Get More Done by Slowing Down

Sometimes, to get more done, you have to do less.

This concept doesn’t make sense in U.S. corporate-culture, because we worker bees are taught to keep flying from flower to flower, picking up more pollen for the stockholders, and work harder, faster, smarter, and more and more.

Operating this way doesn’t necessarily mean that we ordinary people – the worker bees upon which the parasite (“elite”) class depend – get ahead in our own lives. It just means that we are tired from working all the time, our constant activity and productivity benefiting select others, not ourselves.

But it’s important to remember that we are human beings, not “workers,” not bees, not employees, and as human beings we have individual lives to life – lives in which we have goals and dreams, hopes and aspirations, creative ability with which to fashion a means to reach those goals, dreams, hopes, and aspirations.

We are human beings, not mega-corporations, and we need to live and act like human beings, not robots. We need time to think, wonder, questions, ponder, imagine and, most importantly, rest. Moon Rising, art print by Steve Henderson. Click on the image to be taken to the page where you can purchase the print.

But because we do not get lucrative contracts and tax breaks from the government, nor hobnob with the powerful, we generally have to go about things the hard, slow way, working very hard for each advancement that we make. Frequently it feels as if we don’t have enough time to do all the things we could possibly do to make the next step.

And realistically, we don’t.

That’s why we need to slow down. There will always be something new to put on our list, a fresh idea to try, another element to incorporate into our schedule. If we don’t watch it, we will add, and add, and add more things to what we do, to the point that we have no time to think, reflect, pause, contemplate, wonder, and yes, just rest. This opposite side of the wheel, so to speak, is necessary to maintain balance and equilibrium.

When we pursue our dreams, we’re not working to enrich a corporation, we’re working to enrich our own lives. And enriching our lives involves deep thought, mental and physical relaxation, and seeking a place and state of calm. Until we do so, we’re just flying from flower to flower.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes.  I incorporate the artwork of my husband, Steve Henderson, with thoughts on truth, goodness, life, light, and hope. Click on the image in the article to purchase prints or products featuring the artwork. Find all of Steve’s prints at SteveHendersonCollections.com.

Posts complementing this one are

The Power of Doing Nothing

When You Live Smarter, Harder, Faster — You Don’t Live

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Reject Corporate Culture and Find Something Real Instead

If we really want to, we can live in a culture that is better than what we have now. We can create an actual culture with richness and depth, meaning and joy.

Right now, what we call “culture” in the United States is basically what is fed to us on TV programs and establishment movies, which in turn are influenced by the corporate world. Through them, we are taught to seek material goods, live fast and frenzied, expect to have a large circle of friends (none of whom, including ourselves, seem to hold down any jobs), and never, ever take time to slow down, think, ponder, relax, create, question, or step out of the little box we been given to live our lives in.

That’s not culture. That’s propaganda.

We don’t have to live in a culture that constantly pushes us to work, worry, and watch the news. We can choose to slow down, look around us, and think. Rain Dance, artwork by Steve Henderson. Prints available by clicking on the image.

But what more, really, can we expect from the corporate culture, the world of the parasites that needs people who are smart enough to do the job, but not so smart that they ask questions; who have enough money to buy goods so that the corporations make money, but not so much that we make meaningful purchase decisions to literally enrich our lives; who are kept constantly busy – not really doing anything of importance or meaning to us – so that when we get home at night all we want to do is glue our eyes to the screen and obey the advertisements?

But culture, genuine culture, involves real people, not imaginary ones – ordinary, genuine people, not celebrities whose major accomplishment is that they’re famous because they’re promoted. In genuine culture, the food we eat isn’t from boxes and bags. The songs we sing aren’t churned from the music industry. The books we read aren’t printed versions of movies. The things that matter to us, the stuff we talk about, isn’t the next candidate for the next election in which our single most important act – the pinnacle of what we call democracy – is to cast one vote. Which . . . may or may not be counted.

If we’re bored it’s because our culture is boring, and if our culture is boring it’s because it’s not shaped by real, genuine people living good, honest lives, but by Big Business, Big Finance, and Big Politics, none of whom are interested in human beings, and human culture, at all.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes.  I incorporate the artwork of my husband, Steve Henderson, with thoughts on truth, goodness, life, light, and hope. Click on the image in the article to purchase prints or products featuring the artwork. Find all of Steve’s prints at SteveHendersonCollections.com.

Posts complementing this one are:

Don’t Let the Parasites Define Who You Are

What Is Freedom? And Are We Free?

We Need Time to Think

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First and Foremost, Trust Yourself

We are told to trust a lot of people.

Trust the experts.

Trust Science (is that . . . one person? Do all scientists agree?)

Trust the authorities. (The monarch? The priest? The government? Isn’t the whole point of America’s Independence Day story based upon a distrust of overreaching government?)

Trust the actors reading off the teleprompter while they sit behind the news desk.

Trust the think tanks, foundations, and “Non-profit” organizations with 3-5 capital letters.

But the one person we should trust, the one who has our best interests at heart, the one who does not operate with any conflicts of interest that go against our own interests, we are never told to trust:

Ourselves.

model thinker woman thinking spa bath relaxed freedom chair dancer athlete
As intelligent human beings, we are first and foremost the best person to consult when it comes to living our lives with grace, dignity, creativity, and freedom. Model Thinker, art print by Steve Henderson; prints available by clicking on the image.

But we’re not the experts!

We’re not Scientists!

How can we possibly know enough to make a sound judgment for our best interests?

Well, if not us, then who?

How can any one person — a stranger — or even a committee, forum or panel of “experts” — all strangers — know enough to make life impacting decisions for — generally by imposing mandates upon — thousands, sometimes millions, and these days, billions of others?

They can’t, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.

And they have a better chance of succeeding when they demean and disparage the intelligence of individual people to ask questions, look at facts, sift through answers, and come to decisions on what they will eat, where they will work, what type of currency they recognize, what they will (or will not) wear, what medical treatment — if any — they choose, how they will raise and protect their children, and thousands of other day to day decisions that ultimately impact our individual lives.

In short, it is freedom of choice.

And that choice is ours, as it has been throughout history. We can choose to listen to, passively accept, and obey the dictates of the experts, the authorities, the panels and forums and organizations with 3-5 letters, or we can assert our independence as free, intelligent human beings, living on a planet with other free, intelligent human beings, and live like free, intelligent, compassionate, decent human beings.

But we have to trust ourselves that we can do it.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes.  I incorporate the artwork of my husband, Steve Henderson, with thoughts on truth, goodness, life, light, and hope. Click on the image in the article to purchase prints or products featuring the artwork. Find all of Steve’s prints at SteveHendersonCollections.com.

Posts complementing this one are

Whom Do We Trust?

It’s Time to Trust Our Own Judgment

Insist Upon Living Your Life

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Don’t Let the Parasites Define Who You Are

Human beings are the pinnacles of design. We have the capacity to be good, do good, or to be bad, and do bad, with pretty much everything in between.

But living in this world, you get the idea that we’re a pretty crummy product, and if you don’t resist the voices who want to subdue you to their thinking, you might accept the various lies you’re told.

Some religions teach that, because of Adam and Eve’s actions, all humans are born sinful, repulsive in God’s sight, and the Father who created us doesn’t become that father, nor love us, until we take certain steps and say certain words. It’s hard to connect with a guy like that.

child girl beach imagine dream innocent ocean barefoot coast painting art inspirational
It’s hard to look at an innocent child and see either a receptacle of sin (religious) or germ bomb (scientific). Children remind us that we enter the world innocent and beautiful, and we have the capacity to retain, and develop, both. We just don’t bother because nobody encourages us to even try. Bold Innocence, art print by Steve Henderson. Click on the image to be taken to the page on Steve’s site where the artwork is available as a print and image on products.

On the scientific front, the theory of natural selection opens up the possibility that certain people are better than others (survival of the fittest) and those who make it to the top, even if it involves stepping over other people’s faces, deserve to get there. Of course, we don’t talk about this.

The parasite class (which prefers to be called the elite, but good people really need to start identifying them more accurately by their attitude and lifestyle) considers a chunk of humanity useless eaters because we’re not useful . . . to them.

And lately, again on the scientific front, the secular version of the doctrine of original sin abounds in the idea that we humans are infused with germs, and the very act of sneezing will quite possibly kill Grandma.

On the whole, the assorted establishments and organizations of the world don’t think much of the average, ordinary, real, genuine human being. If we listened to them, believed them, followed what they said, we would understandably feel discouraged, unwanted, unimportant, even dangerous to the existence of others. And we would depend upon them to tell us how to live so that we can escape the curse of our humanity.

This is not what we were born to be or feel. Every human being enters the world with that potential to do good, be good, and while we regularly mess up and fall short of what we want to be, feel we can be, as long as we operate from the standpoint that we are valuable, precious, unique, creative, beautiful and truly useful (not to the parasites, but to other human beings) we get closer and closer to the becoming who and what we were born to be.

Good, decent, creative, imaginative, valuable human beings.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. I incorporate the images of my husband, painter Steve Henderson, who paints what I write about — light, life, truth, honesty, questioning, curiosity, independence, and freedom. The image used in this article, Bold Innocence, is available as a print or image on gift items at SteveHendersonCollections.com.

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The History of Real People Isn’t Boring

Driven to Succeed — and Discontent

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You Can Be Free, or Obedient, but Not Both

Obedient people are dangerous people. And while that seems odd, since we’re taught from childhood that obedience is good, and good people are obedient, it’s because their loyalty lies not with human ties or their close relationships with other people. Their allegiance is pledged to authority, be that the state or management, government, experts, “science,” or whoever has the power to dictate rules and mandates.

Most of us, in our relationship with other people, are not authority figures. We are friends, co-workers, relatives, acquaintances, operating on terms of equality with one another. If we are sensible, we treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves, and sincerely hope that others will return the favor.

river country landscape rural blue meadows fields painting art peaceful calm
Unlike canals, rivers run free, which means that, depending upon how they flow, they change the landscape around them. Canals, however, are boxed in, controlled, and channeled, and while this is useful for irrigation, it’s not a good way to live as human beings. Be a river. Where the River Bends, art print by Steve Henderson. Click on the image to be taken to the purchase page.

But obedient people do not operate this way. Not only are they submissive to those they deem above them, they push their peers – friends, co-workers, relatives, acquaintances – into this yoke as well (“We’re all in this together,” right?). Consequentially, to the obedient, it is acceptable to tattle, to anonymously say something when they see something, to snitch for the betterment of society. That’s what authority tells them to do.

There is a reason why no one likes the teacher’s pet. There is a reason why adults frown when children tattle, even when it seems like they have something to tattle about. Surely, we think, there is a better way to bring about justice than gleefully getting others in trouble.

And while there is little we can do with extreme obedient people other than to be aware and wary of them, there is much we can do in ourselves: we can choose to be decent people, loyal to those we love and who love and trust us, upright, forthright, honorable in our dealings with one another. That’s how free people live.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes.  I incorporate the artwork of my husband, Steve Henderson, with thoughts on truth, goodness, life, light, and hope. Click on the image in the article to purchase prints or products featuring the artwork. Find all of Steve’s prints at SteveHendersonCollections.com.

Posts complementing this one are

Obedience Is Not a Virtue

Whom Do We Trust?

Explore a World without Fences

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Finding Truth in a World of Questionable Facts

For living in an information society, we operate a lot in the dark.

Largely, it’s because our information is questionable. With five major corporations owning effectively all our mass means of communication (movies, TV, books, “news,” magazines, newspapers, radio, Internet sites) we depend upon the largesse, integrity, and honesty of these corporate entities to give us the facts, without prejudice, propaganda or advertising pressure, leaving it up to our intelligence and wisdom to interpret.

Somehow, I don’t think this is the way their world works.

sailboat sailing night midnight moonlight blue mysterious art painting marine
As we sail through life, sometimes we don’t have much light to see by. But we slow down, stay incredibly alert, and use what light we have to our advantage. Moonlight Sail , art print by Steve Henderson available at Steve Henderson Collections. Click on the image to be taken to the purchase page for prints and gifts of this image.

So how do we find truth when we are unsure of our facts?

In some ways, it is like sailing on a small craft in the middle of the night, with very little light to go by. Depending upon our experience, we may be amateurs, intermediate sailors, or skilled mariners, but wherever we are on that spectrum, we know enough to not go plowing ahead in the dark, fingers crossed, hoping it all works out okay.

We slow down. We use what light there is to see. We recognize that what we do see is limited. And we move forward cautiously, every sense alert, never allowing our eyes to glaze over (that’s what happen when we watch TV) or letting our defenses down.

We recognize that we are in a potentially hostile and dangerous environment, and if we are to successfully navigate through it, we must trust ourselves, our instinct, our abilities, and that inner voice that guides us — when we listen to it.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. I incorporate the images of my husband, painter Steve Henderson, who paints what I write about — light, life, truth, honesty, questioning, curiosity, independence, and freedom. The image used in this article, Moonlight Sail, is available as a print or image on gift items at SteveHendersonCollections.com.

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We’re Not Turning into Zombies, Are We?

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Don’t Give Up

Some days, you feel as if you are looking for something and it just isn’t there. You know it should be, but day after day, it just isn’t there.

So whom do you believe? The people who tell you that you’re being unreasonable to have impossible dreams and goals, that you need to face reality, that you should just accept that this is the way things are and move on already? There are plenty of these. Some are “experts,” Influencers, celebrities, medicos, politicians – strangers, effectively. Others are acquaintances who claim to be friends. Some are even family, who, because they know and love you, really should know better.

timeless woman romantic waiting gazebo rowboad
Your eyes may not see it, but your soul knows that it is there. Timeless, art print by Steve Henderson. Click on the image to be taken to the page where you can purchase the print.

Too easily, too often, we allow these voices to dictate our thoughts, our actions. Should we?

Or should we listen to that voice inside, pay attention to our soul’s insistence that yes, what we are looking for exists, and although it is incredibly difficult to find, it is worth continuing to look for?

One thing is for sure: we need to be looking for something in order to find it. Because if we’re not even looking, we’ll never recognize what we find.

So keep looking.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. I incorporate the artwork of my husband, Steve Henderson, with thoughts on truth, goodness, life, light, and hope. Click on the image in the article to purchase prints or products featuring the artwork. Find all of Steve’s prints at SteveHendersonCollections.com.

Posts complementing this one are

How Do We Know What’s True?

Problems Are Mountains and Mountains Can Be Climbed

What Will Others Think? Honestly, It Doesn’t Matter

Posted in Daily Life, Encouragement, Faith, inspirational, Life, spirituality, Uncategorized, wisdom | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Obedience Is Not a Virtue

Obedience is not a virtue.

Exacted from slaves, dogs, and very young children, obedience is an essential component to a well-run society, but not necessarily a free one.

For the tyrant, the despot, the emperor, a well-run citizenry results when its people are taught to do what they are told. This is more easily achieved when the people implicitly and unquestioningly trust their political, religious/scientific, financial, and medical leaders. These leaders generally communicate with the citizenry via mass media, oratory crafted by professional speechwriters, and decree. The primary mantra is,

“Listen to the experts. Follow your leaders. Obey the authorities. They know what’s good for you.”

The shining example of a good citizen in such a society is the one who not only obeys, but coerces and compels the obedience and compliance of others. A common, non-complimentary term for such a person is tattletale.

They are very obedient.

woman storm grand canyon southwest brave independent beauty
The opposite of obedient is independent; the opposite of submissive is thinking for oneself. Storm Maiden, by Steve Henderson

What they are not, however, are exemplary of qualities that people who reside in the the U.S. proudly insist we have long possessed: freedom, kindness, generosity, tolerance, compassion, independent thought, and, most important to our legendary interpretation of who we are, the maverick spirit of the pioneers and popular movie characters.

As we leave 2020 behind, people sigh: “I’m glad 2020 is over! Bring on 2021.”

But 2021 is simply a number, achieved by flipping a calendar page. The ugliness, the fear mongering, the uncertainty, the seeming randomness, the pivoting, the tattling, the hostility that characterize 2020 will nip our heels into 2021 as long as being obedient remains the primary characteristic of who we are.

Obedience is not a virtue. It is a tool of control.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. Posts complementing this one are

We’re Not Turning into Zombies, Are We?

What Is Freedom? And Are We Free?

Whom Do We Trust?

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We Learn More from a Dead Leaf Than from Our Smart Phone

Too often, when we look down at our hands, we’re staring at a phone.

This is a sad thing because phones, unless we’re using them AS phones — i.e., talking on them to another person — are not interactive objects.

But that’s okay, we’re told, because the best thing about smart phones is that they are a terrific source of information: this little box of technology, which we should change out, for fashion’s sake, every year or two, connects us to the world!

We watch movies on them. We keep up on the latest talk show. We read what our celebrity guru of choice — fashion, home decor, political analysis, medical advice, dietary regulations — tells us to buy, do, or think.

Oh, and we keep up with the news, the all important news that informs us — when we access trusted, trusted, trusted, reliable, government and social media approved sources — of the latest thing to fear or believe.

But the significant thing that the phone does not do is encourage us to question the information it feeds us. Our part of the relationship consists of passively accepting what we see, mentally consuming and digesting a carefully curated selection of informational food.

It is not for us to think, but to allow others to think — and determine, and analyze, and instruct, and teach — for us. After all, how could we possibly know more than the trusted, trusted, trusted experts? Isn’t it daring, rude actually, to even suggest that we question their words?

The artwork, Contemplation, encourages us to be confident in a most precious gift that humans possess, but are constantly persuaded not to use: rational thought. A young woman, standing in a country meadow on a sunny autumn day, looks down at the leaf in her hand.

In a quiet place, in a state of calm, she is contemplating, meditating, thinking. Perhaps she is doing no more than feeling herself breathe, focusing on how it feels to deeply inhale, then gently exhale. Or maybe her thoughts go deeper, as she wonders, “Is there a God? Did He make this? Or is this a product of sheer chance? I’ve been told many things, many of which conflict and fight with one another — what is true?”

But the important thing is that she is actively thinking, as opposed to passively accepting. And the more she does this, this thinking — and the more we do this, this thinking — the more aware we are, the more questioning we are, the more difficult we are to fool, to browbeat, to pressure, to push, to control.

How odd that we have the potential to find more freedom in a dead leaf than a “smart” phone.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. My blogs complement the fine art images of Steve Henderson, who creates paintings of freedom, joy, thought, beauty, and joy. You can find his art prints at SteveHendersonCollections.com.

Posts complementing this one are

How Do We Know What Is True?

Whom Do We Trust?

We Need Time to Think

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How Do We Know What’s True?

Truth is not something we are told.

It cannot be forced upon us, pushed in our face, preached at us, flooded in our social media feed.

beachside diversions nostalgia beach mother child steve henderson surreal art

While the mother is busy fussing, the child, looking off into the distance, sees something. So often, children see things that adults miss. Beachside Diversions, art print from Steve Henderson Collections.

Conversely, it cannot be suppressed, no matter how vigilantly those who police social media feed, or announce things from behind a desk, remove it for our own good.

Truth is something we seek.

Now in the world of propaganda and advertising, there is a maxim that the more times you tell somebody something — three times, seven, 83 — then the more likely they are to accept it, even if it is a lie. Just the sheer act of repeating wears down the psyche, until one begins to think,

“Hmm. Maybe sugury-syrup, carbonated drinks with zero nutritional value really aren’t so bad. After all, lots of smart people drink them.”

For this reason, it is wise to pause when we start to feel assaulted by images or information or “news.” As with any assault, there is a sense of fear or helplessness, of anxiety, panic, despair.

“I can’t do anything!” we wail. “This is huge! This is horrible! And I am helpless!”

No, we’re not. With any situation we face, with any information we receive, we have the ability — and the obligation, really — to ask questions, to research, to look into the matter, to follow a trail and walk along a path toward enlightenment. In every situation — religious, political, medical, ethical, scientific, artistic — there is breadth and depth, a variety of thoughts, opinions, facts, and matters that must be weighed against one another, judged, and interpreted.

When we are told that four out of five dentists agree on a certain sugarless gum, or nine out of ten scientists concur, our first logical question is,

“What about the fifth dentist? What is the tenth scientist saying?” because truth is not a matter of majority rule.

The artwork, Beachside Diversions, invites us, like the child, to look deep into the distance, to shake off distraction, and look with the intent of seeing. In the same way adults frequently chide children for living in a world of pretend (and thereby never listen to what they are actually saying) so people who ask questions, who express doubt over what they are repeatedly told, who ask to see more and different information, are tut-tutted for being difficult, reminded that they are (like children) not experts in the matter.

They are admonished to accept what the experts say because doubt and dissent are dangerous.

Truth, however, is not threatened by doubt and dissent, intense questioning, and open, honest dialogue.

But lies are.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. Posts complementing this one are

Choose Wisely Who Influences You

Lies and Darkness, Truth and Light

Whom Do We Trust?

All of the artwork in my blogs is by my husband, fine artist Steve Henderson. He creates work that celebrates joy and goodness, freedom and thinking. You can find his prints at SteveHendersonCollections.com or https://2-steve-henderson.pixels.com/.

Posted in america, Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Encouragement, inspirational, Life, Lifestyle, media, News, self-improvement, Social Media, thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments