029: Cheating, Lying & Deception Jun21

029: Cheating, Lying & Deception...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/29-Cheating__Lying__Deception.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:49 — 18.1MB)In this always-timely discussion, Jeannette Slater & Dr. Deb talk about ways we cheat, lie and deceive, how we justify them, and the implications on our relationships and society. This continues a discussion on a philosophy that everything we do and communicate has significant impact on the universe, because everything is connected and everything is...

Opportunity Jun17

Opportunity

You ended up grabbing the first thing that came along because you needed to pay the rent and eat. The job didn’t turn out they way you thought it should. And at the end of a few years, you ask, “Is this all there is until retirement?” Careers can be a roller coaster. Jobs come and go. I want to share an excerpt from one of my favorite authors, Seth Godin, from his book, Graceful. It will give you some thoughts and inspiration to ponder about your job life and career. What changed? We grew up with the factory. Not simply the smelly, smoke-belching aluminum refinery in town. No, I’m talking about the insurance agent down the street, the accounting firm in New York and the bank in the skyscraper downtown. These are factories because they do what all factories do: they create what they created yesterday, but faster and cheaper. Factories are about predictable scalability, about scarcity, and most of all, about compliance. A factory demands a compliant workforce in order to succeed. And so we’ve organized around this idea of compliance in all things—in school, in the foods we eat, in the way we respond to marketing. And it’s a dead end. The factory is a dead end and so is compliance. More obedience will not make us better. That’s why graceful is in such demand. Businesses that are based on conformity and compliance are having trouble achieving their growth targets. Politicians that depend on wholesale acceptance of the status quo are finding it difficult to get re-elected. Non-profits that count on the same donors to contribute in the same way are struggling as well. At the same time, we’re seeing an explosion in new approaches, new models and new forms of interaction....

Creativity

You are creative. Maybe you don’t think you are, but you are actually a very creative person. If you’re like me, you were intimidated by some classmates in elementary school named Laura or Scottie who seemed to draw like a pro. Not only were they polite, and brilliant, but they seemed so incredibly creative. For me, it was Laura, the pastor’s daughter at the parochial elementary school I attended. When people around us are recognized as smart or creative, is sends a not-so-subtle message that you’re NOT! Comparing ourselves to others is a natural social phenomenon, yet it is often unhelpful. So back to creativity. How do I know you are creative? It’s because science and religion point to you being both FROM and PART OF the vast universe. The nature we are part of is full of magnificent wonder. Birds, waves, animal behavior, the formation of storms, the regeneration of life…it’s all most incredible. You are made of the same stuff, except are even more. You have intelligence, communication skills, reasoning, emotion and so many other attributes that are not less than the rest of the world, they are more! Unlike the plants and animals, you were actually made in the likeness of the Divine—the intimate intelligence and creativity of the universe. Just think about that for a moment. You are actually a descendant of, but you also share the DNA of the creative force of our universe and beyond. So that’s pretty cool, right? NO, that’s FREAKIN’ AMAZING! That means you have the ability to be remarkable. I’ve found that creativity manifests itself in surprising ways. Though you may not be able to paint, sculpt or even create a gorgeous garden, you are creative. Think about the times you were financially challenged and made an...

The Thing

What was it and when did you lose it? What was the thing that made you think, YES! to life? What was the thing that made you want to get out of bed in the morning? What was the thing that put a magnificent, unadulterated, unashamed smile on your face? And where did it go? We all have this amazing ability to create life, to make fun, to come up with something that wasn’t there before! We were all born with passion! But then something or some things happened and we lost the thing. It went away. It no longer was the focus of our affection. What happened? How long has it been since you even thought about it? You are the only one like you in the world; you made stuff. You had ideas. You created a little corner of joy that nobody else ever did. Think about it. Go for a walk. Meditate. Or just give yourself permission to consider it again. What was it? Where did it go? Why did you drop it? Did life get in the way? Did somebody try to steal it? Did you think it had no more value? Was it not socially acceptable? Only you know about the thing. Maybe your thing used to be painting, singing, restoring old cars. Maybe it was hosting social gatherings or poetry readings. Maybe it was spending time alone with each of your kids, or going on real dates with your lover. Or maybe it was giving yourself to have a lover at all. Whatever your thing or things were, how about getting them back? If they were the things that made your heart sings, aren’t they worth reclaiming? Maybe life got in the way…really in the way. But consider...

