Author Archives: Susan L Hart

Our Stories | Words woven in time, threads of our humanity, written by each soul. | HartHaiku.com

Our Stories | Our Humanity

We make sense of life through our stories. Life is mysterious, scary, wonderful, big – replete with challenges, stumbling blocks, triumphs, sorrow and joy – and we feel a deep need to put it into words. As Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”.

When another person listening to our own story looks into our eyes and nods, we feel that we are coming home, the challenges are surmountable, and it will all be alright. We feel understood in our journey.

The Bigger Story of Humanity

As for the bigger story of humanity, just look around and ask, “What kind of story are we currently collectively writing?” What kinds of words describe this story? Is it a story we will be proud to pass onto future generations? Or, not so much?

On the face of it, the big picture story being written right now is fraught with pain and divisiveness. This story is not unified, nor is it a pretty one. On the other hand, there is an undercurrent of a blossoming at hand. The thin veneer of society is cracking. Some of our old beliefs and protocols are no longer sustainable in an awakening humanity.

We each contribute to The Big Story

Are we not all ready for a new story? Remember, we as individuals can choose to write the story we will live. If we don’t exercise our free will and choose, someone else will write our story for us.

Be clear on what you want your world to look like, envision it, intend it, contribute to it. Don’t get distracted by or caught up in the story someone else is trying to write for you. To ensure that your vision of life and the world is written, you must get in the game and start creating it now, word by precious word.

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Photos courtesy Helena Lopes and Mark Neal, Pexels

Susan L Hart Author

Our Stories | Our Humanity © Susan L Hart © 2020

Perspective | The Other Eyes

Perspective has a Latin root meaning “look through” or “perceive”. When you interact with others, are you seeing the situation through your eyes only? Or do you make a conscious effort to also see it from their perspective?

Perspective is also an art term, the techniques of which create the effect of 3-dimensional space on a 2-dimensional flat surface. This idea can be applied to our own lives. In order to understand another person or a situation objectively, we need to step back and consider the other point(s) of view. This enables us to create a meeting ground, a place of better understanding.

Trying to Solve Problems with Linear Thinking

The situation right now with COVID-19 is highly illustrative of our need to improve on our ability to see the many points of view. There are two camps that are extremely polarized. Fear particularly can cloud our ability to see the wider perspective. It freezes us into the one point of view where we personally feel the safest.

But, the situation in the world right now is actually highly complex. Why are we as a collective trying to analyze a 3-dimensional problem with 2-dimensional linear thinking? Many people are feeling displaced, vulnerable, and upset. The other person may be dealing with a whole different set of problems than you around this set of circumstances.

It behooves to at the very least show more kindness to the person who may contradict our personal belief system. Also, to allow them the right to have a different point of view. We are way too inclined to want everyone to agree with one consensual reality. We may be “a herd”, but, we are always entitled to have and express our own sovereign viewpoint. People seem to be forgetting that.

A Wider Perspective Leads to Better Understanding

Let’s have some respect for each other. In the long run, carefully considering other viewpoints could actually stand the herd in good stead. There is a very big gray zone between the black or white to which most people are staunchly trying to adhere. There may be answers there, if we could all commit to trying to understand the other perspectives. Let’s meet in the middle and discuss them, instead of all this divisive bickering.

Slowly but surely, it’s killing us.

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Photos courtesy Hamann La and Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Inspirational Quotes:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.  When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. ~ Rumi

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” ~ Henry Ford

“If we possess narrative sympathy, enabling us to see the world from other’s point of view, we cannot kill. If we do not, we cannot love.”  ~ Richard Kearney

Susan L Hart Author

Perspective | The Other Eyes © Susan L Hart 2020

Perception | What is hiding there 'neath the distracting facade, but right in plain sight? | HartHaiku.com

Perception | Of the Observer

We are all trying to make sense of a world that feels just a little bit crazy lately. The proverbial rug was pulled out from under our feet early in 2020. Question is, how to get our bearings and re-set the compass to move forward? So much is unknown and uncertain, and it can be very confusing. I posted this back in November 2019, but it may be more important than ever. Finely honed power of perception as the observer is an important tool to have under our belts.

The Layers of Reality

Always try to look beyond the obvious, no matter what you are observing. Over the years, black-and-white photographs have been a teacher for me in this. Our physical reality exists in layers, and in the case of monochrome images as an example, the top layer of color has been “peeled away”.

We strongly respond to color and are very distracted by it. When color is removed from a photograph, the form, line, and texture become much more apparent. The structure, the essence of a thing starts to pop out. There is so much more there that we don’t see at first glance.

The landscape below is a good example. In the first version, the color is highly distracting; my eye moves rapidly around the photo, taking in and enjoying all of that luscious, variant color. Also, it’s a sunset, so although the sailboat is highly prominent right beside it, that bright yellow ball overrides the boat. The sun is mesmerizing.

In the second version where color is removed, the focus is different. The texture and detail of the water are much more evident, and particularly at the shoreline. Instead of constantly circling the picture, my eye goes back and forth in a line, between one point on the shore and the boat. Removing the color from the sun has pushed it back in the picture; the boat now dominates.

Peel away the layers, look deeper

The takeaway? In every encounter, be it with an individual, scenery, or society around you, strive to look deeper. What is there, right underneath that which is first apparent and perhaps monopolizing your attention? Don’t look just with your eyes, but also “see” beyond the surface with your feeling sense. Listen to what your gut is telling you.

Rest assured, it is there, waiting to be noticed. And more often than you might imagine, it is important.

Be aware of, and beware of, the top layer, the facade, the distraction. It keeps our consciousness on a superficial level. It’s not only what we are observing that is so much more, but so are we!

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Photos courtesy Yuting Gao and Bianca, Pexels

Susan L Hart Author

Perception | Of the Observer © Susan L Hart 2020

Your Words | Can Empower

Words and our stories are powerful. We must be very careful with our usage of words, because with them we create thoughts and feelings in others. (That is being done  all the time by media, in order to influence and sell to us.}

I posted this haiku 9 months ago and it is more relevant than ever. Since that time, COVID-19 entered our lives, and it brought with it a narrative both negative and ugly. The point of this post is the power we have within each of us to transform that to the positive.

The Negative Narrative we need to overcome

Words embedded in this viral story include: Illness, sickness, hospitals, fear, helplessness, hopelessness, isolation, separation, never-ending (future viruses), unprepared, unknown, overwhelmed, real death, projected death, loss, endings, scarcity, lack, confinement, limitations, divisiveness, hatred.

I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few, but you get the picture. All of these words may express the current situation, but, as long as we focus on the negative narrative, our minds keep expanding and confirming that reality. These words are creating at their very root a feeling in us of being weak and reliant. But, we’re not! That is just the story that has been thrust upon us, in this moment. We did not create it, but we are certainly responsible for perpetuating it.

Most people are focused on managing the physical details, such as waiting for a needle, wearing masks, etc. But in the meantime, they are engaging in words and thoughts that are very damaging. We actually do have control over the words that come out of our mouths, and the thoughts that we think.

Selecting Our Words to create the reality WE want

If we truly want to overcome this, it would behoove us to stop sitting back and just waiting for a solution. We need to get in the game, starting right now. A good starting point is to start actively using new words. They aren’t really new; we all have them in our vocabularies. We’ve just been using them much less lately. How is this for a short list, just as a start?

Wellness
Love
Joy
Life
Birth
Creation
Beginnings
Beauty
Expansiveness
Connections
Cooperation
Abundance
Preparedness
Self-reliance
Independence
Celebration

When we use positive words, we raise our vibration and increase our power, as well as that of those around us. Positivity in our minds and hearts does affect the resiliency of our bodies. It keeps us in a healthier state holistically. We are then in a place of taking responsibility for our overall health, and, envisioning and creating a better future.

Of course there are many more aspects to taking care of our health, such as diet, exercise, etc. But being taking responsibility for our words and the narrative is one of the simplest measures we can take. Simple does not necessarily mean easy; this takes some practice and discipline, particularly when we are surrounded by negative narrative. But it can be done, and you and I have the power within us to do it!

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Photo courtesy of Andre Furtado, Pexels

Susan L Hart Author

Your Words | Can Empower © Susan L Hart 2020