Your Soul Food for Friday November 20, 2020: What is the One thing We Could be Doing NOW to Meet the Moment?

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

First and Foremost- Stay Safe Over Thanksgiving!
“In terms of risk, the timing of the Thanksgiving holiday couldn’t be worse…experts recommend a scaled-back Thanksgiving — with open windows, fewer people and a big serving of precautions,” writes the New York Times. Please protect your loved ones and remember the guidelines for safe gatherings. The Swiss Cheese defense below (from Australia hence the spelling variations) is a good model to share with your loved ones!

Making Sense of the Moment & Purging the System-
Ball of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)
Written in 1970, this Temptations classic is 50 years old but as relevant as ever, and be very cathartic if the power of music speaks to your soul.
Crank it up and dance like no one is watching!

The Potentiality of Our Impact in the Short Time We are Here on Earth-
What would it look like if you were able to step back to the future and experience YOUR impact on the world, years or decades later?
Here is to living, loving, learning, leading and leaving your legacy…

Legacies are formed over time:
Thoughts à Actions à Habits à Character à Legacy or Destiny

So what is the one thing we could be doing now?
The One Thing:
Given the unprecedented times we find ourselves in, with climate emergencies, 100 year pandemics, economic debacles, racial reckonings, a divided country, etc., what is the ONE thing YOU think we need to be doing to meet this moment? I asked some of my beloved friends that I value as conscious, authentic leaders, and some of their responses follow. What do YOU think?
I would love to hear from YOU and share your responses in a future Soul Food Friday!

Foster Common Understanding- with Mehrad & Michele
The Latin word communis or communicare is the root word here which means to create something common; whether it is a community or a common understanding. This building process is through the energy flow between a sender (speaker) and a receiver (listener). Through this process of communication, the energy goes back and forth between the two and each time is amplified to create a better understanding and build a richer sangha (community).  But, what happens in a society where speakers are rampant, receivers are extinct and messages are false/unreliable? That is the birthplace of misunderstanding, division, conflict, and erosion of community.

Whether we are creating a community of conscious leaders, or scientists or simply a healthy family we need to learn the principles and laws that are governing such interactions (ie: trust, mindfulness, intention). 

My humble offering is to promote and elaborate these principles through Enlightened Negotiation: 8 Universals Laws to Connect, Create, and Prosper, so we can listen to understand. After a spoken word, we pause for five seconds or three breath to digest and then respond. Finally to honor truth, beauty, and love in all our interactions.
🙏♥️🙏 PS: FYI: Michele happened to read my note and as a picky reader reminded us that one should remain open to the emergence of the next avatar. So, we agreed on this: …the “next buddha could be a sangha” IE. our shared communal wisdom will influence our future far more than any single charismatic or sage in the 21st century…

Addressing Man’s Inhumanity to their fellow Man:
The AntiRacism Institute- with Hal D
It is time to face our Racial Reckoning head on
Btw, this program goes live this Sunday so check it out!

Unconditional Acceptance- with Mikel B
To completely accept everything as it is, to completely trust that everything is as it should be, & to experience joy in everything that we do!

Staying Present- with Dr. Paul C
Be Present 

Love- with Kurt C
The one thing is right in your signature Nev
Choose love 
Choosing love allows us to transcend ourselves
Sublimate ego for presence 
Raise awareness and consciousness to allow kindness humility and compassion to be our leading edge The issues are irrelevant to this challenge

A Part or Apart with Greg C:
I exist seemingly alone as a fragment, separate but interconnected with the whole. As an individual I feel a need, compelled really, to express my individual thoughts, gifts and passions. I stand alone as a “skin encapsulated ego” ( J Campbell) ready to assert my rugged individualism in defense of fear, distrust, hatred and divisiveness.   I am like you but separate. But, as an aspiring conscious leader, I ask myself how to incorporate a more balanced, unified view into my life by the way I operate. Is there a way to satisfy my yearning to be whole by honoring others’ truths without diminishing my own? is there a way to create a grounded space to speak truth with integrity thus honoring both parties? Is there a single One Thing I need to do?

I am possessed with a miraculous nature. There is no one I could not forgive or have compassion for if I heard their story. I can honor their uniqueness to the whole as I honor mine.
I understand that in my own reactivity I miss the truth. I can take every opportunity to connect and bridge the gap of separation.

Step 1. Stop, be silent and observe my own reaction to “the story of separation”
Step 2. Be still and know what is – deeply listen
Step 3. Let everything be as it is without judgement. Allow potential solutions to occur
Step 4. Bridge separation to wholeness. Call on your miraculous Spirit to guide you. Speak your authentic truth with heart.

I am comforted that my authentic truth expressed in even the smallest way will lead to change because of the interconnectedness of all things.

This change needs to come from my heart with the highest possible degree of moral congruency. I align in this way with that One Thing as part of All That Is.

Much love, Greg

Changing Our Electoral Process with Peter D
My one suggestion is that we change our system, where instead of having partisan States being in charge of the election process, we have The US Election Assistance Commission be in charge of the process. A non-partisan, non-govt agency as a third party being responsible for the election. This is being done in India, Canada, Mexico and Australia by third party entities, and it works to bring credibility to the entire process. The USA is currently ranked 37th out of 38th countries as having a credible democratic election process. We can change that and eliminate the potential of thinking that the elections are politically rigged.

Wise Speech with Ken B
To help heal the current great divide in America, I would teach and promote the practice of Wise Speech, a key tenet of Buddhism.
Indeed, when the Buddha reached the state of Enlightenment and laid out his Four Noble Truths, he observed that one could ease the inherent suffering in this lifetime by following the Noble Eightfold Path.
Among these, is the path of Wise Speech, sometimes known as Right Speech or skilled speech.

Wise Speech requires forethought, presence and vigilance, but it is the most effective tool I know to engage peacefully and lower barriers to meaningful dialogue.
Wise Speech requires that before speaking, in a situation where it’s important we be heard, we engage in the following internal inquiry about the words we are about to utter:
1. Is it kind? If you trigger the other’s defenses, you won’t be heard (i.e., no accusations, hooks, barbs, guilt pushing, blame, etc.). This requires good will and a compassionate heart, often expressed as an “I” message rather than a “you” message. Indeed, a partial explanation for the shift of middle American from ‘blue” to “red” is the resentment felt by blue collar workers, farmers and rural America from being “talked down to” by the Coastal elites. Condescension is unkind.
2. Is it true? Speak your honest truth about your feelings and beliefs (i.e., no fabricating, twisting, manipulating, hedging, sugarcoating, blaming, etc.). Truth, and the trust it engenders, are the foundations of Wise Speech.

3. Is it necessary? So often we throw words at someone, like a flycasting fisherman, hoping the receiver will bite, or simply because we decided it needed to be said. So ask yourself, honestly, is it really necessary for me to say this? Or am I expressing a thought or opinion, often out of frustration, which is unlikely to be heard and may be received as  hurtful or irritating?

A reading of various Suttas, the transcribed teachings of the Buddha, suggests two other questions should be added by the wise speaker:
4. Is it timely? Ask yourself, is this an appropriate time for me to speak about this? Sometimes, there are times to speak, and times to remain silent. For everything, a season.
5. What is my motive in speaking these words? So much that is said, need not be. Am I speaking from a place of ego in search of external validation? Am I seeking to ingratiate myself? Am I being retaliatory or passive aggressive?

It’s also important to note that “Wise Listening”, listening with your whole self and a kind heart is also an essential element of Wise Speech.

As with every one of the Noble Eightfold Paths, practicing Wise Speech is a process, requiring mindfulness and a desire to shift the usual dialogue from confrontation to comprehension, and then, perhaps, to real communication that can help heal wounds and promote understanding. I know of no better way to bridge the divide.

Thanks to each and every one of you for your contributions!


Humble Bragging Rights-Mission Fed Named THE 2020 Top Workplace by The San Diego Union-Tribune!

I am so excited and proud to announce that in the last week, Mission Fed was named THE 2020 Top Workplace by The San Diego Union-Tribune AND won Spotlight Awards recognizing Diversity and Leadership! The announcements were made public in a special section of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Congratulations to ALL Mission Fed stakeholders; our member-owners, employees, community partners, and volunteer Board members for making Mission Fed a Top Workplace!

Heart(y) Congrats to ALL the other winners too… Culture Matters!!

Have a great week and do your one thing!
Thanks go to Barbara S-B, the Conscious Leaders group, Larry H, and the whole team at Mission Fed this week!

Pay it forward with civility, conscious leadership & culture.
Have a safe Thanksgiving!
Love all,

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?”
—Rabbi Hillel

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