Archive for December, 2008

Truth. Yours or Mine?

by Lauren Kennedyhttp://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

“Knock. Knock.”

” Who’s there?”

” Truth.”

” Truth Who?”

” Mine or Yours?”

And there in lies the dilemma. And the source of immense conflict.

We like to think that truth is absolute, explicit, definite, unambiguous and most of all knowable. But what is truth? Are there universal truths that apply to everyone and everything, at all times, in every situation, rigid and inflexible? How do we know if something is, in fact true?

Following are the dictionary’s various definitions of truth.

* “Something that is factual.”

* “Something that is generally believed to be true.”

* “A fact or concept that is scientifically proven.”

* ” Conformity to a certain standard or law.”

* ” Something that corresponds to reality.”

* “A religious truth.”

But none of these definition unequivocally define a truth. Instead, they describe the methods that we use to validate a particular truth, or more accurately, a belief. Each of these methods are fallible, influenced by society’s views, upheld by those in power,or a mater of perception, control or convenience.

For instance, at one time Europeans  generally believed that the world was flat. That was “something that is generally believed to be true.” Go too far and you fall of the edge of the earth they would say. Many people thought Christopher Columbus was sailing to his doom.

“A religious truth” was stated to be that the sun revolved around the earth. Anyone who dared to disagree was subject to prosecution. Therefore, that definition  can also be fallible.

How about “conformity to a certain standard or law”? At one point in time, the standard and law in the south was that slavery was acceptable. Many people conformed in their beliefs and actions to the idea that slaves were sub humans, deserving no more respect than livestock. In time our laws matured enough to outlaw slavery. Unfortunately, some people have been slow to evolve or expand their perception and understand the spiritual principle of different but equal.

Let’s look at those ” things that correspond to reality.” At one point in time people believed that their own misfortune was the result of their neighbor, the witch. They were so certain of this reality that they eagerly sent one neighbor after another to the pyre without a second thought or moment of remorse. Conviction after conviction, sentence after sentence was carried out with no evidence, simply someone’s claim that their own misfortune must have been caused by a witch. And then they pointed the finger at someone they knew, one of their neighbors, relatives, the strange person in the village or someone who was an inconvenience or annoyance to them.

We may not burn witches at the stake, but we  still seem to seek revenge as a way to ease the pain of a tragedy or react with fear in an attempt to control something that we find threatening.

Even scientist have had to revise the “facts that they thought had been scientifically proven.” When I was in grade school, I asked the teacher how long ago  South American and Africa were joined together. She told me I had an over active imagination. Continents were way too large and heavy to move.

It always amazed me that scientists,  could categorically reject the obvious based on their inability to explain it. Everyday scientists are discovering new information that dispels some of their most dearly held convictions.

Misleading is Untruthful

Another problem with facts as truth is this. If I chose, I could recount a situation or incident to you, giving you the facts, never uttering a false word, and still lead you to a false conclusion. Now, consider the public relations advisers, the spin professionals, who aren’t concerned if  a minor untruth slips in now and again. They can  have you skipping down the Yellow Brick Road ready to ambush the  Big Bad witch with nothing but the the shiny ruby red shoes they sold you to put on your feet.

Our Five Senses Are Limited

Many people still hold to the concept that reality is what we can see, hear, taste, smell or touch. If it doesn’t register with one of our five senses, it doesn’t exist. This is amazing in the era of atom bashing and quark detection (subatomic particles that scientist can’t even see). So how do they know they exist? Consider the air on a still day. You can’t see, hear, taste, touch or smell it, except perhaps on a hot day in New York during a garbage strike. But if you look at a tall tree, you will notice that its leaves at the very top are slightly swaying. In the same way, scientists know that quarks exists by the reaction and results that they observe when smashing particle together at incredible speeds.

Some dogs can  smell cancer cells long before our sophisticated instruments can detect them. Birds can see radiation the same way that we see color. Before technology, humans were unable to see or detect  that part of the light spectrum. Does that mean it didn’t exist? Of course, if they were avid sun bathers, they did notice the effect of some parts of the invisible light spectrum.

Other animals can detect the earth’s magnetic force, a useful sense for navigation when you don’t have hands to hold a compass. And what about people who are colorblind and can’t differentiate red and green. Does that mean that those colors don’t exist? Are the rest of us  are just imagining them, or dreaming them.

Religious Truths

Religious truths are a real quagmire. Everyone thinks that their sacred texts, and their interpretations are the ultimate truth. Many of these stories were  passed for years from one person to another by word of mouth until they were finally transcribed. Have you ever played telephone? The quagmire gets deeper still, when one considers translation, colloquialisms, and the writings that were omitted, at least from the Bible, for reasons of control, power, bias, by the early clergy to gain power and control for their version of religious truth.  The first to fourth century religious elders and popes were more concerned about obtaining a power base and choosing scriptures and interpretations that validated their traditional social views, than they were about ensuring that the spirit and message of the word of Christ was accurately preserved.

The fact is that most of the ideas or concepts that we label as truth are actually beliefs, not facts, hence not the truth. None of the dictionary’s definitions actually define truth. They just describe our system for proclaiming that something is the truth at a particular point in time.The problem is that facts change, our version of reality changes, laws and standards change, society changes and different religions have  different versions of the truth.

The Best Definition

The best definition that I discovered, the one that has the potential to come closest to the truth was this: “An accurate account or description of alignment, setting, position or shape.”

But once again, this definition is also subject to error. Giving an accurate account depends on what we perceive. As mentioned earlier, we can only perceive what our senses detect. A dog may hear something that we cannot or an eagle may see something we could not. Unfortunately, we can not understand other species’ language, although our pets, with inferior intellectual capacities (according to our truths),  have learned to understand some of ours.  Hence we are unable to benefit from the information they gather with their more acute senses.

Perception Obscures the Truth

The next obstacle is our mental perception. We often only see what we expect to see. In addition, we make assumptions about what we see, based on our experiences, our beliefs, our attitude, our fears and our biases. These assumptions can occur automatically and lightening quick, so we are not aware of the process. By the time the situation registers in our conscious brain, some information may be excluded, some information inferred, and some created. But to our mind, it is what happened, it is the truth.

Are you beginning to see the dilemma? And just to really make your head spin, consider this. If we really create our life situation as some beliefs suggest, and if human consciousness influences the world, world situations, and even DNA, then may be we are constantly creating a new reality. According to the dictionary one definition of truth is reality. If we are indeed creating new realities, then are we also creating new truths?

How does one make choices when truth appears to be plastic and malleable, debatable, changeable  and unknowable?  How can truth be a fixed, unchanging declaration, when  the basis for truth, reality, is subject to change? And it not only reality that may be subject to change, our perceptions definitely change moment to moment.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

Honest communication can eliminate much of the confusion and misinformation that occurs, even if we have yet to discover the ultimate universal truths. Truth and honesty, in practice,  are not necessarily the same thing. I can inform you of a situation, perhaps a new policy coming up for a vote, or relay a description about a course of action that someone followed, etc. I can present the facts, never uttering a falsehood, but still (intentionally or otherwise) lead you to a false conclusion or impression. I have been technically and legally truthful. But I have still been dishonest, manipulative and deceitful. So that is a practice that I avoid, however tempting or superficially self serving it may appear to be.

The Benefits of Rigorous Self Honesty

The discipline of rigorous self honesty is a powerful practice that brings clarity, insight and direction to my life. This means that I am honest with myself and others about my intentions and motives. I don’t mislead myself or others about my true motives in order to make a good impression, manipulate opinion, or control behavior. Engaging in emotional blackmail by instilling fear, guilt or power plays is equally dishonest.

Honesty includes living with authenticity and integrity, meaning that my choices, decisions and behaviors are congruent with my principles, priorities, beliefs. Rigorous self honesty also includes acknowledging my true feelings, needs and fears.  To accomplish this level of honesty requires present moment awareness, courage and objective self observation.   My record is far from perfect, and discovering my true feelings, needs and intentions has been a difficult and sometimes painful feat a for a woman that spent over half her life playing  a academy award version of Pollyanna meets superwoman. For a time, I had even believed  that I didn’t need anything or anybody and that I was never angry.

Our true feelings  are often inconvenient, contrary to society’s  image of a strong, responsible and positive person, triggering our sense of vulnerability. But we have been sold a pack of lies. It takes a far more courageous and much stronger individual to acknowledge their own truth than it does to avoid and resist it by substituting pretty thoughts and acceptable emotions. When we avoid, dismiss, deny, or cover our feelings they are not eliminated .

What we resist, persists, and that includes our feelings.

In order to become who we want to be, in order to reach our potential, we must first acknowledge, accept and experience who we truly are. To remodel a house, I must first understand what I want to change, what I want to keep, what elements work and which do not. I must uncover the cracks in the foundation, the leaks in the pipes, the mold in the basement. I  can choose to remain unaware of them, and just apply a quick coat of paint and a positive attitude, but the cracks, leaks and mold will eventually topple the structural foundation around me.

We do not change what we refuse to acknowledge.

We may not agree on what is “The Truth,” but we can discover our own inner truth, the truth of who we are. Then through objective observation we can discover and fix the cracks, mend the leaks and eliminate the harmful mold within.  If we refuse to honestly experience and release our feelings, if we resist honestly acknowledging our true motives and hidden agendas, those  lies will destroy our inner foundation. When we ignore, cover up or deny  our feelings, priorities, motives, and needs,  we loose our connection with our true source of wisdom.

We resist acknowledging those personal truths,(feelings, intent, motives) that we judge to be negative. But their existence will not be denied. In our attempt to ignore them or cover them up, their energy(that we have judge to be negative) simmers inside and grows in strength. The more we resist it, the more our own truth persists in its need for expression and release. Eventually, in spite of our best efforts,  it will surface through emotional outbursts, compulsions, justifications, compromised principles and emptiness. The truth that we are trying so hard to control, deny, and avoid experiencing will eventually control and destroy us unless we begin to embrace the truth of who we are being.

Our feelings hold a wealth of information. Acknowledged, experienced and released, they dissipate quickly and thus have no energy to attract negativity. Observing our feelings, motives, intentions,and fears, informs us of the cracks in the foundation that need healing, identifies the fears that leak in and obscure our perceptions  and reveals the mold that is blocking us from expressing our truth, our essence, our spirit.

Feelings are the language of our Soul. And that may be as close to a source of truth as we may be able to achieve. So why do we regularly avoid or ignore our personal path to our truth?

Honesty is Living Our Own Truth

I don’t have to know “The Truth” to be  honest in my interactions  with life, with others and with myself. If I am true to my priorities, purpose and beliefs,  if I consciously choose to live and express the truth of who I am, if my focus is authenticity and integrity , then I will never live a lie. As I grow, my priorities and beliefs may change. My truths may even evolve and expand.  But by adhering to the principle of self honesty, I will never live a lie.  And I will have lived my truth.

Each moment that we choose to be honest and authentic, we are living our truth.  And by focusing on our own inner truth, we will know and recognize The Truth when it comes to knock on our door.

“Knock. Knock.”

” Who There?”

” Honesty.”

” Honesty Who?”

“I am honestly living my truth.”

You have the right and responsibility to live yours.

December 30, 2008 at 1:45 am Leave a comment

And Then They Came for Us

by Lauren Kennedy http://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

There has been a lot of emphasis on guarding our positive mindset by avoiding newscasts that report unpleasant or upsetting information. However, if we are going to be responsible participants in our democratic society, some current events demand our attention.

Freedom and personal rights are not a given. It takes diligence, responsibility, and participation to maintain a  government  that is for the people, by the people.

The Law of Attraction requires a positive attitude, affirming beliefs, and an unwavering conviction in one’s ability to achieve one’s desires.

It does not advocate wrapping ourselves in a cocoon of protection, to remain blissfully ignorant of other people’s pain or misfortune.  Compassion, empathy or sadness at the mistreatment of another, are not the negative energies that will rob us of our goals or prevent us from attracting our dreams.

Avoidance is Fear, and Fear Produces Negativity

The message of the Law of Attraction is not to withdraw from life. It is to embrace  the joys with wonder and gratitude and to face the tragedies that arise with empathy, courage, and change, while maintaining a positive, helpful and hopeful attitude.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

This poem is dedicated to all the citizens snatched off the street and held without legal representation or outside contact, whose families don’t know if they are dead or alive as they arise on Christmas day – due to the Patriot Act.

And to the prisoners at Guatanamo, broken psyically, spiritually and emotionally for life. Guatanamo remains open, even after the Vice President’s acknowledgment of the use of a torture technique called water boarding. When the Japanese used that torture technique on American forces, they were prosecuted as war criminals.

“When chasing monsters, take care that you do not become one.”

December 24, 2008 at 11:52 pm 2 comments

Law of Attraction – the Real Payoff

by Lauren Kennedy – http://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

We are all searching for a formula that will bring us the success, security, respect and abundance that we desire. And humans have been searching for it since the moment we realized that there was more to life that mere survival.

The Law of Attraction is the latest theory that promises  a means of attaining ones goals and living ones dream.  However, there is nothing new about it’s concepts. Different teachers have expressed various aspects of it since the dawn of verbal communication.

