Monthly Archives: July 2014

Part 4 of 5: Attitude

Except-ance: viewing people and situations through a filter of exclusion

Endure-ance: viewing people and situations as though they are painful and in need of change

Accept-ance: viewing people and situations as proper, normal and inevitable

(Clicking on the highlighted words above will take you to previous blog pages. On those pages are further descriptions of these ideas, in addition to their positive and negative aspects.)

Today, let’s look at real life, attitude and these ideas together…

Real Life Example 1:  Exercising. How do you view staying in a healthy physical condition?

  • If you “except” it, then you may exercise but you limit yourself to do what you’ll do, always being cognizant of your weak shoulder or the weather or the conditions of the gym. You’ll never get 100% out of your exercise, because there are too many reasons not to do it, and because you will not partake in exercise that gives your body a chance to go beyond its limits.
  • If you “endure” it, then you exercise but you feel discomfort and pain. You complain about it, too. You will also not get 100% out of your exercise, because you cannot appreciate the positive results of exercise.
  • If you “accept” it, then you, too, may feel discomfort and pain. What’s different is that you appreciate that you are getting stronger, maintaining a healthy weight, and all those other benefits. Just appreciating that you are doing things to make your body healthier will, indeed, make it healthier!

Real Life Example 2: A Difficult Female Family Member. How do you deal with her?

  • If you “except” her, then you will hardly give her the time of day. You will never get to know much about her at all.
  • If you “endure” her, then you will visit with her and spend some time with her. However, you’ll also complain about her and think of different ways that she could be a nicer person.
  • If you “accept” her, then you will try understand her fully and completely. This may lead to your discovering things about her that make you want to spend more time with her. It may also lead to your discovering things about her that make you want to   have no interaction with her.

Real Life Example 3: A New Business Venture. What do you do with this possibility?

  • If you “except” it, you are likely either to summarily approve it or reject it. You will not have enough information to be wise in whichever decision you make.
  • If you “endure” it, you may entertain it, but you will have to have proof positive that it will work in order to approve it. You will probably delegate the investigation of the venture to someone else.
  • If you “accept” it, you will take a holistic approach to it. You will ask if it fits into your existing business, if it is feasible, if it will be profitable, etc. After investigating it to a natural approval or rejection, you will be able to make a wise decision about it.

Can you think of other examples to share with us? Please leave your comments below.

Namaste, Sheryl

 

Part 3 of 5: Accept-ance

 “accept: transitive verb: to regard as proper, normal, or inevitable” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Good Wednesday to you! Yesterday, we explored the concept of endure-ance, wherein we tolerate situations and people but wish for them to change for the “better.”

Today, we delve into acceptance, a word that has many meanings if you look it up in the  dictionary. For these purposes, however, I am focusing on the meaning above.

How do you feel when you consider a situation proper, normal, or inevitable? I feel at peace. Even if it is a situation like a powerful hurricane on the Florida coast in July, it is normal for hurricanes to hit coastal regions in summer months.

How do you feel when you consider a person proper or normal? I feel non-judgmental. I feel welcoming and appreciative. Further, I rarely feel judgment from that person about me.

Acceptance means that we appreciate something or someone wholly and fully, without a desire to control or change.

Pro’s of Accept-ance:

  1. Inner peace. Accepting a situation or person brings inner calm.
  2. Reality check. Acceptance means that we quickly understand the reality – the positives AND the negatives –  of a person or situation.
  3. Better decision making. Acceptance means better evaluation which means being better able to take the best possible action.

Con’s of Accept-ance:

  1. Lack of control. When we are accepting, we cannot be controlling, too.
  2. This can be very hard, but being accepting of others means we must appreciate and accept ourselves, too. For some people, it is scary to look hard at our blemishes and still appreciate them.

Please share your comments! Tomorrow, I’ll compare and contrast except-ance, endure-ance and accept-ance.

Namaste, Sheryl

Part 2 of 5: Endure-ance

 “endure: transitive verb: to undergo (as a hardship) especially without giving in: suffer” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Good Tuesday to you! Yesterday, we explored the concept of except-ance, wherein we exclude people, places and things from our lives. Tomorrow, we look at acceptance.

Today, we delve into the concept I call “endure-ance.”  This is different than the common word endurance, in that “endurance” suggests there is a positive reason for staying with a long-term situation.

