Divided We are Nothing

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It takes us all to make the world go ’round, to make the world a better place for all. 

In one of Maya Angelou’s poignant poems, she wrote, “We are more alike my friend than we are unalike.” Those wise and powerful words serve as a guiding light, and yet there are forces around that are doing their best to divide us. The responsible forces may not be the ones we are led to believe are responsible, and that may not even be that important. What matters even more than the “who,” is the “that.” You see, the power of the people is greatest when the people act as one. Who benefits when we, the people, are divided?

The boy who grew up to RULE® the world is about many things, but ruling over others is certainly not one of them. It is all about inclusion, about realizing the beauty and power that resides within, and much more. RULE® stands for Respect, Understand, Love, & Enjoy. It is a simple philosophy, based in and founded from the power we all possess, the power that some want us to give up. Those who want us divided know that when we are divided, accusing each other of this or that, allowing our emotions and fear to take over our minds and our hearts, they know that they have all the power because we have given it away, to them. Is that what we are about? Is that why so many around the world risk everything to come here?

America is far from perfect, we all must acknowledge that. A perfect nation is what we strive to be, though, and what we have strived to be since our Republic was founded. We are best when we come together for the greater good. We come together, as evidenced by the countless stories out of Houston, Texas and the Gulf so painfully struck. That is the true nature of “We the People.” That is who we are. We don’t care what color or religion someone is. We are mature and wise enough to consider that even though our stories are different, we bleed the same color and breathe the same air.

May you find the love that is within you and share it with someone who may be lost or in need. Share this with someone who could use it, someone who might be struggling with pain or fearfulness. We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. Peace be with you all!

Girls and Boys Unite to RULE® the World

 

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Click on the image to view the book on Amazon

Many of you have given me the great honor of ordering my book, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share some of what I have learned so that others may benefit.

I have also been blessed with a few wonderful reviews on Amazon, and I am thrilled that the book is being so well received that some have taken the time to leave comments for others to see. It is the best chance we have to get the word out so that many others can learn and benefit from the story.

The power of the story and of your sharing your thoughts about the book with others is that the book can reach a wider audience. For those who haven’t read the book, it may inform you that I was guided, not only to write the book, but most importantly, about RULE® and all that it means. The real power is in YOU! The real power to change the world is not in me or the book, but in every girl and boy who grows up to RULE® the world.

Given all that is going on in the world today, regardless of which “side” you are on, chances are that you and I will see much change over the course of the next several years, and if it is to be change for the better, it will be our children and their children who will not only make the changes that last well beyond our days, but who will live to benefit most from those changes. Is it not, then, vital for our children and those even younger who are just now beginning to develop their ideas, beliefs, and their voices, to understand the truth about who they are, about the power and responsibility they possess, and that RULE® in its purest form is a great place to start?

We are only victims if we allow ourselves to be. We are only defined by our past if we allow that to be. Let us, every girl and boy, unite to RULE® the world.

 

A New Day, A Renewed Perspective

I usually don’t post something quite as personal as what I am about to post, yet I thought it was important to share as it may be instructive.

On July 6, 2015, I went to see my doctor. I had been feeling a bit dizzy and had a lower than normal heart rate. Though he was out, his extraordinary Physicians Assistant was in the office and saw me right away. After her initial evaluation, she had me take an EKG to better see what was going on with my heart, and as soon as she looked at the results, she had me taken to the ER. Upon my arrival (it was just downstairs and on the other side of the hospital and medical center at Methodist Hospital in Indianpolis), I was swarmed by about five nurses, techs, and doctors.

Swarmed n the ER in "Hallway 13"

Swarmed n the ER in “Hallway 13”

Within short order, the head of cardiology came over and told me I was experiencing third degree heart block and I would need a pacemaker. Within an hour or so, I was admitted to the Cardiac ICU, and that afternoon, I was taken down the the Cardiac Cath Lab (OR) and was implanted with a pacemaker. I kept telling everyone I was too young for a pacemaker, which landed on what seemed to be deaf ears, though was also met with smiles. Smiles turned to shared laughter when I told the head cardiologist that I had done my high intensity training a few days earlier

Everything apparently went well, and I was released the next day, Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, I woke feeling okay, but within just a few minutes of being up, I began to feel flushed and dizzy, and I noticed my heart rate was erratic. I called the cardiology office and was told to go the ER or, if I could get a ride, to come to their office for evaluation and interrogation of the pacemaker. My daughter (who has been more than wonderful, beyond words), left her work and took me to see the cardiologist. Soon after the evaluation and interrogation of the pacemaker, I was readmitted and wheeled over to the Advanced Heart CareIMG_3004 unit at Methodist where I would be operated on to reposition the bottom lead to the pacemaker which had apparently dislodged from the proper placement in my heart. Experiencing a series of other symptoms, I was also diagnosed with a pneumothorax (collapsed lung). Before long, they were inserting a tube between my ribs to relieve the air in my chest cavity to allow the left lung to fully expand. I was under full bed-rest orders until further notice.

The next morning, Thursday, July 9, I was wheeled down to the Cardiac Cath Lab (a painful ride) where a new lead was placed in my heart and attached to the pacemaker. I remained on full bed-rest until the next day but was still not allowed to get up without assistance (they turned on the bed alarm). I wasn’t going anywhere but I guess it was policy to turn on the alarm, especially at night. Friday passed with a series of X-rays to see how my lung was doing, and I was given an incentive spirometer to get me to exercise my lungs and improve my breathing, which was quite shallow and painful.

The tube was removed on Saturday (what a relief that was), and I was fitted (finally) with a wireless monitor so I could get up and move around. I was able to get up and walk (accompanied by a nurse), and I seemed to do pretty well. Though lacking in strength and stamina, I was able to walk with a good degree of stability. The doctors said, as long as the X-rays showed no deterioration of the pneumothorax, they would likely release me on Sunday. That day could not come fast enough (as I also had been thinking that every day was just piling up the medical bills). My daughter took me home late Sunday afternoon.

The following Wednesday (yesterday as I write this), I went back to the cardiologist who performed the implant for a follow up and interrogation of the pacemaker, and everything looked great. For the next few weeks, I am still not allowed to lift anything more than a few pounds, can’t move my left arm (particularly my left elbow) above my shoulder, and must have no sudden movements, though I am able to drive and am encouraged to walk and move.

To say the least, this has been quite a shock to not only me, but also to my family and loved ones. I know it has been especially hard on those who are far away and who were not able to be present during all of this. I am grateful for all the love and support everyone has shown me during this time. I am fortunate to have such gracious and unconditional support.

This ordeal scared me, and through the shock of it, I know I will be okay. I am still too young to have a pacemaker, but I have one, so that is my new normal. I have read a great deal about living with a pacemaker, and it should be minimally restrictive. I will not allow it to be more restrictive than absolutely necessary, because I have way too much life to live, and way to much more to accomplish and to contribute to the world.

This has given me pause and reason to look at my life and life, generally, through a slightly different lens. I have been fairly good at living one moment at a time, in being flexible and open, in looking at the deeper meaning and the good in all that I experience, and in being grateful for all that comes my way. I am now even more grateful for every day, because I know that there is no such thing as “fourth degree heart block.” As well as I have taken care of myself, with exercise, eating well, and getting regular chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture treatments, and more, I also know I haven’t always done a great job of expressing my emotions and protecting my heart. I don’t know yet what all that means for me, but I do know I will be more aware and protective of things in my life that cause me stress. I have dealt with quite a bit of stress and sorrow in my life, admittedly some being self inflicted, and I will guard that more fully and carefully from now on.

So what can you learn from my experience? You will already have thoughts quo_edickinsonrunning through your minds, with more to come, so listen to them. I also encourage you to tell those you love how much you love them, every day. I encourage you to rid yourselves of negativity, wherever that may be. I encourage you to be happy, to find joy, to do at least one thing every single day that brings a smile to your face. A belly laugh is even better. Find the good in things and others. When you notice negative thoughts or feelings creeping in, acknowledge them, let them pass, and replace them with positive thoughts and feelings. Be grateful every day, every moment, for the people, experiences, and even things in your life that contribute to your joy. The greatest joy comes from within, so be sure to treat yourself well. And allow your smile to shine a light on the world. We are all in this together, and together we can make this world a better place for all.

Thank you for taking time to read this. Thank you for your contribution to making this world a better place. Isn’t it wonderful how even from such a dismal experience, we can find good? How cool is that?

When Does Different Mean Better?

We all know someone who views the world differently than we do, don’t we? There is always someone in every group who tends to be the funny one, the sensitive one, the logical one, the illogical one, or something else that differentiates them. Does the fact that they are different, in whatever way they are different, matter? It takes everyone to make the world go around, as the saying goes, yet the news is full of people fighting each other because of differences, so is being different good or bad?

It is human nature to notice the differences between others and ourselves. From a sociological standpoint, it is quite clearly demonstrated demographically, geographically, culturally, and otherwise. Having grown up in Europe, lived in different parts of the US, and traveled rather extensively around the world, I may view the world a bit differently than many. That experience has taught me, not only about the differences in people around the world, but I believe more importantly, about the similarities.

quo_gandhiWhen we notice differences, and if we then create an “us versus them” mindset, we foster a competitive, and potentially alienating environment. When all we see are differences, and when those differences are viewed as “bad” or “wrong,” it is impossible to create an environment of trust and goodwill. Clearly there are some beliefs and political systems around the world that are difficult for us to agree with or even comprehend. But this isn’t about that. How do we, as the kind and generous people we are, live our lives genuinely and joyfully? Think about people you know, and think about what you know about them that differs from you. Then think about what you and they have in common. Which makes you feel more connected with them?

We have all felt joy, pain, sorrow, adoration, anger, jealousy, and more. We all love our children and want them to be happy and healthy. We all want to feel valued and to be treated with respect. Our blood is red, and we need food and water and shelter. From Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we know that we all share the same needs. The difference is where we are in the hierarchy. The truth is, we have much more in common with each other than differences that drive us apart. What might happen if we all concentrated on the things that we have in common, those things that connect us all? When we realize that we share more than just the air we breathe, that we share feelings and dreams and needs, then we can begin to feel more connected, more a part of the good that we share. Once we embrace that, the possibilities are endless. How cool is that?

A Renewal, A Rebirth

In spring, the rains come, the flowers and trees blossom, lawns return to green, people are out in their yards and gardens preparing them to look their most beautiful, and many others go through closets, donating items they no longer wear or need to Sheltering Wings, Goodwill, or other worthy organizations. It is said that what one person casts away, another may treasure. Springtime is a time of renewal, a rebirthing of the earth’s treasures.

Do you treat your own wellbeing and the relationships in your life with the same level of care you give your garden? How might things be different, if you did? What might happen if you cultivated better, healthier habits and actively nurtured your relationships. If you cultivated the garden in your mind and body, might you blossom into a happier, healthier you?

The most important areas worthy of our attention, besides our own wellbeing, are the relationships we have with our children and our spouses (or life partners, significant others, etc.). And yet, many allow our lives to become so routine that we simply go through the motions rather than cultivating those vital relationships. What would happen to your yard if you just let it go? What would happen to your car if you ceased all maintenance?

What if we looked at springtime as a time for us, as the flowers and trees so naturally demonstrate, to become new again? What if we nurtured and fertilized the soil within our relationships so that they could continue to grow and even be reborn into something stronger and brighter than before? How might your children feel if you told them how proud you were of them, for an accomplishment, for an action or behavior? And how might your spouse feel if you reminded him or her (and yourself) what it was that first caused you to know the love you felt? Was it their voice, their smile, their eyes, or something only for the two of you?

What I believe is that it is all too easy to allow our lives to run us rather than for us to run our lives. When we take stock of where we are compared to where we want to be, it is never too late to change course, to cultivate all that is dear, and to live a life of joy. How cool is that?

What Defines You?

I recently posted a comment on Twitter and Facebook about how your past need not define who you are. Quite clearly, things we experience in our past influence us and how we behave in the future, but if we allow our past to define us, then we are acting as “victim” rather than being in charge of and taking responsibility for our lives.I know someone who experienced many difficult things in his life (emotional and verbal abuse, dyslexia, traumatic physical experiences, and more) and yet he has overcome them in such a convincing way that people who know him now are shocked when they learn of his past experiences. Most of us have experienced difficulty in our lives, and those who are successful use those experiences as lessons, not as excuses.

No matter what has come your way, you can decide, in this instant, that you are going to live the life you want to live. You can decide that you can and will live a joyful life filled with love. You can decide that you deserve to have the perfect relationship and settle for nothing but that. You can decide that no matter what anyone has said or done to you in the past, that you are a good person and that you will only allow good and love and positive people in your life, now and always. As Helene Rothschild wrote, “The Truth Is, No matter what anyone says or does, You are Okay, Worthy, Loveable, Attractive, Important, Intelligent, and Good Enough. You are a good person, and You deserve to be Happy, Healthy, and Successful.”

Sean Stephenson talks about “getting of your but.” What he means is that rather than using past experiences or even your current situation as an excuse, decide to live the life you want to live. If you know his story, you realize that he made such a decision (with the help of his mother) at a time when it would have been much easier to have felt sorry for himself.  Because he made the decision that he did, he has empowered countless others to do the same. He is an inspiration like few in the world can be.

If you aren’t sure how to proceed, look up Sean’s story,  submit a comment, or write me. I’ll be happy to guide you and teach you so that you can carry on, empowered to live the life you deserve. How cool is that?

 Karl
karl (at) talktokarl (dot) com

A Lesson in Understanding

Have you ever been in a discussion with someone and they disagreed with your point of view or didn’t even understand how you could have the opinion that you held? Have you ever had someone angry with you and all they could say was that they didn’t understand how you could have said or done what you did? How did that make you feel?

To “understand,” according to the Oxford Dictionary, means to perceive the intended meaning, significance, explanation, or cause of something. When someone says they don’t understand something you’ve said (or done), do they simply mean they don’t perceive your intended meaning, or are they saying more than that? Might they mean that it doesn’t make sense, based on their model of the world, and that since they don’t understand you from your perspective, you are wrong and they are right? Might it mean, especially if they are angry, that they believe you must have intended something else, something that you did not intend, perhaps even something unkind or hurtful? When someone is angry with you because they don’t understand what you have said or done, the underlying cause is fear. They are afraid of something that is based on a belief (possibly, even likely one that is unconscious), about themselves or others and, therefore, about how they are going to be treated.

What I believe to be vital is to recognize that our beliefs can and often will actually have us believing things that are not true. In NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), one of the presuppositions is, “The map is not the territory.” What that means is that our perceptions (the map) are not the reality. They feel like it and appear to be so, but they are based on many things that actually mask reality. My perceptions are based on my experiences, my beliefs, my filters, my model of the world, my state at the instant moment, and more. All of those are different than yours, and therefore my perception of the same event, phrase, discussion, article, color, and so on will be different than yours. That does not make mine any more right or wrong than yours, just different. Since our beliefs and where we direct our attention will create our reality, it is also likely that if we are concentrating on something, we will bring it into our being. For example, if I am looking for something to go wrong, for there to be something negative about another person, I will bring that into being. But, since “the map is not the territory,” I will only be perceiving it to be so.

Imagine that you have green-colored lenses on your glasses and your friend has rose-colored lenses. Are you going to see the same thing? Will you perceive a flower or the grass the same? No, and that is how we see the world: in our own way, from our own point of view, through our own filters, based on our own experiences and beliefs. What is important to remember is that we see things differently, and different is just that, different. If I don’t understand what you mean, it doesn’t mean you are wrong, it simply means that what you see or hear is different from what I see or hear. If we trust each other and ourselves, then there is no cause for anger, because we know that the other person only means well and isn’t out to hurt us.

Remember to not take anything personally. If you have read “The Four Agreements,” you recognize that. If you haven’t, remember to never take anything personally. A friend and teacher, Helene Rothschild, wrote, “The truth is that no matter what anyone else says or does, you are okay, worthy, loveable, attractive, intelligent, and good enough….” By allowing yourself to understand this truth and to see what is new, what is different, and what is possible, you open up to a whole new world.

“In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.” ~ Janos Arnay

How cool is that?

Patience and Trust

Have you ever wanted something so much that you actually tried to hold onto it so tightly that you pushed it away? Have you ever wanted something so much that you wanted it, “Now” instead of allowing the natural flow of life to allow it to happen in perfect time? I know I have, and I have also been told that I was, “Too patient.” If they could only see me now (smile). Carl Jung said, “What you resist, persists.” I believe that the opposite is also true, “What you persist, resists.” We push away that which we hold too tightly. Siddhārtha said, “You only lose what you cling to.” Even modern day philosophers like the guys of 38 Special, Barnes, Carlisi, and Peterik wrote in their song, Hold on Loosely, “Hold On Loosely but don’t let go, If you cling too tight babe, you’re gonna loose control….”

The Universal Law of Attraction says, in part, that what we concentrate on is what we get more of. So how might that apply to the above question? How might holding on to something push it away? One reason we may hold on tightly is because we are afraid that if we don’t, “it” will go away. We don’t trust the flow of life enough to believe that without our control, things won’t turn out the way we want. So the fear, “If I don’t hold on, it will go away,” is attaching all the energy to the belief that, “…it will go away.” Since we get more of what we focus our attention (and energy) on, “it” will go away. It is one of the hardest lessons we learn.

Have you ever heard the expression, “If you love something, let it go?” It doesn’t really mean to “let it go” in the sense of actually letting it slip away, but rather to trust the outcome to such a degree that you need not control it. Let go of the need to control, of having all the answers to questions that may not have answers, yet, and when you let go and, “Let God,” the truth will become clear, the outcome will be perfect, that which you really want and that which is mean to be, will be. There is a natural flow of things and all that is, is perfect. We simply have to trust, to have faith.

This Universal Law of Attraction also applies to things we are afraid of, or things we don’t want. What happens when you hear, “Don’t think of a pink Cadillac.” You have to think of a pink Cadillac before you can “delete” it, so even though I said, “Don’t….” you must. Same goes for things we are afraid of. If I’m afraid that something bad will happen, I will create the situation to make that come true. It will likely have nothing to do with the person involved, but the situation will appear to be one in which they fulfill my fear, just because I created it. And, the reality is, that all this happens at an unconscious level (may also be karmic or at a spiritual, soul level), so if someone were to say that I was the one creating it, I might think they were crazy. I mean, really, why in the world would I create something like that? Right!

Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” At this moment, I sit quietly, I trust that the outcome, that all my dreams are coming true, are forming perfectly for the highest good of all, and that in my trust and faith in my belief that all will be perfect, all my energy is calm, and all will be perfect. I hold on loosely, but don’t let go. I will never let go. ♥

Blessing and Love!

A Lesson of Intention

Many lessons we learn are painful. Actually, most lessons are painful because we learn best from mistakes or painful events rather than from successes. I recently learned an important lesson, one I hope with all my heart will allow for healing and lessons all around.

Most of us, I think, have heard the expression, “It’s the thought that counts.” We may also think that our best intentions are important, that when we do something with good intentions, that makes it okay even if what we do doesn’t turn out the way we wished. I have come to realize the fallacy of that thought. Perhaps I knew it already, in my soul, but in my mind I tried to justify my action, my decision because of my “good intention.” I thought I was being protective when the result was anything but. I violated a trust.

Intention means little when the outcome is painful for others and yourself. Intention means little when you allow it to cause you to behave in a way that is not genuine, not of your own truth, outside of your own integrity. Intention means little when it doesn’t honor another’s path, another’s journey to find truth and healing, another’s trust. Intention means little….

I share this with you, realizing it is a bit cryptic, to encourage you to tune in to your deepest connection with truth and spirit and love. I want you to never make this mistake, this mistake that I have made. I want you to always be open, fully open and honest, even if you fear the truth may hurt. Trust the other person enough to know that he or she can handle the truth. Trust yourself to know that even if the other person gets upset hearing the truth, that you both will be able to deal with it, to get to the other side of it, and that your relationship, as a result, will become even stronger.

The greatest pain, for me, is to feel the hurt and pain of the other. I do believe, I must believe, that once past this and able to fully understand all that this is here to teach, everything will be even better than before, even stronger. That, I believe with all my heart. That, I must believe….