Category Archives: The Classic Pamela Positive

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

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There are many images that come to mind when we think of Asia, from dragons to beautiful beaches, spanning varied cultures. One of my favorite views is that of the banyan tree, for it must be strongly grounded in the earth, which also allows its larger branches and leaves to provide overreaching shade.

It was under a banyan tree where the Buddha felt his calling to a new level of enlightenment.  Under these same trees, Gujarati businessmen hold their meetings.  It is even used as a place for political meetings: recently in Malaysia, the state assembly met underneath the welcome atmosphere of the banyan tree.  So, for much of Asia, spirituality, entrepreneurship, politics are taking place in the outdoors.

The banyan tree represents solidity, rootedness, and strength.  At the same time, it also represents comfort, shade and welcome.  It is a source of power, balanced with peace.  It represents firmness, as well as welcome.

Is America’s Banyan Tree the Conference Room?

It is interesting how in America, and in many places across the world, most of our meetings take place in walled, sterile conference rooms.  Chairs are uniformly around the table.  The walls are usually plastered with notices about the company’s achievements.  Pens and pads are available so we can write and record and get our business done. 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 all of our business, or even holding all of our meetings, under a banyan tree?  This return to nature might help conversations flow more easily.

Perhaps this atmosphere would allow us to be more authentic. If we are surrounded by nature’s occasional stirring winds, visionary clouds floating across the sky, and brilliant beckoning sun, would we not also settle into a more authentic course of conversation? Could it lead to more natural, comfortable (and no less impactful, but rather moreso) solutions?   Within this reframing context of nature, we can discuss our goals and hopes and plans and perhaps achieve even greater goals.

Here’s a thought… We can replace the pen, paper and busy scribbling of notes, with more eye contact.  We supplant the flurried white board scrawls with more thoughtful listening. What a profound impact this has to have on any business relationship, business decision, and especially, with any personal matter.

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, rooted and peaceful presence.

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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: Do Good, Feel Good

meadow-680607_640Do Good, Feel Good. What Kind of Ethics is That?

It’s straight from our esteemed President Lincoln, who is referring to that still small voice that tells us right and wrong. Everyone has it within…and we hear that gentle voice urging us one way or not.  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.

It’s about truly doing good, authentic, down home, core, natural goodness.   This is something which is in all of us.  And it’s available to us all.   Do Good, feel that confirmation in your heart that it is the right thing. Then you feel good, and you know it is right. And then I’d add, keep on doing whatever is good!

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

– Abraham Lincoln

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Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States, during the Civil War.  He was instrumental in ending slavery and is admired for his commitment to national unity, equal rights, liberty, and democracy in America.  He is also known for his humble background, self-education, and skill with writing and rhetoric.  He was not a member of any one organized religion, but he frequently used Biblical imagery and references in his writing and speaking, and referenced a Providence who had a higher purpose.  The Civil War and the deaths of two of his children led him towards the end of his life to more frequently speak of dependence on God.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Give A Gift Every Day

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I hope you enjoy a new audio version of this blog!

Give a gift every day.

Send your friend’s birthday gift early.

See a gift that would be meaningful for someone you care about, and just buy it. Give it to them now.

Take the time to cook a meal for your partner or your roommate.  Take the time to cook a meal for yourself.

Smile at a person walking down the street.

Smile at a homeless person and stop and learn their name. There is the gift of knowing someone. Of acknowledging you care.

Be kind to yourself.

Get in bed early.

Say three gratefuls before you fall asleep.

Say three gratefuls when you wake up.

Believe today is special.

Take time at lunch to be grateful for three more things.

Pay the phone bill for your roommate.

Drop off banana bread for your neighbor.

Give a lot. Expect little.

Smile at yourself in the mirror.

Work hard and attain the gift of devotion to something you believe in.

Work and leave early and give yourself a gentle night off, nurturing yourself.

Stop and look at nature. Any part of nature. The expanse of the sky; drifting clouds; a vibrant flower.

Give yourself the gift of awareness of how precious and beautiful life is every day.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Letting It All Go, Each Day – Le Don

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Mentally, I sometimes Let It All Go, Each Day. I literally picture myself moving, and it impels action! You realize as your day unfolds how many things you have which you feel iffy about, or just ok. And that’s when they go in the give away bag.

I actually have a giveaway bag now that has its own shelf with the label “Le Don.” That’s French for “The Gift.” So almost every week, I am giving something away, which I hope will be considered a gift eagerly used and appreciated by someone else.

I have found Letting It All Go helps others, and helps my home and heart become simpler, clearer… It’s a gift in every sense of the word.

“Be prepared to fall in love all over again every day.” – Michael J. Fox

couple-437987_640“Be prepared to fall in love all over again every day.”

-Michael J. Fox

This is true for every relationship. Whether it is your husband, partner, friend, calling in life, your labrador, or the beautiful sun we greet each day, be prepared… to fall in love again.

Appreciating all we have is the most wonderful, nurturing gift we can wrap for ourselves, others and the world.  It envelops everything in the giftwrap of love.

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Michael J. Fox is an actor and activist.  He has appeared in iconic roles including Marty McFly in Back to the Future and Alex P. Keaton in the TV show Family Ties.  He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991, revealing his condition publicly in 1998.  Since then he has been a powerful activist promoting research for a cure.  He has been married to actress Tracy Pollan since 1988, and they have four children.  Fox is also the author of three books, including the memoir, Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.

To Have a Positive Mindset: Think about Building your Mind as you would your Dream Home

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When you build a home, you have to have a vision. A vision of what you would like to create.  If you have a negative vision of your home then it certainly is not going to become a beautiful home!   So we need to maintain that vision, even when the going gets rough. Even if you run out of brick. Even if the paint color didn’t match the way you wanted it to. Even if you have to fumigate!  Hold the vision, and keep striving for it.

So what has helped me during tough times is not just to focus on the positive, but on gratitude. Even in tough times there is something to be grateful for.  If you are having a hard time in sales and partnerships, perhaps you can be grateful you uplifted that potential client’s day with a positive smile or sincere compliment…

On an entirely different level…if a natural disaster has occurred, you can still be grateful that the sun came out, as in many countries pollution blocks the sun.  That a friend is near. That people are caring and helping.   Even in a crisis, and often especially in a crisis, the greatest goodness of people comes out.  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. And how wonderful — that that wealth is available to each one of us, every moment.

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

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

Rather than read, he encourages us to reflect.  If we face a challenge, we can act not from anger but from joy and grounded peace.

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

Robert J. Wicks was a Marine corps officer in Vietnam.  He is the author of more than 40 books, urging an appreciation of nature, inspired by his family’s 78 acres of forests and open fields.