Hiroshima

This week we “lament, and grieve our own complicity in the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 on the Feast of the Transfiguration. The atomic bomb became a symbol of humanity’s capacity for negative transfiguration.” So writes Father Richard Rohr, keenly aware that he lives near “Trinity Site,” where the bomb was tested before it was used to destroy two cities in Japan. “This is a reminder to me,” he wrote, “that my capacity for evil is as close as my backyard and my own shadow [myself].” Transfiguration marks the time when Jesus climbed a mountain with two of his disciples—Peter and James—and was transfigured before their eyes. It was a profound spiritual experience when “dazzling brightness which emanated from His whole Body was produced by an interior shining of His Divinity.”* Whether or not you are American, I thought Rohr’s devotional on the subject was both timely and universal enough to share portions with you. May the anniversary give all of us us pause to remember and reflect. In considering the life message of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a French Carmelite nun who lived just over a hundred years ago, the contrast between WHO WE ARE and WHO WE COULD BE is stark indeed. Rohr went on: “What if we had studied the “science of love” in the Little Way as she did? Harnessing the energy in the smallest interactions, moment by moment, we might have found that, indeed, “Love is as strong as Death” (Song of Songs 8:6). What if we had practiced confidence as Thérèse did–as deep trust in the mercy, love, and goodness of God? Maybe we would not have found ourselves in the position where good people participated in the continual “sin of the world” (John 1:29), which I am convinced is ignorant killing. Endless...

Stop Saying You’re Fine!...

According to motivational speaker, Mel Robbins, one of the worst words in the English language is, “fine!” We get stuck and fail to move forward because we tell ourselves (and others) we are fine. We fail to lose weight, make more money or all the other things we never achieve. The solution, says Robbins, is to stop screwing yourself over and activate your energy. It’s simple, she says, but not easy. Watch this very liberating and encouraging TED Talk video to help you get unstuck. Robbins principles? Force yourself: Out of your head Past your feelings Outside your comfort zone Practice the 5 second rule (act within 5 seconds of getting an idea)             You can purchase Mel Robbin’s book, Stop Saying You’re Fine here. Royalty-free Stop image by Pat Herman. Retrieved...

032: Spiritual Influences Jul29

032: Spiritual Influences...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/32-Spiritual_Influences_.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 45:18 — 41.5MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSDr. Deb and Jeannette Slater discuss their faith journeys and the many spiritual leaders who have influenced them. Life and faith are meant to be a journey that is always expanding and growing. If your faith has not changed, or if you have not felt free to ask deeply felt questions, take courage. There are places you can go and voices you can hear that will help you escape the smallness of faith. Get unstuck and inspired in this most personal, yet universal conversation. Here are the spiritual leaders we mentioned that have most deeply influenced us: Richard Rohr – Here you can read about Father Rohr, the Center for Action and Contemplation, and sign up for daily email devotionals. https://cac.org Rob Bell http://robbell.com The Robcast is Bell’s fantastic podcast; it’s available on iTunes. Shane Hipps http://shanehipps.com Ask Science Mike http://mikemchargue.com/ask-science-mike/ The Liturgists http://www.theliturgists.com Mirabi Starr http://mirabaistarr.com Winkie Pratney http://www.winkiepratney.net Gregory Boyd Blog: http://reknew.org Podcasts: http://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermons Shane Claiborne http://www.redletterchristians.org/shane/ Ilia Delio http://www.ilia-delio.squarespace.com Phyllis Tickle http://www.phyllistickle.com Book: The Great Emergence http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/great-emergence-the-phyllis-tickle/1111409784?ean=9780801013133 Youth With A Mission (YWAM)...

You Need A Budget Jul28

You Need A Budget

I am on a quest to be financially healthy. And for me to be successful in any area of my life, I need a SYSTEM that helps me accomplish my goals. It must be easy to use and convenient. At the beginning of 2012, I began looking for a program to keep track of my money, and was so pleased when I found You Need A Budget, or “YNAB” for short. My readers can get a $6 discount  on the software by linking from this site. And students can get the software for FREE with proof of school registration! I had used Quicken to balance my checkbook for years. But when a computer upgrade made the program unusable, I was forced to find an alternative. What I found does so much more. And Lord knows I needed more. YNAB has software for both your computer (Mac or PC) and smartphone (iPhone, Android or Kindle Fire), syncing all your devices effortlessly via Cloud Sync. Not only does it keep track of your checking account, but ALL your accounts including savings, credit cards, and Pay Pal. It also contains your budget, so you can keep track of what comes in and what goes out. Reports show you exactly what your money is doing. YNAB money management so simple, even I can do it! And I’m numerically challenged! However, YNAB is much more than software. The company offers free live and recorded classes to teach you how to use the software and the method. They teach a four-rule method to help you stop living pay check to pay check, get out of debt and save more money. They are: Rule #1 – Give every dollar a job Rule #2 – Save for a rainy day Rule #3...

What took me so long?...

Did you ever do anything, and then wonder why it took you so long? I’ve lived near the Rocky Mountains for almost 20 years; I’ve wanted to go camping—real camping—for most of that time. This weekend I finally did it! Now that I’ve done it, I realized doing it the first time wasn’t such a big deal, and doing it again will be much easier! I’m over the first-time hurdle! It did take a few things to fall in place. I needed someone to go with. I could go camping with just my dogs, but going with a friend who also wanted to go was a real help in organizing and also feeling safe. Resources. There is all the camping gear you need. Another friend gave me her old camping cooking stuff (pots, dishes, etc.) plus a water container and lantern. This was a huge help; guess I didn’t even know where to start before that. After that, I picked up a very warm sleeping bag and tent on sale for really cheap. Watching for sales and bargains is key if your income is limited like mine. Learn from others. I got online to find camping packing lists to figure out all the stuff we needed to have on hand. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from others? My experience did have to have a convergence of several things. These are likely things you need to do what thing you’ve wanted to do for so long. Vision: Picture yourself doing it. Desire: Want it enough to put in the effort, including planning and putting together what you need. Resources: Get creative. Watch sales, borrow, think about how to re-purpose what you have. Time: Take time. You will need to carve out time to...

Messy part 2

In the last article, I discussed something we all know: life is messy. We sometimes don’t want to face people or problems we can’t relate to, and we are likely to RUN Forrest RUN! This time I want to write about internal messy. Yea, sometimes we want to run from that also! We all have stuff, baggage, issues, shit, whatever you want to call it. It’s the ugly part of our human experience, brought on by personal failures, warped views of reality, skewed perceptions, hurts from others, the dark side of our cultures, and a lot of other factors. It’s so easy to go through life and just coast…to not really deal with our “stuff.” It seems we tend to grow and transcend in two ways: Experiencing profound, unconditional love Suffering–facing and working through our pain (facing it head on and dealing with it!) It is the later we address here. It takes much courage to engage in deep self-evaluation. We might be afraid of what we will find. Or we are tempted to run away from the pain. Who likes pain? Given the choice between an ice cream and a root canal, healthy people will usually choose the ice cream, unless of course they have a lot of tooth pain and are desperate to get help. I was talking with someone recently who discussed his experience with addiction and dysfunction. He moved to get away from his pain, but of course, the pain came with him. He tried avoiding his issues, going around them and getting in front of him, but he finally realize he had to go THROUGH them. It’s what I heard Father Richard Rohr describes as: Construction – how you develop our life, only to realize some of it wasn’t working...

Messy part 1

How comfortable are you with “messy?” I’m not referring to your desk or house, but rather people, life and society. I attended a worship service on Sunday that was full of “messy” people. Some clearly had mental illness. Others were homeless. Still others dressed funny. And (OMG!) some were gay. Most of us were raised to think with clear distinctions and a sense of who is acceptable and part of our “IN” group and who is “OUT.” (We usually define acceptable and “in” the same.) We divide people by race, economics, social status, religion, sexual orientation, and a million other categories. The in/out, us/them mentality is surely a fitting descriptor of our fallen world. We can learn from the great mystics and spiritual leaders of history. Jesus, Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, the Dali Lama (and so many others) were transformed from the inside out and filled with compassionate love; they let go of judgment and were freed TO LOVE. In fact, they were very comfortable with “messy” on a very regular basis. How could Mother Theresa have served the poor like she did if she was constantly grossed out? We may not like tattoos, people of irregular size, other religions, or folks who do things we consider vile and outside the norm. However, life is messy. People are messy. And what seems to matter is our response. After the church service I attended with “messy” people, I ate lunch downstairs where even more “messy” showed up. They were homeless, coming on Sundays to eat a weekly meal they can always count on. I was surrounded by people who smelled bad, engaged in strange conversations, and even held their pets while they ate. A lady at my table had her less-than-sterile, “Homeless, please help” sign laying right...

031: Strong & Fruitful Life Jul19

031: Strong & Fruitful Life...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/31-Strong_and_Fruitful_Life.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 14:31 — 13.3MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSIn this podcast, we asked several people what they think it means to live a strong and fruitful life, the purpose statement for Get Control Of Your Life. It was recorded at Conspire 2015: “A conspiracy for God conference.” Interviews include Richard Rohr, Sister Simone and Mirabi Starr. Here are the guests who commented in the order in which they appear; the public figure names appear with their websites: Chris & Phileena Heuertz – Gravity: A Center for Contemplative Activism Sister Simone Campbell, General Director of the Sisters of Social Service and Executive Director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby. She is author of Nuns on the Bus, and featured in a documentary of with the same title; see the trailer and read about the film here. Justin Osterman from Lincoln, Nebraska Mary Frances & Robin Cunningham from Kansas Ele Clay, seminary student in Texas Mirabi Starr, Professor of Philosophy and World Religions at University of New Mexico-Taos, inter-spiritual teach­ings of the mystics, and author of multiple books including Teresa of Avila: The Book of My Life and Saint John of the Cross. See her website here. Michael Poffenberger, Executive Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation Richard Rohr is a Franciscan Priest, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, author of multiple books, and an ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. See Oprah’s interview with Father Richard here.  ...

Identity & Cultural Bridges...

Dr. MelindaJoy Mingo was a guest on the Get Control Of Your Life podcast. It’s #25 on the topic of identity. (Click here if you missed it!) We recorded the podcast around a time that I asked MJ a dreaded question, one that is a ‘bit tiring’ to women of color. After being taken aback and laughing, she had a gracious response. Then she wrote this article: My friend Deb asked me the ultimate question that most Black women will understand…”Is that your real hair?”  My unspoken thought was “Here we go again with the ‘hair thing’ and  did she just reach over and touch my hair without asking for my permission!’ Now I must tell you that Deb and I have been friends for years but…,the ‘hair question’ – well, it touched a nerve. Yes, the proverbial question about Black hair. While it is a bit funny that a simple question can ignite such intense emotions, I learned a lot about myself from my response, and what God was teaching me. (not Deb) I was polite after I swallowed hard and said “Girl, if I was going to wear extensions, weaves, braids, wigs, clip ons, snap ons, sew ons, etc., it would look better than this mess! This IS my hair.” My friend looked at me with all the sincerity and innocence of a little lamb and said, “Should I not have asked you that question?” As I think back over my intense response,  I realize that it wasn’t really the question of hair. If I am honest, it is a deeper issue of my journey in the area of embracing my identity and coming to a place of valuing who I really am – not the perception that I want people to have about...

030: Reinventing Yourself Jul04

030: Reinventing Yourself...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/30-Reinventing_Yourself_-_Regina_Hopewell_-_7_4_15__12.04_PM.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:12 — 12.1MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSChange is an inevitable part of life and how we negotiate change makes all the difference. Transitions in career and relationships as well as life-altering events give us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. In this conversation, Dr. Regina Hopewell shares her life story and highlights principles she’s learned to make successful transitions. The Center on Just Living site explains Regina and her husband Mark’s work on sustainability and justice issues. They also offer a list of fantastic resources. Resources Regina shared include: Living on Purpose by Tom & Christine Sine Walking Gently on the Earth by By Lisa Graham McMinn and Megan Anna Neff Everyday Justice by Julie...

Listening part 2

Most of us come out of the womb knowing how to hear. But we don’t come out knowing how to listen; THAT is a learned skill. Listening is getting harder everyday. With all the noise of our world, it’s tempting to shut down and tune out. Learning when and where to do that is essential, but so is essential listening; Unless you live as a hermit in a cabin in the woods by yourself, your likely interact with people everyday. And interaction, relationships, business and the core of it all—communication, is dependent on listening. While I’m not usually big on lists, I do want to share ten principles to consider for improving your listening skills. Even if you don’t care about the topic, listen because you care about the person. Think about how you feel when you talk with someone you know is not listening to you. Do you feel devalued? Caring for another person is good motivation to give anyone a listen. Consider where to have conversations. Today’s pubs and restaurants are very noisy places. Trendy establishments are decorated with lots of hard surfaces (like concrete and steel) that do not absorb noise. If you need to have a deep conversation, carefully pick where you go. Think about places that will facilitate good conversation. Deal with the noise in your own head. Besides dealing with noisy environments, we have as much chatter inside us. We may be thinking about all the stuff we have to get done, whatever current challenge we’re dealing with, or some other life issue. And when we focus on ourselves, we leave no room for listening to others. Concentrate on not letting your mind wander with all the busyness of your own life. Seek first to understand before being...

Listening part 1

There are many myths about listening—mostly that hearing and listening are the same thing. Wrong; there are key differences. In this two-part series, we will focus on developing more effective listening skills. Great listening skills are essential for relationships and careers. Yet many of us are oblivious to how to do it. When we truly listen to someone, we ascribe value to them. Even if we don’t care about what they’re talking about, we can be motivated to listen because we care about the person. Watch this short video by Willard Barth on Improving Your Active Listening Skills. He shares some great principles, despite describing a person of faith vs. an open-minded person; they don’t necessarily have to be diametrically apposed (thought they sometimes are). Enjoy. On the next post I’ll share more principles for developing becoming a better listener. Royalty free image by Ben Earwicker – Garrison Photography, Boise, ID – www.garrisonphoto.org. Retrieved from...

Fruitfulness

This is the sixth and final article in a series on growth force principles identified by German biochemist, Frederic Vester who found six principles that lie at the heart of all living and growing things. By applying these principles to our lives, we can increase the health and potential for growth in all that we do. The final growth force principle is fruitfulness. “Be fruitful and multiply,” is a well-known passage from the book of Genesis. We can assume its intent was deeper and more profound than just keeping humanity going! We pack our days with a lot of activities. But sometimes we confuse a manic schedule with making a difference—being fruitful. And the only way to know the difference is to stop, breathe, think and evaluate! Bible teacher Joyce Meyer once talked about the difference between being busy and being fruitful. “Did you ever stop to think that just being busy – running around in circles all day but not accomplishing anything – is the same as wasting your time? It’s frustrating to expend so much energy and time and not have any fruit from your effort!” The fruitfulness principle (found throughout nature) says that every aspect of our lives should produce discernible results in line with its intended purpose. This, of course, assumes we know our intended purpose! In nature, fruitfulness is obvious. Either a fruit tree bears fruit, or it’s ornamental! An organism is alive as long as it continues to function the way it was designed, with appropriate outcomes. But when an organism is no longer ‘fruitful,’ it dies and makes way for others. Vineyards are a great example. Each vine must produce grapes. So if a vine fails to produce grapes (of expected quality and quantity) its issues must...

Quit loving the sinner...

Love the sinner but hate the sin. So goes the old Christian saying. But it is really a good saying? Is there is a good philosophy behind it, or might it need some significant tweaking? I came across a very provocative article on this and knew I had to share it with you. Get Control Of Your Life is not only about generating new content, but sharing great stuff we come across. The post is by mom, Beth Woosley, published on her blog titled, 5 Kids Is A Lot Of Kids Woosley claims the saying, “Love the sinner, but hate the sin,” is not in the bible and actually originated with Augustine of Hippo (whom some people call a Saint) and his Confessions. I’ve read the 4th century theologian’s treatise and actually done a fair amount of research on the man. Augustine was a tortured soul who, before converting to Christianity, lived a morally depraved life and was a member of a wacky cult. He brought many neo-platonic ideas into Christianity as well as his guilt-driven views of the material world. While Augustine’s influence on Christian theology is undeniable, reconsidering some of his positions is clearly appropriate. Please take a few minutes to read this important article: http://bethwoolsey.com/2013/10/3-reasons-i-quit-loving-the-sinner-and-hating-the-sin/ Feel free to leave a comment below or on Beth’s...

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)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSIn 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)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSToday 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)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSAuthor 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...

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)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSLacking 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...