Oppression by physical violence … deadly, but spirit oppression by those who do not know they are oppressed …

We know oppression by physical violence is deadly, but often we are not aware of the more life-threatening oppression of people’s spirits by those who are not even aware they are oppressed and, as a result, cast their oppression onto those they are supposed to be “helping.”

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in those who are supposed to lead others into the future … whether the leader is a parent, teacher, principal, counsellor, minister, politician, or mentor of any kind … anyone in a position of authority.

How we can determine if we are being led by an “oppressed” leader is by their words and actions that seek to keep us small and limited based on their oppression … their own experience of being oppressed … being told by words and actions their dreams and goals were not possible and so took the path their own leaders told them to take … and they too became like their leaders … oppressed, bitter and jaded … passing on the legacy of oppression without even knowing it.

Over my lifespan, what was applauded in my life was my conformity to other people’s expectations, regardless of what I wanted. Just because I could do well what other oppressed people valued, did not mean I valued what I could do … and over time, the denial of what I knew I could do, with time, study and experimentation turned me into an oppressed, bitter and jaded person till I became so sick in the spirit I had no desire to live.

Interestingly enough, as my Respect Level has grown, I repeatedly have to stand up against, not the physical oppression, but the constant onslaught of the oppression of the unconscious … a “traditional” mentor who attempted to slay with sarcasm and dismissal that writing a book was not “real work,” which I gather he has never done because he would know how much work it is … an employment “counsellor” who also attempted to dismiss “creativity” as something wives of Bruce Power husbands do because they can afford to create at their leisure and at their husband’s expense.

As I wrote yesterday in, “If I knew then what I know now …” my few previous attempts to reclaim my own identity, gifts, talents and abilities have been met with an unexpected backlash of negativity and what I now recognize as the spirit oppression by those who too were spirit oppressed but still do not know it.

All of which fuels my passion even more to raise both individual and our global Respect Level because we know what to do with the oppressors who use violence physically … we return the same on them, but as of yet, on a mass level, we have not even recognized how we are passing on the oppression by the denial of its existence and its impact on our lives and the lives of those we lead by example.

To “oppress” means to weigh heavily on the mind, spirit or senses; to keep down by the cruel or unjust use of power; tyrannize over.

Being “oppressive” is distressing, not only physically but also mentally.

When any person takes on any role of leadership, guiding and mentoring others, what would serve everyone is simply the recognition of one’s own oppression, overcoming it and helping others to do the same … so they can rise to their potential … not be limited by oppression’s weight that attempts to keep people small, limited and powerless … because keeping people small, limited and powerless is also what drives our economy … keeping our wealth capped by the those who seek their false security by their control by oppression over other people … so they feel more valued … respected.

The problem is oppressors will never ever find the peace and wealth they crave … because peace and wealth are only born of the freedom to be who we really are as unique individuals discovering, developing and delivering to the world what only we have to offer.

Ironically, in the end, the oppressors are the ones who ultimately suffer the most by the legacy of oppression they pass on … for they will never be happy, satisfied, fulfilled … and wealthy in the way that counts most … in their spirit.

June 24, 2014

KAT (Kaitlin A. Trepanier)

All rights reserved by KAT (Kaitlin Ann Trepanier) and DARK HORSES PRODUCTIONS launching September 2014 … Entrepreneur, Creative Writer, Visual Artist, The RESPECT Specialist and Architect of the global initiative Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE … because every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED.

Difficult People … or Difficult World?

We have all met them. People who just rub us the wrong way … who get our back up … who we just want to say or do something to in order to let them know we do not like them, don’t approve of them, their choices, lifestyle … whatever.

In fact, as books, television, movies and the news show us, many of us even have family members we just can’t stand … and for some people their feelings about other family members even motivate them to commit crimes, even murder.

But are people being difficult for the sake of being difficult? Are people you consider difficult really difficult … or just different? And how much different?

In Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE, my goal was to transform and provide a wealth of knowledge from the various fields of academic study and present them to our youth and to those who do not spend their time reading academic or even popular culture books.

As a result, one of the key components of the book presents the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) … a psychological profiling tool used by organizations and high-level academic institutions to help them secure the people with the personality type, along with other factors, best required for the role they need filled. Initially proposed by Carl Jung, one of the two forerunners of psychology, the other being Sigmund Freud, Jung suggested there were several personality types and then later, the team of Myers-Briggs took his work and made it more accessible as a psychological assessment tool. Later, other teams, such as consultants Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger made the psychological tool more accessible with their books Do What You Really Are and The Art of Speed Reading People.

The core of the MBTI is there are sixteen personality types, though primarily divided by two main key elements that are supported by other components. The key element defines how a person experiences the world as a result of the way their brain functions and processes information.

Introvert brains are highly stimulated internally and as a result, they require quieter, more removed from the mainstream work and living environments to thrive.

Extrovert brains have a much lower internal stimulus level and as a result, thrive when their environment, is bustling and filled with data their brains covert into knowledge.

You can read more about the MBTI in my book, Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE or in the previous authors works, but for now, let’s just consider the accessible knowledge there are sixteen personality types, plus all the other influences of family, community, culture, financial status … plus what I call the Disrespect Philosophy that drives our unconscious conditioning, motivating us to think that a person should have to “earn or be awarded” respect … to be valued for just being a life.

Add religion, politics and the low RESPECT LEVELS of many people conditioned by the experience of being raised and living in a Disrespectful Philosophy-driven global culture and suddenly, it is easy to see it isn’t so much “difficult people” as it is a “difficult world.”

Difficult only though because one, we have been taught to not value others not like ourselves and two because, until now, we had not connected the dots to see each other differently from ourselves … and to accept not everyone has to be like us. Seeing “difficult” people through this new lens empowers us to positively change our thinking, our words and of course, our actions.

So what if we don’t like someone or approve of them? With our own increased awareness that boosts our own RESPECT LEVEL we learn our feelings or thoughts are not cause to hurt or harm with gossip, judgment, neglect or with physical violence. We learn we are just different and that difference is good, even great! Great because acknowledging our differences empowers us to more fully develop our differences, which is our potential, and as a result, to become more realized individuals … and citizens.

Difficult people? No. Just a difficult world shaped by the negative, limiting and harmful Disrespect Philosophy and supported by a lack of knowledge … till now.

June 4, 2014

Kaitlin A. Trepanier
http://www.kaitlinatrepanier.com

All rights reserved by KAITLIN A. TREPANIER/ DARK HORSES PRODUCTIONS … Creative Writer, Visual Artist and The RESPECT Specialist, architect of the global initiative Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE … because every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED.

Seeing past personality types, learning styles, body types and beliefs … to see and swim a new way.

We are complex creatures and not one of us is the same as another. Even identical twins have differences although not necessarily obvious to the eye.

Knowing this fact, accepting this reality, can be the compelling reason for us to consider, and put into practice, the fresh perspective that will serve us all well to see past personality types, learning styles, body types and our unique blend of beliefs is to operate on one universal principle.

Of course, the ideal is love … unconditional love, but as evidenced by our past and present, just the idea of valuing … respecting each unique person is a tall order in our global culture of Disrespect. The taller order is actually learning how to respect … to value all life in our words and actions … every day … in all our relationships, connections and interactions.

A simple example of how we struggle with this idea and simply resort to our conditioned response of prejudice is what I have experienced with a personal goal: the process of changing my swimming style.

Water has pulled me into its depths all my life. As a child, I spent hours on the river’s edge and within no time at all, following my Dad’s example, my child’s body was slicing through the green water to cross to the other side of the river. Though I have been told I did not take well to the public swimming pool and provided lessons, my swimming skills demonstrate I nonetheless did learn different swim strokes as well as the basics of diving, but it was only recently I discovered my swimming style was called the Tarzan stroke.

For known and unknown reasons, my swimming style meant I kept my head lifted out and above the water. One of the known reasons, though not entirely understood why, was to stop water from going up my nose. Yet diving is one of my favorite aspects of swimming.

In fact, one year, after a tumultuous period of my life, I even taught myself how to swan dive. Till then, I had never learned successfully how to use a spring diving board, so learning how to swan dive meant observing all users of spring boards and of course, especially the children, with their lack of fear and their bold fun who taught me to just let go and get comfortable with falling in the water in all kinds of ways; which also meant letting to of what people thought of a grown woman flopping into a pool as I grew accustomed to being out of control, so I could gain more trust in the process to achieve my goal.

In one winter season, my unconventional learning style did result in my ability to spring my body high into the air with arms spread wide and legs pulled together in proper form before my arms returned to their entry position as my body curved and sliced the pool’s surface. Sometimes on my entries my body was more rolled than straight and into an underwater somersault my body would roll. Sometimes my body was so straight and pointed, down to the bottom my arrowed body would rush. And sometimes, my body would have just enough of a curve to take me down so far but then gracefully sweep me back up to the surface. Even without a camera, I knew I was successful in completing my goal because of the response from observers, including the lifeguards.

A few years ago when I moved back to the home of my late teens and twenties where one of the greatest bodies of water, Lake Huron, once challenged and strengthened my swimming abilities, I soon realized how much I had let my swimming strength diminish. Upon my return, I also discovered one of the newer challenges I wanted to experience, surfing, is becoming a growing popular sport at the town’s main beach because of the dynamics of the breakwall, piers and currents.

A significant water level drop since I owned property south of the town’s border and even south of the area known as Boiler Beach has resulted in significant lake changes, including rip currents that develop in between sandbars and beside piers; rip currents that can thrust even an accomplished swimmer across the surface of the water in seconds, leaving them disoriented and if not wise in the ways of these sometimes volatile waters, stranded in deep water, exhausted from fighting the water’s stronger force. Safe swimming, as well as surfing and any other water activity, is now best-managed by learning how rip currents work, how to get out of their often frightening grasp, more safety strategies and tools, plus stronger swimming skills for this great lake.

For me, stronger swimming skills translates into face-in-the water comfort by learning to swim the crawl as opposed to wasting energy trying to keep myself alive by keeping my head above water at all times by swimming the energy-zapping Tarzan stroke. Changing a fifty-year style of swimming has not been easy or as quick as some would hope … especially people with different personality types, learning styles, body types and beliefs.

As a result of a lot of personal work, I know me very well these days and that includes the recognition none of the above … personality types, learning style, body types and even beliefs are the same as the majority. First, many people like constant attention while learning. In contrast, I excel when I gather new information and then go off on my own to practice and experiment because someone constantly talking at me is a distraction to me, but welcomed by other personality types. When I need more information, I come back for more, taking all the pieces and working on them individually before I start integrating them. For example, two of the biggest challenges I faced was getting used to putting my face horizontal in the water and learning how to breathe as I lifted my face partially out of the water, first to the right and eventually also to the left. Changing my kick from a thrust to a constant flutter meant developing the muscles in my hips and legs in new ways. Then there were the goggles, the bathing cap, getting the arm strokes coordinated with the breathing and the face in the water plus the new style of kick, etc.

Knowing what I know about my personality type, learning style and even body type, I should have known better than to take lessons in a big class with so many swimmers who, as it turns out, already swim the way I was there to learn how to do.

So, after two classes, I took the information provided, did some research of my own and started swimming on my own, breaking down old habits and instilling new ones, which, of course is taking time, though in truth it has only been a few months. Still, I find several people are quick to share their opinions about what I am doing wrong even though they know nothing about me other than what they see in their mind snapshots of my swimming endeavors.

Yet I know, if observers do not have the same personality type as I they will not understand how I work well on my own, breaking down big pictures into the details in order to construct a new big picture. They will not know that my body type is first a sprinter, excelling in activities that require quick and short bursts of great speed and that in order for me to become an endurance performer, I first have to train my body and mind with how it works best … using my natural speed with an element at a time until I can bring all the elements together quickly … in a flash, so I can experience what the new way of swimming I am striving for feels like … so I can build that feeling into my endurance training and goals.

“You swim too fast, your head is not deep enough in the water, you need a camera with video to watch your form,” are just some of the comments and suggestions I have heard, albeit, no doubt with good intentions, but yet at the same time this experience greatly demonstrates how we like, prefer even, everyone to be like us … to do as we do, to act as we act, to think as we think, to learn as we learn … and yet, no matter how much we may try, we are not like anyone else … and never will be without losing our own identity. We, each of us, are unique combinations of a number of factors, none of which is duplicated in anyone else.

Learning to appreciate we are not like everyone else and to understand that our differences from others does not make us or anyone else wrong, but just different is a very important step in making our world a safer and more peaceful place to live.

Valuing … respecting our differences, as well as our similarity in being unique creatures, is a huge step in making our world the safer and the most peaceful place we all want to live.

Hmmm, on that note, it is off to the pool I go in a few hours to recapture the new feeling I experienced during my last swim session when everything finally came together … speed, stroke, right and left breathing. Now I can begin to refine my form and build up my endurance so I will be ready this summer to be the swimmer and surfer I envision myself to be.

March 17, 2014

Kaitlin A. Trepanier
http://www.kaitlinatrepanier.com

All Rights Reserved by DARK HORSES PRODUCTIONS/KAITLIN A. TREPANIER … CREATIVE WRITER, ADVOCATE, and PROJECT SPECIALIST responsible for the creation of the global initiative Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE … because every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED.