Friday, October 20, 2017

I Choose... "IN"

Hi All!

So I have a situation in my life right now that, due to the actions of other people who are involved, is not going the way I would prefer it to. Not even close. And it seems that I am constantly finding myself in a feeling of resentment about it, which is not a pleasant feeling at all. I want this endeavor to go the way I want it to go, and the more it doesn’t live up to my original expectations of it, the more frustrated and irritated and, yes, angry and hurt, I become.

Well, as you’ve all heard me say countless times over the years, this is just a circumstance. And circumstances are completely neutral.  “Circum-stance” means “that which stands around me,” and it doesn’t get any more neutral than that, does it? Which means what? It means that the circumstance, itself, does not care one bit what I think of it or how I feel about it. It just IS. It also means that – as is ALWAYS the case – I get to choose how I experience this circumstance. I can sit here and stew in my resentment, and let that resentment set the tone of my responses as things progress, or I can choose a different experience of the situation, which will automatically change my responses.

I asked myself a couple of days ago, “Who do I want to BE in this?” And the answer was that I want to be one of those people who is not bothered by stuff like this even when it’s something that’s important to them – something that they have a lot of time and money and “self” invested in. I want to be like the mystic, or the guru, or the “practitioner” who has been practicing their spiritual work for so long that things like this don’t have the power to knock them off balance. You know, someone who can easily forgive and be loving no matter what appears to be happening in the circumstance. Someone who does not blame others or keep score of all the “wrongs” that they have done. That’s the version of me that I would like to be in this.

However, when I got honest with myself I had to admit that that version of myself feels way out of reach right now. So, what to do? I know I do not want to stay angry and resentful, and that something’s got to change… (in me. Not in this other person’s behavior. I don’t get to ask or expect this other person to change just so I can feel better in the situation. While they are responsible for their actions, and the consequences of those actions, they are not responsible for my perception or emotional experience of their actions.) …but as I saw the vision of the me that I want to be, the only thing that came to me was, “I’ll never be able to live up to that. It’s too far away from where I am right now.”

And the next thought felt like a suggestion straight from the Divine, “Rather than trying to live UP to something that feels so far out of reach, why don’t you just live IN to those qualities as best you can from here? Just live IN to that version of you in the best way you can in each moment. You know that version of you does exist. Stop trying to force it. Just live IN to it.” And in that idea I found my emotional ease.

I cannot force another person to make the choices that I want them to make. But I can be aware enough in the moment to pay attention to the tone of my own attitudes and responses as things move forward. Resentment breeds responses that will just create more resentment, and I know it.

For now, I choose to keep in mind the version of me that I want to be. I choose NOT to pressure myself to live UP to that vision because I can feel a lot of “martyr mentality” in that. Instead, I choose to allow myself to just be aware, and to live IN to that version of me to the best of my ability in each moment, in response to each new development along the way.

And I choose to feel better—because I CAN.

What about you? What are you experiencing right now that you would like to feel better about? Who do you want to BE, moving forward from here? Try living IN to that version of you, rather than living UP to it. More than anything else, this is about being gentle and loving with ourselves, while choosing personal empowerment in dealing with others. And we are all capable of that.

Have an awesome day if you choose to!


Monday, October 2, 2017

I Choose... "Better than ever!"

Hello everyone,

As I was driving back to the desert this last weekend from the Pacific Northwest, complaining in my mind about the fact that I don’t actually like living in the desert, I noticed how not-good those complaints were making me feel. And since I happen to know from experience that I, myself, am the only one who can ever change how I feel, I decided to do something about it.

I thought about what my personal beliefs are. I thought about “Choose Your Universe” and what that material means to me. I thought about my understanding that the Universe (God. The Divine) is always for expansion and fuller expression. And I thought about going back to work in the office and being asked “How are you?” I want to be able to give a positive response to that question. I want to know that just because I don’t like living in the desert does not meant that I can’t absolutely love my life here.

I have decided that my response from now on to the question, "How are you?" is going to be, "Better than ever!" Why? Two reasons.

First, I really do believe that the Universe is always for expansion and fuller expression, and if that’s really the way it is, then “better than ever” is a completely accurate response, isn’t it? (It makes me smile to look at it this way!)

Second, deliberately responding with, “Better than ever” is going to take some practice, and it’s going to take diligently getting into the feeling of it. I see this as a great opportunity to pay attention in all situations and interactions with others and choose to be “more compassionate than ever” or “stronger than ever” or “more accepting than ever” or “more patient than ever” or to have “more self-respect than ever” or… The list is actually pretty long and, in fact, could very well be “ever expanding,” couldn’t it? :-)

So right now, I am choosing to be – and to feel – better than ever. Join me if you choose to.


P.S. Just an fyi – I have deleted all of my social media accounts. I am doing a year-long, “life without social media” personal experiment. No more Facebook, Twitter, etc. for me until October 1, 2018 (if by then I actually have a desire to get back into it. I hope I don’t.)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Thank You letter to Donald Trump

Dear Donald Trump,

THANK YOU for being the man that you are! I’m so grateful that your behavior on the bus that day in 2005 was recorded, and that I happened to hear it this last Wednesday.

Now, I want to be clear about two things here: First, this thank you note has NOTHING to do with the 2016 election or making any American voter right or wrong regarding their choice in this election. Second, I’m making it public because I know that I’m not the only survivor of sexual abuse and/or domestic violence who has ever been emotionally triggered by your words and actions over the years.

For myself, the revulsion I feel when I hear your voice or see your face began decades ago, and it’s a simple fact that my gut reaction to who you are is not your fault. I recognize that it is my own emotional programming that gets jolted into reminding me of my history of abuse whenever I see or hear you, and that it has nothing to do with you personally. It has to do with your public displays of personality. It has to do with how you present yourself to the world. And up until that recording was gifted to the public a few days ago I had no idea what you were like in private. That recording has provided us all with a “fly on the wall” perspective that shows us the reality of your private personality. So now we know.

And now, because I HAVE discovered one particular aspect of the “real” you that showed itself clearly in that video, I’ve found (to my intense gratitude and relief) a reason to be glad that you are the man that you are. I have spent this entire election working at feeling compassion for you, rather than condemnation, because I know from experience that when I’m busy condemning somebody I’m stuck carrying their heavy ass around with me wherever I go. When I’m busy condemning someone, I must stay – quite literally – diligently busy checking on them to see what I can judge them about next so I can continually prove to myself that they are deserving of my judgment, contempt, and condemnation. And if I’m not able to find anything “out there,” then I have to reignite stuff inside my own thoughts, like a damn bellows, fanning those flames of hatred and judgment. This is actually really hard work and I freaking HATE it. There are so many other things I could be focusing my energy and attention on, and the only way to release myself from this burden (which I, myself, lug around everywhere – nobody forces me to do that) is to let go of condemnation and choose compassion, instead. So I have been working hard, looking for something – anything – to light up for me regarding you that I can find compassion for. Because really, you ARE heavy, and you keep giving me more and more stuff to drag around with me. Until now.

There was one word that you used in the conversation on that bus that has given me that “something” to focus on that helps me to be able to purposefully (for my own benefit, not yours, so there’s no need for anyone to go into “how dare you” mode, or point out to me that you don’t care what I think of you) choose compassion. And I’ve been able use this one thing, over and over again as necessary, to free myself from carrying you around with me everywhere I go. Thank you so much! It’s so nice to feel free again!

No, “pussy” was not the word. The word was “it.” When you saw Arianne Zucker you said, “Oh, it looks good.” With your use of that one word when referring to that young woman, it was like you were viewing her as a cardboard game piece, and you had zero recognition of her (very real and very worthy of so much more than being seen as just a thing) personhood.

Not only did I find my compassion for you within your use of that one word, I also found a feeling of actual appreciation for two of my most violent, hateful, hurtful abusers. And THAT is why I’m writing this note. Thank you, Mr. Trump, for giving me this new insight into two men that I’ve worked very hard to forgive. Those two men were the most abusive of all the men who ever hurt me during the first 35 years of my life, but neither of them ever treated me like I was just a thing. And that is something that I can choose to appreciate about them. Although they did both try to suppress and control my personhood, neither of them ever treated me like it did not exist. I am so grateful that you have gifted me with this new and different perception of them because this has caused another piece of the forgiveness puzzle to fall into place for me. Again, freedom. Something to appreciate.

As for you and what your use of that word means to me, as heard in an everyday Donald Trump dialogue: Your view of a human being as an “it,” as just a “thing,” can only mean a pretty lonely, shallow existence for you, whether you realize that or not. I’d be willing to bet that you don’t, or you would be doing your life differently. You don’t know what you’re missing. And if all of your relations with people are as shallow as your use of that one little word suggests, then what you are missing is an aspect of true riches that you – with that “cardboard game piece” view of other people – cannot possibly understand. My life, which you would probably consider puny, includes many, many people that I love and value, and that love and value me. And THIS life is worth so much more to me than anything that you have ever displayed to the world as so-called proof of how “great” your life supposedly is.

I can totally have compassion for a man as shallow as you have shown us that you are, because the only depth that you can personally claim as real is the chasm that stands between your ego and your heart. And that is yours to deal with on your own, should you ever choose to do so.

I, myself, can now freely choose to perceive you as a human being who is deserving of compassion, because your behavior proves over and over again that true happiness is not something that is a part of your experience. (Believe it or not, there’s a difference between real happiness and feeling glee as a result of hurting, dominating, denigrating, or forcing yourself upon a person who feels powerless to stop you.)

In the sixteen years since I left my domestic violence existence behind me once and for all, I have created and enjoyed a VERY rich life. Rich in love. Rich in friendships. Rich in community. Rich in mutual respect and working together with people who are very different from me. Rich in feelings of appreciation and joy and deep connection.

I am not claiming myself to be better than you or my life to be better than yours. I am only saying that I experience life in a very different way than you do. And now you have helped me – with your use of that one little two-letter word – to be able to choose to see you with compassion rather than condemnation, and to be able to set the burden of you down and not pick you back up again. Whatever your behavior from here on out – and whether or not you become our President – I never again need to feel emotionally invested in wishing that you would be different so that I can feel better when I look at you. All I need to do is remember the depth of that chasm that I mentioned above. Just the thought of a fellow human being living with that kind of void inside him- or herself automatically generates a feeling of compassion within me because I have first-hand knowledge of what that person is missing. And you, with your perception of that young woman as an “it,” have shown us clearly that you are missing a lot.

AND – holy shit! – finding actual APPRECIATION for the two men in my life that I have resented the most over the years is a GREAT added bonus, and that is the reason I’m posting this publicly. Perhaps some of my fellow DV survivors can use this idea to ease their own resentments toward their abusers, whether those abusers acknowledged their personhood through trying to suppress and control it, or treated them like game pieces – like “its” – there is something in this thank you note for any survivor who would like a different perception of anyone in their life who has hurt them, whether sexually, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically, or any combination thereof.

So thank you again, sir, for having that particular conversation on that particular bus on that particular day, and for using that particular word in that particular way, because with that one little word you told the world who you really are and how you really view the rest of humanity – as cardboard game pieces put here for you to manipulate. Knowing that ONE thing about you lets me know that I can move you and your behavior to the “non-issue” pile, because nothing that I do can ever force you to see my personhood. So really, it wouldn’t be worth any of the time or effort that I would have to spend in that kind of useless endeavor.

I have found over the last few days that I no longer have to struggle against my gag reflex when I see your face or hear your voice. Now it’s more of a matter-of-fact, “Oh look. There’s that little man again. Yep, he’s still little. I can go to compassion here and now, or I can let myself get caught up in whatever he happens to be spewing today. Oh yeah… the little man is really a non-issue. I choose compassion and wishing for him that one day he finds his way across that chasm that exists between his ego and his heart. I look forward to meeting the version of Donald Trump that will be the result of that journey.” That would be epic. For you to experience that journey, and for the world to see what a truly wealthy Donald Trump is like.


P.S.: If you are a person who is a fan of Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States of America, it is not up to me to make you “wrong” for that. Nor am I. There are quite a few people in my life who are a part of the “richness” that I mentioned above – people that I love, admire, and respect – who do want to see him win this election, and I think that is perfectly okay. Why? Because I happen to believe that every one of us is doing absolutely the best that we know how from where we each stand as individuals within this circumstance. I, from my position within the circumstance, cannot and would not ever presume to know what is the best choice for YOU to make from YOUR position within this circumstance. So please, if you are tempted to post a hateful response, just don’t. I don’t have time for that shit, and really, neither do you. I am not coming from hatred. I am actually being sincere in expressing my thanks to Mr. Trump. My compassion is also sincere. And so is my thought that it would be truly epic to see who he would become if he ever did decide to make that journey. This letter is not about politics. It is about me choosing compassion over condemnation, because I have the power to do so. It is about me being responsible for my own experience of a circumstance that appears to be absolutely ugly. This shift in perception is my way of doing so. I do not want to hate this man. And so I choose not to.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

I Choose... Radical Non-judgment

 I Choose...
Radical Non-judgment

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve written, I know. Several weeks ago I was basically forced to admit to myself that the hours I was spending on these messages were hours that really needed to be invested in other things. The Law of Sacrifice demanded that something had to give or I was going to reap some consequences that were not going to be very fun.

This morning, I just felt like saying a big fat HELLO! J And since I’m here, I thought I’d share what I’m choosing today, which is “Radical Non-judgment” – of myself, and of others.

The social climate these days seems to be “feeding the monsters” of judgment and fear, and I find it all just… repulsive. Which means what? It means that I’m judging it all, doesn’t it? This morning, that feeling of repulsion actually came to a point of more pain than I’m willing to bear.

So I decided to do something that felt “radical.” I deliberately NOTICED that I was judging – and resisting – the choices and behaviors of others. And I NIPPED IT right there. And it was simpler to do than you might think, despite the feeling that I kicked my own self in the gut when I did it. No. It is NOT easy to make such a drastically different-feeling choice. It is NOT easy to take such a radically different-feeling action.

It IS simple, though… to firmly decide to nip a judgment in the bud, before it has a chance to blossom into something that just adds ugliness to the world, which is something that I don’t think any of us ever consciously have in our hearts to do. In fact, don’t you think that all of us are doing absolutely the best we know how (not to be confused with “the best that we are capable of”) – based on what we were brought up to believe about life – to make the world a good place to be? I do.

As I am deliberately choosing to nip my judgment in the bud the second I notice that I’m doing it, I find that the more I can do it without intellectualizing it (in other words, just taking the action without thinking about it) allowing the “gut-wrenched” feeling to just be okay, the more radically “open” my perception becomes, and the less attached I am to wishing others would behave differently so that I can feel better when I observe their behavior and the choices they are making that I (my ego, my own personal belief system) see as “bad.”

It’s very liberating, and it’s making a big difference in how I feel about the world as a whole, life in general, and people who have different views of – and beliefs about – things than I do.

It’s a bit trickier when it comes to choosing not to judge myself, but I’m giving it a good effort!

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi, and that I hope you’re all well and happy. And I wanted to make sure there was some actual substance to this letter, too, so I am grateful to present to you what I’m currently using as my “I Choose…” practice.

I Choose… Radical Non-judgment

I choose to NOTICE when I am being judgmental (of anyone – myself or others). I choose to be MINDFUL of my thoughts and emotions regarding the choices and behaviors of other people (yes, anyone!) who show up in my experience. If I am being anything less than compassionate, I immediately take the action of NIPPING that judgment before it can grow. I do not allow my sub-conscious programming to rationalize, defend, or justify anything within myself that is judgmental, intolerant, self-righteous, or superior. I recognize the “wrenched” feeling in my gut as the death throes of a paradigm-generated behavior that does not serve me or the world. I choose the freedom and empowerment that are inherent aspects of deliberate, conscious Radical Non-judgment.

This is a choice that feels far more empowering (and loving) than any attitude of making someone else “wrong” for believing what they believe and making their choices based upon their beliefs, which is what every single one of us is doing in every waking moment of every day of our lives, isn’t it? Who am I to say that another is “wrong” for believing something different from what I believe? Who am I to make someone “wrong” for acting on their fears if they were brought up to believe that that can be helpful to them? Who am I to make ANYONE “wrong” or “bad” for being who they were raised to be?  Every single time I do this, I am guilty of “revictimizing the victim.” And that is not helpful in the slightest.

I’m all for making a radically different choice.

Try it for yourself, and watch as your entire understanding of life itself shifts, and changes, and grows to magnificent proportions compared to what it is right now.

I love you all. Be well.

Until the next time…

P.S.: PLEASE check out my new web site (see below), and PLEASE share it on your social media platforms and with anyone you know who can benefit from it. Keep in mind that while it is a work in progress, it is also crying out to be shared. I thank you so much for your support in helping me to make this work VISIBLE so that the people who need it the most can actually FIND it.


Have an awesome day if you choose to!
Rev. Sandra Daly

“Speak your Soul into this space.” Em Claire  

If you know someone who is living a victim life, and if you think it's even remotely possible that they are ready to start doing things differently (hint: not only is it possible, but it's probably very likely), then please share this new web site with them. I'm starting a REVOLUTION, and anyone who would like to join me is WELCOME! :-)
Thank you!

And, of course, as always, if you believe my work to be worthy of tangible support, every single bit of help is welcome, and very much appreciated, and you can contribute right here: DVShiftFund

God bless you all!

Here's an example of the videos that I've been creating:

Thank you again, for your support, for your help in making this work VISIBLE.