Sunday, December 30, 2012

Is Your Communication Style Insulting or Inspiring?

Is Your Communication Style Insulting or Inspiring?

by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

Is your communication style insulting, belittling, or inspiring?  When writing comments in the first person, it guarantees me not to exclude myself from what is being discussed.  Thus, I take on the responsibility to what I write or say.  I don't direct the comment to someone else.  Rather I try to influence.  For instance, "when I am not expressing my own creative potential, I focus on blame in a relationship instead of focusing on creativity."  I take on the responsibility personally.

On the other hand, if I write in third person, I direct the comment to others so that now I am more of a judge and juror than someone trying to support and uplift.  For example, "when people aren't expressing their own potential, they focus blame on the relationship instead of focusing on their creativity."  Do you see the difference?  Do you feel the difference?

Many of us say and believe we are inspiring others into awareness; but when it really comes down to it, we are judging others; we are not inspiring others.  I do this myself probably more often than I should.  Here's another example; but this one is in second person: "As you waste your breath complaining about life, someone out there is breathing their last."  How do you feel when you read this?  To me, this one sounds as though the person writing is belittling me and pointing fingers; rather than inspiring me.

Of course, there is a time and place to write and talk in second and third person for sure.  And, to get a point across, sometimes people need a wake up call with the second person - kind of in your face direct wake up call.  Third person may be a little more gentle.  Nonetheless, it is still talking about you and me rather than about the writer.

Why did I write about first, second, and third person pronouns?  For sometime now, I have been scanning through posts from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  For a while, I couldn't understand why I would get agitated and then "hide" certain posts.  Me, the curious cat, needed to uncover why this subtle physiological arousal was happening.  Always interested in communication and relationships especially after reading Marshall B. Rosenberg's books, Speak Peace in a World of Conflict and Nonviolent Communication, I started to figure out that it is not what is being said but how it is being said.  Thus, some posts would inspire me and others would agitate me.

To sum up, is your communication style insulting, pointing fingers, or inspiring?  Just remember that you, me, and they must remember the importance of communication - tone of voice, pronouns and words used, and physiology expressed.  Additionally, how we communicate things may be more important than what we communicate depending on the purpose of the communication.

A note: This is quite a simplified explanation in regards to communication; but it brings out the basics.  Using the various pronouns can also be very inspiring.  So give your words some thought before you verbally express them.  Or, rather, have your purpose in mind about the conversation you desire.  Setting an intention, ultimately, will set the tone of the conversation.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Injustice Anywhere . . .


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Justice for Peace

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Justice for Peace

"Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere"
[Martin Luther King]


Friday, December 28, 2012

As Women, We Must . . .


As Women, We Must . . .

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Clarity and Enlightenment are Within You

Clarity and Enlightenment are Within You

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Many of us seem to believe that we need to move or travel to the far East or elsewhere to regain clarity and enlightenment.  Although the experience is grand, we gain clarity and enlightenment where we are now.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Meanings of Christmas


The Meanings of Christmas


"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." 
[Calvin Coolidge]


"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love."
[Hamilton Wright Mabi] 


"The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas."
[W. C. Jones] 


"My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"
[Bob Hope]


"Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display--so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow. It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again."
[Unknown]


Wishing You All A Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, too!


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Training With Uncertainty


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Training With Uncertainty

"Many of us prefer practices that will not cause discomfort, yet at the same time we want to be healed. But bodhichitta (awakened heart and mind) training doesn't work that way. A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and it’s also what makes us afraid." 

Excerpted from: The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times by Pema Chodron. 




Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Friday, December 7, 2012

Can Capitalism Coexist With the Environment?


Can Capitalism Coexist With the Environment
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live


Industrial capitalism stimulated economic growth by way of trade and a global mass market based on mass production.  With the rise of the industrial revolution, slavery and serfdom were uprooted and the lower social class could now earn wages and own property.  Fluidity between classes became apparent.  Thus, capitalism brought benefits such as freedom of choice, a competitive market, private ownership, and economic and political independence.  Nonetheless, can a capitalist system coexist with the environment?  Capitalism brought “domination and exploitation” (Parkinson & Drislane, 2011, p.163) over the working class, conglomerate control of industry, and destruction to the ecological system.  The major concerns of a capitalist system in relationship with the environment is the attitude of maximizing corporate capital at all costs, even at the expense of abolishing the environment by way of industrial pollution, such as toxic chemicals, sacrificing public health, and the free trade agreement.   

