Archive for May, 2010

30th May
written by Susan

Going…Beyond Petroleum and Everything Else

with a little help from a Roadmap and a wise, old Sūtra quoted below:

Om gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā

गते गते पारगते पारसंगते बोधि स्वाहा

Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone beyond even the beyond, and into enlightenment.


Notice how things are “beyond broken” everywhere we turn? 

It doesn’t matter what we’re discussing: the Gulf or a coal mine in WV, economics here or abroad, Government, Countries/States/Cities, institutions/corporations/unions, our financial security  – the systems we have built and sustained over the last 45+ years are failing. 

There’s plenty of blame to go around. But that’s the problem with blame – you just go round and round and nothing gets solved and or fixed. Those who are responsible and who are protecting the status quo love blame games as it keeps them safe from being outed for their crimes and indiscretions.

Sometime last year I finally realized the TRUTH. Our problems, challenges, issues lie beyond what any single person, politician, Party, Government, institution/corporation can solve. We’re in too deep! Those in positions of power have become absolutely powerless to do anything meaningful to change anything anymore. Witness the recent attempts at health care reform, financial reform, managing the BP disaster, and so on.

They pretend they have achieved meaningful reform and or progress – but instead, it’s BUSINESS AS USUAL. They can’t admit the truth of their ignorance/incompetency/impotency or the entire charade would collapse. Besides, why “come clean” when the system is already rigged in your favor? They’re all in on the privatize the profits and socialize the losses game. That’s why we’ll never see real change coming from the top!  

Therefore, We the People must create the change we want to see – for ourselves, by ourselves. There is no other way.

I’m advocating for a WE and not me approach here as this will take collaboration and teamwork on a broad scale.  Look for Leaders/Leadership to emerge on a local level and within established communities (the Blog Roll members listed below would be an example of a community operating in the economic/financial realm). 

Together WE can develop plans for taking action and finding the way forward.

It doesn’t have to be total chaos.  We can choose.  Let’s become advocates for what we want to be/to see and NOT for what we fear/or fear we have lost. This is the critical choice!

 I’ve promised you a Roadmap. Here are the ideas for getting BEYOND BROKEN:

  1. GET A GRIP on the TRUTH. See the blame game for what it is.  Angry talking heads, finger pointing, tantrums, asking the President to get madder – don’t accomplish anything. The whole point is that blame keeps you tied up and impotent; too afraid, depressed or angry to act. When you stop the blaming (and the angry, fearful emotions that accompany it) you are free to see the truth, to see beyond what is broken.
  2. ACCEPT what is real, right here right now. Yes we’re incredibly sad, heartbroken and scared that TopKill didn’t work. Yes we’re worried about how we’re going to afford to support ourselves for another 30 years. Yes we’re aware that nobody’s being held accountable for any bad deed (emphasis on financial) anywhere anymore. ACCEPTANCE, without blame or expectation, is the only way forward.
  3. Be GRATEFUL for what you do have. Yes, we’re living paycheck to paycheck, yet we still have our family, friends, food on the table and a roof overhead. Find the positive and acknowledge it by showing gratitude as expressed through/in your thoughts, words, and deeds. This is your foundation, your rock, your strength; it will keep you grounded and strong.
  4. Choose to GO BEYOND. Ask yourself:  what ACTION can I take right here right now in response? If I have financial abundance, then making a financial contribution to those advocating for your issue/cause of choice is a good move. Perhaps you have the time to volunteer. You don’t have to go down to the Gulf when those in your local community are in need. Choose to GO BEYOND by being an ADVOCATE for the things that matter most, for what you value and believe in.  
  5. Be an ADVOCATE. Be the change, the hope, the LOVE, you want to see in the world! When you connect with what you believe in and bring that connection to life, you go beyond – you become an ADVOCATE for everything you value. Advocate’s Formula: Purpose + Passion/Compassion + Action = ADVOCACY (an ADVOCATE in action).
  6. Build a COMMUNITY. Look for other like-minded/hearted/handed folks to join you. This is a WE proposition; the power is in COLLABORATION, in harnessing the contributions of those within your community.

Going BEYOND BROKEN is a process, a journey, and not a destination. The Roadmap steps outlined above will support you in transforming your thinking/feeling/doing into something amazing. It’s like building The Bridge to Somewhere- where finding your way – is the Heart (Sutra) of the matter.

So here’s a Roadmap. Let  your Bridge-building begin today!

May you GO BEYOND, even beyond the beyond, and into a new awareness and ENLIGHTENMENT.

7th May
written by Susan

Something’s up with this recession. It feels really different from what I remember in the past. My sense is that we’re in a kind of trance-like state, numb and stunned because we’ve been displaced on a grand scale - like the poor spider that got the “vacuum cleaner treatment” after a desperate tissue scooping attempt failed to net positive results.

Vac power on. Wooshhhh. Gone.

No one seems immune from the impact of this economic chaos. It’s swept up a diverse array of folks – across numerous industries, with varying levels of expertise and longevity, within all sizes of firms. Many of my family members, friends, and contacts are finding themselves unemployed or grossly under-employed for long periods of time. Most of you heard a giant sucking sound as the work, the 10 or 20% of gross pay, the special projects, the overtime, the 401K’s, the vacation, and the benefits disappeared. It’s just plain confounding, confining, and crazy; sort of like a spider’s life inside the vacuum bag.

I’m not exaggerating or being dramatic here. The impact of a recession on employment is well documented.

So how bad is it?

(click on the image below for a larger view) (use the left arrow button to return to this spot)


The trend doesn’t look real promising to me. Notice how much longer it took to achieve job loss recovery after the recent events of 1981, 1990, and 2001. Based on current trends, it’s logical to assume that we’re in for a prolonged recovery this time as well - which puts us at 47 months plus plus. UhOh, we’re not even half way there.

For all of you who have reported that it feels like we’ve fallen off a cliff – your proof is in the chart. That red line tracks one massive descent. No employment recession has been as deep (and perhaps as long – TBD) as this one.

Now you have the facts; the truth of the matter is that the employment situation is dire! Just today, the BLS reported an increase in the unemployment rate to 9.9% because 499,000 more Americans are out of work. On the other side of the equation there was an uptick in job creation; 290,000 jobs added sounds pretty good. It represents a start, but how could it possibly be enough given where we are?

Like some of you, I’m not content staring at harsh reality/facts without wanting to do something to improve and or change the situation. I believe that the way ahead involves a radical TRANSFORMATION of the dynamics of our present situation. We’ve got the power to get beyond current circumstances; let’s use it! We’ve got the compassion to  help others on the way; it’s why we hurry outside with the vacuum bag to release our spider friend and why we read/write blogs.

For ideas on the TRANSFORMATION, let me quote from an earlier post of mine:

“We know all of us are going to have to readjust. To redefine our goals, dreams, expectations, and values as they relate to work, the economy and our prosperity.  The future may be a little foggy…but with some focused effort and collaboration we can find ourselves heading in a positive new direction.”

We are committed to presenting ideas for charting a new course. Starting next week, every post will attempt to identify potential “next steps” in building your personal ROADMAP for the journey ahead.

Getting from where we are to where we need to go is a process – one we embrace whole heartedly! Your feedback and insight are invaluable to helping us build that BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE

I ask you again – Are you in?

My thanks to the folks over at Calculated Risk who generated the chart. I visit their site several times a day to get insight related to the developing/evolving economic situation. I invite you to do the same!