Happiness, Dancing and Trip the Light

Happiness is frequently contagious. One method that we humans use to display happiness is to dance. Happiness and dancing occur in practically every human society and transcend political boundaries (religions… that’s a different story). This video shares Matt’s journey as he connects and dances around the world.

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Lyrics to Trip the Light (cowritten by Alicia Lemke, Matt Harding, Garry Schyman)

If all the days that come to pass
Are behind these walls
I’ll be left at the end of things
In a world kept small
Travel far from what I know
I’ll be swept away
I need to know I can be lost and not afraid

We’re gonna trip the light
We’re gonna break the night
And we’ll see with new eyes
When we trip the light

Remember we’re lost together
Remember we’re the same
We hold the burning rhythm in our hearts
We hold the flame

We’re gonna trip the light
We’re gonna break the night
And we’ll see with new eyes
When we trip the light

We’re gonna trip the light
We’re gonna break the night
And we’ll see with new eyes
When we trip the light

I’ll find my way home
On the Western wind
To a place that was once my world
Back from where I’ve been

And in the morning light I’ll remember
As the sun will rise
We are all the glowing embers
Of a distant fire

We’re gonna trip the light
We’re gonna break the night
And we’ll see with new eyes
When we trip the light (x3)

Unconscious Learnings: Money

Here’s another learning I’ve uncovered from nine years in private religious schools (high school / college / university).

Money and Personal Finances

The summer of 1968 I began my working career at age 14.

Every summer I worked: four years at a summer camp in McCall, Idaho; two years at a summer camp in Hayden, Idaho (one year was in charge of the kitchen for 10 weeks); and several summers I stayed at college.

us dollar puzzle

During high school I worked in the kitchen—very early mornings to have breakfast ready for everyone. This is where I learned to eat a meal in five minutes because that was all the time allowed between serving the meal and cleaning up. My senior year I also worked for the Spanish teacher as a reader. I loved that job, despite my coworker who would put rubber cement on my arm, then laugh when it pulled the hairs when I went to remove it.

Then off to college where I worked in the food service because it was what I knew. Having been one of the lead cooks at high school, it was very humiliating to be put in the dish room. So the next quarter I joined the janitorial staff. Huh? What was I thinking?

The next year I became a night monitor at the dorm, which meant I slept for a few hours then worked from 2a-6a with my first class at 7a. I was in a sleep-deprived stupor most of the year.

Up to this point all the money “earned” went automatically to my school bills. I never received a check, never learned to budget, never learned to tithe or contribute. It was only a number on the monthly statement, which went to my parents.

The next summer I took 6 hours of credit during the day (minimum needed to be in summer school). I worked 40 hours as night monitor Sunday thru Thursday, 11p-7a. Because I wanted a car, I also worked a 30+ hr job (Mon-Thurs) with an advertising paper. This was the first time in 6 years that I received any $$$ for my work. I loved the freedom that car gave me. There was little sleep as I worked 70+ hours and attended classes in four days.

After three years of college, I went to a university in Southern California. Again I started in the kitchen as it was familiar. However, it was not enjoyable to work with people who chose to not speak English. It seemed like I’d moved to a foreign country.

I made the decision that I wanted to work at the on-campus grocery store. Bless Larry, the store manager. I bugged him so much he finally gave me a job. I loved all the variety—bakery, cashier (before upc scanners), natural foods. Even though I loved the work, every single penny went to my school bill without ever passing my hands.

The summer between my last two years of university, I even paid tuition and worked for free. The practicum was a college course designed to give students supervised practical application. The reality—it was “free labor for vacation relief.”

Whenever I’d question the process/policy, I was told “this was for my own good.” Really?

These nine years taught me to “work hard and never see a dime.” How did this prepare me for life in the “real” world?

What learnings, conscious and/or unconscious are holding you back?

Unconscious Decisions—Self Worth

I attended private religious schools for 17 years—first grade through college. I’m in my 50s and I recently uncovered some choices / decisions / learnings which have effected my life for decades. Who knew? Here’s one of the biggies.

Self Empowerment

I grew up in Montana, where I was a sprinter. Every race I entered, I came in either first or second. It was an area where I shined and created a good reputation for myself.

Young Soccer Player

We moved to Idaho the summer after my eighth grade year which meant I was to attend a new high school where I didn’t know anyone. The boarding school was overcrowded which meant I was the third girl in a room built for two. Not an easy place to be.

Nor was it easy to go from a small, two room school where there were six in my class to a boarding school away from my parents with over 200 kids.

A few weeks into the school year came the announcement that there would be a day of athletic competition between the classes. How cool! Finally something familiar where I could shine. I was excited and signed up for a couple of sprint events knowing that I would finally be able to make a name for myself when I came in first or second.

The beautiful, sunny day arrived and it was great to be outside for the day. I was eager to have a fabulous day. The joy was short-lived. As I checked in to find out the time of my event, I was told that I was no longer scheduled for any of the sprint events, someone else who was better than me would be running. The new event given me was the standing broad jump.

What? Even though I explained I had no clue what a standing broad jump was, and that I could win the sprint races, it didn’t matter. The decision had been made.

Several events happened and then it was time for my “new” event. When I asked if the others could go first, so I could see what a standing broad jump was, I was told, “No, freshmen always go first.” Needless to say my jump were a total failure. I was humiliated and mortified.

Then it was time for the sprint which I had originally signed up for. The freshman who took my place was only half way down the track when the race was over. Needless to say, she was not “the best person.” (Found out later she was the sister of the guy who did the check-ins.)

I must have tried to express the hurt, anger, and betrayal I felt, because later I was called into the deans office and strongly reprimanded.

Unconscious decisions were made that day—stay in the background where it’s safer, and to never speak my truth in my “out loud” voice.

And I never ran again.

This manifested for over 40 years in many ways. At summer camp I worked in the kitchen, 12-16 hrs a day, rather than be a counselor where they had lots of time off every day while the kids were in activities. There were years of work projects where I’d do the work and someone else took the credit. I even took the advice of an “expert” and even though I researched, wrote, rewrote, and edited a book, my name was not listed as coauthor.

Now I can consciously choose to make different choices for the next 50+ years.

What is unconscious decisions have you made?

The Facts Can Change

You know the saying, “The only sure things in life are death and taxes.” I feel like I’ve done pretty well with that first one, I am at peace with myself and my Creator. While I think I still have another 50 years left in this incarnation, whenever it’s my time, I think I’ll be ready.

taxday

Taxes, on the other hand, is a different story. I have not always been peaceful about or ready for tax time. Many an extension has been filed with the IRS. I’ve had several audits, which have been learning experiences.

But I digress…

Having decided to clean up this area of my life, I diligently sent my corporate and personal tax info off to my accountant the end of March. I was relieved and pleased with myself.

Imagine my surprise when mid-October I received a notice from the IRS stating that I owed $534 in penalties due to filing late.

Really? My tax-preparer had efiled on time; wonder what happened?

The first thoughts, though fleeting, were:

  • Fear, because the IRS is “big and bad and scary”
  • Fear, because I didn’t, at the moment, have an extra $534 laying around, so how would I eat
  • Anger, because they (big, bad, ominous IRS) were picking on a small company (little ole me), etc.

Thankfully, I’ve worked on my own personal growth for a while now. So, instead of assuming the fetal position and crying, I chose to let go, breathe, relax, and to put it aside for a while.

In the meantime, I learned that S Corp taxes (or the extension request) are due March 15 not April 15. So while I thought I was filing the extension on time, it actually was late. The only way I could get out of paying the penalties would be if I was dead which, as I mentioned earlier, I’m not. Another possibility was a doctors note stating that I was in a health crisis at that time, which wasn’t true.

Alrighty then… it was clear I needed to pay the bill. Perhaps they’d accept payments. I decided it was time to deal with it as the due date was fast approaching.

Occasionally a negative thought would pass through my mind: How did I let this happen? Why didn’t I pay closer attention? WTH? (The usual variations of the “I suck,” “They suck,” programing we all learned in childhood.) And then I’d let it go, relax, breathe, and focus my thoughts elsewhere.

The money was due the following Monday.

Thursday, I called the IRS because I thought I should, and was told there was a 7 minute wait. I decided that was too long and hung up. A minute later a friend invited me to an impromptu lunch in 10 minutes. The Walu (Hawaiian butterfish) sandwich was yummy.

So Friday, I was inspired to call the IRS. The message said it was a 15 minute wait. Rather than get annoyed, I used the time to catch up with email while listening to their music. Thirty-two minutes later, an agent came on the phone. Never once did I go into pissedivity about the wait, the situation, the money, anything. I just let go, with a knowing that it would all work out, and focused my thoughts on other topics.

I shared with the IRS agent that the first S Corp began November 1998 and was shut down end of 2009; that my accountant always filed the extensions because January thru August were the busiest production times for me. I admitted that I didn’t know (and should have known) about the March filing date for a S Corp.

Hoping for an easy payment plan I asked what the possibilities were, and then kept my mouth shut.

Long story short… this IRS Angel was able to give me a one-time abatement. She told me I owed NOTHING—as in no money—$0.

I share this here to remind myself, and you, that we don’t have to be tormented by fearful thoughts, we don’t have to live our lives expecting negative outcomes because “everybody knows” this or that negative old story.

We ARE all making it up as we go along, and Life meets us with happy surprises when we consciously choose happiness. In this situation, I chose peace, and in spite of the evidence; I chose Truth over facts, and guess what? The facts changed.

Facts do change, they are constantly changing. We find peace, and often shift facts, when we move from the facts that are in our heads to the peace and Truth that reside in our hearts.

What facts will you change today?