Playing the ‘What if’ Game

Playing the ‘What if’ Game

Do you ever wonder ‘what if’? I think we all do from time to time. Watching my grandson go off to college and my stepson leave to spend his senior year studying in Paris got me to thinking. What if I’d finished college? What if I had studied abroad? Would my life gone in another direction? Of course it would have. But what would I have missed in the wonderful life that I’ve been living? What if I’d had developed a relationship with that rich old guy I had a date with 40 years ago instead of moving to the north woods to manage an inn and be a hippy?  It’s fun to speculate on these ‘could have beens’.  But would I really change anything? Maybe. Maybe not.

 

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Why Is This Happening?

Why Is This Happening?

I am in the midst of re-reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and it’s even better the second time. The first time I read it was probably ten years ago.  Now, at this point in my life, I wouldn’t have expected to achieve that much new enlightenment since the last read. But I’ll be darned - I have!  As I dive into the very dense and deep writings of Mr. Tolle, I see my previously highlighted passages. And they are still worthy of the highlights but they read differently now. They are not the revelations they were originally. They are now my truth. The enlightenment of past years has become the reality I live in today.  That’s pretty exciting to me. I can see now that I am living at a deeper and more peaceful level. 

All of this being said, I’m still quite capable of creating havoc in my daily dealings.  All the fools on the freeway still haven’t learned how to drive. The people in a certain a political party (that must go unnamed on this blog site) are still redneck, mouth-breathers. And, I can still get sucked into some juicy gossip as quick as a Beverly Hills Housewife.  But, in between, I’m a lot more peaceful than I used to be.

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Embracing My Anger

Embracing My Anger

If you’ve ever read any of my writing you know that I’m a kind of new-age thinker/peace-and-love-hippy-chick/woo-woo. That’s how I think (for the most part) and that’s the way I express myself through writing and other creative outlets. But today I’m going to write about being angry and why it’s ok. Not very 'peace and love' is it? I am usually all about forgiveness and trying to stay in a positive state of mind. But I have recently experienced a betrayal that left me seething. I immediately started “doing the work” to get out of that state of mind and into forgiveness. But that peace, love and forgiveness shirt was just not fitting properly. Then, I felt guilty about feeling angry. 

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Expansion or Contraction - You Get To Choose

Expansion or Contraction - You Get To Choose

’ve always thought of myself as one one of those 'full speed ahead’ sort of people. But, of late, I’ve noticed that I’m holding back just a bit. When I meet new people and they reach out to me to stay in touch or plan another meeting I find myself internally re-coiling, just a bit. What’s that about? I certainly have more time than I used to have when I was working in the real world. What is making me cautious or stand-offish? Perhaps I’m just getting selfish with my time.

I’ve never been big on talking to strangers. I can fly across the country and never speak to the person next to me. But these new feelings of closing in are even more isolating than that. I’m guarding myself. From what, I’m unsure but it does feel like I’m constructing a wall.  

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Our Magnificent Melting Pot

Image via Huffington Post 

Image via Huffington Post 

By Lorraine Iverson

We recently spent a week in New York City visiting our son who attends college there. We’ve done all the touristy things in the city so now we spend a lot of time walking in our favorite neighborhoods, visiting Central Park and strolling the High Line.  We are avid people-watchers and the density of the crowds creates a lovely cacophony of languages to add to the experience. There seem to be more foreign speakers in NYC than English and it warms my heart that this country is still a place people come to from all over the world to follow their dreams. 

I grew up in Southern California with rose-colored glasses on for most of my life. A middle class, white-bread world of sunshine and beaches. I’ve experienced some tough times in my life, but I’ve never been poor. I’ve worked hard and created a comfortable life for myself, and my children are successful human beings. I have always felt blessed. But since I have started traveling, I feel my life has been even more greatly enriched by the experience of seeing how others live around the world. NYC is great place to observe our international brothers and sisters without ever leaving the U.S. I love trolling ethnic neighborhoods, smelling the exotic foods being cooked and seeing people in their traditional dress. New York is an intricate tapestry of so many cultures. I somehow feel more connected to the rest of the world when I’m in that city. Sure the city is crazy, loud and busy - that’s the tapestry that creates the vibrancy. I love it.

Lots of kids are still growing up in the suburbs like I did and I think their parents are doing them a disservice by not expanding their experience of humanity. Sure they are attending the best schools and playing on elite sports teams but are these kids aware of the world beyond their cloistered communities?

My step son grew up in one of those upper middle class suburban communities. He went to great schools and played sports with the sons and daughters of tech company executives. When he was very young we started taking him to more cosmopolitan cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago. It opened his awareness to a whole new world. When it came time to go to college he was not interested in attending what he called the “frizzby campuses”; he wanted to be in New York.  He has thrived in Manhattan and is going to attend Paris Dauphine for the Fall semester.  Most of the friends he has made in NYC are from international families that immigrated here, an interesting and diverse group of people he probably wouldn’t have met had he been going to school at a California commuter college.  

There’s a big beautiful world out there full of diverse cultures that we can all share in. It should be part of our education to become well-rounded humans. So even if you can’t afford a trip abroad, take your kids to a cosmopolitan city with diverse neighborhoods. Try some different cuisines, listen to international music, look at the art. Expand their views and experiences and hopefully their minds will expand as well. You’ll be doing them a great favor.

 

LORRAINE "RAIN" IVERSON - Life

Rain Iverson has traveled many paths and is always recreating herself. As a business woman, she co-founded and managed a technology public relations firm and one of the first computer conferencing software companies. She has served on non-profit boards, retired at 50 to become an artist and then 10 years later came out of retirement to become CFO of her son's company. Rain is the matriarch of a large, blended family with a great husband, children, grandchildren and lots of extended/blended family members.

Spinning My Wheels

Spinning My Wheels

By Lorraine Iverson

It’s funny when you retire you think you’ve got all the time in the world to do whatever you want. At least that was my thought. Sure, I still have commitments, meetings, and deadlines for my freelance gigs. But most of my days are blank canvases.  Good analogy since I have a huge stack of blank canvases in my studio.

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If the Children are the Future, What is their Future?

Image via nccinc.org

Image via nccinc.org

By Lorraine Iverson

We have a new baby in our family. Her name is Parker Rain. She’s my first local grandchild so I have immediate access for my baby fix.  Up until now, I had to board a plane or drive for eight hours to hug a grandbaby. This is a whole new world. Parker’s birth has brought up so much emotion for me, for many reasons.  First was fear. She was born two months premature.  I cried and prayed all the way to the hospital. It was only 10 minutes away but it was the longest 10 minutes I’ve ever experienced. When I was finally able to see her I knew she was going to survive. She was tiny but she was healthy and pink with lots of hair. She didn’t look premature, just miniature.  Then relief and joy flooded my heart. Now the emotion is just pure love. 

One of the things that this love has stirred within me is that universal connection to all children, everywhere. No matter the circumstance, they are each little blessings. Please don’t think that this is a rant on pro-life vs. pro-choice. It has nothing to do with that issue.  That’s private. This is a rant about love for children and keeping them safe. 

Big grown-up men start wars. Little children suffer. Giant corporations and big grown-up people cause pollution and global warning. Little children become sick. Big, unhealthy parents abuse drugs and alcohol, families are destroyed. Little children lose their security and peace of mind. Stupid grown ups leave guns around where little children can find them.

Children are the innocent victims of the mistakes of the people in charge. I don’t think very many adults, anywhere in the world, set out to intentionally damage children but they are being damaged. How do we, as a species, put children’s well being in the forefront of our thoughts before we make the mistakes that will harm them? 

There’s a big giant question to chew on!

I don’t remember who said it but I’ve never forgotten it - ‘if more men saw their children born, they would be less inclined to send them off to die in wars.’

There’s a good start. If more men were actively involved with caring for their children, we would probably have similar results. Who knows. 

Every week, at the beginning of our church service, we bless the children that are present and see in them children every where. We know the truth for them, that they are safe, happy and taken care of and that they are able to reach their full potential and know they are loved. Is that too much to ask for the children of the world?

We are currently in the throes of a very contentious election. (Hopefully not too many kids are watching the debates. Really bad examples of adult behavior.) Other than the discussions about thousands that have been ingesting lead from Flint, Michigan water, I’ve not heard much talk about the well-being of children. In fact, in suggesting the banning of large ethnic groups of people, some are actually advocating hurting refugee children.  

In one of her early hits, Whitney Houston sang ‘I believe the children are our future……’ 

I believe that too. Shouldn’t electing people that also agree and want to protect and nurture our grandchildren be a priority? I know it will be a deciding factor in my vote. What are your thoughts?

LORRAINE "RAIN" IVERSON - Life

Rain Iverson has traveled many paths and is always recreating herself. As a business woman, she co-founded and managed a technology public relations firm and one of the first computer conferencing software companies. She has served on non-profit boards, retired at 50 to become an artist and then 10 years later came out of retirement to become CFO of her son's company. Rain is the matriarch of a large, blended family with a great husband, children, grandchildren and lots of extended/blended family members.

 



How To Cultivate Compassion

How To Cultivate Compassion

By Lorraine Iverson

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries; without them humanity cannot survive.”    Dali LamaI am a passionate person. Probably too passionate, if there is such a thing.

When I love something, I’m all over it. Be it a song, a painting, a dessert or a man. I just can’t get enough.

But when I’m against something, there is that same level of passion and it can be very negative energy. Negativity, judgement, fear, and anger are all things I’ve been working to eliminate from my life. 

A recent talk at church by our Reverend Kevin was about finding compassion in your anger or outrage. It sounds really good and noble and I try to be in that space but... it’s difficult. Part of my innate passion has always manifested as a warrior-woman, always fighting for the underdog or the oppressed.

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Kinder, Gentler New Year's Resolutions

Kinder, Gentler New Year's Resolutions

By: Lorraine Iverson

Reflecting and affirming - reviewing what was and planning what will be. That’s what the New Year is about for many of us. We have made this time so monumental for changing that we intimidate ourselves. Changing our addictions, our bodies, our jobs - anything we find to be less than perfect, we throw it in the resolution mix rather than accepting it all as absolutely perfect. 

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Surviving This Election

Surviving This Election

 

By: Lorraine Iverson

I’ve always been a political animal. I’ve done fund raisers and marched and shared my opinion/candidates of choice with anyone that was either digitally connected or within earshot of me. I became so overwrought during one election year I actually came down with shingles. Now that’s over-over-zealous and just nuts. 

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Healing the Trauma of Violence

Healing the Trauma of Violence

By: Lorraine Iverson

Most of us have become a bit blasé about violence. At least that’s how it appears by ratings and sales for television shows and movies. Violence is the added bit of spice in a drama. Actually it’s the entire premise for many plots. I admit, I loved Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. 

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Social media - love or loathing?

Social media - love or loathing?

By: Lorraine Iverson

I like Facebook. I’m on it a couple times a day. I keep track of old friends, find out what’s happening and to look at baby/puppy/kitten photos ad nauseum. It’s about all the social media I can cope with. I tried Twitter for a short time but I’m much too verbose to make an impact there. 

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