With the growth and expansion of technology and production by way of a capitalist system, an abundance of toxic waste products began to accumulate from various corporate industries; and, in order to maintain a profit, the industrial corporations needed to dispose the toxic materials with minimal expenses.  Oil, gas, uranium ore mining, and steelmaking industries created massive levels of toxic chemical wastes.  Thus, toxic dump sites were established in many rural Northern communities across Canada, as well as other areas, with negligence to the occupants, lake water, soil absorption, and air quality.  For example, the Inuit communities of the Northwest Territories were “exposed to excessive radiation from uranium ore” from the nearly “two million tons of radioactive [material] dumped into the Great Bear Lake” without the federal Crown corporation warning individuals about the dangers of being exposed to the toxic chemicals (Brym, 2008, p.286). As Barlow and May stated, it was not only careless, it was a criminal act (p.286).  Individuals living in toxic waste dump sites suffered with health problems and many died from tuberculosis and cancer (p.286).  Human lives, animals, fisheries, and the ecological system were destroyed in doing what was ‘right’ for the corporation: maximizing corporate profits at all costs by minimizing expenses and allowing the Inuits the suffer from the Crown corporations consequences!   

Because there is great pressure placed on the government by corporate lobbyists to do what is right for the corporation, and so that the corporation does not suffer from any financial ramifications, the government submits to the pressure.  The lax government authority for the safety of the environment and human welfare seems to imply that Canada takes a backseat “treat[ing] toxic chemicals as though they have constitutional rights – innocent until proven guilty” (p.290).  Even when the government took action to ban a toxic chemical called MMT, they found themselves in a predicament when a U.S. based corporation lost profits and held Canada accountable.  The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signifies a capitalist system to its fullest rank that maximizes profits for the sacrifice of human health and the environment. 

“[U]nder provisions of Chapter II of NAFTA, companies from one of the three NAFTA countries [Canada, USA, Mexico] who lose profits based on a regulatory decision in one of the other countries can sue the government for damages” (p.291).  

A case in point was Ethyl Corp, which sued Canada for “damages in the amount of $350 million” (p.291) when the Canadian government took action to ban MMT.  To add, in the court proceedings Ethyl Corp.'s Canadian lawyer Barry Appleton said, "it wouldn't matter if a substance was liquid plutonium destined for a child's breakfast cereal.  If the government bans a product and a U.S.-based company loses profits, the company can claim damages under NAFTA" (p.291).
            
In summary, for a healthy relationship to coexist between capitalism and the environment, reform must take place to regulate pollution and implement laws, which neither government nor corporations can overpass, that protect the environment and mankind.  Awareness of the present danger of toxic chemicals needs to be a united and global issue.  Nonetheless, once the capitalist clutches the taste of wealth, power, exploitation, and control, how do they slow down the ravenous?  Whether it is the capitalist system itself or the lax in governmental laws in free trade and pollution regulations, our environmental health is in danger. 



Reference
Brym, R. J. (2008). Industrial Pollution in Canada. Society in Question (5th ed.). (pp. 285-292). Toronto, Ontario: Nelson Education Limited.

Parkinson and Drislane. (2011). The Canadian Economy and New Forms of Work. Exploring Society: Pathways in sociology (2nd ed.). (pp. 181-189). Toronto, Ontario: Nelson Education Limited.


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Constipation of Emotions - Let it Go!

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


Why do so many of us have to justify why we feel a certain way; and why do we have to explain why we feel the way we do?  I have heard sayings like: I had a good cry today.  We all need it once in a while.  I got angry because I was upset, and I know I shouldn't do that so I am sorry everyone.  What the hell!

I think modern society is so plugged up, it can't see straight!  We are so constipated, we forgot how to let go of our emotions.  Back in the past, and in many communal lifestyles today, it is natural to express - to release emotions; not to feel embarrassed or guilty about them.  In these communities, nobody justifies why they cry or why they get sad or down one day.  They just feel it and move on.  That's it.  Western societies make such a huge parade around emotions like "I did it; but I won't do it again.  I promise."  Or "something is wrong with me."

Justifying and explaining why you feel a certain way is putting way to much meaning on something as natural as a bowel movement.  The modern society believes so strongly that we shouldn't express; instead we would rather pop pills and go for some specialized treatment to fix ourselves.  Emotions are like the gut.  If they are stuck, the messy matter will rot and cause further damage to the system.

The obstruction of emotions in our body, just like the obstruction of stool matter in our intestines, is virtually the same thing.  Obstruction or constipation causes health, mental, and emotional problems.  Let GO of your emotions with pride.  They are as natural as your skin, teeth, hair, freckles, liver, and heart.  Learn to appreciate them.  Perhaps releasing our emotions regularly and with love would bring out the best in all of us.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh