Tag Archives: perspective

What you know is simply a denial of other possibilities, other realities. Katherine Parker notcrazyjustnutZ.com

What We Know

For a long time, I had a thought buried deep in my conscious and subconscious minds. “I am poor. I will always be poor.” This thought was something I grew up with. It was something my parents reinforced subconsciously. We didn’t have enough money to pay the bills or to buy what we needed, much less what we wanted. “We don’t have enough money” was a frequent theme in our house and I took that theme and made it my own.

I remember one year when I was thirteen or so, we were at a particularly low spot financially. Mom handed my brother and me a copy of the Fingerhut book about a month before Christmas and said we could have any one item from that book. That item would be our only Christmas gift that year.

I, being aware that we didn’t have money, chose a practical gift for myself. I chose a winter coat. My brother chose a Nintendo, a completely impractical item. I always thought my brother’s choice was a bit ridiculous. We didn’t have money, why would he choose a game? Why didn’t he choose a practical gift, something useful?

I look back now and have a different perspective on that choice. I wonder why didn’t I choose a gift that would make me happy, too? Something I truly wanted, not something I needed. When did I decide that because I was poor, I couldn’t be happy?

I carried that I’m-poor theme through to my adulthood. I never seemed to be able to make enough to live comfortably. It didn’t have anything to do with wasting money. My mother used to tell me I could squeeze a penny until it screamed. It had to do with my mindset, with my thought process. I looked at other people and saw how they had opportunities that I would never have and the only difference I saw was they had money and I didn’t. Because I believed in my soul I was poor, I let that label limit my potential.

While in college, I took a self defense class for PE credits. I really enjoyed the class and signed up for the next class, not because I needed more credits, but because I just liked the class. The instructors saw some potential in me, potential I didn’t see in myself. I’m a big girl and they had aspirations of putting me in competitions where my size would be an advantage.

They told me they would train me and I asked how much it would cost. “We’ll work that out,” they said. I immediately went back to how much it would cost me. In the end, focusing on the money cost me the opportunity. They let it drop and so did I, because after all, I was poor, I couldn’t afford to take martial arts classes. The idea was as ridiculous as that old Nintendo.

I used to know I was poor, but now . . . well now, I’m not so sure. I have realized that what I know is simply the denial of other realities, other possibilities. I wonder how many other opportunities I missed because I focused on something that didn’t really matter? How many times have I let an opportunity pass because of some restriction in my head?

As of this moment, I vow to be open to those other possibilities. I will see them when they come to me and I will use them as the stepping stones in my life.

The only thing I know now, is that anything is possible if I am open to those possibilities.

Dry cottonwood leaf on a rock.

Life in Review

Why is it that we wait until a near death experience to review our lives? Why don’t we do that every month or so to figure out where we are straying from our path, from our true selves? If we did that as a monthly ritual, people wouldn’t experience what others call a “midlife crisis”. Actually, crisis is the wrong word. It isn’t a crisis, its a course correction. People going through a midlife crisis are actually coming into alignment with who they truly are.

If we reviewed what made us happy and focused on that throughout our lives, we wouldn’t need such a dramatic change to line up with who we really are. Instead of waiting until retirement to figure out who we are, we could spend our whole lives being that person. These thoughts have made me review my own life.

I realized as I wrote this that I don’t remember my mother piling a lot of expectations on me. She never indicated that she expected me to do anything other than ride horses well. She was particular about that. For that matter, Dad didn’t seem to have expectations of me either or maybe its just that I didn’t notice their expectations.

As a result of this, I’ve made some interesting choices. I didn’t get married and I’ve never had kids, a path very few women take. I seem to have followed the less beaten path in many of my choices. Often I was the only female or one of only a few women in my jobs and hobbies.

Some of my jobs and hobbies are well out of the norm for women in particular, but even most men wouldn’t have gotten into some of the stuff I have.

At various times in my life, I have been a:
Police officer
Vehicle repossession agent
Woman’s Professional Football player
Process Server
Cashier
Security officer
Web site designer
Expert level crocheter
Lamp-work bead maker
Jewelry designer
Public speaker
Teacher
Group leader
Disaster responder
Emergency management volunteer
Chaos control technician
Horse trainer
Rabbit breeder
Switchboard operator
Admissions clerk in a hospital
College student
Licensed EMT
CERT Trainer
Amateur Radio Assistant Emergency Coordinator
Skywarn weather spotter
Net control operator in ham radio
Wedding planner (not my own)
Photographer
Care giver
Cook
Dish washer
Costume designer
Seamstress
Writer
Poet

I have been going through that list and focusing on the jobs I liked and which I didn’t. I also looked at what parts of those jobs I liked and which I didn’t to find the real me. There is a theme emerging pretty clearly. I need freedom and variety to be happy. Every time I had a job that constricted me, I disliked it. Sometimes that dislike came quickly. Sometimes the job had other things that made up for the lack of freedom and I didn’t hate it immediately, but I always came to hate it.

