Archives for May 2015

Natural State

natural state

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Taking Notice

I drove by a church the other day and noticed the sign out front. It stated, “Come to church on Sunday, God will be here.” I thought this is pretty different, isn’t God always “here”. I have the understanding that God is present always, within us, outside us, and around us – you cannot move, breathe, or exist without the presence of God. So, what is it then? I think it is about taking notice of the Presence wherever we go and do, wherever we are, at all times taking notice of the Divine moving to bless us, show us compassion and being present with us. You know what is ironic for me, as I read this church sign – I knew God was with me right then as I was reading the sign. You know how I know – because I was open to the Presence.

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The Devil You Know

There is ample empirical evidence for an asymmetry in the way that adults use positive versus negative information to make sense of their world; specifically, across an array of psychological situations and tasks, adults display a negativity bias, or the propensity to attend to, learn from, and use negative information far more than positive information.

Vaish, Grossmann and Woodward


We have built up a set of ego habits for gaining satisfaction. For some it involves pleasure; for others…it involves pain. As you look at many people’s lives you see that their suffering is in a way gratifying, for they are comfortable in it. They make their lives a living hell, but a familiar one.

Ram Dass


Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.


Why do we always look for the worst that could happen? Why are we so afraid? A friend’s daughter has been looking for a job in her chosen vocation for several years now. When she finds possibilities and applies, instead of feeling hopeful and excited, she tells herself she probably won’t get it. Her reasoning is why get her hopes up just to get disappointed. How many of us do the same thing, reasoning we don’t want to get our hopes up? If we expect the worst, we won’t be disappointed when it happens, we tell ourselves. But we are disappointed. So instead of spending our lives feeling happy and hopeful, we spend it feeling anxious, sad and afraid. Why do we do this?

Research tells us we have a good evolutionary reason for this. When we were cavemen, if we saw something on the ground that looked like a snake or a stick, we were much better off erring on the side of the snake. If it was stick and we didn’t pick it up for our fire, all we lost was that opportunity of finding a stick, there would be more. If we picked up what we thought was a stick and it turned out to be a snake, we might not have another opportunity to pick up anything. So we are all hardwired to be much more attuned to the negative in life, the negativity bias. We look more frequently for things that could hurt us to avoid, than we look for things that could help us. We remember situations connected with negative emotions more than we remember situations connected to positive emotions.

More than likely we are trying to protect ourselves from disappointment. We see this as a safety issue. This also explains why we prefer to be miserable in what we know, than to take a chance on something we don’t know. We feel safe, although miserable. We have been hardwired to protect ourselves, but in this present day we are actually much safer than our distant ancestors. Our lives aren’t a daily battle to avoid death at every turn. But we are hardwired to look at our world as a dangerous one that we need to protect ourselves from. How much joy and opportunity are we missing because of this? How many Divine messages are we missing? By focusing on the negative, we may believe we are safer, but are we really? We can change our outlook, but it will take an effort to look for the positive. Here is a great article by James Clear that can get you on your way!

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The goal of life.

the goal of life

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Self-empathy in difficult situations

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The Truth Shall Set You Free or Scary Honesty



31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”


How often do we let our fear of the perceived outcome stop us from being honest about what we are feeling and needing? Can you remember being taught how to respond, “Say you are sorry,” “Say thank you.” “Shake hands and quit arguing.” How many times have we been in a situation where we did not communicate what we were feeling or needing, but rather went along with the crowd? How often have we not been honest because we were afraid of the outcome if we were honest? How often – daily, weekly, by the minute. In this passage Jesus communicates how to be free – by the truth we are free.


One of the first stories I read about Marshall Rosenberg was a story when he received a large check from someone who said he should use it to buy something the donor had in mind. Marshall looked at the check and then handed it back to the donor and said he could not accept it for the item the donor wanted it to go for. He was honest with the donor and met his need for integrity. There was a chance his honesty could have cost him a lot of money from this donor. The donor asked him what he would want to use the money for and he gave another item that he thought he needed more for his work in NVC. Hearing what Marshal said the donor gave the check back to Marshall and said he should use it for the item he mentioned.


Silly example I know but it carries with it the same understanding that Jesus was talking about. Be who you are, state what you are feeling and needing and be free with your interaction with others and you will be free! Marshall goes on to call this “Scary Honesty” because it may stimulate fear or other emotions in others when one does not act the way they have been “taught” to act.


Empathic Translation


“So Jesus gave clarification to those who had an interest in what he was saying. “I want to contribute to you, would you like some input? If you practice connecting with yourself, being in the presence of the Divine, then you will know what you are feeling and needing. Don’t give that away! For a true connection you have to be honest, honesty is as important as empathy. Don’t let fear stand in the way of connection. Communicate your feelings and needs, connect with the Divine and know, you are responsible for what you say and do but others are responsible for what they hear and how they respond. This is the truth – a freeing truth.”

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