Picture you are teaching a one-on-one class with a student.
In my case, we were working on breath work and energy work in a moving meditation class
We started by sitting in chairs facing each other.
We had closed our eyes and were taking some DEEP breaths to help us relax.
All of a sudden I felt that my student was not sitting across from me anymore.
I opened my eyes and he was standing in the back of the room.
I said, "What's up?"
He said, "I gotta fart."
I tried to be as cool as possible with that statement.
What I mean by that is I tried so hard not to laugh about it.
It was funny and endearing and...
When is anyone so REAL with someone they don't know well; someone they are just beginning to trust?
Mind you, the young men who I taught in juvenile justice took my class after they having their dinner and a shower.
YOU KNOW that gas will sneak up on you after you eat; especially if you are eating a more institutionalized diet.
He said he wanted to be respectful of me and not "stink me out" with the smell. I said that it was perfectly OK and not to be concerned about it at all.
Then he said: “Yea, it's a natural body function."
I was so proud of him for having that attitude.
My students could be so real and genuine, that is why I loved teaching them. They've been through tough times and can still be honest.
Sometimes VERY honest!
So he stood there waving his gym shorts around and actually very discreetly taking a whiff to see if it smelled.
Can you imagine?
All out of respect for me AND so he wasn't holding it in struggling with pain for an entire class.
Maybe we ALL can take a lesson from that.
Then he simply came back to the chair and we finished up the session.
It happened to him again at the end of the class, but by then we were completely relaxed about,
I chuckled because little did I know that it would become an all too regular occurrence in ALL of my classes.
I would be teaching and all of a sudden someone would yell "Oh man, that's disgusting.", then there would be a parting of the Red Sea away from one of the students in the class. There was no hiding who actually committed the "offense".
"Sorry, Ms. KaZ."
"Come on, that's ok. It's natural. I hope you are feeling better."
"Yea, A LOT!"
I would then tell the story about someone I knew who hated when women burped or farted. Women, not men, women.
Or maybe it was just me.
This person said it was gross and unladylike.
He could fart and burp away but for me or another woman to do it - absolutely not!
It makes it difficult being in a relationship with someone and not being able to be yourself. Much less get any kind of relief from holding in the building gases until the "opportune" time to release them.
To this day I'm pretty shy about that.
My student looked at me with a very quizzical expression and said: "well, that sounds stupid".
All I could think of was the quote from the film Forrest Gump about stupidity. It says it all.
That leads me to the timeless and wise saying from the movie Shrek : "better out than in".
Maybe holding in our burps and farts is a metaphor for life.
Sometimes "better out than in".
Words to live by on many levels..
As always thanks for reading.
See you next week.
I do my best to be apolitical, although I LOVE the quote above. Even though the author is a political columnist I don't think the quote is particularly political. I think it is just good, common sense.
It's not that I don't care about what is going on in politics today (AND A LOT IS GOING ON!!).
I DO care.
I DON'T care to get into the arguments that happen lately if you and another person don't agree on politics. Or don't support the same people.
I don't believe everything I hear or read.
I like empirical evidence.
I would like to think that I'm a critical, INDEPENDENT thinker.
I have my biases, as does anyone else!
If I do get political I typically write it, sit on it for a little while, and delete it. Perhaps I write it just to get it out of my head.
All in all, in the end, it's not worth it.
I believe in agree to disagree, dialogue and discussion.
I don’t think everyone has to see eye to eye.
That’s what makes life interesting.
I teach you, you teach me, and every once in a while, when we don’t gel, we come to the conclusion that it’s not worth an episode from the WWE.
However, there are some folks who want to fight to the death and be right at all costs.
I prefer not to engage if a situation comes to that.
I'm content to wish you love and happiness, and exit stage left.
I’m not getting particularly political here. I just have a little story to tell.
I wrote this a few months ago and decided to tweak it and republish it.
I was shopping at the Marine Corps Exchange Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia (near D.C.).
The White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and I happened to be in the same department.
I saw him and his gargantuan Secret Service escort a few aisles away.
Kelly is unmistakable. Quite tall, impeccably dressed and stiff.
Yes, I said stiff. (I think pretty much anyone would be stiff in the White House today. Yes, that was a little political.)
His eyes stayed forward. He walked with a determined and purposeful gait. He did not interact with anyone.
I wouldn't expect any less of a retired four-star general and a presidential appointee.
When my husband, who was in a different aisle, saw him he saw red, but then again he is much more into politics and political personalities.
What I DO know is that I am not in alignment with Kelly's hardline policies on certain important issues.
I was walking down the main aisle and texting my son about the sighting.
My son had a few choice words to say that I won't share. (I will say they were SO funny!)
While I was texting my son Kelly and his imposing Secret Service escort whisked by me.
Right by me.
Kelly and I were shoulder to shoulder.
My husband (who saw the encounter) said that from his vantage point it appeared I hadn’t seen Kelly.
HOWEVER, he said the moment after Kelly and his escort passed by me I nonchalantly lifted my head and rolled my eyes.
He said he wished he had gotten it on video.
Mind you, I knew he was there all the time.
I chose not to look up.
A friend told me that by doing that I threw “shade” at Kelly.
(Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out what "shade" actually is.)
I guess since I can’t say that I’m a fan, maybe I did "throw shade".
The provocative thing is that the air was electric with his presence.
He did not go unnoticed... by anyone.
Being a sensory driven person, I could hear the creak of his expensive, polished, black leather shoes as he breezed by me. (My head was down so I got a glimpse of them.)
I could smell a faint whiff of cologne or aftershave (or maybe it was his deodorant. As I mentioned he got pretty close to me).
He walked like someone who knew he was important.
A man with a purpose.
If I had half a mind I would have stopped him and asked him a few pointed questions.
But, I have more than half a mind and I decided it wasn’t worth it.
that I didn’t want to end up on the 6 o’clock news.
You see, apolitical, critical, independent thinker, with a filter on my knee-jerk reactions. (At least this time...)
As always, thanks for reading.
See you next week.
I am posting early this week because on Sunday I will be floating somewhere off the coast of Alaska without internet!!
I rededicated myself to being vegan over a year ago after a few detours.
The detours were good. They gave me perspective.
I learned my lesson.
I feel better and my digestion is better.
My first attempts began in 1982 when the only real vegan choices I had were salad and oil and vinegar dressing.
As the years have gone by, a pregnancy, nursing a baby )when I crave rare steak and chicken wings), the unhealthy packaged food vegan stage and NOW (Tah Dah!), vegan options are just about everywhere.
I had no problem last year in Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Montenegro or Croatia.
This year I had an easy time of it in Copenhagen, Denmark, There were three vegan restaurants within walking distance of each other.
I had no issues in Sweden, Estonia, or Finland. Russia was interesting and I must say they did their best to accommodate me!
For me, it’s not a fad or a new diet. It's my lifestyle.
It's what works for me.
If it works for anyone else, that’s great. If it doesn’t, that’s great, too. I’m not Draconian about it.
I'm not going to lecture you, .quote statistics, show you horrible pics of tortured and slaughtered animals or force you to watch "What the Health?"
I live my life the way I choose and you need to do the same..
I keep vegan as much as possible. When I can't, then I choose vegetarian. (To tell the truth, if a restaurant can offer me vegetarian food, it only takes a slight tweak to make it vegan.)
BUT if I go to someone’s home and they work hard to prepare me a meal and it has meat in it, I'll eat it. Most people know that I’m vegan or they ask. I find that incredibly thoughtful. However, I won’t turn down food kindly prepared for me even if it contains meat..
A friend remarked how that was very Buddhist of me. I guess you could say that. I just think it's the compassionate thing to do.
There are great health benefits to being vegan.
AND YES, I get PLENTY of protein.
My husband and son are not vegan but they DO eat vegan for their health at least 4 days a week.
All the saturated fat from animal protein is NOT good for the health.
Well, you might ask, what about coconut oil and the saturated fats from it?
I don't use it anymore and mostly because it has a CRAZY amount of calories in just ONE tablespoon. I want to benefit from the calories I eat and a tablespoon of anything is not satisfying, or filling.
Here's my little anecdote:
Recently, I was in the Houston airport.
That airport is like a GIGANTIC mall. I hadn't been in it in years and I didn't recognize it.
There are restaurants for just about anyone.
I found a healthy restaurant with bowls, smoothies, juices and soups.
I asked if the “Buddha Bowl” on the menu was vegan? She said she didn’t know and she would check.
After consulting a chart, she confirmed it was vegan.
While she was ringing up my order she asked ”do you want meat with that?”
I couldn't help but chuckle and think that, honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.
Maybe it was an automatic question, like "do you want fries with that" or "do you want to make that a combo?"
OR there are people who say they are “vegetarian” and actually eat fish or chicken. (I'm not sure I get that but to each his or her own.)
I had to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe the tofu on the menu was classified as a meat add-on along with the beef, chicken and shrimp.
Nevertheless, it still felt like someone was going to pop around the corner and say: “LIVE FROM HOUSTON, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!"
If being vegan is for you, good for you. If you are curious about veganism, contact me with any questions.
If you eat animal protein - to each his or her own.
That being said, give vegan a try even if for only one day a week.
Get your necessary fruits and veggies and give your digestive tract a little vacation.
AND if you make a face and say " I HATE KALE!" even though it's a "SUPERFOOD", that's ok.
I hate Kale, too!
As always, thanks for reading.
See you next week.
This is my response to the article "The Curse of Always Being Happy” by Qigong and Kung Fu master John Munro.
This is a subject that I have personally been thinking about a lot lately.
For me, there is no light without dark. No up without down. No Yin without Yang, hot/cold, day/night, right/left, male/female (In general. Exceptions acknowledged and honored).
It is when we are stuck in our emotions that it becomes a great challenge.
When the pendulum swings wildly one way, it will swing wildly in another.
We talk incessantly about being happy, and looking for happiness.
What about the ease of being content? A very mild, pleasant sensation. Much like the theory of neutral talked about in the article.
Have you ever noticed how feeling ecstatic can make your heart race and make your actions very amplified?
Have you also noticed how anxiety, too, can make your heart race, make you frenetic, or active in an entirely different way?
These are both still very heightened states of emotional or physical response.
Being more “neutral” helps us remain more unattached in differing situations.
I look at it as going with the flow.
As teachers it is crucial that we go with the flow. No two classes are the same, no students are the same, no responses to the material are the same.
Remaining flexible in these environments makes for better classes and better teachers. If we are constantly in states of heightened emotions it is not good for us or our students.
“Put on a happy face” or “Don’t worry, be happy” may not always be the best course of action.
We have all known someone who just puts on a happy face all the time. They are exhausted putting up a happy front BUT they are not truly happy inside. Do they feel they need to maintain the facade because that is what they feel is expected of them? (That is classic people pleasing behavior.)
Everyone has a less than perfect day. All the teachers we look up to: Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King, Jr. etc. expressed and express themselves sometimes with passion and sometimes with dismay. However, there is still a calm running parallel to that expression. There may be anger, frustration, pain, elation, jubilation and ecstasy but the way it is expressed is gently, lovingly, firmly with reserve and self-control.
Additionally, as teachers in the healing arts, we can put so much pressure on ourselves to be a perfect example. OR our students and critics put a lot of pressure on us to be perfect. Granted, that is more about them than it is about the teacher, but the pressure is there nonetheless. It takes a strong, confident, self-aware teacher to remain unaffected by this external pressure. Why put immeasurable pressure on ourselves to be other’s idea of perfection and adopt that as our idea of perfection?
To walk, talk, live and breath as what we feel or have been pressured to feel is as the perfect master, guru (or whatever you choose to label or not label) is completely unnecessary and counterproductive. It’s a tough role to play in today’s world.
When we develop our emotions to be expressed in a more serene, calm and composed manner, our existence will follow suit.
If we can have the self-discipline to enjoy the middle ground, instead of the tumultuous highs and lows, imagine how much more peaceful our lives can be.
The old story of the monk facing every situation by saying “We shall see” may be one of the best examples for a content life.
So "don't worry, be content."
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week.
If you would like to read Master John's article here it is:
.I'm sure you can't tell from the title of this article that it's an end of life story.
The poignant thing is that THIS part of the story is really wonderfully funny.
At least I think so.
You can judge for yourself.
I have a family member who is near the end of her life.
More than being an anecdote, this story is a tribute to her, because she's the proverbial spit-fire...
The somber note is that Alzheimer's is slowly altering her memory, and her behavior and shortening her life.
For ANYONE out there with a family member or a friend suffering from Alzheimer's, my heart goes out to you! Educate yourself. Be patient and loving with YOURSELF AND your loved one. Times like this show us what we're made of.
For the sake of the article I am going to call her Ms. T, both for her privacy and for ease of writing
Ms. T has lived a wonderful life full of family, friends, events, travel, parties, rubbing elbows with notables, golf games and real estate.
She was a whiz at selling real estate AND she was a great golfer. She played with some heavy hitters. In her prime real estate and golf went together extremely well. I imagine they still go together today - BIG deals being made on the 9th hole.
To this very day, in her late 80's, she is a classy woman - always well-dressed, always putting her best foot forward.
She has a closet that every woman with taste and style wants to raid...
...and a smile that lights up a room. A big, broad smile.
Ms. T wears a specific color of Revlon lipstick. Revlon, not L'Oreal, or MAC or Urban Decay, but Revlon.
One day she noticed she was running out of her lipstick and asked her daughter to pick up another tube.
I’ll also add that Ms. T has a taste for good vodka. She loves her evening cocktail hour. Who can begrudge an 87 year-old woman her cocktail hour???
In addition to her favorite lipstick she also requested her favorite vodka in the convenient gallon economy size.
Her daughter, being the loving daughter she is, bought her mother TWO tubes of lipstick.
Ladies, we all know how this goes - eventually every cosmetic company stops making our favorite shade of lipstick and we have to find a new color that never quite matches or looks as good as the old color.
Two tubes is an assurance of continuing to have the right color.
The vodka, well, if you drink vodka you know what works.
(I personally don't drink vodka because it makes me mean. I don't really drink much at all. I can't hold my liquor now. I can hear a friend, whom I’ve known since college, saying: "YOU NEVER COULD DRINK, but you frequently field tested it”. It was college, what can I say?)
Later in the day loving daughter delivered the two tubes of lipstick and the bottle of vodka.
Ms. T asked why she bought her two tubes of lipstick?
In her daughter's mind it was for the aforementioned reasons. They make sense to me.
Ms. T said she may not live long enough to finish the two tubes of lipstick.
"Then why did I get you such a big bottle of vodka if you think you might not be around much longer?"
"Oh, I'll be around long enough to drink the vodka!"
That reminds me of a quote from The Godfather "Leave the gun, take the cannoli!"
"Forget the lipstick, get the vodka!"
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week.
For help for you, a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s:
"At this time, make sure your seat back and tray tables are in their full upright and locked position."
Just do it?
And WHAT would that be, you might ask?
Adjusting your seat on a plane!
I fly A LOT for business and for pleasure.
I find airline travel today to be amusing and annoying.
I imagine I am not in the minority.
Here is a little ditty for you to ponder when it comes to airline travel:
Do you ask the person behind you if it’s ok to recline your seat?
Do you just tell them you are moving your seat back, giving them advanced notice?
Do you just move your seat back and the hell with the
Tick off the person behind you?
Spill their drink in their lap?
Give them a fat lip in the process because they are leaning over fishing into their carry-on for their ear buds when you moved your seat back?
You know how it goes...
...your head is still up but your hands are fumbling down under the seat in front of you. Both your head and arms don’t quite fit down over your thighs under the seat (that is unless you have been doing a ton of yoga).
How do I know all of this?
I haven’t given anyone a fat lip OR spilled their drink on them.
I’ve had it all done to me.
I’ve also asked the person behind me if it’s ok to recline my seat back and been met with a dirty look OR a reluctant, guilt-inducing “TSK” with their tongue against the roof of the mouth, followed by an indignant “go ahead”.
I’ve also been told with a smile, “No problem, move your seat back”.
A few times I've told the person behind me that I’m moving my seat back with negligible responses.
And a few times, I'll admit, I just did it.
That was before the seats were crammed one on top of the other and leaning back did not put you in someone’s lap.
(Case in point: the very large gentleman sitting in my lap RIGHT NOW!!)
Yes, I’m on a plane to California.
I’m really fortunate that way.
No, I’m not making a zillion dollars writing.
Although I do welcome what flows in and “the kindness of strangers.”
I have a wonderful husband who is retired and wants to travel while the travelin’s good.
Translation: do it as long as we are ready, willing and ABLE. (I highly recommend it if at all possible.)
I digress - back to the whole airplane seat analogy.
I’m not sure it IS an analogy, because I'm staring at the screen on the back of my neighbor's seat inches away from my face, SOOOO I’m thinking it’s real life.
Admittedly, real life is funnier, more outrageous, scarier, kinder, nastier, and more interesting to write about than anything I can concoct in my head.
And I can concoct in my head with the best of them!
Today, in front of me, I got a seat in the face and behind me I got a scowl and attitude.
I didn’t say anything to the gentleman who shoved his seat back.
Maybe I needed to.
Like: "it would be great if you could have given me some warning before you catapulted your seat back." From the looks of it I would have gotten a scowl and attitude.
Nonetheless, I did what I thought was the more considerate thing to the person behind me and STILL got a scowl and attitude.
(Honestly, put a crying child near me. I can make silly faces and play peekaboo and more often than not get them to stop crying; both the child and the parent. Yes, I hear the nods of agreement out there.)
You might say damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
But I’m not going to.
I’m going to take a screen in the face and still ask the person behind me if I can tilt my seat back.
Someone, at some point, is going to say no, and I’m going to keep my seat upright.
...today’s not that day.
(Insert Cheshire Cat grin here.)
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week!
I’ve decided I’m spending the rest of my life in one big sitcom.
I love comedy, dramedy, rom coms, sci fi comedy, you name it.
I love to laugh and I have the (sometimes Botoxed) laugh lines to prove it.
I love getting people to laugh.
Mind you, even a sitcom has some dramatic moments. It's not all Pollyanna, champagne, limousines, and laughter.
I started out in entertainment in musical comedy.
Then I went into comedy plays & television comedy.
Most of my writing has been comedic in nature.
EXCEPT as of late, when I find I've gotten SOOOO serious.
My husband commented that I’m “deep”.
If by "deep" he meant I’m contemplative, analytical, information-thirsty, and occasionally informational anxiety driven, then, yes, I resemble that remark.
How do we use those traits - that aren’t all bad - to our advantage and not be a Serious Sally all the time?
For me, it’s just not fun.
I don’t mind a serious topic or conversation, but when it consumes us, plagues us and is hard to shake THEN we need to step back, take a deep breath and allow things to evolve...
...instead of doing our best to figure them out.
No more “ figuring it out” for me.
Things culminate, conclude and/or coalesce all on their own whether we spend days trying to figure them out or not.
We can certainly do our part when necessary, but pushing the wagon is a lot harder than pulling it.
IF I HAVE to point a finger; just for argument's sake (and I do my best arguing with myself) I point an unmanicured finger at 24 hour social media, news media and the inability to get away from the news.
We have to admit the news IS pretty awful most of the time.
It keeps us in a heightened state of anxiety with unceasing “Breaking News”.
I’ve taken to watching the Graham Norton Show, stand ups on Netflix, comedy films, comedy series and subscribing to the Good News Network newsletter.
"You can't run away from the news." You say. "YES, I CAN!" I say.
Although, I'll admit in the 21st century the news follows us wherever we go.
Maybe it's my way of taking the sting out of stepping on that hornet's nest.
Granted, many funny people have something very deep going on inside (again no shame in saying I resemble that remark).
I tend to get slightly funereal about things that affect me emotionally: poverty, abuse, starvation, discrimination, racism, bigotry, healthcare deficiencies, insufficient housing, lack of clean water (you know, basic day to day issues in the US).
The current state of affairs has turned KaZ into a very dull girl.
One can be VERY SERIOUS and still address it in a humorous way.
I can handle some of the most devastating information if it has a streak of humor.
“He did WHAT, she said WHAT??
“What the fuuuuuuuuuu????”
I'd rather disarm you with laughter that makes you shake your head thinking “funny, but true.”
Give me a factoid that is funny, ludicrous, or causes apoplectic fits of eye-opening amusement.
I prefer that to having my guts wrenched out through my throat accompanied by guttural sobs of anguish. (Such a pretty picture.)
We have ENOUGH of that in the world - AND IN OUR OWN WORLDS.
I call it humor with a bite.
Just watch the aforementioned Graham Norton and his disarming guests, or Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and so on
I’d rather laugh than cry.
I’d rather nod in agreement while tears from boisterous laughter stream down my cheeks.
I’ll take that hard to swallow information with a side of hilarity, thank you.
Quoting Paloma Faith from her appearance on the Graham Norton Show “if it’s all gone to shit, then let’s dance.”
So LETS DANCE!!!!
“Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.” Thank you, David.
So if I get too serious, call me on it.
I'm going to do my best to LIGHTEN UP and call MYSELF on it.
Laughter is an interesting kind of love.
Loving the human condition, and loving ourselves and others.
I'll admit I don’t find all humor funny. Not all humor is for everyone.
Some I find pretty disgusting.
Nonetheless, freedom of speech, baby, freedom of speech.
I have the right to change the channel if it’s not my Cheez Whiz.
I find slapstick and improv hilarious.
One may find a picture of someone holding what appears to be the severed head of a public figure to be hysterical.
(Sorry, nope, but still freedom of speech.)
I’ll take my comedy with a side of compassion, information, pratfalls, innuendo, sarcasm, rolled eyes and guffaws, sans viscera, thank you very much.
You know the feeling when humor hits you at your core.
The game, set, match laughter that strikes so deeply, and is so all-encompassing, that tears and snot run down your face.
Without a doubt, I feel better after a good cry OR a good laugh.
But given the choice...
...I’d rather cry laughing.
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week.
Is ignorance bliss?
The more I know the more I want to know.
The more I want to know the more I know that I don’t know.
Yea, neither do I.
I took a survey recently and one of the questions was “ I don’t know.” Choose 1 for strongly agree to 10 strongly disagree. Even surveys are asking us about not knowing or whether we think we know or not?
The origins of the universe ?
The what, why, when, where, or how of anything?
For someone with a lightening fast mind (although slower than it used to be but still sometimes annoyingly fast) I seem to carry so much information from, well, life.
Often I feel that old information has to leave my brain before new information can enter it.
That being said, In this day and age I AM feeling ignorance is bliss on a multitude of levels.
The more I know the more I DON'T want to know in regards to an increasing number of issues.
We are bombarded with information.
On limitless topics.
Some topics are quite controversial, anxiety provoking and frustrating.
Some are just plain annoying and irritating.
Do we need to pick and choose what we know for peace of mind?
Is it possible?
"I don’t know" is a vulnerable statement.
There are people who avoid it like the plague.
They would rather "fake it to make it" instead of admitting they don’t know something.
Isn’t that what “on the job training” is all about (she said slightly sarcastically)?
I’ll admit in my life I fudged my qualifications twice to get a job.
One job I had to type and I didn’t really type, only “hunt and peck”, BUT I said I typed.
On a Friday I interviewed for a job. I was offered the position on the spot. I spent the entire weekend feverishly teaching myself how to type.
Luckily, typing wasn’t the end all and be all to the job.
When I arrived bright and early Monday morning I COULD TYPE!
I figured how hard could it be to self-administer a crash course in typing? After all I took typing class in high school and I typed my college papers.
In the end, it wasn’t that hard to do and no one was the wiser.
Does “I don’t know” make anyone a lesser person?
Perhaps in a job interview - if the skill is crucial - but in the grand scheme of things it’s not a reflection of who a person is.
(Unless life is a litany of I don’t knows. Then it's important to do a some self-examination.)
Is most of life on a “need to know” basis?
Certainly we need to know a great deal of things to survive and thrive.
HOWEVER, when is too much information too much information?
When does the bombardment of knowing adversely affect our daily lives, and our mental, emotional and psychological health?
From my vantage point - quite often.
Media keeps us in a constant state of anxiety and information overload 24/7.
Plus, it’s not the life-altering info; it’s the inane, the repetitive and the down-right useless.
Honestly, I don’t need to know who is dating whom, driving what, earning what, or saying what.
They went where? With who?
Cheated, lied, stole, wrecked?
Went to rehab, divorced, married???
Do I really need to go on?
I find it quizzical that there is so much obsession with people we don't know, never met, worked with, dated, or have as a friend or family member.
Why, oh, why do I need to know any of this and why, oh, why is it a top news story?
I'm still doing my best to decipher how we are going to feed and clothe everyone - not just in my country but in the world?
Then there is the proverbial political blitzkrieg on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the 24 hour news.
We get no relief, no respite, and have little recourse other than to turn everything off and shelter ourselves from too much information.
In the meantime, let’s examine “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”
My take on that phrase?
It says: "I'm secure enough to tell you I don’t know and helpful enough to find out for you."
Can one possibly know everything about their job, business or position?
Can one possibly know EVERYTHING about ANYTHING?
I doubt it.
Even the smallest businesses have unexpected circumstances crop up.
There is a delicate dance between "I don’t want to know", "I don't
know" and "I don't know, but I’ll find out."
When is “I don’t want to know” self-preservation?
When is “I don’t know” vulnerability or just plain lack of information?
When is "I don't know, but I’ll find out” healthy, elucidating and educational?
The answers are very individual and unique.
The only answer I have to all of those questions is:
"I don’t know....
...but I'll find out."
I'll do my BEST to find out, even though some "I don't knows" are just not meant to be known...
...no matter how hard we try to get "the answer".
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week.
What is reality?
Is my reality your reality?
Is your reality my reality?
Is "reality" really reality?
Is it overrated?
What I have come to know is that your reality and my reality aren't always the same reality.
AND THAT'S OK!
Then, on the OTHER hand, let's talk about truth.
What is truth?
Is your truth my truth and visa versa?
Is truth fact?
Is fact truth?
Inquiring minds (mine) want to know.
I'm not asking these questions to be glib.
I am looking at them from practical, philosophical and existential points of view.
AND I say POINTS not point because there is not one point of view there are many.
Many, many, many, many.
I have many.
You have many.
Do you think if we actually, collectively gave a moment's thought to the questions above that we MIGHT be more tolerant or accepting.
Strike that. I don't like the word tolerant.. It's remarkably limiting.
I actually find it judgmental.
Does anyone really want to be TOLERATED?
"I "tolerate" you."
Yuck, it feels arrogant to me.
How about acceptance and being accepted?
"I accept you."
Doesn't that just FEEL better?
It IS about feelings, is it not?
How you feel.
How you allow yourself to FEEL.
The saying goes: "people may not remember exactly what you did or what you said but they will always remember how you made them feel?"
Within that line of thinking there is debate that someone can MAKE you feel anything.
Do we CHOOSE how to feel, thus taking the responsibility off of another person's shoulders?
There's the rub.
If you tell me how much I "SUCK", will I be evolved enough to say "That's not about me, that's about you, so your words don't affect me." ?
"Sticks and stones...." and all that.
Accordingly is the perception in your reality that it's ok to say 'YOU SUCK" and the perception in my reality to be hurt merely...
OR IS IT...
In your reality I suck.
In my reality I don't suck and I feel that was pretty darn mean.
So who is correct?
In my reality I feel that you're kind of an idiot right about now AND in your reality you feel I'm the idiot. (Or most likely you would not have said I suck, right?)
What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?
(Nothing, really, I just like that ambiguous phrase.)
...being a little less esoteric.
To quote Simon Pegg's character Graeme in the film Paul:
Graeme: "Look. Just because your truth, isn't the true truth, doesn't mean there is no truth, Ruth".
Ruth: "That's easy for you to say."
NO, IT'S NOT!
What is truth but our individual TRUTHS?
What is reality but our own perception of it?
Have you ever read eye witness accounts of an accident or incident?
Ten eye witnesses will have 10 different versions. There may be some overlapping but NONE of them read the same.
All of the reports depend on visual angles, emotions, thought processes, filters, the light, the dark, and so on.
Similarly, let's look at the game of telephone.
You remember that game, right?
A group of people stand in a line. One person whispers a sentence to the person next to them. They then whisper it to the next person in line all the way down to the end of the line.
99 times out of 100 its ends a hell of a lot differently than it started.
Start: "The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly In the Plain."
End: "I Took a Train to Jersey and had Noodles with Rihanna."
NOW do you see where I am going with this entire dissertation?
Allow room for perception, individual reality and personal truths.
If it's doing us no harm let's just grin, acknowledge it and carry on.
If it's destructive, divisive or damaging then chalk that up to ego, self-absorption and narcissism, and carry on.
it's in how you carry on that really makes the difference.
I do my best to sideswipe the destructive, divisive and damaging, if I can..
I quickly hit "disengage" and alter my course.
HOWEVER, if it's really onerous, then, yea, I have to speak up.
And speak up I do.
More about THAT another time.
As always thanks for reading.
See you again next week.
Please pass this on to anyone you think may enjoy my takes on life.
Until next time, visit my dear friend, artist and writer, Linda Hough.
She uses her art in incredible, healing collages.
"A man does not show his greatness by being at one extremity, but rather by touching both at once." Pascal
For various reasons I don't use Facebook or Instagram.
They OBVIOUSLY work for some people - many people - but they don't work for me. They are too distracting from actual life for me.
Recently, I got the bright idea to promote my writing; get it out into the world more,
That's not an unreasonable goal, is it?
I decided to try my hand at Twitter.
For the fifth time.
I was on it for about a week and a half, maybe a little bit longer. I acquired about 175 followers in that time frame.
Sans reluctance, I deleted my account.
It felt like another social media obsession that I don't need.
Admittedly, I don’t feel that way about LinkedIn or Google+.
Both seem gentler and kinder - to me.
I found I was getting swept up in politics, partisanship, religion...
...and hatred. Not my hatred but how others' hatred affected me. (AND DANG, there is a lot of hatred and divisiveness on Twitter, Facebook and now, unfortunately, Instagram. I will also add that it is not from just one group, it is groups across the board.)
"You’re right." (So I'm in your corner and part of your tribe.)
"I’m right and you’re wrong."
"Join the resistance."
"Be a part of the blue wave,"
"You're a deplorable."
"Velcro shoe." (That one is totally new to me.)
There is certainly a lot of name-calling going on out there.
"F* this person, and f* that person, and f* this and f* that and...."
STOP THE WORLD I WANT TO GET OFF!!
Somewhere down the line we missed the course on non-violent communication.
Or we need a refresher.
What the heck IS non-violent communication?
According to Wikipedia:
"Nonviolent Communication (abbreviated NVC, also called Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication) is an approach to nonviolent living developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s.
It is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and only resort to violence or behavior that harms themselves and others when they do not recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs. Habits of thinking and speaking that lead to the use of violence (social, psychological and physical) are learned through culture. NVC theory supposes all human behavior stems from attempts to meet universal human needs and that these needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises when strategies for meeting needs clash. NVC proposes that people identify shared needs, revealed by the thoughts and feelings that surround these needs, and collaborate to develop strategies that meet them. This creates both harmony and learning for future cooperation."
Sounds pretty daunting in today's world, does it not?
Maybe it is and maybe it isn't.
NVC takes intention, getting out of one's ego, and execution (i.e. effort).
Ok, slightly daunting.
We can quote non-violent activists but can we follow their examples?
I can't recall Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, The Dalai Lama or Nelson Mandela (to name just a few) ever using any of the aforementioned types of phraseology - at least not in public.
I found myself wanting to be on Twitter several times a day. I found myself wanting to be part of a community, part of a movement.
I did my best to bolster other people and support them.
It COMPLETELY distracted me from my writing.
Writing that IS part of a community, part of a movement.
It just so happens that I have created the community and movement with my words.
I initially got on Twitter to increase my readership. and I discovered that your chances of making inroads with your work are marginal at best.
Nil at worst.
UNLESS you are an additional voice in a movement - then you make connections quickly.
But if that movement or group causes you anxiety, frustration, or you are swept up in their behavior, language, and tactics just to feel heard, seen or accepted is it really worth it?
It wasn't for me.
I don't mind being a bit of a lone wolf.
There is NOTHING wrong with being original and not following the leader.
Someone recently said to me:
"Being a loving person on some social media is like going to an orgy with people who are (already) promiscuous then asking them to practice safe sex out of love and mutual respect.
It just doesn’t work. (Quite the analogy, isn't it.)
Is it easier to create an emotional reaction to words that are attached to hate than it is to create an emotional reaction to words attached to love?
I don't believe it is. As a writer I love the written word and KNOW words have immense power of love.
I also love the spoken word and believe the same for spoken words.
I've read that poems aren't as popular as they need to be because very few people connect words with love except those who enjoy poetry.
Is it easier to create hate than love through words?
If we don't want to utilize the word love because it's platitudinous, Pollyanna, over-employed or misinterpreted how about:
I say we need to be much more judicious with our words.
Don't give up on expressing love, humor and compassion.
Some days the love needs to be really firm, but it's still love.
Love - who needs it?
We ALL do.
We all want to have love in our lives. Psychologically, emotionally and physically we all need love in some form.
Those who say they don't are dealing with pain that is preventing them from having, or being the love.
I have never met a single person, no matter how hardened, who did not at some point, bring love into the conversation, or allude to it.
Needless to say, the brain is prewired for negativity, and positivity takes work.
But like RuPaul says “ You better work!”
DO THE WORK.
Reprogram your brain to be more positive, realistic, solution oriented, problem-solving, trouble-shooting and less knee-jerk, confrontational, easily offended, and reactionary.
Use social media, don't use social media, or use a little bit of social media. That is up to you and the lifestyle you lead.
If it's your daily focus and you can't wait to "share" with the world, then perhaps it's time to re-examine your relationships with social media and yourself.
It’s not self-righteous to stop using social media; in many instances it’s self-preservation.
As always thanks for reading.
See you again next week.
In the meantime, take a look at the work of a friend and colleague:
Love Your Life Healthy
KaZ has been in many facets of entertainment, plus the co-owner of two restaurants, a fitness center, a television production company and the owner of a cinema. She did a stint in politics (she won't be doing that again anytime soon), and in veterinary medicine, She now focuses on writing.
In addition to the above, KaZ is an award-winning vocalist, a former dancer, stunt actor, circus artist, & professional water skier. She has worked as a theater artistic director & writer.
KaZ has been a published writer in magazines & books since the age of 15. She has written plays that have been produced in New York, Florida & New Orleans. She has a featured chapter in the book How To Survive A Move. (Up-to-date she has moved 45 times!) KaZ wrote an article for Organic Wine Journal, and also an article featured at the Ground Zero Memorial.
KaZ co-wrote 2 television informational series & 3 television pilots.
One of the pilots, a sit-com, was produced as a reality pilot. KaZ has revisited it and it's now a one season cable series.
“(And ) Then This Happened.” is based on life, love, and everything in between in the mid-life years. Loosely based on her life and the life of two of her best girlfriends.
KaZ's many high pressure pursuits led her to meditation.
She began studying meditation in '91. Her initial training focused on Kundalini Yoga with Yogi Bhajan and his teachers. She is a certified Master Meditation and Qigong Instructor.
Most recently KaZ taught in a juvenile justice facility, and lectured on mental health in juvenile justice.
With writing being her first love, look for KaZ's upcoming children's books
from the mind of two grandmothers.
Plus, a play based on letters from her two great uncles during WWII.