Thursday, September 18, 2008

Letting Go

Letting Go
To let go doesn't mean to stop caring;
It means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off...
It's the realization that I can't control another...
To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try and change or blame another,
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective,
It is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.
- Author Unknown

Friday, September 5, 2008

Presentism or Can We Really Look Back?

Presentism is the tendency to judge historical figures by contemporary standards. For example to judge Sigmund Freud for patronizing women is taking his behavior out of context of the time in which he lived. We all tend to view the past through the perception our present experience.
We also use presentism when looking into the future. Predictions about the future are made in the present. Our past selves and future selves were and will be different then we are at the present. But we often forget that.
I recently traveled to the Gulf Islands and Victoria B.C. where I used to live. My present self had a hard time not viewing the memories of those two past lives through my present lens. Living on Pender Island was wonderful, healthy, enchanting, frustrating and often fascinating. I was busy in my organic market garden, with raising my young children, tending my animals, running my gallery and creating my art. My older wiser self today would feel grateful, centered, serene and tranquil there. My 30 year old self [the one who lived there for nine years] was jubilant, over worked, optimistic, and very energetic. I was working on emotional, and relationship issues that I am no longer focused on. I was a very different person.
I was also a different person when I lived in Victoria. I was passionately focused on creating my art therapy practice, getting my children through adolescence, creating art, doing art workshops and teaching. My inner personal and spiritual work was somewhat the same, but also very different than it was on Pender.
Looking back into the past and looking forward to the future somehow loses meaning when we realize that we really cannot do that. I have a hard time remembering whom that person was standing in the garden on Pender Island; I know that I no longer have her fears and dreams. I can see these places for what they mean to me now, but I cannot project or guess what they were for me then. Memories are also influenced by presentism, they are not made of the pure view or feeling in the time they happened. So, I guess living in the present is our only option. When I visit the past, I am really living my present.

Or the present is the moment, the space and the place where the past and the future converge. There is nothing else.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Creating Peace

10 Things We Can Do to Contribute to Internal, Interpersonal, and Organizational Peace

(1) Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.

(2) Remember that all human beings have the same needs.

(3) Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.

(4) When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.

(5) Instead of saying what we DON'T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.

(6) Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we'd like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.

(7) Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone's opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.

(8) Instead of saying "No," say what need of ours prevents us from saying "Yes."

(9) If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what's wrong with others or ourselves.

(10) Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.

The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) would like there to be a critical mass of people using Nonviolent Communication language so all people will get their needs met and resolve their conflicts peacefully.

2001, revised 2004 Gary Baran & CNVC. The right to freely duplicate this document is hereby granted.


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