Words Matter

People often view their words as harmless. In their mind, stories they tell about themselves and others are simply truths, fun, or humor. The issue is that words matter because the stories a person tells contributes to creating the future.

 

Self-Talk

 

The stories that people tell about themselves sets expectations, at least subconsciously, for the future. If you talk about your marriage failing, you are setting yourself on a path to divorce. Likewise, if you talk about losing your job, you are energizing the prospect of getting laid off or fired.

 

Thus, it is very important to avoid negative self-talk. If a person sees himself or herself as successful, they are likely with hard work to be successful. However, if the person sees himself or herself as failing, the person will have little chance of success. Since the person is expressing a negative outcome, it will impact the actions they take, their interactions with people, and the opportunities the universe brings them.

 

Other People

 

When this talk extends to other people, the person making the statement is putting their expectations and beliefs on the other person. That person may react with rebellion and fight back against those beliefs. However, they also may take on those beliefs as their own. When those beliefs include positive actions and outcomes, taking those beliefs on isn’t such a bad thing. However, when those beliefs and statements are limiting, it can be very bad.

 

Children

 

Negative statements are especially difficult on children. They hear these statements and they can be significantly impacted psychologically and emotionally. The same is true for adults. Yet, children are more vulnerable. If the statements are made by a parent, teacher, or other trusted person, the words can have a greater impact possibly scarring a child for life.

 

One of the recent trends is memes about the awful home schooling experience.  Multiple memes focus on the idea that because kids are now doing remote school work, the parents finally understand it is their children that are the root of the problem and not the teachers. Meanwhile, others indicate the parents need to start drinking early in the morning or can’t handle their children. When I pointed out to someone that I felt these memes could have negative consequences, they said, “Oh, it is just for fun.”

 

Is It Really Humor?

 

Of course, it begs the question, “Is it really humor?” If a parent or teacher feels compelled to post or like a meme about home schooling being awful, they should look inside and explore their motivation. What about it do they see as humorous. It says more about the adult than the child.

 

The fact of the matter is that whether it is for fun or not, it is still creating a reality. Consciously, the person may think it is fun, but their subconscious can’t  separate just for fun from it being actually true. In addition, consider if the person’s child sees the meme. If that child is in a vulnerable state, they may assume the parent and the teachers find them difficult or do not like them even if that was not the intent. To a child words matter more than adults can understand.

 

Power of Positive Talk

 

Whether a person talks to himself or herself, talks to or about someone else, or simply posts words in jest, the words matter. Thus, it seems logical to choose positive words that would bring good things into everyone’s lives. If we focus on positive words and images, we give those things energy. Thus, they can grow and blossom.

 

How We Can Help

 

If you struggle with negative self-talk or the effects of statements made to you throughout your life, consider some coaching or other energetic mind and body healing.

 

 

 

focus your energy on what is most important

Life is busy and it may have been some time since you have asked yourself where you regularly focus your energy. Perhaps, this is a question that you have never asked yourself. Still, it is a very important question, especially in light of the current world situation.

 

The World Situation

 

You may be focused solely on getting through the coming weeks as we live through the most significant pandemic of our lifetimes. It is natural to flip into survival mode when your way of life is threatened.

 

It is normal to be concerned about health, loved ones, jobs, finances, food, and even toilet paper. However, there has to be prioritization and the appropriate level of concern. Toilet paper is not nearly as important as having a roof over your head and being healthy. It is definitely not something that requires you to buy every package you can find.

 

Maintaining Balance

 

Balance is critical. It will be much easier to take a balanced approach to life if you limit your focus on COVID-19 information. It is important to stay up to date on the government rules, but too much news is not healthy.

 

If you find yourself listening to lots of news commentary or you are constantly checking the coronavirus numbers (and you aren’t a government or medical statistician), you may be focusing too much on the current situation.

 

It is especially unhealthy to listen to the “political” views of the situation, which are not meant to inform anyone of facts, but are intended to stir your emotions and influence your political opinions. Anger and negativity are the last things you need in your life right now, as love and calmness are the feelings that lead us through the situation.

 

If you feel that you are really drawn to what is happening, look for volunteer opportunities to help others during this time. Alternately, focus on self-care, learning new skills, or activities that you enjoy.

 

Medical Workers

 

Now, if you are a medical worker, it may be impossible to maintain balance in the short-term as your focus is on your work. This is understandable as you are working long hours and focusing on saving lives. It is important to relax and meditate as best you can. Once things slow down, you need to make sure and take time for yourself to heal, not from the virus, but from the stress.

 

Front Line Workers

 

Similarly, if you are a front line worker, you may be feeling a lot of stress as you work to maintain your health while coming in contact with the public. It is key not to worry about your situation. Instead, take the actions (e.g. masks, hand washing) that you can take to maintain your health.

 

No matter what your situation is, it is important to choose action over worry. Even if you are temporarily out of work, there are actions that you can take. Start by checking into unemployment, looking for temporary work, and checking into government programs. You may also consider free online training that will help you enhance your job opportunities in the future.

 

Action Over Worry

 

No cases exist where worry or complaining to a friend will add value to your life. Granted, you may need to unload occasionally. That is fine. However, if worry and complaint are the topic of every conversation, there are better areas of focus. Instead, engage your friends and/or family in brainstorming options, research possibilities, and don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who may be able to assist you.

 

Acting won’t completely eliminate worry, but it will lessen it and you may even find a solution!

 

Self-Care

 

Most people don’t get enough self-care under normal circumstances. Given the current situation, everyone needs extra self-care. You may want to consider what you have done for yourself lately. You may want to read, spend some time on a hobby, or have an energy treatment. Focusing on one’s self is critical in order to keep a high vibration and stay healthy.

 

A focus on self-care allows you to be able to focus on, care for, and support your family, friends, and community.

 

Your Focus

 

Survey the last two weeks and determine where your focus has been. Have you had any focus on caring for yourself? Has your focus been primarily positive? Do you have plans to focus on positive things in the coming weeks?

 

The answers to these questions are more important than ever given the current world situation. Be very cautious on selecting where you focus your energy since what you focus on is often pulled into your life. Thus, a focus on love of self, family, friends, and community will pull more love and joy into your life.

 

 

 

disconnected

Today many people are struggling with being home away from family and friends. Yet, being disconnected can provide opportunities.

 

Growing Up In A Disconnected World

 

I grew up in a relatively disconnected world. We lived in a rural area with our closest neighbors a quarter of a mile away, but most much farther. On top of that, my mom didn’t drive. Therefore, until I got my driver’s license we usually didn’t go anywhere unless we could bike there or dad was home.

 

A tiny grocery existed about 4 miles away. However, most grocery shopping was done “in town” 15 miles away. Thus, grocery shopping was a once a week task. On very rare occasions, dad would stop to pick up milk, bread, or another necessity on his way home. However, generally we cooked whatever we had and I learned to improvise.

 

We did have a telephone, but we mostly made local calls because talking long-distance was expensive. So, we stayed mostly to ourselves outside of school and seeing family from time to time.

 

Being disconnected, I learned how to entertain myself, read for hours and hours, learned how to make cookies out of nothing at all, and learned to enjoy solitude. I would likely not have focused in these areas if we were always on the go.

 

Today’s Situation

 

Today, despite staying home, we are still very connected to people through electronics. However, many people are more disconnected than they have ever been in their life. Such a change can be challenging.

 

Finding Yourself

 

In recent years, you may have found it difficult to get away or to say, “No” to social engagements. Now, you have the perfect opportunity to find yourself, pamper yourself, discover what you love, or spend time with your family.

 

Have you sat back lately and asked yourself, “Who am I?” It is an interesting question. You may identify yourself as a parent, a spouse, a teacher, or a dedicated member of your church.

 

Still, who are you really? Look deep inside and consider the things that are most important to you. Perhaps there are dreams that you have put on hold or core values that you compromised along your journey.

 

Now, you have a chance to focus on those things that are important to you. Spend time with yourself, get reacquainted, and create a new path forward.

 

Discover What You Love

 

Consider what you truly love. Perhaps your journey has taken twists and turns to the point that you no longer love the things you once did. Alternately, that dream may still be waiting for you.

 

Focus some time on your hobbies. Investigate something that you have been meaning to try for some time. Or, try several random things and see if something speaks to you.

 

Pamper Yourself

 

While focusing on rediscovering yourself, also pamper yourself. Pampering can take many forms. Go outside, exercise, and enjoy the sunshine. Also, take time to make healthy meals from scratch and get some extra sleep. Plus, make sure to include an indulgence or two.

 

Connect With Your Family

 

During this disconnected time, you also have an opportunity to reconnect with your family in new and stronger ways. If they live with you, you can share in the self and family discovery together.

 

If your family is at a distance, you can still strengthen your connection. Extra phone calls to check in on them not only helps them, but can also enhance your relationship. Consider video calls and activities if practical.

 

For instance, we discovered that we really enjoy having game night with the kids via video. The crazy thing is that despite having them at a distance for years, we had never developed a habit of connecting via video or doing regular activities together. Now, I hope we keep it as a regular family gathering.

 

Disconnected – The Opportunity

 

So, instead of seeing this time in a negative light, look for the opportunities. Disconnected can feel good!

 

Recent related articles:

 

letting go to connect

It might seem counter-intuitive to say that you need to let go of things in order to better connect. Yet, letting go is often the first step in being fully present and completely connected in a situation.

 

Connecting To The Present

 

To be a success in your job, relationship, or any other thing you choose, you must connect to the present. Your focus must on the “here and now” instead of “what could be” or “what might have been.”

 

For example, you will only succeed in your job if you focus on the job that you have today. If you focus on your dream job or the job that got away, you will not do as good of a job. Additionally, you will likely be unhappy. Now, if you focus on your current job and do a great job, another job may await you that takes you a step closer to your dream job.

 

The same is true of relationships. If you focus on a past relationship or an ideal one, you are bound to miss the potential of current relationships.

 

Likewise, if you focus on yesterday or tomorrow, you will miss opportunities that are right in front of you today.

 

Holding Onto The Past

 

In the current world situation, disconnecting from the present might seem like a good idea. It is easy to think of the things you planned to do or how life was so different just a month ago. You might even focus on “if I had only.” However, that only disconnects you from the present.

 

Instead, you might consider this situation an opportunity or a challenge. If you are working from home, consider how to be more productive. Challenge yourself to stay connected to co-workers in a socially-distanced world. If you are still going to a place of employment, make it a challenge. Create new ideas for maintaining distance from other workers and look for other ways of staying healthy.

 

If you have more free time, consider connecting with family, learning a new skill, or enjoying a hobby, or simply having some down time. Use this time to connect to whatever you want and need in your life.

 

Does It Add Value?

 

No matter how you are spending your time you are likely still being bombarded with information about the current situation. Being aware is good; getting caught up in information overload and drama is not good.

 

If the information grasps your focus but adds no value, you may want to consider letting it go. For example, it is easy for some people to get caught up looking at the latest stories on social media, checking the virus statistics, or watching the stock market. The question is, “Do any of these things add value to your life?” If you are going to make changes because of them, then maybe there is a valid reason. However, if you aren’t going to change anything, consider letting them go or minimizing the time you focus on them.

 

These are not things you can control. Instead, turn your attention away and focus on being present in the moment.

 

Dreams

 

None of this negates having dreams and ideas of a better life and a better world in the future. You should absolutely continue to dream. It is just that the dream should not get in the way of your life.

 

For instance, if you are 20 and a budding football star, it makes sense to eat, breathe and live football in hopes of becoming a Denver Bronco. However, if you are sixty-years old and you are still holding onto the same dream, you may have missed out on a lot of life. Continuing to focus your time, thoughts, and actions on that dream means that you are likely missing out on connecting with other possibilities.

 

In this example, the dream should have been transformed or dropped thirty years earlier so that you could be present and enjoy life. As the late Kenny Rogers sang in the Gambler,

 

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
(1)

 

Dreams are the same way. If you continue to hold them beyond their time, you will miss out of living life.

 

Be Present

 

Thus, to stay as healthy as possible, let go of all those things that are not serving you. This will allow you to connect to those people and things that are most important to you in a healthier, stronger way.

Apply it today and find yourself more fully present. New and improved connections are awaiting you!

 

staying connected during social distancing

Staying connected with friends and family is often a challenge. However, it is more important than ever at this time. Yet, the challenges are even greater with the recommendation/requirement of widespread social distancing.

 

Social Distancing

 

“Social Distancing” is a bit of a misnomer. The intent of social distancing isn’t to distance yourself from others socially. Instead, the idea is to distance yourself from others physically. Staying connected to family and friends while distancing yourself physically is actually very important during this time of isolation.

 

People are not intended by their very nature to be alone as humans are social beings and require human contact. The amount of contact varies with extroverts needing contact with more people than introverts. However, introverts still need contact, but usually thrive best when in contact with a small circle of friends and family.

 

During a time when most people are spending a majority of time at home, extra non-physical contact can boost the energy of the people involved. It not only helps boost the energy and health of the person you contact, but also does the same for you.

 

Reaching Out

 

Often we get busy and don’t connect with friends and family as often as we plan. For many of us, this is an opportunity to reach out to friends and family more often. It is especially important for older people and people who live alone to continue to have human interaction. Thus, if you are able, contact them electronically each and every day.

 

Contacts with others do not have to require a lot of time. It can be a quick text, email, Facebook message, or other “text” style conversation. However, there is nothing like hearing someone else’s voice, especially for older people who may struggle with technology. So, if you can, give someone a quick call. Additionally, technology, such as, Skype, Zoom, and Facetime, allow you to see each other, which adds a bit more to the level of connection.

Focus of Conversations

 

You should make sure that loved ones are aware of the latest information on the situation and the steps that they should be taking. However, for the most part conversations should be fun and upbeat. Focusing on good things will help you, too.

 

Sometimes topics of discussion can be a challenge when everyone is spending time at home and haven’t been anywhere or done anything. To combat this issue, think of topics ahead of time. You can consult the World Wide Web for ideas as there are lists for everything. However, a good place to start is asking the other person about a hobby or something that they do which you know little about. For older family members, ask them about their childhood, their parents, their siblings, eras gone by, etc.

 

Staying connected is the only way to go – even with social distancing! Stay connected at a distance! Be well and help others be well!

 

 

We have a list of Resources for managing through the current situation.  They include links to official information, healing/energy work sources, online activities, educational material, tips for working from home, and much more.  Click here to access the list of Resources.

 

 

Focus on what is under your control

The world today is challenging all of us. For most of us in the United States, we are accustomed to being able to do what we want, go where we want, and live in any fashion that we choose. By standards of yesteryear and even many countries today, we live in luxury. And, most people here have never experienced restrictions on our freedom. Now, we are facing a time where restrictions limit us. In that light, each of us must focus on what we can control.

 

The Great Depression & WWII

 

The last time there were significant nationwide restrictions on Americans was during World War II. Most of the people that experienced the days of the Great Depression and WWII are no longer with us. Only the few remaining members of the Greatest Generation remember those days. It is from them that we can get some perspective on the situation we are facing today.

 

Availability of Items

 

The challenges of the Great Depression and WWII were different than the challenge we face today. Still, there are some commonalities. During the 1930s and 1940s, the government rationed items because we could not get items, such as, sugar and coffee in a big enough supply for everyone to have as much as they desired. Other items, such as, shoes were rationed to save materials for the war. An important factor is that this wasn’t for a couple of months. These restrictions went on for several years, although some were eased over time.

 

Today items, such as, toilet paper and hand sanitizer are difficult to find in stores. However, the reasons are different. It isn’t that we can’t get materials to make them or that they are needed for another reason. Instead, they are scarce because of panic buying and in some cases hoarding with the idea of profiting off of the situation.

 

The availability of most items should return to normal shortly as people see that supplies are replenished and opportunists find that selling these items more difficult than they imagined due to rules put in place by online marketplaces. To assist with the situation, stores have begun rationing the number of some items that an individual can purchase at a given time until people return to normal purchasing patterns.

 

You can’t control what is on the shelves, but you can ensure that you buy only what you need. Perhaps consider a few extra items so that you have to shop less often, but don’t over do it. Consider how long it will take you to use the items you purchase. The less we all panic buy, the less likely we will have new restrictions on our freedom to purchase items of our choosing.

 

Restaurants and Bars

 

During the war, restaurants stayed open in most areas. However, some had limited hours. Likewise, in some areas nightlife was put on hold by local governments. The reasoning being that it was wrong for people to have fun while our soldiers were risking their lives. Yet, theaters were still open and people did get a burger and fries now and then.

 

Today, restaurants and bars are closed or have limited take-out and delivery services not because it wouldn’t look right, but instead to curb the transmission of COVID-19. One huge difference is that today people eat out far more than they did 80 years ago.

 

Eating out is a habit and some people do it daily. Thus, it seems like a much bigger issue to most people today than it was in 1940. This restriction on our freedom seems to some as overwhelming. If you are one of them, I recommend learning to cook (if you don’t know how), spending time with your family, learning about something you are interested in, or doing some other home activity that you enjoy. If you are an extrovert, talk on the phone, have group chats, email, message, and use social media sites to stay in contact.

 

Businesses

 

Already gyms, restaurants, museums, theaters, and other businesses have had their doors closed or their business greatly altered by government rules. Additionally, there are rumors that some businesses will be asked (or told) to convert to making medical supplies. This type of thing did happen during WWII. Businesses had no choice. The government told them what they would be making and the timeline they had to make it.

 

We aren’t accustomed to the government dictating the closure of businesses or what businesses can and cannot do. However, the longer this outbreak goes on, the more likely business decisions will be controlled by the government. Still, it doesn’t mean that it will be forever. As WWII ramped down, businesses returned to making the products they had made before the war almost overnight. In some cases, the first new civilian products rolled off the assembly lines the same day the restriction was lifted.

 

Travel Restrictions

 

People travel much more today than they did in the 1930s and 1940s. People fly at the drop of a hat, cruise on the oceans, and drive across the country without it being a big deal. It was just a part of life up until the last few weeks when travel restrictions started being put in place.

 

Travel restrictions today are a bit different than during WWII. During WWII, people weren’t technically restricted from travel. However, gas rationing made it nearly impossible to travel. And, if you blew a tire, you probably weren’t getting a new one for a long time, as they required government approval to purchase. Likewise, you had to have government approval to purchase a car or a tractor. Fortunately, we haven’t reached that point.

 

Travel may be greatly restricted right now. So, what can we do? Travel online. Research places that you would like to someday visit, find museum collections online, share stories of previous travel, etc. Use technology to bring travel and exotic places into your life.

 

Focus On What We Can Control

 

The government may control many aspects of life, however, they don’t control everything. Thus, it is important for each of us to focus on what we can control. We cannot control that we can’t hang out at our favorite restaurant. However, if we can afford it, we can still order take out. We can also experiment with making new kinds of food, try new hobbies, etc.

 

We don’t have to allow restrictions on our freedoms to lead to negative thinking. By focusing on what is under your control, we will keep a positive mindset and make it through this situation better people than we were before. We have the Greatest Generation as our role model. Make them proud.

 

Join us March 26 as we discuss Being In Control In Uncertain Times.  The event is FREE.

 

 

skip the fear

Fear never leads to a feeling of peace.  Thus, instead of allowing fear to permeate your life, skip the fear and connect to peace.  In many ways choosing peace is choosing love. Without love we are guaranteed to have no peace.

 

Yet, every day people choose negativity, hate, and anger. Although none of those leads to love or peace, they are a pattern in the world today. Even those who try to give them up, often struggle to keep their focus on love and peace. It is no wonder people struggle as there is so much negative hype in the news media and social media.

 

The Virus & The Media

 

The news media is working overtime with stories on the coronavirus. It is important to inform people about the dangers of this virus and provide updates on the steps that are being taken to combat it. However, often the tone of the stories, and headlines in particular, are alarming.

 

Rather than informing people and keeping people calm, the media and some public figures are actually creating hysteria. There is a big difference between being concerned and taking precautions versus buying 500 rolls of toilet paper and 30 cases of water that you won’t use in the next 3 months.

 

Don’t Panic

 

The first and most important thing you can do for your health is to take a deep breath and relax. Skip the fear given panic and worry will only diminish your quality of life. They are guaranteed NOT to help.

 

Realize that this too will pass. The panic of today will be replaced by sanity and understanding. Doctors and scientists are understanding more about this virus every day. Vaccinations are being developed. After all, although this is “new,” it is in a classification of viruses that are already known. So, it may have unique attributes, but it isn’t completely foreign to doctors.

 

Relax. Skip the fear. Life will go on. It just may not be quite as luxurious as it was a month ago, but it will go on.

 

Energetically Speaking

 

The energy of panic and worry only brings about more panic and worry. The energy that you transmit is the energy that you will draw to you. So, if you emit panic and worry, you will help the virus and the worry to grow for yourself and others.

 

Thus, if you desire peace, calm, and a time of little worry, peace and love are where you need to put your energy. By doing so, you will help the world heal and defeat this virus.

 

Actions You Can Take

 

What can you do? Practice good hygiene, make good decisions about where you go (assuming you have a choice), limit your news intake, ignore fake and exaggerated stories (verify stories and sources before posting on social media or sharing with friends), and be realistic. Do you really think you will use 500 rolls of toilet paper any time soon?

 

If you are exposed to the virus, self-quarantine and follow all the procedures that authorities provide. Even in this case, remain calm. Energetically cleanse yourself. And, keep a good attitude. Just because you may have been exposed, doesn’t mean you will get the virus. If you do get it, remember that a high percentage of the cases are mild (yes, you wouldn’t know that by listening to many of the news stories).

 

Right now the media is constantly beating the coronavirus drum. Remember that fear leads to good ratings and increased online clicks. So, they have an incentive for you to be afraid. Instead of falling into the negative energy of fear, stay calm. Look for the facts. Go to the CDC website and read about it yourself.

 

Rather than focusing your energy on the fear and negativity, focus your energy toward a healthy world. Keeping a laser focus on love, patience, and healing is a step toward feeling at peace!

 

Join us Thursday March 19 for a free online class on Energetic Tips for Staying Healthy.  Click here for more information.

 

Connecting to Gratitude

Connecting to gratitude is one of the keys to healing, happiness, and moving forward. Although it sounds simple, it is often overlooked and sometimes quite challenging.

 

The Easy Stuff

 

It is easy to find good in many things. For instance, having a place to live and food to eat are both good. However, often people take these things for granted or simply accept them without gratitude.

 

The first step in connecting with gratitude is to start seeing these obviously good things as blessings. Prayer, meditation, notes of gratitude, or any other gratitude ritual will help create the connection to gratitude.

 

The Challenge

 

But, what about the bad things in life? Extra work is required to search for something positive worthy of gratitude when considering something that is overall bad. The reason is simple. Being in an emotionally abusive relationship, losing a job, and having an illness rarely have an obvious reason for gratitude. However, connecting to gratitude is very important. Without doing so, truly moving forward is next to impossible.

 

Learning that these experiences have made you who you are is very important to conquering this challenge. Except in cases where a person loathes themselves, it helps a person gain an understanding that value can come in many packages. To take that next step forward, it is critical to be able to give gratitude for those experiences, no matter how negative the situation.

 

Looking For The Light

 

Sometimes it takes a lot of searching to find light in something bad. One way to look at something bad is to look at what good has happened because of the bad situation. For instance, perhaps you wouldn’t have met a certain person, moved to a new city, or looked for a different job if the bad situation hadn’t happened.

 

For example, when I was a senior in college, a company interviewed me and wanted to hire me. The problem was that because of things going on in their industry they were not allowed to hire anyone. Now, this company was ideal for me. It paid well, had previously hired a lot of people from my college, and their offices where only a couple of hours away from my family.

 

It wasn’t something terribly bad, but definitely not good either. Fortunately, at the time, I just accepted it as fact and looked at other options. In retrospect, I am grateful that it didn’t work out. If they had been hiring, I likely wouldn’t have pursued working for Bell Labs. Thus, I likely wouldn’t have ended up living in Denver and I would never have met my husband.

 

People have situations that are much worse than the one I recounted. However, there is almost always something for which to be grateful.

 

Letting Go

 

If you are really struggling with finding good about something, it is likely that there are things that you need to let go. Perhaps you haven’t fully let go of a bad relationship or you keep ties to people at a company where you had an awful experience. In these cases, you need to ask if these continued relationships are serving you.

 

The same can be asked of objects that you choose to keep. If they are a reminder of something negative, ask yourself if you need them in your life today.

 

Additionally, you may continue to have an emotional attachment to the situation – no matter how bad it was. Anger, frustration, and even love can continue to hold you to the situation.

 

Once these emotions and other connections to bad situations have been resolved, you will be able to see beyond the negative. At that point, you can see that you became stronger, that your new job really is better for you, or something positive did come from the situation.

 

It can be very difficult to reach the point of being able to find gratitude for something related to a bad situation. After all, it is all very personal to you.

 

Forgiveness is Key

 

One of the keys to being able to express gratitude in negative situations is to forgive those involved in the bad situation. Once you truly forgive them, you can find light in what happened.

 

This shouldn’t be confused with justifying what happened or forgetting what happened. Neither should it be forgiving the person for their benefit. All of these are unhealthy actions. Instead, it should be forgiving for your benefit. To make you healthy. To make you whole.

 

Connecting to Gratitude

 

Start expressing gratitude for the little things and the things that you normally take for granted. Once you are able, express gratitude for the light in the bad things. The more you express gratitude for the light in all things; the more positive things will come your way.

 

If you would like assistance moving toward gratitude, we offer private sessions Forgiving and Releasing that will help you on your way.  Additionally, we offer a group event The Power of Forgiveness.

 

 

Connection to Humanity

 

 

People often think of humanity as the human race. However, vocabulary.com adds to that by defining humanity as “the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion, be creative, and not be a robot or alien.”

 

These qualities are what define us and tie us together as a group. Yet, it seems that there are an increasing number of people who don’t have a strong connection to humanity. They may relate to some aspects of the uniqueness of the human race, but seem to struggle to in other areas to connect with people.

 

Violence

 

For example, people who commit unprovoked violence against themselves or other people clearly lack compassion and a strong connection to humanity. This is likely the reason for the rise in mass shootings. Shootings have been blamed on video games, guns, and other things. However, it is most likely that a major contributing factor is that individuals who commit these crimes are disconnected from humanity. It is this same disconnection that makes gangs appealing to some people. It is simple. Any connection, even a really bad one, is better than no connection at all.

 

These groups may use violence as a bonding element. However, normally it is nearly impossible for people who feel love to commit violence except in situations of jealousy or temporary insanity. With the connection to humanity comes a knowing that you are a part of a community. As a part of something bigger, people have a greater purpose and more meaning in their life.

 

Distance

 

Today, many people have distance between themselves and other people. For example, it is possible for people to basically never leave their home. They can work, take classes, bank, and purchase almost everything they need without leaving home. This creates physical distance between the person and other people in their community. More importantly, the ability to distance one’s self weakens the person’s bond with humanity. As such, it becomes easier for the qualities that make us human to diminish.

 

If we take a look back one hundred years, people needed to interact with other people in order to survive. That interaction in the town square, schools, churches, and the people’s homes gave people a strong connection to humanity and to the needs of others. It isn’t that there wasn’t any violence in those days. However, most people felt connected to each other and supported each other.

 

I Beg To Disagree

 

In years gone by, disagreements were just disagreements. Yes, there were occasional lawsuits and from time to time a shooting over the issue. However, today disagreements have moved to an entirely different level. Since people can survive without depending on friends and neighbors, many people have become individuals instead of part of the community. As such, their connection to humanity has diminished.

 

With the weakened connection to humanity, comes a lack of love and compassion, which have led many people to believe that their opinion is the only one of value. They are unwilling or unable to see other people’s points of view. As a result, lawsuits are immediate, unfriending common, and threats of violence not unusual.

 

Some people go so far as believing that their belief or opinion is the “chosen” one. If it tramples on someone else’s beliefs or opinions, they don’t even understand why that would be an issue because they “know” they are right. However, they are not stopping and considering the other person at all. They simply feel they have the superior stance. This takes us back to the issue of seeing one’s self as an individual rather than a member of humanity.

 

The Solution

 

We need to once again gain our sense of community and our focus on the attributes that make us human. People don’t all have to agree. Instead, people need to see each other as valuable, no matter how different their opinions may be from their own. It is only through valuing each other as humans that we can solve problems and make the world a better place to live.

 

 

Ivory Tower

 

 

Although originally used to reference the isolated life of a poet, the term “ivory tower” has come to be a reference to someone who is not in touch with the real world. In some references, it goes so farther.  In those instances, it indicates  that the person has a complete disregard for lowly real world issues.

 

People who speak about something or someone at a distance,  are often seen as living in an ivory tower.  Those close to the issue often feel that the perspective shared is out of touch with their own personal reality. The more distantly removed one person is from another in terms of geographical distance, cultural distance, economic distance, and educational distance, the more challenging it is to communicate without one person sounding out of touch with the other.

 

In Academia

 

Often the term ivory tower is used to refer to people in academia because they are focused on research and theories. Meanwhile, people actually working in the field are dealing with the realities of the real world.

 

Along these lines, I recall a researcher at the company where I worked who was advising a PhD candidate at one of the Ivy League schools. The corporate researcher was excited about the PhD student’s thesis and wanted to share information about it with me. I am not sure exactly how I reacted, but it was something along the lines of “And, what else?” They were shocked to know that I already “knew” that the PhD student’s hypothesis was true. I politely informed them that it was common knowledge in business, particularly high tech. It would never have occurred to me to try to get a PhD on something that was so obvious in my world. Yet, here was someone from academia doing just that.

 

In Business

 

Business has plenty of its own ivory towers that aren’t focused on research.  One of the most common ivory towers is retail corporate headquarters. On many occasions I have commented to a store employee about recent changes that made little sense. They almost always answer, “It doesn’t make sense to us either.”  Then the employee shares that someone at headquarters made the decision and that they have no choice.   It makes me wonder if the people at headquarters actually ever shop in their stores.

 

Personally, I like to see and select products in person. However, it is often easier online because finding the product in the store can be a hunting expedition. For instance, who would ever think to look for the dish-washing products in the section with animal care and food? If you would, please explain the logic to me. I am sure it is not in that section online.

 

Other kinds of businesses have ivory towers as well. The executives often believe products can be created much faster than possible. They just have no knowledge of what goes into product creation, but demand it all the same.  

 

Similarly, they will cut costs and staff at any turn while they jet around the world staying in luxury accommodations and eating fine meals. It is challenging for employees to see a connection to these executives. 

 

Elections

 

The ivory tower comes into play in elections as well. In a local election, the candidates are usually from the same area as voters and likely have similar experiences as the voters. Likewise, the candidate is either of the same culture as voters or at least has an understanding of the culture of the voters. Some situations may exist where voters view local candidates as living in an ivory tower. However, it is rarer than in a national election where there is more distance.

 

The further from home the elected official serves; the more likely they are to be seen as living in an ivory tower. This is somewhat unavoidable as the larger the group that they serve, the harder it is to relate to the group. Thus, members of Congress are challenged to represent all of their constituents. The President has an even bigger challenge to connect to the general population.

 

The Facade

 

Some people in these positions are really good at getting common people to believe that they understand the life of the factory worker, the farmer, the front line employee, or the person living in the inner city. Most of the time, this is a façade. Thus, it is important to look beyond it to see if even at a high level the person understands or if their eloquent speech is simply winning you over.

 

Breaking Out Of The Tower

 

Now, it is possible for all people who live in ivory towers to become more attuned to the real world. The first step is for them to realize that they have a lack of understanding. Until they give up the idea that they “know,” they will not make progress. Believing that one knows is not the same as having true understanding. And, when there is a lack of understanding, there is a disconnect.

 

To be successful at connecting to a broad set of people, executives, researchers, and elected officials need to reach beyond their circle of influence. They need to reach out to people in all types of positions and from all kinds of backgrounds. For instance, a politician can only truly connect with the people when he or she reaches out and, more importantly, listens to people of all political leanings. Likewise, a truly successful executive will listen to employees at every level and in a variety of jobs.

 

Listening & Understanding

 

Break out of your world and into the world of someone else by listening and really trying to understand. It is through that understanding that you can truly connect. With true connections, people can come together.