Archives for posts with tag: feelings

The Gentlest Kindness… Self-Forgiveness.
So, none of us are perfect. In fact, we are perfectly imperfect. We have proclivities that can go awry. And we can do some damage to others and ourselves, thanks to our free will and our lack of insight and awareness. So what do we do now after our actions? We have to be humble enough to call it what it is….human error.
Welcome to the human race where none of us know it all or do it all right. But it is in the reflection of our offense that we have the opportunity to become the better person and grow to be the best we can be during our time on earth.
We all have a human debt list, with different items on it. Ours may not be the same as someone else’s, but you can be sure we all have one. How backlogged is yours?
But all is not lost if we can learn from the experience, rethink our actions, move through the uncomfortable feelings and resolve to increase in awareness before we venture out again and repeat the same action. And when appropriate, repair the damage to the relationships it impacted especially the relationship you have with yourself.
Most of us tend to lose a measure of trust, self-respect and self-esteem when our actions are hurtful to others and to ourselves. Without addressing the actions, it is easy to see how we can tie up emotional energy in the wrong direction…toward the hiding from ourselves and others into the darkness of guilt and shame rather than toward the light of inquiry, compassion, insight, resolve and awareness.
But what keeps us from wanting to release its painful grip on us. Perhaps it is because we do not do the work noted above and we think we deserve some kind of punishment. Those of us who have a belief in a punitive God or Higher power rather than a merciful God or Higher Power tend to have a more difficult time with self-forgiveness.
It is interesting that in America, according to a poll taken when America reached the 300 million population mark on Tuesday, October 17, 2006, the majority (close to 70%) believe in a punitive God or higher power. Some studies show it keeps you more honest and less likely to cheat if you believe in a punitive God/Higher Power.
I believe this reflects more our own level of moral development (see Kohlberg’s theory of moral development). The first level of moral development (pre-conventional) has us in obedience out of fear of punishment. If we have the highest level of moral development we would be honest as a practice stemming from value based living rather than rules or convention. But only we can move forward to higher moral development with inquiry, compassion, an understanding of humanity, insight, resolve and awareness.
Is it easy to forgive ourselves? If you have the courage to bear and tolerate discomfort and pain, you will succeed. If we tend to escape this task and hope it goes away by itself we will find ourselves building a dark pool of toxic emotions that keep us from embracing our whole self. It is a journey of many emotions and not all are pleasant but in the end with gained understanding, empathy and resolve we are the better. And this is the gentlest kindness of the gift of self-forgiveness, a better, more understanding and kinder you toward yourself and others.
Many want to take shortcuts and make it an intellectual experience sidestepping the varied emotions evoked. But self-forgiveness is largely emotional with appropriate self-talk and processing guiding the experience.
So think about where you stand in your ability to forgive yourself. Think about the higher power you believe in: punitive or merciful and think about your courage to face and live through uncomfortable emotions.
If you can learn the gentlest kindness: self-forgiveness and truly get to know a merciful Higher Being, you will want to be kind, compassionate and empathetic with everyone and live these qualities out daily with others for this relationship of love, not fear, with our higher being, inspires us to build the bridges of unity. It is in the recognition of our human condition that we can unite and empower each other to be the best human we can be so we can live in the most evolved state of being… a love consciousness that desires each to develop to our fullest in all our human dimensions.

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

Forgiveness Sake… For Goodness Sake!

 

As the New Year begins, we take inventory of what we have. Hopefully we are not carrying debits on our energy.  If so then perhaps we need to let go of some burdens that are taking up energy we need to create other experiences that are life-giving and positive and not life-draining and negative. Forgiveness is an art and a practice.  It is for us, not for the wrongdoer, even though some of us might need to feel like generous benefactors to the culprits in order to create another debt they will owe us…and of course this is called a tit for tat… “I gave you forgiveness, now you owe me.!”

