Gerald Vest: Expressing our Creativity through Work    
 Expressing our Creativity through Work13 comments
picture15 Dec 2006 @ 03:13, by Gerald Vest

Introduction

I was really taken with "D's" article on "Do Humans Deserve to be Saved" and in the followup discussions, I followed a link to: Pioneers of Change and decided to answer several of the questions.

I have always encouraged my children and grandchildren to freely and openly ask any questions that they wish. I often don't even know the answer to many of them, but together or alone, we will see what we can discover. I once asked one of my spiritual teachers: How do we know if we are telling our children the Truth? As I recall, he said that this is an important question that we must continue to ask ourselves.

Thus, I recommend that we 'Never' stop asking questions...in fact, encourage children and others to ask why, what, how, where and when? It is for this reason that I encourage others to examine this excellent resource related to WORK and to being creative.

I think it is worth my time and energy to respond to several of these 21 questions so that I can see what I can discover about my life's work and my professional experience as a Social 'Worker.' I will followup on this challenge by asking my students and children to do likewise, if they wish. Again, I am especially grateful for having visited Dianne's Homepage and finding this gem.

Expressing our Creativity Through Work

"But, now more than ever we need to wake up and recognize the limitations of our knowledge, not only for ourselves, but for the future of all human beings. During the last few decades, we have begun to direct our knowledge into channels which are pathways to destruction, endangering the survival of all forms of life on our planet. How can we free ourselves from this prison when the patterns bind us so tightly?" Tarthang Tulku, Knowledge of Freedom - Time to Change, p. 365.

I am going to start a conversation to myself on how I am enjoying and appreciating my Work. Perhaps, like many of you, I haven't always enjoyed my work for many reasons; however, as I get some distance from my work life it feels and looks so perfect. I made it what it is/was. As I become more mindful and aware, I see how my development as a human being--knowledge, wisdom, love and truth-- is directly related to learning how to freely express my nature, my skills, my courage and my whole being.

So these questions for me offer an assessment opportunity to examine my past, present and future in the "Domain of Work and Activities." 9 Domains by Oscar Ichazo

During my current meditations, I am examining thoughts that come from the past to the present--here and now. Also, I notice how I become attached to certain thoughts and make a big thing out of nothing, if you get the drift. In other 'words,' what makes one thought more valued and important over others. Why the obsession, pain and suffering that follows from these thoughts? So, "what we reap is what we sow." I like what one of my friends said about these mechanisms--"Give me a break, Just stop it."

Do join me if you wish to explore how creativity can flow out of our Work and Activities.

"Never Stop Asking Questions"

Questioning my Work

"A spirituality of Work questionnaire that flows from the themes treated in Matthew Fox's "The Reinvention of Work." Individuals or groups might examine their attitudes toward their work by answering the questions and then sharing answers. This sharing may provoke rich discussion and searching."

"Never stop asking questions"


1)"Do I experience joy in my work? When, and under what circumstances? How often? How can the joy be increased? How does this joy relate to the pain and difficulties of work?"

I feel joy when I go to Work. I think there is big Work and little Work. When I am doing Big Work, all my systems are in harmony. My mind is open. I am aware of my thoughts, feelings and interactions. I frequently observe my breath and notice the quality of my voice. Do I see myself in others? What makes me upset or angry? How do I react when I don't get my 'way?' Hmm, is there such a thing as, 'only my way?' Or, My way or no way?

I am happiest and most joyful when I am teaching and practicing social work. When I am with my grandkids I am probably in the point of joy and happiness with great feelings of love and fulfillment. We find ourselves laughing and freely associating without judgment--thoughts just come and go, much like good friends I cherish.

2)"Do others experience joy as a result of my work?
Directly? Indirectly? How can this joy be increased?"

This is another good question. "How can we spread our positive love and kindness in our Work?"

