The triumph of hope over experience = resilience. 

17 Mar

The first time I heard this phrase was attending a friend’s wedding. 

I have since used this phrase infrequently but at ou it’ll moments. 

It is inspirational and a bit irrational. 

What makes us as beings ignore direct proof of our experience to grasp for something ethereal, idealistic, optimistic or even far fetched?

And how glorious is it that we can do that?

I believe that everyday I can make someone smile. A small goal but if we all had it how different would our community be?

I believe that after two damaging marriages that I can have a relationship based upon respect, equality, love and support (this one is real y’all). 

I believe that as long as I am good to others, do no intentional harm, and fix any pain I cause accidentally that I will find joy and peace, not just for fleeting moments but true internal tranquility that thrives regardless of others desire for drama. 

I believe that if we all collaborate and cooperate and stop to listen not respond to others we can solve seemingly insurmountable issues like food shortages, detrimebtal poverty, global warming and racial differentiation. 

I believe that we will elect a leader with compassion, sympathy and empathy for all persons King on our soil and under our governments influence. Against the evidence of my Facebook posts. 

What do you believe?  Experience or hope?  Cynicism or faith?

I commit the no matter what I see, hear, or read I will continue to strive for all the above. 

I am resilient. 

What are you? 
Let me know. 

Email me at jeanne@jeannebrutman.com 

Love, Jeanne 

Celestial Guidance…

28 Oct

I have the enormous fortune to live in a home where I have a spectacular view of the night sky unencumbered by significant light pollution or man made structures which might obstruct my view.

I wake up fairly early and I make it a point everyday to go out on the deck of my home and take a moment to notice the quiet and the magnificent view.

I began doing this when I worked overseas in Africa in my early 20’s.  Every night I was able to gaze upon Orion and it helped remind me that no matter how far I am from home, many things are stable, understandable and even similar where things can vastly differ in so many other ways.

A few nights ago (or early morning as you may define it) I looked up to a crystal clear sky.  One of the gifts of my childhood was a passing study of the constellations.

In my direct view I saw the following constellations:

Cassiopeia who shares her wisdom with me;

The Big Dipper pouring abundance on my household;

Orion (my personal favorite) who protects my loved one from all forms of harm;

And lastly Pleiades who is a source of fun…

I have always felt that Orion was special, and as a child the Big Dipper fueled my fancy as I imagined many things pouring out of it onto me.  Cassiopeia was the focal point for the August meteor showers, always magical and the Pleiades always meant a truly clear night and thus special as I grew up in NYC.

Though these things have been constants for me, it was the first night I formalized truly what these constellation symbolized to me.  I felt lighter, and filled with gratitude.

It is my hope that everyone has something like this to focus on daily.  It may be your religious faith, a habit of mediation, the recognition of gratitude.,  Some small ritual that restores, refuels and maintains balance in all times, as long as we have them.

Remember, None of of are getting out of this alive so find something that reminds you that it is always a gift to be alive and to be able to breathe.

Make Today Remarkable…

Love,   Jeanne

Defining the role…

8 Sep

There are times in life we are given the freedom to define our role.
We define our role by how we perceive and react to events, information and opinions of others.
In fact, everything is perception and nothing is fact, thus we are uniquely in position to define the role we play in every moment. Very powerful…
We all have many varied roles we play, like facets of a diamond. Each role is defined by our actions minute by minute. From this becomes a life that represents who we are, not what we said we were, or what others said we were – but an actual accounting by our path of actions.
For example, as a mother I define my roles differently for each child as they have vastly different needs. For my daughter I am primarily the provider and educator. For my son I am the advocate and emotional foundation.
As a professional I define myself as an advocate and active listener.
As a partner in a loving relationship I define myself as an equal.
How do you define yourself? As a parent? Employer? Spouse? Employee? Friend? Family member? Your geographic community? your religious participation? Where else have you defined yourself through your perceptions and eventual actions?
Do you play the victim (lack of accountability or culpability) ever? Do you play the disruptionist (or are you really the obstructionist)? Are you the pessimist concealed as practicality?
We are all of the above sometimes by accident or do you choose these paths willingly? And if you do is it because it serves for all to win in the long term, or is it to avoid consequences or further work? 
This is all very introspective and requires a level of honesty few are willing to direct at themselves. Again – you define if you lead a well examined life according to set principals of morality and ethics, or shy away from shedding light on possible areas that are not likable.  
As someone said to me earlier today, do you live your life for a good resume or an interesting Eulogy? We all have only one way out of this life. It is not the resume.
Make today remarkable…
Love, Jeanne

10 Steps on How to Survive Difficulty or Tragedy: Class 101

20 Aug

A Quick Outline for Those in Immediate Need:

  1.  Take pleasure in normal, common everyday things.
  2.  Have a hobby that engrosses you from time to time.
  3.  Tell someone from beginning to end, drain the poison out.  If you have to say it to a mirror out loud.  Just get it out of you.
  4.  Accept that it was never all under your control.
  5.  You are allowed to feel.  Cry.  Scream.  Shout.  Curse.
  6.  Make a list of anything that is not complete sh-t.
  7.  Understand that there could have actually been a worse outcome (really, there could have been)  (no seriously, it is true).

8.  Love and or believe in something or someone, in fact as many as you can so there is always a reason to take another step.

  1. Breathe.

10.  Repeat any or all of the above as long as needed until the new you emerges from the cocoon of despair and / or sorrow and / or disappointment to be the butterfly you are.

Make today remarkable.

Love,  Jeanne

Transparency is the new Black…

12 Aug

My daughter Kayla said this to me a few months ago. 

She was commenting on my eclectic music tastes that range from Tom Petty to Missy Elliot to New Republic. 

She was shaking her head as Metallica Fade to Black started after I just had on Sister Nancy. 

There is a lot of talk about Donald Trump lately. He has quite a few opinions. There is much to hate or like or Admite or be repulsed by. 

Having said that he is popular. 

WHY???

Because he is authentic. Trump is unapologetically Trump. He is unfiltered, inflammatory, unadulterated, raw, idiotic, outspoken and bold. 

In effect he is the exact opposite of he well crafted, shaped, edited batch of “humans” trying to get a piece of the Oval Office. 

This can be quite compelling or attractive even if you dislike his philosophy in part or in totality. At least we know what we are getting. 

Quick interlude:  I will not vote for him. I miss it when politicians took seriously the philosophy that there job was to represent the people and what they wanted and not put there value systems above those who elected them. 

Quick interlude over….

I admire Trump. I also have my detractors and those who outright dislike me. Bully for them. I am me. Decidedly me. Stubbornly me. I will not bend my character with a breeze, for popular opinion, to gain an alliance, to get a client or to win my way in court. I will only do what my internal moral compass directs at. I own those decisions and the consequences. Proudly. 

You do you. I will do me. 

Let us all commit to being Authentic. At least then we all will know where we stand because transparency will be the new Black. 

Go Click!

11 Aug

I was driving on Route 87 yesterday returning from visiting a dear friend in the hospital and while driving I got onto a rhythm with a fellow driver on the road.  It was a large truck, white cab with a red bed and we just seemed simpatico in our driving.  We kept pace, him following me through many lane changes, around slow cars, traffic impediments keeping up with each-other for 20 miles or so, even through a toll.  As I exited, I thought to look back and just as I was raising my hand to wave goodbye, he was already doing so.  That left me smiling for quite a few more miles.  That driver and I, we clicked.

By the way, the people I was visiting in a hospital I met in a playground 15 years ago as the mom was pushing her daughter on a swing in Queens next to my daughter in the other swing.  Both girls are the same age and ended up growing up together as the two moms (both of us single parents) forged a friendship and became each others support system for a decade. That day on the swings was different.  I had been to that park dozens of times that year alone, but somehow on that day,  it just clicked.

Yesterday a dear friend from college sent me a thank you note.  We used to see a band live regularly off campus called The Authority.  I actually found one of their CD’s on Amazon, I burned it onto a disk and sent her a few other things including a handwritten note sprayed with the perfume she used to wear in college called LuLu.  I remember the day meeting her like yesterday.  It was my first day on campus in our new dorm the International Living Center at Syracuse and I saw her across a room.  I immediately  over and said “Hi, I am Jeanne.”  That struck up a friendship that has endured 25 years.  I had never done that before as I was a very shy 19 year old, but I had to meet her.  I knew when we shook each others hand we would be lifelong friends.  It just clicked.

Also yesterday I bumped into a lady I met in a parenting class earlier this year.  She coincidentally is the mom of a boy in my son’s specialized school and even in his classroom!  I invited her to my home last April with her newborn and her son for a play-date.  She stated yesterday that that day was so special to her because I was so nurturing to her.  I just figured that a mom who just had her third child needed a few hours of someone not allowing her to serve others.  She texted me later that bumping into me was the highlight of her day, and we of course planned another play-date.  We just click.

All these people came from different places, religions and races by chance.  They span 20 years in ages.  What they have in common is that instantly I knew there was a connection.  I am aware that I may never see that truck driver again, but I hope that the good energy from that brief contact made his drive easier.  The others, I am sure I will know for many more years, even decades to come.

At my father’s funeral 17 years ago, I was just 27 and pregnant with my first born, Kayla.  My dad was a shy man who worked at a company from age 20 to his death at 48.  At funeral I was shocked.  Not just because of his death but because 200+ people chose to attend his wake, perhaps even 300.  So many strangers walked up to me telling me about Bob (my father’s name was Robert) and telling me a story about this person I did not know who happened to be my dad.  They were all tales of how he had helped them, or made them laugh or just connected over coffee or a cigarette break at work.  It taught me that we all have lives outside of our home and that you can bond with someone, not just family.  At age 27 I had already had that experience many times over but it reinforced that internal belief system and strengthened it for me.  My father was not a wealthy man or even gregarious.  He was quiet, even solitary and often gruff for most of the life that I knew him, and yet hundreds of people needed to come see him off at the wake, connect with me to tell me about how important he was to them.  Hundreds of acquaintances, friends and colleagues felt compelled to say something to me to comfort me, a complete stranger.  They all somehow clicked with him.

I recently read a post on Facebook featuring centurions who have somehow maintained their health and vigor.  They were all asked what was their secret, quite a few stated, although I paraphrase, that their secret was keeping all types of folks around them all the time and maintaining those freindships.   Different sexes, religions, nationalities, races.  They said it kept them vibrant and engaged and learning.

These connections are vital to our health, the community we live in and as the world becomes flatter for all nations, the world. They ease tensions, slowly erase cultural prejudices and allow love to spread.   Keep your connections.  You will live longer fuller lives and will improve the positive energy wherever you go.  Go Click.  Meet people.  If the energy seems right, say hello.  Keep in contact.  Share experiences.  Build a life of these.  It is both selfish and generous to do , thus everyone wins.

I hope, after reading this, perhaps you will reach out to me and we can click.

Make today remarkable.

Love,  Jeanne

Whatever you are, be consistent. 

6 Aug

McDonalds is more successful than Burger King. 

Why?

Survey after survey shows the Burger Kings products outshine McDonalds…

It’s consistency.  Wherever you go, San Francisco to Tokyo McDonalds is the same. Not so true with Burger King. 

Whatever you are, be consistent. 

We have so little we can control or accurately predict. 

The anxiety from such an environment is overwhelming. 

How many times have you or your friends backed away from a potential suitor, job or friendship based upon the fact that you just were not sure what to expect next. 

Just one change can create distrust and discomfort. 

I recently cancelled a meeting with a potential strategic alliance.  

I contacted them 3 weeks and was met with a remarkable chill. I was quite confused as our first meeting was delightful 

While cleaning out my emails yesterday I discovered that the original cancellation email was never received as it was sitting in my drafts folder. 

One mistake. 

To be fair it is impossible to be perfect all the time, but that does not exclude someone else from making the “safe” choice to avoid things they cannot predict. 

Whatever you are, be consistent.  It is the only way you can stand and stand out long term in a world of uncertainty. 

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