YOU ARE THE SKY

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When you feel that you don’t know what’s happening, you can’t see beyond your own nose, will you be stuck like this forever … remember, everything is in flux. I like the metaphor: You are the sky. There are clouds in the sky, they are always moving, always changing shape. Sometimes there’s lightning that shakes and breaks things up. There is an airplane in the sky. It passes through a dense mass of clouds. There is no visibility at all. Then it emerges once again into a clear sky. You are the sky. Your emotions are the passing clouds and the lightning. Your awareness is the airplane passing through dense, intense moments that shake you up, then emerges once again into clarity. Everything is in flux, always and evermore. Buckle up and experience the ride.

~~Paulette Frankl 9/14/15

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End Times in the Land of the Free

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This was a recent dream I had as a result of all the input I’m getting that’s going on in the news and the world of politics at this time.

 

The scene is a humongous mansion: It’s undiscernable if it’s under construction or in ruin or both. There are heaps of stuff and debris  everywhere. It’s a chaotic mess. The only means of getting from one level to another is up and down long wobbly ladders.

A huge feast is being prepared amidst the chaos. Newly hatched turkey chicks are fried in batter, fully edible, beaks, bones and all. Mountains of fried shrimp are on platters bought cheap from the latest oil spill in the Gulf of Somewhere. Platters of food are being carried up the ladders, spilling over from the excess.

Guests are arriving. Some are in costume, wearing latex Trump masks, bellowing his crazy rhetoric from mouths that resemble anus’ with gopher teeth; his unruly dyed blond hair needs constant spraying. Marco Rubio is there waving fists full of bombs and drones shouting “Burn Baby Burn!” All the addicts are on the red carpet with their BYO bottles of booze, gold plated hypodermic needles, and mirrors for snorting coke. All manner of drugs are offered by waiters: the BEST drugs-of-choice: cocaine, weed, junk, crystal meth, as well as cheap stuff for the stingy at heart. Something for everyone. Hillary is spouting off about “I this, I that, I always, I never …” pointing her finger in all directions.

Barack Obama is in the background, straddling a fence. There are overbearing mothers, over-stressed absentee dads, work-a-holics, stress a-holics, fuss-a-holics, complain-a-holics, absentee kids on their iPhones or wigets or video games. Everyone’s got a line, an excuse, a reason to tune out, act out, gorge out, complain, be angry. It’s the End Days in the Land of the Free where everyone is free to succeed or fail or become paralysed in the overwhelm of it all. A distant soul sits in the corner OM-ing.

~~Paulette Frankl

March 10,2016

http://www.paulettefrankl.com

RELATIONSHIPS: Putting up with … and drawing the line.

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Relationships always challenge us to our core. What do we put up with and where do we draw the line? A friend of mine just broke up with the person he was living with because of her drinking habit. His values were all about health and he felt that her drinking was not good for her or for the relationship. His honesty about the situation was taken as insult. Things got ugly. He called it quits.

This brings up a key issue in relationship: How much do we put up with for the sake of remaining together? Katherine Hepburn and the love of her life Spencer Tracy were together for 27 years. He refused to divorce his previous wife, and he was a notorious alcoholic. When an interviewer once asked her how she handled his alcoholism she replied, “It’s his problem, not mine!” WoW! I find that enormous! What a powerful sense of Self she had!

Of course, not all alcoholics are created equal. Some are nasty drunks, vicious and violent, wrecking havoc with all concerned. Others become more lovable. Others use alcohol to relax and become less inhibited. Whatever the case, it all comes down to where to draw the line, and how to deal with the elephant in the room.

Of course, in relationships there are many forms of addiction of which alcoholic is just one. There’s being a workaholic, a shop-a-holic, a hoarder-a-holic, a rage-a-holic, a clothes addict, a food-a-holic, a greed-a-holic,  … the list goes on and on. And basically, all these cravings are to fill a deeper need of not enough-ness. They also serve as an excuse, a shield or wall to the primary relationship with one another. That’s when the addiction takes over and becomes the primary relationship. The person who is addicted often says, “It doesn’t mean that much to me” to which a good response is, “Well, if it’s not that important to you then QUIT!”

So now we come down to the basic element of values. Do you share the same values? Because that’s ultimately what you live with every day in a relationship. And how far are you able to stretch in order to accommodate the habits of your partner?

The couples I find that do the best are the ones who are able to be both independent and a couple, that is, maintain their own individuality and also blend together as a couple. Here are 3 stages to consider: 1/ dependent 2/ co-dependent 3/ inter-dependent. Dependent involves needing someone else to take care of you, much like being a child whose very survival is dependent on the parent. Co-dependent is where neither can stand alone but somehow manage as a unit, but one is lost without the other. Inter-dependent is where you can fully function on your own but choose instead to work together in the give and take of being a couple.

Relationships are complex and there are many reasons people tough them out to remain together. Relationships are energies that are always in flux. Like the tides in the sea there is always an ebb and flow. They take time and attention. If you are not growing closer you are growing apart. James Hillman reminds us that relationships are not about happily ever after but about soul-building. I am of the opinion that it’s good to let your partner know on a daily basis that you love them, for you never know what tomorrow will bring. There’s always something good about being together; make more good … and keep your eyes on the horizon, not on the waves.

 

~~Paulette Frankl

Feb 7, 2016

Procrastination

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After the long holiday wipe-out, I find it hard to get back into my work groove and up to speed once again with the life I left behind. Some good advice that I gleaned from John Assaraf’s recent Brain-a-thon is: “When you lack motivation, push on through and do it anyway.” I’ve been practicing that and it actually works! Consequently, I’m overcoming the inertia that follows the holidays, and instead of feeling guilty, I’m feeling good about myself, and consequently energized, and I’m getting things done!

One of my resolutions this New Year is to live more mindfully. I want to be mindful of my attitude that I bring to any given situation: does it contribute anything positive or does it make matters worse? I want to be mindful not to slip into the easy response of negativity when things go wrong – which translates to not the way I want them to go. It happens in little ways every day. Do I really need to bite the head off of that stranger on the other end of the phone who wasn’t listening to what I said and now I have to repeat myself all over again? A negative mindset only complicates matters and slows the flow of continuity. It’s off-turning. Ultimately it is self-defeating. I find that often when something goes wrong the “wrong” is my own rush to judgment and if I pause to take a deep breath and change my energy things do change. Try it. Between “good” and “bad” there is a large zone that is neutral. If I return to neutral instead of laying my directional judgments of good or bad on a situation, it makes space for change to occur. Gestalt guru Fritz Pearls said “Don’t push the river. It’s flowing already.”

I intend to mindfully practice this for a week, by which time I hope that a different brain pattern will establish a groove that serves me well instead of the old self-sabotaging one that — more times than not — didn’t work very well.  So far I’ve navigated through two successful days!

~~Paulette Frankl

January 26, 2016

Sound Familiar?

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With the presidential debates unsettling my sense of well-being  or any semblance of “security”, this old quote from Nazi leader Hermann Goering rings all too true today:

“Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

Hermann Göring

The Majesty of Marcel Marceau

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As many of you may know, I have written a book about my 36-year friendship and love with the great French mime, Marcel Marceau titled Marcel & Me: A Memoir of Love, Lust, and Illusion. It is in The New Yorker’s Winter Showcase in their December 14th issue, p. 39 and p.85, available on Amazon and  Barnes & Noble online. Marcel died in 2007. For those of you who never saw him onstage, this link will take you to clips of his majesty, power and elegance. His depth of soul captivated his audiences all over the world and reminded them that we all share an understanding of the same emotions: good, evil, love, fear, insecurity, humor. He was the embodiment of the human condition made manifest in silence, the universal language of understanding.

This understanding has never been more needed than now as the world writhes in the grips of hatred and fear.

Here is Marcel Marceau: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LOe65NVjzk

I am available for interviews about the book:

Contact: pauletteart@mindspring.com

http://www.marcelandme.com

http://www.paulettefrankl.com

http://www.lustforjustice.net

I am looking for a producer to turn this story into a beautiful niche film.

Family Issues and the Holidays

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The holidays always bring out the best and the worst in people. Families come together filled with the warm sentiment of jingle bells and holiday cheer and encounter instead all those irritating qualities in siblings and parents that make the distance between them seem a blessing. Often, the parent-children relationship is no longer what it use to be, but nor has it evolved beyond that old paradigm into what it is now: a family of adults interacting together on a (hopefully) loving and festive occasion. All too often parents still treat their now adult offspring as the dependents that they once were, and/or the grown children now treat their aging parents with resentment at the fact that the roles have now changed, and the impending possibility that the parents will soon or now need care from their children … or, at the very least, understanding and compassion for the aging process that they are experiencing. The parents feel vulnerable and the adult children become bossy, or worse yet, bullying. Often tempers flair. The family core becomes damaged. Everyone pulls distance.

Being a parent myself, and speaking from first hand experience, I find it critical to take time out to sit down together and have a heart-to-heart talk, rather than indulging in verbal bashings of one another, which will and does do serious damage to the psyche. Try to acknowledge and understand where everyone – yourself included — is coming from, and what they’re going through. Often enough, parents and children alike just want to be seen and valued for who they are now, rather than the roles they each inhabited before. For the most part, we all do the best we can given the hand we’ve been dealt and who we are. It’s not up to any of us to sacrifice our entire life for the other, forever, nor do we want to be cold-hearted takers who never give back. And it’s my experience that every parent – at some level – loves their kid. They may not love parenthood or even be suitable for the job, but it’s a built-in factor to love and want to protect your kid.

We often treat our pets with greater care than we show to one another. Granted, families can be infuriating. They push all our buttons. They make impossible demands upon us. They rarely turn out the way we wanted or expected. (We can say the same about Life!) They hurt us to the quick. And still, they are our blood and DNA, and when they’re gone the hole in our lives is beyond measure. So honor your family for all that it is and is not, and know that without them you would not exist! This time together – for better or worse – is precious. Cherish it.

Happy holiday!

~Paulette Frankl 12/15/15

pauletteart@mindspring.com

www.paulettefrankl.com

www.marcelandme.com

http://www.lustforjustice.net