One Light Dims In The Season Of Light


 

220px-john_glenn_portraitThere seems to be one idea embedded in this season for several celebrations that happen in the winter: light overcoming the darkness. Generally, human beings would rather not be in the dark. It’s scary and often cold. Anyone who would bring light to anything anywhere will have to purposefully chose to vacate the safety of the communal fire and brave the darkness. Seeing the naked face of  the unknown; the darkness is an accepted occupational hazard for pioneers. In the times John Glenn lived, there was a critical mass of the brave. It was a season that required a convergence of strength, but conquering entrenched cultural darkness  certainly can be lonely. Winter nights so long, dark and cold can get so depressing that just a single flicker of light brings a sense of relief and hope.Few faith systems celebrate the darkness. Rituals to drive darkness away abound. Today we celebrate the life of one who went beyond the protective, warm atmosphere of earth into the dark and cold of space. John Glenn’s travels are done. This pioneer in space and government on earth relocated from the gathering dark and cold of winter in humanity to the “Bosom of Abraham”, a place of bright light and warmth. Earth out.

God speed, John Glenn.

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The Big Myth: The American Dream


american_dream_v_american_myth

Finally, campers, we come to one last item, a fixture of our national mythology embedded in our identification of ourselves as “the land of opportunity”:anybody from anywhere on earth can  come to the USA and go from rags to riches; the sky’s the limit for those who work hard and persevere. Unlike in some countries, commonly held ideas are the glue that holds us together as a nation.

Each succeeding generation expects to fare better financially and socially than the parent generation. It may have been true for a while for some. However, as a member of the first generation of Americans who did not rise higher than their parents, I can say that the American Dream (as pictured above) is just that–a dream. It surprised and angered me at first. I felt like I had somehow been duped; bamboozled; cheated. Somebody lied. I was a nice kid; quiet, docile and feminine; never gave my parents an hour of trouble; got good grades and stayed out of jail. Success should have just walked up and kissed me on the lips.

Bull.

Future professionals, take the Myth of The American Dream with a tablespoon of salt. Pass it right through the system ASAP. In order to move on to the reality, I found it necessary  to examine deeply held beliefs about success, career, and everything else in life under strong, unfiltered light. Are you in that place on your path of self-development? Refuse to simply parrot the so-called “truths” as touted by the culture. Understand exactly what school is really set up to do. Forgive your parents, friends, relations, enemies and mentors for passing on all their off-base advice. Forgive yourself for misguided movements in unproductive paths. Just as you were born largely unfinished (could we stand on our own hours after birth?; are humans grown in a year?), upon graduation from High School and College, your education is largely unfinished. Who is responsible for completing your life learning?

YOU.

GO EDUCATE YOUR SOUL FOR LIFE.

Get some pool time in before first semester begins. Have a great summer.sun

Industrial Myth #4: Careers Do Straight Lines


Ahem.

Please observe the illustration found at a career blog I saw at:http://www.thedavidwells.com/blog/.

Real Career Path

I could talk until the wind shifts.

I could write until the words run together like tears and mascara.

Compare the “fantasy” with the “real”.

Stare at it as many times as you want. Chances are your consciousness will return and return to this when the mind is just wandering around as our monkey-mind thoughts do whenever we’re bored or stressed.

Let the learning tattoo itself on your soul.

A career begins with divine desire, intention and aim; if the intention is strong

And the aim is true–

Real purpose will meet you in the maze of living.

Real purpose is the surprise at what seems to be a dead end.

There is a path,

But it is not entirely of our own making

And it sho’ nuff ain’ straight.

 

 

 

 

Industrial Myth #2: Personal Worth = Net Worth


Saint Daddy

SD (Saint Daddy)

Today, Father’s Day, is a great time to do some myth-busting about a subject we make first contact with through men we love: our fathers, uncles, brothers and husbands. Where did they get their bankrupt ideas from? Who else but their grandfathers, great uncles and brothers-in-laws. Bad ideas about money (and good ones as well) often pass through the generational lines. Today, let’s toss out this one for good:

Penny you have; penny you’re worth.

Now, my immigrant dad grew up poor in Panama. From his young perspective, a person’s worth as a person is tied tightly to and is not distinguishable from their net worth. It infected his thinking about money and the rich. Therefore, to have money was a righteous goal. In my dad’s old neighborhood in Panama, people treated kids who dumpster-dove for dinner as if they were garbage on two legs. The children of the wealthy and socially well-connected to the colonial powers, by contrast, were perceived to be  somehow made of better stuff and were treated as if they were.

Here’s the truth: Money is just a piece of paper or a scrap of metal unless human beings assign them worth. Let the Confederate dollar after the American Civil War prove it.

People, in contrast, have intrinsic worth simply because they are human.

So, whether you’ve got a wad that would choke a horse or a little ball of lint rolling in your pocket right now, you, human being, are worthy of taking up skin, air and space on earth.

Personal worth ≠ net worth.

To all our dads, uncles, brothers and husbands, a happy and blessed father’s day!

Victoree

 

The Ego And Ali


muhammad_ali_quoteMuhammad Ali is gone and now the world has a hole in it. When I was a child my mom and several other adults in  my neighborhood disliked this man who declared, “I am the greatest!” Back then, Nice Colored People never took on the “way things were” barefaced like Cassius Clay did. Then, he disrupted proper social order and changed his name to Muhammad Ali! Surely, he and that Rev. King in Georgia were going to get all of us in trouble in America. Women never talked back to their fathers and husbands either. That was sin in the skin! Until my early teens, I parroted my elders’ 1950’s ideas about race, color and gender as if they were my own. But they were not my own.

You see, being an introspective, wallflower of a girl, I believed that only men had “egos” which had to be dutifully tended like orchids by all the women in their lives–wives, sisters, girlfriends or whatever you were to the man. Oh, yes. Women were a “whatever”. Standing above and apart, I, the Princess Morally Puritan Purest of all, certainly did not have this “ego” that if in any way was insulted, would ruin me for life or something like in “Gremlins”.

Then, one day, click! I looked at the boxer; I listened to the boxer and I began to look closely at the so-called ancient wisdom about who I could never be or do. It seemed there was always some reason I could not succeed based on something I was born with:my skin was too dark; my hair was too kinky; my torso was too short; my feet were too flat; on and on.Then, to top it all off, I was born female. Doomed! Doomed forever to live chained to a man whose ego I had to stoke like a fireman on a steam engine.

Thanks to Mohammad Ali I re-examined all my hand-me-down beliefs and got abundantly clear about exactly what I did believe about race, gender roles, and most of all about my Self. Mirror, mirror on the wall; who has one of the biggest egoes of all? It was an ugly truth that began my journey of soul growth.

I do not agree with all Muhammad Ali’s ideas, but I certainly thank him for helping many of us de-mythologize our beliefs and de-colonize our minds. May you rest in peace, my brother. Salaam.

Skills You Got In School Worth Gold


 

new-college-grad-quoteNow that you have graduated from formal education, campers, all kinds of advice will be flying at you from all directions at light speed.

What you learned in school, at home and anywhere else is not the “whole truth”.

No one source on earth can ever be the sole font of truth. You have to test for the truth in all things for yourself. I have always made this a rule of thumb: Don’t believe everything you hear and half of what you see. In fact, right now, you may be questioning everything you have ever heard and doubting the validity of everything you have ever learned anywhere. You may even be disillusioned about the value of it all. Good! 

You are now synthesising knowledge for practical application to your life.

It’s a flashing headache! Don’t blame yourself for not understanding that life is like a 2 thousand piece puzzle scattered all over the floor without even a pencil drawing to guide you in putting it together.  Up to now, you probably learned math for math class and writing skills for English class. You were so busy earning good grades to pass the test to pass the course to get to the next higher course that you never thought about how to make a sensible whole of apparently unconnected information. School just crossed their fingers and hoped you would “get it” bye and bye–about the time you graduate. However, certain things you picked up in school are essential to the rest of your life. Such as…

  • Research: gathering information from many sources
  • Decision Making: justifying making a move based upon the results of your research
  • Focused attention: the ability to stay with an idea over an extended period of time until you get results. Focused attention is the one skill you will use to become an expert at what you do for a living. It is also the basic skill you will use to create what is called, “flow” –closely tied with cultivating a happy, satisfying life.

Congratulations on your graduation. Now, nobody but you have the responsibility to make wise decisions on your own about everything from maintaining good health to keeping a social life. Digging for and handling all kinds of information from unbelievably diverse sources is an essential life skill you will use the rest of your life. You see, formal education was just imbibing what society is obligated to hand down to you. That’s just background. You now stand at the place of the beginning of your real education.

 

 

 

Free At 18! 6 Ideas To Rear Kids For Success


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Campers, this is the part of the program where The Administration makes its statement of the main idea and the “purpose driver” of this intercession.

In the summertime of my life, I was doing motherhood and at the same time preparing to teach elementary school. In those days, I struck upon the idea that bound my child rearing methodology together like a strong cord in a single statement: free at 18. This is what it means:

As “On Children by Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet”” by Kahlil Gibran says,

“Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you”.

  1. A parent’s job is to help the souls they bring into the world  to recover their heaven-given mandate and encourage their highest development before they depart from your immediate influence or “leave home” as it is commonly called.
  2. Progressively deepening, age-stage appropriate, positive life lessons in all areas of being human should be taught by example and by precept  using direct instruction, modeling and other ways and in several modalities. This is a parent’s mandate.
  3.  At specific times and at the end of life, an accounting of the satisfaction of the responsibility for this mandate will be required.
  4. The child has the right during their lifetime to question how she was reared and why.
  5. Educational systems exist as “experts” in  the intellectual training  portion of child rearing, acting as assistants to parenting. Schools should never be seen as taking the place of parents.
  6. Your children are spirit beings just as you are and have come to the earth with their own heavenly mandate just as you have yours.

