is here to support us, but it can only do for us what it can do through us. Stand up to bullies. Speak out for equal rights for all. Wear orange for National Gun Violence Awareness Day, on June 2, 2017.

DO something to create and foster change.

We’re beyond bitching about it, folks. It just doesn’t cut it anymore.

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.

Looking Forward to a Good Whine?

What do you look forward to in life? Have you noticed how you may be excited to see some friends, but dread running into other people? One reason might be the energy and attitude those people bring to the party, regardless of it being encouraging or depressing.

Granted, we all have those times when we’ve over-planned and over-scheduled our lives. We may be living the life we love, but have gotten out of balance by too much work and not enough relaxation time. That can lead to us becoming cranky and irritable, with a tendency of leaning toward having a good whine.

It starts out innocently enough. Someone asks us about our day and before we know it the flood gates of all that bothers us come surging forward. We go into excruciating detail – most of it unnecessary – and the bottom line is that we just want someone to feel sorry for us.

The problem with that line of reasoning is that we’re asking the other person to validate our own actions, the over-planning and over-scheduling, that got us into the situation in the first place.

We want someone else to pity us and, like it or not, we can slip into being very whiny … and VERY annoying. We become the type of person we ourselves don’t want to be around. But don’t we have the right to whine now and then?

I used to have a prayer partner years ago. If one of us had the need to whine the other one would set a timer. We had five minutes to verbally hurl all over the other one. But when five minutes was reached that conversation stopped. “I’m not done yet!” one might exclaim, but the other would counter with, “Yes, you are. Now what’s the Truth?”

Whining and other less productive ways of complaining are examples of two actions:  focusing on the problem and playing the victim. What we focus on increases; focus on the problems, the injustice, or the inequities and we get more of the same. But turn our full attention to solutions and violá – those appear.

And, while we may be a victim from time-to-time through unforeseen circumstances or our own doing, we do ourselves a disservice by staying in that mindset any longer than is necessary. One might ask if it’s ever necessary. That’s something for each of us to determine. Everything we do – whether it seems productive or destructive, positive or negative – has a measure of value for some reason in the scheme of things we call life.

Perhaps having a good whine every so often is like having a good cry. Our whining might just lead to a good laugh when we realize how ridiculous we sound, just like a good cry can rid our body of toxic chemicals through the release of our tears. Would you be willing to observe your own whining today? Don’t judge yourself, just observe whether or not you’d like to listen to what you’re saying or thinking. Oh, yeah, forgot that part. Most of our whining is in our own heads. Cool – nothing like setting ourselves up to lose without the help of anyone else, right?

Here’s a great note from the wise Mike Dooley. It speaks to how we seem to have a bit more to whine about these days than ever before:

What we're seeing is the "storm before the calm," spontaneous and unpredictable flares of individual and collective angst, caused by a pent up demand for a more fair and just world. The temporary blockage, however, has come from many expecting a broken system to fix itself, instead of realizing only individuals can do that.

Our choice. Our decision. Our life. All we have to do to change our experience is change our thoughts and actions. Let’s be less concerned about what others are doing that we view as wrong, and be more concerned about what actions we are taking to affect the changes we desire.

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.

What’s In Your Consciousmess?

Is that a typo in the title? No. But when you think about it, consciousmess just might describe life as we know it right now. At this moment in time it seems a lot of us are angry with this mess we believe humans have made of our planet. But under the outrage is another, simpler emotion:  Fear.

Our government seems to be imploding, with actions reported on domestic and international news networks that we might more commonly expect on late night TV or “Saturday Night Live.” To add to the madness this week, we include a Russian “spy ship” off the coast of Delaware. So, yes, there’s a good deal of concern, fear from many, about what’s next.

Philosopher and writer Ernest Holmes once wrote that “fear is faith misplaced.” In other words, we have a strong belief that something will go amiss. The result of such thinking is a consciousmess; it’s messed up thinking about the occurrences around us.

Without constant vigilance we can easily take this mess into our lives. Some of us are acting like it’s an honored houseguest. We nurture it, post constantly on social media about it, and “what if” ourselves into a stupor.

The principle of cause and effect – that we have control over our experience of the conditions in our lives – is simple. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy. And, it doesn’t mean we’re helping to heal the situation by spreading our doubts and fears all over everyone around us.

The consciousmess we are dealing with right now has been created by a series of events, but if it’s our face now then it must be there for a reason. It has the potential to involve and affect us in inspiring, healing and amazing ways should we choose to participate in this manner.

The question is either how much we want world and national events to affect us, or whether we want to affect change in whatever way we can with what we’re faced with today. We have the option to act in love, instead of reacting in fear. It’s long-passed time to watch others suffer and do nothing. And, it’s very human not to want to scream “I told you so!” along with all the articles, facts and data that are so abundant to support our causes.

Still, some people are not willing to change, at least right now. The best we can do is to make sure we are living by the principles we believe are being broken by others, and not joining in the fight against everything we find adverse to the peace we know is possible. Here’s a quote to consider from Albert Schweitzer:  “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.

In other words, this is going to take time. We’ve seen the havoc that can be caused when a nation believes complex problems can be fixed through simple solutions or unenforceable mandates. The consciousmess in which we find ourselves will not be solved overnight. But it’s already unfolding into a newly-found confidence of hope through change being brought about by positive action. What part will you play?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

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So MUCH To Complain About!

Have you got complaints? “Have I got complaints? You should only HAVE the problems I have!” It’s not enough that we have our own issues to deal with. On top of everything else there’s the constant stream of bad news coming to us from social media. What can we do?

First of all, we can stop complaining. I realize, quite acutely, that you may have someone in your life that has made bitching about everything into an art form. It’s not healthy. What we focus on increases in our life. Do we really want all these personal and global issues to get worse? Hardly.

There’s a balance, of course. We don’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening around us or in our personal lives. The balance comes from the discernment we exercise in what to handle ourselves, what to allow others to handle with our help, and what to let go of. Michael Michalko put it this way, “Change the way you speak, and change the way you think.”

That’s a form of the famous Ernest Holmes phrase, “Change your thinking, change your life.” Michalko, however, brings a excellent point to our attention. It’s one thing to think about some issue or desire. It’s a completely different thing to speak those thoughts. Not only are we thinking them, but we are hearing what we say; in doing so we’re reinforcing the thought. Additionally we are putting those thoughts out so that others hear us, and thereby take those thoughts into their consciousness as well.

Unity minister, Will Bowen, created the “Complaint Free World” several years ago. The challenge is to be complaint free in our speech for a full 30 days. The first time I took the challenge I was doing good to get through 30 minutes. But, with intense practice, patience and determination, I finally made it to 30 days.

During the last few weeks I have found myself doing a little complaining here and there. Okay. I’ll fess up. I’ve been bitching my fool head off, as my Grandma Esther would have said. I decided last week to once again stop complaining about things over which I have no control. That encompasses about 98.9 percent of what I see on social media.

Would you be willing to do what you can for your personal, family, community and global effort toward peace this week? Start by being a citizen of action, instead of reacting through the bitchy cycle so many have found themselves wrapped up in. It’s a nasty little hamster wheel you don’t need to be on.

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.

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.

Now Is the Time

Are you concerned about your future? Perhaps that’s a rhetorical question, since who isn’t apprehensive at times in our world today from time-to-time? Yet, think about this:  Beginning today, what has changed?

Have racism, hatred toward minorities and religious groups, denial of scientific facts and violence against women, gays, lesbians and the transgender community suddenly begun? Hardly. These outdated ideas and deplorable actions have been going on for centuries. Hard as it tried centuries ago to deny the facts, the Church had to finally concede that our planet is a globe, racing through space around a star, not a flat disk, and certainly not the center of the universe.

Rulers come and rulers go, some too soon, some not soon enough, which depends on our belief systems. Fortunately in the republic in which I live, the United States of America, we do not have rulers, dictators or demi-gods. We do have the Office of President of the United States, an office I will continue to respect for as long as I am American, but one that has far less power to make things happen instantaneously than certain people with self-serving agendas of either political party would like to believe.

Like all democratic forms of government, it is with cooperation, understanding, debate and compromise that change is accomplished. We all have the obligation as citizens to take part in that process on a federal, state and local level. We may not always get what we want. For example, the people spoke on November 8th year, but the popular vote did not carry that candidate into office. Ironically, the process by which she was denied the Office was the same mechanism originally designed by the Founding Fathers to stop what has ultimately occurred. So how are we do view today, November 20, 2017?

It’s a significant day, no doubt about it. Today ends eight years of the most inspiring leadership we’ve seen in the White House in decades, without any scandal, and all carried out with dignity by a loving, faithful husband married to a beautiful, gracious and passionate Ivy League attorney, and father to two beautiful daughters.

But today has a beginning as well! Today, November 20, 2017, marks the beginning of our individual commitment to be, say and do all that we hold dear. It’s up to us to live the lives we desire and to pave the way for others to do the same. We need not drag people along, but we can reach back, offer a hand and stand together in joy, happiness and mutual respect, thereby honoring ourselves and the planet upon which we live.

I do not wish you or us “Good Luck!” today. I KNOW in the inherent power that you are. Presidents, kings and ego-driven demagogues will come and go, but the power of love is the only force that prevails, century after century.

Be that love. Do your part to make every day a better one for yourself and those around you. Speak out against injustice. Let no racial slur or derogatory remark about anyone go unchallenged. Do you want change in our world? BE that change.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © Terry Drew Karanen 2017

 

Now What?

It’s been quite a year, non? That question is an understatement. Well, at least for me and the majority of my readers.

It could seem like the year is ending with uproar and confusion. Added to that is a year ahead which holds more questions than answers. How do we handle the situation? The question, “Now what?” makes complete sense in a state of affairs that is full of uncertainty.

There really is only one constant:  Change. Much of what we’ve heard around the world is returning our communities to “the way things were,” as if this fantasy past had no problems. Change happens and we can’t move forward into the future while we’re clinging to the past. The truth is that the past had as many problems as we have now, but it’s now that we’re finally talking about them.

The consciousness of the planet is changing. Inequality, lack of equanimity, discrimination and bullying on the local or global level are things that intelligent, educated people are no longer willing to tolerate simply because the answers are inconvenient. To re-write the movie line, “Fast your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy [year]!”

So fasten your seat belt. Get a firm idea of where you want to be next time this year. Put your affairs in order, get your ducks in a row, or do whatever it is you must do to realize the security you need to attain contentment and happiness. NO ONE gets to put us down or make us feel less than we are without our consent. REFUSE to consent in any way shape or form to being anything else but your magnificent self!

This will be my last message to you for the year. I leave tomorrow for three days of flying before returning home to celebrate a belated Christmas with my family. Enjoy this beautiful season in spite of the unrest we see around us. As Jesus admonished his followers, be in the world but not of it. In other words, be present in the moment and know the Truth:  You are whole, complete and perfect just the way you are. You are precious and loved. YOU are the Light of the World. Shine brightly now and forever! We’ll chat again in January!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TerryDrewKaranen
@TerryDKaranen
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Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

Light a Candle

How tired are you of the negativity, outright lies and blatant disregard for common sense we hear from the media?

I know.

Silly question.

It’s like whenever there’s a disaster of any kind in the world:  We don’t want to watch, but we do. Sometimes we get so addicted to the details – even though the reporters are merely repeating what was already said 20 minutes earlier – that we find ourselves almost immovable in front of our screen.

If what we are hearing is an affront to our intelligence and common decency we may decide to lash out in protest, often posting or spreading reports and details that we’ve not properly vetted ourselves. This is easy to do, particularly if the information we discover and disseminate agrees with our viewpoint or political ideology.

Later, however, we may find out the evidence we neglected to personally research turns out to be fabricated or satirical, making us look rather pathetic while at the same time giving undue credence to a person or cause not worthy of such trust.

WHAT TO DO?!?Candle

Perhaps it’s time our relatively young country takes some sage advice from the other side of the pond. In her 2015 Christmas message, England’s Queen Elizabeth reminded us,

It is said that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t be uninformed or put our heads in the sand because our global issues are complex. What we can do is learn what we need to know; then, exercise our personal power to honestly recognize when it’s time to curb our appetite for a diet we know will not just leave us unsatisfied, but also annoyed, more stressed out and with a sense of dread.

As much as we might like to see someone or some organization get what we suppose to be their just desserts, our time would be better spent in improving our own lives, the lives of those we love and furthering peace and understanding on the planet.

Where will you light a candle in the apparent darkness of your day?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TerryDrewKaranen
@TerryDKaranen
#IAN1

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

Healing Pain

Have you changed your Facebook profile picture to the French flag? Many have. Thousands have been affected from the recent losses in Paris. No loss should be minimized, but when we highlight tragedy of any kind we give it power and energy.5000

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be informed. But it does beg the question of just how many times we have to watch the same video feed or listen to the same report. And, as in the case of the recent events in France, we can easily turn our backs on the many other catastrophes and misfortunes that are occurring simultaneous, a number of which are exponentially more impactful.

The Jewish scriptures tell us, “Time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all.” Planes crash. Buildings burn. Extremists blow themselves up taking innocent people with them. How can we deal with these catastrophes?

Jesus the great teacher is quoted in the Christian scriptures as saying, “Love one another.” Punishing the innocents who faithfully practice a faith that terrorists only claim to embrace is not the way to love one another. We must stand together to compassionately support one another regardless of religion.

Will our pain be healed immediately? No. Like a physical scar, our emotional injuries carry mental scars. It’s said that when scar tissue completely heals it’s stronger than the skin around it. Our scars not only prepare us for future challenges, but they can be a reminder of how we dealt with a situation we couldn’t previously imagine living through.

I read this quote recently:  "Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain." In the coming weeks we’ll each have the opportunity to exercise wisdom in our dealings with others. We’ll perhaps be more compassionate with others around us, as well as suffering all over the globe, even if those individuals are not of our race, our nationality or our faith.

We are at a turning point in human history. Humankind as a whole is killing the planet and killing its own family. There’s no magic wand to wave, no prayer that heals everything, everywhere immediately. We have a choice to beautify the planet and accept peace. Will we?

We can choose to use wisdom in loving one another and being responsible planetary citizens. There’s always plenty of blame to go around; the media focuses on that because it increases rating.

Instead, let’s focus on the solution:  #TheGlobalVision of #AWorldThatWorksForEveryone.

With Love,

Terry