What is there left to learn?

Many of my close friends are in my same age range or older, some are younger. I remember when my parents or their friends were in their fifties and sixties and thinking that was old. Now, my current thinking about that age range is that I have mixed feelings. I generally don’t think it’s old … because of course I don’t want to yet think of myself as old. But, then I do kind of think it’s old. This proves age is definitely relative, as so many things are. So when someone is in their fifties and sixties, what is there left to learn?

This week, I turn 58. So, of course it is just a philosophical question because I know I have a lot left to learn. And, I have a lot left that I intend to do. But I ask the question because I usually get contemplative on my birthday. I reflect on the past 12 months, thinking about how I lived, what I did well and what I would improve on. I think ahead about how I want to live over the next 12 months. On my birthday, I ask myself a lot of questions and wonder what do I have left to learn. Other questions I ask:

  • What do I intend for myself for the next 12 months.
  • Can I up my contributions to making life better for others.
  • Did I do my best over the last 12 months and what can I do better.
  • Would my parents be okay with how I am living.
  • Can I be a different role model for my daughters and son.
  • Am I being who I should / could be in my relationships.

But do you think there’s ever a point in life when there’s nothing left to learn? I hope not. I hope we all keep learning. I think the human spirit is meant to stretch and grow. I think we are supposed to push ourselves to be more than we were the year the before, the decade before. I think we are better when we see each day as a new day to learn something new. I remember seeing a calendar gift at Christmas time that was a word for each day of the year. It’s a great challenge to learn a new word each day.

Have you heard about the bank that gives out 1,440 at the start of every day? There’s no application required to open an account. Everyone is eligible. It’s totally nondiscriminatory and available to each person. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, black or white, Italian or Latino, the same amount is given to each person. What’s the catch? This amount is deposited at the start of each day and has to be used only within that day. At the end of the day, it expires and is gone. You have no ability to carry over anything. What is the name of this bank: Time. There are 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day, that adds up to 1,440. So, what is there left to learn? Use each minute of each day because you can’t carry it over and you can’t get it back. Use those minutes to serve your highest purpose for your best self. And, use those minutes to have a lasting impact that will carry over to tomorrow.

What is there left to learn. I am reading Hillary Clinton’s book, What Happened. Of course the book was a way for her to do some analysis of what happened and determine what could be learned as a result of it. But, she also says a major reason she wrote the book is to give a message of resilience, particularly to women. Some people want her to go away and not speak out. She is clear that she won’t ever be a candidate again but she is also clear that she wants to help others be involved in the political process and do whatever she can to assist. I think there is more to be learned from her expertise than telling her to go away. I look forward to what I have left to learn from her.

I am looking forward to learning more about listening to the whispers of my soul. I’ve gotten so focused on politics in the past nine months, I’ve missed moments of sanity. Like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, I need to reclaim my time.

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For the past two days, I have re-started my practice of starting my day with stillness & quiet time before I hit the streets running. I am also putting some limits on my time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and news sites. While I was on vacation at the end of August / first week of September, I read books and chilled out. I let my mind decompress from the stress of the current events and the frenzy of family events. Some days I am wound as tight as if I were still working and what I have left to learn is that if I intend to live another 58 years, I need to reclaim my time.

One more thing I have left to learn, continue to follow my truth and speak truth. That’s not always easy and sometimes it gets me in trouble. I am determined that these next 12 months will be lived deliberately and with truth. I read this quote in an article in Oprah’s October 2017 issue from Glennon Doyle, author of Love Warrior, a 2016 Oprah’s Book Club pick.

We grown-ass people do what we need to do to follow our truth. We don’t have to be defensive — we can afford to be gentle because we know what’s right for us. Those who disapprove will either come around or stop coming around. Either way, lovely.