Friends

There are friends by convenience. There are friends by blood. There are TV, Friends. And there are friends you deliberately choose to share life with (that make TV Friends look like playing house.) We’ve all experienced all of these. I am so glad to have a group of friends that see each other twice a month. We actually schedule it. And while some in the world might think it’s a strange thing to have to schedule a meting, by American standards, we find organizing ourselves on a regular schedule is great. We like it that way. It works for us. I started the group 2 1/2 years ago because I felt the need to form a group to go through life with. And apparently it struck a cord with the others as well. Relationships and groups can form over many touch points. They can share similar interests, like golf or cards. They can form because of a common faith. They can organize around almost anything. My group had two prominent things in common: They knew me. They were all in the same decade of life sharing similar challenges and goals. We decided to meet twice a week to see how it went. While I tried to introduce an agenda several times, the group has mostly just enjoyed the social aspect. They know it’s a place where they can eat and drink, relax and just share their lives. And everyone seems to think it’s really good thing. How is your social life? Have you considered being very deliberate about starting a group centered on something in common? Do you feel there is a group of folsk who could use a friend, enjoy a place to fit, and just do life together? You have much to give....

Symbiosis

The fifth growth force found in nature that we are exploring in this series is symbiosis. Each growth force, when applied to our life can increase the potential for health and growth. Symbiosis describes what happens when two different organisms, living in close proximity, share in a mutually beneficial relationship. For example, when a tree ages and its roots loose the capacity to gather nutrients from the soil, a certain fungus grows on the roots that helps transfer nutrients to the tree. In return (since the fungus cannot produce chlorophyll itself), the tree then transfers carbohydrates and oxygen to help the fungus grow. The tree and the fungus experience symbiosis that helps sustain both. Another example highlights how two great things combined can produce a whole new thing. Remember the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ad that imagined the way chocolate and peanut butter “accidentally” came together? Both chocolate and peanut butter were individual favorites, but the combination created was fantastic! The same principle works with food courts. You might think putting multiple food outlets in one small space would create so much competition that no one would survive. But in reality, the draw of multiple options attracts more people to the space, and all the food vendors thrive better than they would on their own. Symbiosis seems to be at the heart of the universe. And it’s equally powerful with people as it is in nature and marketing. Symbiosis takes place when people or groups engage in mutually beneficial relationships. Cooperation is a key component of symbiosis. Whether its birds who benefit from aerodynamic flight formations or societies that are healthy, it is clear the world is based on cooperation AND competition. Perhaps we have put the em-PHA-sis on the wrong SYL-la-ble. As Tom...

Sustainability

At the end of the last century, German biochemist, Frederic Vester identified six growth force principles found in nature we can apply to our lives and work to increase health and growth. This article looks at the fourth growth force of sustainability. You can read about the first three here: Interdependence, Multiplication, and Transforming Energy. The principle of sustainability challenges us to consider how what we’re doing will produce the resources we’ll need for the next lifecycle. In nature we observe how the leaves of a tree fall and become part of the nutrient base for the next growth season. And farmers rely on crop rotation, knowing that what one crop takes out, another replaces. This also applies to ourselves and the way we personally approach our time and energy. We’re in this for the long haul; life is a marathon, not a sprint. A synonym for sustainability could be recycling. Recycling embodies the idea of reusing resources for the future even though the resource may look different in the next cycle. For example, investing in education could be a critical piece in building your future. Creating and nurturing friendships will give you the support system you need now and in the future. Developing new interests will help you develop new brain pathways and continue to expose you to new and exciting ideas. Saving and investing for retirement will ensure you will be able to meet your needs in old age. As you make decisions about the future, here are some questions you may want to consider: What am I doing (or not doing) today that is building the future? What resources do I need to increase the potential for the next cycle? How is the lifestyle I’m creating today going to sustain me for...

