Archives for posts with tag: relationships

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 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

 

 

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

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

One Event, Two Stories, Facts, PERCEPTION, all ours.

Part One

Sunday afternoon, two women come into Harrods of Knightsbridge for afternoon tea.  They find their way to the Georgian Room on the fourth floor.

Seated, after waiting for a few minutes, one woman gets up to go the ladies room. The other woman orders two Earl Grey pots of tea and the high tea selections of food. The Crystal chandelier, the floral arrangement mid room and the automatic piano add to the ambiance.

Shortly, the waiter brings the tea and food and they begin to chat. Within a few minutes two women dressed in long black attire with their heads covered with black veils pass by and get seated. They have dark eyes, olive skin. Four dressed like them are waiting for a table. A table behind the two women has eight seated around the table. They begin to notice more arrivals and more tables with the women dressed in black. They all have dark eyes, olive skin, some are tall, others are younger, some with more makeup. They also notice over three tables with only men seated around them. Each table seats eight. They all have dark eyes, olive skin, some are tall, others younger, some with moustaches.  They continue to observe and count the tables with individuals dressed like the women and resembling the looks of the men.  Over 14 tables are occupied by these individuals, 10 tables are empty and 3-4 tables have other guests with different nationalities, non Arab of course.

Four light colored skin men dressed in beige suits pass by turning to all sides. Each has a coiled wire behind their left ear. Soon another suited man passes by with the same coil behind the left ear and also looking in all directions.

There is one woman dressed in the same long attire and veil but hers is lilac in color.

Fewer tables with individuals dressed in attire that does not call attention are occupied.  The faces of all the individuals have unique and changing expressions. There is movement of people around the restaurant including the waiters, guests, and men dressed in suits with coiled wires behind their left ears.

The waiter comes to the table and one of the women asks “What is going on?” The waiter replies.

What do you think is going on?

STORY ONE

It was a cloudy Sunday afternoon, a bit ominous with a chill announcing a change in the autumn season fast approaching. A visitor to London takes the resident daughter to High Tea at the famous Queen’s store, Harrods of Knightsbridge. It is perfect for this kind of fare.  The Georgian room on the fourth floor is opened later than usual. Today it is opened and serving tea until 7 p.m. They are asked to wait until a table is secured for them. They are escorted to their table.

The mother leaves to go the Ladies Room, while the daughter orders Earl Grey tea to go with the tea service. When the mother returns, the tea service has been set at the table with fine linen cloth. They begin to delight in conversation and the beautiful array of tea sandwiches, scones and sweets. Rose petal  and raspberry jam sit alongside the dish with the clotted cream.

Suddenly as the mother looks up to notice the grandness of the room, two Arab women dressed in their traditional black long gowns and veils pass by.  They have dark eyes who do not make eye contact, olive skin and dark black demarcated brows and lipstick on their lips.

She takes note that there are four others waiting to be seated. She turns to look behind her and notices a table of eight women all dressed in the same black robes and veil.  They all have dark eyes and do not make eye contact, olive skin, and dark brows They comment about the Arab lifestyle and how women are treated and how harems and multiple wives are acceptable if given the same lifestyle.  They comment on whether they are related.

The mother notices that there are three other tables with Arab men sitting around also having High Tea fare, but with other drinks on the table.   None are eating out of the tiered tea food service. All have dark eyes and hair, with olive skin, some taller than others, some younger, some with moustaches.  Some are texting on their cell phones and looking beyond those at their own table.

More tables are noted with women dressed in black attire with veils. There is one woman dressed in the same attire with a veil but her color is lilac.  There are more tables with Arabs than with non Arabs at the restaurant. It is noteworthy that there are a total of 14 tables filled with Arabs, 10 tables are empty and about 3 0r 4 have other nationalities. None smile or have eye contact with the rest. The tables ,now empty, reflect it is getting later in the afternoon past high tea time.

The crystal chandelier, the huge fresh floral arrangement mid room and the backdrop of piano music, pale against the signs of possible tensions.

Four English or American men dressed in beige suits with the coiled ear piece that guards or secret service men use pass by slowly, each looking in all directions without moving their heads. Another security man dressed the same follows and does the same thing.  He is talking into a mouthpiece that is barely visible.

The women start getting preoccupied.  They notice other non Arab guests looking preoccupied but pretending not to be.  Immediately, the mother and daughter try to have nonchalant conversations of an exit plan of safety. They talk about the recent uprisings in the Arab world and how social media and texting supported the success of the takeovers. The mother talks about her new phone and the new alarm that goes off when there are weather warnings and the phone becomes unusable until one confirms and accepts the “alert signal.”  They talk about government tracking for security reasons. The resident daughter states she is unaware of the new technology in the phones.

