Monday, September 9

Reason Alone Does Not Provide Peace, We Need Passion. Too. Also, Dealing With a Controlling Person. 9/9/13 (363)

        Good evening, everyone.

Thank you, for dropping by.  As I type away, I'm exhausted.  Today is the heaviest workday.  On top of that, yesterday, I was a panelist at a Peace Forum in Berkeley, California.

       Afterwards, a workshop on "Overcoming Aggression with Compassion: A Spiritual and Psychological Approach," I gave.  I was asked to speak on this subject, not of my choosing.  I labored hard, work I love doing.

       Do we ever need peace, now, stirring within the nation where I live, there's talk about a military strike against Syria.  This sobering specter hung over the crowd attending the event, working it's way into the comments aired by panelists and speakers.

      When teaching, giving a workshop or publicly speaking, I give my all.  I love these occasions. It is my element, where I thrive.  After the workshop I was drained, but in a good way.  I also have a new batch of clients.  Those attending enjoyed my passion and the subject taught.

       Happier, still, those who participated were given skills that will help them enjoy life more fully, exercising greater control over their circumstances and emotions.  The entire workshop was video taped.  We'll see about getting it cut into pieces so that we can upload it to YouTube.  Cross your fingers on this possibility. I'm inept in this area. Someone else is seeing what he can do.

       Today---Monday---before starting work, during it and afterwards, I was bone-weary.  Again, my all was given while spending time with clients.  After posting this, the innkeeper will be sawing logs while you check out this post.  A great idea.

My Gratitudes While Deliriously Tired: 
1.  I'm thankful I'm making my life count.
2.  I am grateful for several, including Carl, Grazyna and David, who were supportive yesterday, at the Peace Forum.
3.  I maintained balance today. After work, I spent time with me, decompressing.  Constantly being on the go is a form of abuse.
4.  Later this month, my son and I will trek to Yosemite, cycling within the valley, bonding, as we inhale God's presence.
5.  I appreciate the value of discipline, putting one foot in front of the other. Last week was an example of doing that.

6.  I'm thankful for the enthusiasm and passion I have for life as well as knowing a peace that transcends my circumstances.

7.  After speaking, I was invited to work with establishing communities of peace in Oakland, Ca. I'll have to see.  I don't want my life to be overwhelmed with activity.  I need time for me.
8.  I met with a new client today and will see another Wednesday.  I love what I do and am humbled that my profession allows me to serve others.
9. I'm delighting in correspondence with a terrific person, someone I've met here. What a gift it is, connecting in a positive way.

Using The Head Alone
It Solves Nothing

         Yesterday, being a panelist harkened back to days as a college student.  Many spoke, expounding from the head.  Too bad.  What a shame.
The very essence of life is the war between emotion and intellect, between life and death. When life becomes too intellectual - when it begins to ignore the passions, the emotions - it becomes sterile, silly, and actually without substance. Isaac Bashevis Singer
         Such was the case yesterday.  I heard form without substance, encountered leaves without roots.  The abstract words uttered may have stimulated thinking.  The comments, however, were devoid of practicality.  Lacking was a call for action, and connecting with emotions.

          When discussing life-changing issues, the need for attaining peace, I can't conceive of talking flatly, monotonously.  Many panelists did.  Finally, it was my turn.  First, the parade.

          Facing the audience, I endured a recitation of my credentials.  I spoke, followed by participating in a panel discussion.  Afterwards, was the workshop I gave on compassion.

          When beckoned to speak, instead of  remaining in the chair that faced the audience, I strode to the pulpit in the stained-glassed chapel of the Pacific School of Religion.  Seizing the microphone, I said "Good afternoon."  The motionless body before me mumbled a faint "Good afternoon."

          Into the ocean of faces I peered.  I said, "Let's try that again."  Raising my voice, I asserted, "GOOD AFTERNOON!"  This time, their reply was a robust: "GOOD AFTERNOON!!" as their necks reached out towards the pulpit like giraffes stretching to tear off a leaf three quarters up a tree.

          I plied those before me with the question, "Today is a great afternoon for peace, isn't it??"  They resounded with a loud "Yes!!"  Pushing on, I queried, "We need peace now, more than ever, don't we??" Again, the hearty response was "YES!"  I continued, bantering them with more questions.  Their antiphonal replies roused emotions---theirs and mine.  No longer were they removed from what was happening, passive observers.  They and I had become we.

           A keynote speaker earlier had posed the thought, "How can we have compassion for others?" Standing before the audience, I answered this question. "We can have compassion for others when we first have compassion towards ourselves."

            I paused, deliberately, staring at them, comfortable with the first silence of more than five seconds---in that room---all day.  Several sat on the edge of their seats, all in the auditorium were quiet, many with raised eyebrows.  Sometimes the most important thing expressed is what is not said.

           The faces of my colleagues, who would give their respective workshops, were puzzled, some, wore startled expressions as they looked at me.  My comments were personal, not intellectual.  Instead of focusing on what others should do, I said peace (and compassion) starts with us, with what we do----how we treat ourselves.

  "'Let It Begin With Me,' " I continued.  "We cannot give to others what we have not received ourselves.  We----as Gandhi said----need to be the change we want to see in the world.  The answer to today's question is contained within the nutshell of this slogan.

         "Peace is not achieved by words, nor the result of sharing thoughts.  Tranquility, emotional safety and harmony are qualities that must be modeled.  We demonstrate our inward peace---or our lack of it----not by our words, but with every breath we take, with our smiles, how we look at others, even in the way we carry shoulders and walk.

           "Others will be drawn to peace and compassion by attraction, not promotion."

            Having said my piece, I sat down.  During the panel discussion that immediately followed,  I was the only one singled out by name, by members of the audience.
"One life showing the way is better than ten tongues trying to explain." 
The Tell-Tale Sign of Control

        Someone persistently wanted me to take action related to Facebook, of all things, sending me multiple requests to followup.   Bad move.  Facebook means nothing to me.  It is not my cup of tea or Mexican hot chocolate.

         I was not interested. I sent him an e-mail, asking him to stop. When we repeat an issue more than once, we are being controlling.  I was happy the person ceased and I had the presence of mind to stand for my need for ease and tranquility. I value my autonomy, independence and having my own voice, expressing it when I want to.

         No is a complete sentence.
         We train people how to treat us.
         We get what we tolerate.
      Good night, everyone, I'm bushed.  Wishing you a great and grateful day.
                A happy but tired innkeeper


Vanessa Higgins said...

I delight in public speaking. I channel so much energy when I am expressing myself to others. But it is also nerve racking. Will they like what I have to say? Am I smart enough? Did I explain things well enough? But after the presentation I am buzzing, buzzing all over the place.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Tuesday night, I am grateful for...

1. The file "42" viewed tonight with my wife...beautiful!

2. Stopping to think through options and choosing a wiser path.

3. Second chances at life, love and happiness.

mommymakeover said...

Hello Pablo, I finally found your inn by actually making more of an effort. You came to mind I and I was wondering what you were up to my old friend.

1. I am grateful for being allowed to wake up this morning.

2. I am always grateful for my family.

3. I am also grateful that God abides with me and never forsakes me, even when I am not my best self.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this crisper Thursday evening, I am grateful;

1. For forest fire containment, mercifully cooler weather,and those thousands of brave firefighters who risk it all to save us, our homes and land.

2. To fellowship with good, dear friends tonight in sharing good food, music and inspired ideas.

3. For a too-rare, late-night "catching-up" chat with our youngest son (nearly 21) about his hopes and dreams, both academically and professionally for these next coming, few years.

4. To have discovered a must-read book on PBS today entitled "No Better Time" about the remarkable life of Daniel Lewin...

Pablo said...


Having you drop by twice this week is terrific. You are an honored guest, here.

I know the feeling, about public speaking. I enjoy it too. I always remember to speak from my fullness, not my neediness. It makes it much easier to prepare.

My need for connecting with others was met Sunday; speaking and teaching also met my need for making my life count, helping my fellow man. Better, those who joined me, appreciated and benefited, or so they said.

Thank you for dropping by, reading and commenting!

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

I saw that film. It was inspirational. I had to adjust to seeing Harrison Ford as an old man, however.

You are a lucky guy. Many would like to be in your position. I'm referring to your gratitudes listed in number three.

Blessings to you!

Pablo said...

My, my!! Dear Mommymakeover,

How great it is, seeing you! Such a long time. Welcome to the new Attitude of Gratitude Inn. I know we have many things in common that we are grateful for. How nice it is having an old friend drop by.

How is your singing? How are your children doing in school? I know it's been a few years since your eldest graduated from college.

Are you back in school? Please give this place a look over. You can find some of the most popular posts in the right sidebar.

Thank you, for fulfilling the vision of this inn by dropping by and posting three gratitudes!

A happy innkeeper, because of your visit. You can also reach me at my e-mail address or call me. The info can be found in the contact button above.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.