Is Independence Real?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

Independence and autonomy are cherished goals in many people’s lives. I am all for standing on one’s own two feet. However, I notice more and more how autonomy and independence can become distorted. Is Independence Real? Here in the US we are all about independence. So much so that we have little in the way of safety nets for the inevitable down side of life. Independence is virtually a mandate, a matter of character rather than development. Independence can also have many meanings. It can interpreted as independence from want, the realities of life, aging, mistakes and failures. Independence often suggests an idyllic experience of life, free from pain or any other concern. Under the character definition of independence. the more pain in your life, the greater your failure. It is personal, you know. But it is not a real independence. None of can escape mistakes, aging, ups and downs that are always a part of life. Why is it a sign of personal failure if we cannot? The Failure Of The Independence Model Independence can become an obsession. If any dependency is a fault, then revealing that you are not entirely self-contained can be a serious exposure of yourself and to yourself. In a world where perception has consequences, being perceived as needy or needing can cost you the respect of others. It is one thing, however, to challenge excessive neediness and the lack of independence underneath it and another to base ideas about independence on false ideas about what it is. Yes, There Are Limits Our Western view of independence suggests that limits do not apply to us and that they should not. I guess limits are for other people. Perhaps for highly sensitive ones. The denial of limits has serious consequences that actually limit our independence. When we deny reality we limit our choices which results … Read More

Walls Do Not Make Us Safe

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

The walls are up in our society. All sorts of walls: brick, stone, identity, geographical, ideological, and economic. There there are physical walls of race, sex and physical abilities. Roles and social affiliations are another form of wall. So are rules. We can’t live with them and we cannot live without them. Why We Have Walls Walls are not intrinsically a problem. However, after thousands of years of creating walls to protect ourselves we are now drowning in them. Rules, roles, customs, conventions, expressed expectations, unexpressed expectations. There are a lot of ways to create walls. We humans have been very creative about it. And of course we all have our personal walls including our habits and personalities. Many of our walls came into being when we needed them when our species was younger and more defenseless. They became a part of our reality out of necessity. Now with 7 billion people on the planet they are being questioned in a more serious way than ever before. Walls are meant to protect us when we need protecting. They are not meant to just keep others out. There is a distinction. Walls are a closed and fixed structure; boundaries are more open and flexible. The Limitations Of Walls Sometime walls are contrived and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they help and sometimes they do not. There is a reason why, however, at this particular point in time we are in need of a rethink about walls more so than others: 7 billion people all with their own walls is unwieldy. we have always needed to cooperate. However, the complexity of our current human systems and the demands on them require a more skillful interdependency. our problems are bigger. There are too many of us for the resources on the planet. Our walls are making it harder to … Read More

Transitioning To A Heart Based World

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health0 Comments

We are in transition to a heart based world. The changes we are going through may seem imperceptible, but that are happening. What does it mean to be transitioning to a heart centered world? What is it like to live in a heart centered world? What changes can we expect? The End Of The Eighties Mantra I remember in the 1980’s there was a saying that was very popular. It was “don’t leave anything on the table.” The idea was, of course, to grab as much as you could for yourself. It is easy to condemn it because it is an awful attitude. It has created a country without safety nets and strong communities through greedy behavior when people need some security in their lives. Of course it was more than that. Greed fits in nicely with ideas about American exceptionalism and puritanical ideas about work and morality. Greed can also feed our desire to feel productive and being busy “producing” can bring a kind of high. Greed avoids the disdain for those who were poor, or who weren’t greedy. The End Of An Era All of the productivity and greed has run its course and landed us in hot water as we deal with all the collateral damage to our environment: human, animal and vegetable. And then there are the systemic issues. Now we have to change and we are doing that. New movements have spread around the world on human rights, animal rights and protection of the environment. Some wise thinkers have presaged this age by offering Conscious Capitalism as an antidote. It’s a start but may not be enough. Fixing The Deeper Problem There is a deeper problem at work. We have been living in a mind-centered human world. That means that we have believed and acted as if all factors in our world can … Read More

The Wound Of Materialism

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development2 Comments

Materialism destroys our environment as this picture shows. It also destroys so much more. It destroys our humanity. Every society defines its purposes and priorities. There was a time when the material side of life was extremely lacking and improving the human standard of living was a necessary and important goal. So the Western world, starting in Europe, created an economic system to rectify an existing problem. So far all is well. Unfortunately, at some point, the goals of society went beyond rectifying serious material deficits and needs. Culture became about wealth accumulation and fame. This change may have been one of the biggest mistakes we ever made. All social systems have a stewardship responsibility in society. Stewardship involves considering the past, present and future. Stewardship honors the broad need for quality of life and sustainability. Stewardship promotes the health of all living creatures and their institutions. It is transpersonal. When wealth accumulation became the agenda, stewardship went out the window. It pitted one person against another because it was no longer OK to seek to have your real needs met, if you were not part of a wealth accumulation system, you essentially did not exist. Those who could advance the wealth agenda had their needs met over those who were less able to do so (or less interested). So if it mattered to you that we do not harm the environment unnecessarily then you were not only unimportant but also considered dangerous to the wealth accumulation agenda. If you think getting a good night’s sleep matters then you are not available to work ridiculous hours to further the wealth accumulation agenda. If you think that compassion matters then you may be interfering with profits. I have heard very intelligent people express a fear of being irrelevant, lost and unable … Read More

Embrace Stewardship Thinking!

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development2 Comments

What is stewardship? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, stewardship is the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care There is a big difference between caring for something and caring for something entrusted to one’s care. Stewardship acknowledges that in care there is a community aspect, that we will impact someone else’s life with our care or lack thereof. Stewardship is the antithesis of self-involvement. It requires involved engagement, willingness to meet all of nature and life on its own terms. As a result, stewardship is a way to make choices that serve everyone without being controlling, because you are making choices with a different objective. With stewardship, you seek the choice that serves everyone and all life forms. So you are making a choice not a demand which is what most forms of management are. What Is Stewardship Thinking? Stewardship thinking lets us bring the spirit of friendship and goodwill to the way we handle what is in front of us. It is a way of thinking that recognizes that choices have impact beyond immediate considerations. Its primary value is quality of life both in the short-term and long-term. It does not devalue the long-term to serve short-term considerations. One of the wonderful things about stewardship thinking is that it respects our history and the contributions of our ancestors whose work has created the infrastructure that supports us. So stewardship thinking respects what it has taken for us to get this far and therefore does not unnecessarily sacrifice the future for present short-sightedness. Stewardship and stewardship thinking are the antithesis of exploitation. The Relationship Between Stewardship And Values By placing the values of friendship and goodwill above results, people who operate on a stewardship basis have a better chance of … Read More

The Value Of Evolutional Thinking For HSPs

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health0 Comments

1 Does the world sometimes seem ridiculously messy? Does it seem impossible to deal in an effective way with the infinite number of different human beings? Do you ever want an easier way? What Is Evolutional Thinking? Evolutional thinking is a way of getting a handle on the complexity of the human race. Evolutional thinking is how one uses the new research on evolutional psychology to manage people and situations better.  It provides a lot of insight into how people come to be who they are and think how they do. It gives you a window into the ever changing nature of human identity so that you can feel less “at sea” in working with people differences. The value of evolutional thinking is in how it help HSPs navigate different cultures and social situations with improved decision making and social skills. What is it? Evolutional thinking is a different and more complete way of thinking about the inevitability of differences in people, communities, organizations and countries in all areas of life. It is a tool that makes it possible for highly sensitive people to be more easily constructive in their interactions. Evolutional thinking helps HSPs process social information so that they become less stressed and can handle information more easily. Evolutional thinking considers the context of any situation so it accepts each person and situation within the larger human evolutional framework.  It is a way of having and maintaining perspective which helps to reduce stress. Where did this come from? During the last half century, one of the most important areas of research has been psychological and human evolutional patterns. One of the most important  researchers was Dr. Clare Graves, a psychology professor at Utica College in New York.  Dr. Graves conducted many studies to identity psychological identity.  In doing so he identified the … Read More