It’s a Women’s World to be Had

Another report out today, this time from the World Economic Forum’s findings and projections revealing the gender gap is worsening. They rank countries by economic opportunities, education, political participation and health.

These kinds of reports send off alarm bells in my head. Not because I’m not aware of these realities, not because I don’t feel deeply for my sisters across the world, but because many of these disadvantages need not be, especially in our western countries.

I began my journey into the work world in the early eighties. I entered male dominated industries. I had a fire in my belly to succeed and where I found blocks that would not move, I sidestepped, blazed through, or left for more opportunity. In the year 2000 I finally fully awoke to the realization that fighting to move within this masculine hierarchy was foolish. I began my own company and have been joyously fulfilled ever since. (I must mention that I love men, and love working with men, and highly respect most of the men I’ve worked with.)

Going to work for a corporation still in the old paradigm, within the structure of the masculine hierarchy, is the problem for many women and men. They are dependent on the men in the company to see them, promote them, value them, etc. And the system was set up so long ago, the values, habits, and customs are outdated. I remember a manager telling me I would not be successful because I had a ‘warm’ personality. (He, with a harsh personality, ended in failure.)

If you are a woman working within a large corporation run mostly by men, take note. You’ve entered an old system that is becoming outdated. Why give your power and your future to something outside yourself? Learn all you can, hone your skills, and make a plan to take charge of your own career track. When you are told no find another way, because there always is another way. Brainstorm with others if you feel stuck.

And always take tender loving care of yourself. Find moments to get clarity, enter silence every day, this will help you see opportunities and solutions.

(Photo is of me over 30 years ago, brokerage days!)

A Tiny Story

There was once a young woman walking down her life path, and every so often she would pick up something and put it somewhere: in her pocket, her back pack, purse, over her shoulder even. This goes on for years. She thinks these things she is collecting will improve her somehow, make her smarter, prettier, happier and look more successful, and they do make her feel good for a little while—until she thinks of something else she wants. She hears about some of these things from other people. Some are the way others behave, and present their image. She sees some accessories on other people and they look so nice. Some are shiny, some do things. But it becomes increasingly heavy for her to carry it all. On top of that, she holds onto all the disappointments and failures from her experiences on her path, and these too become quite heavy.
Her back begins to ache, her knees hurt, and she begins to walk bent over with all the weight of it. And then something changed. She felt she couldn’t carry it all anymore, so she sat down with all her things clanging around her. The ground felt so good. Without holding up all these enhancements, pretend acts, and objects she thought would make her better, she felt lighter.
So, light, in fact, she decided to disentangle herself from all of these things. And suddenly she felt a rustling in her back. And in a beautiful unfolding, with a loud womp, womp, she lifted off the ground with silvery white wings that had been tucked within her all these years. Her heart opened wide and she knew she always had everything she could have ever needed, already inside.

Post Hurricane Observations & New Class Time

 Well, we all survived Irma, albeit a bit bruised and battered. I am wishing all of you in Florida and Texas are well on your way to total recovery and more. It is interesting what a big storm ‘washes up’.  Along with the fog of storm after- effects, (Many of us are bumping around, forgetting where we were before the storm!) people are telling me they have experienced new ahas, found increased confidence, even vital tidbits of information in their dreams! Going through hurricane preparation and cleanup always presents not only a cleaning out of old stuff, but an opportunity to clear old habits and old thought patterns. Let’s use these sometimes harrowing events to reassess where we are and where we’re going.
     Obviously we had to cancel the live Ayurvedic program scheduled for September 9th. We are re-scheduling it for Saturday, September 30th, 10:00 AM. We were near seating capacity, so it is important that you let me know if you are planning to come. We have a plan B in place if we need to move to a bigger space. Just reply to this email with your name, number of attendees, and contact information. See more below. 🙂
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Kasey Claytor is offering a 90 minute workshop on Discovering Your Mind/Body Type based on Ayurveda, the ancient health system of India. Why do some have digestive issues, some gain weight easily, and others are prone to rashes and irritability? Why some people are quick talking and creative, while others are intense and convincing, and still others are warm and nurturing? What makes you the particular way you are? What are your tendencies, vulnerabilities, and strengths? A questionnaire will be handed out so you can find out what your constitution is and how it affects everything in your life. Learn how you can create vibrant, resilient health for your mind/body type. This class is a good stand-alone talk to explain Ayurveda and how to apply this knowledge, but it’s also a preview of the 5 session in depth course Kasey will be offering at a later date.
 The cost is on donation basis.
Saturday, September 30th, 10:00 AM
Osprey Conference Room
918 South Washington Ave.
Titusville, Florida
321-383-4005

Heal Ourselves, Heal the World

We all have judgments, prejudices, opinions and beliefs. Have you ever changed your beliefs or opinions during your life? Can you recall what happened to cause you to change an opinion?

Most of us want the same thing. We want a world where everyone is fulfilled, healthy, successful, and at peace. Sometimes we think to get there we need to go through struggle, arguing and coercing, even fighting. We think our own way is best and we need to make others conform to our way.

 

So, we post on Facebook, Twitter, and other forums. We write, speak, text and PM. We blast those who speak of other opinions and judgements. We call them haters and we hate them. (huh?) We don’t ask them questions like, why do you feel/choose that way?

 

Imagine you are faced with people who have a different political view than you and they are trying to make you change your mind and agree with them. How would these actions make you feel?

 

  • Call you names, because they believe you are wrong and lower in importance and intelligence.
  • They tell you they are right—period. There is no room for listening to your views.
  • They assign erroneous characteristics to you, saying you don’t care about people, or you’re completely irrational for thinking what you do.
  • You watch talking heads on TV shows insult those who think like you.

 

These behaviors do not-

  • Add productive ideas
  • Add solutions
  • Encourage communication
  • Heal

 

On the contrary, they only divide further, cause more anger, and deepen the wounds.

 

Everyone is operating at their own level of consciousness. Each person is doing the best they can with what they have known, felt, and experienced in their lives. There is huge diversity in the world today, and the bell curve of levels of consciousness in the United States and other industrialized countries is and has been shifting toward more awareness. This is evolution; sometimes a painful process when some groups are ignored, abused, pushed away, or have assistance and caring withheld from them. When their needs aren’t met, they can get stuck in lower levels of awareness, especially when they are born into a sub-culture where this is the norm. Their rising consciousness gets blocked. By ridiculing them, pushing against them, we cause their complaints to strengthen, along with their anger. What you push against grows.

We must infiltrate these groups. We must meet them where they are and ask them what their experience is. It reminds me of the African-American man who went to a KKK meeting because he said, “How can they hate me when they don’t even know me?” It changed the men in that group. They became friends with him and eventually gave up the KKK. This is an extreme group and most of us would never approve of their message, but they are human beings.

 

The first two levels of biological responses to stress are Fight or Flight (physiological) and Reactive Response, the psychological equivalent. These are old, hard-wired responses to threats in the environment and grounded in our survival instincts. The Reactive Response can be triggered by criticism, anger, sarcasm, etc. but it can cause the same fear and lashing out, adrenalin release, and rapid breathing as fight or flight, or just withdrawal and depression. These two reactive responses are how the majority of people react to stressful situations.

 

But there are five more responses:  Restful Awareness, Intuitive Response, Creative Response, Visionary Response, and Sacred Response. These are all higher forms of responding, more conscious and aware, and we all have had moments where we’ve experienced them. They increasingly move one past the ego and the fear-based, unaware state.

 

So, it makes sense that to be of service in this world, this ability of moving out of the first two responses and into the higher responses, is one to acquire. This way we won’t get triggered with fear and anger when we hear opposing views, distraught people, angry people, and fearful people. We can center ourselves and listen to them. When someone feels heard, healing can begin.

 

How do we do this? Evolve our own reactive responses? There are many ways so find one that resonates with you, if it doesn’t help try another one.

 

I usually tell this story to my new meditators:

Back when I first learned the meditation method I now teach, it had been a few months, and I hadn’t really noticed any difference in my life. One day I went to the grocery store and was in the check-out line. I could hear the cashier snapping at the people ahead of me. She sounded angry. When she was checking my items, she attacked me for doing something wrong. I don’t even recall what it was. I paid and was halfway to the car when I noticed something unusual for me. See, normally if someone lashed out at me, I would feel the adrenalin flow, blood rushing to the face, and my heart would start beating fast. None of that happened. I just thought she was having a bad day. This was really significant. I was by-passing the lower responses!

 

Here’s the list of suggestions:

 

  1. Meditate every day
  2. Read inspirational material nightly
  3. Notice when you are responding physically, tightening chest or stomach, heart pounding when watching the news or a story, and turn it off. You’re becoming aware!
  4. Take steps toward a more plant-based diet.
  5. Watch your thoughts. Watch when you judge others. Know your thoughts are from your ego and not from your higher self.
  6. Get enough sleep
  7. Find others doing the same thing.

 

What you will notice is more episodes of feelings of love from within. More patience. More understanding where others are coming from. Less judgement, less criticism, more solutions, more productive communication.

If you are interested in attending a program, sign up for my newsletters (homepage top right) where they will be announced.

Where are our Leaders?

 

There is a leading edge of evolution functioning within humanity. This leading edge is a minority of the population, yet large enough to have an impact by showing the way, being an example of where we can go, how we can be, and what we can accomplish. According to Ken Wilbur, author and integral theorist, in his recent e-book, Trump and a Post-Truth World, this leading edge has been failing to lead inclusively for a few decades now.

The leading new evolutionary movement emerged in the 1960s full of promise, compassion, forgiveness, and love. War wasn’t the answer, cultural, racial and gender divisiveness was to be overcome, and an optimism spread over the land that it was possible to have a just, good and truthful world.

But this leading edge of the most evolved expression of consciousness in any numbers somehow lost its way; somehow ran itself off the rails when it began embracing the idea that it was elite, better than, and took upon itself to rescue the lowly, the less than, from imagined oppressors. This edge saw victims everywhere, and surmised an oppressor or oppressors were always to blame. This created grounds to become angry and hateful to those it deemed oppressors. Also, the ones seen as ‘less than’ weren’t respected as much as those who followed the leading edge beliefs.

Those who were targeted by the leading edge as unworthy felt the disdain thrust upon them, hence a deep anger grew.

Everyone is operating at their own level of consciousness, we know that. Each level has value. At each level of consciousness there is a relatively balanced, healthy state and an unhealthy state. A balanced healthy state at all levels contributes positively to the whole, and gives impetus to grow into the next level. No matter where we are on this measurement, we hold all the previous states we have moved through, just as we still carry our childhood and adolescence within us. When the leading edge, that highest evolved state in large numbers of the population, is balanced, healthy and sound, this progresses the whole by leading productively, defining truth and goodness, acceptance of all expressions of consciousness, acceptance of differing opinions, thoughts and ways of living from previous states.

What is needed is an environment of inclusivity. We need strong leaders who exemplify goodness, truth, and compassion, and show us what that looks like. Leaders who don’t partition off segments of society and label them. Someone to get the leading edge back on the rails so that it moves forward once again. We haven’t seen this in a long time.

There are two ways this could happen. One would be for someone or some group within the leading edge with these ideals to emerge into our awareness and get our enraptured attention. Pretty tough job.

The other way would be for the quite small, but extraordinarily effecting, edge beyond this one (that began in the 60s). The new, furthest edge that automatically holds the truths of goodness, beauty, inclusiveness, compassion, and love, and will not be infected by elitism, judgmentalism, or divisiveness. At this level, the purpose is to serve. Everyone.

And this edge can lead the current edge, show the way, help get it back to where it can be once again productive and positive.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a very deep topic, a vast, ancient, body of knowledge divined long before any other known health system. But it’s more than a health system.

I’ve been studying this subject a bit here and there for several years, and lately I’ve gotten more serious about it. Perhaps because I’m aging and my health is becoming more precious to me. Perhaps because I see so many people around me suffering. Or, just because it is one of the most fascinating subjects I’ve looked into.

The more I study it, the more intrigued I am. It is so beautiful. An elegant way to view our personal systems: physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. It is a consciousness based philosophy, viewing all that we see and experience in life a result of how consciousness expresses through us and how we influence it by our thoughts, actions and beliefs.

Some basics:

• We are each born with our own individual combination of the elements of life, fire, water, air, space and earth
• The unique balance of these at birth is perfect to support each of us in our wellbeing
• As we grow and live our lives, interacting with our environment and others, we can shift away from this ideal balance.
• When this imbalance isn’t addressed, over time it can grow into an illness, disease, chronic condition or emotional illness.

Ayurveda, in a simplistic description, is a system to move the mind and body back to the original balance of elements so the whole system can function the way it was meant to, with one experiencing wellbeing: vitality, joy, and inspiration in their life.

There are three main mind/body types, Vata (air and space), Pitta, (fire and water), and Kapha (earth & water).

When a person has a Vata constitution, they have a tendency to be slim, quick moving, talkative, creative and inspiring. When they get stressed, they may get anxious or worried. If their body develops too much Vata they may get arthritis, degenerative conditions, constipation, all considered to be from too much air/space which are drying. Vata types can tire more easily and should choose gentle exercise like walking and yoga, or they could need joint replacements!

Pitta types usually have well developed, athletic bodies, with a sharp intellect, and determined, sometimes intense, personalities. Most leaders are Pittas. Under stress, Pittas may get irritable or angry. Since fire is a dominant element, if a Pitta has too much fire, they may tend to get rashes, heartburn, inflammatory illnesses, heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis. The preferred exercise for a Pitta would be moderate: swimming, biking, yoga etc.

Kapha types have a more substantial body, an earth quality, and they tend to be warm, nurturing, steady and calm. When they learn something it isn’t usually forgotten. Under stress, a Kapha will tend to avoid conflict, and when out of balance, often wishing to ignore problems, like sticking their head in the sand, with a tendency to get lethargic or depressed. Physically, if too much heavy, oily food is in their diet along with an inactive lifestyle, they will gain weight and have a hard time losing it. They can develop sinus issues, diabetes, varicose veins, and edema. Their best form of exercise is more strenuous: weight-lifting, jogging, etc. as they have great endurance. (Once you get them moving!)

Our actions and reactions, our thoughts and feelings, all combine to either support our health or impede it. If you aren’t experiencing wellbeing, know that you can find it again. A practitioner or Ayurvedic physician can prescribe foods, herbs and routines which will nudge you back into balance before a disease develops.

Western medicine is absolutely critical for urgent care, but doesn’t address many vague symptoms of imbalance like insomnia, constipation, sadness, lack of motivation or joy in life. At best, they prescribe drugs that mask these symptoms without discovering the cause.

Ayurveda can help you discover the cause and address it. It’s worked with me quite a few times when I had vague symptoms that a regular doctor would just say, “You’re fine. I can’t find anything wrong with you!”

For example, once my skin was itching for weeks and nothing I tried worked. My Ayurvedic physician gave me some herbs and practices, and it was gone in three days! He said it was my body detoxing so he helped it along. Putting lotions on it wouldn’t have addressed this at all.

It isn’t always quick like this, and in our impatience, we want speedy fixes; shifting the body and mind back to health can take some time. It may have taken years to become imbalanced, so it makes sense one needs to be patient and focus on a lifetime of healthy practices instead of immediate cures.

It is a beautiful science which views humans as an incredible orchestration of energy and information always in flux, morphing into the next thing by perception, from God consciousness into the raw elements, forming the material world and you.

TWO TREES

Two trees, strong and
firmly planted,
could only travel
through the experience
of their roots and leaves

For a few short moments
the leaves of the two trees,
anchored far apart,
lifted in the wind
and were carried side by side
till falling to the earth

As seasons passed
the leaves of the two trees
rhythmically intersected
and revealed the experiences
of their stationary creators

Their encounters were
fragile, yet meaningful
and the knowledge and
memories lived on
in the trees

And the trees,
though far apart,
grew to know
one another

“We will be here on earth
for a long time,”. They said
“and we will learn more
of each other,
and we will grow with
the shared ideas
and feelings, gathered
by our leaves,
and we will be better
trees”

More seasons passed
and the trees grew
boundlessly, with
unparalleled size
reaching high to the sky,
filling the surrounding air
and rooting deeper
into the earth
And one day
a miraculous day,
their roots and branches
grew so long
that they touched
in the soil and the breeze

Copyright© 2017 Kasey J. Claytor

The Light of Grace, book of the Year Finalist

indies-finalist-imprintMarch 29, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kasey Claytor
877-650-3796

The Light of Grace, Journeys of an Angel named 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist

Bloomington, Indiana—Today, Hay House is pleased to announce The Light of Grace, Journeys of an Angel, has been recognized as a finalist in the 19th annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

As part of their mission to discover, review, and share the best books from small, university, and indie publishers (and authors), independent media company Foreword Reviews hosts its annual awards program each year. Finalists represent the best books published in 2016, and submitted to Foreword Reviews for award consideration, and were narrowed down by Foreword’s editors from over 2,200 individual titles spread across 65 categories. A complete list of finalists can be found at:

https://awards.forewordreviews.com/finalists/2016/

“Choosing finalists for the INDIES is always the highlight of our year, but the choice was more difficult this time around due to the high quality of submissions,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “Each new book award season proves again how independent publishers are the real innovators in the industry.”

INDIES finalists are moved on to final judging by an expert panel of librarians and booksellers curated specifically for each genre and who will determine the books who will be named Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award winners. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice winners, and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017.

About Foreword: Founded in 1998, Foreword Magazine, Inc, d.b.a Foreword Reviews is an independent media company featuring a Folio:Award-winning print magazine, stable of e-newsletters, and an online platform. Foreword exclusively covers small, university, and independent (non “Big 5”) publishers, the books they publish, and the creators they work with. Foreword is based in Traverse City, Michigan, USA, and has employees and writers all over the world.

Looking for Thank Yous Revisited

20 years ago, as a stockbroker, I had a client that was very demanding. In an effort to satisfy her requests, I went above and beyond my normal responsibilities, spending an inordinate amount of time on these ‘extra’ tasks, like helping her find lost documents, reading her contracts with other insurance investments and  going over her tax documents. Surely, I thought, she appreciated my extra time.

But you know what? She didn’t. With my expectation for appreciation and her assumption that what I did, whatever I did, was customary, I was bound for disappointment.

I ended up writing an article called, Looking for Thankyous (reprinted below). In it, I examined my motivation for doing things for others.

I’ve had many instances to practice this awareness since, of course, as we all do; especially when losing a client, a friend, a job, an unacknowledged gift, or any form of rejection. It is human nature to have thoughts like, after all I did for him/her, they have no appreciation, I could not have done anymore for them, could not have tried harder, etc.

It recently happened again. A client did something out of the ordinary, potentially taking some business away from me. And, of course, I had done a bunch of additional work for her. Quickly, this time, I realized it was my set up. I created the expectation in her mind that all this extra work was part of my normal services. And when my mind (ego) started making reasons why she should have appreciated all of that, I caught myself.

Was I doing all that additional work for gratitude or approval? Or was I doing the extra work because it felt good to give? In the first instance it is merely a trade, I do this and then you will thank me.

I also notice now, the clients with the huge, fat files, (because of all the extra work) are the ones who roam from advisor to advisor, in search of something maybe no one can give. I’m making a mental note of that.

My potential irritation with her never came to pass. I did that extra work because I enjoyed doing it for her. My ‘reward’ was simply that. There are no strings attached.

Original Looking for Thank Yous 1996

I was recently made aware of our underlying motivations to do good deeds for other people. I work in a service industry and my job is to serve the needs of my clients in an advisory capacity. I have a tendency to do more than the basic description of my job because I do care about these people, and do want to help them in any way I can.

One client in particular was undertaking a major project outside of my normal duties that I was helping her with. It turned out that she became very upset with me because she assumed I would do more, and be aware of more of her situation than I reasonably could. I listened to her complaints and I agreed to do these other tasks for her. My secretary and I then did this extra work.

The next thing I know this client is on the phone with me again complaining and saying I should have done these tasks right off and she may not use my services anymore! To make a long story short, I wrote this lady a letter explaining that this work was extra and not usually part of my duties. I felt unappreciated!

So often during my workday I do get appreciation, smiles, notes of thanks, and contented gratitude. I had become so focused on the thank you I lost my focus of why I do what I do in the first place.

In the true spirit of giving, appreciation is nice, but is this really our ultimate goal? Is not the reward in the act of serving others, period? The resentment really does ruin the gift we gave. It is better to give because we want to serve our fellow man, in my mind this is to serve God.