Wednesday, February 13, 2019

What's Love Got to Do With It?

The sound of Tina Turner's soulful voice has been ringing in my ears asking "What's love got to do with it?" Sparked by the approach of Valentine's Day I began thinking a lot about love. It is the focus of my work and directs my sessions as I help clients maneuver through life. With the song's lyrics echoing in my head I asked myself "What does love have to with it?" The resounding answer time after time was -- "Everything." Love has to do with everything.

If you seek love foster love. Kindle a love-centered life by resolving to express the gift of love. A conscious intention to love begins with self love. Practice observing your thoughts. Do you berate yourself with critical comments?  Are you forever comparing yourself to others only to come up lacking? Decide to move toward a gentler and more loving attitude today.

When we decide to live a love-centered life we will be altered. If this sounds difficult, if you believe you are on merry-go-round and cannot get off, start small and simple. Catch yourself when you are on auto-pilot. Stop and take stock of your surroundings. Breathe and ground yourself in the moment. Put the phone down. Carve out 5 minutes a day to be still. It can be in your car in the parking lot before work. Listen to what your soul is asking for. Most often it is not an insurmountable request. As you make small adjustments to cultivate love and kindness toward yourself the love you give will flourish as well.

Happy Valentine's Day. I send you all love.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Shutting Down and Shutting Out. Freeing Bias

While talking to a woman I had just met we discovered that we were raised the same religion, the second child of six children, educated in like schools and had enjoyed living in Florida for many years. The similarities were overwhelming. Then she asked where I was brought up. "Oh-you're an Oompa loompa", she stated as she slammed the door on our kinship. "I'm a Wangdoodle." she declared. Our connection faltered, stumbled and did not regain its balance. 

I decline to define myself by the labels that were assigned to me by society or my life experience. Certainly, aspects of my upbringing and years on the planet add to my character but they are not what constitutes the sum total of me. I have learned through my work that you can't always judge a book by it's cover. 

Her reaction left me wondering what attracts us to our differences rather than our similarities? Why do we  focus on where we clash rather than where we converge? I questioned if we have an inherent need to feel separate, better, higher, smarter, quicker, richer and ultimately superior.  

I've always admired people with the ability to have meaningful friendships while holding diametrically opposed views on key issues. These folks manage to move around their differences and dance in their similarities. They have suspended their judgment and have fostered a connection that builds unique friendships.

What would happen if we sought out the places where our opinions and beliefs intersected rather than opposed one another? Wouldn't that be an interesting starting point next time there is a conflict. What if we began to ask questions such as, "What does being an Oompa Loompa mean to you?"  rather than shutting the door to connection, friendship, communion, understanding and healing. Let's work together to instigate dialogue that encourages curiosity, listening and community but first we must take a deep breath and push our bias aside.

Love and Light,