Seeing the best in life's challenges

Good Girls and Bad Boys

I’m thinking today about how we like to label people, especially kids.  We do this all the time and don’t think about it.

Growing up, I was a good girl.  I was nice.  I didn’t make waves.  I did what I was supposed to do.  I got along with most everyone.  I got good grades, the teachers liked me, I was a good sport.  I avoided conflict.

Once you get the “good girl” label, and it really sticks, you don’t get questioned.  As long as you maintain your appearance, you don’t really have to be as perfect as everyone thinks you are.  I could have gotten away with all kinds of stuff.  No one believes that a good girl would ever do anything bad!

Then there are the bad boys.  They fight.  They’re stinky and loud.  They ask too many questions.  They break the rules.  They fidget.  Need I go on?

We expect boys to be bad.  Of course they are going to get in trouble.  It’s what boys do.  We have to tame them, get them to conform, break their spirits if they are too feisty.  With boys, we sigh knowingly and assume the worst.

Has anyone else ever noticed all the mixed messages and judgments we hand out in the form of generalizations?

  • “Peer pressure is bad.”
  • “Get along with your friends.  You need to pick up on social cues.”
  • “Look at what a wonderful man Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was – he spoke out against injustice!”
  • “Too bad, kid, life is not fair – you just have to deal with it.”
  • “Strangers are bad, don’t talk to strangers.”
  •  “Teacher knows best, do what your teacher tells you.”

We make blanket judgments about entire groups of people all the time.  It makes it easier to hurry through life.  Hang out with the good people; avoid the bad people.  Listen only to what the good people say; those bad people are idiots.  What’s kind of crazy when you think about it, is that there isn’t even a consensus about who belongs on what list!

To me, this is just laziness.  It’s a bad habit.  I, for one, try not to let myself fall into that trap.  But heck, I’m not perfect – even good girls sometimes mess up.

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What I Really, Really Want

I read a great article today that prompted me to put this post together.  It’s a combination of several things I’ve been thinking about anyway.  The subject is: what do we really want out of a relationship, anyway?  What do men really want?  What do women really want?

To get what I’m talking about, you probably want to read the article by Ken Solin first.

Here’s how I frame this issue.  As I’ve written about before, both women and men have yin and yang characteristics.  I like how Lee Carroll refers to these two traits as “mother energy” and “father energy.”  Mother energy is nurturing, compassionate, gentle, forgiving.  Father energy is disciplined, secure, strong, physical.  Each of us, regardless of gender, has our own combination, or balance, of yin and yang, of mother energy and father energy.  So really, it’s a little hard to characterize what all women, or all men, want.

In his book Happiness is a Serious Problem, Dennis Prager talks about women and men both having insatiable desires.  He says women have an insatiable need for emotional intimacy, and men have an insatiable need for physical intimacy.  Prager makes a really good point, but I think it’s a little more complicated than that.  For purposes of this discussion, I‘m going to suggest that yin, or mother energy, craves emotional intimacy, and yang, or father energy, craves physical intimacy.

We all know that women also want physical intimacy, and men also want to feel close emotionally.  But a man who is very yang will be more focused on the physical, just like a woman who is mostly yin will focus on feelings.  In the past, when both women and men were less balanced, more polarized, the old generalizations were more accurate.

(Now, let me get a little Bible reference in here.  I find this really interesting.  I’m talking about Ephesians 5, where Paul tells wives to submit to their husbands.  In the notes in my NIV Bible, it says that submit means “to yield one’s own rights.”  The scripture talks about the body – something that is physical.  Then, the husband is told to love his wife – all about feelings.  Is it just me, or did Paul just allude to this same relationship dance of physical and emotional intimacy, in a way that was appropriate for the times??  Back when men were men, and women were women?)

IF, as I have written about before, we are all coming into greater balance within ourselves in terms of yin and yang, feminine and masculine traits, then it is no longer that simple.  Today, it makes sense that men and women will be looking for both physical and emotional intimacy. So in order to understand what a specific individual wants, one must understand that person’s unique balance of traits.  You have to get to know and understand the other person.

