Food is Not the Answer

December 20, 2007

This is the time of year when we fill the food kitchens- There is a keen awareness of  “the needy,”  but food is not the answer.

My purpose is not to see that people are fed.  My purpose is to feed fewer and fewer people.  Our government is not at work on that issue.  We spend the same obscene amount of money year after year to feed people (40++ Billion dollars) and we spend virtually no money on reducing the number of people who go to those food kitchens.  Incidentally, 40 Billion is only about $1,400 per person per year — clearly not even close to what’s needed and so the issue of feeding people is ongoing, painful and frustrating..

We rob people as we feed them.  We steal their independence, their dignity, their equality.  This is the seedbed of civil unrest, the contrast in living between those who feed and those who are fed. 
                         
When you realize that food is not the answer to ending hunger, you either throw up your hands in total futility or you start asking, “what is the solution?”
With a number of organizations, I have been studying this for many years.  These are some  conclusions.

• There is enough food.
• We must focus on ending the persistence of hunger
• Ending the persistence of hunger is a community issue.
• Hunger affects us all.  When one of us is hungry, we are all hungry.
• Ending the persistence of hunger is a matter of human empowerment.  It is an expression of love and joy.
• Ending hunger is possible – and, therefore, mandatory.

The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth, there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known.  Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world on the day of that great revolution.”

    Federico Garcia Lorca
 Spanish poet and dramatist, 1899-1936

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I Confess

November 18, 2007

I confess.  I gave up on politics.  It’s been happening for years – I was ‘normal’ – I voted for who I wanted to win, not who I believed in.  Year by year my cynicism grew… and when I saw The Secret and started to explore The Law of Attraction, I decided I was better off by not being so disappointed, so against.

But today I spent time with The Future of Politics— Annie Loyd (www.annieloyd.com)… Google for transpartisnship – as opposed to bipartisanship.  Like me, you are for the possibility of America.  We used to be the hope of the world, the symbol of what we all want – a fair chance, the ability to strive for equality, for a decent shot at creating our own future, for “The American Dream.”  I know you want that; we all do. 

And over the years I, at least, have given up on it.  I work for a sustainable future.  I work for social justice.  I work for spiritual fulfillment.  But it’s against a background of political cynicism and resignation.  I’m sorry.  I have been disloyal to myself — And politics is very much fundamental to all of this.

Annie has changed that for me.  She strives for a political future that goes past: “we can only hope for that if we make the other side wrong, defeated, losers.”  Annie says, “not so.”  Both ‘sides’ want the same things… And there are answers to our problems.  (I note that this is consistent with the Law of Attraction.) 

She speaks of Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest–– that more and more people feel like me about electoral poplitics, that there are many, many disconnected movements to the future we want…  And that we can bring this to the political scene.  There really are independents.  We want solutions not enemies.

Find out.  You owe it to yourself.  You owe it to our future.  Annie Loyd for Congress; the new transpartisanship.

Writing for the Writing

November 2, 2007

Just noticed that I’m writing more purposefully nowadays – haven’t played too much; haven’t riffed for a while.  Riffing defines my age.  Slang defines your age.  I just found out last night that IHOMO means ‘I Humbly Offer My Opinion’ or something like that.  I don’t text message, and text messaging is creating a whole new ‘in.’ that I’m ‘out’ of 

When I say I riff, I’m ralking late 1950’s – Lennie Bruce, Mort Sahl jazz – A riff is a kind of solo – off the melody – off the theme, a flight of fancy.  On the other hand I not homo is also 1950’s, because in th 1950s there were homos and they don’t exist  any more, only gays – Language changes culture, or vice versa, a forever question.

That’s one of the reasons I love old movies – not because they’re old culture, but to really see what’s under what they say – what’s constant – what’s human.  And also to see the growth of stars.  I saw a very old Burt Lancaster film today – one of his Apache movies – interesting that he was so type cast in so many movies.  This one I hadn’t seen; an Apache captured with Geronimo and entrained to Florida (a hideous, unknown fate.)  He escapes and makes his way back.  Charles Bronson had maybe his first speaking role as a sell-out Apache – I only watched a little. 

