The stunning news of major painful events at home and abroad calls us to be especially thoughtful – and conscious about our responses. We can empathize with those who face these devastating events and acknowledge their experience. We may feel helpless, unable to “fix” these stunning, heart-wrenching situations. Even so, we can volunteer, offer prayer, contribute food or provide funds to support respected charitable organizations like World Vision, PATH or Scholarship America.
We can also be helpful by avoiding making matters worse. Joining the continuous retellings in the media and making it the frequent focus of conversations, expands the negative impact of the events themselves, Zig Ziglar calls that ”awfulizing.” Regenerating, intensifying and magnifying the impact of these recent situations around the globe de-energizes us – and those around us. It is vital to handle Red Light challenges in a Green Light manner.
Red Light is the ungood stuff. Green Light® is the good stuff.*
I can’t do anything about this. I can do one thing about this – and so I will.
Red Light focus: Obstacles, adversities, limitations and stalemates.
Green Light focus: Objectives, possibilities, successes and actions.
Red Light actions disempower people. (Complain, criticize and blame.)
Green Light actions empower people. (Equip, encourage and support.)
Individuals have done amazing things in service to their global mates, often by starting something small that inspired others to participate and soon it grew into a surprising contribution. Stories abound that highlight a child who achieved astonishing results.
We drain our batteries by Redding. We charge them by Greening. Choosing the higher road, the one that diverges in a Green direction, energizes us.
Without minimizing or denying the difficulties and challenges of recent events, the fact remains that we can add to the grief and shock by repeating it repeatedly. This demoralizes us – and those with whom we are speaking. Good (or even neutral) intentions can unknowingly carry insidious toxic impacts. Often invisible, they de-energize and distress people – and decrease positive attitudes and actions.
Now is not the time to emphasize – in our thoughts and deeds – all that is “wrong” in the world – and how impossible it is to address. Rather, now is the time to courageously, responsibly and passionately take charge of our thoughts – and constructive actions.
We can be a demoralizer, the carrier and spreader of depressing messages –
or we can be a contributor, an igniter of visions that spurs helpful actions.
We get to make our world (our view and experience of it) worser and worser – or brighter and brighter. We get to choose: find and focus on the good in the world and spread it – or do the opposite. Let us choose to be among the heroes and sheroes of these challenging times by initiating, switching and directing conversations and actions toward that which motivates, encourages and makes a positive difference in the world.
Let us equip ourselves to turn off Red Light conversations and turn on Green Light ones. Let us gather examples of good news and uplifting thoughts. Employ them to assist others in redirecting their focus – and thus how they experience the world. Foster the shift from what’s terrible, awful and unforgivable, from who’s at fault, who should be punished and how, to “What can I do right here, right now to make a positive difference in my world and others’?”
We are each part of the problem or part of the solution. At this time of great and varied challenges, we are called upon to conduct our lives at the highest, most inspirational, productive level ever. Our thoughts, words and actions shine Red Lights or Green Lights in our world and those we connect with. We can add misery or add joy. Let us choose joy.
Great appreciation and sincere commendations are extended to those who consciously go about living their lives as their best, ever-Greening selves. They thereby sustain, enhance and inspire others to switch their mental mode from Red, habitual, unconscious and undesirable patterns, to Green, intentional, conscious and preferable patterns.
Humankindness is a verb. We put it into play by Greening our thoughts, words and actions. It’s a Green world after all.
* Green Light is a universal language, a skill set, a brain technology and a global movement.
Green Light is a conscious choice to think, speak and ACT to make good things happen.
The Green Light Scale ranges from 3 Red Lights to 3 Green Lights, from the worst case scenario to the Ideal Scenario. The Green Light Goal: Create the greatest good, for the most people, in the best way, for the longest time.
(Green Light®: what to do, how to do it. Apply, adapt these 100+ ideas, terms, suggestions – Greenly.)
Are You Making the Patient Sick?
(Take a dose of Green Light Medicine.)
by Marilyn Schoeman
Is the patient better off or worse off because of your visit? Are they eagerly anticipating your return or helplessly awaiting your departure? Do you sooth their spirit or set off a surge of high blood pressure alerts? My mother’s wisdom comes to mind: “Everyone brings joy here, some by coming, some by going.”
Years ago, my father was suddenly diagnosed with a terminal condition. When I visited him at the Mayo Clinic, I wore my Groucho glasses. Their big bushy eyebrows, big nose and mustache instantly triggered a great grin on my dad’s face – and returned the twinkle to his eyes.
When hospital staff came in and saw me with the glasses they always smiled and joked about them. Dad’s response was so strong I have since worn many a pair of funny glasses on hospital visits. I leave them behind for a diversion, for smiles – and a reminder to focus on life and living.
When a dear petite elderly friend was hospitalized, I came to visit her wearing the Groucho glasses. I squatted down to her eye level in the wheel chair to give her the full effect. She laughed and giggled like a child. Then I put the glasses on her face. She just beamed! Nurses told me she wore them most of her stay. She’d tootle down the hallways, leaving happy smiles in her wake.
