Archive for June 2015

The Warrior’s Way, LLC: Positive Confrontation – Glenn Bott

Confrontation. 

The word itself gets many folks anxious and fearful.  If you’re like most people, you avoid it at all costs.  This seems to be a societal norm, so I though it merits a little discussion.  Let’s take a look at how Warriors deal with confrontation.

I think confrontation is a good thing.  It’s good because something new is being created.  It’s good because it’s usually a precursor to meaningful dialogue.  It’s good because it results in more specific communication so that all of the involved parties are having their needs met.  It’s good because it gives you an opportunity to stand tall in your truth.

In the Western culture, confrontation is often viewed as a negative event. 

Two or more people are disagreeing about something.  The word “confrontation” indicates the disagreement is getting more serious and being elevated.  All parties are digging their heels in and lines are being drawn in the sand.  Tension begins to elevate and people are most likely repeating what they’ve already said, but with a louder voice and a bit more animation.  Old positions are being reinforced with greater emphasis.

When this point is reached it’s a sure sign that effective communication has stopped, listening has been turned off, and all involved are assuming a defensive position.  None of which will lead to a positive resolution.  Fear and rigid behavior grow as those involved act to protect themselves.   A classic win/lose scenario.

Warriors don’t buy into any of this – they wade into the apparent confrontation with a confident stride and an attitude of finding common ground. 

Because Warriors stand in their truth and realize their power, they act and speak with confidence, love, and sincerity.  They’re authentic, loving, and are seeking mutually beneficial common ground.

Because Warriors stand in their truth and walk with Spirit, they aren’t fearful of confrontation.  They understand that confrontation is just a misunderstanding – a simple miscommunication.   At some point meaningful dialogue has broken down.  When this happens the involved parties tend to revert to their unconscious programming which typically reverts them back to their childhood where they seek to protect themselves and maintain their power.  In their fearful state they believe they can be harmed in some way.

Warriors have an attitude of Oneness and seek a common understanding without emotional attachment. 

They don’t have an emotional position they need to explain or justify.  The issue at hand simply doesn’t work for them.  While knowing their boundaries, they seek the common ground for all involved. 

By engaging in the confrontation without fear and emotional baggage, Warriors view this as an opportunity for growth.  Something new can be created.  A new viewpoint can be incorporated into their world.  The Universe expands.  They know that we’re all One and everyone is just doing their best to take care of themselves. 

Warriors also understand that any conflict they encounter is an external result of some unresolved internal issues that have arisen to help them grow in stature, wisdom, and their capability to express love.

 

Warrior’s Way LLC
Glenn Bott – 303-918-4626
glenn@warriorswayllc.com

Growing Pains: The Buffet of Life – Lydia Taft

There are lots of things that are not my business today, and yet I keep trying to draw myself into discussions about them.  I’m walking through the buffet of life and purposely selecting everything that tastes horrible and feels irritating.  I am working to make irritating the flavor of the day.  The more I dwell on irritating things, the more quickly I can find other things to be irritated with.  The momentum is building and I figure if I want to experience anything other than irritation today, I had better get myself a new menu.

Do I like feeling irritated I ask myself.  Well, I pause… the truth is no.

What do I prefer to feel?  What do I prefer to taste from life? 

I enjoy sweetness I think.  And I further consider the idea of my life as a buffet of items to select from and wonder what else I might like tasting.  And then I imagine breakfast sitting in front of me.  It is 8:30 am, after all.  I think how much I enjoy things that feel substantial.  I like to have a breakfast with eggs, bacon and potatoes.

And what would that dish feel like in life? It would feel like something that would fill me up.  It wouldn’t Untitled-1leave me hungry and restless and aching and wanting for more.  So I prefer substance, I think.  And what would my sweet item be?  For a breakfast treat, it might be a Danish or pastry. But if there were something else that looked more appealing, I might choose it… like maybe French toast or pancakes.  I recall eating pancakes the day before and I still feel full from them.

And then I realize that I am saying that I don’t like to have too much of the same thing all the time.  I like a bit of variety.  Yes, I think.  That is true.  I have never liked eating leftovers.  I like to eat things that are new and fresh.  I pause for a moment in this idea.  I like life experiences to feel new and fresh.  New things make me feel excited.  And excitement tastes like hope and expectation.

Considering breakfast some more, I begin to imagine a delightful and playful swirl of whipped cream on top of fresh berries.  Fresh and naturally sweet berries.  Yes, I’d enjoy that feeling right now.  My mind continues to thrill at the wonder of all the many tasty breakfast ideas that could be laid out before me.  And I am reminded of the blueberry muffins from my childhood that were made with canned blueberries that had a lovely blue juice that stained the batter.  I can now recall the feeling of joyful anticipation I had as a child.  There are unlimited wonderful things to taste at this buffet!

I never have to select something that tastes awful. 

I think this morning I will serve myself something fresh with a touch of sweetness.  I think I will find something new and interesting that will stimulate my senses.  I will seek to taste warmth and nurturing and caring.  I will seek to taste comfort.  I will fill my senses with joy and laughter and the light heartedness of childhood.  And I will add a side of clarity for my overall health and wellbeing.  Yes.  This is right.  I realize these particular feeling selections fill up my senses and I am prepared for a joyful and very tasty day.

Gracious Gratitude, Doorway to the Divine

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.

Kahlil Gibran

After three weeks of rain, cooler temperatures and lingering cloud cover, I am certain I am not alone in my swelling gratitude for the sunshine, warmth, and abundance of lush green that have graced our home these past few days. And a meditation on “gratitude” seems an appropriate way to bring to a close my time blogging for People House.

The dictionary defines gratitude as thankfulness (Merriam-Webster), yet this definition falls short of capturing our human experience of the phenomenon.  Dr. Alan Morinis, a popular lecturer on the Jewish Mussar tradition, described gratitude as, “Making something of beauty out of what we do have, incomplete as it may be.”  I love this definition as it suggests an active intention or willing participation. Gratitude may describe more of a way of being or relating to the world, a gracious attitude or experience of acceptance of what life offers and a general state of thankfulness for life: gracious gratitude.

The feeling of gratitude is very much experienced in the body and is located in the heart.  One of Untitled-1my students once wrote, “gratitude:  smiles, smiles, smiles from the heart.” I experience gratitude as a pleasant tickling sensation that begins in the heart and expands with warmth throughout the rest of my body. Gratitude also seems to have the quality of slowing time down so that one is aware or conscious of the unfolding of reality.  The experience of gratitude has the temporal quality of illuminating the present moment so that one can remember one’s connection to the larger creative process that is unfolding.  When you acknowledge gratitude, it sends forth more generosity into the world.  I am reminded of the movie Pay It Forward whose premise is that if we all perform individual acts of kindness or generosity, we may influence with our intentionality and willing action, the collective fortune of humanity. 

Gratitude is truly a doorway to the divine.

Henry Ward Beecher stated, “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” When we delve deeper into the experience of gratitude, it takes on a transformative quality. Gratitude helps us get over our limiting self absorption; it helps us get over placing ourselves at the center of everything, and instead emphasizes the interconnectedness of all things. In this way we sense the expansion in our hearts and in our bodies.

Since gratitude reveals life as a gift, it elevates and expands our consciousness.  It connects us with respect and awe for the hugeness and beauty of life and its meaning. It may be described as a coming home or returning to a primal state of divine bliss; the realization or remembrance of our interconnectedness in the unfolding creation and our place in the loving universe. Gratitude acknowledges a connection to the divine, the world God created encompassing oneself and the community.  Being thankful can many times be humbling.  In this space all is in harmony; there is no discord or separation or alienation—only the realization of being part of this glorious creation. From a Christian perspective one might imagine that gratitude returns us to the Garden of Eden. One individual described the freedom that touches her, “when you are thankful, it releases the guilt.” 

Recognizing that life is a gift is transformative—it gives life meaning.  In its purest and highest form, gratefulness calls forth love. “It makes you feel loved and love for the world” one of my students wrote.  When gratitude is recognized or experienced, the world gives back to you an awareness that you are being given something—the world is a gift and you are loved. Johannes A. Gaertner stated, “To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”

As a collective experience, how does the phenomenon of gratitude exist in the world today? Is it more of a challenge today to invite gratitude into our lives? 

It does not seem to go with our hectic daily lives, our self-absorption and our to-do lists.  It’s much bigger—it opens one up to generosity and interconnection and is not supported by over-identification with the ego. As one of my college students so revealingly stated, “Most people don’t stop to think that their life is great.”  It may be harder today to access gratitude in a commercialized world because in a world of profit there is never enough. We are always left wanting; the gifts go unnoticed.

As the living earth reveals humanity’s ingratitude for the life-giving sustenance we are dependent on, my hope is that we wake up to the gifts that are before us.

As Robert Sardello stated in his Meditation on Silence, “we may be shocked to notice that we had not even realized we had lost ourselves.” Gratitude exists in a dynamic relationship with the world and the movement of gratitude can deliver us from the bondage and suffocation of our attempts at control and domination.  Gratitude in present time can create a vision for tomorrow. To quote another student of mine, “Thank you goes a very long way, to a place deep in our hearts that just explodes with joy.”

We are all lacking something, and so we are all challenged to answer the question: Do we have the attitude of making something of beauty out of what we do have, incomplete as it may be?  This attitude may assist us in achieving greater fulfillment in our lives.

 

People House: a Center for Personal and Spiritual Growth