 The truth is that forgiveness is for us and only us.  We do not have to even let the wrongdoer know we are going to forgive them.  It is an act of self-love to release our energy and make it available for another worthwhile endeavor that offers a better gain. That is more life sustaining not draining.  IT is easier said than done, since most of us in theory want to forgive and let go, but few of us practice it to where we really gain back the energy. 

Forgiveness is not lip service, when our heart is still heavy. It truly is a release of the burden of the negative and hurt energy we have received as a result of someone’s actions that may or may not have been intentional.

For starters, if we have good will, or caring for a person, we usually give them the benefit of the doubt that they did not do it on purpose and it is easier to let it go. When we have good will and they do it on purpose it is harder, but our caring gets put to the test, do we have greater caring or do we keep count: each of these postures reflecting our level of moral development.  Love and caring, if you please, do not count the cost, yet, self-seeking ways look to gain and it is called being interested in a return such as one expects  in a business investment. And let’s face it, if we do not have good will whether it was done on purpose or not, it is the hardest act to perform.

Here are some information from the course by Joan Borysenko on Soul Care:

Robin Casarjian founder of the Lionheart  Foundation, wrote a book called: “Forgiveness: A bold choice for a Peaceful Heart.” From a program she developed, called Houses of Healing she describes what forgiveness is and what it is not.

Forgiveness is NOT:

1. Pretending or ignoring your feelings or acting as if everything is fine when it is not.

2. Acting like you have forgiven when deep down you are still resentful.

3. Handing over your power or showing weakness because true forgiveness strengthens us and frees us.

4. Condoning or accepting negative or hurtful behaviors of others

5. Telling someone you forgive them, that is a choice. You can forgive without contact with the other person

6. Trusting someone again who has hurt you because trust has to be earned.

7. Putting yourself in a situation where you can get victimized again.

8. Forgetting what happened.

9. A lofty ideal.

10. Reconciliation

 

Forgiveness is for us, it frees us, and it is not about the offender. P. Wong, psychologist, says that forgiveness is an act that is against our instincts of revenge and hate and the odds of getting hurt again.

Forgiveness takes time and it will often rivet. Sometimes you get closer and then you move backward. But studies show that when we choose to hang on and retell the story to ourselves as to why we do not want to let go or forgive, the retelling the story itself  “re-traumatizes”  us and the story gets bigger and stronger….(Stanford Forgiveness Project)

Check out www.forgiveforgood.com

From multiple evidenced based studies on forgiveness some general guidelines follow
to practice and live out forgiveness.

  1. 1.    Acknowledge exactly how you feel. Do not sugar coat or make more awful (awfulize), just feel what really is.
  2. 2.   Tell your story to someone you trust to get heard and validated and recognize what the price is to holding onto the grudge.
  3. 3.    Do not wait for an apology. TAKE action. Change your attitude.
  4. 4.   Measure what you gained in this situation of the transgression…insights to help you grow in self-understanding, empathy and compassion. We might discover our own negative self- talk, judgmental thoughts, anger and self-blame and can use this as an invitation to grow in self- awareness.
  5. 5.   Amend your grievance story after gaining your unique insights so that you can also appreciate your courageous choice as it is easier to stay depressed or angry.
  6. 6.   Make a positive plan to get what you need and want.  

 

 

Feel the light heartedness that comes when you let go and release the energy for other good things, “for goodness sake, forgiveness sake.”

 

Dare to think and act different this New Year, as you evolve to higher ways of being… forgiveness sake, for goodness sake!!!!

 

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

www.mariahildapinon.com

GRUDGE Report

There is nothing as refreshing and cleansing as to be able to report we have truly released a grudge, we have let go of a grievance, we have practiced the art of forgiveness for our own good.  As the year draws to a close it is prudent and wise to spend some time reflecting on the year that ends capturing its highlights of both the joys and the pains.

At the end of each year my daughters and sometimes friends join us for a beautiful ritual to close out the year. Perhaps you would like to start your own circle with friends or family.