Green Light is a new universal language – and a learnable skill. It’s a conscious choice – a conscious intention to think, speak and ACT to make good things happen.
How do you think, speak and act in situations involving health issues?
Green Light® style – positive, optimistic, heart-lifting; focused on objectives and good news, on healing, wellness, humor, on being helpful, reassuring, supportive.
Red Light style – negative, pessimistic, depressing; focused on obstacles and difficulties – on sickness, injury, debt, arguments, fear, aging, death.
Where would you rank as a visitor on the Green Light Scale™, from worst to Ideal, 3 Reds to 3 Greens?
By using the traffic signal metaphor, you can identify WHERE YOU ARE and WHERE YOU WANT TO BE. Green Light helps you GET THERE. Use the Green Light Scale™ of three Red Lights to three Green ones to go from the worst case toward the Ideal Scenario. With this new awareness, you can choose the Green actions that move you forward. Green Light is the new protocol for the ultimate win.
The Green Light Goal: Create the greatest good, in the best way,
for the most people, for the longest time.
What color is your style?
Red Light: You look terrible! What happened to you?!
Green Light: I’m so glad to see you! It’s great you can have visitors.
Red Light: I just read about a terrible condo fire! People jumped to their death!
Green Light: I just read a neat blurb in the paper. Someone thanked a person for finding their wallet and returning it intact.
Red Light: Look at all those pills you have to take! Wow! How many tubes did they stick in you, anyway?!
Green Light: I’m glad to know you’re healing. I happily anticipate taking walks with you again.
Red Light: I told you to be careful on that ladder! You didn’t listen. Now you’re going to be in traction for weeks. AND now I have to take care of YOU, besides all my stuff! Sheesh! I was overloaded before this.
Green Light: I wonder how you’ll look back on this. Maybe it will feel like a gift of quiet renewal time.
Sample Green Light questions: How can I help? What errand may I run for you? What might I bring you to read? When would you like me to stop back?
Typical Red Light statement: “Let me know if there is something I can do.” The words may sound helpful yet they are hollow, lacking the intention to take action.
Green Light visitors offer words of encouragement, uplifting images, things to look forward to and things to be grateful for. They may wear a day-brightening smile, don a funny hat or bring an amusing book. They brighten the space around them.
Red Light behaviors include using discouraging, deflating language: complaints, bad news, family struggles, etc. The focus is on upsetting, stressful and fearful topics.
It’s bright Green to bring something to a patient that warms their heart or tickles their funny bone. It diverts attention from what’s painful. The focus shifts to something upbeat and interesting.
Late in life, Mother needed to use a walker and a wheel chair. I decorated her “go-cart” with garlands of brightly colored stars. A shiny sequined gold heart hung in front. Her “glider” featured glittery stripes taped around the legs. Ornaments hung across the front. (If you needed to use one, which would you prefer – a cane or a strutter, crutches or walking sticks? Labels make a difference. Consider using Green ones.) In her bag, I stashed Groucho glasses, a bubble blower, tricks, toys, chocolates and other fun stuff for her to have at the ready. She loved it all – and put them to good use. She was a Green Light good-humor lady.
Without interfering with the care, what sparkle, surprise or smile-trail might you bring to amuse, re-energize and truly serve the patient you’re visiting? Your Green actions can help heal the body and the spirit. How Green can you be – especially when you step into some Reddish situations? Play the game of Green Light the rest of your life. Everyone wins. Green Light medicine is good for everyone – patients and visitors – medical and health care teams too. The world needs your Greenness. GO Green up someone’s day. Thank you.
Marilyn Schoeman is a Seattle-based speaker, business/creativity consultant and author of a new book that introduces the breakthrough language of Green Light®: GO! How to Think, Speak and ACT to Make Good Things Happen. 978-0-9841497-9-7 Far beyond a paradigm shift, her business, Trinadigm, helps people avoid Red Lights in life and live in a world with more Green Light shining their way. www.gogreenlightway.com.
Excerpt: Chapter 19 from GO! How to Think, Speak and ACT to Make Good Things Happen:
Global Green Light Day™ March 21, 2011
Green Light actions are always a good idea. Celebrate with your Greenest spirit on March 21, Global Green Light Day™ (GGLD.) The usual first day of Spring, it is an ideal date for painting a piece of the globe Green! (In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s September 21.) This is the time for us to rally round the planet and Green it up – every way possible. Spread Green Light thoughts, words, and ACTIONS. Make March 14-21 a Green Light week. St. Patrick’s Day is right in the middle of it, spreading Green big time.
Plan a series of Green Light actions, ending with a celebration of your achievements on the 21st. Honor the friendships expanded in the process. Make plans to continue the efforts throughout the year. Start your day with a Green Light greeting. Before you leave the house sound a “Good morning, world! Good morning, family! Happy Global Green Light Day™!”
Celebrate the day in a bright Green Light Way.
Apply an idea from this book. Get ideas from Earth Day, Arbor Day, and other Green kinds of holidays and events. Go to Asknature.org for examples of biomimicry and see wide-ranging innovative Green ideas to adapt from nature.
Creativity specialist Marci Segal co-founded International Innovation Day, with a focus on everyone creating new ideas for a brighter future. It expanded into Innovation Week, April 15-21. (www.creativityday.org). Check it out for action ideas to adapt to Global Green Light Day™. Sarah Brown Wessling, a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa, is the 2010 top teacher in the country. Grab an idea from her students’ projects. They write songs, make
public-service announcements, film storyboards, and do grant proposals for their own not-for-profit organizations.
Jane McGonigal, Institute of the Future, Palo Alto, California directs the institute’s game research and development. She says, “Good deeds will become a bigger draw for gamers. Players will undertake missions to help others.” Imagine what games can be created, in a range of forms, for a variety of goals, that promote Green Light actions! Bring ’em forth!
“World Pulse”, a new, vital network connects women worldwide – to each other and to resources, solutions and opportunities. The enterprise uses media to cover global issues through the eyes of women and children, from big
cities to isolated rural regions. Founded by Jensine Larson, World Pulse Magazine (semi-annual) and Pulse Wire (www.worldpulse.com), an interactive web community, bring unheard voices and Green Light ideas to the world.
Green someone’s day. Who might you thank for a favor, gift, or contribution? Who might you call with an uplifting message? What pocket park, parking lot, roadside area, or sidewalk can you clear of trash or beautify? Who might love an hour of two of help – babysitting, running an errand, bringing a cup of coffee, or just being good company? Gather pieces of Green Light news to share with others. Every Green thought, every Green word and Green action Greens up your day and likely many others’ days as well. Know that you are contributing to a global movement.
Recreate yourself in a Green way. Revisit your dreams and take a step in the direction of a favorite one. Take action on a source of suffering in your family, neighborhood, or organization. Communicate your Green Light intentions, words, actions, and meditations. Find Green Light workers in action and commend them; spread the Green news about them. Initiate Green Light conversations. Greenly re-direct a Red Light conversation. Write a compliment or thank you on a business card or note pad and give it to a flight attendant, server, mechanic, or other day-brightener. Send a Green Light message by mail, phone, or email. Inhale gratitude. Exhale regret. Inhale joy. Exhale stress. Spread joy around you.
Serve a worthy cause – the environment, social justice, literacy, animal rights, or other concerns. Volunteer. For more ideas, check out ODE Magazine, “YES!” magazine, the Giraffe Project, the Hunger Project, and similar Web sites. Share Green Light ideas and actions at a hospital, school, or retirement center. Collect books for shelters, inmates, and disadvantaged youth. Support Green Light efforts of Chambers of Commerce, government, professional, and civic groups.
Play “How Green can you be?” Notice your Green thoughts. Catch the Red ones and switch them to Green. Find a Green Light colleague or playmate and make something Green happen. How many smiles can you generate?
How many compliments can you give? On March 21, give the term “Green with envy” a new meaning!
Go Green Light. Become unbeatable, unstuckable, unstoppable. GO!
“Far too many of us have adopted Red Light living as the norm, when actually it is the abnormality,” says Debrena Jackson Gandy, author, international speaker, and business consultant. “So instead of experiencing joy, we’re chasing and pursuing happiness. Instead of experiencing flow, we’re constantly forcing and over-controlling. Instead of experiencing ease and prosperity, we’re experiencing struggle, stress, strain, and lack. Instead of experiencing
ourselves as loving, unlimited creatures of possibility, we experience ourselves as limited, fearful, insecure and unloving.
“The delicious by-products of Green Light living and our natural state of being – ahhh, yes – joy, flow, ease, prosperity, and operating from possibility and our unlimitedness. Shifting to Green also means I am shifting into my highest self and thus my ‘highest way of living.’”
Teachers, invite your students to create art, posters, poems, stories, essays, and other projects that convey Green Light concepts. Consider posting them in class. Create a contest and display the winners in a public area, perhaps
social networks as well. Make a book of the class posters. Keep a copy in the room. Place an extra copy in the library.
If the date for Global Green Light Day were May 4, the rallying call might be, “May the forth be with you.” Since it’s not that date, when you wake up on March 21, sound the call, “March forth – and GO Green!” Issue the call each day -and watch your world get Greener.
Brain on Green Light: VROOM! Give it a GO!
The standard first rule for many groups is “First do no harm.” With Green Light, it is, “First do some good -then do some more.” Extend invitations for folks to put creativity to use – to include it in projects as well as play. As Green Light DO-ers, see how you’d like to turn your creative ideas into reality. Then add the ACTION piece. Do it! Enjoy it. Celebrate it. Spread the Green news. Salutes for your contribution to Global Green Light® Day™ – and for every Green Light act.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
GLOBAL GREEN LIGHT DAY™
Perform frequent acts of Green Light, Shine Green beams far and wide.
March 21* The first day of spring. It’s Green time. (It’s always Green time.)
Think, speak and ACT for the most good, in the best way, for the most people, for the longest time. Move toward Ideal Scenarios – toward the 3 Green Light goals.
What can you do today, this week, this lifetime to make a positive impact? GO for it. Thank you.
* In the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of spring is usually March 21, in the Southern Hemisphere, September 21.