Transition, again


That time between the former and the new  –  transition. And as Aunt Jan use to say, “Don’t know what’s next? Then praise God in the hallway!”

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You are what you…

EAT!

MAM8

We were marching down the middle of the streets of Seattle chanting, “If it doesn’t have a label, it won’t go on our table” “We’ve got the right to know, if it is GMO” and “All we are saying, is give BEES a chance”.  It was the third annual March Against Monsanto (MAM) in May with a reported 48 countries and 421 cities participating in gatherings all over the world.  I brought my college aged son, who was soon in debate with both sides of the issue.

MAM7

My concerns are personal as well as global,  Suddenly, I had food allergies in the mid 1990s around the time genetically modified foods and heavily sprayed wheat were introduced into our food systems, without labels.  The Monsanto Company is being targeted for their flagship product Round up, that is not only an external herbicide but is also engineered into some of the food itself, so you can’t wash it off – yikes! There haven’t been long term studies done, and the research that has been done is often paid by those who have a financial investment.

Here’s to your health, and your right to know what you’re putting into your body!

MAM5 (3)

Jane Austen, PhD in personalities

Jane Austen Fairfax-xmas-08-18

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often
used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to
our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.
  -Jane Austen

Before modern personality assessments, there was Jane Austin. Her observations on the different behaviors and motivation are really perceptive.  The people that she creates, complete with history, preferences and values, make for some well rounded, unforgettable characters. She seems especially fond of exploring the difference between the task oriented and the heart oriented, between the practical and the romantic (idealist, adventure – not necessarily flowers and chocolate).

From Pride and Prejudice, I feel most akin to some Elizabeth and some Mary characteristics, I do love to read and discuss, and it must be for love and deeper values that everything is done, but I can be a party pooper and melancholic about issues/events that others enjoy.

What is your favorite Jane Austen book/movie?  To which character do you most relate?

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Heroes series – Terrence Real

There are people who observe, people who write about change, people who do the change…  in the world of therapy there is an author who has observed couples over the years and written about change, AND he has also lived that change with his own marriage and relationship with his father.  Terrence Real is one of my relational heroes.

T Real autograph

“I Don’t Want to Talk About It” is a ground breaking book about relationships, depression and how it shows up in men especially in covert ways, often overlooked.  Such good stuff, stepping back to take in the American world view with the limits and repression of the patriarchy that has shaped our society for so many years. Splitting off certain qualities into more worthy (doing, accomplishments: masculine) and less worthy (being, relational: feminine) has diminished us all and led to some very dissatisfying and often destructive relationships over the years. He gives theory and action steps to develop and nourish exciting, vital relationships.

He encourages the women to speak up with savvy and respect, to go toe to toe for what they need and want in the relationship, which calls the man to be who he could ultimately be.  Revolutionary steps for those of us raised to be loving by not speaking up/disagreeing with others.  And equally revolutionary for those who feel safe behind their tv remotes and sports chatter to step out and engage from their heart.  The following quote sums up this change from safely uninvolved to growing honesty and joy filled connection:

“In twenty years of practice, I have encountered many unfortunate women who, afraid to make reasonable demands on their depressed husbands, wound up, years later, being left anyway. Most wives do not fully contain the resentment that they rightfully feel.  And even if they do, the relationship itself eventually loses vitality by virtue of the lack of honest engagement.  Conversely, unless the patient has already decided to leave his family, I have rarely encountered a man who was willing to set foot in my office but unwilling,with coaching and help, to pick up the challenge of increased relational skill.”     “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”, pg 318

 

A Tale of Two Leaders

If you live anywhere in the NW, you’ve probably seen or heard news reports on a local mega church leader.  This leader is no stranger to controversy, and being in a visible leadership position guarantees some criticism… but the number of former staff and members/attenders who felt their concerns and questions, their push for change were not addressed has peaked into action, and the leader is on leave.

If I could put one thing on his To Do List while on break, it would be to listen to Bill Hybels, Pastor of mega church Willow Creek Church back in the Chicago area.  Please click on the video below to hear an inspiring confession of fear and an amazing story of the process of change, it’s really worth it!  You see, when he was ready to face reality, to hear about the true culture around the church –  he took action steps to correct it.

How?                  (hint)   ear-clip-art-1

Listening!  First Pastor Hybels  invited a third party consultant, Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI), to ask the hard questions, and offer safety/confidentiality and follow up to the staff members’ experiences and concerns.  This is the man who is the founder and head pastor of one of the most influential churches in the country…

Today, more than 20,000 people worship at one of Willow Creek’s six regional campuses each weekend. Churches from around the world look to see what God is up to at Willow, and to find encouragement and equipping for their own ministries. Willow Creek remains, above all else, a local church of Christ followers—a place where people matter to God and to us, where together we seek to live out God’s vision of being an Acts 2 church.

What if our local leader could do the same, ask a third party consultant and learn to really listen?  Listen for understanding – the courageous, difficult task of letting others’ experiences to be heard, and to be valued and acted upon?  There may be many apologies needed here too, many coffees and lunches where relationships are addressed and put right.

It’s been done in Chicago, and it could be done here in Seattle.

To bring this point closer to home, in my home we are committing to:
the 30 day Zero Negativity Challenge (ZN), to build trust and a safe haven to honor our different ways of doing and being.  Watch for the results in one of my future blogs. Or better yet, take your own ZN Challenge and add your comments next month!