028: Community Gathered & Community Scattered May30

028: Community Gathered & Community Scattered...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/28-Community-Jeannette_-.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:33 — 25.2MB)Today we can be connected to people in real time all over the world. We share our lives with those who are physically close to us, and those who are far away. We connect face-to-face and via our devices. In this interesting conversation, Jeannette Slater and Dr. Deb talk about the advantages and challenges of community gathered and community scattered, and how we might be intentional to build both. Are you ready for a new community? You won’t believe the number out there. You might check out http://www.meetup.com for some idea of the many interests that gather...

Religionless Christianity...

What is the difference between religion and true spirituality? I have found that many people today are turned off by religion, but are still interested in seeking truth, spirituality and God. I think it’s a worthwhile topic. So it is with enthusiasm that I share Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation on (Pentecost) Sunday, May 24th (2015). It’s one of those I thought was too good not to pass on. “Most religious searches begin with one massive misperception. People tend to start by making a very unfortunate, yet understandable, division between the sacred and the profane worlds. Early stage religion focuses on identifying sacred places, sacred time, and seemingly sacred actions that then leaves the overwhelming majority of life unsacred. People are told to look for God in certain special places and in particular events–usually, it seems, ones controlled by the clergy. Perhaps this is related to the clergy’s need for job security, which is only natural. Early stage religion has limited the search for God to a very small field and thus it is largely ineffective–unless people keep seeing and knowing at larger levels. “In Franciscan (and true Christian) mysticism, there is finally no distinction between sacred and profane. The whole universe and all events are sacred (doorways to the divine) for those who know how to see. In other words, everything that happens is potentially sacred if you allow it to be. Our job as humans is to make admiration of reality and adoration of God fully conscious and intentional. Then everything is a prayer and an act of adoration. As the French friar Eloi Leclerc beautifully paraphrased Francis, “If we but knew how to adore, we could travel through the world with the tranquility of the great rivers. But only if we know...

027: Ultimativty May20

027: Ultimativty

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/27-Nathan_-_5_20_15__11.25_AM.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 30:26 — 27.9MB)Author of We’re Only Human and Gut Check, Nathan Slater discusses his unifying philosophy based on reality. He addresses the age-old question, “Why are some people able to overcome adversity while others aren’t?” The Ultimativity website: http://ultimativity.net/blog12/ Ultimatively Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/Nathan%20Slater%20ultimativity/keywords_top We mention a previous Get Control article on Perceptions you may find helpful in light of this...

Disappointments

What do you do when life does not work out the way you hoped it would? Do you feel defeated and let it destroy you? Do you get bitter or better? I recently applied for a teaching position that I thought was perfect. While I realized it would not be a complete dream job, it was one I thought was the best ticket for my future. It would offer a guaranteed salary with perks until I was ready to retire, which I could then do with dignity. I thought about the position for several years, then planned actively for it for a year. I spent hours preparing the cover letter and resume, and even did two mock interviews in preparation. I was invited to an initial interview, but not a second. Suddenly the goal I’d sought for so long was over. Just like that, it was over. In some ways I was crushed. I was extremely qualified and could not believe I was out. While I suspect all sorts of things about the process, I had to work through the disappointment and decide how to move forward. Perhaps you can think of times you have had high expectations and put your eggs into a particular basket, only to have the opportunity ripped away. When stuff happens, you have to realize that you have response choices. How do you turn the disappointment into something that does not crush you? How do you deal with the emotions? While emotional responses—such as shock, anger, surprise, sadness and disappointment—may be valid, they don’t have to dictate how you go forward. Own your emotions, realizing they are real and valid. Sometimes it’s helpful to examine your emotions and analyze what is behind them. For example, you might be really...

Transforming Energy

This is the third in a series exploring how the growth force principles found in nature—that perpetuate life and health—can be applied to our lives to increase healthy growth. You can find the first two articles here: Interdependence and Multiplication Energy transformation is the principle that calls us to recognize both positive and negative energy that is already flowing in a system, and utilize both for a productive outcome. In fact, sometimes the energy, which we might be tempted to label as ‘negative,’ can become a positive energy force if utilized well. Just ask a surfer about utilizing existing energy. The force of the waves surfers use for their favorite sport can be very destructive. When resisted by retaining walls, the pounding surf can destroy all but the strongest barriers we erect. Yet surfers are able to utilize that same energy for propelling them through the water for hours of entertainment. In another sport, boxing, opponents see force as something to be resisted and blocked. But in jujitsu, rather than blocking energy coming at you, you utilize that energy and turn it to an advantage. The martial arts economize energy by recognizing and valuing the energy, already at play, to accomplish a specific purpose. We can use this same principle in our lives. Perceived negative energy can come in the form of a disgruntled employee, a downturn in the economy, loss of a key client, or increased competition. At first glance we may be temped to resist these developments. We may tell the employee to shape up, batten down the hatches to ride out a bad economy, panic when we loose a client or redouble our efforts against increased competition. Energy transformation encourages us to see each situation as a gift and take advantage...

