Raised Right…

On the Acknowledgements page of my dissertation, I wrote these words:

Ferrol Sams’ character, Porter Osborne, Jr., was “raised right” — a condition which he frequently invoked when he was about to do something contrary to his Southern Baptist upbringing while at the same time wishing to absolve his forbears of guilt by association. I, too, have been “raised right,” though by other families and traditions. If those who have gone before me wish to be absolved of the thoughts claimed here, so be it. They did their best.

Boardman, Will You “Do” Our Wedding?

Just between us, there are some days when I wish I were not a writer, deep in my soul. This day is, in some notably horrific ways, one of them. But then I remember that I get to say something which might be helpful.

It’s a lot like preaching.

But first a story…

I spent Tuesday pondering a shift in options for making my art available for adoption online. There were the obvious tech questions involved. And financial questions. And friendship questions. And even a few political questions. Kind of like life.

All that while watching the returns from Georgia’s Senate run-off elections.

Frankly, it was feeling like a sleepless night looking for a place to happen.

Then I had an idea. (Note: This is where some of the folks who raised me right may get a little anxious.)

A couple of minutes worth of hunting in the studio produced my set of Mother Mary Oracle Cards, by Alana Fairchild.

I learned of these cards from the amazing artist and author, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, aka SARK. And then, from the cards, I learned of the work of Shiloh Sophia McCloud, another amazing artist and author, who illustrated the work.

I could spend ages debating the theological traditions that crash into each other, at least in common perception, in this story but, instead, I’ll just tell you what happened last night.

I shuffled the cards, as I was taught, and then I passed them from hand to hand until I selected one. Magic? Energy? Inspiration?

I don’t know.

Last night, it was card number 24. Our Lady of Great Power

Here’s a bit of what I read:

It takes a truly great leader to be a great warrior for love on this planet. This leader does not give us false hope, or imaginings that all the problems that need solving will just magically ‘go away’ if we close our eyes and hope hard enough. Instead this leader inspires us with genuine encouragement and empowerment. This leader is honest about our healing light really being needed on this planetYet we also need that leader to inspire us with genuine hope and self-esteem, which helps us feel empowered to be able to make a difference. This will prevent us from collapsing into despair, believing that nothing can change – whether in our own life, or in the world around us.

Yes, I have taken these words out of context. And yet, wisdom comes where it will and the best we can do is to be willing to listen.

Or, to return a bit closer to my roots… from the Gospel according to Matthew:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Where the energy goes…

… or, where Neuro-linguistic Programming meets Qigong. (And just about everything else!)

If you’ve been hanging around a while, you may know that, once upon a time, a long time ago, I was a surgical nurse. I’ll always remember the first major brain surgery I scrubbed in on.

The surgeon, who was new in those parts, handed me a gizmo that looked like a metal tongue depressor wrapped in clear plastic. Then he said, “hold that right there and don’t touch the yellow thing or he’ll be blind in one eye!”

(Nothing like a little pressure while learning!)

I suppose that was the beginning of my fascination with how our brains work, especially when they don’t look they could do much of anything! It’s been quite a journey. For today, though, I’ll simply tell you that our patient did well and recovered fully.

And now we’ll go on to some pondering that’s more about perception and thought than it is directly about anatomy.

Here’s the best way I’ve learned to explain it:

Where the attention goes, the energy flows.

This is, I believe, the problem with with New Year’s Resolutions, at least as many of us frame them. Quit this. Lose that. Don’t do something else. All negative.

Now, I know that some of you will have learned this trick before and you can just let this be a celebration of how well you’re doing. But, just in case you haven’t, here’s how it works.

Let’s say that someone you know resolves to quit watching TV. (There is no judgement in this example!)

Because our brains don’t do negatives, the attention of quitting TV becomes energy flowing toward – you guessed it! – TV. And the outcome is pretty predictable.

If, instead, that same someone resolved to paint every day, or play the piano, or make more soup, the energy would go toward those desired things and they’d be a lot more likely to happen.

Here’s another way to look at this. With our example of quitting TV, the minute we watch TV, we’ve failed. If, instead, our attention was on painting or playing the piano or making soup, every time we followed through and did one of those things, we’d succeed!

Now I’ve admitted, before, to being a bit of a language junky. Framing things positively makes them a whole lot more likely to happen. And who do you know that doesn’t enjoy success?

So, I am hereby authorizing you to edit any resolutions you may have made into positive aspirations. And, just in case part of you already knew that resolutions weren’t your best thing so you didn’t make any, I’ll encourage you, gently, to let yourself claim your path for 2021 and set out on the journey.

ps… for the last time in this space… at least for the next little while, I’ll ask you, if you live in Georgia, to please, please vote. That’s how we move toward the positive!

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach