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THE IMPERATIVE OF COMPASSION

DURING HARSH TIMES, IT’S AN OBLIGATION OF LEADERSHIP AND HUMANITY, AND THE EMBODIMENT OF “WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER, AND WE’LL RESOLVE THIS TOGETHER.”

A well respected business person once scolded me for speaking about compassion, telling me it was weak, a waste of time.

His reaction was jarring to me, as one reason I maintained contact with him was his philosophy of leadership with heart, mind and bottom line, a term I used frequently when going into organizations seeking culture transformation yet lacking heart.

On one brushing occasion he scolded me publicly, in a foreign land, with other leaders watching. He enrolled others to agree with him that compassion was a waste of time, enabling, weak.

Quietly, gently, I asked him if he knew the entomology of compassion: he did not answer.

Compassion: com means “with;” passion means “suffering.”

Compassion is a warm, accepting embrace of another that acknowledges where they are, not where you think they should be, and not driven by prescriptive advice (that may be valuable, but only when the one suffering is able to receive it. Sometimes people can’t hear when bound by shock, suffering).

My comments dismissed with an assurance of someone who knows better, this gentleman’s wife whispered to me shortly after: “He is not compassionate.”

It is important to add this gentleman is a good man, but like all of us, blind spots exist that undermine relationships and results.

Yesterday I stood alongside many others waiting to receive cherished food bank bags, desperately needed.

We are all ages-including children in strollers pushed by young mothers-waiting patiently as hundreds are served.

One worker claims that this food bank-the Yonge Street Mission in downtown Toronto-serves as many people in one day that they used to serve in one week.

I asked many how they are faring and the common theme is “OK. You gotta do what you gotta do. “ I admire the enormous courage, strength and more.

One man’s response was different. He was in his 30s, and clearly hanging on. “I am not stealing. I am not selling drugs. I am honest so that’s worth something to feel good about.”

Meanwhile, Toronto’s political class insist the disadvantaged and homeless must not live in parks because of health and safety issues. What’s unsaid, but perhaps more accurate, is that those in houses and apartments nearby report feeling unsafe around these encampments.

In reality, the encampments are safe havens because the political (and other) classes have not successfully found a remedy to house the vulnerable. (Despite proud boasts). It is a near impossible situation. But past experience reveals that intention and commitment manifests miracles when other matters matter more to those who have more means.

Those on the streets are not a menace, but reflect a failing of a system involving business, governments, institutions and civil society.

Like all humanity there are those within this community who are dangerous.

But many, many more are like this man: committed to living an honest life, in his words, even though they may appear in ways that trigger unconscious fears.

To learn to cultivate compassion as a means to manage our fears is now required more than ever. To know that fear will fill a mind that sees things unknown, foreign, different is a giant step a the start of self knowledge. The mind loves to be right and often makes others wrong to accomplish that.

And if you listen to those on the front of the front lines, much more compassion, followed by conscious, constructive and contributive action is required for long into the future.

We are only at the beginning of the fallout of this horrific pandemic. We are not all in this together at all, but sourcing compassion, then acting consistent with the universal values “do no injury” and “do unto others as you would have other do unto you” will begin to demonstrate that we all are really in this together.

Peter Bromley

Applied wisdom: to flourish in life

Clearlight Evolution

What to do to keep your head and heart when all about are not keeping theirs.

FOR YOUR CONTEMPLATION


It seems popular to rant against or rally for police (and many others) now.
That’s understandable but probably unhelpful.

It misses the critical point

Besides, cheers, rants and rages are often just the ego being a trickster to deflect stuff that provokes difficult feelings within us.

A much larger reality exists, revealed through the answer to this question: to what degree do we all ensure the well being of all – people, planet, no exceptions?

Until we learn, then embody the universal value “do no injury,” we all have the fingerprints of the gun, or knees on necks.

This is not meant to be inflammatory, though it might be to some who think they are unable to commit such atrocities. But then if one took that famous “fierce moral inventory” – and was fierce – one would likely find astonishing levels of self harm, and unconscious harm to others that flow from that unconsciousness.

We are better – far better – than we know. We’re terribly afflicted by a worldwide pandemic that’s been around forever: a lack of self-worth. If we erased the ignorance that obscures who we really are, we wouldn’t be treating ourselves and others aspects of ourselves – other people, all planet – poorly. Because we wouldn’t have to prove our worth, or remedy fear, or fulfill desires, at another’s expense.

