Sunday, February 22, 2009

What Kind of Teabag Are You?

A note from for Monday February 23 2009

I do sincerely hope that each of you had a wonderful weekend.

As you no doubt know, the weekend saw a celebration of 2008's best movies at the Oscar's in California. I readily admit that I was captivated by the sheer diversity of the picks and took the evening to tune into the event. The diversity I talk about is really an entire celebration of great movies, outstanding subject matter, incredible acting, thoughtful story, and most of all, people.

This rich tapestry of personality clearly show each of us that regardless of our dream, we each have the ability, and the locations, to write our own script, design our own set, cast our supporting actors, shoot our own scenes, conduct our own music, direct our own production, and finally, take our own award. Folks this is a great time to be fully alive.

And now turning to another great producer, in the person of our good friend and contributor, Jan Janzen. Jan recently wrote a whole line up of "readers" for Procrastination Week, and just when I thought we would be giving her a well earned rest, she pops up with another piece that we just had to share. You may not be entirely aware, but our buddy Jan is also a ordained minister, and from that perspective has insights that serve us here very well.

You're going to like...

What Kind of Teabag Are You?
by Jan Janzen

I lay on the cold marble floor, too weak to put my head over the toilet to vomit. It was a horrible feeling of complete and utter weakness Something nasty hit me on Monday and I spent my day hugging the porcelain throne.

But as I lay there feeling like death warmed over, I still appreciated that I was sick in a nice clean bed. I was safe and secure. I had friends ready to help at a moment´s notice. I had clean water to drink and medicine if I needed it. As awful as Monday was, I felt so blessed.

My mind went to the suffering that I have seen personally in my travels around the world. Women who live in fear of their abusive husbands. I´ll never forget the night in Ecuador when a village woman showed up at my door with two young children in tow, holding her pregnant belly, crying as her husband had kicked her in the stomach. I´ve seen the children in Cuba and China standing in doorways to hovels they call homes, looking pitifully thin. I´ve given money to the woman who didn´t know what to feed her children their one meal for the day. I´ve wiped more than one child´s runny nose and then gave them their only hug for the day.

Right now, everybody is moaning and groaning about how bad the world is. We´re in financial crisis. You´re right. Loans and credit cards aren´t being handed out like there was no tomorrow. Houses aren´t selling like hotcakes on a cold winter´s day. Jobs are no longer secure. Having a home is no longer a sure thing...guaranteed. Yes, times have changed.

I am sure that many hellfire and damnation ministers are having a heyday with this one. I´m sure that my former religious colleagues think Armaggedon is imminently imminent.

What about you? How are you handling the turmoil? How are you dealing with your fears? Is the uncertainty of it all pushing a few of your buttons? It´s easy to have faith and trust when it´s safe and secure and to speak positively when you´re surrounded by good news. It´s another story when all hell breaks loose.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "a woman is a lot like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." Well, most people today feel like they are in hot water. I noticed a feeling come over me the other day that I didn´t like. It was fear. Pure, raw and vicious. It washed over me, enveloped me and was ready to carry me down the same path most of the world is already on. I had to stop, get grounded and centered in my knowingness that I will have NO part in this fear-laden world. When that feeling hits you and if it hasn´t already, it very likely will, REFUSE to be part of it. You won´t feel any better, paralyzed by all the what-ifs of life. Promise.

Today I read a blog by one of my business mentors that talked about our choice in language. Rather than seeing the situation as a financial crisis, why not see it as a financial opportunity. Right now, there are bargains galore to be had. You can buy a house for hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a year ago. I bet a yacht could be had for a steal right now. I know as I am looking for my next rental property, there are deals like I wouldn´t have seen this time last year. What opportunity!

And what a great lesson if you can´t take advantage of the financial windfalls available because you are over your head in debt, or been fiscally irresponsible in the past. This situation isn´t going away anytime soon from what I hear, so you have time to correct and continue. Rather than react and retreat, correct and continue is the spiritual warrior´s path. Look at what you wish you had done differently (like maybe having a rainy day savings account) and make course corrections.

Our own personal Armaggedons arrive frequently. I´ve been through a few "end of the world" times in my life when my marriage ended after 18 years and when my business crashed leaving me almost bankrupt. I realize that this time it may feel more serious because so many people are experiencing hardship or turmoil at once. When so many are in the same boat, it´s harder to see the shores of safety.

I go back to how I started this newsletter. No matter how bad you have it, no matter how serious your personal situation is, no matter how afraid you are, there are people right this moment that are going through something so horrific, so terrifying, so barbarous you would feel ridiculous even worrying about your little problems if you were in their shoes. I do think of the starving child in India who knows only too intimately the stomach pains I was experiencing on Monday. I do think of the woman who lay beaten and kicked and then forced to put in a full day´s work for fear of losing her children.

I do think of the horrible fear of loneliness for the elderly. I don´t think of these things in a depressing way at all. Rather meditating on the reality of how much of this planet lives keeps my own life in perspective. Seriously, no one will have a violin playing for me and my itsy-bitsy little problems compared to the big scheme of things.

Secondly, it helps me remember my responsibility to make the difference in the world I came to make. There is a focus and a determination that I cannot deviate from for the little bumps and bruises along the way.

You and I are here as leaders. We are not normal, average or typical in our reactions or responses to situations. In the very core of your soul, you know that to be true. So look at the situation today as an amazing opportunity to show how strong your faith and trust is. The world needs leaders more than ever. It is time to show up.

Blessings, Jan

P.S. I will be in Vancouver for a very special Sacred Gifts workshop March 28th and 29th. Tickets are selling well. If you would like to attend, take action now and click here for registration information. Go to Events on the website for the details. There is nothing more empowering than spending two days with other amazing men and women who are looking for bigger ways to express their gifts. It will be a truly glorious time.

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