Today I am reblogging an article by Judith Fein. She was kind enough to give me permission to do so.
My mother died two months ago. Before her passing, I asked her on three separate occasions to send me a sign in the form of white feathers. The first time she sneered. The second time she rolled her eyes. And the third time she didn’t answer. So I forgot about it.
Communicating with the dead has actually been a secret part of my life for many years. It began when my father died when I was in my senior year of college. I used to go to the cemetery to visit him, and one day, quite unexpectedly, he spoke to me. “Don’t give up your writing either,” he said.
“Either what?” I thought. Why did he talk about writing? I was going to be a college professor. As it turned out, he was right. I didn’t give up my writing and I became a writer.
It happened again when a teacher presented me with an owl feather in a large box at the end of a kundalini yoga class. I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to the gift. I lifted it up, and I saw dead people jumping up and down, wanting to speak.
Then it happened with my dear New Zealand friend when I met her in France. She was looking for the cemetery where her grandfather was buried. All she knew was that he died in the battle of the Somme. We chose one of the many military cemeteries in the area and drove there. When we arrived, feathers lined up in front of us, leading the way to an arch, which was flanked by two books bearing the names of the interred. Her grandfather’s name was among them.
Many of us have to juggle family commitments while writing. Finding the ‘perfect’ balance between the two is always a challenge. You may be in the depths of a scene when a small hand lands on your lap and pleading eyes look up at you. Can you delay the toddler’s wants for your own? Do you crumble and leave the narrative in the hope you will remember the details later?
No matter what age your children are or how involved your partner, there is always a demand for your attention. There will be times when you just want to immerse yourself in your creativity, undisturbed. These three blog posts cover some of the emotions and stresses felt. As well as tips on how to organize your time productively.
Are you erroneously thinking that the world owes you something? Are you looking to others to do something for you rather than focusing on what you can do for yourself?
It is very common for people to feel that those in authority or those that are successful owe them something. This kind of thinking can be seen in many situations. A good, but extreme, example would be the beggar in the street who feels that because you are driving a nice car you should give him something for a meal.
Coming closer to many people’s experience, another example would be the relative who feels that because you are well educated and have a good job you should take over his responsibility of seeing one or two of his children through school. Then there is the employee that feels entitled to a promotion because they have served long in an organization.
Entitlement mentality – no ones owes you anything
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of the examples I have given. But the fact is that even if I had a billion dollars it would be totally up to me to decide whether to give the beggar the money or whether to sponsor those children through school. Similarly if I were the owner of the company it would be totally up to me to decide whether to promote you based on your long service.
The bottom line is that whatever decision I would make in all these cases would be correct. I may be compelled to help you by my spiritual convictions and beliefs, but even that would be up to me, not you. The fact is that, apart from very few very specific cases, no one is entitled to anything from anyone.
Our dependence on the donor community is one area where we often feel entitled to the point of irrationality. We expect donors to give us resources to take care of many of our problems. But are we trying to raise these resources ourselves? Is there no form of enterprise we can undertake that would give us the required resources? Yes, the donors have money, but it’s their money. They are free to give it to whoever they please. What is required is not always more donor funding, what is required is more self reliance and initiative.
Entitlement mentality – you owe it to yourself
The only person that is responsible for getting you what you want in life is yourself. The entitlement mentality of thinking someone owes you something is one that you should not have.
The catchphrase on television these days seems to be “government should do something about it.” The government is called upon to take care of all manner of problems and whilst some are truly its responsibility, the majority are not. The majority are the individual and community’s responsibility.
However, the politicians don’t make it easy on themselves because rather than telling people that they are capable in one way or another of solving most of their own problems, they prefer to make huge promises they cannot deliver on even if they had the capability.
Entitlement mentality – a hard lesson
The problem of the entitlement mentality is so far reaching that even countries like the United States are facing massive problems because of it. Their health-care and pension systems are under enormous strain. They simply cannot afford to pay for all the people that are on these programmes. So much so that Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki have written about it in their book “Why We Want You to be Rich.”
In this book they say: “The best way to solve the problem of bad financial results is to change our thoughts…That means losing the entitlement mentality…If we do not stop expecting the government to take care of us, we will continue to have the same results – a bankrupt nation filled with well-educated but financially needy people.”
The fact that a country as developed as the US should fall into such a trap of promising its citizens it will take care of them in their old age and when they need health care and failing to deliver on it should be a lesson to every country and individual in the world.
You cannot depend on the government to take care of your every need. It is far better to empower yourself and to be able to take care of yourself in every way possible. But that is hardly what the politicians, and even the people, want to hear. Everyone wants an easy way out. Everyone wants someone else to take care of them and sort out their problems. A change of thinking is needed at all levels.
Entitlement mentality – get financially literate
In no single area is such a change of thinking required as in the area of financial literacy. The ability to make money and to make it work for you is an ability that will do you a world of good. Read the right books on financial literacy. Do a short course in accounting or investing or anything else around the subject. Attend seminars and workshops. Start a small business and learn how to manage and grow a business.