The two try to smile at the women who do not respond.  The Arab women take their purses and some get up. The waiter finally comes to the table and the mother asks.  “Is something going on, we just saw security pass by and things feel tense.” The waiter replies.

What do you thinks is going on?

STORY TWO

It was a perfect afternoon for High Tea in London. The weather was a bit chilly even though the sun was still out. The feel of autumn was in the air.

The young daughter knew her mother who was visiting London loved High Tea at Harrods. They walked in with confidence, having been there each year for the past twenty years, knowing they would go to the Georgian room on the fourth floor.  Having no reservations, they were thrilled they were seated in less than five minutes.

The young waiter from Guadalajara, took the order of Earl Grey and tea sandwiches, scones and sweets from the young daughter,  while the mother went to the recently renovated powder room.  There was an excitement about being at Harrods again.  The crystal chandelier sparkled, the immense fresh floral arrangement of hydrangeas and iris’s in a stunning pewter vase  sat on a table mid room adding to the elegance of the room and the invisible piano man tickling the ivories in lieu of the traditional harpist complemented the not forgotten charm of High Tea at the Queen’s Store.

Two beautiful women dressed in traditional Arabian clothes, the abaya and shayla, passed elegantly by in their long black gowns. The veil wrapping their head made their dark round eyes and stunning black brows stand out against their olive skin.  Their lips were colored in red.  They looked around the room and noticed there were four more women equally beautiful waiting to be seated, while a table of eight behind them was graced with more of the beauties. There were three other tables with men only.  The black, stunning eyes and hair with their olive skin reminded the mother of Omar Sharif. Some were older and taller, perhaps all related. They sat apart from the women true to their traditions they thought. They looked past their table as far as their eyes could see  There were 14 tables filled with these lovelies and their counterparts and about 10 now empty and about 3-4 with other nationalities. One dressed in a noticeably different color than the rest. Her color of clothes was lilac.  She had never seen so many beautiful Arabian women all in the same room.

There were other tables with non-Arabian guests, including theirs. They were non distinctive by comparison. They noticed how the men had Perrier at their tables and had very trendy mobile phones on hand. The men were not eating the tea fare, but were chatting among themselves while the women drank their tea. They wondered if High Tea was something they too had in their country with all the globalization and diversity of cultures everywhere.

Four mid age white, men dressed in beige suits walked through the dining room, each wearing a communication device behind their left ear as when they are trying to coordinate security. They all looked around with their eyes without much head movement trying to be discreet.  After the four left the dining area another man, looking like the chief of security came through and did the same thing.  Other guests were looking around the room.  Something of importance was to happen.

Both the mother and the daughter looked at each other with excitement. The waiter came to the table and the mother asked. “What is going on?” He replied.

What do you thinks is going on?

Here are the facts:

The waiter replied, “This is an annual affair.  Many from the Arab countries who are of course wealthy come to spend Ramadan in London.  It is over now and they will return back to their countries soon. But, they all come to High Tea and this is why we stay open even later than usual serving High Teas.  Today, though the Prince of the Arab country is here in the room with us.  You see he is sitting over there.

These are his security guards not Harrods security guards. Things are monitored from cameras for the store.  You rarely see security walking around the restaurant.  These families come every year for a change of weather and pace. The women are beautiful aren’t they?”

to be continued:

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

Credit for you or who? Credit where Credit is due.

Do you give credit to whom it is due or do you take credit even if it is not due you?  Secretly the desire for glory can drive some habits that keep us small inside.  We often use the phrase…”s/he wants all the “sun” or can’ t share the spotlight.

But how much credit, how much time shall we give those who have earned or achieved something?  Have you ever paid attention to yourself and what you do or say when someone is sharing something of theirs? Do you even listen or is it patronizing listening?  Does your own unacknowledged desire to have some “sun” make you underhanded and you off handedly change the subject, quickly interrupt, not really listen, or look bored or hijack the moment to give yourself glory for something or pretend you were instrumental in their achievement behind their back?  This is not an uncommon experience if we are honest and observe behaviors, yet one we can do something about if we really want to grow and move to a higher consciousness that allows each of us to be our best self.

Acknowledgment and gratitude are the antidotes.

Acknowledgment that these demeaning behaviors are lying layered underneath the facade of being happy for someone’s achievement or success is a step in the right direction. Taking ownership of these behaviors gives them light and gives us credit for being honest. In surfacing these, they will no longer control us from under the facade, and by acknowledging these behaviors exist in us, this allows us to have a choice. This awareness will thwart them from  automatically showing up and by being unaware  keep us small or show us up as small.  Afterwards if we realize it, we feel bad about what we did or did not do. The challenge once brought to awareness is to then identify what triggers this so that you can preempt this behavior.

It is amazing to see how great it feels to truly acknowledge someone and their efforts or achievements. It opens your heart and makes it bigger with generosity.

Gratitude is the second antidote. In gratitude we can truly appreciate someone else’s contribution to the world and give real credit.  Anyone who has ever achieved anything in this world knows it takes effort, resolve, discipline, talent, intelligence, desire, and a host of wonderful attributes. Gratitude would allow us to be thrilled to know someone who can teach us to strengthen our own attributes for contributing to this world.

It is really a sign of how big you are inside, when you can give someone full credit for what is due them and just glow in their delight as you give them some of your light.  Be a light in the world, yours and others, the more light we give, the higher the consciousness we can achieve…

Give credit where credit is due, and begin by giving credit to yourself for reading this and considering this information as a step in the right direction of contributing to the next evolution that begins with yourself. Credit for you or who? Credit where credit is due.

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 Green Eyed Monster or the Green Eyed  Teacher

Ever heard of the green eyed monster called jealousy or envy? Ever courted him/her and found yourself feeling either thrilled to be his/her friend or a bit saddened for leaning too much in the direction of the proclivity?

Have you ever experienced someone’s jealousy or envy?  Whereas there will be some that will say, ” I am so jealous of you, but in the right way.” Others will not even say and actually take action when they feel threatened by the jealousy unleashed in them.

It looks like this if you are the kind that thwarts their success:  You downplay, minimize, criticize, ignore, actually do more serious things as in sabotage their path and goals by throwing a wrench on the path, called gossip. You might even tell some lies or incomplete truths or offer implications that are shady. You are filled with this feeling or emotion and it actually is poisoning you.  Rather than release it by understanding its operable dynamic in you and the choices it offers you to handle the situation, you REACT and take action mindlessly with your free will and feel justified or happy something bad is going to happen to them or will happen to them… thanks to your efforts which  you call or describe as “being smart and strategic”.  You think they will not find out.  You make your plays. You make yourself right by making them wrong. You take action, you act on your jealousy to hurt someone else.  You become the green-eyed monster. Why?

Because you feel threatened. You are not happy they get the light of attention you want. Perhaps you have worked just as hard to earn it and you did not get it, they did.  (the promotion, the boyfriend/girlfriend, the prize, the published book, the winnings. )  Why are you having these feelings? Because you wanted this for yourself!  Doesn’t everyone want the success story (whatever your definition of it is and doesn’t someone get it and we often do not?)

That is why you felt jealousy in the first place.  It is a teacher of what you want for yourself.  But did you know that some of us never realize this and never use this feeling as a teacher, a green eyed teacher. Jealousy, as with all feelings are teachers. They teach us about ourselves, our values, what we want for ourselves.  These feelings are a gift that just are, they make us human.  Everyone has them whether they admit it or not.  It is the fabric of our makeup and the feelings  have no moral implication in their existence, only in their actions. Certainly our cultures teach us how to express these feelings or even how to own them as real and part of the human experience.

But jealousy does not have to be acted upon against another human being. Sometimes we do it with intention, other times unintentionally and other times unconsciously, but the result is the same, we hurt others, and in the end we really feel small inside behind the facade we create that we are better and smarter than they.  We know how to throw dust over their glory or luminosity. A skill to be sure, but used not to heal yourself, but to hurt others and advance only yourself. Hardly the mark of one with a higher consciousness of unity, where we think of how fortunate they are they have been given this success on their path and just because we only see a part of the glory does not mean it isn’t wrought with challenges. Why do we want to add to their burden?

So rather than be reactive to jealousy, be mindful and proactive and FIRST accept it as a teacher that can show you what you want, rather than act to hurt someone so you can feel better.

When we see it as a teacher, as all feelings are, ask yourself:  What is it in that situation that I want?  How could I also achieve that?  Do I need more skills, vision, talent, connections, humility, intelligence…what do I need to achieve what I say I want?  How do I get this?  Who could I ask to mentor me or teach me?  You might be surprised that often the one you feel jealous about could be the very one that could teach you the steps to his/her success, unless they are greedy.  But I can assure you, a really evolved being always has the desire to  teach and take others along for the educational ride.

A truly generous person has a mind of abundance and knows there is room for everyone and that everyone has their own gifts to give and will desire you develop yourself to the maximum.

It is true though, that because each of us are limited by the 24 hours of the day and no one has a minute more, not all may be available for one on one teaching, but this is not a reflection of your worth or inability, but the choice of how they make themselves available to more, ( for instance, seminar, classes, webinars, blogs, books, conferences, etc) they try to multiply their gifts for the many.

Be an alchemist….next time the feelings of envy or jealousy surface, see if rather than becoming the green eyed monster, you can turn them into the green eyed teacher of truths for your growth and evolution.

Ever heard of the Green-Eyed Monster or the Green Eyed  Teacher.?  Which one are you? Are you a Green-Eyed Monster or a Green- Eyed Teacher?

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