But the Law of Attraction is not without it’s detractors. I imagine that many people discount the validity of the Law of Attraction because of the manner in which it is sometimes presented, the various interpretations,  and the mistaken belief that it is the only, or at least the most important Universal Law.

The Law of Attraction, and the other Universal Laws do not work like a 1 + 1 = 2  equation.  They are interdependent, interactive and contain variables for which no person has the exact values. Except perhaps the highly evolved, who seem to be rare indeed on planet Earth.

I know that I do not yet qualify. I remain hopeful, however. (smile)

No Crystal Ball

No one has yet developed a specific formula that will result in an individual having complete control over every circumstance and outcome in their life. Nor is that the intent of any Universal Law. In fact, one of the Universal Laws is about acceptance and surrender. I’ve noticed that it is one of the less popular ones .

Our desires motivate us to stretch our perceived limits and face our fears. As we pursue those goals, our choices  can elevate us to greater awareness, perception and empowerment.  Or we can choose to achieve our goals through manipulation, dishonesty and control.

When we are confronted by our fears and limitations, we can choose to acknowledge, experience and move through them by using our assets of imagination, creativity and courage. Or we can deny and resist them through repression, avoidance, self deception and control.

As we evolve and make choices that reflect our innate essence, we will experience  ourselves as the insightful, compassionate, honest, courageous and authentic individuals that we truly are.  We will reach our potential and fulfill our purpose.  But if we continue to allow our goals to take precedence over our integrity,  we will remain driven to compete for external power, control, and dominance.

The Purpose of Universal Laws are to Nudge us toward Evolution of Consciousness.

In the end, primary intent of the Law of Attraction and all Universal Laws is not to gratify the ego or to reward unbridled or a single minded drive to acquire power and wealth. Nor is it a tool by which to  accurately judge the the mindset of others.

Pain, hardship or disease do not necessarily reflect a negative or inferior mindset any more than power and wealth always reflect a mindset of integrity and character. Aspects such as priorities, core issues and beliefs, self worth, attitude, relationships and intention also enter into the equation. But the Law of Attraction does empowers us with the knowledge that we are co creators of our life experiences rather than merely victims as its mercy.

Co creation is very different than absolute control. However, we are the sole creators of our own individual character, beliefs, attitude, intentions and choices. With every thought, word, intention and action, we recreate ourselves anew in each moment.

Our desires, whether ignited by our curiosity, creative expression, quest for knowledge, need for spiritual wholeness, or longing to accomplish our goals or acquire material abundance, (wealth, respect, power, influence, etc.) are the carrots dangling just beyond our grasp. We are motivated to stretch  limits, broaden our perspective, and call up our courage in order to achieve our desires. As we strive to reach our goal, if our choices reflect the guiding principles of the Universal Laws,  the process will enhance our understanding, wisdom and character. We will become the person that we thought achieving our dream would make us.  Realizing our goal will then just be icing on the cake.

You can always loose wealth or power but you cannot loose what you have become.

It is the choices we make, the actions we take and our honest intentions that are the building blocks that we use to create ourselves.

Stretch Our Limits and We Expand Our Perception

Each time we stretch our limits and our character, we redefine ourselves. This inner growth reveals a keener awareness and an expanded perception through which we view the world. New information is unveiled through our feelings, desires, imagination, and interactions. As we experience the world through our expanded awareness and perception, a new desire arises. Motivated again to stretch our limits, we can choose to just reach our goals by any mean necessary. Or we can seek to fulfill our desire by challenging ourselve to ahere to the principles of our expanded awareness and understanding. Through our honest intention and sincere efforts, we will once again experience ourselves as the person we envisioned in our desire, becoming ever closer to experiencing the inner peace and personal freedom that we truly desire

The Universal Laws, Attraction, Karma, reciprocity, acceptance, the power of now, to name a few are inexorably  guiding us to consciously evolve . But we have free will about the course we take.

And if expanded awareness, evolution of consciousness and wisdom are not enough to motivate you to learn, understand and apply the Universal Laws, consider this:

In reality, all of our goals and desires  are merely  incentives to motivate us to discover our potential, expand our perception, become more aware and conscious of our true nature  and to express and experience our innate Essence/Spirit. Only then will we realize those universally sought after commodities – happiness, security, fulfillment, and peace of mind.

And peace of mind, security, happiness, fulfillment and freedom are the real payoff for applying and adhereing to the Laws of the Universe. The new house and car are a bonus.

December 13, 2008 at 2:41 am Leave a comment

No Strings Attached

By Lauren Kennedyhttp://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

Another Universal Law was being discussed in a forum I read recently. It was the Law of Reciprocity.

This law, just like the Law of Attraction is not anything new. It has long been expressed in various ways. The Golden Rule, what goes around comes around, it all comes out in the wash and I am certain there are more. Every Prophet and teacher has endorsed a version of this law.

There were comments for and against the validity of the Law of Reciprocity. Sometimes we discount the Universal Laws due to our perspective. In the case of the Law of Reciprocity, we assume that if we give an apple, we will receive an apple. And we usually place a due date on our repayment.  The Universe has a broader perspective and a different agenda. Our true intentions and motives, our unresolved issues,  and our expectations greatly affect the results.

Here are a few examples to illustrate this point.

Mother Carol did everything she could for her children. She when to bat for them if they got in trouble at school. She spent evenings making certain that they completed their homework assignments perfectly so they would receive high marks in school. She did without to provide a substantial trust fund for them so that they could attend the best Universities and become wealthy, respected and influential adults.

However, after his high school graduation, one son decided that he would rather join the Peace Corp and use his trust fund to support his travels to  assist people in countries that had been devastated by drought, disease or war.

Mother Carol felt betrayed. After all her efforts, he was going to throw away the opportunities for which she had sacrificed her time, money and effort to provide him.

Mother Carol’s assistance was not freely given. She had an expectation of payment. She expected her son to repay her with his life choices.

Deacon Bob was a respected member of his church. He made a point of being available to advise his fellow parishioners who lacked his faith and self discipline. He spent vacations doing missionary work to save the souls of the primitive population. Many Saturdays, he helped out at the food pantry so the children, whose parents’ couldn’t seem to keep a job, would not go hungry. Deacon Bob was going to great lengths to  assure himself a  reservation in heaven.

Then one night his oldest daughter ran a red light as she returned home from a tavern. She was intoxicated and hadn’t noticed that the light had changed. The resulting accident  left a woman paralyzed.

Deacon Bob knew he  had set a good example for his children.  Now her sins had harmed another person and reflected poorly on his role as a father.  How could God allow his daughter to humiliate him.

Deacon Bob gave to gain the admiration of the church, to be recognized for his faith and loyalty to God, and to assure his place in heaven. Due to his self righteous attitude, he judged others who did not measure up to his religious standards. He was not giving freely. He made a transaction. And he has already been paid.

Suzy seldom turns down a request. She has allowed people to stay in her home for months at a time. She has loaned out her car and money. She puts her plans or goals on the back burner or changes them altogether to keeps others happy.But no one seems to appreciate her.

But at least they need her.

Suzy has traded her life for approval. She, too, has been paid.

Allen helped his unemployed brother find a job, helped him with the down payment for an apartment, and gave him his old car, since he could always write it off on his taxes. Three months later, Allen learned that his brother had lost the job and the apartment because he could not get to work on time.

Allen felt he had been a patsy and vowed to make certain that he only helped people that truly deserved it from then on.

Allen was upset because he perceived that his efforts had been a failure. But that is just his perspective.  Perhaps in spite of his brother’s inability to follow through, Allen’s concern had meant a great deal to him. And perhaps, remembering Allen’s acts of caring and support will motivate him to find a solution to his issues.

We create who we are and who we will become in each moment, with every action. It is not the outcome of our actions that creates our character, it is our true intentions, our attitude and our choices. Furthermore, no human has the insight, knowledge or foresight to judge which individual is worth lending a helping hand. Nor is it our place to do so.

If I give with expectations attached, if I give to assure a particular outcome, if I give for approval, respect, admiration or reward, if I give to leverage control, or if I keep a tally sheet comparing what I have given with what I have received, then I am not truly giving. I am making a trade. I am expecting a reward. I am getting paid.

It is when we do something for someone just because it needs to be done and we are able to do it, that we are giving freely. And then, only if we do not use it as a badge of honor, but let it fade from our memory the same way we would soon forget about opening a door for a person with a child in either arm.

Even so, that is no guarantee that we won’t be gotten.

I have become a fairly generous person. However, a situation comes to mind in which I was taken for a ride. An unpleasant one.

A Lesson Learned for which I Paid Dearly

When I first began my  internet business, I discovered I needed some instruction on technical aspects and internet marketing. I ended up loosing a substantial amount of money for services and mentoring that I purchased and never received, or I received significantly less than I was promised and for which I paid dearly.

My earlier life experience has taught me that  yes, “shit” happens. But when the same shit repeatedly happens to me, I need to look at my part. And I realized a few mistakes I had made.

The Mistakes

I had allowed the sales person to convince me to buy a service that cost more than I could comfortably afford  lose. I didn’t take time to research the organization, and I relented at the sales person insistence that I take immediate action, instead of following my personal rule to first sleep on it.  I had allowed my need for assistance and my desire to create a successful business take precedence. The result was that I bought their pitch instead of listening to my intuition.

The Issues
And I also realized that I had a few tendencies that I needed to address.

I realized that I need to focus my awareness so I realize when someone pushes my self doubt triggers.  Then I can choose to respond from my knowledge and gut “knowing” rather than react to my triggered emotions.  I discovered that paying top dollar doesn’t necessarily mean that you get quality service. The experience reinforced the knowledge that I must  trust my experience,  my abilities, my insight, my determination and creativity  to produce the results I desire. Trying to rush the outcome for the illusion of a comforting guarantee is self defeating.  From then on, I vowed to stop second guessing the validity and merit of my ideas and insights,  because then someone else inevitably beats me to the punch, or the market.

While the lessons I acquired do not excuse unscrupulous tactics, the result is that I am a more capable business woman, I learned the value of trusting my instincts, I found a effective marketing coach with integrity, and I discovered that am more capable than I had realized.

Failure Experienced results in Fear Lessened
I inevitably felt that I had failed by mismanaging the financial end of the business. While rather unpleasant at the time, it didn’t destroy me. Now failure is less of a boogey man. So perhaps, in the larger picture, I wasn’t ripped off after all.

It was still quite an expensive lesson however.

My vote  on the validity of the Law of Reciprocity is a resounding “YES” .  I know that it works. Although there have been many times that I have felt betrayed,  ripped off, or stabbed in the back, there was always a truth to be realized, a caution light to be heeded,   an awareness be  revealed, or a belief that needed adjustment.

And in the growing expanse of my life, I have been the recipient of generosity out of the blue, when I most needed it.  I have recovered from or averted situations that logically should have devastated or ended my life. And I have overcome obstacles and resolved personal issues that others were betting would destroy me.

However there actually is a payoff for striving to honestly and freely give of ourselves  and graciously receive – even the unpleasantness.

I have experienced it.

It is an inner sense of worth, personal freedom, self efficacy,  and empowerment that grows with each choice to give freely, without expectation or a hidden agenda.

There is no better payoff than that.

And it’s a freebie.

Post your thoughts, experiences or feelings about this article. I look forward to reading all of them.

December 5, 2008 at 2:09 am Leave a comment

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

by Lauren Kennedy – http://www.InsitetoExcellence.com

Open mindedness  and staying  green (teachable) is one of the keys to lasting success.

No matter how many college degrees, awards  or experience we have, no matter how many people seek our advice and counsel, no matter our how stellar our track record or how impressive our accomplishments.

Nurturing our sense of curiosity, inquisitiveness, and  thirst for new ideas, experiences and interactions, keep our mind sharp, our enthusiasm high, and our body energized.

There is an enormous amount of information available on every topic, about every subject, and something of interest or benefit for everyone.

Don’t Kill the Messenger

Unfortunately, we often have the tendency to dismiss or ignore certain information depending on our opinion of the messenger. When their opinions are different or offensive, when we think their conversation won’t be  relevant to us, when we view them as less knowledgeable or educated, when their behaviors are questionable, or when their own life is in shambles.

However:

I have heard comments that I were insightful  from people with whom I typically disagreed.

I have developed a deeper understanding of the source of human suffering by listening with an open mind and heart to my clients.

I have had an AHA moment hearing a comment by someone in line at the grocery.

And I have heard a fundamental truth spoken in a moment of clarity by a person with a tenuous grasp on reality.

The words that may be the exact ones that provide the missing idea for a new program,  spark a deeper understanding of a loved one, or inspire the course to change a life could come from anyone.

Anyone.

From a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, to a student, to a home maker, to a homeless person, to a individual suffering from addiction or to a prison inmate.

Everyone wants to be heard, to be acknowledged  and to be taken seriously. And everyone deserves and needs to have these basic human needs satisfied.

And when we take the time to open our mind and extend our heartfelt attention, more often than not, we are the ones who benefit.

I would love to hear your comments on this or any other post. Don’t be shy!

December 3, 2008 at 2:28 am Leave a comment


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