Draining the Swamp

Draining the Swamp

Since I generally try to flip things over to see the other side, I was reflecting on our President’s goal of “draining the swamp.”  His campaign for the Presidency was based on “change,” and as an outsider. As a person from the business world, his battle cry was that he would expose the underbelly of the Washington establishment.

Oddly enough, his lack of guile and his vulgarity have brought to public view the narcissistic tendencies of those who seek power.  Back in the day, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, etc, etc., were known to, shall we say, indulge in pleasures of the flesh outside of their wedding vows.  I’m sure some of the presidents in antiquity did the same.

Aside from extra-marital dalliances, presidents used vulgar language in the privacy of their meetings, and records of their phone conversations have disclosed a variety of “swampish” intrigues.  The fact that Mr. Trump, Tweeter for the Ages, is overt can in fact drain the swamp.  What was happening under wraps is now out for us all to see.  If we don’t like what we see, it is for us to self-examine and realize that our leaders are projections of our culture.  With eroding morals and a free-for-all attitude, why would we be surprised by the antics we’ve observed in his administration?

The standards to which we hold ourselves will be visible on a grander scale in those who we elect.  Maybe it’s not Mr. Trump who needs the only attitude correction.

With love,

Rosanne Bostonian

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Be-Longing

Diversity and belonging

When I was 5 year-old I was marched off to kindergarten.  I had no idea what was going on, but I had motivation to be able to read.  When the Sunday papers arrived, I could see the bright colored comics, but had no clue what was in “the balloons.”  Kindergarten was going to be my salvation.

On the first day of kindergarten, there I was among many children my age.  I was amazed that there were that many in the world, so I guess I wasn’t listening to the teacher.  One little guy in overalls was racing for the door and dutifully marched back to his seat.  In retrospect, I should have joined him on his hot retreat.

I was different. I wasn’t listening.  This apparently was cause to send me to the coat room.  Over time I knew every figure on the coat room walls; Humpty Dumpty, Little Bow Peep (What kind of a name is Bow Peep? I guess she didn’t belong either) and a variety of others amidst an array of little coats. I can’t tell you what sins I committed to be relegated to that dark space!

In antiquity “belonging” meant surviving. There’s a part of our brains that wants to hide in a crowd, circle the wagons and have someone care enough about us to fight the good fight on our behalf.  There is no part of a 5 year-old that feels good in a coat room. To that I can attest.

The Coat Room Saga was exclusionary and made me feel different. I thought different was analogous “unacceptable,” so I compensated with high achievement.  I guess that’s better than drugs and antisocial behavior, but the root causes of extreme manifestations are the same.  Not feeling welcome in the world.

This is what I now know:  Those of us who are different are part of a mosaic of many colors.  Blue shouldn’t try to be red, but should find a beautiful place in the sky.  There is room for everyone in God’s world, but sometimes not in man’s world.  Driven out of man’s world, we can become the Child of God.  To accomplish that shift, we’ve got to see that belonging isn’t the same as to be-longing.

To be-longing is to reach for our highest and best, out-picturing our uniqueness to expand the human mosaic.  From the roof-tops (and from the Coat Room of the Past), I proclaim that we are ok, that we are welcome and that our longing will only be answered with our own authentic voices.

With love,

Rosanne

Random Encounters

city streets with snow and rain

 

Ever since the “Ear Bud Incident,” I’ve been more conscious of other people, their expressions and moments that can be shared randomly.  My momma didn’t raise a child that was incapable of learning from experience!

Today the weather was ridiculous, first snow then rain.  Shoveling that stuff was a back breaker, followed by my workout at the gym.  I was feeling really heroic leaving the gym, when a bus drove by and slammed me with a tsunami of street water.  If the ground wasn’t wet, I’d have sat down and cried.  But maybe I could have just had a good laugh!

From there it was to CVS to pick up a prescription.  My sweaty and soggy self was on line when I noticed that we were standing next to the condom aisle.  The woman ahead of me was starting to huff and puff because the service was slow, so I said, “Well, at least we can shop for condoms while we’re waiting.”  She cracked up and we both had a good laugh.

This was followed by the spring-loaded umbrella of the man behind me opening up on my derriere.  I turned around (yes, we were still in the condom aisle) and he was apologizing profusely when I said, “That thing is a lethal weapon!”  More laughter.

When I left the store, I passed a woman who was sloshing along looking miserable, and I said “Isn’t this delightful?”  To which she responded, laughing, “I’m enjoying every minute of it!”

The point is that we’re human and we share so much, yet we isolate ourselves based on distraction and unfamiliarity.  I’ll probably never see those people again, but maybe there is a little legacy, a footprint, left of one light hearted moment in time.  And maybe that’s enough.

With love,  Rosanne Bostonian

Family of the Heart

Family of the Heart

Amazing humans we are!  We’ve figured out ways to trace our DNA history and get to know our genetic ancestors.  There are options now to send a cheek swab to the lab and figure out where our ancestors came from.  We get to write our own sequels to the famous Alvin Haley book “Roots.”

Don’t tell anyone (ahem), but the previous generation can be both blessing and challenge.  If we’re fortunate, those relationships are authentic and filled with gratitude.  The fact is that some of those relationships are challenging and not what we would choose if they weren’t blood relations.

No worries, because we can create a Family of the Heart.  Some members of our blood clan can occupy that precious circle, while others are “ceremonial family members,” worthy of respect and a type of love.  But those we consciously choose on our Path are often a better match to our spirit than those we were assigned through ancestry.

Family of the Heart consists of our brothers and sisters of destiny.  They are those who mirror the most authentic spirit within us.  They are those who open our hearts and keep them open.

They know us in a deep way.  They accept us unconditionally.  Occupying this blessed circle are humans and sometimes our furry companions.  Regardless of what family-of-origin experiences we have had, Family of the Heart sustains, elevates and brings love into our daily experience.

Keep creating your “family” without genetic bias and with gratitude and (of course)…

With love,

Rosanne

Mini-Meditations

woman meditating

The whole notion of “meditating” can be intimidating.  We have images of Eastern folks sitting in ashrams with chanting monks in the background.  They seem transfixed and unfamiliar to the Western eye.  The imagery seems exclusive and in our rushed lives, impossible to implement.  And why would we “waste the time” when we’re only going to be sitting there thinking of what productive thing we could be doing instead!?

Steven Covey, in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” offers the practice of sharpening the saw.  He states that we can hack away at a tree with a dull saw, thinking we’re working hard and accomplishing something, or we can take the time to sharpen the saw and operate efficiently and effortlessly.

Maybe we don’t have to create a daunting ceremony to accomplish this and simply can take a moment here and there to close our eyes and breathe.  Maybe we can stop the mad rush and feel our own presence.  I call that a “mini-meditation.”

There are types of breathing that realign our scattered nervous systems.  One type is “4-6-8 breathing.”  Inhale to the count of 4, hold your breath to the count of 6, exhale to the count of 8.  Your nervous system will thank you!  Just noticing your scatter is a huge step rather than running on adrenal hormones to the point of burnout.

Quality of effort is more efficient that quantity of effort.  And it leaves time to read a blog from your friend Rosanne!

With love, Rosanne Bostonian

The Ear Buds Travesty

coffee shop

I love that first cup of coffee in the morning!  Yes, I can make coffee, but going to the coffee bar at QuickChek (don’t judge me) is part of my morning routine.  I choose the “Columbian” coffee, medium sized cup.  I use five packets of Stevia, light cream and in a gesture of self-indulgence, I add a little whipped cream to top it off.  Ahhh!

The other morning I was in the throes of my coffee ritual when a friendly woman sidled up next to me and started preparing her coffee.  It went like this:

Woman:  “Good morning!”

Me:   “Good morning.” (Still preparing my coffee)

Woman:  “How is your day going so far!?”

Me:    “Great!  Don’t you love that first cup of coffee!?”

Woman:  “What do you have planned for your day?”

Me:   “Oh, will do some paperwork and prepare for my class later.”

Woman:  “What are you doing after work?”

Me:  (Feeling awkward) “Uh, well I finish pretty late, so…”  (I look up)

I see that the woman has ear buds in and has been talking to someone else, not me.  I’ve been having a conversation with someone who wasn’t having a conversation with me!!  Ridiculous and laughable!

They say that 80% of information comes through the eyes and that eye contact is a major component of communication.  I will remember that

With love, Rosanne Bostonian

Less Talkie, More Walkie

Everyone is talking

The iconic TV personality Judge Judy had a saying, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason!”  She could have said, “You have two feet, two hands and one mouth for a reason…”

 The point is that we LOVE to talk.  Everyone has an opinion to express themselves on various media and we all consume the “Talkie” in abundance.  It’s like a lullaby that rocks us to sleep, but the sleep seems more dangerous as time goes by.

I’m guilty of the same thing.  I have no clue how the new tax laws will affect us, do you?  I’ve listened to “Talkie,” but haven’t done the “Walkie” to mobilize and ask questions.  I’ll follow the parade now and try to pick up the pieces and make some sense out of them, but maybe mobilizing earlier may have been a better idea.

“Walkie” to me means being proactive and taking care of business.  It means having something besides words to show for yourself at the end of a day.

On the other hand, “Talkie” is endless regurgitation of what is already known in different words.  People do “Talkie” sometimes sincerely and seriously and sometimes arrogantly, and sarcastically.  They take a position and run with it, assimilating new events into old paradigms.  “Talkie, talkie and more talkie.”

It seems like the more convincing the “Talkie,” the more money people make.  This doesn’t mean they’ve actually done something, produced something, or have been accountable.  Maybe that’s the problem; while some of us are trying to earn a living, the talkers have free rein to reconfigure reality.

At the end of the day, someone has to “Walk the Talk” and perform acts of value. A teacher has to actually teach, a soldier has to show up and have his/her boots on the ground, a carpenter or artist has to create an object of worth, a farmer has to harvest a crop.  That’s all “Walkie.”  In my humble opinion, we need more of that and less of the other.

Maybe this situation is an artifact of an information processing culture as against an industrially based or agriculturally based culture?  Whatever is the cause, I’ll stop my written “Talkie” now and work on the syllabus for the course I’m teaching next semester.  As the blowhards create the noise, we’d best trim our sails and figure out where their winds of change are taking us!

With love, Rosanne Bostonian