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Getting Sassy!!!

on July 2, 2012

Retreated to the ocean to catch some one-on-one wave action to renew the soul. Ah, it works every time! I am back with a clear vision of creative marvels and how we so need to revamp our lives.

Let’s start by getting “sassy!” I mean that in all aspects of the word. So much of our life centers around our pressure cooker environment. Science has noted that people do not function well when in hostile, unappreciative, and demeaning situations. Why should people fear meetings? Why should deadlines be placed upon us with unrealistic expectations? Why? Why? Why so many “whys?” In my R&R time I was able to research some innovative solutions. If businesses are producing negative results or production is down, why not look towards those that are succeeding? I have discovered an awesome concept that can help in most any situation jobs and life. Kaizen!

It is Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the better” but in small steps. The focus is on continuous progress. (Let me make a note about education right here, their theory of continuous progress is not the same as Kaizen though they might debate it.) I have given it a try and really like the brain storming and focusing on resolving the issues by breaking it down to its core to find solutions. It is also about involving EVERYONE in finding and resolving solutions so everyone takes ownership instead of blaming people. So, how does this relate to being sassy? Sometimes you just have to step up and speak out if things are not flowing. Trust me, I have experience in this area. It is tough and the outcome might not be always positive for the brave but results do happen….small steps! Those of us who have a touch of ADHD, this is a positive solution based concept that works for us. Research it, try it in your personal life then take it to work. I believe you will find it to be the blessing you have looked for.

Let’s look at the sassy part from a different perspective. How did people resolve problems and influence future generations in a positive way? Storytelling and folklore, both of which are being lost in many aspects of our lives. We all remember someone in our youth who would tell incredible stories with a lesson attached. Hopefully this blog will spark some of those. Disney has capitalized on some of those but in some ways it is not the same as the old fashion story-teller version. Stories were developed to solve problems, relate solutions, and to pass on wisdom in a format that was not negative but thought-provoking.

I was searching for the legend of the sassafras tree. Even with the awesome access of the internet I could not find the version I recalled. A friend found a version I had not heard of but it is just as powerful, thanks for the help!!! I recall the Choctaw version that is a story about the Great Flood. The picture is of a young sassafras tree. Note the 3 shapes of leaves: the canoe, the mitten, and the bird foot. (Yes, there are both left and right-handed mitten leaves.) The legend I remember is a warning to man that he needed to change his ways. Of course, we are not good listeners so the great God warned He would flood the Earth. One man listened and changed his ways so the great God told him to build a canoe of sassafras. He did and survived. He drifted for days. A bird came to show him the way to land. Once this man set foot upon the dry Earth the bird turned into a woman. The sassafras rooted to become a tree of many purposes. As the tree matures, the leaves go from the canoe shape to the mitten and finally all to the bird’s foot. My twist is that the canoe is the first small step, the mitten represents of man following the advice, and finally, the bird’s foot…. the chance to take flight and create. Check out the history of the sassafras tree. The favor of root beer was once made from it. There is no part of the tree that went to waste, from tree top to deep roots, each holds a small solution to something. It is a visual reminder and one easily to find, pass along this version of the story. Next blog…. the other version… stay tuned!!!


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