Sit in a quiet place together, place a special cloth on a table or on the floor, place a candle on it, and bring symbols that are important to each person participating that represent highlights of the year and icons that may be special to you representing your spiritual guide to place on the cloth. Each person should have paper and a pencil or pen. We use spiral notebooks. Have chimes, bells, bowls, tuning forks, or any instrument that produces relaxing sounds or enhances relaxation.  Light your candle, and have everyone take a deep breath. Have one person use the sound instrument on each person (we ring the Tibetan chimes over each ones head as they continue to take cleansing breaths). Call on the highest guides to be present to the exercise (angels, saints, the Virgin Mary, God, ancestors, etc.).When everyone feels calm and centered, begin the writing exercise.

1. Make a list of all the things, situations, persons, that need to be released or forgiven. What we are still clinging to and hold a grudge against is the focus of this reflection.  Remember forgiveness and release is about us and not the transgressor.  It is to free our energy for higher goals.  Take as long as is needed to complete the inventory.  When it is completed, each person takes a turn reading their list.  All listen quietly and in support providing the encouragement and courage to share and explore as deeply as is needed to truly let go.

When all have taken a turn, take a deep breath and bless each story of pain.  You can take the list or inventory and burn it using the lit candle. Have an ashtray or similar dish close at hand to smudge it or a glass of water to drown it and extinguish the flame.

2.  Now make a list of all the things or events or people we are grateful for especially in the year the exercise are being done. When each one completes it each one reads it aloud to the group, witnessing the blessings of the year.  You will be surprised how after doing the release exercise, we will be grateful for all the transgressions as they have been our teachers of greater wisdom, for these grudges have the potential to help us grow deeply as we look inward. After all have read their list, everyone can take a deep breath and say a prayer of thanksgiving for all received.

3. Now make a list of the goals you have for the New Year and after that list is complete, read it aloud taking turns and identify how your friends or family can support you in the achievement of those goals.

When the ritual is completed, take a deep breath, celebrate and congratulate each other for the strengthening and deepening exercise undertaken and glow in the light of the end of one year as we transition to the beginning of the New Year. There is nothing as refreshing as beginning a year with a clean slate and letting the past go and stay in the past….

There will be a few more blogs following this one that will focus on the process of forgiveness both for others and of us. Stay tuned and thank you for being part of this experience and reading my blog.  I will be grateful for all the followers and hope you pass this GRUDGE report and the blog site to others.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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 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

 

 

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

Do I Really Count?

 

How many times do we feel discounted?  We say something and are ignored. We write something and are ignored. We do something and are ignored. It is human to want recognition and to feel counted.  The truth is that speaking up assertively is a statement that says to everyone “I Count” independent of what words are spoken by us. The very act itself is empowering.

No change can ever happen unless we take action in some direction.  Many of us taking the same action can create momentum. If you want to feel the power of really counting… use the opportunity given to you to cast your ballot. Every time you cast your ballot, you will feel empowered and really appreciate all the freedom most of us have if we are living in free countries. 

When one thinks about how many do not have this privilege and often go to extremes to be heard in their displeasure of the leadership in place, one can only become more sensitized to the great gift we have to cast our ballots. Yet, so many take this for granted and do not cast their ballots. There are institutions such as many religious ones, where our voice is not included in selecting leadership. We are not invited to vote for the leadership. But in our free countries where there is democracy in practice, we have a standing invitation to participate in the process.

Despite all the ills of our often imbalanced systems, through casting a ballot corrections can be made. Feel the power of your gift and privilege. Exercise your right to cast a ballot free from duress. We do count. We really do count.

Whatever the outcome is of any voting, the winner may or may not be our choice. It may feel disappointing, but what always matters is that YOU count and YOU took action and did YOUR part in the process. YOU voiced your opinion when YOU cast your ballot. That is power.  USE IT. No great change can come about unless we take action. If we are to heal the world, if we are to move and evolve it to higher consciousness, then the discipline of participation and speaking up to count is an exercise we must not take for granted.