What image do you get when I say, “I endured a two-hour wait for the doctor”? Not a positive one, right? You’re imagining the waiting room was crowded, that the visit could easily have been postponed, that I had more pressing things to do, and more, right?

When our view of a situation or person is endure-ance, it means that we are in pain, that we are committed to push through, and foremost, that we are wishing the situation or person were different.

Pro’s of Endure-ance:

  1. We feel hope. Our greatest hope is that the person or situation will be different soon. The second hope is that the time will pass quickly until the situation is over.
  2. Often, we know deep inside that we are supposed to be better because of the endure-ance.

Con’s of Endure-ance:

  1. Because of the nature of The Creator, situations that we endure are likely to reoccur. People we endure are likely to reappear, albeit not always in the same body.
  2. The state of endure-ance prevents us from seeing the reality of a person or situation. It means that we focus on the negative – sitting idle in a doctor’s office – and miss the positive – the chance to read a book or text a friend.

Please share your comments! Tomorrow, I’ll blog about accepting people and life.

Namaste, Sheryl

Part 1 of 5 – Except-ance

 “except: transitive verb: to take or leave out from a number or a whole: exclude” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Good Monday to you! This week I thought I’d do something different: a five part series which addresses how we view our lives, with special emphasis on the people in our  lives. The first three blogs will explore except-ance, endure-ance, and accept-ance. (Intrigued?) The final two will look at how these three ideas work with each other and discuss how The Creator fits in.

One way to view people, places and things is by except-ance, which is to say, by exclusion. This means we consider and invite into our lives only people and things meeting particular criteria. For some who view by except-ance, this can be full-blown bigotry, in the form of racism, sexism, age-ism, and more. But for most who view life this way, it is like living life in a cardboard box which is decorated on the inside with a pre-determined (though fantasy) existence. Cut into the cardboard box is a peephole, and whenever a person or situation comes into view of the peephole, thus conforming to our fantasy existence, we pay attention to it. Otherwise, it is excepted, or excluded.

Pro’s of Except-ance:

  1. It doesn’t require a lot of brain power to except someone who does not match inclusion criteria.
  2. It makes us feel very safe. Anything that could potentially disturb us is excepted.
  3. Except-ors often deal with past hurt, and living by except-ance doesn’t require us to face our problems or fix ourselves which can be very scary.

Con’s of Except-ance:

  1. Diversity among friends is lost.
  2. Humor and happiness cannot survive this life choice, because we must be vigilant in except-ance.
  3. Spontaneity is also unavailable in except-ance.
  4. It can be depressing not to see many solutions to life’s problems. (It’s not because they’re not there; it’s because they so rarely come into sight of the peephole of our cardboard boxes.

Please share your comments! Tomorrow, I’ll blog about enduring people and life.

Namaste, Sheryl

Bring Peace

“Build a House for men and birds.
Sit with them and play music.
For a day, for just one day,
talk about that which disturbs no one
and bring some peace,
my friend,
into your beautiful eyes.”

– Hafez (1325 – 1389 CE)

I found this quotation today, and it leaves me at a loss for words. Rather than try to comment on it, I choose to let it bring peace, to embrace it and to bring it into the fabric of my soul.

I hope you enjoy it, too.

Namaste, Sheryl

 

People Are Nice

“‘Atticus, he was real nice.’

‘Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.'”

– Harper Lee (1926 -), To Kill A Mockingbird

How many times do we miss getting to know someone, because we don’t take the time to really see them, as Atticus Finch says?

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”

I don’t know about you, but I had this scenario replaying in my life for years. Every now and then, The Creator would put into my life someone that rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn’t like I wanted to have a fight with her/him, but I did feel irritable when I had to come into contact with her/him. About five years ago, it happened again. She was a mom of one of my daughter’s friends who made me want to walk the other way when I saw her coming. This time, I decided to handle it differently. I went out of my way to look for what I liked about her. I purposely  struck up conversations with her so that I could get to know her  better.

It worked! Indeed, I found many reasons to like her. Now, we chat easily and are glad to see each other whenever our paths cross at the grocery store or at kid activities.

I am grateful for learning this lesson, and to know that just about everyone I meet is nice, as long as I take the time to really see them.

