Entitlements??

February 6, 2020

I already know that I’m not going to make friends on this blog article. The word “entitlements” is charged without even knowing the perspective or specific contextual meaning. Usually, we use the term Entitlements to mean benefits that one earns through working and paying into a system such as for social security retirement or Medicare insurance. After working for 40 years, and paying for 40 credits (quarters), one earns the right to have benefits paid out in the form of a social benefit payment known as social security. However, if one is disabled and by definition can’t work, one is entitled to claim benefits after as little as five years. That is, in our great country, we pay people social security disability after just a few years of working versus the full 40 years if they are able bodied.

So why am I bringing this up? Well, I have a friend that wants to retire and is complaining that he might have to work a couple  more years rather than retire now in order to help his family – disabled sister and invalid Mom out for a bit. But let’s look a little deeper. The family has resources that they are not using or wish to keep for later. So rather than sell one of their two properties (a home in an affluent city neighborhood as well as a vacation home in the outer banks) to take care of the disparity in their finances, they want to just live off of the government. My friend is complaining that the amount of money that his sister gets from food stamps which was reduced from $300 per month to $260 is outrageous (as he puts it) and so unfair. This is in addition to the money she gets for social security disability. Now I certainly am sorry that she can’t work and that she is caring for her daughter and yes, it’s difficult to eat well on that money. But I can also tell you that I’ve gone through tough times in my life, when I was starting my life coaching business and was living pretty meagerly. Sometimes one has to do that. What I’m hearing from him is that his family doesn’t want to give up anything, and that the government should take up the slack. He’s furious with the President, since of course it’s all Trump’s fault for his current situation. If it were me, I’d sell one of the properties, accept that the vacation home is a luxury that isn’t affordable in the current climate and then live comfortably with the money one gains. No, unfortunately, he doesn’t agree (and I didn’t actually say that only thought it).

Why do people think the government should take care of everyone to such an extent that family should never have to help out? Who is the government but us individuals who pay taxes into a system? At what point are we paying for a lot of other people to live well because their families don’t want to help them? It all comes down to a bank account of ins and outs. I’ve saved all my life and in putting money away for a raining day I had to give up some meals out, some special activities that I didn’t attend, etc. I’ve watched this friend spend lots of money on special programs not giving any thought to whether he could really afford it or not. Where is it written that we have the RIGHT to fancy restaurant meals, Starbucks café coffees daily rather than as a special treat or other niceties?  We all have to make choices and it really irks me to listen to this guy complain about the current administration and how his problems are all due to the Government and not in his own financial management.  He also told me that he would have to figure out how to get his 88 year old Mom a car so his sister could drive her around. Perhaps Uber for the few trips would be more economical or a special ride program. Oh no, they’d never be able to drive up the long drive way. He has an answer for everything. Well, perhaps the big home they’re living in is no longer suitable for his Mom and sister. Again, they don’t want to make any changes. It’s easier to just blame everything on the government.

I’ve written about personal accountability before, but this is a bit different. We can’t expect the government to do EVERYTHING. I feel that his sister is getting a lot from the government. When I asked about the other services available to her, he just brushed me off. He knows I’m one of the millions of crazy people who actually voted for this President and who is very happy with this economy which is very much due to his economic policies. And that’s my side of the story.


Slow Down for 2020

January 22, 2020

Thinking about New Year’s resolutions? How about slowing down and enjoying the many blessings that we already have in our lives? If we are going so fast, running around doing errands, attending to the insurance and phone problems as well as the doctor appointments, visits with friends that we cram in rather than space out, we just can’t enjoy our time. So for this New Year, I vowed to really slow down. Then the universe began to give me opportunities to do so as well as other people who felt the same to help me attain my new goal.

Sometimes there are pushes to get to new soul developments in our lives. In my case, it was ill health throughout the month of December. First, I had stomach issues that seemed to be related to overdosing on vitamin supplements. I had been told that I needed to take more and more specialized supplements to handle leaky gut and adrenal problems. The underlying symptoms were extreme fatigue, poor digestion, and the feeling that my very expensive organic diet wasn’t being converted to energy. In the end, I had to stop taking all this stuff and just rest, relax and slowdown in order to get better.  Towards the end of the month I came down with a really bad cold and cough which I believe was part of a healing crisis.