It was a great sense of pride that I felt when I cast my first ballot at 18. It was no different today as a seasoned voter. I also felt great admiration for the many who volunteer their time in an often thankless and tedious labor at the polls; I felt great respect for all those who dare to want to serve as leaders for they get subjected to merciless scrutiny and ridicule. I felt great appreciation for the process that allows my vote to be counted, maybe an imperfect process, but yet, we are free to improve it. I felt sad that so many in the world do not know this joy.  Most of all I felt so proud to exercise my right to vote in the most influential country in the world. If you can vote, exercise your power. You will not regret it. Do I really count?  You know I do and so do you. 

I

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

 

 

Perceptions…all OURS  (Part Two)

Perceptions…all OURS. Isn’t there a reality we all can agree on?  We obviously have perceptions that color reality and unless we all have the same one, there will be differences. Whether you are the only one with a perception or a million share your perception it is still a perception.

By definition, perception is our conception of our internal or external world. There are many definitions that also include giving meaning, interpreting and understanding as part of how perception is defined.  But I will limit the definition to the conceptions we have, for starters.  The meaning and interpretation of what we perceive are a separate aspect and these can change and do comprise our understanding of things, but our perceptions will always begin and be limited by the apparatus/equipment doing the intake of information and that we cannot structurally change although we do make functional adaptations.

For example, a dog’s ear can hear pitches the human ear cannot and we do not have a dogs ear so we will not be able to hear what a dog hears and thus perceive sound differently than the dog. The fruit fly’s vision is different to human vision due to the kind of eye it has and we cannot see how the fruit fly sees.  So if we stick to our human apparatus/equipment as the one that ultimately limits our perception, then we can begin to appreciate what we can control and what we cannot control in our perceptions. We have been clever enough to make adaptations to our apparatus to enhance functional capacity, such as eyeglasses or microscopes to improve eyesight or hearing aids for heightened auditory capacity and microphones to make our voice louder, but our natural apparatus has limits.

Our brain apparatus has the capacity to only pay proper attention to a certain number of stimulus (we do not control this aspect)  and the rest get put on the back burner. For instance if you notice your surroundings, you cannot grasp it all at once.  You will see there are more things to note than you can note.  This has to do with how our brain functions and the structural and functional aspects of the senses we are using (we cannot control) not our intelligence. I do not have eyes behind my back so I cannot see the entire scope of what surrounds me. Thus the intake begins with the capacity of the apparatus.

So clear on the limitations of our apparatus, then let us move forward to the other aspects we can change and control.

The next thing that greatly impacts how and what we perceive is our attention. This willful act of attention is often  overlooked when people talk about perceptions.   Whereas, I have five senses physically, I may or may not engage all of them and may or may not engage them to full capacity and that will impact what I perceive.  Our perception range is greater than our ability to what we can pay attention.  What WE pay attention to in the vast selection of stimulus WE can control.  So we know there are sounds out there, that we tune out, things behind us we cannot see etc. etc. and we get to pick what we tune in or out.

The attention, meaning and interpretation we give to what we perceive, is the changeable part.  It is in this arena where conflicts or problems are brewing and why they can be negotiated or illuminated with more information and education and best yet solved.  We though, have to own this part of perception and call it totally our own.

So now between our human apparatus form to glean perception and our attention that selects, we begin to see how perception is so unique to us.  Then our human need to make sense of all this stimulus interprets based on past knowledge or experience and further gives meaning to it all also based on knowledge or experience which all come from the PAST.

If we begin to understand this, we can really be better ambassadors in this world and practice more respect and diplomacy toward other beings when we feel threatened by differences. It is indeed another view, we all have one and no one has the total view on anything.  We can begin to let go of the need to be right and argue our way through things, let go of our defensiveness, we can learn from each other, teach each other.  We can actually begin to understand this inevitable difference as functioning human beings and improve how we communicate to avoid misunderstandings and conflict and build better relationships in the world. And everything is about relationship in this life, our relationship to others, ourselves, things, and the highest power (God).

If there is anything we can change is our perceptions and isn’t this a powerful gift and tool we own?  PERCEPTION…ALL OURS.

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

Gatekeepers

Are you a gatekeeper?  Have you ever looked around and paid attention to how many gatekeeper positions exist?  If we start with the highest place to go to, assuming it is a place, the pearly gates have a gatekeeper called St. Peter. And if we go to the netherworld there are also gatekeepers called devils by some, who let us in if we are blacklisted.  But, let’s face it, these gatekeepers whether real or mythological are not the ones that make it or break it for us in this lifetime and external world.

Try calling the President, not difficult to know there is not only one but a trail of gatekeepers to get to the top,  they are tiered and numbered. Try calling someone you don’t know, even if they are not important as in the case of the role of President and even there you run into a series of questions or machines.  Gatekeepers are everywhere.  They sometimes are in the form of machines and some are in human form acting like machines.  They serve a purpose.  Who gets in and who does not. They have criteria that must be met for us to get in if they are strictly objective. However, we do know that in the exercise of power, some let you in just  because they know you or are related to someone they want to know.

In every world, whether it be business or personal, there are gatekeepers.  We are a gatekeeper ourselves. Think of when you shut your phone off, do not answer the door, bolt the door, connect your friends to each other or not, relay messages or not. Think of how you feel with the sense of power you get when you let someone in through the gates on your own criteria or when we make exceptions to the criteria we should follow to let them past the gate.

In the external world, the gates and gatekeepers are too many to count. We navigate them daily, some of us lose ourselves just to get in through some gates and gatekeepers as is often the case with power, fame or fortune. We sometimes sell out for power, fame or fortune.

Yet, fortunately,  we are the only gatekeeper to our inner world.  We are the only ones that can enter that world, explore it, learn from it, clean it, heal it, expand it, keep it small and tight, or large and bright.

Sometimes, when we trust someone, we let them into this very personal world. We become vulnerable to them in trust. We also become prey for betrayal.

It is this inner world where we have our personal power, not given by roles, fame, prestige, money or criteria of the external world, but by our birthright of being spiritual beings in this human experience.

Some of us fear going past this gate into our inner world, thinking we will only discover the “prodigal” shamed, unacceptable, ugly, worthless, loveless self.  But, this is only that, a “thought” turned belief, about ourselves shaping our self concept and feeding our self-esteem . One we created or learned, albeit, with the help of early caregivers who were the first mirrors of our self and from which we got the raw material to birth our first self concept and sense of self and self-esteem. But we do not have to carry that self-concept into adulthood.

Fortunately, we leave childhood physically by chronological age, unfortunately, some of us never leave it emotionally or psychologically. None of us leave it unscathed by the milieu of our upbringing whether it was a good one or not, but we do leave it with the freedom to re-invent ourselves or better yet, to rediscover who we really are underneath all these thoughts that keep the gate closed to the endless power of our true spiritual self.

If we want to evolve to higher consciousness, we must go past this gate and past these blockages of our fears and thoughts and beliefs of who we “think” we are and enter the realm of being.

Entering our birthright of being a “being of light”, one in the union of the one spirit from which all life comes. But we must go past the gate. Criteria: fearlessness, courage, desire to come home to love and being and living in that interior space of light and love. For only from this place of transformation can we transform and heal others. Are you a gatekeeper?

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

Managing Expectations

Expectations can get us into trouble if they are unspoken or unrealistic. We  hear some individuals say we should  let go of expectations and outcomes to avoid disappointments and not miss the process of living and being in the moment. Yet, it seems impossible to be in the vast nothingness of having no expectations.  Even being present to the moment, can have its own expectation, for then we expect to be in the moment and when some thought drifts us away, we get disappointed we missed the present moment!

It seems life would have a sense of futility if we had no expectations, it would be devoid of meaning in many ways and feel quite disconnected to the continuity of life. Yet, being unaware of our expectations we have of anything is like being on automatic pilot and inviting total reactivity to our living…we totally release our power and feed  “victimhood and powerlessness”, quite pointless indeed if our goal is consciousness and empowerment.

Do you know what your expectations are?  Feelings can give us a clue to our expectations. Observe your feelings of disappointment for a day and be entertained by your expectations.  Ask yourself if they were realistic expectations, for at times they are just fanciful ones, and also ask yourself if you had spoken out about your expectations or remained silent and assumed everyone knew what you were expecting.

When we become aware of our expectations we can begin to manage them better on both counts…realistic versus fanciful, spoken or unspoken.  If our expectations are reasonable then we have conversation and negotiating points, if they are not, then we need to make the adjustments and lower the tone of our drama and disappointment.  If our expectations are spoken then no one feels misled, and unmet expectations can also become conversation and negotiating points.

Good communication skills will allow these conversations, negotiations, to take place, (these skills will be addressed separately as communication skills is a topic in itself), however, when we manage our expectations life becomes simpler and less wrought with surprise emotional landmines of disappointment and misunderstanding.

If we think we have no expectations, think again, maybe they are not  complicated ones  but even when we  click to access this blog we expect to find it easily and not run into technical issues. (although this seems to be a fast new norm now, many technology errors too often, too complicated, too disruptive to our immediate goals, etc, etc.). It is amazing how many expectations we have and how they often are the source of many of our maladies. It is a welcome insight each time we become aware of our expectations for then we can manage them in a way that is more useful and productive to the goals of living in higher consciousness.

 

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

 

Decisions

Decisions…make one and you can create a new world or a new reality. Open a book and get transported to a new world or dilemma, get your worldview challenged or feast your fantasy. Pick up the phone and you may find frustration with the phone tags, machine responses, or joy in the solution you seek. Some decisions have the capacity to change a moment, others a lifetime.  “I do ” at the wedding altar is quite different from the “I do” on the witness stand to the “I do” when asked if you own something you are claiming. Yet they are all decisions.

Some decisions can be made in our mind only and our circumstances do not change only our perspective, others are executed and our circumstances change for the better or worse.

Indecision can buy us time or create hell (as per Dante’s definition of hell: indecision). Make a decision and change your mind if things do not work out.  Yet some re-decisions and decisions create major life inconveniences.  We are always deciding from the moment we awaken to the time we fall asleep. Shall I have coffee or tea, call them or not, wear a coat, take an umbrella, make a lunch date, pay a bill now or later or never, break up or ignore or forgive. Little decisions, big decisions.

Decisions are powerful and are a tool we often undervalue.  In retrospect we know the decisions we make consciously or unconsciously as the evidence is before us due to their consequences.  But can we make decisions mindfully and proactively or leave it to chance and say “let’s see what happens” and be reactive when the circumstances change without our input. Not to decide is to decide.

For when we offer no input others basically decide and we abide or balk.

All decisions are powerful when they change our life, yet the most important of all decisions is to choose the attitude with which we will respond to all events in our life. Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, movingly shares his experiences and insights as he lived his days in Auschwitz and invites us to explore the choices he made through the power of decision.

There is a process for decision making. Most of us  may know it but it never hurts to review.

1. Know what your are deciding.

2. Know all your options.

3. Weigh each option against your values.

4. Know the implications of each decision to the best of your ability as there will always be unforeseen consequences. Guaranteed!

5. Live out the decision in your mind only and exclude all other choices for a period of a week or two and allow all feelings related to the decision to surface.

6. Explore all the feelings that surface with the decision and process them.

7. Make another decision based on your options and repeat the mental and emotional exercise.

8. Determine which decision you can live with in peaceful co-existence.

9. Make the decision.

10. Execute

11. Re-evaluate after a period of time to see it if still fits into the goal you were seeking.

Which decision will you make next?  Will you decide to heal and become the best you?  Will you choose to evolve and rise to a higher state of consciousness and being.  A state of unity not division?  A state of love not fear?   Can you live in these decisions, sustain the decision with the actions they require?  Or is it all just “lip service?”  There is an adage that says:

“Put your money where your mouth is!” What will be different in your life as a result of your decisions or indecisions?  Decisions…make them and your world changes.  Create a new world, a new reality with a decision.

 

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