Namaste, Sheryl

The Greatest Responsibility

“I urge you to accept, without guilt, that everything that has shown up in your life has value equal to your assuming responsibility for its existence. There’s something for you to learn in any difficulty. Be willing to say, ‘Thank you, God, for the experiences I’ve lived through’ on a daily basis. Look for the blessing in all situations, and remind yourself that you’re no longer a child, but a fully functioning adult willing to accept the responsibility that will now give you control of your destiny.”  – Dr. Wayne Dyer (1940 -)

What do we usually view as our greatest responsibility? A car? A home? A child? A committed relationship? Yes, these are all significant. Still, only one responsibility can be “the greatest,” and that, in my opinion, is the responsibility for my own personal life.

There was a time in my life — for most of my life, actually — that I felt that it was all I could do to handle the stuff that was happening to me. Truth be told, it is still my knee-jerk reaction to go to this place in my mind when “bad” things happen.

Then, one day, I decided to look for a way to stop what I felt was my life in a tornado. I was tired of being pushed and pulled. I was tired of feeling like a victim of the world’s circumstances. I found an article, and while I no longer recall the name of the author, I remember his/her belief that each of us is responsible for everything in our lives, even down to selecting the families to whom we are born. At first, I thought the idea was crazy. Then, I considered its merit. Finally, I tried that thinking on for size — did it fit me? did it help me? It did!

Embracing the belief that I am responsible for every aspect of my life gives me peace and power. No longer can I believe myself a victim of circumstances. No longer can I believe in happenstances or accidents. If something is currently part of my life, I am responsible for bringing it. If I want something in my life, I am responsible for getting it. When no part of my life is exempt from this belief, then I cannot be angry or defensive. I can only ask “Why did I bring this here at this time?” And that is an empowering question to ask!

Namaste, Sheryl

Help Others, but only When Asked

“Don’t want people meddling in your life? Don’t meddle in others’ lives, especially children, partners and extended family members.” – Sheryl Miller

Why do we think we should have a say about the lives of other people, especially those people who are very close to us? Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like it when others give me unsolicited advice about how to live my life. It’s one thing if I ask for help, but it’s quite another when someone else feels they must share their opinion about me or something I’m doing.

The Creator of All sets the example of how to be active in another’s life: She/He is present, is quiet, and is observant. She/He is helpful when asked and will share an opinion when asked. The Creator loves us so much that She/He knows we have to make mistakes and learn from them, and thus, does not interfere.

As the creators of all that is in our own lives, we can give others what we appreciate: The gifts of non-judgment and non-interference. Can we be available to help our loved ones when asked and honor their uniqueness and personal decisions at the same time?

Namaste,   Sheryl

The Miraculous in the Profane

“Nobody sees the obvious, nobody observes the ordinary. There are more miracles in a square yard of earth than in all the fables of the Church.”

– Robert Anton Wilson (1932 – 2007)

Please forgive me for the obvious controversy here. First of all, I do not believe that the stories which make up the fabric of the Christian faith are “fables,” in the sense that they would be unbelievable at face value. And while Robert Anton Wilson says “the Church,” it is true that all religious traditions have stories that are shared with their adherents.

Let’s get to the first sentence in the quotation. Miracles do surround us, and yes, if one takes the time to look for the miracles in a square yard of earth, one will be overwhelmed by them: the ability of plants to exist and grow, the lifecycle of animals of every shape and size, the origin and chemical make-up of different types of soil, and more! Expand our search of miracles into our lives, and the ordinary becomes a miracle, too.

This morning, I invite you to take 30 seconds to look at your favorite body part  — mine are my hands! — and consider what makes it miraculous.

Whenever you feel like you are not imparted with miracles, repeat this exercise with whatever is close to you at the time.

Namaste,  Sheryl

Surrounded by The Creator

“Man goes far away or near but God never goes far-off; he is always standing close at hand, and even if he cannot stay within he goes no further than the door.” – Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328 CE)

The nature of The Creator of All is to be always on, always with us, for all time. As a matter of fact, realizing that we are not separated from The Creator — that we are, in fact, one and the same as The Creator — is an important step in realizing our full potential as souls living in human bodies. I will explore more of this concept soon.

This weekend, I ask you to notice God. The Creator may be noticeable in the aroma of food from an outdoor cookout, from a simple act of kindness performed by a stranger, or from warm sand underneath your bare feet. Open your hands and reach them toward almost anything: a person, a tree or a rock. The energy you can feel through your hands is the energy of The Creator.

Namaste,  Sheryl