Friday, December 14, 2012

Going Within

Serenely reflecting on life, littered as it may sometimes seem -- with random dissatisfactions, distractions, uproar, dramas and inept decisions.  Daily living frameworks often carelessly created and constructed, frequently setting up a minefield of randomly detonated explosives – through which any journeys taken are naturally extremely stressful, full of apprehension.

Many cleverly created, fine dreams defining our worlds have potential to explode in the face -- bringing up the consideration that perhaps, during the spin phase, some very important facts may have been omitted.
Thoughtfully selected, chosen paths may provide a sense of real peace; that is, the feeling that all is well, one is appreciated and loved, and respected for all one’s efforts. In fact, perception determines this state of affairs. Remaining unmindful or unwilling to acknowledge that – the only time these wonderfully good things are present, randomly chosen others may not be. And moving along, armed with newfound wisdom and insight, it finally comes to mind:  why exactly did this (goal, person) seem indispensable in the first place?

It is sometimes difficult to clearly see, even with wisdom born of hindsight, that all the time – there are many choices. At any time, other, numerous paths are available.  So . . . take a deep breath, sit in repose, enter solitude for a small space of time, and think.  Chose decisions which contain real possibility for long-term value, for satisfaction.  It seems at least practical, and could also literally save your life.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Givers & Takers: The Nature of Need

Need wears many faces.  It is usually, or many times does become, also a form of control.  One’s health is the primary need which binds and ties those around us in a daily dance of ‘helping’ ‘caregiving’ or assisting the needy one in doing what it is that they’ve chosen to do.

It seems that it’s just an accident – health has been damaged, there’s been an accident, someone has some type of deficiency physically or mentally.  Often enough it is the actions of the needy one which has brought on the condition; and it is ALWAYS the series of life choices, occasionally destiny, which has landed them where they are in a position which must be constantly supported by others.  Then those unfortunate enough to be around get locked in to some type of servitude, whether or not there’s been (or can be) any free choice in the matter.

An indentured servant.  Unpaid most of the time, unless there’s a power play about housing or support.  Interdependence often forms an inequity of roles . . . one or more doing most of the giving to the central figure in the scenario.  A feeling of usefulness may become frayed to the breaking point -- tattered and torn -- after many months/years of expectations and demands with time and life energy going only toward the taker's requirements.

This is a severe, widespread life condition and someone must lose the larger part of their life to the cause.  Clearly seeing this is not so easy at times, as it morphs into many different forms, especially if the ‘user’ is clever at setting the situation up and executing it well.

Being helpful is great.  Doing for others is divine.  Caregiving is so essential . . . even at best, this entire country at least has marginally efficient techniques/solutions for most of it.  What to do?

If you are the giver, do be aware that your role is that of servant.  Now, spiritual guides tell us that this is required of us, to be a fully good human being.  Are there limits?  Should there be guidelines which take into account the quality of life of the giver, as well as the taker?  Is the taker not only infirm and needy, but controlling?  How can this be determined and what questions do we ask to accomplish that?

It’s a life conundrum.  Whether you are the giver or the taker, continued happiness, safety, comfort and quality of life depends on understanding exactly the position currently occupied, and remaining clear about the well-being of all parties concerned.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What is Community?

Recently a woman who has been a part of a small Tennessee community for most of her life died. She was at various times during her life a daughter, a girl scout, a student, a beauty queen, a wife and mother.  She had many friends and acquaintances in that little town through those years.

In the last few months, one friend in particular was faithful to take her food and necessities.  Just before her death, the City's utility department disconnected utilities to her home.  Temperatures reached the low 100s during that time.  How, in a small town where everyone is connected to someone and there were many who knew of her weakened condition, did something like this occur?  With all the town’s churches within a stone’s throw of her location, full of faithful Christians, where was even one Good Samaritan who questioned doing this procedure, much less carrying it out with no attempt to contact someone who could verify that this woman was still capable of taking care of herself, or able to conduct business at all?

The Bible instructs us to take care of our own, to treat others with the same consideration we would ourselves want to receive.  This woman would not, at this point in her life, have been able to generate new industry in her town, nor would she have been able to grab a headline, or create good publicity or more income for the city.  Her life had become simple and reclusive, and according to several people with whom she personally communicated over the past few months, she was honestly confused as to how that happened.  In short, help was drastically needed for her.

As this particular small town readies to celebrate its 100 year anniversary, perhaps a thought or two might be in order as to what it truly means to be aware – of its citizens, its responsibilities, the full, basic reason any community continues to exist in the first place.  Procedural process is necessary within any infrastructure, it is understandable and essential.  Application of rule without consideration of a human aspect, a moral evaluation, becomes at best mindless and at worst predatory.

While those around her went home each day to a cool, comfortable haven, this forgotten citizen perished – in deadly heat, without water, ignored and brushed off by the community in which she had spent most of her life.  We are responsible for each other.  This death surely will touch the hearts and minds of those who truly understand what has just happened.  When officials of any entity remove themselves from remaining solidly in touch with those they are privileged to govern, disaster is imminent.   No amount of applied authority can, or ever will, eliminate moral duty.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Lackey Syndrome

A life dynamic seemingly created to fulfill personally selfish agendas, the ‘lackey’ syndrome consists of constant requirements or demands made by one or more people on others, an endless list of expectations which will consume the time and energy of another person -- often presented as mutually beneficial action, or as duty or obligation.  These needs will come to be inexhaustible . . . the supporter/lackey is expected to drop everything and attend to the wishes or directives given to them.
Often, some people become little ‘dictators’ in the sense that they really come to believe that others are their property – it is their own personal responsibility to direct and order the lackey around . . . if they meet with opposition, they are completely surprised or display hurt feelings, even sometimes becoming belligerent. These‘controller’ types consider this their ‘due’ – that they are being unreasonable or out of line will not occur to them until their chosen lackey decides to refuse the requirements.
Where and how do those who do this  acquire this behavior? For starters, someone else has allowed them to assume this mantle of king/queenship. This condition of life takes two or more. In most families, there is at least one set of these types. The more the lackey scurries around trying to cover all the bases set up by the controller, the less time and energy there is for the poor lackey’s own life – and the self-appointed dictator sees or acknowledges this not at all. Absorbing the lackey’s entire life into the controller’s web of never-ending scenarios seems natural.
Sometimes these controllers will take their need to run everything around them to great lengths, even to illness, or some type of inability to function completely themselves. Then things get really deep . . . there is now a real disability – and the lackey is now required to dance to an even more rapid drumbeat of need. The controller will happily usurp every facet of the lackey’s life and consider it his/her right to do so.

It is actually a type of servitude . . . appearing to be help, caregiving, assisting, supplying others with life essentials.  To the extent that both people understand and accept this situation, it may work – if there is a clear understanding of the fact that the needy one AND the lackey have lives and the right to live them. However, resentment can creep in, for both parties. It really seems that some people simply do not have any intention of being independently capable and functional in their lives; they want and will have someone else around to do their bidding, to perform the role they expect that person to play. And they do gladly write the scripts – handing these to the lackey with precise instructions. Players may be husband and wife, parent/child, siblings, even friends or community members. Deviation from assigned lines will elicit from the self-appointed director any response necessary to put down the rebellion and get things back in line so that the production can go on as written. All these dynamics can happen at a very subtle level . . . appearances may be deceiving.

The intriguing part of this is that no one in the situation seems to clearly see what is going on . . . that is, it is a mindless, robot-like existence for the unfortunate lackey, and a tightly wound, desperately gripped position for the controller. It’s lifeblood, the essence of what is needed for life. Refusal from the lackey will usually result in hurt feelings, manipulations of all types, anger, and even spiteful action from the controller, who may become indignant and wounded, perceiving that the lackey has betrayed some perceived ‘trust’ or violated their personal safety or integrity.

For the good of each person’s own mental/physical health, it seems beneficial to learn to recognize this uneven exchange of life energy early on, the better to avoid entering a semi-life of misconstrued slavery.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Removing and/or restricting access to weapons seems similar to taking an alcoholic's bottles of liquor away . . . such hyper-alert watchfulness results in temporary assurance, necessitates constant, tedious monitoring, and is not at all likely to end any aberrant practice or end future self-destructive action by anyone bent on inflicting pain on others. Those who routinely imperil/destroy health, relationships, credibility or safety must become visible to society . . . before acting out in a deadly drama orchestrated within a disconnected mind. Thus, any user/perpetrator would appear to be a more reasonable object of focus when attempting to end violent attacks or binges than any weapon of choice.

Rather than obsessing about how to pass endlessly pedantic, unconstitutional legislation, then funding predatory, expensive efforts to enforce these, identify hate/fear stressors within society and address these . . . early on in childhood. Isolated, miserably misguided people are all around us; surely heightened awareness and compassion seem in order. Begin in primary schools . . . teach ethics, outline origins of prejudice, impart a sense of connection using formal educational programs.

Study and research behavior -- control of human action is impossible otherwise.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Virtual Horror

A feeling of horror, of injustice -- elicits shock.  Any sense of rightness, safety, or wellbeing is shaken when there is senseless killing, violent attack, or disruption of ours or others' lives.

Thoughtful observance brings even more deeply chilling information to mind . . . that is, the latest seemingly random act of brutality could have origins which may be connected to all of us.  To eager, absent-minded, even mild acceptance of virtual depictions of gruesome, angry behavior -- as entertainment.   What in actuality entertains the mind when viewing bloody destruction of other people, animals, or property . . . and how does this qualify as worthwhile use of anyone's time?

If intelligent, thinking people occupy their time and minds with increasingly brutal, shocking representations -- high resolution, full screen, deadly fantasies -- why then be surprised when these impact our own lives in living color?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Looking the Other Way

Observation of violence or abuse perpetrated on another person or living creature is strangely layered . . . we seem to be able to detach if brutal acts are inflicted on those in another country, during a war, or a riot, even a demonstration.  It is simple to believe that we are far removed from the action taking place, that it is not our business, that we could do nothing to help anyway.

Few of us have actually been present while a person was beaten, molested or robbed, or killed.  It would be a terrifying experience, but most would do everything to try to help or find assistance.  It is beyond understanding, therefore, when a parent or a priest, a teacher or coach is allowed to prey on those who are vulnerable and unable to defend themselves while people who are near, many who are aware of the acts of violence, remain silent and do nothing to protect the victims.

So . . . is this evil which is being inflicted a crime of one person only or are the people who are aware of what is taking place, who could help prevent the damage by speaking up and reporting it, also guilty?   Looking the other way, pretending that it isn't the moral responsibility of every person who has knowledge of a crime to take action to stop it, is reprehensible.  Justice must include holding those who commit crimes, along with those who by cowardly inaction allow and encourage them, liable.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Simple nurture

Sit today and make a short list - of some actions which bring you satisfaction or joy.  Dancing, singing, listening to music, walking on a nature trail; biking, team sports, personal pampering, the ocean, close proximity to water.

Just two or three notations, written so they may be read each day, will bring happy thoughts.  Knowledge of what drives you, anticipation, that feeling of excitement which arises from looking forward to something.  Remain aware of thoughts which divert you from pleasant ideas, reject them immediately.

Framing the mind's wanderings with positive, uplifting support is the first step toward lucidity, that 'wisdom which passes all understanding' -- and will provide peace and serenity, along with contented acceptance.  All is as it seems . . . this happens solely in one's own domain.


Using the 'absorb and diminish' technique when faced with inconsiderate, cruel or thoughtless behavior from those we love is frequently ineffective; more likely, an approach containing a combination of clear thinking, using few judgments and no criticisms, could be a step in the right direction.

Modifying our own behavior has miraculous effect on people who are in combat mode.  However, tolerating anything other than respect and kindness from others will pretty much ensure that this type of treatment continues.

Give some thought to watching your own reactions.  When hurt or mistreated, it is efficient to acknowledge this fact -- no whining allowed -- and state an alternative quickly, before the moment is lost.  Intercepting another's tirade is more simple than we may believe; sometimes all it requires is a clear, unwavering gaze and a short silence.

Remain calm, state as honestly as you can how you are feeling, and put some distance between you and your perpetrator.  Attempts to enter an unequal, contrived fray will do nothing more than put you squarely in a bullseye of illusion.  Keep your head, accept nothing less than pleasantness, and stand your ground.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Life identities

Are we forming identities which we admire?  Have we succeeded where we may observe that others have failed?  Why do we think that a life image is necessary anyway?  Clothing, vehicles, homes, what we like to term "lifestyle" combine to put it all out there . . . that 'looking good' mentality -- constructed mainly for others, it seems.
Individual style.  Aspirations go in this direction . . . from designer labels to manner of speaking, the projected self.  It is, without doubt, a lot of effort -- work, a constant stream of tries to get it right.  Envy and jealousy are often viewed as reassuring feedback. 
Feeding an image requires an element of superficiality - fakery.  That mask is worn increasingly well, it can easily morph into a version of humanity all its own.  Turn the soul's bare visage to the sun, the clear light of day.  At least try it occasionally, to temper the headlong rush.


Of late, thoughts of becoming another person entirely have flitted into and around, inserting themselves into mind at odd moments . . . more often, even insistently.  Beginning with a blank slate, for lack of a better way to see it.

Learning a new language, maybe two; acquiring the skill to prepare pain au chocolat; meeting others completely differently, approaching life with all filters down, using every bit of willpower to be open and loving while seeing all around with clear eyes and ears.

Discarding old response mechanisms, forgetting all currently held ideas, holding only to ethics, values and compassion.  Reading, writing, thinking, loving sunsets, bird sounds in the early morning, the blissfully serene state of silence.  Free from a chattering, clattering mental condition, superimposed on sanity.

Really SEEING and HEARING -- giving up on control, power or manipulation of events pointlessly designed to achieve  . . . what?  Get another life.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Ethical behavior.  That manner of functioning which is consistently honorable no matter who is present to observe it.  Falling short of this desirable state of mind is familiar to most of us.  A purely ethical mind tracks nothing which is basely directed; that is, 'keeping to the high road' governs all thought and action.

Often, our admiration of another's ethics is misdirected.  When this occurs, we feel betrayed . . . as if our own honor has been impugned.  It is reasonable to ask ourselves why we trusted that particular someone -- what 'filters' were at work which obscured his/her true character -- and/or why we feel that our opinions and ideas should take precedence over a personal choice of anyone else.

Values exist in many forms, and we know principles vary, across cultural borders . . . even within families.  Human life may be more precious to some than to others.  An act which will be considered undesirable by some is commonly acceptable to others.

Sticking to a life purpose which hurts no one, harms nothing living and breathing, considers the environment, places health and cleanliness as high priorities -- seems a great first step toward truly ethical living. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Unexpected Acts of Violence

Perhaps behavior which is less than acceptable begins with boredom.  Risky ventures such as infidelity, lying, betrayal of trust, and/or abuse, both mental and physical . . . tend to take over the individual who indulges in them.  As if the mind no longer directs, but has been infiltrated and overcome.

It seems really strange to observe a person who leads a double life . . . what could such an existence lend to anyone save trouble?  Upheaval, chaos.  It may be that those who walk that thin line, teetering on the edge of destruction themselves while placing others in a direct line of fire, have been modified beyond redemption by an energy previously unknown, one which is relentless.

Very often, people who have caused immense damage to others, some too vulnerable to resist, will state that they could not stop what they were doing, as if some unseen force, undeniable, made them commit the acts.  A strong, sound mind.  When is it possible to know when this is altered -- by the perpetrator, or by observers?

Technological advances we have, and they are many.  Progress in identifying criminal insanity before it is unleashed on innocent, unsuspecting others has not kept pace.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


What and/or who provides momentum in this life we are currently living?  Do we rise each day with an original, creative idea which we intend to go toward and accomplish?  Or . . . is the day prescribed and organized around a self-imposed structure designed to facilitate the efforts of others?

Answers to these queries may come quickly, the kind of speedy, efficient reply which slots easily into 'the plan' already carefully mapped for our supposed benefit.  In fact, select one entire day and with eyes wide open -- look, at every move made . . . all efforts expended.  See the truth . . . it will begin, with a bit of personal effort, to set you free.

It is far more simple to align all energy and time meeting the needs of others.  Fully living one's own life is possible only after determining our own life passion, ensuring that movement toward same is always in motion, and requiring same to be a tandem action . . . that is, you are one of the major players at all times.  No exceptions.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Caring for Others

More frequently we think in dual terms about our world neighbors . . . as in competitors, enemies.  Those we must overcome and vanquish, to preserve our own freedom.  International goodwill is possible, as we see from the rescue effected by the John C. Stennis recently. 

Shifting our goals to safety and good for everyone will be necessary for survival.  It is entirely reasonable to believe that some day, mankind will understand that we are all the same, there is no 'them' and 'us' at all.  This is true enlightenment - fighting among ourselves is dark ages mentality. 

Changing our individual thinking to eliminate hate and racism, living our own lives in an honest and caring manner, moving toward wisdom which precludes judgments and predatory beliefs, supporting leaders who display these characteristics . . . let's just do it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Waking with a sense of dread is debilitating . . . upsetting at the very least.  Experiencing that sinking feeling at any time will derail even the best intentions, erasing or seriously decreasing energy, motivation, joy or satisfaction.

Consider nutrition.  Reflect on the last nourishment you offered to your mind and body.  Supporting the organism you call 'yourself' with fresh food is imperative.  And then there is sleep.  How much sleep did you get before that sensation of self-doubt and doom crept into your psyche?  Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on the strongest mind or body.

Expectations of optimal function are unrealistic while abuse of the body is going on . . . the wall is the next contact, believe it.  The will is extremely powerful . . . use it in a manner beneficial and supportive to the body or lose it.


A charm.  To charm.  Lucky charm.  An object, a personality characteristic; symbolizing delight, happiness, good fortune.  Use of the power to please.  More than any other quality, charm makes everything feel good -- distributing comfort, security, surrounded by rightness, like slipping under a warm blanket in a very cold room.

Those possessed of the ability to charm others are usually popular.  In short supply within certain venues, lack of charm conveys a tedious, frequently chaotic atmosphere of discomfort.  Few voluntarily stay in the company of people who use little of this instantly disarming personal gift.

The most charming among us apply tact along with a relaxed, non-frenetic attitude.  Charm can be completely natural, loving, absent guile; it can be skillfully manipulative and/or a deadly tool of deception.

In any case, we are drawn to those who display it -- tending to support, believe, and promote them and their agendas.  It would seem to be prudent at least, even while enjoying ourselves, to remain alert to levels of sincerity during seductive encounters with charm.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Excitement seems sporatic, temporary, often experienced as short bursts of joy and happiness.  Motivation actually depends on the presence of excitement . . . the lure of that which we love to do, consider, plan toward, have at the ready in life.

First, determine exactly what it is that does excite.  Singing, painting, volunteering, counseling, gardening, dancing, cooking, skiing, conversation, racing, viewing some type of action performed by others.  Even watching others who are doing what we love can generate pleasure.

So then, why not find a way to enter this happy, highly productive state of being?  Begin with finding out what it is that produces excitement within the heart and mind -- then go toward it with steady or speedy motion -- in any style you prefer.

This is, simply, the Answer to Everything.


Surviving Triviality

Angst and panic frequently originate in superficiality.  At base, we live because we continue to breathe.  We die when breath ceases.

So long as there is life . . . choose to LIVE.  Enter each moment with fresh eyes.  Accept that which is outside personal control.  Simply let go of coveted strings used to puppet those in the life sphere.  No one has rights to another's existence . . . only to privileges such as supporting, nurturing and/or loving them, for a space of time which must remain undeterminable.

When death visits, celebrate and value the living unfailingly while honoring and remembering those who have moved on.  When new life begins, use every effort to sustain it.

Nothing else is, bottom line, very important at all.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Begin again.  Resolve to love, nurture, clearly see while carefully looking at others.  Observe beauty.  Value kindness.  Extend love, non-judgment and patience to humans, animals and the environment.

Fret not about the way to accomplish these.  It is a naturally occurring phenomenon . . . already coded.  Relax, dispense with angst -- live within this very moment.  See beauty, hear melody.  Feel crisp cold, steamy, balmy heat.

Many gifts lie just outside a constructed realm of rigidly held consciousness.  Open the heart, be quietly grateful.  Absent greed and need, there is always enough.

No methods, organizations, lists required.

Simple Tasks

It is that time of the year - the beginning of a new year, replete with mountains of resolutions, tomes regarding how, when and what to resolve . . . usually accompanied with sensible advice as to the performance of said promises to yourself, to others, to the universe in general.

Let us resolve firmly, during this coming year, to love and relax our judgments and criticisms.  Treat all others - animal and human, plant or environment, with respect and humility.

Decide to, with no exceptions, be aware of appropriate responses to any stimulus.  Slow to anger, quick to care . . . or as Sai Baba has so often wisely said, 'help ever, hurt never'  . . . with yourself and toward others.

Plant a tree, some flowers, vegetables, nurture a living, breathing creature.  Extend nourishment, emotional and physical, to those around you.

Longer life, more value.