The Sound of Series #4: The Sound of Music

Photo by Spencer Imbrock on Unsplash

It’s hard to believe that it took until my 4th installment in the sound of series to get to music. A profound impact on my life, music has had, does have, and will always have. Do you remember the first time you were moved by a song, or piece of music? Yes? Me too.

First, a cool quote about music.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato

What I played music on

Reel-to-Real Players

I’m old enough to remember reel-to-reel players. I was very young, and I remember my dad playing music on the one we had. I couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6, maybe 7 years old at the time. What a contraption. Large and bulky, yet from what I can remember, the sound was pretty good.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

The one in the above photo looks very similar to the one we had. I’ve always loved music. Even at a young age. I’ve always been moved by it, and moved towards it. I remember listening to endless amounts of music as a child, endless. There really wasn’t, and isn’t. enough to fill me up.

The chills you get when a certain piece is played, moving your emotions and entire physiology. Creating within you a space of wonder, which is only ever really filled with another piece of music.

Record Players

I’m not sure how many record players we had, or I had – there were many. I LOVE the sound of music coming from a record player. A completely different experience. It is textual, in a way. The raspiness of the record doing its revolutions around the player, music pouring out of the tiny speaker, love that sound. Irreplaceable, and uncomparable.

Photo by Lee Campbell on Unsplash

The Walkman

When I was probably 10, maybe, not sure, the sony walkman came out. WOW. What a game changer. Now, you could have your music on the go, without carrying a boombox, or some other transistor radio. Changed my life.

I was a rather mobile youth, as I’ve mentioned in other posts; skateboarding being a large part of my mobility, and youthhood growing up in Los Angeles. With the advent of the walkman, I could take my favourite music with me everywhere, and it was just for me. I didn’t have to play it for anyone else. I could sit with my music, skate with my music, do anything, really, with my music. LOVE.

The Cassette

And, of course, how could there be a post on music without writing about the tape cassette. Funny, how many of those I owned. Probably hundreds. I remember buying them, trading them, even making them. Buying the blank cassettes from the store, and compiling my favorite song mixes – WAY before the advent of Spotify, and Pandora.

I even remember creating pseudo broadcasts with friends, pretending to be DJ’s. Playing music, creating hot topics, and generally having a grand time. All the while recording the sessions, on what, you ask? Well, of course recorded to, and played back from cassettes, of course. Old school if there ever was such a thing.

Two of my favorite musical contexts

Concerts and Musicals

How about your first, what I call a show, typically called a concert. Do you remember how that made you feel? Music louder than you’ve ever heard music played. And, even better, the actual physical experience of feeling the music. First experiencing that was such a rush. I will never forget having that feeling for the first time.

Nor, will I forget, after many years of not going to concerts, of going to one about three years ago. Having that physiological experience again. It is hard to put into language how exciting, and what a total mind-body experience that is.

Photo by m on Unsplash

Since that time, I’ve been to many more, and, once we are able to gather again like that, will do so again.

How about the first time you ever saw a musical. I LOVE musicals. The first musical I ever went to was Les Miserables, in Los Angeles. I will never forget the power of the music, and how the music combined with the performance, and story, to create an even profounder mind-body experience.

I’ve not been to a musical in some time, however, as I write this, I am listening to Les Miserables. I also look forward to the day, hopefully soon, where I can once again sit in the audience, and take in all the beauty of the sets and costumes; and, hear the wonderful orchestra combined so beautifully with fantastic performances. A joy.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Music. Profound, life changing, and ever present in my life; and, I for one, am very grateful to have it there. And, now, there are SO many more ways to listen, interact with, and be with music. Yet, that is for a different post; so, let me simply leave you with one more quote about music that I quite like.

“Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.” – George Eliot

#broadway, #cassette, #concerts, #les-miserables, #music, #musicals, #recod-player, #reel-to-reel-player, #walkman

Writing and Life Series #2: You Are The Hero of Your Story

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Photo by Luke Jones on Unsplash

I love hero stories. Though I did not read much as a child, and youth, I watched endless amounts of television series and movies; and, I was always drawn to stories where the hero found trouble, yet made it through and saved the day. Sound familiar? Yep, to me too. Why do you suppose we are so drawn to these stories? Not sure. Hm. Well, let’s take a look.

The Hero is Inspirational

The underdog, the downtrodden, the person in the story that seems least likely to win the day – then does. That is the hero, and they are inspirational. We like and want to be inspired. Who wouldn’t. It feels good to be inspired; to see someone that has everything to lose, and nothing at all to lose at the same time. Someone that couldn’t possibly defeat the odds, yet does, again, and again.

We are drawn to the hero because we can see ourselves in them. And, in fact, we are them. How is this so? Because we are all human, and these fictional characters are based on human emotions, needs, and desires. These stories, and the characters in them, resonate, because we see ourselves in all of them, including the villains. All of these characters resonate with us.

There are many aspects to being a human being, and those are the aspects that writers draw upon to create these characters. We are all of them. And, they are all of us. One.

We Are The Hero

If they are us, and we are them; and, if these characters are based on human emotions, needs, and desires, then we all have the potential to be heroes. The context differs, yet the pattern is the same.

“The usual hero adventure begins with someone from whom something has been taken, or who feels there is something lacking in the normal experience available or permitted to the members of society. The person then takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary, either to recover what has been lost or to discover some life-giving elixir. It’s usually a cycle, a coming and a returning.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

Can you think of a time in your life where you were acting the hero? No? Yes? There are so many heroes in everyday life. And, it is not just those that are in professions that are associated with heroism. Everyday people can be, and are heroes.

Being a hero is not solely about defeating something evil, although that is also possible. In the most basic sense, it is about being confronted with a challenge, or set of challenges that you deeply want to run from, yet don’t. Instead, you dig in, and move forward – you engage, and you commit yourself to your inner hero. Can you think of an example? No? Sure you can.

Think about the times that you have

  • Taken on more than you can handle
  • Committed to doing something that was outside of your comfort zone
  • Helped someone in need
  • Taken care of someone
  • Explained something to someone that was unable to fully understand
  • Given of yourself, when you were already depleted
  • Been there to listen to someone

Now can you more clearly see your inner hero? Yes. Good. That hero has always been there, and will always be there. Does that mean that we are heroes everyday? Maybe, however, probably not. It does mean, however, that we have the capacity to draw upon that inner hero. This distinction is an important one, as we all fall into times when the last thing we feel like is a hero. What can we do in these times?

Draw on Your Inner Hero

When we don’t feel like heroes, what can we do? We can intentionally move ourselves out of the inner space we are currently navigating, and draw upon that inner hero? How?

Here are a couple ways you can do so

  • Get outside of your comfort zone – do something you’ve avoided doing, or something that you know is needed, and do it.
  • Create something new – there are so many ways to create, and, correspondingly, so many ways to connect those creations to service. Find a need, create, and serve.
  • Lend a hand – there are tons of people on this planet that need support, and someone to rely on. You can be that person for someone.

Being the hero you already are is all about living a life of intention, instead of one of reaction. When you live a life of intention, you are creating something; and, that something, whatever it is, comes from within you, and is needed in the world.

You are already a hero, always have been, always will be.

Draw upon that inner hero. Let them out. They are needed in the world. The world needs more heroes, and you draw upon that hero more often than you probably realize. How? Continually creating the hero, again, and again. Creating the context for the hero to arise.

As we’ve discussed that context can be something as simple as being there for someone in need. That seems simple, yet can be a life-changing event for the person on the receiving end of your heroic actions. Remember, you are already the hero of your story, so keep creating that possibility, and let that hero out!

Originally published on the4catalysts.com

#creativity, #hero, #hero-of-your-story, #inspiration, #jospeh-campbell, #the-hero-journey, #your-inner-hero, #your-story

Creating and Maintaining Relationships Part 3: Understanding Our Emotions and Strengthening Our Relationships by Slowing Down

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What do our emotions have to do with our relationships? Do they really matter that much? And, how much of our emotional selves do we share with those that are closest to us? Not sure, well, this is one area that I’ve been exploring a lot the past two years, so, let’s take a look.

Here is how it worked for me prior to 2 years ago. Something would happen, and I would react to my emotion. Didn’t really matter what the situation was, the event happened, and I would react. Sometimes the reactive emotion would be sadness, sometimes frustration, and sometimes anger.

Not helpful. Why?

