I Demand Justice!

Revenge v. Justice

Haven’t you ever wanted to see someone who’d hurt you “get what they deserve?” Most of us have. Grandma Esther used to say, “Every dog has its day.” Rest assured she wanted to be there to watch it happen, if not personally take part in the act.

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. - Confucius

Grandma wanted revenge, not justice. There is a big difference between the two. Revenge satisfies our ego. We get to be right. We are there to observe the punishment. We get to feel vindicated, justified, and may feel like we’ve turned the tables on the person who we allowed to victimize us. But it will never give us what justice does:

In his new documentary series on The National Geographic Channel, actor Morgan Freeman examines how peoples all over the world deal with the results of war, and how peace is possible. In one episode, he sits across from a Tutsi woman whose family was killed by the Hutu people during the genocide in Rwanda.

Next to her sits the man who was part of the Hutu militia. The man was personally responsible for killing those family members. Over two years of communication has resulted in these two people from different tribes becoming friends through the help of a local bishop in the area. They are part of an “ambitious reconciliation program.” The man who murdered her husband, brother-in-law, and two children now helps her with her farm to provide income for her family, making amends for his actions.

We are more aware today more than ever before of the injustice in the world. This is so because of 24-hour-a-day news coverage, the Internet, and our smart phones. Because of the information we receive it can become extremely easy to react to events and reports, often without a full understanding of the complete picture. We want to stop the violence, but we frequently lack any knowledge of why such horrible events are happening in the first place. We can become so fixated on the solution that we ignore why the problem exists.

Revenge is easy. Justice takes time. We must gain knowledge; we seek to understand; we can then act in wise ways to correct the problem; and, we begin the healing process.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” is a phrase attributed to Pashto origins, shows up in the Italian culture, and even said to be of Klingon origin in Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan. Regardless of the actual source it dooms us to a cold, heartless, and unsatisfying life, instead of warming us to a brighter future.

In the television series, Revenge, a “double infinity” symbol was used emphasis unending love – in a sense, “double forever.” That same symbol reminds me every day that revenge, not justice, continues the cycle of hate, anger, and lack of forgiveness.

Is there someone in your life upon whom you are seeking revenge? Are you investing your time, treasures, and talents in the pursuit of getting back at another? Seek this week to heal those thoughts. Determine to forgive, so that the psychic bindings holding you to that person or situation are severed for all time.

We have within us the power to change. It’s a quality which we are born with, but often fail to use. We are only victims of the past if we chose to be so.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

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“Do Something, Even If It’s Wrong!”

Living By Default

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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Isn’t It About Time?

When Will You Start Living the Life You Want?

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what I think living looks like:

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

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

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

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

Indecision is actually the individual’s decision to fail.

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

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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Just Who Do You Think YOU Are?

It’s Time To Be Yourself

Do you get criticized by others for thinking and acting “outside the box?” I wouldn’t be surprised. I certainly do. And, like attracts like!

I remember years ago being just about ready to walk out the door when my roommate asked, “You’re not going out in THAT, are you?” (Okay, granted, it was the 80s and I wouldn’t be caught DEAD wearing that today if I still had it, which I don’t, but I digress…) I gave him a blank stare. That’s always a good comeback when someone asks a stupid question.

He followed his original query with, “What makes you think you can wear that?” My answer, again with a blank stare was, “Because I can!” Admittedly, I “may” have had a slight bit of attitude in the delivery, and I “suspect” I may have raised at least one eyebrow when responding, since at his height he’d never have been able to pull off and over-sized, turquoise shirt with tails and a metallic vest. (I warned you. I was the 80s …)

Levity aside, you’ll probably admit that the opinions of others may have very well stopped you from doing what you wanted to do at some point. You might not have even suspected a particular person, but were afraid of some kind of reprisal or criticism about your appearance, conduct, or idea.

There are lots of reasons why we let people stop us from doing things. We think we’re too old, or too young; not good enough; untrained; inexperienced; or, playing out of our league. But each of us has a particular gift in the way we live life and express ourselves. Abraham Maslov is quoted as saying:

No great deed, private or public, has ever been undertaken in a bliss of certainty.

If we wait around to live our lives until we have everyone’s approval the only thing being said will be, “S/He looks so natural lying there in that beautiful coffin.”

It’s time to up the ante on being you. We don’t have to be outrageous for the sake of being outrageous. In fact, sometimes being ourselves may mean that we are calm when others are excited. Give us and the entire world the pleasure of seeing you for the unique and magnificent expression of Spirit in human form. We need you … just as you are!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Are You Responsible for the World?

Saving the World by Saving Ourselves

Do you sometimes feeling responsible for solving problems, issues, or conditions that have little or nothing to do with you? If so, you’re not alone.

Global news has made us far more aware of concerning and often tragic situations that deserve considering. But do they all merit our personal action? No.

We can’t do everything and we can’t make everything better for all people. Yes, there are those who preach you can have anything you desire and do everything you want. In fact, they are correct, except that one very significant and important factor is missing in that equation:

We don’t get something for nothing.

We may debate and disagree on whether or not we can have everything we want. But we can, perhaps, agree on this one thing:  It’s nearly impossible to have everything we want simultaneously. A woman can’t be pregnant and not pregnant. A man can’t be married and single at the same time, though Lord knows enough of us try … ahem.

To have what we want means we must make choices. It isn’t a Divine Being above refusing to grant our wishes that stops us from getting what we want. Rather, it’s that we aren’t willing to make the choices necessary to have our desires, wants, and even needs fulfilled.

So how do we achieve true happiness and do our part to make the world a better place to live? I the words of Joseph Campbell, who said:

We’re not on our journey to save the world, but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.

Is it time to be what the world or your friends and family might call “a little selfish” in your decisions and actions? I know so many people who tell me they want to write or be life coaches. Yet they don’t ever write or their lives don’t reflect they are practicing what they claim to want to teach to others.

Starting right this minute, embrace a newly-found desire to take care of yourself. Be the very best version of you in a vital, exciting, vibrant, and outstanding way that you’ve never before experienced. In doing so, you’ll start saving the world in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. Live your life with the magnificence that only you can to re-vitalize the entire planet!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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What Are We Doing to Affect Change?

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Have you notice how many requests you’re getting for donations or financial aid via email and letters to your home? Two major hurricanes, wild fires, worldwide poverty, and human rights violations are only a few of the reasons. So what can we do?

Whether we say that “actions speak louder than words” or “what you appear to be is so loud it drowns out what you’re saying,” the meaning is the same. If we want to affectively talk the talk we also have to walk the walk.

Part of this situation is the difference between recognition and acknowledgment. Understanding the difference is crucial not only in responding to the need of others, but it also applies to affecting change in our own lives.

We have Eugene Holden to thank for this differentiation. In his article, “Surrender to Your Greatest Good in Five Steps,” published in the April 2016 issue of Guide for Spiritual Living:  Science of Mind® magazine, he makes the distinction in this way:

Recognition and acknowledgement are not the same. For example, I can recognize someone across the room and not acknowledge them.

That simple example hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks when I first read it. I ended up stopping, re-reading it, thinking about it, and re-reading it again. The effect has stuck with me for some time.

How often do we recognize a situation and not acknowledge it? We see the homeless person, but we refuse to make eye contact. We notice yet another email from a non-profit organization and may delete it without even a glance. We see the clutter in our home, the way our clothes need updating, or recognize all-too-well that the reflection in the mirror is not what we desire to see.

Yet we are not really acknowledging it. Why won’t we acknowledge it?

Because acknowledgment means that acting may, and most likely is, required of us as a result of our acknowledgment. In other words, we don’t want to deal with it. So while we recognize it, we don’t take it to the next step of acknowledgment. Why?

Fear that we can’t handle it; anger that we’ll have to deal with it eventually whether we want to or not; or, perhaps we don’t want to take action at all, but feel guilty about that.

One word:  DRAMA!

I’m seeing how this discussion could easily become a series of blogs, but for now let’s close on this idea. How about starting to be aware of the next time we recognize something in our path that shows up. Will we acknowledge it and deal with it? Or, put it aside … again?

As with all things, the choice is ours.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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Schläger Schmläger

Refuse to Compare Yourself to Others

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

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

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

“But WAIT! There’s MORE!”

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

“Don’t miss out!”

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

Advertiser and shysters love exclamation points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

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

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.
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Pin Your Tail Back On, Eeyore!

Rewiring Our Thoughts

Are you accused of being a Pollyanna about life? Pollyanna was the little girl who always saw the silver lining in every cloud. Personally, I’d rather be Pollyanna than Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh stories, the latter who sees the cloud in any silver lining.

If you’ve read my work for any length of time you probably know I’m not one to spout trite affirmations. Phrases of positive content are definitely helpful in reshaping our thinking, but we must supplement them with equally positive actions. Some people seem to think thinking, saying or writing affirmations is the end all; then they’re upset when their desires don’t fall in their lap, or appear wrapped up with a pretty red bow and delivered by a hunky FedEx® guy in shorts!

Still … just being positive appears to have clinic evidence to recommend the practice of going for the good, instead of anticipating the bad. Social psychologist Alison Ledgerwood is a researcher who “investigates how certain ways of thinking about an issue tend to stick in people's heads.”

Not surprising is that positive thinking leads to more positive results than negative thinking. But there’s a more bizarre and quite eye-opening fact about the opposite. According to Ledgerwood, thinking from bad-to-good, or losses-to-gains, requires more work on our part than moving from good-to-bad, or gains-to-losses. And, in most cases, our brains never quite get all the way back to the positive, as we experience a bit of “residual doubt” even when the worst thing we can imagine doesn’t happen.

This may have served us well as hunter/gatherers thousands of years ago, but in modern society it can be a serious problem. One would think that going from A-to-B would be the same as going from B-to-A, yet studies indicate the opposite. In other words, if we want to have a more productive, satisfying and successful life we are better out starting out with the positive angle of anything, instead of looking for all the negative consequences.

Ledgerwood reports that research from University of California Davis suggests that “writing just a few minutes a day about the things we’re grateful for can boost happiness, well-being and health.”

In a world that focuses on what’s wrong it can be a challenge to focus on what’s right. However, stepping up to that challenge is exactly what the clinical research tells us we must do for not only our success and happiness, but for our peace of mind and physical well-being.

So here’s a thought:  Instead of assuming that the next tragedy reported via the media is definitely a terrorist attack fueling the “phobia du jour,” why not move directly to compassion and support for those affected?

If you’re not already doing so, start each day even before you get out of bed by focusing on the positive things that you expect to happen. (Side point:  EXPECT good things to happen!) And, before retiring, write in a “Gratitude Journal” about just three things that happened that day for which you can give thanks.

P.S.  Click here to watch Dr. Alison Ledgerwood’s TEDxUCDAVIS talk on this subject!

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.