Saturday, December 25, 2010

One's Heart On This Merry Little Christmas

As I was signing in, I noticed that my dear friend Celeste Bergin had posted this on her blog:

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas sung by Judy Garland.

So, of course I had to take a look. Strikes the right, if somewhat unwelcome, chord of melancholy this morning.

Feeling just a touch sorry for myself because I missed Christmas Eve with my daughter and her new family due to feeling unwell. The main symptom, aside from fatigue: chest pains.

I've been in denial for about 4 days and, so far, I'm not dead. 

I keep thinking, “I will be better tomorrow," and then I wake up tomorrow with that same fist in my chest. I went so far as to print out a map to my preferred urgent care facility
thinking that if I were still having discomfort today, I would chuck myself in the car and drive there. Turns out, they're closed on Christmas, which makes no kind of sense. If I'm having a heart attack, it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. 

I must not be too sick, If I can be picky about which hospital, right?

Considering Other Matters Of The Heart

I've got someone in my life with a broken one, figuratively speaking, of course. He just lost his love, which he had denied for a number of years, who finally gave up. Followed swiftly by the loss of his mom. 

Having lived through the loss of a mother (and the loss of a love), I know how difficult that is. It's doubly difficult when you have no significant person in your life to walk through it with you. Instead, you are faced with a severely dysfunctional set of siblings who are taking out their grief on each other.

I feel for him this morning, and that's good. At least one aspect of my heart is still functioning properly. The urge is there to run in and attempt a rescue of this long-time friend. I know how painful this is, after all. I also know that this could be the worst thing for both of us. I can not help him and, Lord knows, I have tried. I seem to finally be accepting that there is truth to the adage that “what does not kill us makes us strong”.

Neither would it help me to hop on my white horse and rush in with an armful of comfort. I've learned from painful experience that enmeshing myself in this friend's life only causes a downward spiral for yours truly. 

My own energy | life-force | chi ... my Spirit, if you will, requires careful tending. On an energetic level, I simply cannot afford it. My care and compassion will have to be long-distance, with myself at the top of the list.

So, in considering my heart and another song for this “merry little Christmas”, the first that popped into my head ...

Gonna Harden My Heart by Quarterflash.

Wherever you are, and whatever you do today, may this be a good day. May it be filled with love and compassion, even if it comes from 5° south or north of your particular latitude.

And may you understand the gift of separation and aching hearts. At least you know that you're still alive.

I wish you well and I wish me well, too.

Sweet Wet Apples
© Lora R Fisher, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Art & Artlessness of Collaboration

Signs that you & your team are collaborating successfully:

You have shared goals.
You validate your teammates’ input and they validate yours.
You are excited by the process, as well as the project.
You laugh together, often.
You welcome hearing your teammates’ contributions.
You listen with openness and curiosity.
You see positive outcomes and happy endings.
You feel respected.
You respect your teammates.
You know that if this particular idea doesn’t work, it’s likely that the next one will.
You do not take the rejection of an idea personally.
You believe in and trust the integrity of your team.
You and your team operate with openness and practice reciprocity.
You know that success grows exponentially.
You know that small successes lead to big success, and you celebrate each.
You know that the success of one reflects on the group and the entire project.
You understand that nothing is perfect, but strive for it as a team, nonetheless.
You give each other the room to make mistakes and make amends.
You look forward to the adventure.

All of the above create more of the same: good vibes, productive process, and success.

On the other hand ...

Small signs that this ‘collaborative project’ might not be working:

You already know how this is going to turn out.
You are not having fun and have no enthusiasm for the project.
You have to force yourself to smile and cooperate.
The sound of another person’s voice causes you to cringe.
You can’t wait for others to shut their yaps so you can open yours.
Your ego is getting a solid workout.
You find your teammates to be utterly boring or stupid, or both.
You anticipate being shot down … again.
You resist contributing.
Your first reaction is to belittle.
You feel diminished on a regular basis.
You’re fairly certain that ‘they’ are out to get you.
You know that the project would be an utter failure if you weren’t there to rescue it.
You know that the best way to get things done is your way.
The most important thing is that you get credit for your brilliant ideas.
Your contributions are regularly sabotaged.
You find yourself dwelling deliciously on thoughts of revenge.
You’re unwilling to confront out of fear of retaliation.
Others take credit for your ideas.
You’re unwilling to stick your neck into the noose..
You believe that there is no hope.
You want to tell them all to ‘stick it’.

There may be more, but this seems a good start. 

My advice: analyze the situation to discern if it is a salvageable and bring the issue up to the group to see if others want to do the work.

Alternately, run for the freedom of the hills.

Holding Back The Inevitable 
©2010 Lora R Fisher