Listen, we can become women who know who we are and refuse to betray ourselves. We can grow comfortable enough in our own skin, our own knowing that we are more interested in joy and freedom and integrity than in what others think about us. And when we do this, it’s not just for us individually — it’s for all of us. To grow, to relax, to find peace, to become brave, we must witness one woman at a time doing the thing that is revolutionary for her: living her truth without asking permission or offering explanation.

Truth is powerful and yet it isn’t always received well (certainly seeing that in US politics right now). Sometimes even when truth is delivered to me, I don’t always receive it well. So, what else is there for me to learn about myself and truth? That’s a goal for me over these next 12 months into my 59th year: my intention is to give truth and receive truth better. I do believe with those we love and care about, truth and kindness should go together. What I learned when I was working in corporate America every year is that sometimes people treat co-workers & strangers better than they treat their own. Let that not be you. There is everything right about being kind even when being truthful with people we care about. Find a way to give truth with compassion to people you care about.

Whatever your age, on any given day, it’s a good question: what else is there to learn? As I finish my 58th year of living and move forward into my 59th year, I am asking, what else is there to learn. And, I am asking myself other questions and deciding on goals and ideas for where to spend my time in the next 12 months. I want to be of some good to others. I want to spend time with family. I want to give service to my community. I want to explore ideas and places, I want to read and sip tea. I want to keep fresh in my views but I also want to make the best use of my 1,440 at the start of each day because I can’t carry it over. Happy birthday to me.

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When the trees are falling …

Two category 4 hurricanes hit the US within three weeks, you all know the story. It has set a record that no one hoped for. The hurricanes caused trees to fall on power lines, boats to be ripped from their anchors and roofs on houses to go sailing across the neighborhood. In the same weekend, Sloane Stephens won the US Open Tennis Championship and the former trees of women’s tennis fell before the finals even began with her and Madison Keys in the finals. While many of us love Venus Williams, her victory was not to be. And, now this week we have the 16th anniversary of the 9-11 catastrophe of two tall trees falling – the twin World Trade towers. How do we take all of this in? Does it have meaning beyond the actual devastation? Is it a coincidence? So much to take in, so much to figure out what it might mean for the present and the future. Is there any connection?

The Caribbean islands are devastated and Cuba’s Havana and other cities there are afloat with water and no power. St. Thomas, St. John, St. Martin, Barbuda, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas will take years to rebuild from the trees falling, the winds whipping and the water flooding. How do they even know where to begin. The pictures look so horrific. If were there, I don’t know how I would begin. When 9-11 happened, the pictures of the twin towers of the World Trade Center also were horrific and many wondered how would New York begin to re-build. How would lives be put back together. Eventually a new normal emerged. Right now, I can’t even imagine that for St. Thomas or Barbuda.

What happens when the trees fall? Yes, there will be work to be done to re-build, to literally pick ourselves up. Some things or some people will have to start from scratch. In some cases, it will be little to salvage but in other cases we can take what is left and use it to start the foundation for what emerges. But, can we utilize these moments for a re-set? Can these moments be a chance to reach out our hands to someone else and truly go beyond ourselves? If we are personally impacted by the hurricanes or were personally impacted by 9-11, can we gather ourselves to start anew? What happens when the trees fall?

Someone asked me recently if I remember going through evacuations when I was growing up in Florida. I don’t ever remember us evacuating. I know my parents would not have ignored safety precautions. There weren’t as many devastating hurricanes then, history shows that no matter what skeptics say about climate change – that’s just the facts. I do remember hurricane preparation. I do remember filling milk jugs, bottles and containers and even the tub with water. I do remember preparing to wait it out in the hallway of our house because that was the safest place to be.

And I remember hurricane Fran in North Carolina. I remember picking up after two dozen trees did fall in our yard in Raleigh after hurricane Fran in the 1990s on a night in September. Only one of the trees that fell almost hit the house, hitting the rail of the deck and landing about eight inches away from the roof. Family came to town and used their chainsaws and muscle to get us back to normal. We were without power for seven days. Our household did things based on the rising sun and the setting sun. We washed up the old fashioned way, from buckets and using water sparingly. There was no social media and the kids played outside, played scrabble and read books. We had a neighbor with a generator and they offered to keep our meats in their freezer. We had a big cookout for the family members and neighbors to thank everyone who helped us through that time.

The trees fell in women’s tennis this past weekend too. We had the glorious, diverse sight of Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys in the finals, wow!

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What was really beautiful is not only that Sloane won but that she played Madison to win and then that the President & CEO of the USTA, Katrina Adams, acknowledged the diversity in her remarks as she gave the trophy. Just the photo of those three standing together was such a moment of pride for many.  And to top it all, the $3.7 million winner’s check was given to Sloane by a black female from JP Morgan. At one point, all four were standing there together and I just wanted to cry while also relishing the moment. Trees fell but it was a beautiful thing this time.

Now speaking of the twin trees that fell on September 11th, 2001, I have a rather different view about the commemoration of the 9-11 attacks each year. I wish we would have less drama surrounding them. That’s probably not a popular view. I know that nearly 4,000 people died and I am not trying to dishonor their lives or their families by saying this. Rather than the tens of millions that was spent on the ground zero concrete memorials, I wish we could have planted a tree or a farm or built a house or many houses. I wish that we could have done something in their honor that benefits the living. When their lives ended, when those trees fell, we had a chance to emerge as a country intent on using them as an example to make life better for someone else. That’s my view in general for concrete monuments, I just don’t think it’s the best way to spend millions or thousands of dollars to honor someone. My mother and father taught me to honor people by how you live your life going forward and by what you do for others.

So for me, when trees are falling, I want to pick up an axe and do something with that tree that creates newness. Every time a tree falls, it isn’t necessarily a time to mourn, get about the business of doing. See what the new normal can look like. Make a difference for someone else. Let a seed get planted that will grow into a Sloane Stephens. Grab a shovel next year on 9-11 and volunteer for a community service project instead of watching all the moments of silence and commemorations.

When trees are falling it can be devastating but a new normal will come through when you dig in and honor who you are and what gifts you have. Energy that you may not have realized you had will gush to the surface if you just don’t give up. In Hillary Clinton’s newly published book, she says “slowly … it has gotten better — or at least less terrible.” Sometimes that’s enough.

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What do you do when you’ve done all you can …it’s not just stand

There are moments in our lives when we just need to pause. Sometimes that is when we experience a significant loss. Houston and many parts of Texas are going through that now. The extreme devastation resulting from Hurricane Harvey is beyond anyone’s expectation. The meteorologists and historians don’t really have a historical reference for it. They are saying a once in a 500 year occurrence but that isn’t even a realistic reference. We just know this is something no one living has ever seen and we don’t have any record books that have anything like it.

Similar to the eclipse just one week ago, no matter who wants to debate global climate change, no one can debate the torrential rains hitting Houston and Texas right now. You don’t even have to say you agree with climate change, it doesn’t even matter. The evidence is clear with the five feet of rain. You don’t even have to say you agree with science, the eclipse happened. Stay in denial if you choose.

So, what do you do when you’ve done all you can in any situation where the evidence is overwhelming … you stand and let the evidence speak for itself. And then you decide what you can do, what you can control and take the next step forward.

This applies also when life throws us unexpected losses of loved ones and close friends. When you least imagined it could happen. Even months afterwards, when it is still hard to believe, so what do you do? Of course there is a gospel song that says you just stand. That’s hard to do because you don’t want to be paralyzed. There are moments like these where after you stand, you have to then move. Moving doesn’t mean forgetting but it does mean carrying yourself beyond the moment that was, to where you can breathe again because you must. Life is such that we are better off if we choose to keep living it. So, at times like those, after you’ve done all you can, sometimes the next thing to do is go forward with love for what was and sincere belief that all those we love would want us to be happy again.

In the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Beck has an article on trusting yourself, your inner truth. She even discusses where to go next when we get things wrong and calming ourselves. It’s a short read and worth the introspection and quick five points that she offers: http://www.oprah.com/inspiration/martha-beck-growing-up. Some advice from her column is captured below.

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I can’t find the words to soothe the country with the floods going on in Houston or to make up for the lacks of words by the current occupant of the oval office. Many of us have outdone ourselves with postings and frustration about what is going in our country. My heart weeps for Houston, many impacted have this catastrophe only adding to the problems they already had. I will make donations to the American Red Cross and I hope you will too. I pray for those impacted and I hope you will too. I am honoring the life of a close friend this week whose loss is still felt one year later. None of these are times to give up. If you do give up, you lose out on what life can still offer.

Get every drop of life for as long as you can. Do more than just stand after you’ve done all you can. Take a step, then another. Respond to what life has given you. Soothe yourself as best you can.  Always take full responsibility for your own actions and truly decide to do better where you didn’t do your best. Stop giving yourself excuses for not doing your best, far too often that does happen (and yes I do speak from my own experience). But where life did things beyond your control, accept that you can only change you and can’t control other circumstances. Be authentic about what’s realistic, decide a course of action and get going. After you’ve done all you can, often you can do more than stand. You can take action.

What kind of vessel are you?

I watched a short video on Sunday on an artist who does clay sculptures. She became fascinated about vessels and she primarily does sculptures of women as her model of strong vessels. When she really decided on where to focus her artistic craft of sculpting, she became persuaded by a few definitions of vessel: 1) a utensil used for holding contents; 2) an artery containing or conveying blood or other body fluids; 3) a craft for traveling; 4) a person regarded as a holder or receiver of something, e.g., a vessel of grace.  She sees women as vessels and her sculptures of women as fitting two modes: strong, powerful and enduring and secondly as also fragile and vulnerable. That sounded so fitting to me. When I look at a sculpture, I do see strength and power and endurance while at the same time I know that the sculpture is fragile and vulnerable and could break just by falling to the ground. Women and men are both strong and fragile too, just like vessels.

Vessels serve several purposes and therefore, my question this week is , what kind of vessel are you?

Are you holding contents? If you are, are your contents not being put to use or are you holding them for someone else? Are you an artery to convey things and do you willingly carry things through to others. One of the reasons that this artist has chosen to sculpt women is because they carry the bloodline of humanity. They are the vessels for all of us, for life. She enjoys being a sculptor because of the joy of creating something. She thinks about how her fingerprints are forever on that sculpture. She noted that scriptures also say that vessels are containers for the spirit so she sees her craft as a spiritual gift she gives to others.

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She talked about how as an artist she has found her voice for protesting how women are treated in the world. Her sculptures give her a chance to redeem that treatment and present women in a different way as vessels of grace. She believes artists have an important role in social change. This is something we see all around us today. And, we saw it in the 1960s and 1970s. We saw it with Dick Gregory and the silencing of his voice as he now leaves our human sight is a big reminder of how important artists, actors, comedians, etc. are to social change.

July 2017

Artists have a platform that can be used for their craft and that can be used to amplify what is going on in our communities. Artists are vessels of change. Dick Gregory never looked back on his decision to join the civil rights movement and force social change. He did it on a platform of nonviolence. Thank God for Dick Gregory being a vessel.

This sculpture artist said that people who perpetuate hateful things on others are banking on our silence. We need to recognize that and then ask ourselves, now what? Will we be a vessel to hold their silence or to carry social change.

On the week that we experienced a total solar eclipse, I thought of the definition of vessel as a craft for traveling. Did you get to see the solar eclipse? It was amazing. It was splendid to see how it traveled across the United States, across the North America continent, across the entire world. The solar eclipse was a vessel this week for unity, joy and splendor. It was moments of togetherness, people gathered all across the country to watch the sky literally from the west coast to the east coast.

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Bill Nye saw the eclipse this week as a moment of re-set for us. A moment for us to pause and see ourselves as vessels of the universe. And while it might seem very corny to think that way, we really are. We are somewhat living in strange times yet it was awe inspiring to watch the coverage on television for the eclipse. And even more so with the backdrop of what we had encountered for the previous week with the Charlottesville violence, the white supremacists trying to re-assert themselves, an occupant of the oval office floundering and not taking responsibility for the office he holds but rather fueling hate and yet the best of the country rising up and saying no to hate. And, we were stopped  on Monday to watch the universe take over with an eclipse. The current politics were literally eclipsed.

For a little while on Monday, the moon and the sun were vessels and we were carried through space and time. We were granted the grace of being together for something that we could not control or dispute. No one could argue about what happened, not Democrat or Republican or Independent. The solar eclipse was like a vessel, it crossed the entire country one second at a time making its way across the land quite indiscriminately without regard of anyone’s skin color or religion or sexual orientation for those who watched it. So, now what? What kind of vessel will you be now? We have a chance for a re-set. Choose your vessel.

How many sides are there? Right and wrong.

So, the current occupant of the oval office said there were many sides at fault. Really? Seriously? Actually, the rest of us know very well that this isn’t true. There are two sides, right and wrong. The current occupant of the oval office is on the wrong side. President Barack Obama was on the right side. President Obama’s eight years of excellence and brilliant accomplishments seem to have spurred this black-lash of coming out in the open to rebel against the browning of America.

The diversity that has been gradually occurring in the United States of America isn’t going to end and that is what is really upsetting white nationalists. They know their numbers are dwindling, not growing. That is also what is behind voter suppression efforts in so many states. But, none of what happened in Charlottesville or with the inauguration of Chump will stop the browning of America.

We can be angry about what is happening and go to the protests and I certainly want us to be activists and stand up for these outrageous acts. But, I also want us to use these moments to get informed so that we can build coalitions and movements that will outlast the rallies. I also want us to use these as teachable moments for our daughters, sons, granddaughters, grandsons, nieces, and nephews.

A close friend told me about a book in early 2016, “Brown is the New White,” by Steve Phillips. The premise was to describe how the demographic revolution was creating a new American majority of people of color. The author is a former classmate of hers (thanks Thia). Well Mr. Phillips updated his book after the 2016 election to include data from the election that was relevant to his study and confirmed the premise of his book’s core concepts. If you’re interested, this book could really inform you about why so many whites are scared of what they think are losing: http://thenewpress.com/books/brown-new-white

brown_is_the_new_white_final_rev                    White Rage jacket art

There is another useful reference on why white nationalists have taken over the Republican party and how it became vulnerable to being taken over by Trump. An insightful article in The Washington Post discusses this book by Carol Anderson, a professor at Emory University on White Rage: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-white-rage-driving-our-racial-divide/2016/06/22/fbeec9fc-22a8-11e6-aa84-42391ba52c91_story.html?utm_term=.0f7b252ce1de

There is plenty of political debate on the white nationalist / KKK / neo-nazi / alt-right movement. I won’t repeat all of that here. There are plenty of articles on the inadequacies of the present occupant of the oval office. I won’t repeat all of that here. Instead, I do ask the question, how many sides are there? But, I ask it in a slightly different context.

When you talk to your sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, nieces and nephews about 2017, what side were you on? Right or wrong? Is that a relative kind of question? Does it depend? With the issues as stark as we have seen in 2017, is it really all that relative? Are there many sides? I don’t think so. I think it’s very simple. In fact it’s probably more clear than it has ever been. The behavior of the current occupant of the oval office has made it very easy. It’s right or wrong.

For a while as I watched the coverage of the Charlottesville violence, I was consumed again with dismay. I am no longer though consumed with disappointment with the current occupant of the oval office. There is nothing new about him. We must focus on the people who are complicit. We must focus on getting them out of office. We must focus on voter registration and voter awareness and highlighting what state legislatures are doing on voter suppression. Those issues don’t have many sides. It’s either right or wrong.

