This past week, I’ve been reflecting upon connection. How we are all connected to each other, yes, and to everything else we see. All of it. Quite beautiful.
Before I write more about connection, let’s take a look at a couple reflections from this past week, and a few ideas I have for next week. Sound good? Okay, here we go.
This past week, I’ve continued to write quite a bit of poetry. It just happens like that sometimes; and, of late, there’s been much more poetry within me. Fun.
The Tanka #9 poem, occurred to me one day after meditation. Well, in fact, the concepts found in the poem occur to me all the time these days. That is, existence, and the connection we all have to each other and all that surrounds us.
We have the idea that we are separate, due to socialization and the creation of the ego-self. The separateness we feel, however, is illusory. Not real. Reality lives behind and beyond the concepts we hold of ourselves and all that we see. Beautiful.
I didn’t understand my own sensitivity for most of my life. In fact, my sensitivity was something I ran from in many ways. When you are a highly sensitive person and unaware, the world feels more frightening and incomprehensible. The paradox?
When you are a highly sensitive person and aware, the world feels more, well, like you, beautiful, strong, and very comprehensible. Being a highly sensitive person is a true gift.
Well, in my diary entry last week, I wrote about being on the waitlist for the vaccine; and, I now have an appointment next Friday, which means I will be fully vaccinated by early May.
Now, as many of you know, my whole family lives in Los Angeles, California, where I lived the majority of my life; and, I have a niece graduating from high school this year. The question? Yep, you guessed it; do I travel? Not sure? Me either.
Instead of thinking about the choice, I looked at flights, and found that the quarantine policy for traveling into LA County is still in place, which means that when you are traveling into the County from out of state you must quarantine for 10 days.
I could not find a single resource on the flight booking site, nor on the CDC website about traveling once fully vaccinated. So? I called the LA County Public Health Department. The person that answered the phone was super nice, and, to my question, replied, that’s a good question. They didn’t know the answer either.
The LA County employee that helped me is going to do some research and call me back. Thus, my choice on traveling to LA remains, for now, on hold.
This past week, we had our remote Spring Instructor Forum. These forum’s are a chance for our Community Education Instructors to get to see each other, and to interact with us. In the Community Education program we have over 200 instructors, and they live all over the area, so this is one way we stay connected.
As I prepared my small talk with the Instructors, I pondered this past year, the current year, and the upcoming year. And? What occurred to me was that, yes, so much has changed this past year, and more changes will come.
Yet, one thing that will not change is the connection we have with each other, which is why I am calling next fiscal year (2021/22), The Year of Continued Connection.
There will always be change, and, in many ways, change is wonderful. Terribly hard at times, yes, and also beautiful.
Though we have no idea what the rest of this year will bring, we know that our relationships are strong, and that they will endure through whatever change comes our way. We have proven this this past year.
I’ve written many posts about relationships and connection. I always say, there’s nothing more important than the relationship we have with ourselves, and with those people we surround ourselves with.
Everything starts with us. And, when you have a quality connection with yourself, you will have quality connections with others.
I’ll leave you this week, with two quotes I shared with the Community Education Instructors this past week, as I think they speak very well to the value of connection.
“I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… This is the interrelated structure of reality.” Martin Luther King Jr
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” Brené Brown
The past two weeks I’ve been reflecting more upon patience and asking for help. The more people I meet, the more I realize just how important developing patience is, as is the ability to recognize when we need help.
Often people mistakenly believe that asking for help is, in some way, a demerit, or means they are in some way deficient. I would like to dispel this notion now.
When we ask for help, we are recognizing a limit, for the moment, to either what we know, or are capable of doing. It does not mean that we are deficient. In fact, it means the opposite.
Meaning that when we recognize a limit within ourselves, we immediately get to grow that limit to a new level. And, in that moment we are courageous. Many of the greatest leaders of all time recognize and celebrate this fact.
Here is a great quote from Barack Obama about asking for help.
Asking for Help 101
As I reflect upon times when asking for help was more difficult for me, I considered a few strategies that may be helpful for those that, like me, continue to see the action of asking for help as a developmental opportunity.
Start small – when asking for help, you can start small. Start by thinking about the areas in your work or life that you would either like to learn more about, or could use assistance with. For instance, when I first started to open up to the idea of asking for help, I would ask people to assist me with pieces of projects that fit their skill set. When you can ask someone for help, and give them a piece of work that excites or inspires them, it makes the process of asking for help a little easier.
Begin with people you already trust – one of the reasons I shied away from asking for help was because I was concerned about looking incompetent, which is a simple thinking error. When we don’t ask for help, and we try to do everything on our own is, in fact, when incompetence will be seen and felt. However, one way to allay the fear of looking incompetent by asking for help, is to ask someone you already know and trust.
Make it a healthy habit – the only way to really make asking for help stick in your life, is to do it regularly. Simply meaning, that creating a healthy habit of asking for help when needed, will continue to push you outside of your comfort zone. However, the more you ask for help, the less uncomfortable it will feel.
There are three simple strategies you can use to begin to ask people for help. Remember, we are always getting help from people around us, always. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all connected and interdependent. Yep, true.
As we have discussed, asking for help is a courageous act. Yet, people continue to see asking for help as something that is a weakness. Let’s continue to bust this myth, shall we? Good. Here we go.
A Strength Not A Weakness
Here are a few more reasons why asking for help is needed and necessary, and should be considered a strength not a weakness.
Relationships – when we ask someone for help, we are acknowledging that relationships matter to us. That, in fact, we are vulnerable enough to say, “you know, I don’t know.” Important. When we are vulnerable in our relationships, and that vulnerability is reciprocated, our relationships become deeper and more meaningful.
Connection – when we learn to ask for help, we become more open. More open to asking people we don’t know for help. As we pursue asking people we don’t know for help, we create the opportunity to meet new people; and, to deepen our connection with our own humanity, and the humanity of others.
Collaboration – as we practice asking for help, we learn that this practice becomes a strength. We learn that asking for help is essential in order to really collaborate with other people. No true collaboration exists without asking for help. Simple.
Synergy – as we begin to collaborate more, we realize that inside of true collaboration exists a very powerful concept, called synergy. Synergy occurs when people are aligned, work together, and help each other. When you work on a team that has synergy, you are able to innovate and execute inside of any situation. Why? Because you’ve learned to ask for help. You’ve learned that asking questions, and asking for help is an essential part of being a human being.
Alright, there are a few more reasons why asking for help is needed and necessary, and why asking for help is a real strength.
If you’re not used to asking for help. Don’t worry. Try some of the strategies listed above in asking for help 101; and remember, when we ask for help, we are admitting, yes, we don’t know something, or need assistance in completing something. And, guess what?
We all don’t know many things; and, we all need assistance getting things done. We do. It’s not a demerit. It’s the opposite.
Asking for help is a sign of courage and a sign of your inner strength.
Well, like many places around the globe, cases in Oregon are approaching an all-time high. Difficult. Yet, it is the current reality. For now.
And, as I wrote about in a previous entry, the time I have to write is less today than it once was. Partly due to work, which continues to expand as we serve more and more people with remote education. Lovely.
Though there was less time, I did write quite a bit of poetry this past week. Even submitted a couple to two other national publications, just for fun! Right, so here’s what that looked like.
Wow, that was fun. Fun to think about, reflect upon, and write. So much Fun. And this coming week?
Well, I am currently working on three more poems, a new entry for the reflection series, the second installment in the leadership series, and a new developmental moment article. And, you all know that as new insights occur, well, those will also be considered and written about. Happens every week.
What a powerful book. In fact, it is so powerful, I’ve purchased my own copy, which has arrived, so I can read it again. I also watched a great documentary about Ramana last week, called Arunachala Shiva, The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, which I highly recommend. And, along the way?
Well, I fell in love with a mountain. Arunachala. My life coach spent 5 years at the Ashram at Arunachala, which I had no idea about until yesterday; and when we talked, we talked about how drawn I am to that mountain. I will find myself there in the future. That is known. The book?
I may have more on that in the future. Now? I am taking it all in, reflecting, and meditating upon it. That’s about it for now.
An excellent read. About? Yep. I believe the book is about compassion, and humanity’s resiliency. Meaning, whether we are aware of it or not, we know far less than is knowable, and, well, quite frankly, that can be painful.
Yet, inside an awareness that there is much more to know about, than we know, there is also beauty, and a joy that comes from this gift. Both pain and joy are possible. It really depends on which one we choose.
Wait, what?! Yep! WOW. I would just like to say two things. Ready? Good. Here we go.
I appreciate you. I appreciate you liking my work, commenting on posts, and supporting me on a regular basis. We’ve had some excellent engagements and conversations. Know that you are always appreciated. Always.
I also want to thank each of you for the lovely community that has developed, and that I have so graciously been welcomed into. Absolutely wonderful. I am so grateful for all of you. I love reading your work. You are all so inspirational and talented.
Connection and Communication
This past week, I’ve been very present to connection and communication. Yep, first with the connection and communication I have with myself, and then with everyone else. and then? Yep. The connection and communication I see that everyone else has with everyone else. Does that make sense? Good.
We can in fact call this the connection and communication system, which I’ve also called the relationship system. They are one and the same. It looks like this.
Why am I present to connection and communication this week? Good question.
Mainly because connecting and communicating is harder today. Yet, it is a paradox though. Watch.
Though you may be thinking, well, that doesn’t make sense because technology bridges connection and communication. Yes, this is true. However, what’s often missing is the feeling part.
Let us say that we are also a system made up of the following. Thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting. Well, when you are connecting and communicating almost exclusively through technology, not in-person, the feeling part of connecting and communicating is much harder to manage. It just is. And?
Well, if we are unaware, the connection you have with that person, or people, may become disconnected. Or, rather, less connected. Meaning that connection and communication live along a spectrum, so it’s not connected or disconnected, there are subtle variations.
And, knowing about these variations is important. Sensing them, knowing about them, and then creating contexts to talk about them. Important for our friendships, familial relationships, work relationships, and, well, all relationships. Important.
Alright, before I go, one question.
What are some things you’ve done to remain connected and communicative with those you are in relationship with?
I wish you a lovely coming week. Please stay healthy and well.
Well, let’s start with this past week’s reflections, shall we? Good. Here we go.
Alright, so this past week, I’ve been reflecting a lot upon inspiration. What is inspiration, where does it come from, how can we get more of it, and what do we do if we run out of it. Very important questions. And?
Well, this week I’ve also been reflecting upon the creation of a new series. A series that can encompass a multitude of topics, and, yep, this is it, and inspiration will be the first topic.
Some of these developmental discussions will be longer, and some will be shorter. It will depend.
Alright, for this entry, let’s tackle the first question on inspiration. Ready? Good. Let’s go.
Where Does Inspiration Come From?
I really do love this topic, as it seems so simple, right? Inspiration, well, it’s all around us. Some people say they find nature inspirational, or other people in their lives, such as their friends and family, or coworkers. And, that is beautiful. Truely. Yet, there is something missing here. Do you know what it is? Hm.
It is the viewpoint. Meaning?
That inspiration does not live outside of you. Nope. It lives inside of you. We look outward and place inspiration onto other things and people, yet that inspiration comes from within. Always has come from within, and always will come from within.
Why does this matter to your development? Good question. Here is one, of many, reasons why.
When we know inspiration comes from within, we stop looking outside of ourselves for our own inspiration. Being aware of the source of our inspiration is important to our development, because when we fully realize that our inspiration comes from within, we are not bound to the changing tides of people and things. Simple. And?
Well, we know that change is inevitable. It is part of life. Yep. And, when we get clear on the fact that inspiration does not live in the changing world, that, in fact, it can be developed, and maintained, regardless of external circumstances, we become more powerful. Really.
Does that mean that we don’t ever feel down, or stressed, or sad? No, it does not. We are meant to feel all of our emotions; to feel them, know them, and learn how to talk about them.
And, yet, we can still find our inspiration even during the most stressful times. Why? Because even though we may consider a situation stressful, we know that our inspiration is always there. Waiting for us.
Alright, so what can we do to connect, or reconnect, to our own inspiration? I think there is one thing we can all do that will assist in making our connection, or reconnection, to our inspiration stronger. What’s that?
Make time for yourself. A must.
When we create time for ourselves, to be with ourselves, just for ourselves, we get to know ourselves better. And, the more we know ourselves, the more clear on our own inspiration we become. Really.
Next time, then, when things are really hectic, and you are feeling overwhelmed, stop. Stop doing what you are doing, and go for a walk, sit down under a tree and look around, or look up at the beautiful stars in the sky. Stop and just be.
For it is in this space, where your inspiration will find you.