Society

The Most Powerful People on Earth

Forbes published an article a couple of days ago where they pulled together a list of the most powerful people on earth.  I understand, of course, their linear thinking about wealth, number of followers, whether they wield their power, and if they are powerful in multiple areas.   My heart tells me, however, that they missed the mark.

I believe that you are the most powerful person on earth, and you, and you, and you…  We all have the power to leave our mark on the earth.  We receive multiple opportunities each day to say a kind word, to gently touch someone’s heart, to listen attentively to what others have to say, to let people know they have value. 

The interesting part about this is that you don’t need wealth and you don’t need a large number of followers.  You are, however, wielding your power, and if you take advantage of the opportunities you are presented, you are powerful in multiple areas.

If you do this often enough, you may get a large number of followers.  And the wealth you receive will come to you in multiple ways, not just money.

One of my clients was telling me the other day about when her mother passed away.  Her mother was a simple woman.  She did not work outside the home, and did not participate in the social stratosphere.  She was a quiet and gentle woman.  As she lay dying, her mother’s biggest fear was around holding her funeral service in the large church sanctuary and being able to hear the echo of the pastor’s voice as he gave the service – she didn’t think anyone would show up.  Her family decided to use the sanctuary anyway because they knew how much she loved the services in the old church, and knew that her soul would be at home despite her fears.  Much to their astonishment, the sanctuary was filled to overflowing.  With people from the local supermarket, the drugstore, the craft store, the church, and neighbors for blocks around their mother’s home. 

Do not underestimate the power you wield by being who you are.  By treating people with love, compassion and understanding. By letting them know how much you value them as people.  Don’t hesitate to tell yourself –

I am one of the most powerful people on earth.   

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find her on her websites http://www.collaborativetransitions.com and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com .  Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.

A Mom’s Thoughts on National Coming Out Day

It was about 15 years ago when my son came out to me and his dad.  All I knew at that time was how much I loved my child, and it didn’t matter to me what his sexual orientation was.  The loss that I felt was wrapped around my dreams for his future, and didn’t have anything to do with who he is, but who I am. 

I knew then that I would not see him walk down the aisle to be united with the love of his life, nor would I see him beaming with joy at the arrival of his children.  I feared for his safety, given the horrible hate crimes that were occurring at that time.  I did not lose my dreams of him playing sports and going through high school participating in the typical male activities and camaraderie I had only imagined to that point.  You see, my son is also legally blind.  I had adjusted to that when he was five: no soccer, no volleyball, no basketball, no football.  He participated where he could, and we looked for other avenues for him to shine. 

We had a difficult adolescence.  He was thirteen when he told us he was gay.  We had the immense pleasure of dealing with the normal teenage angst of wanting to belong, peer pressure, bullying and teasing – along with all of the issues piled on top by a culture that believes that being gay is a sin and an abomination.  This is a period of time when self-esteem is being strengthened in heterosexual children, but is often when it weakens for our LGBT children. 

Our whole family was subjected to the loathing that being gay brings out in others throughout one fall when our son was a junior in high school.  Over a period of three months, our car tires were slashed, the locks in our car were drilled out so we couldn’t get in or out, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at our house, and I was shot at through our kitchen window.  This occurred in an affluent neighborhood in the northern suburbs of Chicago, and we received no support from the police until I threatened to take it to the newspapers.  It was a period of fear in our lives, and gratitude for supportive neighbors and friends. 

Over the last fifteen years, our youngest child has grown into a fine young man.  He is an absolute delight to be with as he moves through a life filled with love and compassion for others.  He is in the process of planning to walk down the aisle to be united with the love of his life, a wonderful man.  It is possible, in some states, for  the two of them to adopt children.  I rarely fear for his safety, although hate crimes still occur with some frequency.  I am looking forward to many years of joy with him and his family.

Over the last fifteen years, the cultural situation has changed.  Some people are more accepting of the concept of a continuum of sexual orientation.  Some people have taken the time to become educated, and have opened their minds to tolerance, if not complete acceptance.  We have made strides in gaining equality for our LGBT loved ones, but not enough.  I believe that we eventually will, but we will need to create a separation between church and state in order for that to happen.  Something I thought was already supposed to be – based on our constitution. 

As a mother, I want to see BOTH of my children treated exactly the same in my country, in my state.  Because my country’s constitution says that is what we are about.  I want BOTH of my children to easily move in our society without fear of reprisal because of who they are, who they were born to be.  I would like to see National Coming Out Day abolished – not because of what it stands for, but because it is no longer needed.  As a mother, I want to see all of our children raised to be exactly who they are so they might stand tall with grace, and with ease.

I send blessings to all of our LGBT family, and I ask each of you to take the time to give your LGBT friends and family members a hug, and tell them how much you love them.  I’m asking you to take the next step in making National Coming Out Day an unnecessary observance.

If you would like to understand more about what it is like to grow up as a LGBT teenager, you might like this book. Leeann from MI says “Am I Blue? is a brilliant YA anthology that should be required reading in every classroom! Dealing with homosexuality in teenagers and their parents and friends, these stories will move any reader–gay, straight, questioning, or bisexual. This anthology helps gay kids understand that they are not alone, while shining a light on what it feels like to be homosexual for straight readers. The stories have similar themes, but range in genre, giving every reader something to thoroughly enjoy. I can’t recommend it strongly enough!”

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership transition coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find her on her websites http://www.collaborativetransitions.com and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com .  Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.

Choosing Perfection

I’ve been touched multiple times this week with messages around judgment.  I am very aware that I have been receiving them – and I am very aware that while I like to think of myself as open-minded and accepting, I am still judgmental

A week ago today, I had a discussion with my husband about a variety of things that cause me pause in our relationship.  One of which is his propensity to pass judgment on others because they don’t do things the way he would like them.  Another was his quick assumption that just because something was not working exactly the way he would like, someone else did something to cause it to happen.   Another was his unwillingness to recognize that people were growing and changing right before his eyes – but he still looked at them with fifteen year old awareness and judged them as if they had not changed at all.  The conversation made me very unhappy – until the next morning as I was writing my morning pages I realized that I was being just as judgmental.  I was looking in the mirror.

Throughout the week, many conversations have been held around me about the imperfections of people we love.  They ranged from mild irritation to outright anger.  Some of the anger and disappointment were due to the unwillingness on each person’s part to set boundaries for the people they love, and standards for themselves.  Some of it was because there was an unwillingness to understand the thought processes of others enough to speak their language and prepare information in a manner that made it easy for them to understand.  Some of it was because one party didn’t get their way and wanted the other party to be just as unhappy (a form of self-sabotage). Some of it was just because…

Yesterday, my friend began sending me quotes as a gentle nudge around a conversation we had several weeks ago.  Yes, I got the message.

Last night, in the church leaders open circle, we held a discussion around homogenous relationships – hanging with “our people” because they comforted us and avoiding those who were not “our people” because they made us uncomfortable.  It was an interesting discussion ranging from “this is why our government is so polarized no action can be taken” to “it is all about the individual connection and our willingness to be open-minded and accepting”.

Late last night, I received a message from a group client who is stepping away from a year long commitment to a group because he was looking for more “personal growth” – and was extremely irritated with two people in the group who could not get past their differences and continued to have conversations around boundaries.   I was saddened because he was steeped in judgment – but then I realized I was making a judgment, and let him know that it was his choice, we would miss him, and if he chose to come back we would welcome him.

Finally, this morning – a pointed message from Alan Cohen: “If you scout for imperfections, you will find them. If you scout for perfections, you will find them. A friend of mine noted, “I used to think I was a perfectionist because I noticed little flaws in everyone and everything. Then I realized I was really an imperfectionist.  If I was a perfectionist I would have noticed what was perfect.” 

Are you more aware of the faults in others than the gifts they bring you?

Considering a significant relationship, how might you

shift your vision from criticism to appreciation?

I create positive relationships by focusing on the good in myself and others.

What would the world be like if we all moved in the direction of creating positive relationships?  Would antagonism over a mosque in NYC go away?  Would DOMA become a thing of the past?  Would people become happier in their jobs, and the economy straighten itself out?  What could we accomplish if we looked for the strength and perfection in those we interact with on a daily basis? These are all questions of growth – and recognizing the perfection of the situation that allows for us to grow by making the choice to become less judgmental and more open to the thoughts of others.  Who knows, we might have an AH-HA moment!

Today, I am focused on recognizing the perfection in myself and all those around me.  I know that I am far more perfect than I am willing to give myself credit for, and that those around me are as well.  I open myself to new experiences, creating a sense of connectedness with everyone I meet.   I’m gathering the evidence to support my conclusion that “Choosing perfection, appreciation and gratitude is a way of life.  It will lead to happiness, joy and profound abundance in my life”.  How about you?

Why Every Mom Needs a Gay Son

I just finished reading this wonderful article “Why Every Mom Needs a Gay Son”.  Can’t wait to show it to my son, it made me laugh as I remembered the good times we have had over the years. 

Not every Mom has the pleasure of “shop till you drop” with her daughter AND her son.  Joe and I have spent some wonderful afternoons at the mall – shopping for him, and shopping for me.  He has never hesitated to go into the women’s area of the store and help me pick out a dress or suit – in fact, his taste in mixing and matching is much better than mine. 

And, then there was the time after the PRIDE parade in Chicago when several of us went to one of the gay bars in Boy’s Town.  I was one of the few Mom’s in the crowd, but everyone knew because I had my Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) T-shirt on, and my I’M A PFLAG MOM button to boot.  Of course, my son wore his button “My Mom is a Goddess” button at my insistence.  The group was rowdy, but everyone took care of me as if I was a queen.

The blessing, though, has been more about my own personal and spiritual growth over the last 16 years since he told his father and me that he was gay.  While I knew several gay people, and enjoyed their friendship, it was not until then that I really began to know and love the community.  I have been blessed with so many really strong relationships with people who are thoughtful, kind, fun-loving, spiritual, and full of love. 

Several years ago, Karl and I informally “adopted” a lesbian couple – and are now proud grandparents to their two little boys.  They are the best parents I have ever seen, and their children stand head and shoulders over others in so many ways.  While we were asked to “grandparent” the little ones almost six years ago, we are the ones who have gained from the relationship.  It is an honor to know them, and spend time with them as family. 

I am proud to be part of the LGBT family as a Mom, and to be free to speak up and out for them. 

Yes, I agree.  Every Mom should have a gay son.  What an opportunity to grow in love and acceptance!

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  She is uniquely skilled in providing support and encouragement as her clients set intentional goals to attain their desires, holding open the space they need to stretch and grow. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.    Her websites are http://www.collaborativetransitions.com, where you can find her blogs about business and career, http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com , where she and many other coaches blog about mind, body, spirit and emotion, and http://www.georgiafeiste.com where you can catch her thoughts on a wide variety of topics.  Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.