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Creating Our Lives with Story

March 7, 2011

I asked Molly why she was leaving Albuquerque for Detroit. Her hackles raised and her countenance changed as she spewed about how there was no opportunity in Albuquerque, how the people here are rude and unwilling to accept outsiders, how the crime was bad and the drivers worse, and so on. I smiled and asked her about Detroit. She assured me it was the land of opportunity and that she could easily find both work and community there.

 Statistically the opportunity part of her story is simply not true. Numerous studies over the last couple of years have shown job opportunity and entrepreneurial opportunity in Albuquerque to be within the top ten cites in America. In those studies Detroit was near the bottom. Hopefully things are getting better, however Detroit has more foreclosures and higher unemployment than almost anywhere else. The part about the ability to make friends is harder to quantify in a rational manner. I will note that a recent census showed more lesbian couples living in my zip code than in any other zip code in America. Molly is a lesbian, and from my personal awareness, there was indeed much opportunity for friendship here. I think she’s a lovely person, except for this spew of negativity. Molly leaves for Detroit in two weeks, and I wish her well.

 I didn’t want to discount Molly’s story; it was true and precious to her, and perhaps against the odds her belief in opportunity in Detroit might make it work for her. What concerned me was her insistence that this reality for her was the absolute reality for all people in Albuquerque and all people in Detroit. I told her the story of Karla coming to Albuquerque in a u-haul, knowing no one except me, carless, without a license to practise her craft, and with very little money. In three years Karla’s created opportunity that includes a six figure income and a vibrant circle of friends. Karla says that even if I moved away that she would not leave Albuquerque…it’s now her home, presumably for life.  Now Karla’s experiences are unique and outside the norm, yet were offered as an example of a vastly different perceived reality.  Karla arrived with a story that she would be successful here.

Molly, still very stuck in her story, retorted with reasons why Karla’s story is unique and not applicable to her or others. I elected not to argue further. What matters in this is to see how stories have shaped the path of the two women here. Then, perhaps, we need to ask ourselves about the stories that create our lives: are they true? (discerning and writing down our stories is essential to determining validity) do the stories limit us? or do our stories empower our future and our present reality?

 More than most of us realize, our stories, not our circumstances, shape our lives. We will usually find confirming circumstances that demonstrate that our stories are true. The “secret” to success then is intentionally reshaping who we are by choosing our stories rather than letting our stories choose us.

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Is “Success” Successful?

February 26, 2011

Imagine for a moment that reincarnation is real…that there is something that we are supposed to learn on a soul level in our existence as humans, and that if we don’t find it then we have to come back as a bug.  That thing we are here to learn…will we find it as we achieve the success the world values?  Will we learn it from accumulating wealth?  Will we learn it from fame?  Will we learn it from being healthy and having a nice home and car?  Will a sexy spouse be the path to enlightenment?  Perhaps, yet I doubt it.

I worked for a long time with someone who was worth many millions of dollars and had everything the world claims is “success.”  Sadly, not only was he unhappy at his core, I occasionally heard people who knew him well remark that his mansion on the water was all the heaven he would ever see. 

As Americans we are in a war of values…the things the media tell us are what really matters rarely satisfy.  Like an addictive drug, one beautiful shirt or pair of shoes can soothe us briefly, yet we soon need another “fix.”  Many of us raised in the Christian faith have been taught that hardship and adversity…the lack of “success”…is of the devil, and that if we were really serving God properly we would indeed have a big screen TV just like our pastor.   With all due respect, this is nuts.  The life of Jesus and virtually every major player in the Bible is a demonstration of triumph through adversity.  Wisdom, grace and enlightment arises from the strife and struggles that we pray so hard to avoid.   Do we need to seek difficult times?  Not just no, but hell no.  At the same time we would do well when those times come to “allow the wound”—-to lean into it for its revelation, knowing that the mystery and grace of God is conspiring for our soul’s growth.   Our path to heaven rather than bugdom is often found in the crysalis of struggle. 

Albuquerque Divorce Mediator Kelly Vickers offers mediation, pastoral counseling and general peacemaking through MasterPeace.  For more information please see www.MasterPeaceDisputeSolutions.com

Allowing the Wound

February 25, 2011

Much of my head time lately is spent thinking about the necessity of pain.  This is a flipped script from decades of my considering “the problem of pain”—i.e. why would a good God allow such suffering?  While I still struggle with the thought of what seems like God “standing” idly by while horrific things happen to goodish people, I see evidence all over that from this pain and sorrow springs beautiful opportunities for spiritual transformation.

I’d like to write about this over a period of time.  It is key that we do not seek or choose our wound, yet when the wound occurs, and it will, that rather than relentlessly fighting it that we “allow” it….choose to BE with it, all the while seeking God for the message/hidden power of the wound, even when the idea of such a message seems outrageous.  It’s a bit counter-intuitive,  however I think this is really the only path for deliverance from pain.   When we choose to embrace the transformative power of the wound, we can then move on….to the next wound, or so it seems.

I SEE YOU AND SMILE!

February 16, 2011

Frankly, we can’t hear this enough. Our day is filled with messages from the media telling us what we lack to be beautiful—to be enough. Fuck that. Join me in the counter-attack. Imagine a world where we all believed—knew the present truth—that we are beautiful (or handsome if you prefer).
you are beautiful
Here’s the plan: get some post-it notes and a sharpie; leave messages of affirmation everywhere you go. OK, maybe you can’t change the whole world, yet we can change at least one person’s world, at least for a moment. Most important, everytime you/we/I write these affirmations and overtly share them, it bathes our own soul with the truth: WE ARE BEAUTIFUL. WE ARE ENOUGH. THE COLLECTIVE SOUL SEES ME AND SMILES.

http://www.OperationBeautiful.com

Book Launch!

April 3, 2010

http://www.blurb.com/books/1258825

This collection of true vignettes from my practicing law in the deep South is often shocking and occassionally hilarious.  Hit the link and go full screen above to read the first three stories. 

You can order directly from the publisher or contact me, and I’ll send a signed copy to you for $10 (which is less than the publisher charges for the book plus shipping).  PayPal is preferred.

Kelly Vickers, Author of Briefs from Redneckville,  Warrior Priest Press, 2010Briefs from Redneckville

March 17, 2010

Prevail!

 When you are operating within your destiny—doing what you were ordained to do from before the earth was formed—daily success and perfection are irrelevant. When you walk hand in hand with destiny all that really matters is showing up. —me

Spriritual Coaching by Kelly Vickers, J.D.  340-1107 Albuquerque

You’re Smart, Yet You Want More…

March 15, 2010

A good education makes us smart, yet it didn’t tell us how to live our life, how to be well, how to be successful, or how to achieve our goals. Somehow we’re supposed to know that, and yet the path to fulfullment in every area of our lives is a skill that is rarely taught. If you’re really lucky your parents demonstrated these skills, yet bless their hearts, it’s likely no one taught them either. Success Coaching identifies your great passions and life goals and provides the skills and the empowerment to get you on track to achievement and fulfillment of your dreams and highest destiny.

While I have a doctorate and decades of experience helping folks, the wisdom I impart in success coaching comes mostly from the lessons I learned from making lots of mistakes along the way. As a legal professional and as an ordained minister I am sworn to confidentiality, and I’ve seen folks at their worst. No matter what your story is, I’m not shocked. My response is always compassion, acceptance and a willingness to find new paths to help you knock down your barriers and the myths that restrain you.

I am passionate about this work. As an attorney folks paid me $225 an hour and up for my advice. I am offering Success Coaching for a limited time at $50 per 75 minute session. When I say limited time, please know that if you begin working with me by the end of March, 2010 your rate will always be $50 per hour, even when others are paying two or three times that. My professional office is conveniently located at 3924 Carlisle Blvd. NE and all are welcome. My greatest compassion is for folks who have been disenfranchised by society in some way: such as folks with weight issues or GBLT or faith paths contrary to their peers. I also do couples counseling; I work with several government entities as a mediator and can bring those skills to help referee and restore relationships.

Call me at 340-1107. Kelly Vickers, JD