Are You a Clickabator?

Self-Abuse in the 21st Century

Do you feel stressed out? Do you feel like there’s too much to do and too little time in which to do it?

If so, you’re not alone. I’ve written in the past about our increasing need to stay connected with everything and everyone one 24/7/365. It’s exhausting! So I came up with a new way of expressing it.

Clickabation

It came to me the other day when I remembered the term, “Googlebation.” Have you heard of that? Googlebating is when we Google ourselves. It’s a good idea to do that from time-to-time. You might be surprised with what you’ll find.

I realized that I’m guilty of “clickabating,” though that might be “tapabating” or “swipabating” if you spend more time on Tinder, Grindr, or Match.com than you do on YouTube or NPR news. It could be considered Internet self abuse.

What over-clicking, -tapping, and -swiping is doing is ramping up the need for more and more. It’s cocaine for our fingertips, but doesn’t do our brain any good at all. Like that other kind of abuse, it seldom satisfies, often leaves us empty for what we really want, and makes us crave for our next fix.

Take the time to think about what your fingers are doing, where they are leading you, and how that next site or profile will either enhance your life, or leave you drained and empty. It’s all about choices, dearie!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

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

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of My Way

Where Are the Leaders?

What are leaders supposed to do?

Leaders are supposed to lead.

Duh.

Seems like a no-brainer, huh? Yet we see very little leading today in the news.

We certainly see people in power spouting rhetoric and hyperbole – these are socially acceptable, polite ways of expressing the same old crap without any solution and telling out-and-out lies to make oneself, ones party, or ones ideology look good. The latter is particularly effective for convincing the easily-led-astray, uneducated, or people in agreement with hatred, bigotry, and xenophobia.

This writing is not to encourage you to sign petitions; show up at demonstrations; tweet and post; vote, or register to vote; or, run for public office. Those suggestions are excellent ways to affect change in our world and local communities, of course. But I’m thinking about something a bit more basic.

To lead effectively a sterling quality is required, seldom seen in many politicians and other leaders:

INTEGRITY

This also requires an action step that is more difficult than finger-pointing and blaming:

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS

One former president who spoke to this was John Quincy Adams. He’s quoted as saying:

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.

You’ll note the lack of need to bully, to lie, to mislead, or to get people to do things for one’s own benefit anywhere in this admonition. What it does speak to is our need to take personal responsibility with integrity to serve others. How can we best do that?

The best way to demonstrate that we are committed to any cause is to act in a way that is consistent with the values of that undertaking. To be effective, we must be consistently mindful of our vision and mission in life. In other words, if the basis of who we are as an individual is in opposition to what we are attempting to promote, we will fall flat on our face.

We’ve seen this all-too-often in politics. The legislator who derides gay men is found having sex with a street hustler. We discover that the religious leader who speaks out against abortion took her daughter to a clinic to have one. This list goes on and speaks to another issue that we must recognize.

NOTHING we do is private any more. We’re going to talk more about that next week. In the meantime, consider how you might better lead by example, or take on a leadership role. And, in that process, recognize that – titled or not – you are a leader. We all are on some level. The only questions that remain are whether or not we’re going to embrace this responsibility, and how best to exercise the power we all have.

Lead us.

P.S. John Quincy Adams is not remembered as one of our greatest presidents. But his back story gives us even MORE insight into how we can lead. For more on this, scroll down!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

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

John Quincy Adams

I was drawn to the Adams quote used in the blog above. But I really don’t know that much about the man or his presidency.

To assist with my education, I turned to my historian husband, Kevin. In some ways, the actions of Adams before and after his presidency are far more impressive than his time in office. I see a parallel here in the work we see today by President Jimmy Carter. Here’s what Kevin said when I told him about the Adams quote I was planning on using!

Hmmm … interesting one to select. It is a good quote from John Quincy Adams, but when it comes to leadership and his presidency, Adams is usually ranked about in the middle. He was hopelessly weakened in terms of leadership after the result of the 1824 election – often referred to as “the corrupt bargain” – since he lost the popular vote to Andrew Jackson but won the election (sound familiar?). He really was a poor politician in his day. He said he would serve as a man above “the baneful weed of party strife,” but that never materialized during his presidency.

His idea that the federal government should set the national agenda was far ahead of his time and very much rejected by politicians and state officials in the 1820s and 1830s. His career before and after his presidency is much more leadership oriented. He was an excellent diplomat, as he set the essential marks of American foreign policy for the next 100 years – freedom of seas, halt to European colonization in Western Hemisphere, isolation from European affairs, etc. Basically he is the reason we had two generations of peace with Europe until 1898. He also was a principled politician after serving as president, focused on the antislavery movement. It is his battle against slavery in the halls of Congress after his presidency that greatly redeemed his presence in the eyes of history.

Kevin A. Wagner
Program Chair, Social Studies 7-12
Carlisle Area School District
Carlisle, PA, USA

 

Who’s Killing Your Dreams?

Why a “Dreamkiller” May Be Your Best Friend

Do you find the complainers in your life a total drag? Do some people seem to suck the very life out of you?

Psychic vampires. That’s what they’re called.

This type of person is especially drawn to those of us who are sensitive to energy, as well as people who are natural givers. We are also drawing them to us, though most people who consider themselves victims of psychic vampires and negative friends may not be aware of it.

Negative people and those who constantly complain are not bad folks. But they sure can be the Debbie and David Downers of our lives, and at the most inopportune times. This is especially true when we are expressing a dream we have, or some grand plan we are working on to unfold. That’s when they become total “Dreamkillers.”

They mean well. Most of the time, anyway. They don’t want us to be disappointed, or are afraid we will be working ourselves too hard.

Dreaming is a more passive form of visioning. Neither of these processes are about making plans or figuring out how something is going to come to fruition. Dreaming and visioning allow us to explore our desires. Then we open ourselves to whatever we are drawn to as a next step in the process.

Dreamkillers CAN be our best friends, though! Often we’ll find out that Debbie and David are there to express our own inner fears. A negative friend can allow us to explore our doubts, as if the sludge from the bottom of the trash can is bubbling to the top, ready to be skimmed off and tossed aside! (Oh, I DO hope you’re not eating!)

The next time you find a Dreamkiller or any other negative person staring you in the face send them love and compassion. Do not try to change them. It’s like trying to teach a pig to sing. It doesn’t work and it annoys the pig. Allow any negative comments to be your best friend. Recognize them for what they are:  A representation of your doubts, your fears, or your nightmares.

Then, bless them and send them packing. The late Dr. Juanita Dunn used to tell me that, “You are the Divine Child, the Royal Prince, of the abundant and prosperity Royal Ruler. Child, God don’t make no junk.”

Our lives are exactly what we make of them. Will you choose to look at all the bad around you? Or, will you choose to bless all the good?

Go out today and rule your kingdom with love, prosperity and kindness, Your Highness!

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 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.

Will We Complain or Lead?

Have you had your fill of empty promises from our elected officials? Are you sick and tired of hearing that same excuses from your spouse? Do you have any confidence at all in the agreements your boss has made with you? Sadly, most of us will answer “NO!” to one or more of these questions.

So what do we do about it? If we put up and shut up we’re playing the victim game. That makes us look pathetic, but at least we have the satisfaction of garnering at least some sympathy, probably from people even less positive than we. Personally, I hate that option. Let’s nix it now!

We could be snarky or engage in passive aggressive behavior. That’s always nice, because we get to use our lack of self-esteem and pseudo-superiority to make other people look like idiots to everyone else, while at the same time causing them pain. Not the outcome that will heal the planet, so let’s not do that either.

It’s far too easy to wimp out as a victim or use cynicism to live life. Senator Cory Booker recently wrote that cynicism is the refuge of cowards. That’s a blunt  statement with tremendous impact, one that holds a message for us.

No matter who hard we’ve tried to accomplish anything in the past, or how often our efforts have been thwarted, we only have two choices:  Give up and retreat to our refuge of choice (think sex, shopping, substance abuse, depression, etc); or, Get up, dust ourselves off and again go at the issues for which we know we must advocate.

There hasn’t been a time of more cynicism in the world in the past fifty years or even more than there is today. We have the choice to buy into this trend or take the actions we know we must to have a life worth living. What will you do this week to move forward in life?

There’s already a lot of things going on in the world that can affect us, but only we have the choice to change our attitude. Let’s agree to move forward, be willing to address our own issues and call to task anyone around us who is not living in integrity. To do that, we must start with ourselves.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright ® 2017 Terry Drew Karanen

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Stop Trying To Be Yourself

Are you still trying to find your “purpose?” The problem is not finding it. The real challenge is what to do after you figure it out!

I starting teaching a workshop over twenty years ago called, “Discovering Your Bliss.” I was in my Joseph Campbell period, a ministerial student and wild about realizing in my own life what a difference having a vision and mission in life can make.

That afternoon seminar morphed itself into a manual and eventually my most recent book. I still strongly believe that having a vision and mission gives us a firm foundation for happiness and, therefore, success.

But it’s not enough.

As I’m beginning to find out in my own life, it may not even be necessary for everyone. Vision and mission statements are tools; that’s all they are. They aren’t the end-all to all end-alls. What we really need to be happy and succeed in life is already within us.

What’s that you ask? I’m so glad you did!21-blog

We must stop trying to be who we are and start being who we are.

Thanks, a lot, Terry. Fine. What’s THAT supposed to mean, oh great guru of knowledge and wisdom?

(In spite of that sarcasm there, I will respond!)

It means we frequently try too hard to:

  • Be something we’re not;
  • Always strive to please others;
  • Not pleasing ourselves;
  • Sanitize our approach;
  • Worry that we won’t appeal to everyone – NEW FLASH! WE WON’T!
  • Compare our happiness and satisfaction to others;
  • Base our worth on the number of people following our social media accounts; or,
  • Are terrified we’re “not ready.”

Well, pumpkin’ we’re NOT ready for that next big leap to magnificence. Of course we’re not “ready!” If we were we’d have already done what we’re thinking about doing. But right now we are as ready as we ever could be to be ourselves.

Think about it. No one knows you the way you do. If you don’t like something about yourself, change it or figure out why you are being so critical with yourself. If you need help doing that find that professional help.

The key point is to stop trying to be yourself and just start accepting that you can be yourself. You can do so without reservation, approval, permission or apology.

Isn’t it time for us to see who you are? Isn’t it time to move to that next level of expression? It’s inside you, perhaps desperately seeking the manifestation only you can provide. Let it out! Be YOU! WOO-HOO!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

What’s Your Vision

Do you have a “vision?” One of the most important tools we can have for success is a personal vision statement. It succinctly articulates what we want our lives to accomplish, what we want to enjoy, how we wish to live, with whom we wish to live it, and what impact we intend to have on the planet using the gifts that are uniquely ours to give.

This week we continue to discuss The Global Vision:  A World That Works For Everyone, brought to us by Centers for Spiritual Living. The organization has chosen “What’s Your Vision?” for discussion this week. As you may already know, this topic is one of the mainstays of my teaching, my ministry and my own life. I’m very excited to share these ideas with you specifically this week.

A vision statement, and its accompanying mission statement, has become a necessity for businesses and organizations over the past few decades. We’ve come to expect them to be prominently displayed in offices and on websites.

What is often missing, however, is a personal vision, something just for us. For us to have a world that works for everyone – meaning we all have enough food, a comfortable place to live and a sense of belonging – we must be clear individually as to what that means for us personally.

It is only by being firm in our own direction that we can be of use and service to others. To serve without a vision is to flounder in uncertainty, accomplishing little and ending the day with a sense of dissatisfaction and confusion.

Over the next week at the Facebook® page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation I’ll be discussing this week’s topic by providing a free-of-charge, mini-course on this theme from my last book, “How to Find Your Vision and Get a Life! Using a vision and mission to create a life worth living.”20150623_093529

I hope you’ll join me and actively participate in the daily lessons and discussions. (Spoiler Alert:  I’m developing an entire eight-week course on this book for individual and organizational use that is expected to be available in the fall.) See you over at SMBF on Facebook®!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

Would You Like to Prosper in Life?

Theme for the Week of April 25:
Kinship With All Life
 

Affirmation:  We see a world in which kinship with all life prospers.

 Would You Like to Prosper in Life?

Do you believe we still live in a “dog-eat-dog” world? When media feeding frenzies highlight what’s wrong on our planet it could leave us to agree. And, many businesses are still operating with the model that there’s only room for one at the top.

This week in our daily discussions over at the Facebook® page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation we’ll be looking again at our unity with all life, but also how we can participate in the prosperity of all concerned.

How prospering looks for each of us is an individual determination. Just as prosperity is not all about money, prospering is not necessarily the ideal set out for us in the media through advertising and marketing. For some of us, prospering in life can be as simple as being content with what we have.

26

This is not meant to infer that we should become complacent in life. Contentment and complacency are two different things – yet another topic we’ll look at this week! What we focus on increases; this is a basic universal law. Therefore, if we are constantly complaining about our body image, our relationships, our job or our bank account, what do you think is increasing? All the things we don’t want!

Join me this week in a further examination of the unity of all life, the kinship we hold with creatures like us and those dissimilar, how we can prosper through contentment and how we can actively partner in a prospering life for all.

Yes, it’s going to be quite a week!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone

Is That Really True?

Theme for the Week of February 1:

Living in Alignment with Truth

We see a world in which people live in alignment with their highest spiritual truth.

How do you know what you read or hear is true? This is probably a good questions for Americans to be asking right now, considering it’s a presidential election year here in the States. There are so many conflicting “facts” that the truth may not be easy to ascertain.

The theme of the week is “Living in Alignment with Truth.” That subject might seem the complete opposite of political agendas, but there actually is a direct correlation between the two. We all grow up with some idea of what spiritual truth is, though we may not call it by that name. The spiritual truth that we are raised with is usually the religion of our parents. Though we may not necessarily believe now what we were taught as a child, the benchmark by which we measure truth in the rest of our lives could be influenced by religious training.

As adults we have come to learn that the church is not always right and spiritual leaders not as perfect as we were taught to believe. Still, the idea that there is a rock-solid truth upon which we can base our life is something we may still seek from the physical world around us.

It is said that we are welcome to construct our own opinions based on whatever facts we choose; we do not, however, get to change the Truth. The real Truth we seek is contained with universal laws that never change. They work for everyone and they work everywhere.

Here’s a great litmus test for vetting any idea or claim that comes along:

  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it really the truth?
  • How do I know it’s the truth?
  • Since it’s the truth, am I willing to base the life of my child or loved one on it?
  • How would my experience be if it wasn’t the truth?

I hope you’ll want to continue the discussion this week! Just click on over to the Facebook page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation, my Centers for Spiritual Living focus ministry. Come on – click over! (That’s where all the fun is!)

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone

Expressing Life to the Fullest

Theme for the Week of January 25:
Individual Expressions of an Infinite Creator

“This One manifests itself in and through all creation but is not absorbed by its creation.” – Ernest Holmes

 

How are you expressing life? Your immediate thought might be that of the struggle of life and not feeling that is “expressive.” When we think of people expressing themselves it’s often through art forms like poetry, music, sculpture or painting. But we have our own unique expressions all the time.

How is that? If you’re willing to do so, ask a few friends or co-workers what kind of person they think you are! We might think our constant attention to pointing out what’s wrong should be appreciated for the good we intend it to be; others could see us as an arrogant fault-finder. Perhaps we strive to help people to have a better life; those we think we are helping might view us as meddling.

Our best intentions are not always received with the same energy with which we carry them out, are they? Perhaps part of the confusion lies within our desire to help others without ever thinking of our own needs. We may have been raised to always think of others first, but in doing so we can begin to harbor resentment, experience burnout and find ourselves doing what we think is right or proper, only to feel constantly like something is missing.

If we are not true to our unique self – our individual abilities and life purpose – we become absorbed by the needs and whims of others around us. Spirit (or God, “the One,” or whatever you want to call it) is never absorbed by its creation. Though there is a unity of all life there are unlimited and unique expressions of that one life.best-duck-choose

What is your unique expression of life? There is something you have or something you do that is unique to you and only you. There is an amazing gift wrapped up in this package we call “you.” What are you willing to do to express that gift? How will your gift illuminate the darkness in the world?

If you want to continue the discussion, click on over to the Facebook page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation, my Centers for Spiritual Living focus ministry. Starting today we’ll spend a week looking at the various aspects of our unique natures. Come join the party!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone