Revolution

Whether you advocate a revolution or incremental repair to a broken model of leadership really depends on how much you are suffering. Those suffering the least are less likely to relate to those enduring the most…and less likely to want a radical change.

“You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out …” Revolution, The Beatles

Inhale Empathy, Exhale Apathy…
Inhale Relatability, Exhale Exclusivity…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Capacity for Empathy

A friend expressed sadness over #45’s reaction to the latest school shooting, wishing desperately that “just once” there would be a more presidential response. I think he was looking for some demonstrated empathy.

But empathy requires self-awareness and regard for the feelings of others, qualities that seems to elude the current occupant of the White House, who needed a reminder to listen during a listening session with survivors. I don’t think he is capable of responding in any other than the way he always responds…by somehow making this tragedy about him.

AFP OUT U.S. President Donald Trump holds a listening session with students, parents and teachers in the State Dining Room at the White House February 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump is hosting the session in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and teachers dead.

“A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain.” ~ Daniel Goleman

Inhale Empathy, Exhale Apathy…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Indifference…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Detachment…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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My Community

I don’t usually miss the Chicago Marathon. If I’m in town, I’m usually on the east side of Michigan Ave, between 13th and 14th streets, rooting for anyone I know, calling out the runners with names pasted on their shirts, and reminding them there is less than half a mile to the finish line. I’ve seen sweet proposals, runners supporting other runners who are just trying to finish and efficient emergency response when needed.

This year I stood next to a family from Iowa as they waited patiently for their runner, pride streaming down their faces when they spotted her. I cheered for Brittney too, and for the husband who spotted his wife standing next to me and detoured to get some love.

I felt the energy of my fellow Chicagoans standing next to strangers and encouraging other strangers to FINISH…and it felt good.

“People are hard to hate close-up. Move in.” Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness

Inhale Community, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Distance…
Inhale Civility, Exhale Disinterest…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Why Am I Talking…

The acronym WAIT (Why Am I Talking) is a coaching tool I learned from a fellow coach that I use when I find myself talking instead of listening.

I use it while coaching and it’s also helpful in personal conversations about difficult subjects, or when I find myself trying to control the conversation or in a conversation competition with the other person.

I think it’s a tool American’s could really use right now.

“They didn’t notice the gracious pause he’d take after someone would finish a sentence, the way he’d give folks the chance to take air back into their lungs, before he’d fill the space up with his own breath and words.” ~ Cynthia Bond, Author Ruby

Inhale Listening, Exhale Speaking…
Inhale Intuition, Exhale Preconceptions…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Empowered

Nobody really has it all. America’s 45th president is a case study in having “it” all and, yet, having nothing of value.

That’s because nothing external to us can authentically empower us. Real power comes from our connection to and understanding of who we really are.

“An authentically empowered person is humble. This does not mean the false humility of one who stoops to be with those who are below him or her. It is the inclusiveness of one who responds to the beauty of each soul. …It is the harmlessness of one who treasures, honors, and reveres life in all its forms.” ~ Gary Zukav, Author of Seat of the Soul

Inhale Real Power, Exhale Pretension…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Disdain…
Inhale Inclusiveness, Exhale Irreverence…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Power

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Interdependence Day*

Just because you think you’re not being impacted by oppression in this country, doesn’t mean you’re not being impacted by oppression in this country. The privileged in this country are complicit in and culpable for the continuation of racist institutions that systemically oppress the less privileged.

Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave.” ‭‭John‬ ‭8:34-38‬ ‭MSG

Inhale Interdependence, Exhale Independence…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Enslavement…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#MyAmericaToo

*Interdependence Day coined by Reesheda Graham Washington

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Mature Connections

At 80, my Dad is blessed to still have friends and family in his life that he’s known since his earliest memories. Though they might be separated occasionally by distance or disagreements, they never disconnect emotionally.

Our true self never fears or feels threatened by heartfelt connections. It only knows how to connect and how to love.” Deepak Chopra

Inhale Connection, Exhale Disconnection…
Inhale Friendship, Exhale Anger…
Inhale Love, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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New Connections

One of the speakers offering tribute during my parents joint 80th birthday party was Gloria Cobb, who my Mom refers to as her “claimed child”.

Gloria has gleaned wisdom from my Mom’s experience raising five children and my Mom has acquired an adopted daughter who loves and looks after her in her adopted Orlando home.

Embracing change, changing relationship patterns, being open to new people and activities are some of the ways my parents stay engaged in life. And engaging in life is how to keep enjoying life.

Life gets sweeter when you open up from a place of peace and continue to expand your circle.” Oprah Winfrey

Inhale Change, Exhale Stagnation…
Inhale Newness, Exhale Sameness…
Inhale Connecting, Exhale Rebuffing…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Bonds

We sometimes struggle trying to force family connections not of our creation fit some expectation of what we think they should be, ignoring the reality of what they are. And the reality is, the bonds that bind us together are often blood but could be shared backgrounds or might be based on similar interests and experience.

If your tribe is your family, that’s great. But if your crew is created with those who have chosen to co-journey with you, that is grace.

Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest, it’s about who walked in to your life, said “I’m here for you,” and PROVED it.” Author Unknown

Inhale Bonds, Exhale Shoulds…
Inhale Bonds, Exhale Have-tos…
Inhale Bonds, Exhale Musts…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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Power Flow

There is just something about the ocean that always invites me to stillness and reverence. Whether flying over, sailing on, or lying next to a large body of water, I am reminded of how a powerful Creator keeps the heavens and earth working and in order. And when I’m aligned to His flow, my life is in order.

“Oh Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed…
“How Great Thou Art” hymn based on a poem by Carl Boberg

Inhale Connection, Exhale Division…
Inhale Alignment, Exhale Disjointedness…
Inhale God, Exhale Disorder…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Power

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