Do not leave your financial future in uncertain hands by trusting pension schemes, health schemes and a whole lot of other schemes that are not in your control. Just do something different from everyone else because, as Albert Einstein said, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Entitlement mentality – conclusion
The truth of it is that you are a person with everything to offer your country and the world. Yes there are problems out there, but there are also plenty of opportunities. Why are some succeeding in the same environment? What’s to stop you from succeeding?
Realize that you alone have ultimate power over your future and what happens or doesn’t happen to you. This should be a liberating and empowering thing. Take hold of it and use it well. The world owes you nothing. Don’t gamble your life away with the entitlement mentality.
Perennial 1) present at all seasons of the year 2) continuing to live from year to year 3) recurring regularly: permanent
I have inherited some of my Mother’s expertise when it comes to plants but in no way, shape or form, am I, as green thumbed as she is. From a handful of seeds she can nurture a whole garden of flowers, vegetables and shrubs, which are healthy, vibrant and productive. My gardening is limited to digging a hole, placing the victim, umm plant, into it with a generous helping of plant food, watering for several days and then letting nature take its course. As for in-door plants I do tend to have them growing happily for many years – so I must be doing something right. Case in point, a friend gave me a sleigh shaped planter three Christmas’ ago and it’s still lush and green. Real plants are a treasure in the dark winter months, just their aroma can transport you to summer warmth. We all know the benefits of having real plants in the house – oxygenating – but they are so much more. As you can see from this list from http://www.bayeradvanced.com
5 Benefits of Houseplants
When you embellish interior spaces with houseplants, you’re not just adding greenery. These living organisms interact with your body, mind and home in ways that enhance the quality of life.
When you breathe, your body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern of gas use makes plants and people natural partners. Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels.
At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. A few plants – orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads – do just the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Place these plants in bedrooms to refresh air during the night.
As part of the photosynthetic and respiratory processes, plants release moisture vapor, which increases humidity of the air around them. Plants release roughly 97 percent of the water they take in. Place several plants together, and you can increase the humidity of a room, which helps keeps respiratory distresses at bay. Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway document that using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs.
Plants remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags), benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents and paint). Benzene is commonly found in high concentrations in study settings, where books and printed papers abound.
Modern climate-controlled, air-tight buildings trap VOCs inside. The NASA research discovered that plants purify that trapped air by pulling contaminants into soil, where root zone microorganisms convert VOCs into food for the plant.
Adding plants to hospital rooms speeds recovery rates of surgical patients, according to researchers at Kansas State University. Compared to patients in rooms without plants, patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner.
The Dutch Product Board for Horticulture commissioned a workplace study that discovered that adding plants to office settings decreases fatigue, colds, headaches, coughs, sore throats and flu-like symptoms. In another study by the Agricultural University of Norway, sickness rates fell by more than 60 percent in offices with plants.
A study at The Royal College of Agriculture in Circencester, England, found that students demonstrate 70 percent greater attentiveness when they’re taught in rooms containing plants. In the same study, attendance was also higher for lectures given in classrooms with plants.
How Many Plants?
The recommendations vary based on your goals.
To improve health and reduce fatigue and stress, place one large plant (8-inch diameter pot or larger) every 129 square feet. In office or classroom settings, position plants so each person has greenery in view.
To purify air, use 15 to 18 plants in 6- to 8-inch diameter pots for an 1,800-square-foot house. That’s roughly one larger plant every 100 square feet. Achieve similar results with two smaller plants (4- to 5-inch pots).
How is your green thumb? Any tips for a lackadaisical gardener?
When I read the definition for perennial, I was struck by how my writing and the love of words stays with me no matter the season or my location. Even on my Palm Springs vacation, you could find me typing away in the early morning before our various excursions and then again in the evening, recapping our day. It is an addiction to write – wanting those words to flow onto the paper or computer screen and flourishing.
As each year passes, I find new styles, genres and skills are added to my repertoire, each a new stem, branch or flower to the fundamental root system of my passion for the written word. Every segment has a part to play and makes a wonderfully intriguing and enticing whole. Some work may bud and flower quickly, then fall to the way side, others will form into significant pieces and grow strong and robust.
As I was searching for some nice photos for this article I happened upon an interesting Wikipedia site, detailing The Perennial Philosophy. I must admit I had no idea of this research and so detoured for a read. One quotation struck me:
“If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing one can do, in the field of metaphysics, is to study the works of those who were, and who, because they had modified their merely human mode of being, were capable of a more than merely human kind and amount of knowledge.”
My interpretation on this philosophy is, we all have the ability to modify ourselves and grow beyond our self imposed expectations and capabilities. We can develop into a many faceted and established writer, with or without the publishing contract. After all we can survive and flourish without the plant food but if given it we are able to bloom.