 

 

 

 

A Sense Of Purpose


Purpose

Purpose

“Purpose” is a hot button word these days. Human resource professionals to philosophers are abuzz with it. It’s eel slippery and everything is tied to it. It’s one of those concepts that the closer it is examined, the clearer it is. Then, it becomes clear as ice and disappears into everything. We study and obsess on the subject until it suddenly means nothing. Funny thing: when a strong sense of purpose is in place, everything else falls into order.

In my ministry to the weekly job club in my neighborhood, the number one prayer request is for Heavenly direction. We humans want to have confidence in the “rightness” of our decisions. We want to know for sure that our paths are straight to “the target”. Unfortunately, life is nothing like our left-brained imagination and will not cooperate with any of our straight-to-target plans. Who is brave enough to tell the truth about the real, crooked-as-a-dog’s-hind-leg paths we take to get to “where we are born to be” in life? This is the very reason so many methods to locate life purpose crop up every day–everything from drawing to channeling. The prophets mumble.

We get annoyed to distraction with the “trial and error” methods of discovering, pinning down and hog-tying that one thing we enjoy and do best that the world needs so much people will pay good money to have the service performed.  Remarkably, our perception of “purpose” and that “one thing” are as closely bound together as mace is to nutmeg.

Many look at “sense of purpose” as something that drops down on us from above. Others see it as something that is deeply buried and must be unearthed. Whether we catch it in a bucket or wrestle it out with a shovel, purpose is the keystone of life’s arch.

Heaven, the Racetrack and the Hamster Wheel


This Lenten Season, I have taken on a personal/professional growth goal: working through Dan Miller’s 48 Days To The Work You Love. To force myself out of my one cracking great weakness, procrastination, I borrowed the book from my local library instead of purchasing it immediately. Believe me, this is one work worth the shelf space. It is available in traditional print and Kindle version at Amazon.com . Currently, I am  at the point of defining for myself the words vocation, career and job. Why don’t we travel together in this journey awhile? It would be a hoot!

Career "The Racetrack"

Career “The Racetrack”

Career

We must have clear, personal meanings for vocation, career, and job since these words are too often used interchangeably. A closer examination using the Oxford English Dictionary shows just how farcically inaccurate doing that is.  Consider that the word, “career”, which comes to the English language from a 16th century French word, “carriere”:a “road; a racecourse”. In turn, the French word comes from the Latin, “caraia”:a track for wheeled vehicles. Its root is the Latin word, “carrus”, or, wagon. This is probably where we got the word, “carriage” and “car” from. So, a career is a racetrack–like the Roman Circus Maximums in the movie, “Ben Hur”. Don’t you love this rushing around and around in a circle? Nascar: that’s a career!

Samuel hears the call.

Samuel hears the call.

Vocation

Gazing deeply at the word, “vocation”, we see in the Merriam Webster Dictionary that this noun strikes one of the main chords in “passion” (another word bandied about these days in employment lingo).  Having a vocation means having a strong desire to be/to belong someplace or in something. Vocation has a “fixation” or object/place of desire. Until the employment profession co-opted the term, it used to mean the personal answer to a divine call toward living a life dedicated to serving in a priesthood. The word has roots in Middle English, Anglo-French and Latin–combining “vocare”, to call, and “vox”, voice. A person with a vocation hears a “call” to a specific kind of work and is in essence “saying yes” in answer to that divine summons. Drawn toward heaven: that’s a vocation.

The J. O. B. (just over broke)

The J. O. B. (just over broke)

Job

Last of all there is the word, “job”. A job is “a paid position of regular employment”, according to the Oxford Dictionaries. This noun seems to be the “one-dollar bill” of economic currency, embracing the idea of a “task” or a “responsibility” carried out on a regular basis. I cannot get a fix on exactly where this word comes from, but it sure carries a nasty connotation that focuses on every-day, basic, common, and even difficult and dirty tasks. It is even used as slang for paid criminal acts. Of all three, this is the word that has in its morphology become an action word. The hamster wheel:what we have to do every day to earn the salt…or the lettuce.

So, tell me…what is the definition of these words in your life?

Lenten Season Greetings, from Victoree


1st fire festival

St. Brighid

 

Wow! Yesterday was the snowiest Mardi Gras I have ever seen, but that is now 364 days away. Oh, well; we’ll look forward to next year! Time moves on.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, the beginning of the 40 days before Resurrection Day (Easter). Many in the Christian world are fasting and taking on new disciplines for this season. May the ritual assume new depth and the practice actually make profound life changes.

As we continue to welcome Imbolc, we also notice Spring and all the celebrations that come in the “Light Half” of the year with her, waiting in the wings for their time on stage. Come, wheel! Begin the dance!

May this blessed season of hope and new life inspire a bringing together of all winter’s musings into a single, shining seed.

Let’s see what springs up!

St. Brighid cross on paperVictoree