Mon. Nov. 25, 2019: Gratitude – The Holiday #upbeatauthors

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Monday, November 25, 2019
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde


This Thursday is American Thanksgiving, which, to me, is the ultimate Day of Gratitude.

I don’t dismiss the concerns from communities who have a problem with celebrating a holiday that, for them, was the precursor to land theft and genocide.

What I hope is that we can turn it into a day of gratitude between family, chosen family, friends, and inclusive community.

Instead of denying that our ancestors did terrible things to each other (and too many of our fellow humans continue to do the same), we take the day to imagine our ideal society, a place of friendship and tolerance and progress and education and art and science and community. When we express gratitude for each other, and find ways to work on getting closer to our ideal, instead of moving away from it. We work to do better, to BE better than those before us.

Our traditional Thanksgiving (which I’ve attended for more than forty years) takes place in a rented VFW hall. Dinner is anywhere from 37 to 60 people. Everyone cooks; everyone helps clean up. It’s extended family and any friends people want to bring. There’s always room for one more at the table. Which is the way it should be.

I’ve missed a few over the years, due to distance (when I lived on the West Coast) or illness. But most years, I rearrange my life so I can attend. I mash the enormous vats of potatoes with a four-foot tall masher. Some years, I’ve had to stand on a step stool to get enough leverage.

Way back when this dinner started, it was agreed that there would be no arguments in that space on that day. I used to have a box right inside the front door marked “Ego Drop. Leave Your Ego Here.”

We don’t need it anymore. Even when people are in the midst of long-running disagreements, we suspend them for the day.

We remember that, in spite of everything, we are grateful that we have each other.

How will you celebrate gratitude this week?


Published in: on November 25, 2019 at 5:54 am  Comments (4)  
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Mon. May 7, 2018: Self-Esteem – It’s About You but MORE than You #UpBeat Authors

Monday, May 7, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

In the self-help world, the advice is that no one can make you feel bad except you.

That’s a load of crap.

People hurt each other all the time. Sometimes it’s by accident. You speak up, and work it out. Often, it’s by design, because causing harm to someone else makes them feel better about themselves.

Yes, they ARE the catalyst, the cause of how you feel.

But how you recover from it and build toward a more positive future is on you.

That’s where self-esteem comes in. You need to have a strong core of understanding who you are. That way, when those who want to hurt you for their own agendas take a run at you, you can respond with strength, grace, and dignity. You can respond without being a doormat, but with integrity instead of viciousness. If you are in a community where the social construct is against your beliefs and values, look for another job, save your money, and move. Find your tribe, both online and in person.

Be open to listening to and learning about those different than you, but don’t stay in toxic relationships on personal, vocational, or social levels.

Self-esteem comes from knowing who you are, what you value, and being unapologetic about it. It takes work. It’s a process. There will be times when you’re exhausted, when you feel awful, when you doubt.

But if you examine yourself and find the cause of the doubts, the root of them, you can find a solution.

Self-esteem does NOT come through avoidance. It comes from dealing directly with issues that are uncomfortable, infuriating, upsetting. If every time you have periods of discomfort, you hide behind pills, alcohol, sex, television, or any other drug (legal or not), the long-term effects will be worse.

You look at yourself, you’re honest with yourself. Decide what you like and want to build. Decide what doesn’t work and what YOU will change. You decide how your needs and wants fit in with the others in your life, and where you can compromise (not capitulate, compromise) to make a better life for everyone in it. You decide who needs to be removed from your life, where relationships are stale or toxic and can’t be saved.

You take responsibility for your words and actions. You don’t allow others who want to cause harm to derail you from your dreams, your work, your passions. You work with your community to create a better world for EVERYONE. You take your responsibilities to vote and serve on jury duty seriously. You remind politicians that you are THEIR employer, and you remove those who aren’t working to make life better in your community, but are only out to line their own pockets with big donor funds.

You do something every day to make yourself happy. You do something every day to make someone else happy. You do something every day to make your community happy.

Every action you take to build a better world will grow your self-esteem while improving that world.

Published in: on May 7, 2018 at 5:38 am  Comments Off on Mon. May 7, 2018: Self-Esteem – It’s About You but MORE than You #UpBeat Authors  
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