During this time, I began to do some journaling and realized that it was a turning point in my life. Perhaps my soul was writing the story of my life and detoxing from the prior extremes that I had gone through for what may well be the first 2/3 of the years that I would have on this plane of existence. Although one never knows the exact time that we get here, I just have this feeling that my time as a life coach had come to an end, even though I will continue to help others in a more probono manner.  Just as I had left the corporate world over 10 years ago, I was now letting my semi-retirement profession go as well. I had done this partially a couple years ago, but felt that I had totally left it now and was detoxing from the residue of helping others get rid of their junk.  The final phase was to literally slow down.

And then I went off to a tango festival on the west coast in concert with a family visit. During this time, I met some awesome people who were light bearers. When I refer to people in this way, I mean that I could feel how spiritually then led their lives and interacting with them was a joy. Truly I was feeling the joy return to my life after being around these people for several days.

This was the fourth year that I’d done this particular dance program but the first one where I’d met so many light bearers. I might meet someone in a workshop and then somehow connect for a meal during which we’d chat; I’d then find out how really interesting they were and that it was their birthday the following week. So, in my good feelings of abundance, I paid for their meal as well as mine. They were happy and I felt great. By being with people of the light, I was more of the light also. Another example was of a guy I met at one of the dance evenings that interacted with me on an outing to a park the next day. We totally had a great time and enjoyed the day together. During this time, we shared stories of our lives and found out how very spiritual we both were.  I thought I was spiritual, but he’d studied for many more years and shared with me about his beliefs of compassion, meditation and allowing the universe to guide him. Although I had my own version of these disciplines, it was wonderful to be with a kindred soul. His energy felt so good to me that I was in a very nice calm place all day. The hours flew by. Once again, the universe delivered me to just the right people in just the right place for me to evolve even more.

So as I celebrated the New Year on the West Coast, I brought in a new spirit of abundance, calmer and with a renewed desire to appreciate all the many blessings I already have… in other words, to slow down and find my joy.


Be friendlier

November 1, 2019

It’s an age old wisdom that we should look in the mirror first if we feel there is something missing in our lives. Thus when I decided that I needed more friends and that I would have to be more welcoming to bring people into my life. In other, I would have to be friendlier.

Ok so how do I become friendlier when I thought I was already a nice person who was polite and congenial to those that I met anyway? Well I guess it came down to my energy. What was the message that my energy was sending out? Although I felt friendly, perhaps I was inwardly insecure or afraid, which sent a similar awkward message out to the world. This was not what I wanted. In other words, as is quite common, I was guilty of sending out a mixed message. My outer voice wanted one thing while my inner voice was reflecting another. I needed to become congruent.

Thus I had to really become a happy person, feel good about myself, and raise my self-esteem which in turn would send out a happy vibe to the world. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I booked a social group and just smiled and talked with people being non-judgmental and accepting them for who they were. Suddenly people began to like me more. When I became more of a listener reflecting back to people what they were saying, staying present and really hearing them, even more people liked me. In turn, I was laughing more.

Before I knew it I was in my authentic self, feeling good and sending out positive vibes. Soon, I was getting return positive glances at my gym class at Zumba and in social circles. Then on travel, people would engage with me more. All of a sudden, I then realized that i was really making friends. I had become a friendlier person with all the associated qualities. My energy changed and I attracted healthier people into my life that warranted my friendship. As far as I can tell so far, these are people that really want to be friends, have no ulterior motives or axes to grind, no mood disordered and just healthy happy people. What a relief it is. It’s been awesome so far and I certainly hope it continues. I offer my personal experience to you so that you can give it a try and see what happens. As always comments are welcome.


People and processes don’t always cooperate

August 26, 2019

We all know, or have learned the hard way that human communication is not an exact science. The old adage is that’s why there are lawyers! Today, I’m going to relate a situation that I experienced regarding a transaction on EBay. The whole interaction went from a misunderstanding to bad then to worse. Then it got ugly! Sometimes people and processes just don’t go as one might expect.

 First, let me say that my perspective on EBay is pretty laid back because it’s not my main business; it’s very much a hobby and a casual one at that. I sell stuff to get it out of my closet and if I’m lucky, I get a few dollars for it. So what’s my story? I offered a beautiful designer red silk dress for sale at a fabulously low price plus shipping. The woman in question, whom I will call “The Buyer”, sent an offer. What I saw on my end was “an offer to buy at $50” which I accepted. I’ve been doing EBay for about 8 years so I don’t question offers. I just look at the figure and either accept the bid or not. Usually people pay within a day or two. My listing clearly states that non-payment after 48 hours will result in a cancelled transaction. If someone made a mistake in pushing “buy”, then an email to me indicating such will solve the problem. I’m not out to force any sales, so if there’s a mistake, I’ll cancel the transaction.

I accepted the offer and the EBay system put the offer in as a sale and sent the Buyer an invoice for the price plus shipping. No response. Several days go by. I sent a nice note with a reminder invoice – “is there a problem, I ask?” No response. More time goes by.  The EBay system opened a non-payment case against the Buyer automatically, which when she received the notice made her furious resulting in her sending me a scathing email stating that I hadn’t read her offer. What? I never saw any email or further detail about her offer. Apparently, she writes that she’s retired and doesn’t have the money. (Why buy if you don’t have money??) At this point it was very confusing to me because she referred to 8/30 which I assumed meant August 30, but it was August 20. I had no idea what she was talking about. Rather than calmly explain to me that she’d get money at the end of the month which eventually I realized, she raved at me that I hadn’t read the offer details (that I’d never seen) and basically was saying how stupid I was for causing this problem. As it wasn’t an auction item, just a fixed price, make an offer, she could have waited a few days until her pension check arrived. Rather, she chose to expect me to make the system work according to what was best for her. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

It became obvious to me that she had anger issues and was venting at me for other situations where she hadn’t been heard. I was just the one getting her venom over these frustrations in her life. I kept trying to write to her calmly explaining that the system was automated, that offers are translated into purchases, and that non-payment cases can be opened without me doing anything. She insisted that I cancel the transaction at this point which was impossible according to the EBay system even after I tried calling them directly. I wasted so much time over almost a week for a non-sale with this woman. I had packed this gorgeous dress with tissue paper in a strong box so that it wouldn’t get wrinkled… basically for naught. After 2 days of her insisting that I cancel the transaction, I find that she paid. It was the night before the payment was due or a negative mark would go against her. I figured that she paid to clear the case so that I could cancel the transaction. So I went into the transaction, which was now clear, and cancelled it. I thought this was what she wanted. She had not sent me an email to tell me that she changed her mind about cancelling the transaction and now she wanted it. So what happened next?

The next morning I got a wailing email, “oh, I’m going to cry. You cancelled the transaction after I paid for the dress!”  Well, yeah, after receiving email after email insisting that I cancel and no communication indicating otherwise, what else could I do? Then I get more communication about why did I do that? It’s like being in Wonderland! Ok, so I thought about it and my final email to her was my best attempt to be spiritual, “I’m sorry that you’re not happy with this transaction. Sometimes people and processes don’t go as one might want or expect. Rather than directing anger at me, a bit of patience might have been a better idea. It would also be a good idea to find a healthier channel to vent your frustrations that to direct them at me”.

The moral of the story is that when crazy interactions occur like this story; take a moment to reflect on the situation. Chances are there’s more going on than the immediate reaction. Usually, there are related experiences that the person is reacting to in this lifetime or a prior one. It’s easy to ignore the person but just a bit harder to consider how you can be a guiding light. Just consider that she needed to be reminded of her behavior and it took me going beyond the physical to tell her about it.

Although I had planned for this to be the end, there’s more. The woman wrote back telling me that “You’re a fool!” Well so much for being a messenger of light. I thought about her response a lot and I truly believe that I was guided to write back to her what I had to give her a chance to reconsider her self-righteous position. Unfortunately, she failed the test. Now the universe takes over and karma steps in. I believe that she’s really in scarcity and has a lot of hatred, anger and hostility built up over being in a compromising financial situation. But what got her there? Meanwhile, I live in abundance and reap the rewards. Comments are always welcome.             


Time to take a stand for oneself!

April 16, 2019

It’s a beautiful spring day. The trees are blooming and look refreshing and new. It’s warming a bit so that it’s not so cold as before. It would be nice to talk a walk out in the sunshine.

I choose to think positive thoughts; to read my book on the fascinating history of the Templars in Portugal; to help others by mentoring and to do other volunteer efforts which bring me joy. I started assisting my university alumni with offers of mentoring and immediately had a taker… the very next day. It was a pleasure to help this woman assess her current career situation and how to move forward according to her desired plan. These are all pro bono sessions but they provide me a venue for giving back and that brings me joy.

An old project management colleague contacted me to be interviewed for an article that he was writing and I was glad to assist. The piece was on the value and impact of various certifications and as I have several very unusual ones, he chose me to be included. It was fun to participate and wonderful to receive a digital copy of the finished product several weeks later. More joy came to me in helping him.

Those that chose to stay in a negative place will be left behind. I can only help so much for it drains me if there is nothing ever coming back, nor appreciation; just chaos left in the ashes of my attempts to be of service. Thus, to those that are negative energy I say that I must detach from you all. It’s just too oppressive.

For there to be a friendship, it must be a two way street. The same holds true for a relationship. Both parties must acknowledge their participation otherwise, there is nothing? It’s all just a fantasy.  I care about all the issues that other people have but no one wants to listen to me or care about what is going on in my life. Am I too independent? Too willing to take on the world? At some point, I have to say that it’s enough and I’m going to stop being the world’s baby sitter, or mother or care taker. I have to look out for myself and have proper boundaries.

So if your mood darkens and you refuse the light that I offer, so be it. I can do no more. I will not be your psychologist to figure out what’s going on with you. Only you can decide you want to figure all that out and then it’s part of your soul’s journey to take the road ahead.

So here is where we part company. I choose to take the high road, be positive and follow my path to be of service. My goal is to help souls one by one to be all they can be in order to raise the vibration of the planet. But each soul must move forward in his/her own way and in their own time.

It’s your decision now. What will it be? Will you stay behind in the darkness or come with me into the light? Comments are welcome.


Entanglement or Relationship?

March 28, 2019

Have you ever wondered about the nature of a relationship that’s not going so well? Perhaps there is arguing, conflict, constant negotiations or other types of negative interactions. Most relationships are with and between adults, but they can also be with children. There is another category of people who never matured into a fully functioning adult and remain very childlike, perhaps even referring to themselves as having arrested development whether in jest or not.  As I’ve been told by my psychology-oriented friend, this type of individual most likely wasn’t properly nurtured during the prime young years and as a result, missed out on a type of personal validation that’s required to develop a healthy sense of self; thus, the impact is that they never really grow up. In other words, an individual who didn’t have a mother or father really present in their life (perhaps physically but not emotionally for lots of reasons) can remain in an immature or childlike state.  The dynamic is more complicated than I’m presenting but is simplified for discussion. There are many people who do grow up to be quite well adjusted even without childhood nurturing, myself being one of them. I simply recognized where love was missing and did a lot of inner child work. However, I’m not the norm.  

Entanglement

Don’t get me wrong. My parents did love me, but they came from an era where kids were seen and not heard, my opinion wasn’t valued, I was greatly criticized, and never made to feel important unless I was achieving. Ah ha! And as a result, one learns to be an A type personality to overachieve in order to please one’s parents. But now, I’m getting into a slightly different dynamic. Here, the individual is taking on very adult qualities and perhaps way too much responsibility. Possibly, it’s the two ends of a spectrum of not getting one’s needs met as a child.

So as far as this discussion is concerned, we can refer to individuals who never really attain a proper sense of self, a man-child or woman-child. They appear in an adult body but when provoked they revert to temper tantrums and outbursts just like a child. If you are unlucky enough to interact with one of these immature people, you may find that you are in an entanglement full of chaos rather than a more normal type of relationship.

Since I believe that everyone comes into our life for a reason, what types of lessons can one learn from interactions from a man-child for example? As I’m a woman, I’ve had the experience of dealing with a man-child. In fact, I actually felt like I was caring for my child. As I noted above, taking on too much responsibility and not wanting to take on any are polar opposites and attract. Could it be that my life lesson was to learn not to be so very responsible for everyone else by the universe giving me someone who would simply take and take and it would never be enough? He was an empty well that could never be filled with enough love because he felt that he wasn’t good enough to be loved (never forming a positive sense of self-worth as a child). No matter what I tried to do to help this person in terms of working on a resume for him to get a new job; showing him how to earn money with odd jobs by actually going to the job site and waiting for him while he working on a friend’s electrical that I set up for him or any of the other caring acts I did. I felt like a soccer Mom waiting for her child to play the game. I sat for hours so that this guy could make some money so that he’d feel better about himself. I also went through the motions of caring for him in other ways by feeding him meals, giving him t-shirts, socks or other articles of clothing when he needed them and helping him buy presents for his family because navigating a huge store like Target was too overwhelming. I’ve never had kids but really felt like I had one during my “entanglement” with this guy. Eventually, he left town and I felt like I was losing my child.

Of course, I had to have a serious talk with myself about why I felt that way and where it was coming from. After considerable reflection I realized the lesson in it for me. It was about learning unconditional love and being the divine feminine. Being my polar opposite, he opposed me in many ways. To do what I did for him, even though it caused me great consternation many times, was an act of pure love, unlike any that I had known before. He taught me a lot in our months together and for that I’m grateful. I know that our soul contract is now complete and I’ve done all I can for him, now recognizing that it’s time to let go and allow him to survive on his own. Much like a parent allows her child to be a teenager then grow up; of course, this may be impossible for him at this point in his life.

It was an entanglement, not a relationship of equals. Now I can stand back and see it for what it is. I have the power of analysis and so am sharing it to help others understand their lessons if they find themselves in an entanglement. There are many types of entanglements, but if one looks deep the answer to why it’s happening will appear.

Comments or questions are welcome.


Call to Action

March 12, 2019

Have you ever been in bed and had ideas pop into your head? Perhaps it’s the list of what to do that day or a shopping list of activities that need to be done over time. Well, for me, I had an idea – that was almost totally conceptualized creep into my waking moments around the early part of this month and just wouldn’t let go. For days I had the same thoughts that I should create a non-profit community group aimed at making the world a better place using the energy of tango dancers. Ok, so why tango dancers? My two passions are helping to make the world a better place – or more esoterically put, raising the vibration of the planet; the other is dancing tango. The creative idea that hatched in my head used both these thoughts – tango dancing and bringing light to the world. No small task; or what many have told me when I started to talk about it, “good luck with that!”

In terms of creating a community action group, I was totally in unfamiliar territory. I seriously had no clue where to start, so I began where I always do when I don’t know – I decided to ask other people who might know. So just like any other creative project that I’ve tackled over the years, I decided to do information interviews with key influencers, who could eventually become stakeholders in this new venue. I selected friends, tango dance friends, friends of tango dance friends, people that tango dance friends knew, and so on. It wasn’t long before I had lots of people to interview and plenty of, “good luck with that” answers as well as a few good pointers along the way. I knew I would have my hands full with this activity, if it was even really viable.

After about a week of these interviews, I went to a tango dance wherein I realized that just the next week, this particular organizer was holding an anniversary dance. I quickly decided to hold a first fundraising asking permission to use their venue with the caveat that it wouldn’t impact their collected fees.  The organizer owned the space and was all about helping charity especially if it didn’t cost them anything.

The next day I set up a Facebook page for my new group which I named, Tango for Change.  Within hours one of my dance friends put a donate button on my personal page (not the new page), OH MY NOW WHAT?? So I had to figure out what to do. When you’re new at something, often times it doesn’t go smoothly the first time you go at it. Alright, I just went along with it and “SHARED” the fundraiser which had been created on my personal page to the Tango for Change page. This was a bit awkward but it was sufficient to have a few people donate. I had to work at it but by the end of the week, the initial modest goal of $200 was raised.

That night, the actual date of the fundraiser, I simply put out a decorated spaghetti keeper with a ribbon indicating the charity (a homeless shelter in the area) and with my encouragement around the room, another $83 was raised. Wow, it was hard work, but in less than 2 weeks the idea was hatched, created and implemented (with $283 going to my first charity). More on my new group as it progresses, but other than being exhausted from being emotionally trained, I’m pretty happy with the result. Now to keep the momentum going! (Of course, what you give out you get back multiplied!) So PLEASE like my new Tango for Change Facebook page to show support!!!


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