Archives for the month of: November, 2012

 

Dirty Laundry! Radical Honesty? Over Spiced?

Ever heard of radical honesty? In an age where “telling all” is a sign of courage to some individuals, an age where it is a “new power” as one stands naked in their truth and vulnerability or it is seen as a sign of being healthy, there seems to be an unintended consequence often overlooked…. “lowered morale”.  And in the “tell all” do we not often over spice the story with too many four letter words or graphic pictures in an effort to avoid being “boring”, that we miss the flavor of the real story.  This too can feed “lowered morale”, not to mention deteriorated language skills.

As “heroes” fall from their path of glory, unmasked often by individuals or groups who get a sense of vindication or gloat in self righteousness in doing this, our level of trust in people also falls.  Trust in the fabric of society as a whole is diminished as a result. No one believes anyone anymore…no one is surprised anymore when the next big person or institution falls down. And some conclude, “if they can do it and get away with it why can’t I?” And the slippery slope begins spiraling downward to the “why should I care?” (also often colored with four letter words)attitude.

In an age of transparency in business strategies and ethics, it has extended to transparency of all your life from birth to the present moment in your life, in the public and private arena, in the business and personal world…in any area where your mistakes, past poor judgments, etc, etc, lie and where someone can get you and tear you down if they have the information.  Those that want to know everything about you so that they can use it later if need be to smear you are alive and well. (This may be a possible reason why the President of the U.S. has said in the past that we be careful about what we post on social media about ourselves.) It is true we don’t know how any information can later be used against you in the world.

Does that mean we should not be telling our stories or being “honest”? Telling our stories can be healing and transforming, being honest is freeing at many levels, but to whom does this honesty belong?  If you are a private individual, it belongs only to you and those you wish to share it with. It does not have to be a media event. If you are a public individual, then your public life of service can be scrutinized as it is part of the domain. However it seems that the personal is often scrutinized mercilessly and has become part of the public domain!

“Dirty laundry should be washed at home” was an expression used when I was in formation to draw a line between creating public scandal, maintaining public dignity and respecting social norms (even if you had deviated from one, you and your confidants held the pact of silence and did not contribute to public scandal or demoralize others with your failures). Shame on you or the family was not just for the moment and for the transgression, it was for the rest of your life if it was aired in public. Caution was exercised when you sought out counsel.

Your dark moments (excluding criminal behaviors) and accumulated errors called experience were for you to learn something about yourself.  Honesty began with you to avoid self-delusion or denial of your behaviors.  In the act of telling someone who could guide you back to your sense of self, you became vulnerable and entered the realm of humility. Your possible arrogance faded and you moved closer to being real and authentic, a more genuine you. Healing for your transgression was the result. You were transformed. Honesty was the key to gain the gifts of courage, (the result of sharing your truth), humility (the result of becoming vulnerable and giving up your pride) integrity (the result of being back in the “whole of you”, not broken or fragmented or separated from yourself by self deception or in the denial of your transgression). Honesty, radical honesty, with you, with someone who could guide you, with those that had a right to the truth and with God was the virtue; the public exposition was not the virtue.)

And it ended there, with your new insights and realizations, arresting moral turpitude, and a new desire to contribute in better ways. The larger picture of societal norms remained the ideal to aspire to in your life. Public scandal and expose’s was an injury to the public morale, something to be avoided. But now we make money, get famous and rise in our ratings or sales from our dirty laundry and spicy language.

Individuals are far more tolerant and forgiving of transgressions more than ever before, which is a step toward unity…as we unite in our common ground of being human and not perfect. Yet should we not re-examine who and how we “tell all” to? Would not a few trusted individuals be enough?  Is the anything goes way of being “really healthy” for the social fabric of life that needs to be inspired and strive toward realizing ideals?

It is true that all stories of being healed are a true inspiration for many.  We all need the inspiration from other people’s journeys and stories that overcome trials and tribulations and smile on the other side of the experience full of hope, gratitude and wisdom. However, eloquence in telling stories is often replaced by crassness. If our dialogues or writings are not spiced with four letter words and graphic sex do we call it boring and no good?  Are we so hooked on the spice, that we miss the real flavor of the truths in the story?  Would it not be refreshing to taste real unadulterated flavor and not have the over spice of words change and adulterate the experience of the story? It indeed is a matter of taste.

As we move to higher consciousness, evolve toward a shift in consciousness, might we first awaken and examine our dirty laundry at home with radical honesty, only the necessary spice and inspire many to be more genuine, authentic, and whole?  If we desire to use more four letter words…LOVE added as the spice, flourishes best when we wash our dirty laundry (preferably at home) and commit to radical honesty to gain in the virtues of a more evolved world of higher consciousness. How can lowered morale, contribute to this shift, when rather than lifting ourselves and others in love, we toss so much garbage at each other? Dirty Laundry! Radical Honesty! Over Spiced?

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again. www.mariahildapinon.com

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The Divided States of America

 

United…is now an apparent meaningless word.  United once as a nation under one God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all…is now divided, broken and fragmented; arguing whose God is the superior or right one and redefining justice based on fears and prejudgments or prejudices.  What does it take to get past our differences or to respect and learn from our differences?

Why has the new tactic of “digging heels deep into the ground, pouting and not cooperating until I get my way” sound so manipulative and juvenile?  Could it be that it is manipulative and juvenile?   What happened to the “Win-Win” concept where after sharing points of view and realizing that none were complete or acceptable by both parties in the interaction, a third option that picked the best of the two points of view was constructed in order to solve a problem and move forward.  Has conflict resolution been delegated to theory or someone other than those in conflict? Extremes create polarities and the common ground of negotiating to resolve issues and stay centered seems to be a lost art or science.

The power struggles continue and “power over” versus “power with” reigns. It is becoming entrenched into the psyche as an acceptable modus operand, yet it has served only to waste precious irretrievable time and create deeper wounds and troubles.

If you cannot afford to fix the roof when the first leak appears, and the roof subsequently begins to cave in, it seems obvious we would have to spend more than the original needed to fix the leak just to offset and divert the greater calamity on the way, since it was neglected at the onset. “Prevention” was obviously not the operant mode, but rather waiting for the “crisis” to occur before acting.

Effective and successful administration and management of any enterprise from the personal management of home and family to the global issues of economics and governance styles begin with good foresight and planning.  Anything short of this contributes to ineffectiveness and failure. And if the vision and planning are gridlocked due to poor communication and lack of good will to solve issues, then we are indeed “cutting our nose to spite our face”.  Which mature, reasonable and empowered adult resorts to these tactics?  It appears none of these descriptors fit many of those tasked to set the policy of this country into its path of success.

Could it be we have to redefine success?  Could it be that a country that evolves must find new solutions rather than old ones? If we are to evolve and transform ourselves and by consequence our world, would it stand to reason that we rise up to the occasion of cooperating and working together?  Can we really live with the extreme polarities and expect a peaceful coexistence or can we “rise up and unite” and perhaps once more be the United States of America?

As we plunge forward, we must pull together and help ourselves “get there” or else, we will end up divided and falling…then we will be vulnerable to other forceful powers in the world that are not about all the things that make this country unique and the leader in the global picture.

This is a metaphor for all of our personal lives…a house divided ends up falling.

French Philospher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) once said… “everything that rises must converge” (from his 1942 essay, “the New Spirit”). As we approach Thanksgiving Day with gratitude for everything we live and enjoy, let us remember it is up to us to put many things aside to make gratitude the salient feature of the day. Possibly it could be the salient feature with which we live our lives each day.  For in gratitude, anger dissipates, and in courage (encouragement) fear dissolves and in love and care we can stand united. United, is now restored to an apparent meaningful word.

I am in peace and gratitude for the freedom to write and have an opinion. Namaste.   Happy Thanksgiving to those in The United States of America and to the other 15 countries who honor me by reading this blog, thank you. I am grateful for your time and attention. You edify me.

 

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

 

The Common Ground

 

Once upon a time, there were no stories about us.  Each of us came into being somewhere in the world. Life was breathed upon us at some point in our development.  And before our gender differentiated into male or female, we were generic human beings growing.  We then differentiated into respective males or females in the womb.  Alas some ready and some not, we were born somewhere in the world. 

Those before us had experience in the world and they had learned how to navigate it and survive to the best of their ability. They took on roles assigned or chosen in order to participate in life and meet its demands.  They formed groups of different interests to perform different functions for the good of all and they taught us how to be humans in that group.  They tried to understand life and human beings and the greater powers bigger than themselves. They gave us a legacy by teaching us how to express ourselves and get along with each other and understand the world through the eyes of their cultural story.

They celebrated and they cried. They laughed and worked. They rested and fought.  They had special foods and drinks, special music with unique instruments.  They utilized a language to communicate.  They loved each other and cared for each other.  They did not know about any other part of the world, only theirs. They had a cultural story they could identify with and become united at many levels. These were powerful cultural stories that gave each of us a unique formation that includes a belief system. But now we have arguments about who has a better story.  

All human beings have needs… anywhere in the world. No one is exempt. This is not unique to anyone being. We all have the need to eat, rest, breathe (physiological needs) and we all have the need to feel safe in the world. We want to feel good about ourselves and feel we belong.  When we are assured of all these, we become more aware of our need to transcend and go beyond ourselves and we can serve others and leave our mark in the world in selfless ways (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).  Some human beings never get past satisfying their physiological needs and they often are collectively in countries we deem as “third worlds” or a lesser designation. And those who know about transcendence do not forget those behind and fight for them so they too can know what it is like to transcend and be the most we can all be.

