Tag Archives: action

What Is Intent?

Intent is a word that I have been tossing around in my head all morning.

If you are anything like me, a conversation like this has gone on in your house:

 

Boy Child: “I didn’t intend to knock over the Christmas tree. I’m sorry, Mom.”

Me: “But surely you did not intend NOT to knock over the Christmas tree, you were doing handstands right next to it.”

 

You try having that discussion with a straight face, I dare you.

But intentions are two fold, aren’t they? On the one hand you have the outcome that you intended to happen and on the other you have the outcome that you did not intend to prevent. Sometimes they are equally important and they have a wide range of applications.

For instance, I did not intend to gain back the 30 pounds I lost 2 years ago, but we have established, in my last post, that I did not intend to stop it either.

We also get ourselves into trouble when we assume someone else’s intent. Even in our closest relationships in life, we do not always know what outcome the other person is looking for in their actions. We tend to assume we know and we can do a lot of damage that way.

I read this story today (I will put a link at the bottom) where this young man kept getting annoyed because a college mate would always put stuff on his desk and then have to clear it off when he arrived. This was followed by a high five. The student was irritated every day. He could not understand why the other man would not just keep his stuff to himself and he really did not want to high five first thing in the morning, until he showed up late and heard the man telling another student that the spot was reserved for his good friend. He had been holding the desk for him all that time and considered him a friend.

The story really motivated me to look deep into the intent behind people’s actions, because the truth of the matter is that we are not all walking zombies as the media would have you believe. We are people, and we do things that matter to us. My son wanted to do handstands, that was important to him. It was not important to him that the tree remain standing, because he was not focused on it. It was important to me to feel numb and not important at the time to watch my weight. It was important to the student to sit in the same desk every day, and maybe it was important to him to have something to be irritated at first thing in the morning, but the other man was motivated to be kind to another human and make a friend in class.

So maybe we need to look deeper. Maybe the guy we went on the date with last week who wore too much cologne and laughed too loudly at his own jokes was nervous. Maybe his intention was to mask that. Maybe when we feel our parents are overstepping their bounds, their intentions are to help us not make the same mistakes they did, not to annoy us. And honestly, maybe life needs more handstands and high fives.

So, I’m going to stop and appreciate them and try to figure out just where they come from.

https://www.upworthy.com/viral-tweet-classroom-seating?fbclid=IwAR3RVUWmJfPdZbPrn6tiGrnXl-XN_U4AV2mFlkOx7BzeB-4wGz79lMOwqOE

 

Stronger Than Yesterday,

Alice

Words Of Wisdom From Papa Federico

Words Of Wisdom From Papa Federico…

Let’s start this off with some sage advice from my Grandfather, a classic, old school Italian man…the hardest-working person I have ever met in my lifetime, he died 4 weeks before Antonio was born from two different kinds of cancer.  He was Antonio T. Federico and my son was named for him as Antonio M. Federico.

I was raised in part by my grandparents and so when he became ill, frequently I was the one to drive him back and forth to the hospital and doctors appointments.  After one such appointment we were called into the doctor’s office, it was myself, Papa and my Uncle Mike the doctor told us that Papa had colon and stomach cancer and started talking about treatments.  At the time Papa was 82, he looked at the doctor and said, “Doc no offense but there will be no chemo, no radiation, and no treatment.  It is what it is and I am going home.”

The doctor said he had 6 months to live with no treatment, he lived a year…

After we left the hospital he wanted me to take him to his favorite bakery in Readville, MA on the way home.  I was standing in the bakery, shell-shocked at the news I had just witnessed and he said, “Little girl (I was 31) don’t be sad, I have had ONE HELL of a ride and when it’s done, it’s done.”  Papa taught us all how to live and he also taught us how to die, he left on his own terms, from his own house, his way and when he was damn good and ready.  He only finished the 6th grade, he served this Country in the Navy and he was in the Local 4 Construction Union in Boston, MA for as long as I can recall.

He bought his house and then he worked 7 days a week straight until it was paid off, he went for a haircut every week and made his bed every, single damn day.  He was a man of few words, however he was BIG on actions.  He never really got to see what I have built, what I am still building, however he was my greatest teacher…he taught me how to KEEP GOING no matter what and I know he would be pleased that I am sharing some of his best advice with you …

*adapted from ‘advice my father gave us’…written by my mom, Toni Stone

“Thanks to Papa we know how to get up every day even when we would rather not.

We know that no one else is going to do our work for us.

We know what’s past is OVER and GONE.

We know that when we leave something it is for a reason and once we are done we don’t go back…because the reason we left is still there…

We don’t try to live in yesterday or get it back.

We keep GOING, NO MATTER WHAT.

We remember that disappointment is not the end of the world.

We know people will screw us over unwittingly, unconsciously or on purpose.  We won’t be stopped by it. We won’t take it personal and we WILL keep a good eye on them after that…

We will also stay tuned to all the players…some people aren’t wrapped too tight, some are living in another reality, some don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground and others are just cruising through to see what they can get every day.

We remember that 75% of people have to be dealt with very carefully and some of them are dangerous characters…we remember to WATCH WHAT PEOPLE DO, not listen to what they say…actions speak volumes…promises are lip service unless followed up on with actions and results.

We do not count chickens before they are hatched.

We always have cash, just in case…”

XXOO,

Noelle

Divinity In Action-Loving The People That Have Harmed You

Christmas Countdown, Day 15

People tend to review things at the close of the year…and often that leads to thinking about people that have behaved less than stellar toward us…so here are a few of my thoughts on that…

The being able to stand in the face of someone that has betrayed you and love them and bless them is a great gift…this is Divinity in action, this is the stuff you can’t learn from books…these are the lessons that come from looking into ourselves and seeing how we can emulate God-like qualities…loving the people that have harmed you as you love the people that are easy to love is a level of mastery…this loving is called unconditional love and it is the way that God loves us…no matter what we do or how horrible we are God loves us still…shouldn’t we be loving each other in that same way?

That really is the only thing we have to take with us from this life—the way that we love each other…you know that saying, “you never see a U-Haul being pulled behind a hearse…”

God-like qualities are lessons in forever; the rest of it is just fluff… Oh and loving them doesn’t mean we need to stay around them or let them continue to treat us in ways that don’t work…just to be clear some people need to be loved from far, far away…

When Is It Appropriate To Stand Down In Life

There are times in life when it is appropriate to ‘Stand Down’.  The Military defines ‘Stand Down’ as the movement of soldiers in combat to a safe place for rest and recovery.  It is also a method used by the Military to correct an issue that has been identified as a problem throughout its ranks. 

American Heritage Dictionary defines ‘Stand Down’ as: to withdraw, to end a state of readiness.

Have you ever fought for something so hard only to have it keep whacking you in the face over and over again with its stubborn refusal to yield to your intention?

There comes a time in a wise person’s life when the pain and suffering that they have endured to stand by something has exhausted them to the point of heartbreak…a time when they are disillusioned, disappointed, disheartened and discouraged beyond belief…perhaps a time when this something has caused them to feel that people are inherently flawed…

This would signify the time to ‘Stand Down’.  ‘Stand Down’ does not mean to give up, instead it means to detach and quell the emotional reactivity of a situation.

Sometimes things have to become worse before they can improve and actually the seeming appearance of ‘worse’ is really good at work… in disguise.

When you are sure that you have done all you can in regards to a particular situation it may be the time to ‘Stand Down’—you will know in your heart of hearts when you have prayed enough, been angry enough, been disappointed enough, been lied to enough, been played enough, been betrayed enough, cried enough, talked enough, yelled enough and worked hard enough.

One day, suddenly perhaps, you will wake up and feel that it is time to ‘Stand Down’, time to move away from the attachment of that situation…time to let the other characters see the cost of their behavior…time for you to re-group and remember that there is occasionally more power in ‘Standing Down’ than there is in continuing to ‘Stand Up and Fight’.

Some of the best warriors and most brilliant minds have seen the wisdom in a ‘Stand Down’.  Even those of us that are strong-willed, control freaks can see the value of an occasional ‘Stand Down’.  There are times when it is better to withdraw than to compete with things that are beneath you or which threaten to drag you down into the muck and mire.

‘Stand Down’ does not mean that you are weak or that you lack the courage to keep fighting, it means that you are able to see the point in a situation when it is time for you to pull in and observe.  When it is time to stop pushing so hard and just let nature take its course.  When you have done all your work in a particular situation you can trust that the overall outcome will be for the good, even if the present circumstances resemble a giant garbage dump.

Refreshed, rested, armed with perspective gained from standing down and stepping back, you can re-enter the battle with new commitment and energy.

Life has a way of teaching people what they need to know…and you can count on people’s actions returning to them in kind…

If someone loves, they will be loved.  If someone harms, they will be harmed.  There is no avoiding the cause and effect laws of the universe, no matter who you think you are.

So take heed and if you are faced with a situation that requires it, ‘Stand Down’ with style and Grace…then get back into action when the timing is right.

 

Everything Happens For A Reason

Reason-Look for the Lesson.

I am a firm believer in the statement ‘everything happens for a reason’ and I look at every uncomfortable situation in my life and try to see what it wants to teach me.  Sometimes I see the lesson right away and sometimes I just have to trust that it’s there and that I will see it eventually.  I have learned some of my most valuable lessons from the people and situations that have distressed me the most.  When you are open to the possibility of being contributed to by every event in your life the unpleasant events seem to go by faster.

I have also learned that one of the best ways to diffuse an attack is to apologize for something right in the middle of it.  For instance, “I’m sorry that you feel I’ve insulted you”, or “I’m sorry that you think I hurt you on purpose”.  People attack you because they want attention or they are unhappy with themselves.  If someone attacks you in conversation and you do not respond or you apologize this will diffuse the situation.  A person can only fight with you if you let them.  You cannot argue with someone who refuses to be engaged by you.

I have been told that what we don’t like about other people represents something that we don’t like about ourselves.  If this is true the first action would be to forgive ourselves for all the things that we find unacceptable.  If we can forgive ourselves successfully then we can move ahead to start forgiving others.  Truly, truly everyone is going along doing the best that they can for who they are—maybe it’s time we stopped being so hard on ourselves and others.

Contribution To Other People

I have  been thinking a lot about how what really matters in life is what kind of a contribution you are to other people. So many of us go around just looking for what we can get…not many folks walking around worried about what they can give.  In the grand scheme of things seems like the only way to elevate your soul is to give till it hurts and then give more…give whatever you have…stuff, money, time, love, attention, help…all of it works…

We are the decisive element in our lives and it is by our hand that life is either enriched or destroyed…

In every moment we have the power to choose our reactions to every situation or person and our reactions shape our future…I don’t think that most people understand that.  Have you noticed that the majority of people are living at effect of their own lives instead of at cause?  I believe this is because most folks don’t want to take responsibility for anything that happens to them…it is ALWAYS somebody else’s fault.

Not to mention that somebody else should fix it…

I am of a school of thought that says, “if it happened to me, somehow—some way I have responsibility in it”—this thought process makes it near impossible to blame anyone else for anything…and quite frankly if I caused it somehow then I can also correct it…makes life much easier to understand…

 

 

 

CONTROL Your Thoughts…

Often we find ourselves ‘stuck’ in circumstances that we consider unfavorable and we lament them in our thoughts, thinking things like “why me???”, “poor me!”, “how can this be my life???” etc

We invite these pitiful thoughts in for tea and scones and then invite them back for lunch and dinner.  We feel trapped in the circumstances because we keep the thoughts of them alive in our minds.  In order to overcome circumstances we MUST learn to overcome ourselves which means manage our thoughts!

When sad, pitiful, failure breeding thoughts step in we have to slam the door on them, we cannot allow them access even for a moment.  All it takes is a second and your whole day can be thrown off track by one pathetic thought such as “why don’t I have more money?”.

You have to be VIGILANT in policing your thoughts.  Think ONLY the things that are going to push you forward, STOP entertaining thoughts that make you feel worse!

This morning I was speaking to one of my oldest and dearest friends, he is an amazing man, smart, handsome, talented and witty among other things.  He has been in the middle of some trials for the past few years and I fear he is losing heart, this morning I explained to him that at times he is his own worst enemy because he gives voice to the negative chatter in his head.  Like so many of us when we are being tried, he feels like it will never end, he feels like this trial has become who he is. That is a FALSE idea; he is a WARRIOR and a CHAMPION as we all are.  I know this for him every day and I remind him of it as often as I can.  I am reminding YOU as well!

You are an OVERCOMER, A CHAMPION, A WARRIOR!  Start ACTING like that; stop suffering by visiting with the negative, stupid, self-defeating chatter in your head.

Only YOU can change the circumstances of your life and you do this by first changing every, single thought you have.  If it is an unproductive thought, BANISH it and replace it with something that works…such as ‘every day in every way things are getting better and better’—you don’t have to know how right now, you just need to know that it IS happening, things are getting better and better…

Action follows thought, control your thinking, be vigilant…and NEVER GIVE IN to that self-defeating crap…NEVER!