Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Classic Pamela Positive: To Have a Positive Mindset: Build Your Mind as You Would Your Dream Home

When you build a house, you have to have a vision.  It’s your view of “home” you would like to create.   This is a place of safety, beauty, stability, warmth and welcome.

Sometimes, there might be a setback.  You might run out of brick, or the paint color you chose was a bit off.  At times, you might even have to fumigate.  Yet hold the vision of your beautiful home.  Keep striving for it.

What has helped me during any tough time of building, is gratitude. At this moment, there is something to appreciate.  If you are having a hard time in sales, you can be grateful you uplifted a client with a smile.  If your son lost his soccer game, you can be grateful he can play, run, and be sportsmanlike.  If you are hoping to be married, you can be grateful you can give love to anyone, not just your future husband.

And what about what the world, our larger home, presents to us?  If a natural disaster has occurred, you can be grateful that people are caring and helping.   This is where the goodness of people comes out.

And our gratitude even comes down to the weather.  Let’s be grateful that the sun came out today.  In many countries, pollution blocks the sun.  That a friend is near, or that we spoke with our mom on the phone.  We can find the good even when we don’t seem to have or own much. True wealth comes from qualities of being loving, kind, sincere, genuine, giving.

How wonderful that wealth is available to each one of us – that is our true home.    Oh the richness of life!

The Classic Pamela Positive: “UnConference Room” Your Meeting with a Peaceful Banyan Tree

“UnConference Room” Your Meeting

It is interesting how in America, and in many places across the world, most of our meetings take place in walled conference rooms.  Chairs are set uniformly around the table.  The walls are plastered with policies or goals.  Pens and pads are available so we can write and record and get our business done. There is a stark white board.  “Gosh darn it,” I can hear the executives say, “in this room we’re going to get to the solution, get down to business and ‘make it happen.'”  

Yet what if we looked at doing business, or holding meetings, under a banyan tree?

It was under a banyan tree where the Buddha felt his calling to enlightenment.  Under these same trees, Gujarati businessmen hold their meetings.  It is the place for political meetings: In Malaysia, the state assembly met underneath its welcome atmosphere.   So for much of Asia, spirituality, commerce, entrepreneurship and politics are taking place right outdoors.

The banyan tree represents solidity and rootedness.  At the same time, it also represents comfort, shade and welcome.  It is a source of power and peace. It is firm; but welcome. All qualities we need in a positive meeting. This return to nature could help conversations flow more easily.

Banyan Tree at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai; picture submitted by Ranjani Shanker

Let’s imagine this atmosphere. We are surrounded by gentle winds and visionary clouds floating across the sky  – not a blank wall.  A brilliant welcome sun, not a whiteboard.  We can replace the pen, paper and busy scribbling of notes, with more eye contact.  Would we then settle into a more authentic course of conversation, and more impactful solutions?   Within this reframing context of nature, our business relationships and  personal matters can soar.

Until we can “Unconference Room” your meeting space, perhaps we can imagine all of our conversations thoughtfully taking place under a Banyan tree.  A place where comfort, understanding, and right relationships result under its strong, natural presence.

 —✶—

The banyan tree originally received its name from the merchants who gathered beneath it to do business; in the Gujarati language, “banya” means “merchant/grocer.”  Western visitors to India observed the merchants meeting beneath the tree, and the name evolved to refer to the tree itself.  The banyan trees are given great symbolism in both Hinduism and Buddhism.  Banyan trees can grow to cover hundreds of feet, and live for over a thousand years.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Be Clear About What Is Truly Essential”

Marine corps officer Robert J. Wicks shares with us some important lessons on life and nature.

Rather than read, he encourages us to reflect. And our reflection should be to honor, cherish, and think on all the good in your life. That means recognizing the most important people and moments in each day.

From his book, Streams of Contentment, here are three tips on living a natural, successful life.

* Be clear about what is truly essential.

* Appreciate everything and everyone in your life right now.

* Recognize that a little silence and solitude is no small thing.

– Robert J. Wicks

When we appreciate what is important, right now, we honor life and everyone around us.

 

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Robert J. Wicks was a Marine corps officer in Vietnam.  He is the author of more than 40 books including Streams of Contentment, Everyday Simplicity, and Prayerfulness. Many of these books urge the readers to take on an appreciation of nature and were inspired by his family’s 78 acres of forests and open fields.

Wicks strives to open people who are used to giving to the miracle of receiving. He accomplishes this goal by marrying sound psychology and basic spiritual truths that set the stage for profound personal transformation. A popular presenter at workshops and conventions, Wicks is especially appealing to people in the helping professions—physicians, teachers, psychologists, and ministers—assisting them to integrate the psychological and the spiritual so they can extend their emotional flames to others without burning out in the process. He has worked around the globe—from the psychological debriefing of relief workers evacuated to the United States from Rwanda to conducting workshops in Cambodia for members of the international community assigned to help the Khmer people rebuild their nation. Additionally, he delivered presentations at Walter Reed Army Hospital to health care professionals involved in caring for Iraqi war veterans with amputations and severe head injuries. (Bio Source: Ave Maria Press)

The Classic Pamela Positive: Do Good, Feel Good

“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Do Good, Feel Good is straight from our esteemed President Lincoln, who is referring to that still small voice that tells us right and wrong. Everyone has it within.

So President Lincoln is not calling for a marvelous free-for-all where anyone follows their whim.  He’s calling us to listen to an internal guide of Truth.

First, we can do, and think, something good.  We don’t need training; just feel that confirmation in your heart that it is the right thing.  When you feel good about your act, then know it is right.

Then I’d add, keep on doing whatever is good!

 

                                                                            —✶—

Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, in a one-room log cabin on a farm in Kentucky.  After the death of Lincoln’s mother, his older sister, Sarah, took charge of caring for him until their father remarried in 1819.  As a young man, Lincoln was clearly a religious skeptic, but later on his frequent use of religious imagery and language might have reflected his own personal beliefs – or it might have been a device to appeal to his audiences, who were mostly evangelical Protestants. He never joined a church, although he frequently attended with his wife, but he was deeply familiar with the Bible, quoted it and praised it.   

He served as the 16th President of the United States, 1861-1865, leading the country during the Civil War.  As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause.  He was instrumental in ending slavery and is admired for his commitment to national unity, equal rights, liberty, and democracy in America.  In 1858 Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. He lost the election, but in debating with Douglas he gained a national reputation that won him the Republican nomination for President in 1860.  On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C was dedicated to him in 1922.

“The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.” Benjamin Franklin

“The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Do you think you are wise?

Then let’s think again….

Notice that Benjamin Franklin says knowing how much you don’t know  is only “the doorstep to the temple of wisdom.”

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Wisdom is “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” It’s partly metaphysical, as we draw on internal truths, and conscience. So wisdom won’t be achieved by human experience or in one lifetime.

 Our Founding Father knows how hard it is to attain it.   We don’t get to go through the door of wisdom, just approach the doorstep.  

So if you want to get into Wisdom’s temple…..

you have to realize how much you need to learn.

Wisdom is humble, constantly receptive, growing, changing.  So then if we have advice to impart, let’s do so with a thoughtful, grand acknowledgement —  of how much we don’t know.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Leaders to Inspire Us: Frances Hesselbein

As a woman social entrepreneur myself, I find it exciting to see the strong women working in the nonprofit sector. There are so many inspiring stories. One of my favorites is Frances Hesselbein. She was a mentee of Peter Drucker. This 90-something leader is still going strong, speaking internationally, and helping women leaders and entrepreneurs all over the world. She has written two very insightful books geared towards non-profit/for-profit leaders: The Leader of the Future and On Mission and Leadership: A Leader to Leader Guide.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Miss Hesselbein in New York; she has already had a profound influence on me and my desire to become a leader. With leaders like Frances to inspire us, it’s exciting to think what can be accomplished in the future.

The Classic Pamela Positive: There Is a Place for Every Star, and They All Blend Together

“There is a place for every star, and they all blend together.”

–Alexandra Hawley

This is a lovely quote from my mom, which was simply a part of an email to me.  I love the analogy of stars, for they all shine, and all uniquely so;  each one has its enduring place.  The light of each star is their unique, special contribution to this world.

Here is where the star power comes in. With each star’s combined light, we create a greater luminescence which brightens everyone’s experience, and therefore the world.

Thank you, Mom, for seeing the star in everyone!