Top 10-#3 Try New Things...

We have an English expression that one can be stuck in a rut. A rut in the ground is created when repeated activity takes place in the same location. If you walk or drive in the same place everyday, you will create ruts or crevices in the ground. Over time, these can become huge. Our brains are no different. When you do things over and over and only occasionally deviate from sameness, your brain actually creates ruts. So the expression, “I’m in a rut,” is very literal. Scientists used to believe that the brain has little ability to change past childhood. But research since the 1960s shows the brain is like plastic; it has the ability to change as a result of new experiences. It can even rewire itself after suffering damage. I saw a documentary about a 95-year-old Japanese man who was still directing a preschool for special needs children. He had learned the Korean language in his 80s, and was learning Chinese in his 90s so he could travel to China to share his expertise on children. This man refused to retire into a rocking chair; he continued to live by pushing himself and learning new things. I think he might have a key to staying young. I once took a creative communication class. We were encouraged to alter our daily routines in order to spark creativity: take a different route home or brush your teeth with your other hand. If you’re a follower of this blog, you know I often quote the famous American basketball coach John Wooden. He said, “Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.” So do something different today. Expose yourself to new ideas and experiences....

026: Going Nowhere in Every Direction Apr22

026: Going Nowhere in Every Direction...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/26-Going_Howhere_with_MJ_.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:12 — 17.6MB)Lacking a sense of direction can cause us to wander aimlessly. In this episode, you’ll learn from Dr. MelindaJoy Mingo about living with purpose and intention. She uses Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz to describe key principles we can implement to get growing. MJ is a life-changer. Whether she’s teaching, preaching, coaching or consulting,  she always brings a fresh, inspiring and articulate message. “There is no comfort when we are in a growth place. And there is no growth if we choose to remain in the comfort...

EarthDay

Today is Earth Day. It was born in 1970 at the height of the hippy movement, anti-Vietnam protests and a growing consciousness of pollution, toxic chemicals and the extinction of various animal species. Though it began in the U.S., it is now honored around the world. What you think of Earth Day, and environmental issues in general, is reflective of your worldview. Nobody can force you to recycle any more than they can convince you to floss everyday. If you don’t have the big picture as to “why?” you couldn’t care less. I think caring for the earth is a deeply spiritual issue. God gave us this awesome place to live and told us to take care of it. How to do that is an ongoing topic of debate. Some people think we either can’t hurt the earth, or Jesus is coming back and it’s all going to burn anyway (so why give a shit?). Seriously? Remember what God said after he made the earth? “IT IS GOOD.” That was right before he gave us a mandate to be good caretakers. The fact is, we’re all connected. What I value and how I live my life affects people and other living things around me. (Trust me, my neighbors who cultivate dandelions, affect my ability to have a nice lawn!) Our values also affect the earth. If you don’t believe me, watch some documentaries like, I AM, or spend some time researching  mirror neurons or how our HeartMatth literally affects people and things around us. This stuff explains why some people have a green thumb while others can kill a cactus. Citizens of western cultures think they’re separate; it’s what we’ve been taught. But both the hard sciences and social sciences are discovering it’s just...

