Do you wear costumes?

Dear Fellow Journalers,

This is a copy of a post written in 2015!

Today is Halloween. When I was a youngster, the entire month of October was filled with thoughts and planning on my costume for the big event and all the candy we kids were going to get.

I got to thinking the other day about costumes. In a sense, we all still wear costumes. Think about it- costumes make you feel confident ( I used to wear a certain necklace my Grandmother gave me when I went on interviews or had a presentation to make.) can change your perspective and perhaps your life.
Some costumes involve REAL clothing (“Clothing makes the man”.) Clothing can include jewelry, watches, ties, hair coloring, makeup, plastic surgery – all these things can enhance a costume.

Why wear costumes at all? One of my friends says “What you see is what you get” and she is not far off. I don’t think there is a pretentious bone in her body. What are we afraid of? Are we letting our thoughts control our emotions so that we put on fake persona and become other people?
Will the REAL __________ please stand up!

‘Til next time,

~Sallie

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Sharing questions

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Have you ever been in a group where each of the participants was given an assignment that had an assigned completion date and the results of their findings had to be made verbally at the meeting? Most of us have had that experience. Have you ever been late with the assignment or witnessed someone who was? Besides the feelings of embarrassment  there’s also the reaction of the moderator’s to consider, who probably is your boss.

Roberta Hestenes, who was a small group dynamics expert in California in the 1980’s had that experience with a man we’ll call “Fred”.” Fred” failed to complete his assigned task and Roberta was irritated but simply instructed “Fred” to bring the finished information to the next meeting. You would think that “Fred” being let off the hook would complete the assignment and have it ready for the next meeting. But no, he failed again. Roberta was beyond angry. “Fred’s” work was holding up every body’s else’s project. The next meeting she decided to try something new and that changed everything not only for “Fred” but for everyone in her organization.

Roberta gathered everyone in a circle and began with this sharing question: “If you wish to share, tell about a high point and a low point of the past week.” The participants went around the table until they came to “Fred.” “A high point?” he mumbled. “There really wasn’t one. It’s all pretty much a low point. My wife is terminally ill and we’ve brought her home to die. I’m trying to hold down this job while caring for our three young children. Things are pretty rough right now.”  Roberta and everyone was speechless. Roberta had no idea her employee had been having so much difficulty in his life because  she had never asked.

That day, Roberta made a commitment to herself. Whenever she led a group discussion she would first offer people the opportunity to share what was going on in their lives. It might be the only time all week that someone expressed interest and received compassion.

One of the participants in the above group went on to form her own company. Following her previous boss’s example, she used sharing questions in her meetings. Some of the questions were: “If your home was burning and you only had time to bring out three objects what would they be?”, “How did your parent’s decide your name?” and a really telling question was “What was your dream job when you were 21?”

Sharing questions develop empathy and community and I think they are worthwhile. What about you?

~Sallie

The Days of our lives

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following is a piece G wrote in 2012:

It’s staggering when you think about it. The days of our lives I mean. So far I have lived 24,455 days plus a few. That’s a lot of days. Most of them I have no memory of what I did or what happened. (Bet that’s true for you too) There are of course many memorable ones, but truth be told, most of the days of our lives are uneventful and not memorable. Shame, isn’t it. They just pass us by. Life burned up, gone without a trace.

Since earlier this week when I found my new favorite saying:

EVERY DAY IS A TRAINING DAY LIFE IS THE LESSON WE LEARN

I got to thinking that while we may not remember a lot of our days, chances are phenomenal that we have learned something, large or small, conscious or unconscious, every day. Our brain is like a tape recorder that NEVER turns off. Some scientists claim if we could be put into deep hypnosis that we would be able to repeat every word or action in our lives. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I don’t think it is outside the realm of possibility.

Anyway, thinking about all these things, and attempting to make this new quote my life slogan, I’ve decided to do the following:

. From now on I’m keeping a daily journal. Not a diary, but a journal. I’m only going to put stuff in there that I consider “good stuff.” What I’ve learned in the course of the day that I want to remember and use again. Kind acts done to me, and that I’ve done for others. I don’t plan to do this to “keep score”, but simply to “keep memories” for further good use. . I’ve always been a “people watcher” and I plan to continue. Only this time I’m really going to watch. I have time to do this now, where before I could only be a causal observer. I think I’ll learn a lot about the human condition. . What new and exciting things will I learn? How will I best be able to use them? Will this new knowledge change my life for the better, and how? . How will this knowledge affect my relationships with people? Will I gain new friends and lose old ones? Will some relationships become deeper, and others disintegrate? . How much and how deeply will I change? And will the change last? Will I be happy or not with the change? . Can I expect the world to cooperate or sabotage these plans?

Well my friends, pretty deep huh? And all this from a little girl’s tee shirt!

I’m off now, on a quest. I don’t know what I’ll find there, but I know I HAVE to go. This old man is going to try and recapture what it was like to wake up in the morning and be excited by what MIGHT happen, and what might be learned from it. To put aside all the skepticism, the callousness, the hard knocks, the bitterness, and the life scars, and go forth with optimism and LEARN LIFES’ LESSONS! Will I get slapped around some? Sure, but as always, I’ll get back up and keep moving.

Is this an epiphany? I really don’t know, not yet anyway. In any case, regardless of your age may I invite you to have your own epiphany? To join me in a rebirth of the spirit in your life! REMEMBER:

 

EVERY DAY IS A TRAINING DAY—LIFE IS THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED !

“The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits.”~Albert Einstein

It doesn’t take long for information to become knowledge, but for it to become wisdom sometimes takes a lifetime. — Preeta Krishna

~Sallie

The Stranger that lives within us

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Last of G series for the time being. Thanks for your comments!

~Sallie

 

There’s a stranger that lives within us. And it’s an unwelcome stranger—we don’t want them there. Some have become quite adept at ignoring the stranger, others can never ignore it. Doesn’t matter, because no matter how much you try and evict this stranger, you can’t.

This stranger is called our conscience. No one wants to hear its’ voice saying “YOU SCREWED THAT PERSON!” or “ WHAT YOU DID WAS WRONG!”

But conscience NEVER goes away, NEVER takes a holiday. Oh yeah, you might ignore its’ voice for a while, but it always comes back to haunt you.

The reason that conscience is the stranger that lives within us is because, I believe anyway, that some almighty plan never wants us to become comfortable with it. That’s why it must remain a stranger. A stranger so it can sneak up on us when we least expect it. Just when we want to do something we know is wrong, that’s when the stranger comes out to bother us.

I’ve decided what frankly I’ve always known. I’ve decided if I can’t get rid of this stranger I’ll make it a trusted advisor. That way, it’ll be a little less of a stranger inside me.

I invite you to join me.

 

On living life

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Another amazing and thought-provoking piece from G.

~Sallie

Have you ever noticed that while we all live on the same planet, we all live in our OWN universe?!? Our universe is of course, ourselves, and all the people we come in contact with. Some days that may mean over 100 people, and some days it may be just yourself and your thoughts. Doesn’t matter— it’s YOUR personal universe. An old saying I REALLY like is: “Be kind to everyone you meet, you never know what terrible things happened in their universe today.” Good advice. But have you ever really considered what effect YOUR universe had on people around you, and, in fact, on you yourself?

Makes you stop and think doesn’t it? Some people enter our universe for mere seconds, like those who take our order at the burger joint. Some enter our universe and become a permanent fixture in it. But believe it or not, those people (even at the burger joint) have SOME effect on our lives, and our universe.

About a month ago I was at a burger place and encountered a young man who reminded me of the importance of personal appearance and hygiene. He smelled badly and had “ring around the collar”. Even though we were in contact for a mere minute, he reminded me to always remember that people judge you by such things. Likewise, we all have people who have had a PROFOUND effect on our lives—our universe. And whether we spent a minute or a lifetime with them, they touched us for the good. And our universe will NEVER be the same.

Let’s not forget that OUR actions and treatment of others may have a permanent and lasting effect on those whose universe WE invade! But no matter what or who comes crashing into our universe, everyone who does has SOME effect. (I’d like to personally thank that beautiful young woman who simply passed me at the supermarket the other day. You made me smile!  I’d also like to thank Sister Marie Blanche, my eighth grade teacher who made me realize that if you really want something, it’s yours, IF you work for it.

So, PLEASE, get ready! Sometime in the next few seconds, minutes, days, years—-someone / thing will enter your universe. Will YOU be ready to think about what effect this will have on your life?

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