Archive for January, 2015

Spiritual Awakening12 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening

  1. An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
  2. Frequent attacks of smiling.
  3. Feeling of being connected with others and with nature.
  4. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  5. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experiences.
  6. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  7. A loss of ability to worry.
  8. A loss of interest in conflict.
  9. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  10. A loss of interest in judging/blaming others.
  11. A loss of interest in judging/blaming self
  12. Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.


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Whose side are you on blog
Whose Side Are You On?

Blacks vs. Cops

Christians vs. Moslems

Israelis vs. Palestinians

Republicans vs. Democrats

Privilege vs. Poverty

Really. Which side have you been on? Which side is the right one, the better one, the superior one? Which one is wrong, the lesser of the two, the worst? Which one is at fault? Which one do we need to blame?

Look inside. Observe your opinions and judgments. Notice the conversation going on inside your head right now. Notice the evidence you have gathered that supports one side or the other. We pull out videos and news articles not to educate, but to prove a point. We repeat untrue stories not based in fact, to prove our side is the right one. We listen to irresponsible media designed to incite, not to report what is really happening.

Honestly. I mean really. Truthfully look within at what you really think. Not what you want others to think you think, not what you wish you would think, but what you really think. Observe your reaction to me even asking these questions, of how you want to block them out, turn away, and disregard the implications. Maybe it’s time to stop pretending this doesn’t apply to you.

Notice when you are by yourself how quickly you can pick between the above listed choices, some of you with imperious certainty, while others of you try to block out your judgments with shame and guilt, wanting to remain neutral, but having difficulty doing so. Notice how you still don’t think this applies to you.

Welcome to the human race. An impressive body of research spanning decades concludes that even with the best intentions, 1) skin color has a huge effect on how people are treated and 2) unconscious social biases affect the way we interact with others who are not “like us” or with whom we disagree.

Being this way does not make us bad people, nor does it make us wrong. It is how humans act when they are afraid, lost, confused. It does produce a result, however. It separates people, divides us, disconnects us and quickly forms “sides” and . . . well, you know the rest. . . just listen to the news.

How’s it working, my friends? It doesn’t look too successful to me . . .

If we are to truly have a better year ahead, if we are to make progress as a human race, we must evolve as a species. Seven billion people change?? Not likely, you say, and I agree. But the top 5%, of which we are a part, must start thinking and acting differently if any of these problems are to be resolved. And it takes a lot of work to not take sides. Hard work. But it must be done. We must look within and discover our personal unconscious racism and biases and take steps to overcome them.

Which side are you on?

What would it take for you to say, “I’m not on any side”? What would it take for you to stop blaming someone else and simply take 100% accountability to let go of the self-protective ego that needs to be right, and simply look for a viable solution to the existing problem? What personal beliefs would you need to question? What fears would you need to face? What risks would you need to take? What actions would you need to initiate?

Seek to truly understand people of a different race/ethnicity and why they think and act the way they do. Respond not as a victim of the other, but as one who chooses to rise above racism and prejudice of all kinds. Ask what you can do to help solve the problem vs. standing on the sidelines pointing fingers. We don’t have time for you to do that.

If your religion is important to you, realize others have beliefs that are important to them as well and everyone has a right to believe as they choose without hurting or judging someone else. Don’t you have enough to do for your own salvation without worrying about whether everyone else is doing it “right”?

If you have strong political views, or opinions about anything, fine. Speak up. Freedom of speech is one of the founding principles of a free country. But share your views as your views, not like they are the capital T Truth, because they aren’t. People you don’t agree with aren’t wrong, they simply see things differently. That’s all.

Believe me, I work at this a lot and I fall short a lot. But when I do, I ask myself, “What are you committed to, Martha? Being right about a position you are taking, or finding a solution to the problem?” And let me tell you, letting go of being right is sometimes very, very difficult. But if I truly want to live my vision for “A World That Works for Everyone” and I sincerely am committed to be who I declare myself to be in this world, then let go I must.

And so do you, if you want to be a bigger person this year than last.

As we enter 2015, let’s watch ourselves very carefully. Let’s change our positioned thinking into one that is willing to not only hear both sides of any position, but also willing to listen until we truly understand others’ views. Let’s catch ourselves when we find ourselves taking sides and simply disengage. Stop talking and start listening. Ask questions.

Let’s seek to understand the complexity of “the other side” until we personally feel ourselves loosening the grip we have on our position. Let’s step back and ask, “How do we find a solution to the problem that will work for everyone? What needs to be done that involves everyone?”

It won’t be easy. “I never promised you a rose garden”, but it is a way we as individuals can contribute to healing our world and make a difference.

Perhaps then we can have a Happy New Year.

Thank you to my good friend Kellie Trivers for posting the pictured quote on FB.

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