Because when we react to our emotions without the time to process that emotion, we are in effect causing a possible chain reaction, especially if your partner is like you. Think about it. How many times have you gotten angry about something, and then you lashed out, unintentionally, and then your partner, or friend, lashed out right back at you? Happens all the time.

Action, reaction; or, reaction, action; or reaction, reaction. A vicious circle, and cycle.

What can we do?

One thing we can do, which I’ve written about in other posts, is slow down our reaction time. How? One way is by adding reflection, and meditation time, into our daily lives. Having the space and time to consider all of our options when confronted with any situation is needed, and necessary.

Though most people don’t prioritize reflection and meditation, there are many benefits, which suggest that doing so is beneficial for our daily lives, and for our long-term health.

What happens when we add time for reflection and meditation into our lives?

When we choose to intentionally slow down, and create more time and space for ourselves to be quiet and to think more thoughtfully about our lives, we actually become less reactive to ourselves. And, when we are less reactive to our own emotions, and thoughts, we are less reactive to other people and their emotions. We create more time, space, reflective possibilities, and actually choice, instead of reaction.

What other benefits are there to making time to reflect and practice mediation?

There are many benefits of making the time to reflect on our lives, and to practice meditation.

Here are a few

  • We are less reactive to ourselves, and all of those around us.
  • We have more time to fully consider all of our options
  • We better understand our own thoughts and emotions
  • We create the space to become more resilient

When we are less reactive, have more time, understand ourselves better, and become more resilient, we are able to hold more and handle more. We are also able to do more, to create more possibilities for ourselves and those around us.

Does this mean that I will never again react?

No. Reaction is needed and necessary when there is danger, or when something urgent is occurring, and a choice is needed right away. However, what I’ve come to realize is that time for reflection can be added into most situations that arise.

As you practice meditation and make time for reflection, you are able to make choices with more clarity. You, in fact, have more clarity. Why? Because you know yourself better, both your mind and your body. You are in touch with yourself on a deeper level, which, in and of itself, creates more time.

What does all of this have to do with my relationships?

When you understand yourself on a deeper level, you also understand those around you better. Why? Because we are all human. We all have the same set of emotions, and thinking mechanism, our mind.

Knowing yourself well, is one of the most important parts of having a healthy relationship. Which does not mean, however, that all of your relationships will be easy. In fact, it may mean that some of your relationships will be harder. Why?

Because as you understand yourself better, you may find that you are less compatible with someone you’ve always been compatible with. It can be hard. However, overall, I think you will realize that understanding yourself better creates the opportunity to have the strongest relationships possible.

And, that is the case, because you have created a stronger relationship with yourself first.

#emotional-development, #emotional-intelligence, #meditation, #reactivity, #reflection, #reflection-and-meditation, #relationships

Creating More Time: Choosing to Incorporate Reflection Into Your Daily Life

Photo by Faye Cornish on Unsplash

How much time do you spend reflecting upon life? Is this something that you do daily, weekly, monthly? How does it work for you, or does it not work for you?

I remember a time, not long ago, when reflection was something I did infrequently. It was not that I didn’t want to reflect upon situations as they arose. More, it was not a skill set that was fully developed within me; and is one now, that I work on daily.

What is reflection? Reflection is basically the process of deeply considering a situation or issue before making a decision or a choice.

Why is having time to reflect important?

As I’ve written in other posts, humans are reactive. Stimulus, response. If we simply react to a situation or issue, however, without the time to reflect on it, we are limiting the possibilities that may present themselves on how to solve that situation or issue.

We can all create more time to reflect upon the situations and issues that are confronting us. It takes actively creating that space; and, that is possible.

How can you add more reflection time into your day?

  • Slow down your decision-making process – when you believe that a decision needs to be made quickly, consider why that is so? Ask yourself a few questions.
    • Why is it necessary to make the decision right now?
    • Has there truly been enough time to seriously consider the decision?
    • What will happen by waiting a few hours, or a full day, before making the decision?
  • Add more reflection time into your work day – intentionally create space on your calendar to reflect upon and consider the conversations of the day; and add reflection time into meeting agendas, and, or into conversations you are having during the day.
  • Add more reflection time into your time off – similarly to your work day, intentionally create time to reflect upon and consider your day. Both during the week and weekend.
  • Let people around you know that you’ll need time to reflect – let everyone around you know that you’ll need time to reflect upon decisions and choices, if needed; which will help slow down reactivity, and expectations of those around you.
  • Practice, practice, practice – once you get started, keep going. You can start with smaller amounts of reflection time, and add more as needed, and as you get more comfortable with your new routine.
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

How will you benefit from adding more reflection time into your day?

Though I cannot say exactly how you will benefit from adding more reflection time into your day, I can tell you how I’ve benefited. Here are a few of the more important benefits of adding more reflection time into my day, and of practicing reflection daily.

  • Space to breath.
  • Slowing down, and slowing down those around me.
  • More time to seriously think about and consider all of the options available to me with any situation or issue that arises in my life.
  • Knowing that the decisions and choices I’ve made have been thoughtfully and meaningfully considered.
  • More time with myself, and my thoughts.

How else will you benefit from actively practicing reflection?

There are also a couple more benefits to actively practicing reflection. Here are a few of the ones that have impacted me most.

  • Seeing how situations and issues that arise are related to other areas of my life, both personally or professionally.
    • Solving issues in these areas, previously thought of as unrelated.
  • Seeing past an issue at hand, to possible related issues in the future.
    • Creating the ability to solve these issues before they arise.
  • Creating future possibilities by reflecting upon current situations and or issues.
    • And, creating action plans for these possibilities.

Though there are many other benefits of actively practicing reflection, to really understand the benefits, one must experience the effects of reflecting more often.

Does this mean that I will never again react to a situation or issue?

No. Some situations and issues that arise require making quick decisions and choices. Yet, what I’ve found is that by reflecting upon and fully considering most situations and issues as they arise, there are less quick decisions and choices I need to make. Why?

Because when we react to a situation or issue without fully considering it, we may, inadvertently, be creating more issues – more reactivity follows reaction, simple.

However, when we choose to incorporate reflection into our daily life, we reduce reactivity by intentionally creating the space and time needed to fully consider situations and issues as they arise. Not sure, that’s okay. Whether you’re sure or not, here is my invitation to you.

Create the time to consider this post, or a situation or issue you are currently facing in your life and reflect upon it, and see what you get.

#benefits-of-reflection-time, #choices-and-decisions, #daily-life, #more-time, #personal-and-professional-development, #reaction-versus-intention, #reflection

The Sound of Series #3: The Sounds of Summer

Photo by Brady Cook on Unsplash

Remember being a child during summer time. Gosh, I love the summer. I grew up in Southern California, and, though the weather in Los Angeles is pretty good all the time, it is extra special in the summer. Long sunny days, breezy afternoons, where everything was sort of a-glow all the time. Mm. Wonderful.

There are also certain sounds that remind me of summer’s in LA. Though, you may not have grown up in LA, chances are some of these sounds might also be familiar to you.

The Sound of the “Ice Cream Man”

If there was one sound of summer that I adored as a child more than others, it was that of the ice cream truck. Gosh. I remember being outside playing with my sisters, or with other neighborhood children, when we would hear that most familiar sound coming from a street or two over.

We would stop everything we were doing, and stand very still to ensure what we heard was true. And, as soon as we were sure that the ice cream truck was coming our way, we would run as fast as we could to the house to get money from our parents.

Once we had the money, we would race back outside, and wait. And, as soon as that wonderful truck started to make its way down our street, we would run after it, hollering and waving our hands so it would stop. So much fun.

In case you’ve forgotten that wonderful sound, here it is.

The Sound of Fireworks

Another sound of summer I adored as a child was that of fireworks on the fourth of July. We would always go to my aunts house, where all of my cousins and I would play away the afternoon, as we eagerly awaited the evening firework festivities. The crack, boom, and bang of the fireworks was enticing, and very exciting.

We always had quite the firework show. All of my dad’s brothers and sisters would take up a collection, and head down to the fireworks stand to purchase several bags of fireworks. We always had a ton.

Typically, we would start out by lighting some of the smaller ones, leading up to, after at least a good hour or so, the “grand finale.” The grand finale included using most of the larger fireworks, and lighting many of them at the same time. Quite the show. I love the sound, sight, and smell of fireworks. Excellent.

Photo by Tim Zänkert on Unsplash

The Sound of the Water Hose

Though we went to the beach often when I was a child, during the summer my sisters and I would also play with the water hose. We had a myriad of different attachments for the hose, some sprayed water up and down, and some all over. Often, we would simply just attach the sprinkler to the hose and use that. Running back and forth across the lawn, jumping over the sprinkler, time and again.

We also had at least two or three different slip and slides growing up. Fun, and sometimes dangerous, if your not being careful. I remember running so fast, and jumping as hard as I could, to the point that I would slide off the slip and slide into the grass. Covered in grass, called for more trips on the slide, and rinsing off with the hose.

Ah, the sound of the water spraying out of the water hose was a reminder that summer was here, school was out, and it was time to play, and just be.

Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash

The Sound of Cookouts and BBQ’s

Another sound I love of the summer is that of family cookouts, especially BBQ’s. Now, any barbeque grill is fine, yet the good old fashioned charcoal grill is what I’m referring to in this post. I love the way charcoal heats, coals going from black, to glowing embers, turing red, and eventually white. Love that.

I also loved the food that went with those BBQ’d meals, which included watermelon, corn on the cob, potato salad, beans, and usually burgers and hot dogs. The sounds of family preparing food, cooking food, and ultimately eating all of that food, while conversing about this and that. Cookouts and BBQ’s, truly summer.

Photo by Kirsty TG on Unsplash

The sounds of summer bring back all kinds of memories. Memories of a simple time, where playing, creativity, and all of the worlds possibilities were available. From ice cream trucks to family cookouts and BBQ’s, the sounds of summer remind me of being a young child, and the openness that comes from a summer full of possibilities, and delightful sounds.

#barbeque, #bbq, #childhood, #cookouts, #ice-cream-truck-sound, #sounds-of-summer, #summer, #summer-time, #summertime

Writing and Life Series #1: On Writing and Vulnerability

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Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

I’m sharing with you today a post that I wrote on one of my other sites. I like this one quite a bit, and seeing as the topic is writing and vulnerability, I thought I’d be vulnerable once again, and share it here.

I received a comment on this post from someone that talked about just how vulernable you have to be to blog. If you take the time to read the post, which I invite you to, let me know your thoughts on vulnerability in general, and more specificalluy about how you feel about writing and vulnerability. Enjoy.

Writing and Life Series #1: On Writing and Vulnerability

In the past day or two, I’ve written a couple of posts on vulnerability. I am constantly amazed at the importance of recognizing and participating in our own vulnerability. It is in those spaces, where we find our most vulnerable selves that we also find wealth beyond measure. For me, it is not money, or prestige, I’m after, it’s creativity and innovation. And, to create and innovate, you must be vulnerable.

Here is me being vulnerable with you right now. Though I’ve never really liked to read poetry, I like to write it. Not often, just here and there. And, here is one, I’ll share with you now.

The seed looked up at the sky,

and the sky said,

sow.

I’ve never before showed this poem to anyone. Actually, I don’t think anyone knows that I like to write poetry. Vulnerable. Actually, this poem can be written another way, which I just thought of, so let’s put that one in too.

The seed looked up at the sky,

and the sky said,

sow?

Writing in itself is a rather vulnerable pursuit, like any other art form. This is why creativity and vulnerability are so closely related. In order to be creative, and to develop a creative outlet through any medium, one must be willing to be vulnerable.

What I’ve recognized these past two years is that when we are vulnerable, we get back so much more by doing things that we once might have declined to do, or resisted doing. A sense of accomplishment, yes, and a visceral understanding of what it is like to live through experience, rather than through thinking about experiencing something. Experience is everything. The ultimate knowing.

What can you do? You can be vulnerable. How, you ask?

Here are a couple of suggestions.

  • Do something you’ve been planning to do, yet have made excuses and justifications for why it is not necessary, or it’s not the right time. Just do it. No pun intended.
  • When a friend asks you to go somewhere, or do something with them, and your natural inclination is to say, no, because you are too tired, or have something else to do that you think is more important. Do it anyway.
  • The next time you have a thought or insight about doing something artistic, or creative, don’t put it off, or make excuses about not being creative. Express your creativity.

Just a couple of suggestions. Whether you try those out or not, please remember one thing.

We are all creative beings, every single one of us. Humans are naturally creative.

