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

OUR CRITICAL INNER VOICE: THE SEQUEL by Bryan Moss

Before you set eyes on this blog you may want to check out my previous blogs where the first blog I wrote, when creating Your Heart’s Wisdom, is titled OUR CRITICAL INNER VOICE. It’s not really necessary but it definitely touches on aspects concerning that little dominant voice in our head that can really play games, screw us up, and make us believe it’s for our best intentions…WHEN IT’S NOT.
I get an inquiry, once in a while, in regards to the critical inner voice and how to handle it. Apparently, after reading OUR CRITICAL INNER VOICE a few readers started to take notice and realized that little voice in their head wasn’t the “real” them/ or “you”.

This particular chapter, or sequel if you will, of OUR CRITICAL INNER VOICE, is about IDEALIZATIONS. Our C.I.V. (critical inner voice), or Ego, or mind, or (insert name) loves for us to think we have to live up to certain rules, or regulations, or morals, or standards in order to be the “ideal” student, or human, or soul. We exhaust our energy trying to live up to an established image which, in reality, is impossible to achieve. These idealizations, most likely, were programmed in us at an early age through life’s experiences. Of course, those experiences arose from a multitude of sources. Parents, school teachers, religious influences, and peers are all possible contributors. Not to mention from outside agencies such as social media, news, or good old Hollywood by-products (television, movies, commercials, youtube, etc.). “Set Standards” to live up too. Let me give you a personal example.

If you’ve read my brief bio you know I was raised by a minister. I had all sorts of dogma programmed into me. Certain “ideals” to live by. Anything Bible-related, of course. Then there was the social expectations of being a preacher’s son. These expectations had me thinking I had to be a step ahead of others. In a weird way, those expectations had me being a rebel in many ways. I guess one could say I was a “closet rebel”. Haha! I kept to myself conflicting thoughts and feelings pertaining to how I was “suppose to be”. I was slowly going against the “norm”. Very confusing times consisting of pain, anger, sadness, and nobody to share my thoughts with.
ONE OF THOSE IDEALS: we are all supposed to have perfect, loving relationships with all family members. The 1960s LEAVE IT TO BEAVER television series kind of family relations. Ward and June were the gentle and understanding parents with their sons Wally and Theodore, nicknamed Beaver. Whatever conflicts the family had everyone lived happily ever after in a lovey-dovey respectful manner. All family members went to bed every night with smiles on their faces. I grew up thinking all family members had each other’s back.
Flash forward to my high school years and my mother wasn’t such a nice person towards me. She had mood swings, with me not knowing when she was going to lash out at me. Most of the time it was over the most ridiculous things. I couldn’t wait to leave the house, and the moment I had a chance to get a scholarship in college I went for it, got it, and got the hell out of there. I was hurt and damaged goods with very low self-esteem. I was Mr. Victim personified!

What saved my butt was that “closet rebel” within myself. I became a seeker of sorts. No longer under the religious dogma of my parents, I looked into a variety of religions, philosophies, hobbies, you name it. My brother called me the black sheep of the family.
You can only imagine when my family found out I was learning how to walk on fire in my late 20’s. Judgments definitely came out at me big time. In their minds, I was definitely playing with dark influences, or even “the devil”. Whenever I shared I was enrolling in any type of mind expansion course, or alternate spiritual teachings, I was considered “misguided”. Whenever I came home to visit my mother made sure I received a fair dose of guilt and doubt in whatever I was pursuing. All along I was hurt that I wasn’t living up to my mother’s expectations of me. I was supposed to get married and have her grandchildren by the time I was 30. Sorry, mom (not really).
I frowned upon seeking had me learning there was a difference between “love” and “like”. I eventually came to terms that, though I loved my mom because she was my mom, I didn’t like her as a person. Now that really messed with my ideal mom/son relationship. I learned that even though you loved a family member it was perfectly okay NOT to like the person they were.
In my early 30’s my mother called me up one Saturday morning.

“Son, I have something I need to tell you.”
“Okay, mom.”
She informed me, “I just kicked a 15-year addiction to valium.”

BOOM!
I did the math. That meant she started to take valium when I was 16 years old. Now those mood swings and bouts of irrational anger, all of a sudden, made sense. No wonder I didn’t have it a LEAVE IT TO BEAVER upbringing. After mom shared about her addiction I slowly was able to forgive all of those irrational experiences I had with her. It wasn’t easy, and it took a number of years to release those memories of anguish but I was able to eventually forgive her.

Years later I was able to recontextualize those events, and the actions of my mom, with compassion. If my mom knew better she would’ve done better. But at that time of her life her only “out”, or way to cope with whatever she was dealing with, was to resort to valium to “calm her down”, or to put it in energetic terms, to “numb” her from dealing with her life in a more supportive way. Being a registered nurse, those were the tools available for her to use. If you have a problem, get medicated to take care of it. That was her way of thinking. Under the influence of that drug, she was raising me the best way she knew how too. In my 30’s, I gradually learned how to like my mom as a person, but it did take a while.

Idealizations can really mess you up. If I wasn’t programmed into thinking families have to be picture-perfect, but instead raised with the teachings of members being allowed to express themselves according to their own heart’s desire, I might’ve been spared a lot of painful growing experiences.

Not to say there isn’t a lot to be said about basic morals, but all of collective society’s IDEALS are purely based on what they were taught when they grew up…and then living their lives thinking those are the laws of the lands and imposing them, at times with various types of force. Whether that force is shame, guilt, fear, or punishment of any kind. “Prisoners” of their own ideals (constructs) teaching/raising others to become “prisoners” and all along believing they are free and teaching love.

THE KICKER: The CRITICAL INNER VOICE LOVES IDEALIZATIONS. Ideals are safe. They’re predictable. The mind loves “knowing” what’s next. Ideals serve as road maps to how we should behave. Ideals are already planned out preconceived lives for us. Does the term “robot” ring a bell? They have nothing to do with living from the Heart. The thinking mind can’t imagine living without ideals/constructs. Anything out of that “box” induces fear. And we’re already taught how fear is to be avoided and NOT experienced (which is another falsehood). We’re not raised to even conceive that the Heart has its own brain. To feel from the Heart, make decisions from the Heart, and not our C.I.V.. (Refer to a previous blog THE HEART’S BRAIN to learn about our second and REAL brain).

Be careful beautiful souls. Idealizations are not our friends. If anything, do the opposite of any ideals. If the crowd is moving towards the right, quietly walk to the left. The crowd, out of fear, will say you’ll be lonely. Gently give them a smile, knowing that looking within your Heart there’s a whole loving world that welcomes you, thus, you can never be alone. Keep walking towards the left.
Lose the idealizations…..then you’ll be on the path to FREEDOM.

July message of the Month – Independence and Freedom

by Shiela Reed

Independence and Freedom

I woke the morning of July 5th 2018 to thoughts of independence and freedom and what that means. It seems like it should be a simple concept, one that you would think we would all have a similar definition for.  But just as most things do, there are often multiple layers.

I was thinking about the different feelings that came up with these words and I became aware that while there is an individual component, there must also include some form of a connection to the collective and others.
I couldn’t help but think about what this looks like for different people as well as different groups of people. Even in how we believe individually that we are or are not connected to others.

This seems to be what happens every day in our lives. The ebb and flow of personal interaction with self and others. All based on our current views. But what does independence for me or you look like? What does freedom look like? How does that shape our environment and the world we live in? Is there a difference in how we define independence and freedom vs how others do? What would it look like in our world if we were always looking for what we are not getting or how we are always wronged by others? Or if we looked at what we already have and appreciated it and how people are doing their best and not out to hurt us?

This really makes me think about what I contribute to my day based on how I’m defining terms that seem like we would all agree on, but I realize we don’t. Then what?
Does one person’s idea/desire/definition of independence and freedom restrict another? Does it have to? How do we know?
I find that I struggle with this just like many people I’m sure. I bring it up as something to ponder, not as if I have an answer. It’s actually pretty heavy to think about, which may be why some just stay within their own views and do not consider that their definition may be in direct opposition to someone else’s definition.

I then ended up thinking about how individually – beyond this life time – we end up having “independence and freedom” from this world/body/the physical – yet we are currently a part of a whole and collective and there is likely a more “universal” definition which maybe we do not or cannot fully see.   After all, as we live among others, there is an underlying natural need to be connected and supported. However if we end up choosing to break that down into smaller and smaller “groups”, we risk missing a level of deeper connection and purpose… that which reaches the depths of our true soul/self and divine creation.

Maybe this is another piece of what we will “know” on the other side… in the meantime I am reminded that we are all just trying to make it and doing the best we can, so if we add a little compassion for others, we are bound to feel it in return.  And in the end we hopefully remember that what we focus on grows and realize it’s important to make note of what feels right in our heart and when something doesn’t, we can acknowledge it and lovingly release it – letting it go past us without holding it.
For me this is where independence lives and true freedom begins.

Peace and Blessings

Shiela