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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,
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When I was young, my Dad would say to me: "Man proposes and God disposes." I did not understand what that meant. Much later, as an adult, I read David Richo's book, "The Five Things We Cannot Change." One of those five is that life does not always go according to plan. John Lennon reminded me in his music that "life is what happens while you are making other plans."
So, what does all this mean? It means that things happen that we don't expect. It means that we can not always prepare for the future. It means that we sometimes are going to be disappointed, sad, overwhelmed, confused and resentful.
These months of serious illness, isolation and unpredictability challenge our hearts and minds. We don't know what is going to happen. We try to make sense of so many people ill and dying. Why now? Why there? Why here?
Some people believe that God is in charge, and this plague is serving some Divine purpose. Maybe it is a wake-up call to see the Oneness of all. Others believe that we are being punished for something we did as human beings. For still others, it is a reminder of the fragility of life.
I am reminded of the Passover story, where God sent ten plagues to the Egyptians because they enslaved the Jews and would not let them go. The worst of these plagues was the killing of the Egyptians' first-born sons. Jews were to put blood on their tents, so the "angel of Death" would pass over their dwellings, and not kill anyone there. Hence, the name Passover.
As we try to make sense of what is happening, we can only hope that this virus will "pass over" us, so we can live and be free again.
We are told to stay home, avoid crowds of ten or more, and practice social distancing. We can do that. Some of us will, and some of us won't.
One thing we must not do is trivialize the impact of this plague, this virus that has already affected half a million people and their families.
Someone told me today that Minnesota is the number one state in the nation in following the health guidelines, keeping one's distance, and washing hands regularly. I hope this is true. I'd like to believe that Minnesota nice means something more than passive/aggressive behavior. I hope it is about common sense, compassion for others, and willingness to work hard and sacrifice when necessary.
I am a member of Unity Minneapolis, a church that is now closed for a while. This church believes that we have a God part inside us to connect us to ourselves, others, and spirit. The church provides a "First Aid Kit" of services while being closed to the public. Ministers are available to phone visits. Weekly and other services are being live-streamed. Prayer chaplains are ready to pray for us. Silent Unity, a national prayer program, exists for prayer support. Service angels are available to shop and do errands for the susceptible elderly among us. Feeding the hungry continues as a mission.
In this time of distance, it is vital to feel connected -- emotionally and spiritually. People are reaching out others. Many of us make phone calls daily to friends and family. I have received more than ten offers from friends to go to the store, or do other errands.
However this situation turns out, I want to believe that it brought out the best in our people -- honesty, integrity, kindness, generosity, compassion, and love. Maybe this is the ULTIMATE message. In Brene Brown's words, we are "vulnerable, daring greatly, and rising strong."
I am grateful for those who take this virus seriously, and act out of respect for scientific experts' knowledge, self-love, healthy boundary-setting and loving concern for the common good.
When I was growing up, my mother always said, "This, too, shall pass" when times were bad. But in the meantime, she did all she could to make life work the best for all of us.
Love and blessings,
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This is a 21 minute problem / solution style message. The problem is abandonment (and its relatives) and the solution is oneness consciousness. Click play below to learn more.
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Mike Obsatz in the news, friends! The Star Tribune published a question and answer style article in September 2018 where Mike talks about his mentoring work in light of current events.
Check it out here!
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"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."
The mountains teach us this, friends. Whatever you're looking for from the mountain, (and it doesn't matter how noble or how you petty that aspiration is) you will have to work for it. You will have to make it happen. No one can do it for you. You have to take action.
It works for every pursuit in life. Set a course. (In the case of the photo above, it was the summit of Long's peak.) Get yourself prepared. Do the work, and MAKE it happen. It is earned, not given.
Another thing that the mountains teach us. You do not and you cannot vault straight to the summit. You take one step, and then another, and then another. You must repeat this thousands of times. Little step by little step is the way to reach the summit and back.
Now. How will you happen to things today? Do the work. Take the action. Get after it. 3, 2, 1, GO!
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Strategy IS important. If you don't know where you're going, chances are you'll never get there. By all means, set your strategy first. The trouble is that for a great majority of situations in life, it's very easy to decide on a strategy.
"I want to earn more."
"I want to be more fit."
"I want to finish my degree."
"I want a better relationship with my kids."
"I want to climb a 14,000 foot peak."
Great. That took a minute or less. Now. How are you going to get there? You get there with tactics. That's where 95% of the time and attention you spend on getting a particular somewhere in life needs to be spent.
To whatever extent I've been "successful", much of is due to preferring tactics over strategy.
Now. Go out there, and getcha some.
What can you do today that will move you just one small bit closer towards your goals?
Make the phone call.
Lift the weight.
Register for the class.
Complete the assignment.
Buy the hiking boots.
Study the material.
Talk to the expert in X.
Place some funds in the savings account.
It's never too hard one small step at a time.
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This is an article about evolving fathers. Fathers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, with different backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, and belief systems. While men and boys have also experienced abuse, neglect, and harassment at the hands of others, this piece will focus on how evolving fathers can teach people, including their children, to respect and love girls and women.
There are many types of fathers — single (never married), married, widowed fathers, divorced fathers, stepfathers, separated fathers, fathers in prison, and father figures.
In this day of greater awareness of inequality and oppression, we are learning more and more about the mistreatment of women and girls. Unfortunately, some people are making much money off the degradation of girls and women. There is sex trafficking of girls and women, pornography, prostitution, sexual abuse, objectification of women in the media, harassment, and emotional abuse. This message will focus on the ways in which evolving fathers can counteract these abuses, and create a more loving and respectful world for all, including girls and women.
Here are some action steps to take: