My “New” Manifesto

February 10, 2017 1 comment

A week or so ago Rosemary brought several of her long-term clients together for a group VIP day. I was fortunate enough to be included and to do the work with this select group. And we did some excellent work.

Rosemary led us to create our “manifestos” for ourselves. We did some deep work exploring our purpose, our big “Why?” We answered questions like:

“What do you stand for?”
“How does your heart, your soul and your personality come together in this life?
“What is your declaration about this life, independent of any ‘shoulds’?”

We also answered the five questions that Matthew Goldfarb asks in his book, “Corporate Renegade.”

“What are you pissed off about?”
“If  you could change one thing about business or the world what would it be?”
“Why do you want to start a business in the first place?”
“Why are you willing to go broke to make this business work?”
“Why are you willing to go for broke to make this business work?”

And then we went to work. Some of us got out paper and scissors, colored pens and fancy tapes, decorating their manifestos with frills and flourishes. I’m a word guy and not overly skilled at the crafty work so answered questions, took note of my priorities and wrote out my manifesto. Here is the result:

manifesto

Alternative Facts?

January 25, 2017 Leave a comment

We must remain vigilant and test everything and anything coming out of the White House. Don’t be deceived. Stay awake. Shine your light. And as William Stafford wrote in his poem: “A Ritual to Read to Each Other” —

“For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.”

Let’s keep the signals very clear!

Here’s my response to #alternativefacts:

Alternative Facts

Do facts alternate?
Are they sometimes true, sometimes false?
Are they bits in a computer,
Sometimes zero, sometimes one?

Facts can evolve.
Humans are learning creatures;
This makes facts always relative,
Ever changing as we grow.

And sometimes facts can flip,
Like from zero to one.
Science is like this:
Old theory disproved, new theory proposed.

But it is rare for facts to flip, flop, flip.
They are not bits in a computer to turn off and on.
Alternative facts are devolutionary;
They take us back to old “facts” disproved.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Inauguration Day Thoughts

January 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Not so many words, just thoughts, and feelings:

Transfer of Power

The motor fires, turns, idles;
Yet there is no movement, no action
Until the transmission engages
To transfer power to the axles.

The wind blows, spins blades;
Yet there is no change, no traction
Until the mill turns generators
To transfer power to the grids.

The tides heave, ebb, return:
Yet there is no launch, no sail
Until the turn from full, to flow
To transfer power to the ships.

The trees stand, grow, clear air:
Yet there is no transition, production
Until the axe clear-cuts for lumber
To transfer power to building.

The government pauses, idles:
And there is no action, no change
Until the constitution orchestrates
To transfer power to the chief.

Fire, Wind, Water, Wood all transform.
Power is transferred into the Earth.
Chiefs go and chiefs return, no change.
The transfer of power remains.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A poem for a rainy day: Inner Practice

January 17, 2017 1 comment

It is a dreary day here in Maryland. It is dark and gloomy with rain coming down steadily. It is a good day to practice!

Inner Practice

The breath begins with emptiness.
The inner curve of the belly
Is a waiting, a pause,
An anticipation of the new.

The breath proceeds with a rise.
The curve of the belly fills with
An action, expansion;
Excitement lifts on an inner note.

The breath rises on its inner path.
The spine straightens and lengthens,
Action peaking, seeking the crown,
Expanding outward and upward, reaching.

The breath follows the inner curve.
The skull bone directs its passage,
Downward through the hollows of the face,
Ending in the empty space guarded by teeth.

The breath remains in this inner space.
This is a waiting, a pause.
Inaction holding, resting in peace,
A suspension of the doing – just being.

The breath descends from its quiet rest.
The inner curve of the chest opens
With soft action, a contraction,
A sinking downward and inward.

The breath expels what no longer serves.
The inner curve of the belly forms,
Compressing, flattening, sending out
The last of the used, the spent, the old.

The breath ends in emptiness,
The inner curve of the belly restored.
Resting, contemplating, anticipating
The inner practice of breathing.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

New Year’s Eve: Out with the Old!

December 31, 2016 Leave a comment

One of the teachers I am working with has asked us, as part of our year-end review, to release all the old habits, feelings, beliefs, thoughts that are not serving us. I’ve spent this week reviewing the year, in fact the past nine years, to dredge up and lever out the old “stuff” that’s “down there!” As another of my teachers would say, “it is time to metabolize that “stuff” and turn it into compost for new growth!”

2016 is a 9-year, a year for completion. 2017 is a 1-year, a year for new beginnings! Today is a great day to release the old to make room for the new.

Here is my poem to reflect on this process; a riff on the five elements of Classical Chinese Medicine and Philosophy:

Release—

Anger through forgiveness:
Grow through the lessons,
Rise with the lengthening days,
Draw on all the resources,
Create your own destiny!

Anxiety through surrender:
Expand through the lessons,
Allow engaging relationships,
Mature in thoughts and actions,
Manifest inalienable joy!

Worry through service:
Serve from the lessons,
Share from the heart,
Engage in all life offers,
Adapt to the Way of life!

Grief through acceptance:
Transmute through the lessons,
Balance loss with gifts,
Release emptiness for fullness,
Purify life through praise!

Fear through trust:
Contemplate life’s lessons,
Believe in your own power,
Feel free and confident in life,
Flow through the currents to Wisdom!

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©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Happy Christmas Eve, and all the other Eves we celebrate as the year winds to a close!

December 24, 2016 Leave a comment

Enjoy! Celebrate! Live, love and laugh the old year out and the new beginning in!

Eve

The day, the evening before:
Christmas
New Years
All Hallows
Changes and more.

The women, Mothers of All:
Adam’s wife
Jesus’ Mother
Holy Mother of God
Peace before the fall.

The birth, renewing Light:
Solstice
Deepest dark
Returning Sun
The dawn following First Night.

Eve, new hope at last:
Forgiveness
Light
Love
Release of all that’s past.

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©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A post-election day poem

November 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Often when I am upset by circumstances, events, things beyond my control or even understanding, I turn to my pages to write and I turn to my poetry journal to see what might help, if not penetrate to an understanding, at least bring me into a state of grace and gratitude. In this post-election denouement this is what came to me:

Change (with gratitude for a Pawnee proverb)

Fortune cookie:
Mistakes are portals to discoveries.
Me:
Then there are no mistakes.

Optimist:
Every problem is an opportunity.
Me:
Life is all about lessons.

Electoral College:
Trump is the President Elect.
Me:
Half the country has voted change.

Rosemary:
Hold in the Community of Love and Light.
Me:
Embrace me, Community.

The Divine Feminine:
Your purpose is to live in Joy.
Me:
Facing the Sun I see no shadow, only Joy.

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©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.