Face to Face with the Tyrant

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Emotion. Alternate title: Angry Clown with Frog Hat. Image by Scott Robinson, who says, “This started as a photo of a flower. I was just playing with the paintshop tools….That’s when this fellow jumped out.” Accessed on Flikr via Creative Commons Search.

I’ve blogged a lot about the Tyrant. Always in connection with money, however. For years, I’ve explained the difference between the unhealthy Tyrant and the healthy Warrior archetypes by using Donald Trump as an illustration of the Tyrant. There’s a lot of confusion around healthy moneymaking and investing, and healthy fundraising. I knew no one wanted to be thought of like Trump when it came to money.

My Tyrant has become President.

Tyrant energy rules right now. Perhaps you’ve noticed it in yourself?

I certainly have. I’ve been exceptionally angry. Underneath that, I’ve been extra-fearful and underneath that, sad. Maybe you can see this in yourself, if you look. Maybe you’ve already begun. Or maybe you long ago made friends with your Tyrant.

I’ve behaved badly to people I love. Deeply badly, and yes, this is an apology to you, B and to you, S.

I have always been terrified of the Tyrant. I can sense a Tyrant at 20 paces. The Tyrant was the one type I let myself loathe freely. In a crowded room, it was the one person I let myself flee.

But no more. I find I am not fleeing and I’m not loathing. Nor am I confronting or making friends. I am simply face-to-face, being-with. Acknowledging, learning, watching.

I sit, face-to-face, with the Tyrant.

I no longer run.I no longer hide.

More than any other thing right now, getting comfortable with the Tyrant is TRANSFORMING ME. I am not afraid! Of myself. Or President Trump. Or what he and his are doing to my planet, my economy, my friends. I am not afraid.

I do not dramatize, I do not blame. I do not flee or loathe or shy away. I act, and I rest. I stick around. I resist–and do much beyond resistance. I experience pain but not suffering.  I keep open. I keep alert. I keep face to face because:

The safest place for a Tyrant is face to face.

No one wants to be thought of  like Trump when it comes to power. The shadow of the Tyrant is loneliness. Don’t leave the Tyrant alone.

Register Yourself Now!

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The Coalition sponsoring the One America Registry. For more information, click here! For stuff you can do to help in addition to signing, click here!

President Trump’s proposed Muslim Registry is goofy and RAISING CLARITY’s not afraid to say so!

As a Jew by birth, it’s more than mildly terrifying to picture the family tree I saw on my auntie’s wall with all its blank spaces because we and many, many others were “banned” by the Nazis just decades ago.

As an Islamophile, the Registry hurts me personally. It hurts my friends + their friends + families + exponentially.

My local is global: the Registry hurts my world.

Maybe you feel the same. Maybe you remember Japanese internment in the US. Maybe you think the Registry’s just plain wrong, hurtful and stupid. Maybe it gives you the creeps. Maybe you feel it’s a gigantic misuse of precious resources and that misuse harms our flow of abundance. Maybe you’re tired of being an Ugly American. Maybe you’re disturbed at the Registry’s violation of the separation of church and state that’s US bedrock.

As we wrote in our first (but not last) post on the Beloved Community, RAISING CLARITY is using the next four years not simply to resist but to BUILD the Beloved Community. The One America Registry is a creative idea we endorse–in fact, we’re proud to be one of its launching organizations as you’ll see in the announcement below!

Sign up now and read on…


 AMERICANS OF ALL RELIGIONS & RACES SUPPORT ONE AMERICA REGISTRY

Over 50 Diverse Groups Announce Campaign to Counter President Trump’s

Immigration & Terrorism Policies

NEW YORK CITY – In a collective move,  over 50 groups representing Americans of all backgrounds on Tuesday launched the One America Coalition.  In line with its diversity of makeup, the One America Coalition encourages all Americans to sign and join its One America Registry as a way of recalling the unique and incomparable nature of the modern American identity whose very foundations are diversity and immigration.

Not only does the One America Coalition repudiate President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional policies on immigration, but also, on a broader front, seeks to combat an emerging vision of America relinquishing its long-held moral high ground among the community of nations.

The One America Registry at https://oneamericaregistry.org/ is a nationwide campaign to inform Americans about the harmful consequences of these policies and provide ideas, action items and materials for individuals to help defeat them. Such policies include a domestic Muslim registry, faith-based bans on refugees and visas, mass deportation policies and attacks on U.S. sanctuary cities. The One America Registry will also serve as an organizing tool for future actions to counter policies that undermine our essential and historic American values.

Imam Malik Mujahid, the President of Sound Vision (a co-founder of the One America Coalition) and Chair-Emeritus of the Parliament of World’s Religions , called Trump’s actions “dangerous, discriminatory and unconstitutional.”

“The One America Registry is a powerful way to show President Trump that he cannot divide Americans so easily. Americans of all races and religions, men and women, young and old, we stand together as one America in opposition to divisiveness and hate.”

Imam Mujahid said the One America Registry campaign expects to conduct upcoming events to offer opportunities for Americans to come together and celebrate what it means to be an American. The One America Registry campaign also will disseminate key information to immigrant communities about legal resources and guides, along with helping people decide how they want to participate in future actions against Trump’s policies.

Daniel Mach, Director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief , said: “We are proud to join this campaign and to resist bigotry and discrimination. Our nation is stronger when we stand united to embrace the great American promise of religious freedom and equality.”

“The NAACP New York State conference is joining this campaign in proud partnership. During these uncertain times, it is important that all freedom-loving Americans stick together,” said Dr. Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference.

The One America Coalition includes:

  • ACLU
  • American Constitution Society for Law & Policy
  • Americans for Democratic Action
  • Arise Chicago
  • Asian Law Alliance
  • American Friends Service Committee MidWest
  • Action Sprout
  • Better Georgia
  • Better Boxball
  • Black Institute
  • Colorado Fiscal Institute
  • Compassionate Atlanta
  • CounterAct
  • Charter for Compassion
  • Chicago’s Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
  • Dragonfly Partners
  • Daily Kos
  • Equal Justice Society
  • Equality California
  • EveryLibrary
  • Georgia Alliance for Social Justice
  • It Must Be Us
  • Interfaith Center of New York
  • Immigration Equality
  • Interfaith Paths to Peace
  • Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta
  • J Street
  • Justice For All
  • K-12 News Network
  • Keystone Progress
  • Michigan Muslim Community Council
  • Money-Mindfulness
  • Muslim Americans for Compassion
  • Muslim Peace Coalition
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • New Hampshire Labor News
  • New Media Ventures
  • NAACP New York State Conference
  • Our Family Coalition
  • Public Citizen
  • R Strategy Group
  • Ruby Zandra’s Blue Jazz Society of Hope
  • RAISING CLARITY
  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • Silicon Valley Progressive Faith Community
  • Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
  • Ted Terry, Mayor of Clarkston, GA
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • Upaya Zen Center
  • UNAC
  • Voto Latino
  • Workplace Fairness.

PS: If you want to do even more than sign up, click here to see all the ways you can multiply the Registry!

Convincing Yourself Is the First Step–You Might Need a Frame

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Framed. Image by chedder uploaded to Flikr, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Last week, one of our beloved soul-colleagues commented as we sat down to work together (in a phone session) that

“sometimes you need to convince yourself that what you’re doing is important”

and sometimes

“you need a frame”

and he felt that’s what meeting and doing homework with RAISING CLARITY provided.

I was so moved by the ease with which he described something I have a hard time describing: what I do for people, what RAISING CLARITY does for people. I asked if I could share it with you, and he said I could.

I also asked if I could share the website for what our soul-colleagues on this project are building: an income-sharing intentional community called Cambia that hosts a sustainability educational center called the Living Systems Exploratorium (LSE). Here is some juicy description of the community that includes the LSE; I also love this page about the culture being realized at Cambia.

What RAISING CLARITY does indeed is set aside time with you to discuss, refine and empower your work. We create a frame around your  work for self-reflection that helps you see clearly, with detachment and love. So you can change more easily and also so you can appreciate how beautiful your vision is and how amazing your accomplishments are to date. Even if you think they are small. Perhaps especially if, outside the frame, they seem small. After a while, you don’t need us to show you or help you, you are simply a soul-colleague building out your corner of the Beloved Community right along with us building out ours. And you can even pass on what you have learned about the importance of seeing your work truly with detachment and love to others.

Is this coaching? Is it consulting? Yes! It’s both. It’s why we’re changing the description of our work to interweave both aspects. Of course we do fundraising, promotion and Board training for organizations. And we do moneycoaching, life coaching, and healing the flow of abundance for individuals. But underneath there is one thing we do. And it’s described here. Thoughts on how to improve our description are always welcome!

 

Nothing Wrong with the Way You Love

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Love: A heart-shaped patch of rusted metal, showing through cracked and flaking paint; a metal wall, near railway tracks. Image by and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Chris Sanderson.

My sweetie says he used to call Valentine’s Day “Halloween II.” I think that’s funny! And reveals a truth: we think we don’t already have love. We think there is something wrong with the way we love. Valentine’s is one of my favorite holidays because it’s all about love, and love is all there is.

I mean: we are made of love. We can’t not love, or have love, or give love. Our only work is to remove the obstacles to love.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
(Rumi)

This may sound easy.

This may sound hard.

How does it sound to you?

Have you tried it?

“Nothing wrong with the way you love.” That’s the message of this post. I received it for myself and for you as I awoke from a dream this morning to write this post.

It can be challenging to remember who we are. In a way, RAISING CLARITY supplies only clarity. We can lead you to water but we can’t make you drink.

Can you drink? Can you let love in?

 Thomas A Kempis writing 500 years ago sounds a lot like Rumi speaking 700 years ago about becoming one with love:

For who is there, that approaching humbly a fountain of great sweetness does not carry away some little sweetness?

Or who standing near a great fire, does not receive some small heat from it?

And You are a fountain always full and overflowing; a fire ever burning and never going out.

What is your source of sweetness? Where is your fountain? Can you find your way back to the great fire? Or have you not lost it? (Rumi burned so strongly that one anthology of his in English is called simply, I Want Burning.)

There may be a problem with the way we unlove. But there can be no problem with the way we love. 

In my work as a moneycoach, I teach all eight of Deborah L. Price’s archetypes. Five are weak and unhealthy. Three are healthy and strong.* It is so much easier to help people strengthen what’s strong than to chip away at what’s weak! Argh! This approach–chipping away at what we don’t like–is so common. And it works much faster and better to heal the weak parts, in my years of experience.

Let’s agree that what we do well is where we focus.

If what we focus on is what we get more of, let’s focus on what we do well. Let’s do more of it. Let’s love the ways we love.

Do you even know how you love? Have you ever thought about it? How do you love?

Me, I show love through cooking, words, work, shared time, and worrying which I conscientiously turn into prayer because as they say, “if you pray, don’t worry and if you worry, don’t pray.”

I even show this love to myself when I have behaved particularly badly. It helps me take the badness apart and look at it carefully, kindly, quietly and slowly, then heal, which means “become whole,” like the word integrity means “wholeness.”

Sometimes I show love through upset. Finding love in the middle of all those tangled vines of upsetness becomes my focus. Slowing down to take the time to look finds it. It is always there, if I will remove the vines, carefully, kindly, quietly and persistently and then:

Nothing wrong with the ways you love.


*Alongside the healthy archetypes of Warrior, Creator/Artist and Magician, the weakened ones are the Innocent, Victim, Martyr, Tyrant and Fool. If you click on each archetype, you’ll be taken to a post exploring it. Or find the whole series here.


I am always willing to negotiate a price for my work with anyone serious about change.

Trump Takeover Feel Like It’s Taking Over Your Life? Four Sanity Strategies for Humans and Nonprofits

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Flikr image by Wade M accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Nonprofits: the italics are for you!

Today, I tallied them up: in just the past 5 days, I’ve received 18 emails asking me to

as well as

  • Donate (6 emails, two from the same organization, all of whom shall remain nameless). I believe in asking for and giving money. But right now it’s like the Christmas season never ended, plus a whole lotta trauma. Combining action alerts + fundraising in the same email might be a smart strategy.  I also got an email today from MoveOn telling me specifically what they were going to do with more money right now–rather than assuming urgency and emotional turmoil would do the trick.
  • Revel in progress!  Nonprofits who do things differently really get my attention just now. Miracle of miracles, Jewish Voice for Peace (which I just joined because they are Jews, like me by birth, who love and support Muslims, as I do too, sent me a totally inspiring list of early progress just since the election without a request for money. They’ve done a good job welcoming me as a member at this traumatic time without overwhelming me even though they send a lot of emails because they keep it emotionally real and treat me like I pay attention and am smart.

I’m also in receipt of a fabulous response by fundraising’s fairy godmother Kim Klein to a question from a small local arts organization about how to keep donations coming in the door at this time of national turmoil.

Basically, in Times of Attempted Time and Money Takeover…

You know from my “getting organized” posts that we need to set aside time. Yes, s–t happens, but if we want something other than s–t in our lives we need to set aside time for it.

In a world in which we schedule everything, nothing unscheduled ever gets done.

So, I mean schedule (especially now): time to meditate, time with loved ones, time for reading and writing and art and art-making, time for self-care, and time for what you really enjoy with apologies or accounting to anyone.  Each of these is as important as time for work and political action.  “Bread AND roses.”* 

Time is our true wealth.

Four Sanity Strategies

  1. Set aside time for action: I responded to all of the above 9 action requests to call my senators, email them as second-best, or on occasion, sign a petition (petitions aren’t cutting it anymore, it seems). My senator’s staffer said he recognized my name, we’ve talked so often. (And I hope because I always talk to him like he’s a real person.)
  2. Streamline: Put your senators on speed dial. (Your representative too, for that matter!) AND if you have three things to tell a legislator, keep a list, then call once about all three.  It’s allowed: they work for you! It builds your sense of power and accomplishment and is easier for you than making three phone calls, which also means you’re more likely to take action on more things!
  3. Refuse pressure to give: Set a budget for giving, and keep it. I have not given any money during the past 5 days because I keep a budget and I have used it up until I make more money to put in it.
  4. Set aside time for inaction: give yourself breaks from the news, including Facebook and other social media. Consider using your breaks consciously and intentionally to counterbalance news with equal time to restore self. Make sure you are keeping up with your day-to-day responsibilities that may not be as dramatic as the news; earn income, ground yourself in your work of service. This, too, builds the Beloved Community. Finally, set aside times to support others. This gives us strength.

Last week, I mentioned a Beloved Community Accountability Group. Many people over the next four years may need a space to check in, get support, gain strength, recover from grief, and take action.

Try out the BeLOVEd Community Support Group in a telephone session this Sunday, February 5th at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific.

It’s a conference call, no Internet needed. The call-in number is 641-715-3276. The access code is 187944# .

I’m taking suggestions of ways RAISING CLARITY can support right now. Write in with suggestions; join us on this Sunday’s call; join the Beloved Community Group if you like. Find out more about how it works here.


*Judy Collins’ is my favorite version of the song by this title.

Trumping Trump: Proposal for Beloved Community Accountability Group

npg-donald-trumpGreetings, Beloveds! It’s all very well for us to march…

If we want to be a FORCE for CHANGE, we need to remain ACCOUNTABLE for the NEXT FOUR YEARS.

RAISING CLARITY is creating an accountability group for the duration of the Trump Administration to anyone who wants help keeping personal promises during this time.  Below is our proposal. We’ll be announcing the group soon and promoting it widely but first we’d like to know: what do you think? Please tell us!

The Beloved Community Accountability Group’s purpose is to help you keep your promises to use the Trump Administration to BUILD your corner of the Beloved Community in whatever ways you are moved to do it.

Proposal

  1. The group is open to anyone who wants in, anywhere
  2. cost to join is on a sliding scale and negotiable
  3. members get space to honor pain and challenges without getting stuck in them
  4. members get support and accountability coaching for “big stuff” like new projects or more powerful existing projects AND “small stuff” like acts of solidarity with at-risk of-being-targeted groups, making friendships across political lines, dissolving hatred from your life, taking quiet time daily, filtering the news, responding effectively if you are targeted
  5. the group meets once/month by phone + in writing if desired (for example, via a closed Facebook Group)
  6. the group is small–10 people max, to be able to speak and listen to each other well
  7. participants can join at any time
  8. participants can leave at any time
  9. there is always an open group you can join, new groups are added as needed
  10. 10 max friends can ask us to facilitate their group
  11. anyone can take this idea and create their own group, with my compliments!
  12. I coach and facilitate each group but speak less than most participants; my job is to help members stay accountable to their vision of, and commitment to doing their “stuff” to build, the Beloved Community.

Are you in? Any changes you think we should make to the design of the group? Group(s) will begin in March.


Backstory: I began researching the Beloved Community in 2013. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is deservedly our most famous Beloved Community organizer. It’s believed Dr. King encountered in seminary the Beloved Community’s conceptual creator, philosopher Josiah Royce, who wrote that the Beloved Community works by redeeming betrayal through creative acts of reconciliation inspired by the betrayal. This calls us to such an outrageous reframing of ourselves that I believe it is why Dr. King (and I) fell in love with it. Details:

  1. The Beloved Community suffers betrayal on a daily basis. (The Trump Administration, for many, is just such a four-year-long betrayal. On the other hand, Trump was elected by people who also felt betrayed.)
  2. How to heal betrayal when it happens?  Any member can heal any other member’s betrayal! We are all, in different ways, betrayers and betrayed. The Beloved Community is universal and includes ALL humanity.
  3. When betrayal happens, “the community can find no reconciliation. But can it create one?” 
  4. “It is the traitor, and it is not the community, that has done the deed of betrayal. But new deeds remain to be done. These deeds of reconciliation are made possible by that betrayal.”
  5. “The world, as transformed by our creative deeds is better than it would have been had all else remained the same, but had that deed of treason not been done.”* THIS is our challenge. This is what our Beloved Community Accountability Group exists to support.

In other words, we use the Trump Administration to BUILD THE BELOVED COMMUNITY.


*I have changed Royce’s wording slightly. Source: Josiah Royce’s The Problem of Christianity.

Image: This beautiful, engaging Portrait of Donald J. Trump by Michael O’Brien is owned by the taxpayer-funded Smithsonian Portrait Gallery and modified by Beth Raps using a copyright-free golden arrow.

WE give you HOMEWORK!

I found myself writing homework for five different clients last week and realized: wow! what fun! for me and for them!

RAISING CLARITY may be the only people proud of giving you HOMEWORK. I know, I know, you probably remember homework like this:320px-I_Don't_Know_ANY_of_This!

When you work with us, it feels like this:

320px-ChaliceWell(GB)QuietReflectionSignyou can count on your dollars stretching f-a-a-a-rther by us giving you homework that we review, often for free, in between sessions. Here’s an explanation we love:

I do not advise working with Beth if you do not want to work hard. Beth will do everything she says she’ll do and expect the same of you. She will guide you through a process of clarification which will give you and your group a clear goal and empower you to achieve it for yourself.

This is from our new-and-improved Testimonials page. It’s one of our all-time favorite endorsements: you will work smarter, not harder with us, and we promise you’ll raise clarity. You’ll gain focus, specificity, detail, depth, richness in what you came to us for.

Fear Exercise for Wintertime

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Fear seems to arise more visibly in Winter. Cold stimulates response from the body and energy body. It is the Water season in Chinese five-element understanding.  It’s a time of stillness in us and the Earth but because Water challenges our human Earth-iness, we can get crazy ungrounded and extra-fearful. Especially this Winter with such enormous and difficult cha(llen)ges.

As you become still, however, observe how deep or superficial the fear is. Just become still with the fear. Notice where in your body you are most aware and observe those sensations/places.

What you are doing is “Earthing” the fear.  You are grounding it in the physical–your physical.

You can feel yourself becoming more grounded. You become an earthen space for the fear to root itself–and transform.

Fear is “just” a kind of energy. Rooting fear transforms it.

Into what? I don’t know. But you do: into what? Write in and say, in a comment to this post.

In this way, we return to the stillness of Water. We rest in Winter’s utter purity.

What is Winter For?

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Naples, the Allegory of Silence at the Chiostro of Santa Chiara. Image by and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Lalupa.

What is Winter for?

The watchword of Winter is silence.

In greatest silence, greatest dynamism–

according to Creating Affluence, which I read daily (as prescribed by the good doctor himself).

Winter is when things happen–under the surface.  We don’t see them with our physical eyes.  But they happen, silently and dynamically. This is true in us as well as in the Earth.

My soul-colleague Mikhael Solenne one Winter posted this encouragement:

Be sweet with your life! Let life emerge through you like a flower – if it’s not spring yet, then rush not! Wait! Wait!

Winter is That.  What?  That. 

It might feel like waiting–if you are doing too much right now. That’s how you can tell if you are. Could you do less?

When? (Nobody ever asks that question: when could you do less? when exactly?)

A Doing-Free Date with Yourself

Do you know that I set aside time for doing-free dates with myself? Here is more information. And more recently, here.

2017 Needs Us BOLD

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Construction of the new Golden Horn Metro Bridge, in Istanbul. Image: Arild Vågen on Wikimedia Commons, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

2017 is a year to be strong and clear about where you stand. Us, too: I’m considering this as our new subtitle:

RAISING CLARITY: your practical and intuitive guide to peaceful organization of money, promotion and life

What do you think? Does that cover what we do, in your experience?*

I’m finally done being awed at the gifts I’ve been given to share (intuitive especially) and ready just to claim ’em and use them.

What gifts are you claiming? Be bold. What is your plan for using them?

The world needs us bold right now. And the New Year is time for change. You can feel it. If you can feel it, you can act on it. If you act on it even a little, you get help from the unseen. And you build your intuition. Try it. If you need our help, ask. Here is more on what we do. If you are serious, we will help you. We will figure out a price.


*We’re reorganizing the blog, too. If you can’t find something where you used to find it, let me know.