Please watch this video, hear the words and feel the feels. Then come back here for a few minutes. Please.
11 weeks in and I still (and will always) miss my #bestlittledogintheworld Panda. That will not go away, and I am owning it. Freakin’ miss ya girl.
In Stop. It Matters. … last week… I shared on the importance of stopping, and noted that ” I have made some significant decisions over the last few days, arising out of Pandemic, the passing of Panda, and more.” Since then, I have shared on LinkedIn on being open and some resources for rest… and a new renaissance. All of this is said with the realization that I am in the last days of this current Term at College, grading papers and exams … and understanding that, soon, I will be taking some dedicated time to rest and heal. That said, and feeling the great need for such, I also posted this last night on Facebook…
Please, please, please for God’s sake… so much “mantra” out there that is toxic positivity. Being spiritual does not imply you do not feel emotions and that you will never suffer. Optimism knows that we will get there… and getting there will involve challenge and work. Challenge implies that there is challenge. Toxic positivity is not only BS but it is dangerous. It implies people should not feel sadness or pain nor anger. I do not publicly swear often but that is f#@king BS. When people feel justifiably sad… get comfortable with that instead of somehow telling them they need to find their “light”. How about if we understand that sometimes you actually need to walk in the darkness to eventually see the light. By the way, this post is NOT about me but I have come across at least three instances this week where I have seen others given this message. BS. I will take healthy Optimism any day. In my own darkest days, I am thankful for that Optimism knowing, always knowing, that I would “get there” and knowing it would be hard. I am also thankful for friends who get it. Toxic positivity is crap. Being a healthy positive … and practicing Optimism … knows life can be tough but we can and will make it, whatever that means. You can experience Joyfulness amidst pain. You can mourn loss and still be joyful and grateful for the time you had. But you still mourn. The toxic “always shiny happy” ain’t healthy and I do not believe. If you are out there struggling, know that struggling means you are not quitting. Know that your emotions are valid. Know that you need to feel them without them taking hold of your life. And for God’s sake, if you need to, talk to a professional who has the training. Ending my Rant…. but I cannot bear people being sold the pablum of toxic positivity. Maybe it should be less about “let’s talk” and more about “let’s listen”. And professionals matter. Joyfulness matters. So does Empathy… and Empathy is practiced by truly understanding that we do not fully understand anyone else’s story… but that we “get” and understand all emotions have value. Practice Optimism. You and all your valid emotions will get there. Love and Understanding… real and raw.
We own our lives; whether we accept same or not. We own our emotions. They are ours and valid. But they do not own us; we own them. We own our joy and our pain; not as some proud badge of Honor but as our own River. It is our Acceptance of who we are most true and best that matters. We are not our joy nor pain, but they are ours. In understanding, we better grasp our own sense of the practice of Dominion.
As we learn to express same out into the world, we better grasp our practice of Candor…
… and Daring.
We find our Soulfulness.
We better understand that the Virtues are our capacities to ever better own our lives… from Acceptance to Zeal… by their practice as we need them…. for ourselves and others.
For me, these coming days and weeks and months even… will be about taking full possession and owning it all. I consider myself a long time practitioner and student of Responsibility and Resilience… and they have served me well. Still, there is another R ‘n’ R that I need more deeply practice now… Respect and Reverence… for my own Soul. It is time to Honor my own spirit… to be responsible to it, at a deeper, cooler level. This means rest and honoring that which I have walked through and felt. It means taking physical, mental and emotional care of me. It means going into drydock to repair and build a stronger ship, a new Enterprise.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green
aka The Unity Guy
Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal. Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community. Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart. The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.” With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist.