How can reading or hearing the news be as much a part of your spiritual practice as studying sacred scriptures or everyday prayer? How can the news help you clarify your particular service work when the needs and opportunities are so great?
Praying the News Begins by Being Fully Present To It
“Reality shows” can be watched as entertainment. Genuine news demands that we be fully present to what is and allow it to affect us, even when there’s nothing we can do about it. That means honoring life as a mystery, not as a problem to be solved, but as a paradox where we are called to go deep into the heart of compassion without agenda or attachment to outcome. Continue reading
Earthquakes themselves kill very few people, despite popular movie images of the earth suddenly opening up huge crevices that swallow lots of people. Poorly constructed buildings, however, routinely kill many people. 99% of those deaths are in poor countries, like Haiti or India, which lack earthquake resistance know-how, strict building codes (like those that have been in place in California and Japan for decades) and/or a non-corrupt government to enforce those codes.
And, oh, yes, money. That’s particularly important in developing countries where very few people have the funds to make their new homes earthquake or storm resistant, once the international recovery funds dry up.
Some good news, reports earthquake engineer and founder of Build Change, Elisabeth Hausler, Ph.D., is that “in a place like Haiti, building a house to withstand an earthquake can also help it to withstand a hurricane, particularly by tying the roof down to prevent it from flying off in strong winds. For earthquake-resistant design, the roof is often tied to the walls to provide some kind of bracing effect for the walls.
When India was devastated by a January 26, 2001 quake that killed well over 20,000 people, Hausler was halfway through a civil engineering Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley. At the same time, she was undergoing an existential crisis: how could she do something truly meaningful with her training? How she turned that question into Build Change, which helps create safer housing in developing countries, is a textbook example of how the mind of a visionary works. Continue reading
As we start a new year, I find myself thinking about creativity – often an overused word, yet not well understood. I really believe that everyone can be creative, and feel sad when others tell me they are not creative. “I don’t paint or play music” they say as to why they don’t feel creative.
Let’s be creative with the word creative. Creativity isn’t just in what we do, but in who we are.
After 20 years of studying how people either block or shape visions for work and life, I’ve concluded that
1) the potential to be visionary is in all of us, though visionary potentials like instincts, imagination and intuition are more likely to be quashed than developed;
2) the worlds of work and money and everything else that affects us are in sore need of real vision, not just same-old strategies or the newest shiny thing; and
3) being the visionaries we were born to be is a lot simpler than trying to live without vision. Continue reading
It’s amazing how little things can really fester, whether at work or at home. Someone speaks to us in a less than respectful tone and we jump to conclusion that they are a ‘mean’ person, or they interrupt us and we consider them rude, or they come into our office to ask for something and we think they are pushy or intrusive. Sound familiar? Continue reading
In a week where the news was dominated by yet another terrorist attempt and by a study showing widespread employee unhappiness, it was a treat to discover a world-wide sing-out of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s “All You Need is Love.” Sponsored by Starbucks, this expertly sliced video montage from singers around the world offers an instant lift for any dreary day.
Imagine, to use another John Lennon pet phrase, that it’s true. Love IS all you need to bring more integrity, more purpose, more joy, more peace in the world through the ways we work and deal with money. Actually, I’m far from the first person to pose this idea. One of the best discussions of love, business and money was Tim Sanders’ wonderful article, “Love is the Killer App” in Fast Company Magazine. Continue reading