White nationalists and KKK are simple issues. Right or wrong. I care not what Chump has to say. I can watch a re-run of Hillary Clinton’s speech from August 2016 describing how he had embraced the alt-right and its takeover of the Republican party and it completely foreshadowed what we see now. I can watch a re-run of President Obama’s speeches from the fall of 2016 and know that Chump had no intellect and no interest in learning. I can pull the editorial endorsements of countless newspapers that predicted how unfit he would be and know how accurate they were. There weren’t many sides to that. It was right or wrong. Republicans picked the wrong side.

Every day the people that are in this Republican Administration are doing things that are unraveling the progress of not just eight years but decades. There aren’t many sides to this. It’s right or wrong.

Stay woke and fight the good fight so you can say to your sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, nieces and nephews that you were on the right side.

That’s all you need to focus on. The headlines will be written for the news of the day but what will you leave as your legacy? Right or wrong.

Girls will be girls, guys will be guys … playtime

Two weekends ago I got to enjoy a girls weekend with several college friends. We went out for drinks and dinner on the Friday. On Saturday, we met up and went to see the Girls Trip movie. That movie is hilarious. Okay, yes it is slightly raunchy but hilarious. Laughing is so good for the soul. Then on Sunday, we closed out the weekend by going to brunch. On each day, we had a new round of ladies that joined and that just added to the fun. We caught up on each others’ lives, what daughters & sons are doing, how we are managing to keep our sanity and even moments of talking about the challenges of life that have brought sadness. But, it was girls being girls, nurturing each other and capturing / creating some moments to exhale.

Last week was the final week of the latest Deepak & Oprah 21-day meditation and interestingly, one of the final guided meditations talked about the benefit of rest and play. Oprah remarked that just as we all have a teacher within us, each of us is an artist, a dreamer, a creator. Creative inspiration within us can flow when our lives are in flow.

“Giving yourself permission to rest, play, to let your mind and heart rejuvenate is a must in order to realize your greatest potential. When we let go, absorbed in a moment of pure play, the messages of the universe rise up to meet us. When we become open and receptive, we create pathways where there were once closed doors. There’s so much power in knowing that our lives are ours to co-create.” – Oprah

So, I had a girls weekend two weekends ago. This past weekend I was traveling out of town for a meeting and then for a family event. My hubby got to have a guys weekend. Three buddies that he grew up with in Virginia were able to come to visit over the weekend. Now, I wasn’t home so I can’t say for sure but based on what I heard through the grapevine (and the reporting from the neighbors), they had a fantastic time. Stayed up real late, sat out on the deck, some good grilling of steaks one night, barbecue ribs another night … a ride out to the Farmers Market nabbed some corn on the cob and fresh kale. They caught up on each others’ lives, truly got to enjoy moments together that were good for the soul deep down. It had been more than 15 years since they had all been together for fun, too often meeting up for a funeral in their hometown. This was fun, just what the doctor ordered and then some. It’s probably very good that it was just the guys in the house, some things are good for guys being guys.

Deepak says that rest and play are not luxuries:

“They rejuvenate us, they cultivate and inspire some of our best ideas. When we are relaxed, we let go and have fun, relax our sense of ego and open the door for the greatest spirit to flourish and find our true purpose of life. When we play, we lose all track of time. Our minds are free to roam and explore. As a society we tend to be sleep deprived, and sometimes are proud of it. But rest is important. Connecting in stillness and meditation and making sure we get adequate sleep will pave the way for creativity and spirituality to be fully present in our lives.”

The meeting that I attended (while the guys were being guys back at my house) happened to be in New Orleans at the same hotel where some of the Girls Trip movie was filmed, Hotel Monteleone. It was a special treat to see the Carousel Bar and lobby where Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett, Tiffany Haddish and Deborah Ayorinde (she played the character Simone, who was having the affair with the husband of Regina Hall. I just had to mention her name too because she is 2009 graduate of Howard University. HU, you know!)

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It’s summer time, get some rest and go play. As adults, it’s good to remember that girls being girls, guys being guys and having a weekend to truly chill out and play actually creates space for the mind to expand at other times. As Deepak says, “when this occurs, we are a field of infinite possibilities.”

I play. I create. I succeed.

Reconnect with your inner play. It’s play time.

Are you comfortable?

Just how comfortable are you? When we get so comfortable that we don’t want to rock the boat, that we are silent about the things that matter, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inferred that this would not be good: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” That is such a simple statement but it should lead us to asking ourselves the question, “Are you comfortable?”

Many of us have worked hard to be successful in our careers and in other parts of our lives. I remember my days of working in corporate America and wanting very much to be successful. It was a delicate balance to stay true to myself and still speak truth to power when necessary. I learned that being comfortable wasn’t always comfortable.

Yes, we have to maintain enough decorum to do our jobs well, be taken seriously, walk the line to keep our jobs, and ensure the paycheck keeps flowing. But, I think in most instances that won’t mean compromising on values. Generally, we can find ways to speak up professionally and tactfully when it really matters. Silence isn’t an option when you see something that is really wrong. I took risks when I was working, sometimes having to be very discreet in ensuring that truth was known when it really mattered. Hopefully the place where you work has an ombudsman or some position like that where you can report things without personal risk.

Outside of the workplace, and in these times politically and socially, silence is truly not an option. Many US Senators knew that the health care bill was horrible when it was being put up for a vote by Mitch McConnell on July 27th. Three Senators, including Lindsey Graham, who later voted in favor of the bill, held a press conference on the morning of the vote stating how horrible the bill was and that they didn’t want it to become law. Still, two of those three were willing to and did vote in favor of a bill that they prayed would not become law. There’s something fundamentally wrong with a leader, a politician taking that kind of action. Hypocrisy is not adequate to describe that, malpractice might be better.

Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins spoke up throughout the process along with the Democrat & Independent Senators. Silence was not an option for them because it mattered too much. They were joined by Senator John McCain. McCain didn’t necessarily vote no for the same reasons but he did decide that his silence mattered about the process so that factored in to his vote. Many of us called our Senators, even those we expected to vote in favor of the bill anyway. I am confident that we feel better that we did. I know that I can look at myself in the mirror a lot easier knowing that I made my voice heard.

Resistance won a major victory with the defeat of the Senate healthcare bill on July 27th. The core of what the Resistance Movement is about is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meant in the quote above. It is the core of the Women’s March in January. Silence is being complicit. We see that with the Republicans in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Issues and actions that Republicans found abhorrent in the past are all of sudden okay because they don’t want to speak out against them. Complicit, that’s what they are. Their lives have begun to end, hopefully at a minimum their political lives will end. Voters should not reward them.

I am still enjoying the 21-day guided meditation that I mentioned in last week’s blog from Deepak Chopra and Oprah and I see a similarity with one of the recent meditations that focused on how we create our destiny by our intentions. One of the ways to focus on things that matter is to be clear on our intentions.

Oprah recommends we plant the seed of intention, set our intentions to connect with infinite possibility so that we stay aligned with our true purpose. That’s not necessarily being comfortable but rather being willing to stand up, speak up and create a new reality because what is in front of you is no longer acceptable. It might mean speaking up and speaking out in order to open a door to your destiny, to something that is not the status quo but could be the divine reason for you being here.

“Every action, thought and feeling is motivated by an intention and that intention is a cause that exists as one with effect. Your intention is creating your reality. Each experience continues a sense of awe, wonder, knowledge and potential that there is an expansive abundance of the universe. When we stay present with strength and trust in ourselves, we stay aligned with our true power. ”

Deepak says, “stay awake to your moment-to-moment choices and choose with intention.” Our lives will be better for us living deliberately/intentionally rather than trying to live comfortably.

Truth