Dr. Mike Obsatz, Professor Emeritus at Macalester College
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When I was a child, my Dad said to me, "Michael, what's your hurry?" I was impatient. I wanted what I wanted and I wanted it NOW. I did not like to "delay gratification."
Over the years, I have watched my impatient self work at becoming more patient. I practiced listening to others without interrupting. "Please get to the point" I sometimes muttered to myself.
I was never labeled ADHD because they didn't have a name for it back then. I am generally not hyperactive. But I am still impatient. I am not great behind slow drivers, and not superb at waiting in long lines at the check-out or the airport.
Having studied journalism for many years, I learned that you can write everything one needs to know in an opening paragraph -- who, what, where, why, when? The "Five W's." I learned that people want to get to the point, and not muddle through a lot of unnecessary, in my opinion, details.
But I have since learned from famous writing teachers, such as Carol Bly, Natalie Goldberg, Charles Nolte, and others, the joy of life is in noticing the details. That includes the flowers, the butterflies, the birds, the leaves, the sunsets, the smiles, the body movements, the subtleties of life.
It is very important now, during this time of COVID-19, for me to be patient. To wait. To be sure it is safe to venture out too far. I am told that I am at risk -- given age and pre-conditions.
As the country begins to relax into opening up again, it is tempting to return to a more balanced and free life. I can understand, on an economic level, that many people are starving and suffering due to business closures. It is horrible.
I am so grateful so many people are feeding others, and helping others in need. Still, long lines exist at many places giving out free meals.
So right now, my job is to live in gratitude, acknowledge that I miss my face-to-face interactions, and work on being the most patient person I can be.
Sue Monk Kidd wrote a marvelous book many years ago called "When the Heart Waits." She talks about the waiting period, before the fruition, the results. It is in the waiting, the incubation, that real discovery occurs. I highly recommend it to anyone, especially impatient folks like me.
So -- I pray that opening up businesses will work to feed the employees, and that customers can come and not become ill with this virus. I pray for respect for scientists and the scientific method. I pray for kindness, respect, compassion and love to pour over this land and everywhere. I pray that each person uses discernment (a spiritual gift) to determine his or her personal and interpersonal actions.
I have worked hard to learn how to postpone gratification.
Going to graduate school helped that process. It really paid off -- but while I was there, it often was a grind.
Anne Wilson Schaef recently passed away. Her book, "Living in Process," taught me to enjoy every second of my life, to appreciate it's complexity and subtleties. I hear the echo of my Dad's voice. He would be 116 now if he were alive. "Michael, you are doing better. Still not perfect. But I appreciate the lack of tantrums and cursing while you wait."
This is a time of waiting, listening, and paying attention. There is so much at stake. At this writing, there are 272 deaths in Minnesota due to COVID-19. I pray we continue to connect in ways that work for us. Social distance walks help.
My hair is growing longer, and I am looking more and more like Albert Einstein. I guess he was a relatively patient guy.
Love and blessings,
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We can connect on the phone, or on Zoom. We can see each other on screens. We can hear the feelings within the words of our dear friends.
But human, face-to-face contact is different. Being in the same room, looking into each other's eyes, watching body language, and movements is an "energetic" and "vibrational" exchange that can encourage deep connection.
What do I miss? I miss meeting with one person at a time and supporting him or her on a journey toward greater appreciation of one's own potential. I miss small group check-ins and interactions, giving and receiving positive affirmations and supportive feedback. I miss haircuts and shampoos, foot massages, and energy work.
Support groups in person provide a magic, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This loss of face-to-face, deep, meaningful interaction is hard to replace with computers and cellphones.
Teaching students in a classroom has an energetic flow quality that on-line teaching cannot duplicate. But we have to make do with the options we have right now.
Social distancing and students learning through packets of material are part of this time of COVID-19.
I believe we are grieving the loss of this energetic connection. The congregation in a church responds to the minister's message and stories. The minister responds to the congregation. The fans at a concert, play, or sporting event generate an energetic response to the activity they are witnessing in unison.
A wedding is different than a virtual wedding. A funeral is different than one viewed on a screen.
I believe the most intense pain during this time of challenge is that those who die from the virus often die alone. Their family members don't get to say their last good-byes.
At this point, in America, there have been more than 30,000 deaths from this virus. The dignity of dying with loved ones by their bedside is absent for many.
Many events and activities have been postponed. The common everyday hugs and handshakes are no longer available to us.
Energetically, let us imagine this deep, magical connection with others through Oneness Consciousness. We ARE all one in spirit, in deep compassionate love.
And maybe soon, we'll be able to look each other in the eyes - from 2 inches away - and feel the amazing vibration of love in the flesh.
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Social distancing is a luxury. Staying at home and not working is a luxury. The poor are always oppressed, and they are limited in this current COVID-19 situation as well.
The poor people lack adequate medical care, develop diseases which put them more at risk. They live in cramped quarters, and are exposed to the most toxic environments and influences.
Healthy, fresh food costs more money, so the poor tend to eat more fatty, artificial, and processed foods. This diet leads to diseases which are not treated, and early deaths.
So, Empire Consciousness is the cause of poverty, and the discrepancy between the haves and have-nots.
We are told things will "get back to a normal" soon. It is hard to believe that this is going to go away.
Empire Consciousness creates a hierarchical governmental structure. Those in power often have no real contact with those struggling at the bottom.
All the more reason to raise our consciousness to Oneness Consciousness. When we see all as worthy, equal, and deserving, life will change.
That is the message of Easter and Passover. Freedom from slavery to Empire Consciousnes. Crossing the Red Sea to the Promised Land is the liberation necessary if we want the planet to survive.
This current plague is Godwink in disguise. It is a WAKE-UP CALL. Wake up, people. Wake up from the tomb of ignorance and discrimination. Wake up from self-righteousness and entitlement.
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Fear of not having enough, of scarcity, or limitation has always fueled our economy. This time is one where we can learn about many of our fears - fear of loss of control, fear of being ill, fear of dying, fear of isolation, fear of not having enough.
This difficult challenge also teaches us about sharing, connecting, and being compassionate toward others. Our next door neighbors have been shopping for groceries for us for the last few weeks. They are younger, and supposedly less susceptible to becoming ill in public places. Their kindness is beautiful. We are spiritually connected like a family.
As spring comes, and flowers start to bloom, and grass turns greener, we see that there is always another opportunity for wonder. It is the season of the resurrection. Something dies, and something is reborn.
Eastertime is about the Crucifixion, the tomb time, and the Resurrection. There are always signs of hope -- one flower, one leaf, one blade of grass -- and one toilet paper roll -- at a time.
Love and blessings,