What Matters

There is nothing like facing your own mortality to bring astonishing clarity about what’s important. Bryan was an ordinary guy who died and came back. Below is his story in his own words. By Bryan Wood Three years ago this week, I died. But obviously I and was brought back for a second chance. I had been feeling very sluggish for a couple of years but didn’t know what was happening. I’d been in and out of the doctor’s office many times, but everything always checked out. However, on a particular morning, I felt unusually tired, so I went to the hospital. When I arrived, my heartbeat was very sporadic, averaging 32 beats a minute instead of a normal 70. The technician on duty thought I might have a blockage, so he gave me a nitroglycerin pill to test his diagnosis. The pill made me feel a little bit better, so they gave me the another one. That’s when they realized I did NOT have a blockage. I turned pale and began sweating like crazy. I looked at the doctor and said, “I’m going down!” And then I flat lined. Because I had no blockage, my slow heart rate could not pump enough blood to sustain my life. Then complications (that are still unexplained) caused the electric signal to my heart to just stop! Apparently, the medical team fought for 2 hours and 15 minutes to bring me back and get me stabilized; it only seemed like seconds to me. The next thing I heard was someone telling me I was going to need a pacemaker, to which I responded, “I want one like Iron Man–with the blinking lights.” After the intense effort they’d made to bring me back, they failed to see the...

Multiplication

We’ve all heard the term, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Didn’t God say that to the first humans in the beginning? Jeannette and I (Dr. Deb)  agree that multiplication can take place in many forms. Neither of us have had children. Yet we have both deliberately spent our lives investing in others and multiplying ourselves. Here is the 2nd in a series of life and growth principles by Jeannette Slater. When we look at nature, we can quickly identify the principle of multiplication at work. Nature in all forms continues to reproduce and most of the time it is in multiples and many times it is in abundance. Rabbits are infamous for their ability to multiply. And consider plants. They scatter their seeds abroad in abundance with the goal of multiplying themselves. They know that not all their ‘offspring’ will survive, so ensure survival and growth through multiplication. Even the largest of organisms, whether plant or animal, do not grow endlessly. Rather they replicate themselves for life to continue. The California redwoods are some of the largest plants; yet they too reproduce. How does that translate to our lives? In some ways it’s obvious. If we spend all our time on one effort or a small circle of influence, we will likely fail to thrive. And we are certainly limiting the investment we COULD be making in others. Rather, we must cultivate multiple relationships in order to reap the fruit down the road. Utilizing the principle of multiplication means that we have to think differently. Instead of thinking about how we can add another leader or another client, we need to think strategically about how to invest our energy so that the result is multiplication rather than addition. If we simply add and replace what is lost, we...

Interdependence

“Interdependence is the relationship between two or more living things where each one benefits from the other.” I love that definition.* Introduction by Dr. Deb: In my interpersonal communication class this week, students and I discussed marriage and family relationships. As in all healthy relationships, interdependence should be present. In relationships, we are connected at many levels, some of which science and psychology are just beginning to understand. We mirror each other, synchronize our movements, and communicate in ways we’re not even aware of. (Watch the film, I Am, There is evidence that even plants and animals are affected by human thought and action. How much more other people? With this in mind, read Jeannette’s article, and consider how much you are connected to and affect others by your choices. At the end of the last century, German biochemist and ecology specialist, Frederic Vester, demonstrated six principles of optimum biological life, or “biotic potential.” He defined “biotic potential” as “the maximum capacity of organisms to grow and reproduce under ideal conditions.” These six growth force principles underlie all of our life-giving actions. These can be applied to individuals, as well as faith communities and other groups. I will discuss these in a series of six articles. The first growth force principle is Interdependence. Imagine a person standing on the edge of a pond. In the middle of the pond is a lily pad. The person takes a rock and throws the rock onto the lily pad. The primary effect is that the lily pad is pushed under the water. However there are additional effects as the waves from the splash ripple out across the pond. As individuals and people of influence, we must be aware that our decisions and actions will have an effect...

025: Identity Apr06

025: Identity

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/25-Identify_with_MJ.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:49 — 23.6MB)In this important episode, Dr. MelindaJoy Mingo uses her own journey to talk about the need to find your own identity. A subject she’s passionate about, MJ says, “Identity is not what people call you; it’s what you answer to.”  During the conversation, MJ shared several quotes and resources: Frederick Douglas: “I prefer to be true to myself even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false and incur my own abhorrence or hatred.” Phillip Zombardo’s prison experiment conducted at Stanford University in 1971: http://www.prisonexp.org Documentary about Iowa Teacher Jane Eliott’s “Blue Eyes Brown Eyes” study: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQAmdZvKf6M Max Lucado’s children’s book, You Are Special: A Story for Everyone. Find the paperback on Amazone here.  or the Kindle edition here. Memorable quotes: “Sometimes it’s not a pedicure we need, it’s not a manicure; we just need a cure.” “We are like all others; we’re human beings.” “We’re like some others” (that’s our learned culture). “I’m like none other.” It’s not what people call you. It’s what you choose to answer...

Live Intentionally

Do you struggle with keeping a healthy perspective? I have made multiple changes in my life in the past couple of years. After traveling extensively to teach and produce videos for non-profits all over the world, I am now focusing on teaching in the U.S. (in addition to blogging and podcasting). A challenge is to keep thinking globally while working locally. It is so easy for us to become myopic (narrow-minded) and me-focused. This plays on a theme my community college studied this week: emotions. It’s so easy for our minds and emotions to go places that are small-minded and self-serving. We have to be intentional to maintain the big picture, remember the goals we have set, and be other-focused. I found the following a timely message for you and myself. “It is often tempting to look at the lives of many great Christian figures and assume that the reason they were able to live their impressive lives was because they were simply better people than you are me. However, as we study these figures, we find that more often than not, the only difference between us and them is the future they saw and were fighting for. Whenever we become short-sighted to the point of only focusing on our bank statements, deadlines, and Netflix queue, we are bound to live uninspired lives.”* Take a moment to reassess, re-grab the larger perspective and live intentionally.   * Quote from Rusty Gates, M.Div. The Cycle of Life: A Lenten Devotional (Sunday before Easter) from Bloom Church in Denver. Royalty-free image by Johan Borg of Sweden; retrieved from: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/406855...

Being and Doing

Are you chronically busy? Or are you sometimes content to just sit, enjoy the moment, and be? The Western world has pretty much made an idol of busyness. Work is good; it makes the world go round, allows us to eat, and helps us implement new ideas. The Protestant work ethnic is a valuable asset. Indeed, it allows a society to prosper economically and materially. Once there were monastics who hid away from society and were content to live a contemplative life. There aren’t many of them left. But there are many cultures that still value being. They have less need to perform, impress, or even extend themselves. As I’ve lived, worked and traveled in more than 60 countries on six continents, I’ve seen the advantages and disadvantages of both systems: being and doing. Doing cultures get things done. They have relative prosperity, enjoy reliable services, and lead the world in solving problems like disease. People live in various degrees of ease, but often work too hard, sacrificing relationships to climb the corporate ladders; sometimes they don’t stop to smell the roses. They feel the constant need to go, go go and do, do, do. It seems never to be enough. Many being cultures exist in societies where few things work. Electricity is on sometimes; food is seasonable, and resources are tight. But being-oriented folks enjoy a freedom to enjoy family and friends, knowing how to nurture the most valuable asset in life—relationships. Being cultures are not driven to perform. They don’t see the need to work 60 or 70 hours a week. In fact, they don’t understand why people would ever be so darn task oriented. Oh how I wish we could learn from each other. Balance seems to elude many humans. Westerners,...

Not my Monkey

All of us have them…friends and acquaintances that seem to thrive on drama and poor choices. It seems like every time you talk with them, something crazy is happening in their life. I (Jeannette) had a friend whose’ doctor actually told him he was addicted to adrenalin! It’s easy to get sucked into the drama. One of my normally levelheaded friends called to tell me a recent acquaintance-romance had taken a business trip to Europe. While gone, he had apparently been robbed, needed her to send money to get home. She had already sent him quite a bit of money, but still asked how she could help. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this guy was a fake and ripping her off; but her heart was too involved and she could not see the (obvious) red flags. It was gut wrenching for me to see her being strung along I even lost sleep over it. What do you do in a situation like that? If you have an ounce of compassion you want to intervene. If the person is a good friend or a relative, I want to help them; I want to rescue them and get them out of their latest quandary. I tend to think that if I can just talk reasonably with them, they will be able to see their way out of their predicament. I want to make it right! Or maybe it’s not high drama; maybe it’s just a difficult decision that needs to be made, or a sticky situation that needs to be resolved. Part of getting control of your own life is recognizing what you CAN control and what you CAN’T! The reality is that everyone has their life to live; most of the time people...

Time = $ Mar04

Time = $

How much is your time worth? There is a popular saying based on a faith principle: “You have not because you ask not.” This week I spent almost an hour on the phone with my Internet provider. I saw my bill was going up, so I called the company to get it lowered. All the subscription services (Internet, TV, cell phone, etc.) have customer loyalty departments whose sole purpose is to maintain your business. It’s cheaper for them to keep you rather than recruit a customer to take your place. So I was on the phone for almost an hour, but most of the time I was on hold, so had my phone on speaker while I did other stuff. But an hour? Was it worth it? Well you tell me. I found out my bill was going up from $35/month to $75/month. By the time I got off the phone, the customer service representative got my bill down to $20/month! That’s almost half of what I was paying! By agreeing to auto-pay (on a credit card which I prefer to my bank account), I have a new promotion for 6 months, when it will then go up $10. So in six months, I’ll call back and get another promotion. That’s the game these companies play, but if you’re willing to pay, you can save significantly! So how much did that phone call save me? $55/month X 6 months = $330! That’s not too shabby for less than an hour of my time! That’s $330 I can do something else with! You wouldn’t believe the discounts you can get just by asking. (This applies in the U.S.; I am unfamiliar with how things work in other countries; but I think it’s worth finding out!)...

024: Timeless Wisdom Mar03

024: Timeless Wisdom

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/24-Sally.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 37:18 — 34.2MB)This episode features 83-year-old Sally Woloshun, one of the most loving people I’ve ever met. She is my friend and the mother of Jack Woloshun, whom you’ve heard in previous episodes. Slow down and listen to this lovely grandmother describe what true love is about, how to get through hard times, and her prescription for what we need today. Since this recording was made, mama Sally has been diagnosed with lung cancer. So if you are one likely to talk to the man upstairs, send up some love and prayers for...

Trapped

The question has been rolling around in my spirit since I read it two weeks ago. It is a question haunting me: “God, where am I trapped and unable to see it?” This most simple questioning prayer seems beyond profound. Is trapped the same as being stuck? If you’ve been around Get Control Of Your Life very long, you know we are all about getting unstuck. We all get stuck in various aspects of our lives: dead-end jobs, life-sucking relationships, routine, habits, and thinking patterns that keep us from moving forward. I’ve worked very hard to get unstuck in the past couple of years. I have a sense that it’s quite possible to get unstuck. If you get your foot “stuck in the mud,” You just get it out. But if you get your car stuck in the mud, it may take considerable effort to get it out. Point is: it seems doable, even if you have to get help. But being trapped. What is that? It reminds me of situations in which I felt stressed with no obvious way out, like not having money to pay a bill, feeling the panic of a dark and tiny enclosed space, or what it must be like to have an elephant on your chest. You know flies get trapped in spider webs; then they become lunch. Maybe you feel trapped because of too much rain or snow, and are “dying” to get out! Or perhaps you have memories of an animal that has somehow become stuck, like a whale on a beach or a dog that has fallen in an icy pond. What about you? Where are you trapped and unable to see it? We’ve talked about the Johari Window before. We must come to terms with...

Chasing Rainbows

We have several sayings in English that all mean basically the same thing. “Chasing rainbows”. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” “It’s never enough.” They all have to do with a mentality that happiness and success are just around the corner. “If I could only get to the next big thing!” implies that I don’t have it now, and unless I buy into this one “thing,” I will miss out on finding it. Some people think happiness will come by winning the lottery. It rarely does. In fact, almost 100% of lottery winners end up worse off in the end. They experience divorce and other broken relationships, and have less money than before they bought that magic ticket. I once had a friend who was always chasing the next big thing. He was a magnet for “no-lose” financial opportunities that almost always had a cost. Some were sure-fire business opportunities, some were magic systems to build wealth, and some were connections to really spiritual people who seemed to offer something elusive. But the promised sure-fire success or “pot of gold” only seemed to help the company promoting “the next biggest thing,” and not my friend. In fact, my friend seemed to always end up the loser. He was always chasing the rainbow, never trusting that he really had the knowledge to accomplish his goals already. Instead, he seemed to have a chronic addiction to the thing he didn’t have. There was always one more “no-lose” opportunity, one bit of “special knowledge,” or “deal you can’t pass up!” It truly did seem like an addiction to the elusive. Life is hard. But the solutions are not that mysterious. There is no magic bullet or fix-all pill that will help you...

Subscribe

Have you considered subscribing to Get Control Of Your Life? Just click on the envelope in the upper right-hand corner of the web site. Fill out your email address, name, and your preferred method for delivery (html shows articles with visuals, text is good for slow Internet connections, and mobile is for your phone or tablet). When you sucribe, you will get new articles delivered straight to your email inbox. You will never miss a resource again! You can also subscribe to the podcast. Download the “Podcasts” app from the iTunes store or the “Stitcher” app for Android phones. Then search for Get Control Of Your Life and click subscribe. You can stream podcasts, but most people like to download them for listening anywhere. (I like to listen to podcasts while cooking, driving and gardening!)...

Money is Spiritual

Have you ever considered that money is a deeply spiritual issue? If you think like most people, you probably haven’t, as spirituality and “the rest of life” have been separated in our collective mind for quite some time. But consider these aspects: Debt: Most of our ancestors considered debt to be sin, and that having loans makes you a slave to the lender. Giving: Generosity is a virtue celebrated in many cultures and religions; there seems to be a deep-down understanding that we need to share. Frugality: This is a spiritual discipline practiced by seekers for centuries. It is abstaining from things that satisfy our desire for status, glamour or luxury. As theologian, Dallas Willard, wrote, “The spiritually wise person has always known that frivolous consumption corrupts the soul away from trust in, worship of, and service to God and injures our neighbors as well.”* Work: The so-called Protestant work ethic has its roots in society and the bible. It comes from a pragmatic understanding that it takes the contributions of all in order for individuals and communities to survive and thrive. There is a saying: work not, eat not. Investing: Jesus told the story of a generous master who gave away money for three people to invest. He got really upset with the one who buried it in the ground and did nothing.** There is a link between poverty (individual and corporate) and spirituality. When principles are violated consequences ensue. You may recall two Get Control Of Your Life podcasts with Carrie Riffee. She and her three kids lived under a bridge for a year. She had just escaped an abusive marriage (he violated principles of properly loving his wife), she succumbed to a co-dependent, unhealthy relationship (violation), and society failed her by imposing...

Attitude of Gratitude...

I grew up in a very privileged family. Our house was the biggest house in town and we were the richest. We had servants that did work both inside and outside, including nannies that cared for us when we were young. I grew up traveling the world and attended a private school. Yes, indeed I lived the life of the rich and famous. That is until…. Our family returned to the U.S. from central Africa where my parents were missionaries. Suddenly, by comparison, we were the po’ folk. My parents went from church to church ‘begging’ for money, we lived in rented homes, we moved often, being the new kids in town, and we received donated used clothing. We never quite fit in. Now, again I live a very privileged life. I have in a beautiful home in a new neighborhood. My husband and I enjoy 24/7 electricity and all the accompanying gadgets, making household servants unnecessary.  I work part-time, and yes, still enjoy traveling the world. With a private vehicle, I can move about the city at my pleasure in air-conditioned comfort. As I reflect on my life, I think I have lived a very privileged life. I’ve never gone hungry, have financial reserves for emergencies and retirement, enjoy a wide network of friends, and still have a loving family who are always there for me. And I have a profession that is meaningful and contributes to God’s purposes, as I understand them. But I don’t feel entitled to any of it. Yes, I’ve worked hard and made some wise choices (and a few foolish ones) over the years that have resulted in my privileged life. But others have also made wise choices but suffered tragedies that wiped out all advantage. I live...

023: Contemplative Doodling Feb13

023: Contemplative Doodling...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/23-Shini_Contemplative_Doodling_-_2_11_15__8.03_PM.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 44:34 — 40.8MB)Lectio Divina is the ancient art of scriptural reading and prayer to promote communication with God. Shini Abraham, has developed what she calls, Duco Divina, or contemplative doodling. She has always doodled, but began using it as a meditation tool to work through pain and draw near to God. In this episode, Shini explains the practice, how to do it, and generally about using specific tools and practices to help both clear and focus our minds and hearts. Visit Shini’s website where you can also order her book Visit the Duco Divina Facebook page Read Shini’s Get Control article on doodling Read the Yes and No article we discuss in the podcast...