relationships

Why Should YOU Be Transparent?

Mitt Romney’s recent statements at a private fundraiser, caught on video, show that what he says publicly is different from what he says privately. And then there’s the refusal to release more than 2 years of his tax returns. This is referred to as a lack of transparency (perhaps because people don’t want to use the word “lying”?).That got me to thinking — why wouldn’t you be transparent? Whether you’re a candidate for President, or any human being going through life, you have a choice of whether or not to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth — or not. As my Dad used to say, “Tell the truth — there’s less to remember.” So really, why wouldn’t you be transparent?I can only come up with 2 reasons:

  1. You are deeply ashamed of the truth, or guilty about the truth, or
  2. Telling the truth won’t get you what you want. 

Let’s take each of those in turn:

If you’re feeling ashamed or guilty, you have a few options. First, look at what you’re ashamed of, or guilty about, and ask yourself if it was your responsibility. For example, victims of sexual abuse often feel ashamed of that. But if you were not the abuser, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

On the other hand, if you were, in fact, responsible for whatever you’re ashamed of or guilty about, then find a way to put it right. This is why Steps 8 & 9 of Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Steps are

  • “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
  • “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

Nobody ever said this would be easy.

Now what if you didn’t do anything illegal but telling the truth about it wouldn’t get you what you want? 

Mitt Romney is the perfect example. Let’s assume he’s done nothing illegal (I’m assuming this because no one has ever asserted anything to the contrary). But telling the truth, which goes something like, “I made hundreds of millions of dollars by sending US jobs overseas and then not paying taxes on the money I made”, is not likely to get him what he wants, which is to be President of the United States of America, as it is deeply at odds with American values. If you were Mitt, what would you do? Obfuscate, of course. Change the subject. Refuse to answer the question, and blame it on the questioner, or the audience, who just wouldn’t understand (“We’ve given you people enough information.”) That is, be opaque, not transparent. A refusal to be transparent suggests that you know what you have done is morally wrong, if still within the letter of the law.

And this is why people don’t trust those who are clearly hiding something, who are not transparent.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

What’s the Difference between Love and Attachment?

I’m out of town, taking care of some business as I write this, as I have been for the last week or so. My husband is at home, holding down the fort. But one of the members of our household, Beast, the cat, went missing last week for a couple of days.Beastie is 17, and has been with me since he was 3 or so (we don’t know exactly, as I got him at a shelter, where someone took him when his first humans moved away). When I met him, on vacation, I’d had no intention of coming home with a second cat. But when I picked him up, he melted into me, and that was it. He was my cat; I was his human.For some great Beastie stories, see this, this, and this. Suffice it to say that I love this cat with all my heart.

He is in somewhat ill health with the beginnings of kidney failure, which I manage with supplements I mix into his food each day, and by giving him subcutaneous hydration once or twice a week. (Yes, I give him injections of Ringer’s solution with a HUGE needle. It takes 2 humans to do it, and is no fun for any of the three of us.) This Kidney disease is eventually fatal, so he is on his way out, if somewhat slowly. It has caused the ‘always hungry’ kitty to lose a lot of weight.

So when he went missing, Kosta, my husband, and I both sent telepathic messages to Beast to COME HOME NOW! Usually, Beastie will show up at our back door within a couple of hours of one of these messages from Kosta, but this time — nothing.

I thought maybe he’d gone off to die in the woods behind our house. And I’m not home to even say goodbye. That was incredibly hard on me.

But that got me to thinking: what is the difference between love and attachment? Because if I only love him, then I want the best for him, and if that is going off in the woods to die (which is normal for a cat), then that should make me happy. But it didn’t. It just made me sad.

I realize that the love is a feeling of warmth in my heart. What was making me sad was the (presumed) loss of the joy of connecting with a physical Beast — petting his fur, hearing him purr and meow, watching him jump into someone’s lap, feeling my heart energy returned by him. That’s the attachment part. That’s about me, not him.

Think about this in your own life: How much of what you call love for someone or something is actually just your own attachment, your concern for yourself in relationship to that person or thing?

PS – Beastie did show up eventually — having gained weight! So he has conned some other family into feeding him. Which would be okay if he didn’t need his meds. So in the short term I’m relieved, while concerned about the longer term. What if it’s best for him to enjoy his food and leave the earth plane sooner rather than later?

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Seasons of Life

Last week, I was living in what was surely the outskirts of the 8th circle of hell, simply due to the oppressive heat. This week, though, things are different:I’m noticing that the shadows are longer on my daily morning walks, the light more golden. The tops of the maple trees are beginning to be tinged with orange. Kids are out, on their way to school, and more adults are out exercising, presumably because it’s cool enough to do so.

So summer gently gives way to autumn, which will elide into winter, which will warm into spring which will give way to autumn again. And so on and so on…

Much has been said about the seasons of a person’s life. Spring is childhood, summer is the teen years and early adulthood, autumn is middle age and winter is old age. But those seasons, those same cycles,  exist in everything nature does, and everything we do.

A tree begins life as a seed, grows tall and stays mature for many years, but each tree species has a natural life length, so eventually all trees grow old and die. Within that life cycle, however, there are the annual cycles of the seasons: buds then flowers in spring, then leaves which grow large and deep green as summer begins, then fade into other colors and finally drop off in autumn, to be followed by a dormant period in winter. So there are cycles within cycles.

This is true of everything in our lives: relationships, jobs, businesses. So a romantic relationship usually begins with that crackle of newness: the first look, the first flirtation, the first date, the first kiss, etc. Eventually, this grows into stability: you know each other well enough to predict what he wants for dinner, when she’ll want to nap, what each of you will get annoyed about. And you can let that annoyance grow(autumn) till it destroys the relationship, or you can work at it, and each change yourself enough that the relationship continues. So when autumn comes, either the relationship can drop off, or certain beliefs and attitudes can drop off. This can take a while, especially if you are retreating into yourself to do internal work (winter). If the beliefs change, then you go into spring again. It’s like kissing and making up, but on a deeper scale.

When you start a new job, you learn the people, the systems, the tasks — it’s all new, and often a bit overwhelming (spring). Then you settle in for a while, and all is well (summer). Then something happens: you get a new boss, or the work changes, or the company is sold and the systems change, and there you are in autumn again. Things are unstable, even chaotic, and you generally have to let go of something — an old way of doing something, or a belief about something, in order to get back to stability. Sometimes, as in the case of a layoff, what drops off is you; you leave the company. And look for work (winter or dormancy) and then begin another new job (spring again).

Within that larger cycle, there will be lots of smaller ones — you develop a relationship with a coworker (spring). That relationship works for a long while (summer) — and then she leaves the company (autumn). You may miss her for a while (winter) and then develop a new relationship with her replacement (spring). And if you stay in touch with your former coworker, that’s different than it used to be, because you no longer see each other every day (spring again).

So everything in our lives has a cycle — and it’s useful to note where you are in the cycles in different parts of your life. What’s new? What’s stable? What’s falling apart? What’s dormant?

{With great thanks to Tim and Kris Hallbom, whose wonderful Wealthy Mind workshop talks about this, among a great many things.)

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Two Degrees of Separation

The West Coast Dowsers’ Conference, where I taught one of the sessions 6 weeks ago, was at UC Santa Cruz. We stayed in the dorms and ate in the dining hall of one of the residential colleges.Although I’m fairly shy, I did manage one night to sit down at dinner with some strangers. Of course, we had a lovely conversation — the people at the Dowsers’ Conference are all lovely, and we obviously have something in common. The woman who sat diagonally across from me was from Milwaukee — and she was a real estate agent, so we had that in common. In fact, our discussion was mostly about commercial property. She looked to be of South Asian ancestry, and had a South Asian name, but I honestly didn’t think twice about that. We exchanged business cards, and I added her to my mailing list.

Last week, I wrote about the Oak Creek shooting, and posited that perhaps it was not random violence.  Since my weekly email contains a teaser for my blog post, she got that teaser, as well as the link.

A day later, I got an email from the Milwaukee woman, saying that the Oak Creek temple was her temple! She said she knew 3 of those who’d died, and several women who’d been hiding in the kitchen with the kids. That makes me only 2 degrees of separation from the people who died — and you only 3 degrees of separation. It’s a really small world. How is this possible?

It’s possible because of small world networks.

Consider the  game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, where players try to tie a given actor to Kevin Bacon in as few steps as possible, based on the movies they’ve acted in together. So if an actor has worked in a movie with Mr. Bacon, he has a Bacon number of 1, if an actor has worked with an actor who has worked with Mr. Bacon, she has a Bacon number of 2, and so on. As you can see in the table below, using data from the internet movie data base, www.imdb.com, which has over 500,000 actors, the vast majority of actors are within 3 degrees of separation from Bacon, and virtually all are within 4 degrees:

Degrees of Separation      Cumulative Bacon Percentage

1                                                .3
2                                            24.1
3                                            84.9
4                                            98.8

The book, “Six Degrees”, by Duncan Watts, from which the above data is abstracted, is all about “small world” networks, looking at networks as different as movie actors and the power grid from a mulitdisciplinary approach. After considering several models and research from the 1930’s onward, he concludes that “As long as individuals are more likely to know other people like them, and — crucially — as long as they measure similarity along more than one social dimension, then not only will short paths exist between almost anyone almost anywhere, but also individuals… will be able to find them.” And other research suggests that the two most powerful dimensions to explore are geographical connections and professional ones.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Was the Oak Creek shooting a random act?

I feel sick. Literally. I just heard about the death of the father of a friend of a friend. I’m sure you heard about it, too  — the shooting at the Oak Creek Sikh temple. (Amazing how small the world is, huh?)There is a back story here — one you are not going to hear on the nightly news. I think the mass murder in Oak Creek happened to prevent a documentary film from being made. Here’s the story:

Dr. Steven Greer, who started the disclosure movement, has had numerous attempts on his life over the years, because he has brought forward hundreds of credible witnesses to the fact that extra-terrestrials are here, and because he ties this to the suppression of technology. Because I am one of his students, I was present at one of the threats, if not an exact attempt (no shots were fired) — so I know this is no joke and no exaggeration.

Amardeep Kaleka, an Emmy-winning documentary film producer, had signed on with Dr. Steven Greer, to produce a feature-length movie about Dr. Greer’s work. As the website for the movie says,

“This film exposes the greatest story never told:
  • The Earth has been visited by people from other worlds who are not malicious, but in fact concerned for the future of humanity.
  • A cabal of military, industrial and financial interests have kept this contact and what we have learned from it secret for over 60 years.
  • Their secrecy is meant to suppress the knowledge that can liberate the world from the yoke of oil, gas, coal and nuclear power and replace the current world order with one of New Energy and true Freedom.”

I understand that threats had been made on the life of Amardeep and his family. This was gossip, though, I have no proof.

 Amardeep’s father, Satwant, was the head of the Oak Creek temple. He died a hero, trying to stop the shooter.

Here is how I back up my supposition:

Right after the shooting, there were said to be several shooters. That was later changed to just one. Satwant Kaleka was tackling the shooter, and he was shot in the back. If there were only one shooter, that means he was shot by a cop, right? No one, however, is talking about who shot him. How come?

Also, I note that Kaleka’s name was originally on the NY Times website — and is no longer there. How come?

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.