Gratitude Day 4: Fathers

On this 4th Day of Gratitude, I give thanks for my father, and all the fathers in the world.

Every day I walk by two places where my father’s watchful gaze is seen. Though he isn’t with us any longer, my memories are strong and inform my every interaction.

The Yang to Mother’s Yin

When I think of Dad, my memories are filled with how he showed up in the world – at home, at work, in the community, in organizations. Whether in public or in private quarters, my dad showed me how to interact one-on-one with whatever was in front of me.

Gratitude Day 4 Father by Baylan Megino

Gratitude Day 4 Father by Baylan Megino

Dads do that. They show us how to DO things – how to observe, analyze, plan and implement so that we can get the result we want.

They teach us how to think about our part in the whole. Sometimes we have to think of what is in the best interest of the greater good, and choose between our individual desires and what will be best “for all concerned.”

They show us the individual attitude needed to persevere in difficult times, as well as the way to step back and be part of a team while maintaining our individuality.

They also show us when to step aside.

It’s hard for me to write about being a dad.
I’ve never been a dad and never will be.

I can only share some of the images that I am grateful for that are indelibly etched in my memory:

  1. Watching Dad make a kite out of bamboo strips, then flying it in the Knights of Columbus kite-flying contest
  2. Fishing in the Ozarks and catching lots of bluegills
  3. His erect stance, with head slightly tilted, a smile curling up the edges of his mouth.
  4. His / My hands
  5. The way he called me “Girl” – only a handful of times
  6. Standing alone with him behind the church entry doors as the Love Theme from “Superman” began to play, he touched my arm, slightly raised his eyebrows, and gently asked, “Are you ready, girl?”
  7. His gentle touch
  8. His anger at injustice
  9. Playing chess after work with my aunt
  10. Wearing plumed hat, satin cape, and sword as Grand Knight and part of the Knights of Columbus Color Guard
  11. Dancing with all the widows and older single women, but Mom always had the last dance
  12. Baiting the hook and fishing at Berkeley Pier
  13. Smoking Kent cigarettes, the stick pursed between lips and tilted up so the ashes wouldn’t fall
  14. The glow of his cigarette in the dark as the trash mound burned
  15. Carrying Mom’s big camera case wherever they traveled
  16. Michelin Man
  17. Bowling with community groups
  18. Singing in the church choir
  19. Connecting with the land and its cycles at the almond orchard
  20. Planting green beans and tending to the garden every evening
  21. Opening envelopes by tearing off the end
  22. His joy on our first visit to the Philippines and pride in sharing his family
  23. Putting on the Igorot hat, squatting on the hillside and looking into the distance, cigarette held between his lips
  24. Fishing at Ocean Beach with the long ocean fishing poles
  25. Fishing derbies at Lake Chabot
  26. Dad with my cousin and his young male friends
  27. His willingness to try anything
  28. His mischievousness – climbing the statue at the St. Louis FANHS Convention
  29. Fixing the car
  30. Figuring out how to DO things
  31. Being

Like many, my relationship with my father was up and down. We were much alike, so eventually gave each other wide berth when needed. In those times, as now, those many memories gathered over the years kept us connected.

I am so very grateful for those memories. And for the man who made them and me possible.

Thank you, Dad.

Today, give thanks for your father. If you can, tell him. Even better, show him.

Blessings and peace,

Baylan

 

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The Entrepreneur’s Journey: The Risk It Took To Blossom

The Entrepreneur’s Journey is not a straight path. Anais Nin wrote, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

The Risk It Took To Blossom, photo by Baylan Megino

The Risk It Took To Blossom, photo by Baylan Megino

My life had a fairly straightforward beginning, and the American Dream was the lifestyle I was encouraged to build. By my early 30’s, I had the loving husband with a steady job, a family, a comfortable home, the cars, the great job. I even had community involvement under my belt.

But something was not right.

My normally happy, calm outlook had become spiked with occasional fits of temper, which confused me.

I sought help in understanding what was happening, and started seeing a counselor. Those sessions helped me to see myself and my situation with clearer vision and understanding.

LIfe had become an endless round of work – home – work – home – community – work … of fulfilling roles, obligations and  duties.

At one point in my life, I had sought refuge and solace in attending Mass every morning before attending classes. The calm, the routine structure, the expansive space, and the connection to God fed me deeply.

But at this point, my spiritual and life had become almost non-existent, because I was so busy taking care of everyone and everything else that I thought was important.

Wrong. It wasn’t working for me.

It was time for a major change, and managing relationship change was something that I was absolutely, positively not equipped for. After all, my mother married the man who took her on her first date! Though they remained faithfully married until his death 60 years later, I did not learn a healthy way to handle conflict in relationships.

The counseling sessions helped open the door for me to step back and start at Ground Zero — to look inside to find my thoughts and need for expression. Through painting and sculpture I discovered a hidden world within that showed me my feelings and the inner terrain of my being.

Through sharing I learned that I had something of value to express in the silence. Through writing I started to hear my own voice and to value the power of the word.

And through dance I had always been able to access my inner knowing.

I had opened the door to start exploring my life, to understand what I was all about and what I had built. Once that door was open, how I saw the world and how I navigated each moment would never be the same.

The tightly bound bud was starting to unfurl her petals.

 

Step 1: Your Conscious Living Begins When You Stop

We live in a crazy, information packed, fast-paced, high density world pushing us to do, do, do. Creating a life of conscious living begins when you stop.

Time to Stop

We rush from place to place, project to project, person to person, text to phone call to email to text, and start all over again. Like a hamster on its wheel, the running is endless. That is, until we choose to step to the side and Stop. Conscious living means we are aware of ourselves and our world.

Stop to Breathe

As we are running around in this hamster-run we call life, sometimes we are happy. We feel our work is making a difference, and we feel fulfilled. We laugh, we enjoy friends, we feel love. Yet there is so much pressure to keep up with what everyone else is doing – To be there in case something happens – To be sure to be prepared for whatever could happen – To be able to share what happens – To be able to help whether we are needed or not. For whatever reason, we keep running to keep up. Who knows what we might miss if we didn’t!

Aren’t you exhausted? Why don’t you take the time RIGHT NOW to stop. Just for a few seconds. Just stop. First, Stop. Then Breathe. Take the time to stop and breathe.

And then pay attention to your breath, and your body as you breathe. All that running often requires that our muscles must tense, and our energy must be on alert.

Conscious Living: Being in the World

Conscious Living: Being in the World

Stop to Listen

In this moment of attention, listen to the thoughts that come to your mind. Give yourself the honor and respect to listen — to you. Sometimes you  may hear criticism and urging to start up again. Let those thoughts just float away. Acknowledge them, and let them go. Listen instead to the thoughts that are positive, supportive, loving. Listen to the thoughts that tell you what IS, and that hold behind the words a gentle yet firm support that you know what is needed. Listen to the messages to make choices that are Yours, and not someone else’s.

Stop to Feel

The body is an amazing computer with a mind of its own. I believe it does not lie. Listen to what your breath and muscles and nerves are telling you. Be open to knowing what you are feeling physically. Where are your muscles tense? Where are you holding or compensating? Are you holding your breath? Do you feel pain?

Scan your body. Are there areas where you cannot sense much – areas that are like blank spots? You know they are there, but are not aware of them? Sometimes it’s the back, or the backs of the thighs, or any place where you don’t normally expend any energy. Just note these places to yourself.

Then check what your emotions are in this moment. Are you happy? Excited? Sad? Depressed? Apprehensive? Whatever emotions you feel, acknowledge them. They are yours, ready to help you decide and understand your next step.

Stop to Be

Do, Have, Be. “If I Do X, then I will Have Y, and I will Be Z.” However, now we know this is backwards.

Be, Do, Have. We must Be what we envision so we know what to Do that we are here to do so we will Have what we want. That is the core of a Conscious Life.

How do you Be? Well, you are doing it right now.

Stop. Breathe. It is in this moment that you are conscious of Being. No forward movement,no worrying about the future, no focusing on the past. Just being. So be here now. Then listen and feel. And make your choice for the next moment.

So in order to begin living a conscious life, allow yourself first to Stop.

 

 

Giving Thanks in 2014

Thanksgiving Sun 2014 by Baylan Megino

“Thanksgiving Sun 2014” Copyright 2014 Baylan Megino

Before this day is over, I want to Thank You for Being.

Before this weekend is over, I wish you and your loved ones time to connect.
Before this month is over, I wish you an abundance of opportunities to see how much of true value you already have, and that you continue to bring to the world.
Before this year is over, I wish you great clarity on the path forward.

And know
To live each moment is a gift.
To connect can be a lifeline.
To know your gifts can bring you peace.
To share those gifts is to make possible a better world.

I thank you for breathing.
I thank you for being a gift of light.
I thank you for showing me how wonderfully magnificent you are.
I thank you for sharing space with me.
Thank you.

Blessings, light, and peace,
Baylan

“Thanksgiving Sun 2014”
copyright 2014 Baylan Megino

Bioneers Nina Simons: A Masterpiece Profile

Masterpiece Profiles begins with Nina Simons of Bioneers. Working for environmental sustainability and empowered women’s leadership for more than 25 years, Nina is global visionary, a shining beacon of light in an ever-changing world. She is co-editor of the anthology, “Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart,” and has spoken in numerous national and international gatherings for leadership and environment.

Founded in 1990, Bioneers holds an annual conference where thought leaders gather for social, cultural, and environmental change. Nina’s efforts to strengthen women’s leadership have resulted in the residential trainings, Cultivating Women’s Leadership.”

In our short time together, she was gracious, warm, interested, flexible, and patient. All this amidst running the largest annual global gathering of planetary change agents.

Find out more at http://www.NinaSimons.com

Baylan Megino: If you were to identify one issue that is the most pressing right now for us to address, what would you say?

Nina Simons: Well, I am a woman who has addressed many issues in my life, and many, many of them are important to me. And yet if I think I had to pick one, it would be unleashing the capacity and power of women to stand on behalf of our mother, the Earth, and on behalf of the love and the world and the caring that we know is needed to move forward in a healthy and conscious way together.

And that because we are more than half the world, really helping women stand alongside and with and at each others’ backs across the difference of race and generation and class and ability and education — to really stand together on behalf of the world we know we want and need — that would be it.

Bioneers Mission – from the website

Bioneers is an innovative nonprofit educational organization that highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet. Founded in 1990 in Santa Fe, New Mexico by social entrepreneurs Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, Bioneers has acted as a fertile hub of social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. A celebration of the genius of nature and human ingenuity, Bioneers connects people with breakthrough solutions and each other. Our acclaimed annual national and local conferences are complemented by extensive media outreach including an award-winning radio series, book series, and role in media projects such as Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The 11th Hour. Our programs further focus on Women’s Leadership, Indigenous Wisdom, Community Resilience Networks, and Leadership Development and Youth.

Visit the Bioneers website at http://www.Bioneers.org