Some say it is our highest quality. Not sure. Yet, I do know how it feels to be vulnerable, and to be creative. It feels scary and uncomfortable, and exquisite and amazing all at the same time.

So, if writing is your thing, write. If it is art, then do art. If you don’t have a creative outlet yet, do some research and pick a medium. There are many. It matters less what the medium is, than it does that you create the space for yourself to be the creative being that you are. And, it takes being vulnerable to get there.

Originally published on the4catalysts.com

#poetry, #art, #blogging, #creativity, #vulnerability, #writing

Creating Your Life Anew by Letting Go of The Life You Are Currently Living

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I’ve been thinking a lot this week about creating the future. Creating the future we want to live into, what will be, while also reflecting upon the deep attachment we all have to what was, or the past. What’s created the space for such reflections? And, why do these reflections matter to the future we plan to live into? Let’s take a look.

The COVID-19 health crisis has created the space for these reflections, as every day, people, including myself, continue to have new experiences, both at home and work.

These new experiences are a product of an unplanned event that has disrupted life as we once knew it. What we once knew as our reality is over. Gone. The “new normal” people often refer to will look nothing like what once was.

Inside of this understanding I think about how hard that has been, and will be for many people. An impossibility for some, as it once was for me, as humans are deeply attached to the ways they understand their lives, thus reality. It will be continue to be painful for people to let go of that previous reality, the past.

People that are unable to let go of their old views of life, will meet untold challenges in our new reality, and our coming future reality. Why? Because those behaviors and actions may not mesh well with our future reality.

Though I have no idea what that reality will look like, I do know that preparing for, and creating the new life you want to live into will be needed and necessary.

What can we do to prepare for this future reality? Start creating now. Don’t wait. What might that look like?

Here are some strategies I use that you might try.

  • Journal – start to write about the new life you want to live into.
    • Here are some questions I use to get my thinking started.
      • What do I want that future life to look like?
      • What do I want to create for myself, both personally and professionally?
  • Write down your goals – you know, the ones that you’ve wanted to achieve, yet have not been able to do so.
    • Make lists of them. You can even start to plan them out. Start a year or two out, and work backwards to today.
  • Take action – one of the most important steps in creating that future life, is to start living it now. When you are clear about your goals, create actions that you can take today to start to bring them to life.

Here is a picture of a very simple, what I call whiteboard post-it, that my youngest son and I created with goals we both want to acheive.

I labeled this board strategic thinking as I was teaching my son about the difference between reacting to an already existing environment, the one we are currently attached to, and creating a new future reality that we can live into. And, that is a part of strategic thinking.

It matters less how you begin to create that new life, than it does that you take action today and begin to create it. What will stand in your way? Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being told it can’t happen, by yourself, and by others.

Let me be the first to tell you that it can happen; and, you are the only one that can make it happen. You can do it.

How do I know this? I know this because I live it today. I live it in my personal, and professional life. As some of you may know, however, living this way was not always my life, or my reality. My reality was once predicted predominantly on the past. What was.

As difficult as it is, we must let go of the past.

There is a shift in thinking, and your corresponding awareness to live this way. Yet, if I can do it, so can you. It simply requires creating new goals within the new life you want to create, and taking actions that align with these goals, and that life.

As we enter new phases of the COVID-19 health crisis, continuing to reflect upon, and create new actions inside of the life we want to create and live is available to us all. You simply have to take action. Take one step. Then take another. One step, and one action at a time.

#attachment, #covid-19, #creating-a-new-life, #creating-a-new-reality, #creating-your-life, #goal-setting, #letting-go-of-the-past, #reality

Fear of the Unknown: Take A Stand and Take Action Anyway

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Posting during a weekday, a different experience for me. Yet it is important. Yesterday, I wrote the post Creating and Maintaining Relationships Part 2: Standing for Each Other and our Shared Humanity. In that post we discussed how important all of our relationships are, as is taking a stand for ourselves, and all those we are in relationship with.

When we take a stand for ourselves, and for others, we are in what I termed a valuable relationship. I believe valuable relationships are disruptive and cause transformation – they cause transformation within us, and without.

Here is an example.

Today, I’m sitting at my desk and am working, not thinking about last nights post at all. Yet, in my inbox comes this post, On Racism, Oppression, and The Need to Do Something About It, by Cristian Mihai.

Now, as some of you may know, I started blogging about 7 weeks ago, and Cristian was the first individual to like a post, and follow my blog. Of course, likewise, then, I went to look at what Cristian was up to, and found the site The Art of Blogging. Fun.

Fast forward 7 weeks or so to this morning’s context, and the aforementioned blog by Cristian dropping into my email. Well, in that email, there were 4 or 5 different ways to contribute, to take action. And, I did so.

The reason I have paused my workday to write this post is that the story above is exactly what I was writing about in my post last night. Exactly. We believe that it is only in the relationships with those that are closest to us where we have the opportunity for, as I’ve defined in this post, a valuable relationship. Not so.

I don’t know Cristian at all, yet I would consider this a disruptive and transformational relationship, thus valuable. The action, from which, continues as I write this post.

In order to be involved in these kinds of relationships, you must be willing to let go of the fear you have about acting. Let go of the unknown about what will happen if you act. Release yourself from that.

It is not about the result of the relationship, it is about the actions taken inside the relationship that matter. And, that the relationship fosters taking a stand and creating action. These actions are disruptive, are transformational, and are valuable.

My invitation to you

First, remember, that you do make a difference. You make a difference every time you take action. If you’ve been held back by fear of the unknown, let it go, and get in action. For, you can also make a difference in someone else’s life by taking action, by taking a stand for yourself, and for them.

#blogging, #cristian-mihai, #disruption, #fear, #fear-of-the-unknown, #relationships, #take-action, #transformation

Creating and Maintaining Relationships Part 2: Standing for Each Other and our Shared Humanity

Photo by Joshua Coleman on Unsplash

In the post, Creating and Maintaining Relationships: What else is there?, we discussed how connected we all are; and, how the relationships in our lives are not just with those that are the closest to us. Rather, that every person we interact with on a daily basis, we, in fact, depend upon more that we realize. These relationships are also very important in our lives.

The importance we place on our relationships and how we think about them, is a product of our social environment. How we are raised to value relationships, all of them, will drive our thinking, and then our corresponding behaviour in our relationships.

If we think that relationships are inconsequential, we will live a life where we believe that we are acting alone, and others are merely watching. Not interdependent then. Conversely, if we believe that relationships are the basis for everything that we do, we will value the interdependence of the relationships in our lives, and will behave accordingly.

Valuable relationships are also transformational, and they create change. The people in these relationships do not simply recreate the same context, thus relationship, every day. They create new contexts each day, and new possibilities for the relationship, and for the individuals in these relationships.

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Transformational relationships are also disruptive. They are disruptive because the people in these relationships stand for each other. When one human being stands for another, they are, in effect, saying that they are committed to that person living the best life possible.

Living the best life possible, however, does not mean the easiest life possible. Disruptive relationships are amazing, and they are also difficult. They are difficult because change is difficult. Yet, it is inside of the change we all face, whether that change is self-induced or otherwise, that transformation takes place.

When people are committed to transforming themselves, and then those they are in relationships with, they are also interested in transforming society. As we discussed in the previous post, relationships start with the relationship we have with ourselves, and they go out from there; to our friends, family, work teams, organizations, and community.

When you are interested in, and actively work at transforming yourself and your relationships, you are also actively contributing to change and transformation within the greater community, and also the world. Do not think for a moment that the actions you take with yourself, and in your relationships cannot create larger scale change – they can and do. It starts with you; one action at a time, one relationship at a time.

As I reflect upon the very sad, disappointing, and unacceptable incident that happened in Minneapolis last week, it reminds me that taking a stand for a fellow human being is one of the most important, and vulnerable actions a human can take.

When we take a stand, we are out at the edge of what is known. We don’t know what we will get back. We do know, however, that by taking a stand we are committing ourselves to something much greater than ourselves. We are taking a stand for humanity – our shared humanity. For each other, and everyone else on this planet.

As you proceed in your week, honor the actions you’ve taken to create transformation within yourself. And, as an invitation, if you’ve not taken a stand for a fellow human being this week, whether that be with someone close to you or someone you don’t know as well, take a stand for them. For when we stand for and with our fellow human beings, we are standing for ourselves, and everyone else on this planet; and, we are creating transformation, within, and without.

#creating-change, #relationships, #self-development, #societal-change, #transformation, #transformational-relationships