Friday, April 26, 2013

I Am Enough

At the ripe old age of 47, I've spent several years telling the same running joke. The line is, "I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!" Even though I say it in a playful way, there is actually much truth behind the statement.

The first real job I ever really wanted was that of writer--something I decided when I was twelve. I love to lose myself in a good book, and I thought it would be great to evoke the same sort of feelings in others. (I have always had some rather daydreaming/escapist tendencies.) In some respects, I do see myself as a writer even though it is not something I earn a living at.

In college, I got a BA in psychology, thinking I wanted to be a counselor and help people deal with their problems. That plan fell by the wayside after I had children and decided I wanted to raise them full time. Getting divorced put a big kink in the professional parent role, although I have to admit the jobs I took at the point were ones that allowed me to continue to put my kids first. I ended up as a daycare teacher. It paid the bills but with very little money left over and almost no professional credibility. Ironically I did get offered management positions several times (which I declined because I did not want the added stress for not much extra pay). At one point I even managed to get a temporary teaching certification which allowed me to be the lead teacher in a Georgia Pre K classroom, but as I knew I didn't want to be a teacher forever I did not finish the requirements to get my permanent certification.

At present, I am blessed to be able to work part time. When I first made the decision, I thought I would have time to actually focus on writing. However, even though I often have great ideas my ADD tendencies make it difficult to sit around and focus on any one major project. At times, I am extremely frustrated with myself and my lack of ambition. I even try to figure out what it is that drives me--what it is I am passionate about, but no one thing really stands out to me.

As I pondered this subject yet again this morning, something profound came to me. In this society, we are taught it is important to have goals and to be something. Usually being something requires you to define yourself in some way. For example, I am a writer or a teacher or a business person, etc. Absolutely nothing I know of in this world is something I feel I want to pursue for the rest of my life. There are times I do want to be a writer. There are times I want to be a teacher. There are times I want to be in business for myself. There are others professions I am attracted to as well. If I am to perfectly honest with myself, however, I do not wish to limit myself to any one of these things. The thought that occurred to me as I drove my youngest son to school was, maybe it is not necessary to be so focused on defining myself. Maybe I need to stop looking at things the world deems as necessary and just allow myself to be--whatever that is in any given moment.

The very act of defining who you are creates automatic limitation. Somewhere deep in my heart, I know I am  an unlimited and powerful being. I do not wish to be in a box--even a box of my own choosing and design.

The reason living in the state of now is such a powerful place to be is because you are in the moment, choosing from one second to the next what makes you happy. It is not something you have to think about. It is something you feel, and feelings are where the magic happens.

I choose not to designate myself as writer or teacher or business woman or anything else. I am all those things and more. I do not need to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I am, and that is enough.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Why We Should Let Go

I've been a part-time sales associate at Penney's (yes, that ailing American retailer) for about two-and-a-half years now. Within that time, I watched them go from a sales strategy of fluctuating prices that included "sales" and coupons and ended with 99 cents to prices that were ultra-competitive every day that only went lower when they went on clearance and ended in even dollar amounts. I have to confess--I LOVED the changes Ron Johnson made to the pricing!

Let's look at the difference between pricing the ends in 99 cents verses even dollar amounts. When I was growing up, my folks always taught me to add a penny to the price of anything that ended in 99 cents (common sense, right?). If an item is listed at $14.99, in reality it is $15. While a good many people understand this concept, many, many more do not! What I discovered when I was adding up peoples' items is that most of them do not add on the penny! I was totally amazed at the people who thought they were adding up the prices in their heads only to discover they were way off! Say for example they were purchasing five items. They would look at the $14.99 and think it was $14! When they did this for five items, their totals were $5 off (without even looking at taxes)! I would patiently explain to them how to add the penny so their totals wouldn't be off! This is why I appreciated the even dollars amounts that Ron John made standard practice at Penney's (and why I was appalled to see some of our merchandise on sale this week for $4.99)!!! To me, this can be a very deceptive practice, and I am definitely not into deception.

Then look at the "sales" and coupons. The prices were much higher with the old pricing strategy. I was on the team that changed all the prices at my store in January of 2012, and I was truly amazed by what I saw! The vast majority of the listed prices were literally cut in half!!! With the old pricing strategy, prices changed almost daily, give or take a couple of dollars at the twice as high price. "Sales" consisted of a few less dollars on certain items only. One of my gifts is the ability to spot patterns, and one of the patterns I noticed consistently was that the really good coupons ($10 off $10 or more or $25 or more) were at times the overall prices in the store were at their highest levels. Of course, they would have their limited number of "Door Buster" items to draw in the crowds, but unless you were only buying door busters, you did not come out ahead--the store did! You only believed you were making out like a bandit, but it kept you happy, didn't it? Again, to me, this is extremely deceptive and I do not like it!

Yes, I am in rant mode! Why? Because I was in my store shopping today and I saw they were marking everything up twice or more than what the every day price was! The coupons have been out for weeks already, and you can't make a profit with coupons and extremely low prices. Yes, folks! You are getting your damn coupons back! Hope the sticker shock doesn't come back to bite you in the ass!!! If you ever decide to get a new tattoo, might I suggest the word "sucker" in big, bold letters on your forehead!!!

My point with my very wordy essay on corporate greed and deception? People don't like change, and that is why the world continues to stay in a state of corruption and decline!!! You can look at this world through rose-colored glasses and con yourself into believing that everything is fine, but until you understand that change is the only thing that will allow the world to lose the deception and become better the world will continue to go down the tubes!

It's time! Take off the rose-colored glasses and see the world for the corrupt, deceptive place it is! The more willing you are to identify what's wrong with your community the more likely you are to change it! It is time to let go of all that is familiar. It is not working for anyone but the 1%. The world has untapped resources available. Be willing to look for them and use them as we work to bring about a golden age on this dusty and tired planet.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'm In the Allowing Party!

I am so fed up with the labels! I have been called by many names in my lifetime. Girl. Woman. Daughter. Sister. Mother. Friend. Enemy. Heterosexual. Christian. Democrat. Republican. Intelligent. Stupid. Fun. Boring. Saint. Sinner. And it goes on...and on...and naseam!!!

The thing is, I am in process of letting go of judgments--against both others and myself. It is not a quick and easy task as I have been taught to judge everything--even things as inane as burping in public or people with tattoos! The judgments we have of ourselves, each other, and the world are directly tied to the labels we give to various things. Labels are one way of categorizing and organizing the information in our brains.

As judgmental human beings, we attempt to limit our own actions to those things we have been taught are "good" or "right". This is the step where we stop growing because we have mentally chosen to limit our behaviors. (This does not mean I think everyone should go around doing every "bad" thing they thought about doing. It does mean we learn to hear the wisdom in our hearts and follow that guidance.)

I have come to the point of my development where I no longer want to be labeled. (This, to me, equates to putting me in a box.) Just as I do not want to be thought of as "bad", I also do not want to be thought of as "good", nor do I want to be labelled woman, daughter, sister, mother, friend, enemy, heterosexual, christian, or anything else! What I desire to do is BE, without dictates, mandates or directives. I want to be free to follow the moment by moment guidance of my heart without the distraction of labels!

I especially don't want to be labeled Democrat or Republican! (Them's fightin' words for sure in my book!) If you must call me something, tell everyone I'm in the Allowing Party. It's a party that doesn't care if you are Democrat or Republican (or Libertarian). It doesn't care of you are good or bad, intelligent or stupid, black or white, or any other limiting thing. It's an all-inclusive party where we are free to follow the guidance and wisdom in our own hearts. It's a place where we are allowed to BE.