But This Was Forever … Right?

We have relationships. Some are long lasting; the friend you’ve known since you were nine and with whom, four decades later, still chill and get silly. Some are short lived; the job that didn’t quite fit, the employee who needed another direction, the partnership that fizzled out, the lover whose affections waned.

Pondering on relationships, some may not realize that it is those short-lived connections that may resonate the loudest. They are the teachers, the guides, and the safety valves that lead us toward our higher purpose. These are the ones that, typically, hurt the most and that pain is what matters. It is that pain that illuminates, if we are willing to open ourselves to see it, what we truly want.

Everyone comes into your life for a reason. Be grateful.

Amid the anger at wasting time and money training the wrong person, resentment at being fired, disgruntlement at that ersatz partner, and heartache over love lost, find solace in the reality that there is reason.

Every failure has a purpose. Be grateful.

There is never a need to place or accept blame when things don’t work out. We do this only to assuage our own misguided feelings of inadequacy. To be a true leader of yourself, recognize the reality of the situation, be honest, and move forward. Understand that each moment in your life has the invaluable potential to enlighten and to guide. Resent nothing; cherish everything.

We can never control the actions or the words of another nor can we control the circumstances of life; we can, however, control our reactions to them. Enter, and exit, every relationship with loving kindness and compassion and you will be a truly great leader.

~namaste~

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Does Misery Really Love Company?

There has been much debate over the affair of Misery loving Company. Thanks to recent comprehensive studies, interviews, and clinical trials, it has been conclusively determined that Misery, in fact, does not love Company.

Exclusive interviews and exhaustive studies with the subject in question illuminated the reality that Company is, frankly, the last thing that Misery desires.

Generally standoffish, the reclusive Misery did deign to reveal some insights into this ubiquitous misconception: “I don’t understand why anyone thinks I would enjoy, let alone love, Company. Company brings conversation, support, sound advice and sometimes even kindness. All of that nonsense interferes with and, quite honestly, debilitates the comfort I find wallowing in angst. Angst is my stock in trade so, needless to say, that damned Company really fouls up the works.”

It should be noted that some interesting facts emerged from the analysis of the data that were gathered. When confronted by Company, Misery began to change; opening up to the potential for optimism and becoming more sanguine to the concept of ‘hope’. Misery also indicated for obdurate tendencies, moved only by patience and compassion.

The conclusions are indisputable; Misery, although seemingly adamantly adherent to the necessity to luxuriate in grief, is capable of being provoked by Company to improve upon a situation. Misery can, it seems, be stimulated to rise out of a self-piteous morass by Company’s compassion, empathy, and loving kindness.

Wherever you encounter Misery, be good Company.

~namaste~

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So … How are Things?

question copyConsistency is a cornerstone.

Consistency is not necessarily about knowing what’s going to happen next; rather, it may simply be a reasonable expectation based on previous behaviour. The safest and kindest way to train a dog, for example, is to demostrate and maintain consistency. My dog can’t read the clock on the stove but she knows when it’s 6pm. That’s when her dinner is always served (little princess).

As a parent, you’re alerted to changes in your child’s behaviour. In business, you may notice diversions from the ‘norm’ with your client. As a friend or lover, concerns arise with shifts in attention or affection.

Does this mean that life is static? Of course not. It simply means that something is changing. Too often, we accept or ignore these shifts, rationalizing them with our own assumptions. Perhaps we ‘ride the wave’, hoping that things will go back to the way they were ~ back to our ‘normal’.

Does this mean that we should never realize change? Of course not. Innovation and growth evolve from deciding to step outside of the consistent and accepted.

What I’m referring to is consistency as a cornerstone of trust. Circumstances and feelings may change but a sign of trust is consistency of ethics; one behaves consistently in public as in private, despite these changes.  This consistency of trust is found in the courage to ask and the honesty to tell.

When circumstances, or feelings, change and we feel that inconsistency (either in ourselves or others), it is with compassion that we find the courage to ask and the honesty to tell. It will not always be easy but with a solid foundation of trust and compassion, communication and forgiveness can occur and we become open to better understanding.

The worse favour we can do ourselves is not to try to learn about, and from, inconsistency.

Human beings have enormous capacity for awareness and equally enormous apprehension for reality, often cowering in denial only to be shocked and blindsided. Becoming more mindful of others’ circumstances, and thereby more compassion to their feelings from the changes they are experiencing, allows for honesty and trust.

The fool wonders, the wise man asks. – Benjamin Disraeli

You can’t know unless you ask. The greatest kindness you can offer another is to ask; how they are, what they are feeling, how you can help. The answers may not be forthcoming nor easy to uncover but you’ve extended to them compassion and awareness.

That is real love.

~peace~

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I’ve Been Institutionalized

I spent some time in a small town west of Toronto, many decades ago, trying to grow up (still working on the ‘growing up’ although I seem have the ‘growing old’ down pat). In this town is a correctional institute. I am currently attending an educational institute.

The word ‘institute’ may be defined as a society or organization having a common factor. Many people are gathered in one place, literal or figurative, with an underlying universal attention to a common goal.

© victorperezp.com

© victorperezp.com

Institute may also be defined as ‘community’. Community may be defined as ‘culture’. Culture may be defined as the attitude and behaviour characteristic of a particular social group.

After almost half a century on this planet, I decided to step onto a new planet; launch myself out of my known universe and into a new culture. What I have learned will sustain me forever. I learned that we are ‘too comfortable’ in our boxes; we are all afraid of new things, yet we are all strong enough to try. I have built strong relationships with people one-third my age, given in to ‘not knowing’, and embraced experience and learning.

Life begins at the very edge of our comfort zone. Life expands when we embrace strange new worlds. Life explodes when we take ‘fear’ out of our vocabulary.

~peace~

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Change is Good? Change is Bad? Maybe

Yesterday, I received a distress call from someone, very close to my heart, who is experiencing changes in his life that are, for him, entirely unique.4_961_Tao&Zen

So change is bad? Change is good? Maybe …

An old farmer worked his fields to support his family and one morning discovered his horse had run away. His neighbours gathered around him, clucking and offering condolences. “How terrible for you”, they said.

“Maybe” was his simple reply.

The next morning his mare returned, bringing with her four wild horses. “What a wonderful stroke of luck”, cheered his neighbours.

“Maybe”, said the old man.

When trying to ride one of the wild horses, the farmer’s son was thrown and broke his leg. “Oh, how dreadful”, his neighbours lamented.

“Maybe”, the old farmer shrugged.

The following week, the army came to the village to conscript young men to take to war but the farmer’s son, with his broken leg, was left behind. The neighbours gathered to congratulate the farmer on his family’s good fortune.

“Maybe”

Trust that everything that happens has a purpose and brings us to be who we are today.

~ peace ~

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Conquer Your Nemesis ~ Ego and Compassion

Some days, the shortest words in the English language are the hardest to say: I’m sorry, I was wrong, I love you, thank you …

Lately, I’ve been struggling with my ego. It dons a trench coat and dark glasses, turning my curiosity into suspicion. Its sneaky moves wrestle me away from peaceful introspection and push me toward presumption, drag me into traps of assumption, fill me with anxiety, and sucker-punch me into acts of manipulation.

Ego thrives on fear, anxiety, and ignorance. Fear of being forgotten, disregarded, unworthy, or unloved. Anxiety borne of mis-perceived judgments. Ignorance in seeing things as we imagine them to be, rather than as they are. We send out tendrils of anger to those who, we feel, have wronged us. Yet by doing so, we lose touch with the truth they, too, are struggling. We do our Self a great disservice by adding to their burden.

“The ego is your enemy, not your friend. It is the ego that gives you wounds and hurts you. It is the ego that makes you violent, angry, jealous, competitive. It is the ego that is continuously comparing and feeling miserable” ~ Osho ~

I am grateful for missteps; they send me stumbling forward into greater understanding and growth. By letting go of expectations, judgments, and assumptions, I take myself out of others’ equations and see things as they really are; not about ‘me’ at all.

At that moment of doubt and fear, switch over to compassion. Easing others’ burdens through loving kindness is the greatest gift you give to them, and to yourself.  Seeing things with love and compassion won’t change reality but it will improve your perception of it.

~peace~

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Every Day is New Year’s Day

photoPenThe sound of the spine cracking. The fresh scent of virgin paper. One of the best things about the New Year is the empty pages of a new day-timer (something I won’t relinquish despite our digital age).

New Year’s Day is symbolic of new beginnings, fresh starts, resolutions for change. It’s a day to open your heart and mind to promise and possibility, to write your own story on the virgin pages of your life. Step off the edge. Be fascinated. Stay curious. Discover new joy.

Travel into the New Year carrying kindness and wisdom; share it freely. Listen closely and speak mindfully. Smile when no one is looking. Redefine prosperity. Bask in the light that others bring into your life; recognize that you will learn from everyone.

Appreciate that Now is the only moment in which we live. Acknowledge and respect the negative; warmly embrace the positive.

If you make only one resolution for 2013, let it be that you live each day as New Year’s Day.

~ peace ~

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