The scene that cut me was when he was making his way innocently through St. Louis when a small dog nipped at him and he was suddenly surrounded by a crowd, becoming almost a mob when they spotted him as “an injun” (his haircut and mocassins) and angrily started running after him.  That was no different than todays homophobes or Jena racists.  Except 150 years later, they’re just flare ups – news stories; no longer unnoticed themes of the day, remembered only in young Lancaster and very early Bronson films.

You know – one of tha advantages of being 70+ is that I have a long memory.  Last night PBS had one of their periodic specials (amazing, it wasn’t fund-raising) – this a long, long look at Grouch Marx.  But a relatively old one – the memories included now long dead rememberers, making it particularly poignant.  One night I see Mr. Roberts, with only dead stars, including the very first movie with Jack Lemmon, and his well-deserved first Oscar. The next I see Jack Lemmon remembering his love for Groucho – Time is inexorable.

Boy, I am in an interesting space.  Love, memories and language

Creating Team

October 20, 2007

I’ve been interested in teams for years – particularly, how do you create a rally?  What starts & stops momentum? 

I was one of the founders of a company 30+ years ago and I designed a workshop  to create us as a team – It included our agreements, our mission and values and so on.  The company itself was poorly designed and I’ve always thought that it lasted far beyond its worth because of that workshop.  We grew so close that we could not see the forest for the we’s.

Sports, of course, is what we look at to see team.  The Yankees are a great example of stars and money not being enough to make a team.  Football is a great example of team – one player covering for another, back ups taking over.  The essence of team, it seems to me, is the willingness to have the whole be more than the sum of its parts, the one player being willing to have other players be great.

Recently I’ve been looking at how the Law of Attraction works in the context of team – actually, in any setting of group: family, community, organization, country, culture.  What is the group mind?

Masterminding and Coaching

October 11, 2007

Here’s a truth most of us know, but we don’t necessarily know that we know.  We are who we hang out with.  You want to change yourself, change the people you hang out with. 

One of the questions is “how do I meet new people?”  “Isn’t it likely that I’ll meet people in the same kinds of generic circles I hang with?”  Well, that sort of depends on what changes you’re looking for.  You are always affected by whoever you hange with.

I’ve recently done four things that not only affects me, but also affects the other people – I’ve joined two Mastermind groups.  These are people I very much want to learn from (and vice versa) and enjoy.  One group I know all the people, but the context of our conversations has changed.  In the second group, I know only one of the people, but in a sense we have a common heritage – we’ve all completed a senior course of Landmark Education. 

The third group consists of people I am coaching from The Success Principles — I am always coached be people I coach and their backgrounds are completely diverse.  And finally, I have joined several hundred people in a course given by Jay Abraham – from all over the world.

I can tell you that this new body of acquaintances – some will be close friends – all will be or are close associates will produce profound changes in my life.  I can’t wait to find out who I am — again.

My website is http://www.michaellipp.com

A Complex Day

September 16, 2007

If I were going to exercise my sports head – I’d observe the Giants getting clobbered, the Mets dissolving and even the Jets in trouble.  But it was a working day– and a good one — – Nancy & I had our weekly planning session – where we focus our energies and plan our week’s activities (somewhat limited because my daughter gives birth in 11 days). 

But what makes it complex is that I’m also redesigning my website and restructuring my coaching practice.  Here’s why:I invite you to participate in the second “Success Principles” workshop.

This has proven to be an exceptional introduction to the benefits of coaching as well as a valuable refresher course if you are already familiar with coaching.

I have had incredible and very useful feedback from the people who are in the current Workshop and so I want to extend this invitation to you.  This workshop has inspired me to change my practice. 

Send an email to michaellipp-261308@easywebautomation1.com to register.

Jack Canfield says: “I envision a world where all people are inspired to believe in themselves and their abilities and are empowered to reach their full potential and realize all their dreams.” He wrote this series to help make that happen.

The Success Principles Workshop
Written by Jack Canfield
“The Principles Always Work If you Work the Principles”
A 6 Session Series starting Monday October 1st- 7:30 to 8:30 EDT
(does not meet October 22nd)

A New Paradigm

September 10, 2007

(Identical to Contribution Coaching)

I’m operating in a new paradigm – that fits me–It’s the paradigm of the Gift Economy.  Give valuable things away for free.  I don’t think of customers (I never did.)  I think of clients.  And I think of the lifetime value of a client.

On October 1st I’m starting the next iteration of The Success Principles, a free 6-session teleseminar from 7:30 – 8:30EDT Monday evenings.  eMail to register (michael@michaellipp.com )…So far – Rave Reviews.  For Example

“I love being part of your Success Principles group.. It’s a novel way to stay plugged in.. I’ve done a lot of work at Landmark and other venues, and – your TeleClass is like “Accent” –  It’s ‘waking up’ my inner compass, and reminding me of just who I am, for myself, my family and for the world.  Accepting anything less is not acceptable.  Being part of your class is great – it’s energizing and is making a big difference in what’s going on between my ears on a daily basis.  Thanks for ‘re-lighting my fire’ Michael!”
Love,
Ira W.

The Organic Farm

August 23, 2007

Honeybrook may be the most successful CSA – It’s a great organic farm.  This is a most bountiful year–Climate is going nuts all over, where a map of the US changes from searing heat to constant floods and we’ve just had the coldest days i9n August that NJ has ever had.  But there’s been wonderful weather for Honeybrook… Heritage tomatoes that I had never heard of before this..  I’m now spoiled – I know what tomatoes really taste like.

The “problem” with bounty is that we are hard pressed to consume it.  I now have in my refrigerator salsa, ratatouille, cole slaw, gazpacho and just made bruschetta.  Trouble is more’s coming on Saturday and I still have pounds of unused tomatoes and peppers and eggplant and onion and garlic and ….  My cooking is stellar, but whew!

And in addition to just our share, we can pick what they allow.  15 different kinds of basil, 10 different kinds of hot peppers… a quart of raspberries.  Nicest part in some ways is the fresh flowers… 

Food is beautiful as well as so tasty.  People who eat “American” don’t know how good food is (and healthier and actually, during these months, cheaper) And Sustainable.
It makes me realize how money – advertising – display – easiness – actually changes our thinking.

Food has a greater damaging effect on the environment than cars…  The average food we eat travels 1300 miles,  is wrapped in plasic and or paper bags (instead of canvas bags)….  And we don’t even know it.

I will at least come out with a cleaning product that is worthy of  great food.

A Fly on the Ceiling

August 20, 2007

I’ve written of my granddaughter’s aversion to insects.  Today there was a fly on the ceiling and she came  and asked me to kill it.  I was babysitting at the time (or she would have asked Daddy, of course.)

My interpretation was that she was lonely and this was a good excuse to have me keep her company.  I’ll never know if that interpretation had anything to do with reality, but I noticed that I often act on my interpretaion rather than what’s said.  I suspect we all do…

Meditating

August 5, 2007

I’ve been meditating for about two months after intending to for years.  The thing is, I always feel like me so I don’t know what’s ‘supposed’ to happen.  Am I more loving, more joyous, even just more relaxed? I can’t compare myself today to how I was on other normal days. 

I know I’m more on purpose, because meditating is a purpseful act, not a habit.

I have a very active mind, so my attempts to just allow it to go without interfering are interesting.  I keep feeling as if there’s thinking happening right below the surface – non-audible thoughts that I know are waiting for me.  Occasionally I catch myself drifting and I do a kind of editing.  Sometimes I repeat mantras – different kinds depending on mood.  I favor Om Mani Padme On – that’s traditional.  And it helps that I have no idea what it means.

So – like many other things I do, I assume I’m getting  value by it and I’ll keep going.  I do it with Nancy, so the reinforcing works.  And electric timers are useful.

When I looked for quotations about meditation, this is the only one that made any sense to me:

I meditate and put on a rubber tire with three bottles of beer. Most of the time I just sit picking my nose and thinking.
James Gould Cozzens