the better angels of our nature…

Being in opposition is easy, but stating what we believe in is often challenging.  We’re living in strange times, there’s way too much stress in the system.  It doesn’t matter what side (or center) of the American political spectrum you fall on—division and absolute certainty are not the products of a civil society.  I find myself longing for a time when we agreed on some basic truths and then engaged in respectful policy discussions about how to achieve those shared goals.

After having my coffee and reading the news, I wanted to write about things I believe in—not what I’m opposed to.

HERE GOES (this is actually harder than you think, try it):

EDUCATION: 

I believe our schools should teach rigorous courses in the following areas:

1. How to have healthy relationships: familial, personal, societal and self 

2. Financial literacy

3. Digital life/footprint realities & cyber security information

4. Personal health: nutrition, exercise & sexuality 

5. Stress management: I read in Psychology Today that the average high school student in America has the level of stress of the average psychiatric patient in 1950. Horrifying huh? 

6. Home Economics & Shop courses mandatory starting in 1st grade: If we taught kids how to cook, clean, mend/repair things, lots of hacks for living, it would be powerful and empowering.  The more we know, well, the more self esteem grows.  I know many believe these things should happen at home, however, my children listen better to others than me (or at least it seems that way).

I want to operate in reality, not the romanticized ideal.

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LEADERSHIP: 

Congress should be filled with teachers, coaches, caregivers, engineers, small business owners, artists, writers, factory workers, farmers and so on.  We need to take dark money out of the system and let congress reflect “we the people”.  If the election cycle was much shorter and a defined amount of money is what could be spent, it would level the playing field considerably.

END CITIZEN UNITED!

“The Citizens United ruling, released in January 2010, tossed out the corporate and union ban on making independent expenditures and financing electioneering communications. It gave corporations and unions the green light to spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools, calling for the election or defeat of individual candidates.

In a nutshell, the high court’s 5-4 decision said that it is OK for corporations and labor unions to spend as much as they want to convince people to vote for or against a candidate.”

SOURCE: https://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/10/18/11527/citizens-united-decision-and-why-it-matters

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PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: 

I believe we need to try to “MIND THE GAP” between our stated values and how we behave…and this is sooooooooo hard sometimes.

I know for me, when my values/behavior are out of step, I feel like crap and the people I love suffer.  This is a muscle to be exercised like any other. 

I started trying to pay more attention to when my values were out of alignment with my actions.  It sucked at first to do this because it’s quite painful.  We don’t want to see ourselves that way.  However, the more I started noticing, the more quickly I could correct the behavior (most of the time).  I’m hardly batting 1000%, but I’ve made slight improvements and that’s something to build upon.

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I wholeheartedly believe in the Bohemian Creed made famous by Baz Luhrmann’s “MOULIN ROUGE”!

TRUTH • BEAUTY • FREEDOM & LOVE

truth beauty freedom and love lisa lillibridge

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BETTER ANGELS (Abraham Lincoln):

“I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Abraham Lincoln‘s first inaugural address was delivered on Monday, March 4, 1861, as part of his taking of the oath of office for his first term as the sixteenth President of the United States.

 

pay yourself first

I know a lot of people hate Mondays.  I’m sorry.  I’m not one of them.  I’ve always loved Mondays and I like them even more when it’s raining or cold.  I feel really productive and I think, “Well, I have to get my work done, so why have the pull of great weather taking my attention.  Crappy Monday weather simply makes it easier to get at what has to be done.

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So, on this cloudy (with a good chance of showers this afternoon) April Monday in Vermont I find myself with one of these such days. However, I’m rested, coffee fueled and hitting the ground running.  These are rainy day images from Brooklyn I shot over the weekend.

I’m trying a new process to get myself organized and I would love to hear how others do this as well.  On Sunday nights I write down a list of my intentions for the week—day by day.  This practice has uniquely organized my “highly disorganized” brain and has allowed me to relax a bit because the week is laid out for me.

I have to get very specific because I’m easily distracted.  I even write down my food intentions for the week because it sets a tone…especially after a rather indulgent weekend with friends eating and drinking beer in Brooklyn.  I pencil in writing, homework, appointments, exercise, breaks, errands, projects, phone calls, tasks, quiet time and family time.  This may sound rigid, but there’s plenty of wiggle room.

I’ve started paying more attention to what I do when and this has been a real game changer for me.  I’m highly creative in the morning and I have a lot of clarity and energy.  So, the tasks that require the most of my brain power I do first thing.

I can complete other things later in the day that require much less of me.  I don’t want to waste my most creative time doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom or paying bills.

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I was reminded when I started this practice that my Grandpa Louis used to say; “Pay yourself first, Lisa”.

He said this in regard to my savings account when I started working my first job at a grocery store when I was eleven.  However, now I realize that Grandpa meant so much more in that simple statement.  Setting my intentions for all aspects of my life; work schedule, social activities, food, exercise, creative and quiet time is paying myself first and it’s been quite effective for me so far. Thank you, Grandpa.