Another message in March: What is Essential?

Another message in March: What is Essential?

By Shiela Reed

We are in a time of learning. Recognizing we are all “essential” in our right. As we watch things unfold we recognize that things we thought were “true” and/or important- may not have been as much so…

I have observed our country, our states, cities and town, our agencies, and families begin to truly struggle with this. Now acknowledging things that have been taken for granted as actually being “essential” all along while other things had been being treated as “necessary” really are not.

Unfortunately some are still holding onto old ideals and there is a power struggle. All around us as well as within. While I am saddened by the way some are handling it, I am equally refreshed by the fortitude of many others. We individually have many things to “work through” and THIS part of the process will be what heals the whole (the collective).

I hope as the clarity comes, the courage will not be too far behind. I continue to say the serenity prayer in these times as it helps to refocus me.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

As we settle in the next round of expanding “shelter in place” – I cannot help but feel all the information coming in regarding how to care for ourselves, loved ones, and those most important to us. We may even find ourselves reevaluating who those people truly are. There are some very wonderful things being shared and extremely creative individuals sharing their gifts. Which we each have. I am reminded that even sharing that with one other person makes a difference and expands our vibrations of love by at least ten fold.

As this last week was a personal struggle on some levels, I would like to share why and what clarity came to me at the end of it…

My place of employment (like many) scrambled to come up with ways for the bulk of the workforce to work from home.
I cannot imagine the added layers of thought and debate it took and continues to take to make these hard decisions.
With information changing minute to minute and the overall pressure of the unknown over all.
While I saw the resolve of a large agency workforce – even if it wasn’t always pretty – we made it through one of the toughest weeks.

There was a lot of “hard”.
Struggles to make “office situations” become workable from home.
Shifting very serious policies and procedures to best accommodate the situation so the people we care for could still be cared for.
Deciding who worked from where and when. Who still needed to see people, who could briefly go to the office or not.
Figuring out how that all gets tracked and documented without having our usual tools.

The only thing that I ended up noting that did not make sense was the appearance of adding a new “initiative/task” as an “emergency” thing to do this same week. I still am questioning WHY? Why right then in the midst of a pandemic crisis did something become emergent? When staff were already uneasy, confused, and stressed. To me this was poor timing and a poor choice to inflict such unnecessary and undue added stress on a workforce that is NEEDED so desperately to remain healthy!

We all know these days that added stress lowers ones immune system and thus increases risk for illnesses. THIS is NOT the time to add stress! Even if there is something that is immediately needed (as was the case for many first responding agencies) there are different ways to approach that with an already stressed staff.

These are unprecedented times and we NEED people in leadership positions that will start thinking, behaving, and then acting compassionately. Not dictating or power mongering keeping people stuck in their fear, anxiety and worry.

This can easily hold true for any of us in any roll. Parents toward their kids, friends to other friends, bosses to employees, spouse to spouse..ect. if we ourselves don’t recognize where we are functioning from, we can all easily slip into this place of fear, anger, resentment etc – and then it can tend to lead to actions of over controlling.

Or course there are also some not so nice people out there who have no desire or interest in noting anything about themselves and will take this type of opportunity to run over as many people as they can – and to those people WE may need to open our mouths and have a voice to say that it is NOT OK when it crosses our personal boundaries.

Not because we are “better” but because in our hearts we recognize that it does not meet with our own integrity. This is our point of choice. Say something, yet we may still have to realize that if there is no change, WE then choose to stay or go.

I realize this can be a tough one to sort through. I struggle here frequently. So I try to remember- that it is the WISDOM to know the difference in what our true essentials are, after all… 😉

Peace, love, and blessings
❤ Shiela

March Message of the Month: Common Sense

March Message of the Month: Common Sense

by Shiela Reed

Having so called “common sense” is not something we are born with. It is learned as we are taught the fundamentals of life. We learn from our parents, family members, friends, schools, religious affiliations, and basically society as a whole. Sure some have a propensity to learning, but most can still grasp basic reasoning when done early and simply- BUT with a specific focus.
Whether anyone wants to believe it or not, like it or not, we do NOT LIVE ALONE on this planet. Sure there are varying degrees of freedoms which makes it appear that “free will” might even be questioned. But at the core, there is always a choice. When we checked in to this lifetime, we checked in for the “ride” and what there is to learn. About ourselves, the families we ended up in, the cultures we are in, the communities and even the country.

There is always good, bad, ugly, beautiful and every other description of human nature. We see it every day if we choose to. There are wonderful acts of kindness and compassion, there are horrible activities that are full of hate, and there is every degree in between which is where many struggle to decide “where they want to be today”.

This message came in this morning as many contemplate the behaviors of others lately. It sure has been an array of bizarre, kind, helpful, scared, panicked, angry and compassionate. The words “Common sense” came in and it seemed interesting to observe and contemplate my own reaction to that.

As I realized we probably all have a slight degree of difference in what that may be, it does seem that most of us act as if we are on the same page about it a lot of the time. Yet in reality, I notice that people seem to assume that everyone “gets it”. Even that kids should “just get it”.

What becomes apparent is that the reality is that most people DON’T get it because we have been “off” as a collective for so long that we no longer can even communicate about the basics. So we either march along to our own drum or follow the crowd without much given thought. Most folks are so incredibly focused on their own agendas that they do not realize or care that there still is a communal component to our existence. And with this comes “agreements” that we will behave together in certain ways.

Now I am not saying that all of these are necessarily good or bad, I am just pointing out that they exist and this may be where disagreements and division sets in. Over time, living like this with no discussion about the effects on each other, and only thinking individually, takes a toll on a group. THIS is the hard part! My individual wants and needs plus yours… what if they don’t fit together? Who determines that one is more important than the other?

I’m sure I don’t have to point out that rabbit hole.. 😉 But what popped in here was the connection to common sense. When there are no discussions and learning early in life about choices – natural consequences along with personal and group balanced living – we struggle. Both individually and as a whole. Again, I am not implying that everyone should just “march in line” and follow the status quo. That is missing the deeper point. It ALWAYS boils down to our individual choices and WHERE those are truly coming from. THEN our behaviors.

None of us can “save humanity”. But it does not mean we cannot do compassionate things out of love to help a neighbor. If our level of “common sense” is based off of selfishness or entitlement- our view of the world and what we do will be different than those that base it off of expansiveness and inclusion.

Think about how our children are learning today. Do they learn to include and think of others? Are they being taught to solve age appropriate problems of their own? Or are they being taught that they are the only ones that matter. That they can get things for “free”. Or that they are not capable of working something out with their peers…

There are so many examples and we all have been struggling to find our way. It’s been going on a LONG time! And it is summarizing right now in front of our eyes throughout the world.

What kind of society DO we want to live in? What does common sense look like? One where we are in a “free for all” all the time to survive? One where we work through hard stuff together? One where we have individual choices and freedoms yet still group rules and norms for basic order?

This is how big this is… it WILL create change. There are things that WILL be different.
Where it goes from here is up to US.

So, what is common sense to you today? Carry on like nothing is happening? Take it as it is and roll with it? Take precautions for the greater good, even though you don’t think you personally need them?

Personally I’m glad we have the freedoms to work through this “hard stuff”. Even if I wish everyone saw “common sense” the way I do. 😉 Still, I do hope and pray for more opening in all of our hearts to be able to communicate and work together- even if they/we disagree.

The life we are given is ours to do what we CHOOSE with… we don’t have to all be trailblazers – but we all do count and what we do with our life choices DOES matter to those around us.

May there be much love, peace, and blessings shared from your presence. 💓

Shiela Reed

DON’T PANIC–BREATHE by Bryan Moss

Fellow Souls, as of this writing, we are currently experiencing global panic. The circumstances surrounding the coronavirus are in the news, the latest topic of conversations and in our minds. People are stockpiling various supplies. Anything from canned goods to household items are leaving the shelves of stores. Many are conjuring in their minds end of the world scenarios.

My advice to you?

STOP IT!!!

Instead of buying into the manipulative, government-induced fears slow down, think clearly, use common sense and give yourself credit. Remember that bird flu virus? Remember SARS? All of the media-induced panic years ago back then? What became of them? Eventually, they all fizzled out. Stop looking for every shred of evidence that we’ll all die from the coronavirus. Use the same common sense you would use for any other flu virus. Stop looking at the news all the time to get “the latest” “up to date” whatever. It’s all designed to make everyone paranoid. Paranoia breeds fear.

Let me make something clear. I’m not suggesting we put our heads in the ground and ignore world events. It is our job to BE AWARE, not to be afraid. To keep ourselves informed is one thing. But to buy into the fear put out by the media will not serve anyone. Hysteria promotes powerlessness.

The worst thing any of us can do is start isolating ourselves from each other. We need to do the opposite. Come together and support one another. This is what our physical bodies, not to mention our souls, are meant to do. Educate one another. Keep our diets clean. Get exercise. And more importantly, harness our own powers by looking within. Connect with our essence. Meditate. Get outside in nature. Listen to our real brains, OUR HEARTS. Rely on our self-guidance. Maintaining our health physically, mentally and spiritually/energetically is of vital importance. Having peace within isn’t about isolating ourselves from a panicky world, sitting in the lotus position and humming a mantra. Self-mastery is about being amidst times like these and connecting/supporting one another while experiencing peace within.

I care about all of you.

It’s going to get whackier out there before it gets better. Don’t buy into the fear. That’s worst than the coronavirus. Give yourselves some credit and think with your Heart.

Consider this the public service announcement we should be receiving if the powers to be really did care about our well being.

The Grace I’ve been Given for my AA “birthday”

The Grace I’ve been Given for my AA “birthday”
By Shiela Reed
The grace I’ve been given started with a choice I made. Each and every time it’s been about me relinquishing my pride just enough to allow for a change that has healed me a little more than the day before.
Sometimes these have been very obvious pivotal moments that created a very different path. Other times it’s been very subtle.
During times of deep reflection and contemplation I become very aware of the blessing of Grace and am reminded that I am to be grateful for these opportunities to grow, even when they have tested me to what I think are my limits and I wonder why…This is my truth from when I turned to AA 14 years ago. As one of the pivotal BIG moments that changed the trajectory of my life. That choice was a stepping stone to multiple others and the things I’ve been open to learn about myself simply wouldn’t have been able to take hold without that one decision.
There’s no doubt I was a “hot mess”. Even if most people didn’t even see it that way. It wasn’t as “obvious” on the outside. There were binges enough but not exactly what many people would “add up” to being “a problem”. Sure, later, it may have made sense as an “oh yeah, I could see that” – but a small few really could see…

I was broken inside – but not unmendable. My “link” to my soul self had big gaps and while I saw and knew it was there, the distance between that and what my mind was seeing as “reality” – felt like the Grand Cannon. So I suffered silently and alone. Bouncing back and forth across this “canyon”. Touching base with my true self quietly yet not being able to fully connect it with a “true” living life. This kept me “unwell” and separate. Separate from Source and struggling to have a true connection with myself and others. When I was able to admit the damage and totality of what was being affected INSIDE ME… THAT was when it changed.I barely remember or recognize that life anymore. I think fondly of the times and “fun” and less of the pain since working through all that years ago, but I stay forever aware of the underlying components that create room for backsliding and relapses – of spirit and intention- that could negatively affect my inner integrity and ultimately have the potential to lead me to detrimental choices and behaviors.

My journey of self reflection and personal growth is a real matter of true “life or death” for me. No it isn’t always perfect, nor will it ever be. I have as many rough days as great ones, but I try my best to be thankful for them all.

While I find some interest and satisfaction and even elements of importance in reflection… I know it cannot become stuck lamenting over “should haves” or “could haves”. Each day is new and I have something new to learn. I am no longer that person, yet that person is very much a part of me. Just as our childhoods or pasts are no longer “us” and doesn’t need to “define”/confine us.. they are still very much a PART of us.I may run back into people from my past, I am sure I remember things “differently”.. it is interesting to reflect- but know that I am a new person with new things about me to get to know. That’s the relationship I have with myself today because I’ve been blessed to have it… one choice at a time.

It truly is a “one day at a time” focus that helps maintain neutrality and keeps us from getting stuck in the past or becoming too afraid of the future.

Today I am even more aware of the importance of not going back into the darkness of silence. I do not need to boast or brag or have an egotistical type of pride. (One that is based on thinking it is ALL my doing.) I know this is not the full truth. YES, it is MY choice, and for that I AM proud. Yet I realize to have the opportunity, to be open, and be shown those windows to my soul, is a divine blessing from somewhere greater than me.

For this sharing and oneness of sacred space, I am forever humbled and grateful as my soul/true self connects with my creator and the Divine.

Thank you for another year, another moment in time…

Much love and blessings and thanks for sharing this special time with me. ❤

Shiela