Why Hillary Lost   part 2

At the Womens March this January, the word intersectional

was widely visible.

Google gave me this: “Intersectionality (or intersectional theory) is a term first coined in 1989 by American civil rights advocate and leading scholar of critical race theory, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. It is the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination.”

I believe this focus allowed men, women, children, dogs (I saw no cats) of all ages and sizes, economic interests and everyone who wanted to be represented there to be there. It was the most harmonious experience I have ever known; there truly was room for us all.
This mood/feeling was not active during the election. I saw in the young man’s rejection of Hillary (I mentioned yesterday) the cry for separation. Devotion to separation, to the isolation of our own type or group identity was the Cri De Coeur during the interminable period leading up to the vote last year. By the time we voted, we were ready to kill one another.

Last year wasn’t so much about age as attitude. The delicious taste of freedom to hate, to blame, to say things that hadn’t been said “for eight years.” To take ourselves to such an extreme focus as not to see anything else.

We must seek a better outcome. To be here in this human body, on this earth plane is to seek wholeness and the more we include, the better off we are. We depend on the tree, the bee, the lion and all who show up here. There is nothing among us expendable or valueless. Please join me in listening to the originator of this most useful word. Let Kimberle Williams Crenshaw speak from her Ted Talk to all our hearts.

The Mine Field

So much news – fake and true – is swirling about. So much to respond to, react, beware, act on. So many petitions to sign, money sought and I want to give. I want to give my heart and mind to the mysteries of this immediate life. I don’t know what will happen next. Some, more prescient than I, have noted the coming of these times and predicted them. I didn’t notice. Where was I? I was basking in my liberal world, so many gains I thought unassailable. I didn’t see it coming. My eyes were filled with tears of joy for me, for my “other identified” friends and loved ones. Where was I? I was in Washington D.C. which finally felt safe. I was in the corners of this Rebublic where I finally felt safe.

Will I be able to sift through all this information? Will I be able to know what is true from what isn’t?

Luckily for me I subscribe to a Buddhist newsletter – unluckily for me, even after way over three decades of adherence to this philosophy, I find it nearly impossible to implement – easily.

OK, so nothing’s easy. I get that. I really get that now! Here, for instance, is advice under the heading, “There Is No Blame.”

OK, right there I’m behind, not up to speed on this one. All I’ve been looking for is who and what to blame! “There are no human enemies,” says Sylvia Boorstein, “only confused people needing help.”

I couldn’t agree more – about the needing help bit. And the confused, ignorant people. Exactly how I see it, yes.

I listened to Van Jones express his fear of the people who voted for the president-elect. He said he was afraid of his supporters, not those who voted for him – he might agree with me that they are the confused needing help. No, he said, it is the people who support him in his daily tweets/life, the ones who give him policy ideas and recommendations for cabinet members.

It’s hard to think about the powerful having more power and easy for me to fall into the well of complicity in thinking I have no power to help the earth hold us all better. I have as much power as I ever did, it is there for me to take when I get through my distractions.

Blame, anger and despair are my chief distractions now and I look at them as resistance to action, excuses, if you will. The seduction of finding and assigning fault feeds the Ouroboros of my anger. Taking Sylvia’s lead – reading her article to the end – I leave you with a quote.

—“the familiar image of an infant left in a basket on a doorstep with a note pinned to its blanket: “Please take care of me.” The natural impulse, for all of us, would be to pick the baby up, to care for it. I try to think about the world as an abandoned baby, left in dire straits by parents who could not care for it well. Could we be the benevolent agents who pick it up and, without blaming, take care of it?”

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This Is My Room

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I’ve been studying a lot about the brain lately – and habits. Such important tidbits and bytes that make up our worlds, personalities and basically our lives. How we see things – things as they are are how we see them. Pirandello wrote a play called Cosi e se vi pare – as usual I can’t do the accents on my accentless keyboard – but loosely translated it means we see what we want to see. (it is so if you think it is)
One of my brain readings involved toast. Burnt toast. It seems that when we in the christian world burn toast, we often see Christ’s face. This is not because Christ’s face is there, no, but because we see what we expect to see and we see the face of Christ a lot.
Gives me pause about the court system and any leaning at all toward believing in the truth of the eyewitness. Bystanders are no exception, they see what they want to see. I read what I want to read. Sometimes I think I’m making up the whole novel as I go along – but then every once in a while an idea plays in front of me that I know didn’t come from my head!
What about you? What do you see? Who do you see? Where were you when you saw…?

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How to be Your Best Friend’s Best Friend

Last night a dear friend texted to get help with her brother’s dying dog who happened to be the sibling and litter mate of her own dog. She was worried about her dog as well as her brother’s and wanted to know how they were handling what was going on for them all.
When I went to speak to Sugar, the dog whose death from cancer was imminent, I got a huge wave of concern for my friend. I called her immediately and heard her confusion in what the focus of concern and help should be.
She had a lot going on, the death and possible pain of Sugar, the chance that this could happen to her own dog and her own concern for herself and her brother. A lot of emotional threads.
I think this is the thing I really do in animal communication. I listen for the threads and put them together in a way that soothes the humans involved. The vet had told them Sugar was not in pain, Sugar told me another story and said that this pain was not a big deal, she was ready to die and be away from the discomfort and, yes, pain that life was bringing her now. She was ready was her main theme.
Actually the most impacted was my friend’s dog who was apart from her, she is a nervous dog to begin with and her companion was emotionally torn and confused. Dogs can stand a lot. They have a resilience that boggles our minds and hearts. They are patient and forgiving beyond our wildest imaginations, but it is hard for them to have the people they look to as their chief focus be overwhelmed.
One of the best ways we can help our companions is to take a break, a breath, a walk. Do what they want for a few minutes a few times a day – walks, treats, a little panting never hurts. It could change us into being the humans they treat as if we already are.
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At bottom, the reason why we’re scared of rejection, failure, intimacy, embarrassment, abandonment, loss, the unknown, being judged, being alone, losing control, expressing our true feelings, and so many other things is that we’ve mistakenly identified ourselves with our limited ego self. When we know ourselves to be one with the ground of all existence, then nothing is separate or foreign to our nature and all of our unhealthy fears dissolve.

From Deepak Chopra’s “Awaken to Happiness Replace Fear with Love”

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I have loved you
Through fear and rainy days
Long summers of sunshine
And sometimes boredom caused
By anxiety from too much abundance.
Birds have flown in unison
As my heart’s involvement turns
On a dime. I am benevolent and unkind
Trained in no jurisprudence but the flat
Feet of the ego, mine, steps uncannily
On searching toes, on my heart as it (I)
Divide, not meiosis, but some momentary
Clamor in my brain that I believe.
The best I can do is know I am lost,
That I am found and, stunningly,
There is little difference between.

 

“My Heart is Green and Growing”   painting by Pam White

The Cure For Addiction

Is appreciative attention. The trick is to keep your attention centered on what will help you. Rather as if you are on a diet eating only what is good for you, leaving no room for the very interesting junky stuff.
 Aajahn Chah encourages us to: ” Constantly watch over the mind as a parent watches over a child. Protect it from its own foolishness, teaching it what is right.”

I find myself often listening to the “crawl” at the bottom of my mind. These are not lofty thoughts or good ideas. They tend to be repetitive to the point of inanity. I call them “mind candy.” Perhaps I’m justifying or blaming or being right. I could be replaying a slight or something I should have said or done. Even the dreaded song over and over again. Treading the same stuffy, airless water of my pride and loving it. Until I wake up and find out I’ve gorged and now am tired. Hopefully remorseful. Nothing wrong with guilt.

So what’s next? To pull my mind back to my path, back to the life I want to be living in, my focus gets either very big – like who do I want to be, who am I? – or very small. What’s on this leaf? Refections on the soap bubbles washing dishes, the eyebrow of a cat. Is where salvation lies, tender to the touch and easy on the eye.

The Poetry Of Love

Poems are not like elephants
Or at least I don’t
Want them to be.
Soft and elegant as the elephant
Is, it’s too big. Too grey.
Poems, the ones I want, are
Here, now and to the point,
And colorful.
The difference in my step
when I know you love me
is a poem. That makes me
A poem. And a step. And I love
The love we share, you and I.
The Me in Us – oh, this is getting
Big. Not like the elephant,
But the color of one.

When I said elephant I think I meant horse
they can be close to the same color but
they take a very different course
just as I am with you
just as I am without you
like the horse in the field grazing
with the sky ahead and behind
you are here with me when you’re not
the rest is in my mind

Today let’s look inside and see what we see;
if I had the courage of red to give myself
I could wear the blue gown my mother
made for me when I was ten,
I could hold the stalk of hot iron
my father proffered me at eight,
my hands would grasp the knife of my
sister beside the spoon of my brother.
Would that make us a family?

A Short Story

Leave the city of your teaching and go into the wilderness of your intuition where you will discover your true self.

mine is a city built
as cities often are
on a hill
defense first. point taken.
moat, gun ports, soldiers
in attendance at attention.
sounds familiar.
it makes me think my heart is safe
I think I look strong, sure.
then when something comes up
I’m ready.
but not to receive
I’m ready for battle.
guess what I get

 

When We Seek Approval We….

“Our imperfections do not make us inadequate; they are what connect us to each other and to our humanity.”   Brene Brown, Connections Curriculum

When I was growing up I found a quote by George Bernard Shaw, he said, “The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.”

That quote certainly fit the times I found myself living in but it didn’t impress me enough to follow along or want to be with anyone who thought like that – though I had lots of choices in that category.

We are each wired – hard wired – for community, for love, leaving us open to the longing for approval. Approval = connection, approval is community, approval means we are worthy. We matter if someone cool thinks we are cool. We matter if we are not alone, part of a greater whole.

So how can we belong if we can’t be perfect? How can we speak our minds if we don’t fit in? How can we have boundaries if we long for approval? When every song, every article, every fashion asks us to fit its mold, where is our authenticity?

If I listen to my clients, it’s on the back burner. It’s what they call me for and what they struggle in and with, and on a lonely evening it goes to the back of the closet. Later, I’ll do that, be that, later. Right now I want a hot date, what’s wrong with that?

So the quote I started with, about our imperfections, gets misplaced. My imperfections are only OK if they fit into your imperfections or if you find mine acceptable – which you might for the first while, but if I get comfortable with them, well, you might get uncomfortable. I gets very complicated this authenticity thing. It might be why Facebook has that as a choice for describing relationship. It is complicated!

It is so hard to do what everyone knows – which is: our first, our only relationship is with ourself. Period. Bah Humbug. We cultivate that. Have our hot date with who we really are, get to know that person – warts and all as we sometimes say – then we can start to look beyond out into the broader world where we have been all along because, you know, we really are all alike in this. We are in this together.

More About The Holidays

It’s in the air now or at least on the calendar that holidays are here. And some of us are stuck in the past. How can it be that all these cheery messages, movies and gifts can put so many of us into straight jackets of worry – we won’t be enough, we’ll be too fat, give the wrong gift or re-gift to the person who gave it in the first place.

I’m really lucky to have a photograph of our first Christmas night with Chandrika – thanks to Paula. It was probably the first time for me that I wasn’t totally self-conscious and wigged out about what I was wearing or how I looked – at least it doesn’t look like that was on my mind! It had been years since my older children and I spent easy times at home – when we didn’t go to the grandparents – and I spent a lot of the day in front of the stove in the livingroom.
Chandrika and I spent quite a lot of time on that floor with the couch at our back watching movies – over and over. The Little Mermaid and Annie were Chandrika’s ticket to the English language so our pose here is part of months of sitting right there learning language and culture.

She hadn’t seen much snow so we had a blast. Presents were not a big part of her life pre-us – Paula and I may have gone a l-i-t-t-le overboard! And we had so much fun. Oh, so did Chandrika!

It’s that kind of time I wish for all of us now. The kind of moments when you throw yourself into the snow, grab something with your whole heart, taste new snow, make snow angels, love the cool on your neck. When most of what we’re all worried about just doesn’t matter.

Have a long read, too much of something and remember love starts with us, loving ourselves. When we take the paths of our restraints too seriously we are not breathing into the moment of this here now, our heart beating, our breath in and out, our love matching and making the moment.