Archives for posts with tag: self- awareness

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

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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

 

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

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

New Thinking?

 

“The problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”  Albert Einstein

Have you ever noticed your thinking? Have you ever noticed your thoughts?  It is said that we are capable of thinking about 60,000 thoughts a day…and 50,000 are yesterday’s thoughts!   So where do we get the first thoughts and how do we change our thoughts or rather get to a new level of thinking?

How our thoughts got into our head can be traced to anything, from our parents, reading, peers, television etc, etc….But how they got there is not as important as why we still have them there.  Obviously we repeat our thoughts to ourselves over and over and over and over…everyday!

So can we really blame anyone but ourselves for holding any thought past the moment it transacted and registered through our brain?

It is amazing that when we expand our thinking, we experience things differently.  You can talk all day about your feelings and it is important to vent them and process them, but I have noticed that when we can connect the thought to the feeling and explore, process, and even challenge the thought…it can really curtail feelings. And our welfare improves.

If I think that no one likes me and feel saddened by it, even get depressed by this thought, then the minute I challenge it and change it to “not everyone likes me and that’s okay, that is the way life is” and believe this, then I will not be as upset. 

Let us pay attention to our thoughts, our thinking, often called “self-talk” and be brave enough to challenge it if it does not serve us well.  After all new thinking helps solve and alleviate problems or situations.  Old thinking may have created the problems or situations and will hold them in place as long as we do not arrive at new thinking. How about some NEW THINKING?

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

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