December, 19 2013
Rebelliousness in all its glory
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and again is a good thing.”
Thomas Jefferson – 3rd president of the United States
I cannot emphasize enough how much I believe that statement. When I saw the quote the other day, I thought about the year ahead and what I want to achieve and I realize that I want to commit to not being deterred if my goals and desires require a little rebellion along the way.
As we age, we lose spunk. At age two, nearly all of us had a healthy degree of rebellion and we learned some time in that year or the next few that it was best if we “went along to get along.” We accepted our role within our family unit and, as we became older, we accepted the role that our communities required. It is part of our maturation process to learn about compliance and we certainly need to learn how to acceptably behave.
It’s about balance – how do we think big and make remarkable achievements while still fitting into the norm?
This is something to think about as we close out this year. How do we honor our principles while also honoring our friends and family? Do we hold ourselves back because acts of rebellion receive pushback? Is it easier to NOT rock the boat?
It’s lonely out on the ledge and yet it is often required that we act singularly and bravely for a purpose.
I hope your holiday is enjoyable in every way and I hope your new year is as rebellious and rewarding as it needs to be for your own growth and good.
In every way, I wish you a very wonderful 2014.
August, 19 2013
Let's get quiet
Meditation seems to be an ever more popular subject in the media and among friends --and I'm really happy about that. Being quiet is LOVELY. I like to meditate and so I do it. I know if everyone would just take the time (10 minutes or so a day -- who couldn't do that?), many more would appreciate the benefits: clearer thinking, creative ideas, calmer emotions, forgiveness, confidence. It has been proven in test after test and it's true -- we can be healthier and happier just spending a few minutes a day paying attention to our thoughts. We certainly don't want to restrain our thoughts. Nor do we need to "blank" our minds, which I think is common misconception. We sit comfortably (or lay down) and go quiet -- it's delicious!
I also recommend spending time without outside noise: no tv, no radio, no music. Give your ears and senses a break. I know many, many people who never have a silent moment. If that's you, you may need to gradually become used to the feelings that arise when there is no stimulation. I had a mother, who couldn't stand a moment without someone talking so I grew up with a lot of chatter but I finally appreciated the pauses and now I just let them enfold me. I can be so happy in the quiet.
Here are my promises about all this: 1) you will sleep better if you spend quiet time, and even better if you develop a regular meditation practice 2) your creative juices will flow more abundantly 3) you WILL become healthier 4) and you may become a fan of the quiet too.
Do give it a try.
July, 15 2013
Life is not fair
Life is not fair. It's true. As much as I want life to be fair, I have examples thrown in my face all that time that disprove that fact -- Life is not fair. People who work hard some times have awful things happen, which keep them from moving forward. Laws can be unfair, people can be unfair and systems can be stacked against us. I'm not usually such a pessimist but several circumstances in government, law, women's issues have recently caused feelings of sadness and hopelessness. I truly believe that Obama should be able to appoint a director for the Consumer's Bureau and i do not understand how the Senate can block this. I do not understand how two bodies of Congress can allow college loan interest to double (and I don't have anyone in my family on loans but I am still very empathetic to this issue.) I cannot understand how a jury of six women is representative of the community of Sanford, Florida -- I thought a jury was supposed to at least pay homage to the community, which is definitely neither all white nor all women. And I don't understand why abused women go to jail for defending themselves against their abusers when people shoot other people and go free. It's a lot for me to "make all right" right now. I know that there are opposing views. I understand fear. We are living in a very racially charged era. People of color -- any color -- have a hard time of it. I may be white but my family understood prejudice as immigrant jews in this country. They couldn't live anywhere they wanted and they were refused jobs and recreation and endured inequities. No one is free unless we are all free. Let's remember that.
June, 10 2013
Much of what we wring our hands over these days is resistance to a new paradigm. My oh my, how we as Americans hate change. We become comfortable with the status quo and we dig in our heels and argue for the same old, same old. It doesn't work in 2013. We are required to look at all options all the time.
I recently had company visit me and he was reading newspapers on his iPad from Italy, France and Spain and also playing "solitaire" on his device the rest of the time. This juxtaposition of the new and the old got me to "thinkin'" about how difficult it is to incorporate new technology with contemporary thought. When we can, we do what we always did even though the times may be begging us to open our minds to possibility. It is fantastic that we can read, in real time, the paper 8,000 miles away. It's also reassuring that we can while away some time with solitaire. Nothing really has changed for this individual other than he knows now how to access the papers and games and it couldn't be simpler.
Maybe part of the problem in understanding the changes underfoot is that the technology is so easy that it doesn't require us to consider all that is behind it.
My view of the world is that we would become more flexible and open to possibility with the advent of the new tools available to us. So far...not so for most of us.