Love and the Bottom Line

photo indulgy via

photo indulgy via

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

A New Kind of News for a New Kind of Earth?

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall – think of it, always.                                                 Ghandi

I spent most of today watching the events in Boston as they unfolded on tv.  As I watched, I had many, meandering thoughts as I’m sure many of you did and do. My thoughts tend to go in many different and somewhat wild directions however as I tend to now view these events as to how they relate to the evolution and hopefully the potential ascension of our species.

I am one of those people who could be considered an “empath.”  I absorb other people’s and my own energy – often to my detriment.  I absorb it all and all the way around. In addition to weeping and grieving for victims of tragedy I also find myself wondering  about the pain of the person who everyone wants to hate. I wonder how the same God that creates our light can also create such darkness in our own kind.  I think about what it must be like to be that person who is borne with that ugliness inside of them – what that must feel like to be hated or to hate or to be the one to have THAT be your purpose and your legacy in life.  Why. When. How.  It cant feel very good to feel that way inside. Nor can it feel good to those who bore them or raised them.

Because of this I also have trouble watching the news, especially as it is often portrayed.  Too much incomprehension or sadness or fear outweighing the hopeful or funny or cheerful.   I absorb sad, bad, inhumane etc  and it affects me.  Its hard for me to sit with it or to understand it even though I know its part of the human condition.  I know I’m naïve but I have trouble with labels like “evil” because I fundamentally believe that everything derives from the same divinity. I think such labels scare us and separate us; they simplify things and keep us from asking some questions that might need to be asked to truly understand the necessity of souls such as these to be present on this planet.  I wonder what it is about this being human thing that we even need it anymore.  And why we are so transfixed by it.  Me too.

I tried really hard not to watch the Boston coverage on the first day because of this but like all of us was invariably and inexorably drawn in, especially today.

But why is it?  Why are we so drawn in?  There is always the compelling stories of community and love and our being the best that we can be that come alongside the examples of the worst that we can be as human beings. We need this and each other and that sense of community amongst such horror.   But my question is this,  at this point in our species evolution, and after proving it time and time again, through tragic event after tragic event through tragic event, do we really still need such tragedy and terror to bring forth the inherent goodness and courageousness of people?  Do we really need bad things to happen to take stock, realize, appreciate and even celebrate?  Isnt there a way we can have all this goodness emerge – and more importantly report on goodness  -without the terror or the lost lives or the lost limbs to precede it.

I had this strong sense that came over me this morning that as a country and as a planet, maybe we are coming close to the time when we actually don’t need it anymore.  That we might actually be ready to ascend to a level where love can prevail purely on its own accord.

Or maybe I’m just an idealist.  Maybe I listen to too many John Lennon songs.  And read too many spiritual books.  Call me crazy.

Yes, I had this sense – or maybe it was just a mere wish – a yearning, even a pleading to the powers that orchestrate the gyrations of this planet that we are perhaps – please God –close to an end of the era where we need anymore examples of how well we respond to hate and fear to show us how well love.  We do it well. We know we do it well.  We don’t need the tests anymore.

It made me think of Ghandi’s quote above.  I wondered could we becoming close to a time where the tyrants and murderers fall for good?  A true “New Earth”.

I know we know how to love.  And how to love well.  I read and hear stories about it all the time. Stories about entrepeneurs creating businesses,  people volunteering,  non-profits being established, about writers, inventors, artists, innovators, donors doing good, and of ordinary people sacrificing their own lives to help one another.  So why aren’t we promoting these stories on the evening news with the same fervor and intensity as we do every major tragedy?

I’m no different than anyone else.  I find myself glued to the tv and the story as it unfolds live before my eyes.  Even though I cant stand the chaos that created it.  I cry at the heartbreak of every loss of life, I feel the shock of those who were there, and I marvel at  the beauty of people coming together in common purpose for a time and how love always triumphs.   I feel every part of the human story and connectedness to it all. And that’s why I watch, why we all watch I suppose

Still I’m troubled.  I think if we create an intention to sell more good news then perhaps we can create more good news. I’d kind of like to see us showcase more of how the light of humanity glows naturally even in the absence of horror to provoke it, especially in its absence.  I even think there is a lot more of this good stuff going on minute to minute, day to day than the other.  Maybe we can figure out a way for the word “good” to have the same visceral charge that the word “evil” does.

If I were Queen for a day I would love to issue a challenge for the news media and for all of us spectators.  How about for the next day or two all  “breaking news” be about some extraordinary uplifting event that is covered with the same ubiquity as when terror strikes one of our towns.  Special reports and 24/7 coverage on every major channel.  Maybe some VIPS, politicians or even the President himself could fly to the scene of goodness and have his speech broadcast on every news station. We could hear about how people are acting courageously and generously without also having to list the names of victims and speak of the sorrow that accompanies the glory.

In fact I’d love to see a whole news channel dedicated to the good that is going on in the world.  That doesn’t mean some bad stuff might still happen or need to be reported on but just that maybe on balance we are tuned in to something that paints a different overarching picture overall.

So  I thought I should do some research to see in fact how much uplifting,  inspiring good news stories I could identify.  And I was so glad I did.  Because I found lots of sites already dedicated to the reporting of good news.  I felt like my “challenge” was already being responded to – if not yet quite on network news then at least on the internet.

I was pleased to discover a host of “good news” websites – I list some of them here…;;; to name a few. I urge you to check them out.  Support my Queen for a Day challenge and see if we can share and support the telling of all the good news that happens in this world every moment of every day.

And if there is anyone out there in a position to start a network or perhaps just  a “reality” tv show I challenge you too!  A New Kind of News for a New Kind of Earth…

Maybe we can even call it  — “Graceful Under Fire”…. (copyright – all rights reserved 🙂

Im Afraid Not to Worry

Dwelling on the past, anticipating and worrying about the future. Sound familiar?  What good does it do since all we have is now?  All it does is lead to anxiety, stress, maybe even physical and emotional disease and distress and keeps us from experiencing our joy.

Seems to make sense.  Especially from a spiritual viewpoint.

Yet,  one of the most daunting “challenges” I find myself facing on my spiritual journey is that of overcoming WORRYING, and not just not worrying butobsessive worrying

When it comes to “worry”, every spiritual teacher I’ve “consulted” says basically “don’t do it”.  More than that, there’s just no reason to do it. It’s useless, doesn’t change anything and is wasteful, negative energy.
It seems you cant be a spiritual person and worry at the same time

Now there are lots of things I’m learning about being on this spiritual path that I “get”.  I understand it intellectually and believe it to my core but often am challenged to integrate these into my operating system.

But of all of these, the one that is the hardest for me to absorb or agree with is why I shouldn’t worry or how not to worry.  I’m just not sure that I agree that worrying doesn’t have any positive outcomes AT ALL and that is a complete waste of time and energy.  Even more than that, given my observations of cause and effect, I have gotten to the point where I actually am afraid NOT to worry.

I know this sounds like spiritual blasphemy and contrary to all Universal Laws of Nature.  And even though Ive got plenty of anxiety and neuroses to support my need to worry, I dont justify it on those grounds even though I do it on those grounds.  Not at all. The reason I’m afraid not to worry is because I haveproof that when you do, it helps.

I bet this is true for you too.  Whenever I have worried the thing that I worried about happening doesn’t.  Therfore, it just seems to risky to take the chance not to.

Eckhart Tolle – one of my favorite authors of spiritual enlightenment says you dont need to “worry” about paying your bills.  You just have to pay them.  I guess thats true.  But I’m not so sure that worrying about paying them doesnt create the impetus necessary to actually pay them! I have gotten to the point of believing in the “power of positive worrying” ( an alternate version to the power of positive thinking) so much that I’m even worried about writing about worry – am I committing heresy by suggesting that worry might be okay in the writing of a blog that purports to promote the tenets of spirituality – love not fear, peace, faith, gratitude, and that thoughts have energy???  YIKES!!! I’m getting worried right now just writing about worrying about this.

Okay, okay – so I can see how this kind of worrying can start to get out of control, and take hold of you and create stories in your head and be energy draining and life limiting.  But I still have the “evidence”.

What Would Eckhart Tolle do?  On this one, I know what he thinks.  And I already know Ive punched some holes in his theory (HA!).  I wanted to consult with the real guru– my mother.  Now my mother will tell you that I exaggerate her “worrisomeness” but I can also tell you that she has been one of the staunchest defenders and best examples.

So I interviewed her to get her perspective.

Here is what I learned

Basically, there are two types of worry

Worry Type #1 –  “Handwringing” – Handwringing is fretting about things you cannot control unless you stay home or plan to arrive three hours early to wherever you are going “just in case”  (which I often do).  To those who suffer (and you know who you are)it is like having a plantars wart in your head that wont go away.  Even I would have to say, it probably doesnt do much good except to drive you and anyone within earshot of you crazy.

Manifestations of this kind of worry look like:  worrying about whether the bill I just put in the mail will get paid in time even though I sent it three weeks early; whether there will be a tsunami that will hit – you know because there is like a one in a trillion chance it could – on the I-81 corridor when I have to drive to see my kids next weekend; whether my boss, relative, friend is mad at me or thinks I’m foolish or stupid because they gave me this funny look that I just know was directed at me and was because of something I did or said or didnt do or didnt say- I just dont know what it was but if i think hard enough maybe I can drum up something — its just not possible that something could be going on with them ( or their boss, relative etc) or maybe that it was just not a “look” at all.

I mean, is it really necessary to worry about the left turn I have to make ten miles down the road just quite yet, especially when I have a GPS (or two) and looked at the map first?  Or to think about whether my tv, internet will still be working and my house still standing everytime I return from a trip?  ( and of this latest writing having written the former sentence over a month ago – just to prove a point — I returned from almost a month away on Christmas Day to find my condo had water damage from three stories above.  I WASN’T worried about it- and see what happened!)

I think even I could be convinced that maybe this kind of worry isnt the reason the tsunami didn’t happen and probably wouldn’t have happened even if I didnt worry.   My rational mind “gets” it.  Im just still not so sure my visceral mind can’t stop taking some comfort in it anyway. But thats why I’m on the path.

Worry Type #2 – Mother Worry

What I learned from my mother – and from being a mother – is this – there’s another kind.

its about the “intention” thats behind the worry. And thats not so neurotic or crazy but maybe just a sign of something else.

my mother worries because she loves me
my mother worries because she cares
my mother worries because she wants me to be safe
and she wants me to be happy

like on one else on Earth wants me to be happy.

I worry for the same reasons about my kids.

Eckhart wouldnt know this. Oprah wouldn’t know this because they are not a parent.

Worry is part of the way a mother (or father)loves.  Its like “chicken soup” – it can’t hurt and it just might help. Its a little extra insurance. And your kids get to know someone cares.  And knowing thats the case, not only am I afraid not to worry, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sorry kids.

As my mother (and her mother and her mother’s mother) said “just wait- someday you will understand… (especially when they start driving.)”….