Give Anger A Facelift

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Like so many, I have been in a fog, a wet haze, as I have watched the world turn itself upside down. I have retreated, withdrawn myself from the madness and mayhem in hopes of reconnecting with my own knowing. This takes time and discernment…and the grace of fortitude to keep me from the fray.

I have been following sage Buddhist advice by walking away from the spectacle. At this time, there is no winning in discourse, no matter what righteous side or angle your view. Even the most righteous today drink from the well of anger.

It is inevitable that anger begets more anger and as we are exposed to it, we spread it generously like cream cheese on a bagel. It’s nuclear. So picture yourself walking around with dandruff-like nuclear particles which have rained down from the atmosphere.  We are becoming radioactive.

I know it, I feel it. In these months of quiet, I have listened, watched and read the anger and righteousness out there–and I can tell you both have the same energetic intensity. So within, so without. As we digest a daily diet of anger, bubble and percolate in our nasty stew, we begin to express it ourselves and it takes shape in our world.

We are all giving IT permission to exist. We may dress it up real pretty in politeness or  righteousness, but anger in candlelight is still ugly.

What do we do?

To paraphrase the sentiments of Forrest Gump and Keats, beauty is what beauty does.

Be beauty. Do beauty. Take your anger and your convictions and give them a facelift. Turn them into action, into grace. Leave the drama, the spectacles, the talking heads invested in stirring anger, and go and create from your calm.

Create from your passion, your convictions, your love– not your anger. When you create from fear and frustration, what you create is rooted in that. Stop spreading the seeds of anger, inciting hate disguised as something else. Your thoughts have power. Your words are instruments of love and destruction.  What will you create with them?

The world is sideways,
unsure what to do in rain.
Every crevice of earth,
damp and fertile
is ready for planting.
Do we allow anger to mold into ruin?
Do we spread fear like peanut butter and pack it for lunch?
Do we plant lilies to restart our clocks?
The womb is wet and warm, seeded for life.
The climate, fertile for growth,
either way.
I think I will plant lilies,
dropping seeds like my favorite jelly beans,
licorice,
and watch the sweetness take root.

–Lisa Froman (If you are interested in more of my work, check out my book, Tao Flashes, available on Amazon.)

The Way

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My lungs dilate,

weighted with love for

               the way

the crepe myrtle flirts with the birch,

              the way

the dawn greets the grass with wet kisses.

It is too much for my lungs to love.

 

My lungs dilate,

weighted with love for

             the way

the cobweb hangs on a dare,

            the way

the lizard turns invisible on stone,

            the way

the vine climbs the trellis with no arms.

It is too much for my lungs to love.

 

Still, my lungs stretch for more,

more angry skies, more arguing birds.

More spiders weaving their way.

My lungs are forever

greedy,

for that is 

           the way.

 

(Lisa Froman, 2017-copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without my permission)

If you are interested in more of my work, read my book Tao Flashes, A Woman’s Way to Navigating the Midlife Journey with Integrity, Harmony and Grace, available on Amazon.

Worship

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We built temples to house

our attraction to gods.

Worship we did not

the fish-filled seas, the green carpet laid bare,

the heat that warmed the tundra of our being.

 

Instead, we built towers to glorify

green, weigh gold.

Worship we did not,

the tears that watered our valleys,

nor the love that bloomed like a lily in spring,

the places where worship 

should first begin.

 

This work is copyrighted, 2017. Lisa Froman

 

 

Valentine’s Day, Cupid and Chemtrails

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If you scroll through your Facebook feed, be prepared to tiptoe like Tiny Tim, not through tulips but through fields of landmines. One wrong move, a comment of agreement or disagreement in this politically charged, post truth, post politeness environment can blow up in your face. Or in your feed.

I’m over it. I see Liberals, Conservatives, churchgoers, mothers, activists, planting landmines, telling convenient and inconvenient truths every day. I see discord and fear monging, hate decorated in red, white and blue; I see the left and right clothed like wolves in their sheepish righteousness.

What I don’t see much of these days –at least on Facebook and in the news–is love. Does anyone besides Hallmark or Russell Stover remember Feb. 14 is Valentine’s Day?

Poor Cupid. He’s going to have to disguise himself as a drone and fly under the radar to dodge the political bombs. He’ll have to work extra hard this holiday to infuse grace back into our hearts, but I think it can be done.

With a touch of a golden arrow and some fairy dust, Cupid could intoxicate us with an opioid dose of love energy.  He could tap Donald Trump on the head and say, “Hey, sugar cup, remember you have the fate of the entire free world in your hands. Show some love. It’s not about the power, it’s about the people!”

Then Cupid could put right wingers and left wingers and media gone mad into a sugar coma. He would come to us all in our Valentine’s Day sugar-induced, chocolate coma and lecture us for over-indulging in anger. “Get up and exercise your voice, but remember, love is the highest grade of fuel. Anger is cheap, corrosive and will clog your engines, your arteries, too.”

Munching on a fair trade chocolate bar, he would continue, “put the energy of love to work, not fear. Your fear is creating chemtrails in the sky and it’s getting harder to find my way home.”

Then Cupid would dissolve into a sugary mist of white, but not before leaving us with homework. The assignment would be to answer these questions:

  • Are you bringing the energy of love or hate to your political views, discussions, work?
  • What can love make better in your life?
  • What can you create from love? Is it a healed relationship? A beautiful poem? A solution to a problem created in fear or anger?

This Valentine’s Day, let’s all do our homework.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

(Check out my book, Tao Flashes, A Woman’s Way to Navigating the Midlife Journey with Integrity, Harmony and Grace, available on Amazon.)

 

 

Ode to A New Year

Let us raise our glasses to days of ordinary.
Let us toast, I say, to resilience,
To truth that rushes out in four letter words,
And to new years fierce with longing
And daily rapture.
Let us call it all in–
Let us trumpet in tomorrow,
The sounds of dogs in discourse,
The cloudless skies, dry of rain,
And the sweet, sweet hum of ordinary days.
Let us begin.
Again.

 

(Check out my book, Tao Flashes, A Woman’s Way to Navigating the Midlife Journey with Integrity, Harmony and Grace, available on Amazon.)

Freddy Krueger, Politics and Grace–A 2016 Wrap-Up

If 2016 were a person, he’d be Freddy Krueger with a hatchet, chasing us from one dark room into another while we waited for the nightmare to end, or the movie credits to roll.

Undoubtedly, this year has been grim. It’s been a year of  loss for many. On the celebrity front, the casualty count was high. And we said good-bye to Hollywood royalty when Prince and a Princess hit the highway to heaven in a red corvette.

In 2016, cyber hacks were as common as a winter cold, or at least a virus. Politics became something “other” and more smelly than three-week-old fish gone to rot in the fridge. In 2016, the political scene was just that, a scene, a spectacle, a brutal schoolyard fight–but we sanctioned this one. We  sactioned it, took sides, and  tuned in day after day for repeated knock-downs. It became sport and along the way, we lost our sportsmanship.

Hell, some of us even joined in the brewhaha. But it wasn’t funny. Politics in 2016 brought out the worst in many of us, forcing brothers and sisters behind enemy lines.

It also shined the light on our shadows.

Between the racial unrest,  police shootings and terrorist attacks, chaos was the winner in 2016.Here in Louisiana, add torrential rains and floods and you had a gumbo of misery.

And yet, in the midst of this Nightmare on Anywhere Street that was 2016, there is something else to know.

There was grace too. Oh sure, she got confused by the retro thinking and bruised by the political chest thumping, but nobody keeps baby in the corner for long. She showed up when she could. She appeared in flood zones, not on a white horse, but in a pontoon with the Cajun Navymen in tow,  to rescue flood victims.  She strapped on a pair of boots and overalls and helped neighbors tear rotted drywall from uninhabitable homes. She slipped her way from checkbooks into envelopes to help support causes that supported refugees, and hungry and homeless people, scattered across the globe.

Grace appeared too, though in a fiercer form to protest land rights, or political policies that go against the grain of our nation’s better nature.

Beyond grace, there is more to know before we shutter this year: Chaos always precedes transformation. Rain fertilizes us for what’s next. Light transforms the darkness. It shows us the dirt in the corners and cracks, the places and institutions in our homeland, in our hearts even, that could use a good Spring cleaning.

The media. Our political parties. Race relations. I’d say, let’s start there. But in this post-truth era, here’s some truth—these institutions or problems are a reflection of us.

Because we cannot fix our political system or any problems in our country with the same mindset, the same divisiveness, the same “us against them” mentality that created it.

If we don’t want 2017 to be another frightful Freddy Krueger year, let’s transform it into something better.

Let’s start by inviting grace back to the party. Let’s have actual conversations centered around facts, not cheap rumors. Let’s learn why people think differently and be open to different points of view. Let’s live our values but work to compromise when necessary, so we don’t end up compromising the best of our country’s values.

Let’s work to connect, and not to divide. Instead of “fighting” for a cause, and bringing the energy of discord, let’s “work” to bring change.

In 2017, let’s commit to listening, loving and working for something better. Let us rise together as we welcome the new year, remembering this: a rising tide lifts all boats.

Happy New Year!

(If you are interested in more thoughts on integrity, harmony and grace, check out my book, Tao Flashes, available on Amazon.)