Love and the Bottom Line

photo indulgy via tattooedbuddha.com

photo indulgy via tattooedbuddha.com

http://thetattooedbuddha.com/love-the-bottom-line-a-dream-about-right-livelihood/

I have a dream. And I also had a dream. About corporations and fear.  Or shall I say ultimately, about corporations and love.

I have a dream that one day it will be possible to say these two words – “corporations” and “love” – together without it sounding like an oxymoron.

I have a dream that one day executives and employees, CEOS and administrative assistants, peers and teams and managers alike will join together, say a few “kumbayas” and make love the bottom line or maybe even just one of them.

I have a dream that it will be okay to say the words  “I love you” within the confines of corporate walls, real or virtual.

Yes, I have about love in the business world.

I also had a dream. A real one.  It was about fear in the business world. It went like this:

I was drifting off to sleep, thinking about my years in corporate life and how I was afraid so much of the time.
Afraid of what I could or could not say, afraid of whether I was wearing the right thing, afraid of what people were saying about me, afraid that I wasn’t pleasing the boss, that my staff might not like and respect me, afraid of the next performance review, afraid of getting in trouble, (which I never did by the way).  Afraid. Afraid. Afraid.
The fact that I worked in Human Resources only exacerbated my already fearful state. As the organizational parent, conscience, judge and jury, my own behavior had to be beyond reproach.  It was on display and it was being watched. As if I wasn’t afraid enough just trying to navigate the corporate machine as a regular ol’ employee, being in this role ratcheted up the fear factor significantly.

A few minutes pass, my eyes gently give way and I settle into slumber. Suddenly, I’m transported to another consciousness, whisked away, like Dorothy in her tornado only instead of Oz I was headed back to the LAND of THE FORTUNE 500, a land where the road isn’t always paved with gold but the parachutes are.

I find myself sitting in my black leather executive chair, in my nicely appointed office only I’m dressed in my pajamas with no makeup and my hair askew, much like I dress for my new line of work as “self-employed.”   I’m shuffling papers as if i‘m trying to find something terribly important while mumbling the words  “Love is the bottom line,  Love is the ultimate bottom line”

My assistant comes in and asks me if I am okay and I tell her not only am I okay, I am truly blessed. I then tell her that I love her.  I go to give her a hug but I can tell by the look on her face that wouldn’t be such a good idea.

I then proceed to my morning meeting – still in pjs, no makeup, hair askew.  Needless to say I receive a number of funny looks from these folks too.  They have that same look on their face – something between horror and trying to hold back laughter – that my assistant did. They ask me for my thoughts on a solution to a very sticky problem and I respond —  Hmmm – “let me meditate on it”.

I then put my hands in prayer position and tell them all “Namaste” – “the light in me honors the light in you.”

Later that day, Human Resources shows up in my office.  Everything I have been fearing finally comes true.  I said the wrong thing.  My boss doesn’t like me and neither does the staff now.  To top it off, I’m told I’m not seen as a “business person”.  The ultimate corporate insult.

HR then politely tells me I am “not a fit” for the culture, sympathetically offers me the services of the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) to assist me with getting my head back on straight (not HR’s job), and generously provides a bunch of boxes to pack my things.

I lay my head on my desk sobbing, I mumble to myself – “Oh If only I had stuck with business language, if only I didn’t say “I love you” to those I love, if only I said we are in business just to make money, if only I had the answer on the spot to the problem, they would have let me stay here in this LAND of FORTUNE and reap the benefits.   Or at least  I could have jumped on to the golden parachute and landed with some dollars in my pocket.”

If only….

I did the only thing left to do when you have just gotten fired in your dream.

I clicked my mouse three times (right click)….

And then I was “home.”  Back in the real world, or the unreal world, however you choose to look at it.  I realized I had just woken from a nightmare and returned to a place where dreams really can come true and actually do.
Even my dream about company’s being in business not only to make money but also to make love.

Now, how’s THAT for a “bottom line?”

With Grace,  Shari

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Making Friends With Myself

NOTE:  This post was also published in Some Talk of You and Me http://sometalkofyouandme.com/2015/04/24/making-friends-with-myself-shari-sachs/

I know you all have them – the Voices inside your head.

A cacophony of Voices, that tell you, you can’t, you’re no good, who would want you anyway, you’re too fat/thin/ugly/stupid. Etc., etc., etc.

 Voices that beat you up for something you ostensibly did bad, wrong or so they say. Voices that tell you to worry, to be wary, be afraid. BE CAREFUL.

Then there is the Voice named GUILT, the one named SHAME, the one named SELF-LOATHING.

Need I go on?

Sometimes, however, there is one Voice that stands out amongst the rest refusing to relent, holding you hostage to it’s incessant chant, drowning out the others.

I have been wrestling with this Voice of mine for a very long time now, but especially so in the last years. I’m pretty sure that voice is echoing my ego, that part of me that might die if it didn’t have physical form and the limitations that come with it to attach to.

Egos, you see, are not the bedfellows of Spirit. They do not naturally “peacefully co-exist.”   Egos battle Spirit in a frenzied, “by any means necessary” way to stay alive. Even if it means killing you.

The battle between my ego and spirit culminated a few years back when life as I knew it began to systematically dismantle before my very eyes forcing me to “dis-identify” with more and more of the roles, expectations and material things that had defined me for the better part of a fifty something plus lifetime.

As I encountered this erosion of my ego the Voice simultaneously got louder and louder – and louder.

It no longer stopped after slinging just one or two negative digs my way; instead it assembled an ensemble of searing insults, put downs and self loathing commentary as an assault against my higher self that was desperately trying to edge it out.

Sometimes it got so loud that I couldn’t hear anything else. Sometimes it drowned everything else out to the point where I actually believed what it is saying. That was the point when I either would make stupid decisions, sabotage myself or keep myself small and from my own power.

Which of course, is just what “the Voice” wanted. And I really couldn’t blame it. After all, it was fighting for its survival.

But on a recent morning it was different. I think she – the Voice personified — must have been having a weak moment because she was not on her usual full frontal attack.   Instead she quietly introduced herself to me like someone who really wanted to know me and wasn’t sure I felt the same.

To my surprise, she was not practicing the usual guerrilla warfare I had come to expect. In fact, she was actually quite endearing.

“I’m Esmeralda” she whispered in my ear, gently announcing herself.

That’s right. Esmeralda.

After some minutes of chatting, I realized all she really wanted was love and a little bit of attention, maybe some validation. Yes, she acted like a brat to get it, but only because she knew no other way.

I realized that beneath the bravado and the bullying, all she really wanted was a hug.

So I hugged her. And when I did, it dawned on me that the more we try to extinguish something the harder it fights to stay alive.

I wondered, could it be that sometimes in our quest to get to know our higher selves we forget that we still need our egos? Or they still need us. Or both.

After all, the ego is the “instrument” which enables us to do the things we came to do in this Earthly world. There may come a time when we may not need them anymore but so long as we are in physical form they are with us for the ride.

They, and the bodies that go with it, are what allows us to see and hear and feel and sense beauty and grandeur and even the drama and pain that is all part of being alive in this physical world.

So why not befriend and embrace it? Just recognize it plays a supporting role instead of a leading one? Humor it when it tries to tell you what you can’t do and what you are not. Know that it’s just being silly and fighting to stay alive.

And so that’s what I did. I made her my friend. Esmerelda and I are now buds, bedfellows.  She still likes to act up from time to time and pretend she’s in control.   And sometimes I bite. But not for long. And when I come to my senses, I just stop and give her a hug, and tell her I love her. It’s as easy as that!

Are You Dancing on the Edge of Your Life Thinking You Have Forever?

NOTE:   This post was also published in Some Talk of You and Me under the title “Life is Now, Let’s Live it”

http://sometalkofyouandme.com/2015/04/19/life-is-now-lets-live-it-shari-sachs/

I am getting to that age where “unexpected” deaths are becoming more and expected, perhaps even accepted. Yesterday I went to a very sad, yet very beautiful and exceedingly divine memorial service for a 45 year old former colleague of mine who died “unexpectedly” after lingering for a couple of months subsequent to a brain aneurysm.

She had recently met and married a man who it turned out and much to both of their surprise to be the love of each other’s lives, finding each other after coming to close to giving up on love after years of singlehood and easing into mid-life (he ten years older) She quit her long held, chreished job and moved from the East Coast to California to be with him. They were just starting in mid-life, anew. They had found the very thing they thought they never would. By all accounts, their love was palpable and real and a light to others.

In the last several weeks I have learned of at least half a dozen deaths of people close to my age or younger (she was ten years younger) in my circles. Brothers and sisters of friends, childhood playmates, the ex-husband of a close friend.

Many of them were “unexpected”. A fast moving cancer that was never discovered for one, the fallout of a hardened life for another, a seemingly healthy heart that gave out without warning and the like for still others.

If I were sitting atop my spiritual perch right now (which I often am tempted to do) I could gain and try to give some comfort by pontificating about deeper understandings of life beyond death, the difference between physical bodies and formless timeless spirits, how death is merely a transition, a newly sculpted form – or lack of it, and how life here on Earth is merely an illusion, as some would believe. But, there are just times when the human part of me feels and needs to feel what it feels.

And what I feel in the wake of all of this reckoning is Grief. Grief over the loss of friends, or friends of friends or siblings of friends but also over the loss of my refusal to follow my soul’s calling too often when it beckoned.

I’m so sick of living a half- life, of being tentative and afraid, of not being ” all in”. I’m sick of seeking safety and missing out. I’m sick of regrets and woulda/shoulda/couldas. Tired of dancing around the edges of why I am here in the first place and at all. The Universe is showing me that this glorious, sensuous, painful, joyful, adventure-filled mystery we call LIFE can be over in an instant. Just like that (sound of fingers snapping).Despite our best laid plans. Despite our wishes and our waiting for the right time, moment, experience, place or person to do what we always yearned to do. Our physical forms can indeed “transition”, we can DIE before we did what we came to do, more importantly what we came to “be.”

I’m sure there is a prettier or more polished way of saying this. But I’m not wanting to be about making things look pretty or perfect anymore. I just want to be true, unafraid and unabashed and living each moment as if it is my last.

My surfer husband has taught me that there is a moment when you are catching a wave that you have to make a split second decision to “pull in” to the “barrel” of the wave – or not. The “barrel” I’m told is the transcendent spot of the wave, where spirit of surfer and sea merge. “Pulling in” is the only way to catch that part of the wave that will give you it’s ultimate ride. Fear, excitement, anticipation and sheer terror are all collude in a millisecond to force your decision. Pull in or not. One way or the other. There is no in-between.

To make the choice to not “pull in” does not necessarily mean you will get creamed, although you might. It’s just that you won’t get to experience the purest essence and exhilaration of that wave.   There will be more waves, if you are patient for sure, but that one ride that never was will never exist again. Ever.

I have decided, and am asking God/Spirit/Universe to assist me, to “pull in” to all that is calling to me with all the commitment, passion and fervor I can muster. It’s time, way past time. I have been sitting and waiting for that wave, splashing around in the water, running from it, or floating around it for too long.

I just pray it isnt too late.

What about you?