I also need autonomy. Having someone tell me what to do and exactly how to do it drives me batty. I am not a robot to be programmed. I am a human being and a creative one at that. I need to be allowed to think for myself. I need to find the way to the desired result in my own way. After all, my way might be better or at least better for me.

Other revelations include the need to be learning new things. Okay maybe that isn’t a revelation. I’ve known I get a charge out of learning new stuff, but other things were a little bit of a surprise. I like being different and, I’m comfortable being different. I like inspiring other women to do things out of the norm. I like inspiring people to see beyond the box they have built around themselves and to push their self imposed limitations. I like pushing people’s perceptions of reality to broader horizons. I also need to feel valued and to feel that I am doing some kind of good in whatever I do.

So what kind of employment can I find with these traits?

I haven’t got a clue. The roles that have called me the most are disaster related and creative. My dream job is to create an Emergency Management team that would stage before a large disaster and step in to help the overwhelmed locals through the first two or three days. Those are the critical times in a disaster when the loss of life is highest and when I feel my chaos control skills would be most useful. When disasters aren’t happening, I could be focusing on the creative stuff like writing.

The thing is, there is no path to that role. I only know of one organization that even comes close to that and they focus on debris removal, not disaster management. Maybe they haven’t thought of that potential yet . . .

Looks like I have some research to do.

When was the last time you sat down to review your life? Have you ever? You should make your course corrections along the whole path so the adjustments are easy. If you wait, you may have to do what I’m doing and blaze your own trail through the bush.

Let the light shine through you. Picture of leaves with sun shining through them.

Conflict of Interests

A conflict of interest as defined by Google: a situation in which the concerns or aims of two different parties are incompatible.

I am having a conflict of interest, but it doesn’t involve two parties. It involves two sides of me. I am essentially at war with myself. One party in this conflict is my need to survive and pay my bills. My desire for survival is strong and I don’t want to be hungry, so this side of me has some compelling arguments.

The other side is my free spirit. The one that doesn’t want to be tied down. This is the side that wants the freedom to do what I want, when I want, and where I want. This spirit does not want anything to do with the corporate slave camps again. It has been reminding me of all the dehumanizing and confining issues involved with being a slave.

Another objection is how much life I’ve miss out on because I have to go to work. If I have a time clock to punch, I tend to avoid meeting with my friends until days when I don’t. Punching-in cuts short time I could spend spreading my special brand of nuttiness. Many of my significant encounters happened because I wasn’t confined by a time clock. Instead of rushed visits, I can spend hours getting to know and understand people.

The problem is, unless I’m able to find someone to support my sorry butt or figure out a way to make it on my own, I need money to survive. So I am having to face the impossible issue of which slave owner do I want to commit to so I can make money? At this time, the free spirit is winning, so my answer is none. I don’t want to be someone else’s slave to abuse at will, but if I commit to that choice, I actually commit to another type of confinement.

This other prison doesn’t have cubicles, time clocks, or corporate overlords, but it is just as abhorrent to my free spirit. Poverty is confining in it’s own right. It limits my mobility and adds a different stress to my life. I want the freedom to do a spontaneous lunch date like I did today, but I also want to be able to pay for it. I want to be able to treat others, to give gifts of not only my time, but tokens of affection as well. I also want to take care of the bills that will hound me until the day I die if I don’t.

So right now I have a conflict waging inside me. Do I keep listening to the free spirit, or do I take up the chains of bondage and fasten them to my own neck?

Clearly my free spirit side is winning. The fact that I still see it as bondage tells me what I “should do” is still not something I will do, but let’s look at it from the other side of the equation. For the sacrifice of a few hours a week, I gain the ability to get out from under my debts. Sacrificing my time in exchange for a paycheck would allow me to follow my dream of getting to Washington state. Giving up my ability to do spontaneous lunches would allow me to pay for those lunches.

Did you see what I did there? I didn’t actually see the other side of the equation. “Sacrificing” and “giving up” are not the other side of the argument and the free spirit is still dominating the issue. Persistent little bugger.

The real issue isn’t my need for freedom though. The real issue is what kind of job is worth my sacrificing some of that freedom? I don’t want to sacrifice my time on the alter of corporate greed. I want a job that will allow me to feel like I am accomplishing good in the world. Those jobs are far apart and most of them want a donation of time and don’t pay.

In all my job searches through the years, I’ve only ever seen one job that would give me what I want while at the same time allowing me to do good. That was the job that made me resurrect my Washington dream in the first place.

That job had all my major criteria:
Travel
Adventure
Emergency Management
Helping save lives
Flexibility
Being a positive change
Teaching people

Since I didn’t get that job and I need one that is local, I have been looking into the non-profit realm. I’ve worked with the Salvation Army on several disasters and was impressed with the organization. They are the only organization I would support financially and frankly, the Christmas season is upon us. For the same pay, I can choose to be a security guard working for some corporate overlord protecting someone else’s slave camp, or I can help others while I help myself.

That is something I consider worthy of my sacrifice. I don’t have to compromise my belief system to survive and that does away with my conflict. Both parties are happy.

How many times have you sacrificed your personal beliefs in order to survive? Let me know what your conflict of interests were in the comments below.

Flower lit from behind so the petals glow.

Heaven as Explained by Children


Anyone who has had experiences with young children know that kids will say the most amazing things. Carol Bowman, in her book Return from Heaven quotes stunned parents who were educated about the truths of heaven by their four year-old children.

These quotes are directly from Carol Bowman’s book.

“One day when he and his father were discussing how far back he could remember, he surprised his father by announcing, “I remember when I was in heaven. I helped the dead guys.” When his father asked him what he helped them do, the boy said, “Ya know, sometimes when people die they don’t know they are dead, like when they die in car wrecks or real fast, they don’t know they’re dead. So we had to be there and wait until their soul left their body so we could help them get to heaven.”

Another child, Courtney, also four, told her parents how busy she had been in heaven.

“When you go to heaven, you have a little time to rest, kind of like a vacation, but then you have to get to work. You have to start thinking about what you have to learn in your next life. You have to start picking out your next family, one that will help you learn whatever it is you need to learn next. Heaven isn’t just a place to hang around forever. It’s not just a place to relax and kick back, you have work to do there.”

Imagine the surprise of the parents when they hear such advanced concepts coming from a child of four that may have never had any exposure to car accidents or the parent’s ideas of what heaven might be like. Bowman says almost every parent that received these gems of knowledge experience goosebumps and were surprised at a change in the normal speech patterns when the child delivered their knowledge. Almost every parent described the child as sounding much more mature than they usually sounded.

Bowman talks a lot about The Tibetan Book of the Dead which gives us another view of heaven that meshes with what other children and what people who have experienced near death experiences have described. The Book of the Dead is intended to be read to the newly deceased soul to help guide them in their new role as a disembodied spirit, a concept I believe is similar to being given last rights in the Catholic faith.

“It says that at the moment when we drop our physical bodies, the soul gains powers of clairvoyance and understands everything about the last life. The Lord of Death holds up the “Mirror of Karma,” where all deeds of the past life are faithfully reflected and revisited in minute detail. Even “places where we did no more that spit on the ground” come back with the full force of memory and consciousness, and we reexperience the emotions and intention of each of our actions. They concur that “All judgment takes place in the mind: we are both judge and judged.”

Imagine that for a moment.

Many religions teach us that upon arrival in heaven, we will will be judged by a third party, either a benevolent God or a vengeful one. But the Book of the Dead indicates we will be our only judge and that to me, rings true.

It goes to my belief that we humans know the difference between right and wrong straight from the womb. Some of us chose or are taught to ignore that instinctive knowledge and perpetrate unspeakable horrors on others, but the abuser knows its wrong on some level and hates themselves because of it. I believe this is the source of self destructive behavior.

Courtney’s statement that “You have to start picking out your next family, one that will help you learn whatever it is you need to learn next,” confirms my belief that we are here to learn something or to teach something.

These beliefs make me look at people different. Obnoxious coworkers don’t need a smack up side the head, they need patience and understanding. They need someone willing to ask why they do that thing that drives everyone nuts and to point out how the behavior impacts others so that they may learn how their behavior harms others.

People who are violent to others should not be hated. They need to be shown love and how to love. They need examples because those lessons can not be taught by books or lectures. Taking time with a person to help them make realistic changes to their behavior shows them that they are valued and worth the effort.

So look into your own Mirror of Karma right now and judge your actions and behaviors by your own sense of what is right. Examine the motivations behind your actions as well, because a good deed done for the wrong reason is not a good deed.

When you have done this, ask yourself, “What can I do to improve myself and how will I be a better example for others?”

Because when it comes down to it, we learn our behaviors from watching others. It comes down to the, “If he did it, it must be okay,” mentality.

What kind of example are you setting for the people in your life?

Image of the sun shining on dew wet grass.

Perspective

I woke up this morning and was able to get out of bed. I got food from my kitchen to fill my empty stomach. I drank clean water from the faucet to quench my thirst. I got dressed in clean clothing that didn’t have holes. I put on shoes that were not worn out. I walked outside without worrying about my safety.

I heard the birds beginning their morning wake up calls. I felt the cool air on my skin and smelled the newness of the day. I watched as the stars winked out, the moon set, and the sky lightened.

I walked to a park and smelled the roses blooming along the way. I marveled at the dew glistening on the grass and was able to crouch down to get a closer look as the sun rose pushing the darkness away.

I had the park to myself except for a black cat who watched me from thirty yards away. He didn’t bother me, I didn’t bother him. The dew felt good on my skin as I touched the dripping grass. The trees sheltered me from prying eyes and the brook burbled behind me as I watched the changing light on the wet blades.

One hundred and forty thousand other people in my city woke up as well. They fed themselves, dressed, groomed, and prepared for the day. Hundreds of thousands of people were not assaulted, murdered, robbed, or victimized during the night. No bombs went off. No chemical warfare was used against the citizens of my city or state. My country’s economy did not fail. No nuclear weapon was unleashed. No asteroid plowed into the earth and destroyed civilization as we’ve known it.

All in all…it was a pretty good start to the day.