One police officer’s fear of powerlessness is another’s fear of poverty, or lack of worth or (fill in long blanks).

One kills life. One kills planets. One kills one’s self.

Ignorance kills; Self-knowledge fulfills: to know what it means to be fully human is a protest against your unconscious conditioning. A loving advocacy for yourself that exclaims “I am more than enough – and then some.”

A soul-stirring, affirming, chant of self-reverence (sadly, likely never before heard, because it was never before known).

Follow it.

Chant it.

Hear it.

Feel it.

Learn it.

Practice it.

Know it.

If only we could see who we really are, we’d riot in joy.

Together.


Peter Bromley

Applied wisdom to flourish in life.


Clearlight Evolution.

A VITAL TEST FOR UNCERTAIN DAYS TO HELP YOU

FOR YOUR CONTEMPLATION

Here’s a test measuring love: love for one’s Self.

It’s vital these days.

Do you like your own company?

Has that shifted during this period of necessary isolation?

This is a test far greater than a life threatening virus.

And it arises directly as a result of this life threatening disease.

The question measures the degree to which we are comfortable in our own skin. If we like our solitude; if we enjoy being a party of one.

It certainly is a measure of one’s peace of mind.

It is near impossible to love one’s self (or anyone else for that matter) if the mind emits incessant tremors assessing whatever is occurring in one’s life as good or bad, or conjuring expectations of the future and fears and regrets of the past.

These are very difficult thoughts and feelings. People get sick from them.

Some thoughts are realities, and perfectly understandable, like when you can’t put food in front of your children, or worry about making next month’s rent. Too many wonders where the next meal will come from, and where the next month’s rent will also come from.

But other thoughts and feelings are unconscious and erode us. In fact, we are deluged by them, and pay them no attention, such is the efficacy of our unconscious, defensive patterns. We are unaware. And that unawareness causes suffering.

They arise from patterns within us – conditioning – hard wired in our earliest years (most often zero to around seven years old).

This churn, chum and tumult are extremely uncomfortable to sit in.

So, take a course! Learn the piano! Watch all TED talks! Learn Mandarin!  

But avoidance perpetuates. Getting to the other side of these feelings, that act as a straightjacket on our souls, is possible.

FAULTY WIRING RUNS MUCH OF THE WORLD

I had faulty wiring. I thought I was a pretty worthless piece of shit, because a parent told me so. I believed it. (I now do not blame that parent. He was pretty effed up, a result of childhood conditioning at the fists and venom of a violent doctor father. Where he may have found relief, in his later years, though, he found addiction and worse, instead).

If we’re lucky, we’ll know it’s up to us to seek. To commit to know what it means to be fully human. And stay on that very difficult road. (Good news: a map exists).

THIS PADEMIC IS NOT FROM BATS: IT’S FROM BATTLES.

The world’s longest running pandemic is caused not from bats, but perhaps from battles in your earliest years when all sorts of strategies were employed to survive. It is the pandemic of a lack of self-worth, afflicting many millions, especially in the Western world and its unsettled mind with its disharmonious themes of harder!

Stronger!

Family!

Houses!

Bank accounts!

Domination!

Richer!

Faster!

First!

Not good enough!

They’ll win!

Fast forward to today, now: see the appeal of those who urge you to take this course or that, learn a skill, read this, learn that, anything to do, do, do that keeps us from the pre-existing condition of an unsettled mind?

They are escape routes which may, momentarily, preoccupy the mind. But the buggy software program that is the mind is hard wired and buried miles deep.

Disturbance is one morning, one coffee, one upset away.

We are all Houdini’s, looking for quick fixes, hacks, glimpses and cheats to escape the disturbance that are our minds, those dread – full thoughts and gut punching feelings that infuse us moment to moment to moment. (All utterly false by the way, because if you knew who you really were and are, you’d settle nicely in this moment of isolation and enjoy the quiet, peace, beauty, that is always ever present.)

It takes more than a simple Instagram post to accomplish this in life. For example, you first require a burning desire to know what it means to be fully human. You require also a qualified teacher, then a proven source that enlightens, dissolves the ignorance that keeps us addicted to our feeble minds and its chum, and detritus.

Your contribution to humanity is to find that peace, beauty.

It’s amazing how a being like that attracts good company. Your own good company. You being fulfilled by you.

Then watch what happens.

Know yourself to love yourself.

Make isolation a source of love. Love (at last) of yourself.

Know yourself, know your beauty. Know your ordinariness.

Precious beyond words.

Peter Bromley

Applied wisdom: to flourish in life

Clearlight Evolution

LEAVING THE PIT

It’s amazing what you might discover after a fall in the forest.

Including freedom.

With an invitation for you to consider at the end.

(A story from centuries’ past.)

The restless man left the castle late one night, needing air and a stroll to help induce sleep.

The forest beyond the castle looked inviting, so off he went towards it. Captivated by trees, aromas, silence and moonlight, he went deep into it, then whomp! It was easily a ten foot fall into a pit, he reckoned, through piercing pain and broken limbs.

He moaned weakly, knowing no one would be as foolish as he was, meandering about a dark forest. “How can I be so stupid?” he cried.

Sometime later, footsteps approached, and he yelped. A man looked down and said, “You poor lad. I’m a doctor. As soon as you’re out of there I will patch you back together without charge!” He threw a note into the pit providing details (apparently business cards were not in fashion at this time).

The broken limbs ached all the more after the visitor. Another missed opportunity, he thought, yelling, “I will never get out of here.”

But soon after that, another visitor came, a lawyer, who declared “We’ll sue the bastard who dug this pit. It’s negligence! Call me when out!” And he threw another note into the pit providing details.

His despair darkened, bleeding and broken with crushing pain. It’s still dark, a few hours before dawn. He fell into a light, very uncomfortable asleep.

Sometime later, loud footsteps. This time there’s something different. They’re right beside him. This man jumped into the pit.

What a fool, the broken man thought. And what a relief, too.

The broken man asked, “Why did you jump out of the pit?”

The man calmly said, “I’ve been in many pits. I know how to get out of most. And I am here to help you out of this pit.”

If you find yourself in a terrible pit, suffering, I am here.

I’ve been in many pits. I can help you get out of yours.

This offer is extended to those in crisis, suffering quietly, alone, scared, or pretending to be none of those.

My offer is extended especially to those who cannot pay and who may find themselves in crisis. An existential crisis, among others, perhaps.

It does not matter your position in life. A pit is a pit.

If you have means to pay, a donation is appreciated.

This is not a new business pitch, nor solicitation to fill your in box with coaching services.

I know pits. I know how to get out of many: I have great maps.

And I know it takes two to life ourselves from the pits and into freedom.

Peter Bromley

Applied wisdom: to flourish in life

Clearlight Evolution

(PS: I was told this story hundreds of years ago, likely when in a pit, or learning about freeing myself from them, but I cannot recall its original author).

THE POSSIBILITY FOR THANKSGIVING AND GRATITUDE

About the Thanksgiving and Gratitude industries.

And what really helps to flourish in life

Not everyone is able to be thankful.

Not everyone is able to be grateful.

That seems to upset those for whom thanks and gratitude are essential to their identity. And that is unhelpful. Because those unable are actually crippled. You are asking people to walk who can’t.

People who struggle in life, burdened by mental illness, often view happy this and thanks that as unattainable – galaxies far, far away.

They know only the end of fists, guns, rage, fury, wars and more. Their greatest capacity is an unholy trinity: fight, flight and / or numb.

They might mask these entrenched strategies with civil conversation, savvy intelligence and wane smiles, or even muster a charm offensive, offensive only to them.

These facades are simply to pass the gates of acceptance, gates fortified by those who eschew discomfort, disease.

Those at the gate may claim to be advocates of mental health, and may post “Let’s Listen!” during mental health week, but privately they stir, “just suck it up, mate.”

“You just forgot to be grateful!”

“You cannot see what is so plainly in front of you – abundance.”

Such judgements may be well intended, but they stab the afflicted who know what they’re saying, but unable to summit the realization. Guilt upon guilt. Shame upon shame. Lose lose.

That outreach is not for the conflicted, it is for the (reasonably) well. After all, it is very difficult to enter the darkened cave of one who knows no other space.

It is courageous to enter that unlit space, with despondent, disembodied voices growling, “I am not enough.”

 Or worse. Far worse.

Most (allegedly) healthy folks don’t want to be around unhealthy folks, because it may trigger something real but buried miles deep. The so called weak may reveal the emperor has no clothes.

Know this: a still relatively young aspect of science and psychiatry proves that early childhood trauma mucks you up for years to come.

COPD, heart disease, criminality, diabetes, abuse of all sorts, and more flourish in those who learned only survival strategies from those with little to no love.

This is proven by a pioneering study conducted Kaiser Permanente and the US Centre for Disease control (CDC).

Bottom line? You are terribly, adversely afflicted if raised by trauma. Unless and until some blazing light comes into your life to lift you into another possibility of self-awareness, you remain diseased.

Those of us who lived in war zones in the west or east know that there may be much to be grateful for.

But for many, we are still dodging bombs, raising arms to defend against the blows, or running from the shots fired above our heads, or numbing from the voices that scream only messages of utter worthlessness.

We are not ungrateful: just terrified and stuck and numb and unconscious.

Give thanks? Give gratitude?

Help us. Give us time.

But more importantly, what about you?

Learn empathy.

Learn compassion.

Learn you: learn what it means to be fully human.

Oh my!

Be that for your children.

Your spouse.

Your organization.

Your community.

Your country.

Your world.

But especially, for you. Oh, the freedom you’ll enjoy.

Because it’s guaranteed: you have some sort of unconscious blindspot.

Be the change you want to see.

Don’t preach it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

YOU AND YOUR WAR ZONES

WE’RE MOST OFTEN AT WAR WITH OURSELVES.

20boy-sits-a-chairAnd it’s time for peace.

War zones: they’re here – always within. Like the ones you may recall from Vietnam, or, more recently, Syria? They often start within. Products of disturbed minds.

Carnage, destruction and toxic smoke arise from burning rubble. Because we can’t see it, and because we often bury the thoughts and feelings miles deep, we barely know war rages, even though it’s smouldering, rancid and rotting. But there it is.

It manifests in actions attached to fear with stunning consequences: inequality, injustice, domination, violence, planetary ruination, addiction, judgements, self-absorption, shitty relationships but sometimes great ROI and fabulous early exits.

Their origins are complex, but too often sourced from mishandling in childhood which creates misidentification of who we really are, and misdirection in life. Chasing objects-fame, fortune, followers-all folly when one knows objects don’t make meaning nor fulfil nor provide peace and security.

Just cause suffering that lasts years. Often a lifetime. Hence the war zones.

We battle shadows and acquire outside. Blind eyes always.

Freedom from war exists inside. Learn to have your eyes-and heart-wide open.

Because peace is at hand.

Lay down your weaponry: and study what it means to be fully human.

That reveals and ensures enduring peace.

 

Peter Bromley

Applied wisdom: To flourish in life.

Clearlight Evolution

 

 

 

 

(Photo credit: Ali Hashisho/Reuters)

 

JUST BEING. IN THE FOREGROUND.

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This stunning tree teaches us about being fully human.

Why?

It stands out among all others just by being itself.

It does not have a large bank account.

It doesn’t own any property except that space given by nature.

And even that is borrowed.

It doesn’t run people, empires, numbers. (In fact, it contributes to all people and the planet).

It doesn’t think its limbs sag, leaves droop, or roots require trimming.

It performs its duties according to natural laws, following faithfully spring, summer, fall, winter.

No complaints. No meds to get it through the day.

It embodies faithfully many universal values:

-do no injury
-acceptance
-accommodation

And yet, despite all that, it stands out among the others.

No seeking, no striving, no driving required.

Just being as it is-fully-distinguishes it as is.

Stunning.

Spectacular.

Disruptive.

Creative.

Contributive.

Peaceful.

What more would you want then what you already have?

If only we take the time to see and know ourselves and then embody that, what a world this will be.

Peter Bromley
Applied wisdom: to flourish in life
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#wisdom #nature #trees #fallcolors #highperformance #nurture #leadership #selfawareness #coach #life #teacher #toronto#ontario #canada #knowledgeofself  #clearlightevolution #peterbromley@clearlightevolution @peter.bromley #values#peace #peaceofmind

NEW WONDERS OF THE WORLD AWAIT WITHIN YOU

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FOR YOUR CONTEMPLATION:
Wonder about a world very different and very near
Amazing, isn’t it?
Reflect on the lives of Nelson Mandela. Or perhaps Gandhi (though for some a more complicated example).
Independent of complications, see how they live values to shift unconsciousness to consciousness.
Darkness to Light. Impossibility to opportunity.
Learning the language of their captors.
Walking in their shoes despite unimaginable hardship.
Holding on to an extraordinary vision where all thrive – even when hammering rocks over years of searing suns.
Learning about the cost of retribution – which makes all blind.
Being a stand for non-violence in the face of injustice, cruelty and hate.
Prime examples of humanity searching for shared meaning in the most extraordinary ways.
What they had we have.
It’s just eclipsed by conditioning which has an autopilot to lash out, react harshly, fragment, scorch.
If only we all knew: there’s far more to us than that that liberates above all.
But it’s our purpose and gift to enjoy a life well lived to learn what it means to be fully human – to know thyself – to manifest this wonder.
So far yet so near.
Peter Bromley
The Wise Leader
Reality School at Clearlight Evolution
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#fear #humanity #purpose #leadership #retribution #contemplation #learning #selfknowledge #selfawareness #wisdom #disruption #liberation #freedom #civility #peace #peaceofmind #bethechange @mandela @gandhi #being #nonduality #culture

VOTING? IT’S A GOOD START…

 

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Voting is overrated.

Don’t get me wrong. It is great one votes. Congratulations! Good one!

But if you want to manifest what you voted for, then ongoing participation is required.

A vote elects; ongoing advocacy enacts. Both are required to serve democracy.

It is insufficient to vote for your favourite and assume she or he will carry your dreams and wishes to fruition. Too many are wanting their desires fulfilled, battling and paying for the attention of these folks.

Democracy is a 24/7 job, with each of us obliged to act. (Or not, then we get what we get, which is often not what we want).

It is a common misperception to think that the vote entitles us to good governance. We’ve done our part to fulfill some imaginary contract with clearly contracted outcomes.

Well, no.

To vote is the bare minimum to participate in democracy.

It guarantees nothing. Especially these days where our darker aspects seem to want to rebel and express rage by voting for rebels without a cause and babies without a bib.

Think of it like a relationship. Perhaps a marriage. We take vows. Those vows require enacting through learning and embodying.

Now, let’s give a fresh start. Here’s one possibility.

Let’s adopt a neighbourhood program – neighbourhood watch – where all neighbours in this community / city / province / country and world look out for one another.

In this contract, we co-create a thriving culture to ensure peace of mind, contribution to a greater good, and a population fulfilled, healthy and cared for. All equal in the eyes of God. Remember?

Including the planet.

Voting is a start.

Have a good start. Then see you tomorrow in the neighbourhood to ensure what we ask for is what we receive.

Peter Bromley
The Wise Leader
Reality School at Clearlight Evolution.
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#liberation #democracy @CBC News  @Globeandmail #vote@ontario @Ontario NDP Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) – Parti libéral du Canada (Ontario) #leadership #planet #care #inclusion #neighbourhood #province #country

#community #city #bethechange @FordNation #politics#politician #disruption

YOU CAN’T TELL A BOOK  BY ITS COVER

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I’ve met severely depressed billionaires,

Suicidal famous doctors and book authors,

Chronically self doubting Olympic athletes,

Beaten world champions,

Endurance athletes who quit,

Swamis who fuck their students,

Spiritual teachers fueled by greed and arrogance-and Spirit,

Rock stars and Chairmen of Boards who ask, “Is that all there is?”

Stars blinded and burdened by fame, suffering and harshness oozing from them,

Moms and dads who worry incessantly, worrying their children,

So many who drink, drug, sex, numb…

The Secrets of private lives.

Where sometimes life, precious, glorious, sublime, magnificent; hard, cruel, violent and absurd life hangs by a thread;

For those of us world weary and too tired to try again, yet still put one foot in front of the other, somehow still knowing that clouds of ignorance obscure the ever present sun.

It’s the sun we re-member when dis-membered.

A tiny shaft of light through stained glass caressing our shoulder, reminding us, “It’s the Light: there’s still more! Keep on revealing it!”

We all are doing our best, even those for whom that reality seems quite unlikely.

“Walk in another’s shoes ten miles before judging,” say the wise indigenous peoples.

They also say, “provide ten constructive solutions before offering one objection.”

For humanity’s sake, find love and kindness within yourself-it’s there, always- to be able to freely offer love and kindness to others.

Peace.

Namaste.