We were given intelligence and talents that are unique to us and not equal to each other. We saw how good it is to cultivate the intelligence and develop our talents to use not just for our benefit but for the service of all if we choose and thus advance the world forward at all levels. Our contributions are unique.

 The politics and economics of each country either support our development or can stymie the potential with either their short sighted vision or no vision at all for each of us. We are either valued or devalued. We are dehumanized or of human worth.

Suddenly our cultural story becomes the divide between us and we justify actions that widen the divide between us individually or as a country. We let the story get in the way, we hide behind the story and we forget our humanity.  We forget the common ground we are all on and we fight over whose story is right or better.  We lose respect for each other based on these cultural stories. We forget that we all were given the breath of life by the same being. In this we are one.

 We fail to get past all that is different and miss each other at the core of our being. We fail to meet on our common ground and the power struggles begin.  There are winners and losers, the weaker or stronger, richer or poorer, smarter or less bright, powerful or powerless, haves and have-nots, important or non grata, all designs to create divisions and justify the power brokers influence and delegate and designate lots in life subject to the control of the powers that be.  We lose each other in the struggle; we lose ourselves in the struggle and forget our own origin…before our time on earth. 

We have a world divided, we have countries divided pitted against each other. How will we ever evolve when we choose to be polarized? The universe is ready to lift off and rise to higher consciousness and only those who can see beyond themselves, those who can get past the politics and economics of our times, those who can see beyond the differences and the divides will transform from within to rise to higher consciousness.

Martin Buber (1878-1965) Jewish philosopher and theologian once said in his book, I and Thou (Ich und Du) that human existence may be defined by the way in which we engage in dialogue with each other, with the world and with God (highest being, power). We are all part of the whole and we enter relationships of reciprocity and mutuality. Each relationship opens up a window to the ultimate and eternal Thou.

We are in this world together and our actions do impact each other. Let us meet on the common ground of our humanity infused first with the spirit that gave us life and that unites us all. Let us meet on common ground.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta always greeted each person with hands folded and a bow and would say NAMSTE, a deep spiritual greeting that means: the divine spirit in me recognizes the divine spirit in you.

Let us meet on the common ground….NAMASTE.

 

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

 

What Meaning? What Vibes?

What meaning of yours do you want understood? What vibrations do you emit with your words? Why am I talking? Why are you talking?  Just for fun, to share, educate, vent, aggrieve, because you can’t stop, need to be heard, don’t like silence, need attention???? Only we know why we talk.

But most would agree that the whole point of communicating with anyone is not just to get words across, but to have our meaning understood.  So how do we effectively get someone to understand our meaning?  The plain truth is that if no one understands what you mean to say, all the words have been in vain. 

Just this word “meaning”, means something to everyone with slight variations so that when we hear or see the word meaning, we get a picture in our mind. Unless the other party has the same picture in their mind as yours, there is a great chance of misunderstanding and hence miscommunication. So for good communication we must get our meaning across. 

And one great way to know if they have gotten our meaning is to ask the other person? Or of course, the other person can ask. “What did you mean by that?”  In all cases one cannot assume that images will be conjured up in others’ minds that are like the ones in our mind since most of us are not mind readers. But as we strive to get meaning across, we need to have a greater awareness of the choice of words we use and their energetic patterns.

In an era of savvy words used to create realities, it is wise to notice the words we choose and the images they connote to clearly get our meaning across, but as we choose these words let us also enter the awareness that words have a vibration quality that can lift and empower.  

In his book, Power vs. Force, David R. Hawkins lists words and their energetic impact or vibration quality created.  Words have a high or low energy pattern.  For instance, using abundant versus excessive, determined rather than stubborn, empathetic over pitying, giving versus taking. The higher patterns have a positive impact on others in lasting ways.

Those of us desiring to add to the positive impact of an evolving consciousness will be greatly surprised at how much difference the choice of words can make.  Having awareness in order to add empowering words to our vocabulary, as we choose our words to share our meaning in our communication is a very inexpensive yet highly rewarding exercise.  It is a unique contribution as we choose to evolve to higher consciousness. The very essence of life in this universe is consciousness. Energy patterns of specific frequencies or vibrations are cast into the universe when we author words and by their ripple effect will come back to us.   What meaning? What vibes?  

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

Who’s Will?

Who’s will? Few would argue we have a free will guided by our belief or value system. Yet many exercise it and then hope “God’s Will”, will be done even if their will is not aligned with their notion of what we think God’s will desires in the world. It is as if God’s will has nothing to do with ours.