I directly spread joy by giving and introducing Stressouts in senior centers, classes, with the military and other social service agencies. Our senior health promotion team that includes social work and nursing students, senior volunteers and home care workers offer our touch program to all age groups, but we now have a special program to give our stressouts in all of the senior centers in our community. Also, several of our homecare professionals and Vista workers are giving healthy, nourishing touch with their homebound clients.

How can we increase this joy? We are organizing more training workshops in our community so that we can expand our volunteer network. On a global basis, I have organized our project to include other communities throughout the world. Do visit my blog and [link].

3)"Is my work actively creating good work for others?
How? How might this be improved? How does my work prevent other’s working?"

I think that I have answered, in part, this question; however, there is always room for improvement. We are especially wishing to recruit and train more senior volunteers for our outreach programs in nursing homes and other places that our elders are isolated and lonely. We have a homeless population that can benefit from our touch. We also can build a wider network of human service programs, schools and other resources to open up their minds and hearts. There is a basic fear of touch that dominate most professional education programs. We now have the NMSU School of Nursing and the NMSU School of Social Work who are introducing safe, skillful and appropriate touch with their students and faculty. I am also invited to health science and university courses for new students to present our program.

I do not see how our work prevents others from working, but perhaps some massage therapists may get the wrong impression when we 'give' free stressouts to our participants while they charge a fee for this service. I have introduced our program in some massage and physical therapy programs and have had full support of their faculty to continue our Work.

4)"Is my work smaller than my soul? How big is my soul? How big is my work? What can I do to bring the two together?"

Every time I touch another human being I am exchanging energy and expressing my love and compassion. One of our goals is to reach for the perfect touch with our partners and during our 'laying-on-of-hands' exercise, together we repeat the mantra-We Are One!

5) "Is my work real work or a job? Is it a vocation, calling, or role that the universe is asking of me? How do I know the answer to this question? How can I increase my awareness of the mystery and role my work plays in the work?"

My Work is both a vocation and a calling. As a professional social worker, I have always felt that my spirit is called to serve humanity as one body, mind and spirit. Now that I have designed a healthy and respectful touch program, I know for sure that there is a power of touch united with the vitality of breath that produces a deep body-mind relaxation experience for both givers and receivers.

"Without greater knowledge, we cannot be certain that our actions will not bring suffering to ourselves and others. Continuing to act unknowingly, we can only create more confusion and suffering in a world already overburdened with hopelessness and pain. On a national level, even well-intentioned actions can bring about the opposite of what we desire: serious imbalances in our environment and the heightening of tensions that endanger world peace and prosperity." (Tarthang Tulku)

As you can see from my reference notes, I strongly recommend that "Knowledge of Freedom" can be a very important resource for our helping and empowering professions. We can also ask ourselves and others another question: What will be the impact on others by making this decision or creating this action?

This article is adapted from my Blog: Learning to Learn and Play with Children






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13 comments

15 Dec 2006 @ 04:14 by jobrown : I will continue to
study this your article/"Life-confession" over the Christmas Holidays, but I just want to toss in a log in the Work(ethics-fire) that I have found warming my Heart a lot: I exchange the word Spirit/ual to Creative Energy /(human)Creativity and I see all "Work" as being only of three qualities: Production, Information or Service. These are the only three things we can trade/"sell" , produce to trade. And hence; in how we handle these is our own Salvation -or damnation! The only way to avoid "the damnation spot" is by doing to others as we would have them unto us, ourselves -were the roles reversed!...

Nothing of this is new, not my original thoughts, though found by me (in this case) and I think we all need to find the MO, that works for us in spreading Salvation to ALL ( and not just to "me"), thus taking away ("SAVING" at least) THAT part from damnation. It is a little like emptying the Ocean with a Pipett... But if five billion people start doing things in this kind of modality, there will be a significant improvement of life -for ALL, I believe.

I think your point is well taken; that JOY in "going" to Work /in the working(process) is the Barometer for how from the Hear of Goodness("GOD") you/we humans approach -and go on with- our Work!

I will certainly enjoy, going through your Thoughts really carefully the next three-four weeks. I will be happy to report more of my impressions -if you wish!/
w/Love/Astrid  



15 Dec 2006 @ 15:01 by jerryvest : Hmm, thought this was far from
"life-confession," but if that is the way you see it, so be it. I am attempting to point out that our Work can be a means to express our creativity. In any event, we can learn from what we do, even the meaningless tasks of our daily life. And, perhaps you can explain "the damnation spot" and "spreading salvation" in one of your articles, as this is not attractive to me at all. Frankly, as I mentioned in my article, I find self-evaluation a positive experience, but will think more about disclosure here.

I find that Work also can be derived from insight, imagination, love and inspiration without being motivated by money, greed and ego mechanismes--eg. parenting, social work, art, dance, service, poetry, teaching and exercise. Also, kindness and compassion are naturally part of our spirit.

Astrid, I know that you have no harmful intent in your response, nor do I. I just see Work from a different angle and do not feel that spirit/creativity connotes religious dogma, rather represents what is real and genuine--a manifestation of health and well-being. Thanks for responding -- Much love to you, Jerry.  



15 Dec 2006 @ 17:32 by jobrown : What happened????.....
I saw your Ponderings as the most beautiful sharings with us; very honest, naked and straight forward and tried to share my ponderings in the same way, albeit in a little short-hand version (not defining Key words how I understand them ). "Spreading Salvation" has been -as far as I can see- the Church's Main goal for centuries.... as a means of deception: to lull people into thinking that they need not be accountable for their own actions, nor do they need to care for the response-ability ; the cosmic gift in each, coz' people need not earn their/our own salvation -if only they/we believe in these Entities, coming from up high, to save them/us -as long as they/we believe in them! ( THIS is the "spot" that turns into the "damnation spot" when pursued as a way of life, I think).
No....
I believe in your ( and my ) Model of Life-Approach more!... This is in a nut shell what my statement above is trying to convey. I did not mean to offend or demean anything. I am so sorry if that is how I came across. I might indeed "take up" on your suggestion to "think on paper" in "my" blog, over the Holidays. For now, I'm still not able to sit up more than ten fifteen minutes at the time, before the pain gets overwhelming and I have to lie down.
But the subject matter is very important and needs to vented from as many angles as possible, I believe, as do you. I coulsn't agree more with your thinking/way of seeing Things! In my mind you, Jerry, are so right on target!
Same feelings same ponderings, different words/angles! : ).... Semantics! Ahh!
A big Hug to you and your Family!/Astrid  



15 Dec 2006 @ 17:45 by jerryvest : Astrid, I'm sorry about your pain and
hope my response does not cause you any more. Like I said, I just didn't get the salvation and damnation example that you gave, so do let it go into space, if you will.

I know that we generally agree on these matters...will send you waves of love and good will as I travel to Ft. Bliss today to be with our soldiers and their families in a stress management/health promotion class. Wish I was closer so that I could give you a 'stresout'. Hugs to you as well. Jerry  



17 Dec 2006 @ 19:13 by jerryvest : More on your explanation on salvation
and damnation. Astrid, I'm glad you clarified your initial 'short hand', I should be able to read your comments after all these years. I can see how being saved and staying out of hell can be a frightening experience to people, especially since it is repeated over and over as a mantra in religious ceremonies. I am reminded of the "Apostle's Creed" that started my early thinking about hell and damnation. In this article/Link there is some discussion that the original meaning of hell was "burial". But, there are so many different definitions, that the one's that seem to surface the most are based on fire and brimstone. I don't think a loving God would treat his Son's & Daughter's to such torture, especially when all are born, totally innocent. (tabla rosa){link:http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?}mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/apostles_creed.html

For me, I accept that there is a self-accounting for our doing, being and living; however, when we are innocent and don't know the Laws (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) that operate us, learning can be a painful and, often a dangerous path. A good example of learning more about this is reflected in the Tarot--"Path of Swords" - Truth.

I can share a personal experience several years ago while participating in many extensive, intensive, integrative health programs. During an insight meditation, my past experiences, that carried charges and pain , unfolded within my mind, much like a slide show, visually showing me each phase of my life without judgment. Literally, these life experiences allowed me the gift to observe and forgive myself for my transgressions--eg. At (age 8)a friend and I peppered a rabbit with our bee bee guns. Seeing the experience as a mindful adult brought many tears of compassion for killing this beautiful creature. No Judgment!

I still try to remember who said: "If religions didn't have 'original sin' they wouldn't have a congregation." Seems to me that Fear is the real deamon for us to transform and transcend--God, Sex, Sin, and Death are the big ones.  



17 Dec 2006 @ 22:27 by jobrown : Just thinking about Humankind's
dilemma, can make me cry! I can relate so well to all you say and tidbits of your life. "Been there, done that" would describe it all! The things I "allowed" the Grown Ups to do to all my Summer Kitties.... Oh, Jerry.... so many tears later, it still hurts me to think of it!... And what about what Humankind has done to Itself! "Does Mankind deserve Salvation?".... I think we van only earn it! through RIGHT Creativity: to go WITH Life instead of against it! No cliques, no "Causes" and such can any longer be an excuse to continue to keep the confusion intact; we need to undress all those excuses that the SELFISH Brattt hides behind, while stealing Life from Living Things around him/her!
COMPASSION.
To RELATE to the Action and the Pain from these incorrect Actions, are the Cosmic Tools that will open the floodgates to The Compassion frequency.
Compassion then, opens up the doors to our own Creativity -as I see it, so that we can stop being selfish Bratts and allow our own Creative capacity to create a life each really wanted -to begin with! I don't believe, that anyone would choose any different, were they/we able to discern the true picture before doing things!
One thing we, Humankind HAS to undo somehow is PEER-PRESSURE; the Kulprit Nr One involved in ALL destruction!... (My conclusion -after looking as deep as I ever could for & into the source of Humankind's dilemma.) What creates more fear than peer pressure?...

Never knew Psyatic Nerv Pinch could be this horrendous!. I've been in daze from pain now for over a month. The pain pushed me into some sort of TimeWarp and it is hard for me perceive that it has gone on for more than a month by now!

Hey, we "need" to discuss this "Original Sin" -thing at one point a little more. I would love to hear your Insights around it!

Be In Good Hands, Dear friend!/Love/Astrid

PS: This link http://www.gnosticsecrets.com/pages/intro.htm might be of interest in understanding what formed the "Christianity as we know it via the Church -and some of its fallacies!...  



18 Dec 2006 @ 14:14 by jerryvest : Thanks for your interaction, Astrid.
I think I'll have to re-examine my posts as they don't seem to attract discussion on a wider scale. But, in many ways this is a means for me to express myself and keep my mind and spirit active.

The point I was making on the 'original sin' is that if we are born 'tabla rosa' then we are innocent and have what is often referred to as a blank slate. The Christians and others would like us to believe that we must cleans ourselves at birth as we enter the world as sinners. I think this is a bunch of negativity and promotes fear, ignorance and prejudice. When I looked and touched my children and grandchildren at birth and later, it was clear to me that evil is a projection by those who fear God. eg. Bush and the 'Evil Empire.' When our hearts are filled with love, that is what we see, hear, feel and experience. Much love to you and your partner, Astrid. Hope today brings you more freedom from psyatic nerve pain.  



18 Dec 2006 @ 16:00 by jobrown : I think you are right!
I would agree with your observations about the "original sin" especially since I see it pretty much the "same way" . I also think iot happens every time when yet another person falls out of grace; loses his/her connection to one's own Insight/Intuition/discernment etc (all these Gosd-given skills/Life tools are collectively called "grace" - as I see it.) Pretty much only you were responding when I was discussing these issues on my old blog , (that I later had Ming delete completely... which I now regret!....) So, no.... people do NOT want to talk about their own psyche/psychology "too much" though that is exactly thee thing, we ALL need to talk about -if ever get any true healing on a wider scale to happen!....
Thanks, Jerry for your Big Heart, so warm from Love & Care for ALL LIFE on Earth! /// Astrid


http://www.eco-action.org/dt/bwv1.html /// Look at this pic! ( read the whole text; not "too much" but very enlightening! )
http://www.birthpsychology.com/violence/ Dr Chamberlain's excellent website with a lot of sub-headlines where important things are discussed, things like origin of all violence, circumsicion, the "Cruelest Cut" acc. to Dr Chamberlain etcetc.  



18 Dec 2006 @ 16:38 by jerryvest : Thanks for your response and the
Links. These are two of my favorites and are very enlightening. I recently read an article about circumsicion that suggests that it can serve as a prevention method for AIDS, but I'll look for more studies. Thus, many of these religious practices are based on belief rather than upon science, and, as we've seen, the Evangelicals prefer to trust their historical beliefs rather than modern science.

How are you feeling today? I've been doing some meditation exercises on pain that allow me to be more of an observer or witness and sometimes I get relief. But, I try not to give advice as self-discovery is much better and accurate. This is one reason that I self-disclose as I am describing my own experience rather than someone else's ideas, belief's and suggestions.

For example, last week someone came to our "stressout" and identified some pain that he had in his back. He wanted to know if he should go to a chiropractor. I think it was a trick question as he may have even been one of the bone crunchers. I told him that I generally put hot and cold packs on my back or get on my Inversion Table or both. But, afterward, I thought this was even too much advice giving, if you know what I mean.  



28 Nov 2007 @ 22:48 by eva @81.93.79.117 : great questions!
I'm not working yet as a social worker, but I have been working some other jobs... like promoter of sale of various products. I was not happy about persuasing other people to buy something, but it was my job and nothing else. I have done it the best I could, but the peak of my day always was end of working time. Irony was that I have to be smiliing all the time so I felt like a liar. I'll try to answer on these questions after I will find a job for real.  


28 Nov 2007 @ 23:49 by jerryvest : Thanks, Eva...am looking forward
to your response about being a social worker. Promoting sales and not being honest must be a very difficul job, but it is part of the advertising industry. I know that you can't turn on tv without seeing some commercial about pills or drugs that will help you sleep, breathe, live, be happy and overcome any pain one may have. And, of course we know that politics is just one lie after another. I often wonder if anyone realizes what it must be like to tell the 'truth' or to be the 'truth.'

This evening the "R's" will be doing another debate or another theater performance about how they will improve opportunites for every American, not raise taxes and continue to increase our military weapons, including nukes. They love war and if given the opportunity they will invade other countries who are not democratic with the exception of other oil producing friends. Hmm, I think that our commedians will just get more material for their shows. Can't wait to see Bill Mahr when he returns to HBO.

Thanks for your contributions to this log.

Jerry  



19 Mar 2008 @ 14:21 by Charles @152.22.0.254 : WTF
this makes so much sense now, thanks  


20 Mar 2008 @ 14:13 by jerryvest : Thanks for visiting my logs, Charles.
I'm glad that I made some sense to you. I am especially enjoying and appreciating my work experience with our Wounded Warrior Program at Ft. Bliss. I feel that I can make a difference in the lives of our soldiers and their families. I feel as though I have been preparing for this professional Work all of my life. War trauma is very devastating for our soldiers and their families. I find our soldiers very courageous. I don't think that we will ever really know what they have given of themselves to protect our safety and security as a country. It is unfortunate that those who voted for the war and put them at risk without any plan to remove them from a religious war should at least apologize to them and give them all the resources they need to recover and to live a healthy life following their career in the military.

Jerry  



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