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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Connecting the dots and blooming

Seize the moment. Seize you. BLOOM.

I connected these dots………
Dot One: Don’t just exist – BLOOM in existence.
Dot Two: Missy Durant (www.50letters.com) writes “Negative Gets You Negative”
Dot Three: Neuroplasticity.

Huh? Neuroplasticity is the science that has shown that the way you think (your mind) actively changes the physical wiring of your brain.

Blooming.
Negative Gets You Negative.
Neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity proves that if I consistently think negatively, my brain re-wires itself to respond that way. So, negative does get you negative; literally, figuratively and physically.

So, how do I teach my brain to BLOOM?

Dots Four, Five (okay, I’ve stopped counting):
• Dwell in gratitude (yes, that’s a Missy quote)
• Do happy. Stop hoping
• Science shows “Lucky is an easy skill to learn.” Lucky people tend to see the positive side of their misfortunes
• There is no reality without the perception of reality
• What you appreciate appreciates
• It’s all invented
• Be one with yourself and all things will come to you
• Everything in the universe is within you

When have I felt like I’m BLOOMING? I checked out my tweets (@mrelin).
• Slowly infuse your dreams into reality
• The universe is abundant when you look in the right places at the right time
• It’s always a new moment to which you can apply fresh effort and attitude
• The more I get, the more I give. The more I give, the more I get
• It’s amazing how you get trust if you give it away. Assume positive intention
• Seeing it gets you closer to being/doing/having it
• If you are unhappy, there is nothing real on the other side but fear
• Presence makes you aware of absence. It’s not until you step into the light, that you can see how much you were in the dark

How would you define BLOOMING?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tuning in and bravery

I was laying in bed this morning when this topic popped into my head. Tuning in.


We all need to do it more.


The other day I was waiting in line at lunch and the guy at the end of the sandwich assembly line didn't look happy - let's call him Joe. I watched the people in line ahead of me - their interaction with Joe was very transactional.

"Potato chips?"
"Yes."
"Here or to go?"
"To go."


The next person moved up in line:

"Potato chips?"
"No. Carrots."
"Here or to go?"
"Here."

They were all tuned out.

You could argue that it's only a sandwich line and the interaction doesn't really matter......you don't need to invest a lot in it - it's not vital to your success and no one is really expecting you to tune in.

While I was watching Joe, I couldn't help but think about the amazing words of Margot DeWilde, a Holocaust survivor that I had the honor of hearing speak just a few days earlier. She described the moment that they tattooed the number on her arm. When she talked about it, I wondered what it must have been like to be in that moment, where you've become a number to the world. I talked to Margot after and I asked how she went through everything she did and still maintained a belief in people. Her response was, "I never hated. I always kind of felt sorry for them because they weren't living up to what we expect of people." Now, I'm not saying the sandwich line is comparable to Margot's horrifying experience, but I was wondering if Joe felt a little bit like a robot in a factory and I was also wondering if we should expect more from our interactions with people.


It was noisy in the cafeteria, but I thought I heard Joe say, "Do you want a beer?" to the guy in front of me. I quickly realized he just asked if it was for here.


Then, it was my turn.

"Chips?"

"Yes, chips to go."

I paused as he put the chips on my plate. "You know, I thought you offered the guy before me a beer and I want a beer too! Actually, I think I'd take two if you have them."


Joe looked at me and smiled. "Yeah, I could drink a couple of beers about now too." Laughing.


"Have a good weekend."


That wasn't hard. I tuned in. He tuned in.

I was telling my daughter (8) this story and I gave her a couple of other examples of tuning in and she said, "Mom, that could be scary because what if they don't respond." She was thinking about the emotional risk you're taking.

Be brave. Tune in.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Remembering

My parents had hard childhoods. They didn't have much, which, I think, contributed to the two parental goals they established. The first goal was that they wanted us to realize that life was about more than what you see around you every day. In order to teach us that, we traveled. Now, please know that my parents were blue-collar, hard-working people, so traveling didn't fit easily into our budget and it was considered extravagant by friends and family.

To put it in context, my mom worked at a meat-packing plant and then went on to shovel steel shavings for years in a manufacturing plant. I can remember her coming home from work from both jobs. From the first, she'd smell of meat - can't even say it was a pleasant smoke smell - it was a MEAT smell. They unloaded and killed the animals there by electrocuting them and my mom used to talk about how horrible it was to work in that environment. When she shoveled steel shavings, she came home filthy. Black, head to toe. I can't imagine what it was like to step into the shower like that with the goal of washing away that stubborn layer but never really being able to be successful because those tiny shavings had a way of digging themselves into your skin and hiding in places that made it impossible to feel free of them.

My dad worked in the foundry and on the manufacturing line. He was union. I can remember the strikes and the UAW meetings and seeing the local TV personalities at the meetings (Dr. Max & Mombo). I also remember him working third shift and stubbornly fitting classes into his life because he was determined to get his B.A. - I think for a lot of reasons: (1) He wanted to prove to himself that he could do it, he was good enough. (2) He had a strong belief that education opened doors in your mind and in the world. (3) He wanted us to know that education wasn't optional. (4) He wanted "management" to know that he wasn't just a cog in the wheel.

Back to the goals.....their second goal was to ensure their kids had better lives than they did. I think I can say they achieved their goal........

WELL. all of this was just a long introduction to my "a-ha" moment yesterday. I realized that I haven't clearly defined my parental goals. Of course, I had this "a-ha" moment while someone was sharing their life with me. I find part of the beauty of people is that they remind me of so many things.

I think I'll adopt my parents' goal of teaching that life is not what you see around you every day. I haven't done a good job of that. Yes, my kids have traveled but I don't think they've truly been exposed to the radical differences in the way people live. I'll need to be more purposeful about that.

I think the other goal I want to set is making sure my kids live life consciously. I want them to really be on purpose about knowing who and how they want to be, what they want to do, and what they want to have. It's only when they know those things that they can truly ensure that each moment is dedicated to the pursuit of those outcomes - or if it's not - I want them to be fully aware of the choices they are making. I want them to know when they're sacrificing their dreams, what they're sacrificing them for, and think about whether it was worth it.

So, dream journals will become a regular part of our lives and our discussions. In fact, I'm going to put it on the calendar. Maybe I'll make it a monthly event. We'll plan something special. We'll have a sleepover together or we'll go out to eat, but it'll be part of us.

I want to create knowingness and blooming.

It's never too early or too late

It's never too early or too late to think about your legacy.
It's never too early or too late to decide what's important.

It may require you to travel a previously unexplored path.
It may require you to commit to a point of view.
It may require you to change your behavior.

It will necessitate your prescence.
It will necessitate authenticity.

It will get you closer to knowingness.
It will get you closer to blooming.

Who and how do you want to be? Write it down.
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