Have you ever noticed how silent God is?  Divine intervention is not on a scheduled program based on how “good or bad” we are as most of us have discovered. We cannot be passive either and leave it all to God.  We are expected to do our part which is the one we control and leave the rest to God…or someone else’s will? Indeed, there are the other individuals we share this world with that also exercise a free will and this will intersects with the circumstances that impact us and our life. And then there is divine intervention somewhere in the mix as an external force divorced from our actions? 

Recognizing our will and the fact that we exercise it based on our belief system is the awareness that will allow us to examine our beliefs and see if they are aligned with the “highest order of good for ourselves and others”.  This “highest order of good for ourselves and others” may approximate God’s will.  We do not have to be theologians to ascertain this.  All we need to explore is our desires that surface for those we claim to love.

Imagining all the good we want for someone we care for and love (that includes ourselves), helps us extend to the realization that this might be what God wants for all of us.  If we agree that the highest form of energy is love and that love stretches us out of our comfort zone and pushes us to extend outward and be the best and in fact transforms us to higher levels, then it follows that this love impulse may be the God living in us, since God is love.  Thus any action aligned with love (love defined as wanting the best for our self and others) is aligned with God.  Our actions will either be a reflection of God’s will that desires the best for each of us or incongruent with this desire.

We all have a free will and it is up to us to examine what we believe since it guides our actions.  Do our beliefs include only our welfare or do they extend to want the best for all others as well? Are our beliefs congruent with our free will that takes action or are we just lip service and empty words? Certainly what is best for each is not a cookie cutter formula, but unique to what is the next step for our growth and development in all aspects of our being (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and psychological).

So whose life is it anyway?  What will is defining it?  Whose will is reflected in our actions? We need to take responsibility for our actions, stop blaming others or God for how we each choose that works against the best for each of us and align our free wills with the highest good.  Let’s give God a break and take responsibility for reflecting love through us and our actions. This love found in each of us that is a mere nuance of God’s constant love.

I can assure you that if I walk out in the middle of a busy intersection without paying attention to the traffic, God’s divine will won’t dispatch an angel to swoop me up from the jam I got myself into…I will probably get hit by a car driven by a driver, who may or may not be paying attention to my thoughtless action.  It may be we are expected to cooperate with each other and align our joint wills for our mutual good not just solely for the good of one or a few we like, but the good of all.  We are co-creators with each other and our God.  Who’s will?

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Up and Coming and Going Nowhere

Up and coming and going nowhere!  Hype, Hype, Hype!  This seems to be how we get attention in a worldwide competition for someone’s time to notice our “brand”. The accounts do not have to be true, just sensational! And what senses should be awakened are those that lure you to feeling good or better.  Ah! To be human is to seek pleasure and avoid pain.  And yet, if we fall for the trap, we soon find that following all the feel goods eventually leads to the pain of empty. What a conundrum also known as a vicious cycle. This can lead to building a character seeking pursuits and indulgences that are merely self-serving.

So should we do the reverse and seek pain?  That would make us a masochist.  Yet being sensitive and empathetic requires we be capable and willing to be touched by someone’s pain to tap into our compassionate self. The compassionate self then reaches out to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate.  And if we follow this path, we soon find that extending outside of ourselves leads to feeling good and a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment and even meaning in an otherwise, lured and veneered world. This good feeling tends to linger and build good character. It nurtures caring for each other.

Those of us living in a first world country can often get desensitized to the larger world where there is a greater majority of individuals lacking than living in surplus. It is easy to get used to our comforts and stop imagining how the plight of others is unending and most often an uphill struggle just to get physical needs met of food, water, clean air, and shelter. When catastrophe’s strike anywhere in the world, we mobilize efforts to stabilize people’s lives. Yet when stabilized, many return to the same struggles of lack.

In a perfect world, all would have equal access to all things that can help each one of us to be the best we can be and contribute our developed talents and skills to build a better world. In an imperfect world, things are lopsided and only each of us can contribute to make a difference. No matter where we live we can look around and find one person less fortunate than ourselves.

Next time we are confronted with the choice to extend ourselves outward toward another or to be self-serving seeking only personal gratification in the pursuit of indulgences, extend a hand to make a difference in someone’s life.  Teach someone a skill, be a listening ear, share a meal, dress someone up, put a smile on someone’s face by sharing yours. A daily practice of this by each of us would lift the world and the possibility of evolving to a higher consciousness becomes a closer reality.

It is not up to world leaders whether in politics, education, government, religion etc to make this happen. They can certainly take a lead and be a model, but it truly is up to each of us.

It is easy to be “up and coming and going nowhere” in the end if we seek only to better our individual circumstances.  Practicing to reach out will foster an “up and coming going somewhere”  type of individuals who can lift the world one person at a time…  Let us see past the “Hype! Hype! Hype!” and the “up and coming going nowhere” path.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com