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Posts Tagged ‘Transitions’

 

you are doing very difficult, necessary, courageous work. no  one never stumbles.

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Remember Christopher, the Communications Director from They Like Me! (8.24.11)? When last we heard about him, he had the big meeting coming up — the one he and his staff had prepared for in the ‘pre-meeting’ — and I called to ask about it.

He was disheartened. His boss had dismissed the group’s ideas, which somehow changed into being solely Christopher’s ideas. “They completely bailed on me,” he said bitterly. “They were like raptors.”

Not only that, but his annual evaluation was coming up and he was afraid that he would be put on probation or even fired. He asked for another alternate handwriting session and as usual dove right into the issue:

Dominant Hand: Why do I feel I need weapons?

Alternate Hand: Because I doubt myself.

DH: What stands in the way of my self confidence?

No response. I suggested asking about doubting himself.

DH: What are some limiting beliefs that keep me from being confident in my abilities?

AH: I’m not smart.

DH: Am I really not a smart person?

No response. Since ‘I’m not smart’ sounded self-critical but had been the response of his non-judgmental right brain, I suggested asking why he’d written it.

DH: Why do I believe I’m not a smart person?

AH: Because my mom told me so.

At this point Christopher stopped and told me about a point in his childhood when he in essence became the head of the household. Because of his athletic skills, he was able to live in a special dorm, and his mother and sister were allowed to live there as well. It was too bad he wasn’t smart, was the message he understood. At least he could provide them with room and board. He was ten at the time.

DH: How do I change my belief about myself?

AH: Keep listening to yourself, the inner voice. Keep asking questions. Keep listening.

DH: What would make me feel more self confident?

AH: Getting thru the meetings these 2 weeks.

DH: But what can I do?

AH: Love your boss.

Christopher looked at me incredulously. “It’s… I’m telling myself that I’m supposed to love my boss?” I pointed at what he’d just written. “Can you see how that would make it so much easier?” I asked.

He sputtered for a while. I’d heard a few stories about his boss and by all accounts loveable wasn’t a phrase that anyone would use to describe her. Yet here was his compassionate right brain suggesting that he do so. Christopher conceded that thinking of his boss as a human being rather than a big, fat jerk might be helpful.

DH: How can I respectfully love my boss?

AH: Understand her limitations as a human. Understand she is a grasping for answers and feels insecure. And is scared. Therefore, give your best thinking and pray.

He sat back and blew out a breath, staring at what he wrote. He was visibly calmer but said that he still felt nervous about the meeting. I suggested he list some successes he’d had at work, times when he’d been very smart and effective. He quickly wrote 13 separate examples of high-powered, intelligent projects he’d recently accomplished.

“There’s your arsenal,” I told him, referring back to his first question. He smiled.

A few days later I received the following email with the subject line All Good:

“I am doing a ‘great job.’

“I must be insane to be so far off base.

“Thank you for holding loving space for me!!!!”

As it turns out, Christopher wasn’t off base or insane. His boss had some surprises in store, although they didn’t include firing or probation. Christopher is wisely turning his substantial energy to a completely different endeavor. As he wrote:

“As far as Alternate Handwriting, I have more confidence in myself because I am now accessing that little voice of intuition. I have ignored my intuition for nearly 50 years, it takes awhile to find it, access it, and finally to believe it. When I do the AH, I know I am reaching my authentic self. I have become a better leader because I am confident in my opinions, hunches, and gut feelings.”

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A friend suggested I write more details about my financial struggles. I’ve been hesitant because I know there are so many people in much worse situations than I am. Shades of my Catholic upbringing, I guess: you think you’ve got troubles? I mean, I’m not stuck on a cliff in Pakistan watching the waters rise. What will happen to those poor people?

As of this minute I’ve got a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my stomach. I do want to send a heartfelt Thank You to Good Will Services, who paid my mortgage last month. If you’re looking for a great place to donate, look no further than www.goodwill.org And tell them I sent you.

As for this month’s mortgage and other bills, who knows? I’ve asked my family for help because basically I’ve got $1,000 between me and the Great Unknown. The stultifying temp job ended a few days ago. I can’t say I’m sorry because it sapped my energy and spirit and paid less than half of my monthly expenses. Still, better than a sharp stick in the eye, as a friend used to say.

I’ve started doing wine tastings — yes, I’m one of those people in your grocery store offering free samples. Actually, I’m pretty good at it. I sold 44 bottles of Sabor’s Azule, a dang good margarita wine cocktail made from blue agave, in Temple, Texas (population 62,000) on a recent Saturday afternoon.

I forget that I enjoy selling things that I think people will like or can use. I sold batches of cakes and cookies when I worked at a bakery several years ago. And the head of Seton Foundation told me he admired my “entrepreneurial spirit” as I sold him greeting cards for their wonderful gift shop (www.sweetcharitygifts.org — all proceeds go to Seton Hospital).

I wonder why it’s easy for me to sell little things and seemingly impossible to sell — as in, make a living from —  the life-and-world changing concept of alternate handwriting? Quite baffling but a good topic for an AH session.

I’m still singing along with Man of La Mancha and have posted Part 8 of “Circuitous Route” in Pages. I got an email from someone who’d found my website (www.BettyRogers.com) and said she felt blessed by the work I’m doing. I felt blessed to read that. Lindsey (see “Why I Love This Work,” posted 9.16.09) left a message that she had a “staggeringly helpful” AH session the other day.

It’s fair to say that my work is paying off in valuable ways. Money doesn’t happen to be one of them right now. So I’m lighting the “Alleged Money Drawing Candle” a friend gave me as a gag gift several years ago. (Really: it says “alleged.” Pretty funny.) And following every lead I can find. The Quest continues.  Sancho, where are you, buddy?

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“People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality, but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.”

~ Marcel Proust

I’ve just posted Part 5 of the story about Gerry and Mattie in Pages. A friend had emailed me about the sadness of the story and I’m afraid this chapter begins with tears. Hang in there, though: it perks up.

I don’t remember where I came across this Proust quote, but it’s timely because this has been a season of loss for several friends. Two lost their mothers, one lost his wife, another’s father is near death and another lost her 14-year old dog.

It might seem odd to group those together, but I know how hard it is to lose a dog. I’ve done it five times, and each time I wonder how I can possibly survive the pain. A friend who could no longer keep her dog said it was like giving a child away.

But to lose a parent or dear friend…They continue to occupy our thoughts. My mother’s friend Gerry wrote in her first letter to me, “I find myself hearing something funny or a bit of news I think she’d like to hear and find myself going to the phone ‘to tell Florence.'” I remember nodding when I read that: I found myself doing the same thing.

And although in a way it reopens the wound of grief, in another this aura of life is soothing. During that instant between thinking about them and then remembering the loss, they’re alive for us. In the almost surreal time after the death of someone we loved, those instants are like gifts.

Some say that they are gifts, that the one who died is reaching out to help. I don’t suppose there’s a way to know whether that’s true. All I know is that for me these occupations of thought gradually stopped and I was left with the task of slowly adjusting to a new reality. And eventually I could remember with fondness and take joy from the remembrances.

So to my own dear friends, and to anyone reading this who is going through the pain of recent  loss, perhaps you can be soothed by this idea of traveling abroad. I hope so.

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