Ken Solin refers to the “empowered” women of today.  As women have become more “equal” what they have really become is more balanced.  Their inner yang/masculine energy has become more prominent, so no wonder we have seen women more inclined toward physical pursuits in terms of relating to men.  By the same token, we have seen men become more balanced as well, more interested in emotional intimacy, and Solin specifically talks about how this can be confusing.  I dare say that physical interaction involves skills that are easier to pick up, compared to the slippery slope of learning how to deal with sharing feelings.  No wonder this is really tough on many guys.

Solin very wisely talks about the difference between just being emotional, and being emotionally honest.  We’re really talking about communicating what you are feeling, which means being honest with yourself and understanding your own feelings first.  In order to have true emotional intimacy, each side must strive to be emotionally honest, AND each side must commit to listen without judgment or defensiveness.  Open communication must occur.

This is no different than physical intimacy, but does anybody ever talk about this?  We give each other feedback about what we like and don’t like, this feels good, that feels better, can you try this, etc.  A good physical relationship involves give and take, responding to feedback, and trying new things.  A physical relationship isn’t so good when one side goes along with something that doesn’t work for them.  A selfish physical partner probably won’t experience physical intimacy with the same partner for very long.

So all the same goes for working on emotional intimacy.  Solin gives very good advice.  I like what he says:

“No one wins when the truth gets beaten up.”




(Maybe the guy’s lock should be his heart, and the woman should have the key on a chain around her neck??  Still this picture made me smile!)




Lessons from Cartagena

I lived in Cartagena from January to April 1978.  I was in tenth grade, and went there with three of my classmates as part of an exchange program.  I lived in Castillo Grande, went to school in Boca Grande, both near Laguito.  It truly was a different world, a completely different paradigm.

We attended an American school, with the kids of all the rich families of Cartagena.  The father of the family I stayed with was a plastic surgeon who specialized in hands.  The difference in lifestyle between the rich and the poor provided a very stark contrast.  I’ll never forget the cardboard shacks that were home to many Colombians.  The people I went to school with and lived with seemed never to give this a second thought.

At the time, we had running water only for a short time in the morning.  No hot water.  We came home from school midday to eat lunch and take a siesta.  The pace of life was much more relaxed.  I learned that when you slow down, have a less stressful life, and take a siesta, you need a whole lot less sleep.  The food was great – I gained 10 pounds.  (Our maid was a very good cook, in my opinion.)  We had plenty of beach time.  Instead of using a towel, you would just lie down on the sand.  I came home with darker skin than a light-skinned black kid on my school bus.  One of my favorite memories is watching the pelicans dive into the water.

We went to the discotheques with other kids from school.  No drinking age.  No big deal.

Going to church was a big deal.  We’d stand outside and socialize the whole time.  There were lots of Sweet 16 parties.  The girl I stayed with was obsessed with life in America, which she had learned about by reading Cosmo.  Her idea of the life of a teenager in America was pretty skewed.

The experience of living in Colombia is a big reason I question everything.  Most people live their life on auto-pilot and don’t ever consider that all those assumptions you take for granted aren’t universal.  Once that concept is shattered for you, you can’t go back.

I can tell you that Americans don’t have a clue about the cultural differences between the U.S. and Colombia.  The recent Secret Service scandal illustrates a lot of interesting issues.  Americans can’t help but interpret and judge and moralize about the situation with their own American bias.

This article from the NY Times is really interesting.  Americans look down their noses at “the prostitute,” but do you know that what she was doing was legal, and when the police got involved, they were on her side?  How does that one sit with you?  Observe your own bias – do you judge the woman?

Interesting, the Secret Service guy in question wasn’t doing anything illegal, he was just cheap (and got drunk).  How many cheap guys do you know that get drunk?  Did his actions reflect poor judgment?  How many of us always have perfect judgment?  How many times is something considered “OK” until someone gets caught?

So now, his life is ruined, he has disgraced his Country, there is massive outrage.  Why are we so quick to cast stones?

I’m not saying that the whole situation is just fine.  But it doesn’t affect me directly, so why should I get emotional and judgmental and angry about it?  Why do people feel they have to contribute negative energy when situations like this occur?  Why not get thoughtful, rather than emotional?

I know I’m a broken record, but….find the lesson, turn the experience into wisdom.  We don’t have to turn these things into more drama.

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My Head is Too Busy

During the last few days, the idea of the “Indigo child” has been a primary topic in my world.  On Saturday, I spent the afternoon with Lee Carroll, who co-authored The Indigo Children and a couple other books on the subject.

In our 3D world we need to use labels.  We communicate using words, and we have to be able to say what we’re talking about.  Just know that my understanding of this concept goes way beyond a simple label, so try not to get stuck on the words.

I’m an old soul.  There, I said it.  It’s just me — it’s who I am and how I understand myself.  It doesn’t make me any better than anybody else.  But I understand these discussions of Indigos, because they are old souls, and I know what it’s like to be an old soul.

I’ve been here for 50 years now.  I have always known that I was here for a reason.  My personality is quiet, tolerant, and submissive (I have the personality test results to prove that, haha) but I am not weak.  I’ve just always had a lot going on under the surface that nobody else is aware of.

I found a great website that provides a quick summary of what I’m talking about when I say Indigos. The website is written by Diana T. Mackiewicz, Ma.Ed, a high school teacher.

So here’s what happens in my head.  I have about a million thoughts going on at the same time.  It’s like there’s a door open to another level of awareness.  It’s all up there, swirling around, and today is one of those times that I am having a hard time figuring out which one to go with.  This is happening more often lately.  It feels like I’m going to explode sometimes.  Sometimes it’s more like I’m paralyzed and do nothing instead.

I’ve mentioned before in a post about Linear vs. Conceptual Thinking, the movie with Nicholas Cage where he can run scenarios quickly through his mind.  There is access to a huge number of possibilities, potentials, ideas, wisdom, things to think about or investigate or do.  They are all there at once.  If everything is energy, it’s like being a balloon that is constantly being filled with energy and getting bigger, and you don’t know how long you can hold it together.

This contributes to my other trait of being impulsive.  Sometimes a great idea pops up, and I just go with it.  I remember when reviewing that test result, it seemed odd to our pastor, who was the one who gave the test.  But I understand it.

My personality traits allowed me to navigate a world that always felt foreign, without making waves.  I have never felt like I fit in, that there was anyone else like me, but it never really bothered me.  I have just always played the game.  When I hit a roadblock, I would just quietly get out of line, and take the dirt road through the woods that got me to the other side.  Then I’d keep on going.  No big deal.

I also test very logical, which helps balance the rest of it.  I have always been very analytical, I always got math concepts instantly, and I’ve worked as both a financial analyst and a research analyst.  I am connected to a method of handling all the ideas and data; I have a mental framework that helps me sort it all out.  So yes, I can focus and function when I need to.  Taking lots of data, analyzing it, simplifying it, and then presenting it seems to be a skill that has been a primary theme of learning throughout my life.

I understand things that nobody else seems to see, much less care about.  Things that seem simple to me, don’t even occur to others.  If I let myself think about this enough, I start to feel like I live in an alien world.

Please, please, please don’t think I’m feeling superior, like I’m so great.  It’s really not like that.  It’s more kind of a pain.  Mostly, I have given up trying to explain this to anyone, because it is just misunderstood.

But it’s time to speak up, because of the kids.  It makes sense to me that there are more and more kids being born with this kind of perspective.  They come in thinking this way.  They understand so much, so instantly, and trying to slow down and force their way of thinking into a linear format is boring, tedious, pointless work.  I am sure that what they are dealing with in their heads is much tougher than what I deal with.  Maybe I just got lucky with who I am and how I handle it.

Like, let’s talk about homework.  I NEVER did my math homework.  Thank goodness back then it wasn’t part of your grade.  I got 100% on most of my tests.  I got a 760 on the math portion of the SAT, and I never did any prep for the test.  If I had had to do homework problems, especially the amount they make kids do today, I would have gone nuts.  I remember joking with Mr. Kerrigan when he would ask about homework.  Homework, me, really?  I shudder to think of the repercussions that kids today would face for that one.  Yikes.

But there’s a lot of pressure these days to get kids to conform.  Do what they are told.  We want them to act like kids are supposed to act.  (Actually, it’s worse.  We don’t even want to let them do stupid, silly kid stuff.)  We want to CONTROL them.  And we leave them no outlet to let out steam, vent their frustrations, or share who they are.  (At one school, they went so far as to limit what my kid could do during sports, because of “behavior problems” in class.  The ONE place he could let out steam and be successful, they made it clear they were in charge there too.)

Hello, we are not breaking horses here.

It doesn’t help that when these kids do speak up, they tend to point out things that are broken.  From their perspective, they are pointing out the obvious, being factual and honest about what they see.  Unfortunately, these tend to be the things we really don’t want to look at or think about.  The tough issues, the hypocrisy, the places “we just don’t go there.”  Oh no! Don’t want to talk about that one, quiet down that kid who’s being DISRESPECTFUL!  One perspective sees it as factual and honest, the other disrespectful.

What’s the answer?  Well, I know it’s not easy.  Kids still have to learn to navigate the world.  We need to have manners and be kind to one another.  But geez, give them a break already.  They are not “bad” because they don’t want to do boring homework.  It’s not their fault that they already understand a lot of things at a level many adults haven’t even thought about.

It’s not a competition.  I’ve noticed that it’s the adults with big or fragile egos that have a hard time with these kids.  Aren’t WE supposed to be the adults here?

We should be in awe of these kids.  When they are not feeling threatened, and we take the time to listen to them, their wisdom is apparent.

I am the parent of one of these kids, in a package with a personality that is not at all underground like mine.  Very wise, huge heart, very little patience for lack of integrity or those who can’t keep up, and who won’t hesitate to speak out.  As the website above points out, we’re talking “control issues with authority figures of the opposite sex”, and “non-conformist like ideas that may also not readily fit in with mainstream society.”  Oh, boy.

Despite the fact that I understand the disconnect here, being a mediator and facilitator for this kid is terribly exhausting.

But the only way we are going to “solve” this issue is to deal with it.  We can only deny it and fight it for so long.  These kids are not going away.  It’s a tsunami coming.  Get on board or get tumbled by the waves.  Seriously.


You are not who you ‘think’ you are


The Answers to Everything

We are spiritual beings.  We are souls, temporarily in a body here on Earth.  We have free will to use our time here in whatever way we wish.  We can remain in reactive mode, live our life under the default settings, let life “happen to us”, maybe never even consider the purpose of it all, and that’s just fine.

We also have the option of choosing to be proactive, to examine our choices along the way, to consider the implications of our choices, to try to find our purpose in being here.  We can work to understand the deeper meaning of it all. Take it to the next level.

Whatever you choose is right for you.  Be happy with your choice!  Enjoy your life for what it is!

Wait…’re not happy?  You’re frustrated?  Something’s missing?  Life isn’t going the way you want it to? You can’t shake this feeling that there’s something more?  Can’t shake the loneliness?  Well, you have a choice – you can maintain the status quo and just live with it, or you can try to figure it out, to FIND THE ANSWERS.

Don’t know where to start?

Well, the most important thing you need to know is that YOU are the only one who can figure it all out FOR YOU.  There’s no formula, no class you can take, no book you can read, no list of rules you can follow, no guru that will give you all the answers.  It’s a lot of work, and that may sound intimidating.  But nothing worth doing is easy, right?

Now wait a minute, you say, I’ve seen your blog, and you keep writing about books and articles you’ve read, you have all these opinions, what’s all that about?

