Saturday, June 23, 2007

Integrity is really hard to judge. Or is it?

I recently wrote and delivered a speech for my Toastmasters club - my 10th speech which meant I’d receive my Competent Communicator badge (Yeah!!)– and since integrity has been my topic of contemplation recently, I decided to speak about it. This isn’t the speech I delivered, it is a more clear articulation of the message.

I’ve been challenged at being able to discern if someone is being integral at times. Then, the more I thought about it, I realized it actually isn’t that difficult. Just because I can understand someone’s justification or rationalization, doesn’t mean a wrong becomes a right. I will express compassion and forgiveness for myself and others, and I will personally challenge and encourage, myself and others to strive for better.

On a recent flight back from England, the movie shown was "Freedom Writers" – which I highly recommend it you haven’t seen it yet – a great example of the need for people to choose and act with integrity.

The movie is set in 1994, at a high school in Long Beach, California. The student body is quite diverse, from varying cultures, who each stick to “their own”. Each culture has its own gang, and the gangs are at war. These kids are packing guns and each student has at least one friend who's died in a gang war. Students and teachers alike fear for their lives every day, never knowing when a gang fight will break out.

The story focuses on an English class, with a brand new teacher, whose mission is to have a life changing impact on the lives of her students. She strives to unite the students by helping them recognize that they have much more in common than they have differences. At the beginning of the movie, the students hate her and feel she could never understand them. By the end they are united and rally to keep her as their teacher.

Part of the movie shares the experience of a student, Eva, who witnesses a murder. The boy who pulls the trigger is from her gang. Since Eva has been taught by her parents to “protect your own”, she believes it is her responsibility to lie in court and pin the murder on a boy from another gang. Her teacher, who becomes affectionately known as Mrs. G., has such an impact on her, that by the end of the movie when it comes time to tell truth, the whole truth – Eva does. Even though she still believes in protecting her own, her definition of “her own” has expanded and it is no longer ok to do what is wrong, in order to meet this value. She knows she is risking her own life, however telling the truth takes precedence.

I was inspired by her commitment to do the right thing in spite of the potential repercussions. It made me think of how many of us (I include myself and strive to be better) choose to do the wrong thing for much lesser reasons. Some people will do what they know at some level is wrong to meet their need or desire for power, attention, dominance, the respect of others, to gain popularity, for money, for fame, to be accepted by others or out of pure laziness (when doing the right thing takes more effort) – not for reasons that are at all life threatening.

Conscious creation is not just about being able to create the reality you want. Conscious creation is also about making conscious choices - the right choice for the right reason, in alignment to your values and for what you know morally as right.
It’s about demonstrating respect; for the environment, for yourself, your purpose, your passion and your brilliance! By acting in a manner that demonstrates respect for all, including yourself, you automatically attract respect from others. When you attract respect from others in this way, you never need to do the unmoral to achieve your goals because the Universe takes care of “it’s own”!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Who's the most integral of all?

I don’t believe everything I hear just because someone wrote a book about it. I try it on, have my own experience and believe the results of my own experience, which often times will be a bit different than what the “guru” wrote.

A good example of this is the notion that everything around us is a mirror of us, or that all of our outer reality is a reflection of our inner world.
I believe this because I’ve experienced it.
What I don’t believe as some of the “gurus” suggest, is that it's always an identical mirror. I know that isn’t exactly true.

It has been my experience that my inner world is creating my outer experience, however much of it is in code. Why? Because I love and thrive on being able to unravel a mystery! So even the style of how I create my reality is a reflection of my inner passion of solving a mystery.

This makes my inner life very exciting as I decipher the symbolism in my personal world. Yet at times I would just like to see an apple being reflected as an apple if you know what I mean! I also value clarity, so there are times the outer experience is an exact reflection of my inner world. Sometimes it’s so confusing. I often have to ask myself, “Is this example a clear reflection that I’m having a hard time accepting, or is it a mystery symbolically linked to what is really going on inside?”. Ummm...... That was a question I had today as I was connecting the dots to a particular pattern in my life (remember – I’m the Pattern Buster!)

I have attracted many teachers who have knowingly been earning money using other people’s work without their permission, and often the work has a copy right protection (ha). I have even seen someone use someone else’s work and add their own label and/or signature to it.

I like being able to trust my mentors and trust that I am safe to following their example. Each time I’ve become aware of this, I’ve had to face acknowledging something that I didn’t want to acknowledge, that it is a mistake to trust anyone.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many of the people I’ve witnessed doing this. Each time it has been a short union, or one that never really took off, and each time I wondered what it was about ‘me”, that attracted not being able to work with these people. I felt rejected. However I always had to admit to myself that each time I was aware that I didn’t feel completely in my integrity with all of their choice of actions, nor with my inability to make the appropriate choice for myself after I did call them on it. Instead I would want to continue to try and understand why they do what they do and challenge myself to focus on the aspects I admired about them so that I would experience more of that part of them. It didn’t work. I had not recognized my own reflection yet.

Today, once again I took a stand for what I feel is right. We were jointly working on a project and now our partnership to do so has potentially come to an end, and I feel really good about it all – I finally see the reflections.

I’m not feeling rejected because for once I didn’t reject myself and my own truth. I’m also trusting myself, therefore I am demonstrating that I can trust someone – ME!

I am a bright, intelligent woman with a high level integrity. It is time I trust myself, stop rejecting my own truth and honor who I am. It is up to me to be the example I want to see in my community, in my world.

My desire for anyone who feels they need to go against what they know is right in order to get what they want, is that you recognize and have faith in your own inner brilliance! Believe in your ability to “Have it all” (quote from my friend Su Thomas ) in a way that honors all.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Remembering to "ASK"

Manifesting away from the norm – Part One


Daniel and I have recently returned from our trip to Ireland and England. Traveling is a fun and interesting time to practice conscious creation, which is the theme of these next few posts.

We had relatively loose plans for the trip – 6 of the 12 evening our accommodations for were booked. The rest we decided we’d find the perfect places once we arrived. And we did! All except for the first night, we ended up staying in the first place we inquired about.
We’d spent the first two days of our trip in Dublin, at the Marble Hall – the best B&B in Dublin owned by Shelagh Conway. Then we rented a car to visit more of Ireland.

The first couple of days driving were tense. It was our first experience driving in Ireland, on the left side of the road, from the right side of the car, all opposite to what we are use to in Canada. And their roads were very narrow. Many times we were amazed (and grateful) at how a transport truck could squeeze past us coming from the opposite direction. The shoulders are minimal to none and next to usually trimmed with stone walls. I felt very “snug” in the passenger seat coming very close to an intimate encounter with the “walls” many times.
So besides being mindful of not veering into the right lane as we are use to, Daniel had to put up with me squirming every time I thought I was about to kiss a wall.

The first day we arrived at Tara Hill just before it closed for the day. I had intended to spend a few hours taking in the energy of the “spiritual” site so we decided to stay in town that evening and return the next morning for a good visit. We asked a local resident for a bed and breakfast recommendation. He pointed to one down the road. We walked over to it, knocked on the door and even thought we saw a person through the window, no one answered. I decided to ring them on my cell phone (that I intuited would be a worthwhile purchase for our visit). The woman who answered, let us know she was full for the evening and directed us to her neighbor (where Daniel had thought was the first place we’d been directed to, turned out he was intuiting the B&B energy there – way to go Daniel). We walked over, and it turned out the woman was going to be leaving very early in the morning to go to the airport for a day trip, therefore wasn’t accepting guests that night.

This was very strange for me – to have two “no’s”. Not the natural flow I’m use to. I realized that my tension was affecting my flow and I needed to shift that fast in order to attract good accommodations for the evening.

I shook off the tension, did some conscious breathing and focused on deciding what I wanted for accommodations. I saw a comfortable bedroom, lots of room and a reasonable rate. As we drove into the next town, where we’d been directed to find another B&B, we drove past a hotel. In that moment I added to my list that we’d be a close walking distance to a good place to have dinner and drinks that evening.

We didn’t find the first place we’d been directed to, where the previous lady assured us we’d be quite comfortable, but we did find the other location which she couldn’t vouch for as she’d never been in it. It was more like a house hotel, with a breakfast room and vacancies! Yeah!! It was reasonably price and right next door to the hotel I’d seen earlier, which had a great restaurant where we ate that evening.

Conscious creation wise, this is what happened that day:
As we flowed through the day with minimal intention and expectation, we were creating unconsciously and falling into the “story” of the day; the tension from the roads, the challenge in driving, arriving at Tara Hill right when it was closing, the two first B&B’s not having any vacancies.
Once we realized we didn’t need to continue in this flow, it all shifted. We became clear as to what we wanted and flowed towards that. Had we tried harder (trying hard is not necessary) to find the first place we’d been directed to, we wouldn’t have been very close to a restaurant.
We ended up getting exactly what we wanted – once we remembered to ASK!