Well, no one can tell you THE ANSWER, but there are lots of hints out there, there is lots of wisdom.  It comes from the Bible, it comes from the many wise souls who have come before us, we can find it in our friends and family, we can see it in nature.  Wisdom and guidance is EVERYWHERE.  I’m a researcher at heart, and I love digging for wisdom.  People can help and support each other in this process, but they can’t determine someone’s answers for them.  By sharing my process, my thoughts, how I see my answer, MAYBE someone else is supported in their own quest.  Maybe not.

It doesn’t matter what you call it:  becoming a better person, becoming enlightened, ascension, spiritual maturity, being born again, transformation, raising your vibration, higher consciousness.  All these terms describe the quest.  It’s not a task to be completed, it’s a process.

So, from my perspective, here are some steps that seem to be universal, things to consider, helpful hints, in no particular order.  As always, if they seem useful to you, great!  If not, skip to the next one.  If you find this stuff helpful, feel free to share with others!

Become the Observer  Whenever you encounter a situation, step back and pretend you’re a fly on the wall.  You might have to wait until later, when you’re alone, but run the situation through your head as if you were not involved.  Pretend that everyone is just an actor in a play, and watch.  Let go of the feelings, the expectations, the preconceived notions, the judgments, and just OBSERVE.  This is an exercise that helps you gain a perspective.  Get curious.  Be interested without an agenda.  Observe yourself – how did you feel, how did you react, what pushed your buttons?  What judgments did you make, what expectations did you have?

Abandon Survival Mode  Dig down and figure out what your basic Intent is.  Is it to take care of Number One?  Survival of the fittest?  Or is your primary interest the well-being of all, the greater good?  Do you believe in win-win solutions?

Recognize and Manage your Ego  Understand that your ego is useful.  It keeps you safe; it’s a survival mechanism.  It watches out for Number One.  But your ego likes to have control.  It can get you in trouble if you’re not careful.  It needs to be understood and managed.

Conquer Fear  What are you afraid of?  Fear is another survival mechanism.  The right kind of fear keeps us safe.  But it’s another thing that can take over and get out of control.  And it may also be the biggest obstacle to moving forward.  Don’t let the fear of doing something wrong keep you from TRYING.

Question Everything  There is nothing wrong with questioning everything.  It’s why we have a brain.  It’s a thought process that helps us understand things better.  Any time you are told that something should not be questioned, a big red flag should go up in your head.  If something is TRUE, then any questioning will only lead back to that truth anyway, right?  What are you afraid of?  While we’re at it, do you judge others who consider ideas that are outside of your box?  Why do you care?

Recognize Drama  Do you love drama?  Drama is fed by the ego and by fear.  It’s seductive.  Drama can keep you very busy if you let it.  We all know people that create and thrive on drama.  Just remember that participating in drama is your choice.

Cultivate Faith  The religions of the world all focus on a Creator that is benevolent and loving.  Do you believe this to be the case or not?  Be honest with yourself – do you act as if you have faith that things will work out, or are you always worried?  Do you really believe in a God that punishes?  Does this feel right in your gut?

Stop Judging  How much time do you spend playing the Blame Game?  Besides the fact that the Bible says don’t judge, spending your time judging doesn’t change what’s been done.  Ok, you might be feeding your Ego so you can feel superior, or you might have other reasons to be doing this.  The more time you spend blaming, the less you have to spend figuring out a solution to the problem.  Besides, you can only control YOU.  Observe yourself, and make a conscious decision about how much judging you want to be doing.

Stop Seeing Yourself as a Victim  Do you wish things were different than they are?  What do you choose to do about it?  You can choose to feel sorry for yourself, get mad at the world for being the way it is, get depressed about it.  OR, you can accept that things are the way they are, it JUST IS, and then decide what actions you can take to deal with it.

Look for the Lesson  One way to deal with the challenges and mysteries of life is to look for the lesson.  Many say that you will face certain situations over and over again, until you learn the lesson that is presented.  Feel like the same stuff keeps happening to you?  Look for the lesson, learn something, gain wisdom.  The idea is, if you learn the lesson, you won’t remain stuck dealing with the same situation over again.  Also, if you look at life this way, you won’t be as likely to take these things personally and you will be less likely to see yourself as the victim.

Listen to your Intuition  This is probably the single most important hint, and the most liberating.  Trust yourself!  YOU are powerful.  YOU are wise, if you choose to be.  YOU have a piece of God inside you – use it!!  Not only are you an amazing human being, but God is on your side, and you only need to ASK for help, and it will be there!!

Have Patience…  This is the hardest one for me.  Things don’t necessarily fall into place as quickly as we would like.  We have to trust and let go of doubt.  Ugh.


Find the Humor in Everything  Despite all this serious talk, don’t ever forget that life is to be ENJOYED!!  It’s easier to see the humor in life when you are in Observer Mode.  When you recognize a challenge that pops up in front of you as one you have seen before, laugh at the fact that life is giving you another chance to slay the dragon!  When you see drama unfolding, and you see the participants as actors in the play, appreciate the wonderful acting job they are doing, and laugh!  Appreciate each character for the caricature that they are!

Most of all, learn to laugh at yourself.  It’s ok to be vulnerable.  It’s ok to make a mistake.  When you laugh at yourself, when you enjoy your own journey, and others see you, it gives them permission to go easy on themselves.  Hey, we’re all here together doing the best we can.  Why not enjoy it while we’re here?!


For the Love of my Dogs

I live with two Brittanys, sisters from the same litter.  I remember reading somewhere that the Brittany is like a highly intelligent, very active young child.  To me, the Brittany is the perfect dog, but they are not for everyone.  I wanted to write about why my girls mean so much to me.

Brittanys are spaniels, so they have those sweet faces, big floppy ears, and soft eyes.  But they also have lots of energy, and they need to be able to run — a lot.  We have a large, fenced back yard, their own private dog park.

Kona is liver and white, like her dad, Mike.  She is a soldier, the serious one.  She knows and follows the rules.  She is intense, always on alert.  She would have made an amazing field trial dog or even agility dog.   She can easily jump our five-foot fence, but she doesn’t, because she knows she’s not supposed to.  When I happen upon the scene of a crime, she will act guilty whether she committed the crime or not (and most likely she didn’t).  She’s always a little bit nervous, and she’s skinny. When she begs, she woos you with flirty eyes.  Kona is also the dominant one.  She’s not fixed, and definitely a pushy bitch.  She will steal her sister’s bone in a heartbeat.

But Tink doesn’t mind.  Tink goes with the flow.  She doesn’t much care about the rules.  She is always happy and has a great sense of humor.  Really, you can joke with Tink and she just wags her tail.  She gets this mischievous look in her eye and you can just tell she is laughing inside.  She’s silly and playful.  Tink is white and orange, like her mom, Angel.  She loves to eat (and one does wonder if this has to do with being spayed).  I tease her and tell her she’s a hefty dog.  It’s a good thing she can’t jump the fence, because she’d do it all the time.  When Tink begs, she stares at you very directly – she’s very clear and you know exactly what she wants.

Brittanys are bird dogs, pointers.   They usually hunt in pairs, and a really important thing they have to learn is to honor another dog’s point.  Kona and Tink do this naturally.  It is fascinating to watch them hunt. They routinely catch squirrels, but they have also caught two groundhogs, a raccoon, a couple of ‘possums, and many small rodents.  They can sit, perfectly still, for hours.  They are of one mind, instinctively knowing what the other will do even before they move.  They balance each other perfectly.

To me, they reflect the two sides of my personality – I have that serious side, sure, but I also have that playful side.  Watching Kona and Tink, and how they balance each other, has helped me to appreciate both ways of being, how we need both approaches to life.

People talk about how wonderful it is that dogs love their owners unconditionally.  But I think it is more interesting to observe how we owners love our dogs.  No matter what my dogs do, whether it is digging up the new landscaping or vegetables in the garden, destroying the stacked stone wall to get to the rodents living inside, dismantling the newly stacked woodpile into a heap of rubble, or scratching the paint off the back door, well, we might get mad at them for a minute, but that doesn’t last long.

We know that they are just being dogs.  We don’t take these things personally.  We accept them for what they are, and actually enjoy their antics and just laugh.  Just by being who they are, they allow US to love THEM unconditionally.


The Reality Distortion Field

When I read Steve Jobs’ biography over Christmas break 2011, Chapter 11 hit me like a ton of bricks.  I know this Reality Distortion Field very well.

As described by Andy Hertzfeld, “The reality distortion field was a confounding mélange of a charismatic rhetorical style, indomitable will, and eagerness to bend any fact to fit the purpose at hand.” (p. 118)   Apparently, Jobs consistently insisted that impossible tasks be completed in impossible time frames, and somehow, through sheer will, the impossible would be accomplished.  The phrase had been adopted from a series of episodes of Star Trek, “in which the aliens create their own new world through sheer mental force.”

The biography is a great read, and very meaty.  It is at once the history of a company, the life story of a very interesting human being, and the tale of how our world has changed.  All fascinating.  For me, Jobs is a perfect case study of a human being who came into this world with a consciousness well ahead of most of the rest of us.  He felt that the rules did not apply to him, and he had a very strong sense of what he wanted to accomplish.  His path was also fraught with many challenges and obstacles.  In the end (as he left this world), just look at the impact he and Apple have made.  Go back 20, even 10 years, and where the company is today is stunning and unexpected.  I used Macs in the early 1990s, and I know very well how they were positioned in the market at that time and how they were viewed by the establishment.  Everybody knew that the IBM compatible PC was the way to go.  Ha!

I know this reality distortion field because I am the mother of a similar human being.  The Jobs biography speaks very little about how his childhood affected his parents, but I can only imagine how busy he kept them.  It is also obvious that they believed in him.

Steve Jobs was a pioneer.  When we look back at what pioneers accomplish, hindsight allows us to appreciate and idolize them, but we tend to forget how tough the process was when everyone thought they were crazy, arrogant, and impossible to deal with.

The thing we have to remember is, where pioneers go, more will follow.  Kids today come into this world as different animals.  We want to diagnose them, drug them, control them in any way we can, to make them act like kids “are supposed to act.”  Well, maybe kids were supposed to act like that 30 years ago, but it’s not the way they are built today.  They are not the same type of human being and all of our efforts are only going to frustrate us and hold them back.

Parenting these kids is a whole new ball game.  I have read more parenting books than you would care to imagine.  I understand that my kids are here to teach me lessons that I would not get if they were “easy”.  I have learned so much and grown so much because of them.  I have been amazed at their wisdom and what they are capable of when we trust them.

Instead of viewing kids as flawed, what if we looked at them as pioneers?  As wise, powerful beings who will push us, teach us, help lead us forward?  What if we strive to enable them, rather than tether them?  Stop holding them back and making them “wrong” and start appreciating them for who they are?

I feel for these young pioneers, because the world does not understand them and tries to beat them into submission.  Our educational systems are designed for the child of yesterday.  We no longer live in yesterday.  No wonder kids are acting out, parents are out of their minds, and teachers are exhausted.

How much longer will we try to force that square peg into a round hole?


Interested in more thoughts on our educational system and how it can better serve today’s kids?  Take a look at David’s blog Eduspire.  He has lots of interesting things to say about educating our kids.



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Planned Parenthood: Just Sayin’ No

Yesterday’s blog post by Ryan Holiday, regarding Planned Parenthood’s rejection of a $500,000 donation by Tucker Max, provides a great example of the way the “Old Energy” paradigm is clashing with the “New Energy” paradigm.  The situation illustrates a lot of the concepts I’ve been reading and writing about.

For anyone who hasn’t been in “my loop,” let me get you up to speed briefly.  I’ve been writing about how the world is shifting, how the masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves and our society are balancing, how we can move away from judgment and the mentality of “right” and “wrong”, how each person has their own unique perspective on the world that “just is”, and how some of the crazy behavior we are seeing “out there” might be explained by this shift.

I don’t expect anyone to necessarily agree with me on this stuff.  I write primarily as an outlet for myself, and I share knowing that some might find concepts here that they find interesting to think about, and others might find nothing at all.  I have no ego attached to either case.

I’m not going to repeat too many basic ideas here, so if you want to dig, feel free to read some previous posts.  Whatever works for you.

So, here’s the basic story:

Ryan Holiday, a publicist/marketing guy, works for Tucker Max.  Tucker has a big tax liability, and asks Ryan if he has any ideas.  Ryan suggests Tucker make a big contribution to Planned Parenthood, get a clinic named after him, generate lots of good PR.  The guys figure that since PP in Texas is having a rough time financially, they win, too.  The problem is, Tucker has made some not-so-nice references to PP and their clients, and PP decides to refuse his offer.  Ryan and Tucker are not happy about this, and make a fuss about how stupid Planned Parenthood is (which, aha! brings them more publicity).

And here’s my perspective:

The Old Energy paradigm, which is weighted toward power, materialism, and control, totally explains this scenario.  This paradigm is dominated by masculine energy.  Money talks, especially when the target is poor and vulnerable, and the fear of scarcity rules.  Judgments are made about who should do what, and the approach is competitive.  There is an attitude of “I know what’s good for YOU.”  When power does not get its way, it has a temper tantrum, intended to create doubt and fear.  Marketing = Manipulation.  There’s lots of discussion about who should have done what, and who is right or wrong.  Drama is created, and the Old Energy LOVES drama.  (Some refer to this as the third dimension.)

In the New Energy paradigm, masculine and feminine approaches are balanced.  No choice is right or wrong.  Each person or group is allowed to make its own choices and those choices are respected.  (One is ALLOWED to say “no.”)  Sure, they may have to deal with consequences of those choices, but that’s the concern of the one making the choice. It’s the ultimate in personal responsibility.  There is acceptance of “what is”, no fighting reality.   (This is how a fifth dimensional world operates.)

This shift from Old to New is subtle, but it’s happening.  Just look at how the world has changed in the last decades.  And 2012 is the tipping point for the shift.  It’s going to get harder and harder for those who play by the Old Paradigm rules to navigate their way through the world.  It’s going to be increasingly frustrating, and we’re going to see a lot of kicking and screaming.

And (hooray!!) it’s finally going to “work” for those who approach the world the New way.  Those whose intentions are for the Greater Good.  Those who operate from Love and Compassion.  Those who respect others without trying to control or manipulate them.  The Old Guard will still regard us as weak and naive, and they will continue to convince themselves that they are “right”.

Our time has come, finally.

Ryan and Tucker, you should know that the New Energy will not make you “wrong”.  It will respect your right to make your own decisions, to ask for what you want, and to conduct yourselves in any way you desire.  It’s all good.  The New Energy will not judge you.  Just don’t be surprised when the New Energy neglects to get involved in the drama and ignores you, or when you don’t get the kind of reaction and cooperation you expected.  When you encounter the same roadblocks over and over again, when you get stuck and you start asking yourselves “Why isn’t this working?” just remember that you will be presented with the same lesson over and over, as many times as you like, until you learn whatever it is that life is trying to teach you.  Hey, it’s all part of the adventure of life.

To the reader:  Do you want to be successful going forward?  If what I am saying has any truth to it, it might be a good idea to learn about how this New Paradigm is going to work.  Here are some people who are talking about this stuff – do a little research and decide for yourself what YOU think:


Tom Shadyac – writer/director of Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, Patch Adams, etc.

Lynne McTaggart – author of The Field and The Intention Experiment, about the science of connectedness and consciousness

Lenore Skenazy – author of Free Range Kids, who writes about parenting without fear

Lee Carroll – author and channeler of Kryon’s messages about the shift

Ernie Fitzpatrick – LRC Houston, a spiritual community with Christian roots

Izzy Kalman – expert on handling bullying